Welcome!

PW Connect (www.pastorswives.com) is the sister blog of Pastors' Wives Thriving in the Fishbowl's website & message board. We support, encourage, and nurture ministry wives. Our contributors have experienced the fishbowl of ministry life firsthand, and we're here to come alongside you in all the joys and tears.

stay in touch:

add our pastor's wife blog to your reader reader | receive updates from our pastors wives blogroll via email via email | pastors wives connect on twitter @pwconnect & PW List | connect with other pastors' wives on facebook @pwconnect |  @pwconnect | Follow Me on Pinterest PW Pins

Friday, November 9, 2012

Ask A PW: Little Lessons for Little Boys

This one's from me:

   Q. We have a young mom bringing her little boys to our Wednesday evening gathering. We have a meal and then break up into missions groups where we learn about missionaries and work on missions projects.

Having been a young mom once myself, I'm trying to do everything I can to help make it a positive experience. Many of you can probably relate to the frustration of coming in to your small church and being isolated from everyone else while you watch your own children in the nursery, so I do my best to make sure that doesn't happen to our young moms.

The boys finish eating early, so I end up starting class for them early and engaging them for about 20 minutes, until their regular teacher is able to make it. Then, I switch gears to my class.

I've generally been finding some little thing for them to color or craft. Last Wednesday, I had some extra little bags and so I let them make some paper bag puppets -- they made chickens and then did a little puppet show (complete with translation, lol). Anyway, that appealed to some, but not all of the boys, aged 3-Kindergarten. So, my question is this:


Do you have any ideas or resource suggestions I might be able to use that would engage as many of the little boys as possible? It'd be really cool if it would be somehow missions- oriented, but it doesn't necessarily have to be...

Please let me know if you have any thoughts or ideas!

 Dear PW Friend, 

Since you are me, I look forward to hearing suggestions from others!

Love,
    Ramona



Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Last Pastor/PW Weren't As Bad As You Think

Is this common ladies? Our calling seems to be in small church ministry and revitalization, so maybe this doesn't hold true as much for the larger churches.

I've just noticed that in every small church we've served, there are always tales to be told about the previous pastor; and also many times, the previous pastor's wife. Some of them are positive, but many more have left me wondering, "Really? How could they do or say such things?"

In fact, I'm ashamed to admit this now, but at our first church I often would relish hearing how bad the last guy was. In my warped thinking, it meant that the only problem this church had was the last pastor, and a newer better pastor would fix things up within a few years' time. Regardless of our shortcomings, we had to look fabulous by comparison with such a wretched individual.

Nowadays, my response is different. And here's why... my husband is now that "last pastor" whom everybody talks about. I'm now the "last pastor's wife". My hope is there are many more good things to be told than bad things, but there are always a few in every church who are going to tunnel in on the imperfections -- real or perceived.

At our first church together, I cringed as I heard about how the previous pastor called people by name from the pulpit. "Well, no wonder the church membership is way down from what it had been," I thought. "The previous pastor ran everybody off."

I struggled with anger towards this man, and commiserated with those who told story after story of how awful he was. I sadly look back on that now and think how wretchedly awful I was toward a person I'd never even met. I'd tell former church members that I understood how the last pastor had been terrible, but that we were on the scene, and my husband is nothing like that other guy.

I foolishly thought that once people saw how nice we are, they would come back to church and all would be restored.

mmmmm hmmmmmm.....

Ummmm... no. That's not what happened.

After two and a half years, I found myself feeling quite sorry for the last pastor. I then wondered if he began calling people out in the pulpit as a last ditch effort to plea with them to get along with each other --  to be the church instead of being at each others' throats. An urging similar to Paul's toward Euodia and Syntyche.

We've started anew at two churches since that time. At each one, I've found myself listening less and less to how bad the last pastor was, and more and more to the true heart behind the one who's saying it.

Truth be told, in my brokenness, I once felt threatened by the thought that people still loved and missed the previous pastor and wife. I worried that they wouldn't accept us and that we could never live up. But now, I see things differently.

I've instead come to appreciate greatly the people who have nothing bad to say about the last guy; because I know that someday, they'll pay us the same courtesy.

And if a church still loves and honors the last pastor who served the congregation before us, there is room in their heart to love us as well. It may take time, but all good things do.


What about you? What have you been told about the previous pastor or wife? What have you noticed about those who tell you these things? 

-rg-

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Yearly Pastors' Wives Directory is Now Live!

Since only so many blogs will fit on our main page, I've created a seasonal directory for all pastors' wives who blog. The blogroll will continue; but as the list grows, new posts will cycle off the front page more quickly.

Why a seasonal directory? Because people start blogging. People stop blogging. People move their blogs. The list goes on....

 It's open starting today. Go here to join ---> 2012-2013 Pastors Wives Blogging Directory

and please, spread the word so others can join, too...

<a href="http://www.pastorswives.com/p/our-members.html" title="pastors wives directory"><img src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-1HqokzU1l2k/T6A5WD7t4cI/AAAAAAAAAbk/WWt1BNzd3VQ/s1600/pw12-summer-directory.jpg" alt="pastorswives.com"></a>




-rg-

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Blog Round-up & Link-Up: PW Directory, Church Predators, Encouragment, Copyright, etc.

I will soon be starting a seasonal directory of pastors' wives who are currently blogging. The problem with blog lists is that they easily get out of date. Many people who start blogging do not continue. Others may move their blogs to another domain. I myself took a break for a couple of years and have also renamed my blog.

My solution to keeping our directory up-to-date is to start from scratch each season, and allow those who are still currently blogging to re-list. Also, if you find yourself last on the list -- it's only for a season. Our directory will be hosted on this page.

I'll be launching this sometime next week, and if you read this blog, you have early warning. You can link up your home/main page or your about me page. Subscribe or Follow so you don't miss out.

On to the blogs...

Welcome:
I'm pleased to welcome two new blogs to our little community. Jada has been blogging at Food, Fun, Family for quite some time. I always look forward to reading what she's written, and am so glad she's joined in. Also, new to our fold is Melissa at Laughing through Life -- she's just getting started blogging, and I'm sure would appreciate a warm welcome.

Encouragement for those who feel insignificant:
If you find yourself in a situation and you're not sure what God is doing, then you really need to read Surprised by Redemption by Shelly Miller. In ministry, you may never know this side of heaven the impact you're having on people or their children, but Shelly's story gives you a beautiful glimpse.

What Churches Should Know About Sex Offenders:
Did you know that many sex offenders specifically target churches? Probably. But this recent post from The Resurgence details that along with other facts and figures and why they're uniquely important to churches. A must read!

Copyright Tips:
Another must-read for bloggers. Have you ever posted a line from a song? Just one little line? You may be in violation of the law and not even realize it. Edie Melson explains copyright basics for bloggers in Part 1 and Part 2 of her Copyright 101 Series.

PW Blogs:
I didn't really cover pw blogs this time, but if you'd like to link up your favorite post(s) of the last month, I'll include a link-up at the bottom of this post. (I'll be linking up Redemption in the Church Kitchen myself.) Feel free to include an image from your post or your profile photo.

NOTE: This is just for your favorite post(s). Our directory will launch next week. Please make sure you link up to a specific post on your blog for this link-up. If you want your blog added to our blogroll stream over there ------------->
leave a comment here. Thanks!

-rg-


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Pastor's Wife: Preparing YOUR Heart For Easter

I've spent the day preparing our home to receive guests after church. As I've worked, I've reflected on how the Israelites would prepare their homes for Passover, and the importance of not only preparing our homes, but our hearts as well.

On that note, I just want to encourage you to take the time in amongst the busy-ness of services and preparations to be alone with God. Even if you're working and can't sit down, make the time in your heart and mind. To reflect. To ponder. To commune.

To pray. 

I know that Easter often will bring people into the church who normally do not come. And there's this pressure to pray hard that something you say or do will reach them somehow...

But that's not what I'm talking about. 

Certainly pray for your guests, yes. But rest in the fact that God's got that part under control. Pray for your sake. Just enjoy God's presence.

And ponder how just like He was there in the darkest hour for the disciples long ago. He is there in our darkest hour, too. We don't have to fear bad news, either. 


6 Surely the righteous will never be shaken;
   they will be remembered forever.
7 They will have no fear of bad news;
   their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the LORD.
8 Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear;
   in the end they will look in triumph on their foes. 


Emmanuel.

Yes, God is still with us.

-rg-

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Brief PW Blog Round-Up: Holy Week Meditations

Do you ever struggle with how to feel in the days leading up to Easter? I do.

I find myself at Good Friday every year, and I never know what to do with it. Should I be somber? Should I be thankful? Should I speak in hushed tones to show reverence?

This year, I'm dumping the shoulds. I'll be reflecting on TerilynneU's Holy Week Meditations instead. Well done, Teri! Here they are:






I'll update this list with any more posts in the series. Have a blessed Holiday!

-rg-

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Does Your Church Celebrate Palm Sunday?

This morning in church, many of the children came into worship carrying some sort of palm leaf contraption made in Sunday school. I joked with the praise team that they should borrow the various leaf creations and wave them while they were leading music this morning.

After church, a lady on our praise team, who is originally from Ghana, told me that when she was growing up, their whole church would act out the Palm Sunday scene. It sounded like it was a lot of fun, and I'm sure it gave everyone a better grasp of what it must have been like.

Here's a photo from Compassion of children in Kenya doing just that:


So does your church celebrate in a similar way?  

I mean, really CELEBRATE?

Either with the children or with the church as a whole? 

I'd love to hear about it!

-rg-

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Pastor's Wife in Training (Plus WITB Coupon)


Do you ever wish there had been a class or something for pastors' wives? (No, I'm not talking about the satirical fake class featured in fictional Lark News!)

I look at my pastor husband. Besides his 500-hour seminary degree (hyperbole alert), he's also had specific training in substance abuse counseling, and the experience benefit from a chaplain internship at a mental health facility.

Me? Not so much.

I'm just me. I read my Bible. I pray. I commune. Sure, some nuggets of wisdom may rub off on me over time; but so many times even today, I feel ill-equipped.

It's funny, because I'm the first one to tell other pastors' wives to just be who God made them to be. "Love God and love people! That's all you need to do," I've said too many times to count now.

Still, sometimes that doesn't feel like enough. I wish I had taken a class to refine my people skills.

I'm not Mrs. Pastor. Never have viewed myself that way. But there are times when people come to me when they should really go to him. But for whatever reason, they feel more comfortable talking to me.

I pray hard and try to treat the situation as a friend talking to another friend. Yet, there's this nagging feeling that the other person does not see it that way...

You, too?

-rg-

Friday, March 23, 2012

PW Not-So-Weekly Blog Round-Up

It's Spring in pw blog-land and new things are popping up. I'm catching up after illness and surgery myself, so this round-up will cover a little more territory than usual. But first, I'd quickly like to share some special offers I think you'll appreciate...

14251EB: Confident Heart, A: Learning to Live in the Power of God"s Promises - eBook Renee Swopes' new book, A Confident Heart: How to Stop Doubting Yourself and Find Security in Christ is available for a great limited-time price, just $2.99 on Kindle or Nook, and $ 2.39 at CBD . You may recognize Renee from the The Proverbs 31 Ministries Radio Program.

20309EB: 7-Day Doubt Diet, The: A Devotional Companion for A Confident Heart - eBook And better yet, the companion journal (The 7-Day Doubt Diet) is currently free! Find it at CBDNook, and Kindle as well.

Now on to the blogs...


Welcome!
We've added 3 new members to our blogging community. Please welcome Kelley at The Big Long Wait, Shanda Oakley at A Pause on the Path, and Kathy at Christian Book Mom.

New!
I've started a list of linkies you might like to consider. These can be helpful when you want to write. They're also a great way to connect with other bloggers.

*I've also got a directory idea in the works, so please stay tuned!*

Saving Money!

Cindy has put together a great list of money-saving ideas.

A Great Cause!
This past Thursday was World Water Day, and I highlighted my favorite water ministry.

Caught in Creativity!
Heather at Catalyst Wife has begun having pinterest dates with friends. Check out her burlap carrots! This also got my wheels to turning -- a pinterest gathering as a ministry platform that could springboard into something deeper? Food for thought!

You'll also want to admire the cute cupcakes from the daughters of our Masked Sparrow.  "One thing I am learning recently is that children need to achieve something regularly," she writes.

Enjoying Spring!
Yours truly is trying to re-create spring as seen by a certain little girl a long time ago in the Big Woods of Wisconsin, while Tanya has been enjoying her azaleas, grapefruit tree blossoms, and fresh-from-the-tree lemonade

Stay Inspired!
Atypical Pastor's Wife reminds us that we are the Lord's knitting project.

If you don't follow Ann Voskamp, you really should! She has an Easter garden idea that is simply wonderful -- with pictures and instructions on how to do it yourself.

Pray Hard!
And finally, we've got some pastors' wives in need of prayer. Jill over at Our Cozy Casa and crew have felt God's leadership to move on from their current church, but their next step is not yet evident. My prayers are with you, Jill, and I hope our community will rally around them in prayer as well.

Sunday Wife's family is dealing with tragic illness in their extended family -- pancreatic cancer. Please pray for them as I know the ups and downs are taking their toll.

Let's lift these ladies and their families up...

-rg-







Thursday, March 22, 2012

Connecting with Blog Link-Ups

Participating in link-up communities is another good way to connect with other bloggers. So, I'll share the ones I've found, and please share yours, too. I'll add them to the list this week.

 Most of these link-ups have little to do with being a pastor's wife, but many of them are hosted by other Christian women, and you will find pastors' wives in amongst.

Also... .a question. Do you have an idea for a weekly or monthly link-up that we could host here on this site? Or a blog hop? I have some ideas myself, but wanted to hear from you first.

Now, on to the list...


Please note: Good blogging manners require that you visit at least some of the other blogs in the link-up and encourage them with your comments. Please read the rules of each site -- some will ask that you read 2 other blogs, some may ask you to speed-read through many or all.

Mondays

Tuesdays
Just Write- write about whatever is happening around you

Write-it Girl -- (for one more week in March, but they may do something at a later date, too)

Wednesdays
Healthy 2Day Wednesday -- Share something that will help us to remain or become more healthy. (Be sure to click over and read the guidelines.)

Pretty on Pinterest

Word-Filled Wednesday --  "WFW is about celebrating the gift of creativity through God’s Word and sharing the creative Word!"

Wordless Wednesday


Thursdays
21 words {or less} -- self explanatory, yes?

JamWithMeThursdays -- she provides the topic of faith to explore

I know there's a Thankful Thursday one out there,
but I think maybe there are several.
Which one do you participate in?


Fridays
Faith-Filled Friday --
"link up your thoughts on God, devotionals, ministry as well as art, baking, photography, parenting, marriage and more if they tie into or display the Lord somehow."

Five Minute Friday --
she provides the topic, and you just write on it for 5 minutes and hit publish


 Frugal Friday

Just for Fun Friday --
link up your favorite post of the week (any topic)

Spiritual Sundays -- 
for "anyone who wants to post a spiritual/inspirational post on their blog and wants to share it with others."


Saturdays
The Saturday Evening Blog Post --
1st Saturday of the month. Link your favorite post from the month before. 

Sunday --
(generally available on Saturday night) post a picture and possibly a few simple words of inspiration


Search for Link-ups
Linky Tools has a directory of user submitted link-ups.
 



Your turn...

please share your favorite link-ups, and also your ideas for a future pastor's wife link-up

... and thank you for sharing!


Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Not-So-Perfect Husband of the Pastor's Wife

Yesterday evening I experienced it yet again. The notion that somehow, because my husband is a pastor, that he can do no wrong.

A silly little exchange took place: At the beginning of the Bible study, a man announced, "I need to sit by my wife so that people don't start wondering about our marriage." He then began to finagle things around so that they could sit together.

With a twinkle in my eye, I quipped jokingly: "I never sit by my husband at Bible study. Do you wonder about our marriage?"

To which he replied, "But that's different, he's a holy man."

"Aaannnndddd.....?" I asked, to the giggles of a few.

Truthfully, I'm flattered. I appreciate the love and respect given to my husband. It surely beats the opposite. Yet, at the same time, I'm a tiny bit troubled.

My husband isn't Jesus. (Pause and think about that!) My earthly husband is not Jesus.

He's a sinner saved by grace, just like the rest of us. He makes mistakes. He forgets things that are important. He's doesn't always have the perfect reply for our children. He still even... (gasp!)... sins!!!!

Ask him! He'll tell you the same thing.

I tried to tell that to a friend I had at a former church. She once told me of her hope that her daughter would marry a pastor. She admired my husband (for better or worse, I guess), and wanted her daughter to marry someone like him.

I tried to tell her that marrying a pastor was not a guarantee of anything, but I didn't really sense that she believed me. I told her I knew plenty of pastors who had lied, cheated, beat their children, or left their wives. But she just had this image in her mind of my husband, and how much better he was than her husband.

Yes, he sins. Do people realize that? Will they become disillusioned if/when they do?

But if I'm honest, sometimes I even forget that my husband is a sinner. Then, I act all surprised when he does exactly that. I get aggravated with God, too, if He doesn't smack him or limit his abilities in sermon-writing or something until he sets everything right with me or whomever.

He's a good guy. Don't get me wrong.

But again, he's not Jesus. And if I can't get that straight at times, I guess it shouldn't surprise me when others struggle with it, too.

-rg-
HJMMX9SRJHPS

Monday, February 13, 2012

Virtual PW Conference, Giveaway, & Laura Hilton Week on PW Blogs

It's a busy week, so the pw blog round-up will be short and sweet:

Tonight at 8:00 p.m. (central time), Leading & Loving It will continue a series of free online video conferences for pastors' wives. You can find more information here. If you can't tune in this evening, they will be re-airing tomorrow (Feb. 14) at 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. This is the 3rd week of a 4-week virtual conference. They also plan to archive previous conferences on their website.

Sivje is giving away a sewing book and some cute sewing supplies to celebrate her recent blogaversary. But hurry, the deadline to enter is Valentine's Day.


Cindy Loven will be celebrating Laura Hilton week on her book review blog beginning March 5th. There will be "Lots of fun, giveaways, and reviews," according to Cindy, as well as announcement regarding a new series.

I spent a lot of time over the weekend revamping this site into a more professional look. I think I'm finally done. At least for now! Have a great week everyone. :-)

-rg-


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Pastor's Wife Asks: How Do I Connect With Other Pastors' Wives on Your Site??

From the inbox:
   Q. I'm not really sure what I signed up for, I still feel pretty ignorant about this blogging "dealie" LOL! But I'm up for connecting.

Signed, (a friend on facebook)
Note: If you're a pastor's wife who has a question you'd like answered here, e-mail us (askapw at pastorswivesconnection.com).

Dear PW Friend, 

I'm so glad you asked! I didn't have a question in the mailbox to answer this week. But more importantly, if you're confused, I'm sure many others are confused as well.

The purpose of this blog is to help you connect with other pw bloggers, while also allowing other pastors' wives who may not have a blog to interact with our blogging community. Here's a quick list of how to receive the most benefit from our network.

How to connect with other pastor's wife bloggers

  1. Help another pastor's wife.

    You don't need a blog to participate. Simply look through the Ask a PW section and comment to share your encouragement and expertise. Or submit your own question to the community and check back for replies.
  2. Use our blogroll to find other pastors' wives.

    Click here for a list of all pastors' wives, or peruse the latest updates in the sidebar. Encourage another pastor's wife with your comments, likes, etc. 
  3. Write a guest post.

    Have something on your heart you'd like to share with other pastors' wives? Submit your material to us. (Again, it's not necessary to have a personal blog to participate.) See our contributor guidelines for more information.
  4. Watch for the Weekly PW Blog Round-Up.

    Each week, I highlight recent posts from our pw community that I believe will be of interest to other pastors' wives. It may be a post about women, a neat craft, an insight on a Bible passage, a book/product review, or just a general thought about the life of a pastor's family.
  5. Let me interview you and feature your blog.

    Each week I'll also feature a new pastor's wife we can all get to know. We'll pray for you all week, too, because we're cool like that! (See this post for more details.)
  6. Add your blog to our list.

    Help other pastors' wives find your blog. As our site grows, we'll subdivide as necessary; so please note senior pastor's wife, youth pastor's wife, missionary/missionary's wife, etc. and whether your blog is focused in on a single topic.
  7. Stay in touch!

    We have several options, and I recommend choosing more than one so you don't miss out on any new features. Also important! Word on the web is that google friend connect is being phased out. At the very least, it is being discontinued for all non-blogger blogs beginning March 1st, 2012. While "follow" is an easy way to keep up with a blog, it appears that google may be transitioning this service to google plus, so we're already there, even though it's quite lonely over there at the moment!
  8. Ask!

    Have I missed anything? Still confused? Ask away, and I'll do my best to answer.


Love,
    Ramona



Monday, February 6, 2012

Purpose, Time, & The Positives of Ministry Top Weekly PW Blogs (Plus Poll Update)

We all balance our busy church life with the family at home, but so far only one pastor's wife in our group works to ensure that her church runs "as smooth as Southern-churned butter." Good to know! ;-)

real reality of pastors wives survey results at pastorswivesconnection.com

TLC's upcoming show about preacher wives tops our recent news. Beth is blogging about the reality (?) of it and others have indicated they will, too.

You can view preliminary results from our riveting, "highly-scientific" poll on the real reality of pastors' wives here.

On to the other blogs...

Encouragement
Topping the list of words that spoke to me last week, I really enjoyed Cyndi's take on Bonds or Bondage. She reflects on Paul's imprisonment and how he used unpleasant circumstances to fulfill his calling in life.

Time Management
Terilynne just finished up a great series on time management. I couldn't pick only one. My two favorites were 24 Hours Is Never Enough, in which she challenges us to examine the root of our problem with time; and 4 Truths about Time, where she wraps it up with some great insights.

About Ministry
Think the life of a pastor's wife is destined to be a negative experience? Take a look at Pam Terrell's post about all the good things that happen in ministry. Pam thinks she's an outlier, but I'm not so sure. I think sometimes we hear too much about the unusual challenges of a pastor's family and it overwhelms us. We need to be reminded of the blessings, too.

About Women
Not necessarily about ministry, but Pam also has a great post about being a woman that I think all moms of girls will appreciate. Read about the positive things her parents did to help her develop a healthy view of herself. She also found a great cartoon illustrating a girl's world as viewed by the Disney princesses.

Critiques
Topping the reviews this past week, Nikki takes a look at Kinderbach online piano lessons for children, and two pw's examine The Jerk Magnet, by Melody Carlson. Read Cindy's review here and Suzanne's review here.

Other Neat Things
Each Saturday evening, Deidra at jumping tandem hosts a new Sunday post. Several people join her each week in posting a beautiful picture and a simple word of scripture to meditate upon. What a great way to encourage each other as we're preparing to worship!

And finally, pwnmom (PW and Mom) uses her blog to post about crafty and creative things that she either makes or finds online.Today I found an oldie but a goodie on her blog featuring a great idea for little children and church. Visit pwnmom to find out more about this cute little mini coloring tote:
original source: {lbg studio}

-rg-



Friday, February 3, 2012

TLC Reality Show: Preacher Wives. What is Your Gut Reaction? Updated -- Poll & Link-Up

From The Huffington Post
TLC is taking audiences into the holy world of Atlanta's "Preacher Wives." The new reality series...will follow the "outspoken ladies who work to ensure that their churches run as smooth as Southern-churned butter." (Click here for full article)
(Additional information can be found in this short article from the Atlanta Journal Consitution.)

So, what do you think?


Initially, I cringed; as I generally do when I see a pastor's wife portrayed publicly. So many stereotypes abound that are so far from the truth.

At the same time, I think it could possibly portray the women in a positive light. I certainly hope so.

-rg-


Update -- Poll & Linky
Though I still cringe at what will be portrayed, I looked through the descriptions given for the show in the media, and would say there's some truth to it at least. I personally know pastors' wives who are co-pastors or who do preach in their church occasionally. I myself would say that I am at work in my congregation and help people.

How many of these describe you? Are you going to blog about the show? Speak out in our poll, and/or link up below this poll to your blog post on the subject:

As a Pastor's Wife, Are You/Do You (check all that apply)



Are You Blogging About the Upcoming TLC Preacher Wives Reality Show? Link Up!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Beth Moore Livestream, Another Blogging Site For Pastors' Wives & a Parsonage Question

Beth Moore Livestream at 10:30 a.m. CST
Okay, so Beth Moore is not technically a pastor's wife, but she occasional does a conference just for pastors' wives. Many of us have probably given her honorary pastor's wife status. I'll be tuning in this morning to her livestream. She'll be talking about some of our biggest cares right now. Here's the info if you'd like to join in, too. Updated to add: If you missed it, go here and look in the archive under "Live Stream Devotional: What's your biggest concern?" -- and be patient, the audio gets better quickly.)


Other PW's Blogging Together:
Before I started this blog, I looked around to see if anyone else was doing something similar. I didn't want to seem like I was competing with them. The only other pw blogroll I knew of hadn't had activity in quite some time. But I didn't look closely enough, because I've now discovered there is another group of pastors' wives with a community blog as well. So, I wanted to let you know about A Pastor's Wife Garden. They're not linked up with us, but certainly are welcome to.

I don't add people to our list without their permission, because I don't want to misrepresent them as being part of our community when they're not. But, I wanted to let you know about their site, in case you'd like to subscribe to them as well. It looks like they're posting every Monday. I look forward to reading what they write. I don't think it's possible to encourage pastors' wives too much!

Parsonage Stories: Blessing or Cursing?
And finally, Beth, a new member to our community, but a pastor's wife I've known for a long time, is talking about life in the parsonage this week. Do you have any stories to share with her? Good ones? Any horrific ones? She's writing about it here.

-rg-



Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Pastor's Wife Asks: Square Peg, Round Hole?


From the inbox:
   Q. How does one overcome the "don't fits"? And yet still feel wanted or not alone while trying to find my place of acceptance just as i am?

Signed, Square Peg, Round Hole 
Note: If you're a pastor's wife who has a question you'd like answered here, please contact us.

Dear Sqare Peg, 

I'm so glad you contacted us. I want to first give you a warm welcome. I wish you could feel the (((hugs))). You're accepted here. You're not alone.

From your post, I gather that you don't fit what many may regard as a typical pw mold. Maybe you don't ____________  like the last pastor's wife did; nor have a gifting in _________________, like other pastors' wives you know. Maybe you don't feel called to organize certain ministries that others may presume all pastors' wives are called to do.

Or maybe your personality is just different than the last pastor's wife.

Am I in the ballpark yet?

If so, you're among good company, as many of us would probably say we don't fit the mold either. The shame is that there's ever been a suggestion that a mold exists.

I don't believe God asks a pastor's wife to set aside the unique talents and passions she may have, simply because her husband is now a pastor.

When God called Jeremiah, He said, "Before I made you in your mother's womb, I chose you. Before you were born, I set you apart for a special work." (1:5, NCV)

You and I may not be called as a prophet to the nations, but God knew us just as well. He knew our personalities. He gave us our talents. He created us purposefully, knowing His plans for us -- even knowing that one day we would marry a pastor.

(Find The Only Acceptance That Matters)
My advice to you is first, look to Jesus for your acceptance, and remain secure in God alone. He made you, after all, and He knew what He was doing! Resist that urge to let anyone else define you or determine your worth.

In Matthew 11, He invites us,
"Come to me, all of you who are tired and have heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Accept my teachings and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit, and you will find rest for your lives. The burden that I ask you to accept is easy; the load I give you to carry is light." (vv. 28-30, NCV)
There is such freedom in those words!

(Find a Place to Belong)
And secondly, balance that by intentionally finding places where you do fit in. You need a life outside of the church walls. Whether it's a hobby, a passion, or an interest; seek out places where others of like mind are gathering.

Or stretch yourself, go to a community class and learn something new. Meet new people along the way. Don't tell them you're a pastor's wife at first. Let them get to know you outside of their preconceived ideas, before they ask what your husband does for a living.

(Find the Lonely)
And finally, I've noticed that when I am feeling lonely or unaccepted, the best place to start is in looking for others who seem alone or like they're not fitting in either. This has been especially true since we've moved halfway across the country.

At church and even at school assemblies, I look for people whom others seem to be ignoring. They're generally happy that someone cares enough to say, "Hello." We minister to each other as we get to know each other.

And we're in good company, as Jesus did the very same thing.

So celebrate the fact that you don't fit into a cookie cutter mold. Enjoy the freedom it brings. You'll be grateful you did, and the next pastor's wife in that church will certainly thank you.

Blessings to you as you let God mold and shape you instead.


Love,
    Ramona

p.s. Are you a square peg, too? Chime in and let our PW know she's not alone. Any other thoughts or advice? Please leave a comment below to help our sister pw out...

Monday, January 30, 2012

perspective...


Noah's family on the ark. Jesus on the cross.

Impossible circumstances? Relentless persecution?
Or God's marvelous stories of redemption?

Perfect obedience, rewarded with thankless work among muck and stench.
Perfect obedience, punished by suffering, torture, and death.

Until the Author pens the denouement...

Then we bow in worship, rejoicing. Still struggling a bit to believe.

If only we could see the rest of the story while we were still in the story...

But where's the faith in that? Where's the belief, trust, and blind obedience?

May we trust the Author of our stories -- 
the One who knows the rest of the story. 

The One who is transforming us through our story.

-rg-


So we do not give up. Our physical body is becoming older and weaker, but our spirit inside us is made new every day. We have small troubles for a while now, but they are helping us gain an eternal glory that is much greater than the troubles. We set our eyes not on what we see but on what we cannot see. What we see will last only a short time, but what we cannot see will last forever. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NCV)


Friday, January 27, 2012

Weekly Recap: PW Blogs You Don't Want to Miss

It's been a fun week from my end of the world. I have designed, re-designed, and tweaked the colors of this blog; then re-designed and tweaked some more. First, too pink. Then, too brown. I've finally settled on a color scheme I can live with. I hope you like it, too!

I'm so happy to see those of you who have linked up. I appreciate your support as I get this started. Thank you for not leaving me flailing and twisting in the wind. Talking to air is quite lonely!

So on to the blogs...

Each week, I'd like to highlight posts that catch my eye. Words that speak to me, in case you missed out on them speaking to you.

As I was adding blogs to our feed, I took some time to look over them and page through recent posts.

Some of our bloggers use their space mainly for book reviews. One of them is Tracy! (Yes, Tracy, with an exclamation point!) While technically not written this past week, I enjoyed reading Tracy!'s review of The Names of God Bible.

I was so intrigued, that I headed over to CBD (Christian Book Distributors) and viewed their video glimpses for a closer look inside. As I write, I have one ear pealed for the delivery driver who is scheduled to drop that book off on my door step any minute now. Thanks Tracy! I can't wait to get started.

Teri Lynne Underwood is doing a parenting series on her blog right now. Today's post about teaching our children to pray is a must-read. It's short and to-the-point. You'll be instantly challenged and equipped to do better for your children.

Pam has an insightful post about encouraging those around you, called, Giving Away Chips. It has lots of application not only to ministry, but just in how you treat the people around you.

Near and dear to my heart, are posts having to do with parenting special needs children. Tara's post about How Autism Has Changed The Way We Celebrate gives you a look inside her very atypical life. I know, Tara; I've been there. Thank you for being a voice and helping others to understand what they couldn't possibly imagine otherwise.

Denie has a beautiful poem about flying through life. And finally, Carrie at She Thinks to Much gives a tribute to moms and chocolate pudding kisses in her post, Because I'm the Mom, that's why!

It's been a busy week. I know you're busy, too. You're in the midst of a blog redesign, or in the middle of moving your blog to a new platform. Some of you are traveling. Others, like Suzanne, are discovering the beautiful, time-devouring world of Pinterest.

*I hope that those last few sentences didn't sound too much like the gossip column of the small-town newspaper. (Oh, the stories I could tell, haha!)*

Gossip paragraph aside, I appreciate your stopping by in amongst your busy-ness to help the pastor's wife who is moving across the country. And I appreciate your support as I get this blog thing going.

-rg-



Thursday, January 26, 2012

Meet The PW

Each week I'd like to write about you. Who is the pastor's wife behind that blog I follow? I'll conduct an interview of some sort, and you'll be our featured pastor's wife blogger of the week.

During that time, I'll open up the comments section if any of our readers wants to ask you a question. You can then compose a paragraph about yourself, answering any questions you'd like. We'll include that paragraph in your personal listing on our site, along with a link to your blog. We'll also link to any other social media outlets you might use to publicize for your readership.


Does that make sense? Soon, I'll use that section to tell you a little bit more about myself. From then on, we'll open it up to you.

If you'd like to be featured, contact me. Include a short bio (rough draft is fine) and a link to a photo of yourself or your blog logo.

You are welcome to remain anonymous and use a pseudonym instead; but please choose wisely, as it's doubtful I'd be able to keep going back to edit.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

New PW Blogroll Section Just for Book Reviewers

Blogroll update: Some of you have told me that the only reason you blog is to review books. To accommodate you, I've opened up a new blogroll on our site just for pastors' wives who review books. Right now, it's just to the right of our general blogroll. I think this will be a great addition to our community. So, if you'd like your book review blog listed, leave a comment and I'll get you added!


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Pastor's Wife Asks: Moving Cross Country?

Note: If you're a pastor's wife who has a question you'd like answered here, please see our contact page.

From the inbox:
   Q. Hi Everyone! We are moving soon to a different church in a different part of the country. I'm very excited! I would like to hear from other pastors' wives who have moved to a very different area from where they have been before. What recommendations do you have as I begin new relationships and activities?  
Thank you! Linda

Dear Linda, 
First of all, congratulations on the big move! I'm glad to hear you're excited. That enthusiasm will be a close ally for you in the weeks and months ahead -- changes like this are hard, even when they're positive ones.

My advice is to be aggressive in developing relationships and hesitant with your involvement in church activities. That doesn't mean you refuse to lend a hand where it's needed. By all means, pitch in and wash dishes and tables or help organize a short-term project.

But, long-term commitments to a specific ministry within the church? They can wait.

I generally allow myself at least 6 months to become familiar with the new church family and its ministries before taking any plunges. It's a tough adjustment -- a frustrating time when you're itching to use your gifts that suddenly feel so squelched; but oftentimes it is necessary.

I've learned that just because God called me to help with _____ ministry in our previous church, does not automatically mean that He wants me to do the exact same thing at the next one. He may have someone else for that job.

A new assignment generally requires new instructions. Pray, wait, watch, and listen; then listen, watch, wait, and pray some more!

In the meantime, get to know the people around you. Get to know the culture and its nuances. Since you're moving so far away, the people will be very different. You need to spend some time just grasping the social norms of the area, in order to help yourself adjust.


Use that precious free time (that will fade away all-too-quickly) to invite people over for meals and to go places where you'll find people in the community with similar interests. You will cherish those relationships during times when loneliness sets in.

Speaking of loneliness -- think ahead to times when you're most likely to feel isolated. Go ahead and make some tentative plans to be somewhere else on those days with people you enjoy. Start some new traditions. Give yourself something to look forward to, rather than something to dread.

And most of all, take it easy on yourself. Even in the best of situations, you may find yourself in tears at times, wishing you were back home. You may want to journal your thoughts or call a trusted friend -- whatever helps you process through the emotions.

Blessings on your upcoming move.
Love,
    Ramona

p.s. Do you have any thoughts for the pastor's wife moving across the country? Any thoughts on the advice already given? Leave a comment below to help a sister pw out...



Monday, January 23, 2012

Monday Morning Hideout

Ever find yourself in a post-adrenaline let-down on a Monday morning? I know I do. Sometimes, well... many times, I just want to crawl deeper under the covers and hide from the world, or at least drown out the sound of that annoying alarm clock.

This month I've begun taking my young women's class through the Old Testament narrative. One of the connecting themes between this week and last week has been "hiding from God". (Put a star by your name if you instantly knew both stories we've been studying! Otherwise, I'll wait here while you grab another cup of coffee ;-) But seriously...

 Can we really hide from God? 

No way!

8 If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.9 If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,10 Even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will lay hold of me.11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, And the light around me will be night,”12 Even the darkness is not dark to You, And the night is as bright as the day. (Psalm 139 NASB)

And really, thank God for that! Thank God we cannot hide the ugliness eating us up inside from the Lord [who] is Peace. Thank God our troubling, inmost thoughts lay bare before Him, the God who sees. Thank God our worries, our cares, our anger, our pain, our sadness, our arrogance, our struggles, our fears...

...anything else that might torment us or hold us back or rob us of life...

are unhidden. 

Uncovered, 

by a holy & loving God who seeks us out;

and simply asks, 

"Why are you hiding?"



                                                 -Ramona



Saturday, January 21, 2012

Getting To Know You...

For those of you who have already joined our listing service, we may need to divide it up into categories as more people join. We'll still keep the main list; but to better serve you, we'll also pick a few of the more popular categories to feature separately on our site. So tell us, what best describes you/your blog? Here are some sections we might have:

Senior Pastor's Wife 

Youth Pastor's Wife

Small Church -- 
(1 pastor with maybe 1 other part-time staff person)

Overseas Missionaries

PW's with Special Needs Children

PW's Who Do Book Reviews -- 
(are they occasional reviews or is that the main purpose of your blogging?)

PW's Who Write Devotionals

Any Other Suggestions?

Are you in a particular situation and would like to connect with other pw's who are in that situation?

I look forward to hearing back. :-)


Pastors' Wives On Facebook