Saturday, January 30, 2016


A HAPPY 2nd BIRTHDAY to this little energetic, fun-loving, stubborn, precious little girl..........our granddaughter, Kinley Grace.
Her birthday is on February 10th, but I will not be blogging that week......

Also...a HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our Daughter-in-law, Melanie,
whose birthday is February 2nd......a ground hog baby.  Smile.

February Birthday Girls......Kinley Grace and Aunt Melanie.

Enjoying the wee bit of snow they got....with big brother, Cameron and Momma.

Snowman Goodbyes!

Friday, January 29, 2016

URGENTLY Passing the Faith to the Next Generation

Ladies....I mentioned Tuesday that being a pastor's wife is both "Public" and "Lonely" and that fellowship with other Pastor's Wives is what gets us through the valleys................

I just want to let you know that as you are reading this............I am at our 2016 Bi-Vocational Ministers and Wives Retreat and the theme this year is "URGENTLY Passing the Faith to the Next Generation."

Last night was wonderful.............. is always great to see old friends.  This is our 16th Conference to attend, so we've made life-long friends from other parts of the state that we always plan to meet half way during the year, but everyone is so busy it doesn't happen.  The first day of the Treat is always like a homecoming.

Today....Danny & Rhonda Sinquefield will be speaking to us about "Loving Them Through the Hard Times" and our beloved Jeanne Davis will be talking to the wives about "Telling Your Story to Your Children and Grandchildren".

FUN TIMES.............MUCH NEEDED Fellowship, teachings, singing, preaching and FELLOWSHIP and Fellowship..................and did I mention FELLOWSHIP with others walking in our same shoes?

Just wanted to let you know that I am getting re-fueled and will be ready to go.

Pray for us at the retreat and pray for us as we all travel back home.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Wake Up Call

Now, some people do things because they are self-motivated.  Me, on the other-hand.....have to be KICKED and PUSHED.  Smile.

Back in August....I got a Minor WAKE-UP Health Call.  I say minor, because to many folks it was nothing.........but to me it was MAJOR.  I have NEVER had ANY blood pressure problems, etc.  In fact, it has always been a joke with me.........I go to the doctor and if someone new takes my blood pressure.............they take it the second time because they would take ONE LOOK at me and think.........there is NO WAY her blood pressure is that good. 

Anyway....without going in to graphic details......I had my "wake-up call"....called the doctor, who wanted to see me.  By the time I got to the doctor's office, I was the first thing I said was.....I KNOW I need to exercise, eat better and lose weight......I will do ANYTHING...........just tell me what to do.

A DOCTOR'S DREAM.....................

He Jumped all over that....................

To make a long story short.........I was put on medication for three weeks, but had to go off because my blood pressure was too low...........but, I DID start exercising and making better choices in my eating.

My husband is built like his granddaddy who died of a heart attack, so he had already been saying..............we are getting at an age where we need to add exercise and eat better, so..........he was a very willing partner and we have supported each other all the way.

The results so far.........
  • we have both dropped many pounds
  • we feel better
  • we have less health complaints
  • and we have a new wardrobe because our previous clothes no longer fit
I say all of this to say.............this was my health wake-up call.  No....I will never know if it was a warning.......or just a scare....................but it DID scare me enough to NOT want to take a chance.

Sometimes God uses different things to get out attention................whether it is our health......our relationship with our families.........our relationship with our church people and/or friends...............or whatever.

My prayer is that we will always be willing to do whatever it is that God wants us to every corner of our lives. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

You are At THAT Age.....

This post is not a "spiritual" is just a "fact-of-life" post.

For several years..........I have HATED it when every time you go to the doctor they are at THAT age......

Exactly, what age is That???

Well....I have decided there is WORSE.  LOL

I just recently had to have a test make sure everything was okay.  I felt fine....had no symptom, but when I went for my yearly routine physical, there was microscopic blood in my urine, so my PC doctor sent me to a specialist to be sure....

I might add...that seven years ago he also sent me to a specialist to have the same thing checked and everything came back negative.  Each year since....he would say, "there is a little microscopic blood in your urine, but we have already had that checked."  UNTIL this year.  He decided to send me to a different specialist just to make sure.

The specialist explained to me that after 5-7 years it was good to have it re-checked to make sure nothing had changed, etc.

Anyway.........the test was negative and everything checked out fine..........

BUT...after the test.............instead of are at THAT age..................the little whipper-snapper of a doctor looked at me and said, "I will tell you like I would tell my, as a matter of fact, my mom had to have the same test twice and after her second test I TOLD HER...................."

SO................NOW....I am not only at THAT AGE.........................I am NOW compared to the doctor's MOM.

Growing old is NOT for the faint at heart...............

Tuesday, January 26, 2016


Okay, the risk of sounding like I am on a pity party.............I'm just going to share what is on my heart.  What better place to do that than with ladies who UNDERSTAND.

I got to thinking about Vicki's post..........where everyone knows your name..............

That is sooo true.  Everywhere I go.........someone knows me by "the preacher's wife" or the SCMS "Teacher".  I smile and pretend I know them too.  Very embarrassing sometimes.

Being a pastor's wife is sooooooo "PUBLIC", yet many times sooooo "LONELY".

Sometimes....I just wish I could just be plain ole "Kathy". 

Out in the secular world.......I am forever walking upon a conversation where they immediately STOP when they see me.  (Makes you wonder if they were talking about ME or just talking about subjects that they had no business talking about......)

On another note.............don't you just love it when you are in the group and someone says a "dirty" word or something inappropriate and the "talker" will look you straight in the eyes and say, "I'm sorry, preacher's wife.....or excuse me, preacher's wife"???

I DO appreciate the fact that they respect me enough to realize that I don't "like" that talk...........................but, sometimes I just want to say............hey, I am just a person.  I am NOT the "Moral Police".  I am no different that any other Christian......God is the one you should be apologizing to.

Many times, I feel that I am not "included" because I would put a cramp on their style or at least their conversations.

My children are grown and live away, so they do not attend church with even at church...................I sit alone.

Don't get me wrong............I LOVE the position God has called me and placed Pastor's Wife.  It is NOT a role that I would have chosen.  In was not even a role that I desired. is where God placed me and called me and it is very rewarding at times.  Sometimes it is lonely and sometimes it is heartbreaking.  Sometimes it is frustrating.  Sometimes it is busy and tiring....................but the REWARDS outweigh it all...

I am JUST so thankful for The TN PRIME RIB to be able to VENT............and thankful for other pastor's wives that "understand" ......I am thankful for Lana Rose...who has a heart for the wives...........and I am thankful for the TN Bi-Vocational Retreat every year that gives us that great big BURST of "get-up-and-go" to help us to keep trucking on.

Let's remember that we are all in the same "club" and we all need encouragement from time to time.  The little things matter.  It seems as if when I am having a really bad season......God will guide some dear pastor's wife to send me a little text message or FB message of encouragement.

I just want you to know...................I APPRECIATE YOU!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Snow Days, Snow Days.....

I think just about EVERYONE in Tennessee saw some "Snow Days" this past week.  I've heard excitement.............I've heard complaining........I've heard all kinds of opinions.

I, for one......ENJOYED my time off.  I stayed inside and stayed warm and got a lot done.

Back during the holidays, our son and daughter-in-law spent several days with us.  A couple of years ago, when my sewing machine was on it's last family gave me a new sewing machine for my birthday in October.  What a surprise!  I LOVED my new machine and enjoyed sewing on it.  It also had an embroidery attachment to it.........and the kids were excited about that for me. seemed too complicated, so I never took the time to figure it out.

During our kid's visit, our daughter-in-law u-tubed and was determined to figure out how to embroidery for me.  Sound simple enough........BUT.....the embroidery part of the machine was in a plastic box in the bottom of the many, many bins in our "JUNK ROOM".  Yes, we all have them..............mine was probably more JUNK than most.  lol.

Months ago, my husband put a long counter top in the "Junk Room" and said we would make that into my "Sewing/Craft Room".  It had previously been a wall-to-wall book shelf study.

In the process of finding the missing embroidery parts..........I got motivated and decided it was NOW or NEVER.  Slowly, but surely I began going through the "Junk Room."  To shorten the story...............many, many trips to the dump and to Goodwill later............I have an organized "Sewing/Craft Room."  A room with lots of clear plastic boxes on the shelves but NO BINS in the floor.  I LOVE IT.  ( daughter-in-law DID manage to teach me how to embroider on my sewing machine.)

During the Snow Days........I got in "MY ROOM" and sewed and sewed.  I embroidered names on cloth....then turned the cloth into bibs for two precious babies.  I made hair bows.  I started working on matching dresses for my granddaughter and her American Girl doll.  I was LOST in my PROJECTS............and ENJOYED every minute of it.

Before the "Purging and Cleaning" of THE ROOM.............I dreaded working on projects.  You had to dig through boxes....gather up all of the materials.  Take them to the dining table and begin working.  Barely getting was time to clean up and put away.  YULK.

Doesn't sometimes we allow our lives to get "piled up and junked up" with things that don't need to be there?  It causes us to miss out on blessing because it gets in the way of our joy. I have discovered that when I "clean out my life of STUFF" I enjoy it more and allow myself more time with God and enjoy receiving more blessings.  

CLUTTER.........with in our lives or in our "Junk Rooms" is NOT WELCOME......and may we all DE-CLUTTER and ENJOY MORE.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

On My Toes & On My Knees (Part 3)

It will be a long time before I forget the events of last Sunday morning.

Seven days have now passed but I am praying the lessons learned, mine and hers, will be long lasting. She has earned a few of her privileges back and we've had several heart-to-hearts in the days that have followed.

And, yes, I saw good come from my forced transparency as I bonded and discipled a few of the students in my Sunday School class. But God has used her actions, and my reactions, to teach me a few personal things as well.

For example, I don't have it altogether as a parent. I yelled. I egged her on once I became frustrated. I found myself, even hours later, still angry with her. I had no compassion for her, much less empathy, mercy or grace. I was forced to confess my sins both to her and our Heavenly Father, further reminding myself that I have a long way to go on this sanctification journey.

I gathered with some of my closest friends the night after all this went down. We meet regularly and end our evenings together sharing praises and requests. The 11 of us there thanked God for our kids, but also we all sought His guidance on this parenthood path we are on. From a 21 year old Vanderbilt student to my two year old little bit, we represented well over 2 dozen children, yet not one of us would profess to having this child-rearing thing under control.

We openly admit that we NEED His help and our kids do too.

I was reminded of Paul's words in 1 Timothy 2:15:
"Yet she will be saved through childbearing- if they continue in faith and love and holiness with self-control." (ESV)

The "saved" Paul is talking about here is the kind where the justified believer faces life with the goal of  being made more like Jesus. Here, Paul tells us that motherhood IS a huge part of that sanctifying process.

I want and need to "continue in faith and love and holiness with self-control." These are things I pray for and these are things that are tested with my "Mom" title. My daughters are a major part of God making me more like Jesus and I am SO thankful for that.

I often talk about this daughter of mine as the one "who keeps me on my toes and on my knees."

Honestly, last Sunday morning wore me out, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I can now recognize God's hand in it all, making me more like Jesus through my roll as "mom."

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

On My Toes & On My Knees (Part 2)

I didn't have time to drop the girls off in their respective classes that morning. So one was clinging to my right leg and the other to my left as I held the microphone to welcome the 6th-12th graders to church.

As I looked these teens in the eyes, my mind went blank. I didn't have any quip or energetic greeting to give. I sighed into the mic and said, "Do you ever have a morning that just didn't go as you had planned?"

The "minister's wife" mask would NOT stay on and I found myself fumbling through the announcements. Listening to my own voice reverberating from the speakers, it sure didn't seem like I was making much sense. But the kids were gracious and even supportive, actually listening without me trying to compete for their attention with their neighbor, their cell phone or their neighbor's cell phone.

Later, my sweet friend, Allison, who teaches the 7th grade girls, told me how much my transparency meant. And as I've thought about it, I think that was what God used to give me some "real" conversation with my own class that morning. It wasn't forced, but honest and deep and true. I think as a class we learned more from those questions they asked me that morning than from any lesson I had prepped for this school year.

"How do you do it?" one of the young ladies in my class asked. She had been asking a lot of questions about how I discipline and juggle the three little souls God has placed under our stewardship. I had told them the good, the bad and my ugly from the previous hour.

I knew my one word, one name answer of "God!" probably sounded trite to their 17-18 year old ears. So, I went on to explain that the phrase, "God won't give you more than you can handle." isn't Biblical and that, from my experience and Bible study the opposite was actually more accurate.  I shared how God often gives me far more than I can handle so I will rely on Him to see me through.

The conversation changed. We talked of college choices, coaches, teachers and the outcome of the previous night's Miss CHS Pageant. But later that afternoon I got a text. It was that same young woman wanting to draw closer to our God. She was ready to be transparent before Him.

I know that Sunday morning, God used my daughter's sin nature to force me to be transparent before those middle and high school students. He had a deeper purpose to her massive temper tantrum, but that wasn't all He was teaching me.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

On My Toes & On My Knees

It was literally 9:30.

I had to be in front of 100 teens in 15 minutes, welcoming them to Sunday School and announcing the up-coming Disciple Now Event.

One of my daughters, who will remain nameless to prevent any further embarrassment, was sitting in her floor crying and half-naked.

Now before you feel sorry for her, please know that her happy-go-lucky attitude had vanished only 10 minutes before because I had asked her to simply "try-on" a potential outfit to wear to church that morning. She didn't like the said outfit and began a downward spiral of willful and intentional disobedience.

I was left with no choice. She forced my hand. She would have to now wear the cute plaid skirt with black leggings, white oxford shirt and denim blazer with her suede-looking brown boots.

Her hair was a tangle of wanna-be curls. Her flush face was streaked with wet racetracks from the tears. She was still sitting in the floor of her room refusing to put on the clothes I was trying to desperately get her to wear.

I had threatened bodily harm. I had taken away her video games, her Kindle and ALL her Legos.

Yet she still sat there.

I needed at least 30 minutes to rationally respond to her repeated disrespect and defiance. I needed to stop and pray. But her daddy was already at church. He had needed to be there for the early service. I had all these teens and their teachers waiting on me to initiate their Bible Study hour. We had to leave for the church and we should have left 10 minutes ago.

I briefly contemplated throwing her bath robe at her and making her wear it despite the outside temp hovering somewhere in the mid-20s. I was exasperated, but somewhere inside of me I knew it wouldn't do for one of the ministers' kids to be drug to church in her fleece robe. (What would the deacons' wives say?!)

She overheard me ask her sisters to put their coats on and load the van. Thankfully, she didn't call my bluff when I told her we were leaving and she would have to come topless or get dressed.

She whimpered down the front walk and found myself provoking her by telling her if she cried a little louder her grandparents who live 5 doors down would hear her crying.

Somewhere between exiting our neighborhood and passing Publix, she had amazingly pulled herself together. Her hair was brushed and neatly held in place by a coordinating headband. She gave up the crying and had joined her sisters in singing "Jesus Loves Me." Somehow, her eyes were no longer puffy or her face red. Only her two sisters and I had would have any idea the crazy we had just managed to live through.

I was exhausted. I was drained. I no longer felt like going to church, much less worshiping.

Yet I plastered on my best "minister's wife" smile. And found myself dismissing the gathered students to their respective Sunday School classes. I looked at the young people gathered for my class and knew that if anything good at all was going to come out of this morning, it was going to have to be a God thing.

Good did come out of it and I am still experiencing it. Check back in with this blog later in the week, and I will share more of God is using this child to teach me.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Engagement Ministry (3 of 3)

“Jesus looked at them intently and said, ‘Humanly speaking, it is impossible.  But with God everything is possible.’”  Matthew 19:26 (NLT)

Jesus looked at them intently!  Who did He look at intently?  The disciples—when they asked Him the very important question, “Who in the world can be saved?”

Intently!  Jesus was engaged (and I don’t mean the diamond ring kind of engagement!)  Even though His short life was jam packed and He was busy healing and teaching and dealing with pesky religious people, He still engaged His disciples when He talked to them.  He stopped.  He looked.  He listened.

In Matthew’s account of Jesus healing Peter’s mother-in-law, (can you imagine what it would have been like to be Peter’s wife???) scripture tells us that when Jesus saw His mother-in-law…He touched her.  (Matthew 8:14-15 NASB).  Both seeing and touching indicate that Jesus was engaged!

There are many other accounts in scripture where we see Jesus touching, seeing, looking, stopping, etc.  He was engaged with every person He encountered….not just those He was related to or those who He was friends with.  He engaged strangers too.

My challenge is for us to engage everyone we come in contact with.  Not just those I mentioned in the last two posts:  our spouses, our children, our God and our friends….but every single person that crosses or parallels our paths.  Every.Single.Person!!  Is that asking way too much??

What does that mean?  That means looking and smiling at the cashier.  That means speaking to the person behind the counter.  That means making eye contact with the people you pass in the halls at work or school or church.  That means gently and lovingly squeezing the arm of that grumpy, bitter old woman at church who NEVER smiles!! 

I could be totally wrong here but I am thinking we should impact and engage every single person we encounter at work, at the gym, at the store, everywhere!  After all….Jesus said we are to let our lights shine before men so that they will see our good works and glorify God in heaven!!  (Matthew 5:16)  What better way to shine than through a sincere smile or word of affirmation?

Wow!!  Is this impossible?  Is it crazy?  I don’t know!!!  Truthfully, I really, really, REALLY want to do this every day.  I actually would like to think that I do this every single day.  Today, I listened to a total stranger tell me about her sick mom who she has been out of state taking care of her for the better part of a year.  She mentioned how hard it was because she was never touched that entire time….I gave her a hug.  A touch.

You can smile and wave as you pass people in the car or on your walk or jog.  It doesn’t require time or work…just making a commitment to be engaged.  Sometimes people go their entire day or week or life with no one to encourage them or give them a smile.  We can do that!!  BUT it will require us to be focused.  Not distracted or preoccupied.

I might even call this the engagement ministry!!  Ha!  Try it….for an entire day….and let me know what happens!  You might not ever know what happens to that person you engage with your smile or your words of encouragement, and that is OK.  My guess is that it will also impact you and I’d love to hear about it!!

Yeah, so I guess the title of this post could be misleading…..since I’m not speaking of the diamond ring kind of engagement!!  Oh well…..Happy engaging!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Major Engagement Failure!! (2 of 3)

The following text came in while I was writing yesterday’s blog post on being engaged (click here so you can read what I am talking about!)  This is from a dear, precious friend in a previous church from another state who I have not talked to in way too long.  Here's the text message (parentheses are my comments):

"I have something I need to run by you.  Call made (I am doing a direct quote here…I’m pretty sure she meant ‘me’!!  Gotta love auto correct!) when you have a minute or so. Nothing earth shattering. So fear not :)"  (She knows me oh so well!!)
I read the text but wanted to finish up the post so that I could be really engaged in our conversation and, after all, it was not “earth shattering”.  I wrapped up the post, read it over, re-read it, proofread, changed, edited, worried over it, prayed over it, worried some more, confessed my sin of worry, and hit publish.

Then I called her.  Her voice always brings me comfort and joy (sounds like a Christmas Carol) and even though we have not talked in a while we jump right to the issue at hand….no need to catch up….no need for small talk….just get to it.

Then it happened.  Horror of horrors I did it!!!  Without even realizing it--right in the middle of her story--I reached over for my IPad and mindlessly began to play solitaire!!  I’m listening to what she was saying…..really I was….mostly…..then I realized I was missing some details….then it hit me!!!  I was not engaged!!  I was ‘multitasking’ with my friend!  I did not follow my stop, look, listen rule!!  I was playing solitaire for crying out loud!!

It’s not just our husbands, our children and our God that we must be engaged with it is also our friends! 

The telephone is an easy culprit to keep us from being engaged.  How many times have you talked to someone while doing dishes or cleaning up or putting on makeup or sitting on the potty?  Well, that last one might not keep us from being engaged since, after all, we are just sitting.

Sometimes you just might need to stop what you are doing and talk.  Many times it is distracting to hear all of the activity going on in the background.  I’m not suggesting that you never do anything else while you are talking on the phone….I’m just asking you to consider what message you are sending.

There was a time when the telephone was attached to the wall….there was no moving around.  I wonder….were we more engaged then?  Truthfully, we still were guilty of multitasking tethered to the wall!

Be engaged….even when on the phone. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Be Engaged!! (1 of 3)

I am pretty sure we all know what it means to be engaged.  However, for your English pleasure and to help me make a point, here are some definitions of engaged:
  1. To occupy the attention or efforts of a person or persons.
  2. To attract and hold fast
  3. To bind, as by pledge, promise, contract, or oath; make liable
  4. Choosing to involve oneself in or commit oneself to something:
Synonyms:  absorbed, engrossed, interested, involved.

I am a multitasker.  And so are you.

We call it multitasking when the truth is we are not engaged.  I see it way too often.  I do it way too often.  I am preoccupied.  I am distracted.  And so are you.

Be engaged in your marriage!

My husband and I were engaged (#3 above) less than three months after our first date.  Fast huh?  However, I was engaged (#1 above) long before our first date!  We were engaged (#2), attracted to each other!  We spent as much time as we could together because we were engaged (#4).  We were engaged….in every form/definition of the word.  We were absorbed, engrossed, interested and involved.  Engaged.

Sometimes it is hard to continue to be engaged.  Sometimes we let work or ministry or kids or weariness or television or social media or resentment or hurt or whatever get in the way of being engaged

Be engaged in your marriage my friend….because, just maybe, one day he won’t be around anymore…then you can watch whatever TV show you want or play solitaire and check social media and read that book.

Be engaged with your children!

I went to watch our six year old at her swim practice and every.single.parent sitting on the bleachers had their phone in their hands and their eyes on the phone.  Every one!!  They were all engaged in their phone….not their child.  I wish I had taken a picture.

When your eight year old tells you in unbelievable detail every aspect of the new game he played at his friend’s house…a dissertation that takes at least ten minutes with hand motions and odd sounds….and you want to desperately fix dinner or do laundry or check Facebook or read the text someone just sent you.  Don’t!!

When he is thirteen and he doesn’t understand what is happening with his body and he is thinking things he doesn’t know if he is supposed to will want him to talk to you.  Be engaged now so he will talk to you then!!  Those talks at thirteen are worth it!!


When she is seventeen and comes home from a date and wants to climb in to bed with you and share everything about that guy and what she is feeling and thinking because you have been engaged in seemingly insignificant conversations since she was only seven.  And those bed time talks are worth it!

Be engaged with your children because maybe one day they will stop talking to you because they feel like other things were more important than them.

Be engaged in worship. 

There have been too many times when I realized it was the third verse of a hymn or the third time we sang the chorus of a praise song that I realized words were coming from my mouth….but I was not engaged.  I was distracted.  My mind was elsewhere.  I was not engaged in worship. 

I read a passage of scripture and have had no idea what I have just read!!!  I was not engaged with God or worship!!

Be engaged with God because He is life and bread and light and breath!

How to be engaged?  Stop, Look, Listen

Stop whatever it is you are doing and focus on them.  Stop doing chores.  Stop looking at your phone or IPad or computer.  Turn off the TV.  Stop it all.

Look at them face to face.  Eyeball to eyeball.  Knee cap to knee cap!  Look-At-Them.  For a child it might even mean getting down on your knees to their level.  If it’s your husband, and he is coming home late for dinner after meetings and you have already eaten, it might mean sitting at the table with him while he eats.  For God it might mean looking in to His Word in hardback if you have gotten used to using your Bible app and the temptation to touch another app has become too easy.

Listen to them.  What are they saying?  What are they NOT saying?  Why are they telling you this?  Whenever I study the Bible I ask God three questions. 
  1. What does it say?
  2. What does it mean?
  3. What do I need to do?

So….for me to engage with God I have stopped, looked, and this is my listening part.  Something just hit me!!!  Perhaps we should ask these three questions when it comes to our husbands and children too!!
  1. What are they saying?  Often what they are saying is not what they are saying!
  2. What does it mean?  Are they upset?  Are they hurting? 
  3. What do I need to do?  Keep listening?  Ask questions?  Give a hug?

Stop calling it multitasking and being proud of it!!  Stop being distracted.  Stop being preoccupied.

Be engaged!!

P.S.  OUCH!!  Sorry if this sounds a little harsh!!  All I know is that our marriages and our children and our God is worth all of our attention and I am thankful that they all want us to be a part of their lives!! 

I am praying for you if you feel like it is too late....because it is not ever too late to become engaged.  It might require asking for forgiveness and humility and brokenness...but it is not too late.  I love you...whoever this p.s. is for.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Glass House: Where Everyone Knows Your Name, Weight and Serial Number

Standing in the aisle of the grocery store, a person walks up to you and says, “Hi, I loved the outfit you wore on Sunday.”  While racking your brain for the person’s name, you plaster on a smile and politely reply, “Thank you.”

If you are in the ministry, you most likely have experienced some similar situation.  It seems everywhere we go someone knows who we are and they watch our every move.  I laughingly told a friend once that I sometime feel like a celebrity dodging the paparazzi.

Please, I am a normal person who has bad hair days, zits, has a body full of cellulite and who can down a bag of Peanut M & M’s in one afternoon.  I cry at dog food commercials and sapping movies.  If my face ever appears on the cover of a magazine, the photographer would need to do a ton of photoshopping.  Oh and surprise, my family is not perfect.  Yes, life in the ministry often leaves our lives open to scrutiny of critics and everyone thinks they know who we are.

However, I learned early in ministry to embrace my sometimes very public life.  I graciously welcome the expected and unexpected visitor at my door.  They just need to realize that life happens in my home.  You see, these days I may have one or both of my preschool grandsons at the house.  You will have toys all over the living room floor, a three year old running circles and a seven month old giggling at his big brother’s antics.  I may or may not be in workout clothes without makeup and my hair less than perfect.  And you know what, it’s all okay.

Now back to standing in the grocery aisle trying to figure out the person’s name.  If I can’t come up with their name, I simply laugh and say, “Please tell me your name again.  I am very good at recalling a face. However, while you have one name to remember, I have a congregation full to recall.”  Trust me girlfriends that person will not get offended and they suddenly discover that you are just like them. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Don't You Wish . . . ?

I just finished a phone conversation with one of my girlfriend ministers' wives.  We were sharing about our Christmas events and catching up on details for our upcoming 2016 state ministers' wives events.  Finally, we both started laughing, and I blurted out, "Don't wish you could sometimes have a normal Christmas holiday without all the ministry stuff involved?"  My girlfriend laughed and squealed, "and miss church one Sunday and not be questioned about where you were?"

This conversation started when I simply said my husband took vacation the week after Christmas.  Since my brother and his family came to our home for Christmas, our intentions were to stay in town for the Sunday after Christmas but go to church with my youngest son and wife.  However, because of a mid-December business meeting decision that was tabled but had to have an answer by January 1, 2016, our plans had to change.  Instead, we were at our church for a special called business session which lasted a total of two minutes.

Well, phone conversation kept rolling for a bit longer.  Girlfriend, you know you are safe when you are laughing with a sister in ministry and she blurts out what you are thinking.  Hmm, this thought may have popped out.  "Do you ever wish you could chain the doors of the church and see how many people ACTUALLY get upset?"  "Do you ever wish you could call individuals who have not been to church in months and tell them that their names have been removed from the membership?" (Now, don't get upset here.  I am not talking about those precious prayer warrior shut ins or those who are suffering from an illness).  No, we were talking about those people who prance into church once every two or three months in order to check off the box that they were there.

Ladies, there are a lot of "don't you wish" thoughts out there.  However, when someone asks me if I ever wish my husband was in another line of work, I honestly answer with a loud NO.  Because if we were in any other line of employment, we would not be in the Lord's will.

Friday, January 1, 2016

New Year's _________ ?



Better Habits.


Walking closer with the Lord. Losing weight. Exercising. Getting organized. Staying organized. Eating healthier. Not eating out so much. Communicating more with family members. Giving more.

Be specific. Make it attainable. Don't give up. Don't give in. Keep trying. Expect to fail. Have an accountability partner.

Magazines, blogs, television shows, Pinterest posts and Facebook ads are filled with ways, tools, insights, and tips to take the best advantage of our New Year.

Honestly, I am not feeling it this year.

It's not that I don't have things in my life that I don't want to improve. Believe me, I know I have lots of room for improvement and Satan likes to highlight those flaws at every turn.

The Bible is clear that "many are the plans of a man's heart" but only the Lord's purpose will prevail. (Please excuse my loose translation of Proverbs 19:21)

And I could write about submitting our New Year's plans to Him or that we should be praying for Him to reveal His purpose so we can align our plans with His. These things would all be well and good. If this is what God has led you to do, by all means, do them.

But for me, I am savoring that each dawn is a new beginning. I am rejoicing in the fact and trying to experience that His mercies are new every morning. He generously let's me start over with every prayer of repentance.

As a believer, I do not have to wait for January to make a change. All I do have to do, is allow the One who designed me to make the changes within me.

As I blogged last, it's a journey. I can't just push a button or flip a switch. I have to daily submit to Him, giving Him complete access. Some days I do better than others.

I just don't need a calendar to tell me when or an expert to tell me how.

Change is a part of life. With the passing of another year, we all know that nothing stays the same.

Change is ALL about being a Christ follower. Thankfully He loves us enough to help us.

New Year's is a great time to prayerfully reflect and plan. It is a good opportunity to institute new ways of doing things. It gives a chance to begin anew or again or again or again.

But dear sister, do not forget that it isn't the only time for change. That our Lord is all about change all of the time.