September 2013 Newsletter

The Marriage Education and Resource Center (MERCY)

September Newsletter

From The Marriage Education and Resource Center (MERCY)

kissing couple

Did you know that boredom weakens relationships, while adding excitement is shown, in research, to strengthen bonds?  Fortunately, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to add more excitement to your marriage.
That’s why we are looking forward to John and Emily Stewart, marriage facilitators, being back with us September 21 to share some real life experiences and useful tips on keeping your marriage exciting.
Shortly after their last visit,  I bought one of the books they recommended on romance (101 Nights of Great Romance)  and I confess it added some spice to our lives.  So we hope you will be with us and take your relationship from perhaps pleasant to a little more fun.  See more details below.
Grace and peace,
Penny and David


September’s Marriage Tip

Today’s tip comes from the 5 Love Languages – Practically Speaking post:

‘I bought a ‘pop-up’ post-it dispenser and wrote ‘why I love you’ on each post it, then wrapped it back up and gave it to my husband to keep on his desk.  Some were silly and some were more serious. He loves pulling the next one out when he needs a pick me up.” – Becky.


fabric-heart-stilllife.jpg Create Your Own Happily Ever After

Last month, we shared with you an article from Dan Pearce called “16 Ways I Blew My Marriage.” This month, we want to share with you some insights from Val McKinley, who after 23 years of marriage, divorced.  She later fell in love with her current husband. They both brought two teenage children to the marriage.  She said, “Life was filled with much joy.”  However, after several months she tells her readers reality set in and she began to realize that her first marriage had started out as lovingly and full of promise as her current one. She said, “This time around I was determined to learn from my mistakes and ‘do’ marriage differently.  At the time, I sensed long-term relationships must share certain common traits and I was determined to discover what these were.”
After extensive research and interviewing happy couples who had been together at least twenty years, and personal experience, here are the top seven tips she has for nurturing a relationship.
  1. Express your love daily – Small acts such as a kind word, a good deed, a long kiss, a warm embrace or quickly repairing hurt feelings can do wonders.
  2. In an honest, respectful and timely fashion, share what’s on your mind.  Tell each other what you want, need, and feel so that the other person knows who you are and where you’re coming from.
  3. Create daily couple time to share your day.
  4. Laugh with your partner
  5. Read  The Heart of The Five Love Languages  by Dr. Gary Chapman
  6. Weekly, ask each other – on a scale of 1-5 if they feel loved.  If the answer is 4 or less, ask your partner to suggest something you could do for them over the following week.
Val McKinney wrote this article for the North Valley Magazine.

We’d add another:  Pray with one another on a regular basis.  You might say, “Well I don’t feel comfortable praying aloud with my spouse.”  That’s okay; if that’s the case we often ask our couples to start out by holding hands and silently pray for one another and their marriage and when finished just squeeze the other’s hand.  As they get more comfortable, then we encourage them to begin praying sentence prayers together and build from there. There is something very intimate when we can  pray together as husband and wife. 

Should You See a Marriage Counselor? 

“Every married couple goes through a period of disenchantment and each deals with it differently,” writes Jim Smith in “Learning to Live With The One You Love.
“In fact, you can add it to the list of things that are certain in life:  death, taxes and disenchantment in marriage.”
The good news is we do not have to remain at this stage.  Most marriages could be improved, and many saved, if couples were willing to get help and work at rebuilding the relationship. As Michael Taylor, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, points out, “counseling isn’t for everyone.”  Some couples, like Bill and Lisa, have benefited greatly by attending workshops at MERCY and other marriage enrichment events that have helped them learn new relationship skills. Even reading a book together on marriage may be the turning point some people need.  For others, counseling may be the most courageous steps they will ever take to improve their relationship.
So when should you seek counseling?  Here are just a few indicators that a couple could benefit from counseling:
– They are unhappy.
– Communication has become negative
– They do not know how to resolve their differences
– They are holding onto past hurts
– They are considering separation or a divorce
– They are dealing with an affair
–  They are experiencing sexual difficulties
–  There is emotional or physical abuse between them
–  They are dealing with problems with their children
–  They think they might be happier with someone else
–  They feel stuck
It is a sign of strength and intelligence to get help in the many facets of maintaining and improving our lives.

Some Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Pastoral Counselors 
Following is a list of professional counselors with whom MERCY has built relationships and you may want to consider if you are in need of a therapist/counselor:

 Michael Taylor, LMFT,  Triune Counseling  

Michael has been in the mental health field for over 30 years, specializing in couples therapy and treatment of adolescents and adult trauma victims, as well as adults with depression & anxiety issues. He is certified in Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples Counseling (EFT is the latest research-based treatment for couples available, with over 75% success rate). He is co-facilitator of a Victims of Infidelity therapy group, and is trained in hypnosis therapy.  Website: 

(502) 387-8802 



 Dr. Valerie Vincent, Certified Pastoral Counselor, D. Min – Hardy, Day and Associates, LLC


Much of Dr. Vincent’s work is with individuals.  She often works with women with issues concerning depression, anxiety, relationships and general life stressors. At times she works with teenagers, families, and couples.  She is able to help clients identify patterns of behavior in their lives and evaluate how those behaviors or patterns of thniking are impacting their relationships, work, faith and self-understanding.  Website:   (502) 894-9390




Glenn Williams – Pastoral Counselor  – St. Matthews Pastoral Counseling Center.  In addition, Glenn also works at some satellite offices.  


Glenn provides individual, marital, family, and group counseling. His clinical background includes serving in a variety of settings including inpatient, outpatient, and private practice settings.  He has served a wide variety of clients including those struggling with mood disorders (depression, anxiety, bipolar disorders), thought disorders, and personality disorders.  He has extensive practice for those overcoming emotional, physical, and sexual abuse.  Marital counseling comprises a significant portion of his case load.  He has been privileged to be a therapist to therapists, professional healthcare providers, and clergy.  He can also provide pastoral counseling supervision. Website:   (502)  893-981


Joe Arnold, LPCC, CADC  heads up North Springs Counseling Services. 


North Springs Counseling Services provides professional counseling from a Christian perspective at a reasonable fee.  They provide counseling for individual adults, adolescents and children. They also offer relationship, pre-marital and marital counseling, family counseling, group therapy and educational programs.


They address relationship enhancement, emotional struggles, men’s and women’s issues, separation and divorce, abuse survivors, anxiety, depression, grief, loss and problems with anger. Additional areas include: stress management, conflict mediation, life transitions such as adolescence, sexuality, career choices and changes, parenting, mid-life and retirement.  Blended family issues are part of their services and are available to help with struggles with faith, beliefs, values and meaning and purpose.  Website:     (502)  212-0432





Sharon Shapanus, LMFT/LCSW – Abounding Hope Counseling Services 


Sharon offers counseling and therapy for ADD and/or ADHD, aggression and anger management, anxiety and panic disorders, aspergers, co-dependency, depression, divorce, eating disorders and body image issues, grief and loss, infidelity, obsessive compulsive disorders, physical, sexual and emotional abuse, school and work issues, stress and phobias and trauma.  She works with children, couples, families, grandparents raising grandchildren, individuals, parents and teens.  Website:  (502) 594-4864





Heather Brooks, LMFT – Heather has her own private practice in Crestwood, KY but also works with Life Care Counseling in downtown Louisville and Beechland Pastoral Counseling Center in Pleasure Ridge Park, Kentucky.


Heather specializes in pre-marital and marriage counseling, and working with adolescent females.  Her passion to become a Christian-based Marriage and Family Therapist began during her years in high school.  By integrating her undergraduate degree from Boyce Bible College with her Master of Science in Social Work degree from the University of Louisville Kent School, she desires to be used by Christ as a tool to nurture people meeting them where they are in their lives.

(502)  693-7885.,  




Upcoming Marriage Events

Keeping Your Marriage Healthy and Exciting  

We hope you will be with us for this workshop.  We think you will be blessed.  Believe us, this couple practices what they teach and you will walk away with some great tips.
Saturday, September 21
9:30 – 11:00 a.m.
Baptist Health – Louisville
2nd Floor by Cafeteria Seating Area
4000 Kresge Way
Louisville, KY  40207
Registration is requested, but not required.  To pre-register or for additional information, call (502)  939-0121; email: or visit: 
  home run
September 29 – 4:00 p.m.
Holloway Building of the Kavanaugh Life Enrichment Center –
Floydsburg Road Entrance

This would be a great date-night for couples, however, please know it is open to everyone.  
David and I saw this movie at the theater this summer and thought it was powerful and want to give others the opportunity to see it.  So we hope you will join us and invite others to attend.  To register, please go to and click on the link at the top that says Home Run.  

Baseball all-star Cory Brand knows what it takes to win in the big leagues. But off the field, with memories of his past haunting him, his life is spiraling out of control.

Hoping to save her client’s career and reputation after a DUI and a team suspension, Cory’s agent sends him back to the small town where he grew up. Forced to coach the local youth baseball team and spend eight weeks in the only recovery program in town, Cory can’t wait to return to his old life as quickly as possible.

As his young players help him experience the joy of the game, Cory discovers his need to find freedom from his past and hope for his future … and win back the love he left behind. With this unexpected second chance, Cory finds himself on a powerful journey of transformation and redemption.

Based on thousands of true stories, HOME RUN is a powerful reminder that with God, it’s never too late … freedom is possible.


To see a trailer of this movie click on the link below:








This is a ten week free relationship training program in a fun, interactive group setting where you will learn communication skills, conflict resolution skills and more.  This is a government-sponsored program that is available in Shepherdsville, Shelbyville and Taylorsville, KY. 


Day and evening classes offered year round.  Various incentives are available to attend these classes.  


Shepherdsville’s next program will begin Monday evenings, starting October 21 at 6:00 p.m.  For additional information, or to register, call:  (502)  543-4077.  Or you can also call (502)  633-7162 for additional information on the other locations.  


play date

 How Their Marriages Were Saved
We’d like to invite you to a little different type of event on October 26 at MERCY.  Several couples, who have been through some struggles in their marriages, will be sharing “How Their Marriages Were Saved.”  So if you would like to know how they were able to survive some challenges and now how they keep their marriages strong, we hope you will be with us.  Also, please invite others who may benefit from hearing their stories.
October 26
9:30 – 11:00 a.m.
Baptist Health – LaGrange
2nd Floor Conference Room
1025 New Moody Lane
LaGrange, KY  40031
Registration is requested but not required.  To pre-register, or for more information, call:  (502)  939-0121; email: or visit: 

Weekend to Remember

 This getaway weekend is a time to be together as a couple to invest in and strengthen the foundation of your marriage, no matter how firm or fragile it
is. By getting away from the distractions of life, you can fortify your most important relationship and work toward building wonderful memories together, for decades to come.
The regular registration fee is $149 per person, however, if you register using our group name, MERCY, the registration fee is only $89.99 per person.  This fee does not include overnight accommodations.  (There is a special $105/nt at The Galt House for this event.)
November 15-17
Galt House Hotel
For additional information about the weekend, go to: 
To register to to: or call 1-800-358-6329. Be sure to include our group name (MERCY) for your discount to the conference.



In This Issue
September Marriage Tip
Create Your Own Happily Ever After
Should You See a Marriage Counselor
Some Therapists and Counselors
Upcoming Marriage Events
A Heart-Warming Video and Song


A Heart-Warming Video and Song 
This man wrote a song for his wife of 75 years.  He didn’t qualify for the song writing contest,but the song was chosen anyway.
Hope you will listen and be inspired.

“Happy is the person who finds wisdom and gains understanding.”  Proverbs 3:13
Contact Information
Penny and David Hudson
7204 Hwy. 329
Crestwood, KY  40014

Is He/She Your Super Hero?

I’m reading Kenn Kington’s book called Super Husband and Wonder Wife.

In Chapter 3 he talks about asking his friend to explain to him why he and
his girlfriend at the time (now his wife) should get married. His friend
replied, “Well, if you can’t figure out the first reason you may have the gift
of singleness.”

He said his friend then came up with the most insightful element he
had ever heard. “I began to see marriage in a whole new light,” Kington

Do you know what he said? Here you go:

“If you are looking for someone to meet your needs, make you happy and make your life worthwhile, you will be greatly disappointed, quickly discouraged, and basically unhappy the rest of your life. But if you will
just be the person God has made you to be and find out how you can give your life to someone else by meeting her (or his) needs and making her (or him) happy, you will discover fulfillment, joy and peace in ways you can’t even imagine.”

When David and I do pre-marital education, I’m wondering if we should
begin or end with this message. Or, perhaps it takes a lifetime to realize
that success in life is not what we get, it is what we give.


Penny and David

Crazy Love

We love to receive feedback from couples we have worked with through MERCY. The following is an excerpt from an email I recently received from one of our couples:

Crazy Love“The biggest impact that I have had recently (and maybe ever) that I would recommend is a book I read a few months back. It is called Crazy Love by Francis Chan. It literally rocked my world. I know it was something that you both talked a lot about in our meetings but it hit me over the head with this book and I have been telling everyone about it. It is not a “marriage” book but it has changed my outlook 100% about marriage. It finally clicked that it isn’t all about me or even all about us or the kids. . .it is about helping others and spreading God’s word through money, time and whatever we have to offer. I have now made it my goal to do something good/meaningful for others every day. Even on vacation, we took time and money to those who needed it.

I say this not to make myself feel or look good but that this might help with some of your other couples. This goes right along with what you taught us and it is a good reinforcement. It is something that we all know we should do but for whatever reason this book hit me directly in the heart.

“Lastly, I wanted to let you know how much you both helped us and how blessed we are to have met you. I do thank you from the bottom of my heart not only for us as couple but for our kiddos. You helped save our family and therefore we are going to pay it forward and help others. Thank you for all you do!”

Please know this not about what we did, but what this couple did in working hard and applying the concepts we introduced to them and allowing the Lord to work in their lives and their marriages.

Grace and peace,

Penny and David