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Showing posts from June, 2012

What Can The Church Learn From Club Med?

I love my kids and  I love other people's kids. I believe children are a heritage of the Lord - a blessing to be highly valued. Although our children are precious treasures, there are times that everyone needs to be away from kids -- their own, or other people's. This week was one of those times for Larry and me. One of the reasons our marriage has lasted for 25 years is, we prioritize time for the two of us, without our children. We need this for the health of our relationship. My favorite part of this week were the "adults only areas" of Club Med. They were really strict about it -- no exceptions. The church could learn a lot from this!  When you go away with your husband or wife, private time in your hotel room is a given. But what about the other times? Sometimes you want public-private time with your spouse, as much of an oxymoron as that seems.  And sometimes it's about being in a setting where when you engage in conversation or activities, it's f

What's So Unique About Husband and Wife?

"Celebrate in the way that only a husband and wife can..." These words were written in a card that we received on Sunday at our anniversary reception from long-time friends, Andy and Joy Morey. Written words get my attention. More than the spoken word, they jump out at me and marinate in my brain for hours or days. Sometimes longer. The words Joy wrote (I could tell it was her handwriting, not Andy's) stuck with me. "Celebrate in the way that only a husband and wife can..." That is a really super-charged statement because lots of people in other relationships believe their celebrations are really, really good. What takes place between husband and wife though, is not just good. God called it good, yes. And He also calls it a mystery. And mystery makes all the difference. It will forever transcend other alternatives. No matter how culture or law or anything else changes. Worldly vicissitude can't touch what is holy. What God has joined toget

10 Ideas to Have More (Legal) Fun With Your Spouse

Okay, so Deanna and Larry are here to help you pump up the volume of FUN in your marriage today if you need some fresh ideas... 1) Go camping. Just pitch a tent in your backyard if you don't have time to actually go to a campsite. Sleep in the same sleeping bag. (Naked.) 2)  Stop at a photo booth in the mall and take some pictures together. (Clothed) 3)  Do something together recreationally that you've never done before. (Hint: no, not smoking pot. Remember, we said this was legal. Just good clean fun.) By recreationally we mean  something like zip lining or kayaking. Larry and I went zip lining in Cozumel this past year.   4) Are you a woman? You might want to try some Zestra. I did, and wrote about it here. 5) Do karaoke together. Sing a popular love song duet like "I Got You Babe," "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing, Baby" or "Endless Love." If one of you has absolutely no singing talent, this makes it a lot more fun. If y

Marriage, Marriage and MORE Marriage!!!

Today's the day! Twenty five years of marriage with my man. We've been together now more years than we lived without each other. I am so thankful for him. In honor of this occasion, I'm going to reach back into the archives and find ten of my favorite marriage-related posts. I've written a lot on the blog about marriage, because it's one of my passions.  For those of you who have been reading for a while but may have missed these little gems...here you go.    Are You Married to Your Opposite? The Funniest Question I Ever Got at a Marriage Seminar Two Words of Knowledge and One Husband Later Make Your Husband Happy This Weekend (and longer if you dare!) Who's That With Dad? Change Up the Playlist! You Thought I Was Kidding? (My review of Zestra) Why You Should Have Sex As Much as Possible My Husband Is Going To Be Married To Four or Five Women Before It's All Over How to Wake Up and Change Lives Each Day Before You Even Get out of Bed

When Your Spouse Needs to Grow Up

I've heard it said that marriage is not so much about finding the right person but becoming the right person. I believe there's a lot of truth to that statement. When Larry and I met, we were just teenagers. We had a lot of growing up to do. We still do. Still growing up in our 40's? With two of our kids already grown? And a third almost grown? Yes. We are more committed than ever to learning and growing. It never stops. I've changed so much since we've been married, I recently blogged about how my husband will be "married to four or five women by the time it's over..." .  By this I'm not referring to sister wives. :) I've just gone though so many inner changes, not to mention I change my hair color every month. People at church lovingly tease that "if you've only seen one shade of Pastor Deanna's hair...you're probably a newcomer..." Ha! Larry has changed a lot too. I loved him as he was when I married

Please Don't Lie About Marriage

Larry & I, lighting the unity candle at our wedding Let's stop telling young people the difficult parts of marriage and parenting, so they won't be so reluctant to do both, and sooner..." After reading this on a popular Christian blog earlier this week, I promptly unsubscribed. I've been a reader for a while now, and the majority of what's published there is solid.  But I was so disgusted by this latest mandate, particularly directed at the thousands of wives and mothers who read the blog, I left a comment saying so, and unsubscribed. I hate lies, and anything that even slightly smacks of deception. Even when it supposedly for a good reason. It's unfortunately not the only time I've heard this suggestion. Some say we should keep quiet about the difficulties of marriage and keep the positive elements at the forefront so young adults will be enticed to make a commitment to marriage. The blogger I reference here is very concerned about young a

God's Blessings Raining Down...

So tropical storm Debby hit the Tampa Bay area last night and is still going strong today and this is an actual photo from a news report of some people with canoes in the streets! Talk about crazy! Everybody's talking about the rain but my day hasn't really been focused on the storm, but on the blessings in the storm. I heard of at least two churches this morning who sang,"Let it Rain" and were sorry they did. LOL!  At Celebration Church we didn't sing Let it Rain , but God's blessings rained down. We had a great service and they celebrated our 25th Anniversary of marriage and ministry.  The actual day is June 27...this Wednesday, and a reception was held at church today. Here's one of my favorite photos-- Dinah Velazquez (church member and owner of Dinah-mite Photos ) has a flair for capturing special moments. She and Gary Boggess (of Boggess Video & Sound) also created this special video of wedding and family photos that w

What should happen to Dottie Sandusky?

Although twelve people in Bellfonte, Pennsylvania know how they feel about sexual abuse, many other people still haven’t figured it out yet.   Watching the footage on the news last night, after a jury convicted Jerry Sandusky of 45 out of 48 charges of sexual abuse, I had to restrain myself from throwing something at the TV when his wife Dottie came out of the courthouse. The cameras focused on her as some friends consoled and embraced her. Quite frankly, it makes me sick. How many little boys’ would have been spared had Dottie Sandusky simply walked out of la-la land down to the basement?  How many young adult men would not be in need of therapy had she made the decision to refuse to look the other way?   While Dottie Sandusky busied herself doing God knows what in other areas of the house, little boys were living out the most horrifying experiences of their lives.      It is preposterous for anyone to believe that she didn't know something was wrong. Wom

So it's not fair. Now what?

My husband walked into our bedroom late one night in the year 2000, and handed me a book as I was lying in bed. The book was entitled, Who Moved My Cheese...An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and In Your Life , by Spencer Johnson and Kenneth Blanchard. I read about two chapters of the book and got so angry, I threw the book across the room. It slammed against the wall and fell behind my husband's dresser where it stayed for the next year. I was mad. So mad. Angry at unwanted and unwelcome change in my life.  Railing out about unfair circumstances. Larry let the book stay behind the dresser without saying anything. He quietly prayed for me for the next year, waiting patiently for me to come around.  He's always known who had the power to get through to me when he couldn't. Larry says, "When I can't get through to my wife about something, I've always had reassurance that it's going to be okay because I married a woman of God who prays.

3 Things You Have to Face to (Successfully) Get Through Change

Are you throwing away your choices?  You do have to go through change whether you like it or not, but you have a choice as to how you're going to respond.  If you listen to a word I'm saying today here on post please listen to this: You. Are. Not. Powerless. Okay, that was four words. But they were powerful words. There are three reasons I believe change is harder for some people: 1) They are afraid of what people might think. 2) They are afraid of what people might say. 3) They are afraid of what people might do. So they just let change relentlessly beat them up, with no counter-response to the change that has been thrust upon them.   So, are you ready to move through change and do more than just survive? Then you're going to have to stop being paralyzed by those three things and take whatever counter-steps you need to make for your emotional health. You've got to manage your health in the midst of whatever change you're going through.  No one

One Thing That Will Keep You From Losing Your Mind In a Change

This may be the key that has helped me through difficult change more than anything else.  Everyone needs a private life with God and one great way to express yourself in this relationship is to write letters to Him, and then let Him write back to you. How does he "write back to you"? This happens by getting quiet, listening for Him to speak to your heart, and then writing down whatever He says. I differentiate Him speaking in my journal by giving a different heading to His communication with me such as this... June 20, 2012 Today the Lord says... Then underneath this heading I write whatever I hear Him saying. After this I give a new heading to my communication before I begin writing my thoughts again. Doing this gives you a place to express your thoughts and receive from Him as well as keep a record of where you've come from. Having a record of things makes some people nervous, which is why I highly advise an online journal that is password protected. My advi

What Choice Do You Have Regarding Change?
(Besides a Nervous Breakdown)

The biggest choice people throw away is the choice to manage themselves. How often do other people make a choice that affects you, and you respond by drowning yourself in all the wrong things? I've done it too many times to count.  Every person has the right to manage their own health. This is about making the best decision for yourself. This might include (but is not limited to) eating right, sleeping adequately, solitude, taking vitamins, seeking natural treatments , taking medication, being under doctor's care, and of course spiritual disciplines. Regardless of what other people do, don't throw away your choices. Decisions come all the time that I don't particularly like or enjoy. Sometimes ones come that rock my world. And to that I say... Time for a bike ride. Time to take a day and go off by myself. Time to be quiet and meditate on the Word. Time to sleep a little more. Time to go to the health food/vitamin store and look at what's available.

Who Are You Leading First?

Where you choose to focus when you're going through change will greatly determine your outcome.    People fail at lots of things because of broken focus. In the case of journeying through change, we often focus most on the change. It begs our time and we all too often  give it all we've got in mental, spiritual, emotional and even financial energy.   When you get on a plane and prepare to take off, the flight attendant always gives a spiel about what to do in case of an emergency. Among the things covered is what to do if the cabin loses pressure. They remind you that oxygen masks will fall, and in the event that you are holding an infant or child they ask you to make sure you put your mask on before assisting with theirs. Most people will drawn to help their child first, however this may prove a dreadful choice. If you are involved in ministry or any type of public service, you are probably real good at running around and putting other people's masks on be

When It Feels Like Change Will Kill You

Can I just be brutally honest that I hate change unless I'm the one making it? There are days change is so hard for me I stand in the shower and cry, or ride my bike with the tears streaming down my face.  This has nothing to do with menopause, by the way. Although I know all about that. Okay, so I said I was going to be brutally honest. There ya go. Change is hard. So hard. Unless you are the one who initiates it. Everybody's going through some kind of change. How much at one time is the question. Change used to totally kick my butt in that I felt I had no recourse, no counteraction to it. I used to  weather it as opposed to living victorious through it. There are tears, and amidst them are a few things I definitely know now, after 40-plus years of experience that help me thrive and not just survive. I'm having to employ some of those strategies right now and so this is really on my mind to share with some of you who are struggling, how to win in the midst

This Is What Rich Looks Like...

In money? Hardly. In stuff? Nope. It's the most amazing kind of wealth there is -- having an entire family that serves God.  Not a lot of time to blog today ~ we're enjoying a wedding celebration -- the joining of two very special lives...our children's pastor's son, Chris, who has grown up with our family, and his bride, Emilyann. Dustin is in the wedding and he looks so sharp in his suit it was all I could do not to burst into tears when I saw him. We're gearing up for Father's Day too. I'm so blessed to have a Godly father to partner with me in raising our three children for God. I am surrounded by blessings that money can't buy. I know that when I get to heaven someday, the four people in this photo will all join me there at some point. That's the most important thing, ever. Being happy about that never gets old.  There's nothing greater on my wishlist. There's no new latest and greatest that can trump that.

What Are You Missing on Facebook? (You Might Be Surprised!)

I got a total shockeroo earlier this week. Today I'm going to share something I believe is valuable for some of you who, like me, never knew this existed up to now.   Earlier this week, someone made me aware of "Other Messages" on Facebook. I never knew there were anything other than just plain ol' Messages. Did you? I read mine and was absolutely stunned by what I found. "Other Messages"are ones people who are not your friends on Facebook may send you, in an effort to get in touch with you about something. Or people you have deleted. Or people who have deleted you. And I'm not sure who else, but in any case, there are probably "other messages" out there waiting for you. Now, I know you might not care about people who have deleted you or who you have deleted, but there are some other folks that you really might want to hear from. Once I was made aware of my "Other Messages" I promptly went there and could hardly believe my eyes.