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Archives ‘I pray for patience:’ Living the call to marriage

April 10, 2019

By Andrew Lauria
Contributing writerLauria

WELLS – “Daddy, I don’t want to go skiing today”.

“Why, Anna?”

“It’s too risky.”

“What..?” (silent pause) “Do you know what ‘risky’ means?”

“Yes, it means I could get hurt, and I don’t want to get hurt.”

This was a recent conversation between my older brother and his 3-year-old daughter, a conversation that, upon recounting, had both of us wildly laughing while seriously scratching our heads. I asked him when his young daughter became so literate and he shrugged his shoulders in disbelief and just laughed. We took another drink from our beers.

When I was young, if you told me that my older brother would someday have children and be happy, I would have fallen out of my chair. Well, I am pulling myself back into my seat while writing these words. Vinnie and his wife, Rachel, residents of Wells and members of St. Ann Parish, have been married for almost nine years and have four beautiful, funny, joyful, inquisitive and wildly entertaining children: Vinnie Jr., Anthony, Anna, and Sarah. I recently sat down with them and they reflected about their vocation to the married life and all the unexpected and wonderful things that have come of it.

Vinnie and Rachel Lauria met quite a few years back, when my brother was in flight school with Rachel’s best friend from high school. They hung out together with the group during those early days of college life, but it was not until a few years later, when they reconnected through yet another set of mutual friends, that they became interested in each other.

I was surprised by the peace with which Rachel recalled her discernment to marriage.

“I always knew I was going to be a wife and a mother and while there wasn’t an ‘a-ha’ moment with Vinnie, as the relationship progressed, it became clear for both of us that our vocation to marriage and parenting was going to come to fruition in each other,” Rachel said. They both had a vision for the future and eventually their independent visions included each other.

And that vision now includes four young kids, and it is beautiful to see how raising children in the faith and teaching them about God has opened their own spiritual lives. Like in all marriages, both Rachel and Vinnie expressed that consistency with the kids is a challenge when circumstances are not ideal, like during sickness or during long periods of bad weather.

“I pray for patience all of the time,” Rachel said.

And speaking of her favorite prayer, Rachel said, laughing, “God, please give me the patience I need right now.”
And as Anthony went running through the kitchen with barely any clothes on, wielding some contraption made of Legos, Vinnie shared a similar prayer with a smile, “God, help me.”

He went on to share, “I didn’t want kids for the longest time, but something changed as I got older. And now I can’t imagine my life without my kids. My life is fulfilled because of them. They have taught me that there is so much more to life than what I thought.”

The greatest challenge of keeping their marriage together in the midst of the daily chaos is retaining open and effective communication with each other so they lean on their faith to present a united parental front.

“Faith is the reason we work through all of the challenging times the way that we do, because it would be a lot easier to just give the kids whatever they want. But it is for a greater purpose that we parent like we do,” Vinnie said.

And the biggest reward?

“God has given me patience,” said Vinnie. “Before I had kids, I had no patience for anything or anyone; especially anyone.”

And then laughing, Vinnie added, “And the ability to eat food off of someone else’s plate.”

It is a sturdy and simple faith that is required to sustain young parents on the adventure of parenting four young children, and this faith has been a gift that has blessed Vinnie and Rachel with a strong marriage.

“I don’t want to put on my pajamas,” I hear being screamed from one of the bedrooms.

What was their favorite prayer, again?



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