Fear, Friendship, and Family

If you follow our social media pages, you know that this weekend was one with moments of fear, friendship, and family. Allow me to explain.

Fear

While teaching a children’s Lenten program with four other catechists, including Superman, my ankles disappeared into my calfs and continued to grow as the dreaded cankles. I’d also been having headaches and not feeling Belle move as much. Then, to my dismay, I looked down at my hands and the palm and fingertips were blue. Like blueberry Violet Beauregard blue.

Not good.

The Director of Children’s Faith Formation and a few of the Knights of Columbus who were relaxing post-fish fry sprang into action to get me sitting, take my pulse, and check my blood pressure while I had my midwife on the phone. The other catechists jumped in to finish teaching without me.

I was really scared, as was Superman, but Little Miss was there, too, and so I was strong for her. I downed 32 ounces of coconut water, took an Epsom salt bath, and went to bed with my feet up.

All ended up being fine, and I kept hearing Bob Marley singing “Don’t worry about a thing because every little thing’s gonna be alright.” with which I was confronted the next day at my midwife’s office when the midwife on duty said those exact words to me.

Yeah, sometimes God speaks to us through reggae.

Friendship

This weekend, many of my friends came together to throw me a blessing shower. It was essentially where they brought diapers, wipes, or a freezer meal (or both…or clothes…Or hospital snacks) and a prayer for me while in labor.

It was seriously fun, even though I had to leave in the middle for my midwife appointment and then return, and I was moved that these women (including Rachel’s mom!) took the time to not only celebrate Belle, but also cultivate a prayer for me.

Bridgette, Kristi, and Rachel at the Blessing Shower.

Family

Sunday was spent with family. We got up early, ate a leisurely breakfast, went to Faith Formation, grocery shopped, and ended our day in Mass, where we were asked to bring up the gifts. That totally made Little Miss’s day, especially because Fr. Joseph took the host from me, handed it to her and said, “I want you to present Jesus.” She beamed and he blessed our family, starting us off on the right foot for the week.

How was your weekend? We’d love to hear about it!

Reflecting on Ash Wednesday 2018

Happy Ash Wednesday 2018 (or as we called it here, Ash Valentine’s Wednesday)! Today we’re briefly popping in to reflect on the second reading from today’s…uh, readings.

2 Cor 5:20—6:2

Brothers and sisters:
We are ambassadors for Christ,
as if God were appealing through us.
We implore you on behalf of Christ,
be reconciled to God.
For our sake he made him to be sin who did not know sin,
so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.

Working together, then,
we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain.
For he says:

In an acceptable time I heard you,
and on the day of salvation I helped you.

Behold, now is a very acceptable time;
behold, now is the day of salvation.

We are ambassadors for Christ.

I love this sentiment. It’s so perfect that these are words to begin our Lenten journey. We are, indeed, ambassadors for Christ. Ash Wednesday allows us to show that exteriorly. But the entire penitential season of Lent allows us to show that interiorly and exteriorly.
Ask yourself the following questions this Ash Wednesday 2018:
  • Is what I’m “giving up” helping me to lead others to Christ, as an ambassador would?
  • Are my almsgiving practices showing to others the generosity and mercy Christ showed to me, as I am called to do as an ambassador for Christ?
  • Am I praying fervently that I am reconciled to God?
  • Am I praying that others come to Christ through my example, as an ambassador for Christ should be?
We are ambassadors for Christ. For Christ.
On Ash Wednesday 2018, let us show the world Christ through our own actions.
Let us truly and wholeheartedly be ambassadors for Christ.
May your Lenten journey be wholly blessed, and may it bless others as well.
The Hail Marry Team

Praying with Your Husband Part I: Rachel

One thing that the 2018 Marriage Survey of our readers showed us was that we all want to pray with our husbands, but going about that isn’t exactly our strong suit. So, we decided to come at this from our own experience, hoping to share some of the journey with you. This is Part I in our Praying with Your Husband 2018 Series, featuring Rachel’s tips on identifying your prayer languages. Check back each remaining week in February for more insights and tips from Rachel, Kristi, and Bridgette and here’s a bonus from the archives: a guest post from Old-Fashioned Girl’s Chloe Langr.

Praying with Your Husband Rachel

Three years into this journey with The Scientist, we’ve come a long way in our prayer life together. When we first got married our prayer life was all over the place. We did not have set times or a place to come together to pray, and we weren’t even on the same page when it came to how to pray. Having come from different praying backgrounds, getting on the same page was difficult.

Praying the Same Language

Having two different prayer languages and fusing them into one is an ongoing journey. Growing up, praying was a part of everyday life; not only in formal form, but also with everyday, free-form language.

The Scientist grew up with more of formal prayer and a strict schedule. Coming together to pray for the first time was all over the place.

We decided to learn our “prayer language,” which we based on the 5 Love Languages. I have no idea if that is a thing in the Catholic World, but it is definitely the way we learned to pray together in our home.

Our “Prayer Languages” are: Acts of Service, Touch, Adoration, Love Letters to God, and Giving Gifts. They’ve really helped us to connect with God.

Acts of Service

Volunteering or doing acts of charity with your spouse as a prayer makes you intentional about said prayer. It’s that feeling that you are communicating clearly with God while working for others and, if this is your prayer launguage, can make your prayer life feel fulfilled.

Touch

Holding hands with your spouse or embracing one other while praying can improve your focus on communicating with God. With your spouse giving you that physical support, that you may not realize you need, when praying can promote peace and calmness in your everyday life.

Adoration

We based this one on Quality Time. This is our main language in praying. We feel that spending time with God in his real presence brings us closer together. Spending that quality time (whether in Adoration, daily Mass, in bed together, at the kitchen table) with one another to pray also has us, as a couple, together with God, which is, after all, how this covenant began.

Love Letters

This one is based on Words of Affirmation. Journaling is an effective way to converse with God, whether solo or as a couple. Creating a Prayer Journal that both you and your spouse can write prayers in can bring better communication with your prayer life and your marriage in general.

Giving Gifts

Spending money as a couple in order to help others and pray for others strengthens our foundation. Through almsgiving, donating to charities, adopting a family, donating to a shelter, or any other kind of outreach, we feel connected to not only those we help, but one another and God.

What’s Your Prayer Language?

Think about your love language (and your hubby’s), and how that applies to your prayer preferences. What’s your prayer language?

For more ways to utilize love languages in your marriage, check out this post.

In Sickness…

Y’all, nothing shows the health of a marriage like sickness in the home. I don’t have scientific studies to back this up; no data or statistics. Just intuition and experience.

Flu & Strep, Flu, Flu, Flu…

It’s almost like a charming childhood ditty when you write it out like that, but the truth is that my house (and sometimes my office) has been like a Petri dish since Thanksgiving. Seriously. And it hasn’t been charming.

Little Miss with flu and strep. Superman with flu. Little Miss with the other kind of flu. Little Miss with strep and flu. Little Miss with a sinus infection. Then strep. And then flu. Me with anemia. Little Miss back strong with strep. Me with flu-like symptoms.

Fun.

Add to this a juxtaposed battle of insomnia and exhaustion, anxiety and frequent dizzy spells from the anemia, and now a slightly elevated blood pressure in this preggo lady.

And that’s not counting schedules.

In Sickness
#GratefulThings2018 I’m grateful that sickness revealed just how healthy my marriage is.

Scheduling & Sickness

School projects, tutoring, moms group, clubs, Bible study, church, extracurricular activities, Faith Formation, trainings, work, blogging, unpacking, cooking, cleaning.

The world doesn’t stop because we’re sick. Dang it. My house doesn’t stop creating dust and needing to be unpacked because we’re sick. Crap.

The onslaught of illness combined with the weight of our schedules has created a stressed-out, exhausted, pretty impatient (and slightly grumpy) Kristi, with only five weeks to go until Belle’s expected arrival.

Within Marriage

On top of the normal household tasks in marriage, sickness adds layers of being homebound (which is suuuuuper frustrating), using all of your patience on the needy, sick child, and opting to cuddle instead of moving the load of laundry from the washer to the dryer.

This results in a tired husband coming home to take over, but the laundry still doesn’t get done, so you end up washing it two more times before remembering to move it to the dryer. By now, you’re extra stressed and exhausted, so you cry. A lot. And you somehow want to blame your husband for it.

But then…

Your Knight in Shining Pajama Pants

He goes grocery shopping and picks up ice cream for you, even after you protest saying, “No, honey, I don’t really need ice cream.”

He buys roast and makes it for you in the pressure cooker to up your iron intake to help you fight anemia. And then brings you said roast in bed. And he only eats one serving, despite the fact that it’s his favorite food after pizza, because you need iron.

He kisses your forehead, smoothes back your hair, makes the coffee, and lets you sleep longer.

When you ask for the umpteenth massage in one day, he does so (ignoring his cramping hands) without a word.

But the best? He does the laundry. Completely through, from gathering to putting away. And you melt, just a little.

In Sickness

Sickness Reveals Health

This, my friends, is marriage. This is dying of self to serve your sick kiddo; your anemic wife.

I’ve said it before and here it is again: in stress, it’s easy to listen to the world and play the comparison game.

  • “My husband isn’t spending enough time with us, like Mary’s husband.”
  • “He’s actively involved in Johnny’s extracurriculars. Why can’t my husband be?”
  • “I just want a little help around the house!”

Don’t go there, girlfriend. I know it can be easy to be sucked down the rabbit hole. Don’t.

My husband and I are doing just fine in this vocation and, actually, I’m super grateful that sickness revealed that to me.

Kristi

Married Life: advice from the archives

Today we chat about married life with advice from some past posts.

Wife After God by The Unveiled Wife

If you’re looking for widely guidance as we approach Lent, this book review offers a pretty great look at this book which we highly recommend.

The Heart Your Husband Needs

This post is meant to offer you assurance that you are not doing it wrong.

The Stuff Marriage is Made Of

Here’s a brief look at marriage from a newlywed perspective. We’re sharing it again to remember what that looked like.

Keeping Your Marriage Awake

Another post about focusing on your marriage when life is busy.