Jan 18, 2017

Marriage Discernment Questionnaire





Marriage Discernment Questionnaire

Not long ago one of our daughters asked for a list of marriage discernment questions that she and her boyfriend could use as a springboard for further discussion. Her mom turned to our large group of Catholic homeschooling mamas for ideas, resulting in the following questionnaire.

PERSONAL
  1. What do you love about him or her?
  2. What do you think defines a good wife? husband?
  3. What do you think defines a good mother? father?
  4. How do you handle poop on your hands? Vomit? Urine? Blood?
  5. What would you do if your favorite show was on, but his (or hers) was on at the same time?
  6. Do you like to do puzzles?
  7. Do you prefer fast food or home cooked?
  8. What's the purpose of marriage?
  9. What do you like to do in your free time?
  10. Does you drink? smoke?
  11. How do you handle stress?
  12. Are you a yell-er?
  13. Is he do as I say or do as I do?
  14. Do you like surprises? Spontaneity?
  15. How would you handle a catastrophe?
  16. What would you do if the other cheated?
  17. What would you do if you grew to have irreconcilable differences?

CHILDREN
  1. Do you want children?
  2. If yes, how many?
  3. Is a tight budget a reason to avoid pregnancy?
  4. What if one of you is infertile?
  5. Where will babies be born...at a hospital, a birthing center, or at home?
  6. How do you plan to educate your children...public school, private school, homeschool?
  7. How  would he handle having a terminally sick child? or the death of a child?
  8. How would you approach the disciplining of children?
  9. How do you feel about breastfeeding babies?

WEDDING PLANS
  1. Do you want a big wedding or a small wedding?
  2. Where do you want to be married? And by whom?
  3. Are there any family expectations concerning the wedding?

EXTENDED FAMILY
  1. Where would you spend holidays?
  2. What are your favorite family traditions?
  3. What if a parent needed a place to live?
  4. What is your family like?
  5. Are you close to parents and siblings?
  6. Does you like to spend time with your family?

HOME LIFE
  1. How do you feel about household chores?
  2. Are you handy around the house?
  3. If you start a project, will you finish?
  4. Can you live with things in disarray indefinitely?
  5. What is your threshold for clutter? dishes piled in the sink? laundry piles?

FINANCIAL
  1. What's your reaction to an overdue bill?
  2. Do you have a savings account? investments? life insurance?
  3. Who do you think should be the breadwinner?
  4. How do you manage money?
  5. What are your financial goals and plans for retirement? kids' education?
  6. Do you have and stick to a budget?
  7. Would you rent or buy your home?
  8. Would you rather live in city, town, or on the farm?
  9. Would you move to a job or find a job where you want to live?
  10. How do you feel about mom not working outside the home?
  11. Are vacations important to you?
  12. How do you handle car and appliance breakdowns?
  13. Are you a saver or a spender?
  14. Do you have an emergency fund?
  15. Do you have credit cards? carry a balance?

RELIGION
  1. What is your faith background?
  2. Do you believe that the Church has authority over marriage?
  3. Do you pray together?
  4. Does you attend Sunday Mass? daily Mass? Adoration? Confession?
  5. Who is your patron saint?

OTHER ACTIVITIES
  1. Get the saints involved...the St Therese Novena is a favorite.  
  2. Learn about the different personality types.
  3. Make a list of qualities that you look for in spouse.


**If you have any other ideas for questions...add them to the comments below!





Jan 13, 2017

Friday Feasting: Tuscan Chicken Stew in the Instant Pot



Serves 10

Ingredients

2 tablespoons Olive Oil
½ cups dice Onion
3 tsp chopped garlic
1 cup dice Celery
1 cup chopped Carrot
4 cups Chicken Broth/Stock
1 lb baby Potatoes, washed
6 Boneless Chicken Breasts
15 ounce can rinse and drain Garbanzo (Chickpeas) Beans
2 tsp salt
1 tsp Thyme, Dried
½ tsp Paprika
½ tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1 tsp Basil, Dried
1 tsp Oregano, Dried
15 ounce can Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes, drained

Directions

1.  Set IP on sauté.

2.  Once hot, add oil until heated then onions, celery and carrots. Sauté until translucent then add garlic. Stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.



3.  Add remainder of ingredients, except chicken. Stir to combine.

4.  Add chicken breasts, tucking into pot to cover as best you can.



5.  Cover and lock lid (sealing), and set on poultry to cook for 15 minutes. Natural release for 10 minutes, then quick release.

6.  Remove chicken, shred and add back to pot and stir.


7.  Adjust seasonings and serve. Can serve over rice, or as is.



Jan 11, 2017

A Clean Slate


This time of year is ripe with newness.  We just started a brand new calendar year.  It's like a freshly fallen snow or a clean black board.  Many of us have probably made New Year's resolutions or set goals that we want to achieve for 2017.  If you haven't had time or decided to write off any sort of change this year, don't ever think it's too late to change your mind.

Last year I took the advice of speaker I heard who suggested picking one word for 2016, something representative of what I need to work on in my spiritual/personal life.  So I chose the word content.  In the midst of a fast paced world, among friends who do this or have this and seem very happy, I knew that I was struggling with being happy where I was and with who I was at the time.  I'm so grateful that I decided to focus on being content – any time I found myself struggling I said a quick prayer for help.  I truly feel like I grew in the virtue of contentment.

This year I've chosen part of my favorite scripture passage to guide me through 2017.  Maybe you have a favorite Scripture verse or bit of sage wisdom that inspires you.  Or maybe there's a Saint who pushes you to be the best version of yourself.  Whatever or whoever it is, let it guide you through the ups and downs of 2017.  When life starts to suffocate you and responsibilities are piling up, stop and reflect on that tidbit or Saint, say a prayer for help.  I assure you that you won't go unaided.

Jan 9, 2017

Monday Meme: Coffee and "Can-do" Attitude


Moral:  I multi-task well, doing one thing at a time.

I sit down to pay my bills.  My companion is my trusty mug of power juice, aka coffee.  Its aroma fills my spirit with my “can-do” attitude.  I sip and savor the warmth.  Yep, today I will get my bills done quickly and move onto the next item. My focus is interrupted by my son, “Hey, Mom.  Can you help me with the washing machine?  It won’t work.”

I run upstairs to see what’s up.  As I ignore the mixed colors of clothing, my son points to the machine that he is learning to operate.  I see the dial is not completely at the starting point.  I move it and show him.  Then I remind him to separate colors.  Oh yeah, I remember I have clothes to wash.  I run to my room to get them.  On the way, I step on a Lego.  “Ouch!!  Someone needs to put this Lego away.”  No one hears me as the washing machine is now in high gear.  I pick up the offending Lego and put it in the nearby bin where it belongs.

Okay. Now to resume… resume?  I was walking down the hall and, oh yeah, the clothes.  By the time I pick out the dark clothes I need laundered, the machine is past the point of adding clothing.  Bummer.  Well, I know I don’t need those clothes immediately, so no big deal.  I put the clothes back in my hamper in my room.

I return to my desk downstairs and see my computer awaiting my bills.  Next to my computer is my mug.  I smile.  Looking forward to the regeneration of spirit and warmth that my coffee delivered what seems only moments ago, I sip.  And gag.  Cold coffee.  Eww.  My “can-do" attitude is shattered.  My spirit is bleak.

Only one thing to do.  Start over.  Yep, I brew another cup of coffee and look forward to accomplishing my task.


Jan 4, 2017

ONE in the Body and Blood of Christ


http://www.michaeljournal.org/


1 Corinthians 10:16-17
The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ?  
The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?
Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body,
for we all partake of the one bread.


I was reflecting on this scripture message not long ago, and the Eucharistic Miracle of Lanciano, Italy came to mind.  The part that struck me the most (maybe it struck the math teacher?) was the detail that the five globules of blood all weighed the exact same amount even though they were of different sizes.  And, the weight of all five pieces together was the same as each individual piece.

Let that sink in. Each part weighed the same as the whole.

It goes against the very laws of nature.  The part cannot be equal to the whole.  Objects of different mass should have different weights.  But, here in the Precious Blood of Christ, they do not.

There was no division, no separation. One smaller part of the Precious Blood was equal to all of it.

When we receive Christ in the Precious Blood, we recieve ALL of Him. A drop does not go into you and another into Sue and a third drop into me...All of Jesus’ Blood goes into all of us. All of His Blood, all of His Body are ONE. There can be no division or separation.  So when we eat His flesh and drink His blood, we are completely united to Him and to all the members of the Body of Christ.  It has to be this way.  

When I consider that we are all one in the Body of Christ, it casts the ideas of selfishness and service into a new light.  If I sin (and I do), I am one with all who are in the Body of Chrtist, so that sin does affect us all.  It brings us down, away from Christ.  If I rise above my selfishness, I pull the Body of Christ up.  If I serve and love unconditionally, the Body of Chirst is elevated to greater heights.  

I see Jesus present in the Eucharist with eyes of faith.  I know He is alive.  I know that all of this...this life, the hardships, the trials, the great times...it is all in Him, through Him, and with Him.

I also know that I am one in Him, through Him, and with Him. And so is every other member of the Body of Christ.  We are all ONE in Him, through Him, and with Him.


John 6:35, 54-56
Jesus said to them, “I am the Bread of Life…
He who eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood has eternal life,
and I will raise him up on the last day.
For my Flesh is food indeed, and my Blood is drink indeed.
He who eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood abides in Me, and I in him.