Book & Product Reviews – Page 2 – Engaged Marriage

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Book Review – Come My Beloved: Inspiring Stories of Catholic Courtship

By Dustin | Book & Product Reviews

Who doesn’t love to retell the story of how they met, fell in love, and married?

It’s always really interesting to take some time to think back to the events that brought you together with your spouse.

What seems like pure coincidence at the time can certainly look much more like Divine Intervention after you’ve had time to reflect.

Our Courtship Story

Dustin and I are high school sweethearts (insert eye roll here), but there were many places along the way that we could have missed one another…or been pulled apart.

I got kicked out of Driver’s Education my sophomore year when the class got one student too large, and I was the youngest one enrolled in the course.  As a result, I got put into a new P.E. class that was doing a section on archery.

Lo and behold, this goofy junior was in this same class, and he happened to be a bowhunter who loved archery..and he took every opportunity to show me the right way to shoot a bow during class.  At the time, I thought he looked nice in his super short gym shorts, but I didn’t give it much thought beyond that.

Of course, that turned out to be the beginning of a relationship with my husband of 11 years.  Our story has many other twists of fate, but I think Dustin would agree that it was a great thing that my license to drive was delayed by a semester. 🙂

Come My Beloved

When we were given a copy of Come My Beloved to read, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  It was clearly a collection of courtship stories from Catholic couples, but I didn’t know how interesting that would be to read.

The book turned out to be really heartwarming.  In it, twelve couples share their stories of how they met…but with a twist.

Most of the stories involve a journey that requires spiritual guidance from above. This book reminds us of how we must trust in God to show us our vocations in life through prayer and interactions with others.  Reading a dozen very different stories of how couples from amazingly diverse backgrounds found each other and went on to be married is quite enlightening.

While our children are nowhere near the age of dating or marrying, this book gave some good examples of how important it is to be good role models in our marriages so that our children will know what to look for in their future relationships.

It was uplifting to hear how God has worked to bring so many people together, and made me want to keep reading to hear more inspirational stories about His work.

The authors are looking for more examples of how couples met and fell in love. Are you willing to share yours?

You can start by sharing a favorite story from your courtship in the comments below.

Bethany is the better half of Engaged Marriage.  When she isn’t reminiscing about Dustin’s gym shorts, she enjoys reading and spreading the good news about marriage to engaged couples through her church’s Pre-Cana marriage preparation program.

A Meaningful Anniversary Gift for “Eternity”

By Dustin | Book & Product Reviews

Guys, if you have a landmark anniversary coming up, there’s no doubt you’ve started to give some consideration to what sort of gift to get for your wife, or what kind of statement you’d like to make.

Needless to say, it is important not to let big anniversaries go by unappreciated, and sometimes it’s really nice to make a big deal out of one, as a symbol of your enduring love and devotion to your spouse. However, this is easier said than done.

Sometimes it takes more than a romantic date or a thoughtful gift to really make an anniversary count. This is why one thing you might want to look into is the selection of 77Diamonds eternity rings for gift inspiration.

Marriage is full of symbolic jewelry when it first happens, with both the engagement ring and the pair of wedding bands symbolizing love, devotion, and eternal connection.

In fact, the entire point behind a wedding ring, from a historical context, is that it is a continuous metal loop, signifying that the connection it represents never ends. However, while this symbol is supposed to be a lasting one throughout your marriage, it certainly isn’t a bad idea to renew it through gifting an eternity ring to your spouse on an important anniversary.

Really, that is the whole idea behind these rings. While most wedding rings consist merely of metal, eternity rings are studded with precious stones (usually diamonds) either half way, or all the way around the band.

Not that this is specifically an upgrade over a wedding band, but it can certainly serve as a symbolic emphasis or renewal of your marriage commitment – not to mention, it will be a spectacular piece of jewelry that your wife will no doubt appreciate merely from a beauty perspective as well!

Ultimately, of course, your gift depends on a number of different personal factors. It may be that you are aware of something your spouse badly wants or needs, or it may be that you already have a fantastic romantic gesture planned.

However, the great thing about anniversaries is that they come up every year, which means that there are always new opportunities to do something special for the person you love.

Nobody expects something huge every  year, but at some point in your marriage it may be a very nice idea to look into a gift like an eternity ring, that is not only beautiful, but also meaningful with regard to your enduring commitment to your wife.

This guest post was written by jewelry lover Veronica Hanes.

The Vow: How Deep Is Your Faith In Your Marriage?

By Dustin | Book & Product Reviews

Note from Dustin: This is the BEST GUEST POST ever! Honestly, I couldn’t be more excited because after 2 1/2 years of Engaged Marriage, my wonderful wife Bethany makes her writing debut today to share her love of the book The Vow. 

If you enjoy her post, please leave a comment – she’s a bit insecure about her writing and I’d love her to share more!

As a fan of Engaged Marriage, I thought I’d contribute a “guest post” regarding the book The Vow: The True Events That Inspired the Movie by Kim and Krickitt Carpenter.

I read this book because I am a fan of romance and had seen the trailer for the upcoming movie.

I imagined that the book would be a moving story of how their love conquered all and got them through what anyone would think of as a horrible time in their lives.

It is true that the book is a love story, but what most inspired me was not the love that Kim and Krickett had for one another, but their faith in God and how that faith seemed to move mountains that appeared insurmountable.

It is obvious from the title that the “vow” that Kim and Krickett took on their wedding day was one they did not promise lightly…but I’m sure that any married couple thinks that when they are standing up in front of witnesses on the day of their own wedding.

I don’t want to go into too much detail about the book because I’d like those here at Engaged Marriage to read this testimony of faith and love for themselves.  However, I did feel compelled to write this to encourage more people to read this book, if they haven’t already.

Through reading this, I was reminded of how much God truly loves the vocation of marriage and how much He wants to be a part of what we have promised in front of Him and to each other.

I was reminded that all of us will face troublesome times in our marriages, hopefully not as terrible as that of Kim and Krickett, but also realizing that there is a reason for everything.  God uses us as tools to spread His word and grace to others.

Kim and Krickett saw their story as a way to share their faith.  They used interviews and TV shows to spread the message of God’s goodness.

Can we do the same?  When faced with challenges in our lives and marriages, we should be asking God “Why?”…not “Why me?” but “What are you trying to say through me?”

When we remember to include God in our marriages, we are strengthened in our vows to each other and given graces we would not have otherwise received if we hadn’t promised to love each other.

It was no coincidence that the first miracle performed by Jesus was at the wedding feast at Cana!

We are all called to vocations in our lives: married life, single life, or religious life.  Make sure that the vow you take is not done lightly and that you are prepared to walk the path God’s will has laid out for you.

It won’t always be easy, but when we include Him, nothing is impossible.

What do you think? Has the depth of your vow been tested, and how would you react if it was?  Share in the comments below!

Bethany Riechmann is the loving wife behind the scenes of Engaged Marriage.  While she only writes once every 30 months, her husband would love your encouragement to get her to share her valuable perspective more often here on the blog!

Save BIG & Simplify Your Family Life!

By Dustin | Book & Product Reviews

Want to take advantage of an awesome deal that will not only help you out in all areas of your family life, but support a fantastic cause in the process?

My friends Corey from Simple Marriage and Mandi from Life…Your Way have brought together some of the top authors in the family life space with 38 ebooks covering a variety of topics related to family life.

Seriously, when you look through the list below, you’ll see all of the top experts in marriage, parenting, organization, food and cooking, minimalism, finances, personal development, entrepreneurship and everything else that’s key to helping you live your best life.

When purchased separately, these ebooks are worth over $375, but for four days only, you can purchase the entire collection for just $29! I’ll do the math for you…that’s over 90% off.

PLEASE NOTE: This collection is only available from 8 a.m. on April 16th to 8 a.m. on April 20th. There will be no late sales offered.

Get Over 90% Off Today…and Get My Bonus!

If you were ever thinking of buying even 1-2 of these resources, there will never be an opportunity like this again. For the price of a couple of books, you will have instant access to pretty much every popular resource available in topics related to your family life!

MY BONUS OFFER: As a participant in this project, I get a portion of the sales that come through my referral. Considering I’ve used many of the resources and know most of the authors personally, this was a no-brainer for me to endorse. You’ll likely see many people sharing this today, so I wanted to give you a little extra incentive to make your purchase through my link.

All you have to do is click my affiliate link and make your purchase. Then just forward the email receipt you receive to me at Dustin [at] and I’ll send you a PDF copy of my book 15 Minute Marriage Makeover. This is a powerful resource focused on improving the intimacy, communication, romance, finances and time management in your marriage – see the details of what’s included on this 15 Minute Marriage Makeover details page.

Click here to purchase your collection today!

Do You Like Details? Check Out What’s Included!

When you purchase the Simplify Your Family Life collection, you get instant access to each of the 38 ebooks listed below:

Entrepreneurship & Blogging

Blogger Behave by Laura @ 10 Million Miles ($4.99)

How to Have Your Cake and Eat It, Too by Mandi @ Life Your Way ($12.00)

Make Money Blogging by Tara @ Feels Like Home ($4.99)

Tap Into Your Unique Creativity and Self Expression Webinar by Lisa @ WellGrounded Life ($39.00)

Tell Your Time by Amy @ Blogging with Amy ($4.99)

Your Blogging Business: Tax Talk & Tips from a Bookkeeper Turned Blogger by Nikki @ Christian Mommy Blogger ($4.99)

Food & Cooking

Get Lean Recipe for Success by Nisha @ Healthy Mom’s Kitchen ($37.00)

Got Dinner? by Susan @ The Confident Mom ($4.00)

How To Cook For Yourself: A Complete Beginnerís Guide by Rachael @ Kitchen Courses ($35.00)

Plan It, Don’t Panic by Stephanie @ Keeper of the Home ($4.99)

Real Food Basics by Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama ($6.95)

Real Food, Real Easy by Erin @ The Humbled Homemaker ($9.95)

Smart Sweets by Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship ($9.95)

The Everything Beans Book by Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship ($9.95)


2012 Confident Mom Weekly Household Planner by Susan @ The Confident Mom ($9.00)

Clean Start: Your Guide to Natural Home Cleaning by Michelle @ Open Eye Health ($4.95)

Complete Printables Download Pack by Mandi @ Life Your Way ($7.00)

Food on Your Face for Acne & Oily Skin by Leslie @ Crunchy Betty ($7.99)

From Debtor to Better by Barry @ Debtor to Better ($15.00)

My Buttered Life {Summer + Gift Giving Editions} by Renee @ MadeOn Hard Lotion ($10.00)

Not a DIY Diva by Melissa @ The Inspired Room ($3.99)

One Bite at a Time by Tsh @ Simple Mom ($5.00)

That Works for Me by Kristen @ We Are THAT Family ($8.00)

Marriage & Relationships

A Simple Marriage by Corey @ Simple Marriage ($4.99)

Buck Naked Marriage by Corey @ Simple Marriage ($2.99)

Entangled by Amy @ Permission to Peruse ($4.99)

The A to Z Guide: 26 Ways in 26 Days to a Happier, Healthier Marriage by The Dating Divas ($9.97)

Minimalism for Families

101 Ways to Simplify Your Life by Laura @ Journey to a Simple Life ($9.95)

321-Stop by Lori @ Loving Simple Living ($9.97)

Inside Out Simplicity by Joshua @ Becoming Minimalist ($11.99)

Simple Ways to Be More with Less by Courtney @ Be More with Less ($9.97)

The Minimalist Momís Guide to Babyís First Year by Rachel @ The Minimalist Mom ($9.95)

Parenting & Kids

4 Moms of 35+ Kids Answer Your Parenting Questions by the Moms @ 4 Moms, 35+ Kids ($7.99)

Flourishing Spring by Michele @ Frugal Granola ($5.95)

Mindset for Moms by Jamie @ Steady Mom ($4.99)

Nurturing Creativity by Renee @ FIMBY ($3.00)

Parenting with Positive Guidance by Amanda @ Not Just Cute ($9.00)

Truth in the Tinsel by Amanda @ Impress Your Kids ($6.99)

Click here to purchase your collection today!

The sale ends at 8 a.m. ET on April 20th, and there will be no late sales offered, so don’t wait.

Don’t Wait Around & Miss Out!

Personally, I think this is about as no-brainer of a deal as you’re going to find for those of us who care deeply about our families and want to be proactive about doing all we can to have a happy home life.

If you can find even just two resources above that might be useful to you, I’d go ahead and grab this bundle before the sale ends on April 20th.

Click here to purchase your collection today!

The Ultimate Diva’s Guide to a Hot and Happy Marriage

By Dustin | Book & Product Reviews

It’s not often that I recommend marriage resources created by others, and I don’t think I’ve ever recommended something created by a Diva…

But that was before I met The Dating Divas! 🙂

When I saw The Divas top the list this year as the Top Marriage Blog, it really got my attention.

And once I spent some time exploring their site and then read this mission statement, I knew these ladies had something truly special to share:


We are wives, mothers, sisters, and friends who strive to enrich marriages everywhere. We want to celebrate the gift of marriage while inspiring others to do the same. It is our goal to provide creative, inexpensive, and innovative dating ideas that will bring joy, fun, and excitement back into the relationship.

We encourage all married men and women to take a conscious and proactive approach to investing in their spouse. By putting our spouses first, we are taken back to the simple magic of being head over heels in love again. We desire to help make lasting marriages, which in return will create everlasting families.

To put it simply, I LOVE what this group of creative women are doing to help busy couples enjoy the most in their marriage and family life!

Let The Dating Divas Help You!

After checking out a few of their weekly date ideas and other tips, I was really pleased to see that the Divas have a really cool e-book available that shares their collective top secrets to a happy and healthy marriage.  I decided to check it out, and I have to see that I am really impressed with The A to Z Guide: 26 Ways in 26 Days to a Happier, Healthier Marriage!

If you are familiar with my own book, 15-Minute Marriage Makeover, you’ll notice some similarities in format and approach.  However, the content is different, and of course the Divas are presenting their advice from the perspective of four women, which really creates a unique guide that I think all wives should read.

As good as the A to Z Guide is, I was very pleasantly surprised to find out that the Divas recently released a new book that’s really in their wheelhouse – The Ultimate Date Night Book

The Ultimate Date Night Book is not only incredibly useful, but it’s beautiful and very well organized – they really make it easy to enjoy a one-of-kind date night.  If you take a look at all of the amazing date ideas that are already on their site, you’ll understand why this resource is so exciting.

Pick Up One (or BOTH) of the Diva’s E-books

If you’re looking for some unique and special ideas to romance your spouse, then you’ll definitely want to check out these books.

Just click on either image below to head over and check out the details, including free samples!

Dating Divas Ebook Review

How great would it be to have a regular, fun date night be part of your marriage?  Pick up these resources and you’ll be well on your way!