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.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Is All This Struggle Worth it?

She locked the church door and jiggled the knob. Her car was the only one left in the parking lot, and Taneka was taking the speaker to the airport. Tired fingers dropped the key into her new summer purse. Memories of the tender hugs that accompanied all the goodbyes warmed her heart as she walked to her blue Toyota hybrid.

Once in the gray cloth seat, Beth paused. “Lord, it all seemed to go well. Thank you for keeping everything on track in spite of that major disruption.” She dropped her hands from the wheel to her lap.

“Now I need you to help me figure out what’s going on with Ruth. Her outburst was totally out of character. Her words stung, and I’m sure you noticed the shock on the faces of those who heard her.”
She realized her response in the moment to address the older woman’s concerns was more second nature than felt kindness. The confrontation itself was easier to handle than all the little upsets that occurred throughout the planning and preparation. A deep breath poured from her lungs as she pulled the lanyard out of her jacket pocket. Keys slid into ignitions so easily. Her years of ministry played across her mind.

“I have to tell you, Lord. As much as I appreciate being able to serve you and the women you send my way, I’m feeling a bit tired. I know the message this weekend was sound and what we all need to hear, but I’m not sure what I got out of this gathering. Is my effort worth so much struggle?”

She put her head back and relaxed, as if into the arms of her Savior. “But you know me, Jesus. When you and I are making our way through these stretching seasons, I feel closer to you than I can express.” Her eyes narrowed. “Hmm, could that be one of the reasons for them?”

A smile of knowing relief captured her countenance as she reached over and started the engine. “You’re so sweet, Lord. Thank You for reminding me I’m forever safe in your loving and powerful grasp.”

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of my hand (John 10:27-18 NASB).

When was the last time you felt worn out and overdone?

I’d love to hear how God met your need once you turned to Him.

About the Author:
Sandra Allen Lovelace is a continuing missionary, a pastor’s wife emeritus, and a homeschool pioneer. She’s an award-winning speaker and author, and a faithful encourager. Sandra’s a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, and an Agented Author at Credo Communications. Her current manuscript addresses the topic of Wallflower Women. She enjoys hiking with a camera in her hand, best done on an international adventure. Sandra and her husband Curt are transitioning to South Carolina.

Get to know Sandra at her website, http://sandraallenlovelace.com/

You can also connect with Sandra on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Something Just For You

“My husband asked me if I should start writing again, that I seemed, well . . . happy when I was writing.”
This was part of a conversation I had with a guest at our last writer’s group. After introducing myself and asking her what brought her to our group she shared this statement. She then went on to say that she works part-time as a realtor, homeschools her children, one of whom has autism, and is—a minister’s wife.
Yes, my thoughts exactly. She’s busy. Then add on the fact that she’s a minister’s wife and she becomes very busy. But what caught my attention was the fact that her husband noticed something about her. That there was something that seemed to make her happy—when she was doing something for herself: writing.
I encouraged my new friend to come back and join us and to keep writing, because as a minister’s wife we need something that’s ours. Did I get an Amen?
Yes, being a wife and mother or grandmother is rewarding and so is serving with our husbands. But that’s what we are doing—serving with our husbands. But what about ourselves?
One thing that can help us balance our crazy lives is to have something that we can call our own.
What do you do that’s for you, and for you only?
It could be sewing, knitting, or scrapbooking. What about painting, gardening, playing an instrument, or writing? And DIY projects, there are so many to choose from. Do you like to go to yard sales with your girlfriends, be a part of a book club, or what about an exercise class at the local YMCA? The point is we need to have something that’s ours to immerse ourselves in that gives us enjoyment and satisfaction.
I was like my new friend at one time. I was working full time, raising our family, keeping the home fires burning and serving with my husband. There was no outlet for me. I found myself close to the dreaded burnout. What about you? Do you know without another thought that something you enjoy doing? Or do you need to ponder the idea.
Begin by dusting off the cobwebs of your mommy/wife heart and think about the things you enjoyed doing as a child.
You may not be able to turn cartwheels at your age, but you may remember that you loved being outside. Did you like to color? Oh my, the adult coloring books are everywhere now. What about baking, not cooking for the family, but baking, or better yet gourmet cooking? Well, then sign up for a baking or cooking class.
We are all “fearfully and wonderfully made,” (Psa. 139:14) and God has given each one of us things we enjoy doing. And we’re all different. Like today at lunch by husband looked out the window at our neighbor digging holes and planting new perennials in his flowerbed. My husband’s comment was, “Why would anyone enjoy doing that!”  I, being a gardener who loves the outdoors, was going to challenge his statement. But then he went on to say that others must think he’s crazy for spending four hours outside hitting a small white ball until it goes into a tiny round hole. Yes, my thoughts exactly.

Let me encourage you today that if you don’t have an interest that’s yours, then pray. Ask God to show you something that you could do and would enjoy—something just for you.

About the Author:

The hats I wear are many but with each one brings an opportunity to share heart, humor, and hope. My day job is with a ministry in Greenville, SC but my other hours I fill with writing, speaking, teaching Bible Studies, leading our women's ministry, designing landscape/gardens, rowing at Greenville Indoor Rowing and answering to Beth, mama, and grandmommy. Serving alongside my husband, who is a pastor, for over twenty years, I can say without a doubt that as difficult as it is at times, it's also a great honor. They say that with age comes wisdom, I'm not sure about the wisdom part, but I do know that with age comes the realization that no matter what I go through God is always there with His overwhelming love and grace. 

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