Hello, lovelies! Today we’re honored to be running our very first guest post! We met Chloe Langr through a Natural Family Planning group and started reading her blog. We decided to combine forces (she’s definitely a new member of the Hail Marry #CoolCatholicWomen list!). Like us, Chloe is a newlywed whose Catholic wedding was earlier this year. She’s also a stay-at-home-wife and freelance blogger. She loves her husband, Pope Saint John Paul II, indie folk music and mountains. She lives in Kansas City and writes on her personal blog, Old Fashioned Girl, as well as on other Catholic sites like Aleteia Press and Epic Pew. Her life goal is to be a saint and become the patron saint of coffee addicts. We’re so excited to welcome her to Hail Marry as a guest poster!
Henceforth you will belong entirely to each other; you will be one in mind, one in heart, and one in affections. And whatever sacrifices you may hereafter be required to make to preserve this mutual life, always make them generously. Sacrifice is usually difficult and irksome. Only love can make it easy, and perfect love can make it a joy. We are willing to give in proportion as we love. And when love is perfect, the sacrifice is complete. (Exhortation before Marriage, 1962)
On Joseph’s and my wedding day, we were called to be one in mind, heart and body. But after the wedding, we had to work to combine things in our marriage. Weeks of marriage prep classes and a weekend marriage retreat helped us learn how to talk about combining our lives, but it wasn’t until after the wedding day that the reality of two lives merging into one ‘us orientated’ life set in. Here are three things that I have found essential to combine in married life:
This can seem intimidating – especially if you’re like me, and struggle to be able to define your own spiritual life. How do you pray when you’re alone? If you know your own spiritual habits, it will be much easier to define what you’re looking for in a combined prayer life when you discuss it with your spouse.
For instance, during Lent, Joseph and I are working on our prayer life by praying night prayer before we go to bed each night. We follow that up by bringing our intentions to the Lord together, and end the night with a prayer to the Blessed Mother (who we’re consecrated to).
When it comes to praying with your spouse, you can start by going to Mass together. Then you can include different spiritual practices such as rosaries, vocal prayer, novenas, adoration hours, and devotions to saints together. Don’t forget to pray for your spouse and your marriage on a daily basis – the Lord wants to help you live out your vocation and draw you and your spouse closer to His heart.
When it comes to merging your budgets, be open with your spouse about what your finances look like. It may not be fun to bring up debt or unhealthy money habits, but it’s hard to share your life together for better and worse when you don’t want to talk about the worst.
After you know that full situation, begin to work on a budget together. Whether you track it on paper or online, make sure you know where your money goes. When you know where your money is going, you can set up saving goals, debt paying strategies and emergency funds. I’ve found that Dave Ramsey has some excellent books and articles on the subject – my parents built their budget system around his advice.
Begin by setting goals with each other in areas of your life that you can work on. Some can be short term – ‘This week, we’re going to go to the gym and work out twice.’ Or they can be long term goals – ‘This year, we’re going to pay off the rest of the college debt.’
By setting goals with your spouse, you open conversation up about the future and have time to hear and understand each other’s thoughts. This eliminates assumptions and expectations that could leave you disappointed if you don’t verbally set goals with each other. Life runs so much smoother when you’re on the same page with your spouse about your life together.
Don’t forget to check out Chloe’s blog, Old Fashioned Girl, and read some of the awesome things she has to say!