Archive for ‘Happily Even After’
Josh’s love of basketball leads him to appreciate the little things that bring success. Reflecting on these well-executed details, he got to thinking about the little things that make for a happy marriage and family life. He offers a list to ponder.
Josh reflects on evangelizing one’s children. He says, “In my evangelizing efforts, I find that often I am the one being evangelized. To communicate love to our children, I have to first be transformed by love.”
It’s a common marital frustration: Your spouse hasn’t been paying attention to what you said and a while later asks you to repeat the same information. Stacey explains how spouses can process information in different ways.
Josh reflects on the hit movie Les Miserables and its great insight into God’s unconditional love. Love, says Josh, “is something that only grows the more we give it away. I have found this to be utterly true in marriage and family life.”
Stacey reflects that one child’s unhappiness can infect the entire family. But she has found an interesting counter-dynamic at work in her family.
Assuming the role of godfather to his brand new nephew, Josh reflects: “It is a great sign that the Church welcomes people in baptism, especially when they are at their most vulnerable. It is a declaration that none of us can get by on our own—that we all need to be held by family.”
Like most everyone else, Stacey was stunned by the news of Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation. She offers her appreciation for this beloved pastor and wise teacher.
Josh has been extra busy lately, and it’s been hard to keep connected to Stacey. But her little acts of caring and support show that she has his back.
Stacey writes on chores and the unitive aspect of marriage. “This will not be embarrassing,” she promises.
Josh’s new workout program has resulted in a pulled muscle–but that’s not the only thing that’s out of whack. His relationship with Stacey needs a little TLC, too.
In-laws are often a touchy subject in a marriage. As Stacey points out, they can stretch us in new ways. But they’re not the family we grew up in, which can cause discomfort from time to time.
A trip back home to the beautiful Black Hills rekindles Josh’s sense of awe and wonder. He reflects: “If I want our family to have a spirituality of wonder, I need to find ways for us to experience moments of depth and mystery where we live.”
Reconciling two sets of inherited Christmas traditions has taken Josh and Stacey some time, but Stacey discovers that in the process they have acquired brand new ways of celebrating that belong to their little family alone.
Josh and Stacey are considering a new school for Oscar. As they ponder their decision, Josh writes: “There is no one here to guide us, and we can only try to inform ourselves and make a reasoned judgment. It is not easy, and it feels like the stakes are high.”
Stacey reflects, “The season of Advent is a beautiful counterpoint to the busyness by providing us an opportunity again each year to make sure we are on the right path to draw closer to God. But in marriage and family life it isn’t just about us. It is also an opportunity to make it easier for those most dear to us to draw closer to God as well.”
Josh says that his kids are captivated by stories about saints. He reflects, “Raising saints has to be about cultivating a life in which each child can blossom with the gifts and personalities that they were given by God.”
Do the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience really apply to married people? Yes, says Stacey. She explains why these practices are not just for priests and religious.
As Oscar prepares to vote in his class’s mock election, Josh offers some wise guidance. He observes: “The new task of parenting a middle-schooler became clear to me: we have to form him in a way that will allow him to form his own conscience.”
Stacey admits she’s been a step off her game recently, not able to engage the children as fully as she would like. The answer? She shares a prayer that she’s found helpful.
Josh likes to think of himself as the strong, silent type, but after a serious conversation with Stacey, he realizes that this image had to change. He talks about the need to let it go.
Most parents have certain aspirations for their children, which don’t always take into account the child’s unique personality and interests. Stacey notes: “It is more important that my children know they are loved and valued regardless of what they do or how they perform.”
Josh finds a lot to like about the popular show “Cake Boss,” including its emphasis on family values. But he’s learning to monitor some less than desirable language.
It’s football season and Josh is loving every minute of it. But can he also tackle his responsibilities at home?
This week Stacey springs a “pop quiz” on readers: How much do you know about the essentials of the Catholic faith? It’s a good question as we prepare for the Year of Faith, which starts next month.
Money and finances can be a source of tension in a marriage. Josh shares one simple change he and Stacey have recently made that has helped their financial situation and eased the tension.