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This week’s must-reads:

+ How effective is Natural Family Planning?

+ “When love doesn’t come with sparkles and butterflies, it means you have to choose to love, whether you feel it or not. You can’t base your marriage or live out a commitment of that magnitude on feelings, because I have news for you: sometimes love doesn’t “feel” all that great.

Better to go back to the drawing board. What are you missing to revive that flame of love that united you one day? See what aspects might be missing and make the necessary changes and adjustments. Seek professional help and choose someone who wants to help you keep your marriage going.

“Forever” love does exist; it is indeed real. But achieving it depends on you and your spouse. Remember that love is an art that is learned by loving and that seeks the other’s good.

Keep it up! Don’t give up — instead, reinvent your marriage. You can do it!” — Luz Ivonne Ream

+ How to recognize & rid yourself of attachments

+ “I love to imagine Jesus sleeping in the middle of a storm. First of all, how is that even humanly possible? Is the boat not being rocked and thrown on the wave? Is He not soaking wet? How tired was Jesus, that He could sleep through a storm? But I think, I think there’s a hidden gem here in the posture of Jesus. Jesus was able to sleep through a storm because He wasn’t afraid of a storm. He knew that He had the power to stop that storm, to calm it. He knew that they weren’t in danger, because they were with Him. And so He slept. And I think it sets a model and an invitation to us. I think what Jesus is showing us is that we too can be at rest in the storms of our life, an interior peace, because we know that He’s with us. And that no real harm can come to us as long as we’re with Him. It reminds me of a beautiful prayer from the Novena of Surrender, it says “Oh Jesus, I surrender myself to You. Take care of everything.” And sometimes I pray that, just that last line: “Oh Jesus, take care of everything. I can’t get worked up about this. My worry, my fretting, my human attempts to figure it out, they’re all for nothing. You can take care of it, so I can be at peace.” — Beth Davis

+ “Six months into marriage, I couldn’t think of ONE thing that I liked about my husband – THIS changed everything”

+ During Lent, we’re meant to unite ourselves even closer to God. Lent is about growing closer to Christ, and sharing in His redemptive suffering.

It’s a penitential season, and it’s a time when we can help bear one another’s crosses as we wait for the Risen Christ. And we can do all of these things in our marriages — we can grow closer to the Lord by improving our marriages.

We’re called to help our spouse grow closer to Christ, and they’re called to do the same for us.

So while we wait for Jesus’ Resurrection, while we wait during Lent, let’s use that time to commit ourselves even more to our vocations, to God and to our spouses. Maybe instead of focusing purely on self-improvement during this time, let’s focus on self-surrendering in both of these relationships. That means dying to ourselves, emptying of ourselves, so that God may live even more within our hearts and our marriages.

These resources might help…

+ Taking Your Marriage from Fine to Flourishing

+ “Be sensitive regarding pregnancy announcements. Pregnancy announcements and baby showers can be particularly hard for someone struggling with infertility. Consider telling your friend about your pregnancy privately before announcing it on Facebook or in a group setting. This gives her time to privately process her thoughts and emotions. Acknowledge that the news might be painful for her to hear, and that you know it’s not a reflection of how she feels about you. Don’t be offended if your friend feels she can’t come to your baby shower; respect her limits at different points in her journey.” — FemCatholic

+ How you can pray more Rosaries