Biblical Womanhood · Refreshment in marriage · Wife's Role

Keeping Your Husband Your Best Friend

Continuation of our series and review of the book, A Woman After God’s Own Heart.

I love getting to counsel women who are engaged and preparing for marriage. They are excited about their new life ahead with this man whom they love so much. I remember when I was in that stage of life – I couldn’t imagine that I could love Dale any more than I did at that moment.  But Paul writes in Titus that the older women should instruct the younger women to love their husbands!  Why? 
Because life happens. 
Struggles come. 
Sinners sin and love can be tested and strained. 
Therefore, younger women need to be taught how to love when it’s not all violin music and ocean sunsets.

Continue reading “Keeping Your Husband Your Best Friend”
Dates · Refreshment in marriage · spring

Springtime Dates

It’s warming up pretty consistently here in East Tennessee.  These are perfect opportunities to have a fun date with your spouse!  Need some ideas?  Here are a few fun ones to get you started:

bike riding
  1. Get outside and work in the yard together.  Clean up any leaves from fall.  Mow the grass, sweep the sidewalks and driveway.  See if you could use some new shrubbery.  Celebrate the beautiful yard with a Frosted Lemonade at Chick-Fil-A or an ice cream cone at Dairy Queen!
  2. Take a bike ride on one of the local trails.
  3. Go for a breakfast picnic.  Be aware of the morning dew and take a towel or blanket to sit on or wipe down the table.
  4. Take a hike on a mountain trail.
  5. Take a drive in the country with the windows down.
  6. Go to Lowe’s or any other paint store and pick out a color for a room in your house or a piece of furniture that needs some refreshing. Do the project together.
  7. Build a fire in the fire pit in the evening.
  8. Play a yard game like croquet, Frisbee, or badminton.
  9. Wash the car together.
  10. Go to the park and fly a kite.
  11. Sit outside and watch the sunset from your porch swing.
  12. Take a walk around the neighborhood hand in hand.
  13. Go to a local drive-in like Sonic and enjoy lunch in the car with the windows down.
  14. Go to yard sales and find items you need to make your porch inviting!
  15. Find a little town you’d like to spend the day investigating and have a whole day away shopping, having coffee, and just walking its streets.

There are some ideas to get you started!  What springtime dates have you planned?  Remember, most times together won’ just happen!  You have to be intentional!

Happy Spring Date night!

Depression · Quick Bread · refreshment at home · Refreshment in marriage · Sabbatical · Valentine's Day

2021’s Most Loved

As I close out my blog for 2021, I’m looking back at the posts that were most visited during each month of the year. Here’s the list!

It’s no surprise to me that this was May’s top-rated blog post!
  1. Five Routines that Will Help During Difficult Times – If you don’t know what to do next because you’re in a tough place in life, this post will give you practical help.
  2. Valentine Memories to Keep – Here are fun ideas to show you love on Valentine’s Day!
  3. Conversational Respect in Marriage – Our words are clear indicators of our respect (or lack of it) for our mate. You can see how we show that in this post.
  4. The Best Anniversary Celebration – Reflections of our 40th party celebration. You’ll find some good ideas here!
  5. French Breakfast Puffs – Possibly the BEST breakfast muffin EVER!
  6. Refreshing Little Things – Here are a whole list of little ways to make each day more refreshing!
  7. Creating Periods of Regular Rest – Even if you can’t have a sabbatical or vacation, here are ways to create regular days of rest in real ways you can actually do!
  8. Need a Little Help Loving Your Man? Read how can we love our husband better – even when times are hard.
  9. Why You Should Decorate Your Home…Even When There’s Trouble in the World – Even though this was a fall decorating post, the truths about the need to decorate especially when things are hard, will apply to every season of the year.
  10. One Decorating Tip To Instantly Enlarge Your Room – Possibly my favorite tip that was AMAZING when I did this in my home!
  11. Thanksgiving Dinner Favorite Recipes – My favorite comfort/fall foods all compiled together!
  12. The Thin Ice of Despondency – We can all get to a place of depression and despondency, but here are some ways to push out of it.

Thank you to each of you who regularly read; I am so grateful! It is truly my heart’s desire to refresh your heart each time you stop in. I love hearing your comments, too! You encourage and also give some great ideas! I’m thankful that you would take the time to read my posts.

I would love to hear what you would like to read more of in 2022. Would you be so kind as to fill out this survey? It would help me know how to encourage you in this next year!

In 2022, what would you like to read more of here on RefreshHer?

Share one or more suggestions in the comment section. Thank you so much!

I pray this next year is full of spiritual refreshment as you read God’s Word and draw close to Him. I pray you’ll have daily joys in your home as you love those that enter its doors and serve with the love of Christ. I also pray that you life will be filled with the joy of refreshing others as you are refreshed. Proverbs 11:25

Happy New Year!

gratitude · Refreshment in marriage

A Conspicuous Marriage

Conspicuous
[kuh n-spik-yoo-uh s] 

adjective
1. easily seen or noticed; readily visible or observable:
a conspicuous error.
2. attracting special attention, as by outstanding qualities or eccentricities:

In Philippians 1:20, 21 Paul wrote –

For me to live is Christ.   

Paul lived out his love for the Lord in a way that was conspicuous.  It was noticeable.  

I’ve been dwelling on how I might be more conspicuous in my love for my Savior.  Our love for Him connects to everything we do and every relationship that we share.  Is Christ’s love conspicuous in every area of my life?  

Today I’ve been wondering specifically how conspicuous my Christ-like love is displayed to my husband.  If God gave him to me, shouldn’t I be demonstrating Christ’s love in my marriage?  Of course!  But if we’re honest, our husband is often swept up into the dustpan like the crumbs from last night’s dinner.  All neatly  place out of our way, we can now storm proceed to the next thing or person on our list.  

“I fixed him dinner!” we might cry.  Or we may wrongfully assume, “He’s watching football – he doesn’t need me!”  But if we desire to show Christ-like love, we need to be conspicuous about it. Whether or not he knows  you love and respect him, you need to be saying it and demonstrating it in a way that it is also obvious to others that are watching you.  And oh, others are watching – especially if you have children!  They are listening when you think they don’t hear your response to their daddy. They are watching when you think they are absorbed in  play, and they are learning from your example.  That can be a scary thought, or it can be a good reminder – it really all just depends on how conspicuous your love and respect are being demonstrated to that guy you married.  Think back to before you were dating; remember how your heart skipped a beat when you knew he was near…even in the same building?!  Perhaps you tried to be inconspicuous about your feelings at that time, but now you can, no should make it obvious that you’re crazy about him!

Find a way today to make your love for your husband “easily seen and noticed!”  Pick an idea below and let your love and respect “attract some special attention!” 

  • Draw a Love and Respect Tree on a mirror using dry erase markers.  Add leaves (made out of scrapbooking paper) each day with reasons written on them why you respect and love your husband.
  • Write him a Thanksgiving card and send it in the mail telling him why you love him, then send it to his workplace.
  • Buy him his favorite treat ~ just because ~ and present it to him as a small token of your love.
  • Tell him thank you for the little things he does.  Does he lock the doors at night, take out the trash, make your morning coffee, open the car door for you, bring home a pay check, pick up his dirty clothes? Find something and say “thank you” eyeball to eyeball. End it with “I respect you for that!”
  • Be demonstrative of your affection.  Hold his hand or arm, give him a wink from across the table, and for sure, give an affectionate kiss when one of you leaves home!
  • Spoil him.  Give him the first, the biggest, the best of whatever.  In the south we call that “specializing” on him!

  The love of Christ should manifest itself in your marriage in such a way that no one could miss that fact that you two are still in love!     What will you do today to make your love for your husband conspicuous?

In case you didn’t know, I sure love this man!

P.S. Don’t have any expectations about his response.  Just do it because you love Christ.  

Be conspicuously in love,

If you need some help preparing for Thanksgiving, go here for favorite Thanksgiving recipes, and here for what to do ahead of time.

Family life · refreshment at home · Refreshment in marriage · Rest · Sabbatical

Fun, Family and Finishing Strong

Who doesn’t love a week full of fun and family? That describes our last week of sabbatical so well, but it’s also a reminder of a truth I hope to pass on to you. Stay tuned.

You might think that 30 days of sabbatical would fly by, but the Lord answered my prayer and allowed it to go nice and slow. What a blessing that was! We enjoyed each day to the max and allowed ourselves time to rest, spend time together as a couple, and focus on what the Lord wanted to teach us as we got ready to head back into ministry.

When we got to the last week, we celebrated our 40th anniversary. My husband did a fantastic job planning our celebration and took me to Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse.
Oh. My. Goodness.
What a special time it was!

The food was amazing!

The setting was gorgeous!

We got to take our time and enjoy every bite and every minute. We were at the restaurant for about three hours! We cried as we shared memories from our 40 years of marriage during the meal. I told my husband they were going to think we hated our food because of our tears!! It was a truly magical day, full of love for each other, fun times and many blessings!

Ready for our dinner at Ruth’s Chris!

This last week allowed us to enjoy an early July 4th celebration with Paul and Whitney in their adorable small town. It was so patriotic and fun!! There was beautiful music, Uncle Sam on stilts, and parachutists jumping out of airplanes with flags making for a great event!

We went home early in the evening, then later drove to a parking lot nearby to enjoy their fireworks. It was perfect!

We also got to see Paul in his work setting, which was super fun.

The last church we visited was Paul and Whitney’s. What a blessing to worship together and hear the sound preaching of the Word! After the service we went to a lovely little restaurant, The Bleu Porch, in their town and enjoyed a fabulous brunch! My Stuffed French Toast with warm Blueberry Sauce was delicious, but having brunch together as a family was even sweeter!

We spent the last few days at some quiet spots – lakes and mountains vistas – where we could reflect about what the Lord had spoken into our hearts. We did much journaling so as not to forget our lessons and the changes we each needed to make.

This mountain view is more amazing than this picture shows!

Now here we are nearly a whole month later! I’m enjoying the new schedule the Lord guided me to practice. My days and weeks are full, but the Lord is so gracious to allow times of rest just when I need it most!

Even without a sabbatical, we can each find times to rest. Even when dinner is not Ruth’s Chris, but grilled hot dogs, we can find time to be together as a family! Simple events can bring the fun life needs when days are tough. Ladies, we’re often the one who needs to create the fun, so let’s get planning! We need one another!

I’d also encourage you to find regular times to unplug, be still, and listen to the Lord through His Word and in prayer. We are not meant to run on empty without time with the Lord and minimal time in His Word. We need Him!

What do you have planned to refresh your heart? How will you refresh your family?

Unplug and have some fun family time this weekend!