November 2013 Newsletter

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                November 2013 Newsletter From The Marriage Education and Resource Center (MERCY)

While we call our organization The “Marriage” Education and Resource Center (MERCY), we like to begin working with people long before they decide to marry.  In fact, we prefer to talk with them before they even begin dating.  As a result, MERCY occasionally offers a program called “How to Avoid Falling for a Jerk or Jerk(ette),” or, as some call it, The PICK a Partner Program by Dr. Van Epp.  This event teaches singles of all ages (youth and above) to build healthy relationships and how to follow their hearts without losing their minds.  After all, as a friend once told us, every date is a potential mate.  
This is a program, we personally, believe every “single,” as well youth and the parents of youth, need to become familiar with.  Fortunately, you can now subscribe to Dr. Van Epp’s live presentation online for $9.99.  Just go to and click on the “singles” tab to learn more about The PICK program.  Or, if you prefer, we have the book available for check out at MERCY.  In addition, watch our web site at to see when we will be offering it again.
Grace and peace,
Penny and David

 Marriage Tip
Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott

I, Penny, recently read about a ritual of Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott
I want to share with you.  Les is a clinical psychologist and Leslie is a marriage and family therapist and they both have a passion for wanting to help others build healthy relationships, apparently beginning with their own.

Each Sunday evening, they ask one another a simple question: “What can I do this week to be a better spouse to you?”  Les said, “It can be intimidating at first, but more often than not, our answers are surprisingly simple:  Hold my hand  a little bit while we’re in church; go to the computer store with me on Thursday; show a little more appreciation when I cook a meal.  You get the idea.”  It’s simply being intentional in working on our marriages.  I think I’ll try it this week.  How about you?
For more information and tips from Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott you can visit their web site at:
white-red-presents.jpg Gifts That Show Your Love

What’s the strangest gift you ever received?  A few I’ve heard about are an earwax removal system, a glow-in-the dark feather duster and a hairless terra-cotta statue.  Each of us probably has a story to tell about our “wonder gift” of the century.  But gift-giving is serious business.  Psychologists claim issues of power and vulnerability are often wrapped up in pretty paper and bows. Others may use gifts to communicate their need of acceptance and love.  For the most part, however, I’d like to think gifts are given as expressions of love.

Gifts can be extravagant or simple.  Often, it’s the gift of giving something of yourself that is the most appreciated.  Following are a few gift ideas that have little to do with their monetary value but everything to do with love.

The Twelve Days of Christmas Instead of sending your spouse a partridge in a pear tree, send a rose for twelve consecutive days, each bearing a different message.  Rose #1 might read:  “Thank you for being that one special person in my life.”  Rose #2:  “This represents the two of us and what we’ve meant to each other.”  Rose #3:  “For our three beautiful children,” etc.

Balloon Bouquet If you think your spouse would be receptive, send a bouquet of balloons to them at their workplace.

Media Alert Rent a billboard, take out an ad in the paper to express your feelings of love to your spouse.  Or, call your spouse’s favorite radio station and dedicate a song in his or her behalf.

Special Messages Collect some special cards, and a week before Christmas, anniversary or other special occasion, send them to your spouse one at a time.  Tuck love notes in Christmas presents to your mate, hang a few on the Christmas tree or hide several in special places around the house.

A Day Off Give your mate a day off.  Hire a housekeeper to clean the house or arrange to have your mate’s car professionally cleaned and waxed.

Encouragement Give a gift that encourages.  If your mate has something he/she has always wanted to do or learn, such as flower arranging, Chinese cooking, or scuba diving consider giving a gift certificate to a class for this wishful endeavor.

Memory Give the gift of a memory to your mate.  One friend’s favorite childhood memory was listening to her grandfather sing and play his banjo on their front porch.  To relive such a memory, her husband hired a banjo player to spend a few hours playing some of those special old tunes.  


When Love Hurts

Sometimes you hurt the one you love.  So how do you help restore the relationship?  Here are a few things to remember when you need to say you’re sorry.
  1. Admit  you were wrong and that your behavior has been hurtful.
  2. Apologize and show genuine regret for your actions.
  3. Do not add any excuses or justification.
  4. Listen and accept what your spouse is feeling.
  5. Try to empathize with the pain you have caused.
  6. Assure your spouse it will never happen again.
  7. Accept responsibility. 
  8. Apologize again and ask for forgiveness.
  9. Forgive yourself.
Just because you apologize doesn’t mean the other person will forgive you right away. Give it time and allow them to go through the process on their own.  On the other hand, it is important for the spouse that has been hurt to be able to release themselves and the other person from the incident.  Forgiveness in the only way to relieve the pain.



Upcoming Opportunities to Enrich Your Marriage


Dave Willis, author of the book “iVow:  Secrets to a Stronger Marriage,” will be coaching couples on how to enrich their marriages, on  Saturday, November 23 from 5 – 8 p.m. at Grace Christian Church, 1648 Lexington Road, Georgetown, KY 40324. Cost is $25 per couple.  Grace will be providing a meal, childcare and a copy of Dave’s book.  

Dave is the pastor of Steven’s Creek Church in Augusta, Georgia and has a following of 700,000 people on Face Book and Twitter.

For additional information, go to: 





You can register now for Love S.M.A.R.T., a FREE marriage and relationship skill-building program at Multi-Purpose Community Action Agency.  This interactive 10-week program teaches decision making, communication, and conflict resolution skills to improve and strengthen family relationships. All participants receive a free meal and $10 gas card at each class.  Participants that attend all 10 weekly classes receive a $50 Walmart gift card at the last class!  Classes are offered year-round in Shelbyville and Shepherdsville. Next classes begin Tuesdays,  December 3rd .  Call Lauren Battcher at (502)  744-9948 for more information or visit:   This is a government-funded program.  Participants must register beforehand.




MERCY’S 2014 Workshop Schedule Coming Soon


We are excited about our workshop schedule for next year and we think you will be too.  We have several new speakers who will be coming on board.  For example, Joyce Oglesby who is a Radio Talk Show Host of Just Ask Joyce, a respected speaker, author of family nourishment books, Today’s Woman columnist and radio and former TV personality will be with us in May to talk about “The Need Bank.”  Then in June, John Baker, Associate Pastor of Education and Discipleship at Shively Baptist Church will be helping us in “Resolving Everyday Conflicts.”  In August, Greg Williams – Director of Marriage Outreach with the Family Foundation will be sharing on “I Want to Know What Love Is.”   And our last new member to MERCY’s speaking roster in 2014 is Glenn Williams, Pastoral Care and Counseling Minister and Executive Director of St. Matthews Pastoral Counseling, who will be outlining “Three Exits to Avoid on the Road to Marital Contentment.”  We hope you will plan on being with us for these, and five other workshops, that will be presented by some of our other talented speakers who have been with us in the past.  More details coming soon!


Note:  If you are not on our regular mailing list and would like to receive multiple copies of our flyers for 2014 Workshops, please email me at  We’d love for you to help us get the word out about these programs. 


In addition, if your church or organization has any marriage events coming up, we’d love to post them on our web site and feature them in our newsletter.  One of our objectives is just to connect people with resources that are available.  


New Book at MERCY             

Maybe you know one.
Maybe you are one.
We can learn to cope with the Control Freaks around us.  Better yet, we can change.  This book shows you how. 
This book is now available at MERCY, along with many more resources on relationships.  Just give us a call if you would like to stop by and check out our library.




Chili Cook Off  for Couples – Coming Soon!


We hope you plan to join us for our first Couples’ Chili Cook Off
this winter. 
 Details coming soon! 
Contact Information

Penny and David Hudson

The Marriage Education and Resource Center (MERCY)

7204 Hwy. 329

Crestwood, KY  40014




“Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  Matthew 6:21

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