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Messy Family Podcast : Catholic Conversations on Marriage and Family

Parenting is not a clean-cut, simple process for those who like to follow the rules. Family life is messy and unpredictable, but it is the greatest adventure you will ever have. We are Mike and Alicia Hernon, parents of 10 children ranging from 10 to 27 and we would like to invite you into some of the conversations we have had with each other about marriage, parenting, and Catholic family life. Our hope is that our conversation sparks a dialogue between you and your spouse that leads to greater unity and intentional Christian parenting in your home. Listen in to our podcast and start the conversation as we seek to lead our families to heaven. Visit us at https:///www/MessyFamilyProject.org for resources, guides, links and show notes.
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Messy Family Podcast : Catholic Conversations on Marriage and Family
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Now displaying: October, 2023
Oct 30, 2023

“An important element in forming Christian maturity in teens is creating a ‘Yes’ culture in the home, where a child can take risks, try new things, and find out more about who they are all while under your guidance.” - Mike and Alicia

With the advent of the sexual revolution in the 60s and 70s and the subsequent increase in teen sexual activity, the response of the Christian community in the 80s and 90s was to make dating among conservative Christian teens verboten.  Among many good Catholic families, there is still a wide range of opinions on when kids should start dating, even among other families that we really respect.  We have allowed our older teens to date and in this podcast we explain why.  Like most of what we do, we have not guided our kids perfectly every time, but we have done it intentionally and we have learned some things over the years that we can share with you.  Listen in to this podcast on mentoring kids during this essential time of development.  

Key Takeaways:

  • Not all dating is the same - there are different levels.

  • We need to prepare our children for healthy relationships and this includes giving them dating guidance.  How you do that is up to you, but it needs to be done. 

  • Create a YES culture in your home.  Freedom and responsibility go together

  • Casual dating is for teens, serious dating is when you are ready for marriage - in college and beyond.  Don’t confuse them. 

Couple Discussion:

  • Have we created a yes culture in our home? 

  • What was our dating experience like? What would we like our children to imitate from our experience?  Avoid? 

  • What are our “rules for dating” for our children?

References to be included in summary: 

 

Oct 23, 2023

“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world” - CS Lewis

Life can be hard.  Sometimes, in response to difficulties, instead of turning to the Lord in our pain, we self-medicate which can lead to addictions of one kind or another which only leads to more pain in the long run.  In this podcast, we hear the story of Ched and Nanette Salasek, Catholic parents of six children who have a story that every couple needs to hear.  Even if you haven’t struggled with addiction, you can learn from the lessons that they share about the healing grace of the sacrament of marriage, the role of the Blessed Mother in their family, and surrendering everything to the Lord.  Listen in to this inspiring and hopeful conversation.  

Key Takeaways:

  • The only path to freedom is through individual surrender.  No one can do it for us.  

  • The role of a spouse in helping an addict is one of support and prayer and constant surrender. 

  • God doesn’t want just our external actions - He wants our hearts! 

Couple Discussion:

  • Are there areas of our life that we have not surrendered to God?  

  • Do we have addictions in our life that are ruling us?  Are there areas that are out of control? 

  • How has God used our failings to draw us closer to Himself? 

References to be included in summary: 

Oct 16, 2023

“With careful planning, honest communication, and the right help and care around you, your different tomorrow can be meaningful and extraordinary.”― John Delony

Let’s be honest, family life is full of stress! Sometimes there are big stresses like the loss of a job, a new colicky baby in the house, overwhelming responsibilities, or marriage issues. But even the little stresses can add up! Moody teens, worries over a child’s academic performance, or even a messy house can lead parents to feel like “I just can’t take it.” What is a parent to do?  In this episode we take an honest look at anxiety in parenting and help parents to put it all in perspective.  The bottom line is, the longer we do this family thing, the more we realize that the problems never go away, but we simply see them differently now than we did before.  Listen in as we share our perspective to give every parent encouragement and hope for your future as we learn to put it all in God’s hands.

 

Key Takeaways:

  • Take back your life

  • Don’t get trapped in the weeds - lift your head up! 

  • Do the little things well - Atomic Habits

  • Every Yes needs to be protected by 1,000 No’s.  Prioritize your life

Couple Discussion:

  • When have I recently felt stressed? Has it become overwhelming?

  • Where do I need perspective and help from my spouse?

  • What are essential elements for our simple life plan to bring order?

References: 

  • FBM download - Messyfamilyproject.org/guides

  • Survey - https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/XW98NMH

  • John Deloney book - https://amzn.to/48T8LUb

 

Oct 9, 2023

“The point is that neuroses don’t have to ruin a marriage. If you can accommodate each other’s “crazy” side and handle it with caring, affection, and respect, your marriage can thrive.” ― John M. Gottman

Many people are good at functioning in their marriage, getting along, caring for kids, paying the bills… but are they really thriving?  How can we get more out of the most important relationship we have - the one we have with our spouse? In this podcast, we look at the book, Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman, and explain how to use these ideas to make your marriage grow.  Though the expression of these ideas are new to us, the truth contained in them is not. We have found that we have done many of these things in our marriage over the years!  Listen in for some great relationship advice for anyone who wants to move from a marriage that is surviving to thriving.  

Key Takeaways:

  • Review 7 principles

Couple Discussion:

  • How can we Honor each other 

  • Start a Gratitude challenge 

  • When is our Daily connection and weekly date night

  • Do the Family Board Meeting

 

Oct 3, 2023

"Behold the Heart which has so loved men that it has spared nothing, even to exhausting and consuming Itself, in order to testify Its love” - Jesus to St. Margaret Mary

How can we love like Jesus?  What is His love like?  Answering these questions is the role of devotions in the Catholic world.  They help us learn more about God and how He relates to us.  The Sacred Heart of Jesus teaches us to love as God loves and this is a lesson that all families need to embrace fully.  In this podcast, we interview Emily Jaminet of the Sacred Heart Enthronement network and author of the new book Holy Habits of the Sacred Heart.  Our conversation explains how both of our families have been impacted by this devotion and how it has given us a way to proclaim Christ as King, and also to have a place to go as a safe refuge in times of trial.  As we pray to the Heart of Jesus, He can change our hearts to make us more like Himself!  When we learn about how He loves, we can imitate that love which is a path of holiness itself.  Learn more about this devotion, what the Nine First Fridays are, how Jesus blesses families with the 12 Promises of the Sacred Heart and why the Enthronement is a means of evangelization and transformation.  

Key Takeaways:

  • This devotion gives “spiritual stability”, focus, and a way to understand the love of Jesus in a concrete, defined way.  It prevents us from making Jesus into our own image, but instead reveals to us how He truly loves.

  • Jesus wants a relationship of love with each one of us and He wants to transform our hearts to be like His.  A great way to reconcile with children or those with whom we have conflict is to say, “I am allowing Jesus to change my heart”.

  • Forgiveness means that we are coming up against “cancel culture” which says that once someone does something wrong they are cut out of one’s life.  By following the Heart of Jesus we learn practice forgiveness in our home and communities.

  • The devotion of Nine First Fridays and the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart in the home give families concrete ways to understand and come closer to the Heart of Jesus.

Couple Discussion:

  • How can we increase our devotion to the Sacred Heart? 

  • Emily mentioned that giving up control and trusting in Jesus is a first step to being docile to Jesus.  What does that mean to us? 

  • How can we practice forgiveness in our home?  Is there anyone in our lives that we need to forgive? 

Reference Links: 

 

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