What Love Looks Like In Our Home

What Love Looks Like In Our Home

Sometimes we get confused on what love is. We think it’s this strong emotion where you can’t imagine life without your spouse. Or we think that it’s a constant adventure where adrenaline and oxytocin are constantly pumping through our veins. I have thought those things myself, and sometimes they can be true. But then, when our marriage didn’t seem that adventurous anymore and I wasn’t always feeling those strong emotions, I questioned whether or not I was still in love.

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NFP is like eating vegetables: my love/hate relationship with NFP

NFP is like eating vegetables: my love/hate relationship with NFP

Some things that are very overwhelming about using NFP are: how much I don’t know how to use it, how much you have to abstain if you are really trying to avoid having children, and how hard it is post-partum. I have talked to many who are in the same boat, and are wishing someone would have warned them on how challenging it is instead of painting it as a romantic walk on the beach during  a sunset. 

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"I once was blind..." (part I)

"I once was blind..." (part I)

“I once was blind but now I see … Was lost but now am found.”
Only those who have experienced human brokenness for themselves know how powerful the lyrics of Amazing Grace can be. I used to think they were cheesy and I’d roll my eyes whenever it was sung. But I have been broken. And God knows I have been lost and blind in the darkness of my shame. I have also been found. My story is not an easy one to tell. 

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Practical Ways To Pray As A Family

Practical Ways To Pray As A Family

Last week we talked about some ideas of how to pray throughout the day individually and as a couple. Today, I want to focus more on how to do this with your kids.
The best thing that I can recommend is family prayer time. This time brings you not only closer to God, but to each other. And a family that prays together, stays together! 


For us, this is part of our bedtime routine sandwiched between getting jammies on and brushing teeth.  Some families do it right after dinner. The important thing is to do it, and make it a habit! It takes time, but eventually the kids will get used to it!

Growing up, there are many family prayer times that I recall and enjoyed. We used to read short devotional stories or age-appropriate reflections. One year we did a saint-a-day calendar, and boy are there some unusual saints out there! One time I even cried because my family had prayer time without me.

Nowadays, our kids our young so we try to keep it pretty short, but we’ve been adding to it as the kids get older. We first started with praying the Our Father and Hail Mary. We’ve since added the Glory Be, Angel of God, and St. Michael prayer. We also have everyone say one thing their thankful for (although our 3 year old girl usually says closer to 30) and one thing (or person) they want to pray for and ask God’s help for. We’ve started to also read a few pages from the Children’s Bible with the older two.

Here are some other great ideas that other families do during family prayer time:

- Pray a blessing for each child

- Short bible study, study of virtue, etc.

- Lay hands on and pray for a kid going through a particularly hard time

- Praying the Rosary (or decade for young kids).
- Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet (I love to listen to this beautiful version in song!)

- Each person say a short thanksgiving and/or intention

- Singing a praise song or hymn together

- Read a story about a saint.

- Create a sacred space, using candles, liturgical colors, holy images or icons to show that this time is special. Have your kids help set it up, and use your senses to pray with your whole body!

Other Great Ways to Pray with your Kids:

*Pray when hear siren or helicopter. Children can pray, “God help them!” or “Lord be with them.” You can also say a Hail Mary asking for protection for whoever is hurt or in trouble.

*In the car, you can listen to praise and worship, sung prayers, saint stories, etc.  For our kids, we like Cat Chat CD’s, Holy Heroes Glory Story CD’s, and Christian radio stations.

*Stop to say a short prayer at a certain time of day, such as the Angelus at noon or “Jesus I trust in You” at 3pm, the hour of mercy.

*Celebrate their Baptism Days  - It’s their birthday into the family of God! Recite baptismal promises, have their favorite meal

*Celebrate the Liturgical year:

- Advent: Create an advent wreath to use during prayer time. Our kids love lighting and blowing out the candles! You can also make or buy Jesse Tree ornaments and add to the symbolism of the tree.
- Lent: do the Stations of the Cross either at Church or in your home. We love these Stations of the Cross eggs!). Do sacrifice beads, a crown of thorns, or Lenten Adventure by Holy Heroes.
- Easter: Garden Party of the Good Shepherd

*Don’t forget to celebrate other feast days throughout the year with parties (and some prayers! Holy Days of Obligation require going to Mass, but there should be some feasting that go along with it!) Here is a great blog from last week on doing just that!


In short, there are so many ways that you can invite God into your child’s day and show them how much God loves them, and how He is always present with them. Having a set time for family prayer is very important, but they also need to know that while sometimes prayer is very serious, sometimes it can also be fun! The beauty of using the liturgical year is that there are times of fasting and feasting, which help our kids to enter into a relationship with God in a very real, daily way!

Good resources for liturgical living with kids:

www.catholicicing.com

www.holyheroes.com

www.showerofroses.blogspot.com

www.catholiccuisine.blogspot.com

catholicplayground.com

Have a great resource or way to pray with your kids? Or, have a question to ask? Share it with me at: allisonandnathan@catholicmarriageprep.com.

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How to Live Our Faith Fully Every Day

How to Live Our Faith Fully Every Day

Ah, here we are again, that time of year when we work to get back into the hustle and bustle of school and schedules. It is a time to make a plan and think ahead. It is in the midst of all this planning and running around that I keep getting the nudge to stop and contemplate what it is that I am actually doing this for. I see it as God tapping me on the shoulder saying, “Ahem, don’t leave me behind.” It is in this moment that I realize my planning isn’t incorporating the Lord in the events of everyday life.

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Making Assumptions

Making Assumptions

We make all sorts of assumptions every day. Some are trivial, others are potentially devastating.  I think if we’re honest a great many of them are faulty. So why do we do this? I think that it’s part of human nature to base our understanding of other people and the world, not just on the facts we observe, but to a greater or lesser extent on what what’s going on inside us, psychologically.

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Ways to Pray As A Couple

Ways to Pray As A Couple

I am so excited about today’s blog, as I’ve asked all the online instructors for their input on how to pray during the day and as a couple! Together, there’s easily over a century of marriage experience. Most of these couples have been married longer than I have, and I really value their advice and experience!

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The Reality of Sin and Grace in 750 words

The Reality of Sin and Grace in 750 words

One of the most surprising –and quite frankly, disturbing- things I have learned since being an online marriage prep instructor is how many Catholics don’t actually know what a Sacrament is. They have been raised Catholic and sadly for one reason or another, they have not grasped the beauty of what grace is all about.

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Down Time!

Down Time!

Yes, the school and university vacation times are upon us and hopefully for most of us [however humble the means] this period of recess can provide some opportunity for us as families to rest and recreate; to revive the drooping spirit, so to speak and get some refreshment of soul, mind and body. “Come away and rest a while” said the Lord to his disciples. 

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Why It’s Good That Opposites Attract

Why It’s Good That Opposites Attract

Last month I went to a conference where I heard a talk on the four temperaments by Larraine Bennett, author of “The Temperament God Gave You.” I had read about them in college and found them to be very beneficial to understanding myself, and my relationship to others around me. 

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