Sunday, November 11, 2012

A few thoughts about marriage -- our CCD classes

My sincere apologies -- this post is WAY overdue!!!  I've been feeling a little overwhelmed lately, so I decided to slow down on my writing here and concentrate on the things I needed to get done.  Now, they are done (at least I FEEL caught up!  :) -- so here I am.  I wanted to give this one all I have because I think it is so awesome.

We started our new CCD year in September (see how far behind I am???) -- after a couple of introductory weeks, I, along, with my friends, Steve Pulskamp and Amy Fullenkamp (I have to admit they are the brains behind this operation!), planned a CCD class around the SACRAMENT of marriage.  We were discussing our goals and all of us felt very strongly that we as a society are getting away from the SACRAMENTS and protecting them.  We wanted to talk about the beauty of being married (vs. living together) and how it enhances the marriage once you are married.  We also wanted to exemplify married life as the beautiful thing that it is, while also discussing the trials and tribulations we come across along the way.  Finally, we also wanted to talk to them about while they will probably all have beautiful plans of their lives and how they want them to go, that God has the ultimate plan and will sometimes take you along paths that aren't necessarily in your plans.

Our first class was truly about the sacrament of marriage -- reading scripture to discover what it says about marriage, have group conversations (basically about the Family of Origin and how people figure out how things will work in their marriage) -- and finally, a discussion with Father Tom about how he and the church view marriage.  I have had him give this talk before, and always love it -- he is very frank about what he sees when people who have been living together come in to meet with him before they get married vs. people who have not.  One thing is he sees freshness and newness and more excitement with those who have not lived together.  They are ready to start a whole new life!!!  So exciting!

The second class was really fun.  We invited three couples to come in and talk with the kids about their marriage.  We had newlyweds (since March), a couple who had been married 25 years, and a couple who have been married 50+ years (I would remember how long, but that was so long ago.....LOL).  We started the evening playing our own version of "The Newlywed Game" -- asking them questions such as where was your first date, what kind of car was he driving on your first date, when was your first fight as a married things like that.

Our third and final class was a very touching class.  There is a couple in our parish who, between the two of them, have been through more than any one person should have to experience.  But, they have taken their crosses and showed them for all to see, making shining examples of what Christ's soldiers truly look like.  Their story is way more than I can write here, but the shortened version is that they both lost their spouses to cancer, he right after his wife gave birth to their second child, and she a year or two after.  They were neighbors and acquaintances but found themselves there for each other.  Eventually realizing they were meant to be together, they got married, formed a new family and a new life together.  They are super neat people who I have known WHO they are for a long time, but am just now really getting to know them.  And man, do I feel blessed!  Such awesome people.

These classes were fantastic.  And it had nothing to do with those of us that planned them.  It had everything to do with those who came in to talk to the kids.  One mom said her 17 year old son came home and relayed the last couple's story to her turn by turn.  They were touched.  They were listening.  I hope that they are able to remember those words when it's time for them to find their partner and realize it's always God's plan, not their own!

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