Posts tagged fun
HE'S NOT YOUR PRINCE CHARMING: have a little fun


For the next few weeks we will be reposting from He’s Not Your Prince Charming, reaching way back in the archives to remind and reteach and rethink what we’ve been learning together. I have asked my blog team to help choose their favorites, and I am hoping you will add fresh comments to shed new light on these posts.

In the meantime I will be writing ahead for the new series, studying, reading, thinking, and praying about what to say and how to say it. Any suggestions and thoughts about what you’re wondering about will be most welcome— after all, you are my girls! 

From my heart,


 repost: 11.2013

So I recommend having fun,

because there is nothing better for people to do in this world

than to eat, drink, and enjoy life.

That way they will experience some happiness

along with all the hard work God gives them.

Ecclesiastes 8:15

Dear girls,

This post really ought to be addressed to me, Dear Diane… because having fun is so foreign to me that every time I read these words from the pen of King Solomon, I have to stop and ponder.

What does he mean?

Hard work, I understand. Schedules and lists and budgets, I can do. I’m all about neat and tidy rules with ought to’s and shouldn’ts.

But fun?

As in play?

As in non-productive, non-achieving, no-point-to-it hours spent accomplishing nothing?

I don’t think so.

Until a couple of years ago Phil and I had all but given up on fun. We’re just so different. And so we stopped having fun together.

And then we hit a crisis. For reasons we could not understand, we were hurting each other’s feelings and rubbing each other wrong and just generally having trouble getting along. Every conversation turned into some sort of conflict.

What was wrong with us?

And I’m sorry if you think pastors and their wives are always nice to each other. That we always practice what we preach. Or that love and passion are enough to overcome anything… because those are the makings of fairy tales, not real life.

At least not my life.

The constant conflict led us to seek help from the wise couple who had mentored us throughout our ministry. Not exactly counseling, but wise counsel. We flew to their home across the country, determined to get to the bottom of what was wrong.

What they said stunned me.

Your husband needs to have fun.

They went on to explain him to me and me to him. Using personality tests and years of Biblical wisdom, they pointed out our differences and made us see those differences as good.

But mostly I learned that Phil needs to have fun. A lot of fun. Frequent fun.

And I don’t. At least not the fun defined by most people.

I mean, who really thinks it’s fun to curl up all day with study books and dream about how to write a book about suffering so that women will understand and be able to teach their children and maybe avoid the pit I fell into when suffering about strangled my faith?

Yeah. Fun.

And so I set about trying to learn how to have fun. Or at least help Phil have fun. It was tough.

I tried to find a book about fun. Fun for Dummies. No luck. And if you’re a writer reading this and you know anything about how to have fun, here’s a definite felt need, at least by me.

I observed fun people. They laugh a lot. Out loud. My laugh is all inward, a snicker at best. When I try to laugh like they do I sound like a seal. People look at me strangely.

And I realized that in all those wonderful family times when we go around the table telling the birthday person, this is what I like about you… no one has ever told me I’m fun. Because I’m not. Ever.

After much studious thought and a week of serious pondering, here I am writing a list.   I’m hoping you girls are going to help me out, because this is one topic I know next to nothing about…

Six Ways To Love Your Husband With Fun:

1.  Recognize a man’s need to have fun.

I know that sounds simplistic, but I’d been married nearly 30 years without really honoring my husband’s need to have fun. My man-boy has an inherent need to play, to hoop and holler and immerse himself in something that doesn’t impact the history of the world.

2.  Give your husband/fiancé/boyfriend permission to have fun. Our world, especially the church world, admires men who achieve. Hard working, smart, disciplined men are admired and promoted. No one ever wrote a biography about a man because he was fun. I think we women need to change that up a bit. To stop shaming him and start affirming the productivity that results from a restful day of fun.

3.  Budget for fun. What if, at Christmas, instead of giving him clothes or books or something he needs, we decided to give him a fun experience? Wouldn’t that say wonders about our recognition that a man is still a boy and needs some hours to play?

4.  Choose to dive into his way of doing fun whether it feels fun to you or not.

This summer Phil and I went to Victoria, B.C. for a romantic week together. He spent most of an afternoon wandering the Butchart Gardens with me, trying to act interested, masking his aversion to yard work. Then we had high tea at the Empress Hotel. Not exactly the stuff he’d spent dreaming of.

On our way into the hotel he spotted a float plane taking a nosedive towards the bay. Landing on the wild waves, I thought for sure that thing would tip over, drowning all it’s risk-taking passengers.

Phil turned to me and said, “Di, let’s do it!”

No way. Not me. Feeling magnanimous, I suggested he sign up and I’d sit and sip tea. In fact, I’d even pay for his ticket out of my small stash of money meant for clothes and all things girlish.

But he wanted me to go with him- to be his friend and partner in adventure. I think I shocked us both when I agreed.

What followed was one of the most thrilling evenings we’d ever spent together. Once I got over my racing nerves, I felt like I was a princess flying over my kingdom. Enthralled with the countryside, the islands, even a small castle surrounded by the sea, I loved it! And most of all, Phil loved that I did something I didn’t want to do in order to be his companion in fun.

5.  Keep trying until you find a way to have fun together. One friend of mine rides bikes with her husband. Another hikes. My grandmother became an avid baseball fan, shouting down the refs when her favorite team stumbled. And she fished- clad in waders up to her chin, she shared my grandfather’s fun on the edges of the Snake River.

6.  Act fun— like you’re having a blast. Tell yourself you’re having fun. Decide to have fun. Free your mind to have fun even if your work isn’t done and the circumstances aren’t just right. I know that sounds insincere, but I firmly believe that we have a great deal of control over what we decide to enjoy. And being a fun woman may just lighten the flavor of your presence for the  man you love.

Now, I told you this is an area of deficiency for me. I need the born-fun women to fill in the blanks for those of us fun-challenged women so that our fun-needing men will have fun with us.

Please, please, please, give us fun ideas…

From my heart,





Dear girls, When my youngest son, Matt was just a little boy, he’d wake up every morning asking, “Where is everybody?” With three older siblings, he couldn’t get his head around a day of not knowing exactly what each person in his family was up to and why they weren’t all right there, one big bunch of playmates.

By the time he was four and speaking in that adorable way of precocious toddlers, he’d assigned himself the role of Keeper of the Peace in our family of less-than-peace-loving teenagers. Matt spent his mornings riding along in the carpool van, negotiating treaties of niceness between sleep deprived, hormonal sisters and a dominating, driven older brother. He just couldn’t understand what all those frowning faces were about.

As little Matt-man refereed in the backseat, he’d use this one phrase to punctuate his point:


Which, translated into real talk means, Don’t be mean!

Matt’s injunction worked like magic. Everyone would stop arguing and start laughing uproariously. How can anyone quibble in the face of such fierce cuteness? And Matt was just confident enough to believe that it was his command that had wrought instant peace. He’d grin and laugh and delight in his power to unite his squabbling siblings.

And so, my dear girls, as you go about your day encountering difficult husbands/boyfriends/brothers/friends I’d like to admonish you,


Instead, cultivate a spirit of friendliness. Be nice. Refuse to get caught up in being right. Manage conflict with grace and kindness. Stop poking. Do good to the man in your life, whether you’re 15 or 55.

In Titus, chapter two, older women (that’s me!) are admonished to, “urge the younger women to love their husbands…” Seems kind of benign, doesn’t it? Of course women are to love their husbands. But dig just a tad deeper. The nuanced meaning of the word translated love here is “friendly” (phileo in Greek). God is moving Paul’s pen to write to the young pastor, Titus, to tell the women to…

Be friendly to your husbands.

And girls, after more than 35 years of doing ministry alongside my pastor-husband, of watching marriages fail and families fall apart, I’d like to give everyone of you the same word of advice:

Be friendly to your husbands!

How hard can that be?

Well, harder than it sounds because the number one complaint I hear from husbands and sons and older brothers and trying-but-not-happy boyfriends is this: women are mean.

And here’s the funny thing, (I warned you this would be a rambling sort of conversation) the number one reason according to Dr. Emmerson Eggerichs, a leading authority on marriage, that men give as to why they chose their particular wife is this:

Because she likes me.

Yep, profound isn’t it?

A man marries a woman, first and foremost, because she likes him.

Not because he likes her (though obviously that’s in there too), not because she’s sexy and alluring (though obviously that’s high on the list), not because she’s all the things he thinks she is… but because something inside of him recognizes this thing he longs for: to be liked.  Really, genuinely, consistently, always liked.

So, what does that look like outside of statistics and psychological studies? How does a woman be friendly in real life? I'll give you my take on what that looks like, then I'm hoping you'll give us yours...

How To “Like” A Man:

  1. Be affectionate- Rub his shoulders, scratch his back, touch him when you’re talking. Greet him with a hug when he comes in the door. Say good-bye with a kiss. Or, if he’s wired so tight that touch translates as annoying, use words. Those fond words of affection every man craves. Whatever you do, make sure the affection is about him, not about you.
  2. Be sexually inviting- Once you are married, sexual invitation means “I like you” to a man. Of course it does! They know instinctively that we don’t want them when we’re mad or irritated or annoyed. Our very wanting is a relief to a man’s inward worry that we don’t like them.
  3. Be fun- Be his best companion. Laugh at his attempts to add a twist of humor to your conversation. Watch ESPN next to him.  Be enthusiastic. Vacation the way he likes- save your shopping and museum wandering for another day (I'm talking to myself here!). Agree. Be agreeable. Say yes. Recognize his need to play. Join him. Or go along and watch with all the enthusiasm of a fan.
  4. Flirt a little- Flirt a lot. Flirt until you're old and wrinkled and grey. Flirt with only him.
  5. Be nice- Say nice things, do nice things. Rearrange that perpetual mama-scowl into a welcoming softness. Don’t roll your eyes or make those “humpfing” sounds of disapproval. Assume innocence.
  6. Talk nice- Tell him how much you like him and why. Tell him you admire him and then leave the room. When he follows you out like a puppy dog, leave him a list that sounds heroic. Mean it.

Girls, I’m just getting started. This is how we “phileo” our husbands. (No, that’s not “fillet”!)

There is no better way to love your man than to like him. Our men are hurting for lack of liking.

And for those of you not yet married, every man in your life needs, wants, craves this kind of liking. A woman who is good at liking will never lack great men friends and boyfriends and offers… just sayin’.

I love you, girls…

From my heart,


PS: Okay, let’s add to my list. Can you give us ways to communicate “like” to the men in our lives?

And if a man or two or more is reading this, would you contribute? Go ahead and use Mr. Anonymous as your name if you want. We women need to understand this better.


Ruth 4v1-12

The Wedding (Part Three)

(Click here to listen to the fifth Ruth teaching)



Verse of the Week




More Words from the Father

Proverbs 3

Revelations 2v1-5




From my Heart

Falling in Love

I’m falling in love with Boaz.

From the first time I heard his voice resounding off the written page, the man caught my attention. He sounds big, strong, and safe. He sounds warm, ready to break out in unbidden laughter with the least provocation. I can just hear his great chuckle of pure joy as he gathers his dusty workers ‘round his table for lunch.


Boaz invites. He invites his people to a meal. He invites his foreman to an opinion. He invites a stranger into his inner circle.


And Boaz welcomes.


He welcomes gleaners to his fields. He welcomes two hungry women to leftovers. He welcomes his workers into relationship.


Boaz is a leader.


He leads his work crew to give honor to God out loud. He leads his close relative to an opportunity to help someone in need. He leads ten men to step up to the plate and get involved.


Boaz is successful


He is a hands-on kind of boss. He is a man whose wealth comes as a result of pouring himself into his career with passion and resolve, a man who loves what he does.


Boaz is bold.


He spots Ruth and right away lets everyone know how much he admires her. When confronted with a problem, he faces it. He’s not afraid to get right in the middle of a mess and fix it.


Boaz is fun.


The moment he rides into the story, people begin to gather for celebration. Lunch in the middle of a workday becomes a picnic. The backbreaking job at the threshing floor becomes a party. His wedding involves the whole town.


Boaz protects.


He protects Ruth from abuse. He protects the young guys who might instinctively gravitate towards this young Moabitess, warning them to leave her alone before they mess up! Then He protects Ruth’s reputation in the middle of the night by urging discretion.

The guy is amazing! Captivating. Strong. Compelling. He is godly and playful, considerate and kind. The man is driven with purpose to excel, but also to do right by people in the process. Somehow he balances relationships with responsibility in perfect harmony so that everyone seems to genuinely want to be on his team. They like him.


Do you see why I am falling head over heels in love? What woman wouldn’t?


This man, my dear friend, is the One you’ve been waiting for your entire life. He is Jesus, the lover of your soul, the only One who will never leave you nor forsake you. Not that guy who misused you or the boyfriend who dumped you. You had the wrong one all along.


Boaz is the One you were longing for.


All the others are cheap substitutes.






Boaz is the real deal.


Are you with me? Do you see what I see? Is your heart aware of what’s going on here? Is the hope you thought you’d lost awakening yet? Are you falling in love?


I hope so, I really do.


From my heart,






The Matriarchs

“…May the Lord make the woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, both of whom built the house of Israel…” Ruth 4v11

What was it about Rachel and Leah? To have Boaz’s friends offer such a prayer - such a desire for his new marriage? After all, the story of these two women dated back 600 years before Ruth was born! The answer lies in the stark reality of childbearing - nothing short of a small feat before the breakthroughs in safe medical practices we enjoy today.

About the time that Boaz and Ruth were starting a family, the infant mortality rate stood at 35%. That meant that if Ruth were able to conceive and carry her pregnancy to completion, her baby had less than a three in ten chance of surviving until the age of five. The overwhelming odds against a child growing to adulthood and even old age were staggering. Rachel and Leah bore and raised 12 sons to adulthood - an obvious percentage breaker in those times.

Thus, the blessing their friends wished on Boaz and Ruth came from hearts that understood the tragedy of the death of a child in a way we can barely grasp. They wanted Boaz and Ruth to grow old together, surrounded by children and grandchildren to validate their lives.


And who wouldn’t want that for these two beautiful people?



How to Pray for our Friends

The Tripartite Blessing

“God bless you.” It’s a phrase we often toss out with meaningless ease. What we really mean is that we hope everything in their life follows a safe, predictable, hunky-dory path. But the friends and family who surrounded Boaz and Ruth at their wedding ceremony sang a chorus of blessing on the couple that went much deeper. The ink was barely dry on the wedding certificate when this community of friends issued their three-fold blessing. Called a tripartite blessing by theologians, their spiritual wish list reached far beyond our light benevolence.

First, the blessing involved their family heritage. The ancient understanding of family is all but lost in our culture. The Israelites put enormous emphasis on evangelizing and training their children to walk in the ways of the Lord. Their communities joined them in adding their social pressures to assure that very few children drifted from the path their parents had paved for them.

Second, the blessing focused on recognition and respect in the community. Since Boaz was already considered a man of strength and influence, this was given in the hope that he would continue to grow in wisdom and stature and financial wealth.

Third, the blessing looks to genealogy. Echoing the second blessing, this last aspect of the tripartite blessing is on Boaz’s recognition and respect throughout history. They could have had no idea how prophetic this statement would turn out to be! Boaz became the great-grandfather of Israel’s most beloved king. His name is listed not only on David’s family tree, but also on Jesus’ genealogy. Boaz and Ruth both went down in history with their compelling love story preserved right in the middle of God’s ageless Scriptures.


In Acts 26 Paul is talking to a man who has shown very little interest in God, and yet there is this sense in the narrative that the man (King Agrippa) leans forward as Paul tells his story. He begins with a little background, then jumps right in to the best part:

One day…

a light from heaven brighter than the sun shown down on me and my companions. We all fell down, and I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic,

Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?

It is hard for you to fight against my will.”

(Acts 26:12-14 NLT)

Out of nowhere came a flash of the brightest light he’d ever seen. It was so brilliant and so powerful he couldn’t help but fall to the ground in terror. He was so traumatized by the light he couldn’t see, and refused to eat or drink for three days. (see the whole story in Acts 9)

That’s one way to hear God.

Not exactly the most intimate and comfortable, I doubt Paul asked for more of the same. In fact, I’d surmise that Paul never fully lost his fear of God’s power after that encounter in the middle of the road to Damascus. If listening to God’s voice made him blind and unable to eat or drink for several days, he may have been just a bit gun shy about hoping to hear again.

But what strikes me in his retelling of his story is side note that the words God spoke to him were in Aramaic.

Not in Hebrew, the language of religion.

Not in Greek, the language of literature.

Just in the everyday language of Paul’s life.

Normal stuff.

And that is still how God speaks. In the everydayness of our lives.

Sometimes (but not very often) He speaks loud. Booming, attention getting commands. But those are once in a lifetime messages. A last resort to get our attention or save us from ourselves.

Usually He just speaks normal.

One morning just a little while ago, on a day we’d set aside for Sabbath rest, He spoke to me like this:

Di, don’t make this day about you. Be friendly— a fun, light hearted, laughing, encouraging companion to Phil. Lighten up! This is the day I have made—


And my heart responded, Yes! I get it.

After too many hard to make decisions, my husband needed me to help him just have fun. And since fun is not exactly my middle name, God needed to speak those words to me lest I sabotage his rest by hijacking the day with more heavy stuff.

Simple, everyday Aramaic.

And so very wise and right.

All day long those words resonated in my mind. Over and over I made myself steer the conversation to fun, encouraging words. It felt as if God and I were in cahoots together to brighten Phil’s day.

We rode bikes around Sauvie Island, brought home heaps of fresh fruit and veggies, laughed and admired the beauty God was displaying that day just for us.

Are you learning to listen to those simple, everyday words He’s speaking to you? With your Bible open in your lap, your pen poised to write it down, what is He saying?

From my heart,