Blog info · Celebrations · spiritual growth

Two Celebrations!

I love celebrations and today I’m enjoying two!

The first one is my daughter, Alli; it’s her 29th birthday! God gave us Alli, our third daughter, during our tenth year of marriage; a special gift we didn’t think we would be able to have. But God in His grace and kindness to us, sent us a daughter to fill our home with music and laughter (lots and lots!) through Alli!

She was the child who was sure life was a stage. She enjoyed nothing more than entertaining Whitney and making her laugh!

From a very early age, Alli showed a love and a gift for music. She was denied the joy of learning to play drums (!), but started taking piano lessons when she was five. After that, she went to violin when she was around ten. Every instrument she’d see, (especially strings) she would want to try to play. She took cello lessons and then taught herself guitar. Her keen ear and natural ability were God-given gifts, and we sought to give her every chance to develop those talents.

One precious memory was the day during home school that she began asking questions about salvation. As we talked, I could see that she had a clear understanding of her sin and her need for a Savior. After excusing herself from my presence, she came back a little while later and announced to me that she had gone off on her own to ask Jesus to save her! Though she had some difficult days in her late teens, that decision to trust Christ kept her tethered to Him, even when she struggled personally. How thankful I am for the Spirit of God that lives inside His children! She responded to His conviction and made things right with the Lord after a brief time of straying away.

Since then she has been resolute in following the Lord and living for Him. Perfect? No, she has her parents’ old sin nature! But like all sinners, she gets it right and moves towards Christ.

What a joy to watch her serve with her husband in our church, and also as she is training her sons. I truly have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. III John 4.

Happy 29th Birthday, sweet Alli!

The second celebration today is regarding my blog! This week marks my 12th blogging anniversary! It was started 2,750 posts ago! What? Thank you to each of you who read, comment, follow and encourage my heart here.

This has been such a joy to me. I have met the sweetest women around the globe through this simple blog. I’ve been blessed to have some of you come to Tennessee and visit our church! Some I’ve gotten to know just through messages, and some have continued our relationships that began in person.

This blog was started for my church ladies, and is still my focus. I wanted a way to reach out to you, BCBC, ladies on a weekly basis. I pray I’ve ministered and encouraged you through the years by this means. I love each of you and long to serve you and point you to our Savior!

Would you give me a gift today? I’d just love to hear from you! Tell me how long you’ve been reading and where you’re from, would you? You might also add what content you enjoy when you stop by.

Also, how about sharing my blog with a friend? That would be a great gift to me! Thank you!

I hope you get to celebrate something or someone this weekend! Again, don’t forget to leave a comment before you go!

Time for cake!

40 thoughts on “Two Celebrations!

  1. I enjoy your posts which I have been following for about two years. We are missionaries in Brazil, SA. I enjoy the variety: recipes, devotionals, and decorating ideas. Congratulations on a long ministry.

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  2. Happy Birthday Alli! Happy Annivery to you on your blog! I have been reading your blog for at least 4 years and I love to hear about and see your family and how much love you have for each other. Also all your tips from cooking, decorating, and even your style of outfits.

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  3. Happy Birthday Alli! Happy Annivery to you on your blog! I have been reading your blog for at least 4 years and I love to hear about and see your family and how much love you have for each other. Also all your tips from cooking, decorating, and even your style of outfits.

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  4. I have been reading you for much longer than the 12 years of your blog 😜. Congratulations on your anniversary! I know it has blessed many as you have blessed my life. I love the memories of Alli (Allison) as a little girl taking me in her room and talking 100 MPH 😂. The Lord has blessed her with many gifts and what a sweet mama she is! Happy birthday sweet girl!—FA💜

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    1. Thank you, Dianne. You know me and you still follow me…that’s a sweet sister!
      Thanks for your wishes for Alli. We had a great time celebrating, and she’s much better about letting others get a word in! =)

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  5. I’ve been reading your blog for a year or so. I live in Virginia and became acquainted with your writing through the Extraordinary Woman devotional book on Proverbs 31. I love your posts about Christian life and homemaking. Thank you for the encouragement!!

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    1. Lora, thank you for your encouragement. What a blessing to hear about how you found me here. I hope you’ll continue to be encouraged and strengthened in your homemaking and your walk with the Lord!

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  6. Happy Anniversary on your blog! I’ve been reading your blog for about 4 years. It is something I look forward to on M,W, and F. I love the balance of recipes, devotionals, and sharing your personal life. It is always refreshing and uplifting and sometimes convicting which is a good thing too. Thank you for your time and effort that you put into it. I live in IL

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    1. Thank you so much for your comment and encouragement. It’s easy to wonder if people are reading! It’s a joy to my heart to hear how my simple blog is encouraging you. You blessed my day!

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  7. I’ve been reading since May of 2011- when we found out that we were moving to JC. Your blog helped me decide which church to visit first… and only. 😃 I liked right away that you love God and do your best to please Him, without taking yourself too seriously. Being a Christian brings you joy even in the hardest times. You love people and serving. You make your home beautiful, but your pantry gets messy like mine.
    I like your hospitality pointers and ideas on how to work on bigger events several days or weeks ahead so that I can relax and be excited on the day of the event.

    About a year ago, we counted over 100 recipes that we have made from your blog! I think it was some thing like 140! Many my kids have made on their own.

    Which reminds me, I love that my teens can read everything on your blog without me cringing over topics, or watching closely to explain why X is wrong. You point them to Jesus with grace.

    Most of all, I love that your blog makes me want to live to please God, and enjoy doing so.

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    1. Amy, you’ve been one of my huge supports and encouragements on days when I wondered if this was even worth it. Thank you for your message here that I know came from your heart. I’m truly humbled that you would read and use the things I share.
      I never use my blog recipe notebook that I don’t think of you and that special day when you honored me and my blog. Every pastor’s wife needs an Amy! Thank you. I’m so glad God brought you our way for those years. My only comfort in your departure is that I’ll be with you in heaven for eternity!

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  8. Happy Birthday Alli and Happy Anniversary to you! I’ve been reading our blog for at least 5 years. I came to know your blog through Whitney’s You Tube channel and blog. You both are such a blessing! I live in Illinois. I enjoy all the material you blog about from recipes (we’ve tried many of your recipes! When I can’t think of something to make I always scroll through the recipe section on your blog), to marriage advice to Biblical growth. It’s all so very good!

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    1. Thank you, Nikki for this sweet message. I’m so glad you follow Whitney; too; she has such great content! I’m honored that you would read and use the material here. What a gift to hear from you!

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  9. Hi Denise,
    Congratulations on your blog birthday ! Also Happy Birthday to Alli !
    I met you when you were the speaker for a ladies retreat at Forest Glen Bible Camp in Nova Scotia, Canada. 🇨🇦 I still have the notes and read them from time to time. 😊 That weekend was a blessing and reading your blog has been something that I look forward to 3x/wk. I am always encouraged, strengthened and convicted ! I have tried many of your recipes and homemaking/organizing/cleaning tips. I have recommended you to all of my friends and family.
    I also receive Whitney’s and your husband’s blog posts as well. My husband has been encouraged by reading Pastor’s Heart.
    God is so good ! Thank you for making a difference in the lives of so many. Thank you for your spirit and heart you put into your Christian walk and your blog. I truly appreciate you. You are an example of the believer.
    Keep looking to Jesus and continue to be encouraged in Him….And keep those blog posts coming as long as God gives grace and direction.🙏 Blessings, Elaine 💕

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    1. Elaine, I have such wonderful memories of my times at Forest Glen! Thank you for not only following me since then, but also Whitney and my husband’s blog. I so appreciate you sharing this with others as well!
      Thank you for your encouragement. Pray I’ll only follow the Lord’s leadership and only for His glory! God bless you!

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  10. There is no way that sweet baby girl I held in my arms and rocked, and fed and sang too is 29 years old today. She and Whitney have brought so much joy in my life. I couldn’t love them anymore if they were my own💞Thank you and Pastir from the bottom of my heart fir sharing your girls with John and I.💖💖Congratulations on 12 years of blogging, it is such a refreshing ( pun intended🤣 time of day when I open up my IPad to catch up with you. We love you all💞💞💞💞

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    1. I know what you mean! The years have flown! Thanks for loving my girls! I’m so grateful for you following me here and staying in touch via my blog. You are a blessing to me and I’m so grateful for your friendship all these years!

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  11. Happy Birthday, Ali. Congratulations to you, Denise. Twelve years of blogging is a lot of work. Thank-you for putting yourself out there.
    I am not sure how long I have been following you but probably 3 years??? I live in the Pacific Northwest, not far from Portland, OR. I can’t tell you what content I like the best because I like all of it. Honestly, reading your blog makes me want to be a better person.
    I have to say I follow Whitney too. She is amazing just like her mama.
    Here is to twelve more years of wonderful, inspiring blog posts.

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  12. Happy Birthday to your daughter!! I hope she’s having a wonderful day!

    And Happy Bloggiversary to you, Denise!! Wow, 12 years!! I’ve been following for probably about three-ish years. I enjoy all your content! It’s homey and heartwarming and encouraging in my roles as a Christian woman, wife, mom, daughter, sister, and friend. Your spiritual posts are motivating and have kept me going on many days. Your home-making ideas are very beautiful without being too fussy and out of reach for the everyday homemaker like me. And I admire your consistency; it encourages me to keep going on my blog for the long haul instead of getting discouraged and letting it go.

    And I’m enjoying your Instagram account as well!! Thank you for the time you put into it all.

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    1. Oh, and I forgot to mention your Podcasts and your YouTube videos! I save your podcasts to listen to while I’m getting ready on Sunday mornings. Sets me in a good frame of mind for Bible class and church. 😊

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    2. Alinda, it’s been a special blessing to gain friends like you, through my blog. I’m so appreciative of your teachable heart and encouraging spirit. Thank you for these kind words. I pray I will only point you to Christ as you desire to please Him in each area of your life. You are a huge blessing to me!

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  13. Happy Birthday to Alli and Happy Blogiversary to you!

    I honestly can’t remember how long I’ve been reading your blog. I think I may have found you by way of Christa Threlfall’s Brown Sugar Toast blog, but I’m not at all sure of that. It’s been a good number of years, anyway. I so enjoy all that you share here and have gotten some of my best recipes from you. I live in New Hampshire and have been blessed to meet you in person when you spoke at The Wilds of New England. Those messages you shared that weekend are still resonating with me, and I have been able to use them to encourage other ladies as well.

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    1. I’m so grateful that I had the blessing of meeting you a couple years ago! What a sweet spirit you have. Thank you for your encouragement, your comments and for your support of my blog. Your blog is so sweet and encourages me as well!

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  14. Congratulations on 12 years of your blog! I have been following you ever since my husband and I came to an FBFI conference hosted by your church when he was pastoring. I remember going to Elijah’s Harbor as part of that conference and hearing you speak with your husband. We live in Virginia and I read your blog regularly. You and I are close to the same age, and I especially enjoy your posts about marriage, travel, devotional, and everyday life – and your recipe index is my go-to for new recipes and meal ideas!

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  15. Happy Birthday to Alli! 😊 and
    Happy Anniversary on your blog! 😊

    I met you at a ladies retreat at Forest Glen Bible Camp. You were the guest speaker there, and it was such an encouraging time for me and getting to know you and the other ladies. I have been reading your blog ever since! I love your blog and love sharing it with family and friends! 😊 I enjoy trying your recipes, learning some home decor tips/crafts, and style of outfits!
    I just love your sweet spirit! Hope to see you again, and to meet your family/church family! 😊

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  16. Denise, You have the sweetest spirit and it just radiates through your blogs. Thank you for sharing with everyone these extraordinary devotionals. I need them and I love how they are simply written as if we were sitting and talking with each other like we were old friends chit chatting away. You have a lovely family and I know God is smiling on you. God Bless you !
    Let me add, I also love you sharing your recipes, decorating ideas and your traveling pictures. Thank you once again.

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    1. Cindy, you are so sweet. I pray that I point others to Christ. I know myself and my sin struggles, but I do want my life to count for my Savior! Thank you for reading what I post, and also for encouraging my heart today!

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  17. I’m so thankful that the Lord saw fit to put Alli in our family! I can’t imagine life without her!! Also thanks for not letting her take the drums. 🙂

    Happy 12th Blogiversary! You are my favorite blogger! I admire your consistency and faithfulness to post all these years. I use your recipe index all the time too! ❤

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  18. I’m so thankful that the Lord saw fit to put Alli in our family! I can’t imagine life without her!! Also thanks for not letting her take the drums. 🙂

    Happy 12th Blogiversary! You are my favorite blogger! I admire your consistency and faithfulness to post all these years. I use your recipe index all the time too! ❤

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  19. I have been following for 12 years! I love your encouragement from the Word and how you always point us to Christ. I love that we get to worship together at church and that I can know you outside of the internet. I also love the recipes! I check your blog first when I’m looking for something new to make.

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    1. Thank you, sweet Angie. You are a special blessing in my life. I so appreciate your encouragement and the fact that you read and use the blog as a resource for recipes!! We also know someone else in your house reads my blog occasionally! 😉😂

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  20. Happy “Blogaversary“! I’ve been following along for 4 years. I heard you speak at The Wilds in April 2016 (my first trip there) and have been reading your blog ever since. I’m still using my prayer journal that you shared a couple of years ago. Thank you for the practical and encouraging posts. They have helped me in more ways than I could ever express 💜

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    1. “Blogaversary” – Love it! =) Thank you, Amanda. I’m so happy to hear the prayer journal is still a blessing to you! I often pray for all the women that have received that to be strengthened in their prayer life as they watch God do things only He could do!
      You have encouraged my heart many times in the four years you’ve been reading, and I’m so grateful!! Maybe we’ll meet up at The Wilds again in the future! Wouldn’t that be fun?!

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