Monday, June 30, 2014



Crisis-A crucial turning point in the progress of an affair or series of events; a critical moment.

Have you ever experienced a crisis?  A moment when you did not know what to do?  Let me just say that there is a crisis in my home when the chocolate jar is empty!  But let’s go deeper.  As a minister’s wife, have you ever had a crisis of belief?  Yes, it is a shameful thing to admit because we “ministers’ wives” have it “all together.”  Hardly!

Just recently I was in route to my parent’s home to gather any item I might want to keep before we held an estate sale.  On the way there, I received a text message stating that my oldest son was at the ER with a gall bladder attack.  Now, only a week earlier my dad had passed away and now my son falls ill.  Seriously!  I began to just cry out to God.  I was so tired and mentally drained.  Two and half years of dealing with sickness, deaths, moves, and many more changes had left me numb.  I ranted at God.  I asked Him if He really cared or was even there.  Did He know what I had and was experiencing?  As I completed my rant, I demanded God that if He was really there, He needed to show me a sign.  Yes, I felt guilty for demanding and I was heartbroken that I even was questioning Him.  However sisters, I was having a crisis of belief.

No sooner had I spoke the words, I topped a hill and was stunned.  Straight ahead over a pasture, God had painted a rainbow against the approaching storm clouds.  How appropriate.  Here I was again with another life storm brewing and God was going before me.  In my crisis of belief God gave me the sign of a promise-the rainbow- that He is always there.

Yes dear sisters, ministers’ wives are allowed to have a crisis of belief.  We are humans and in our fragile lives there will be difficulties, trials, and tribulations.  Sometimes it is perfectly okay to ask God to do something big so you can have assurance that He is with you in the midst of difficult times.

So sisters, if you have had a crisis of belief, I would love for you to share how God assured you during that time.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

I Had Fun!

This week was our Vacation Bible School week, and we used the spy theme curriculum from LifeWay. I must admit that as I studied the lessons and prepared for each night of teaching, I knew that I could really have fun with this.

This year, once again I taught the kids that had just completed first and second grades; this is a wonderful age group, and has been a good fit for me for several years now……I am not quite ready to handle the teens yet!

I just want to briefly share some of the blessings that I received this week……

Blessing # 1: Sometimes you marvel at what God is doing in young lives. After I got home the first night , I got a call from a parent of one of my students who told me that after her son got home, he went door to door inviting everyone in the neighborhood to come hear about Jesus at VBS. Also, a little girl invited by this same little boy told her parents that they needed to come to VBS because it was fun! (I was told that her family is “unchurched”.) I went to bed rejoicing over these two little ones enthusiastically trying to lead others to learn about Christ.

Blessing # 2: We did crafts and recreation on alternate nights, and got to our respective destinations around the church without any major incidents or accidents. (Those of you who work with kids can appreciate this accomplishment!) You never know what may happen when trying to maneuver several little people to walk in a straight line without pushing and shoving, and to do it quietly!

Blessing #3: I gave the entire class the challenge of memorizing our theme Bible verse, and to my delight, some took the challenge and said it near perfectly. How awesome that they are hiding God’s Word in their hearts at a tender age.

Blessing #4: It is always a joy to me to share the Gospel message during VBS. As you know, children are very inquisitive about the things of God, including salvation, and I love the opportunity to explain to them how our precious Savior came to save us from our sins! None in my class came forward to receive the Lord, but I praise God for the opportunity to plant seeds of faith!

I am sure many of you serve through VBS in your own churches, and as you do, just have fun with it! I truly did, and the Lord knows how our efforts will echo into eternity as souls come to know Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Are You Weary?

Minister’s wife, are you weary? Pastor’s wife, are you weary? This question would probably receive a different answer depending perhaps on the season of life you are in as it relates to ministry.

For my sisters who are just starting out, the freshness of being assigned, relocated, or chosen by way of a selection committee, (or however the appointment for your husband comes) brings joy, excitement, and opportunity. First, you experience the joy of a brand new congregation to get to know and love. Secondly, you feel the excitement of being in partnership with your husband as you serve the Lord side by side. Finally, you crave the wonderful opportunity to make an impact in the lives of your church family by praying, encouraging, and just being there in whatever way you are needed. Your general attitude may be, “Yes, Lord, whatever You want me to do, I will do it!” Yet over time that enthusiasm may fade away……..

For my sisters who are the middle of their season of ministry, you have been on the front lines long enough to see that at times the joy and the excitement are not always there. Perhaps you have been hurt by another sister or brother in the church; perhaps you, your husband, or your children have been talked about unmercifully, perhaps you have seen individuals and families leave the church and you took it personally, perhaps you find it hard to relate to the other women in the church because you are the pastor/minister’s wife…….and the list could go on. Also, for those in this season, perhaps there are toooooo many opportunities for service in your church (that you get asked to do), and you just have to say “NO”, just to keep balance (and sanity!) in your life.

Then there are you sisters who have served the Lord (and served Him well) in this role, and now you and your husbands have moved on to other paths of service in His kingdom. Perhaps you are tired and want to be away from being active in ministry for a while. Yet we need many of you to come along side us who are still in ministry, to mentor and teach us and allow us to pour our hearts out to you as we strive to love the Lord and His people in this role. You have a great deal of wisdom to pass along to us who are still in the “trenches”.

Whatever season you are in, you don’t have to be weary. The Lord says in His Word in Galatians 6:9, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

This role was given to us by the Sovereign Lord to serve Him by supporting our husbands and serving His people in our respective churches where He has placed us. May we all consider it a joy to be able to serve in ministry for such a time as this, especially as we consider the awesome sacrifice our Savior gave so that we can be a part of God’s forever family. We all get weary at times, but consider what a difference you can make in the lives of the people you serve, just by being obedient to God’s calling on your life as a pastor or minister’s wife!

Remember Galatians 6:10……. God will reward us as we “hang in there” and faithfully serve Him.

Be encouraged my sisters!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Train Up a Child

 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. ~Proverbs 22:6

Before anyone says or thinks anything.....I DO know that sometimes no matter WHAT you teach your child or what you do.....when they reach a certain age, they make their own decisions and are responsible for it.

BUT....that being said.....I have been very burdened with this lately. 

Many times children that were raised in church............go astray. 

But, I look around and soooooooooo MANY, MANY of church folks "play church".  They get up and go.....when it is convenient but they do not make "Christ" a priority in their lives.  The world has lots to offer and if you allow, Satan will give you lots of opportunities NOT to go to church;  too tired; headache; other obligations; sports or dance events, etc.  Church and Christ are NOT a priority.....if it would come first REGARDLESS.  Like I said, Satan will give you an EXCUSE....if you will allow him to.  The world will schedule things to keep you BUSY on church days.

Anyway, I have been burdened because I look around me and many of the kids I saw that grew up in church............especially where the dad was not the spiritual leader and church was not a priority........the kids have gone astray.  They never developed a LOVE for the church or a HABIT of attending and participating to the point that it became natural.  They grew up thinking that........if something better comes is okay to miss church.

To train up a child.....................means to train him, teach him and SHOW him by example how he is to live.

I know I am preaching to the choir..................but do you look around and see this in your community or even your church?

Right now, I have a friend who has a 15 year old daughter who is not a Christian.  She has been raised in church.  BUT.....she played softball and if there was a tournament.........she missed church and went to the games.  She also danced.  If there was opportunities to dance on Sunday, they missed church to take her.  Dad never showed a lot of interest.........I doubt if his daughter ever heard him pray............and she never saw him take an active part in the church............because church was never a priority to him.  Mom wasn't much better.  She went, but Christ was not the center of her life.

Children learn by example.......................You might be able to fool other adults, but children see thru you.

This 15 year old girl was taught that none of this "stuff" was really important; especially not as important as ball, or dance or anything else that might come up.  NOW.....suddenly, mom and dad are getting concerned because she has never accepted Christ.  No matter what they say....she has been taught that it is not really important.  She has a younger brother that has accepted Christ, but I also worry about him because even though he is a Christian, he has been taught that all this church stuff is not I worry that it is not instilled into his life.

We.....and I mean Christians as a whole.....are failing in training up our children to make Church and Christ the center of their homes.

Please help me pray for this family and the salvation of the 15 year old.  But, also, help me pray for families everywhere..............even in our own churches....who are training their children that everything else is more important.

Blessings from the Rain

I like to complain about all of the rain that we have had.......but it is this time of the year, when I am thankful for the rain.  Our little garden is looking very pretty.
This is the gathering from one of the first days of fruits.
Gotta love the summer and fresh veggies!!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

School's Out! School's Out!

School's Out!  School's Out!

Being a school teacher................

I am doing a dance this week.  My school was out the Wednesday AFTER Memorial Day.........our daughter-in-law moved out of our home on Saturday.......moving to Gallatin to be with our son, then our V.B.S. started the following Sunday Night.  I was the teacher for the 2 and 3 year olds.  Whewwww......what a full and blessed week, but tiring.

We started V.B.S. on Sunday night this year because we were hosting the "Fishers of Men" National Tournament Trail Friday night meal at our church, as we do every year.  What started out as a very full and busy week, turned into even more....

One of our dear church ladies passed away Sunday night of that week.  So, on top of V.B.S. and the Fishers of Men Meal.....we added funeral home visitation and funeral to the already busy week.

She and her husband were very big promoters of V.B.S. so he did not want us to cancel they have visitation from 5 to 7 on Wednesday night and the funeral at 7.  The burial was the next day at 11.  The V.B.S. workers were able to go by the funeral home before V.B.S. and show our respect.

Last week, I spent all week CLEANING, purging, CLEANING and organizing.  I got a lot accomplished.............but have lots more I want to do this summer.

FINALLY.............I feel like "School's Out".....  This past weekend....I grandbabies spent the night Saturday night and went to church with us and today I spent the day with the grandbabies again, going with them for the 18 month and 4 month check-ups and shots.

My plans are to spend lots of time with the grandbabies this summer.  They grow up WAY too fast.  Right now, both of them are at "Fun Stages" where they are both growing and changing daily.  I enjoy watching their personalities emerge.

So......I am worse than the kids.............

School's Out!  School's Out!

HaPpY bIrThDaY....

HaPpY bIrThDaY........DANA JAMES!!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Burned Out

Do you ever just feel burned out? 

I know, we are preacher's wives so that is not allowed.....BUT, we are still human.  Have you ever found yourselves so stressed and burned out that you do not even want to go to church?  Of course, we still go, but there is a difference in going because you want to and going because you have to.

I have to confess, there have been times in my life when I was so burned out that I wanted to just "go away".  I did not want to go to church.  I am not  even sure I even wanted to be around Christians.

Remember...."church" and "church people" are many times the source of our stress.

Being "burned out" is one of the first signs that it is time to "get away"; plan a vacation; or just take a weekend off and visit somewhere else.  Usually if we "get away".....nothing seems near as bad as we originally thought and we are refreshed and ready to face the giants.  Our tanks are refueled.

I am happy to report that I am NOT at this stage right now.  I love our church and the people in it, but I HAVE been in this stage many times over our ministry

How do you handle those times when you get "burned out"?

Monday, June 16, 2014

Father's Day

Happy Belated Father's Day.  This is a time that most fathers relax and enjoy..................not so much pastors.  I mean, they may enjoy, but they don't get a lot of relaxing.  There is still the sermon to prepare and the delivery and many times hospitals or nursing homes to visit.

Our son and daughter-in-law were able to come for a couple of days and visit with us for an early Father's Day.  We really enjoyed their visit since we don't get to see them often.

Our daughter and son-in-law had been at the beach for a week.  They stopped by our house Saturday night and left both children (our grandkids).  They got to spend the night with Mimi and Granddaddy and go to church with us this morning.  Since they rarely get to go to our church, we always enjoy sharing them with our church family when they do get to go.

Roger DID preach this morning and was a little tired from the grandkids......BUT he enjoyed it.  We did not have church services Sunday night, so we got to enjoy the grandkids all day.  Mom and Dad (our daughter and son-in-law) joined us for the evening meal and we were able to spend some time with them also.

This was a rare holiday one was in the hospital; no one died and we did not have to be any place extra, so although an 18 month old and a 4 month old wears you out, we enjoyed the weekend.

My husband, like all pastors.... rarely gets to sit back and relax............glad he was able to enjoy this weekend and hope your husband was able to enjoy and relax also.  They are is sooooooo important for them to slow down sometimes.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

He Will Keep His Word

I've known this pastor's wife for a long time. I have no doubt of her faith. She has a solid walk with Christ. I appreciate her transparency with me, sharing her fears, doubts and hurts.

The last thing I wanted to encourage her with while we were talking was - what I know that she already knows about God's word. Throughout our conversation, we quoted scripture to each other claiming the Father's promises:

"All things work for good . . ."
"If God is for us then who  . . ."
"His ways are higher than our ways . . . "
"He will never leave us or forsake us . . ."

Before we parted that day, we agreed with each other to get together again really soon. We both are looking forward to getting together again. We both are looking forward to the day we are looking back at these circumstances in the past tense.

But until then, until we meet again, we are trusting that God is in control and He will keep His word.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Cutting Ties

I could tell by her tone first, and then she confirmed my suspicions by honestly responding to my questions. There was no way they could effectively continue to minister at their current church. They would be leaving and leaving as soon as God could open the doors for them to leave.

She elaborated that she had defended this congregation but would no longer do so. She couldn't.

Instantly, I was taken back to a situation that my husband and I faced. We left that group of believers after nine months.

I couldn't understand how anyone who knew the truth of the circumstances under which we left could stay there. There was one couple in particular that we had be-friended that knew details no one else knew. They had been a God-send for us, providing evenings of laughter and immense support. For awhile I was hurt and angry that they would stay loyal to "those" that had done us so very wrong.

Over a decade later, they are still active members of that congregation. In the time that has passed, God has given me a new perspective (sound familiar? - see my last post!). Just because He released us from ministry there, doesn't mean He would or even should release them.

I encouraged my friend not to judge those they would be leaving behind. God is still God in even the darkest situations and unhealthy churches. Trust that in the solid relationships, He is still working within that church and among "those people."

The next time we travel through the town we left so quickly, I truly hope we can gather with our friends once again. I'm pretty sure the Mexican dive we enjoyed is still there . . .

Be careful dear sister! Do not sever relationships based on raw feelings now. Don't be too quick to cut all ties.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Another Perspective

In any conflict, everyone plays a role and carries part of the blame. As my friend recounted events, her husband was always the victim. He had done nothing wrong- so she couldn't understand how "they" could treat him this way. Men and women she had once looked up to and admired were now "ungodly" and acting "un-Biblical."

Things are not always so black and white.

As I listened to my dear friend, I realized that she only knew one side of the situation. Her perspective on all the circumstances and people involved had been shaped by only hearing her husband's account of the events and conversations that had led to their current state of frustration.

I wanted my friend to be able to acknowledge that there was another side of the story that she had heard. I gently suggested that maybe some of the criticisms were made in an effort to help, not find fault, or that maybe "they" just didn't know really how to communicate what was needed. I guess in a way, I was looking for a way to defend "them" to help her see that "they" might have a point - that there was another side of the situation.

While I completely believe that he had been truthful to his wife, we all hear and then re-tell things differently. For example, if we all witnessed a bank robbery, we would all have a slightly different take on how things went down. The basics would be the same, but we would all have a slightly different story based on where we were standing and whether or not we were preoccupied. There would be a whole list of things that would influence how we would retell what we saw.

Yes, we need to be our man's biggest fan. We must encourage him, take his side and stand by him. Yet, we need to be honest with him. As his help mate, his "prime rib," we need to help him look at the circumstance objectively so we both can learn, grow, heal and move on.

It is hard in the heat of the moment, when the feelings are raw and the hurt is fresh to be able to take that deep breath and look at things from another perspective. My prayer for my friend is that she could see things, not from "their" perspective, but from God's.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Be His Biggest Fan

She described how she felt that her husband was set-up, that he couldn't possbibly make everyone happy, how "their" expectations were unclear and/or unrealistic. She shared how strong he had been in the face of "their" critisizm, especially when she didn't see how "they" had ever really ever given him a chance.

The tears started to well in her eyes when I knowingly asked her if he was questioning his call to ministry and how he was holding up emotionally. She was hurting because he was hurting.

Having seen that look in my husband's eyes and felt powerless to defend him the way I wanted to, I encouraged my dear friend to be honest with her husband, but to look for and take every opportunity to encourage him.

I challenged her to make situations to uplift him - to write him notes, to call "just because," to remind him of his worth- to her and to the Kingdom.

When "they" attack, our husbands can't help but take it personally. Usually, they do a better job hiding the hurt better than we do. Yet, no matter how well it's hid, it takes its toll and the words do wound. While we can't provide the healing, (only our Lord can do that), we can provide First Aid. We can be the first to administer the words that our man needs to hear - He IS gifted. He IS capable. He IS important to the church and the Kingdom.

We have to be our husband's biggest fan, doing whatever we can from the sideline to exhort and encourage our best friend in this struggle.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

You Are Not Alone. . .

We ate our lunch as she talked. She poured out her heart as her food slowly got cold. The waitress brought us refills for our watered-down beverages.

As she shared I realized that I had lost count of all the minister's wives I have had similar conversations with. Some have taken place over the phone or through emails. Others while we got our exercise in walking the neighborhood in the early hours of the morning or sipped lattes with hushed voices in the local Starbucks.

The situations were all similar. The names varied and the time frames involved were different, yet the feelings were the same. As long as we serve our heavenly Father in a fallen world, we will have these experiences. They are a part of what ties us together into our unique sorority of being a minister's wife.

The main thing I wanted my friend and sister to know when we got up from that table was that she wasn't alone. I could relate. I know, all-too-well, how lonely it feels when "they" seem so powerful and big and pushy.

I understand the urge to stand on a pew and tell a few people a thing or two. I can relate to the desire to justify and defend my husband to "those" that are accusing. As I finished one of her sentences and nodded in agreement to her frustration, she seemed to relax in just knowing that I knew - what she was feeling, what she was going through.

Dear sister, you are not alone.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Any Advice Dear Pastor's Wife?

I sat across the table from her, hearing her heart and feeling the same familiar ache in my own.

She spoke of "them" and all the things that "they" had done. She was careful not to single out names, but I knew who she meant, not specific individuals, but deacons, other staff members, personnel committee members and other church lay leaders.

At times she fought tears, she was hurt. At other times, fire took the place of the tears in her eyes, she was angry. There were also moments of fear as she talked about the uncertainty of their young family's future. How would they make the house payment?

I hurt for my friend. On so many levels I could relate. My husband and I had been in a VERY similar situation. I could finish her sentences when she started to share their wonders if this church had ever been God's will or just their own desires.

I know those doubts, those fears, those feelings of hurt and anger. Perhaps you do too. Too many of us in ministry have "been there, done that" and have the t-shirts (literally!) to prove it.

By no means would I consider myself an expert on dealing with these types of situations. I have similar experiences and close friends who are in ministry who have shared their hearts and hurts with me. I'm sure you do too.

I thought I would use my week to blog to share some of the encouragement I tried to give my dear friend. In the meantime, is there some exhortation that you would want me to pass on to this dear sister? Do you have a Bible verse or passage that has carried you through a similar situation?