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For Your Marriage

Timothy and Donna have been married for over fifteen years after meeting in the gambling tent while volunteering at their parish carnival.

Nothing Dull About It

A few days after the Epiphany, we started taking down the Christmas decorations. I looked at our fireplace mantel. It was now devoid of our stockings as well as those we hang for our extended family. It seemed barren and blah.

We often think of the liturgical season of Ordinary Time in this way, too, that it is rather melancholy and dull. That it is something to be expected in the normal order of events. After all, we just spent the holiday season entertaining, giving gifts, and attending parties. There was nothing dull about that.

But Ordinary Time is anything but dull. “Ordinary” in this context means time that is “ordained” and that is ordered. At Mass the priest wears green vestments. These signify that this time should be one of growth and hope. It is a time set aside for reflecting on and celebrating our call to follow Jesus. We need to bring this Ordinary Time into our marriages as well.

A year or so after we married, Tim took a new job working second shift. It wasn’t the most ideal of situations, since I worked days, but we managed. During the week we were lucky if we saw each other for a half hour to an hour each evening before I headed off to bed. We learned to make the most of our weekends and guarded them closely.

A couple years into this schedule, I started our Friday Night Feast. During the week Tim would just eat the leftovers of whatever I had made earlier in that day, but on Fridays I would wait to eat dinner with him at 11:30. I would make something special and set a nice table. He would sometimes come home to find me grilling lamb chops or steaks by flashlight! It was a great way to reconnect after a long work week.

Even though we’re not working opposing shifts any longer, we still guard our Friday nights carefully. It is the time to leave all the office politics and stress behind and concentrate on what is important, each other.

Fridays will often find us sitting near a toasty fire in that fireplace whose mantel previously held our Christmas stockings. We chat, drink some wine, eat some yummy s’mores, and watch the flames dance on the hearth. It is quiet, peaceful, calm – what I want my home and my marriage to be. It might be “ordinary,” but it’s anything but dull.