Back when Jason and I were engaged, we thought our life was so crazy and so busy.
(How adorable.)
We were juggling college, he was on staff at church, as well as touring with his band, I was lifeguarding and planning the wedding.

How did we even survive?  Did I mention that we had a puppy????!!!!!

During our premarital counseling, we each had to make a list of what we were bringing to the marriage.  I don't really remember anything from my list, but one thing stood out, the one thing Jason ranked as what he needed the most.

I could provide a refuge from his crazy days.

He is the ultimate extrovert, and lives a very people filled life.  But even extroverts need to come home to a little bit of peace.

It is something that I have thought about these last fourteen years.  Being a refuge.

It is wholly different now than when it was just us and our dog.  Young and dumb newlyweds with a quiet, clean, house and way to much free time.  Our whole life was a date night.

Now we are a little less young, and hopefully less dumb, the house isn't always clean, and it certainly is never, ever, ever quiet.

Add in the fact that he is now basically working three full time jobs at once, without a reprieve on the horizon.

A refuge has never been needed more.

Thankfully, via a rabbit trail of pretty fonts on Pinterest, I came across the loveliest blog Designs by Lulu.  As I was reading through the archives, I came upon the post that I needed to read most for this season of life.  A post I am so thankful for.  So encouraged by.  Written from the heart of a young bride who recognizes the great gift her husband is to her, and it is her heart's desire is to love him well.

She speaks of providing and En Gedi for her husband, which means "a desert oasis in the middle of a dry land, complete with fresh water, trees, fruit, and life,  and that most men feel like their life is desert, and desire to come home to En Gedi at the end of a long day.

A place of rest, refreshment, and rejuvenation."

Jason is a great gift.  He has weathered this stressful and uncertain season with such grace and determination.  He sacrifices, serves, and cares for all of us in more ways than I could ever count, or hope to repay.  I want to love him well.

Jessica and I were talking about what En Gedi would look like to our husbands.  She shared it with Dave, who responded, brilliantly, GEDI UP.
 Yes, my friend, we need to Gedi up.

I asked Jason what his En Gedi would look like.  It was such a great conversation to have, and his requests were so simple, so doable.

His first request is to come home to a clean house at the end of his one fifteen hour day each week.  I can so appreciate that, coming home, exhausted, poured out, and being faced with a kitchen sink filled with dishes, school work strewn all over the table, kid chaos everywhere...  No fun.
Walking into a restful, picked up space?  Dreamy.

So now, after I put the kids down, I still have plenty of time to serve him by putting away my half finished sewing/ painting/ craziness, toss dishes in the dishwasher, wipe down the counters, sweep the floor, light some candles.  Nothing difficult.  Nothing complicated.  Normal stuff.  Normal stuff that makes him look forward to coming home. 

The second, is to simply make plans and leave the house by 9 am on his day off.
Again, no big deal.  No use in wasting the day away.  Especially when days off are so rare.

We are two weeks into Operation En Gedi, and I cannot begin to explain what a gift it has been to us, our marriage, even our kids.

Loving and serving my husband, is such a joy.  Simple, thoughtful things to help him to feel appreciated for all he does for us.  How could I not?

I dare you to find out what En Gedi looks like to your husband, and then see what you can do to be provide that refuge for him.  I can promise that you will not regret it.

Gedi up.


  1. This is so awesome. Thank you so much for sharing. I'm sure my hubby will thank you too :)

  2. This is such an amazing post! Every woman should get this on her wedding day!

  3. might this be a two-way Gedi Up?? What would the stay-at-home mom appreciate to take a little stress out of her day after being home with the kiddos, the house, etc. all day??

    1. I know. It is not easy. They days are long aren't they?

      I always start with just me. Changing my heart. Changing my attitude. Striving to love and serve first.

      Just when I need it most, he scoops up the kids and gives me a quiet night.

      Or I hide in the pantry with cupcakes and my headphones.

  4. Thanks for this wonderful reminder! My hubby and I are still pretty much newly weds (just over a year) but we still need to be reminded that we need to offer one another rest. I can't imagine what it'll be like ten years from now!

  5. Bless you Julie, just what I need to read this morning! I'm just home from dropping off my daughter while hubby of almost-ten-years looked after the baby/worked on his laptop. He is such an amazing and uncomplaining man, he works SO hard at his day job, yet also bends over backwards to enable me to do little bits of grown-up stuff (like write the community newsletter) in between full-time motherhood. I badly want to provide this man with an oasis! Really interesting to read what Jason wanted his En Gedi to be, I wonder what my guy will pinpoint?

  6. "Our whole life was a date night." So true...
    Sounds like a great conversation to have with your man.
    Adding it to this weekend with mine.

  7. such a thoughtful post, and beautifully written as always. my husband, too, has been challenged by crazy weeks and has shown the stress that goes along with it...I love this reminder that there are simple things we can do to make one another's lives better.

  8. such a thoughtful post, and beautifully written as always. my husband, too, has been challenged by crazy weeks and has shown the stress that goes along with it...I love this reminder that there are simple things we can do to make one another's lives better.

  9. I love this post! Thanks for giving me something to think about.

  10. You have no idea how much this post hit home this morning after the evening I had. It is so hard to be everything to everyone kids, job, husband but it is what we are called to do. My bible study just finished up the book "The Resolution" and it was allot of submission and this exact subject. Thank you so much for the post.

  11. LOVE this! My hubby and I met when we were both in our late 50's and have been married now almost 14 years -- yeah, you do the math! :D

    Even though we are now retired, hubby spent most of his adult life looking for his bride. We both believe God placed us together and I have always loved the idea of making a home for him because he never had that before. I never thought of our home as an En Gedi but I have always believed my role in our marriage is to make a haven for him as a way to show my love.

    So... time to Gedi Up!


  12. love this. needed to read it. i have a good, good man.....and so i think i expect a lot from him. and he gives it willingly and happily. thanks for this encouragement to bless him.

  13. this was perfect for me today.
    have a happy day julie

  14. excellent encouragement today.
    thank you.

  15. I needed this today. Thank you!

  16. What a fantastic idea. Thanks for sharing! Starting this convo tonight!

  17. great idea... thanks for sharing.
    i know i could do more just for him.

  18. Thank you so much - I really needed to hear this right now! I'm getting ready to welcome home my honey for the weekend and on my mind is a list of things that I'm not happy about, and a bunch of complaining words were getting ready to tumble out of my mouth..... you've inspired me to be winsome and calm when I see him today... and given me a lot to think about! THANK YOU!

  19. such great words. Mark Driscoll has a whole series on this in his marriage series that my husband and I listened to a few years back. Such an important gift to your husband I think. To make home a refuge, a safe place and relaxing place.

  20. "Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave." Martin Luther

  21. i'll be honest and say that there is a part of me that flinches a little reading this...not because it's wrong to serve one's husband (i think this is fantastic), but because too often in christian circles, we only discuss WIVES serving HUSBANDS. i know this is a little unfair to you, joy, because you're sharing some great thoughts here, but i wanted to mention why i am a little hesitant after reading through. i hope more christians will be talking about husbands and wives serving ONE ANOTHER--practicing the servant leadership Jesus talks about (matthew 23:11).

    okay, there are my two cents of seriousness. sparkles! cupcakes!

    1. So, please hear my heart...

      I am a wife. Not a husband. Pretty sure zero dudes read my blog, thus no mention of how husbands should act.
      So I am speaking from my heart as a wife. On how I want to love and serve my husband. To solely love and serve him. Not in a way to elicit reciprocal service. But because fourteen years ago I said vows to love and serve him.
      Also, I have spoken time and time again about how generously my husband serves me. Because he too said those same vows. He loves and serves me very well.

      So with that to say, we are each responsible for how we chose to serve. How we chose to love. Shouldn't it always be under the lens of how we can be a blessing, instead of how we can receive a blessing?

    2. i hear your heart, and i dig it. i am passionate about conversation in the church regarding gender roles, which is why i decided to say something...but i deeply appreciate what you mean when you say we shouldn't serve as a way to manipulate the recipient for our own benefit. well-said.

      thanks for engaging the conversation!

  22. What a thoughtful post. Thank you for sharing. I can't wait to see what En Gedi looks like for my hubby!

  23. Love, love, love this. Thank you for the reminder. : )

  24. I so needed to read this. Thanks for sharing. And yes, life was so busy and we were "so tired" back when it was just us two and the dog. What were we thinking?! :)