Thursday, September 30, 2010

Love, Cherish and Wait!

When I married Doug I gladly took those traditional wedding vows. I was so excited, so young and so naive.

As we began to serve together I discovered there was something left out of those vows. It is the word "WAIT".

I would fix dinner and just as it was ready to serve the phone would ring. "Honey, I have to go to the hospital for a quick visit with someone. Could we WAIT on dinner?"

Every Sunday my pastor husband stood at that door shaking hands. The boys and I would talk to those around us. Finally, the last person was going out the door and I would hear, "Pastor, do you have a few minutes to talk?" He would look over at me with our three young sons and I knew, WAIT.

I learned early on to bring snacks, games and even a small pillow in the car, just in case.

In James we are told that patience will make us perfect, complete and lacking nothing. God certainly used ministry with Doug to learn patience. You know, now that I think about it, we lacked nothing!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tropical Storms

Sisters, the phone is ringing and women are calling for help. Marriage problems, prodigal children, loss of jobs, death, health failing and the list goes on.

This morning in the news they are warning those along the east coast about tropical storms. They are being asked to be prepared. I imagine grocery store lines are getting long and hardware stores are selling flashlights and batteries. I saw people stacking bags of sand to try and stop some of the water.

We have been told that trials will come. James says "My brethren(sisters)Count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing."

We have all heard many sermons on this verse. As I listened to one of my dear sisters in Christ cry on the phone yesterday, I was reminded that trials are coming and we need to be prepared. The thing is,sandbags will not hold back the trials any more than they can stop water. Trials will come. We don't have to look for batteries to stay in the Light, we have the Light.

As we serve we will be called upon to minister to those in trials. My friend did not need me to quote scripture or give her advice. She needed someone to listen and hurt with her. She needed to be loved on and accepted right in the middle of her trial. Because of your personal trials, You will be able to feel her hurt and have compassion.

You are in a special place to reach out and hear, touch, love those hurting around you. Today let's be ready to "Rejoice with those who are rejoicing and weep with those who are weeping".

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Asked and Answered

I recently spoke at a Living Proof Live Event in Richmond, Virginia. Of course, Beth Moore was the speaker at the LPL part and several minister’s wives along with myself did breakout sessions before it started. Our sessions were for minister’s wives.

I love being with those special ladies. It was a wonderful time of sharing, learning, praying and praising.

One of the last sessions we had together was a time of questions and answers. This is always one of my favorite times. I am not surprised the same questions are posed in different circumstances over and over again. Women married to ministers face some things that only they can understand.

One question that came up in different forms sounded something like the following. “How do I deal with the woman who does not like me?” “What am I suppose to do with the person who constantly criticizes my husband/children?” “Is there a way to handle the person who calls herself my friend and slanders me behind my back?” “How many times do I apologize and forgive when I am not at fault?”

Do any of these questions sound familiar? Do you have a different version of one of these questions?

We can only get these answered in one place. Counselors can give suggestions, friends may have ideas, but Jesus clearly knew what this problem felt like and had the answer

We are told in Matthew 18 that Peter asked how many times he had to forgive. Jesus answered in verse 22. “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.”

Luke 6 tells us “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you and pray for those who spitefully use you.”

Romans 12:20 “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Sweet sisters, we know the answer, we just want an easier way. Jesus was very clear that it is not easy to follow Him, but it is always worth it! We must need lots of practice in the area of loving enemies and forgiveness as the opportunities just keep coming.

I am praying for you to be obedient and have victory!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Do You Make God Smile?

I live to make You smile.
I live to bring You honor.
I won't be satisfied
Until every eye is on You
And as I stand before You in this holy place.
May you be glorfied
'cause I live to make You smile.

Our music minister, Todd Green, recently wrote a beautiful song entitled "I Live to Make You Smile." The words are so moving and when he sung the chorus, I truly felt ashamed of the times that I have not brought a smile to God's face. You know those times when people cannot be pleased and you just get so tired and weary you wonder why your ministering family just cannot be a "normal" household. How about the times when you turn around and walk away because you see someone heading down the church hallway that you would rather not deal with on today?

Can you recall times when your own children made you smile? Having raised two sons who are now adults I can still remember the times they brought me beautiful flowers (weeds) from the backyard. I fondly recall the nightly routine of playing the "imaginate" game (named by our oldest son). We would imagine we were traveling all over the world or universe and naming everything we could see. One of my favorite times was when my boys and I created Ninja Turtle brownie pizza, which was chocolate and covered in all kinds of delicious chocolate candies. I'm even smiling as I write this because these memories are so precious.

How can anything I do make God smile? I certainly hope that in some way God smiles when I openly share my heart with you when I blog. I pray when I sub at the elementary school near our church that God smiles when I hug a child no matter what their economic status is. I hope God smiles when I praise Him while walking my dog and enjoying the beauty of creation. I wonder if God smiles when my heart breaks for those in our community who do not attend a church.

So I ask you, do you make God smile?

If you would like to hear Todd Green sing I Live to Make You Smile, you can contact him through our church website at You will not be disappointed.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Embracing the Glass House

Ladies, let me interrupt Vickie's week to post a blog written by Dr. Randy Davis, our new executive director for Tennessee Baptist Convention. He has started a blog entitled, A View From the Glass House." In his first post he shared his and Jeanne's philosophy on living in "the glass house." As I read it I thought ministers wives need to read this as well as pastors. Randy has graciously given me permission to share his blog with you. Follow the link below. Enjoy.

Let us hear what you think.

Monday, September 20, 2010

When Your Minister Husband Says " No"

Recently I was having lunch with three other ministers wives and enjoying the rare moment to share our hearts without worry. The discussion came up about business meetings. Yes sisters that dreaded event in the life of all churches where most ministers wives must "be silent in church." As we began to share our stories of how we handled business meetings and other church issues where our husbands might tell us "no," laughter took over. We all learned that sometimes our husbands say no for good reasons. To further stimulate discussion, I posted the question on the NBA Ministers Wives Facebook page and received several responses.

Before going any further I want to state up front that I and the other sisters at this lunch meeting love our husbands dearly and try very hard to be godly examples for submission. However, as we sat around the table laughing and telling our stories, I quickly discovered that my sweet sisters all share one thing in common about church issues. Well, we all would love to walk over to the person who is causing a scene or blasting our husbands . . . and just slap some sense into them. Can I get an Amen to that?

On a personal note I hate church business and any issue that arises in the church that can cause harm. Now, I am not saying that I do not care what happens in the life of the church. I just hate it because sometimes I feel passionate about an issue. However, because I want to honor my pastor husband, I will remain silent. In business sessions I usually plant myself in the back of the church or next to my fellow staff wives so we can hold one another accountable. Second, when an issue arises, I place both hands under my legs and bite my lip. Believe me, if I had my favorite nerve pills, peanut M & Ms, they would be eaten byt he handfuls. While being that submission minister wife, I am screaming my point in the my even though the only person who can hear me is God.

Another sister shared that she honors her husband's wishes about not speaking out as well. However, she believes it is unfair because she is a member too. Some of the issues that arise at church also concern her children and family. With her stomach churning this sweet sister zips her mouth and holds her breath. She sits there being her husband's personal cheering section with the satisfaction of knowing that he understands how she feels.

One sister, who admits to being strong willed, wrote that even though her husband gives her the "serious look" (we all know about that one) comments will just pop out of her mouths sometimes or she will not take her husband's godly advice. Going on she shared that once while in another country she did not follow her husband's suggestion and she walked out of "God's umbrella of protection."

On a lighter side one of my fellow staff wives told me that she is the voice of reason in their home. Although it is not in regards to business meeting, she is the "nay-sayer"-no more rehearsals, no more late nights, no more chasing rabbits and talking, no more sweets and junk food. Now ifyou knew this sister's heart you would know that she is one of the most gentle and gracious women on earth. At any rate her advice for you ladies who may be the nay-sayer in your family is to pray for the right attitude before saying no.

I would love to hear your funny stories of how you handle sitting quietly through a business meeting. I know that there are others of you who are silent in church and are trying to think happy thoughts when a crisis arises in the meeting. Please share with us. Your comments are valuable to all the other sisters out there.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Who have you recently done a Random Act of Kindness (RAK) for lately? One of my favorite RAKS recently came from a friend who was going through a struggle herself. What do you think she gave me? Yes, a gift bag overflowing with chocolate! A RAK does not have to be anything major like giving money to a stranger or providing a meal for someone who is sick. It can be a simple gesture.

For example, I was out running errands in our community. I was trying to get things done in a hurry because I had so much to do back at the house. For one thing God had been nudging me to write a note of encouragement to a couple of people in our church, and I did not want to let the day pass without doing so.

I quickly ran in Bed, Bath, and Beyond to grab a couple of items. I am a big coupon person so I was loaded with my discount store coupons. While heading to the cashier, a lady stopped me and asked if I knew if the store would allow the use of more than one discount coupon. When I explained to her that she could use more if needed, she told me she was going to put her items away and go back home for her coupons. Not thinking I gave her two of my coupons and started to walk away. Instead she went on to tell me how kind I was, that I had made her day, and that she was going to bless someone with her coupons too.

As I walked out of the store God seemed to tap my brain and let me see that what I had done without thinking was a simple RAK. It did not cost me anything-no money or time. I was the one who truly received the blessing because God reminded me of all the people who had done RAKS to me.

So again sisters, what kind of RAK have you done for someone lately? Better still, has a RAK been done for you? Share with us.

Friday, September 17, 2010

By Waiting . . .

One way that I continue to be submissive to my husband is through waiting.

I learned in the early years of our marriage that Wally does things on his own timetable. Whether he needs to cut his hair or the grass, he will get it done when he is good and ready. I might need to buy a bigger bottle of shampoo in the meantime, but he will eventually submit to the barber's shears and drop the $15 or so. The backyard may look to everyone else that we've been on vacation for 6 weeks, but I will make the pitcher of sweet tea when he cranks the push mower up and begins to mow.

My husband is a "big boy." He has one momma, and I sure don't want to take her place. The last thing Wally needs is me telling him what I think he ought to do. Yes, mowing the lawn and getting his hair cut are two pretty minor issues. But, he needs to know that I trust him with those small responsibilities. It is through those "petty" concerns that he can take confidence in knowing that I have his back in the bigger ones.

Yes, he seeks my opinions on bigger things, but I really believe it is because I don't nag him on the smaller ones. I respect his capabilities by regarding him as an adult - not another one of the kids. It is through these little, every day interactions I show that respect. I submit to his leadership. I submit to him and, by doing so, I submit to God.

So whether it takes him a month to mow the grass or six month to call the roofers. I will wait on him to take the lead, trusting God to lead and direct him. Afterall, that is God's job, not mine!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Who's the Boss?

When I was a kid, I loved watching Alyssa Milano, Tony Danza and Judith Light in that sitcom, "Who's the Boss?". The show revolved around the antics of a professional single mom and the single dad housekeeper who comes to live under her roof with her and her young son. The show's humor played up the twist on the gender role reversal as she left each day for the office and he stayed home seeing to the children and the chores.

Growing up, my mom ran most everything around our house. Dad was responsible for the lawn being mowed and maintaining the family's two vehicles. As this was my experience, I naively believed that this was how every family functioned. When I married, I learned that was not the case.

You see, my in-laws did a fantastic job raising my husband. Ladies, try not to be jealous! He cooks, he cleans and he takes great care of the kids. Wally doesn't look at the things that need to be done and classify them as his job, or my job, but our jobs. The responsibilities need to be taken care of. In his eyes, what does it matter if I do them or you do, just as long as they get done?

When we first married, I didn't know how to handle this. You may be thinking that I was nuts, but I did have a really hard time. Looking inside I realized that my issue here was one of control. I had to let go of it.

It wasn't that Wally didn't think I could cook, or he didn't appreciate my ironing. It wasn't that he loaded the dishwasher wrong or vacuumed the carpets weird. I wanted to be in charge.

One way that I have learned to submit to Wally, is by letting him do things, not for me, but for us, our family. This is one way that I submit to his leadership. I try to let him be the man around the house that God has called him to be.

Are you letting your man be that man?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Letting Him Lead

Being submissive is not something that comes easy to any woman. In fact, our desire to rule over men (and generally to try to be in control of everything) goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden. Take a look and you will see that all this frustration is apart of the curse!

Yet, we know that the Bible clearly directs us as wives to respect our husbands and be submissive to his leadership (Eph. 5). Our society has some very clear ideas about this being archaic and totally unrealistic or fair. Hopefully, God has shown you how very valuable and worthwhile His instruction is on the matter. We know that our ideals and standards are different for us as Christians than the world's expectations.

That said, it is of the utmost important that our marriages (and our role as wives) model what Paul is talking about when he gives instructions to wives. Please note that I am singling us out as Christian wives not as ministers' wives.

So, what does submission look like in your marriage relationship? What are some ways that you are submissive to your husband? How do you do what you know you need to, even when your heart isn't in it?

Please take a moment and post an idea or two. It may be just what one of your sisters need to read!

The Rest of the Story

OK, is the rest of the story!!

The morning after the wedding where the bride was "bared by the breeze", my maid of honor and some of my other friends were at the same store where I purchased my dress (and who was the guilty party responsible for the "switch"). The girls were trying on bridesmaids dresses for another upcoming wedding. While they were in the dressing room they overheard the employees talking about the terrible, horrible, no good catastrophe that happened the night before....the wrong dress was delivered to a wedding and now they must find a way to quickly get it to the photo shoot scheduled for later that day and retrieve the wrong dress that was delivered there. My friends commented to each other how tragic that was....having no idea they were referring to my dress!!

Later that day I arrive to get my bridal portrait done and wondered why it seemed to be a little out of shape?? And somewhat dirty?? Not knowing what to do, I went forward with the shoot not knowing that my dress was "used". My maid of honor, Carol, and my mom were with me and Carol reflected back on the conversation at the store that morning. After putting two and two together and conferring with my mother, they realized what could have happened. We confronted the store and asked what happened. Initially, they denied any wrong doing but later admitted their mistake.

Since my portrait did not turn out very well....what with a stretched out, dirty gown and all, the store paid for me to get new ones done and ordered me a new dress to wear in my wedding!! So, I wore a beautiful, new wedding dress.

All that to say....ladies, no matter if you wore a new wedding dress or a "used" dress, or one that did not fit, or never had one at all....whether you are single or widowed...if you are a Christ follower you ARE the bride of Christ and you will stand before the King of Kings as His bride dressed in beautiful robes of His righteousness!!! He claims you as His bride!! Rejoice!!! You are beautiful!! You are the bride, the wife of the loved.