Happy Valentine’s Day! I heard something this morning on the radio about love that I thought worth passing on. The host was commenting about how people express their love on Valentine’s Day. Then she offered this suggestion to her listeners:

Don’t forget that the greatest expression of love you can make is really to gift yourself…knowing yourself on the deepest level happens only in the act of giving yourself authentically for another….

Giving ourself can be tricky…and it’s sometimes easier to give things…just something to think about!

On a different note…

I have been in the process of rebranding, hence the fall off in posting regularly…this blog will be replaced with a new one called Interpersonal Excellence with Crystal Hernandez. It’s focus will be on interpersonal excellence in marriage and family life for service professionals who are also women of faith. This is the work I do as a healthy relationship educator and coach. The new website is called Relating Today.

I’ve also created a beautiful new ezine, titled Interpersonally Speaking which offers heartfelt conversations about marriage and family living, tips and strategies and special offers aimed at helping high achieving women professionals nurture collaborative communication, friendship, and real intimacy in their marriage and family life.

If any of you walk in those shoes, you’ll find yourself right at home and very happy with what you find there. Everyone else will find useful info to pass on to those you know who walk in those shoes….

Make it your best Valentine’s Day ever…as you make a sincere gift of yourself today!


Advent is Here!

            I’m back…took an unexpected haitus…I’ve been preparing for a re-branding of my business–which includes this blog to better reflect the work that I love…
educating about healthy relationships and coaching those ready to do the work of building and nourishing a great relationship!

            So, when it’s all said and done, I’ll make sure to blog about the details so you can check it all out!

            On a different note, I’m so delighted to with the arrival of the Advent season! This is my favorite time of the year, it truly is. There is a recurring problem I seem to have each year…finding purple candles. Everything in the marketplace is red, white, and green–Christmas colors. It’s as if there is no Advent season at all.

            Somehow Advent is getting lost in the commercial side of the holiday season and if we’re not careful we will too. Most of life’s most precious events require some preparation. Advent is such an important time in a family because it allows us to prepare for Christmas–in our heart, our mind, our soul…. In our family this preparation helps us to unpack more than decorations for the tree and the house–it really helps us reflect on reasons for celebrating Christmas–our reason being the commemoration and celebration of the birth of Christ the Lord–the one we know as Emmanuel, or more simply–our God who is truly with us in the day-to-day realities of our life.

           Well that’s really all I wanted to say. I wish you renewed hope, love, and unmatched peace during this beautiful Advent season….

Here’s Something from a Young Guest

Over the next couple of days I will be informally interviewing a young guest on the future of marriage and young girls today. Here’s the first run.

MM: Welcome to Marriage Material Lael

Guest: Hi

MM: As you know I talk about marriage and family relating on this blog. I’m very interested in your thoughts about young women and the future of marriage. Do you think young girls have positive expectations for marrying someday?

Guest: Yes, I think they do. Most girls dream about some day marrying the man of their dreams, someone who is handsome and successful, that they’re compatible with and can can have fun with. We often talk about it with each other too.

MM: What do you think about negative comments expressed in movies, commercials, or music about marriage?

Guest: The most popular negative comments I’ve heard are that most couples don’t stay together very long. I often see in movies parents fighting, or single people dating who are divorced, and also people saying that they want to move in together instead of getting married. Music, I don’t really think they talk about marriage so much. More about love, dating, or someone’s heart being broken. Speaking of hearts being broken, sometimes in music actually you do hear that a woman doesn’t need a man, or most of the time he won’t be there and stuff about guys walking out on their girlfriends or leaving and stuff like that.

MM: You’re right and these messages are fairly similar despite the medium. Do you think most girls agree with these messages?

Guest: I don’t believe that most girls do. Most have enough sense to realize that all that music and media tells us isn’t reality. Some girls however do believe that what music and everything says is true. They actually believe that every guy will break their heart or that they’ll leave them and that they won’t be able to stay together, or that the guy will cheat on them. Because, if you hear half the music out there, they are always saying things like ‘You went behind my back and called my friend’ and ‘but you left her number on your phone’, all that junk. But like I said, i do think that most girls have their heads on straight and don’t look to music and media for advice on relationships and what will happen if you do this or that. Most girls, including me, know that we may not need a man to do everything, i mean sure we’re capable on our own for some things, but we’re not so in your face about it. Most of us know things like that, you know?

MM: I think hearing you on this subject like this is good news for us parents…most of us hope that our daughters are learning to think clearly for themselves…we hope our girls are becoming smart and selective consumers of entertainment. Your thoughts here are appreciated! Let’s wrap it up here for today. Thanks for being willing to share your thoughts with us. I look forward to picking this up again with you tomorrow!

Guest:No problem.

Well, check back here tomorrow to hear more from my young guest on the future of marriage and young women today. All the best!

Are You Feeding Your Mind?

Well, I finished reading The Rhythm of Life by Matthew Kelly. An absolutely life enriching experience. I found myself reflecting on things I’ve said and done. I even made some new commitments to doing things a little different. This marvelous book encouraged me, inspired me, challenged me, made my eyes swell with tears…and reminded me of my untapped potential in every area of my life. It fed my spirit, soul, heart and mind. Feeling stuck? This might be just the gentle push you need to do what you fear, dread, or have desired and want to do. Remember, if you don’t take care of your mind who will? Besides that, you are worth the time it takes to read a good book! That’s what I tell myself when I’m tempted to believe I don’t have time to read for intellectual enrichment and pleasure!

A little Self-Control Goes a Long Way

When was the last time you handled yourself well in the face of contention or what might come across as combativeness? It’s so easy to fire back a remark in defense of yourself without really being sure about what you’re dealing with.

I think a lot of conflict comes from reacting right away to a tone of voice, a facial expression, or other gestures. We too often react to this information before we’ve had a chance to understand it accurately–without checking our perceptions and interpretations out.

Convinced of our interpretation of what we see and hear we move swiftly to act–in our own defense, that is. What if we were just as swift to act in the interest of the other person? Our interactions would be something quite different I suspect. Imagine being slow to anger with our kids, our spouses, our bosses, our colleagues and coworkers…if you can imagine that then you can see how much a little self control can do to transform us and our relationships. Just imagine it. If you can imagine it your chances of doing it are more likely.

Our Beloved Daughters Deserve More!

I have two beautiful daughters. They are at opposite ends of the developmental table–my oldest is in her teen years, while my youngest is in her toddler years. Both fill me with pride. I envision the kind of women I hope they will become and the life they deserve.

I understand that today’s young teen girls will be the women of tomorrow. What kind of women will today’s teen girls become? That depends on the influences surrounding and impacting them today, doesn’t it? How are they learning to about themselves as females? About males? What are they learning in their most important relationships at home, in school, in the community at large?

Well, from what I see, hear, and am told, it’s quite a mixed bag. Young women today fear committed relationships just about as much as young men, but for different reasons. Young women today view their bodies as an object to be manipulated about as much as men do. Young women do not understand nor appreciate their feminine soul–and so it is a greatly neglected part of their life. Young women have decided that marriage is not as important to their future–a marriage that includes children in particular…and on and on….

I don’t know what most people think about this, but I have to say, I believe our beloved daughters deserve a brighter, more rewarding and meaningful future than this….

Becoming What You are Capable of Being

In the words of Matthew Kelly, a favorite speaker/author/writer of mine,

Everything is a choice. This is life’s greatest truth and its hardest lesson.

Those words are powerfully true, they’re from his book, The Rhythm of Life: Living Every Day with Passion and Purpose. I’m currently reading this marvelous book. And I have to tell you, if you read only one book this year, make sure its this one! If you want to cast your net out into the deep waters of understanding yourself, others, and the world around you, this is the book! Most important of all, if you are ready to commit yourself to understanding and doing what is absolutely necessary to become what you are capable of becoming as a person–realizing your true potential–this is the book to read, the book for you.

This book has helped me examine my own life more deeply and step more fully into the “rhythm of life” where passion and purpose are a part of each day. Are the things you do and the things you say helping you become what you are capable of being each day? I hope so because it just makes the journey so much more worthwhile.