Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Faith, Family and Friends

There is something strange about grief. It is a time that you just go on automatic pilot. For the last two weeks I have not really been able to function like I should. Nothing seems to be important and I am living in a fog. I will be doing okay one minute and then suddenly I am washed over with a flood of tears and emotions.

I think I am having a hard time comprehending all of this. My mom was never "seriously" ill. My dad had been sick off and on for years and we saw it coming. As a matter of fact we were all standing around his bed, with him perfectly lucid, as he gave us his blessing and told us how much he loved us. When he was finished with each one of us, he looked at my mom, told her how much he loved her, closed his eyes and went to glory. But Mama had only been in ICU less than 12 hours. But before I could get use to the idea of her being critically ill - she was gone. Then there were all the details of planning the funeral, then we had the wake and receiving of friends and then on Thursday the funeral. If that wasn't enough for my emotions to handle, Friday all of the children met at her place and went through all of her belongings, remembering each item, laughing and crying at the same time. There were trinkets to sort through, jewelry to be divided up, furniture to be decided on, papers to sort and pictures to go through. And in a matter of hours what took this sweet lady a lifetime to accumulate, was packed in various boxes and we were through. Now all we have are memories.

This has all made me stop and think of how my girls will remember me. What will they say at my funeral and what will they talk about as they sift through my things? My prayer is that they will remember that I loved the Lord and tried to do what He wanted me to do in the lives of the people He allowed my path to cross.

Years ago I heard someone say that at the end of your life all that will matter will be your faith, family and friends. That is such a true statement. Have you thought much about what you are leaving behind????

Monday, April 28, 2008


Hello! My name is Jeanne Davis and I am the last of the five "bloggers." I have been married for 32 years to my husband Randy, who has been a pastor since the beginning of our marriage.

I am honored to be a part of this new endeavor, although in all honesty I am not very savvy when it comes to computers. I have thought for weeks about what I wanted to share and what I would say and then - as life does sometimes - circumstances changed drastically in my life. Now what I share comes from a very personal standpoint...

At the beginning of this blog, it was mentioned about the many hats we wear as minister's wives. It's true - we are wives, mothers, Sunday School teachers, Ladies Ministry Directors, counselors, friends. The list goes on and on. But for me, I laid down one of those hats 2 weeks ago today - that of being a daughter.

My mom passed away quite suddenly on April 14th, exactly 10 years to the day that we had my daddy's funeral. Although her heart had been weak for a year or so and she dealt with the problems associated with being a diabetic, she was relatively healthy for a 87-year old lady. But on Monday morning I received the kind-of-phone-call we all dread. They had taken her to the hospital by ambulance and within an hour she was put on a ventilator. Because she lived in Mobile, Alabama it is a 9 hour drive for us. Randy was in Knoxville at the hospitals making visits and by the time he got home and we packed it was 2 hours before we could leave. God was so gracious though and we got to the hospital just in time for the last ICU visiting time at 8:30 p.m. We stayed until 9:30 and after spending a few minutes with my brothers and sisters we left the hospital to go spend the night with my sister, who happens to live less than 5 minutes from the hospital. Because of the ventilator, they had sedated my mom so she was not awake. Right towards the end of the visit she became restless and the nurse told us that we should probably let her go back to sleep. She asked us just to kiss her cheek before we left but not talk to her so she would not wake up and fight the tube. How I wish I had not listened to her and said the things I would have wanted to...

We left the hospital at 9:45 and went back to my sister's. We had just sat down and started talking when I a got a call on my cell phone from my brother saying that mama had taken a turn for the worse. We jumped in the car and was back at the hospital in 5 minutes flat! As we ran into the ICU unit I saw mama's nurse just standing there with a surprised look on her face. My mom had gone on to be with the Lord!!! She had fallen back to sleep and literally her heart just stopped.

Now I am walking down a very unfamiliar path. I am in all reality an "orphan". It is a strange feeling not having a parent here on earth anymore. Oh I know that I will see them again in glory, and for that I am VERY grateful, but just because we are believers, or even minister's wives, it doesn't take away the pain of the reality that we will not see them again this side of heaven.

You know for ministers and their families, death is as much a part of life as birth. How many times have we stood with families over the bed of a loved one that had passed away or stood with them beside a casket at a funeral home or a grave at the cemetery? We seem to do that all the time. But again, I am reminded that this is a difficult path to walk down. Thank God He promises never to leave us or forsake us!!!


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Working 9 to 5?

Dolly Parton and I have little in common....I cannot sing....nor am I "built" like her....but I do have a Dolly Parton-looking wig that was my inheritance from my grandmother. Yes! She was 5'2", bald, and always wore a HUGE blonde wig!

Remember the Dolly Parton song and/or movie "9 to 5"? Have you ever wished your husband had a "9 to 5" job? That he would be home during "normal" hours like everyone else? Do you ever resent the time he spends away from you and your family?

When our children were born, my husband was in youth ministry--and gone a lot. I remember long days and difficult evenings with babies crying and not having enough hands. God led him to pastor when they were preschoolers....and he continued to be gone long hours. Even now that we are empty nesters, I still miss him being gone so much.

Over the years I have heard many moms/wives complain about the amount of time their husbands are gone....and how it became a "thorn in their flesh" and in their marriage. How do we cope? How do we handle the many pulls on our husbands?

For me....it has been another important ministry....to free my husband up to do what God has asked him to do. I might not be able to be in all the places he can be or do all the things he does, but I can give him the freedom to minister, study, and serve....and then, when he does come home, not heap guilt upon him. And, believe me, I have heaped my share of guilt over the years....even tried to pack some bags and send him on the grandest guilt trips ever!!

What if it becomes excessive though? What if your husband really is gone too much. What if your family is being neglected and suffering from his absence? Sit down with him....knee cap to knee cap....and share your heart with him.

You know, even Jesus, who had a HUGE to-do list was able to lift His eyes to heaven at the end of His life and say in John 17:4, "I have glorified You on earth, having accomplished everything You have given me to do." (Emphasis mine)

Jesus did not accomplish everything His mother wanted Him to do....or the disciples....or the multitudes....he accomplished everything GOD wanted Him to do!! We must pray and encourage our husbands to only do what God asks him to do....and then he will be able to accomplish everything--including spending time with his family.

May we make our homes a place where he can come home and rest and be loved and encouraged.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

"You Are Not One of Us"

"Oh, yea, that's right, you are not 'one of us'". Someone said that to me not too long ago. Now, what does that mean? We have lived and served in this town for over 14 years. What does it take to be 'one of us'?

Have you ever been made to feel like you were not 'one of us'? Did it hurt? How did you cope? For me, sometimes I get discouraged, depressed, frustrated or lonesome...but that particular time I was able to let it wash over me...sort of like water does over a windshield that has been covered with Rain-X!!

In preparation for a conference I was to lead earlier this month on how to minister to ministers and their families, I asked lots and lots of ministers, minister's wives and minister's kids what were some of their struggles. One of the most common responses I got was loneliness. Not being included in activities outside of church. Not feeling like they were accepted as 'one of them'.

What can we do? What have you found that has helped you? Do you struggle with loneliness? Do you long for someone to just hang out with? Someone who you can shop with? Call on the phone to chit-chat with? Sure, we might be surrounded by lots of people....but we might be hungry for sincere, honest relationships.

To be candid, it can be quite difficult to find someone in your church you can confide in, really trust. AND, if you have been hurt, you might not want to make yourself vulnerable again and so you have built walls around yourself....or even worse....perhaps even 'shut down'.

Let me encourage you....trust again....and be trustworthy. Ask God to provide someone for you to be yourself with. Someone who will love you unconditionally....someone you can trust. He is faithful...you know that....and He knows what we need. Now, it might take a seemingly long time....but, dear friend, it will be worth the wait!!

I might not be "one of them" but I know I am HIS!!!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Unconditional Love

Growing up in a home as the only girl with 3 brothers, you might think I was spoiled. Quite the opposite!! In fact, I spent more time grounded than all 3 of my brothers put together!

As far back as I can remember, I longed to be accepted, liked, loved....by my family, my friends, my classmates. I thought, if I was popular, then I would be happy. I would sit for hours looking through my brother's high school annual at the pictures of the girls who were homecoming queens and class favorites thinking, "if I were chosen class favorite, then I would be happy!"

By the time I reached my Junior year in High School I had accomplished all my "dreams" and of course, still was not happy. It was not until I heard about Jesus through Young Life (a non denominational ministry to High School students)....and after many questions and struggles with lack of belief in the miracles....in my bedroom one night....I told God I wanted to be His...that I had no idea what it all meant...but that I wanted Him to take my life...all of it....and then true joy finally came.

The problem was that I carried this false mindset of conditional love and of wanting to please people into my relationship with God. I longed to be loved and accepted by Him. I thought if I "did right" He would love me, if I did not, I would be zapped or "in trouble"!! I had to learn all about unconditional love which I had never known before.

Not only did it affect my relationship with God, it affected my relationship with my husband and people in the church. I desperately want to be "liked", "accepted", "loved" and want to please everyone. To be the "perfect" pastor's wife. It is EXHAUSTING trying to be a people pleaser and a burden that God never intended for me/us to carry!!!

One day the Lord showed me Luke 6:26 which says, "Woe to you when all men speak well of you...!" What freedom that brought!! You mean, my job is not to make everyone happy??? He gently reminded me, "No!!"

Do you struggle with being a "people pleaser" like me? Do you want to try to make everyone "OK"? I am learning, slowly but surely, that it is not only impossible to make everyone happy....it is wrong. As I pondered on this issue, I remembered that not everyone liked Paul, or Peter, or Jesus!!! I am pretty sure that God wants me to please Him....and He will take care of all of those other people!!

Let's enjoy the freedom God gives us....that we are totally loved and accepted by Him!! Not by what we do or do not do but because of His grace and mercy!!

How can we KNOW we are loved unconditionally by God? How can we love unconditionally?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The James Gang

Hello! I am Dana, the 4th of 5 writers in this blog and am fearful, excited, fearful, humbled, fearful, overwhelmed and did I say fearful??? as I sit before this computer.

I am the cute blonde 3rd from the left in the picture....just kidding!! That is Nikki, our daughter-in-law, who is also a minister's wife. She is married to our son Brandon (behind her). That is Ashleigh, our daughter, holding baby Jackson and Josh, her husband holding little Ella. Ashleigh will be a minister's wife when the Lord provides a place for Josh to serve...he just graduated from Southern Seminary.

I am standing next to that handsome grey haired man...my precious husband of 33 years, Ernie.

This is my family....and they have been my most important ministry over the years. You see, I longed to be a Godly woman....a Godly wife.....a Godly mother, but it was so difficult for me. I had no idea how to be any of those things. I did not grow up in a Christian home and had no Godly influences in my life....I had no examples to follow and I knew no Godly women. When I turned my life over to Christ, I desperately needed and wanted women who would teach me. Who I could watch and listen and learn from.

Oh ladies, are you desperate to have women in your life who know God....not just know about God? For women who believe God....not just believe in God. Do you have women that you are discipling? Mentoring? Do you have women that you trust and that you can sit at their feet and learn from them?

Let's pray for God to provide those women. Let's ask God to make us those women! Let's trust Him to provide....there is much at stake!!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

God's Call

When did you hear God call you to be His child? Were you a child , teenager, adult? Can you remember how you felt? Did you fully understand what it meant to be a "Child of the King"?

I am sure you remember, and like me, you know that we will never fully understand all it means to be a "Child of the King" until we sit in the King's presence in our home, Heaven.

What about your call to be a minister's wife? Do you remember that? Some of you are thinking... I was NOT called, my husband was called! I hate to disagree, but I believe if you capture the truth of your calling, you will be blessed beyond measure. Whether you married a minister or God called him after you married, it was a dual call!

The Bible says "the two became one flesh". ONE - that is what happens in marriage. When God called your husband, he called you. A very special, privilege and honor given to the two of you - called into the ministry - to be one of God's anointed couples!

What exactly is the call? I have learned the call for each of us is very different. Some of us are called to jump in and serve side by side - visiting, teaching, counseling, singing and the list goes on. Some of us are called to pray in the background. Stay at home wives and/or moms, who make a home of comfort, joy and peace for our husband and children. One call is not more important than another, each call is special.

I have also found that with each church and stage of life the call can change, expand or be seemingly reduced. God stretches me and uses me in different ways. My job is to answer God's call. Can you differentiate the difference between God's call and the call of the congregation?

There are some priorities for us that are the same for each of us. I will share on Friday some of these with you. As long as you are answering God's call and not man's, you will be blessed.

Today, stop and thank God for the call.

Monday, April 14, 2008

'God's Plan Is Best

Hello Dear Sisters!

It is an honor for me to spend some time sharing with you. You are a very special group of ladies that God has picked up and planted in the service of His Kingdom.

Some of you are probably in over your head with duties and some of you are in the background praying for your husband and taking care of your children. Of course, there are those whom are doing both! Whatever you are doing for the Kingdom's sake is important.

I am a widow of a pastor. My husband and I served the Lord together for 29 years. I was one of those pastor wives that absolutely loved it! Needless to say. when God chose to take my ssweet husband to His arms, I was left totally bewildered , lonely and hurt. I did not know who I was, where I was supposed to live or what I was supposed to do. The good news is that God always has the perfet plan!

I hope we will discover that truth together. God's plan is best! I am sure you know it and probably have said it, but... do you really believe it?

My sons and I have been learning to believe God's plan is best over the past few years. We have seen Doug's ministry expanded in ways we could not have imagined. God's new plan for our lives has been difficult and blessed, joyful and tearful, busy and sometimes a complete stop. Can you relate? I am sure each of you could share some of the same experiences.

I hope that our time together will be spent sharing some of things learned in ministry. I want to share with you mistakes that I hope you won't make. I want to share victories that I hope you will experience. My heart's desire is that God has a Word for you every time we meet. I do not want to waste a minute of your time or His, so I commit to you that I will go before Him on your behalf before we meet here in this "blog".

Being a minister's wife can be one of great joy and great trials. I am so blessed to continue serving God and see a glimpse of His plan for myself and my sons. I will share some of these things as we get to know each other.

Let me pray for you, now.

Father, You have exactly those you want to read this here today. These ladies that serve you need much of Your grace and mercy. I ask that You touch their hearts and lead us as we see You first, above all else.

We truly want Your plan and the faith to believe...Your Plan Is Best!!

We love you, Jesus


Saturday, April 12, 2008

God's Plan

I have just returned from an overnight prayer retreat with a group a ladies from my church. Our setting was a beautiful home nestled in the woods. A fresh spring fed rushing brook ran next to the home. It was a sweet time just to relax and let God speak.

The home and land is owned by a family in our church. For two years they tried to sell the property but with no success. They could not understand why it would not sell. However, God had other plans for the property.

This dear family feels God leading them to turn this home into a prayer retreat center. I can tell you that God's presence is in this place. Even if you are spiritually blue, nature will lift you up with its own praises to the Creator.

Personally, I do not understand all that God is trying to do in my life. I wish that he would just tell me my future now. However, he has other plans for me. He wants me to learn lessons that will help me what lies ahead.

So girls, even if we cannot walk on the beach everyday, eat chocolate all day, or wear our tiaras on earth, we could rest assured that God knows what is best for us and has a hope for the future.

Read: Jeremiah 29:11

Friday, April 11, 2008

Precious Princess

My niece was recently crowned homecoming queen for her high school. Last year she won the title "Most Beautiful" in a school pageant. When she was a baby, she also won several baby pageants. Naturally, I am quite prejudice but she is a beautiful young lady inside and out and I am very proud of her accomlishments.

I have always wanted to know what it felt like to wear a crown. I know it is a silly thing but I just think it would be the coolest thing to wear a tiara. I have even considered asking my niece if she would crown me "Worlds Best Aunt."

Right now I am more like Cinderella slaving away at mundane task in this earthly life. They are, of course, the family duties of washing, cooking, and cleaning. In addition, I have in the past been the chauffeur, sports team mom, spirit co-coordinator, and room mother to name a few. There was also a time in my adulthood that I was a full-time college student. Then if you add in all the church responsibilities-youth volunteer, Bible study teacher, choir member, etc-the list can get pretty overwhelming. Like the fairytale, the chores and responsibilities never end but you continue to do it out of love for your family and church.

However, there is a happy ending to Cinderella's story. Remember, when her fairy godmother waved her magic wand and Cinderella is transformed into a beautiful princess? Also, recall who was waiting for her-Prince Charming.

Well, I may not get to wear a tiara on earth but rest assured that one awaits me in heaven. There is also one waiting for you too. See girls, we are all children of the King of Kings. That makes us his precious princess. I cannot wait for the day when I bow before the Heavenly Father and he places the tiara on my head. I can only imagine what I will do when I wear my tiara in heaven.

When I wear my tiara in heaven,
I'll walk down streets of gleaming gold
and greet the many saints of old.

When I wear my tiara in heaven,
I'll sing clear and perfect harmonious notes
to the King of Kings and Lord of Host.

When I wear my tiara in heaven,
I'll stand on clouds fluffy and white
and marvel at such awesome sights.

When I wear my tiara in heaven,
I'll bow before my heavenly king
and softly sigh as the angels sing.

Precious Ones, although you may not wear a crown on earth, how does it make you feel that there is a tiara waiting for you in heaven?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

A Gaggle of Girlfriends

As I have mentioned this week in a previous post, I live with men. My life revolves around sports and men "stuff." My home cannot be "overly" feminine. Shopping with my guys most often takes place with them sitting on the bench in the center of a mall or them watching the clock. They certainly do not want to "look around" the store. They simply want to get what is needed and run for their lives.

This is where the urgent need for girlfriends can come in handy. Since I'm not a decorator, I always pray God will send me a friend who has an eye for style while sticking to my budget. Shopping for clothes is a frustrating adventure for me because the styles do not fit my body type. A good girlfriend will be honest and say "let's try another store" or "don't give up."

Furthermore, a girlfriend will let you cry at Hallmark commercials and sad movies. Chances are she will grab a tissue as well. A girlfriend encourages you when you are blue and laughs with you not at you. It is also true that a girlfriend will celebrate the joys in your life as well as hold your hand in your sorrows.

I am blessed to have some awesome girlfriends across the nation. I just wish I could pick them all up and move them to Tennessee with me but that is not possible. However, I can still treasure the memories we made. For instance, one friend and I took out our frustrations by tackling bathroom wallpaper in a parsonage. The area was really too small for one person but we squeezed our bodies in and began ripping and fussing. Before it was over we were laughing and having fun pulling down wallpaper. Then there is the girlfriend who always made grocery shoping an adventure. We usually were talking so much that neither of us could remember where we parked the car. I cannot tell you how many hours we spent searching the parking lot for our "lost" car. (Neither of us had an alarm system on the vehicles at the time.) Of course, all my girlfriends have the same addiction I have-chocolate.

Yes, a good friend is essential whether you live in an all male household or not. God created us for friendship. In the garden, He walked with Adam and Eve and was their friend. Personally, I love the story of David and Jonathan who were BFF (best friends forever). When he was next in line for the kingdom, Jonathan willing gave David his royal robe. Jonathan was selfless, an encourager, and a protector for David. When learning of Jonathan's death, David mourned for his lost brother.

So my dear new friends, I just want to encourage you to nurture a friendship-first with our Lord and then with one another.

Do you have a special friend either now or in the past that you are thankful for? If so tell our Father. You might even want to send that special firend a note telling her what her friendship means to you.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Jesus and Chocoloate: It's Can't Get Any Better Than That

If we are going to be buddies, there is something you need to know about me. I am a chocoholic. Have been since birth, am one now, and will always be one. If the doctor ever tells me that I have to give up my daily dose of chocolate, I just hope that Jesus comes that very day and takes me home. Good grief! Life without chocolate is unimaginable.

I believe we should camp out on this issue for a moment. As a minister's wife we face some pretty stressful situations. Someone at church does not like the music and the fact that our husband my have preached just a few minutes past noon brings out those saints with the gift of criticism. Then there is the issue that the minister's wife should be perfect. I can tell you that this gal can be seen in the parking lot every Sunday morning with a lint roller just trying to get the dog hair off my less than perfect outfit. Of course, if you live in a house with males, every woman needs a "take me away" moment with her chocolate. Also, now that I have reached the age of hot flashes, major mood swings, and cannot take hormones, a piece of dark chocolate is the answer to my prayers. My theory is that God gives good things to us and chocolate is one of those.

Yes, chocolate is one of the blessings God gives us but there is another gift that tops the chart. Our Heavenly Father sacrificed his only son Jesus so that we could spend eternity with him. Can you imagine giving one of your children up so that you could save someone? I do not believe I could do it. I am pretty selfish and love my sons dearly. Sacrificing one of them would rip out my heart. However, I believe God's very heart broke the day when Jesus died on the cross of our sins. Remember, the Bible states that the sky turned black and an earthquake shook the ground. It hurts me to know that I often take for granted the sacrifice of Jesus. However, it gives me great joy to know that God loved me (all of us) so much that he gave Jesus, the greatest gift of all. Well, it can't get any better than that!
Read the crucifixion/resurrection story. How do you feel about the sacrifice God made for you?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Three Men and Me

Yesterday I mentioned that I have three boys-my husband and two grown sons. Now for those of you who are so blessed to live in a testosterone filled home you will understand where I am heading. For those of you who do not, just sit back and enjoy the ride.
My guys are great and I love them dearly. One of the benefits of living with a household of men is that you can learn some very important lessons.
For instance, I receive private sports lessons. Do you know the difference between a kicker and a punter; defense and offense? Do you know where the short stop position is in baseball? The only thing I understand about basketball is that you are suppose to get the ball in the basket. I completely do not understand golf at all. I mean what is the fun in hitting a white ball around in the grass? Even though I do not understand the sport, I love hockey because at any given moment a fight can break out. (Sorry girls, that is just one of the hazards of living in an all male household.)
Another thing my guys have taught me is that I do not have to take all day to get ready. They think it is pretty cool when I can wash and dryer my hair, put on makeup, and get dressed in under thirty minutes. (Yes, I have been timed.) You cannot expect them to wait around on me when the sporting event starts in two hours. Girls, did you know it is must that you arrive two hours early at a baseball game in order to find your seat, get a program and watch batting practice?
Cooking is another important lesson I have learned. I am not a great chef. I now know that it is not good when the smoke alarm goes off every time I am in the kitchen. Blackened does not mean burned. If there is food on the table and it is not burned they are thankful. In addition, you always have a full pantry and refrig plus double portions at meals because at some point in the day there will be an extra buddy at the table. You might even find a kitchen full of football jocks grazing in the pantry or refrig.
When living with men humor is another lesson you will learn. My men make fun of me when I cry at a sad movie or a dog food commercial. It is their hobby in life to hide behind doors or in closets and jump out to scare me. I cannot tell you how many times I have "entertained" my boys when I pulled back the sheets on the bed and found a rubber snake planted there. Even writing this makes me giggle. Boy, I do miss my sons being at home. Now it is my husband's job to make me laugh.
The most important lesson I have learned is to pray for my family. First, my husband is a pastor and satan is constantly trying to discourage him. I pray daily that God will shield him from the satan's attacks. I ask God daily to give my husband wisdom and integrity as well. Secondly, I pray for my sons. My oldest is a commissioned 2Lt. in the Air Force. I pray for his safety daily. I also ask God to allow my son to be a witness to his fellow soldiers. My youngest son is a junior in college. My pray for him is that God would give him wisdom in his courses and provide witnessing opportunites on campus. In addition for both sons I have prayed since their birth that God would create a godly young lady that will one day be their wife.
Yes, God allowed me to live with three men in order to teach me some very important lessons in life.
Enjoy your family
Vanity is not pretty-just be yourself
Provide for your family and have an open door for others
Laughter IS the best medicine
Prayer is the only way to keep satan at a distance
What lessons have you learned from your family?

Monday, April 7, 2008

I've Got to be Me

It's official. I'm a blonde and a blogger. This is a totally new world for me-not being blonde but blogging. I'm ashamed to admit it but I'm not that computer savvy. I usually have to ask my very computer minded pastor husband to rescue me from my computer errors. At any rate I am excited about where God is going to lead. Girls, this is a safe haven where our unique sisterhood as ministers wives can come together and be real and open with one another. So let me start by saying I've just got to be me.
So just who am I? I'm a southern girl with a mixed up southern accent (a blend of Arkansas hillbilly, Texas twang, Louisiana Cajun, and Tennessee city girl). I love to write as a way of stress relief. I find pleasure in spending family time with my three boys (my husband and two grown sons). On any given day you will find me in a pair of jeans and a comfortable sweater or t-shirt-NOT a pair of panty hose. (However, there are times when we girls must face the facts that panty hose do serve a purpose such as to help smooth out the middle age bumps and bulges.) My favorite way of tuning into God is sitting on the beach and letting the ocean waves wipe away the stresses of the world. Since my world evolves around three males plus I have helped raise two footballs team, girlfriends who know how to laugh and have girly fun are a must. Let's face it, guys do not understand what a bad hair day is nor do they ever answer the question "does this make me look fat" correctly. I believe chocolate is a major food group and I know my heavenly banquet table will be filled with all kinds of delicious delights. I have a servant's heart that always wants to help. However, although I can play the piano, I am not called to do so at church. Preschoolers are cute but I do not understand them and they give me hives. I prefer to stick with teenagers who just make life fun. Oh yeah, did I mention that I have been married to a minister for 30 years?
See girls, I have to be me. I can't be someone else because God made me unique. Jeremiah 1:5 says, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart." Because God loved me, he threw in all these tidbits and many more that would make me unique. The great part of it all is that he loves this blonde southern blogger ministers wife more each day.
So I've got to be me. What about you? How did God make you unique and set you apart?

Friday, April 4, 2008

This is Me!

Well, Dear Reader, thank you for going with me on this little journey of self-discovery. Thank you for patiently reading my thoughts as God spoke to my heart, reminding me of His truths . . .

I am more than what I do.
I am more than the "hats" I wear.
I am His - and that's a lot.
I am valued by God.
I am uniquely gifted for the calling He has given me.

And you are too!

Thank you Ladies for your great responses. You have been so encouraging to me. Know that you remain in my prayers.

I hope you have a great weekend . . . (I think ours in Clarksville is going to be wet!). I had the privilege of hearing Vickie speak last weekend and I am really looking forward to her posting next week .. .


Thursday, April 3, 2008

Who I Am . . .

When I take off all my "hats" and I strip away all my responsibilities, I find some of the things that make me a unique creation of God.

I enjoy a hot bubble bath with a Jane Austen novel, even though I have already seen the movie at least a dozen times . . . I struggle to find patience with other drivers on the road . . . I will eat candy until my stomach aches, but still find room for one more bite of a rich, chocolaty dessert . . . Too often I find myself torn trying to please everyone in my life; I mean I don't want to let anyone down . . . I anticipate Girls' Nights with some good girlfriends, but get really excited about a Date Night with my husband all to myself . . . I wish I were better voicing how I really feel . . . I would love to be the one who says, "Gentlemen, Start Your Engines!," at the beginning of a NASCAR race . . And I know I watch way too much television . . .

The thing about this whole process of writing these posts is that it took me awhile to come up with these things that were just about me. I had fallen into that same bad habit of viewing myself in the same way our congregations do - I had categorized and labeled myself. I had put "me" into a box without even knowing it.

Too often we get so involved in serving the church, helping our husbands and making our homes work, we lose us. Don't get me wrong. I love the church. I am devoted to my husband. I want to make our house a home. God has called me to these things and He gives me great fulfillment in these callings.

Yet, He sees me as much more than just the woman who "does" all these things. Psalm 139 says that He has "searched me and knows me." He knows me better than I know myself. This psalm is a favorite of mine. It blows my mind to think about the depths of which the Universe-Creating-God knows me.

Let me encourage you to read it today, rest in its truth and spend some time thinking about the qualities that set you apart. After all, these are the characteristics God gave you to be the minister's wife ( or whatever other "hat" you want to insert here) He called you to be.

What are those qualities?

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

So, Who Am I?

Some people spend their whole lives seeking the answer to that question. They change jobs, marry, divorce, "try" various religions or even just watch Oprah to try and figure out who they are.

Yes- I am apart of every "hat" that I wear. I love being Wally's wife and I wouldn't trade being my almost-five-years-old-daughter's mother for anything. Those roles ARE apart of who I am. I have been shaped by my life experiences- the good ones and the hard ones, as well. Growing up in a Christian home, my parents' divorce, moving five times in the first 5 years of marriage - are all circumstances that have left their mark on my life, on who I am.

But maybe the most tricky thing about answering the question of "who I am" is the fact that the answer is ALWAYS changing. I am not the person I was as a teen or as a newlywed. I am not even the same parent I was when my daughter was born. I am not the same minister's wife either. (Same minister, different me!)

Reading all of this, you may think I am having some kind of identity crisis, but I assure I am not. I know Whose I am. I know I was bought at a "priceless" price. I know I am His masterpiece, although it is a work-in-progress, I have a promise of a completed, glorified ending in store.

All my other "identities" will come and go - but I am His forever. What part of His view of you brings you the most encouragement and why?

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


Welcome to what we believe is something truly unique on the Internet - and that is saying something! Welcome to what we pray will become a source of support and encouragement to you, as a minister's wife.

I am one of 5 contributors to this blog. We all hail from various parts of the Volunteer State and we all have different perspectives formed from our individual backgrounds and experiences. Yet, we are united in a God given desire for God to use each of us and this site to meet the often neglected needs of a pastor's wife.

Personally, I am honored, and even a little intimidated, to be writing along side these incredible ladies. To be honest, I am looking forward to gleaning from their wisdom and learning from your experiences as well. We really want this site to be interactive . . . so please feel free to respond to any of our posts.

So, here we go . . .

To begin this blog, we all wanted to take one our first posts to introduce ourselves. For some reason, in my preparations, I found this harder than I thought. When I first sat down to write my post, I found myself writing a long list of the many "hats" I wear - wife, mother, daughter, daughter-in law . . . Then I felt like I was filling out a job application and listing all my job experience - in ministry for 20+ years, accepted Christ as a child, serving the church and my husband for nearly 10 years as a minister's wife . . .

Yes, all these things about me are true. They tell you something about how I spend my time, BUT they are really just a list of facts anyone could find out about me without really knowing me.

You don't know my likes or dislikes. You don't know anything about my personality. You don't know how well I wear my "hats" - or even if I begin to glorify God in my attempts to serve Him.

I will write more soon in an effort to be more transparent. But, in the meantime, I have a question for you, dear reader: How do you let people really get to know the you that wears all those "hats"?