somebodylovesmeblog

Sharing God's love with the world, one heart at a time.


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How to Have a Magnetic Personality

In an article I was reading this morning, I came across some of the attributes of a magnetic personality.   “What this person does best is make everyone he or she interacts with feel empowered or validated.  The positive energy and the selfless interest in the other party makes the person very popular indeed.”

Through the years, I have read countless self help books, many that supposedly served as a guide toward helping a person  acquire that elusive  magnetic personality.  I must admit, I learned a lot  from some of those books, but one thing always troubled me.

You see, I have watched the so called leaders who were developed through using the tools from the books.  They did everything “right” and acted as though they truly cared about the people they wanted to lead.  They learned how to give “warm fuzzies” and also perfected their own body language.  They learned to say all the right things to get the results they desired.  Some people allowed themselves to be drawn in to them, however, it was always apparent to me that the “leader” was shallow, and just playing a part.  Sooner or later, the true character of that person was revealed.  What did that leave?  It left many disillusioned, wounded “believers” who vowed not to be duped again.

When I was reading about what constituted a magnetic personality, my thoughts turned to Jesus.  His perfect, loving, selfless soul drew sinners toward him.  They couldn’t help themselves…when they looked into his eyes or heard him speak, they encountered the Truth.

They saw themselves through his eyes, and were filled with a love they had never before experienced.

Jesus spoke the Truth in love.  For the hearts that were open to love, they were drawn into Jesus’ mercy and love like steel is drawn to a magnet.  For those that refused to open their hearts, they were repelled.

Jesus did not change His Truth to draw them in. 

When Jesus’ love touches a soul, and there is conversion, a beautiful thing happens.  There is a union between that soul and the heart of Christ that occurs through conversion, and ultimately an intimate relationship with Him.

As our relationship and friendship with Jesus matures, the love and mercy of Christ flows into our hearts.   As we pray, meditate, align ourselves with the Lord, and place our trust in Him,  we will notice a change gradually happening in our hearts.  We will start to think differently about certain issues, and look at “sinners” (including ourselves) in a different, more compassionate way.  We may even  have a complete change of mind and heart regarding issues that we felt very  strongly about.  What is happening, is that we are starting to view the world through the heart of Christ, which is filled with tenderness, mercy and love.  We can’t help but change!

As we Christians grow closer to the heart of Jesus,  true magnetism is forming in our beings.  You see, it is not us personally that draw people…it is the pure love of Jesus that is touching people through us.

Each time that a soul is converted and united with the pure heart of Christ, it works like a magnet, drawing those with open hearts toward the Body of Christ.

Now THAT is what I call a magnetic personality!


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The Joys of Christmastime

It really makes me sad when I hear someone say that they are super stressed due to the hustle and bustle of Christmas.  Many are frustrated and have closed their hearts to Christmas because of the commercialization and materialism that seems to have taken over the beauty and holiness of the season.

As Christians, and children of God, we are called to share the light of Christ with the world, one heart at a time.  For me, the Advent and Christmas Season is a wonderful time to do just that.

Amidst the tacky and commercial decorations, relentless Christmas music, and the barrage of holiday marketing hitting us from all angles, sometimes it is very difficult to stay focused on the Truth.  Sometimes we tend to drift over to the realm where parties, food, drink, and the “perfect” gifts dictate the atmosphere and the spirit in our hearts.

Don’t let that happen to you this year.  The beauty of Advent and Christmastime is already waiting in your heart. All you need to do is open your heart and will to God’s Holy Spirit, and your Christmas Season will be perfect in God’s love.

I can’t help myself…I love Christmas and all that comes with it.  I choose to look past the commercialization and materialism, and focus on the things that bring joy and love.

Here are some of the ways that either bring love and joy to my own heart or ways I find to share that joy and love with others.  We are all unique, and have different ways to experience and share the joys of Christmas.  God made us to be different; we are blessings to each other when we appreciate the ways of love from each person in our lives.  Maybe my thoughts and Christmas traditions will help to open your heart to some of the things you’ve felt were missing.  It’s easy to close ourselves off when we feel overwhelmed.

It’s open season for Christmas music on Thanksgiving Day through mid-January.  We have many Christmas CDs and we enjoy them often.  My mom lives with my husband and me, and she really loves the music.  My husband enjoys a little of it, so I have to be careful of the amount of time those Christmas tunes are playing.  The reason I love to listen and sing Christmas music is that it fills me with joy, and it also brings me back to being a little girl.  Remember the wonder of Christmas when you were a little child?  I still love to feel that way.

Our Christmas tree and inside decorations are very special to us.  Not because they are perfect or trendy…but because there is a lifetime of Christmas memories attached to most of the ornaments and decorations.  There are family ornaments from over fifty years ago, and then from the years of building our family with our sons.  There is our Nativity Scene under the tree that was a gift from my parents when I was still single.

Are the “things” themselves the most important thing?  No, the memories attached to them are blessings from God.  All of God’s gifts are good, and we are very thankful for all the memories; even the “bad” ones.  Like the Christmases when we lacked the money to buy ANY gifts for ourselves or anyone else.  But you know what?  I can truly say those were the most beautiful Christmases, because we were surrounded by the love of God, family and friends.

Our family loves Christmas movies.  There are probably 15-20 movies we watch every year.  These stories bring warmth and joy to our hearts, and we love the tradition of watching them together.  This year, I decided to string popcorn garland, so that was what I was doing while I watched some of those movies.

A Christmas puzzle is a must.  Sometimes two or three, depending on the time I decide to spend putting them together.

Our outside decorations consist of multi-colored lights, a gorgeous wreath on the front door that was a gift from my mother, and a spotlighted Nativity Scene.  We love to drive around to enjoy the beautiful decorations in our neighborhood and surrounding areas.  It’s interesting to me to see the different ways that people decorate and express themselves, and I look for the joy in all.

Although it is time consuming, and I try to remain stress-free during the Holidays, I LOVE to bake cookies.  Lots of cookies.  We eat more Christmas cookies than we should, but the main reason I bake  is to give them away.  I enjoy filling tins with a variety of cookies and handing them out to anyone I feel might enjoy receiving them.

Christmas cards are very special to me.  I love making them out for all the people in my life, and sometimes for those that may not even know me,  but may need a special pick me up.  Sometimes I write thank you notes to those who have had an impact on my life, and slip them in.  With each card I write out, I think of that person and how they have blessed my life.  I also say little prayers for them as I go along.

It’s always fun searching for unique little gifts for people; and we usually participate in a few “angel trees” and community events.  Sometimes we focus on a single family, or there may be someone we know of that is in need.  We have sent gifts of money anonymously, or filled a particular need.  These are all ways to share Christ’s love.

Christmas Eve or Christmas Day Mass is when I truly feel the Spirit of Christmas.  When we walk into the Church, the Spirit overcomes me.  This is it.  The preparation, the music and joy, all of the time spent with family and friends, is one with the pure love and peace of Jesus.  Thank you, Lord!

May you find your own special ways of sharing Christ’s perfect love and peace during this  blessed Advent and Christmas Season.  Enjoy all of it, with the heart and eyes of the child that lives in your heart.

 


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True Destination

For the past few days, I have been thinking about a personality pattern in my life that was recently revealed to me.  Sometimes the events are seemingly insignificant, however, when combined with other experiences definitely show a pattern.

So I will open my heart and divulge some of my quirks and transgressions.  Maybe someone out there can identify?

Some of these things started for me when I was a little girl.  I never believed in Santa, because we opened our gifts on Christmas Eve.  I KNEW who all the gifts were from.  The presents started appearing under our Christmas tree a few weeks before Christmas, complete with tags.  I knew which ones were mine.  The suspense was way too much for me.  Yes, you guessed it – I was one of those children who woke up during the night, grabbed my gifts from under the tree, and slid the gifts out of their wrappings. I was really good at rewrapping them, too!  The only down side for me, was that I had to feign surprise when I opened the presents with my family.  I really don’t think they ever caught on.

Another one of my “quirks” is I LOVE to read the last page of a novel first, and I prefer to know the ending of a movie before I watch it.  My husband cannot understand the logic of this.  All I can say is, I love to know the end, because then I can really enjoy the story’s journey, and the twists and turns to the conclusion.

Whenever I am exposed or required to experience something new, it is imperative that I know the steps involved, in detail. I don’t like to be caught off guard.  I like to be prepared.

The last thing I can think of is my love for tasting food while it’s cooking.  I taste it a lot…because I am impatient.  I want to have an inkling of how good it is BEFORE it’s completely done.  Then I can make adjustments.  My daughter in law doesn’t like this at all.  I once tried tasting one of her dishes she was cooking for me, and after seeing the look on her face, I never did that again.  She does not like anyone sampling her creation before it is complete.

You might ask where this is all leading.

As these personal traits came to light one by one, I picked up on a lesson to be learned.

What I found is this.  For me, it is extremely important to know what is ahead for me.  When I am sure of the outcome, my spirit is calmed, and I can focus on my day to day experiences.  As long as I know my destination, I can enjoy the journey, and make adjustments as I go.

I already know my true destination.

What is ahead for me, and for all of my brothers and sisters in Christ, is an eternity with our Heavenly Father.  There will be colors that we have never seen, music we’ve never heard, beauty and love that we cannot even imagine.  Because I know this to be true…I know the “end of the story”.  I can rest assured that each day brings to my life a new opportunity to grow and learn to love in a deeper way.  My Father’s love is so amazing, that even though I stumble and fall, He is always there to guide my path, and help me to make the changes and adjustments necessary for my growth.

I trust that no matter how the road twists and turns, it will always lead me to Him. 

Jesus has offered His life as a gift for us.  He is holding that gift out for us to open, and once we accept it, we will always be sure of our destination.  After knowing the intense love of Jesus, wrapped in light and love, I pray that we never attempt to cover that perfect light with the false wrappings of pride and rebellion.

I pray that we allow the light of Christ to shine so brightly in our hearts that it spills out to a world in need.

 

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.   John 3:16

But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him.  1 Corinthians 2:9

 

 


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Our Journey Toward Christ

Many thoughts are tumbling around in my head this morning.  Because of some changes in our family dynamics…due to our family moving away, and some other longstanding issues, my heart and soul are searching for God’s will and direction.

I believe that this is a time of “digesting” all that the Holy Spirit has revealed to me up to this point.

These intense feelings I am experiencing have confirmed the importance and calling to be of support to each other in our journey toward Christ and his ultimate will for his kingdom.  The human struggles we each endure, whether physical, emotional or spiritual, are unique for each one of us.  I believe, as Christians, we are called to edify and support each other through the entire journey….through the mountaintop experiences, and also the struggles, and plateaus.

Never to judge; always willing to lead, guide and share God’s love and truth with each other.

With all that is happening in our personal lives, culture, and the whole world, I am feeling the intense need to pray for the conversion of hearts, minds and souls.  And that includes my own.  I ask that the Lord continue to fill my heart and soul with His Holy Spirit, and I ask that I remain humble to learn the ways I need to grow.

Dear Father, 

Please instill in us pure hunger and thirst for your truth, love and grace.  Help us to know you and your ways through your Holy Word.  Help us to stay humble; always knowing that it is You who is working through us, not our own effort…but YOU.   Help us to be open to your Holy Spirit, making us a channel of your love and peace to others. 

We ask these things in the name of your precious son, Jesus.  Amen


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Reflection of Our Father

How many times have you thought that a friend or family member reminds you of his/her father?  It could be physical looks, gestures, mannerisms, or spirit.  Sometimes it is a quality that comes naturally, and sometimes it is one that is learned, either consciously or unconsciously.

I have heard it said that “You know what a person truly thinks of you by the way his/her children treat you.”  I have found this to be true in many cases throughout the years.

Wow…what a revelation for me!  That really makes me think about how we, as Christians, are perceived by others, and if our lives are a true reflection of the love our Father in Heaven has for all his children.  Do we treat each other with the tender love of God?

Although, being human, we can never be perfect, in what ways are we Christ like?  How do we remind people of our Heavenly Father?  Do we even realize the importance of our mission here on earth…to touch all those around us with Christ’s Love?  Hearts and souls are at stake.

Some things to think about, because we are being watched in our day to day lives…not just when we are at Mass or Church Services:

Do we live in constant fear, worry, jealousy, and/or bitterness, or are we filled with the Peace of Christ?

Do we accept our daily struggles and offer them to God, or do we constantly complain?

Do our daily decisions regarding what we allow into our hearts…as in magazines, books, games, movies, tv shows and music, glorify God?

Do we conduct ourselves with humility and modesty, in thought, word, dress, and action?

When we see someone in need, do we look away, or try to help in some way?

Do we avoid certain people because of what they look like, or because they are different from us?

In confrontational situations, do we respond with anger, or do we take a step back to think before speaking?

Do we ask for forgiveness from those we have hurt, and forgive those who have hurt us?

Do we avoid contact with neighbors, family or friends, or do we take the time to listen, and truly open our hearts to them?

Are we always open to sharing our blessings with those in need?

Are we eagerly listening for the whispers of the Holy Spirit to lead us, or are we blocking the will of God in our lives because we like things the way they are?

Father, we ask that you fill us with your Holy Spirit.  Please help us to love others as you love them.  Work through us, Lord, because on our own, we are nothing. Shine your light of love and peace in our hearts so it overflows to all those in need. We ask these things in the name of your son, Jesus.

No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. 1 John 4:12  

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.  1 John 4:18

And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.  1 Peter 4:8

 


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True Love and Freedom

When praying this morning, I felt intense peace of the Holy Spirit, and then was overcome with a deep feeling of grief and sadness.  It was overwhelming.

Usually, the names or faces of those that need prayer appear to me.  Today, that was not the case.

There is either someone in my life right now that is in dire need of Christ’s healing love and forgiveness, or it was the despair of a multitude of souls in need of conversion and repentance.

The sadness and intensity of need filled my spirit with love and a strong desire to pray for them.

I meditated on the rosary, and asked the Lord to send His Holy Spirit to open hearts to His perfect love, and heal those most in need.  This world needs the saving grace of Jesus, and needs our prayers to touch them.  So many are floundering, confused, and miserable.

Not so long ago, I was one of those souls.

Dear Father, thank you for loving us always; especially for those times when we fall and ask for your forgiveness and peace. 

You are pure love and joy and our souls long to be in your presence;

Thank you for sending your Son in human form…that through His suffering, death and resurrection, we are set free. 

For true freedom is a heart joined with you, covered with the blood of Christ.  Help us to share your love and grace with those most in need. 

We pray for your protection and guidance, so that we may spread the Good News of the Gospel.


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Thank You, Jesus

Thank you, Jesus, for giving up your life so that I can be saved.

Thank you for bearing the weight of my sins and my arrogant unbelief.

Thank you for suffering in my place.

Thank you for sending your Holy Spirit to open my heart to your sweet love and peace…the only TRUE love and peace that exists.

Your love surrounds me with the gentleness of your Holy Spirit;

My soul constantly longs for communion with you; your presence is my joy.

I pray that you continue to bless me and continue to enlighten me in your ways;

Help me to find my true identity and purpose through you…for without you, I am an empty shell.

Please continue to reveal to me ways that I should reach out to those who are hungry, thirsty, naked, suffering, searching, devoid of faith, and in despair.

Help me to be a shining light of your enveloping love, always open to being a vessel of your will…for you to touch this world in need.

Help me to always pray for the conversion of souls for those in most need of your mercy;

Help me to love all people, especially  those who are the hardest to love…for their souls long to be free.

Thank you, Jesus.  Thank you!


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Your Normal Day

Once in a while, I get a craving for what I consider a “comfort food”, and yesterday I really felt like having an omelet for lunch.  I work about 5 minutes from a Bob Evans Restaurant, so you know where I headed!

I’m not sure what caused it, but I had a horrendous headache…my head was pounding.   The hostess led me to my table, you guessed it, right next to a large table of children (6 to be exact) with their mother.

As I read the menu, I could hear one of the kids behind me rapping one of their eating utensils on their table.  It was going bang…bang…bang and it seemed as though it would never stop.  On top of that, the kids were loud (not misbehaving, just acting like kids!) and my head was about to explode.  My eyes started to scan the restaurant looking for another table for me to sit.  Just as I was starting to feel really negative toward the whole family  for “disrupting” my peaceful lunch, an amazing thing happened.

Across from the large table there sat two women who were enjoying some wonderful “girl time” together.  You can tell by their conversation and shared laughter, they were old friends.

One of the women started talking over the noise to the mother across the aisle.  In a casual, very friendly voice, I heard her say, “what beautiful children…are they all yours?”  When the mother answered yes, the friendly lady told her what a great job she had done.  She said that it is rare to see children so loving with each other, and she admired her for the love and discipline it took for her to brave the elements and take all of her children to a restaurant.  Then the two ladies started talking to the children, and it was heartwarming to hear how sweet they were.  When the little boy said, “Guess what I can do.  I can spin around and I don’t even get sick” I laughed out loud.

Guess what!  My headache went away.  I sat there, alone at my table, with my heart filling up with love for the family, and especially for the two ladies who not only shared love with the mother and her children, but also shared love with me  and opened my heart.

Momentarily, I felt very guilty for the negative feelings I had, but I quickly realized that I am human, and we are all here for each other.

See how God uses us all to edify and love each other?  These things happen all the time.  We just need to stay open to the source of the goodness.

Anyway, the family left, and the two women were getting ready to leave.  I went over to their table and shared with them the story of my headache, how the kids were hurting my head and annoying me, and then how their simple act of love toward the mom and her kids completely turned my day around.  I thanked them.  One of the ladies (Deborah), introduced herself and her friend, Carolyn, to me, and then took my hand in hers.  She had tears in her eyes as she squeezed my hand.  We talked a little, and then parted ways.  They thanked me for coming over to talk with them.

Because of their simple act of love, my day was changed, and my heart was once again filled with Christ’s love.

Don’t ever think that little acts of love and kindness don’t make a difference.  You don’t know the ripples that happen because of the ways you show love every day through your “normal” day.  Not only is the recipient of your gesture affected, but also people around that are watching you.

You can be the reason for changing someone’s day, or life…and never even know it.  When the love of Jesus resides in your soul, don’t be afraid to reach out and share it.

He will bless and magnify your efforts in ways you will never be aware of, to build His Kingdom!

May God bless you and bless your “normal” day!

 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.  1 Peter 4:8


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Life and Death – Part 4: Embracing Death

Thought provoking and very relevant to the culture of today…

The Dynamic Force

Dark side of Earth

Part 3 Yesterday

How are we getting on so far – I am sure we are not lost but this is a sizable task that we have taken on here – best put on your hard-hats and steel toe-cap boots for the rest of this series.

We asked:

If you divided this planet in two, took all the bad things that exist and that happen, all the evil and darkness, and put them on one side so that the other side was only good – which side would you want to live on?

So, hands up for the good side – I am sure that’s pretty much everyone. Let’s just see how many still have their hands up by the end of this page.

As we have said since that initial question, we are talking about splitting are actual hearts and minds here; the evil as well as the good…

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The Circle of a Wedding Ring

This morning, I came across a little piece of paper I saved with these wise words written on it:  “How many memories lie in the circle of a wedding ring?”  I don’t remember where I found the quote, but the words hit home for me.  What a perfect way to acknowledge the awesome wonder and the “sacrament” of marriage.

Marriage and relationships are my passion.  I think we all learn from each other’s stories, so I thought I’d a share a little with you.  Maybe something I say will be of help to you or someone you know.

My husband, (Joe) and I have been married for 35 years.  I would be lying if I told you we were always happy and things always went smoothly.  Not only would I be lying, but I would be leaving out all the reasons why our marriage is now so blessed and rewarding.  The struggles, and the overcoming of the struggles together, weaved the strong fabric of our lives together…intertwining our hearts and minds as one.  Our life together…our marriage…is truly a miracle.

Joe and I married young – I was 20 and he was 21.  I have to be honest with you; we did everything wrong.  We “fell in love” when I was 17 and Joe was 18, meeting at a restaurant where we worked together.  Joe was a musician in a rock band. (a very naïve me thought he was in his High School Marching Band – didn’t realize he was the lead singer in a rock band!!!)  We had no planned goals, except for his rock star dream.  Neither one of us attended college. Well, I made it through one semester, before deciding that my career would be wife and mother.  Once we were married, the next ten or so years consisted of ups and downs, with some “very” down times.

On about three occasions, we were on that dangerous precipice teetering toward divorce.  We had two sons, and loved them very much, but did not know what to do.  We were miserable, each of us blaming the other for the unhappiness.

I could clearly remember our defining moment, that happened about 22 years ago. That moment came while we were holding each other on the couch, both crying, because we “knew” that we were headed for divorce.  You see, we loved each other, but didn’t know how to be happy within ourselves, and knew nothing of what glued together a relationship.  When we looked into each other’s eyes, we decided right then and there, that we would stay together and LEARN how to be happy.

God blessed that decision.  I attended a “Christ Renews His Parish” weekend retreat that opened my eyes and heart to God’s love.  Joe decided to do the men’s retreat the next year. His heart was touched that weekend in a profound way. He was a different man when he came home.  I started counseling that helped me see my own weaknesses and strengths, which led me to appreciate Joe’s strengths.  We started focusing on the goodness in each other, and somehow that helped us each to grow into better people.  We became better parents to our wonderful sons.

I am sharing a little of our story with you because I believe that many people do not understand what marriage is, and why they are not happy.  When I see married couples struggle, I wish I could do a mind meld with them to let them see what they could have if they just hang in there.  But hanging in there is just the start.  Marriage is much more than just “being there”.

“The sacrament of Marriage signifies the union of Christ and the Church. It gives spouses the grace to love each other with the love with which Christ has loved his Church; the grace of the sacrament thus perfects the human love of the spouses, strengthens their indissoluble unity, and sanctifies them on the way to eternal life.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church)

Beautiful thought, but how do we attain this love?  I’ve been mulling this question  since I found that piece of paper this morning.

Here is what I have discovered.  When two people “fall in love” and get married, hopefully they have taken the time to truly get to know their spouse in the dating and engagement process.  However, there are many layers in each of our hearts.  There are secret layers of fears, emotions, life memories (good and bad), and insecurities that reside in all of us.  What each spouse needs in the marriage is unconditional love, so they can feel safe enough to slowly peel away the layers that are masking their true heart and God given identity.

Therein lies the problem.  We are merely human and not capable of unconditional love.

The secret to a truly loving and joyful marriage is that the husband and wife both open their hearts to Jesus.  

When you make the decision to have a personal relationship with Jesus, and open your heart to Him, His Holy Spirit abides in you.  No longer are you floundering on your own…He fills your heart with love, compassion and empathy.  No longer are you just seeing actions or hearing words.  You learn how to love the whole person, and look for the root causes of the behaviors that hurt or irritate you.  Instead of pointing fingers and accusing your spouse (or anyone for that matter), you learn to overlook weaknesses and focus on strengths.  Forgiveness and acceptance start to become much easier for you.

I don’t mean to make this process sound easy…it isn’t easy at all, and will not happen all at once.  It is one of the hardest things you will ever do, but so very worthwhile!

Marriage is a covenant, a sacrament, and a miracle.  The real miracle is the changing of two hearts into the heart of Christ, and then the two hearts will become as one.  This oneness happens gradually, through love, support, loyalty, trust, commitment and forgiveness.  Once this heart and soul connection is forged, the marriage relationship is so much more wonderful than you could have imagined on your wedding day.

I recently heard a pure and simple truth from a newly married couple who went through the Pre-Cana Marriage Classes at Church.  They said that a married couple’s job was to guide each other to heaven.  How beautiful!  When that is your mission, imagine all the unique memories that will be contained in the circles of your wedding rings, on your way to Eternal Life!

May God bless your journey!

Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”  Matthew 19:4-6

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.  1 Corinthians 13:4-8