Share your daily commute
The power of gold: how to make sure it isn’t running your life
Songwriter Dan Fogelberg wrote, “Balance the cost of the soul you lost with the dreams you lightly sold, then tell me you’re free, from the power of gold.” The power of gold can distort our priorities and focus too much of our attention on acquisition. This is what St. Paul meant by the “love of money” being at the root of all evil.
How much debt is too much?
• Do financial crises crop up in your lives, one after another?
• Do you have trouble living within your monthly budget?
• Have you applied for new credit cards because your old ones are maxed out?
• Have you fallen behind on rent, mortgage or car payments?
If you answered “yes” to one or more of these questions, you may be in too much debt. Take the time to make a plan to get out – paying off credit cards, setting up a workable budget, developing a savings plan, and cutting back on luxuries you can’t afford.
Make sure you’re controlling your finances, and they’re not controlling you!
– John Morris
Ride into the sunset – share your daily commute
Need to find more time as a couple?
Ride to work together. This may take some rescheduling of work hours. It may mean a little longer trip or inconvenience, but it is time alone away from home.
• Don’t turn on the radio or talk on the cell phone; focus on each other and share your dreams and aspirations for your future together.
• Give yourself an extra 10 minutes of driving time, so you can slow down and enjoy each other’s company.
• Finally, give your spouse a kiss when you arrive at your destination.
Time Tip: If you resolve to pray once everything else is done, you’re putting God last in your priorities … pray first, do everything else later.
Time tip from Time Management for Catholics by Dave Durand
How do we talk about raising our kids when we disagree?
What happens when you disagree with your spouse about how to raise the children? Be it something as simple as a decision about bedtimes or as complex as when it’s OK to date, this is bound to happen in your marriage. What are the options when you disagree?
Talk about your discipline styles as early as possible, preferably before you have children. Try to develop a plan about which you both agree – and then stick to it!
Base discipline on behavior, not on emotions. If you can agree in advance about how to respond to certain child behaviors, you’ll be prepared when your child misbehaves.
Present a united front! Never have an argument about discipline in front of your child. If you can, wait until later to discuss how you would have handled it differently. If you can’t wait, then take a parental time-out to discuss the situation. This has an added benefit of modeling good communication for your children.
Divide up areas of responsibility. If you absolutely can’t agree about how to discipline in certain areas, agree to divide them based on importance or parental experience. For example, if picked-up toys are more important to your spouse, he or she can take over that area of responsibility. But once you’ve agreed, back off and let your spouse handle it. If your children see they can’t play you off against each other, they’ll be more likely to listen.
– Elizabeth Solsburg
Romance and intmacy:
Is it time for a D-A-T-E?
Have you ever been in the presence of a married couple who seemed to have a special spark of first-date romance flowing between them? Perhaps this playful couple flirted or frequently laughed together as though they were somehow immune to the hardships of marriage. You can often sense their closeness or “couple-ness.” It’s not by accident that these couples are able to succeed at keeping the romance alive. They face the same problems as anyone else, but they are also good at applying a few principles that enable their romantic energy to flourish. For the next few issues, we’ll be talking about these principles, the D-A-T-E principles. Start following them now for a more romantic marriage!
“D” is for demonstrating your affection. A show of affection is an important outward sign of your love, devotion and acceptance of each other. Try holding hands, giving a soft kiss, or simply exchanging a loving gaze. Flirt a little and be creative. Some people prefer expressing their affections by writing notes, giving flowers or through other surprises. Whatever your style, the more often you practice this principle, the more natural and beneficial it will be.
“D” is also for discerning differences. Those things that make us different are often what attract us to one another. Along with the obvious differences between men and women, our differences as people add mystery and excitement to our relationship. We need to work at understanding and honoring those differences.
– Rick and Diane Peiffer
Prayer for a renewed marriage
She: Here I am before you, O God. Our marriage has seen some hard times.
He: The promises we made to each other – for better or worse, for richer or poorer,
She: in sickness and in health until death do us part – have been overtaken by “stuff” –
He: jobs, sports, housework, school activities, interests, and hobbies.
She: We’ve grown apart; we’ve replaced each other with a married-singles lifestyle.
He: I know that’s not what you intended for us. Call us back! Wake us up! Turn us around!
She: I know that I can be more. I know the person I married can be more.
Together: Renew our love. Ignite us with your Holy Spirit fire. Leave nothing unburned that you may accomplish in us what you intended for us as a couple. May it be so; may it be so. Amen.
– Pat Nischan