A month for your marriage {bringing it together}

In case you missed it, I hosted a weekly marriage challenge this month! Read the previous posts: week 1week 2,  week 3, and week 4.

Copy of Habits we do every day (2)

How I did on Week 4, praying for your spouse

Well, I did pray for Logan every day! I pray a daily rosary, so I also made sure a couple of those were solely for his intentions. This challenge really did help me remember to pray for him more. There was one day I slacked off a little and honestly, on the days that I was on top of it, I noticed that he was a better husband and father – more loving, more patient, etc.

There was one specific intention I was praying for a lot, and halfway through the week, an opportunity came up that might be answer to that prayer! (Prayers appreciated for that, please and thank you.) Prayer is pretty powerful!

How about you? Did you pray for your spouse every day? What helped you?

Bringing it together

I honestly thought at the beginning of this month that these challenges wouldn’t really make a difference, because we’re doing pretty well right now and are pretty much doing all of these things anyway (well, we’ve been slacking on date night, but part of that has been because of sick kids).

But every single week, I was actually very grateful for each specific challenge, because it is SO easy to slack off. Yes, we pray together, and yes, we’re vulnerable with each other, and yes, I pray for Logan. We’re not perfect at it though…not even close. We had some really bad days this month and it was nice to have some accountability with these challenges.

My biggest takeaway is that even when you think you’re doing fine, you could always be doing better.

Your thoughts

What did you think about the challenges? Were they helpful? Would you be interested in doing A Month for Your Marriage again (with different challenges, of course)? What would you change? Would you be interested in getting the challenges via email? I’d love to hear from you!

I hope everyone has a blessed Triduum and a very happy Easter!

A month for your marriage {week 4 – praying for your spouse}

In case you missed it, I’m hosting a weekly marriage challenge! Read the previous posts: week 1, week 2, and week 3.

Copy of Habits we do every day (2)

How we did on week 3’s challenge, being vulnerable

For the few days, I honestly felt like there was nothing I needed to share with Logan. We’re pretty open with each other now, and we text each other throughout the day most days. Buuuuut then I started feeling some crazy thoughts about some discernment things. And I was really tempted to just not tell Logan because I knew he would be like NOPE, YOU CRAZY. Then I remembered my challenge and thought, well, this is my time to be vulnerable! So I brought it up and he basically had the reaction I was expecting…but we still talked about it and it was good.

How about you? Did you have a meaningful talk with your spouse? (You don’t have to tell me what it was about!) Do you think it brought you closer together?

Pray for your spouse

Logan and I have always prayed together, but it took me a few years to realize I was sorely lacking in how often I prayed specifically for Logan. During our most difficult pregnancy, in 2014, Logan was really struggling with the stress of everything, so I started to pray for him more. I also asked for the intercession of St. Joseph, and I was so surprised (and grateful) to see fruits of my prayers.

It’s easy to forget that we’re supposed to get each other to heaven, and a lot of times I’m too focused on what to do or say to Logan in order to help him. But prayer is the most productive thing I can do! Chances are, you are the one of the few (if not only one) who knows the deepest desires of your spouse’s heart. You know what special intentions they could use prayers for – and if you don’t know, ask! (Remember to be vulnerable!)

This week’s challenge

Commit yourself to praying for your spouse every single day this week. Choose a special intention, maybe something he/she is struggling with, and ask God to give your spouse special graces regarding that intention. Or better yet – ask your spouse how you can pray for him/her in a special way this week!

Ideas:

  • pray a daily Rosary for your spouse
  • attend a daily Mass and offer that for your spouse
  • ask a specific saint (your spouse’s patron, if she/he has one) for their prayers as well

I’ll be back next week (Holy Thursday!!) with a post to wrap everything up. Thanks for following along!

A month for your marriage {week 3 – being vulnerable}

In case you missed it, I’m hosting a weekly marriage challenge! Read the previous posts: week 1 and week 2.

Copy of Habits we do every day (2)

How we did on week 2’s challenge, date night

I have to admit this was easier for me because I totally knew about this in advance. So we actually went on our date the day before I posted the challenge. Logan and I picked out each other’s clothes at Goodwill and then wore them to eat sushi. And then we went back to Goodwill because of some hilariousness that you should check out on our Instagram account on the stories highlights! It was a super fun date, our first in entirely too long, and now I know we need to really make more of an effort to make it happen. (And we ended the date with a visit to an adoration chapel, which was lovely.)

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We’ve also been doing a marriage program at our church once a week too, so technically that could be counted as another date night, since our kids do not come with us.

Did you manage to go on a date? I’d love to hear about it!

Being vulnerable

Logan and I have gotten closer every single year, and that’s because we’ve realized the beauty in being vulnerable with each other. It’s hard to get closer to someone if you’re not sharing intimate feelings with them. I’d venture to say it’s even vital to a marriage to share your deepest struggles with each other!

How am I supposed to help Logan if I don’t know how he needs help? How am I supposed to support Logan if I don’t even know he needs it? Same with him. We cannot read each other’s minds.

It’s not easy sharing some thoughts and feelings with each other though. I’ll admit that I have a crazy mind sometimes (thanks, melancholic temperament!). So sometimes Logan looks at me like I’m a crazy person when I share something with him. But now he better understands me, and he loves me better because of it.

If you’re not sharing the small details of your day with each other, it’ll be hard to share the big stuff. So start small. Tell each other about your day – what you did, who you saw and talked to, your high and low points. It’ll progress from there. The important thing is that you communicate regularly.

Now Logan and I can tell each other absolutely anything (and I mean anything) and not think the other is crazy. We don’t get mad either. It’s a beautiful thing, really.

This week’s challenge

Is there something you’ve been struggling with or been thinking about and haven’t told your spouse? Talk to them about it this week. It can be something small, like struggling with your Lenten sacrifice, or your fears about a future pregnancy or job change. Whatever really! (Bonus points for getting your spouse to share something too!) If you’re already pretty open, be intentional about sharing more details about your day. Make sure you’re sharing more with your spouse than anyone else. 

Things to remember:

  • If you freak out or get mad when your spouse shares something big, you might make them take a step back. Remain calm!
  • If a serious issue comes out (i.e. your spouse admits to an addiction or other serious sin), don’t hesitate to get a third party involved if necessary. Getting help is a sign of strength, not weakness.
  • Being vulnerable with each other is how you grow closer together.
  • The devil wants you to keep things from each other!
  • Praying together is a great first step to being vulnerable with each other – check out our latest video about praying together.

 

I hate to say this but feel it is necessary: if you suspect your spouse is emotionally abusive, this post is not for you. Please seek the help of a counselor or spiritual director!

A month for your marriage {week 2 – date night}

In case you missed it, I’m hosting a weekly marriage challenge this month! Read last week’s post with more details here.

Copy of Habits we do every day (2)

How we did on Week 1’s challenge, praying together

Well, we prayed together every day! We actually decided to pray the Rosary together on Logan’s off days, which we did, and that’s something we want to continue. Thankfully we did that during the day on Sunday, because Logan went out with a friend that night and I fell asleep before he got home – which meant we wouldn’t have prayed together that day had we not prayed a Rosary earlier in the day.

We also prayed the Divine Mercy chaplet one night in addition to our usual prayer time, because we both cheated on our Lenten sacrifice at a church event (oops…darn you sugar cookies!) and wanted to make reparation for it.

How did you do? Did you pray together every day or just once or twice? Was it harder or easier than you expected? Share in the comments or in an Instagram post using the hashtag #amonthforyourmarriage. Can’t wait to hear!

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Week 2, Date Night

We have seasons where we’re going on dates regularly, and we have seasons where it feels impossible to complete the Date Night Trio: 1) find a night that works, 2) find a sitter, and 3) have enough wiggle room in the budget to have a little fun. It’s so hard, I get it. There are multiple factors at play – money, schedule, age of your kids, etc.

But it doesn’t matter if you’re going every month, or every week – you just need go sometime. Don’t let money or time be an excuse as to why you’re not spending dedicated time together. You can still go on dates and not spend money (get creative!), and if your marriage is important to you, you will make the time.

Confession: I’m totally fine having a “date” at home. But thanks to my extroverted husband, we tend to go out for dates because that’s what he likes. And now I know that getting out of the house is exactly what we need sometimes and it rejuvenates our marriage even more. A little space sometimes can give you some perspective.

This week’s challenge

Plan a date night (or day) that will happen in the next week or two. Try to plan something that both of you will like where you can spend time talking to each other (that means no movies!!).

Ideas (that require little to no money, because it’s easy to think of things that require money!):

  • walk around the city or downtown area near you
  • browse a bookstore and have some coffee
  • browse a thrift store and pick out clothes for each other
  • revisit the location of your wedding proposal
  • visit a church or adoration chapel (and pray together!)

A month for your marriage {week 1 – praying together}

This month I’m hosting a weekly challenge dedicated to our marriages. So every Thursday in March, I’ll post a brief reflection and a challenge for you to do. Don’t worry, I’m doing the challenge too! Check back the following week to hear about how I did. I’ll also have a new reflection and challenge for you.

Share how you do each week in the comment section! I’ll also be on Instagram using the hashtag #amonthforyourmarriage if you want to share there. I’d love for you to join in!  (Of course I totally want you just to do the challenges regardless of whether or not you share it with me. Mmkay?)

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Praying together

If I had to say one thing that has strengthened our marriage more than anything, it’s praying together. We’ve always prayed together – even when we were engaged. Now I know what a blessing that was, and I’m so grateful we had that foundation from the very beginning.

But I know a lot of couples haven’t ever prayed together, or they’re not consistent with it. I know some people are married to someone who doesn’t go to church, much less pray. Even if that’s the case, it’s okay! You can still do it. Maybe starting a prayer life together will lead your spouse to having his/her own prayer life.

It can seem awkward, especially if you’ve never prayed together. But it’s just one of those things that you have to jump into and eventually you’ll wonder why you ever thought it was awkward in the first place. (Kind of like sex, actually…)

Find what works for you. Some couples pray the rosary together every night. That is not us…yet, at least (but we do pray the Rosary individually). Our main prayer time is usually right before we go to bed, and while it’s typically spontaneous prayer, sometimes we do other things like Evening Prayer (from Liturgy of the Hours), a Rosary, a chaplet, or whatever.

Some couples do better praying together in the morning though. Everyone is different! It might take some trial and error to figure out what works best for your marriage. Our prayer routine is certainly not fancy or extreme, but it works, and we’re consistent.

This week’s challenge

If you and your spouse don’t regularly pray together, pray together every single day this week. It can be short and simple – the important thing is that you do it! If you’re already in the habit of praying together, stretch yourselves a little or try something new. Maybe read some Scripture together too, or extend your prayer time by praying a Rosary. The possibilities are endless!

Things to remember:

  • Studies show that couples who pray together are happier together and have lower rates of divorce
  • Don’t wait for your spouse to initiate it (obviously, it’s best for the man to lead, but don’t let that be your excuse to not pray together!)
  • Start small. An Our Father prayer or a simple “Jesus, help us to become better spouses to each other. Amen.” Progress as you feel comfortable!
  • DON’T MAKE EXCUSES. Just do it!

We will be praying for all of you this week! Together 😉