Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I know that last week was Thanksgiving, but like always, I am a day late and a dollar short. Smile. These are some of the things I am thankful for this year…and in no particular order.


Salvation. No one can take that away from me, even though many times I do not deserve it.

2. A husband that loves God, loves me and loves our children. Who cares if he starts MANY projects and finishes few? At least he is doing something. Smile. He is first a Godly man, and he has stood by my side and loved me for 39 years counting the time we dated and my children could not ask for a better dad.
3. Two children that love God. And I thank God every day for them and feel so unworthy of having such smart, good children.
4. Godly mates for my children. I appreciate our son-in-law and also our very soon to be daughter-in-law. God has chosen awesome mates for them.
5. A friendly, loving church to serve. Sometimes it takes listening to other pastors and wives for me to really appreciate what we have. Sure…we are not perfect, but then again, if our church WAS perfect, they would not want us serving there. Smile.
6. A roof over my head and food to eat. Sometimes I take things for granted and am not thankful enough. I may not live in a house that was built this year and I may not eat Prime Rib and Lobster every night…but I am well taken care of.
7. Good Health. This is another thing that we tend to take for granted until it hits home. Everywhere I look, families are being visited by cancer, diseases, etc. Everyday I am more and more thankful for my good health. I had a student last year that is still battling melanoma cancer and we have a 6th grade student this year that has just completed her months of chemo for a rare kidney cancer.
8. Friends and Family. They are the glue that keeps me together. You are the ones that love and accept me regardless of my down-falls.
9. The Tennessee Bi-Vo Ministry. We have made friends that we have grown very close to….and the Conference each year is like the BOOSTER SHOT we need to carry through. We learn so many things, cry together, laugh together and really enjoy our fellowship. And, yes, Lana always makes sure there is CHOCOLATE.
10. All of You Ladies that read this. You keep me motivated. Being a pastor’s wife can be a lonely job and reading your blogs and the comments that other pastor’s wives and ladies write makes me realize that I am not alone….as Sandi Patti said…”We’re In This Thing Together…..just Jesus and Me….and all of my “support ladies”. Thank you very much.

I have so many things to be thankful for and many times I dwell on the little picture and on “stuff” that does not matter and I forget to look at the “big picture” and see what really matters.

Thanks you, God, for all of my blessings!!! May I never get too “busy” to be thankful.

Monday, November 28, 2011


The wedding is 40 days from today. Wow….a lot of things to do between now and then….Christmas with Lots of Family, New Years, and the WEDDING.

I have discovered that being the mother-of-the-groom is different from being the mother-of-the-bride. The wedding is being held at our church so I still feel a wee bit responsible probably more than I should. As mother-of-the-bride, you have a voice, or at least you think you have a voice. As mother-of-the-groom, you know you have no voice. BUT…I will have to confess, the mother-of-the-bride and the bride are including me in many, many things that they are not obligated to do.

My daughter told me that the mother-of-the-bride has no voice either; I just thought they did. I well remember four and a half years ago, making lots of suggestions that were thrown to the side....so that should have been my clue.

The BRIDE is actually the one with all of the VOICE. It is HER DAY. It is just our jobs to see that her wishes are made true.

Four and a half years ago, I watched our daughter preparing for her BIG DAY. Early in the planning I realized that I had had “my day” and this was hers. I was use to the traditional weddings that existed thirty-two years ago. I soon discovered that there is no such thing as “traditional” anymore. Every bride adds her own personality to the planning which makes everything more unique and personal.

It is fun watching our son and daughter-in-law-to-be as they plan for THEIR DAY….and seeing their unique personalities blossom. So much careful planning….and so many details……

I have enjoyed watching our daughter and her husband mature and grow in the Lord. I am looking forward to seeing what God has in store for our son and his new bride.

Isn’t it exciting to be involved in the planning of the wedding and marriage or our children? Just think how disappointed you would be if your children decided to exclude you from their "excitement" and plans.

Can you just imagine how excited God gets when we allow him to be involved in the planning and preparing for our every day activities? Let's not disappoint Him, let’s honor Him by including him in even the smallest details.....because he wants ALL of us and not "part of us".

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday & Advent

Well Ladies, I imagine that many of you are braver than I am. I slept in this morning and I am still sipping some flavored coffee, sitting in p.j.'s as I type. I was not about to venture out this morning into the maze and daze of holiday shopping and bargain hunting. Don't get me wrong, I am for the deal as much as the next gal, but I am a big wimp when it comes to long lines and pushing elbows.

I am sure I could do a little research and discover how this day got tagged "Black Friday." But, honestly, when I think about black Fridays, my mind goes to how the disciples and followers of Christ must have felt on the Friday we all call "Good." That was a dark, black day indeed as our dear Savior, Son of the Living God, died the most brutal of possible deaths. We have the perspective and the luxury of knowing that Sunday was coming. They did not.

It is kinda of fitting that our Advent season begins on the Sunday following Black Friday this year. The first week of Advent begins the day after tomorrow, just as Easter Sunday follows Good Friday.

In our home, we celebrate Advent by having a family devotional around an Advent wreath on the living room table. Our oldest, Riley, dubbed the ten or so minutes spent in a brief study and praise, "Candlelight Christmas." When asked she will say that this time is one of her most favorite parts of the Christmas season.

Wally, my husband, finds a different plan to follow each year. A simple Internet search of  "Advent Devotionals" will yield an over abundance of results. He takes what he likes best from one or two and tailor fits it to our girls' ages and learning styles. This year, his main focus is from The Village Church out of TX. (http://www.thevillagechurch.net/the-village-blog/advent-at-the-village/)

I am all about taking the world's views and plans and finding God's purposes in them. Let me challenge you to use this Black Friday as an opportunity to begin to prepare your hearts for the celebration of the coming birth of our Lord.

Does your family do something special or unique to celebrate the Sundays of Advent, the four Sundays leading up to Christmas? We are always looking for new ideas to enrich our "Candlelight Christmas." Please post your Advent traditions. It may just be the missing component to help another family keep their focus on Christ this Christmas.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Jesus in Turkey Day

"Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” 
Luke 17:17-18

I think it is interesting that no one really sees Thanksgiving as a religious holiday anymore. No matter what faith a person seems to possess, no one seems to have an issue with celebrating the day. (Except maybe the turkeys!) Everyone seems to agree that we should be thankful. The question becomes this: just who is everyone thanking?

Mothers and fathers have their days. Even grandparents have a day. Our culture understands the importance of feeling and showing appreciation. But when non-Christians gather on Thursday and they say, "thanks," what is the point? 

As Christians, like the foreigner leper that was cleansed, we know Whom we are thanking. We know from where our blessings come. We desire to return and praise the One from Whom all blessings flow. 

However, our culture is a lot like the other nine. They ask for blessings, they receive blessings, they never stop to thank God for the blessings. 

You know, we always want to remind our neighbors that Jesus is the reason for the Christmas season, but isn't He the reason behind Thanksgiving too? Shouldn't more non-Christians have issue with this holiday as well? 

It may not have a man in a red suit to steal the spotlight, but Thanksgiving is a whole lot more than gathering with loved ones and eating turkey until we all fall asleep watching football. 

What are you doing to keep Christ in Thanksgiving?

Monday, November 21, 2011


I can hardly believe that it is already Thanksgiving! The holidays are officially upon us. Where did the year go?! It seems like I have just gotten used to writing 2011 and now it is time to start writing 2012.

For those of you that are on Facebook, you may have noticed many of your "friends" participating in the an annual practice of posting a different thing that that they are thankful for each day leading up to Thanksgiving. I love the creativity of many of the posts. Some of my Facebook friends have really put some thought into what they are thankful for, while others started strong, but have failed to remember to continue to post as the month has progressed.

If you are like me, you have to-do list far longer than you have the hours and minutes to complete it. I prayed this morning for God to prioritize the things that really needed done and to enable me to let go of the things that don't. I realized that as I sat down to write this, that I have been so wrapped up in my lists, my goals and my plans, that I have failed to make time to reflect and be thankful.

So, first off, I am thankful for a holiday to help me to stop, reflect and truly appreciate all the blessings God has so graciously and richly lavished upon me and mine. I am sobered to think how most of the year I so quickly rush through the days and fail to stop and thank the One who gave me each one of those days. I take them for granted. I take Him for granted.

There is a saying I have seen on Facebook and Pinterest (a cool site that I have wasted more and more time on!) that goes something like this: "What if you only woke up this morning with the things that you thanked God for yesterday?" While there is nothing in the Bible that reads quite like this, it is definitely worth pondering.

So what are you thankful for this Thanksgiving? This week? Today?

Feel free to write a prayer of thanksgiving to God in the comments. I think I will start us off.

Friday, November 18, 2011


My dear, close friend just found out that her beautiful, talented, young adult daughter is dead. She was in treatment and close to the end of fighting a very long and difficult battle as a heroin addict. From all indications, she had beaten the disease. She was free. Free, that is, until her roommates found her face down in the bathtub full of water. Was it suicide? Overdose? To her parents and those who loved her….the answer to that question is futile. She is gone.

Her Godly parents are devastated. Grief stricken. Overcome. And, as my friend says, she is “living her worst nightmare”.

We have been friends since before high school. There are seven of us who have been friends since then and we get together at least once a year even though we are miles apart. They are all in Texas and I am in Indiana. My heart grieves and it is almost unbearable for me to be so far away….unable to give her a hug. Cry with her. Clean her bathrooms. You know, do the things we do.

Do you ever feel so inadequate to know what to do? What to say? How to help? After all….of the seven, I am the only pastor’s wife. I should be the “one” to know just what to do and say. Yet, I am speechless and immobile.

Do you ever feel the pressure to know what to do? Have all the answers? Just because you are the minister’s wife? As I have pondered this thought….God reminded me that of course, I don’t have to have all the answers. It is not my job to make everything “OK”. That is His job. BUT, He admonished me to remember what I said in the last post about spending time in the Word. It is important for me, yes!! But….so often when I am sitting at His feet and He is teaching me precious Truths….it is not only for me but He also will give it to me to give to someone else.

How thankful I am for His Word. I shared Psalm 94:17-19 with her this morning and I would encourage you to read it. Are you also dealing with a child who is an addict? A loved one? A friend? You? I am praying for you.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


I must confess that in the last couple of weeks I have not been in the Word like I need/want to be. I have not been in the Word like God wants/needs me to be. I know it is erroneous. I hate it. I am stuck. I know what to do but I just don't do it. I do everything and anything else that "needs" to be done!

Now, don’t get me wrong…..I am IN the Word!! After all, I teach lots of Godly women each Sunday and most Wednesdays the Word. I have studied and prayed and written and labored and applied. I spoke the Truth at a retreat last weekend which required me to be IN the Word as I prepared and presented the Truth.

Here’s the problem…..I have been in the Word to teach and speak to others…..in the Word for others but not in the Word because I need to spend time with God and get nourished and fed and encouraged and strengthened and convicted and…..etc. This is a trap that I find myself in way too often….a trap the enemy sets for me like bait and I fall for it every time.

Do you ever struggle with not spending time in the Word? Not just to teach. Not just to prepare. Not to give to anyone else…but to sit at the feet of Jesus and let Him love you. Let’s all stop now and as Nike would say, “Just Do It!”

Right now I am going to go do just that…..I KNOW He has water for me. Bread. Life.

Blessings to you sisters! Eat up!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Confess Your Sins To One Another

James 5:16 tells us to “...confess your sins to one another and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” I am concerned that this command is one of the least well-thought-out ones in scripture….especially for us who are minister’s wives!! Oh, don't get me wrong....not the prayer part--for sure we are good at that!! But what about the "confess" part? How often do we do that?

What? I am to confess MY sins to someone? Who? Why? What will they think?

Why? Because we have been told to do it. God knows we cannot fight many of the battles that stand in our way of Godliness and holiness alone and we are in desperate need of accountability and prayer and support. Because transparency is important to the Body of Christ.

Who? Someone who is Godly. Someone who will pray for you and hold you accountable. Someone who will encourage you as you turn from your sin. Someone who will help “bear your burden”.

There are some obvious cautions, however! Be VERY wise about who you confess your sins to!! You want to be sure it is someone who will not confess YOUR sins to anyone else!! Perhaps our husbands would be a good “one another” to confess to! Hummm….that brings up another interesting point—perhaps our pride is keeping us from confessing???

Note that James does not tell us to confess someone else’s sins to one another!! Sadly, I have been around many minister’s wives who:

A) Don’t confess their sins to anyone
B) Do confess other’s sins to one another

Ladies….I have much to confess, so I need to go and find a "one another!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Don't Forget

I am getting ready to head out the door for Arkansas for the wedding on Friday.  I was in such a hurry last night packing and getting things in the car that this morning I discovered I had forgotten my shoes to go this my outfit for the rehearsal dinner.  Wouldn't I look cute walking around in my black flip flops?  (Probably no one would care because it is Arkansas and this Arkansan is not fond of shoes). No girlfriends, I did not fotget the Peanut M & Ms!

Anyway, I did not want to forget to remind you ladies for come to two special events for ministers wives at the state convention in Hendersonville.

The Good Cup
November 14, 2011
1:00-3:30 (during the pastor's conference)
First Baptist Church, Hendersonville Youth Pit
Special Guest:
     Matt and Darlene Tullos
     Kay DeKalb-Smith
This is a FREE event designed epecially for you.  We promise fellowship, food, and food!

Ministers Wives Luncheon
November 15, 2011
Noon-1:30 p.m.
Long Hollow Baptist Church, 3031 Long Hollow Pike, Hendersonville
Special Guest:
     Shawnah Shingleton
Music by:
     Long Hollow Praise Team
Cost:  $15 (Register online at www.tnministerswives.org or if we forget you can register at the Ministers Wives Booth at the convention).
Mission Project:  Bring old eye glasses to send to a foreign country in need.
This event is always fun and the food is fabulous.  Plus, everyone walks away with fun filled goodie bags.  In addition, there will be door prizes given away including a free night at a Bed and Breakfast; free weekend at one of our conference centers; and free registration for Ministers Wives Retreat, 2012!!!

Don't forget to mark your calendars.  I'll see you there!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Life Saver

If you are just logging in to the blog this week, I need to get you up to speed with what is going on in my life.  In four days our youngest son is getting married at Thorncrown Chapel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.  Yep, that is THIS Friday.  Yep, I have been planning another along distance wedding rehearsal dinner.  (My first privilege was two and half years ago when our oldest son and his wife held their rehearsal and wedding in St. Francisville, Louisiana). 

All I can say is "Whew!"  I am too tired to scream myself so I am letting my pound bag of M & M's do the yelling for me.  I have spent today doing housework, washing and ironing, packing all the needed supplies for the rehearsal decorations.  When I finish posting I still have to pack my clothes and oversee my very patient husband on how to pack the car so that items do not get crushed. 

Now God has blessed me with the spiritual gift of service.  You tell me what you want me to do and I will do it.  I am not in any form or fashion an organized person.  As a result, planning and making sure all the details are in order for our part of the wedding is just a bit STRESSFUL.  All I can say is I owe the creators of Post-It-Notes a huge hug because they are my life savers.

Speaking of life savers . . .aren't you glad we serve the real Life Saver?  Here I am counting the days until my son's wedding and I find myself suddenly wondering if Jesus might be counting the days until His wedding day.  Honestly, I am ashamed that I did not pause longer today to truly spend time preparing myself for my Savior's big day.

Ladies, even if we are overwhelmed and overworked in our daily task, we still need to stop and cling to our Life Saver.  He is the only one who will see us through the stressful moments (weddings) of life.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Praying through the Bumps in the Road

I am eating lots of chocolate these days for in five shorts days our family dynamic will change once again.  On November 11 our youngest son, Bryan, will marry his high school sweetheart, Shannon.  Everyone knows that with every wedding comes a few bumps in the planning.  For example, our son, Stephen, who is an Air Force Security Force officer, was told he could not attend his brother's wedding so Bryan had to enlist another best man.  My college freshman niece, who was to assist Robyn, our daughter-in-law and a professional photographer, learned that her quarter ends and finals begin so she will not be able to attend.  Then, last Wednesday after wedding programs have been printed, the bride-to-be learned that the soloist would not be able to attend because her employer decided not to let her take time off.  Thankfully, Shannon has another friend who has agreed to step in and learn the song in last than a week.  However, in the midst of these few bumps, my husband and I are two very blessed parents because God has given our sons, Stephen and Bryan, godly young ladies, Robyn and Shannon, to share their lives with.

I share all this with you because I have many friends who are still raising younger children.  I watch them struggle with homework stress, dating issues, peer and social pressure, and much more.  I remember just trying to survive one day at a time with our boys.  Of course, your children, like mine, probably suffer through taunts of being a "minister's kid" or "PK."  When my friends ask for advice in dealing with these issues or on how my husband and I raised our sons, I simply tell them to "pray through the bumps in the road."

From the day we learned we were expecting, my husband and I prayed for our sons.  We prayed for their health, protection, for both to come to salvation in Jesus, and also that God would lead each son to that special girl created epecially for them.  Also, although we did not know the names of those two girls, we prayed the same prayers over them and for their families.  Although we are not perfect parents and have made lots of mistakes, I firmly believe that praying for our children was the right parenting choice.

Over the years we have watched our sons grow into godly young men.  They definately have had their share for personal bumps in the road but God has been good to lead our sons along His chosen path for them.  What is more amazing is that God has lead both of our sons to the two women He designed just for them. 

So girlfriends, pray your children through the present and future bumps in the road and while you are at it, please pray our familiy through this next weeks.  We sure do not need anymore bumps before the wedding.  But just in case, I will have my emergency stash of Peanut M & Ms close by.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Can We Talk About Gifts?

Ladies, do you love getting gifts? There is something special and exciting about receiving a package with your name on it , wrapped so beautifully. The size of the package does not matter, because as we all know, great gifts can come in small packages (a watch , a ring, a bracelet, etc.). Believe it or not, Christmas is just right around the corner, and many of us will get caught up in the gift buying, gift wrapping frenzy that accompanies this festive season of the year.

Material gifts do have their place, and I will be the first to admit that I love buying and receiving them. But do you ever think about spiritual gifts? Those wonderful, priceless abilities that the Lord gives us as His children. As daughters of the King we were given at least one spiritual gift when He adopted us into His family. Just as material gifts are not all the same, God’s gifts come in different varieties. Some of you may be gifted in teaching, some exhorting or encouraging, some serving, some giving, some showing mercy, some in administration, and on and on. Lists of the different gifts are found in God’s Word in 1 Corinthians 12 (the entire chapter deals with gifts), Romans 12: 6-8, and 1 Peter 4: 10-11.

Our Father in His infinite wisdom wanted us to be able to give to others based on how He has gifted us. As ministers’ and pastors’ wives we know we are called to serve in some capacity…...it comes with the territory. Yet we should do it joyously and graciously. When the apostle Paul talked about spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians 12, it is interesting that the Holy Spirit had him follow with the “Love Chapter” in 1 Corinthians 13, for if we do not exercise our gifts in a spirit of love we are “a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal” (1 Corinthians 13:1). In other words, we might be doing, doing, doing, but if the motivation is not for the love of God and the love and edification of His people, it is done in vain.

Friends, let us embrace the gifts that the Lord has given us, and as the “gift buying, gift giving” season approaches, remember that Christ , our greatest gift, has come so that we may have new life in Him. Let us serve Him and His people as the body of Christ is built up in love.

“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.” 1 Corinthians 12:4-5 (NIV)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

An Answer To Prayer

In my introductory blog I told you that I am a stay-at-home mom. Well, for the past 5 years I have had a job that I am able to perform from home; I am also a part time bookkeeper. Before I left the workplace I was a financial analyst; since then the Lord has not allowed my knowledge in that area to become “rusty”.

Right before our youngest daughter went to kindergarten, I prayed and asked the Lord that, if it was possible, to allow me to have a job that would give me the flexibility to still be at home but also bring in additional income for our family. In my heart I still wanted to be available for my family, so I earnestly wanted to do something I could manage from home. By God's grace I was not lacking the resources to make that desire a reality, after all, I had a computer, and I had not forgotten all of my skills from the workplace. Surely, someone would hire me………….

I remember being very explicit in my request to God, and then waiting expectantly to see how He would answer. About three months after Arianna, our youngest, started school, someone who had recently started a new business was looking for someone to work as an administrative assistant…….guess who got the job! I initially performed various administrative duties, but over time as the company grew, the focus of my duties became primarily bookkeeping and accounting tasks.

WOW! The Lord answered my very specific prayer! I cannot tell you that God has always answered my prayers this quickly. There are some things that I am still petitioning Him about and have not yet received an answer. But I do know this: the Lord is truly attentive to the prayers of His children!

Friends, have you been praying about something, and still have not received an answer from the Lord? Sometimes the answer comes quickly, at other times it may be longer, still other times we are told to wait, and maybe, just maybe the Lord gives us a “No”. However He decides to answer, we must always trust Him and remember He knows what is best, for HE IS GOD!

1 Thessalonians 5:17 “Keep on praying” (NLT)