Celebrations · Family life · Marriage

The Best Anniversary Celebration

Last weekend our sweet daughters planned the most lovely early 40th anniversary celebration for my husband and me! Their gift to us was a family photo session with some great photographers from our area.

Plan A was to go to a park in our area, but the day turned out very wet.
Enter Plan B!
We used our newly decorated family room’s lovely blue wall as our backdrop! It ended up being really great (God’s interruptions always are!). I’ll share just a few of my favorite photos from the day.

Our twin grandsons were so cooperative and full of smiles!
I couldn’t ask for sweeter daughters. They are so dear to me.

This next photo is from our wedding day, June 20, 1981!

Forty years ago! And now…
Current!

Lots of things have changed, but Dale’s fun-loving spirit is not one of them!

After the family poses were all taken, the photographers invited each couple to come outside and stand in the rain under their giant umbrella for some really great rainy day shots! I love this one of Paul and Whitney!

And Alli and Andrew…

Look at the rain droplets!

Here are the “Oldie-weds!”

After a delicious lunch at Carrabba’s, we went to Alli and Andrew’s for dessert, consisting of a scrumptious Strawberry Cake. Whitney decorated for the party in her typical flare. It was so much fun and so pretty!

We can hardly believe we are staring 40 years in the face, but we are so thankful. God has been faithful, spite our old sin natures and imperfect love, He has guided us, provided for us and grown us. We pray that the years we have remaining will find us pointing others to the glorious Gospel where Jesus demonstrated the perfect sacrificial love, forgiveness, mercy, kindness, grace, and submission.

Here’s praise for (almost) 40 years!

Marriage · Refreshment in marriage · Wife's Role

Conversational Respect in Marriage

A young man who had recently lost his father was asked by a friend,

“What were your father’s last words before he died?

“My father didn’t have any last words,” the son replied. “Mother was with him right up ’til the end!”

We laugh at a cute little story like that, but the sad truth is, that scenario is lived out in many, many marriages.

I remember once when we were on vacation, a woman and her husband were seated near me as I read at the poolside.  The husband’s phone rang, and based on his (loud) conversation, he was talking to one of their adult children.  The entire time this man was on the phone, his wife was telling him something he needed to say to their child.  It was almost hilarious.  The poor guy could hardly express his own thoughts into words because his wife was feeding him lines the whole time he was on the phone.  I’m guilty of doing that on a bit of a smaller scale, but it’s still wrong.

Why is it wrong to talk over our husband, or talk for him?  I believe it’s the respect issue that comes into play.

How is respect shown when we remind him what to say, correct what he just said, or talk for him when he’s being talked to? The truth is, we are showing disrespect instead!

Respect is seen when we:

  • Give our husband a place of honor.  In conversation, that place is to be still while he’s talking.  We shouldn’t correct, interrupt, or answer for him.  He is not our son – he is our husband.
  • Wait for him to answer – even if it seems like he’s NEVER going to come up with what he’s wanting to say.  Many times he doesn’t speak because we are impatient and jump in too quickly.  I’ve watched a man literally forming the words and begin to answer, but never be able to say his thoughts because the wife couldn’t wait that long!
  • Wait for him to finish talking with the other person before we share our thoughts or question.  If he’s talking to someone else, we wait, then perhaps motion that we would like to add a thought or question, then wait for him to let us know when he’s able to listen.
  • Think long and hard about the need to correct him – even later.  Unless it’s a serious faux pas that he needs to go back and make right, does it really matter that he said it was three years ago when he built the barn out back, but you know it was four years ago?!  Ask if it’s something you can just let go of, and if it is, then do it!
  • Learn to listen.  Be quiet and listen.  Nod.  Smile.  If he’s telling his infamous joke again,  let him have his moment of glory and don’t spoil it by exclaiming your disgust or disapproval.

Many husbands that don’t talk in marriage learned not to bother after years of disrespect from their wife.  Show your husband honor in conversation and let him have the last words!

Marriage · Refreshment in marriage

Three Things You Can Do Today To Improve You Marriage

improve Your Marriage

Like any relationship, marriage can get into a rut.  It sounds the same as when you hit those rumble strips on the interstate.  It’s irritating, and it makes you move over, but often it’s not long before you hear that roar again.  Why?  Because you’re kind of daydreaming your way through your marriage.

It’s easy to “fall asleep at the wheel” and not make the efforts in your relationship that you used to make when things were new and fresh.  But I have good news for you today!  If you’re still breathing and your husband also has breath, things can change TODAY!  Let me make three simple suggestions – all that are doable today and cost nothing except your intentionality!

  1. SMILE DAILY (use your lips and your eyes to smile!)
    When he walks in the door.  Smile.
    While you’re listening to him.  Smile.
    When you’re telling him about your day.  Smile.
    When you see him across the room.  Smile.
    It’s easier to be too busy to even look up at one another.  It’s easier to furrow our brows and scowl.  SMILE instead.
    A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.  Proverbs 17:22
  2. MAKE MORE DEPOSITS INTO YOUR MARRIAGE THAN WITHDRAWALS EACH DAY
    Deposit a compliment instead of criticism.  Instead of fussing about the negative thing you’re thinking about, give a compliment of something in which he made you proud.
    Deposit help instead of looking to receive help. I believe husbands should help their wife, but what would happen if we volunteered to run an errand, lift a load, or do a chore for him?  Would we look like Christ in our sacrifice?
    Deposit affection instead of pulling away physically and emotionally.  Put away that cold shoulder, little peck, or icy back.  Pull the wall down with the warmth of your affection.  
    Romans 12:10  Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another.
  3. PRAY FOR YOUR HUSBAND FOR AT LEAST FIVE MINUTES EVERY DAY.
    Pray about the things that irritate you.
    Pray about the weaknesses in your relationship.
    Pray for his burdens, pressures and obligations.
    Pray for your hearts to be knit together stronger than ever.
    Luke 18:1 – Men (women) aught always to pray and not to faint.

Dear wife, I’m convinced that if we would practice these three initiatives DAILY we would have happy husbands, which would equal happy wives, and that boils down to a happy marriage!  Try it and tell me about your results!

Refresh your marriage TODAY!

Marriage · Refreshment in marriage · The Scenic Route · Winter

Winter Vacation on the Scenic Route

Most people probably only think of a beach vacation when the temps make the thermometer and your face equally red. But I’ve learned in the last two December’s that being at the beach when it’s cooler is a blessing! My husband and I went to Hilton Head last December and loved it. Here are a few reasons I love the beach in the winter…

  • It is the perfect respite after a very busy fall season and before Christmas arrives.
  • It’s not sweltering!
  • It’s much more modest (see bullet above!)
  • You pretty much have the beach to yourselves!
  • The cities are quiet.
  • It’s so restful!

After our first winter beach trip, we decided that we needed to consider vacationing before Christmas again so we could enjoy all those benefits. That’s exactly where we’ve been this past week. Due to the cancellations caused by Covid this year, our plans were held very lightly in our hands. We knew only the Lord would keep us well and allow us the blessing of traveling to another state for vacation. What a gift this week has been!

If you have been following my blog for long, you know that one thing my husband and I enjoy doing as dates is traveling on the Scenic Route. We enjoy taking the side roads and stopping along the way to enjoy the sights that pique our interest. Yes, it takes longer, but we love making a memory while spending time together.

Here’s a little window into our Winter Vacation on the Scenic Route ~

We both loving walking/running on the beach. Though we don’t stay side by side, we stay in touch with one another and love that we share the love of outdoor exercise.
We try to catch the sunrise every morning. The blessing of winter sunrisew is that they’re a little later than summertime! This one came up at a little after 7:00, meaning we could sleep in a little!
We had so much fun one day when we got to have lunch with new friends that we met this fall. We spent several hours in fellowship with them and it was so refreshing and encouraging!
We love visiting churches when we are on vacation. The church we visited last Sunday had communion, giving us the blessing of sharing this time together. Since Dale is a pastor, we seldom get to share this ordinance side by side! It was sweet.

Our time away simply allowed us to be together…our favorite thing! We don’t need to be entertained, we just like being with one another. We may sit in the same room in silence as we each work on projects, but we’re okay with that because we’re together. We do spend time chatting about upcoming decisions, God’s Word, plans for the future and memories from the past.

We’ve created some new memories this week on our second winter beach vacation and we are grateful for each part on the Scenic Route!

Have you ever vacationed at the beach in winter?

Family life · Marriage · Parenting

Four Lies You May Be Believing About Your Family

Four lies

One lovely evening we invited friends to come over after church.  We sat around our fire pit watching the flames spit embers upwards and the smoke billow into the night sky.  Then to get the group talking, my husband suggested we play a game called,  Two Truths and a Lie.  Each person has to come up with two truths about themselves that others might not know, and then throw a lie in there somewhere.  We were to guess which one was the lie.  Do you know what the hardest part of that game is?

It’s not hard to come up with a lie – it’s difficult to come up with two truths to share!!!!

Not only is that true in a game – it’s also true in real life!  It’s just easier for us to listen to a lie than for us to listen to (and believe) the truth!

After our game was over, the fire put out, and my week got started, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve encountered someone believing a lie in their life! Could you identify one you might be believing about your family?  There are many, but here are four lies I think are running rampant in our homes:

  1. This marriage is a mistake. 
  2. Things will never change.
  3. My child will go through the typical phases (like terrible two’s and teen rebellion).
  4. This stage of life is going to last forever!

Let’s counteract those lies with Truth:

  1. This marriage is a mistake. Once you said, “I do,” you marriage became a covenant between you and your spouse and God.  No matter the situation and happenings before you got married, God doesn’t want you to ditch this marriage – this covenant after you pledged your life and love!  He wants you to stay married and display the Gospel – Forgiveness, mercy,  and grace. When we promise to love ’til death, God desires we allow Him to work in our marriage because it IS His will.
    So today –Commit yourself to this marriage and stop thinking about what it would be like to be with someone else, or in another circumstance.  Pour yourself into this marriage like it was the first day you were married.  Make a difference in your husband’s life today!Matthew 19:6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder (separate).
  2. Things will never change. The previous truth about marriage isn’t meant to make you feel hopeless.  To say, “Things will never change” is to doubt an omnipotent God!  He is able to do MORE than we can ask or think.  As long as you are living – there is hope, because God is also alive and on the Throne!
    So today – Trust Him to answer and intervene in your life! Keep praying, believing and watching for what an all-powerful God can do!
    Luke 1:37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.
  3. My child will go through all the typical phases. Your child was uniquely designed and created.  They were born with an old sin nature that will need to be dealt with.  A strong-willed child needs a different kind of approach than a child who is withdrawn.  But with biblical guidance and prayer, they could completely bypass those “expected” kinds of behavior.  Every child has a will and when that will is bent towards Christ and obedience at an early age, they won’t be little angels, but could avoid much heartache they could cause for themselves.
    So today –  Train your child in God’s Word and ways.  Surround them with godly people, biblical discipline and teaching, places and activities that will be the Truth their young heart needs.
    II Timothy 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.  
  4. This stage of life is going to last forever!  I know that when you’re changing diapers,  chasing toddlers all day, caring for an elderly parent, or dealing with a hard season in your marriage, you think it’s never going to end, but I’m here to tell you there will could be day when you will look back and realize how quickly the time passed!

    Think back to something you did two years ago.  Perhaps it was a significant birthday, a special vacation or a wedding.  Doesn’t that seem like FOREVER ago?  Life is fleeting.  Children grow up. Changes smooth out eventually.  So  what do we need to do?  Learn to enjoy today.  Look for the blessing in the opportunity before you.

    When my mother-in-law had lung cancer, I cared for her in Hospice care in our home.  During those long days, I was exhausted and felt very overwhelmed and wondered how I could keep going. But in six very short weeks, she was in heaven and I was thankful for each day we got to care for her and spend time with her.  I look back on that time and it seems so short!  I don’t remember the hard things nearly like I remember the blessings!  I remember reading Randy Alcorn’s book, Heaven to my mother-in-law.  I remember the night my husband and I got to go to a Bed and breakfast for a night away to rest in the middle of this time, and I remember the blessing of friends who helped by bringing meals, and came and sat with her so I could attend church.  Nothing on this earth lasts forever.
    So today – In the midst of long work hours that your husband is pulling, leaving you alone, or while you’re waiting for God to bring you a spouse, or while you’re cleaning up chocolate milk from the walls and floors, look up and find something for which you can be thankful! Look for the blessings and keep a mind on the truth that the clock is ticking!  Remember, too, that Christ could come at any moment and it will ALL  be over, and forever more we’ll be rejoicing!
    James 4:14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

Thinking the Truth takes intentional effort.  Keep your heart focused on that which is right.  As Jesus said, The truth will set you free!

Refresh yourself with truth about your family,