Friday, July 24, 2009

Try it! You Might Like it!!

Well….I got into my yoga pants, donned one tee-shirt after another trying to find one long enough to “cover” and yet not so big that it would not fall down over my head if I had to bend over in class, and with much fear and trembling, drove to the gym to meet my friend for my first yoga class.

And what to my wondering eyes did appear but three friendly, smiling women….two who had been coming for a few months and one who was attending for the first time like us!! We were not alone!! They reassured us that we could do it…how great it was….and how wonderful it made them feel. Still very skeptical, I entered into the “dark room” where spa like music was playing, tried not to look at anyone else in the room for fear I would turn and run, and began to experience something that I had dreaded for years….and ended up loving!!!

Yes! I loved it! It was challenging but not intimidating. It was actually quite relaxing! I was not able to do a lot of the moves/stances…but I did not care and certainly no one else did either! Why in the world did I think that anyone would care (or even notice for that matter) if I could or could not do the moves?? Why in the world do I let my mind speak untruth to me and why do I believe it? No one cared what I was or was not doing….and I did not care what anyone else was doing!! We were all too busy trying to focus on what we needed to do!!

I know that there are a lot of experiences out there that I would really end up loving to do if I would just give it a try!! If I would just quit being so fearful, or lazy, or doubting, or intimidated, or whatever, and just do it!! There are a number of things I never thought I would enjoy—like some foods, or music, or books, or activities, or people, or ministries, etc.—so I would never give them a chance. The Lord is teaching me that I am wrong about a lot of things. That I need to listen to Him. Seek Him. Get out of my routine and comfort zone and try different things. Do different things. Stretch. Grow. Experience more.

I will never forget when I found out I was pregnant with our daughter, Ashleigh. I never thought I could do natural childbirth….but I did. I never thought I would be able to nurse her….and I did. I remember thinking at the time…that I underestimate the things God can and wants to do in me, through me and in spite of me….if I would just be willing to try.

What is it you have never wanted to do? Why not give it a try? You might like it!

What is it that you always wanted to do but never thought you could do? Try it!! You might be surprised!!

Do you sense God has something for you to do but you are intimidated? Fearful? Knowing full well that you are incapable? Good! Now you can let God do it through you!!

Step out before the summer is over and try something new or different!! Who knows, You might even like it!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Exercise: It Does Your Body Good!

My philosophy on exercise has been whenever I get in the mood to exercise; I lay on the couch until I get over it!! To say it mildly, I dislike exercising! I abhor it. Detest it. Loath it. I have an aversion to sweat, pain, being intimidated by the machines at the gym and the, skinny, vigorous people who work out there. Yet, I know I desperately need to do it. I must do it for my health.

Since going to the gym was always too daunting and pricey for me, for years I resorted to attempting the video at home. I would put on my spandex outfit, sit on the couch and watch the beautiful, in shape people work out. Obviously, that did not do much good!! Several years ago I began going to Curves and was faithful to go weekly….hating every minute of it….and gaining weight with every month. I suppose that was due to the fact that I would leave Curves and go get a Dr. Pepper and a cheeseburger or breakfast burrito from Sonic!!

At the first of this year I joined a workout place. I had run out of excuses and knew a life change was needed. As I walked into the facility, I felt as if all the machines grew eyes and each one was sneering at me as I walked through the maze trying to determine what in the world was I suppose to do. I tried the stair monster and treadmill and decided I could master the treadmill. So, for these past 6 months I have faithfully exercised…still detesting every minute….still not seeing any great results….but doing it anyway.

My husband’s administrative assistant approached me recently about going with her (she also is a member at the same place) so that we could hold each other accountable. Absolutely! Desperate for relationships and anything to distract me from the boredom in what I was doing…I jumped at the opportunity. One catch….we would work out at 5:00 a.m. so she could get to work early and get things done before all of the other staff arrives. What in the world??? Get up and be at the gym ready to go by 5:00 in the morning???? I agreed! Again, I need and long for accountability, distraction and relationships!!

Along with the morning torture, part of our weekly routine will be a Yoga class after church Wednesday nights and a Pilate's class Thursday nights. I have always wanted to go to one of the classes they offered (I thought it surely would be more fun than the treadmill and machines I attempted to do) but I was way too fearful to go by myself. Daunted by many things; not knowing steps or moves, feeling like everyone would look at me and laugh or sneer, thinking I would be the only one there who did not know anyone, etc., I never had the drive or determination to go.

Tonight is our first class and I just got home from purchasing Yoga pants (UGH!!). I have never in my life put on anything so tight!! My pantie lines were screaming; “Look at me!!” How in the world do you keep pantie lines from showing in yoga pants? Please don’t tell me not to wear panties!! I am digressing….

I am not fearful now that I will be going with Connie. Nothing has changed except that I won’t walk into the room alone. I won’t be the only one who does not know what to do. Connie will be with me.

Church or Sunday school or Bible study can be intimidating and fearful for many people as well. Walking into a class or church for the first time can be quite frightening. For many of us, it is comfortable and we don’t understand why people don’t just come. We know the ‘ropes’. We know people will be welcomed. We know no one will make them feel uncomfortable. But do they know that? They might wonder if someone will ask them a question they don’t know. They wonder if someone will call on them to pray out loud. We must remember that for many people….they need someone to go with them, assure them, give them confidence.

I must go now and get ready for church and Yoga!! I'll let you know how it goes....that is, if I am not too sore and can move my fingers!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Women at the SBC

First, let me say what a joy it was to get to meet the precious lady (Pat) who wanted my extra ticket to the minister’s wives lunch at the SBC last month. I love the fact that I could put the available ticket out through the BLOG, get a contact from a woman who needed it, somehow connect with her amidst the zillions of people in Louisville and hand over the ticket after a few squeals and hugs and introductions!!

For some odd reason I like to delude myself into thinking no one really reads what I write. Oh, by all means they read Tara’s, Karen’s, Vickie’s and Jeannie’s….but heaven forbid that anyone read mine. So you can imagine what a shock it was for me to get a contact about the ticket….someone out there really reads this stuff!!! It sort of reminds me of when our kids were little and they would hide by covering their eyes…they thought no one could see them that way!! They become invisible.

Why am I so fearful to tell anyone I know about this blog? Why have I not given out the website to other sisters I know in the ministry? Why did I hesitate giving it to a current staff wife when she asked about it? I would LOVE to know the answer!! Please, let me know if you have any insight!!!

Second. I was standing in the hallway at the SBC chit-chatting (I learned not too long after attending my first SBC that a LOT of time is spent standing around chit-chatting!!) when I heard a very soft voice ask “are you Dana Henderson?” I turned around and there stood a beautiful, dark haired, petite woman with a face that I recognized from over 35 years ago!! Patti went to high school with me in Dallas, TX and I had not seen her since I graduated decades ago!! The amazing thing was I had thought about her a lot over the years and just last month had her on my heart!! She is married to a SBC pastor. She ministers to minister’s wives in her state. She sees the same hurt and pain and joy that we do.

Was she shocked that I had married a minister??? Probably!!! Thank God I am not who I was….and praise Him that I am not who I will be!! Am I the only minister’s wife out there whose friends from high school would be surprised they married a minister??? Oh, and by the way, how did she know it was me? She said she recognized me!! That I looked just the same!! Right!! Just the same with a lot more wrinkles and weight!!

Third. I invited a new friend to the minister’s wives lunch. She is not just a new friend to me but she is also a new pastor’s wife. She is not just a new pastor’s wife but she is also new to the SBC. I had forgotten what it was like when I first married Ernie and knew nothing about the SBC. Her great questions and our discussions reminded me that not every minister’s wife grew up in a Southern Baptist church and understands all the “ins and outs” of our convention. Perhaps you know someone who is new not only as a minister’s wife, but also to the SBC. Take her under your wing. Encourage her. Show her “the ropes”. Realize that she might not ask questions but might feel lost or left out. I sure remember feeling very lost and left out many times.

Have a great day and know you are loved!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Shoot the Rabbit

I told you yesterday that a big, fat rabbit was eating some of my tomatoes. As I was washing dishes after dinner, Jim came walking through the kitchen with a rifle in his hand. I looked up and asked where he was going. He told me the rabbit was in the garden and he was going to shoot the rabbit! I immediately said, "NO"! Please don't shoot the rabbit, just shoo him away. Jim assured me the rabbit would continue to come back.

I thought about the rabbit and decided I had enough tomatoes for all of us. I did not want him to shoot the rabbit. I know this means I may find more veggies on the ground with bites out of them. The tomatoes are just not more important to me than the rabbit. It may be a mommy, it might have babies, it is really cute!

This morning my Bible reading was in Romans. Paul was giving instructions on how to live with each other. Let me share a couple verses with you.

Romans 12:10 "Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another."

Romans 12:17 "Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men."

Romans 12:18 "If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men."

If I am willing to forgive a rabbit and share my garden with it, how much more should I be willing to forgive my brothers and sisters in Christ? Yes they sometimes take from me what I don't want to give. It seems they can sneak around when I am not looking and take a bite out of me. So, do I shoot them or forgive them?

Paul knew it would not be easy. He actually used the words, 'if it is possible' and then as get ready to use that as an excuse I remember the words, "With God All Things Are Possible."

Share yourself today with those around you and let God be glorified.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Still Gardening

Last night I went to my garden and found two beautiful red tomatoes on the ground. They both had teeth marks in them! I looked closely and then from the corner of my eye saw the owner of the teeth - a very fat rabbit!

I really don't mind sharing my veggies with the animals, but these were the first two tomatoes that had ripened! I was so looking forward to them. We had watered and pruned branches, staked them so they would not fall over and ended up with half eaten tomatoes! I was frustrated and disappointed.

How was your day today? Do you ever do everything right only to get a giant bite taken out of you?

Satan loves to discourage us as we serve our Lord. Ministry can be full of joy and it can be full of stress. We can see very evident fruit of our work and we can be very disappointed in the results of our work.

Galatians 6:9 "And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart."

I have more tomatoes on the vine and will have plenty to eat this summer. I will continue to water, prune and stake because I know I will have tomatoes.

Don't give up on those whom God has called you to serve. Paul reminds us in the following verse, Galatians 6:10 "Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith."

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

My Garden

This is my second summer to try my hand at gardening. It is a learning experience that I am enjoying. I have made mistakes and had successes. The best thing is, we are eating fresh vegetables almost every night!

How does this apply to the life of a minister's wife? I am so glad you asked me that question. I am learning much about God's work in my life through this garden. Let me share with you one of the things I have discovered.

The garden needs water everyday. I know this seems simple, but it is amazing how quickly the plants wilt in one day. Sometimes I water in the evening thinking if I really soak the plants they will not need water the next day. Each time I have tried this I have seen plants wilt and some even die.

What does this have to do with you and me? We need the "Living Water" everyday. I believe in ministry it is easy to think we can soak ourselves on Sunday or during a Bible study and that will carry us through a day or two. Inevitably, we begin to wilt.

If we are not drinking the "Living Water" Jesus offers, when the heat comes we will die. It is impossible to stand up to the trials that come our way without God filling us up from head to toe.

Watering the garden takes time. I have to make sure every plant gets enough water to soak into the roots and make that root system strong enough to survive the heat of the day.

How are your roots? Are you firmly planted? Are you getting enough of that "Living Water"? Take time today to check your root system. How are you responding to your children being under your feet all day? Are you loving your husband? What are you doing with the criticisms or 'helpful hints' that church members are giving you?

John 7:38 "He who believes in Me, as the Sceripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water."

I so want "rivers of living water" to flow from my life. Take the time you need to soak those roots and let them go deep.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Red Kool-Aid Days of VBS

It is Saturday afternoon and I am trying to recuperate from vacation bible school. Boomerang Express rolled in bright and early Monday morning with 150+ excited children. After weeks of planning and decorating the rooms, teachers worked hard to share Jesus with the children who walked through the church doors.

I could not help but reflect back on some memories of my childhood in VBS. Of course, there were the bible stories but what I really recall (and please do not ask me why) is the red Kool-Aid that was served daily. As I think on it, we served red Kool-Aid even when my children were VBS age. Could someone tell me if this is the official Baptist drink? Of course, now we serve a little healthier snack which some days includes juice.

Seriously, I asked a few friends to share some of their memories both from childhood and adulthood of their VBS experiences. Almost everyone loved the Bible stories and learning memories verse. It seems this is where we all began our journey in studying God’s word. Several ladies shared that their favorite childhood VBS memory was the music. One of my fellow staff wives said she loved the “sit down” and “stand up” chords from the “Dark Ages” of VBS. (Gee, I wonder if this is why she married the worship leader and plays the piano beautifully!) One friend shared that she loved doing the crafts and even still has a t-shirt that she made one year. Another girlfriend commented that as a child she loved all the stuff-glue, scissors, and crayons. Today she loves teaching and meeting the children and sharing Jesus with them. My new daughter-in-law says she loves the singing and dancing. Also, she says working with five years olds remind you to have a child-like faith that adults often forget.

However, one comment stands out for me. It comes from a friend who is a pastor’s daughter. She said that she loved helping her father get everything ready for VBS. It was a special time of bonding for the two of them. She said while preparing the material her father taught her about Christ’s unconditional love for people. In addition, she stated that the words to “Fairest Lord Jesus,” which she learned in Vacation Bible School, brought her great comfort as an adult when one of her children ran away from home. Today, she loves to teach the children and says, “the Lord always puts a child there that needs that special encouragement or needs that special Sergeant Sally discipline.”

So girlfriends, there are benefits from Vacation Bible School. Sure it is hard work and we are exhausted when the week is over, but a child always has favorite memories from VBS. Vacation Bible School is one of the biggest evangelism tools we have.

What are your favorite VBS memories?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Wal-Mart Parking Lot

Girlfriends it is just HOT! Here we are in the first week of July and all I want to do is sit in the house in the air conditioning. I may be from the south but I do not like to sweat. While trying to stay cool, my little blonde brain was bumping into thoughts running through my head.

One thought that jumped and screamed for attention is the fact that often we ministers wives try to isolate ourselves from people. We get tired of running to committee meetings or meeting the needs of other people. I have one friend who would to drive to the Wal-Mart parking lot and just sit in the car so she could be alone. Now, I call that desperation. Sure we all need our private time to breathe and collect our thoughts, but sometimes we can overdo isolation.

One of my dear fellow staff wives shared her heart with me a few weeks ago on this very subject. She had traveled back home to visit with her parents. While there she met a couple of ministers wives. She told me that her heart just broke for these ladies. She could just see the weariness in their eyes and wanted to wrap her arms around them. This dear sister went on to say that all ministers wives need to know that we all experience times of joy and difficulty in the ministry and that we need each other to stay strong.

Girls, she is so right. Sometimes in ministry it feels so right to build up walls that no one can penetrate. God did not design us to be alone. He gave us a heart that must love others as well as be loved. Isolation hurts us in the long run. If you look at the life of Jesus, you will discover that he had close friends. Sure one of them betrayed him but our Lord still allowed friends to stay close to him. Jesus knew that the road he was traveling was a difficult road and that he needed trusted friends to walk the path with him.

Ladies, if you see me sitting alone in my car in the Wal-Mart parking lot, please tap on the window and check on me. It may be only place that I could find that was quiet in order to have my quiet time; however, I may be experiencing a difficulty. I personally need friends who care about me. Trust me, if I see you there, I’ll be checking on you.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Healthy Body and Soul

Last week I was on a marathon run to visit all my doctors. I had my yearly mammogram and ob/gyn visit. Then, one day was spent at my family doctor just having the routine blood work check-ups. On Thursday I got to visit my favorite place on earth-the dentist office. Why do I schedule all these visits in one week? Simple, I wanted to get them over with. The good news is that I was given a clean bill of health. Even my dentist did not fuss about all the chocolate I consume.

As much as I want to have a healthy body, I desire more to have a healthy soul. Sometimes sin creeps in through the crackles and settles in. In my case, one of my biggest sins is worry. I do not take it immediately to the Great Physician. Instead, I let this little issue grow and fester into a major infection. It spreads into my quiet time and into my prayer time. It hampers me from serving the Lord in my fullest potential. However, if I had simply carried this sin before the Lord, He would have cured me of the illness and taken away the undo stress.

So girlfriends, hear me when I say this because I am preaching right at me as well, let’s agreed to pray for one another and carry our burdens to the Great Physician before we become too sick to minister for Him. Let’s keep our bodies and our souls healthy and clean.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July!!!

Happy 4th of July!!! For the longest time this was one of the biggest holidays in our family. It was my Dad's birthday, and he used to say that the whole country celebrated with him. When he passed away though, things changed. This year we will celebrate with church "family" instead. I love the fact that God is faithful to place us in churches where I are as comfortable with some of them as I am with my own family. I pray that as you celebrate today you will thank God He has given you people to enjoy life with!

On a completely different note, it was wonderful seeing so many of you at the SBC. The Minister's Wives Luncheon was fun and there was so much good information. I don't know how many of you got to attend, but they announced a new Bible study for minister's wives. I am going to try to involve the wives on our staff. I will let you know how that goes. It seemed like such a great idea and I am sure it will help with us getting to know each other better.

If you would like more info, just let me know.

Thanks, and I hope you have a great 4th!!!