Marriage · Wife's Role

Family Friday – What Every Husband Desperately needs

What a blessing it is to stand alongside, before and behind my husband as he serves God.  Last weekend I had the blessing of encouraging him as he ministered to many different people.

At a couple’s retreat he challenged couples in biblical marriage principles.  I sat in front of him, prayed for him and smiled at him when he looked my way.


After the retreat when we had the fun of enjoying an Amish bakery, I laughed with him as he enjoyed his ice cream-filled donut!  I also enjoyed two bites!


When he preached all day on the Sunday of that busy weekend, I devoured his message, nodded encouragement, and told him what a blessing it was to watch him encourage that flock of people.


When we got to stop at an old home place where we lived many years ago, we reminisced over memories made there – some good, some bitter sweet. We held hands and wept, and also thanked God for His blessings.


When he got to encourage a group of young believers, I rejoiced in my heart for his love for people.  He has a shepherd’s heart that longs for Christians to stay close to the Good Shepherd,drink from His cool waters and feed on the grass of God’s pasture.


Ministry can be hard some days…some months even, but how grateful I am for the times when we can serve together and I can do my first calling – support this man that God has given as my life’s mate.  I’m so proud to call him my husband. He has told me

As long as you’re behind me, I can withstand anything.

What has God called your husband to do?   Stand behind him and encourage him in whatever that calling is.  You and I will never do it perfectly, but the important thing is that we keep on encouraging.  It’s what our husbands desperately need from us!

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Marriage · memories · Refreshment in marriage

Family Friday – Invest in Time Away

This week during our Valentine’s dinner, I pulled out a dating journal that my husband and I kept for quite a few years.  We recorded lunch dates, overnighter’s, and weeks away that we were blessed to share during the years our girls were home.  Wow!  It was filled with special memories we had forgotten.  But one thing rang true – we missed our girls while we were away, but those times alone helped shape our relationship.  It made us better parents, and it made our marriage stronger.

We literally had to scrape together every dime  to go on these outings, but it was so well worth it!  I’m thankful we have that journal to remind us of the joy those times away were for us.  Some dates were simply a shared ice cream cone, or a picnic lunch at a nearby park.  As a matter of fact, most outings were minimized in extravagance, but maximized in enjoyment AND effectiveness!   It was always profitable for our relationship.

For any married couple to spend time away together so they might invest in their relationship, will require an investment.  That simply means it is costly.

  • It could require a financial investment.  There are lots of things to do that don’t cost, but most overnighters aren’t free.
  • It will require time – time away from family, away from work and away from all other distractions.
  • It will require a willingness to get honest with one another so you both can make changes that are necessary.
  • The sacrifice of your pride is crucial so you can listen to your spouse without thinking about what you want to say.

After 36+ years of marriage, I would have to say that time away from pressures and demands – even for an hour – is time that helped build our marriage.  It’s so easy to get on two separate tracks when things are so busy.

May I ask you – are you making a true effort to spend time with your spouse – just the two of you so you might talk in depth, pray together, have times of rest, laugh, strengthen one another in the daily grind, and pour into your marriage so you can both be ready to move forward?

Let me encourage you, if you’re wanting to share these times but your husband is reluctant, plan a short outing.  Do something you know HE would love.  Keep it lighthearted and encouraging.  Pour into him.  Bless him with what he needs.  Pray about it, asking the Lord to make your time special.  Keep doing these little outings and work your way into a weekend away.  Allow the Lord to move in his heart.

God has a plan for your marriage and you can trust Him to make it what it needs to be.  But again, time with just the two of your is one important ingredient.  Even though there are no longer children in our home, my husband and I have to get away to really have time to talk and share uninterrupted.  We still need it.  We still love it!

Let me end by sharing some photos of the weekend Sweetheart Retreat my husband spoke at last weekend at The Wilds.  It was a wonderful blessing to our hearts to gather with 80 couples and pour into their lives for two days!  If you’ve never experienced a couples’ retreat at The Wilds, you don’t know what you’re missing!  These pictures will give you an idea of the fun we shared!


My favorite speaker!
Fun Time is always full of the good medicine of laughter!!


This baking skit…oh my!
Old friends surprised us!


Does this look like CAMP FOOD?!
More old friends that blessed our time there!
Love the bookstore!

Valentine’s day is behind us, but you live in your marriage every single day.  Make the most of it by making investments that will benefit your relationship for years to come!

Refresh your marriage – Why not start planning now for an outing?

Who attends couples’ retreats?  Where do you go?

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Family life · Kitchen gadgets · Marriage · Tips and Tools

Some of My Favorite Things

Today’s video is a compilation of some of my favorite things.  They’re a bit random, but from laundry duties to kitchen needs, we all have our favorite tools.  I’m also sharing a couple of favorite ideas to show care and love for others. Watch the video below or you can view it on my You Tube Channel...


Arm & Hammer with Oxi Clean

Milk frother


To  Be Where You Are – Jan Karon

Taco seasoning recipe

Friendship ball 

Did you have a favorite from the things I shared?  

Thanks for stopping to watch!

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communication · Marriage

Family Friday – How To Keep Your Marriage Plugged-In

Plug in a

It happens often – a guest walks into our house and then says,

“Your house always smells so good!”

It always makes me happy to hear that because I want my house to smell good!  There are some routines I do to help accomplish this, but I think the thing that contributes most to the pleasant aroma is that I have these Yankee Plug-in’s all over the house.

Plug in

I love them!  Some have lights and are a little fancier than others that have just the fragrance refill behind a decorative plug, but they all smell really good!

I have a sweet friend who works for Yankee Candle Company who keeps me stocked up in my favorite scents. She also keeps me from using fragrances that won’t mix well together.  Combining Vanilla with a Lilac might not be the best! The candle company calls this, Fragrance layering.  It’s adding just the right combinations to create a pleasant aroma.  I am blessed to have a friend who does the “mixing” perfectly!  I keep a check on the fragrance bottles so I know when the aroma is getting ready to disappear.  I want that fragrance to continue!

Last week when another guest mentioned how good our house smelled, the Lord brought to my mind that a happy marriage also has a wonderful aroma!  It’s noticeable to others, and it happens in the same way that my house smells good – we must stay plugged-in!  Oh, not to the wall outlet, but plugged-into one another, which just means, closely connected; in touch with what is going on; informed; involved.  Easier said than done with today’s “crazy-busy” schedules, right?  It may seem difficult, but let me give you a few ways that you and your spouse can stay plugged in!

  1. At the beginning of the day, share with your spouse what your days holds and ask about his day.
    1. Are there burdens on your heart that he could pray for while you’re apart?
    2. Where will you be going?
    3. How long will you be gone?
    4. With whom will you spend your day (or appointment?)
    5. Is there a decision that needs to be discussed before you leave – perhaps about finances or what an upcoming event?
    6. Never part without saying, “I love you” and giving a kiss.
  2. During the day, let him know if anything changes in your plans.  Call or text to keep him informed.
    1. Will you be late?
    2. Are you going somewhere else?
    3. Did something unexpected come up?
    4. Don’t just text about obligatory things!  You can flirt with him in your text – he’s your husband!
      One day last week when I was in the store I saw a Valentine that was perfect for him, but I already had one to give him.  I took a picture of the front of it and sent it via a text!
  3. At the end of the day, ask questions about his day – the demands he had on him, the appointment, the problem, the blessings that occurred. Be ready to share your day, if he asks.  If he doesn’t, realize that it’s all about timing.  Be patient.
  4. Routinely, add other means of care and communication. You might call this the fragrance “layering.”  It’s when you add more than one action or response to demonstrate your interest in his  life.
    1. Drop a card in the mail and send it to his work, if possible.  If not, leave it for him – in his dresser, closet, Bible, or by his coffee cup.  Let him know in the card that you care deeply about the things that touch his life.
    2. Keep your calendars in sync.  Whether you do it electronically or on a paper calendar, have a place where both of you know what is coming up in the future.  for example, vacation schedules, work trips, medical appointments, etc.
    3. Communicate all financial decisions.  You are a team.  Never make a purchase and hide it until later.  Be up-front and transparent.
    4. Praying together daily helps to share what’s really on your hearts.  If he doesn’t initiate it, sweetly ask if you could pray together.  If he says, no, just pray the Lord will move in his heart in the days ahead.  For the time being, regularly ask how you might pray for him.
    5. Be affectionate and loving.
    6. Look him in the eyes when he’s speaking.
    7. Touch him – hold hands, rub his back, put your arm through his when you’re walking. Touch communicates!
    8. Share with him the things you are learning in God’s Word and how it is changing you.
    9. When you are able to accompany your husband on an outing, an extra activity he has to do, or a fun venture he’s excited about, like a ballgame or hike (did I just say that?!) go!

I’m pretty sure we all want our marriages to “smell wonderful” because we’re plugged-in to our spouse!  Maybe today is a good day to check the bottle to see if you need to add a refill!

In what way do you purposefully stay plugged-in to your spouse?

My husband and I are headed to The Wilds today where he will be the speaker for the Sweetheart Overnight Retreat.  Pray for us, would you?  Thank you in advance!

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Dates · Marriage

Family Friday – Make the Effort for Marriage Get-Away’s

homestead 9

Work.  Hardly anything in this life comes without it, including a good marriage.  It takes both spouses giving, caring, respecting, sharing, planning and moving to action.

One important attribute to a healthy, growing marriage is time together without other distractions – children, work, pressures, responsibilities or cell phones buzzing.  Some would shake their head and say, “There’s no way that could happen!”  It will take work, but you can make it happen.

I’m so appreciative that over the 36 years of our marriage, my husband has always carved out time for us to share alone time.  When our girls were home, it might only be an hour out for coffee, but it was time away that we needed.  As they grew older, we went away for an overnight reprieve a couple times a year.  Then we even began every other year going away for a week at the time of our anniversary.    There was always lots of work on both our parts to make these times happen, but when we came home refreshed, more in love, and also ready to jump back into parenting and ministry obligations and pressures, we knew it was well worth it.

Now that we’re empty nesters, we continue to make time to go away.  Oh, we have the house all to ourselves, and we’re alone, but the pressures and responsibilities are still around us at home.  It takes leaving town to be able to focus and spend quality time together.

I’d love to encourage those of you who are married to work hard at planning get-away’s so you can talk uninterrupted, have fun, go places you’ve dreamed about, and strengthen your marriage in the process!  Here are some suggestions, starting with short times away, leading to longer excursions.

Short times away:

  • Drive-In to a place like Sonic.  Order then sit in the car and enjoy some alone time.
  • Take a game like Farkle  or Tenzi  (just learned about this game – lots of fun!) to Starbucks.  Have coffee and play the game together.
  • Go to the bookstore or library and look at books about a place you’d like to travel together.
  • If you’re coffee lovers, try to hit all the coffee shops in your area over a period of six months, visiting a different one each time you date.  Try different coffee drinks.  If you’re not a coffee-lover, try out ice cream places!!
  • Pack a picnic lunch and drive to a pretty spot and enjoy it in the car. Talk.  Listen to music.  Be still.

Little ones at home:

  • Reserve a hotel at a town near you. Get a babysitter for the night.  Spend overnight and grab breakfast before heading home. You’ll be close enough if you’re needed at a moment’s notice.
  • Attend a family camp at a place like The Wilds.  They have weekend retreats or week-long camps.  Childcare is provided during preaching sessions.  You can be refreshed and so will your children, in a safe environment that will build your marriage and your family!

Longer times away:

  • Plan for a week away for a significant anniversary.  The anticipation of that planned trip is half the fun!  Make plans in advance so you can get things arranged at home, but also so you can look forward to that time away!
  • Look during the off-season for places to stay that would normally be out of your price range.  Booking time to stay there then not only reduces the cost, it also reduces the noise and distractions!

Last week was my husband’s birthday and we went away for a two-night excursion.  My parents had told us for years about The Homestead in Hot Springs, VA.  We had looked into it before, but felt it was out of our price range.  Around Christmastime my husband saw on the Internet that they were running some great deals in the wintertime.  So, we decided then to book a room for his January birthday.  Oh, my!  The time there was so refreshing and wonderful!  I’ll give you a little peek into our stay:

The historic inn is stunning from the first view!

Homestead 5

The entrance of the hotel is breathtaking!  Every day from 3:00 – 4:00 they serve Tea in this gorgeous lobby!

Homestead 2

The first afternoon Cranberry Scones were served with each cup of tea. Yum!!

HOmestead 3

A second-floor view of the lobby.

HOmestead 4

The spa pool with mineral springs – This is an additional fee, so we opted out!

Homestead 6

However, the outdoor pool and hot tub had water that was 85° and 105°.  Spite the fact that is was 48° outside, we decided to go for it, and we had a lovely soak in the hot water! We also made a special memory swimming outside on such a cool day!!

Homestead 7

God is so good to allow us time away at such a lovely place at such a great reduced price!

Keep your eyes open for great deals on special places during their slow season. Then make plans and look forward to a special get-away!

Whether it’s a Coke at Sonic or a night at a resort, the best part is spending time with your spouse!  Every marriage needs it!

What will you plan in the near future?

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Dates · Marriage · Refreshment in marriage · Uncategorized

Taking the Guess-Work Out of Date Night

Date night.jpg

Who doesn’t love a fun date night?  Getting dressed up, going somewhere fun and spending time together is a great way to recharge your marriage.  But there can to be two problems when a man and woman are going to go out for a date:

  1. They always go to the same place because they can’t think of something new.
  2. They’re afraid to say what they really want to do, or they can’t make up their mind, so they go back and forth with, “Where do you want to go?”  “I don’t care, you decide!”

Does this sound familiar?

I have a couple suggestions for you that will alleviate both of those issues:

Resolution #1. –  Either Google “New restaurants (or stores, etc) in our area”, or use another kind of guide with that information to find new possibilities, like your newspaper.

It’s easy to fall into a rut!  You go to your favorite restaurant, get dinner and call it a night.  But with the world around us growing as it is, there’s no need for that to happen.  In our city and I’m sure in most areas of the world, new businesses, walking/biking paths, books stores, and restaurants are popping up every year, giving opportunities for new adventures.


Recently our local newspaper published their 2017 Reader’s Choice Awards.  In it are Restaurants with the best french fries, Asian foods, barbecue ribs, pies, doughnuts, desserts, coffee, Stores including gift stores, department stores and book stores. It goes on and on, listing the best of all kinds of fun places to shop, eat, be entertained or pampered.  I couldn’t believe how many places were recommended that I’d never even heard of!  I am writing those places into a book of date idea places.  The next time we want to “try something different,” we’ll simply open the book and make a new choice!

You could also write the names of the places you want to try on Popsicle sticks and put them in a jar.  Draw one out and do it when Date Night rolls around.

I love this idea of color-coding so you can make a more careful choice regarding price range or planning ahead.

125 colored popsicle sticks-$5. Mason jar-$4. 100 date ideas!

Resolution to #2. –  Take turns deciding.  When it comes down to making the choice of which place you should go, do this – He chooses this week, you choose the next.  It takes the pressure off trying to be sure he likes the place, and vice versa.  This way, you both get the chance to decide and if it’s not the best, well, next week they can make the choice!

Don’t allow boredom or indecision to ruin your date night!  Mix it up a little and make the most of the time you take to share a special evening together!

Refresh your marriage!

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Fall · Family life · Husband · Marriage · Thanksgiving

Being Intentionally Thankful in November


Happy November Eve!  There’s a reason I’m posting a second post on this October 31!  Read on!

As we stare into the beginning of this month in which we celebrate


I thought it might be a good idea to think about how we can maximize being thankful for these thirty days!  It’s too easy to jump into Christmas mode and only give a nod to being grateful for all God has given us in His grace.   So, let me share a few practical ways you can focus on being thankful starting today!

  1. I’ve signed up to join Revive Our Heart for the 30-Day Gratitude Challenge.  You have to sign up before November 1!  So I’m posting my blog a day early so you won’t miss out!!  This will help me to really be intentional in being thankful!
  2. Show your family gratitude.  I’m re-doing something I’ve done in the past to show my husband know how grateful I am for him.  I drew this simple tree on the bathroom mirror.  Each day I’ll add a leaf stating one reason I thank God for him.  The first year I did this my husband said he was going to Lowe’s to buy a bigger mirror!  It made me smile, because I knew it had hit a chord in his heart.  I love him too much not to let him know exactly why!thankful tree
  3. Chalkboards are great ways to express daily thanks.  Set one on the counter of your kitchen and each day have your family write another thing for which they can give thanks.
  4. Or you could draw a tree on a chalkboard, like my bathroom tree and add leaves of thanks, like below.
    chalkboard thankful tree | - love this!
  5. Keep a thankfulness journal in which you only write your thanks – no requests.

Let’s be intentional every single day this month to be thankful to the Lord…He is the Giver of everything and He deserves our praise!

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