Archive for ‘Happily Even After’
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.
Five-year-old Lucy is definitely a Mama’s girl, but Stacey knows this stage probably won’t last. She reflects on the complicated relationship between moms and daughters.
Josh notes that the recent Sunday Mass reading from Ephesians offers material for pillow-talk between spouses: “Wives should be subordinate to their husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is head of his wife.” He reflects on what this passage means for his own marriage.
It’s a moment many parents dread: having “the sex talk” with their child. Stacey describes what happened when she raises the topic with pre-teen Oscar.
Stacey’s away this week, so Josh is taking care of the kids and baking treats! He finds sweetness in more than just the taste of the cookies.
Josh writes, “Simon is like a pair of Chinese handcuffs—those woven tubes you put your fingers in. The harder you try to pull them out, the tighter they squeeze.” Read about the latest challenge.
Stacey admits that she and Josh are pretty intense competitors. Recently they joined forces to compete in the Urban Adventure Games. How did their personal adventure turn out?
Different children require different types of parenting. Josh is learning to relate to his and Stacey’s oldest child so that he feels heard. And then there’s that wicked sense of humor…
A relationship needs time and attention to flourish; this is no less true for our relationship with God. How do you know if you are finding enough time for God in your life? Stacey, a working mother and professional lay minister, shares how she makes sure to give enough time to God.
Josh identifies a common communication pattern that often drives conflict between men and women. He offers some simple advice to keep the conflict from escalating.
Trying to negotiate schedules and time-management after the move is a challenge to Josh and Stacey. But, underlying this challenge is a valuable opportunity to grow as spouses and as people, Stacey says.