March 30, 2017
When springtime rolls around, it’s hard for me not to write about my favorite season. Visions of pink and blue hydrangeas, white gardenias, yellow daylilies, coral heuchera, and purple petunias dance in my head. Every year I save up for colorful replacements or new varieties.
There are some things about this time of year, however, that can destroy its beauty–if I let it.
You guessed it: weeds. You can tell by this picture in my backyard garden that some flowers are blooming. But most of those green shoots covering the ground and invading the good plants? Weeds! Unfortunately, just like most of the plants in my gardens, those weeds are perennial.
The sun may eventually kill the shallow ones, though my garden is mostly shady. And mulch will cover up some of the green invaders. But only for a while. Others will soon take their place. If I let them grow wild and don’t pull them out as soon as they pop up, they will soon choke out the beauty and the fragrance of my garden.
Finding God in the Garden
That’s true of my spiritual garden as well. Think about these areas of life and the power of weeds left untended: Read more
June 30, 2016
Everyone has an opinion today on what their country needs and what it will take to help heal it–especially when division occurs or election time rolls around. There are many things you can do to help, but none are more important than the one I’ll tell you about today. If you really love your country, here is the most important thing you can do to help heal it: Read more
April 12, 2016
What Are Your Expectations?
What are your expectations for your home and family? Do you expect less messiness and more beauty? And how do you respond when you can’t see the beauty for the mess?
Here are a few ideas to help you get started: Read more
February 10, 2016
Candy, Flowers, Perfume—these Valentine’s Day gifts still make up the largest portion of the Valentine commercial industry. And there’s nothing wrong with those. But what if you and your spouse could give each other a special gift this Valentine’s Day–one that would last all year?
Do you pray for your spouse? What better time than Valentine’s Day to let your spouse know that you are praying for him/her and what you are praying. It could be one of the best Valentine gifts you could ever offer. Make your prayer letter personal, but here are some suggestions of how you might pray for your husband or for your wife: Read more
July 20, 2015
My husband and I are celebrating our 49th wedding anniversary. Yes, we married young. 🙂 No, these are not necessarily our secrets, though we’ve tried to incorporate them into our marriage through the years.
Actually, we could sum up the secret of our long and satisfying marriage in three words: God‘s amazing grace.
But as marriage enrichment leaders through the years we’ve had the privilege of working with many couples. And in his ministry position, my husband has had the opportunity to work with and counsel numerous couples.
What makes a marriage flourish? This list is not exhaustive, but here are seven secrets of a long, grace-filled marriage that we’ve observed through the years: (If you’ve been married over 25 years, I’d love to hear your thoughts on what makes a marriage last. You can do so at the end of this blog).
December 9, 2014
You don’t need a checkbook or credit card for these Christmas gifts. Your spouse will enjoy these inexpensive gifts at Christmas–or any time of the year. Read more
August 5, 2014
God prompted me to re-visit this blog I wrote in the past. The devotional message never grows old. Enjoy.
I read Florence Littauer’s challenge years ago in her book, It Takes So Little to Be Above Average. But God reminded me of that principle in a truly simple way this week.
I had just semi-closed the misaligned door of the old armoire in our bedroom. But as I rounded the corner to the hall that book title popped into my head–as it sometimes does when I’ve given a half-hearted effort to do something. Read more
June 3, 2014
God laid on my heart this week to share a two-part blog series with you again. “Someone needs this,” I heard Him whisper. Maybe it’s you.
Feeling cranky, tired, discouraged or edgy? Sure, it could be hunger or hormones, but the problem could go deeper. Recently, I was suffering from “technology overload”–and a prolonged schedule packed with new “learning curves.” We’ve been married so long, my husband recognized the symptoms immediately. It was time to talk.
“What makes your heart sing?” he asked gently but firmly. “I think that’s the real problem.” I knew immediately what he meant. Maybe you do, too. Read more
May 20, 2014
I’m done. Finished. Last One. That’s what I said the last time. But this time I mean it.
Ever uttered those words? If it hadn’t involved our entire neighborhood, I probably wouldn’t have Read more
July 22, 2013
Has anyone ever asked you, “Is the light on in your marriage?”
About 17 years ago, a single young woman bought a cocker spaniel puppy from us. (We already had two grown dogs at the time and had agreed to sell this one for our older daughter).
Unfortunately, I had already become attached to it. When I watched that sweet puppy walk out of our lives, I couldn’t hold back the tears. Can you believe that? Before she left, my husband reached over and gave me a tender reassuring hug–nothing unusual.
A Marriage Like Yours
The young lady brought the dog back the next day. Her landlord refused to allow it into the apartment complex. As we talked, she said something totally unexpected: “Someday, I want a marriage like yours.”
“What do you mean?” I hardly knew the girl, and she knew nothing about my marriage. Read more