Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Holy Week 2013 Resources

We're lighting candles this this week and trying to carve out space for the sacred in the midst of the busyness. If Easter has snuck up on you this year and the last thing you want to do is miss it, here are some resources I recommend to make the most of the days prior to His brutal crucifixion, earth shattering death and triumphant resurrection:

If you have any additional resources you're using I'd love to hear about them. Here's to a week of intentional living and reflection.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Five Years Later

Photo Credit

I used to hate marigolds. To me they were reminiscent of flowers that are considered weeds in Florida, like Lantana. In my mind they were cheap fillers for my mom’s flower bed. Not that attractive at all considering they only came in yellow and orange hues. 

But all that changed in 2008. Easter came early that year and forever changed my feelings about spring. As a native Floridian, I thought of  spring as the season that the weather grew hot before it grew really hot. But for the first time in spring of 2008 I discovered the pain and beauty of death and new life. 

Unless you’re new here you know I lost my first husband on March 22, 2008. He was in a motorcycle accident on Leap Day in which he sustained a serious head injury. That injury left him in a coma for three weeks before he went to his forever home on the other side of eternity.

So now I find myself five years later and this journey is nothing like I expected. I feel like Darryl’s been gone just a short time. Two years perhaps? But that’s not the case at all. I’d always thought that I’d be further down the road of grief at this point but I’m not. If I’m honest with myself, I’m only just beginning. I thought by now I would be ready for some glorious five-year memorial where we bring family and friends together to reflect on the beauty of Darryl’s life. But friends, right now that sounds like torture.

I have learned just a couple things about grief over the past five years that I’d like to share with you:

  1. Grief is necessary. It must be experienced in all its stages. (I’m sorry to say it’s taken me much too long to learn this one.)
  2. Grief is unpredictable. You can't do it right or wrong. There’s scary freedom in that.

In 2008, Easter came the earliest it had in nearly 100 years, on March 23. Needless to say this timing also affected my view of Jesus' death and resurrection. And oh what a joy it is to know that not only did Jesus rise for us to be reunited with him but he made a way for all of us to live again. What comfort, what peace, what joy can be found in the hope of seeing believers who have gone before us again in eternity.

And now? I try to plant marigolds every spring. They were Darryl's favorite flower. 

Do you have a story of grief you would share with me? I would be so honored to hear from you in the comments below.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Text or E-mail Some Sweet Nothings

(Today is  Day 5 of Kathi Lipp's 5-day Husband Project Challenge. How has the week been for you and your hubby? I'd love to hear your story in the comments below.

“I turn on my computer. I wait patiently as it connects. I go online. My breath catches in my chest until I hear three little words, “You’ve got Mail.” I hear nothing, not a sound on the streets of New York. Just the beat of my own heart… I have mail, from you.”
-Meg Ryan as Kathleen Kennedy in “You’ve Got Mail”

Project #5:

Send a flirty text or e-mail to your husband.

Getting Creative
  • Use an e-card service ( or to send a cute and flirty note.
  • Don’t know how to text? Ask any teenager in the general vicinity.
  • Most phones have a camera feature where you can send a photo message. Be sure to keep it G rated so that he doesn’t get in trouble at work.


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Heart vs. Stomach

A Treat Just for Him

(Thanks for joining us for Kathi Lipp's 5-Day Husband Project Challenge. How did Day 3 go for you yesterday? Tell me all about it in the comments below.)

“You can tell a lot about a fellow’s character by his way of eating jellybeans.” -Ronald Reagan

Project #4:

Get a food treat for your husband that he’s not required to share with you or any other family member.

Getting Creative
Stumped for ideas? Here are some thoughts:
  • Get his favorite pint of Ben & Jerry’s and hide it behind the frozen chicken. Even if you buy it on Tuesday, you’ll have it ready and waiting for his special night later in the week.
  • Is there a certain cut of meat that your husband loves? How about having the butcher cut something just for him? Most supermarkets will even do the marinade for you – one less thing to think about.
  • Is there a certain candy that your husband loves from his childhood? Check out They have all the nostalgic candy you could want (Black Jack Gum, anyone?) while also carrying any modern favorite you could be looking for.
  • My husband’s family loves something called “noodles and mashed potatoes” (we lovingly refer to it as “The Starch Fest”). I learned how to make this special dish just for him.
  • My guy loves the smell of baking almost as much as he enjoys eating the treat. Have some brownies in the oven when he gets home from work or working out. (I know, it negates the workout, but isn’t chocolate always worth it?)
  • Our friend Scott mentioned that he loves cranberry sauce, but eats it only at Thanksgiving. His wife intentionally made the holiday treat for him this past July.
  • Are you a wife who is an expert at low-cal salads and other forms of chick-food? Check out The Ultimate Guide to Man Food at for ideas

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

You da’ Man

Spreading Great Gossip About Your Guy 

(We're in the middle Kathi Lipp's 5-Day Husband Project Challenge. How did it go yesterday joining your husband in one of his hobbies? Or perhaps you scheduled a fun time for the future? I'd love to hear all about it in the comments below.)

Project #3:

Say something nice about your husband to someone else. Make sure you tell him what you said, and to whom.

 Getting Creative

Who are the important people in your husband’s life? Your kids, his parents, his friends? Be intentional about who you chat with when you brag on him – it’s almost as important as actually doing it.

Having a hard time coming up with something? I still brag on my guy for things he did years ago. He loves when I tell the story of how brilliantly he proposed (there were waterfalls and stuffed portabella mushrooms involved…).

Here are some other areas to think about when crafting your brag:
  • His parenting skills
  • His patience level
  • The way he treats your mom
  • His culinary ability
  • His job
  • His loyalty to you

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Back in the Day

Do Something He Enjoyed Before You Got Married

(Thanks for joining us for Day 2 of the 5-day Husband Project Challenge. I'd love to here how Day 1 went for you. Won't you consider sharing in the comments below?)


“Lust is easy.  Love is hard.  Like is most important.”  ~ Carl Reiner 
 Project #2:

Initiate an activity that your husband used to love. Whether it’s his favorite hobby, sport, or pastime, it’s time for you to get involved – be his buddy today.

Getting Creative
  • Many a man’s hobby has gone by the wayside due to matrimony. Is it possible that it’s time you learned to golf or fly fish? Don’t try to beat him, just join him.
  • Possibly the only thing your husband would enjoy more than playing chess with you is teaching you how to play chess.  Ask for a lesson so he can teach you something that he is an expert at (or really loves). Just your willingness to learn will be a huge boost to your guy.
  • Pick up a magazine about your guy’s now dormant hobby. Ask him questions about why he loves it so much. Learn a couple of technical terms so that you are better able to discuss it.
  • Do a little research. Find out what the definitive website is on your husband’s favorite subject. Maybe there’s an event in town, a lecture to attend, or a game to watch.

Monday, March 18, 2013

30 Minutes is All it Takes

Create Some Free Time When He Gets Home

(This post is the first in Kathi Lipp's 5-day Husband Project Challenge.)

 “There's never enough time to do all the nothing you want.”
~Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes
Project #1:
Focus on your husbands transitional 30 minutes today. Would he like to be left alone to rest and rejuvenate, or does he want some undivided attention from you? The point is to let your husband know you value what he does out in the world, and that he has a safe loving place to come home and get refreshed at the end of the day.

Getting Creative
There are plenty of reasons why it might not be easy for you to give your husband some transition time at the end of the day. You need to look at what can work for your relationship. Be creative, like the stories listed below. Brainstorm with your friends until you find a situation that will work for you and your guy.
  • My friend, Joann, purposely scheduled her daughter’s dance classes twice a week at the same hour that her husband gets home from work. That way, her hubby comes home to an empty house. He gets some quiet, and she gets a more peaceful man.
  • One husband has his workshop out in the garage. His wife encourages him to go and hang out there for a while before dinner. (Since starting this arrangement, her husband has started helping out with the after-dinner clean up. Nice side benefit.)
  • Crockpots are The Husband Project’s best friend. Set your crockpot to be finished thirty minutes after your husband gets home from work. Let him know that you don’t need anything until dinner is ready. Don’t know a crockpot from a flower pot? Check out the recipes in The Ultimate Guide to Man Food at
  • Does your husband already have a great transition routine after getting home? Find some other little thing to bless that time. Maybe it’s making sure the TV is available, his favorite sweats are clean and ready to be changed into, or there’s a cold soda waiting for him in the fridge. It may be so small that he doesn’t even notice. That’s okay – you’ll know what you did.
  • What if your husband works from home? Maybe the best way to help him relax is to ask what he would like the schedule to be. Does he want dinner before or after he gets some time to recharge? Ask him what would make his night better.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Husband Project Q&A

Next week, March 18-22, we'll be doing Kathi Lipp's 5-Day Husband Project Challenge. (It's not too late to join us). The 5-Day challenge is based on Kathi's book The Husband Project. Below Kathi answers some questions about her book. 

Kathi, why did you want to write The Husband Project?
When my husband and I got married, I was determined not to be like so many other couples who turned from romantics to roommates in a matter or months. But, like everyone else, we got back form the honeymoon and had kids and bills and home repairs waiting. It wasn’t long until I packed away the lingerie and was wearing sweats to bed.  I knew that if I wasn’t intentional about keeping my husband a priority, it would be easy to let him fall to the middle of my to-do list. I had to get desperate and creative – that is how The Husband Project was born.
Tell me, how does The Husband Project work?
The Husband Project is like a workout program for your marriage – only with less sweat and more chocolate. You commit to do fun and flirty things for 21 days to raise the temperature of your marriage – everything from flirty notes on the bathroom mirror to more lingerie in the bedroom. It is a little bit of work – and a whole lot of fun.
How did you come up with the Projects?
All of these projects are husband tested and wife approved. First I tried things out on my husband, and then I had a group of over 200 women try some of those projects out on their own men. We took the projects that had the highest flirt factor and put them into the book.
Don’t most women want to do nice things for their husbands? Why do you need a book to do them?
Oh, I totally agree. We all have great intentions, but blessing your man is like making dinner: The hardest part isn’t the cooking, it is deciding what to fix. It is the same with the husband project – all the ideas are pretty simple, but the Projects just lay it out so that it is easy to do.
Give me an example of what a project looks like.
Most of the projects take less than 5 minutes or 5 dollars. One woman made her husband’s favorite brownies and put one on his nightstand every evening for five days. Another wife just casually mentioned to her mother-in-law what an amazing man she had raised in front of her husband. That man lived off that compliment for two weeks. We also collected some of the best low-cost dating ideas from the women who have done The Husband Project and have those up on the website at under Free Resources to give you even more ideas than what are found in the book.
What are Bonus Projects?
Bonus Projects are the PG13 part of The Husband Project. They are once a week assignments to have sex with your husband. (I know you won’t be surprised to find out that these were the husband’s favorite projects.)
Besides the Bonus Projects what were some of the husband’s other favorite projects?
The second most popular category of projects was definitely food. The guys loved it when their wives made something just for them. In fact, it was such a big part of the Project that we had the wives send in their favorite recipes that you can get free on my website It’s called The Ultimate Guide to Man Food and it is all the guys favorite recipes in one collection.
Why do you want women to keep The Husband Project a secret from their guy?
Look, I would never tell you to keep anything from your husband – that is just bad marriage management. But I think The Husband Project should be the exception. I wasn’t upset when my husband threw me a surprise party – this is the same type of situation.

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Husband Project: Giveaway Winner

Jill Hartley won a copy of The Husband Project with the following comment:
"I'm extremely excited to take on this challenge! What a blessing for my husband and I!"
Jill, please send me a direct message on Twitter (@CPConfessions) so I get the book out to you. 

It's not too late to join our 5-Day Husband Project Challenge beginning March 18th. If you're planning on joining us in blessings our husbands please leave a message in the comments.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

You're Made for a God-Sized Dream: A Review

I've known since I was a child that God gave me unlimited potential and made me for something special and unique. I didn't need anyone to tell me that. But I did however need someone to remind me of that...

I was just a few pages into Holley's book when I read these words:
"What I've writted is a gift from my heart to yours, from one dreamer to another. I believe with you, for you, and most of all--I believe in the God who lives within you. 
You really are made for more.
 And this is your time.
Right here, right now."
And then I realized something. Something I had never fully understood before; I needed an encourager in my life. I have oftentimes played that role for others: cheering them on, encouraging them to live their God-sized dreams. But it is very few that have done that for me. Holley's book was exactly what I needed.

Holley Gerth is a certified life coach. (She even offers {e}coaching.) And reading You're Made for a God-Sized Dream is a lot like having Holley all to yourself for an extended coaching session. While I was expecting Holley's book to provide lots of encouragement I wasn't expecting the level of planning advice she offers to make your God-sized dream a reality. Holley offers tools to learn more specifically about who you are and what your dream is. She helps you face the fears that can limit the fulfillment of your dream as well as help you set a tangible plan for making your dream a reality. Additionally she even offers a free Go Deeper Guide that use can you with the book.

You Were Made for a God-Sized Dream isn't just a book of feel-good platitudes that will give you warm fuzzies. This book is a tool that you can use to effectively fulfill your God-sized dream. So are you ready to dream big with me and fulfill God's plan for your life? Then go ahead and pickup Holley's book and like me, invite an experienced life coach into your life.

Purchase your copy of You Were Made for a God-Sized Dream through DaySpring and use code holley25 for 25% off.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

On Interacting With The Homeless

 Recently a friend asked me about interacting with the homeless in the context of an experience she had. Below is our conversation:

Last night, a homeless man came up to me to ask for money.  I was with my friends from the gym.  He said that he needed money to get into a shelter and how mad he was that he was having a hard time raising just $9 in order to go to the Veteran's Hospital.  He seemed visibly high/drunk, so my first thought was that I didn't even want to reach into my purse and get out my wallet just in case he attacked us.  He seemed very upset that most of us just stood there and stared at him. Since he was upset, my "safety mode" kicked in and I didn't say anything to him.  Finally, one of the girls gave him $2 and he walked away very angry.

It bothered me that I didn't really say or do anything because my first instinct was that he was going to use the money for drugs or booze. What do you guys typically do? I know you have a huge heart for homeless people.  I didn't even know which shelter to send him to.  The bigger irony was that I was just telling my friends about God.  These were the girls I work out with that I spend so much time investing in.  I was just telling them about my faith and then we came out of class and ran into this guy.  I felt like such a bad witness that I didn't say or offer anything to him.  I know that no one thought anything of me, but I was screaming at myself in my head.
What is the right response? What do you guys normally do?


Sadly homelessness is one of the very real and difficult realities of ministry, especially in an urban area. First, I think it was wise of you to consider your safety in the moment. I have never been harmed Downtown, even late at night by myself, and have only felt "unsafe" once. But as a woman that is a necessary reality to consider.

I think Jason and I would both say there is no “right” response for every homeless person. We usually handle them on a case-by-case basis. This means you have to be continuously praying and think on your feet. It also means you will mess up and sometimes you will be taken advantage of. I can even think of a specific instance when I was conned. 

I would say if someone is drunk/high, it is not a good time to give them money. [People who work professionally with the homeless say to never give them money.] Additionally we don't reward belligerent behavior either. If you feel led of God and safe doing so, an easy option is to walk into the nearest business and buy them some food. This is also a great way to weed-out whether someone wants money for genuine purposes or not.

Jason and my main goal is relationship. So if we can engage in conversation with a homeless person we will usually know their motivations. However, some lie and will tell you the same story night after night. It's tricky. But like I mentioned earlier, we deal with people on a case-by-case basis. Sometimes we fail and other times we succeed. For example, right now there is a 17-year-old-girl we are hoping to connect with and potentially let her spend a few nights at our house, and then get her into the rescue mission to get back on her feet.

In terms of your friends from the gym, I would have an open an honest conversation with them. Tell them what you told us about going into safety mode and not knowing the right thing to do. It's a perfect opportunity to remind them you're not perfect and you're still trying to figure out this Jesus thing too. Plus it sounds as if they may have felt similarly to you.

Have you had experiences interacting with the homeless or you dealt with other difficult ministry situations? I'd love to hear from you.

*It's not too late to signup for The Husband Project giveaway and join the 5-Day challenge.*

Monday, March 4, 2013

The Husband Project & A Giveaway

Thank you to those of you who joined my Rock Your Valentine's Day, 5-Day Pray for Your Man Challenge. I received feedback from many of you that this project was especially helpful to you and your marriage. The prayer from Day 5 was especially valuable to Jason and I (we've even printed it out and framed it).

Romance should be an ongoing part of our marriages that provides encouragement and joy the whole year through. So lets do another 5-day challenge shall we? Along with Kathi Lipp's book, The Husband Project, we'll share five days of simple projects to bless our husbands beginning March 18. Are you in?

As before the generous Kathi Lipp had provided a copy her book, The Husband Project for one lucky reader to win. The Husband Project provides 21 days of fun activities to show love and honor to your husband.  Kathi Lipp will help you discover:
  • Proven ways to return fun and flirting to your marriage.
  • Inner assurance to meet your husband’s unspoken emotional needs.
  • Increased confidence when it comes to meeting your husbands sexual needs.
  • New levels of warmth and tenderness in your relationship.
  • A deeper sense of security with your husband.
  • A greater ability to boost your husband’s belief in himself.

Kathi Lipp is the author of seven books including Praying God's Word for Your Husband, The Husband Project, and Praying God's Word for Your Husband. She speaks 60-70 times a year to women across the US about loving God and loving those God has put in their path. She and her husband Roger are the parents of four young adults and survived blending all those kids (when they were teens.) Find Kathi at

To enter to win a copy of The Husband Project leave a comment below that you'll be joining our 5-day challenge and why you're excited to do so. I'm looking forward to joining you in this fun experiment of intentionally blessing our husbands.

(To be eligible to win you must reside withing the continental US. The winner will be announced on Monday, March 11th).

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Irresistible Table: A Review

For over a year now I’ve been studying the Biblical theology of food. Meals to be exact. Tim Chester says, 
 If you hope to be living missionally with intention, then meals will be a strategic part of what you do.

And that leads me to Mary DeMuth’s new cookbook, The Irresistible Table. Mary’s cookbook is centered around community and that deeply resonates with my heart for mission. For me that creates a special place for her recipes distinguished from other books like it. 

What I also loved about The Irresistible Table is the variety of recipes. Unlike many of the cookbooks in my kitchen that are either all from-scratch recipes or all semi-homemade recipes, Mary offers a variety of both. As someone who loves to cook healthy things from scratch but has a full life that doesn’t always allow it, the combination is perfect.

When we had a cold snap in Central Florida a few weeks ago, I knew it was the perfect time to try some of Mary’s recipes. I made Mary’s Clam Chowder and Whole Wheat Cornbread. The chowder with it’s cream and bacon, among other things, was slightly sweet, rich, and warm. My husband thought it was the best clam chowder I had ever made and even brought the leftovers into work to share with his coworkers. The combination with the corn bread made for a hearty comforting meal that was just perfect for a cold night. I can hardly wait to try more of Mary’s recipes. 

If you’re interested in combining food and community, The Irresistible Table is a great place to start.