Help Your Husband Live Joyfully With You!

I’m posting later in the day, but we just returned from an evening away. Read on and you’ll see what we did and what a special time it was!

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It was early evening and we had just finished a simple supper of BLT’s, a summer favorite. My husband pulled his Bible out of his book bag and told me he had something he wanted to read to me that he had read earlier that morning. We were spending an afternoon and night away at a lake cottage, just to have some quiet time to study, pray and be together on his day off. A boat or two rumbled past on the not-so-far-away lake as he opened to Ecclesiastes 9 and read about 6 verses, concluding with this verse:

Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity, but that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour which thou takest under the sun.

When he finished reading, he closed his Bible, nodded and smiled at me. As I looked at him I thought about how well he does that. He lives joyfully with me every day!

  • I saw it earlier when we were preparing to travel to the lake. He was coming to pick me up from my dentist appointment and sent a text to tell me he would be late.
  • When we stopped to pick up a salad for lunch, he brought the beverages to the car – a water for himself and diet Lemonade for me (my favorite).
  • As we made our way to the lake, he chatted, telling me the reason he was late – the opportunity to share Christ with a man. I love it when he shares his day, his burdens and his life.
  • He reached over and took my hand and said, “I sure love you!”
  • Later in the afternoon as we sat overlooking the lake, he said how thankful he was we could spend an afternoon together. Tears welled up in his eyes as he said, “Sometimes I just miss you so much.”
  • Even after our simple BLT supper, no fuss, no special recipe, he said, “That was so good; thank you, Sweetheart.”

Live joyfully with your wife – that’s what he does every single day. I am so blessed.

Why am I sharing this with you today? To boast? No. Even as I write out this list of only some of what he did in just ONE day, it is a stern reminder that I could make it so much easier for him to obey that Scripture if I was also living joyfully every day. There are days I just feel cantankerous! I’m often Fussy, griping, and complaining instead of joy-filled.

If I would laugh at his spontaneity, smile at disruptions, appreciate kindnesses, and live as though there was no tomorrow, I’ll bet it would help him to live even more joyfully with his wife. And maybe I couldn’t even believe there could be so much joy, and wouldn’t that be awesome?!

  • What do you need to change to help your husband live joyfully with you?
    MAYBE:
    Take the drive he suggests, even though you know you’ll be motion-sick on those curves.
    If he initiates a kiss in public don’t push him away.
    Leave the children with a sitter for an hour or two so you can sneak away for a date.
    Hold hands, rub his back, smile at him, send him a loving text message, ask him questions about his day, and really listen when he talks to you,
    Be understanding of his need for physical love.
    Tell him thank you for the ways he provides for your family.
    Pray with him before he leaves home.
    Be waiting at the door for him when he returns home in the evening.
    Get up and spend time with him before he leaves for work, if possible.
    Surprise him with a night away for just the two of you.
    Decide with God’s help not to fall apart when the next disaster strikes.

Let’s help our husbands obey the admonition to live joyfully with his wife by being joyful, too! Now, put a smile on your face and in your heart, and go share that joy with HIM!

Refresh your husband,

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Creating A Cozy Summer Home

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Home is described as the sweetest place on earth, the place we hang our hats and our hearts, and the place that is like no other.  As a Christian homemaker, it’s my desire that my home would radiate the love of Christ; that others would feel His presence when they enter our doors.   Would that not be the ultimate of being an inviting home?  That happens when the people that live here know the Lord and fellowship daily with Him. We, the dwellers of this place, must be filled with His Spirit so that others can know His love, His peace and His joy.  We can open our doors and use our home to share that kind of love – what a privilege!

There are also ways that we can make our homes inviting, cozy, warm, restful and peaceful right now in these summer months.  We often only think of cozy-ing up our home during the cool months when the hearth is lit and the aroma of comfort foods are wafting in the air.  But summertime offers lots of ways to make our residence a cozy and inviting place.

Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Open the doors, curtains and shades to let the light in!  While there is beautiful sunshine outside, invite it inside!  Pull up the shades in the morning and leave them up.  The warmth of the sunshine will brighten every corner all day long.
  2. Rearrange the furniture so you can make the most of the sunlight and outdoor views.  I have a small table in my bedroom that I put near the fireplace in the winter.  When summer rolls around, I bring it close to the window so I can sit there and sip my morning coffee and have my Bible reading beside the view of the backyard.  I can see the sun hitting the hillside, watch the birds, and enjoy the beauty of the outdoors early in the day.
    I also recently turned the couch to face the living room windows for the same reason.  Think about how you might be able to enjoy the outside view from inside and arrange your furniture accordingly.
  3. Make livable space on your porch, deck  or backyard.  Patio lights, fire pit, candles, outdoor rugs, chairs, table and umbrella can create a whole other room for your family to enjoy while it’s warm.  There’s nothing like sitting outside after dark and star gazing while a fire is burning.  (Oh, and right now is a great time to buy outdoor furniture and accessories!  There are some great sales are going on!!)
    back porchIf you entertain outside, you don’t have to make sure the house is dusted!  Who doesn’t love to sit out at a fire pit, talk in hushed tones and roast marshmallows?!
  4. Burn floral or fruit fragrance candles. Beautiful scents are important when you walk inside, and so are the soft lights of flickering candles.  Put one on your entryway table to burn when your family is planned to come home, or when guests are arriving.
  5. Keep the entryway spotless.  Step outside your front door and LOOK at it.  Most people drive in the garage and never see what guests see at their front door.  Make sure the rug is fresh, the porch is swept, and the glass door is free from dirt and fingerprints.  Put a perky, colorful plant near the front entryway.  Hang a fresh wreath on the door.  Get a new garden flag (again, you might find these on sale right now!).
    The inside entry should be welcoming, too.  A soft light, good fragrance and a pretty, eye-catching flower arrangement, wall-hanging or picture that draws people in are good elements in the foyer.  I love Yankee Candle Plug-ins.  They last a LONG time and smell so good when you walk in the front door.
  6. Lighten up the linens.  Use light colors on the beds and table, if you can.  Remove any heavy throws from couches, chairs or beds, replacing with lightweight quilts in lighter colors.  I keep a white quilt on my outdoor swing for the cool nights when we’re outside.  It doesn’t look like a wool blanket would, but is inviting and comforting without being too hot.
  7. This is a good time of year to freshen the house with paint.  Add a light color that will be calming.  Paint the room you use the most.  Get a friend to help and the work will be done in half the time, and you’ll have a ton of fun while doing it!Image result for calm paint colors

Cozy up your home for summertime and then invite some people over to enjoy it with you!  The warm months won’t last forever, so enjoy these elements of coziness at home before it’s time to light the fireplace inside!

Next week I’m going to be showing you some recent updates I’ve made in my home.  I hope you’ll check back and see what I’ve done!

Now tell me, what makes your summer home inviting to others?

Stay refreshed at home,

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Ten Things Television Cannot Do for Your Family

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Our family loves to watch The Andy Griffith Show – it always make us laugh!  The Barefoot Contessa cooking show is a favorite program on the Food Network; it always inspires me to get in the kitchen!  There are a handful of old movies I have enjoyed and watched again and again.  I say that first so you’ll understand that this is not a post bashing television entirely.  It has its place when used wisely (like anything else!).

There was a young visitor in my home who frequents my house who recently asked, “Is your TV EVER on?”  I told him that it is on occasionally, but that we don’t ever just leave it on.  The television being left on for the majority of the day is, I believe, a common occurrence in many American households.  I’ve been doing some thinking about the question from my young guest, and came up with the reasons why I don’t leave the television on.  Again, I’m not saying a person should never watch television; I’m talking about having it on for the majority of the day.

 A television babysits, entertains, fills a mind, teaches, occupies, and replaces our presence,
but what can’t television do?

  1. It cannot look a person in the eye.  It’s impersonal, distant, removed.
  2. It cannot have a conversation.  It cannot ask or answer a question.  It does all the talking.
  3. It cannot provide a peaceful atmosphere in your home.  Television is all about drama!  Leaving it on creates noise and unrest rather than peace.
  4. It cannot create a loving home.  Creating anything takes a person’s mind, strength and love. A TV has none of these.
  5. It cannot listen.
  6. It cannot touch.
  7. It cannot hold someone accountable.  It won’t tell you how long you’ve been watching.
  8. It cannot show emotion.
  9.  It cannot encourage creativity.  It does all the creating while the watcher, well, watches!
  10. It cannot pause to allow you to listen to God.  It takes someone to turn off the set so that there is time to hear, listen and obey.  That someone would be us!

Some encouragement about when you do watch:

  • Recording shows is a great way to use your time more effectively.  Then you can fast forward through commercials!
  • If you have to watch a show “live,” mute the commercials, which are always very loud.
  • Set a time limit as to how long it will be on.
  • Make it a reward – not a babysitter.
  • Try to do something else while watching – Iron, fold clothes, knit, cut out coupons, etc.
  • Don’t watch any show where people are doing/saying anything you wouldn’t allow a guest in your home to do or say.
  • Don’t watch anything you wouldn’t ask the Lord to sit down and watch with you (He’s there!).

Just some food for thought.  I’d be happy to hear your thoughts on this subject.  Please, no anonymous comments.  =)  Thanks!

With love,

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Sensory Memories

I turned on Pandora Radio on my computer while I was doing housework.  A familiar sounding song began playing, and then all of the sudden the recognition of it enveloped me – Somewhere My Love!  Immediately, I was taken back to my childhood when my sister’s alarm clock played that song so beautifully.  I loved hearing it play.  It was soothing and comforting.  Suddenly, I could remember my childhood home, and feel the warmth and love I found there.  Music will do that.

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Yesterday Whitney posted about a Pumpkin Muffin recipe that I made while she was growing up.  She recently made the recipe, and while enjoying the baked good was “transported back (to) the kitchen table, laughing and talking with my family.”  Food will do that.

The smell of a candle awakens a memory of a place.  A perfume scent recalls a person.  In short, our senses remember things.  Because of that, we should use that in a favorable way to create memories for our families.  May I suggest a few ways?

  • Play the same few CD’s for several months at dinnertime.  Or play a certain CD during a particular season each year.  Playing music at mealtime is helpful in keeping the atmosphere calm and quiet, but it also creates an audio memory.
  • Have seasonal foods that are your signature recipes.  For instance, make a pumpkin bar in the fall, your famous sugar cookies at Christmas, Lemon meringue pie in spring and blueberry muffins in summer.  Those tastes and the smells of those baked goods will bring back memories of mealtimes at home.
  • Burn candles in your home, or use potpourri scents to fragrance your home.  It will freshen your house and create a memory of the smell home.
God gave us our senses and they can be used to create a homey atmosphere that will bring back times from the past.  Let’s be wise and use it in a positive way!

What sensory stirs up memories of your childhood?

With love,