Monday, December 30, 2013

What Will You Remember?

Well my sisters, we have come to the end of another year. When you look back over the year that was 2013, what will you remember? What stands out to you? What joys bring a smile to your face? What sorrows cause your heart to feel heavy? What circumstances forever changed your life?

This year was a very blessed year. Yet, not every day felt like a blessing. I had many joyful days, and I also had my days when I felt sorrow or experienced heartache over various things going on in my life. But every single day is a gift, a gift from our loving heavenly Father, who loves us beyond what we can ever think or imagine.

Imagine this: In 2013 we had 365 gifts! How? Each day was a gift. Today is Dec 30, and if we make it to see Jan 1, we would have had a mind-blowing 365 gifts given to us to enjoy and to use in order to make a difference in the lives of people God puts in our path.

As ministers’ wives, we can look back and see how God has ministered in our churches: people coming to know the Savior, families uniting with our church body to grow and be ministered to, old and young alike growing in their faith, lives being eternally impacted for the kingdom. Also, and unfortunately, we experience another side of ministry that grieves our souls: individuals and families who leave for various reasons (somehow we usually take it personally), disputes and backbiting among church members, families losing loved ones or going through tough relational issues, gossiping, murmuring, complaining…I could go on. Thankfully, I believe, that the joys of ministry outweigh the sorrows.

I don’t know about you, but as I reflect back on 2013, I hope that my life has had a positive impact on others. In one of the shortest books in the Bible, the apostle Paul makes a statement about his Christian brother and friend Philemon that has always captivated me. He says, “Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.” Philemon 1:7 Wow! What an uplifting thing to say about a fellow brother or sister in Christ. As we all say farewell to this past year, perhaps the Lord has used us to “refresh” the hearts of people in our lives.

Again, as you look back over 2013, what will you remember or HOW will you be remembered?

Friday, December 27, 2013

Sorrow

Oh, what a joyous time of year.....for most people, but many people do not share that joy.  Some families are struggling because of finances or because of broken homes.  And some families are facing serious illnesses and death.

Today, we have a funeral for one of our church members.  He had cancer and is no longer suffering, but he left behind, his mother who will be 99 years old Saturday.  She is heartbroken.  She has now buried her husband, two daughters and a son.  They all died of cancer.  She is doing very well physically considering her age, but she has difficulty hearing. 

 A couple of weeks ago, she asked us to stop by her house after church, before we went to eat, because she wanted to see us before we went to the hospital to see her son.  When we got there, she had gotten up at 7:00 that morning and cooked lunch for her:  pintos, Mexican cornbread, sour kraut, pot roast with potatoes, carrots and onions and a peach cobbler.  IT WAS DELICIOUS!!  Roger commented about how good it was and she told him that it ought to be; she had had 99 years of practice and if it wasn't right now, it never would be. 

Please keep Mrs. Mahalia in your prayers.  She has lived a long life and now I fear she will give up.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Blessing

Merry Christmas to Everyone!!! 
Wow....what a fun-filled year we have had.  The first picture was Cameron last Christmas and the one on the right is him this year.  He has brought so much job into our lives and we look forward  to meeting his sister, Kinley in just a few weeks.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

T'was the Night Before Christmas....

I DID it.  I even amaze myself sometimes.  Smile.  The gifts are wrapped and under the tree.......the house is presentable.......snacks have been cooked.

We will be celebrating Christmas with out kids and grandson Christmas night.  Our son and daughter-in-law has to work Christmas day, so we will get up and go visit with out grandson and see what "Santa" brought him before returning home and getting ready for our Christmas meal. 

I thought I was running late this year, but actually finished earlier than usual.  NOW....time to sit and mediate on the TRUE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS.

Sunday night, our church went to the Living Christmas Tree in Knoxville.  WOW...what a production.  It was my first time to go, but I can assure you it will not be the last.  It was just what I needed to get in the true spirit of Christmas.

Traditions, traditions.  Every family should have their set traditions  When our children were younger we had a complete ritual that we did during the holidays.  We had an advent calendar and they got to open a door every day and get the piece of candy and the "decoration for the advent scene."  We did this up until they left home.  When they went away to college, they opened several doors on the weekend. 

When they were very young.....I would wrap 10 little presents for them and each night they got to open one....for the 10 day count-down to Christmas.

We would take one night out of our busy schedule and drive around looking at the Christmas lights.

For the Christmas meal, I use to cook the whole nine yards....turkey, ham, dressing, etc.  The last couple of years, I started a new tradition:  Roger grills nice steaks and we have a baked potato bar and a salad bar.  By Christmas night, everyone is usually ready for something different so it has worked out well and there's not a lot of work on anyone.

NOW...that our children are grown....they are making their own traditions.....and we are making new ones.  What kind of traditions does your family honor?

Monday, December 23, 2013

The Stockings Are Hung.....

Whewwwww.....two days until Christmas.  Or, as my Sunday School children would say....two days until Jesus' Birthday!!!

Ready or Not.....it is HERE!

This is suppose to be a time of JOY....a time of RELAXING.....and a time of REJOICING............................................................HOWEVER....right at the moment, all I am feeling is STRESS and ANXIETY, trying to rush around and tie up all of the loose ends before THE DAY.

Every year, I promise myself that I will start early and complete Christmas cards before the rush........I sent the LAST card today.  Nothing like waiting until the last second.  (It's too close to call it a minute.) And....I still have the presents to wrap, not to mention the normal laundry, bathrooms to clean, floors to clean, grocery shopping to do, cooking and dishes.

BUT....my prayers are that I will SLOW-DOWN......CHILL-OUT and ENJOY this time.

Ladies, I want you to know that I am praying for each of you.  For some reason we women feel like we have to be super minister wives, supper wives, supper mom and just all around SUPER WOMAN during this time of year.

Let's CHILL, RELAX and ENJOY!!!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Don't Forget Christmas!

This time of the year is SO busy, especially for minister's wives!

There is SO much to do for the church and at the church and through the church - all on top of what we want to do for our immediate and extended families.

I don't know about you, but I have a list to keep track of all my lists. And there is nothing more satisfying than to cross off that last item on any list. Honestly, sometimes I write down something that I have already done just to me able to cross it off! Anyone else?

This year, on top of all the Christmas activities, the media is filling the air with all their normal secular spin to this holiday. We are bombarded with all kinds of advertisements too. The news is full of Duck Dynasty stuff, Obamacare, and the Target credit card security breech.

It would be really easy for anyone to slip into Satan's distraction trap this time of year. There is a TON of things out there to steal our attention!

SO, here is my reminder: DON'T FORGET CHRISTMAS!

Let me encourage you to find some way, some time at some point to remember Christmas, to reflect on the significance and refill your spiritual cup. Grab a cup of coffee and a cookie (maybe a piece of chocolate Vickie!)  and sit down to ponder the incredible gift of Christ.

For me, I am taking advantage of the times I am forced to sit down and feed my baby. As I watch her suck on her bottle I am in awe that Jesus once had to be fed too. He had to have his diaper changed and the spit-up wiped from his sweet little chin. Wow! As a result, I find myself praising our amazing God.

What is it you are doing to remember Christmas this year?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas Missions

In my devotional time this morning I was struck with a "new-to-me" thought.

Just as Jesus was sent on a mission, so we too are sent and this is Christmas.

In his Advent devotional guide, "Good News of Great Joy: Daily Readings for Advent," John Piper enouraged he readers to contemplate this verse:

"As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world." John 17:18

I have never thought of this verse as a Christmas verse. But it really is. God isn't asking us to do anything He has already done. Just as He sent Jesus, He sends us.

Christmas missions isn't a canned food or a toy drive. It isn't carrolling in nursing homes or ringing a bell standing next to a red bucket. Missions during the Christmas season isn't taking a plate of cookies to the shut-in neighbor or sacrificing a Christmas morning at home to serve the homeless in a soup kitchen.

While all these things can be a part of Christmas missions, it really only truly takes place if we use these opportunities to explain why we have Christmas. As you know, it isn't about family, the good in people or some other warm, fuzzy feeling. Christmas missions only happens if we take every opportunity to share the Gospel.

That is what Christmas is truly about. Jesus being sent into the world. This is what we are called to as well. To go and tell.

So where in the world are you going today?

Monday, December 16, 2013

Out of the Mouths of Babes...

I began the chapel time last Tuesday morning the same way I always do with the four year-olds in the church's weekday preschool program. The lesson compared the way my new baby entered the world to the way Mary's baby entered the world. I used my Eliza as a visual aid talking about how Baby Jesus was a real life baby, just like her.

Then I started to point out the differences. I told the children about the short trip to the hospital and all the medical professionals I had to help me. We talked about how Mary and Joseph had made a long journey and that her only help had come from a carpenter who knew nothing about babies. Then I asked if Mary had her baby in a hospital. The children all correctly answered, "no." So I followed up asking where Jesus had been born.

I will never forget Dylan's answer. He may have innocently confused Good Friday's symbol with Christmas's, but his immediate reply of "The Cross," has had a profound effect on me. Dylan won't turn five until mid-March, but his answer would draw the applause of many an experienced theologian.

Jesus may have been born and laid in a manger, but even then, His ultimate destination was the cross.

This Christmas season, God has repeatedly reminded me that Jesus was born for the purpose of dying.

As I hold my tiny baby, I am overwhelmed when I think of how the tiny Baby born to Mary with His tiny hands with little fingers would one day be violently nailed to a crude, rough cross. The small head, He could not yet even hold up, would one day have a crown of thorns thrust upon it. This ultimate picture of newness and innocence and purity and potential would one day become MY unrighteousness, shame and ugliness.

This is why I am celebrating Jesus this Christmas. God used Dylan's answer to draw my worship so much deeper.

Why are you?

What is God pressing on your heart this December?

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Life As You Expected?

Has your life turned out like you expected?  Had originally wanted?  Thought?  Mine sure has not!  I thought I was going to marry Alan Walne, have lots of money and never leave Dallas, Texas!!  I never thought I would be married to a pastor.  And then after years of being a stay-at-home mom, and then teaching in colleges in Texas and Tennessee, and having a great tenure providing training and development for businesses and industries, I never thought I would be working at Pier 1....in Indianapolis, Indiana!!

What about you?  Has your life turn out like you thought it would?  As I talk to women I discover that most of us are doing things we never expected.  Living places we never dreamed.  Experiencing things we never imagined.  Some hard.  Some great.  Some challenging.  Some disheartening. 

I have been thinking about Mary….you know, the Mary of Christmas!  I am pretty sure her life did not turn out like she expected!!  Pregnant and not married!  No baby showers!  Giving birth in a smelly stable instead of a beautiful birthing room at the local hospital!  On the run with a newborn from King Herod and she didn’t even have a stroller!!  Yep, I am pretty sure her life was not turning out as she expected.

You know, following Jesus is a beautiful, life changing, amazing journey that takes us to places we never would expect.  Intertwines our lives with people we never imagined loving.  Experiencing valleys and mountaintops that bring us to our lowest low and our highest high….all of it hand-in-hand with Jesus.

No, my life has not turned out as I expected….and I am grateful!!  Let’s say as Mary did in Luke 1 (and I paraphrase), “I am the Lord’s servant and I am willing to do whatever He wants!”  Whatever….even if it isn’t what I expect!!  Let's hold on to all things loosely!

Oh, and just a thought….if your life has turned out just as you planned….is it because you have done just that….planned it!!  Controlled it.  Manipulated it?  Like I said, just a thought. J

Friday, December 13, 2013

How In The World?

How in the world does a girl who was born way up north in Beloit, Wisconsin to agnostic/atheistic (is it possible to be both?) parents, and who, as a third grader, moved way down south to Dallas, Texas, and who, for years, thought a Christian was simply just someone who was born in America, end up writing a blog for Tennessee Ministers Wives??  How in the world did that happen?

“Nothing Is Impossible With God!”

How in the world does that same girl endure much abuse as a child, and yet, end up whole and complete and joyful?

“Nothing is Impossible with God!!”

And how in the world does that same girl who was pursued by the God who loves her and created her and died for her walk in sin and selfishness and pride ever be used by Him to bring others to the Truth?

“Nothing is impossible with God!!!"

How in the world does that girl who was not raised in a Christian home and who had no idea how to be a Godly wife or how to raise Godly kids end up being the wife of a pastor?  And the mother of a pastor?  And the mother-in-law of a pastor?

"For nothing is Impossible with God!!!!”

As I sit looking out of the window at the beautiful white snow I continue to be reminded of the powerful truth of Luke 1:37, “For nothing is impossible with God!”

Claim it.  Rest in it.  Do the impossible!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Merry Christmas

As I end this weeks blog post and since it is the last one for 2013, I wanted to take just a moment to wish each of you a Merry Christmas.  The holiday rush and stress is beginning at our home already and I constantly have to remind myself that Jesus is the we have Christmas.

Sisters, here is a little something that God planted in my mind the other day during my quiet time.  I want to share it this you.

Twinkling lights on a trimmed tree;
Carolers singing Christmas melodies.

Moonlight glistening on new fallen snow;
Santa dressed in red from head to toe.

Suddenly memories flood my mind
of the night that brought hope to mankind.

Shepherds stood in awe
at the bright Star they saw.

In the manger, cattle and sheep
sensed what was to come and did not sleep.

A father and mother welcome a babe
Jesus, the world He came to save.

Merry Christmas dear sisters!  Enjoy the fun and laughter.  Make lots of memories.  Eat tons of chocolate (I plan to).  Most of all pause in the rush to remember Jesus and why He came to earth.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

JOY


 

For those who know me you know that I find great JOY in devouring anything chocolate-M & Ms, Hershey Kisses, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, etc.  I cannot begin to imagine NEVER getting to have that delicious fulfillment in my mouth.

As a minister’s wife I find great JOY in ministry.  I cannot imagine NEVER getting to serve the Lord as a minister’s wife.  Sadly there are many ministers’ wives who have lost their JOY.   If you are one of those ladies, I hope this blog will be an encouragement to you and help you get the JOY of ministry back.

J-Jesus is what it is all about!  Do not ever forget this fact.  It is not about you, your husband, or your church.  When I get discourage, I remind myself that Jesus is Source of my salvation JOY and thus ministry JOY.

O-Overcome the bitterness of ministry.  Oh sisters, bitterness can slowly seep into our lives and become a burden.  It starts with discouragement, brews in to dissatisfaction or resentment, and becomes full blown bitterness.  When bitterness takes root, it can ruin your husband’s ministry and only hurts you.  If you have bitterness toward ministry, OVERCOME it NOW!  Find a fellow minister’s wife or a trusted person to talk to and PRAY, PRAY, PRAY. 

Y-You.  Girlfriends, as a minister’s wife, we face all kinds of struggles and situations from church to family.  We can either handle them through God’s grace or completely leave Him out.  Always try to look for the good in a situation or person.  Oh I know, sometimes it is hard, but we can do it through God’s help.  My mom always told me I may not like a person but I have a responsibility to love everyone because God first loved us.  If the problem is a situation, look for a solution with the Lord’s help.  You are responsible for YOU. 

Joy in the ministry is crucial to a healthy relationship to Christ and the body of believers.  When you are joyful in your role as a minister’s wife, your husband’s ministry can be much more fruitful.  He will be encouraged by you and not worried about you.

So sisters, if you are struggling with your JOY in ministry, grab a handful of chocolate and crawl up in the Father’s lap.  Allow Him to replenish your JOY in Him.

 

 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Tis the Season


 

Ministers’ wives across America and the world . . . tis the season!  We must plaster on our smiles, decorate our homes to Southern Living standards, provide Christmas cookies and goodies that will make Martha Stewart or Rachael Ray proud, and shop for the perfect Christmas gifts for everyone including the hardest person to please.

Then of course are the Christmas church parties . . . yes, tis the season.  These parties are endless.  Just looking at my calendar for next month makes my stomach hurt.  Everyone wants the “pastor” to be at their party.  Okay, I say let him go.  Oh wait; I am married to the pastor so that means I get to attend too.  Oh and of course, many of the parties just happen to be on the same night, at the same time, in different places.  What’s a girl to do?  Well, you get dressed in a style that is appropriate for a fancy dinner, a scavenger hunt, and dirty Santa party and attend all three events.  Or may I should say that since there are three parties at the same time and in different places you get to simply make an appearance, greet everyone, and move on to the next party.

Okay girlfriends, I think you get the drift.  We are part of a wonderful church family who wants us to celebrate the Season with them.  I cannot wait for the parties to begin.  Fellowship with members makes you draw closer to one another and encourages the body of Christ.

Yes sisters, tis the Season to celebrate being a minister’s wife!
 
Share with us some of your favorite things about being a minister's wife at Christmas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Who Will You Imitate?

In keeping with the theme this week of being thankful, one of my favorite Biblical accounts from the life of Christ is taken from Luke 17: 11-19. I am sure that many of you are familiar with it. Here is a brief, simple narrative:

Ten lepers see Jesus. Ten lepers all cry out for mercy. Ten lepers noticed by Jesus. Ten lepers told by Jesus to go to the priests and, as they went, ten lepers healed. Only one leper returned to thank Jesus.

What has fascinated me about this passage for so many years is two-fold. Jesus showed no partiality in healing the ten lepers; all received a miraculous restoration of health from the Lord. But the nine who were restored and kept going remind me of many of us in society today; we receive God’s blessings in that we ask Him for things that He willingly and graciously gives us, but we forget that He is the source. Again, ten healed, one came back.

I love the one who did come back; he did not forget that if it had not been for the Savior, he would still be in a wretched state of torment, sores permeating his body and an outcast to society. He glorified God and ultimately fell at the Master’s feet, worshiping Him for his healing.

Ladies, you may not have been healed from anything as dramatic as leprosy, but all of us who know Jesus have been healed from something. If you are saved and on your way to heaven, you have been healed from a “sin disease” that had far more catastrophic consequences than any physical ailment ever could.

The ultimate healing of the one who came back was that his faith had made him well---He was saved from his sins! Salvation is the greatest healing in the entire world, for the benefits of this healing reach far beyond this life into the life to come, which is eternal life!

So as we feast on our turkey and stuffing, green beans, potatoes, cranberry sauce, and anything else that may be on your table, pause and give thanks to a Faithful Savior who has blessed all of us beyond measure.

So who will you imitate? Be like the one who fell at the Savior’s feet, thankful and full of joy over what the Lord had done in his life.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Pause To Give Thanks

Hello my sisters!

Another holiday season is upon us. By now many of us are in the middle of shopping, planning menus and parties, decorating the house, organizing Christmas productions, and a myriad of other activities…….I know that I left out something. Whew!

Why don’t we slow down a little, pause and reflect, and give thanks. Sometimes life can be so busy that we fail to see the numerous blessings that our Father has bestowed upon us. We are so preoccupied with doing, that we fail to meditate on the glorious One from whom all blessings flow.

This Thursday in our nation we will observe, as we have for several decades past, the time-honored tradition of Thanksgiving Day, the holiday that has been an official part of our nation’s calendar since 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed it to be the last Thursday in November; the official observance was modified on December 26, 1941 when President Franklin Roosevelt signed legislation changing the national Thanksgiving Day from the last Thursday to the fourth Thursday.

But we don’t have to wait until an “official” day on the calendar to praise and thank our Lord for all that He has done, will do, and will continue to do for us.

Here’s my “top ten” list of things I am thankful for:

1.Salvation-saved from my sins by Jesus my Savior!!!
2.The Bible-God’s Word has transformed my life, and I want it to continue to mold me into the image of Christ.
3.The Holy Spirit-I could not make it without Him and His ministry in my life!
4.My husband-the Lord has blessed me with a godly man who loves the Lord.
5.Beautiful, healthy daughters-our kids are not perfect, but they are gifts from God.
6.Friends-If the Lord only gives us one “special” friend in life, we are tremendously blessed!
7.Loving church family-the Lord has given my husband some loving, giving, serving saints to pastor. (No, the church is not perfect, but no church is!)
8.Health-decent health, I will never take for granted!
9.Food/Shelter-God knows we need these things, and He abundantly provides them.
10.The Promise of Heaven-last, but certainly not least, I am guaranteed eternity with my Lord, to rejoice in His presence forever and ever!

So what about you? What are you thankful for? Perhaps you can compose your own list, and watch how your heart swells in gratitude as you recall the faithfulness of our Almighty God! To Him be the Glory!

“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting.”
Psalm 107:1

Friday, November 22, 2013

Happy Birthday

"Little Man" will be one year old next Thursday, November 28th on Thanksgiving Day!!! What a blessing he has been!!! Happy 1 Year Old Birthday!!!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Thankful Challenge

I have taken the November Facebook challenge of posting something I am thankful for each day of the month. I don’t normally participate in the different “games” on Facebook, but this is the second year that I have taken this challenge.

It is a time for me to stop and really think about the things I have to be thankful for. Many times we just float around in this negative world and don’t stop to think about our blessings.

You may not “Facebook”, but even if you don’t, I would like to challenge you to write down something even if on a piece of paper, that you are thankful for each day of the month. It will really bless you.

Day 1: I was thankful it was Friday. It had been a long stressful week.

Of course some of the other things I have listed were:
• My Husband
• My four children…2 by birth and 2 by marriage
• Our grandson
• Our granddaughter who will be here soon
• God’s Grace and for salvation
• Our church
• My co-workers
• A warm home on one of the colder days
• Living in the hills of East Tennessee

And the list goes on. I will add to the list daily. Now, sisters….you take the challenge and write down the things you are thankful for. You will be surprised at how easy it is.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Pick and Choose

We’re growing; we’re growing!!! Our church is really growing, but with that comes changes.

I rejoice in the growth of our church; both spiritually and physically, but being bi-vocational, it gets more difficult. Being bi-vocational, we both have secular 40+ hours a week on top of the church ministry. Rarely are we at home. Our day does not end at 5:00. At 5:00 or 5:30, when our secular job is completed, our church ministry begins.

We visit at the hospital, in homes, at the nursing home, etc. either on Sunday afternoons or at night. We live 32 miles from church so on Sundays we leave the house at 9:00 and usually return after 10:00 that night. It is a long, tiring, but rewarding day.

We have finally reached the point where we realize that it is not physically possible for us to be everywhere all the time. Many programs that I would like to be a part of, I have to choose not to.

I would love to be a part of our WMU. The ladies get so close and enjoy each other’s company and fellowship………….but, because that is the ONLY PROGRAM that operated when we went to the church, without our help, I have chosen not to be a part of it. The 32 miles helps support my decision too. We support WMU by encouraging others to attend, by promoting it, etc., but I am not a WMU Ladie.

Another Ministry that our ladies have that I cannot be a part of is the Sewing Ministry. They meet during the day, so that is not possible, but I am sure if they met at night, it would be hard too. I enjoy hearing about the projects they are working on.

A new ministry at our church is the Sign Language Class. I do go to it and really enjoy it. However, to be honest, more than likely I would not have gone except our draught-in-law wanted to go so I chose to go with her.

I am saying all of this to say, eventually, if you haven’t already, you will realize that YOU CAN NOT do it ALL. You will have to pick and choose. That does not mean that you do not support them in promoting it and praying for them, but it is not physically possible to do everything.

Once we realize that we are NOT super-woman, then we can pick and choose the ministries that we WILL be a part of and we can be more effective.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Pastor's Wife

Tara, after your last post I got to thinking…..Is it a calling?

I NEVER thought I would be a pastor’s wife. I never even wanted to be a Pastor's Wife.

I admire the women that feel that calling early....but it did not happen like that for me.

Roger answered the call into the ministry while we were dating. I was not very happy at the time because my dad was a minister and I KNEW what that meant. BUT….Roger assured me that he felt called into the ministry, but did not feel called to be a pastor. Whewwwwww.

Six years later we got married……and then for the next 17 years, we were working in ministry, but NOT pastoring. We worked in Children’s Church, Bus Ministry, Puppet Ministry, etc. Roger was Children’s Minister, Music Minister, Youth Minister, Associate Pastor, etc…..but never Pastor.

THEN....seventeen years ago, God called us to Whites Creek Baptist Church as the pastor. I say us….because we are a team. I did not feel qualified to be a Pastor’s wife at that time……….and still, seventeen years later, many times feel like I fall short in that role…..but I have to stop and remind myself ---- God does not make mistakes. God called US to Whites Creek, so for some reason he felt like I was capable…with his help.

The first week of January, we will celebrate our 17th year at Whites Creek Baptist Church. I have to keep reminding myself that God does not want me to be Beth Moore or anyone else………. God wants Kathy to be Kathy and to lean on God to guide me in the paths I should go.

God slowly guided me into the role of Pastor's Wife . And, although it is not an easy path, it is a very rewarding path to be serving God in the way he's chosen me. Being a Pastor's Wife was not the path I would have chosen, but NOW...I am glad that is where God put me.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Is It a Calling?

Ladies, I would love to know what you think....

Are women called to be ministers' wives?

I have heard some ladies tell me that they knew at an early age that God had destined and designed them to be a pastor's wife. As single women, they would only date guys they knew were called into the ministry. Yes, these women seem to take to their role as a minister's wife like a fish to water. It all seems to come easy for them and they seem to do it all well with poise and grace.

I have also heard other ladies explain emphatically that they were never called to be a minister's wife and use that fact to explain or even excuse their attitudes toward ministry, the church and even their husbands. Most of these ladies are married to men who entered the ministry after they had married. They truly did not know what they were getting into when they said "I do."

Here's a thought: what if it isn't about whether or not we are called to the role of minister's wife?

In my case, I was definitely attracted to guys who had a heart for the ministry. I knew Wally had received his own calling to serve God by serving His bride, the church. But I knew, without a doubt, on the morning of our wedding day, that no matter what - I was called to be Wally's wife.

Biblically, we are one with our husbands, two sides of one coin. If he is called, then ultimately, she is too. So, regardless if we have or have not felt a calling, by simply being married to a minister, we have indeed been called to this role.

If this is where God has placed us, where He has ordained us to serve both our husbands and our churches, then let's accept His will and embrace who He has made us to be, not just any minister's wife, but our husband's wife. My identity is not simply a minister's wife, but Wally's wife.

My prayer and focus is to be the wife God desires me to be to Wally. Yes, part of that is how I embrace my role and my ministry as a minister's wife, but when my perspective is set through a biblical lens of serving my husband, it doesn't matter if he is a "professional" minister or a banker, teacher, or construction worker.

So, ladies, whatcha think? Are we called  or not?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Check This Blog Out

I came across this link to Dr. Thom Rainer's blog last week and thought it was too good not to share with you ladies!.

So . . . instead of reading a blog post of mine, check out his. Afterwards, come back here and let me know what you think:

Thank You Pastor's Wives

Below is his biography from his blog too:

Dr. Thom S. Rainer

Thom Rainer is the president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources.  Prior to LifeWay, he served at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary for twelve years where he was the founding dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions and Evangelism.  He is a 1977 graduate of the University of Alabama and earned his Master of Divinity and Ph.D. degrees from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
In addition to speaking in hundreds of venues over the past 20 years, Rainer led Rainer Group, a church and denominational consulting firm, from 1990 to 2005. The firm provided church health insights to over 500 churches and other organizations over that period.
Rainer and his wife, Nellie Jo, have three grown sons: Sam, Art and Jess, who are married to Erin, Sarah and Rachel respectively.  The Rainers have six grandchildren: Canon, Maggie, Nathaniel, Will (with the Lord), Harper, and Bren.
He is the author of twenty-two books, including Breakout ChurchesSimple LifeSimple ChurchRaising DadThe Millennials, and Essential Church.  His latest book, I Am a Church Member, is scheduled to be released in 2013 by B&H Publishing Group.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Veteran's Day Thoughts

This morning, I find myself reflecting on and rejoicing over the Veterans in my life.

I grew up knowing my dad had served as well as my granddad, during the Vietnam and WWII wars. I said the pledge with the rest of my classmates and sang the anthem with the rest of the fans at whatever sporting event that I attended. I always respected the men and women of the armed forces and would look on admiringly especially at every God and Country service my church celebrated in the shadow of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

However, moving to Clarksville exposed me to a military presence that has greatly increased my appreciation for these amazing men and women who chose to sacrifice and risk so very much. Ft. Campbell may "officially" be located in Kentucky because headquarters and the post office are both located on the north side of the border, but the majority of this vast installation is actually in TN.

All of our churches here minister to these brave soldiers and their families. We see the effects of deployments and the long absences. I am blessed to love on Army "brats" and get to know Army wives through my preschool work at church. It is truly an honor.

As a result, I appreciate and value these brave Americans so much more. They are truly extraordinary. I am proud to share the local roads and the grocery store aisles with these heroes.

If you watch too much news or read too many politically charged articles, it is easy to be down on our country and her administration. But this morning, today, Veteran's Day, I choose to thank God for our great country and the servicemen and women that God has used to make us so great. Yes, I want to honor them today and show God my appreciation for them.

Won't you join me?

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Protect or Prepare our Kids?

She and I have talked quite a bit over the last year meeting for lunch or coffee.  I am grateful for the relationship and for her desire to be mentored.  She is younger than me, married and parenting a fifteen-year-old son.  We have talked about a lot of things, mostly surrounding family, in-laws, parenting and how to respond in Godly ways to life. 

I began to notice her talking quite a bit about how she needed to do this and to do that to ‘protect’ her son.  As I pondered and prayed about this I had an Ah-Ha moment.  Is it our job as parents to protect our kids—or prepare them?

Sure, we do many things as parents for our newborns and toddlers and preschoolers and preteens and teenagers to protect them from harm.  We put them in cribs so they won’t roll onto the floor.  We wrap them up to keep them warm.  We put plugs in the electric sockets so they won’t electrocute themselves.  We put locks on our doors so that intruders won’t have easy access.  We do lots of things to protect them from harm…..and we should!!

We also try to protect them from disappointment.  Failure.  Hurt.  Loss.  Pain.  Suffering.  We love them and we don’t want them to ever have to go through the disappointments and failures and hurts and loss and pain and suffering we have experienced so we constantly intervene.  Isn’t that what any loving parent should do?  Or is it?

To be honest, I am not sure that protecting our kids from disappointment or failure or hurt or loss or pain or suffering is the wisest, most Godly approach.  Perhaps, instead, we should be preparing them for disappointment, failure, hurt and loss and suffering.  Scripture is clear….they will happen!!  When you suffer….” Paul says.

So many of us were protected and not prepared for these things growing up so when they DO happen to us we are caught off guard, or panic, or become distressed and fearful and depressed and want to give up or crawl into a hole.  Do we want our kids to respond like that?  Or do we want them to respond Biblically?  Do we want them to do as Paul says and “consider it all joy’? 

Here is my friend’s response when I shared with her that perhaps our job as parents is not to protect our kids but to prepare them….her text verbatim.  “Whew!  This has rocked my mind!  I just realized I am amazing at PROTECTING but think I am failing at PREPARING!  U will never know how this has changed me.  Pray for me to change.  I think I would like to study this topic with you.”

Parents, let’s challenge one another to put as much (or more) energy into preparing our children for disappointment or failure or hurt or loss or pain or suffering than we do protecting them from it!!

Also, I would love to hear ways you find yourself protecting them and how you could turn it around to prepare them instead!  A later text from my friend says this, "So when you are 15 and still cannot find the extra Kleenex box.....this is protected not prepared right????? Lol"
 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Spiritual Aeration


The conversation with my son last week went something like this: 

Me:  What did you do this weekend?

Brandon:  Oh, I _____ed, and _______ed, and _______ed, and I aerated, seeded and fertilized our yard.

Aerated your yard?  What in the world is that??  My husband and I have had lots of yards and never once have we ever aerated any of them!!

Well!  The competitive side of me reared its ugly head and I decided we should aerate our yard too!!  Hummmm….what to do….what was that and how does one go about aerating their yards?  Neither my husband nor I love to do yard work so after moving to Indianapolis we contracted with a company who comes by several times a year and fertilizes it.  I contacted that company and sure enough….they do aeration!!  And, as a matter of fact, they can "squeeze us in before it is too late to have it done"!

What?  Too late?  There is a time frame for this??  Goodness gracious the things I know nothing about!!  The very next day they appear at my door ready to aerate and seed and fertilize.  In case you, like me, do not know what aeration is, it is a process that pulls plugs of soil to help relieve soil compaction which allows the grass to better absorb air and water.  It also gives the lawn’s roots room to grow and thrive.  Hummmm…..interesting!  Sure enough, our yard had become hard.  There were patches of dirt where no grass was growing.  There were places where water would not seep into the soil because of the hard ground.

Our yard needed to have holes poked into it and plugs pulled out of it so that water and seed and air could permeate and so that our lawn would be healthy and green and lush.  Here’s the hard part—our poor yard had to endure a large machine rolling all over it and poke painful holes into the ground.  It was loud.  Painful.  Necessary.

As I pondered what was happening to our yard, the Lord spoke to my heart and told me that I have needed spiritual aeration!  My heart can become hard and then the water of the Word washes right off of it instead of seeping deep into my soul.  Seed does not take root.  I then become hardened to the things of God and am in desperate need of spiritual aeration.
 
Ahhhh….so how does God aerate my heart?  The same way the large, heavy, loud, machine rolled over the yard poking painful holes and pulling out plugs aerates our yard, the pressure of trials, disappointments, and suffering aerates our hearts.  Yes!  I can picture holes being poked into my heart—painful yes—but so needed so that His seed and water can be absorbed!!

Also, I wonder if just like the lawn is aerated by removing plugs of dirt and leaving holes in the ground, if when God removes people or things or dreams from our lives it, too, is a form of spiritual aeration.  He does it in our lives as individuals and He also does it in our churches.

He will remove plugs that are people—oh how painful it is when people leave our church or our lives!  We want them to stay!!  But could it be God is removing them so that our Body can better absorb air and water and seed? 

So, let’s call out to the Gardener of our hearts and ask Him if we need some spiritual aeration!!  Perhaps you are being aerated right now and it is painful—rest in it—don’t fight it—it will bring about much growth and lushness and beauty!!  And, if you have ever had your yard aerated....let me know what applications and/or insights you might have!!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Assurance


I have picked a terrible time to try to begin a healthy lifestyle!  My chocolate intake has slowed down dramatically and I am exercising.  Now the benefits are great because I feel so much better, however, when stress is high, I do not get to overindulge in chocolate.  Ugg!!!

As you recall since 2012 I have dealt with moving to a new ministry, leaving friends behind, lost my mom to a short illness, had a new grandson, had a son deploy for eight month and return, and cared for my dad who is ill.  This does not include settling into a new home, trying to learn a new church, and find my place in ministers’ wives ministry here in Arkansas.  Stress!!

A week ago my dad was in the hospital again for congestive heart failure.  This stay made the seventh time since April.  Each stay leaves him weaker.  On this particular stay his cardio doctor suggested that hospice care was needed now.  After discussing this option with the family, we all agreed.  All I could tell my brother was, “Here we go again.” 

Over the course of that same day, my father expressed that he wished to talk to my husband and to his former pastor.  Dad explained that he often doubted his salvation.  I, along with my sister-in-law, tried to share with him how he could find assurance but Dad, being the former military guy, wanted to speak to someone in “authority.”  I laughed because I said that any born again Christian could talk to him, however, I did as Dad wanted and called my husband and Bro. Tim. 

On October 17th I witnessed my dad pray the sinner’s prayer with his former pastor.  I really believe my dad was saved before this but if it brings him comfort, I want him to have that assurance.  After the prayer my dad said, “I have a selfish desire.  I want to be reunited with Hazel (my mom) in heaven so we can worship the Lord together for eternity.” 

I do not know how many days my dad has before him.  The doctor does not believe he will be here at Christmas, and if he is, Dad will probably not know that it is Christmas.  However, one thing I know for sure, Dad will have his “selfish desire” fulfilled as soon as he draws his last breath.

 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Be Careful What You Say


Do you have Facebook, Twitter or any other form of social media?  I have a Facebook account but I refuse to do anything else.  I would much rather talk face to face with someone than share over through social media.  My husband does not and will not have anything other than email, because he wants to speak with people face to face.  He contends, as well as many other people, that are we slowing forgetting the art of face to face communication.  I am not saying it is bad to have all the social aspects of interacting but at times we vent or share things that can be hurtful.

A few days ago I was checking our church’s Facebook site to see if I was down for Children’s Church.  What I saw not only shocked me but upset me.  An individual (a church member and a former minister) used the site to call in to question a certain “church policy.”  He vented his disagreement publically so the entire church family could see.  Girlfriends, I was upset and disappointed.  Here was a friend and fellow servant of God who should know better than to spill his anger on Facebook.  My first reaction was to down a full bag of M & Ms and then “express” my anger at this person.  Thankfully, God did not allow to do that.

When my husband found out, he called the person.  My husband explained that he was disappointed and hurt that something so trivial was placed on Facebook openly.  It not only put a bad light on the church but on what God was doing in our church.  When my husband gave all the details of the certain issue to the person, they quickly told my husband they were sorry.  They did not have all the facts and he would immediately take down their comments from Facebook.  

My point is that no matter who you are-minister, staff wife, or member of the church-we need to be very careful of what we say on any social media.  I love my church and my church family.  I would never want to bring disgrace or harm God’s bride.

Have you ever had the social media craze hurt you, your husband or your church publically?

 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Opportunities For Tennessee Wives



Ladies, I want to take the opportunity to tell you about two events taking place at the Summit, which is the annual state gathering of the Tennessee Baptist Convention.  These events will be held in my home city of Chattanooga, TN, November 11-13 2013.
The first event is the Good Cup to be help on Monday, November 11th, which will include a panel discussion and a time of worship.   This event begins at 1:00 and is FREE.
The second event is the annual Ministers Wives Luncheon to be held Tuesday, Nov 12th.   The theme of the luncheon is “Sufficient Grace” (the title sounds very exciting!).  This event begins at 11:30 and the cost is $15---registration deadline is Nov 5th.   This will be my first time to attend the luncheon, so I am really looking forward to it.   It’s always a blessing to meet and fellowship with other ministers’ wives.
So if you are able to attend, see you at the Summit!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Watch Out For Gossip

Hello my sisters! This past weekend at a breakfast fellowship, I shared with some of the ladies at my church about some things we need to know about gossip. Yes, that ugly word that can cause a whole lot of heartache and strife in the church.

Now as pastors’ and ministers’ wives we should know better than anyone how gossip, and its twin cousin slander, can really hinder ministry activity in our churches. We have even seen our husbands get caught in the middle of it,not as a participator, but as a mediator who tries to bring comfort and healing to those affected by it. Unfortunately there are some wives of pastors and ministers who get caught right in the middle of it, they enjoy doing it and cannot get enough of it. What about you? Do you give very careful thought to what you talk about with others? Do your conversations sometime resemble gossiping and slandering? Our words could easily be twisted, unintentionally circulating in the “rumor mill” if spoken carelessly.

What does a “true gossip” look like? Based on what I have seen and read, a sister may be a gossip if:

1. She invites it and people are comfortable doing it in her presence.
2. She uses it to tear down a person’s character to get what she wants.
3. She uses it to win friends and impress others.
4. She uses it to feel superior to others.

Hopefully, none of these traits describes you, but maybe someone you know. Also, the word “gossip” or “slanderer” means accuser, and is used 34 times in the New Testament to describe Satan, our enemy who constantly makes accusations against us. Wow! I am sure none of us wants to be engaged in the work of the Devil by what we say to and about others.

Here are a few verses (not an exhaustive list) that are sure to help when we want to chose our words carefully:

Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips. Psalm 141:3

He who guards his mouth and his tongue, guards his soul from troubles. Proverbs 21:23

Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. Ephesians 4:29

Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person. Colossians 4:6


Let us all be diligent to stop and think before we speak. We can apologize for our misguided words, but we cannot take them back. Something to think about as we watch out for gossip.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Happy Fall, Y'all!!!

Happy Fall, Y'all from the Brittons and our little "Charlie Brown"!!!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Uncertainty

Uncertainty.

Today, being day 16 of our Government Shutdown, many folks are feeling uncertainty.  Many individuals have been affected by this.  Some of our church members have been affected.....and some of our family.  Our son-in-law has been on furlough since October 1st and our son has been working but not receiving a paycheck.

Uncertainty.

Sunday night, Roger asked our congregation to name 5 bad things about our government.  Quickly, the list grew to 10.  Then he asked us to name 20 good things about our government.  It took much LONGER to come up with the good things, because our minds were so cloudy with the immediate political turmoil.  However, we DID come up with 20 good things.

We still live in a FREE country........

As Christians, we need to PRAY like we've never prayed before.  We need to do more praying than criticizing.  God is still in control.....if we will only allow him to be.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Today is Another Day

TODAY is another day!!!

TODAY, I am stronger.

TODAY, things are clearer.

TODAY, I realize that Satan is trying to discourage us and HE WILL NOT win the victory.  People are not the enemy....Satan is.

Thank you very much for the prayers............because,
TODAY, I feel much better.

TODAY, I am proud to be a pastor's wife.

TODAY, is another day............................but keep me in your prayers because, I am human and

TOMORROW is also another day. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Confession

I have a confession......MANY times I do not feel like I am cut out to be a pastor's wife.  NOW....is one of those times.

I know. I know.  It is just Satan trying to discourage me.....but it is real.

It is easy to be a pastor's wife when everything is going smooth.  It is SOOO HARD to be a pastor's wife when Satan is working overtime in your church family.  I know all of the right answers.........Satan ALWAYS finds the weakest Christian or the weakest link to jump in to stop a ministry when God is Blessing a Congregation.  And, yes.....it is ALWAYS internal.  We have a guards up and are ready to fight Satan out in the world............but when one of our members turns on us, it catches us off guard.

I know all of this...........

BUT...it is still VERY discouraging when your husband or your family is being attacked.  I just want to say......BACK OFF

Being a pastor's wife you know....The buck ALWAYS stops here.  It might be the toilet running over...........or it might be feeling hurt...........or it might be misunderstandings.......or it might be major stuff, BUT, regardless...........the PASTOR ALWAYS gets pulled into it.

He is HUMAN.  He gets upset sometimes too.  He is sad sometimes.  He is happy sometimes.  Sometimes he is uplifted.  Sometimes he is discouraged.  Many times he is discouraged.  He gets hurt.  Most of the time he is lonely...........just talking to his wife is not always enough.  Many times....he shuts down and has no one to vent to.  In our case, he is a husband, a father, a granddaddy.........and has a secular job where he is under mega stress......he is a teacher, a pastor, etc. 

I have all of the same feels, so many times it is hard for me to uplift him when I am down in the valley with him.

It is not easy being a pastor's wife......

BUT, EVEN in the VALLEYS, GOD STILL BLESSES US!  It is not easy, but it is the path God chose for me.  He never promised it would be easy....he just promised he would be there with me.

Thank you God for the valleys......because they make the mountains that much sweeter!!!!!!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Grace, Joy, and Change

It is 6:24 a.m.  I have a dozing 3 week old in my lap after her first feeding of the day. Well, she isn't quite "dozing," as she is now stretching and squirming in her newborn way.

Thank you for all your prayers and support. Thank you too for your grace, as I have to ask you forgiveness. In all the joy and the newness and the transition, I had honestly fallen behind in my blog reading and had totally forgotten that this past week was my turn to write!

Yes, in the last three weeks I have not seen a lot of sleep, but God has been so good. Wally and I have basked in our God's goodness and have experienced the great joy of His Spirit. Eliza Joy's arrival is still being celebrated in the Vinson home.

My smallest baby at 7 lbs 12 oz was born without complication and in very good health. She is adored by her two big sisters who are eager to help in any way we will let them. Family has been visiting. Friends have showered us with gifts and meals. We are so very blessed!

Things are definitely different. I knew transition was coming. I braced myself for it as best I could. Being my third baby, I knew it was coming. However, the thing about change that is so scary is the "unknown" that goes with it.

As pastor's wives, we are all familiar with this. But I have found that even though we may deal with a ton of  change, this scary "unknown" never seems to change. God continues to use it though, to drive me closer to Him, to seek His face, to rest in His peace.

Please keep us in your prayers as we go through all the transition that comes with a new baby. Wally and I are officially outnumbered now!

Someone needs a diaper change! Thank you again for your prayers and for your forgiveness!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Not Cut Out To Be A Pastors Wife

As I drove away from the restaurant late Sunday night the tears were falling so hard I could not see my way out of the parking lot.  Thankful we had come in two cars, I was glad to drive in circles trying to find my way out of the maze of parking lots and side roads in the dark.  By now my tears had turned into loud sobs.  The kind of crying that I rarely do and have not done in quite a long time.....and I needed space.  Time to cry.  Time to let The Lord speak Truth to my heart.  Time alone.  This was too hard to try to explain to my husband.

I am not "cut out" to be a pastors wife!!!  Those words coming to my heart broke me.  It was true!  I felt like a fish out of water.  I felt like I was in an out-of-body experience.....like I was watching someone other than myself sitting at that table.  What am I doing here, I wondered?  This is so not me, I told myself. Again and again I heard the words pierce my heart.....I am not cut out to be a pastors wife!!  

After getting some composure and finally finding the road heading home, I knew, theologically, there was a conflict.  The Truth is my husband and I are one.  He is a pastor....called by God....therefore, I am a pastors wife and He "cut me out" before I was born to do this. I am His workmanship.  His vessel.

Being a pastors wife.....It is not easy for me.  It is not natural for me.  I am not good at it.  I do not love it.  I am thankful for those of you who do love it and for those of you that it all comes naturally.  You have much to be thankful for.

As for me....and maybe one or two of you (perhaps I am not the only one who struggles with this) this one thing I do know.  His grace is sufficient for me!  His Power is perfected in my weaknesses!  I am OK that this is hard because His Power gives me the strength to not simply survive but be used!  Not simply persevere but see Him do miracles in spite of me.

The tears have dried.....several days have passed by....I still know I am inadequate and this life is not easy but I also know I am "cut out" to do this and there are times I am good at it and love it and today I claim His Victory.  After all...."it's a gentle rain and I rather like it!"

Monday, September 30, 2013

It's A Gentle Rain

I saw her walking on the sidewalk in the pouring rain down a busy, four-lane road.  No umbrella.  No raincoat.  It looked like she was carrying several bags of groceries.  It was last week and I was on my way to an important meeting at work.  I was making good time since traffic was light and I knew I would be there in plenty of time to get a good back row seat!!

As I passed her by that Voice that I know oh-so-well spoke to me.  “Dana, stop and see if she needs anything.”  Right away the excuses He knows oh-so-well began.  ‘I will be late for my meeting!’ ‘There is no room in this car!  My passenger seat and back seat are full of stuff!’  ‘She might stab me and I'll be killed!’  ‘She is going south and I am going north and there is no easy way to turn around.’  Blah, blah, blah.

That Voice comes to me quite often and says pretty much the same thing and it normally happens in the same circumstances.  I pass someone who is not asking for help—but that Voice tells me to help. 

When the Voice first started to tell me to stop and help….I would totally ignore it, go about my merry way, and give it no thought.  Over the years I have learned to listen to that Voice….then ignore it….for a while anyway…..then finally obey.  My goal is that one of these days I will obey right away without the excuses and arguing!! 

Many years ago I heard the Voice telling me to stop and help two people who were walking down the road. I ignored it, as usual, then finally turned around to obey—and they were gone!!  Disappeared!!  Nowhere to be seen!!  Now, I am not talking they made a right turn down the sidewalk and I could not find them.  They were walking down a country road in plain sight with nowhere to go and they disappeared.  I wondered and still wonder to this day--, no streets to turn on, no place to hide.  Were they angels?  Perhaps I am crazy but I believe God had something for me that day and I was too late....and missed it.
 
 
Over the years I have had some pretty incredible experiences as the Voice compells me to do some seemingly crazy things....and always they end up being something totally unexpected--full of joy and wonder and God.

Fast forward to this week.  To that lady walking in the rain.  To my many excuses for not stopping to help her.  The Voice compelled me and I turned around towards the woman….in the rain….cars were coming behind me and as I got closer to her I had to figure out a way to talk to her but there is no lane to pull over….so I stop in the middle of the road and speak to her praying the cars coming behind me don’t run into me!!

Smiling, I roll down my window—not too far of course, I for sure did not want to get wet!!!  “Can I take you somewhere?” I asked her.  Then the profound words came out of her mouth, “No, thank you.  It is a gentle rain and I rather like it” she replied.  Praise God!  He didn’t really want me to have to DO anything, He just wanted me to be willing.  Relieved, I made a U-turn and headed to work glad I had obeyed.

Then it hit me.  The Lord had a message for me.  “It is a gentle rain….and I rather like it!”  What a beautiful attitude to have!!  I am pretty sure this lady walked to the store—which was a LONG way from where I found her—and was walking home—and there were no homes or apartments anywhere NEAR where I found her, yet her attitude was amazing!!  Positive!!  Sweet!  Not bitter or angry or frustrated that she had to means of transportation!!

Dana, Dana, Dana—you think your “storm” is so terrible….when actually, it is a ‘gentle rain’ and I will give you the power to see Me in it as we walk together through it.  Oh with my Jesus I can say, LET IT RAIN!!  LET IT RAIN!!  Pour out Your Power and Your Presence and I will walk with you for Your burden is light….the road is not too long or difficult.  This faith adventure is not easy but oh Father, help me to say “It is a gentle rain and I rather like it!”