What the Preacher’s Wife wore

When you open the weather app on your phone and this is what is says – how do you dress?!


Here’s what I try to do:

Layers is the answer for me.  When it’s cool in the morning and evening I can leave on the top layer, when it warms up I can take off a layer. This outfit consisted of olive green jeans, a cotton blouse, leopard flats and a denim vest.  

Dressier outfit:

Last year I found this winter white skirt at the Dillard’s outlet.  I love the versatility it gives me!  Here are two ways I’ve found to wear it.  The one on the right is another idea of layering.

Now, for a whole different kind of outfit… Brace yourself!

With Trick or Treat coming up, maybe you’re looking for a simple DIY costume?  Let me show you the funny ones my husband and I did last Wednesday for our church’s Trunk or Treat.  I was a Rain Cloud, he was a Nerd.  Oh, did he nail it or what? Yikes!

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Along with my rain cloud hat, the picture below will show you that I also wore a black top and pants, with rain boots to complete the outfit.

I went to the Dollar Tree and bought

  • a child’s cowboy hat
  • four bags of cotton balls
  • Blue foam squares
  • Blue ribbon
  • Gray paint
  • You’ll also need a glue gun, which I already had.

costume-instructionsTake the cotton balls and kind of pull them out to fluff them up a bit, then begin gluing them to the hat to create the cloud.  Cover the hat, using more than one layer.  This takes a while, just be patient.

Then cut rain drop shapes from the foam, I did about 20.  Glue two together with the ribbon in-between.  Attach the ribbons to the hat.  I tried to stick it up on that hat, between the cotton balls so it would stick a little better.  I dabbed a little bit of acrylic gray paint on the white cotton balls.  You could also use gray spray paint to add a touch to your cloud.

That’s it!  This costume cost me under $10!

Do you ever dress up for Halloween?  It was fun to “join the party” and have fun with the kids at church!

What are you wearing during these cool/warm fall days?

Stay refreshed by going to a Bible preaching church this weekend!


The Wrong Way To Serve

The following is a post from several years ago, but though I wrote it a long while back, it’s still something I deal with from time to time! 

ATTITUDE. Ever have one? You know what I mean. It’s that annoyed reflection of something in your heart. Someone pushed the wrong buttons, pushed you once too many times, or pushed you harder than you cared to be pushed and then – the attitude happens. It’s not pretty.

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I know of which I speak because I can be the Queen of Attitude at times. I hate to admit it, but if I’m honest I have to tell you it’s true. I had one just this week, and guess what it was over? Ministry! I got tired of carrying other people’s loads, of doing “more than my share” (who decides how much is more than my share?), and being pushed to the limit. Oooo – that button got pushed and out the attitude came. The good thing was that the Lord convicted me and after a time of stewing, I made it right. However, the Lord wasn’t done teaching me the lesson He wanted me to learn.

Yesterday in my devotions, I was working on memorizing the last two verses in Philippians 2. The background of these verses is that Paul had sent a man by the name of Epaphroditis to the Philippians and Epaphroditis became sick to the point of death. Why was he so sick? Verses 29-30 tell us: Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness; and hold such in reputation:
Because for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death, not regarding his life, to supply your lack of service toward me
. Epaphroditis was taking up the slack of the Philippians; doing what they hadn’t done and became so sick while ministering that he almost died!

Paul says in verse 29 to “hold such in reputation.” Hold a man like this in high regard. At that moment in my quiet time the Lord brought the truth to my heart that this was a man who worked and ministered so much that he was at death’s door! My work took me nowhere close to that kind of sacrifice! I see no sign of an attitude in Epaphroditis here either! It says that he was full of heaviness because they learned he had been sick. He was probably the kind of man who tried to cover his weakness, work through whatever pain he might have been experiencing because there was a cause here – the love of Christ- and that constrained him to keep on.

I was very convicted by this man’s life, and repented of my sin and my attitude. There is a balance to strike, and I asked the Lord in my quiet time to help me hit that balance – work, rest, respite. It’s necessary so that we don’t burn out.

As you serve in any capacity, whether it’s full-time or as a layman in the church, guard your heart against the “A” word. Let’s make sure we’re serving the Lord with a sweet spirit; the kind in which the Lord would “hold us in reputation” like Epaphroditis. His work was “the work of Christ.” Too often my work is “the work of Denise” done with an attitude and won’t be rewarded in eternity. “Oh, Lord, may my ministry be Your work, done in Your strength, and done for your glory!” Ahhh, there’s the right attitude!

Anyone aside from me need this reminder today?


Marriage Matters Recap

October Marriage matters.jpg

It’s time for a recap of #MondayMarriageMatters.  I’ve encouraged women to post on Instagram a picture each Monday of something that shows them putting thought and effort into their marriage, and that Marriage really does Matter!  I love seeing what each lady posts!  There are now about 175 posts!  Go to Instagram and search #Mondaymarriagematters and you’ll be able to see all the fun photos and explanations.

This month of October had some fun dates and some special times to share as a couple.  Here’s how I sought, with God’s help, to build my marriage.

If I understand that my marriage matters, and my marriage matters to God, I will daily be seeking out how I can obey my role as a wife.  I read this verse today and was reminded that I am doing one of two things:  I’m either building up my home, or I am tearing it down.  These are my “Pink verses” that I remind myself of over and over.
Being married to a pastor often means I wait and wait and wait.  I wait after services for him to meet with an individual who is hurting.  I wait during his ministry meetings.  And I wait while he listens to complaints and criticisms, and I pray. Then we ride home and I listen, encourage, and remind him (and myself) of Truth.  He has told me many times that he can take anything as long as he knows I’m behind him.  Sometimes I’m sure that’s the best gift I can give him.  
Marriage usually attracts opposites.  That is certainly true of us.  Instead of trying to make him be like me, I’ve learned to let him be the man (or pirate!) God made him to be and be thankful for our differences.  He’s outgoing, a strong leader, the entertainer of the crowd, and I’m none of those.  God put us together for a reason.  He is my completer and I’m so thankful!
He baked cookies.  I pulled out an OLD game.  Family Game Night followed.  It’s nights like these that allow us to laugh, act like we did when we were young, and forget the pressures of the day.  We NEED it.  Our marriage needs it.  We love it!

If you’re on Instagram, you can follow me at denisec_refreshher so you won’t miss any Monday marriage posts.

What have you done recently to show that YOUR marriage matters?


God’s Word About Pets


I recently purchased the little journal pictured here.  Why? Because I have always been a cat lover.  How about you?  Are dogs your best friend?


Dog, cat, hamster, rabbit or horse – whatever your pet is, they can sure get inside our hearts, can’t they?

I’ll never forget the day we had to take our nearly 20 year-old Fluffy to the vet because her life was no longer livable.  Arthritis had taken her ability to stand up, and we knew at that moment that her life was at its end.

We loved her.  Our girls had grown up with her, and even though she had the typical snooty Persian cat personality, she had endeared herself to all of us.

We kissed her.  We cried.  We said our goodbyes, and then we buried her in our back yard on the hill.  We missed her much in the days to follow, but we had to remind ourselves that she had been treated well, and lived the best kind of life for a cat! Trust me!

I’ve recently seen and heard so many comments about pets that die, that I just had to write a post about dealing with the death of a pet.  I can do it because:

  1. I’m a cat LOVER
  2. I’ve had a pet that I loved die – (Several)

I know what it’s like to hurt and cry over their death.

Better than either one of the two reasons above, I also know who Created my pets.  He is also my Creator and yours.  It’s the God of this universe.  He made the animals on Day 6 and we read that in Genesis 1:25

And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

In Genesis 2:7 we read:

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

You could also read Matthew 16:26 or Mark 8:36.

God gave man something that He did not give the animals – a living soul – a soul that would live forever.  Nowhere in the Bible do you read that animals live forever.  When an animal dies, its life is over.  It isn’t reincarnated as a new pet.  Its spirit doesn’t come back to be with you.  We have no further contact with a dead animal.

What do we have, then?

  • We do have the memories, thanks to a God who allows us to remember!
  • We do have the knowledge that we cared for them and treated them with the best love and care.
  • We do have a God who cares for the animals.
    • Consider Matthew 6:26 – Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them.
      Who, but a loving God would provide for the animals of the wild?  He made them, He cares for them, and He feeds them!
  • We do have a God who cares even more for us!
    • Matt. 6:26b – Are ye not much better than they? Christ came to die for people because He loves us even more than the animals.
    • God cares when your heart is sorrowful.  Take your grief to Him in prayer and allow Him to comfort you.  I say this lovingly – there’s no use to pray to your animal or talk to them.  We never read in Scripture that they can send us messages or come back as another animal.  They’re gone, but God loves you and is there to hear your prayer.  I Peter 5:7

God loves you so much, in fact, that He sent Christ to die for you!  He gave man dominion over the animals, and He says that we are even better than them.  We have more value because we have an eternal soul that will live forever somewhere, and Christ died so that you and I could have a relationship with Him and live in heaven with Him forever.

The Truth of God’s Word is refreshing, isn’t it?  It reminds me that pets were God’s creation and idea! How kind!

It also reminds me that God cares when I hurt, but He will comfort.  How loving!

I also learn that He sacrificed His Son for me!  How gracious!

Let’s keep our focus on eternal things and make people more important than pets, and when our hearts are missing them, let’s remind ourselves of these truths that will comfort us.

Then be looking for another pet to come into your home and give it the cozy spot on your bed, just like your other kitty had…you’ll end up loving him, too.  Just give yourself a little time.

Thankful for Truth,


Oh-So Moist Pumpkin Muffins



Saturday afternoon found me happily  not busy after a very busy week.  It was a very cool fall day, and I was home alone.  My mind went to one of my favorite activities – baking. I needed to have something for Sunday breakfast, and also wanted to send something over to my neighbors.  So, I decided to venture out and try a new Pumpkin Muffin recipe!  I have my old standby that I still love, but, like anything else, I wanted to try something new!  

The recipe I found calls for Coconut oil, which I’ve just started using this year.  It doesn’t make the muffin taste like coconut – it just gives a great texture!  Don’t be afraid to try it, but if you don’t have any or don’t want to use it, you can use vegetable oil instead.  If you’ve ever had a dry muffin, you know you never want to go there. ever.again.  But these are Oh-SO MOIST!

My husband came home when these had just cooled.  When he’s home, he really watches his sweet/bread intake, but he ate four of the little ones I baked without blinking an eye!  That’s when I knew I needed to share this recipe and my tweaks with you!



Oh-So Moist Pumpkin Muffins
Makes about 18 Regular sized muffins

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie spice
2 eggs
1 15 ounce can pure pumpkin puree
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Coarse sugar crystals – optional


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Spray muffin pan with cooking spray.
Measure out the flour, sugars, baking soda, salt and spices in a medium bowl and whisk together. Set aside.
In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin puree, coconut oil and vanilla extract.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir together. Do not over mix, just stir until all the dry ingredients are mixed in completely.

I use an ice cream scoop to distribute the batter into each muffin cup. They will be nearly full. This will help give your muffins a nice rounded top. Sprinkle with sugar crystals for a nice little crunch on top.
Bake your muffins for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

I used autumn colored sugar crystals – that’s why there’s green and red dots on top!

I like putting these in the muffin tin, rather than papers because it also made the edges of the muffins a little crispy – which we love.

I hope you’ll try these if you get a little time in the kitchen this week (they don’t take long at all!).  Like me, you may be replacing your “standby recipe” with this one!!!

With love from my country kitchen,


Friday Favorites -My Old Kentucky Home

Who doesn’t love a marker birthday celebration that includes a destination gathering, a train ride, family time, delicious food and shopping? All that encapsulated last weekend for us! We celebrated my mom’s 80th birthday a few months early, since January is typically icy and cold. What fun we had!

We rode the Kentucky dinner train in Bardstown, Kentucky. Afterwards we shopped in the adorable downtown. Below you’ll see the whole trip.

All aboard!!!!

The drive from my parent’s home to Bardstown had lots of beauty – a castle, a bridge PAINTED on the side of a building, and of course, the horse farms!


I love my parents dearly, and these pictures show how special they are, and how much they love each other.  My mom does NOT look 80, and my dad is so handsome in his blue jeans and jacket!  If parents could get the “cutest couple award” they would win in my book!


The food was very good!  I had the Kentucky Hot Brown and Kentucky Derby Pie (it seemed like the obvious choice when riding My Old KY Dinner Train!).  My husband said he definitely made the right choice with the Pot Roast dinner.



The folks doing the dinner graciously adorned my mom’s Apple Dumpling with a candle so we could sing to her!  I love this shot of her blowing out her candle.

My husband and I ate with my sister, Sharee and her husband and enjoyed time to visit as we journeyed down the track and ate lunch.  My twin and her husband were at my parent’s table, but we were just across the aisle, so visiting with them was no problem!

161020_073609_collage-1.jpgThis is in downtown Bardstown – a city named one of the South’s best small towns by Southern Living Magazine!  One boutique, Shaq and Coco was so much fun to shop in!  I found a pair of $125 boots for $25!    The whole downtown was quaint and inviting!161020_073835_collage-1.jpg

When we left Kentucky and headed home, we had all kinds of gorgeous views as you’ll see below.  We even saw an outdoor wedding taking place!  We had all kinds of fun making our way home – turning up country roads just “to see what’s back there!”


Before we moved to Tennessee nearly 16 years ago, I wanted to move back to Kentucky so badly.  The central area is just so beautiful.  But I am happy as can be where we are and I still get to go visit often and enjoy all the beauty and southern charm of Kentucky.  The best part is that my family lives there, so it will always be “My Old Kentucky Home.”

This weekend is another kind of celebration and we’re gearing up in a big way!  I’ll tell you about it next week!  In the meantime, tell me what you did last week that was memorable and refreshing to you!

Stay refreshed,



Mothering or Smothering?


daughter-1The year was 1978, and all in one weekend, my twin sister got married, and I moved out of my home to go teach school in a state about 7.5 hours away.  Our other sister was already married, so this left my parents with a double empty nest all in one swift swoop!  My mom told me later that for a day or two she was sad, but then she said,

“After a few days, I realized, ‘Hey, this is pretty nice!’”

She never looked back.  Every time I’d call home, my parents were headed here, going there, enjoying this new phase of their lives.  It gave me security to see them happy, even now that their lives as parents was now very different from the previous 19 years!  What a great example and blessing they were to me!  I felt “free” to do whatever God called me to do!

Earlier this week my daughter wrote a post on her blog about why she makes home life her first priority.  Her first three reasons were:

  1. I believe that everything else in my life is dependent on the state of my home.
  2. There is a lot to do at home!
  3. It enables me to be a better wife.

She writes,

“ I love my parents, but spending every weekend at their house won’t make me a better wife.”

When I read that I didn’t tear up.  It didn’t hurt my heart.  It didn’t make me want to call her and beg her to come visit.  If she were ten it would be a different story, but she isn’t ten; she is an adult with an adult life and responsibilities.  Why am I glad she doesn’t’ come home every weekend?  I want her to fulfill the role God has laid out for her, and that role is no longer in my home.  She’s married.  She has a job.  She belongs to another church.  Having her here often would hinder every one of those roles.  Why would I want that?

She is my daughter and I love her and her husband.  I desire to be a part of their lives, but I don’t want to be the center of it.  Does that cut your heart as a mom?  You may ask:

How can I have a relationship with my adult child?  


Is it possible to maintain a relationship with a grown child without being overbearing, making them to feel guilty, or like they are wrong for not making their parents the center of their world? 

The answer is Yes! 
Here are 10 ways to maintain a healthy relationship with your adult child and mother them without smothering them:

  1. Pray for them daily. God knows their needs.  Like I say about our husband – Who is praying for your children if you’re not praying? You can’t be with them, but God is!  Trust them to His care!
  2. Read their Facebook posts, their blog (if they write one), or follow them on Instagram. You’ll know what’s going on in their life without having to ask a single question!  While we’re on the subject of social media, you might also refrain from posting that adorable baby picture of them, or posting embarrassing comments about your undying love for them.  Remember, they’ve grown up.
  3. Send a text occasionally to say hello, and perhaps send a verse of Scripture to encourage them.
  4. When the Lord puts them on your heart, call and tell them so. Ask about their spouse, too.  Remember, if you love their spouse, you’ll be showing love to your child.
  5. Drop a card in the mail.   Make them laugh.  Give them a smile from home.
  6. Invite them to holidays and then DROP IT. If they can come, you’ll have a great time.  If they can’t come, determine with God’s help, to still have a great time!  The holiday is still the holiday, right?  Pour into others that don’t have a place to go.  Don’t focus on who ISN’T there, but who is!  Free your child from feeling obligated.  If they know you’ll be fine if they’re not there, you’ll be giving them a precious gift!!!!
  7. Make plans to visit them once or twice a year if they’re out of town. Keep the visit brief.  Remember the link between fish and guests – both stink after two or three days!  Stay short enough that they want you to come back!
  8. If your child lives in the same town, invite them out to lunch. Catch up on their lives while you share the meal.  Never drop in on them because they’re nearby. Respect their privacy.
  9. When you are together, have fun! Plan for a special visit.  Set aside your normal activities and enjoy your family time. Do special things while you’re together. Make them feel like special guests that you’ve prepared for – not like intruders. Also, if you’re still brooding because they didn’t come home for Granny’s birthday, don’t expect them to hurry back.
  10. If you’re married, focus on your marriage relationship more than your parental relationship. You be the best wife so your child can also nurture their marriage, too.  Remember how much you wanted your in-laws to pull your husband away?  Be as thoughtful as you would’ve wanted from your in-laws.

Be wise and let your child be the adult you trained them to be.  And if you don’t see them as often as you’d like, remember that your role as a parent took a back seat when they moved out.  Sit in the front seat and enjoy the life has intended for you in this phase!  It’s really great!