Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Selfish to Self-less

I'm so self-centered. Really, I am.

I am prideful and self-righteous.

I am selfish.

I am human. Not to excuse my sin, but when I live in the flesh this is my reality.

This is the reality that leads to my discontentment. My house isn't big enough. My clothes aren't nice enough. My body isn't, well, not what I want it to be. My kids can't do anything right. My husband lets me down and disappoints me.

This reality is not the life Jesus spoke of in John 10:10 -

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly."

When I begin to feel dissatisfied with myself or my life, when my husband can't say the right thing or when the "blahs" seem to become my normal, I am starting to look within and see where I have allowed "the thief" to steal my joy, kill my contentment and destroy my peace.

I have taken my focus off of Christ. 

I have centered my focus on my self. 

My pride creeps in and I judge others. 

I look to my own interests.

Yet, Christ came that I may have life and have it abundantly. 

I should be centered on Him. 

I should boast in my weakness, so He is glorified. He is my righteousness.

I am His. 

As I learn to live in these truths, my whole outlook on my life is transformed. My house, and the mounds of laundry, are signs of His many blessings.  I see myself the way He sees me. I stop and enjoy my kids just they way they are. My husband is freed from the pressure to be something God never intended Him to be and our marriage is strengthened. 

Then there's the ministry beyond the home that God has called me to. When I am not centered on myself, I can see God do amazing things in, around and through me. 

So, ladies, how do you stay centered on Him? What truths to do you claim to live the life He came to give?

Monday, February 24, 2014

A Valentine's Post (just a little late!)

Ladies, I couldn't let February pass without a Valentine's posting!

Yes the holiday is overly commercialized and way out of control. Especially, as ladies, it is easy to let our expectations of our husbands get out of hand, but I need to brag on my man just a little...

Wally is not a typical romantic. Honestly, by most women's standards, his most romantic efforts would fail to impress. But he demonstrates his love for me in countless ways every single day.

Maybe my expectations have changed. (Notice that I didn't say "lowered")

My heart soars as I watch him care for our girls, gently brushing their hair or acting goofy just to make one of them giggle. Without being asked, he cleans the kitchen or folds a load of laundry and I know he appreciates me. He volunteers to pick up diapers on the way home and to run the vacuum before my mom arrives. His actions tell me he loves me.

No I may not get unexpected bouquets of my favorite flowers or lengthy love letters like he would send when were engaged, but he listens to my stories again and again. He keeps his word and will even watch a sappy, romantic comedy from time-to-time. (Don't tell anyone, but the Colin Firth version of Pride and Prejudice is one of his faves!)

I know he prays for me. He prays for us. He prays with me.

Instead of wishing him into some sap that he isn't, God has given me a deep appreciation for the man that he is. I couldn't be more loved by anyone other than God Himself.

When I begin to think about all that God has given me in Wally Vinson, I know I am a very blessed  woman indeed.

Ladies, I don't know about your man, but let me encourage you to show him some appreciation and respect. Look at how he shows you love. It may not be very Valentine-like romantic, but I'd bet if you gave him some credit you might just change your definition of romance too....

What are some things that your groom does to make you feel loved?

Monday, February 17, 2014

New Addition to the Britton Family

I'm sorry it is not my week to blog....but I could not wait four more weeks to post this.................

Meet Kinley Grace Hicks....our new granddaughter.

Miss Kinley was born last Monday, February 10th at 12:10; weighing 8 lbs. 1 oz. and was 20.5 inches long.  This picture was made 5 days old.
Big Brother, Cameron Lee thinks she is a toy and doesn't understand why mom, after having a C-section, can not pick him up.  Thanks for the prayers.....continue to remember them as they begin their new life as a family of four....which will be challenging since the children are only 14 months apart.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Top 10 Reasons I Would Like a Stand In


1.        I need a stand for business meetings.  Since my husband always tells to sit on my hands and just smile during the meetings, there is no reason for me to be there.

2.       When I am in the restroom at church, I need a stand in for when another woman feels the need

to “share” about another church member.   First off I don’t want to hear the dirt on another person.  Why do people think ministers’ wives want to know all the “details?”

3.        I need a stand in when a person wants to tell me something so that I can tell my husband.  Just go tell my husband whatever it is that you need to tell him.  I promise he won’t bite.

4.       I need a stand in when I must attend meeting after meeting on a Sunday afternoon.  Seriously, don’t people ever take naps?

5.       I need a stand in when I am having a bad hair day.  I would rather the stand in face the stares than me.

6.       I need a stand in when my husband comes home with that “we need to talk” look on his face.  That look usually means God may be preparing to put us in the “relocation program” of ministry.  In other words, move.

7.       I need a stand in when I feel like standing in the church parking lot and screaming in frustration.  Now girls, you know that we have all felt this way at one time or another.  While ministry is a great blessing, there are difficult times too.

8.       I need a skinner stand in so I can wear the cute clothes they don’t fit on a chick like me who has “fuller” hips and thighs.  I have always wondered what it would feel like to wear tights with a cute little dress.  Sigh, only in my dreams!

9.       I need a stand in to take over some ministry responsibilities so I can focus on a couple of deadlines without interruption. 

10.   I need a stand in because I would love to sleep late on a Sunday morning just once like so many of our church members.  I just want to see what the thrill is all about so I can better relate to them.



Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Mission Accomplished

Recently I attended an event for ministers’ wives here in Arkansas.  It was wonderful watching ladies enter the fellowship and just start talking to one another.  Many ladies had never met each other but that did not stop them from sharing.  I am a firm believer that if you provide a safe environment for minister’s wives, plenty of chocolate, door prizes and gifts you do not need a “special” program.

The event I am referring to is a break time our state’s ministers’ wives fellowship sponsored during our state Evangelism Conference.  We called it a LULU time-Laughter Unending; Love Unconditional.  We did not have a program.  We just wanted the ladies to come, relax, laugh and feel loved.

One heartwarming scene was that of two young mothers, who had brought their babies, sit together and just talk . . . and talk . . . and laugh.  As I glanced around the room, I saw other ladies sitting in groups laughing and having fun.  Our fellowship time was only allotted a 30 minute slot on the day’s schedule, but well, we broke the rules.  An hour and half later there were still ladies eating, laughing, and sharing.  Our mission was accomplished.

As I began to clean the room, one of the young mothers approached me.  She simply wanted me to know where she was from and that she had been so lonely.  This time made her feel special and she actually made a new friend (the other young mother).  I smiled but in my heart I said, “Mission accomplished.”

Back at home that evening; I received several Facebook messages from ladies who attend the fellowship.  Over and over again they expressed how much fun they had and how special they felt.  Although I was a weary minister’s wife from helping with this event, my heart was overflowing with joy because our LULU met a need.

Ladies, don’t ever think what you do for other ministers’ wives is ever in vain.  If God lays another sister in the ministry on your mind, take action and make her feel special.  Then your mission will be accomplished. 



Monday, February 10, 2014

Great Rewards in Ministry

“What rewards in ministry?  Has she lost her mind?”  Maybe you have recently had a confrontation with a Mean Mary or Hateful Harry.  Possibly you have discovered business meetings are not always “in an orderly fashion.”  Sometimes ministry just gets plain stinky and nasty.  That is when you find yourself wondering if all the work you are doing for the Lord is really worth it.

Oh sisters, yes it is!  My husband and I have faced some pretty difficult days in the ministry over our 36 years of marriage.  (We married one year after high school and started ministry immediately).  We have faced the Mean Mary and Hateful Harry.  We have seen business meetings blow up.  We have even questioned why we do what we do.  However, God always reminds us that He called us to do His work and not to quit.  We will see our reward in eternity.

However, sometimes God allows us to catch a glimpse of His rewards for us.  Just think about it.  Every time a person finds salvation in Jesus that is one of our rewards.  Every time a broken marriage is healed that is a reward.  Every time a wayward child comes back to the Lord that is a reward.

My husband and I just witnessed a great reward this past Sunday.  Our church has begun a church plant in an area with low-income multi-housing units.  Our church, along with our state convention and association, came together for a celebration service to commission the young man to lead this church plant.  Girlfriends, it was a truly moving sight to see our church empty the pews to lay hands on and pray for this young man and the church plant.  However, the reward did not stop there.  My husband baptized a six year old boy who told his mama he was going to be a preacher like Bro. Ricky.  Now, he is young but God can call little ones to His service.  What a great reward!  Oh, but I am not finished.  At the end of the service, my husband called to the front a recent convert to Christianity.  This sweet new believer is leaving this week to return to her home country.  Our church again emptied the pews, laid hands on, and prayed for their new sister in Christ.  We prayed for her protection and that she would be a witness.  How is that for a great reward?

So see girlfriends, our ministry may get difficult at times and we want to give up but we do not see the big picture.  God has our ministries in His Hand.  He spurs us on in His work.  We cannot give up for we will have great rewards in Heaven.  Oh, and sometimes we get a glimpse of those rewards here on earth so we can be encouraged.

What are some of the rewards God has revealed to you to keep you encouraged?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Learning To Wait

Have you ever been stuck in a snow storm? Well that is exactly what happened to me and my daughter and countless others when a surprise winter storm came through our city; it’s not that the storm dumped tons and tons of snow, but the small amount that we did have became ICE!

The winter wonderland was beautiful no doubt, but it brought a big headache to a city that is usually not prepared for things such as these. With schools being dismissed, parents trying to get to kids, workers leaving jobs, and others just trying to get home before things got worse, the situation got very chaotic to say the least.

My daughter and I had just left a Bible study, and we were trying to get home……..a 20 minute trip home took 3 ½ hours that day! After much traffic gridlock, and spinning and sliding on ice that had, in a very short amount of time, stuck solid on the crowded streets, we were stranded and had to wait and be patient, which is sometimes hard to do in this face-paced “got to have it now” culture.

A part of the street I was traveling on was inclined, and it got the best of me, so eventually, with the help of some very kind strangers and me attempting to maneuver our car, I managed to get to a side street, out of harm’s way from the rest of the sliding and skidding cars.

That time of waiting, which seemed like forever that day, made me stop and think about how we sometimes have to wait on God to move in our various situations and circumstances because we have no control. Those times when we feel helpless and hopeless, we can be sure that the Lord has not abandoned us, like I had to eventually abandon my car. He stays right there with us because He cannot leave. Why? He promised that he would never leave us, and He is faithful to every single one of His promises!

I thank the Lord that He is always with us on the slippery slopes of life. What really kept me calm in all I experienced that day was prayer. I truly felt God’s peace. So in those times of waiting, pray, pray, pray, and pray some more. Sometimes our loving Father may not immediately take us out of the situation or circumstance, but He sure will give us His peace and His presence right in the midst of it.

“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:14