7 ways to bring Mary into your marriage

During our wedding ceremony, we presented flowers to the Blessed Mother, entrusting our marriage to her.

praying for your spouse

Honestly, I don’t think we fully grasped the importance of that at the time. But as years have gone by, we’ve realized more and more just how vital our Mother is to our marriage.

She is the ultimate example of what it means to say “yes” to God’s will and to trust Him in everything. Her fiat – her “yes” – led to the salvation of the whole world. Not only did she have the perfect marriage, she was the perfect mother. As a woman, I look to Mary as a guide as I strive to become a better wife and mother.

(But a man could totally consider Mary as an example too! She was so trusting and self-sacrificial, two qualities essential in a marriage. The most awesome priests we know are the ones with a devotion to the Blessed Mother.)

Plus, the devil is terrified of Mary – have you noticed that many statues of Mary have her crushing the serpent? She is the WOMAN. Her prayers are so powerful, as she can literally whisper into the ear of Jesus. And he listens to her, just like he did from the very beginning of his ministry at the wedding at Cana.

7 ways to bring Mary.png

How can you bring Mary into your marriage? Here are some ideas:

  1. Place a statue of Mary in your home, specifically in your bedroom.
  2. Pray the Rosary together.
  3. Have images of Mary hanging on your walls, especially in your bedroom. (We also have one of Mary and baby Jesus right outside our boys’ room, which I love.)
  4. Create a Marian garden in your yard. (We just did this! See our video at the end of the post!)
  5. Celebrate Marian feast days. (One of our faves is the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe!)
  6. Read 33 Days to Morning Glory together.
  7. If your church has a place for flowers in front of a statue of the Blessed Mother, present those to her together and pray a Hail Mary for your marriage. (Our church has a little grotto which is perfect for this!)

May is the month of Mary, so this is the perfect time to think about how you can Mary into your marriage! Do you have any other ideas to add to the list?

7 ways to pray with your spouse

Are you tired of me talking about this yet? I hope not, because it’s so important!

7 ways to pray with your spouse (1)

Even though Logan and I pray together every night before bed (when we’re both home, at least, and going to bed at the same time, which is most nights), we’ve realized the importance of changing up our prayer routine a bit. So I thought I’d share some ways you can pray together with your spouse.

  1. Spontaneous prayer. This is what Logan and I mostly do every night. Logan leads and starts with thanksgiving and adoration, then intentions. I add intentions, and we close by asking our family litany of saints for prayers too.
  2. Rosary. We usually pray the Rosary individually – Logan during his work commute and me at home – but during long car rides we pray together. And we recently started praying a rosary together on Logan’s off days. (I completely admire couples who pray the Rosary together everyday!)
  3. Liturgy of the Hours. We’re not always up at the same time to do Morning Prayer, and Evening Prayer is hard to fit in with homework, dinner, and bedtime. But we have prayed Night Prayer together, which is my favorite. It’s the perfect way to end the day – and it’s even better when you pray it with your spouse! And maybe one day our schedule will allow to either do Morning or Evening Prayer together…
  4. Devotional Book. We just finished Forever and highly recommend it! Each chapter takes about 5 minutes – reflection, challenge, and a prayer. This is a great way to ease into praying together, I think.
  5. Mass. The entire Mass is a prayer! It’s hard to remember sometimes, especially if you have little kids and can’t focus the entire time. But going to Mass together is a lovely way to pray together.
  6. Lecto Divina. This is the one thing we need to start doing. We’ve been reading the Mass readings together with our handy dandy Every Sacred Sunday journal and talking about what spoke to us, but we haven’t really delved into praying with it together yet. But, baby steps!
  7. Retreat. This is one of those things that you won’t realize how important/helpful/fruitful it is until you actually do it. Getting away to a prayerful setting, embracing the Sacraments, and being able to focus on God and your spouse for an entire day or two is one of the best things ever. We’ve been on two and are going on another one soon! Every time has been such a source of strength and renewal in our marriage. Highly, highly recommend it.

Now you share! What’s your favorite way to pray with your spouse? What has helped you stay consistent with it?

Linking up with Kelly for 7QT!

And here’s our video on praying together if you missed it:

How to make date night actually happen

If you’re one of those couples who faithfully goes on a date every month (or week!), just skim right past this. 😉

How to make date night.png

Date night. We all know we should do it but…making it happen? Completely different thing. I have some thoughts if you struggle with it!

1. Figure out what your main obstacle is to making it happen.

Is it your budget? Your baby who won’t take a bottle? Lack of a babysitter? You’re just too tired? (That last one is a lame excuse, by the way…)

Once you’ve pinpointed the obstacle(s), brainstorm a solution. Together!

For us, it’s a few factors. We have limited to no budget (depending on the month, because we have variable income), so we mostly rely on gifts cards and the generosity of loved ones to babysit.

When we have a tiny baby who is hard to leave, we’ve relied on in-home date nights until the stars aligned to make an out-of-the-home date night happen. (And then we took the baby with us.)

I personally can’t stand the planning part of a date – figuring out where to go, who’s going to babysit, etc. Logan is constantly begging to go on a date, and I inwardly groan, because while I would like to go too, I hate being the one in charge of planning. So I finally thought to tell Logan I’d be more than happy to go on a date whenever if he took the initiative to plan – mainly booking a babysitter. My favorite dates have been the ones where he did all of the planning.

Because of our schedule currently, evening dates don’t usually work. So we realized that going on a date in the middle of the day is easier and much less stressful.

You might have to get creative when it comes to a solution to your specific obstacle, but for most people, there is one!

2. It doesn’t have to be extravagant to be considered a date.

Seriously, though. Of course it’s nice to get dressed up really nice, eat at a fancy restaurant, and go dance the night away in some fancy club.

If you want to be consistent about going on dates, though, you probably should keep it simple for the most part. Go to a quiet coffee shop and sip some lattes, browse a thrift store (and pick something out for each other if the budget allows!), or heck, go for a walk or ride bikes. The point of a date is to have dedicated time for just you and your spouse. No fireworks needed.

3. Keep both of your personalities in mind.

Logan and I are complete opposites when it comes to temperament and love languages. So that means we have different ideas of what we want our dates to look like….which means our dates usually consist of quiet down time for my sake (i.e. dinner) and something exciting for Logan’s sake (i.e. picking out each other’s outfits at Goodwill). Yes, you might have to compromise, but I’ve actually come to appreciate my spouse’s wild and crazy ideas. Maybe you will too!

4. Don’t be discouraged. It is only a season.

We’ve been through seasons where going on a date felt close to impossible – one of the kids (or us) was sick for two months straight, our baby did not do well in the evening, there was literally no money to do anything, etc. But don’t lose hope! This phase is temporary. Just make sure you jump on an opportunity to go on a date as soon as it comes. It will be worth it!

So, what do you think? What helps you make date night happen?

In case you missed it, we vlogged our last date! We also share 3 things we try to do every time we go on a date: