Marriage · Refreshment in marriage

Making a Marriage Last

These posts are 99% written with women in mind. I want to encourage the hearts of women. HOWEVER, today’s post is not just a time to be grateful for my husband or just to help women, I also hope to encourage men in their role as the helpmeet to their wife. So perhaps you could send this post on to your brother or other men in your world. I trust this will strengthen marriages!

I loved my husband dearly when we got married 39 years ago, but every day he makes me fall in love with him over and over! He is not perfect, and we have our times, like every couple, but he is such a blessing to me every single day. There have been times I’ve kiddingly asked,

Am I dying? Why do you treat me so well?!

I totally do not deserve it, but I am very aware of God’s blessing and grace in my life in the form of my dear husband, Dale. It’s all the little things that make a marriage last the long haul. It’s the daily investments that make it stronger and give one another security in the relationship.

This week I’ve been “following him around” and snapping mental pictures of the many ways he is a blessing to me, of the ways he invests in me and our marriage. He had no idea I was doing this, and this is not our anniversary or my birthday. The things I’m going to share with you are normal for him. This is how I “caught him” pouring into my life…

Love is…
  1. Sentimentality – He leaves “Love is” cartoons for me all over the place. For years he has been cutting them out of the paper and putting them in my purse, my suitcase, on the mirror, the fridge – everywhere. They are always so sweet and speak into our marriage so perfectly.

2. Help with the housework – This is our home, our laundry, our messes and he so graciously and willingly offers help with some of the chores. I usually always start a load of laundry each morning, but if he sees that it has stopped, he will put it in the dryer or fold it if it’s finished. He also vacuums most of the time, which is a huge blessing. It really does make me feel like this is a dual-occupancy, rather than just me keeping all the wheels going.

3. Spiritual leadership – I’m so grateful for the times we spend in the Word together. He has been intentional about reading from God’s Word and a devotional book together, usually in the morning (it’s hard to make it happen later in the busy day!). He also prays with me each night before we go to sleep. Many times he has taken me by the hand to pray with me about a burden or pressing need in my life. What a blessing this part of our relationship is!

Washing Dishes

4. Help in the kitchen – He always cleans up the kitchen after every meal. He appreciates my efforts to cook, and this is how he expresses his gratitude.

5. Help with decisions – I’m the world’s best with coming up with “great ideas!” He’s so good about getting excited with me about a plan I have to rearrange furniture or re-do a room. This week he visited a furniture store with me as I was looking for a new sofa for our family room (more about that in another post). He was patient. He helped me think through what would be best in that room. So many times, he just helps me think. I may be trying to decide what to do in my already busy day, or how I can minister in a certain way, and he will very easily come up with a 1,2,3 answer. I tease him that it’s always a three point answer, given his calling as a pastor! But his input is always so helpful. Also, he’s okay if I decide to make another choice. That takes humility.

I have at least five more reasons he gives me to love him more every day, but you’ll have to come back next Friday to read those!

What does your husband do that is investing in your marriage? I hope you tell him often how grateful you are!

If your husband needs help with these areas, pray. Also, ask God to help YOU pour into his life and your marriage and watch what happens!

Refresh your marriage with what you can contribute to your marriage today.

Depression · Fear · Hope · worry

Paralyzed By Fear, Pain or Depression?

This week I have been preparing to teach my grandsons the story of the paralyzed man who had four friends that brought him on his mat to Jesus. As I read through different materials for children, I have been amazed at how most children’s curriculums make the lesson in this story all about the four men who were kind to their friend. That totally misses the real truth in this passage.

The Hero of every story in the Bible is Jesus!

The wonderful thing that happened to that paralyzed man that day was that his great faith in Jesus brought him to the place of receiving forgiveness for his sins! Mark 2:5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.
That’s the best day in ANY person’s life!

The whole issue for each of us who can feel so desperate is looking to Jesus Christ in the midst of our “paralytic situations.”

When we are paralyzed with fear, indecision, pain, loss or heartache, in faith we can “tear the roof off” and make our way to Jesus.

Why should we turn to Jesus in our desperate situations?

  • He is able to bring us to a place of healing. It may not be the physical healing that this man also received, but He will allow us to understand the One from Whom our real peace and joy come. Mark 2:17 When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. John 14:27
  • He will point us to the real source of happiness. It’s all from Him – not our improved marriage, our fuller bank account or our compliant children. He is always the answer to every paralysis. Romans 8:33-39
  • He changes our finite perspective to an eternal one. Revelation 21:1-5

Friend, how are you doing today? Are you experiencing any “paralyzing situations right now? My heart was grieved to hear of a woman who took her life this week. The pressures that she was feeling were just too great. She had been in despair and thought that the only outlet was death.

In the days in which we are living, it can be easy to feel as desperate as this woman may have felt, but I’m here to tell you that there is hope for each of us today. There’s something better than a bag of potato chips, a pill, a glass of wine or ending your life. That hope is in the One Who healed the paralyzed man on a mat all those years ago. He is able to do whatever is needed to rescue us.

  • Come to Him by calling out to Him.
  • Open His Word in a Quiet place and let Him speak Truth to your heart.
  • Talk to Him. Pour out your heart.
  • Sing. Praise Him. Lift your hands in your worship of Who He is.
  • Then take all that He has said to you, all the comfort He has given, all the hope poured in and share it with someone else.

Sometimes He does use friends to bring us to Him, and perhaps this blog post was sent to your path today to give you the hope you need. If I can pray for you or encourage you, I would be so happy to do so. You can leave a comment here or you can email me using the email address in my contact information at the top of this page.

You’re never without hope for your paralysis…turn to Jesus.

Easy recipe · Lunch

Three Easy & Delicious School Lunch Ideas

Whether your children are at home for lunch or you’re packing their meal for them to take with them, I have a few great suggestions to make their noon meal something to look forward to!

It’s easy to just pack a PB&J sandwich, but how about bumping up your lunch game with one of these instead…

English Muffin Pizzas

English Muffin Pizzas – These couldn’t be easier!

English muffins, split
Pizza Sauce
Toppings of choice
Mozzarella Cheese

Toast the English muffin then spoon Pizza sauce on each half. Top with toppings and cheese. Place on a baking sheet and then place it into the oven under the broiler. Heat until cheese is melted.

Cold pizza is good, so you can pack these in a lunch for your children to take with them!

Tortilla Wraps

Tortilla wraps are a great alternative to a regular sandwich. Pile it with fresh things you love – tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, banana peppers, cooked chicken, cheese, sour cream and salsa! Roll it up and secure it with a toothpick, or wrap it into a piece of waxed paper or syran wrap.

Corn Dog Muffins

This is a simple take on the old Corn Dog! So easy and just as delicious as that dog you got at the fair!

Corn Dog Muffins

Jiffy Corn bread mix
Milk
Egg
Hot Dogs of choice

Mix up the Corn bread mix and place in greased muffin tins or tins lined with cupcake liners. Slice hot dogs and add slices to each muffin. Bake as directed. Serve with your favorite condiment!

These taste great at room temperature, making them the perfect addition to a lunch on the go!

What is your “go-to” when packing lunches? What creative additions do you add?

Refresh that noon meal!

Fall · memories · Refreshment

Bye, September, That Was Fun!

Just like the leaves scattered on my walking path, September has left some special memories of events and happenings during the month. Here are the photos from some of the blessings of those thirty days.

I had the blessing of speaking at two different ladies’ events last month. After pouring over God’s Word and seeking God’s direction in my study, it’s such a joy to my heart to get to teach women Truth from the Scriptures. Both events were so well planned out, and I believe all the ladies were just so thankful to have an opportunity to gather together. Things were different, of course, but it was still such a blessing to share this time with these precious ladies!

My husband traveled with me to the first event, and then my dear friend traveled with me to the second one. She’s a jewel, carrying my belongings, tending to any need, and also mingling with the women and serving them so well.

Then we were blessed to get to gather in Asheville as a family to celebrate Whitney’s birthday. Spite the fact that we ate outside in an alley with the cool winds whipping around our feet, we had a great time! We made the best of it by wrapping up with blankets retrieved from the car and later warming ourselves over dessert served outside of Starbucks with coffee and sunshine!

That same week we were saddened by the hospitalization of my dear dad, but thankful to the Lord that he came home after a two-night stay. These photos were the evening of the day he was discharged. How blessed we are for every day together, every dish of ice cream shared, every conversation spoken. God answered our prayers and we are rejoicing!

The next weekend took us to Pennsylvania where my husband had the joy of preaching at the installation of a dear friend as he assumed role as pastor at a church there. This church had been without a pastor for three years, so they were so excited. Our friend and his wife had been praying about returning back to ministry after a few years of rest. What a blessing to see how God prepared the way for all this to happen. My husband got to give the charge to the new pastor. We shared sweet fellowship with them in their home.

The fall colors were beautiful and we took some scenic routes and enjoyed the journey!

September had lots of miles, lots of memories, and so many blessings! Our hearts are full and thankful!

What was your best adventure in September?

I hope you’ll refresh yourself in a Bible preaching church this Sunday!

Coronavirus · gratitude · salvation

Why Coronavirus Inconsistencies Make Me Grateful

I think I’ve shaken my head out of confusion and disbelief more in the last few months than in my entire life.

The reason?

Inconsistency.

It’s centered around the Coronavirus, of course (because isn’t everything these days?).

  • You may not sit inside…Of course we serve inside but you may not sit outside!
  • Only half capacity in store…Only 7% in stadium!
  • Church may not meet…Half the building may be full.
  • Masks are required at all times by everyone…Most of the staff have masks pushed down below their nose.
  • No one may stay overnight at the hospital with a patient…We can make allowances for you to stay.

I could go on, but I think you get my drift. It’s not as much what we have to do, but how inconsistent all the rules are that make this a season of frustration and confusion.

This frustration made me sit recently and think about how thankful I am that my salvation is rock solid. It is all based on Christ Who never changes and on His Word that is forever true! I never have to wonder if He has changed His mind or if there have been new guidelines added as to how to get to heaven! It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3.

  1. Realize I’m a sinner on my way to hell.
  2. Understand that Christ took my place on the cross to reconcile me to God.
  3. Accept Christ as my personal Savior.

All that will never change. Why?

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. Hebrews 13:8

What peace that truth gives! My daily life goes on with a grateful heart. Christ lifted the rules (the law) and saves us by grace!! How blessed we are!

So in reality, I can be thankful for the inconsistencies because it makes me realize once again what a wonderful gift my salvation truly is!

I’m done ranting about the Coronavirus…until I start ranting again. Just kidding. I really am asking the Lord to help me to remember the grace-filled life I get to enjoy for ETERNITY and be thankful instead!

Maybe this reminder will give each of us something to share with others when we start to shake our head again. The world needs to know of our Savior Who is ALWAYS full of grace, and that never changes!