Nagging Negative Nelda is Transformed!

During our morning porch parties, my husband and I aren’t supposed to say anything negative or nag. Last week, I blew it. The morning was brisk, the coffee  fixed just right, and a negative thought came to me. Tiny at first. About the size of a flea. I knew I needed to let the thought go.

But I chose not to.

“Before long, we need to trim the bushes around the porch.”

Rick didn’t say anything. Just kept rocking.

Another negative thought. This one seemed bigger. More important. Feeling justified, I kept going.

“Will you fill the bird feeders today? It’s cold. The birds look hungry.” I was taking up for the poor birds. I had to say it.

There were weeds growing in the hay that had held pumpkins in October. Here it was January.  “How ’bout tossing the hay from the fall scene?”


How had he missed those weeds? In my mind, they were humongous…so big, they took over the whole yard.


He gave me “the look” and the porch party fell flat.

I hadn’t meant to ruin the morning. And it happened so fast. In three sentences.

In one single thought, actually.

Scrutinizing what was wrong, I missed all that was right.

Maybe it’s not too late.

“Sorry for nagging,” I said.

“No problem.”

The way out of negative thinking (and fear and self-pity!) seemed too simple to save our porch party.

Gratitude and praise.

But I tried it anyway.

“Listen, is that geese?” I said.

“I think so.”

We smiled at each other–the beauty of the morning restored.

Our thoughts create our emotions.

And we get to choose our thoughts. And our words.



“…if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things.” Phil 4:8 NIV

My Incredible Shrinking Pantry

After 33 years of marriage, I should know better by now.

I have this habit of giving my husband Rick helpful little hints.

“You forgot to…”

“Why don’t you…?”

“That would look a whole lot better if you’d just…”

A few weeks ago he said, “I think I’ll shrink the pantry and buy a counter-depth refrigerator. It’ll give us more space in the kitchen.”

“You can’t shrink a pantry. That’s impossible.”

“It’s doable. Trust me, Julie.”

Here’s how it looked a few days ago. Full of tools and sawdust. I doubted it would work and asked lots of questions.


The new refrigerator came last week and Rick finished the pantry Saturday. Don’t you love it! He also added a new florescent light on the inside so now I can see my spices.

Marveling over our extra kitchen space I thought I really should nag less and praise more.

He wasn’t too thrilled with me taking a picture of him in his jammies cooking breakfast Saturday morning, but isn’t this the stuff real love is made of?

The quiet faithful deeds I tend to overlook.

After he cooked bacon and eggs, he fixed my coffee and my broken reading glasses.

I have an incredible new pantry, and I’ve always had an incredible husband. I’m going to tell him more often. And work hard at nagging less.

I thank my God every time I remember you.” Phil 1:3 (NIV)