10 Lessons from My Mom on How to Be a Great Mother

*This article originally appeared on the IntegratedCatholicLife.org in 2013. I like to re-share it every Mother’s Day!

Me and RJJust a few short months ago, I became a mother, and now I am just months away from meeting my little one on his birthday in December. The blessings multiply as pregnancy continues—with every little kick and each ultrasound picture of my little boy sucking his thumb or smiling big (just like his mama) in the womb, I thank God for the opportunity to share in new life.

It is amazing how much my pregnancy has given me pause for reflection on my relationship with my own mother, and on the qualities that make her the most remarkable role model in my life. I can honestly say that my mother is the most saintly person I know — an unmatched giving, loving, patient, faithful, prayerful woman who knows her life’s work is to be a wife and mother, and boy does she live out her vocation well.

If I am half as good at being a mother as my mother is, than I think my children will be exceedingly blessed. But I certainly have my work cut out for me. Fortunately, after observing my mother’s graceful living over the past 24 years of my life, I’ve picked up on some of her unsaid but well-lived tips for being a great mom.

  1. Pray always. Literally. Every moment of every day, do everything in a spirit of prayer. The most important thing you will ever do for your children is to pray for them. And prayers change everything. They contribute more to your kids’ growth, health, happiness, and sanctity than anything else. Pray for your children and for your ability to be a good mother.
  2. Be patient. Your children will learn from you either how to explode under pressure and anger or how to be composed, loving, and patient. Even when frustration levels are high, look at your family members as if they were little Christs, little souls whom you are called to love and practice patience with, even in the most trying of circumstances.
  3. Love and respect your husband. Your children will see you do it, and observing your marriage will impact the kind of marriage they desire and have of their own someday. If you disagree with your husband, don’t disagree with him verbally in front of the children. Always have your spouse’s back, and then discuss any disagreements in private. Show your children that you are an unbreakable team.
  4. mother and daughterFirst be your children’s mother, then and only after, their friend. Too many parents are overly concerned with being liked, and sometimes you won’t be liked. You won’t be liked when you discipline your kids or you challenge them to do the right, but hard, thing. And though you won’t always be liked, if you really do what is best for your children, you will always be loved.
  5. Practice self-sacrifice and unconditional love. Kids are, by their nature, demanding. They require your love, attention, service, wisdom, and so much more in order to develop into holy, mature adults. Raising a virtuous child requires a unique degree of self-sacrificial love. Abandon selfishness, and you will not only raise holier children who see your example, but you will become more Christ-like in the process. “So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13
  6. Become best friends with Our Blessed Mother. Pray the Rosary often to receive strength from the world’s greatest mother: Mary. She will be your ultimate companion in motherhood—your best friend. Fly to her in your times of need, in your moments of rejoicing, and when your heart is aching. She will comfort you and dance with you as a Mother, to give you the grace to be a better mother yourself.
  7. Celebrate life with your kids. Tell your kids what a joy it is to be a mother, and that there is nothing greater than giving life and raising children, so they will always be encouraged to fight for and embrace life. Celebrate life with your daughters and sons as they begin to have their own children. Relive the excitement of your own early motherhood with them as they experience their baby’s first hiccups and kicks in the womb, their births, and the many memories made over years to come.
  8. Talk about and teach about Jesus and your Catholic Faith constantly, but more importantly, live the life of Jesus in your every day actions. Be unmistakable Catholic inside and outside the home, and do it with joy. When your children see how fulfilling it is to live a Christ-centered Catholic life and how it enriches your family, they will want that for themselves and their own families, too.
  9. Be silly. No need to be the world’s most serious mother. Be playful. Make up your mom in sunlight
    own lyrics to popular songs and dance like nobody (but your children) is watching. Tickle often. Your children will appreciate your spirited outlook on life and will learn from you that every day is a gift to be cherished and with which to have fun!
  10. Trust. Trust Jesus, trust your husband, trust your children, and let them see you trusting with all your might. In a culture where homes are filled with stress, be a home filled with peace and confidence in God’s will for you and your family.

Blessed Mother Teresa once said, “The woman is at the heart of the home. Let us pray that we women realize the reason for our existence: to love and be loved, and through this love become instruments of peace in the world.”

Every one of these lessons my mother has lived out and continues to practice to the utmost extent. Thank you, Mother, for teaching me how to be a great mom, for teaching me how to love and be loved and become an instrument of peace in our broken world. You are going to be an extraordinary grandmother. I hope I do you proud, so my children can hand down these lessons that they learn from me someday.

CLICK HERE for your Free Mother’s Day Printable Spiritual Bouquets!

Sign up today for the “More Margin for Peace” Leadership Challenge

As the Synod on the Family began last October, I realized how much I could use some easy tips – marriage and family life “hacks” – to help give me that boost I sometimes need in certain categories of my spiritual leadership. And now, with Lent and Easter having just ended, I am hoping to keep the spiritual momentum going with a practical and very doable way to stay focused on maintaining more peace in my life and at home.

More Margin for Peace ChallengeSo, the “More Margin for Peace” series, an email-based Spiritual Leadership Challenge, continues our efforts to grow together, through short how-to tutorials and quick ideas sent straight to your inbox, in living in a more focused way on our impactful roles as spiritual leaders within our marriages and families. For this Leadership Challenge, over the next few weeks, you will receive a few brief email reminders with simple but effective tips and strategies for making more margin for peace in your life and home. My husband and I will be joining you on this challenge also! Please pray for us, as we will be praying for you, and invite your friends to join in, too!

Sign up for the Spiritual Leadership Challenge below!

I’ll also send you very occasional emails with Catholic tips and musings I think you’ll be interested in.

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More Margin for Peace Leadership ChallengeSometimes it can be hard to believe that peace of mind, heart, and home is still capable of being grasped in today’s fast-paced culture, where we constantly listen to background noise, sit in traffic, pack our calendars to the brim, and question whether our smartphones are an additional appendage to our bodies. But there are simple and powerful things we can do to create more room for peace in our lives. Let’s practice some of those strategies together.

In my recent book Head & Heart: Becoming Spiritual Leaders for Your Family, I discuss seven characteristics for becoming a stronger spiritual “head” or spiritual “heart” of your family, intending that this book will be an ideal resource in helping you (and my husband and I!) become a more intentional Catholic family man or woman at home. Whether or not you’ve read the book, though, this Leadership Challenge is a great and easy way to start more intentionally focusing (or improve your focus) on your spiritual life at home!

How to Make This Year More Meaningful for Your Family: 7 Ideas

This article is originally published at the IntegratedCatholicLife.org.

Perhaps you’ve made a number of resolutions already to make this year a personal best. tcht_series_medHere’s a list of some doable ways that you can experience more growth and fulfillment as a family this year.

1. Develop a mission for your family.

To avoid aimlessly wandering through another year, set aside time to come up with a central focus, a guiding mission or purpose for your family, that will help you live this year (and the years to come) more intentionally. There is a step-by-step how-to exercise in this book to help you come up with a mission unique to your family, or, in more free-form style, you can discuss your family’s gifts, spiritual goals, and desired relationship outcomes for the year and write them down in a brief, clear way, so that you can all refer to it and make decisions according to it throughout the year. (This idea is immensely helpful in keeping your family “on track” spiritually as the weeks and months go by. Examine your mission, strategies, or defined priorities regularly, and adjust your lifestyle and habits accordingly.

2. Hold family meetings.

Meetings seem to be way more common in the business world than in family life, but they can be extremely beneficial in helping your family have a more meaningful year, individually and as a unit. Here are some simple tips for how to hold a family meeting.  Regular family meetings, whether weekly or monthly, have so many tangible benefits, allowing you to resolutionsstrengthen your spiritual leadership, sharpen communication skills in your family, intentionally pray together, inculcate essential family values, and reduce stress.

3. Live the liturgical calendar.

Make an effort to celebrate feast days—at least solemnities, the highest ranking of feast days in the liturgical calendar—at home this year with your family. Here is a helpful feast day email reminder service, with occasional feast day email alerts, articles to learn a little about each feast, and simple ideas to celebrate the solemnity at home. Living the liturgical calendar at home will help your family feel more connected to the celebrations and life of the Church throughout the year.

4. Pick a patron saint and a spotlight virtue.

Select a saint to be a special intercessor for your family this year. This saint name generator can randomly select a saint for you, if you don’t already have one in mind. Include this saint regularly in your prayers and learn about the life of this special saint as a family this year. Additionally, consider picking a “spotlight virtue,” a virtue that you will focus on growing in as a family this year (examples include generosity, patience, charity, hope, etc.). Consider displaying your saint and your virtue in a prominent place so as to serve as a reminder to pray for the saint’s intercession and to practice the particular chosen virtue on a regular basis.

5. Rejuvenate your marriage.

holding-hands-1031665_960_720Make a commitment to liven up your marriage this year in some way. Consider setting aside time for a planned regular date night or a dedicated time interval every evening after the kids go to bed to chat and reconnect—even if only for 15 minutes—before you complete the remaining frenzy of tasks that the evening holds. The sky is the limit with this hack; think of some way you want to commit to marital improvement this year (maybe even by reading a marriage-building book together) and make it happen.

6. Refocus on keeping Sundays holy/peaceful.

Sundays are the key to personal and family peace. Check out these simple ways to “keep holy the Sabbath” and commit to at least a few of them in your home this year. It will really change the way you live and relate to one another and to God, not only on Sunday, but throughout the rest of the week as well.

7. Prioritize prayer and sacraments.

Start every day with prayer this year, even if it’s short. Pray as a family before you begin the hectic activities of the day (for example, an Our Father, a Hail Mary, and a Glory Be or The Morning Offering). Set aside at least 15 minutes a day for private, silent, reflective prayer; bring along your Bible to this prayer time for words on which to reflect! Consider having a short family prayer time after dinner, when everyone is already gathered together (a decade of the Rosary is usually a doable length of time, even for little ones). Finally, make sure to get to Mass every Sunday. Plan your whole week around it. Confession once a month will also have a drastically positive impact on your spiritual growth this year.

Looking for more Catholic family life tips and how-tos this year? Make sure to subscribe to get more articles like this sent to your inbox (and get a free resource guide, too)! For a more in-depth look at how you can make your Catholic family life more vibrant and meaningful, read this book, which unpacks these 7 ideas (and more), offering practical strategies for implementing spiritual leadership principles at home.

 

How to Hold a Family Meeting

*Part of the Catholic How-To Series by CatholicKatie.com

tcht_series_medPat Lencioni, Catholic father and CEO of the management consulting firm The Table Group, firmly believes in the need to put as much intentionality into family life as one does in professional life. When he and I chatted about some of the overlap between family organizational principles and business management, he mentioned something companies do that families often don’t do, but should: hold family meetings. Family meetings are intended to promote better organization, establish a climate for more effective teamwork, and build stronger relationships among family members. Holding meetings with your family on a regular—preferably weekly—basis ultimately helps create more authentic Christian culture in the home.

If you are looking for a way to strengthen your spiritual leadership, sharpen communication skills in your family, intentionally pray together, inculcate essential family values, and reduce stress, then family meetings are your answer.

Ready to implement meetings in your family? Here are some pointers:

  1. Aim for a weekly gathering. More than weekly, and you’ll likely experience overload and burnout; less than weekly, and you will probably find that it doesn’t have as strong as an impact on your family’s spirituality and communication. Be sure to pick a time that works for everyone’s schedule. Sunday evenings works well for many families. Make the family meeting one of the top priorities of the week. Consistency is key, and eventually, holding family meetings will become an almost effortless activity on your family calendar.
  1. Decide, as a leadership team (you and your spouse), on a general outline for your meetings. Before your first meeting, come up with a plan of attack for your meeting’s structure, for example: opening prayer, topic introduction by the spiritual head, discussion, and closing prayer (in which everyone offers a special intention), a song, game, or dessert (or conclude with all of them!). It may take a few meetings to find out what structure works well with your family, given your children’s ages and group meetingunique personalities. Flexibility is critical! Your meetings may vary greatly in length due to attention spans and amount of involvement each time, and that is entirely okay.
  1. Pick a discussion topic. This could be just about anything. Be creative, and be open to discussing both practical topics (how the chore chart is working, who needs help with what projects, how everyone is getting along with each other), learning topics (a short book or article study, life skills lessons like budgeting, table manners, how to exercise good citizenship, or ethical decision making) and fun topics (sharing highlights of the week, things you are grateful for, or brainstorming family fun days). Whatever you do, involve everyone in the discussion. Family meetings are not a time for your children to hear you ramble. If you don’t engage them, you will lose their attention.
  1. Bring your faith into it. Find creative ways to center your meeting around faith. In addition to prayer, consider picking a “virtue of the week” that your family will focus on practicing better, and then you can discuss how you all did exercising the chosen virtue at the next meeting. Other ideas for infusing faith into the meeting include picking a saint’s life to learn about or reading and acting out a parable from the Gospels. The options to make your meetings God-centered are endless.

Family meetings are opportunities to strengthen your spiritual leadership and regularly benchmark how your family is doing relating to one another and to God. Use these meetings to evaluate what is working well in your family, what isn’t, and what little changes you can make or what small things you can do to become more loving, communicative, service-oriented, and happy family members in the week to come. These meetings should remind you that drawing closer to God’s will for your family is done one baby step—one week—at a time. Rejoice in the process, the progress, and in all of the little moments and memories in between.

Want more “How-To” articles and tutorials like this to help you and your family live a more meaningful and spiritual life at home? Subscribe here, and you’ll get a free Catholic Resource Guide, too!

Celebrating the Epiphany at Home: What Gifts Will You Offer Jesus?

the-three-magi-160632_960_720A few friends of mine recently asked how we are celebrating the Epiphany at our house this year, so I thought I’d share our main “Epiphany activity” in the Warner home.

On January 6th, after a few days into the New Year of reflection, discernment, and prayer, each of us will come up with the three gifts we’ll offer to Jesus this year, commemorating the three gifts offered to Jesus by the magi (gold, frankincense, and myrrh). These are essentially our “spiritual resolutions” for the coming months, which serve as ways to draw closer to Jesus and give Him the gift of ourselves, particularly exhibited in these three unique and sometimes more challenging ways during the remainder of the civil and liturgical year.
As with most goals, including spiritual ones, we will aim to make our gifts:

  • notepad-926025_960_720Heartfelt and thoughtful
  • Attainable
  • Specific and measurable
  • Challenging
  • Christ-centered
  • Written (I recommend writing your spiritual goals/gifts down and placing them in a box beneath the tree labeled “Epiphany Gifts for Jesus” or something like that. You can take turns sharing each of your three gifts with the rest of the family – which is great for encouragement and accountability throughout the year – or choose to keep them private, between you and Jesus. Just make sure you end up with a written copy of your gifts to look at on a daily or weekly basis so you stick to them this year!)

Here are just some ideas of gifts you can offer Jesus on the Epiphany:

  • red giftCommitment to a new devotion: the Divine Mercy Chaplet in the 3 p.m. hour every day, daily Mass one or more times a week, adoration once a week, a daily Rosary, praying the Angelus before or after mealtimes, going to Confession once a month, and so forth.
  • Choosing a “pet faith-based subject”/a specific area of the faith you are interested in to learn more about and teach others about. (Here are some resources to help you!)
  • Commitment to join a new ministry, initiate a volunteer project, or participate in spiritual and corporal works of mercy at your parish.
  • Choosing and learning about a special/patron saint for the year. (Use this saint name generator to choose a saint for the year!)
  • Commitment to reading a spiritual book (or several) this year.
  • Completing this bucket list of ways to be merciful during the Year of Mercy.
  • Selecting a different person to pray for, offer sufferings for, and show charity toward each day…even and especially people that are harder to love!

Be creative! This exercise should draw you closer to Christ this year and make you more attentive to the selfless act of gift-giving at the end of the Christmas season. Maybe you’ve received many thoughtful gifts from others over the past 12 days…this is your chance to offer something wonderful to Jesus!

The Marriage Leadership Challenge, Week 4: Service

guy at deskBlessed Mother Teresa said, “The fruit of love is service.” Serving our spouse requires us to give something of ourselves, usually in some sort of physical, emotional, or spiritual way, anticipating and responding to our spouse’s needs. Hopefully, we go beyond meeting basic needs in our service and exceed our spouse’s expectations in our love for him or her, by serving our spouse as we would desire to serve Christ in our midst. Most of us – at least this is the case for me – find that this is more difficult than it sounds, especially when you’re feeling tired, overworked, or spend time an inordinate amount of time mentally conjuring up different ways you’d like your spouse to be serving you.

This week, serve your spouse by:

  • Completing a task that would help them without being asked. Updating the budget, doing a home improvement chore, running an errand of his/hers – it’s not too difficult to get creative with this one.
  • Being there for him/her when you’re needed. Put aside something you’re doing and give them your time, especially when you know they could use your emotional attention and physical presence.
  • Offering your spiritual support. My friends Annie and John-Paul talk about their prayer for one another being a “spiritual sign of love” for each other. Serve your spouse spiritually by praying for them this week: say a Rosary for your spouse, offer up Mass for him or her, or start a novena for his/her intentions.

One last tip: See your seemingly monotonous duties this week (your regular work schedule, chores around the home, etc.) as real opportunities to serve your spouse by fulfilling your irreplaceable role within your marriage and family. Doing those little things with great love demonstrates to your spouse that it is a joy to serve your marriage and family in any small way.

***Don’t forget to post a note or set a reminder on your phone to serve your spouse more intentionally each day this week!***

Don’t miss the next leadership challenge and other great tips for leading a more spiritual and meaningful life. Sign up here.

The Marriage Leadership Challenge: Joy

hugBlessed Mother Teresa is quoted as saying, “Let anyone who comes to you go away feeling better and happier. Everyone should see goodness in your face, in your eyes, in your smile. Joy shows from the eyes. It appears when we speak and walk. It cannot be kept closed inside us. It reacts outside. Joy is very infectious.” How often do you exude this kind of joy in your own home? Would your spouse say this is the state in which he/she encounters you on a daily basis? This week, let’s take a cue from this holy woman, who wedded herself to Christ, and imitate her great joy in our own marriages.

This week, express joy in your marriage by:

  • Showing affection. Joy is often beautifully expressed in simple physical gestures – holding hands, giving an unexpected big squeeze hug, leaving love notes in lunch boxes or on bathroom mirrors. Do more of that this week.
  • Sharing an activity or hobby together. What is something you both enjoy doing that you haven’t done together in a while? This week, plan a time to do an activity or a hobby you share – go for a bike ride, cook together, see a movie, explore a new place…
  • Laughing/having a sense of humor. Don’t take yourselves too seriously this week. Reminisce together about funny stories from your past. Watch a comedy sketch together (Jim Gaffigan is a Catholic and family-friendly option!). Don’t let stress play too big of a role in your relationship this week, and laugh at yourself when little things go awry.
  • Capitalizing on a few of your spouses “favorite things:” *Cue Julie Andrew’s voice in The Sound of Music*: “Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens…” What are a few of your spouses favorite things? Watch their favorite movie, buy their favorite ice cream, make their favorite dinner, buy them a book they’ve been wanting…do, purchase, or make a “favorite thing” of theirs happen this week.

One last tip: Celebrate together this week! It doesn’t have to be a major occasion; celebrate something small: a little victory at work, an at-home project completed, the fact that you made it through a difficult day. Celebrating together => joy.

***Don’t forget to post a note or set a reminder on your phone to express more joy in your marriage each day this week!***

If you aren’t signed up to receive these marriage leadership tips straight to your email inbox, you can sign up for free here.

The Marriage Leadership Challenge: Healthy Conflict

punchIs it possible that I might be suggesting one of the most difficult challenges to marital improvement only in week two of this 4-Week Marital Leadership Challenge?! Leaders are made or broken in times of conflict. Often, when I think I am spiritually leading my family with my best foot forward, I have a conflict with my spouse that I handle in a terribly ungraceful way. Part of what drew my husband and I together was passion, and that same passion can just as easily tear us apart when we become impassioned with being right, proving a point…or being lousy at apologies and forgiveness. There are entire books dedicated to healthy conflict resolution in marriage, but this week, let’s just focus on apologies and forgiveness as a way to become a stronger marriage leader in our life.

This week, become more graceful at apologizing and forgiving with these small steps and techniques:

  • Say the words “I’m sorry.” These word really do carry significant meaning, and often just hearing them lifts a heaviness from the conflict, becoming that first crucial step toward reconciliation.
  • Do not add qualification. I regularly fight the temptation to say, “I’m sorry, but….” This week, just avoid the buts.
  • Accept responsibility. Your spouse deserves more from you. It’s pretty important to acknowledge that. Take responsibility when you inflict harm on them, no matter how serious and avoid the temptation to justify your actions by somehow blaming them for the offense (“If you had a better sense of humor, you wouldn’t have been upset by my comment”).
  • Express genuine empathy. Nothing falls flatter and escalates a conflict more than an insincere apology. Take the time to understand why your spouse was hurt by what you did or said, and put yourself in their shoes, genuinely seeking to feel their hurt so you can better express regret for being the cause of their pain. Yes, look outside yourself…marriage gives us plenty of practice in this.
  • Make up for it. Offer some form of compensation for the hurt you inflicted. This doesn’t have to be an expensive bouquet of roses or something (though I’ve never refused that gesture…), but can be as simple as a hug – if it’s wanted, of course.
  • Forgive truly and repeatedly. How easily we forget what Scripture has to say about forgiveness: “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Could Jesus be any clearer? Be ready to forgive 70 x 7, knowing forgiveness brings a great deal of relief to both the offender and the offended, and forgive with your whole heart. Rather than saying, “It’s okay,” verbalize the actual words, “I forgive you”…and mean it.

One last thing: The ability to apologize and forgive well is largely dependent on your reliance on Christ’s love to help you grow in that marriage builder. Pope Francis told a group of married couples, “The love of Christ is able to sustain [the union of husband and wife] and to renew it when, humanly speaking, it becomes lost, wounded, or worn out.” Pray this week that you can better accept Christ’s love and pour that same love into your spouse’s life.

***Don’t forget to post a note or set a reminder on your phone to apologize and forgive your spouse more gracefully this week!***

If you aren’t getting these weekly challenges sent to your email inbox, you can sign up to have them sent to you each week here.

The Marriage Leadership Challenge: Affirmation

holding handsHow often do you affirm your spouse verbally? Affirmation is one small gesture that goes a long way in improving marital satisfaction and making you a leader in having a strong marriage. Mark Twain said, “I can live for two months on a good compliment.” Sometimes the simplest compliment or encouraging word from my husband makes my day a thousand times better. I could always use a reminder to do more affirming, though. Life happens, and it can be too easy to forget to say intentionally kind things to my spouse multiple times per day. So here’s my reminder – and yours – to affirm our spouses more this week.

This week, affirm your spouse for:

  • Who they are (“You know what, honey? You are a very giving, self-sacrificial husband.” “Hey darling, I just wanted you to know that I think you are an incredibly patient mother to our children.)
  • What they do that you appreciate (“I noticed you finished the dishes for me earlier tonight. I can’t tell you how much that helped me.” “Thanks for encouraging me to have a night out with friends tonight; it was really fun.”)
  • Their strengths and positive habits (“I love how hardworking you are; your dedication to achievement at work is a great example to the kids and to me.” “I find your quickness to forgive really admirable, and it makes me want to grow in my ability to forgive more readily, too.”)
  • Their appearance (“You look handsome in that suit jacket!” “I love that pink sweater on you.”)
  • Their spirituality (“I love when you lead our family in prayer before bedtime.” “It inspires me to see you reading the Bible in your spare time.”)

One last tip: Speak well of your spouse to others – to your kids, your parents, your spouse’s parents, your friends, coworkers…whenever you have the chance to speak positively of your spouse to someone else this week, take it. Here are some reasons why speaking well of your spouse is so important.

***Don’t forget to post a note or set a reminder on your phone to affirm your spouse each day this week!***

If you aren’t getting these weekly challenges sent to your email inbox, you can sign up to have them sent to you each week here.

 

Sign Up Today for the Marriage Leadership Challenge

HH Meme5As the Synod on the Family began in October, I realized how much I could use some easy tips – marriage and family life “hacks” – to help give me that boost I sometimes need in certain categories of my spiritual leadership.

So, I’m kicking off these new free, email-based 4-week Spiritual Leadership Challenges to grow -with you – through short hacks and quick ideas sent straight to your inbox, in living in a more focused way on our impactful roles as spiritual leaders within our marriages and families. For this premier Leadership Challenge, over the next four weeks, you will receive a few brief email reminders with simple but effective tips and strategies for strengthening your marriage. My husband and I will be joining you on this challenge also! Please pray for us, as we will be praying for you, and invite your friends to join in, too!

Sign up for the Spiritual Leadership Challenge below!

I’ll also send you very occasional emails with Catholic tips and musings I think you’ll be interested in.

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Our spouses don’t just need a breadwinner or a homemaker. They need us, as an irreplaceable husband or wife, committed to helping them become the person God created them to be.

Our kids don’t just need moms and dads, they need spiritual leaders. And they need their moms and dads to be those spiritual leaders for them.

In my recent book Head & Heart: Becoming Spiritual Leaders for Your Family, I discuss seven characteristics for becoming a stronger spiritual “head” or spiritual “heart” of your family, intending that this book will be an ideal resource in helping you (and my husband and I!) become a more intentional Catholic family man or woman at home. Whether or not you’ve read the book, though, this Marriage Leadership Challenge is a great and easy way to start more intentionally focusing (or improve your focus) on your marriage and spiritual life at home!