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Category Archives for "Spirituality"

What is Your Favorite Time of the Year?

By Dustin | Spirituality

Favorite Time of Year

Ah, it’s almost here.  My favorite week of the entire year is just days away, and I am really looking forward to it once again.

Since our first child was born nearly five years ago, my wife and I have observed our own family tradition of sorts by taking off the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day.  Actually, it’s me who “takes off” since she is a teacher and always has Christmas Winter Break to count on.

What makes this week so special for our family?  To start with, Christmas morning is just awesome when you have little kids and are able to share their joy when they wake up with the immediate intensity of a gazelle on crack.  This year should be the best yet since they both totally “get it” now at ages almost-five and two-and-a-half years old.  Santa is totally real, and the little gifts are still the best.

Christmas Day will center on our family doing whatever the heck we want all day, as our extended family stops by throughout the day to visit.  There will be a large brunch, lots of snacks, some holiday spirits and probably pizza for dinner.  It’s like the ultimate lounging-around day, plus gifts and the love of a family who truly appreciates the spirit of the season.

The remainder of the week should be similar.  Family dinners, family visits and LOTS of family playtime.  There will certainly be Nintendo Wii tournaments, tickle fights, lots of time playing Princesses and Thomas the Train, numerous movies watched, consecutive pajama days, and a crazy amount of snuggling on the couch.  There will be no work, no stress, no deadlines and no schedules to maintain.

As the week winds down and our minds are clear and youthful, we can turn our focus to celebrating New Year’s Eve (also as a family) and setting goals for the promising New Year.  I hope you will be joining me in making 2010 your best year yet by participating in the “Improve Yourself! 2010” challenge!

What is your favorite time of the year?  Please share your thoughts in the comments.

From my family to yours, I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous and healthy New Year!  Please remember the reason for this joyous season and keep Christ in your Christmas celebrations.

Photo by alancleaver_2000

What Are You Thankful For?

By Dustin | General , Spirituality

What are you thankful for?

As I reflected a bit on my “I am Thankful for Sexuality” post and the great comments you have shared there, I couldn’t help but wonder what each of you is thankful for as we officially enter the holiday season.

So, take a moment to think about your life as it stands today.  Think particularly about your relationships and all of the ways (good and bad) they have changed since last year at this time.

What are YOU thankful for in your life?

Please take a minute and put your thoughts in the comments to this post.  Let’s all rejoice together at the many blessings that we have been given.

Happy Thanksgiving, and thank you for being part of such a positive, growing community here at Engaged Marriage!

Photo by floodllama

Be a Giver! My Guest Post at My Super-Charged Life

By Dustin | Spirituality

Welcome!I am excited to announce that another article of mine has graciously been published at the My Super-Charged Life blogMy Super-Charged Life is a favorite site of mine that provides great tips, information and resources aimed at helping us live life to the fullest.

My article is entitled “Be a Giver: Help Others & Improve Your Relationships” and I would really appreciate it if could take a minute to visit Jeff’s site and read the post.  It would mean a great deal to me if you could show your support in this way, and we would both love to hear from you in the comments section!

Welcome to the Readers of My Super-Charged Life !

If you are a visitor from My Super-Charged Life, I would like to welcome you to Engaged Marriage and say Thank You for taking the time to come over for a look.  While you are here, I’d encourage you to check out the “About” page to get a feel for the idea behind the site, and please take a tour through some of the categories along the right side of the site and check out some posts.

If you like what you see, please Don’t Miss a Thing! and take a moment to sign up to get updates by email or subscribe via RSS.  I also love to interact with new friends through the Engaged Marriage Facebook Page.

The mission of Engaged Marriage basically boils down to this: I want to help good people achieve the extraordinary in marriage and in life!

As a starting point, I recommend checking out these posts to get a flavor for the content here:

Take 15 Minutes Each Day to Just be a Couple

Go Sit in a Tree! (and Improve Your Marriage)

37 Family Things to Do at Home on a Rainy Sunday

Fight Fair! 6 Simple Conflict Resolution Skills for Your Marriage

Photo by AmandaLeighPanda

Marriage as a Vocation

By Dustin | Spirituality

Marriage as a Vocation

What comes to mind when you think of a vocation?

How about vocation in the context of a marriage?

If you are like most people, and especially if you happen to share my status as a member of the Catholic Church, you probably think of a priest (or possibly a nun).

When you add marriage into the mix, your thoughts may shift slightly to the particular clergy that performed your wedding ceremony or your current pastor.

In church, we often hear about the need for additional vocations or calls to the religious life.  It seems that “vocation” is basically synonymous with “calling” which again leads us to the idea of a young man or woman being called by God to a life of religious service.

If you read about career coaching or seek guidance in this area, you may come across a slightly different idea.

Many career coaches like to break down the approach to work into three areas from broadest to most specific: vocation, career and job, where vocation is your overall “calling” or purpose for working.

Well, if you look up “vocation” on dictionary.com, here is what you’ll find:

1.a particular occupation, business, or profession; calling.
2.a strong impulse or inclination to follow a particular activity or career.
3.a divine call to God’s service or to the Christian life.
4.a function or station in life to which one is called by God: the religious vocation; the vocation of marriage.

I was actually a bit surprised by this result as I expected only the first 3 1/2 definitions to show up.  The last half of the fourth definition was a pleasant surprise, as this was my point in creating this post!

If you are married (or engaged to be married), you need to start viewing your marriage as your vocation.

Regardless of your religious beliefs, I think it is helpful to understand that your marriage is the central function of your life (see #4) and your most important calling (see #1).

Your marriage must come above all things including your career, your friends and even yourself.

That is unless you do share my belief in God.  In that case, marriage must be your second priority behind only He who created marriage.

After all, it was God who brought you together with your spouse and formed a divine Trinity.

Yes, a Trinity.  He invited you to a sacrament that permanently transformed you from two individuals into an inseparable loving relationship that includes you, your spouse and the Big Guy.

I know that’s some heavy stuff, but I personally believe that is where marriage fits into a Christian life (see #3).

So, I hope next time you hear someone use the word “vocation” it reminds you of your own calling from God. 

Don’t ever forget where your marriage belongs in your long list of priorities in life.  And strive everyday to treat your spouse like a true member of the Trinity that has been created just for you.

Photo by YourDreamTouch Photography