Monday, January 31, 2011

Still Human!

Today had been a productive day.

I worked for a couple of hours at the church getting a Facebook page for our two-day-a-week preschool. I had a lunch meeting with my husband and 9 amazing student ministers from our association. I spent time preparing for a class I am teaching on Thursday night. I invested some quality time with our daughters after getting a good jump on the week's laundry. The girls' lunches for tomorrow were packed. I was feeling pretty good about everything I had accomplished today when I sat down to pay the first of the month's bills . . .

Ah, now you easily see where my evening took a down turn. In recent months, I haven't minded so much paying our bills. It has actually been a process that has left me praising our God for His generosity and provision. Tonight appeared to be heading in that way - and, honestly, I have ended up there, but not before God humbled me in the process.

I had forgotten to order another box of checks and so everything instantly became a little more stressful and a lot more complicated, especially when I tried to call one of the banks . . .

I like to talk to customer service representatives. I feel like I have a small window to show them that they are appreciated, that I know that they are real people and that they are valued - by me, but more importantly, by God.

In this situation though, I couldn't talk to one. The automated voice kept sending me in circles. I could feel my blood pressure rising and found myself thankful that the computer couldn't have its feelings hurt or be insulted by my increasingly terse tone of voice. Finally, in frustration I hung up my cell phone, tossed it to the couch and cussed.

I have apologized to my husband. Honestly, I am thoroughly embarrassed. So why share it with you? As he told me, "Honey, you're only human!"

My expectations of myself are high and I know the scriptures. Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. . . . Yes, there is still some of that old, rotten, sinful nature in me - it is still in all of us, ministers' wives or not.

Sister, take heart! We are still human.

Father God, I long for the day You complete what You have begun in me!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Letting Go of the Battle to be Perfct

We had invited a group of new members to come over to our home one Sunday night after their “new members” classes were completed. A fun way to end their sessions and since it was such a great group of people, I thought it would be fun to have them over for a fun dinner and fellowship and give them some "sussys".

By the way….I had wanted to do this for each new members group ever since we moved to Calvary, but had not. The reason? We still have not sold our home in TN and the mission house we are living in does not have much room for entertaining. Good excuse, right? Things would not be “perfect”…so I did not do it. Ridiculous huh?? I decided to to do it….crowded house and all!!

I knew what I would fix, thought how fun it would be….wanted them to know they were special….etc. They would come after church on a Sunday night and I could not wait!! However….

I woke up the Sunday morning of the “event” and realized I totally forgot about it!!!!! I jumped out of bed….told Ernie to cancel!! Find out a way to contact everyone and let them know I forgot and there would be NO way I could do it!! It would not be “perfect”! It could not be anything like I had imagined. I told him just to let them know we could not do it! I had forgotten.

Not only was the house very dirty and not picked up and definitely not in “company” condition I also had a baby shower I had to go to…and showers here are NOT come and go!! I knew it was the right thing to do!! They would understand.

He says, “OK” but then he calls me from church a little while later saying he just could not cancel. People were looking forward to coming…we’d find a way to make it happen. And make it happen we did!! Was it what I imagined? NO! Was it perfect? NO!! Was it fun? Yes?

I had to let go of “perfect”! I had to use the “so what” method. “So what” if I cannot cook all I wanted. So what if we had to order pizza instead. So what if the paper plates and napkins did not match. So what if I didn’t have “sussys” for everyone. So what……

Friend….let me encourage you to use the “so what” method as you deal with trying to have everything just right. Re-negotiate the invisible contracts that you have with people who expect too much from you. You have said it’s OK….so they expect it….renegotiate, friend! Surround yourself with people who do not expect you to be perfect. Find friends that you can have over with a messy house and no makeup and leftovers.

Say ‘yes’ to rest and say ‘no’ to the rest!

To be honest....there is so much more to say on this....but please know that I am praying....

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Battling the Pressure to be the Perfect Parent

“Sit up straight. Put your feet on the floor. Use your fork. Get your elbows off the table. Say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. Say, ‘Yes Sir’, ‘No Sir’. Chew with your mouth closed. Turn the lights off. Shut the door. Wait your turn. Be kind. Don’t whine. Eat everything that is on your plate. Stop talking. Don’t interrupt. Be quiet. Don’t point. Keep your fingers out of your mouth. Keep your hands off your face. Don’t eat chocolate it will give you pimples. Pick up your room. Don’t act like that, people are watching.”

How many times have you heard these things from your parents or have you said these things to your children? If you are a parent….more than likely you strive to be the “perfect” parent and desire to have “perfect” kids who do and say the "right" things.

What is the “Perfect Parent?” Who do you know that seems to be the “Perfect Parent”? Does it encourage you...or...discourage you to know that they don’t exist? And….even if they did exist…”perfect parenting” does not always lead to “perfect” kids (which also don’t exist)!! None of us will ever have “perfect” kids!!

Perhaps we should also take a quick motive check….do we want to be successful as a parent because we know it glorifies God or because of how it reflects back on us? Are we so focused and concerned about how we are perceived in the eyes of others, especially in the church, that our motive becomes the applause of man rather than the applause of God. We might be fooling ourselves into thinking we are doing it for the right reasons...but we for sure are not fooling God...or our kids!!

We can do everything “right” and still our success rate can be less than perfect. Have you ever lain awake for endless nights wondering if what you are doing (or did) is wrong? I sure have! I spent many nights in battle with satan for the very life of my son. God asks us to fulfill the calling of ‘mom’ by being obedient to Him and to be sure our parenting is complete--obedient to His commands--not perfect.

And, by the way, we cannot take credit for our Godly kids any more than we can take credit for our wayward child.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Battling The Pressure To Be Perfect

Every year the Indiana Baptist State Convention has a women's conference and I have been asked to lead a conference this year entitled "Battling The Pressure To Be Perfect"!! Yikes!! It has been so hard to do this because .... of course....I want it to be PERFECT!!! In fact, I was to have the handouts ready over a week ago...but I could not get them turned in....because they were not PERFECT!!! Talk about exhausting!!!

It seems like most high-achieving women struggle with this issue....we are pushed and pulled in every direction trying to be perfect. We want to be the perfect...
  • Wife
  • Pastor's wife
  • Parent
  • Employee
  • Daughter
  • Friend
  • Other______ You fill in the blank!
...and it is exhausting!!

Do you battle the pressure to:
  • Be the perfect housekeeper? Have your home always clean and picked up? Free from clutter and toys? Clothes ironed and put away?
  • Have perfectly behaved children?
  • Do all and be all at church?
  • Wear nice clothes?
  • Be thin?
  • Always have make-up on?
  • _______ You fill in the blank
Who puts this pressure on you?
  • Yourself?
  • Your husband?
  • Your mother?
  • Satan?
  • _______ You fill in the blank
The amazing thing is that God NEVER expects us to be perfect. Matthew 5:48 says "Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect." The word "perfect" here does not mean without flaws or without error or perfection. It means "mature". We are to be mature and do things with excellence. Satan wants to keep us from pursuing excellence and maturity by keeping us distracted with perfection....remember Martha?? She was distracted with making sure everything was "perfect" that she missed out on becoming mature!

My friend....I really would LOVE to hear your thoughts on this.
  • Do you battle the pressure to be perfect?
  • What areas in your life do you want to be perfect?
  • Where does the pressure to be perfect come from?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

You Know You Are a Minister's Wife When-Part Two

Okay girlfriends, I noticed that some of you left comments regarding yesterday's blog. I love, love, love your responses! Keep the comments coming. In the meantime, here are a few responses I received from some girlfriends who are minister's wives. I hope you enjoy them.

You know you are a minister's wife when your freezer is full of beef in Texas, deer in Arkansas, and Bar B Q bologna in Tennessee. (That's what I'm talking about!)

You know you are a minister's wife when people say your prayers are more powerful.

You know you are a minister's wife when your favorite time of the week is Sunday night at 8:00 p.m.

You know you are a minister's wife when you perfect the art of smiling no matter how you feel. (Amen sister)

You know you are a minister's wife when you talk to yourself a lot or you talk to the walls too much. (Oh girlfriend, I am with you on that one. Call me and we'll talk!)

You know you are a minister's wife when no one will sit with you at church dinners because they are afraid of looking like they are too close to the pastor and family.

You know you are a minister's wife when you are anxious to make new friends and you realize the rest of the church already have their groups.

You know you are a minister's wife when you have a question, illness, etc and you realize you don't have a pastor no matter how sweet your husband is. (I feel the same way.)

You know you are a minister's wife when an eighty-six year old woman says you had better be glad she isn't younger. Also, when the same woman tells your husband that the music is too loud.

You know you are a minister's wife when you can't buy a lottery ticket because you might win.

You know you are a minister's wife when you are afraid to tell church members where you are going on vacation lest they think you are paid too much. (Been there; done that one!)

You know you are a minister's wife when you are afraid to walk down the liquor aisle at the store because of what they will think if a member sees you. (I fell out of my chair laughing on this one.)

You know you are a minister's wife when you can't make beer bread, but the deacon's wife can. (Also, don't even think about bringing a rum cake to a church social!)

Okay girlfriends, don't be shy. Post your thoughts.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

You Know You Are a Mnister's Wife When

My blonde brain has been fading lately. I do not know if it because of the snow that Tennessee has been bombed with over the past week or something else. I mean, seriously girlfriends, have you ever seen this much snow in the south. For a couple of days my brain literally seemed to be on autopilot because all I wanted to do was watch old movies, read a book and eat. However, quite possibly my brain issue could stem from the fact that over the holidays I overindulged (that's an understatement) on the finer foods of the season, mainly chocolate. Now I am trying to rid myself of the "food baby" (yes, that's a phrase made up by the youth of our church) that has suddenly appeared overnight. I think it is cutting off the oxygen to my brain. At any rate I have awaken during the nights with some crazy thoughts for a blog spot. I thought I would share my thoughts on "You Know You Are a Mnister's Wife When. . . ."

You know you are a minister's wife when you host an open house for your church in your home and all the ladies look in your closets, cabinets, and drawers. (I really had this happen to me. They found the answer to boxers or briefs.)

You know you are a minister's wife when you get everyone in the family dressed and headed to church only to realize you forgot your panty hose and you are wearing two different shoes. (I've always said panty hoses are a pain and why can't we just wear flip flops every day.)

You know you are a minister's wife when chocolate is a main food group in your daily caloric intake. (Remember, dark chocolate has health benefits!)

You know you are a minister's wife when you're children tell their pastor father, who is lecturing and disciplining them after they have misbehaved, "Save your sermon preacher. It's not Sunday yet." (Oh yes, my child said that to his dad after he had watched Disney's Robin Hood.)

You know you are a minister's wife when you are a single parent on Sunday mornings. (I think we can all relate to that one.)

You know you are a minister's wife when someone cuts you off in traffic and you honk and that makes them do an obscene gesture to you. Later you discover they are a church member so you must pretend the incident never happened. (Really happened to me.)

You know you are a minister's wife when you wonder if it okay to slap a church member. (In Jesus' name of course)

Okay girlfriends, I have posted a few of my favorite thoughts. I asked a few of my friends to send their thoughts so I will post them later this week. However, now is your turn to response to respond to the topic. Please leave your comments to share with us. Remember, they can be funny or serious.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

In Honor Of

As I blog today I hope that you will indulge me this moment to express my heart. I am among girlfriends, fellow minister wives, who understand that all too often as a spouse of a minister our hearts break with sorrow and it is hard to find someone with whom to bare our souls.

This weekend a dear family friend succumbed to Lou Gehrig's Disease better known as ALS. Although there are meds that can slow the progressions, ALS is basically a death sentence with no known cure. This disease can attack a perfectly healthy person and in a matter of months render them helpless. Muscle weakness and difficulty breathing are among the many symptoms of ALS.

Instead of letting ALS send him into the ultimate pity party, Adam kept a smile on his face. Over the course of about a year and a half, Adam, who stood six foot plus, went from being strong as an ox to helpless as a baby. However, God had a plan for Adam, and my sweet friend did what he could to accomplish it.

Wherever Adam went he shared his faith in Jesus. He never claimed to be perfect. No, he would be the first to tell you that he did some pretty stupid things in his younger years. However, when Jesus got hold of his life, as we say in the south, he got saved from the top of his head to the tips of his toes. Amazingly, he never once gave into the disease but praised God for the privilege of having it.

Over Thanksgiving my husband, youngest son, and my brother went to visit Adam. They all came back with smiles on their faces. My son, Bryan, said, "Mom, Mr. Adam prayed the most awesome prayer I've ever heard. He's my hero in the faith." Over the Thanksgiving holiday my brother kept bugging me to go see Adam. I adamantly kept refusing, but thankfully my brother won out. I sat at Adam's feet along with his sweet wife, Robbin. My mom positioned herself beside him while my brother stood to Adam's left. As he would draw a breath, we listened as he asked everyone in the room about their relationship with Jesus. As a cramp would overtake his hand, my brother would rub Adam's hand and Adam would shout "praise Jesus!"

Girlfriends, I am selfish. I want my friend here. All during this weekend I would cry a tear from sorrow then smile knowing Adam is now with Jesus. Although he is not my blood brother, our families have a deep friendship that spands fifty years. We have walked through dark days, joyous celebrations, marriages and children, and moves. As of Christmas Day, we even celebrated the birth of Adam's first grandchild, Brody. (God knew this family needed an extra special gift). Our parents still live down the street from one another and the bond of friendship continues to grow even through death.

Today I have a peace that Adam is with his Lord. I like to picture him dancing and singing before Jesus. However, Adam is humbly bowed before the throne of Grace. Yet I do know one things for sure. At some point in eternity, Adam will have a smirky smile on his healthy face and will shout "praise Jesus!"

Thank you my sweet sisters for allowing me this personal moment to honor my friend and his family. I do ask that you say a prayer for them and other suffers of ALS.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Heirs Together

I believe with all my heart that when you marry a minister, God has chosen the two of you for a very special job. I believe it is an incredible privilege to be married to a minister and serve along side of him.

Peter refers to this in I Peter 5:7 when he mentions, “being heirs together of the grace of life…” I believe that Peter was referring to becoming more Christlike together.

Please don’t miss this! Don’t let satan fool you into thinking that your husband is called and you are following. We are all called and God has a specific task for every one of His children. We are all His disciples, therefore, as a wife of a minister you must follow Jesus with your husband.

We have all heard the many different thoughts on wives in ministry. “My husband is called, not me.” “I am not paid, he is.” “I am just here to support my husband.” “He is the one they hired, not me.”

Jill Briscoe says it best, “”Called is the sense of personal spiritual responsibility each of us has before God. It is our responsibility to serve in discipleship. In the role and function where you find yourself, your calling has to be worked out. But you most definitely are called to serve or minister, if you claim to be a disciple of Jesus. You are a disciple disguised as a minister’s wife.”

I hope you will thank God for the privilege He has given you to be married to one of His ministers. I pray you will be “heirs together of the grace of life.”

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Advice to Wives

I recently did a retreat on wives in the Bible. It was a fun study and a painful study. The Lord did not mince words when it comes to instructions for us as women. I thought I would share with you some of His Words.

Proverbs 11:16 A gracious woman retains honor

Proverbs 11:22 as a ring in a swine’s snout, so is a lovely woman, who lacks discretion

Proverbs 12:4 An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones

Proverbs 14:1 The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her own hands

Proverbs 21:9 Better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, than in a house shared with a contentious woman

Proverbs 24:3-4 Through wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; By knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches

Proverbs 25:23-24 The north wind brings forth rain and a back biting tongue an angry countenance. It is better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, than in a house shared with a contentious woman.

Proverbs 27:15-16 A continual dripping on a very rain day and a contentious woman are alike; whoever restrains her restrains the wind, and grasps oil with his right hand.
Of course, there is Proverbs 31.

I spent time explaining each of these, but I think you probably get it.

Pray that you will be the wife your husband needs and watch God bless your marriage.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Intimate with Jesus

I cannot believe another year is behind me. As always, I spent time reviewing the past year. There are regrets, fond memories, things to be continued and even relief that some things are over.

I also think about my hopes, dreams, desires for the upcoming year. I definitely have things that I do not want to deal with ever again. I have things that I am hoping will be completed in this year and things I want to begin. It would be fun to sit with each of you and listen to your ideas.

As I begin this year, of course, I want to know God’s plan. I so want to stay in the center of His will. I so want to learn from my mistakes and not repeat them. I am sure I hear some “Amens” out there.

This morning I was reading Oswald Chambers. As I read, the “ah ha” moment happened. I have been asking God what should be my goal this year. I am really not into resolutions but I always set some goals. I know without goals I will accomplish nothing. I also know that goals can distract from God if they are not His goals for me.

The verse in Oswald Chambers devotion was John 14:9. “Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not know Me, Philip?’” He began to explain how the disciples had walked with Jesus and seen Him do many things. He gave them power to do the things He was doing, yet He was calling them to a deeper intimacy with Him.

I thought about you precious women who are serving along side your husbands. You each have seen God do many wonderful things. I am sure God has worked through you in your churches in ways that have been miraculous. In spite of this, Jesus wants an even more intimate relationship with you and me than we had last year or how about than we had yesterday.

The devotion went on to explain that Jesus called us ‘friends’. It was described as “identifying with someone in thought, heart, and spirit. The whole experience of life is designed to enable us to enter into this closest relationship with Jesus. We receive His blessings and know His Word, but do we really know Him?”

I pray that we will each set a goal to know Jesus more intimately this year. I know that we are in His Word, we are serving Him in His church, we are praying for those around us, but I want to become intimate to the point that He is all I need. I pray this for each of you this year.

Friday, January 7, 2011

It’s Snowing! It’s Snowing! It’s Snowing!

What a winter we have had so far! And, as most of you know, we Tennesseans are NOT prepared for bad weather. Everything shuts down. The school system that I teach in has already missed more snow/ice related weather days than in the past several years put together. Yesterday we were out because of ice on the roads on the northern end of the county. Wednesday night when we went to church, the grounds were covered with snow. It was beautiful! I love the snow, but hate the ice.

This is another busy weekend for us, so I have some special prayer requests. Pray that we get everything done that needs to be done and that we get our son moved to Kentucky and set up in record time. We have a wedding rehearsal tonight and a wedding tomorrow night. Somewhere in between, we will be packing the U-Haul. After the service on Sunday, we will be leaving to go to Sparta, TN to pick up the remainder of this things in storage and then heading to Grand Rivers, Kentucky, where as of Monday, the population will now be 351; with Cody being the one.

There are all kinds of snow and advisories out for the next few days, so pray that we have a safe and successful move. We have already seen God’s hand in this new adventure for Cody, so I have no doubt he will take care of us this weekend. Also, add Cody to your prayer list and pray for him, especially this next year. He is very much a home-body and is very anxious to be moving so far away by himself.

“I have commanded you, “Be strong and courageous! Don’t tremble or be terrified, because the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” ---Joshua 1:9

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Tuesday, January 4, 2011


2011 is a new beginning!!! I am looking forward to this year. It will be a year of traveling; going to visit our son and spending time with our daughter who is only thirty minutes away. God has been so good to us. We do not even know where to begin to thank him for all of our blessings.

Lots of New Year’s Resolutions will be made and broken in the next few weeks because we are human and also because sometimes we set unrealistic goals for ourselves. We should go slow and take things one day at a time.

Some resolutions that are not unrealistic are:
• Eat healthier. (This does not mean diet…it just means to make wiser choices.)
• Exercise more even if it simply mean parking your vehicle at Wal-mart further from the door.
• Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.
• Spend more quality time with God.
• Keep in touch with family and friends during the year more.
• Keep a positive attitude.

I am a middle school teacher so I have been off work from December 17 to January 5th. It has been nice. However, tomorrow I will have to go back to work. It is time to settle down and get back to my routine.

But FIRST….I have got to work hard and get the extra chocolate off the hips (Vickie….thought you would enjoy that. smile).

May you and your family have a Happy New Year!!!

Monday, January 3, 2011


We ended 2010 by celebrating an early Christmas with our mothers, celebrating our son’s college graduating, celebrating our son-in-law receiving his Masters Degree, finding our son an apartment in Kentucky, and celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus!!!

We got a late start on December 20th and traveled to Grand Rivers, KY, arriving around 9:00 p.m. We got up Tuesday morning and went exploring and housing shopping, starting in Grand Rivers since that is where Cody’s office will be. We also searched neighboring towns. He found an empty apartment in Grand Rivers but could not get in contact with anyone to see if it was available. That afternoon, he went by his office to see it and meet the folks there. Two of the guys that work there live in those apartments, so one of them called the lady in charge. We looked at the apartment that is only four years old and Cody really liked it. It is two miles from his office. Grand Rivers’ population is only 350, so it is a very small village with no fast food restaurants and only a couple of local restaurants. However, ten minutes down the interstate is a Cracker Barrel, McDonalds, Italian Restaurant, Chinese Restaurant, Hardees and a Family Fitness Center that has a Racquetball Court, which is Cody’s latest hobby. Smile. We found the apartment on Tuesday and signed the papers and made the payment on Wednesday. God is so Good!! We had made plans to stay all week if necessary. Everything fell right into place. HE worked it all out.

We arrived home in time for me to finish wrapping presents, clean house and begin the cooking. Smile. We have Christmas with all of our children (Kacie, Chase, Cody & Melanie) on Christmas day. They arrived at our house and opened presents, then we had “Lupper.” (That’s southern for the meal between lunch and supper. Smile.) We got lots of nice things, ate way too much and just chilled out all day, which is a rarity in itself.

The week after Christmas was spent cleaning and my husband and son remodeled my Laundry Room. I love it!!!! I got a new washer and dryer the first of the week, so they decided to remodel before it arrived. Cody loves doing things like that and when he is home, it motivates Roger. Of course in the process………we cleaned out, threw away and took things to Good Will.

The last part of the week was spent helping Cody pack up and move out of his apartment before the 31st. We put his things in storage for a couple of weeks, until he can move into his new apartment on the 10th. It has been nice to get to spend some good quality time with Cody before he moves four and a half hours from us in a few weeks.

2010 was a great year; full of lots of blessings from God and lots of changes, but I am looking forward to an even better 2011.

No matter where we go or what we do, God is always with us.

“...for He hath said, 'I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Hebrews 13:5

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Beginnings & Resolutions

I just saw a commercial while watching the Rose Bowl with my husband. It was for some insurance or investment company. The whole premise was that that company would treat each and every day as if it were New Year's. That they would be just as resolved to keeping their promises to their customers, as we all are on New Year's day, that those feelings would carry over into March 3rd, June 2nd, and October 15th.

Maybe you've prayerfully made some resolutions. Maybe, you are like me and have some things that you want to do differently in 2011 than you did them in 2010. Maybe you are praying that the Holy Spirit will enable you to break some old habits that just won't seem to go away on their own.

No matter how you are viewing this start of a new year, I am just so thankful that we serve a God who delights in making all things new.

Thank you Lord for allowing us to begin again, and again and again, and again. Thank you Lord for new years, new days and new beginnings!

I don't know about you ladies, but I could use some accountability in my "resolution" for 2011. I am going to post mine under the comments. If you will pray for me in mine, and would like me to pray for you in yours, please feel free to add your own. As you will see, mine is nothing deeply spiritual or tremendously life-altering, but it is something that I feel like I need to do for myself and my family. I have a feeling that God WILL teach me a spiritual lesson in the process though!

Happy New Year!