When he’s away… again!


One of my sweet friend’s husband has a job that keeps him traveling… often. She tweeted recently about how bored & lonely she gets. Before we had kids… and even all these years later, when my Man travels, I view my time & energy differently.   Here’s a list of the many things I often do while he’s away… and please, add your own list at the end. (He still travels & I’m always happy for new ideas!)

-Paint a room in the house (or a “border” back in the 90’s, or the kitchen floor

a few years ago)

– Craft projects that I’ve been wanting to finish (or start)

– Hang out with people from church that I’m mentoring

– Watch the TV shows that I love but he hates

– Color my hair (it used to be all sorts of colors during our early years of marriage

when he traveled a lot & I was my own hairdresser!)

– Bake… for neighbors, friends & to stock up our freezer

-Talk on the phone every night & catch up with all my friends

– Call my Mom and his parents, especially if he’s overseas (and even more so

before facebook was ever present)

– Stay up too late. (Not because I’m scared, but somehow my brain thinks

“he’s coming home and I wanna wait up”)

-Make meals that do NOT meet all the food-group-requirements

(tonight was hamburger helper… from a BOX! Abimanation!)

-Send him way more text messages than he will have opportunity to respond to

(This, of course, is a more recent development. it used to be emails & before that it

was an occasional phone call… if there was a  land line nearby. Weird, huh?)

-Miss him. Pray for him

– Scramble to straighten up the house the night before he comes home

(this has faded slightly over the years as the “kid count” has grown! )

– I don’t worry, though. He’s a man who follows Jesus and doing HIS will

put my Man exactly where he’s supposed to be.




Ode to My Man, Chilly

He’s Chilly.

It’s his birthday today.

We meet 24 years ago this month.

He’s encouraged me countless times since then.

He’s cracked me up countless more times!

He’s pushed & inspired me  to live stronger.

He is just what I need.

He’s pushed & inspired many, many others to live stronger.

He’s held up a high standard… preached it and lived it!

He’s unafraid to tackle to the controversial issues;

doesn’t shy away speaking the truth, even if it ticks off those convicted

He is bold and real.

His commitment to his family never comes into questions…

He puts us first.

The stereo-typical-pastor he is NOT… I’m so grateful!

He is dedicated to us.

His humor &  ability to find it in a multitude of settings keeps

life from being boring & “regular.”

He is humorous!

He leads with the courage to forge new paths

but also with the compassion that breeds love & courage in those who follow.

His temper is never lost; calm but passionate.

He is a reflection of Christ’s leadership.

He is the one who we celebrate today.

The birthday boy, the one I love.

He is My Man!

Happy Birthday, Chilly!



When you’re home with the kids… again

Many of you are young moms,

and both you & your husband have a heart

to serve & minister to your church &

community.  Yet you often find that he’s

out doing something to improve the city,

or attending a church outing of some sort,

and you’re at home, caring for the kids…


Thoughts & feelings can pop up that totally surprise you.

I’ve been there. I’m still there. It’s often been the story of my life for almost 19 years.

When those feelings of, “I’m missing out,” and “Why is it never his turn to stay home?”

and other similar thoughts arise, here’s a few things I’ve used over the years.


In random order:

1. Look your children in the eyes. This reminds me that I love them way more than

anything else.

2. Jealousy is resentment, and  resentment is a feeling of indignant displeasure or

persistent ill will. The last thing I want is “persistent ill will” toward anyone,

especially the one I love most. So I choose to refuse… refuse anger & jealousy.

I will NOT let myself think these thoughts.  I’ll think about what is true, noble, gracious,


3. Remember that my kids will be in my life always, but this event that I’m missing is


4.  Have our own fun!  Plan an outing of our own. When my husband is on a trip or

has a full week of “events,”  I  try to plan extra stuff like a zoo trip, library &

museum visits, McDonald’s ice-cream stops, special kid-meals (like Mac & Cheese

from a box), etc. This gives us something to look forward to, too, and more to talk

about… instead of “Oh, Dear, your day sounded fun; we just staayed home, as usual.

That’s no good. Plan stuff.

5.  Make the ordinary into something memorable &  special by changing it’s location.

Picnic under the picnic table, read books on the swing set, eat dessert first, use

sidewalk chalk on the tree branches (it washes off in the rain), etc.

6. I remember that I’m  first called to be God’s daughter, secondly my husband’s

wife and thirdly my children’s Mom. Serving my family is BEST job I can have.

Yes, my mom- tasks seem repetitive, but consistency grows strong, confident kids.

7. I remember that my day will come when my “mommy-tasks” will be few cuz

my children are grown & then I’ll look back on these days (like all the mature

ladies in my life now do) and say, “Oh, those were such good times!”

It’s easy to fill our heads with thoughts that make us resentful, frustrated

and just plain ticked-off & angry. But who will we believe?

I’m gunna listen to the truth. To Jesus. To His quiet assurance that my

behind-the-scenes” dedication is worth it!

Take a breath.


Go look at your babies in the face… and then just kiss’um!

(some time spent with photo booth isn’t bad, either!)






An Anniversary by the Numbers


It was 22 years ago today that

I became the bride & wife of the man I

love, adore, respect and many other things

for which I thank JESUS daily!





22 yrs of marriage

5 children

12 addresses

5 states

7 places of ministry

16 cars    (I think… if you count “Sgt”)

4 couches

1 coffee table

5 dogs

many struggles

countless joys

1000’s of lives introduced to Jesus

0 thoughts of divorce

0 times it was questioned if it “was the right thing to do”

0 worries about unfaithfulness

A house is built by wisdom and becomes strong through good sense.

Through knowledge it’s rooms are filled with all sorts of precious

riches & valuables. Proverbs 24:3,4


I love you, Chilly!








Don’t Change cuz…







This morning as I was praying for a person in my life & a  specific

situation I asked God to “change this & that” and then asked

Him what He wanted me to change.  He pointed out a couple of things.


I repented and began to make  notes about changing those

areas/attitudes & actions. Then God gently but firmly said,

“Don’t change in an effort to bring about change in

someone else. Change yourself because it’s the right thing  to do.”




(repented again)




Shhh… Do & Don’t


As I newly wed in ministry (in the late 80’s)

I said things like:

“I cannot BElieve they did that!”

“This is completely WRONG!

What’s happening here?”

The years (and the grace of Jesus)

have calmed my quick words & taught me

how to be more helpful when my husband

(or a loved one)  has to walk through

“unfair” and/or “totally hurtful” situations.

Now,  I’ve only been an “adult” and in

ministry for about 23 years, but I’ve

discovered there’s some things we

shouldn’t do & then some other stuff  to do that’s very helpful.


When our spouse (close friend or family member) walks through

a difficult time they do NOT need us to join in & then start doggin’

the “guilty party” or adding any “Yeah, and for instance” to their already

yucky situation.  It may feel like we’re being a good friend cuz we’re

agreeing, but really we’re adding more junk to a mess. No good.

Also, if he/she thinks that we’re being hurt in this situation, too, then

they may be too quick to jump into defensive action… not good either.


Instead…listen. Hear the heart behind the words & be a safe place

for them to sound off.  Gentle reminders of God’s truth are great…

but firing them off can sound more like a scolding than encouragement.

So, Listen more than talk.


Once our loved one has expressed themselves it can be fairly harmful

to begin questioning them about the “action they should take” regarding

the “other person.”  For example, if I were to say, “Well, are you going

to go in there tomorrow & tell him what’s going on?”  … that’s NOT a

question… that’d be me sorta “telling” him what I think he should do.

This, too, can pressure him to  make react instead of  making a thoughtful



Express the positive attitude  that you’re going to choice in

this difficult situation. Our outlook can encourage & direct them

in a wonderfully positive way.  AND…

Seriously, pray for the ones we love. Talk to Jesus about their situation,

their need and their hurt. Then, listen! We don’t need to tell Jesus how

to handle it… pray. Listen to Jesus.


Don’t misunderstand me… I’m not saying that you cannot be honest or

express yourself with the one you love. I’m simply saying that we should

listen MORE than speak. And when we speak, make sure that our words

reflect Jesus & His attitude… and that our own hurt or anger isn’t spilling

out all over them. (I’ve found this advice very useful.)

Make sense?



(Some other posts that are about relationships, ministry, hurt, etc, are

here and here.)



I’m on a Mission… so are YOU!

If you’re alive you have a purpose.
(My husband says this often)

Having a personal relationship with our Creator, Jesus Christ,
is the only way to find our real purpose.

Then, we live it.
Everything BIG or little thing we do should fall under
that purpose…therefore giving even the most mundance
task a deeper meaning & value.

That’s why I’ve revised my missions statement.
Sometimes having a reminder of what’s most important
and the guidelines to keep things in the right order is
what I need… it keeps me sane & free from guilt of
“not doing enough.” (and the mistake of doing much)

Here’s how I’ve done it for years. It’s a combo
of things I’ve learned & been taught over the
years… it’s certainly not original.

1. List the various things that I am
Example: God’s daughter, Wife, Mom, a person,
homemaker, Pastor’s wife/mentor, daughter, friend, etc…

2. Stated my main purpose in that role
Example: “I am alive to love God, to know & enjoy Him
and to serve Him always in all areas of my life.”
Example 2:  “I am completely devoted to my husband…”

3. State several specific things under each point that
I’m committed to doing that will carry out the stated purpose
Example: “Continue AM time w/God, Memorize weekly,
fast monthly,” etc…
Example 2: Cheerfully encourage & help…”

4. Keep Statement in my planner & refer to it each week
as I schedule my time.
This keeps me on track, doing what is MOST important
and of greatest value.

Be encouraged.
Be purposeful.
Everything holds meaning when it falls into the greater
scoop of God’s purpose for our lives.

How do you stay focused on the important?

I love this Man!

This Man …

– Has a Birthday today

-Is dedicated to JESUS!

– Is committed to me, and I never question that

– Loves & leads our children

-Lovingly leads me & doesn’t let me push him around
(and believe it or not, I want that! That’s how God created
marriage to be.)

– Is a pioneer… finding new places & way to share the news
of JESUS’ love

– Is real. The same. Anywhere.

– Is the person I love MOST in the world

– Is my husband… Chilly
and I’m in LOVE with him!!!!

Happy Birthday, My Love!

A Get-Away with My Man!

In over 20 years of marriage, Chilly & I haven’t had too many

times to go away together… the two of us.
However, in the last year, because of friends & unexpected
blessings, we’ve had two short Florida vacations.
Just yesterday we returned from our second!
What a wonderful blessing!

Day off

Yesterday is our family “day-off” we try to do something together

outside of the house… together… just to make a memory or
be together without the distractions/responsibilities of home.
This is why we have a membership to the Detroit Zoo
great fun in the warmer months…
And a membership to the Detroit Science Center
great fun in the colder months. (This membership
just ran out & we’re not gunna renew until it’s cold again!)

Recently we were given a gift so that we
could purchase a membership to the Detroit Institute of Art.
I’m SO excited!!! This is a HUGE museum, and with the
membership we can just come & go, see a few things and
go home; come again another day & see more beautiful things!
So, yesterday was our day off … and it held a little more
importance than usual since Chilly’s heading off across
the ocean today. Sigh.
But It’s all Good!
He’s speaking at a Leaders conference in Sweden.
But the day before he leave is always poopy.
There’s just no other way to say it.
Once he’s on the plane I’m totally fine.
But the day before he leaves, I’m bummed.
So we tried to make the most of this Monday.
It was nearly 60 degrees here in Detroit…
that’s a virtual heatwave! (people were wearing shorts!)
The park welcomed us!
Room to throw a softball.
Jungle gym bars for doing tricks
(even Mom got in on the action… sort of!)
A hill to run up & down.
Then we had a snack at Red Robin’s.
It was good… I snapped a few pics on my phone.
And now… My Man boards a plane.
I’m proud of him.
I love Him.
He hears from God and follows. Period.
How can I be anything else but excited…
-Excited that My Husband loves JESUS!
-Excited that I get to be involved in the life & ministry
God’s called us to do.
-And If you would like to join me by praying for him…
I’d gladly welcome that.
-And I’ll be “holdin’ down the fort!”
(whatever that means for a Detroit Dweller in 2010. hee hee)
Happy Tuesday!