Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Where Do You Sit On Sunday?

I recently read an article from a minister's wife proposing the above question.

It is an interesting thing to think about as often our husbands are sitting on the platform or busy with Sunday responsibilities. So... where do you sit on Sunday mornings?

Doug and I decided early on that our children would sit with me on Sundays. Because we were unable to sit together during the service, we thought it would allow us to worship as a family as much as possible if we established that the boys were going to sit with me. We did allow their friends to sit with us if they asked, but the boys did not sit with anyone else. We started this habit early, so it was never a problem even through their teen years.

The habit of most church members is to sit in the same place week by week. I decided to move around. We sat in a different place every week. The purpose being that we would meet different people every week. It was a great way to get to know different members and it kept those who felt it was their job to check on us every week on their toes!

Because Doug was the pastor we were unable to sit together except for special occasions. If we had a guest pastor, music program, etc., Doug would let me know in advance so that I could sit up close to the front. When the pastor began to preach, Doug would slip down and sit with us. My boys would be so excited and proud to have their dad beside them. I too enjoyed his company on the pew.

Another thing Doug would do for us on Sundays would be to look for us and come and hug and shake hands with the boys during welcoming the visitor time. Of course, he stopped and shook many other hands, but it always made the boys smile when their dad took time to shake their hands too.

Sundays are different for a minister's family, but there are many things we can do to make it special. We wanted our sons to love Sundays and know "This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it."

P.S. Don't forget Living Proof Live with Beth Moore. Sign up today!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

An Opportunity

I invited you to the Living Proof Live event on March 13-14. Remember, this is specifically designed for you as a minister’s wife. Beth Moore is going to be sharing scripture that she believes God has given her just for you.

As Doug and I served the Lord together, we often felt very alone. There were very few books available to give suggestions or helps for this “call”. The few books I received seem to lean toward the negative and sometimes the bitter.

How I would have loved to have something like this Living Proof Live event when I was a young minister’s wife.

The Lord in His goodness began to bring into my life living examples of godly minister’s wives. I was allowed to watch, study under, and walk with women who loved their call to serve beside their husband. I saw them make mistakes and recover, have victories and praise, grow weary and refresh, come under attack and forgive.

I will never be able to measure the impact these special women had on my life. They loved their husbands and family and they loved the people of the church in which they were serving.

Again, I want to emphasize how important it is to meet, share, fellowship, and pray with women who are walking on a similar path. Taking time to get to know wives of ministers is an amazing time of encouragement.

Please pray about attending this wonderful time planned just for you. Do not miss the opportunity to be held up by women who understand your journey.

I will be there sharing in the pre-conference time and would love to meet you! Register on line today.

Monday, February 23, 2009

"Between Us Minister's Wives"

I want to start our week together by inviting you to a wonderful event. I hope you have heard all about it by now, but just in case, I am giving you a personal invitation.

March 13-14, 2009 there is going to be a Living Proof Live with Beth Moore just for minister’s wives. It will be in Nashville, Tennessee at Two Rivers Baptist church. You can go to the internet at to get details and register.

In Mark, Jesus tells us to “come away and rest awhile.” Our Savior is not telling his disciples this just because they were tired. Jesus knows how important it is for us to take time out to refresh. He and His disciples had been teaching, preaching, healing, and serving. Jesus knew they needed some time away.

Another important part of taking time away, is who you take it with. He wanted them to get away, “together.” They had been experiencing the same things and it was time to share and review. The best part is Jesus was going with them. You will never refresh and renew unless you take time away with Jesus.

Ladies this special weekend will be a time to share with many minister’s wives. It will be a time of fellowship with sisters who have your life pressures, struggles, problems, and joys in common. It will be a time to sit and listen to Beth as she shares what God has specifically given her for you as a minister’s wife.

There will also be pre-conference sessions led by minister wives around the country. They will be teaching on various topics that are specific to the needs the woman who is married to a minister.

These sessions will begin on Thursday, March 12 and conclude Friday afternoon. Living Proof Live will begin that Friday evening.

Please take time to look on the website and pray about this amazing opportunity. It will be well worth your time. Your attendance will bless you, your husband, your children, and your church.

Join Us! “Come Away and Rest Awhile”

Thursday, February 19, 2009

God's Perfect Timing

As I sat outside Papa’s Cottage, I felt the fresh breeze on my face and listened to the gentle dipping as the icicles melted off the side of a rock cliff. I felt renewed and sensed a calming to my soul.

I hate to admit but my body did a huge sigh. This one night away from the hustle and bustle of home has been God’s gift. Just hanging out with a few girls to talk, laugh, an of course, eat some chocolate has been like a healing balm to my soul.

Funny, when I opened my devotional guide that day, I glanced to the prior day’s words and then read the current one. It was spoken directly from God. It stated “Come to Me and rest.” “Come to me for rest and refreshment.” I caught myself smiling at God’s perfectly timed words. He knew and even ordained for me to get away. He knew my last couple of weeks had been overloaded with “stuff” and that my stress level was high. He knew my shoulders were tight with tension. He knew before I knew that my special time at Papa’s Cottage was needed. I also think there may be an upcoming moment in the near future where I will need to look back on my get away and recall these words from the Father in order to gain much needed strength.

So girls, I encourage you to seek a place of refuge. Ask your husband to allow you to get away. Maybe you cannot go for an overnight adventure, but you can pack a sack lunch and take a drive to a local park. You can ask your husband to take the children to a movie or the park so you can have the luxury of a bubble bath without someone calling for help from the other side of the door. Enjoy a piece of dark chocolate. Believe me, you will be a better wife, mom and friend. As the Word says, “Be still” in this hectic life.

Question: Ladies, I feel God prompting me to ask if there are specific topics or issues that you would like our writers to address. If you have some topic or issue that you would like discussed, please post a note in my blog comments. I’ll share that with our other writers. Be blessed and may God reveal Himself to you this day.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Time Away

Call me childish, but I get extremely excited when I am able to get away with a bunch of girlfriends. To me it is like having a slumber party but without all the teenage hormone issues, boyfriend problems, and dating drama. Girlfriend gatherings are basically a time to relax and pamper weary souls.

My recent get away took me to a peaceful setting in Centerville, TN. A dear friend from church owns a home there and her family has turned it into a retreat center called Papa’s Cottage. It is nestled in the peaceful countryside. If you are into walking, there is a country road that leads to a small, beautiful waterfall. A babbling brook meanders along side the road. If I cannot get to the beach then Papa’s Cottage offers a spot of comfort.

Now at the Gathering there was no set time for bed or rising. Everything was at your own pace and timetable. Most of the girls brought their scrapbooking equipment and cropped ‘til they dropped. One friend and I, neither of us having no creative juices in that artistic realm, spent our time working on invitations to my son’s wedding rehearsal dinner. A couple of the other girls felt sorry for me and pitched in to help and give artistic advice. I am proud to say that by working together and seeking advice from my friends the invitation are not only completed but very cute.

As I look back on this weekend, I am reminded that Jesus got away with his closest friends. While the Bible says they prayed, I just believe that they talked until the wee hours of the morning, shared laughter and tears, and munch away on some of the area foods. Jesus had to take time away from ministering to people in order to refresh his soul and focus on the task at hand. I believe He was setting the example for his disciples and us to encourage us that sometimes there is a need to set aside time to refresh and refocus.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Lessons from Valkryie

Currently my husband and I are foster grandparents to our eldest son’s dog. Valkryie, a shepherd breed dog who is named after an Air Force jet and goddess, was only supposed to be with us six months. Well, six months has now turned into a year and a half. Although we love her, we will be glad to see the taillights leave when her daddy comes to pick her up. In the meantime, Valkryie has taught me some valuable lessons.

First, be on alert because you never know what lurks outside. Valkryie’s favorite spot in our home is on the landing of the stairs. We fondly call it the Princess Perch. Valkryie will sit for hours on her perch and watch out the windows. If something of interest comes by, she immediately bounces to life and barks at it with gusto. As Christians, we should be on alert because you never know when Satan will slip up on us.

Second, find time to play and have fun. Every day I hook Valkryie to her leash and we set out on our daily walk. If time permits, we might take 2 or 3 walks a day. Valkryie is like having a toddler in your home and taking them to the park. She cannot wait to get to our neighborhood pond to see the geese and if she’s lucky, Valkryie can spot a squirrel. In addition, there are all the smells. Valkryie will pull me zigzag through the grass just to sniff every smell outdoors. As Christians, we should find the time to enjoy some favorite activity and enjoy nature. God gave it to us so get out there and smell the smells!

Third, Valkryie enjoys her cat-oops, dog-naps. This short nap gives her just enough rest to regain her energy for the next great adventure. As Christians we often are running to and fro and never take time to be still. Girlfriends, I am talking straight at myself because I am the first person to admit I go until my body says, “No more!” Everyone needs a nap even ministers
Finally, every dog loves her cookies. Since Valkryie has been with us, I have a “cookie jar” for the dog. She gets a cookie when she obeys simple commands or just because we love her. As Christians when we are in obedience to God’s will, I believe He showers us with his blessings. Personally, like Valkryie, I love it when God gives me a treat. It might be time to sit and read a book or receive a note in the mail from a dear friend. Sometimes it may be enjoying a relaxing moment at the pool. In whatever form it comes, I sure do love my “cookies.”

So girlfriends, if you have a pet, sit back and take some lessons from them. You just might learn a few things.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Love Is All You Need . . .

While I am pretty such Valentine's day doesn't have an official "scrooge"  character, I know that not everyone is excited to see Cupid. There are plenty of us that feel like the day is way overblown and only really about the commercial benefit to the card, candy and flower industries. Personally, I am not ready to say "bah humbug!" I really believe that we can redeem this "holiday" for God's glory. 

I love the corny endings to romantic comedies. My favorite novel is Jane Austin's love story, Pride and Prejudice. I cry at weddings and save all the love letters from my husband in a special box in the top of my closet. I can be a total sap, a girlie girl, a hopeless romantic .  . .

. . . No, wait . . . I am not a "hopeless" romantic. I have all kinds of hope in Christ. And, you want to talk about love stories? Isn't that what the Bible is ultimately all about? 

The sad thing is that we have sacrificed God's version of love and settled for a secularized, Valentine's type of love. Our culture makes this "false" shadow of what love is as the ultimate, cheapening God's love. Our sinful natures make us think we NEED the romance. We NEED intimacy with our man. We NEED to feel loved on some sort of weird fairy tale, Disney type way. Slowly, we start feeling entitled to this "love" and it becomes self-focused. We give valentines, so we will get valentines. We feel like we are missing something if our lives don't match Drew Barrymore's role in her latest movie. So many of the teens in our church feel like they are inadequate if they don't have a significant other because that is what our society tells them they need to be whole and happy. Some of us may still be expecting our spouses to fill these roles, because we have bought into this "cheap" version of love. We give this way too much time and focus. We give it too much weight and responsibility  .. . . and then we wonder why we aren't happy . . .

My sweetie and I will exchange gifts on Saturday. We will celebrate on the day, but we won't be celebrating as the rest of the world does . . . We will be celebrating the gift of our relationship, by praising God for it. We will thank Him for His unconditional, agape love. We will encourage our daughter to think about the true meaning of love and the ultimate way that it was displayed for us. 

So, celebrate love this Valentine's Day . . . just make sure what kind of love you are celebrating!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Valentine's Day . . .

Well, Ladies, like it or not Valentine's day is upon us. My to-do list this week includes helping my daughter make 21 little valentines for her classmates and finding my sweetie some little something that says I-am-still-glad-your-mine, without causing him to gag. The holiday is very commercialized, but it doesn't have to be something that we as Christians can't redeem and use to highlight the glory of the Lover of our souls . . . 

So I thought I would take my turn blogging this week to throw out some ideas and, hopefully, get some from you too!

First, I want to challenge you to take some time -not just on the 14th- but to really value your spouse. While all our husbands like to feel loved, they really need to feel respected. So gals, how do you do that? I must confess I am not as consistent in this as I would like to be. But here are some things that I try to do:

  • Keep a fresh pitcher of sweet tea in the fridge
  • Write little notes in dry-erase marker on his bathroom mirror
  • Tuck a little note and "surprise" goodie in his overnight bag when he must travel
  • At least have a plan for dinner, if it is not already started when he comes in the door
  • Try to look "decent" when he comes home for lunch, even if I have been scrubbing and cleaning all morning long
  • Watch for his favorite chips to go on sale, buy them and pull them out after my daughter goes to bed so he doesn't have to share them if he doesn't want to
Your husband might not appreciate any of these things, or he might. There might be other things that he would appreciate more. He might not say thank you or give any kind of reciprocal show of affection, but that shouldn't be your motivation. I try -sometimes better than others- not to make it mine. 

So, what are your ideas? I am always looking for new ways to let him know I love and respect my sweetie. Let's see if we can help each other out and come up with some great ideas for our husbands for Valentine's Day. 

Friday, February 6, 2009

1,000 WINS

Last night Randy and I had the opportunity to go to a Lady Vols Game at UT in Knoxville. Now this was not just any game. This game happened to be Coach Pat Summitt's 1,000th win. This, of course, had been building for a while. Everyone had been counting down the moment. UT was on the road last week and everyone thought that might be THE game. But they lost and headed back to Knoxville. But it was ok because it seemed right that they would play it in front of their home fans and in their home gym.

You could feel the excitement before the game ever started. When the team was announced there was cheering and screaming. But that was nothing compared to when Coach Summitt walked out onto the court. The place went wild!!! She got a standing ovation before they even dribbled the ball for the first time.

The game was not the most exciting one I have ever seen however. But by the beginning of the 4th quarter it was apparent that this would be THE night. Right before the end of the game you could see all the dignitaries getting in place to make the presentations. At the sound of the final buzzer things got crazy. There were streamers coming down from the rafters, the band was playing so loud you could hardly hear, there were people hugging and jumping and screaming. The players threw an ice chest full of confetti on Coach Summitt, as well as the newscasters that were interviewing her. It was a sight to behold.

As I stood there watching this amazing event I couldn't help but think about Heaven. Is this what it is like when we "win" someone to Christ. Do the angels give each other high fives and do they jump up and down? Does the choir sing so loud that you have to shout to be heard? Does the Father Himself make the presentations and announcements?

Like I said, I couldn't help but wonder.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Bellyaching about Bible Study

It's happening again. It seems as if every time I start a new bible study, satan throws stuff at me to either distract me or cause me to miss it.

I know that Monday I was so excited about the snow (and I still am) but we started the new Beth Moore Bible Study on Esther about 5 weeks ago, and because of the weather we have only met 2 times!! The church policy is that if the schools are out, we only have prayer meeting. None of the other activities take place. I understand it completely, but I really want to go on with this study.

You know how it is when you sense God is working in your heart? You know He is trying to teach you something. There is an excitement in your quiet time and a lift in your heart. That's how I have been about this book. I think Beth Moore is wonderful and I love her studies, but I think what I like the most is that it forces me to really get in God's word for myself. I seem to spend more quality time in His word than I normally do. Because I have homework, and I know that we will be discussing it, I really pour over the scriptures and look for how they apply to my life. Anyway, this week's study was great and I was looking forward to the class discussion tonight, but instead they won't meet until next Wednesday. That is great except I will be out of town next week, so it will be 2 weeks for me.

It just occurred to me that I am whining about my bible study....can you do that? Surely there is something wrong when you complain about spiritual matters...isn't there? I don't often hear people going off about studying God's word!

I guess that goes to show you how badly I needed this tonight!!!!

Monday, February 2, 2009


I have to confess to you that I was really jealous as I read Dana's blog last week. She was talking about the snow they had received and I kept wishing that we could get some here. Well, God was so kind that He answered my prayers.

As I am writing this blog, I am looking out of our study window and the snow is gently falling. Actually the flakes are huge and it is one of the prettiest snows we have had. ( I think I say that everytime it snows though). Everything looks so clean and it is so peaceful.

I love days like this. I had so much on my calendar that needed to get done, but I have caught myself at the window several times today just watching the weather. I have decided that since this is not the norm, it is okay to be a little lazier than normal and treat myself to a cup of coffee and sit in the chair by the fireplace that faces the window. I know that what I am delaying will have to be taken care of, and I will get to it, but I don't want to rush through this day and not enjoy this gift.

I am usually guilty of that....rushing. I wonder why we feel we have to be going at life at a break neck speed all the time. It must be how we women are wired (say that three times!!) Anyway, for just the next little bit, I am going to choose to stop and try to just enjoy the moment. Thank you Lord for answered prayers!