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"Important Decisions After The Date Has Been Set"
Now that you have set the date of your wedding and decided on how many people you want to invite, take a break and breathe. Look at each other and make some important decisions: 1) that through the planning of your wedding you will always be kind to each other regardless to how stressful things get; 2) that communication will be vital to each of you; 3) that you will carefully select your vows and honor them; 4) that you will always respect your partner; and that love will always be the center of your union.
Best wishes and congratulations to you on your upcoming wedding day. If you have not gotten a Wedding Officiant, please feel free to call me. I would love to help you make your wedding beautiful and a day always to be remembered.
"WHAT CREATES LONGEVITY IN WHOLE AND HEALTHY MARRIAGES?"
I am learning that marriages when whole and healthy are a blessing to communities. Marriages offer an opportunity for couples as individuals to discover who they are and who they are not. You might want to ask yourself the following questions: am I kind to my mate? Am I giving? Am I forgiving? Am I bent on being right or having the last word?
Last weekend I was honored to be in the company of a couple who has been married for thirty-one years. I appreciated this experience. I felt privileged to see love in action. They were kind and loving, and there was a sparkle in their eyes when they looked at each other. I saw several loving glances during the time I spent with them. It was clear to me that they adored each other even after thirty-one years of marriage.
They gave me something to strive for in my marriage. I am praying that after thirty-one years my husband and I can still be as loving. But I also realize that this doesn’t just happen. We have to make conscious decisions to remain kind and loving, and never take the other person for granted or disrespect him or her. Most important, we must remember that communication is vital.
Also remember this verse in the Holy Bible: Mark 10: 9, which states, "Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate."
"Get To Know Your Officiant"
Once you have selected your Officiant get to know him or her, so that it is a comfortable fit for the three of you. One way of getting to know your selected Officiant is by asking questions, but more importantly trusting your intuition about the person.
I would be delighted to answer any questions and would also be happy to consult with you.
Wishing you a Happy Valentine's Day!
"Happy Valentine's Day!"
Valentine’s Day is a day where love is the focus. Let this be a day of giving and receiving, for the cost of giving is receiving and the cost of receiving is giving. Rather than focusing so much on the exterior, let’s do some inner work and give from our hearts, give of ourselves. On Valentine’s Day share your love, hopes, joy and happiness!
Happy Valentine’s Day from Reverend Corine! I would be delighted to officiate your wedding, creating a ceremony, together with you, reflecting your personalities, commitment and your love.
"Selfishness vs. Self-love"
If you are on this site you are probably engaged; I wish you both the very best! You are two individuals coming together to create a life of oneness while maintaining your individuality. In this oneness, it is important to know the difference between self-love and selfishness so that you build a strong foundation.
According to Don Miguel Ruiz, author of “Prayers: A Communion with our Creator,” says, "To tell others that you love them, and then to abuse them, is not love; it is selfishness."
Self-love is when you can accept yourself and appreciate your own presence. In this union, each person having self-love will only strengthen your marriage.
If you have not selected your Wedding Officiant, I would be delighted to help you create a ceremony that will reflect your love and respect for each other. Let's celebrate this union, this oneness.
"Wedding Officiant's Comments on The Film "Djano Unchained""
I saw the film Django Unchained. While there is some controversy around this film, as a Wedding Officiant I liked Django (the main character played by Jamie Fox) and Broomhilda (the main character’s wife played by Kerry Washington). They were torn apart due to slavery, yet their love and devotion to each other was committed and strong. As an African-American woman this was the first time in my sixty-two years seeing a film that dealt with slavery where the black man encountered great danger to save his wife. When he rescued her I could see her proud body language as she waited for him on her horse before they rode off to freedom. In my mind I could hear her saying, ‘My man knows how to take care of business! He loves me and as much as I love him’.
"Be Kind To Your Beloved"
"Your thoughts, words and actions will always return to you. Like an echo, they will come back to you straight away." Juan Nakamori
Be kind to your beloved before marriage and afterward!
"A Year Filled With Favor -- 2013!"
This is a New Year! Happy 2013! A year filled with favor for us all. If you are on this site then you are truly enjoying favor; you are engaged to the man or woman whom you love and with whom you wish to grow old. This is awesome--and I don't mean that lightly. Take a look at yourselves. Do you see how truly blessed you are? You have found your mate! I want to make a suggestion. Keep this relationship fresh and exciting. How is that done, you might ask? Here I offer just one of many tips, namely, that you treat each day like it's your last together.
If you have not yet selected a Wedding Officiant, I would be delighted to work with you in creating a ceremony that would be tailored to reflect each of your personalities.
Again, HAPPY 2013!
"Believe in Yourself"
"Do not be swayed by the thoughts of others nor worry about the opinion that others may have of you. Believe in yourself and stay true to yourself." Juan Nakamori
Wishing you happiness on your upcoming wedding -- as you remain true to yourself!
"Happy New Year!"
I am wishing you many blessings in 2013. This is a year of creativity, family and success. I pray that you step into the New Year with lasting love, patience, respect, and understanding, for each other. Speak prosperity into your lives, each and everyday, and be open to new growth in every area of your life. Make being kind to each other a priority.
Happy New Year!
"HOW DO YOU MAINTAIN YOUR MARRIAGE?"
When couples decide to get married they go into it declaring that it will last forever. Thats a good place to start; yet, I wonder sometimes how many couples think about maintaining their marriage before saying, I do. Preserving a marriage does not just happen automatically. To get that last-forever status you need skills, skills like listening, communication, compromise, and commitment to spending quality time together. Maintaining the marriage and keeping it alive might mean instituting a date night for just the two of you, or perhaps going to church, temple, or other kind of spiritual practice. Moreover, good maintenance means consciously practicing the communication and compromise necessary to resolve issues together rather than seeking solutions in the arms of another or in various chemicals.
There is a couple in my apartment complex that I have happily observed over the years, and what I have noticed is that they appear to enjoy each others company. First of all they seem to like each other, whereas I have seen other couples that dont seem to like each other at all. This couple is always smiling or holding hands. I have known them for over twenty years, and during this time they have been consistent with their devotion to each other. The wife once told me that they are friends and enjoy talking to each other. They have good communication skills. She shared with me that the first time they met was at a friends house. She said the conversation was extraordinary; they could not stop talking to each other. He, on the other hand, credits their longevity to their religion in addition to their really liking each other and having a great friendship.
Remember, Faith without work is dead (James 2:17)
Tips to maintain your marriage:
Communicate with your partner
Learn how to argue with respect (Book: Non-Violent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg)
When having challenges with your mates do not go outside the marriage with another individual to solve the problem go to counseling with your partner instead.
According to Robert Grazian from Ezine:
Divorce statistics show that there are a number of reasons why marriages fail. According to divorced couples, the number one reason that marriage fails is due to either a lack of communication or poor communication. The second most cited reason for divorce is marital conflicts and arguments. Thirdly, many divorced couples say infidelity led to divorce.
"HOW DO YOU MAINTAIN YOUR MARRIAGE?"
You maintain it with love, communication skills and patience, along with some type of spiritual practice. To be continued...
"You Made the Decision "
It is always heartfelt to see couples getting married. I feel privilege when I am blessed with the opportunity to officiate a wedding. It does not matter to me whether the couple is young (of course of age), in the prime of their life, or seniors. I like seeing the excitement in their eyes after they have made the decision to join together as one.
To ensure that the excitement stays over the long haul, I have a few simple suggestions listed below:
-Do not take your mate for grant.
-Show affection -- it is a gesture that indicates you care.
-Be an active listener.
-Communicate, communicate, and communicate!
-Be kind to each other.
-Argue respectfully -- don't shot below the belt.
-Have fun together; laugh a whole heap.
-Keep your word to each other -- remember your word is your bond.
-Be patience with each other.
-Be playful and have fun together.
-What you are wanting from your mate -- be willing to give it.
-Remember your mate is not responsible your happiness -- you are.
-When you look at your mate see in him/her the face of God.
-Develop some kind spiritual practice together (e.g. praying, listening to music, meditating or going to a house of worship of some kind together).
"WHAT KIND OF MARRIAGE DO YOU WANT?"
Think about what marriage means to you. I invite you to reflect on the marriages that you have witnessed in your life. Now look at the ones around you a little more closely. Which ones would you like to emulate? Think about who you are. Are you willing to give to your mate what you aspire in them? Remember it takes two to make a healthy relationship. Go a little further, and think about your reasons for wanting to get married. Be clear. Be very clear. Think! Are you marrying because you are lonely? Trust me, if you feel lonely single, it is quite possible you will be the same in marriage. Frankly, I do not believe marriage will take away the loneliness, but doing the inner spiritual work will. Do you think you can find happiness in your partner? When I have heard someone saying that I can make him happy, I run. I am clear, I cannot be responsible for anyone's happiness but my own. Are you marrying for financial security or status? I will ask you, what happens if your partner loses all his or her finances or position? Would you still want to marry that individual when the money or position has gone? The next question you might want to consider is: are you getting married because all of your friends have gotten married and you don't want to be left out? Read the previous sentence out aloud. I say, be courageous and listen to your gut. I wish I had done that, but I didn't have the courage at the time. Need I tell you that my marriage ended in a divorce? It ended in divorce! Let's talk honestly; are you getting married because of sex? Sexually you may be very compatible, but are you just as like-minded in the other areas of your relationship? Remember sex doesn't make the marriage. Although it's a wonderful part of it, please do not forsake the other areas. Do not forget that when you bake a cake you need all the ingredients, not just the frosting.
I invite you to think about the kind of marriage you want. Have you discussed your vision with your spouse? If you have then you are making favorable steps. This is an example of the kind of work that makes for the beginning of a healthy marriage. Another one is understanding that being right do not mean you win the game. Marriage is not about winning or losing. It is about building a strong healthy foundation with love.
The American Heritage College Dictionary defines preparation as: 1) "The act or process of preparing; 2) The state of having been made ready before hand; readiness; 3) A preliminary measure that serves to make ready for something."
I was not prepared when I got married the first time; however, twenty-six years later, I was ready. I had prepared. How did I prepare? There was a combination of things done. I began reading the Book of Ruth in the Old Testament of the Bible. In those four chapters, there were three main characters, Naomi, Ruth and Boaz. Naomi was Ruth's mother-in-law; both their husbands had died. Boaz was Naomi's late husband cousin. In biblical times, if a husband died the next male relative became the redeemer. He would then marry the wife so that she would be secure. In this case, Boaz married the younger woman Ruth. However, Naomi was also taken care of because Ruth was like a daughter to her. The Book of Ruth is written in the narrative style, and in it, Boaz displayed kindness, integrity, commitment, respect, and love for others. I liked his character. I liked the way he dealt with those who worked for him. He exhibited grace, compassion and kindness. Based on the narrative he was a good man. It became obvious to me that I wanted a Boaz. Using him as a guide, I wrote down the attributes I wanted in a mate. I got clear on my negotiable and non-negotiable characteristics. For example, one of my non-negotiables was that my mate had to know how to cook. In my twenty-years-plus of being divorced, I had only dated men who could cook; it was unquestionable to me to consider a man who could not cook. My grandmother taught her sons to cook, sew, to do everything a woman could do. Her reasoning was that if their wives got sick, her sons could manage. In my preparation I repeatedly read to myself the attributes I had written. After awhile, I began to feel my mate's essence, keep in mind that, although I felt him strongly, I had not met him. Yet, I knew he was on the way. I had faith that I would be blessed with the right and perfect mate for me. I was ready to receive.
To those of you seeking a mate, I suggest you open your heart and mind, create a vision of the kind of marriage you want, and accept that it is your God-given-right to have a healthy relationship. Have faith, but remember faith without work is dead.
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Hebrew 11:1. (KJV)
"Papa Was A Rolling Stone"
"Papa was a rolling stone." I heard this song many times. I danced to it and joked about it. But when you think about it, there is absolutely nothing to laugh at. This song speaks of a man who was unfaithful, irresponsible, and absent from his family. It's amazing to me that two men wrote this song, Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong, and I wonder how this song paralleled their own lives. Did they see this behavior in their community, or did they experience it themselves.
Can we avoid this kind of situation? I think we can; however, it takes a lot of work. We have to set the kinds of standards and requirements for ourselves as described in Steve Harvey's book, "Think Like A Man Act Like a Lady."
Find out how the man or woman in your life feels about infidelity. Listen to what he or she says and what he or she doesn't say. Find out if you have the same value system. Communicate! Play the song and let it lead into a conversation about infidelity responsibility. That's a start.. Listen carefully!
I believe that in order to have strong communities, we need fewer fathers who are rolling stones.
"Healthy, Whole Relationships Build Healthy, Whole Communities"
I don't know about you but it is my heart's desire to see healthier, whole relationships in my community and world. I believe that healthy, whole relationships build healthy, whole communities. It is our God-given right to live in communities where there is respect for neighbors and self; and if we apply simple principles to our living, we can achieve whole, healthy relationships, and ultimately wonderful unions throughout our country and the world. The process starts with the man/woman in the mirror.
One of the Master teachers of all time, Jesus, said in Matthew 22:36-40: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
These two commandments sound easy, but when we begin to apply them, they get a little harder. How many of us love our neighbors as ourselves? If your neighbor is rude, loud and nasty, can you honestly say you can love them as you love yourself? I would suggest that you work on it until it is a reality. It can be done and I am a testament to that. Having grown up in the south in the fifties and sixties (the Jim Crow era), hatred consumed me. At a certain point I realized I did not like this hard, cold person I had become embodying all this hate. With love and through changing my thoughts, words, and actions, ultimately I transformed. I believe this saved my life from further toxic inner turmoil.
Martin Luther King Jr. said it best when he cited:
"Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend."
If you are reading this blog I will accept that you already have love in your life, you are either a bride or groom to be. It is my desire that you keep your love strong and healthy. Allow me to introduce you to a small book called, "The Four Agreements," by Don Miguel Ruiz. I have embraced these "Four Agreements" and applied them to my everyday life. I can tell you they have become part of my consciousness now. And while they appear to be simple, applying them is work. But if applied they can be beneficial to your coming union.
Don Miguel said, "1. Be Impeccable With Your Word - Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love; 2. Don't Take Anything Personally - Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering; 3. Don't Make Assumptions - Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life; and, 4. Always Do Your Best -Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.
Henceforth, I invite you to bring alive the two commandments Jesus spoke of in Matthew 22:36-40 and "The Four Agreements," by Don Miguel Ruiz. In doing so, I believe it will help create a movement of healthy, whole relationships, which in turn will help build healthy, whole communities, and ultimately, magnificent unions in our country and the world.
I wish you much success in your up coming wedding!
"Change Your Thinking = Change in your Life; Marriage and Community "
This summer my fiance introduced me to his 103-year-old aunt. He is 67; I am 62. When he told her we were getting married, she replied, "All for the good; we are one in spirit."
Committed relationships and marriages with integrity can be a wonderful experience between people with like minds. I can honestly say that I did not marry for the right reasons over forty years ago. Did it last? It did not.
Today, I am prepared. I worked on myself so that I could attract the right person for me, one who could accept me as I am. The first thing I did in my preparation was to change my negative thinking about men and myself. I spoke and wrote about the things I wanted in a companion, not what I didn't want. I also worked within myself on those attributes I desired. This work was a process that took years. One of the things that influenced me was a book called A Course of Miracles. It says that you teach what you must learn; I agree with this philosophy, because I allowed everything I learned to enter into my consciousness. (It also helped me a lot as a spiritual coach and a facilitator of workshops on relationships). I got clear with my negotiables and my non-negotiables. I set my standards and requirements, which helped me not to settle for something I really didn't want.
Good thoughts produce good words, which creates good actions bring into being good in your life, marriage and community.
Proverbs 18:21 "Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.