Last year, we celebrated our anniversary a few days late, grilling out and staying up too late watching Indiana Jones only to have my water break around 11:00 pm. Instead of going to bed, we had to go the hospital. We left two days later, four days into our second year as a married couple, with our son safely buckled in the backseat.
To call this year a learning experience is the biggest understatement I could make. Josh went from working as the lead bartender to management training only a few months after our son was born. I continued to take classes, while our son visited his grandparents or aunt. A time or two, he came to class with me. Unconventional? Certainly. But it worked for us fought for the balance between parenthood and achieving the goals we had set for ourselves.
Although I can't speak for my husband, I feel like I have changed so much in the last year. I have felt my self soften and relax. I made myself feel like a martyr to my child and in the last few months, have really started to practice actually asking for the help and personal time needed to be the best mama I can be.
The greatest thing I have learned this year though is this:
You have no idea how much you can love your partner until you begin raising a child together.
It brings out some of the best (and admittedly worst) things about them and provides us with a chance to work together in a totally new way. Marriage and child-rearing is not about equal, it is about equitable. It is not about your way, it is about the best way. It creates the opportunity for a young couple to really begin working together, admitting when they can do better, and rejoicing in one another's successes.
We're looking forward to our next year together, as I begin my first year as a teacher, as Josh begins his second year as a manager, and as our son begins to walk, talk, and develops into his own little self. We've learned so much about parenting and teamwork this year and I cannot wait to see how much our relationship grows in the coming year.
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Sacramentals (objects that help us grow closer to God through grace) such as Miraculous Medals and scapulars are often a part of daily Catholic life without much thought or intention. We are given these objects for a religious celebration, such as our First Communion or Confirmation, and don't really understand their significance. Living with sacramentals looks different in different homes and cultures!
My post prominent Marian sacramental is the Miraculous Medal that I keep in my car. It is hanging around my rear-view mirror along with a beautiful Jerusalem Cross that was brought back from the Holy Land as a gift. My medal was blessed by a bishop and given out at church camp two years ago. At the time, I wasn't sure what to do with this blessed object so I just hung it in my car. But since my Marian consecration, the Medal has become a reminder that I have dedicated this and every day to Mary and serving her Son. It also reminds me to make the most of my time in the car and spend it with God.
The other sacramental we keep in our home is another Jerusalem Cross that has been blessed and hangs above the entrance of our home. Whenever I see the cross there, I am reminded of a quote that was displayed in the Catholic school I attended as a child:
"Be it known to all who enter here that Christ is the ever-present..."
The cross serves as a reminder that in this household, we serve the Lord. Just like the Miraculous, both have a clear purpose in my prayer life. They are not talismans, used to protect or prevent something. My sacramentals have clear purpose in my faith to bring me closer to God; they are intentional, blessed objects.
What about you? What sacramentals do you have and how do they support your faith?
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