Thursday, September 11, 2008

Catholic Engaged Encounter

Ceej and I spent the past weekend at Catholic Engaged Encounter in St. Croix, Minnesota. It was a beautiful weekend, and we both thoroughly enjoyed getting to know one another even more. Below is a view from the resort that we stayed at.

The theme of the weekend was Write Exchange Dialogue (WED). This meant that one of the two senior couples who were leading the retreat would talk about a certain issue (personal history, our specific relationship, hopes and dreams, finances, stewardship, conflict, sexuality, etc.) and their experiences regarding it. We would separate from our fiances to reflect and answer questions in a journal regarding the issues, and then we would get back together in a private area to exchange the journals and talk about them. The area of conflict was especially enlightening for us. Although you would think we've gotten the hang of it by now, analyzing how we both handle an arguement and respecting the differences was something that we have never actually done before. It has already had an effect on our relationship and the way we communicate. On a different note, we were given ten rules for fair fighting, and we thought you could might benefit from them as well:
1.No name calling
2.No third parties
3.Don't bring up past arguements
4.Stick to the subject
5.No cheap shots
6.Don't go to bed angry
7.Maintain a sense of humor
8.Hold hands
9.Don't use universals (e.g.,"you ALWAYS____" or "you NEVER____")
and 10.Fight with your clothes off

We were also given a little free time, during which Ceej and I played frisbee golf and took walks through the woods. It reminded us of our engagement pictures, so we tried to reenact a few of them. The picture on the left was our best attempt at replicating the professional photograph on the right. Not quite gallery material, but hey-we tried.

Catholic Engaged Encounter was such an intimate experience, and we truly left feeling emotionally and spiritually unified. If I could sum up the theme of the weekend it would be this:

How to keep God as the focus of your relationship, for it is only through a deep spiritual relationship between the two of you and our Father that you will sustain the unity needed for a healthy and happy marriage.