Archive for ‘tips and advice’
“On the 2nd Day of Christmas my true love gave to me – 2 Turtle Doves.” Turtle doves are migratory birds that form strong pair bonds. Perhaps you are traveling over the holidays, hopefully together. Even if you are separated, confirm your commitment to each other.
Merry Christmas! If you are a parent, take a moment today to ponder the awesome miracle of your child’s birth. If you are not a parent, ponder a mysterious way that God has acted in your life.
Christmas traditions are important but some just add stress to our lives. Christmas Eve Midnight Mass is nice but not with cranky kids. A special meal is unifying – but not if it makes you frazzled. Pause for five minutes today to be quiet, and simplify your expectations.
As Christmas draws closer, the flurry of stress and activity intensifies. Be sure to make time for quiet and prayer with your family to prepare your hearts for Christ’s birth.
Enjoy the Christmas lights with your spouse: at the mall, on your street, on the city tree, in your own home. How has your spouse been a light in your life?
December 21 is the longest night of the year. Advent is about waiting in the uncertainty of darkness. Ponder the times you have waited in the “dark” with a family member. Perhaps it was illness, or maybe fear, that kept you in vigil together. Be not afraid.
What husbands like to hear: “I love being married to you.” “I think you’re handsome.” “I really respect the way you handled that.” “Thank you for providing for our family.” “You are right.” What could you say today?
What wives like to hear: “Let me help you with that.” “I’m so glad I married you.” “I love the way that outfit looks on you.” “You’re an awesome wife and mother.” “Sounds like you had an exasperating day.” “You are right.” What could you say today?
“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’” (Mt 1:23) We hear this verse in both the first reading and the Gospel today, which helps us to see how God is faithful to His promises. How has the Lord been faithful to […]
Sometimes it can be frightening to embark upon a big change in life – a birth, a death, changing a job, or retirement. Call to mind a fear from the past or present. Share it with your beloved, and trust it will be kept safe.
Parenting teens can put stress on a marriage. If you have teenagers, you know that you can’t always pick the time when they are in the mood to talk. When they do open up, the parent needs to stop and listen.
For no particular reason make tonight’s dinner special: light candles, sip a glass of wine, and turn on soft music. Relax and enjoy each other’s company.
Affair-proof your marriage. Often affairs start because one spouse starts confiding in a friend of the opposite sex. Once personal troubles are compassionately received by another, a bond starts to deepen. If something’s troubling you enough, a counselor is the safer outlet.
Fighting Fair Tip: Never say “never” or “always.” It may seem like your spouse always leaves the gas tank on empty, but there’s always an exception that blows your argument. Be more accurate by saying “often” or “sometimes.” It stings less and creates less defensiveness.
What’s the first image of Mary, the mother of Jesus, that comes to your mind? Is she of the same race and age as you are? Latinos celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe today. Have you ever pictured Mary as a different race than your own?
In today’s Gospel, Jesus reminds John’s disciples about the fruits of his ministry. How has your marriage helped the people around you, in your family, parish, or community?
Christmas shopping started? Done? Consider committing to at least one gift of service. It can be done as a couple or family during the 12 days of Christmas. (Examples: repair a broken toy, or clean a child’s room, visit a lonely person, clean up a park)
It may seem unrealistic to “rejoice always” as St. Paul encourages us to do, but surely you can find one thing to be grateful for today or to rejoice over.
Some couples readily and happily conceive. Others wait, sadly, as months turn into years without a beloved child. Natural Family Planning can help infertile couples know the optimum time to conceive. Check it out.
Surprise your honey with an early Christmas gift. It doesn’t have to be expensive—fix his favorite dish or give her a back massage.
St. Nick was a secretive giver. Is there anything nice you can hide for your spouse to find later in the day? A treat? A note? A chore finished? Be creative.
Tomorrow is St. Nick’s Day, which means that many parents will put a treat in their child’s shoe tonight. Even if you don’t have a child living with you, consider treating a child whose parents may not. Planning together for ways to help others can draw you closer as a couple.
“John (the Baptist) appeared in the desert proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” (Mt 3:1) In any marriage hurts are inevitable. It may not be major, like a sin, but often small, like a pinch. Is there anything to forgive today?
“Children benefit from our ‘presence’ more than our ‘presents’” (Raising Kids Who Will Make a Difference). During this Advent, ponder the tone that time with your spouse, children, and extended family will take during the upcoming Christmas season.
If your parish or employer has a Giving Tree, take your children with you when you buy the gift. Or at least, let them help you wrap it. Your example of helping others will speak more loudly than any words.