death · eternal · Fear · Fear of death

The Beauty of Death

Hi friends!  I’m back! To you perhaps I was only gone yesterday, but I’ve been away for a week and a half.  We had family vacation that was such a precious time, and I might also add, very needed.  We tend to go at break-neck speed, so getting out of town to rest and refresh is truly critical for ministry families (and I’m sure every other family!!).  We got to spend those days at the ocean.  Here’s a totally unedited picture of the sunrise on our last day there…

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That was well worth getting up early to see!

I was amazed that there were a few people walking away from the sunrise that morning instead of towards it!  Why  would you turn your back on something so beautiful?  I couldn’t understand that one!

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We got home from vacation on Sunday and while we were unpacking the car, we learned that a dear man in our church had been taken to the hospital.  We dropped everything and went to spend the evening with him and his daughter.  He’s a precious member of our church and truly like family to us.  We went to the hospital, not watching the clock, but his face, and also his chest rising slowly with each deliberate breath.  This event changed everything his week would have looked like.  Instead of being in the comfort of his home, he was being poked and probed, and was now confined to a small room with beeping machines and IV drips that allowed him to sleep.  It seems that his day to leave this world is imminent. Scripture tells us…

It is appointed unto man once to die, but after this, the judgment. Hebrews 9:27

I visited him in his hospital room again yesterday.  As I drove home later in the day, I thought about all the people passing by me in their cars, scurrying here and there, sure they’re going to have tomorrow, making plans as though they’ll live forever.  Some are ignoring God and His call to trust Christ for salvation.  They assume that this thing of dying is far off.  They are like the people on the beach who were walking away from the sunrise, ignoring the fact and the beauty that was just behind them.

These moments are appointed to each of us.  If Christ doesn’t return first, we will each die. We will each have a change in the plans we were making for that day.  Do you understand that death can be, not just a fact, but a beautiful thing? Oh the process can be ugly and hard, but the end result of death is seen in this verse as being precious…

Psalm 115:16 – Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.

Psalm 23 reminds us that death is only a shadow, and a shadow cannot hurt you.  For our dear friend, when he takes his last breath here, he will open His eyes in heaven.

Absent from the body present with the Lord!  II Corinthians 5:6

He has this assurance because He received Christ as His Savior for His sins.  He trusted in what Christ did for him on the cross and those truths make dying beautiful.  Our friend’s death, whenever it happens, has reminded me that death is like that sunrise – it will happen, and I can look forward to it and see the beauty in it.

Are you turning your back on the reality of death?  If you’re afraid, is it because you don’t have an assurance of eternity with the Lord?  Trust Him today to save you and receive the joy of walking with Him here, and having the comfort of a beautiful meeting in heaven One Day!

Denise

 

Dates · Refreshment in marriage · summertime

Family Friday – My Favorite Summertime Dates

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The sand drawing above is an annual event that my husband started doing years ago when we first started taking vacations to the beach.  He draws our initials in the sand, dates it, draws a heart around it and then we get a picture.  It always makes a memory and I think it also speaks to other people, too.  As a matter of fact, when this one was taken, several people, including a child, walked towards it, then nearly stumbled when they saw the drawing, not wanting to trample through it.  Of course it would have been fine, but it was like they felt were desecrating soemthing sacred and they wanted to help us preserve it. But I wonder, do we as couples trample over and desecrate our marriage relationship by not stopping to consider what we need to do to preserve it?

Right at the top of that list is making sure that we spend time together…we continue to date our spouse.  There are lots of fun things to do on dates in the summertime, and many of them cost very little! Here are some of our favorites:

  • Drives.  Whether we drive through the country, or an ocean city while on vacation, we love to drive through subdivisions or streets and look at homes and landscaping.  We turn on some music, roll down the windows and drive slowly.  It’s fun to see what others have done to their homes and also dream about what we might do because of ideas gleaned on our drive.
  • Back porch dates – Those cool patio lights make the perfect setting for a movie on your laptop or tablet out there, accompanied by popcorn or a treat!
  • Backyard dates – We pull out the  croquet, badminton or other yard game and enjoy some friendly competition.
  • Bike rides – So many places offer great trails.  Sometimes we even pack a picnic lunch and enjoy the ride and lunch along the path!
  • Ice Cream Dates – The only thing we ever order from McDonald’s is their soft serve ice cream.  We also love Chick-fil-A’s cones.  Often we’ll buy a half gallon when it’s marked down, and enjoy a cone outside on the swing.
  • Yard sales – We like to make a mental list of things we’ll look for – a piece of furniture for the patio, books, or antiques for decorating.  We load up on quarters and $1 bills and head out, newspaper in hand and scavange for the best deals on those items.

Don’t trample over your marriage this summer; make time to create favorite dates and times with your spouse!

Do you and your spouse have any traditions like our drawing in the sand that you do? What  fun plans are you making for this summer? 

Refresh your marriage,

Denise Signature 150 px

Favorites · Refresh Your Skin

My Favorite Beauty Products

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Age.  It shows probably first in skin, and this girl was one who spent too much time in the sun when I was young, so I feel like my skin isn’t the freshest or best face on the 50’s block.  However, I’ve had some readers ask what I use for make-up and skin care, so I thought since I was doing a week of favorites (have you noticed the theme?) this would be a good time to show you what I use.

When I see what many other women use and do to their skin and also the propducts they use for make-up, I realize that my routine is very minismal.  I haven’t used a facial mask since before my skin had wrinkles – yeah, a longt time ago!  I’m sure that would feel great, but I have just never gotten into much more than washing my face with a good cleanser, using a good moisturizer and then applying either a fouondation for day or a Night-Time skin care before bedtime.

This isn’t everything I use each day, but these are some of my favorite products in no particular order:

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  • Mary Kay Eye Make-up Remover – This isn’t greasy!  I love that!
  • Mary Kay Time-Wise Night Solutions – I put this on a clean face before I go to bed.  I really feel like this does wonders for my skin.  It only takes a dab.
  • Neutrogena oil-free moisture – I use this under my make-up and love the way it makes my face feel.
  • Spa Pharma Dead Sea Minerals Facial Spa Facial Wash – I recently found this at TJ Maxx and love it.  It only takes a little to really foam up and give my face a deep cleaning!
  • Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser – This is a new product I found this year and relaly love for under the eyes. It perks up my face, lifting most of the dark circles.  The price for this product is unbelievably low!

So as you can see, I don’t stick to all Mary Kay or all another brand.  I use what works and what I love!

Do you have a favorite skin care product to share?

Denise Signature 150 px

 

Frugal living · Shopping

My Favorite Things From Dollar Tree

What isn’t to love about a store that sells everything for $1?! We have a couple of really nice Dollar Tree Stores in our area (let’s face it, some aren’t so nice!).  The stores are well-stocked, clean and orderly.  Like any store, you have to know what items are great deals and what itmes are best to purchase elsewhere.  I thought you might like to know my favorite things I pick up when I’m there!

  • Books – I recently got two books about backyards and gardens that are full beautiful pictures, recipes and great ideas that I can’t wait to implement in my yard!
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Can you believe this $20 book was at the Dollar Tree?!
  • Cotton Balls
  • Nail polish and polish remover
  • Elf Make-up (when available)
  • Puffs 2-pack purse tissues – these are never with the other purse size packages of tissues.  I usually find them with travel-size items.
  • Organizing bins – I love the colors and sizes
  • Greeting Cards
  • Craft items
    • Scissors
    • Craft sticks
    • Styrofoam balls
    • Stickers for card making
    • Glue sticks
    • Hot glue sticks
  • Package envelopes for the mail
  • Helium Balloons
  • Gift Bags – The ones I showed here came from Dollar Tree
  • Seasonal decor for decorating my children’s classroom at church

I’d say that’s a pretty good list of reasons to check out Dollar Tree, wouldn’t you?

What do you pick up at The Dollar Tree?

Denise Signature 150 px

Comfort · Encouragement · trials

My Favorite Bible Verse To Share With Hurting People

This is just a screenshot of my favorite verse. A friend sent this to me, knowing it is my verse. Do you ever hear somebody reading a verse that is special to you, and you think to yourself,

“Wait!! That’s my verse!”

That is the way I feel when I hear someone quote or read Psalm 73:25 and 26. God gave me this verse the morning of our daughter, Ashley’s funeral, so many years ago . I learned that day that God is my portion; He is enough for me, even in the hardest times.

When I want to comfort someone else who is going through a trial, I share this verse because I know what a comfort it was to my own heart. I remind them that just as we portion out a piece of pie that is suitable for each person at our table, in a much greater sense, God gives to us the amount of grace that we need for that moment.

It is always enough.

He is always enough.

He will strengthen the very core of who you are when you turn to Him.

If you or someone you know is going through a difficult time, feel free to share my verse, or claim it as your own. 😊

snack

My Favorite Snack

I don’t typically “pig-out” on anything, but if there’s one thing I might be tempted to eat LOTS of, it would be buttery, slightly salty popcorn! To me it’s the best nighttime snack!

Recently I’ve found that using coconut oil in place of butter is really tasty! It adds a tiny bit of sweetness and the oil does what the butter would do. I’m not sure how it compares, nutrition-wise, but I’m thinking it would be a little better for me.

Here’s how I make it…


  • Pour popcorn kernels into a microwaveable bowl that has a lid, covering the bottom with kernels.
  • Add 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil. Place lid on bowl.
  • Microwave 4 minutes or so, or until kernels slow down popping.
  • Using hot pads, remove bowl.
  • Add salt. Replace lid and shake.
  • Enjoy!!

I eat popcorn two or three times a month. It’s one little fun thing my husband and I enjoy after prayer meeting on Wednesday night. We’ll pop the corn, turn on Andy Griffith and snuggle together on the sofa and munch and laugh. Sweet times…or maybe salty, but it’s delicious and it’s my favorite snack!

What is your favorite snack?

Denise

Dinner · Family life · Tablescapes

Family Friday- Set the Table

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I have had some comments both here on my blog and in person about struggles with setting the dinner  table and making mealtime a family highlight of the day. I’d like to offer some suggestions that might make it easier for you to accomplish this! It’s not about making your house look like the Biltmore dining room. It’s simply about putting out what will be needed for the meal – silverware, plate, glass, and napkin so the meal can be eaten and enjoyed.

The how: 

Continue reading “Family Friday- Set the Table”