What the Preacher’s Wife Wore

Here are five days of outfits from least week.  I hope these videos don’t just entertain you, but also inspire you to pull out some things you’ve had for a while and dress up for your husband, even if it means adding a scarf or necklace!

I don’t post these videos because I think I am a fashion guru, but only to encourage you to use what you have, purchase things on sale, and mix and match your clothes.  It’s a fun challenge to me to do all of that!

Let me know if you enjoy these videos and if you’d like to see them continue.

Refresh your outfits!

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Our North Myrtle Beach Favorites

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As you may have read, my husband and I were on vacation last week.  We love the North Myrtle Beach area because it’s relatively quiet (especially in late April!).  They’ve added lots of great shopping and restaurants in that area, too, making it one of our favorite places to retreat!  Today I am sharing some of our favorite places and activities when we’re there!

Walking/Running on the beach.

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We love to get up early and walk/run while the sun rises.  It’s invigorating, it’s beautiful and it’s fun!  Time together strolling later in the day is also fun.  Hand in hand, we stop for a look at the pier or a beautiful shell, or to watch the parasailors do their thing.  It’s just so relaxing to walk the shoreline!

Enjoying an ocean front room.

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We spend lots of time on the balcony.  I had my quiet time out there each morning.  We ate our meals out there.  The door is kept open so we can hear the beach any time we’re in the room!  Being ocean-front is like living ON the beach without the sand!

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Eating at Fun restaurants.

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There’s a breakfast place we love – Golden Griddle.  It’s so inexpensive, but the food is great.  I always order from the kids menu and it’s plenty of food for the morning!  There’s always a line out the door, letting you know it’s really good (and worth waiting for!)

We also make sure we eat at Sea Captain’s House.  Their hush puppies alone make it worth the visit!  We had salmon fixed with a Southern twist and it was delicious!  We always share a meal and both of us are filled!!  The view from the window is spectacular!

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Another favorite place not pictured is California Pizza.  The pizza is great, but we also love the atmosphere of sitting in their open air restaurant and enjoying the sights and sounds around us!

Time together!

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What’s better than not feeling in a hurry to get to the next thing?  Time together at the beach is great for our marriage, even as empty-nesters!

The sky!

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These pictures are totally unfiltered.  Every day the view is different and beautiful, pointing to an Awesome Creator!

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We’re home and back into ministry and our daily routines, but how fun it is to look back at our pictures and remember our time away.

How good the Lord is that we vacation at the beach and come home to the mountains! We are indeed blessed!

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Where do you love going on vacation?  What do you do to refresh yourself?

Thanks for stopping in to see our vacation favorites!

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Ten Stress-Reducers for Marriage

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For my Family Friday post today, I’m going to share my husband’s great thoughts from his message series of Putting Hope in Your Marriage.  These are practical for every marriage – stress or no stress!

  1. Refresh daily with God’s Word.  Only His Word can help YOU be what you need to be.
  2. Always put your spouse first.  This requires humility…see point #1!
  3. Build together time into your schedule.  If you don’t put it in, it likely won’t happen.
  4. Learn to say “NO.” This means you’re saying, “Yes” to more important things!
  5. Cut out ministries that are burdensome and stale.  If you’re plugging away at a ministry at church with no heart, it’s better to give it up and get refreshed.  This will also allow you time to pour into your marriage, which is your FIRST ministry!
  6. Serve together!  Aquila and Priscilla served as a husband/wife team.  Where could you serve with your spouse rather than away from him?
  7. Communicate clearly and respectfully. Don’t use your words to punish!
  8. Plan ahead. The anticipation of a fun date or time together is half the fun to me!  If you plan it ahead of time, it will help you get through the stress-filled days of life!
  9. Be “touchy.” Hold hands, hug, love with touch.  It’s amazing what a loving hug will do after a hard time, isn’t it?!
  10. Trust God.  That means trust Him together.  Stop together and pray about that stress.  Read a passage of Scripture to your husband that encouraged your heart in the midst of your difficult day.

Thank the Lord for a marriage that can give one another hope in stressful times!  Add some encouragement to your spouse today!

I’m excitedly heading to Michigan today for a Ladies’ Retreat!  It’s cold and snowy up there, but I’m looking so forward to sharing time in God’s Word together!  His Word is like an oasis in the midst of a blizzard, but I’m packing lots of warm layers anyway!!!  I pray you have a refreshing weekend!

Refresh your marriage with hope!

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Family Friday – Be Kind!

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Sometimes all it takes is a simple request to repeat what I just said to my husband that will do it.  I make a statement, he doesn’t hear and he says,

“What did you say?”

So, out it comes again, only this time it has a razor-sharp edge to it that would make Floyd the barber flinch!

Do I think he purposefully cannot hear me?  Do I really believe his diagnosis of hearing loss was an intentional  plan just to get under my skin?

How ridiculous, yet, sadly, that’s occasionally how I respond!

Why is it often easier to be really kind to people we barely even know than to our spouse?  He’s the one to whom we pledged to love until death, yet we kill him with our sarcastic responses, glaring looks and deathly silences.

 

There are kinder, nice ways of saying something and there are words or tones of voice that I could use that would upset someone.  Your husband is a person, too.  There are kinder, nicer ways of communicating with him and there are ways of setting him off, just by your choice of words or tone of voice.

Today’s encouragement for your family, your marriage, is just this –

Be Kind.

  • There are two ways to say something.  Choose the kinder way.
  • Show him even greater kindness than you would a friend who you love dearly.
  • Smile at him.
  • Forgive him.
  • Listen.
  • Look in his eyes when he speaks.
  • Lend him a hand.
  • Do a favor.
  • Oh, and repeat yourself with the softest tone when he cannot hear you (said Denise to herself!)

Do you find yourself being kinder to others than you are your spouse?  What will you do today to fix that?

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Friday Favorites – God’s Timing, the Potter’s Wheel and Fall Beauty

Happy Friday!  Here are some highlights of my week pictured below!

Liza found a cozy place to nap against my Vera Bradley bag; what’s cuter than a cat striking a pose?!

A dear missionary friend of our always says, “God loves to surprise us.” How true, according to Jeremiah 33:3 – Call unto Me and I will answer thee and show thee great and mighty things which ye know not.  Last Sunday our daughter and son-in-law announced that they believe God’s will for them right now is to pursue foster-parenting.  As an answer to their prayers, this is the direction God has led them.  We couldn’t be happier for them or the precious children they will love on.

Here they are sharing their hearts last Sunday.  How grateful I am for people who have encouraged them as they take this step towards obedience!

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As the pretty picture my neighbor boy colored for me says, He makes all things beautiful in His own time!  We look forward to all that God has in store for them!

Last spring I attended a Ladies’ Prayer Advance that literally has changed my world.  This weekend my husband and I are privileged to be attending a Couple’s Prayer Advance – our first ever.  He’s participating in some of the ministry part, but we are excited to be here to learn and grow and change and PRAY!  It’s held in Pigeon Forge, so we are enjoying the beauty of the mountains and their colors!

 

When we are in Pigeon forge, we love eating at a restaurant, The Pottery Cafe’.  Their food is great and they serve all their meals on pottery made next door.  We love going to the pottery shop and watching the potter making the clay into beautiful dishes.  It’s amazing, and such a reminder of what God wants to do to me each day.  My heart must remain soft and pliable if I am to be what the Potter designs.

Beauty, Prayer, Molding and shaping, and God’s timing – that’s what my week has held.  I’m so grateful for the Lord using the day-to-day events and happenings to teach me and prepare me for His will.

Even as we look towards next week and the election of our president, let’s remind ourselves that a sovereign God is in control and He is preparing and providing in His time and His way.  We can trust Him!

Stay refreshed,

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Marriage Matters Recap

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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.

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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.
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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.  
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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!
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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?

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Improve Your Marriage Today

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Ever wish your marriage was better?  There are NONE that are perfect because we live in a fallen world.  He’s sinful, and so are you.  It is possible, however, to see that relationship improve with time as we obey Biblical commands.  Whether your marriage is Fantastic, So-so, or On-the-rocks, there are three things you can do to improve it today.

  1. Smile at him.  Instead of knitting your eyebrows together and frowning at him, smile! Not with gritted teeth, but a sweet, smile that remembers when you first fell in love.  Smile when he comes home.  Smile when you listen to him.  Smile when you look at him from across the room.
  2. Spend time alone with the Lord.  While there: A.) Talk to God about the things in your marriage that are troubling you.  B.)Meditate on Psalm 62:5 –  My soul, wait thou only upon God, for my expectation is from Him. C.) Ask God to give you a greater love for your husband.
  3. Focus on changing yourself.  If you want to see a change in your marriage it has to start with you.  If we’re honest, we know things about ourselves that need to change (interrupting while he’s talking, correcting him, nagging, belittling, disrespectful speech, whining, complaining, etc.)  This is probably the hardest of these three things for me.  It’s sure easy to see my husband’s faults and not my own!  Maybe we need to put a bracelet on like I mentioned here to help us remember not to do that irritating thing.  Any time you catch yourself (or the Spirit of God convicts you!), move the bracelet.

Whatever you feed will grow.  Feed your thoughts about your mate with loving, prayerful thoughts, and the love will grow.

Will the improvement in your marriage be instantaneous?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  Do it – not to see results happen, but to honor the Lord.  All three of the suggestions above are biblical.  You obey and leave the results to a God Who can do the impossible!

Which of these three is most difficult for you?

Refresh your marriage TODAY!

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