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5909798069_d96b8d8045_z (1)My husband and I had two friends over to visit this weekend — they’re a couple that’s been married for a little more than two years now, and my husband and I are almost celebrating three years of marriage.

While they were here, I was telling them how funny it is to now to go to weddings of our friends and to know — somewhat and to some degree — what they’re going to experience in the next year of their life before their first wedding anniversary.

Like the growing pains.

And “honeymoon phase.”

And more growing pains.

And all the good and awkward and fun changes that married life can bring – especially when you didn’t live together before marriage. (note: Here’s why you shouldn’t).(and another few reasons why you shouldn’t).

Some of those changes can be difficult, even though it is all for your good and your spouse’s good — even though it is absolutely beautiful.

Maybe some of you can relate, maybe some of you can’t and it was a total breeze of learning to live with another human being, but…

Either way, there will be difficult times during marriage.

We promise to love each other in good times and bad, right? So we can expect that there will be some bad times.

And the best way to prepare ourselves, to equip ourselves, to overcome those bad times — together — and faithfully, and joyfully, is through prayer.

Screenshot 2015-08-17 at 3.10.46 PMSo I’m inviting you to join me in praying a novena to St. Monica, the patron saint of married women and wives in difficult marriages. She’s also an incredible intercessor for family members who have fallen away from the faith — or who never had faith to begin with. She prayed persistently for years (decades, really!) for her son’s conversion and her husband’s conversion. Even priests told her to give up! They told her it was a useless cause.

Well, St. Monica didn’t take that advice — and praise God for that, because her husband and son ended up converting, and her son became St. Augustine. Look him up – he’s pretty incredible, and we’ve got his mama to thank for that! 😉 And God.

The St. Monica Novena starts Thursday, August 18th. You can sign up here.

Photo credit: John Hope Photography