Thursday, May 4, 2023

A Prayer That Transforms Our Marriages, Our Families, Our World

The world is a mess! Marriages are crumbling and families are falling apart. Governments are collapsing while citizens die in the streets they called "home." Who is to blame for this? Well, if you listen to politicians or to a domestic dispute; it's, most likely, "the other guy."

People are so quick to point the finger at someone else instead of asking God to point the finger at them.

The Psalmist David got it right when he wrote Psalm 139: "Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life."

As we ask God to search us, know us, test us, point out what offends, and lead us, we'll change and so will our marriages, our families, and our world. Now, that's a splash of serenity we could all use! Thanks, David. Thanks, God.

Do you know a prayer that transforms or have a testimony of how prayer transformed your marriage or family? Please share what God did for you.  

Splashes of Serenity prayed for your day!


Friday, April 28, 2023

God's Not Done! Check Out My Speaking Schedule for a Location Near You

I love telling audiences about my Jesus. After cancer and severe covid, I wondered if I would ever have the energy or the breath to resume public speaking. Well, after two speaking events in Connecticut, I am thrilled to say I have energy and breath and enthusiasm! God worked powerfully in my life during my illnesses and now I have the joy of giving Him the glory for the peace and joy and His Presence during what should have been difficult days. But, they weren't difficult because Jesus had never been so close and so real. Hallelujah!  

I'd love meeting you at one of my speaking events. Check out my schedule below:

May 8, 2023, Northeastern District C&MA Retreat, The Y at Watson Woods, Painted Post, NY, 3:30 p.m. workshop, "Our Most Important Writing Tool: A Pure Heart." Closed to public.

May 9, 2023, Northeastern District C&MA Retreat, the Y at Watson Woods, Painted Post, NY, 3:30 p.m. workshop, "Writing a Story People Will Read," Closed to public.

May 13, 2023, Wellsville Bible Church, Wellsville, NY, 6:00 Banquet, "Splashes of Serenity." RSVP by May 7. Information below. Thanks, Kim Merritt for the sweet promo poster.

May 16, 2023: Christian Women's Connection, Harts Hill Inn, Whitesboro, NY, 11:30 a.m., "The Suite Life." Contact Bonnie at 315-737-8611 for reservations.

May 17, 2023, Christian Women's Connection, Ilion/Frankfurt V.F.W., Frankfurt, NY, 11:00 a.m.,"The Suite Life." Contact Hope at 518-568-3457 for reservations.

May 18, 2023: Christian Women's Connection, Theodore's Restaurant, Canastota, NY, 11:00 a.m., speaking twice, "An Author's Journey" and "The Suite Life." Contact Carol at 315-761-9514 for reservations.

June 10, 2023, "Extravagant Joy Conference," Cato Christian Fellowship, Cato, NY, 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Speaking twice, lunch provided. Walk-ins welcome.

October 12, 2023: Christian Women's Connection, Tashua Country Club, Trumbull, CT, 11:30 a.m., "The Suite Life," 11:30 a.m. Contact Jan at 203-405-6573 for reservations.

Thank you all for your prayers! Pray God brings many to belief in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. 

"Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved . . . "
Acts 16:31


Thursday, April 27, 2023

Two Covid Journeys — Miles Apart

My oncologist encouraged me to write my covid journey. "People need to read what happened from the  point of view of someone who had and survived severe covid. It's history that needs to be told" he said. 

I've been unable to write a book of my experience. The closeness of God too precious and the pain of this disease to raw to find words. 

Penelope Childers wrote the book my doctor hoped to read: A Window of Hope: How We Survived COVID-19. 

Here's my amazon review of A Window of Hope

"The history, the heartbreak, the hope of a global pandemic that brought both unity and division. Penelope Childers takes us into her heart of peace as she determines to survive covid-19 from her ICU hospital room. Her daughter, Megan Pascual, writes of the frustration and horror in the hearts of family shut off on the other side of the hospital walls. A Window of Hope is a brilliant account of the facts and the feelings of life during the covid-19 pandemic."

Penelope's story and mine are similar, but different. We are close to the same age and suffered with covid at the same time. She was in ICU in a big-city California hospital. My ICU bed was in a small hospital (some would call rural) upstate New York. I was in a pleasant isolation room on the covid floor where I watched the sun come up every morning. Penny began her hospital journey in a curtained cubicle with other covid patients nearby. I brushed my teeth daily. Health care workers washed my hair and provided water and soap and lotion for me to take care of my daily needs. Penelope's teeth were not brushed for weeks. Nor was she able to bathe. Yikes!  Penny's husband and daughter were present through a window. Three stories up and unable to walk, I communicated with my family through facebook. Penny suffered severe constipation. I did not. Penny went to rehab. I went home. 

Hospitals treated covid patients differently, but always with great care and comfort. Dear healthcare workers did their best with this mystery disease, as they tried to sort the mess of covid attacking each patient in a variety of symptoms, side effects, and sicknesses. covid survivors live with heart, lung, and brain damage, while others do not.   

 Although separated by miles and different symptoms, 
One truth was sure.
Penny and I both experienced the overwhelming presence and peace of our loving Jesus. 
God consumed us as He healed us. 

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever"
Hebrews 13:8

May His presence bring you a splash of serenity every moment of your life,


Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Ten Ways To Put More Love and More Life Into Your Love Life

My book's title, We All Married Idiots, grabs people's attention. But the meat of this book is found in the sub-title, Three Things You Will Never Change About Your Marriage and Ten Things You Can.

Using the chapter titles of the Ten Things You Can, I hope you enjoy my spin on the ten ways you can put more love and more life into your love life. Have fun!

1. Loosen Up! Ask someone what first attracted them to their spouse and the answer may be, "Their smile." So loosen up! Laugh! Smile! Nothing says "Kiss me!" more than a happy face.

2. Strip Down! Oops! Did I say that? No. God did. In Hebrews 12:1 (NLT) He says,
 ". . . let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up."
We need to strip ourselves of sin that makes us unattractive to God and to our lovers. Sins like grumbling, lust, anger . . . all sin; you name it, keeps our bedrooms from being the happy place God intended.

3. Let Go! Thoughts of  laundry to do, Billy's homework isn't done, what should I make for dinner, problems at the office, all can occupy our minds during love making.  Don't bring your "to do" list to the bedroom. I guarantee while making love, you won't be able to do any of it. So, let go of these thoughts, concentrate on your lover, and enjoy!

4. Hold On! Your honey wants to get frisky, but your honey's character flaws turn you off. No one is perfect. Don't let thoughts of your sweetheart's failures enter your mind while making love. This is the time to hold on to the good and remember all the wonderful traits you love about your spouse.

5. Settle Down! Angry? Well, settle down. Anger has no place in your marriage bed.  Sexual abstinence will not solve your marital difficulties. Settle anger outside the bedroom walls because your bedroom is reserved as your play ground not your boxing ring.

6. Make Nice! Making nice is foreplay for the night ahead. No one wants to make love with a mate who makes mean. Remember, your lover desires to be treasured, not trampled.

7. Cheer On! If you want an example of cheering on your lover during lovemaking, read Solomon's Song of Songs. Wow! For example, "How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes are doves. How handsome you are, my lover! Oh, how charming! And our bed is verdant." Song of Songs 1: 15-16. Words of affection and affirmation do much to cheer your honey on toward sexual pleasure.

8. Sit Tight! There really are times your beloved has a headache. Understanding and treating your love  tenderly during "headache" days will reap future rewards in your love life. Sit tight, be patient, and wait for a better day.

9. Give up! There will be days you won't desire your spouse, but your spouse desires you. I suggest you give up and ask God to give you passion for your husband or wife.  God says, "Husbands and wives should satisfy each other's sexual needs . . . Don't withhold yourselves from each other unless you agree to do so for a set time to devote yourselves to prayer. Then you should get back together. . . " 1 Corinthians 7: 3, 5. Prayer is an amazing power God gives to us. As we pray and invite God into our bedroom, asking The Almighty to help us respond to our lover's desires, we may be shocked at His answer. Prayer before and during lovemaking is the best foreplay of all. God wants to bless your marriage bed. He really does! Just ask Him.

10. Look up! The sparks aren't flying. There's no desire at all. Now what should you do? Look up! Ask God to help you and your beloved enjoy sexual intimacy as He planned for a husband and a wife. Loosen up, strip down, let go, hold on, settle down, make nice, cheer on, sit tight, give up, and look up. I suspect God will give you a marriage relationship better than you ever asked or imagined.

I have a passion for marriages, which is why I love promoting my book, We All Married Idiots: Three Things You Will Never Change About Your Marriage and Ten Things You Can. Available wherever books are sold and on Amazon at

Splashes of Serenity and joy prayed for you and your beloved!


Friday, March 17, 2023

Married With Nothing In Common?

You'll soon know who is the idiot in my marriage!

Sharing with you an argument Dan and I had many years ago and the wise way he brought me to my senses.

"We have nothing in common!" I cried out, exhausted, discouraged, probably a bit angry about something that didn't go my way.

My sweet man responded with a gentle answer. "Sit down and I'll show you what we have in common. He found our wedding album, opened it and said,

"We have this day in common. We made the same vows. We have those promises in common. In fact, I'm going to say them to you again right now. And he did.

Then, he picked up our family photo album.

"We have these children in common. We both love them and want what is best for them."

Calmed, I forgot about my silliness and smiled at the man who chose to share life with me. Yes indeed, we did have a lot in common.

The next time you think you and your honey are miles apart, take a tip from my hubby and journey through the photo album.

Of course, this won't work for serious issues that need to be discussed, but for the day-to-day-I'm-too-tired-to-deal-with-life spat, reminiscing works swell.

Need a splash of serenity on your marriage? Enjoy those wedding photos on a dreary day.


Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Protecting Your Marriage From Sexual Misconduct

When My husband Dan started a secular job over forty years ago, his boss took him aside and whispered the names of women in the office he could have sexually. Dan walked away and kept his eyes, his hands, and his mind on the work he was hired to do.  Never before had the in-your-face wickedness of the world so threatened our marriage. When the office Christmas party invitation arrived on Dan's desk, he was told "Spouses not invited."

"I don't go to parties without my wife." Dan explained to his co-workers and to me. 

We went to the party together. I was the only spouse at a celebration of Christmas which included dinner, dancing, drinking, and too much coziness between co-workers.

The next Christmas we attended the dinner/dance/drink and were happy to see that this time a few others ignored the "No Spouses Invited" rule and brought their mates.

When we take a stand for marriage, others join us. Won't you?

Sexual misconduct can be blatant and it can be subtle. 
A wink of an eye. 
A lingering touch. 
A flirtatious glance. 
A conversation too personal for anyone but your spouse.  

Protecting yourself and your marriage from the damage of sexual misconduct requires setting guidelines for your life and living by them. 

Rev. David Linn, District Superintendent for the Christian and Missionary Alliance, offers the following common sense advice for keeping your marriage bed and your ministry pure (bold emphasis mine):

"1. Avoid all actual sins whether outward or in thought life. This is where the real battle is fought, as Paul wrote: “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry” (1 Cor. 10:13-14). Run from it, reveal your struggle to an accountability partner, put barriers in the way, restructure your life pattern, work in larger groups, or whatever necessary. Repent every time you fail and receive forgiveness. No excuses. Don’t ever tell yourself: This little sin really doesn’t matter.

2. Do everything you can in public. Take away the enhanced temptation of private space wherever possible. Hire a carpenter to put windows in church classrooms and office doors. Meet outside or over video chat if that helps. Make your own choices about this. Don’t merely follow what others do.

3. Observe personal space. Approach others with a measure of wise caution and watch for cues about what is comfortable for them. Everyone is different. Adjust as necessary. It doesn’t really matter what is comfortable for you.

 4. Kindly and assertively tell others what you want and do not want. 

5. If you are married, follow the cautions and reservations your spouse expresses about your relationships without hesitation or reservation. Whatever your loved one says goes, even if you do not understand it. You probably won’t. 

6. Respect the holy life patterns of others. Some do not wish to eat out together in twosomes, travel together, or minister together. You and I have no access to the inward history and life of others. It is their prerogative to make those decisions. Love your brothers and sisters by following their wishes without complaint. The expansion of the kingdom of God will not be slowed by wise and holy living.

7. Never let down your guard. Be prepared for temptations to come your way from both non-churched and churched people, both men and women. There is no genuinely safe space on earth. “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12)."

 Sexual sin seems to make headlines daily. A few weak moments can destroy your marriage, your family, your ministry, your career, your finances, your children, your children's respect, your children's marriages. etc. etc. etc. 

The cost too high, the pain too deep, the damage irreplaceable.

Dan and I set boundaries for our marriage and we live by them. 

"Marriage should be honored by all, 
and the marriage bed kept pure, 
for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral."  
Hebrews 13:4 (NIV) 

Bring splashes of serenity to your marriage by never giving a glance to or thought of another person other than your spouse. Take that stand today. Please. For the glory of God and the honor of  your marriage!


Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Staying Best Friends After You Marry


"Today I marry my best friend"

announces many wedding invitations . 

It's easy to marry your best friend, 

but how do you stay best friends after you marry?  

May these thoughts on marriage and friendship encourage you to be that best friend every husband (and every wife) desires and deserves.

1. Friends are loyal. God warned us in James 3:2 (GWT) that "All of us make a lot of mistakes." Surprise! Your honey is not perfect. He and you will make mistakes. If you are his friend, you will be quick to stand by him and forgive. Remember that he didn't wake up this morning with this thought: Woo Hoo! I wonder how many mistakes I can make today! Mistakes are not on his to-do list, but loving him in spite of them should be on yours.

2. Friends are kind. I've been to a lot of weddings and I've never heard this vow: I promise to make a note of everything you do that bothers me and remind you of it as long as we both shall live. That is not what we promise, but is that what we do? Without considering the consequences, we spew out words we wish we could stuff back in our mouths. Friends should be safe havens from the unpleasant side of life. It's a tough world out there. We need to be tender. 

3. Friends are cheerleaders. A wife fulfills a role that no one else can — that of her husband's cheerleader.  When the world knocks your man down, you need to pick him up and cheer him on. I remember my Dan coming home late from a difficult meeting. I pummeled him with questions. "What decisions were made? How did you respond?" Poor guy. He left one anxiety-ridden meeting and came home to another. Instead, I should have offered him assurance of my love in the form of a kiss, an embrace, and perhaps his favorite ice cream. I realized this truth when Dan took me in his arms, held me, and gently spoke, "I really need you to be my wife, not my boss." Lesson learned.

4. Friends spend time together. Early in our marriage Dan suggested that two times a year we go away alone together. I balked because of the expense and the time away from our children. Dan insisted and Dan was right. Now married 42 years, I realize we are best friends today because we guarded our couple time. If your husband has a hobby, join in. Dan loves to golf. I learned to love golf too. We work to find entertainment we enjoy together. Date nights are non-negotiable because friends make time to be together.

5. Friends build each other up. It's sad that some girlfriends find pleasure belittling their husbands. I've heard these friendship-ruining and marriage-killing conversations.  Don't participate in this activity. Either change the subject ("Everybody say one thing they LOVE about their husband!") or change your friends. Best friends don't ridicule each other in public or in private. They build each other up.

So, did you marry your best friend? I hope so. And I pray your friendship glows as you grow in love and life together. It takes work and discipline and self-sacrifice and it's worth it.

May your married life be filled with splashes of serenity!