Dirty Laundry Dates

Dirty Laundry Dates are the BEST!

I want to take a moment to share some of our “dirty laundry” with you; and, it’s not what you might be thinking. March 4th, several years ago, a Saturday, our washing machine broke down. What’s the big deal, you might ask? Well, for someone who did 2-3 loads of laundry every day, the thought of being without a washing machine could seemingly become overwhelming.

We did what anyone would do and called a repair service. They said they could come Monday. I was elated; however, the repairman meant Monday a week from March 4th. OK…no problem; we can handle a week without a washing machine. Of course it was also the week to wash all of the sheets from 5 beds (LOL). So, my superhero husband, Bill, took all of our laundry to the laundromats and faster then a speeding bullet–because laundromat cycles are 23 minutes– he cranked out the laundry and brought it all home to dry.

The blessed Monday arrived and the repair man showed up only to tell me that the machine tub needed replaced because it was broken and had detached. How does that happen, I asked? He said, “Was it dropped on delivery? This machine is less then a year old?” Ummmm…my response, “Not that I’m aware of.” (Like the delivery guys are going to say, “Here’s your brand new washing machine and by the way we dropped it.”) So, I was a little repetitive and asked again, “So how do you think this happened?” Our awesome repairman looked at me and says, “Dropping it on delivery would do it.” So, he ordered a new replacement part to be delivered to our house and we scheduled again for the following Monday, a week later, to have it fixed.

The next day we got a big snow storm; so when the part didn’t show up Wednesday or Thursday, we weren’t too concerned. Friday…no part; Saturday…no part. Monday, our repair man arrived and had no idea where the part was. After a few phone calls he was told it was on back order. So he ordered another part to arrive Wednesday or Thursday and we scheduled for the following Monday…going on 3 weeks.

What about all of our dirty laundry? Well, we decided to make the best of it. So we had  “laundromat dates”. We picked a day, made sure the kids were off to school and would leave  at 7 a.m., stop at the laundromat to start the laundry, go next door to one of our favorite places for breakfast, have breakfast together, then go back to pick up the wash, put it in my car and I head home to dry it all while Bill would head to work…all before 8 a.m.

Oh there’s more to this story! The part finally arrived and the 3rd Monday came for the washer to be fixed. The repairman opened the box to find the new tub was broken in shipping! He was so apologetic…certainly, not his fault…what are you going to do? I chose to laugh and said, “Well, I guess my husband and I will be having more dirty laundry dates!” That comment will get you some funny looks! So once again, the repairman ordered another part and it arrived Thursday. My husband, Bill, decided to open it before the anticipated Monday fixing date and you guessed it…IT was BROKEN! To make this comedy of errors funnier, the following day we received another washing machine piece that didn’t even go with our washing machine…not sure where it came from. At this point we  had 4 very large front load washing machine pieces in our garage and another repair date for April 12.

We celebrated a month anniversary of Laundromat breakfast dates.

I am sharing this to say we all have unexpected, inconvenient, potentially stressful and overwhelming circumstances…it’s called LIFE. Sometimes those circumstances are completely out of our control. But what we do have control over is how we react to those circumstances. The Word of God says to be filled with joy and peace (Romans 15:13); that the joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10); and that our joy will refresh & encourage others (Philemon 1:7).

The KEY is we have to CHOOSE JOY when unexpected circumstances arrive. If I CHOOSE JOY…I will have peace. If I CHOOSE JOY I will be strengthened and not weary. If I CHOOSE JOY others around me will be refreshed and encouraged. Let’s ask ourselves some questions in those moments when we could be overwhelmed: “Is how I’m about to respond going to bring me peace? strengthen me? encourage my spouse and family?”

In the midst of our DIRTY LAUNDRY, we chose JOY. “If the devil can’t steal your joy, he can’t get your goods”… in this case…our washing machine. LOL. In all seriousness the enemy can’t come in and steal your love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self control.

(Check out Jerry Savelle’s book on JOY)


Why not make an unexpected set back something to enjoy and celebrate when we look back and remember it? Really in the whole scheme of life a broken washing machine is just a slight inconvenience, not a serious set back.

So the next time you have some DIRTY LAUNDRY: a set back, an unexpected circumstance, a disagreement, a rough day….choose JOY TOGETHER. Allow God to work through your DIRTY LAUNDRY so you can look back on the “set back” and see you have come out clean and stronger individually and in your marriage.

#choosejoy #marriage


Marriage Maintenance 101…STOP TRYING?!?

Marriage Maintenance 101…STOP TRYING?!?


How many of us have good intentions when it comes to our marriages?

  • We try to go on dates…
  • We try to have time to connect…
  • We try to communicate in a healthy way…
  • We periodically attend a marriage enrichment event and try to remember what we learned…
  • We read a cool  marriage tip and try to use it in our relationship…

We TRY all these things but eventually all these attempted TRIES…these GOOD INTENTIONS…fall by the wayside and we can find ourselves drifting apart instead of growing together.

How do we have a thriving, not just surviving, marriage? 


What do you mean stop trying, you may ask?

Stop trying and instead be proactive and  purposeful in prioritizing your marriage relationship.

When we are PROACTIVE in our marriage, we are purposeful in prioritizing our marriage…time, sacrifice and energy are given in order to grow our marriage


Here are some of our MARRIAGE MAINTENANCE KEYS in “Purposely Giving Marriage Matters Priority Because Marriage Matters…YOUR MARRIAGE MATTERS”.



PROACTIVELY schedule a Marriage Maintenance weekly check-in where as a couple you purposefully, prioritize Communication Time, 1-2 times a week to “check in”, where you communicate beyond the surface communication:

  • Coordinate schedules.
  • Check in with each other’s hearts.
  • Talk about areas in your marriage you would like to strengthen along with brainstorming how you will do this?
  • Establish actions steps as a team and hold yourselves accountable to the action steps.
  • No cell phones, no interruptions, 30-60 minutes.
  • This weekly check-in is a marriage  team meeting to praise the positive areas in your relationship,  establish your playbook for areas you would like to strengthen, and determine strategies to grow your relationship.


PROACTIVELY plan dates…we schedule things that are important to us.

  • Plan date nights, date days, date mornings…whatever works for your schedule.  The key is getting time together, just the two of you, on your schedules and then scheduling around your established time together.



PROACTIVELY cultivate learning, nurturing, strengthening and growing your relationship.

  • There’s a difference between getting away together (which is important) and getting away together to enrich your marriage.  Marriage Enrichment is both fun and provides fuel for growth as a couple.



ALL couples benefit from having marriage mentors, coaches and sometimes marriage counseling.

Seeking Godly counsel and wisdom is a good thing…it is a wise and advantageous thing to do for your marriage.  We seek advice and counsel in other areas…makes sense to seek it for the most important earthly relationship we have: our marriage.

What is a marriage mentor?  A mentor couple is a couple older than you, more seasoned in life than you are, has experienced married life longer than you have and is an example of a Godly marriage.  That does not mean a mentor couple has a perfect marriage.  We tell couples, we don’t have a perfect marriage, but we allow the PERFECT ONE, Jesus, to perfect us.

Are there deeper wounds?  Need inner healing from the past? Is there any trauma in your past or present?  There is help.  Don’t stay stuck.

The well being of a marriage is directly impacted by the well being of the individuals in that marriage.  Many times, the “issue” in marriage isn’t a marriage issue…it’s unresolved “baggage” from our past, that we all have, that we bring into our marriage.  Then we end up taking it out on the one we love the most…our spouse.

Here are some  Christian Counseling and Marriage Coaching resources:


Marriage is not the end goal in a relationship.  It’s the beginning of a lifelong journey of learning to love someone like Christ.  It’s not about being happy but rather becoming holy like Christ.

This takes PURPOSEFUL, PROACTIVE and PREVENTATIVE effort  to communicate, be quick to forgive and remember you are on the same team. (Check out our blog for more about our TOP 3 Marriage Maintenance Keys).

There is no win/lose in marriage. We either win together or lose together.  Let’s learn to fight together for our marriages as we turn our hearts to God, which equips us to keep our hearts turned towards each other….walking hand in hand in this beautiful covenant God created for Himself, a husband and a wife,  when He made Marriage.

Cultivating INTIMACY in Marriage

Intimacy is defined as a “close familiarity or friendship; closeness.” We all long for unconditional acceptance and closeness. We want to be cared for, known, understood, and loved for who we are.

Proverbs 19:22 . says, “What is desired in a man is steadfast love”

That kind of love is unwavering…it is new every morning as Lamentations 3:22-23 refers to God’s steadfast love for us.  It is a faithful, intimate love.

Being intimate involves the “mixing of our life with another, a mingling of souls, a sharing of hearts”. This is something we all long for because it’s how God made us. We were designed to connect.

We are made in the image of God…we were designed to know God and to be fully known by Him.

Author Timothy Keller said:Timothy Keller Quote: “But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like

“To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything.


The answer is YES…but it’s our response to Christ and a relationship with Him that equips us to love and be loved, because our Heavenly Father is the one who fills us through our intimate relationship with Christ.


When we dated, we pursued each other, spent time together, served one another, communicated, and intentionally prioritized the relationship.  Then we got married.

If marriage is the end goal of dating then day one of marriage becomes day one of  drifting away from each other towards isolation.  But if marriage is the starting point, then marriage is an intentional pursuit of each other’s hearts…a life long journey together of being known and fully known by each other with the Holy Spirit as our guide.

We get married and have an unrealistic expectation of what marriage will look like.  Marriage is work.  Getting married is easy; but staying married and even more importantly having a passionate, loving, thriving…not just surviving marriage… takes intentional effort. It’s continually communicating, being quick to forgive, and remembering you are on the same team.

We tell couples, if the enemy can’t get in front of you to stop you; he will get behind you and push you so fast that you will lose each other in the midst of the fast paced race of life.


Protect Your Marriage by Establishing Boundaries – In God's Image

  1. Be intentional
  2. Schedule time together
    • Make an appointment and protect that time. We make appointments for things that are important to us.
    • Pray together; read a devotional; read at least one marriage enrichment book a year together.
    • Schedule date nights, date mornings, day dates…whatever works for your schedules..BUT SCHEDULE THEM.
    • Use this time to debrief, check schedules, discuss the budget, make a budget, get on the same page with the kids. Marriage is a TEAM…work together.
  • Take a Sabbath
    • God created the sabbath for a reason…to rest, reset, reconnect…do you have a sabbath time together where you are intentionally connecting?
    • Sunday is our day…minimal work.  We rest.
    • Look at your schedules…if you have something going on every day, every evening, multiple appointments and commitments…it’s time for a marriage meeting to discuss, TOGETHER, what can be laid down and let go in order to have a sabbath.
  • Has your marriage become child-centered?
    • Marriage only works in  first place under your relationship with God.
    • The children revolve around the marriage..not the other way around.
    • How?  We have to make that happen and teach our children the priority of marriage.  It is INTENTIONAL.
      • Schedule kid free time.
      • Kids need a bedtime that allows you to be friends and lovers.
      • Get a babysitter for date nights; work out a swap with another couple with kids so you can each have a date night once or twice a month
  • Establish healthy work boundaries.
    • Our jobs can become all consuming but we were never meant to be available 24/7 to anyone except God. We should not be married to our jobs…this includes being a full time mom.
    • Sit down as husband and wife to determine together how to establish healthy work boundaries.
    • Make a plan as a team, divide and conquer the chores, errands and evening routine with the children.
  • Establish social media boundaries.
    • Technology is a wonderful tool but it’s a terrible master.
    • Intentional time together needs to be technology free unless you are watching a marriage enrichment video together or there is something you have determined you are doing or talking about that requires your phone.
    • Turn the phones off.  You do not need to answer calls, texts, emails, and check social media when you are having intentional marriage maintenance time.

Intimacy is intentional and  intimacy is not necessarily about sex.  Intimacy is so much more.  The physical act of making love can be the result of the fulfillment of the kind of intimacy we were created for: TO BE FULLY KNOWN & LOVED…FIRST  by God. This is what enables us to love our spouse with the God kind of love.

If we are each serving one another with the God kind of love then we will be led by the Holy Spirit into this beautiful lifelong marriage journey of true intimacy with our spouse. This is what God calls the Law of Purity in Genesis 2:25. Adam and Eve were naked and unashamed in every way: physically, emotionally, spiritually, socially, relational, financially… EVERY WAY. It's Not All About Sex - 3 Secrets to Building True Intimacy

When we are connected on a deeper, spiritual, emotional, relational  level of intimacy in our marriage, sexual intimacy more naturally flows from that.

The marriage journey inevitably produces all sorts of things to distract us and require our attention.  As we age, as we become busy with kids and work, in-laws, commitments, life challenges and hardships… all these “things” can interfere with us having time to share our feelings, fears, needs, challenges, failures, dreams, goals. When is the last time you and your spouse had intentional marriage maintenance time to talk about and write down dreams and goals for your marriage?  Your children?  Your work? Ministry? Finances? Sex life?  You name it?  When is the last time?


As a result, together you will CULTIVATE GREATER INTIMACY in your marriage.


The Magic of Christmas TRULY Lies in the HEART

It’s that magical time of year!  Christmas is the season of LOVE, PEACE, and JOY right?  We don’t know about you; but sometimes we experience what seems to be an overwhelming mess in the midst of striving to enter into the rest of Christmas.

We hear the Christmas songs, run into the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping, embrace the family dynamics, encounter the scheduling and holiday festivities AND somewhere in the midst of the “mess” we want to think that the magic of Christmas will somehow bring with it increased love, unity and intimacy into  our marriage?!?  Wait…this doesn’t just magically happen?

NOPE!  At least for us, we have found that this “Christmas Magic” takes being intentional and it starts by seeing what lies in our hearts. We’ve all heard the saying, “The magic of Christmas lies in our hearts”?  The question is “what is in our hearts?”.

In the midst of the world we live in, where what is considered “love”, what brings “peace” and where “joy” can be found are like waves tossed to and fro, Jesus, the King of Kings, flipped the world upside down and humbly came down from Heaven.  Jesus didn’t run from our MESS…He RAN TO OUR MESS!  Arriving in a stable, in a manager,doesn’t get much messier.

Christmas Traditions That Keep Christ In Christmas - FaithGateway

Think about it.  God so LOVED us that He GAVE His son Jesus to us. Jesus GAVE Himself for us because of His Father’s LOVE in His own heart so that according to John 3:15-17: “… everyone who believes in Him will have eternal life. For this is how God loved the world: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.  God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him.”


How do we get that kind of love in our hearts so  we can enter into God’s rest and be blessed in spite of the mess?  Is it possible?  Absolutely.  Romans 10:9 says, “ If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

Just as God, who is LOVE, chose to give His son, Jesus;… and Jesus, because of God’s LOVE in His own heart, chose to come down to our mess, we likewise must CHOOSE.

Pin on Pastor/Man Of God

Choose what?  To SAY with our mouth and BELIEVE in our heart that Jesus died and rose from the dead for our mess.  We have to choose to  RECEIVE the salvation, healing and Kingdom prosperity that Jesus died for…His SHALOM…His peace that surpasses all understanding in this world.  We can have the ‘magic of Christmas”… the PEACE of Jesus, right smack dab in the middle of any and every “mess”.


So what does this have to do with Christmas and marriage?  EVERYTHING.  Marriage is a picture of Jesus and His Bride (Christians…those in relationship with Jesus).  God’s LOVE came down at Christmas so  LOVE could come into our hearts when we choose to receive Jesus as Savior. This is the true magic of Christmas…the true heart of Christmas is Jesus…the root of Christmas is LOVE Himself: God.

God’s LOVE is INTENTIONAL.  God Intentionally GAVE.  Jesus intentionally  humbled Himself and GAVE Himself for us.  Love GIVES; Love SACRIFICES and Love SERVES.  Love is INTENTIONAL.

Want the “magic of Christmas” to continue long past the holiday season?  It’s time for a Heart Check.  What’s in your heart?  Don’t let this Christmas go by without receiving Jesus as your Savior and Lord so that God’s LOVE resides in your heart.

Worldwide Missionary Baptist Church of Detroit, MI » Series » Christmas

C.S. Lewis wrote: “When I have learnt to love God better than my earthly dearest, I shall love my earthly dearest better than I do now.”   When we receive God’s love, we  are then equipped, like Jesus, to GIVE, SACRIFICE and SERVE one another in our marriage, not because of what our spouse has or hasn’t done for us; but because of what Jesus has already done to restore us, in the midst of the mess, back to God. God’s LOVE is INTENTIONAL…it is a CHOICE. BE INTENTIONAL.


Marriage Maintenance Application:

Humbly come together with your spouse this Christmas season. BE INTENTIONAL.  In prayer, commit or recommit yourselves and your marriage to God.  Invite Jesus into your hearts.  Invite Him into the “mess”.  Remember the love that brought you together, repent for neglecting the priority of your marriage and then INTENTIONALLY do the things you did to GIVE, SACRIFICE and SERVE one another in your marriage relationship. Pray together for your marriage and each other EVERY DAY through the holiday season and watch the magic of Christmas carry over into the new year as the LOVE of God grows in your hearts.

Check it out: 15 Ways to Refresh Your Marriage