Encouragement · Refreshment in marriage · Wife's Role

One Great Tool To Strengthen Your Marriage

I’ve always been a huge fan and encourager of leaving love notes for your spouse. Why? Scripture says,

Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad. Proverbs 12:25

Our husband gets beaten down by the world, his own flesh and the devil. If we’re not giving them a “good word,” who is? We don’t want another woman giving him those words…that is our place and privilege!

A few months ago my friend and I were browsing through a store and she found the cutest pad of love notes from Dayspring and brought them over to me and said,

This looks like something you would love!

Was she ever right! Here’s the front of the pad…

Here’s the back…

Sample page…

I love that you can put the date on it, that it’s filled with a prayer and also Scripture verses. You can flip it over and write an additional note to your spouse in your handwriting…

Backside of note

There are 100 notes in this pad! They cover topics like noticing their burdens, their spiritual gifts being used, dreaming about the future, and sparks of loving romance. Of course you could come up with your own verses and prayers and write them on a card, but I have found the convenience of it already being written on the card, and also done so beautifully, really helps me be more mindful to leave them for my husband to find!

I’ve used this several times since purchasing it and I can say that I believe my husband has truly appreciated each one. I get no kick-back from telling you about this product, but I was sure glad my friend pointed it out to me when we were shopping together, and I wanted to point it out to you! This would also make a great wedding shower gift! I’d encourage you to check it out!

Refresh your marriage with a love note,

Marriage · Refreshment in marriage

Making a Marriage Last, Part 2

Last week I shared some of the many ways my husband demonstrates his love to me. Not only is it a great blessing to me, it’s also a nudge to me to keep my own demonstrations active each day we’re married. I promised I would share at least five more ways he demonstrates his love towards me – gestures that make a marriage strong and lasting. So, let’s go!

Yep, these roses were a recent gift from my sweet husband.
  1. He protects me. Last week while I was taking my morning walk, I called him, alarmed at a car driving slowly up and down my country lane. Minutes later he sent me a text, “You okay?” When I didn’t answer within 30 seconds, he called me to ask the same question. He doesn’t smother me, but he lovingly protects me with gestures that remind me I’m not alone in life.
  2. He reminds me that he wants to spend time with me. Recently we realized that our mornings were getting consumed without us getting to spend time together first thing in the day. He asked if we could rearrange our morning routines so we could have that time together before the day got too busy. Wow, that spoke volumes to my heart. After 39 years, he still wants to spend quality time together!
  3. He still enjoys just having fun together. We play games, sing love songs in the car, ride bikes, go on picnics, hold hands while walking, share our meals together at the table, talk and share our hearts, enjoy a sappy movie, and laugh lots.
  4. He is such a servant leader. He constantly takes a back seat to his own needs so he can serve me. No matter how I refuse or want him to put himself and his own needs first, he always serves me first. He seats me at the table, opens the car door for me, brings me my morning coffee, carries anything I have in my hands, makes sure I have breakfast, the best seat, or whatever the pressing need is at the moment.
  5. He points me to our Heavenly Father. This is truly the greatest way to keep a marriage strong. Without the Lord, any marriage is weak because we’re depending on our own flesh. So every day Dale guides me spiritually. He shares what he is reading, what he’s praying for me and others, and he lives out personally what he talks about. He has shown me so much about how to live the Christian life with boldness and joy. He has helped me grow towards Christ in incredible ways.

Not only am I thankful for my husband’s loving demonstrations, I’m rebuked by them. I often say, “I don’t do nearly as much for you as you do for me.” Trying to out-do your spouse in loving gestures is a good thing and a good way to make your marriage last!

What could you do this weekend as a simple reminder to your spouse of your love for him?

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.

Refreshment in marriage · The Scenic Route

Stay-Cation on the Scenic Route

Dale and I have enjoyed a few days of a “Stay-cation” this week, meaning we have taken some of his vacation days to travel locally. What a blessing it has been to take some day trips and see sights in our area. Of course, you know we didn’t take the main roads! We traveled so many curvy country roads I didn’t regret not getting passes to Dollywood this summer! =)

One day trip took us Midway, Tennessee where we visited this lovely covered bridge. It was so quiet there. We sat on a large rock near the bridge and just listened to the water and the stillness.

While winding through the scenic routes, we were greeted with some incredible rainbows! We saw them spanning mountains, reaching over lakes and embellishing country churches. They were breathtaking…

Watauga Lake is about an hour from us and has become a favorite spot for a picnic or just sitting and watching the boats.

As you can see in these pictures, we’ve had some awesome times together this week on the Scenic Route “Stay-Cation!” We’ve listened to CD’s as we traversed the country. We have eaten simply, but well. We have read Scripture at a picnic table, sat quietly with no words, and also bowed our hearts and heads together in prayer.

Sometimes the Scenic Route is so very simple. It reminds me that just like we “stayed” close to home, we want to “stay” in love and close to one another. It doesn’t necessarily have to cost much in terms of money, but it costs in relation to being intentional – just doing it!

So, I ask you, what simple thing could you and your spouse do even this weekend? Just the two of you!

Is there a local spot you could enjoy together? A lake? An historic spot you’ve not visited? A country road you’ve never driven? Why not pack a simple picnic lunch and head out in the near future? You might have so much fun you’ll forget you missed this year’s destination vacation!

Refresh your marriage with a Stay-Cation on the Scenic Route!

For other Scenic Route dates look here and here for starters!

Celebrations · Marriage · Refreshment in marriage

Anniversary Moments

Our 39th Anniversary is tomorrow, June 20th. How in the world?!

We started our celebration on Tuesday when we had a spur of the moment opportunity to go to Pigeon Forge and stay at the Wilderness Wyndham for four nights! Yes, please!! This was a special blessing after our summer vacation got cancelled, due to the virus. We had been praying the Lord would open up a time for us to be able to celebrate our anniversary and this was the perfect get away!

We had no specific plans – only be together, rest and celebrate US!

This Wyndham has lots of fire pits on the property and with the temps dipping into the 60’s, we took advantage of the warmth of the fires!

Morning coffee and devotions

Our favorite restaurant is Pottery House Cafe. Due to Covid, they have put outdoor tables in front of the restaurant in addition to their back patio. One table was put inside the gazebo. We didn’t know it at the time, but each of had asked the Lord if He would be so gracious as to allow us to be seated at that table. After our 30 minute wait, our names were called and they headed straight towards the gazebo! It was so beautiful and romantic. It also protected us from the sprinkles that came while we were eating our meal. The Lord is so kind to us.

Pottery House Cafe

My husband suggested we come up with 39 of our favorite memories during our time away. He recorded each one on his phone. How special it was to recount so many blessings of dates, trips and special moments over the years. God has been faithful through all the years in the good and hard times.

We don’t do events in the area, we just pick a spot for our main meal, shop a little, sit and enjoy one another and the place where we’re staying. We read, journal, nap, chat, and create more memories.

If that sounds boring to you, you’re terribly wrong. Spending time together is what we got married to do. He’s my favorite person and “we like us.”

Here’s to many more memories!

Did your vacation get cancelled, too? Pray about how the Lord might open up a time for you and your spouse to get away and watch what an almighty God will do!