Monday, November 30, 2009

Thankful for the "Duh" Moments

Okay, as many of you know, I have stated over and over that I am a blonde and I have many blonde moments. My day is not complete without one of those “duh” moments that all too often signify a blonde. Probably the blonde jokes that circulate are written in my “honor.” So, I guess I should just spill the beans and tell you my latest moment.

Since we could not travel back home for the Thanksgiving holidays, my in-laws, youngest son, and my husband’s aunt came to Tennessee. Since I am not the best cook in the world, I would never attempt to prepare a turkey or the dressing. I mean, why should someone slave like that when you can order a fully cooked turkey and a pan of dressing from the local grocer?

However, I did want to make an impression so I decided to try my hand at sweet potato casserole. Now, I personally cannot stand sweet potatoes. It is a texture thing. Anyway, I go to the store and began the hunt for fresh sweet potatoes. In the meantime my “friend” (I use this term lightly right now) called and I told her what my plans were for T-Day meal. She proceeded to give me her recipe for sweet potato casserole. Well, you can use canned sweet potatoes so why even bother with fresh ones! After I hung up with her I proceed to the can good isle in search of sweet potatoes. Sadly, I failed in my search. I called my friend back and frantically told her that I could not find sweet potatoes. I, like a true, time honored blonde, I asked a simple innocent question (here is where you should sit down and pretend not to laugh), “Are yams the same thing as sweet potatoes?” Now, a true friend would politely say “yes” and wait until she was off the phone before she laughed, but oh no, my friend roared with laughter. I knew then that this “duh” moment in time would go down in blonde history.

Well, I may be blonde, short with boy legs, and talk with a southern accent but I am so thankful that God loves me. He loves my blonde roots, my height and structure, and my accent. I am so thankful that I can confess my daily sins and He forgives them. I am also grateful that I could provide my friend and each of you a bit of laughter because laughter makes life healthier!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Prayer For You


On this Thanksgiving Day I want to thank you for all the women who serve beside their husbands in ministry.

I ask that they will be able to serve with Your joy full in their hearts and lives.
I pray that they will be confident in the work that You are preforming and completing in them. Please let Your love abound in them as they love those You bring into their lives. Give them knowledge and discernment. Fill them with the fruits of righteousness. Let their lives bring You praise and glory. (Philippians 1)

Father I also ask that they will be filled with the knowledge of Your will. I pray for spiritual wisdom and understanding. Please let them walk worthy of You. Help them live lives that are fully pleasing to You, filled with Your fruit. Strengthen them according to Your glorious power. Give them patience, longsuffering and joy.

Thank You that all things were created through You and for You. (Colossians 1)

Praying these things in gratefulness for Your wonderful Son, Jesus and in His Holy Name.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Gratitude Taught and Caught

As Doug and I raised our three boys we were always looking for ways to teach them gratitude. Of course, the first way our children learn is by example. That means you and I have to stop and see if we are being grateful. Do we vocalize the blessings we see throughout our day? Do we stop and thank God for that rainbow, sunset or flowers we see along our journey?

Jesus was always an example for us. He lived to please His Father and do His will. That resulted in gratitude. In John we are reminded of the feeding of the 5000. As the story is relayed we see that when Jesus received the fish and loaves, He gave thanks. (John 6:11) This must have been important because later in that same chapter John again reminds us that the people sought Jesus where they ate bread, after He gave thanks. (John 6:23)

We have used different tools to remind our children to be grateful. We have a 'Blessings Book' in the living room that they could write about something they were thankful for any time. When they were young they were allowed to draw pictures. We still have a book on our coffee table now and when the boys come home for the holidays they always write in it before they leave.

My youngest son and his wife have a 'Blessings Wall' in their home. They just put a large sheet of paper up and each day they write something they are thankful for or a blessing they received that day.

The first thing in the morning we tell Jesus, "Thank You for another day." The last thing at night we tell Jesus, "Thank You for this day."

Take time to start a tradition of being grateful. This is the perfect season to begin.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Count It All Joy

I woke up last night thinking about what God wanted me to share with you today. I know that our thoughts are on Thanksgiving, but what can I share that you have not read in your devotions, heard your husband preach, or even shared yourself as you teach in your churches?

It is not difficult to think of our blessings this time of year. Family, friends, church, job, health, home and the list goes on. I know our Father in heaven is pleased when we have grateful hearts.

Today I want to encourage you to thank our Father for the tough times. Does that sound strange to you? We are eager to complain when things are difficult and we do not hesitate to ask God to fix it, but have you ever said, "Thank You?"

James 1:2 "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials."

I Peter 1:6 "In this you greatly rejoice though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials."

I Peter 4:13 "Be really glad to the extent that you partake in Christ's sufferings..."

Thanksgiving is a time to remember our blessings. I want to also be thankful that my God is at work in my life and in your life. Let's take time to thank Him for the times He gives us for our growth, times of purifying, times of pruning. These are the times that assure us that we belong to the Father.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Luke Douglas Alexander

Yes, the title of this blog is the name of my new grandson! I have just experienced the joy of my very first grandchild and what a joy it is.

There are many things I could share with you and bore you to no end. I have a feeling I am going to be 'one of those' grandmothers who truly believe their grandchild is the most beautiful and smartest.

There is a reminder I received as I walked through this wonderful event that I would like to share with you. As we waited with my son and his wife in the hospital, her labor lasted almost two full days. During that time, we prayed, laughed, cried and shared with each other. A couple hours before delivery my son pulled out his guitar and moved his chair to the side of his sweet wife's bed. He then began to talk to his yet to be born son. He told him who was in the room and how excited he was to hold him. After a short conversation he began to sing, "He Knows Your Name". Of course, there was not a dry eye in the room and when he finished he announced the baby's name (which up to that point we all called 'Baby A').

So what is the point? I just want to remind you that our Father in Heaven, knows your name. You are not alone. He is your Maker and He has a plan.

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to remember the One who knows your name. I am sure you have much to thank God for as do I, but one of the things I want to always remember that my Father knows my name and is taking care of me.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Missions Moments

What do you or your church do to promote missions? It is that time of year and the Lottie Moon Christmas offering is right around the corner.

This weekend, our church is holding a missions conference. There are missionaries from across the town, the state, the nation and even the world.

Tonight, I helped Riley get all dressed up to have a special date night with her daddy. She was so excited to be going to the conference to get to meet real life missionaries. She ranks them right up there with The Incredibles and Peter Pan, but knows they are so much better because they are real!

So, I was wondering what you do to emphasize missions in your homes and churches. How do you teach your kids about missionaries? Does your church do something creative to highlight the Lottie Moon Offering?

Please post your ideas here so we can share. What has worked at your church may be exactly what another church is looking for . . .

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Look Behind You

Recently, my family and I were blessed to be able to travel to Pensecola Beach, Florida to help officiate a wedding of young lady who was in my husband's youth group when we were first married. It was great to get away for a couple of days and a blessing to be there before Hurricane Ida took aim at the beautiful beaches.

We took full advantage of the opportunity to eat some amazing seafood, catch up with old friends and play in the sand. And, like every other trip I have ever taken to the beach, God seemed to be able to whisper truths into my heart.

While waiting for the sunset wedding to begin, my daughter, Riley, and I enjoyed exploring the shoreline. Like many six year-olds would, she soon made a game of walking in my footsteps. I encouraged the time consuming activity by skipping, sliding and side-stepping to vary the footprints I was leaving in the sand.

With Riley's conversion being so recent, it really hit home that she is in many, many ways emulating my actions and attitudes. She is set to follow my footprints spiritually, just like she was literally in our little game on the beach.

Both the bride in the wedding and her sweet maid-of-honor have been dear family friends for a long time. My prayer is that my example of a Christian woman has been one that they would want to follow. My relationship with these young ladies spans over a decade. What footprints have I left them?

Let me encourage you to look back. Who is following your footsteps? Where are you leading them?

I don't mean to add pressure on you as a minister's wife. We are all called to this in Titus. If you are feeling a little defensive, maybe that is the Holy Spirit calling you to follow the prints Jesus left for us in the sand. And, like the old poem, remember that He will carry you when you can't do those things He has called you to.

Thank you Lord for not leaving us alone in this responsibility.

Monday, November 16, 2009

On that Note . . .

I am so glad that Jeanne talked about encouragement yesterday in her blog. I want to just take the opportunity today to follow up on her words and see if I can't encourage you.

You may not have signed up for this role. You may not have known what you were getting into when you married that man of yours. You may not have married that man you did, had you but known. Yet, God placed you with him and put the two of you exactly where you are. It wasn't a mistake or an oversight. It was His will.

  • Thank you for handling yourself with such grace and dignity when those around you are acting anything but Christian.
  • Thank you for sharing your husband with those who don't appreciate him, much less you.
  • Thank you for sacrificing some family time and date nights for the good of the Church.
  • Thank you for living in your fishbowl in such a way that brings honor to your husband and glory to God.
  • Thank you for praying for your husband and supporting his ministry, especially in the face of opposition.
  • Thank you for all the "hats" you wear at church, doing all the jobs that mostly go unnoticed and unappreciated until they don't get done.
  • Thank you for being an example of Godly wife, mother and Christian.
  • Thank you for what you do.
  • Thank you for being who you are.
  • Thank you for being a minister's wife.
No one else may say thank you. Your husband may not even tell you of his gratitude. But as a church member and minister's wife myself, I appreciate you.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

It happens even in Germany

This week after the Convention, Randy and I left for a mission trip to Germany. We have been here since Friday morning participating in what is being called an "Encouragement Conference" for Ministers and their wives.

As I have had the opportunity to listen to some of the wives and to pray with them, I realized that we all face the same challenges, even across the seas. Time is always an issue, church dynamics, families, jobs, finances...they are all alike.

I have come to realize that we all need encouragement to carry on the work. I came to encourage, but I found myself being encouraged by these sweet ladies' testimony. Most of them have a much more difficult time than I do. And yet, they are staying faithful to the call.

There have been some very sweet moments, like listening to the choirs, and even though I did not know the words, I still got the message. And like watching the little children, who are just as adorable here as in our own churches. But my favorite has been talking to the Pastor of the church where the conference is being held, knowing that he was ready to give up the ministry, but now has been encouraged to continue on.

Don't forget that we all need a pat on the back or a little nudge to keep going. Look for someone who needs a Barnabus in their lives and encourage them. The blessing will come back to you 100 fold.

What kind of shoes do you wear?

This past Tuesday, while decorating for the Minister's Wives Luncheon at the Tennessee Baptist Convention, I had such a remarkable time. There is just something wonderful that happens when a group of Minister's wives get together. Of course there was a lot of laughter, but there was also something else taking place.

The decorations on the tables were arrangements with different kinds of shoes, depicting various walks of a woman's life. As I stood in the back of the Fellowship Hall I began watching the ladies that were there helping. Each lady was busy performing the task that she had been given. Each one, well equipped to do her part.

I couldn't help but think that this was God's plan all along for our lives. Each of us are walking a different path, wearing a different pair of shoes, and have our own unique gifts and talents that God wants us to use. We all contribute in a different ways to Kingdom work. Whether God uses us on the mission field, in our churches, on our jobs, or in our homes, God has given us everything we need to get the job done that He has assigned us.

It was fun being a part of decorating that place. I knew that there might be a minister's wife coming through the door that was discouraged, or down trodden. Perhaps there would be a wife who did not feel loved at her church, or was facing some huge obstacle in her life. It was a great feeling knowing that maybe by being with other women just like her, that understood where she was, who genuinely cared about her and that wanted God to speak to her heart that day, she would be encouraged and uplifted.

God has so blessed us in this special calling as Minister's Wives. It is not always easy, but it is always an adventure...

Monday, November 9, 2009


No, I am not talking about Christmas (however, we are almost there too) but the Tennessee Baptist Convention. Along with the Convention, Lana Rose has arranged for us "wives" to have a couple of great activities for just us.

The first is the Good Cup which is being held today at West Jackson Baptist Church from 1:00 - 3:30. This is a time for us to have a chance to visit and get to know one another a little more. The second is the annual Minister's Wives Luncheon which will be held tomorrow at Calvary Baptist Church at 12:00-1:30. For more information, check out Lana's blog at this site dated October 30th.

There will be wonderful speakers, singers and door prizes!!! Please don't miss these two events. Come join us and let's have a chance to talk. See you there.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Tonight's Blessing

I started leading a Bible study with a group of women about two months ago...below is a description of the study:

"Do you attend Bible studies and often find that when the study is over you no longer study the Bible? Do you have a desire to connect with God and other women through the study of His Word? Come and learn a simple, yet effective way to study any book of the Bible on your own. Each week we will study through the book of Proverbs individually and come together on Wednesday evenings to share the truths and insights we discovered."

To be quite honest, I was not sure what to expect. Who would come? Would anyone come? After all we were not doing a Beth Moore study. We would simply be studying the Bible. Would they want to get to know my God through the study of His Word? Would they share or would we all just look at each other? Could I be transparent with them? Would they be transparent with me and each other? Would they stick with it?

You see, over the past several years I had been a part of an amazing group of women that I prayed with, cried with, studied with, connected with, grew with, etc. and I wanted to have that kind of experience in our new church. To go beyond the surface chit-chat and religious garble and really sit at the feet of Jesus together.

And I was desperate tonight. Desperate to have deep sharing and corporate praying and personal accountability with a group of women. I was thirsting for it. Longing for it. Needing it. I was on empty and needed to be filled with His power and presence and purpose.

And God provided. He is faithful. He fulfills our deepest longings for more of Him. What a precious time we had together tonight. I came home refreshed and renewed and free.

Our large circle has gotten smaller as some have 'given up'. The enemy would want me to be discouraged and defeated...and believe me, I have been many times. But not tonight! Tonight I can know God is at work. Tonight I rejoice! Ministry can be tiring and discouraging and frustrating....but I refuse to miss out on His outpouring love just because I fear defeat.

Just a side note, I so appreciate each one of you. Even though I don't know you or see you, I pray for you. I wish we could all sit down together and have some "face time" and do what I was just talking about. I would really love that. One day....we will worship all together....for eternity. I look forward to it.

Blessings my friend....

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Feeding Yourself

I remember vividly when we first began to teach our children how to feed themselves. It is a wonder that they ever received any nourishment during those initial months because, at first, most of what they attempted to put into their mouths ended up all over their faces, their hair, the highchair and the floor! It was a marvel that I did not give up and feed them myself because of the mess they made!

There were times when they wanted us to feed them..."Feed me mommy", I would often hear them say! Why? Because it was a lot easier for me to feed them than for them to feed themselves!! How sad and silly would it be if I never encouraged, expected, exhorted them to feed themselves?? Can you imagine how ridiculous it would look for them now, as young adults, for their mother or father to feed them simply because we did not take the time, energy, work to have them do it themselves?

Many Christians are used to being "spoon fed" spiritual food in the same manner as our parents fed us physical food....and it is difficult learning how to feed ourselves. Honestly, I struggle with it all the time!! Often, I would MUCH rather someone else teach me, speak to me, preach to me, than to go to the Word myself!

If you are "feeding" yourself, please do not feel frustrated if you feel like your "food" is making a mess, or that you don't feel like any of it is providing any spiritual nourishment or that you would rather give up and have someone else feed you!! It is a process....and it takes time....and it will be well worth it!!

If you are not feeding yourself at the banquet table of the Lord....find someone who will teach you how. If you are not teaching your children how to "feed" themselves spiritually, begin now!! I was broken-hearted when my unbelieving mother asked my, then ten-year-old, son why he believed what he did about Christianity....and he could not answer. I had failed him.