“If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.” ~Unknown
Last year, beginning on January 1 of 2016, I began a gratitude journal. This gratitude journal was a little bit different than past ones I have written in. In this particular journal, I wrote daily of a reason that I loved, was thankful for, or admired about my husband. What began as a gift for him ended up actually being a blessing to me. It started out as a somewhat easy “task” but as the days turned into months, it became more challenging to find things to write that I hadn’t already written. Many days I had to “study” Ken to find a new quality that I loved about him. It wasn’t always easy, especially on those days when we weren’t getting along or we just didn’t really like each other. What it challenged me to do though, was to focus on Ken’s positive qualities and the many reasons (that are easily overlooked or forgotten) that I fell in love with him to begin with. Through this journey, I was reminded of how very blessed I am to be married to such an amazing person and how easy it can be to take him and all he does for granted. As we begin Lent, and our “40 Day Challenge,” I encourage spouses to consider writing in their own gratitude journal. Every day, write one or two things about your spouse that you are thankful for. At the end of the 40 days, not only will you have a beautiful gift for your spouse but I am fairly confident that you will also be changed because of it.
Coordinator of Volunteer and Marriage Enrichment Ministries
(248) 243-0254 Email
In an effort to help more marriages become “solid and stable”, St. Mary’s has formed a Marriage Ministry Team. Ideally, this team will be made up of 8-10 couples who would identify needs and offer programs, resources, and activities for couples going through the various stages, phases, circumstances and challenges of married life. If you and your spouse have a desire to help strengthen marriages and would be interested in being part of the Marriage Ministry Team, please contact me Email or at (248) 243-0254.
Honor your mate’s personality difference. Although the trait that you loved when you were dating can annoy you when you live with it 24/7, use your differences to develop your shadow side and become a fuller person. ~Susan Vogt, www.susanvogt.net
Web Resources for Catholic Marriages:
Retrouvaille…a Lifeline for Troubled Marriages – The Retrouvaille Program consists of a weekend experience combined with a series of 6-12 post-weekend sessions over 3 months. It is a lifeline for troubled marriages. It provides the tools for couples to put their marriage in order again. Thousands of couples headed for cold, unloving relationships or divorce have successfully overcome their marriage problems by attending the program. It gives couples the opportunity to rediscover each other and examine their lives together in a new and positive way. Both English and Spanish weekend programs.
Worldwide Marriage Encounter – The Worldwide Marriage Encounter (WWME) weekend is a positive and personal experience offering married couples an opportunity to learn a technique of loving communication they can use for the rest of their lives. It’s a chance to look deeply into their marital relationship and their relationship with God. The emphasis is on communication and for couples to share their feelings, hopes and dreams with each other. Both English and Spanish weekend programs.
For Your Marriage – The US Bishops web site for marriages that has an abundance of articles, information, links, newsletter, blogs, and other resources to support couples on the journey of marriage. Whether pre-marriage, newly married, or further along the marriage journey, this web site offers a wealth or practical information and support to strengthen and build Catholic marriages. Both English and Spanish web sites.
Marriage: Unique for a Reason – Marriage: Unique for a Reason is an initiative of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The web site offers multi-media resources to assist with the education and catechesis of Catholics on why marriage is unique and why it should be promoted and protected as the union of one man and one woman.