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Not the Destination...

Marriage is a journey, not a destination...

Family Life...Ready for Battle?

battle

Are you ready for battle?  Man, I wonder if that should be a question we start asking during marriage preparation!  When a young couple sets out and prepares for marriage the last thing they are thinking about is battle?  Hopefully, they realize they won't always get along, they won't always agree, children will do their best to pin them against each other, BUT, battle?  What do I even mean by that?

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Mom on the workforce

Mom-at-work

Recently, I’ve come across a surge of debates that address the issue of a Catholic mother staying at home vs. working outside of the home, taking on the form of either digital article or social media. The abridged version of proponents of each side tends to go as follows:

“The Catholic mother should never, under any circumstance, work outside of the home. Their children are too important.”
“You don’t understand our specific circumstance.”
“I don’t care what your specific circumstance is. Here is a quote by a prominent Catholic author supporting me.”
“Well here’s a quote by a prominent Catholic author that supports me.”

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One Beautiful Life!

Virginie_Demont-Breton_-_Mother_and_child_in_an_orange_grove

I was at a surprise birthday party last week for a friend. Children were welcome so we brought 4 of our 6 kids. A woman there saw me smiling and she commented, "How can you still be smiling when you have so many kids?!" Without even thinking, I replied, "Its because I have so many kids that I'm smiling!"

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The Essential Oil of Forgiveness

olive-oil-968657_960_720

We had been married for about a year and a half when we traveled to my in-laws for the holidays. We were staying in a hotel room with our 6 month-old son, who was just starting to become mobile. While we were getting ready to leave, my husband put Timothy on the bed, even though I told him not to leave him there unattended. 

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How To Afford A Big Family

A_big_family_in_Pennsylvania_in_1916_-a

Last year,  I won from a raffle a book called “Bless Me Father For I Have Kids.” It’s a funny book about raising a Catholic family, and the book’s dedication read: “To the children, who are frequently called expensive. To us you are priceless.”

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Fire Tornadoes and Trusting in God

fire

The males in my household are really into the Slo-Mo guys. These two guys have a YouTube channel in which they come up with new ideas of things to video in slow motion: spinning cds, bursting water balloons, etc. My personal favorite is their fire tornado, where they put a bunch of fans in a circle around an open flame. The air from the fans stokes the flame and spins it around in a huge, long column. The fire looks wild and out of control, until you see it up close and in slow motion. 

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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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Latest Blog Posts

In our mission statement at CatholicMarriagePrep.com we say: “Agape Catholic Marriage Preparation invites couples to a deeper relationship with each other and with Christ, one couple at a time.  Online, on-demand instruction rooted in Saint John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, combined with personalized mentoring from a trained married couple, builds a foundation for a strong, healthy, Christ-centered marriage between a man and a woman.”  Who does that best serve?   From the very inception of CatholicMarriagePrep.com serving military couples has always been on our hearts, even offering a military discount.

Tara Brooke
28 June 2022

Wow!!!  Yes, that is the correct word to begin this blog post!  I think I am still in shock!  On the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus our country just experienced the overturning of an almost 50-year-old law regarding abortion.  Roe vs. Wade was overturned!  

One You May Have Missed

Tara Brooke
04 June 2022
Christian and Christine
Global
Family Life
Spirituality
Parenting
I have always had an interest in the holy men and women who the church considers saints, especially those resolute moms and dads who were able to raise a family and live their faith fully.  There are so many beautiful examples in our church of saintly parents…whom I desire to be like!  I love sharing these inspiring stories in hopes that these holy men and women will also inspire you.  In this article we will look further at the life of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton…one of my favorites.  When we look at her life, we are able to see that parenthood can make us saintly! 

 

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