Dreams, Part 2

As we said last week, we are beginning another segment of dreams we have been creating for some time.  We had lunch or dinner the past week with many old friends.  Each of them in their own ways encouraged us to enjoy every aspect of this trip.  Some have traveled many of the places we have and shared their favorite memories.  Others said they wish they could go with us.  As we spoke with our wonderful neighbors who look after our house, all of whom are younger than we are, they told us we were their idols and hope that when they reach our age they will be able to travel and do service like we do.  The joy all of them spoke to us is tucked in our hearts as we travel.

We left home about eight this morning and are now more than half way across Nebraska.  As always when we drive we have good conversations, we sing, we pray, and have times of silence.  Today was no different.  We began the journey as we exited our neighborhood with a prayer.

As we were driving today and saw multiple towns of the same name in different states I ( Rita) was reminded of the thought that while we are unique, much of our lives as married couples is the same as others.  I’m sure the towns share those some qualities.  The towns have names in common but are different and yet there are likely some similarities.  We are always struck by this when we do marriage enrichment.  We tell our story and others find themselves in it.  While we are unique as a couple many of our life experiences with little nuances are the same as others.

As we drove across Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska we remembered other trips we had taken with our children and places we had stopped.  We even remembered finding Boekes in the parish bulletin in Grinnell, Iowa.  As we drove we remembered various people we had met during our years in Marriage Encounter.  We spoke of them and said a little prayer.  I also remembered many students who have graduated from various colleges and universities along the way.

Sometimes town names made us laugh such as What Cheer, Iowa and Beaver Crossing, Nebraska.  A chain of service stations had a name that would make teenagers roar with laughter because of its sexual connotation.  All made us laugh.  We listened to music and sang along to our favorite love songs and Peter, Paul and Mary.  (Yes we know we are telling our age.)  This morning, just before leaving,  I grabbed. a watch that is solar powered.  Since I haven’t worn it for a while it was not running.  After sitting on the dash for a while as I was driving, Bob put in on my wrist.  He was having difficulty doing the clasp.  When he finished I looked down to discover that he had put it on upside down.  (It was funny to us.)

Other towns and things along the way made us think of our children and grandchildren.  We found a town named Malcom and thought of Max. (His official name) Milford and thought of Leah and Nicole. (Their dance studio is there.)  BBQ places made us think of Elizabeth and in texting with her we decided that Jethro must be the uncle of Rudy (the place where she works.)

While the day was personal and many inside things for us we know that we aren’t unique.  We are sure that if you reflect back on things you have done together you too will find inside jokes, places will fill you with memories of others who have touched your lives.

Most of all we hope you will have a little fun dreaming together.

We will post more of our adventures next week.  We trust that you will have created memories of your own in that time.

(Bob) After a slow start, we reached the Interstate and from their the drive was mostly easy and relaxed.  We enjoyed salads (we brought the fixin’s) at a roadside rest area on I80. They tasted great, I think enhanced by being together, in no hurry, and sitting at a picnic table.

Since the traveling went so well, we are less than 300 mi from Denver and hope to do some sight-seeing and end up in Colorado Springs.  Then on to many other interesting places, before we decide to head back home.  Trips like this are always very special for us.  They allow us to enjoy being ourselves and being together.  As Rita said, more to come next week.

Enjoy.

Please leave your comments below.

 

Posted in Aging Together, Couple Prayer, Couple Relationships, Intimacy in Marriage, Love Stories, Marriage, Marriage Enrichment, Marriage Help, Marriage in Retirement | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dreams

I (Rita) did a quick internet search of songs with “dream” in the title and came up with more than I imagined.  Below are a few that jumped out at me.

All I Have To Do Is Dream (whenever I want you all I have to do is dream) – 1958 – Everly Brothers

Any Dream Will Do – 1968 from the musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat.

California Dreamin’ (all the leaves are brown and the sky is gray) – 1966 – The Mamas and the Papas

Dream A Little Dream Of Me – 1995 – Chicago

Keeping The Dream Alive – 1989 – Freiheit

“The Impossible Dream (The Quest)” from the 1965 Broadway musical Man of La Mancha.

Dreams are part of all our lives.  We speak of a dream job, dream house; we want to marry our dream person and dream of doing great things in our lives.  The idea was broadened by the 2007 movie, The Bucket List.  In addition there are numerous books about the places in the world one should see or visit in a lifetime.

We have had lots of dreams and speak of them in our book, Forever and A Day. We continue to try to make our dreams  a reality.  While we have never written a bucket list, we do have some things we’ve wanted to do.  One is to visit each state in the United States.  For years, as I anticipated retiring we talked about getting in the car and driving west, since that area has the few states we have not visited.  Four years have passed since I retired and  we have completed one thing on Bob’s dream or bucket list, to do work in an emerging nation, so we’ve decided that now is a good time to begin that journey.  We don’t have an itinerary, but we do have some places we’d like to go including Denver and the Rockies, the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, probably Death Valley and if we don’t get tired being out or run out of money we will go to Jackson Hole and Yellowstone National Park and through South Dakota on our way home.  We will just see where the spirit leads us and make many stops along the way.

We like planning trips together and share the driving.  Bob has a new car that he is waiting to take on a long trip.  We are looking forward to time together and will likely meet new people along the way as well as renew some old friendships.

Dreaming is a way of life for us.  We had dreams that didn’t come true.  Bob didn’t finish his doctorate and we didn’t move to the southwest.  New dreams came into our life along the way.  We thought we might work with engaged couples but never dreamed of doing marriage enrichment the way we have.  Writing a book or blogging (it didn’t exist) wasn’t on our dream list when we were married but has become part of our lives.  We dreamed of living happily every after with the best marriage anyone could have and for us we think we have done that.  We dreamed of children, actually Bob wanted twelve like his parents, but after having one he decided that wasn’t a dream he wanted to pursue.  We have been gifted with four and four great spouses for them.  Today we also have seven wonderful grandchildren.

Where will dreaming take us?  Well for the next few weeks on the road.  Who knows where after that.  We have been so busy living our dream/s that we haven’t thought up new ones recently.  We are very blessed.

Think about your dreams, where they have taken you, what didn’t come to pass, what dreams came along that you didn’t imagine and where you expect them to take you in the future.

Please leave your comments below.

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Today’s scripture readings, reflection and prayer:

Living Together in the Word

Bob & Rita’s book:  Forever and Day:  An Invitation to Create a Marriage That Lasts a Lifetime is available on Amazon.com or by contacting us.  Also available for Kindle and Nook. Make a retreat with your spouse, at home, on your time.  Readings, relationship tips, questions for discussion.

Posted in Aging Together, Couple Relationships, Marriage, Marriage Enrichment, Marriage Help, Marriage in Retirement | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

How our love grew in Haiti

We have just returned from two weeks in Haiti where we presented a seminar on Divergent Thinking at the University of the Nouvelle Grand Anse in Jeremie (UNOGA).  The beginning of the seminar started in 2012 when I taught a math class and Rita taught ESL there.  Travel to Jeremie and living conditions there are difficult – we gained an appreciation for the energy it takes for the poor to get through a day just to take care of the necessities of life, like obtaining food and water, washing clothes and a multitude of other things that we take for granted.  There is little health care, which concerned us. So we thought that we would never go back.

We both recognized some things that were missing from our students’ educational development and I couldn’t let go of the idea that I could and must try to do something about it.  As I worked with a colleague to develop the seminar and began to see it as possible to do, I hoped that I could get someone else to go to Haiti to present it, but I came to realize that I had to go and present it myself.  That’s where this post really begins.

When I decided to go back to Haiti, I didn’t want to insist that Rita go with me, but she recognized how important it was to me and would not let me go alone.  For me, that was a great affirmation of her love for me.  As I continued to develop the program, she would say to people that it was Bob’s seminar and she was just going along to watch.  At the same time she was feeding me great suggestions that helped my work and I was beginning to see ways that she could be a great asset to me and the students.  As we presented the seminar, she was a great help with keeping materials organized and offering suggestions.  In some cases I knew that she could present some of her suggestions better than I could and she became a significant contributor to the teaching.  We have worked together on many things through the years and found ourselves again enjoying working as a team.

Living conditions were still difficult and Rita put up with being stung by bees, being covered 24/7 with mosquito repellent, showers that were a trickle of cool water, food that sometimes wasn’t familiar or very tasty to our palates and limited availability of electricity and bathrooms.  We complained some to each other, but also laughed at the thought that we are just a little crazy.

Several people, including a Haitian senator, university officials and students asked us to move to Jeremie and work at the university full-time.  It was easy to say “no” to that.  Will we go back?  We don’t have any current plans, but we didn’t the last time we left, either.  We are trying to find a way to train a Haitian to present the seminars, which is necessary, if they want to offer them more often.

The seminar was a great success for the students and UNOGA.  It brought us closer to each other and reminded us of how well we can work together and how much we enjoy it.  What more can we ask?  We are very blessed.

If you are interested in learning more about the Divergent Haiti seminar, go to DivergentHaiti.com.

We welcome your comments.

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Today’s scripture readings, reflection and prayer:

Living Together in the Word

Bob & Rita’s book:  Forever and Day:  An Invitation to Create a Marriage That Lasts a Lifetime is available on Amazon.com or by contacting us.  Also available for Kindle and Nook. Make a retreat with your spouse, at home, on your time.  Readings, relationship tips, questions for discussion.

Posted in Aging Together, Love Stories, Marriage, Marriage Enrichment, Marriage Help, Marriage in Retirement, Mission Work | Tagged , , , , , ,

Thoughts on Our 48 Years Together

Last week we celebrated our 48th anniversary.  We had a wonderful day together.  As we went through the day we happened to mention on occasion that it was our 48th anniversary.  We were surprised by the response.  Many saw that number as unbelievable and unachievable.  We didn’t think so.  All four of my sisters and their husbands reached 50+ years of marriage.  Bob’s parents did so as well.  When we were kids growing up, fifty years of marriage was astounding as well, mostly because people didn’t live that long.  The response to us seemed to speak more to the reality of marriage today.  Many people don’t make it because of divorce.  There was a time, even among celebrities, that fifty years of marriage made the headlines.  Bob and Delores Hope were married sixty nine years.  Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward for fifty years.  George and Barbara Bush have been married sixty nine years and Jimmy and Roselyn Carter for sixty eight years.  In Hollywood today Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson at twenty-six years, Ozzie and Sharon Osbourne at thirty-two years.  Bono and his wife Ali Hewson are at thirty years of marriage.   What also makes the news today is the fifty-five hour marriage of Britney Spears and Jason Alexander.  Tom Green and Drew Barrymore’s five months marriage.   Who can forget the much hyped and super expensive 72 day marriage of Kim Kardasian and Kris Humphries. We don’t find our 48 years all that remarkable considering that each week at our parish our pastor begins the liturgy by welcoming visitors or newcomers and then those with birthdays and anniversaries.  In recent weeks there have been a couple married for sixty five and another sixty two.

 

What makes the difference today?  We kicked around a lot of ideas.  Perhaps it is a lack of commitment or the inability to work things through.  Maybe it is the desire of having things be mine or about me and not ours or us.  Perhaps there are more pressures in today’s society and more demands, and yet many still stay together.

 

Just six days after our anniversary and as we have talked about it an article popped up on my web browser that contained many of the things we talked about.  The full article can be seen at Marriage Secrets Of Highly Successful Couples By Victor M. Parachin for YourTango.comTo summarize, just in case you don’t have time to read it.   First he says that marriage must be the number one priority in each other’s lives.  Mr. Parachin then adds that successful couples “know the ingredients that are necessary to keep each other content, happy, healthy and satisfied. To put it simply, philosopher Paul Tillich observed, “Any deep relationship to another human being requires watchfulness and nourishment.”  He uses the word successful to describe couples who stay together and adds the following characteristics of those couples.

  1. Successful couples enjoy each other.
  2. Successful couples fight skillfully.
  3. Successful couples seek and offer forgiveness.
  4. Successful couples are in it for the long haul.
  5. Successful couples are positive about each other.
  6. Successful couples learn and grow together.
  7. Successful couples never stop dating.
  8. Successful couples bring to each other joy.
  9. Successful couples adhere to the 60/40 rule.
  10. Successful couples have shared values.

A longer explanation for each of these can be found in his article.  Each year we try to reflect back on our last year and all our years together.  We would have to say that this article summarizes our life together.  We could expand on each of those qualities in our years together, but, as always, our story is less important than your own.  Can you find these qualities in your happy and successful life together?  Are their things that were missed?  Take a little time, if not today, perhaps on your anniversary, to see why you are still together and together happily.  Our dream for us is that we just might make 65 or perhaps even 75 years together.  It isn’t an anomaly today, it is the reality and a very good one for many of us.

Thoughts and comments are appreciated.

Note:  Next week we will be in Haiti, presenting Bob’s Divergent Thinking seminar.  Please keep us in your thoughts and prayer.  We will try to post from Haiti next Wed and Bob will be blogging almost daily about the progress of the seminar at DivergentHaiti.com

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Today’s scripture readings, reflection and prayer:

Living Together in the Word

Bob & Rita’s book:  Forever and Day:  An Invitation to Create a Marriage That Lasts a Lifetime is available on Amazon.com or by contacting us.  Also available for Kindle and Nook. Make a retreat with your spouse, at home, on your time.  Readings, relationship tips, questions for discussion.

Posted in Aging Together, Couple Relationships, Intimacy in Marriage, Love Stories, Marriage, Marriage Enrichment, Marriage Help, Wedding Anniversary | Tagged , , , , , ,

Our Anniversary

Today is our 48th wedding anniversary.  We remember a beautiful, sunny day and a small country church, St. Francis, in Cranberry Prairie, OH.  The years have been very good to us and God continues to bless us every day.  So today we are going to take time to be together, give thanks and pamper ourselves.  We’ll be back next week.  Enjoy!

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Today’s scripture readings, reflection and prayer:

Living Together in the Word

Bob & Rita’s book:  Forever and Day:  An Invitation to Create a Marriage That Lasts a Lifetime is available on Amazon.com or by contacting us.  Also available for Kindle and Nook. Make a retreat with your spouse, at home, on your time.  Readings, relationship tips, questions for discussion.

Check out our upcoming trip to Haiti at Divergent Haiti.

Posted in Aging Together, Catholic Marriage, Marriage, Marriage Enrichment, Marriage Help, Marriage in Retirement, Wedding Anniversary | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Aging while Married

The August issue of U.S. Catholic has three excellent articles on living in retirement.  The first, You Can’t Take It with You, by Laura Fletcher, deals with some of the practicalities that become important as we get older.  We need to make plans for someone to stand in for us in making financial and health care decisions when we can’t make them for ourselves.  Wills, trusts and health care and financial powers of attorney are some of the legal documents that should be taken care of before there is a crisis. These are areas that many people don’t want to face, but doing so early can go a long way toward making the later years easier on both the senior and their family.  For married couples, having these issues taken care of can make years of caring for an incapacitated spouse easier and can help assure the financial health of the remaining spouse when one of you dies.  We also found that the process of discussion and making the decisions together helped us to get to know each other better as we shared our wishes in these very personal areas.

The second article, The Good Life, by Kristen Hannum, raises issues about how to find joy and meaning in one’s life when the self-worth and social aspects of full-time employment go away.  It has many good suggestions about ways people have found to keep life interesting.  Most people need activities and social contacts to keep them happy and fulfilled.  Each person needs to find a mix of personal time, time with others and activities that give them a sense of personal fulfillment.  That is different for different people.  Some are happy to focus on their family, spending time with children and perhaps caring for grandchildren.  Some people volunteer for good causes, maybe causes that utilize the expertise developed during working years, perhaps working part time.

A man we met in Ireland was married and recently retired.  He said that one of the important things a retired couple needs to do is “stay out of each other’s pocket.”  On a trip to Puerto Rico, we interviewed several couples who were around our age and who seemed to enjoy being together.  We asked them what made their marriage work in retirement.  All of them told us that they enjoyed spending time and doing activities together, but that it was very important that each had some activities and commitments of their own.  They each continued to have an individual identity.  We have also found this to be important for us. We work together on this blog, but each have blogs for projects that we do primarily on our own (livingtogetherintheword.com and divergenthaiti.com) as well as going out with individual friends.  That allows us to each pursue personal interests and friendships which helps to keep our own conversations more interesting.

The third article, Embracing Life’s Second Act, is an interview of Sister Joan Chittister, O.S.B. by the Editors.  Sister Joan has a marvelous approach to retirement and aging from a spiritual perspective.  She encourages each of us to see the value of the experiences of our lives and to become the source of wisdom for our grandchildren and the next generation.  Her book, The Gift of Years, has been an inspiration for us.  We highly recommend it.

Enjoy!

Note:  U.S. Catholic is available by subscription only, but the current (and prior) issue(s) are available on their web site:  uscatholic.org.  Most of the articles are readable there.  On the header bar, click on Magazine.  The August issue is not yet available, but should be by Friday or early next week.

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Today’s scripture readings, reflection and prayer:

Living Together in the Word

Bob & Rita’s book:  Forever and Day:  An Invitation to Create a Marriage That Lasts a Lifetime is available on Amazon.com or by contacting us.  Also available for Kindle and Nook. Make a retreat with your spouse, at home, on your time.  Readings, relationship tips, questions for discussion.

Check out Bob’s Divergent Haiti seminar here.

Posted in Aging Together, Catholic Marriage, Couple Relationships, Marriage, Marriage Enrichment, Marriage Help, Marriage in Retirement | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Enthusiasm

This Sunday the celebrant at our parish was a visiting pastor from an African American/Hispanic parish in Chicago.  From the time he got to the altar he drew people in and the entire celebration was different.  He insisted that people respond vocally to the prayers and to statements he made in introducing himself and in the homily.  The congregation was hesitant at first.  We are accustomed to being rather passive during mass, but the responses of the people became more enthusiastic as Mass progressed.  We observed increasing enthusiasm and joy in ourselves and the whole congregation. Fr Eyerman’s enthusiasm for the liturgy and for the Gospel he preached touched us in a very good way.  We have worked with many priests over the years and this is the second time we have experienced a priest who is transformed in his celebration of joy in the Mass and Gospels after being assign to African-American parishes.  Perhaps we should look more to them for inspiration and thank them for their ebullience in their spiritual celebrations.  They celebrate the liturgy with an enthusiasm, fervor and reverence that is contagious.  We thanked Fr. Eyerman after Mass and told him that we might reference him in our blog this week.  He graciously told us to use whatever we found useful.

The enthusiasm he showed and his ability to draw others into what was happening reminded us of the times when we were involved with people who were excited about being married and drew others into that excitement.  Our association with couples who loved being married and wanted the World to know about it has played a large role in supporting us for most of our marriage.  Instead of complaining about the sad state of marriage, might we do more good by being “openly married” and publicly celebrating the good that comes to us from our marriages?

The following are some of some things that we think would help us to restore enthusiasm for and in  marriage:

Be aware of the special feelings you have for each other and let your spouse know about them.  In fact, when you share that special look in a public place, others will notice and want what they see you have.  We saw it in couple s we knew and loved and it always did and still does inspire us when we see it.

Couples frequently spoke of the goodness of their spouse.  They seemed to be able to freely and easily identify and state the qualities that they admired and were thankful for about each other.  They publicly shared these qualities in their spouse.

They were constantly speaking about the things they had discovered about each other as they strengthened their communication by daily spending time discussing a topic through writing and talking.  They created an intimacy with each other that came from revealing to each other their feelings, not merely opinions, thoughts and assumptions.  A new trust was built or strengthened as they did so.  They supported our marriage and others as they shared the value of these activities in their marriages.

Couples shared their excitement and the fun things they did in their sexual relationship.  For some it was merely being conscious of how they kissed each other or held hands.  For others it was trying new things in their physical love making.  It took sexual relationships out of the bedroom and into discussions that helped everyone to create and enhance the physical intimacy that is unique to couples in a committed relationship.   Their sexual relationships were still their own, but the excitement and willingness to talk about what was happening to them was contagious and inspired others to others to grow in their sexual relationships.  I

As couples explored their relationships they explored the place of God in their lives as well.  They often spoke of what happened to them as they allowed God into their lives.  This spilled over into their ability to forgive and ask for forgiveness.  Couples that allowed God into their lives, especially in their willingness to forgive, radiated a peace and joy in ways that others couldn’t help but be drawn to.

We believe that the best hope for the future of marriage is for those of us who have grown and thrived in our marriages to open them to the world to see.  We know that it can be uncomfortable for us, and sometimes those who experience us, just as speaking up at Mass was for many people, but you can used to it and for us it has even become fun to share the joys in our marriage, even if we risk being seen as a little goofy.

So Fr. Eyerman reminded us on Sunday that, if we don’t associate with and support others who are excited about marriage or share our own enthusiasm, then we are responsible for what is happening to marriage today.  The young see no reason to make the commitment.  They think they are getting everything they want by living together.  We won’t change that by speaking of abstract ideas like sacrament and sin.  Couples will want to be married when they see our witness to the value of marriage in our lives and are attracted to it.

We all need to take a cue from these two priests and the excitement they bring to the celebration the liturgy and try to live that out in our lives.  We hope that the liturgy is enlivened next Sunday because of what he did and we hope that others will begin to share their enthusiasm for marriage so that we can recreate and reinforce the possibilities that marriage uniquely has for people.

Consider doing something exciting in your relationship and talk about it with at least one other married couple this week.  Hopefully that will turn it into a Pay It Forward kind of experience and marriage will get a breath of new life as the liturgy did this past week.  Let us know what you think or experience as a result.

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Today’s scripture readings, reflection and prayer:

Living Together in the Word

Bob & Rita’s book:  Forever and Day:  An Invitation to Create a Marriage That Lasts a Lifetime is available on Amazon.com or by contacting us.  Also available for Kindle and Nook. Make a retreat with your spouse, at home, on your time.  Readings, relationship tips, questions for discussion.

Posted in Catholic Marriage, Couple Relationships, Marriage, Marriage Enrichment, Marriage Help, Marriage in the Church, Sexuality in Marriage | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Sayings about Love

We are doing some research on marriage in various countries and thought we would start with this collection of sayings from Yourtango.com.  Enjoy!

Just what do Romanians think about love?

Ever wonder what other cultures think about love? Wonder no more. We’ve rounded up our twenty-five favorite love sayings from around the world. Read on to discover the proverb that fits you best.

1. Coffee and love taste best when hot. Ethiopian proverb

2. There is no cure for love other than marriageIrish proverb

3. Nothing is impossible for a willing heart. French proverb

4. He who loves you will make you weep. Argentinian proverb

5. Love itself is calm; turbulence arrives from individuals. Chinese proverb

6. Where there is love there is no darkness. Burundian proverb

7. Love sickness hurts but does not kill. Mexican proverb

8. You can’t tell the cost of food and fuel without being the head of a household; you can’t appreciate the love of your parents without having children of your own. Chinese proverb

9. One thread for the needle, one love for the heart. Sudanese proverb

10. In love beggar and king are equal. Indian proverb

11. He who treads the path of love walks a thousand meters as if it were only one. Japanese proverb

12. Love has to be shown by deeds not words. Swahili proverb

13. A day lasts until it’s chased away but love lasts until the grave. Irish proverb

14. Love is a despot who spares no one. Namibian proverb

15. Love understands all languages. Romanian proverb

16. All men have three ears, one on the left of his head, one on the right and one in his heart. Armenian proverb

17. It is love that makes the impossible possible. Indian proverb

18. Lovers’ hearts are linked together and always beat as one. Chinese proverb

19. Love makes a man both blind and deaf. Arabian proverb

20. Love is blind so you have to feel your way. Brazilian proverb

21. Love lives in cottages as well as in court. English proverb

22. Try to reason about love and you will lose your reason. French proverb

23. There is no love like the first love. Italian proverb

24. A life without love is like a year without summer. Lithuanian proverb

25. The heart that loves is always young. Greek proverb

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Today’s scripture readings, reflection and prayer:

Living Together in the Word

Bob & Rita’s book:  Forever and Day:  An Invitation to Create a Marriage That Lasts a Lifetime is available on Amazon.com or by contacting us.  Also available for Kindle and Nook. Make a retreat with your spouse, at home, on your time.  Readings, relationship tips, questions for discussion.

Posted in Catholic Marriage, Couple Relationships, Love Stories, Marriage, Marriage Enrichment, Marriage Help, Marriage in Retirement | Tagged , , ,

What We Did For Love

We have been traveling, hence no post last week.  We spent time with our daughter and son-in-law as their girls moved on from elementary to junior high and junior high to high school. In addition the girls were in dance recitals and their dance companies’ concert.  It was great to be part of their celebrations and to see their accomplishments, both academic and in dance.  One of the dance numbers at the concert was from A Chorus Line “What I Did For Love.

As I listened to the words it struck me that it speaks to marriage relationships.  We must kiss today goodbye on many occasions when we have let the other down, hurt each other or failed to be the person the other needs us to be. The beauty of our marriage commitment is that we are always pointed to tomorrow.  We learn from the past, forgive what needs to be forgiven, and on many occasions have to rebuild trust.  Tomorrows allow us to celebrate once again what we did for love.

Today we’d like to suggest that you think about the things you’ve done for love and where you have or might need to kiss today goodbye and point yourselves to tomorrow.

There are all the obvious things that we do for love with no gender intended.  We do little things for each other such as laundry, preparing meals, giving each other time, putting gas in the car, or perhaps cleaning up after the other.  There are perhaps other things that we do that are bigger in nature.  Some we know have agreed to move so that their spouse can accept a job promotion even if that means giving up a job that they have just begun to like.  Some have been with the other through times of serious illness even if it was the result of neglect on their spouse’s part.  Some have accepted having a pet that they might not have chosen on their own even with allergies to that pet.  It might also include a difficult pregnancy and deciding to take the leap into a second one without knowing what it might entail.  Couples agree to travel to places they might not have preferred to visit or engage in activities with that travel that was not their first choice.  Others have had to reconcile after great hurts.  We have had to do some of these things.  It never ceases to amaze us what couples, especially those who are married for a significant number of years, do for love.

Kissing away today so that we can embrace tomorrow is not always easy.  It helps if we remember that love, trust and forgiveness are all decisions.  They may not be easy decisions to make and ones we will have to make over and over, but they are the essence of the on-going commitment that we made and continue to make. Love is never gone as long as we continue to decide to place the needs of the other ahead of our own.  Sometimes we did what we had to do and may not have had loving feelings about it at the time.  We can’t forget the times we hurt each other but go forward without regrets about what we did but only promising to do our best not to do it again.

The song lyrics are copied below.  You can find them on the internet or you might have them in your CD library.  We suggest you listen to the song or at least read through the lyrics and think about what you have done for love and then look at where you have or need to kiss today so that you are pointed to tomorrow.  We’d like to hear your responses.  Please leave a comment below.

What I Did For Love

Kiss today goodbye
The sweetness and the sorrow
Wish me luck, the same to you
But I can’t regret
What I did for love, what I did for love

Look, my eyes are dry
The gift was ours to borrow
It’s as if we always knew
And I won’t forget what I did for love
What I did for love

Gone
Love is never gone
As we travel on
Love’s what we’ll remember

Kiss today goodbye
And point me toward tomorrow
We did what we had to do
Won’t forget, can’t regret
What I did for love
What I did for love
What I did for

Love
Love is never gone
As we travel on
Love’s what we’ll remember

Kiss today goodbye
And point me toward tomorrow
Point me toward tomorrow
We did what we had to do
Won’t forget, can’t regret
What I did for love what I did for love
What I did for love

Songwriters
Marvin Hamlisch;Edward Kleban

Published by
SONY/ATV HARMONY;AMERICAN COMPASS MUSIC CORP.;WREN MUSIC CO.

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Today’s scripture readings, reflection and prayer:

Living Together in the Word

Bob & Rita’s book:  Forever and Day:  An Invitation to Create a Marriage That Lasts a Lifetime is available on Amazon.com or by contacting us.  Also available for Kindle and Nook. Make a retreat with your spouse, at home, on your time.  Readings, relationship tips, questions for discussion.

Posted in Couple Relationships, Hospitality and Marriage, Intimacy in Marriage, Love Stories, Marriage, Marriage Enrichment, Marriage Help, Marriage in Retirement, Marriage in the Church | Tagged , , , , , ,

Praying for All Marriages

We usually tend to write about marriage specifically in terms of husband/wife relationship issues. This week, however, we discovered a prayer titled, “Intercessory Prayers for Married Couples. The prayers are in the form of a litany – each line begins with “We pray for all married couples,…” We see value in supporting marriages in a general way. You might work your way through it over time, reciting one or more of the intercessions each day. We don’t know its origin. It exists online as a pdf file at this site. We have copied it below.

Intercessory Prayers for Married Couples.

Dear Lord,

We pray for all married couples, that they may be inspired to make their relationship a
priority in their lives.

We pray for all married couples that they may be a true sign of your love to the world.

We pray for all married couples that they may turn to You, Lord, for help with any problems
that they face.

We pray for all married couples that, when their relationship needs mending, they may claim
the special graces of forgiveness and healing, with which you have blessed our Sacrament of
Matrimony.

We pray for all married couples that, with your help, they may lead each other and their
family to eternal life.

We pray for all married couples that you may lead them to seek out enrichments for their
relationship.

We pray that Your Church may develop a greater awareness of the special needs of married
couples.

We pray for all married couples that they may live in a deeper awareness that they are your
Domestic Church.

We pray for all fathers and mothers that you may guide them, Lord, to be true leaders of your
Domestic Church.

We pray for all married couples that they may continue to grow in their love for each other
and You.

We pray for all married couples that they may experience the joy that comes from being
passionately in love with each other.

We pray for all married couples that they may imitate, in their relationship, your passionate
love for them.

We pray for all married couples that you may help them, Lord, to pray the rosary together and
as a family.

We pray for all married couples that they may treasure, value and enjoy their sexuality.

We pray for all married couples that they may experience Your special graces for them in
their sacrament.

We pray for all married couples that they may always be affirming to each other.

We pray for all married couples that you may give them the courage and sensitivity, Lord, to
openly share their feelings and needs with each other.

We pray for all married couples that they may abandon themselves to each other and to You.

We pray for all married couples that they may empower each other to grow as persons and to
grow in their love for each other.

We pray for all married couples that they may live in awareness of the promises we made to
each other on our wedding day and the graces that you give us to live out our vows.

We pray for all married couples that you may give them the courage and sensitivity, Lord, to
openly share their dreams and expectations with each other.

We pray for all married couples that you may encourage them to more openly show their
affection for each other.

We pray for all married couples that you may help them to be responsible to each other, and
to you Lord, for the quality of their relationship.

We pray for all married couples that you may assist them to strive for intimacy in their
relationship.

We pray for all married couples that you may encourage them to reach out as a couple in
sharing their love with the world.

We pray for all married couples that you may help them to be accepting of each other=s
shortcomings and to work through their differences.

We pray for all married couples that you may encourage them to be a gift to each other and as
a couple a gift to the Church.

We pray for all married couples that you may help them to develop the habit of openly
praying as a couple and as a family.

We pray for all married couples that they may value the sanctity of their marriage and live
their lives accordingly.

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Any comments? Leave them below.

._________________________________________.
Today’s scripture readings, reflection and prayer:
Living Together in the Word

Bob & Rita’s book: Forever and Day: An Invitation to Create a Marriage That Lasts a Lifetime is available on Amazon.com or by contacting us. Also available for Kindle and Nook. Make a retreat with your spouse, at home, on your time. Readings, relationship tips, questions for discussion.

Posted in Catholic Marriage, Couple Prayer, Couple Relationships, Marriage, Marriage Enrichment, Marriage Help, Marriage in the Church | Tagged , , , , , ,