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Showing posts with label Ramona Griffith. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ramona Griffith. Show all posts

31 October

Pastor's Wife Devotional Launching November 28th

I'm so excited!!! My long-time friend and fellow pastor's wife, Leigh Powers, joined our pastor's wife blog in the summer of 2016 -- writing articles, assisting with social media, and also arranging for other guest bloggers to encourage pastors' wives around the globe.

Now, Leigh is launching a devotional book for pastors' wives. Truthfully, I find many devotional books -- especially those aimed at women -- to be trite and shallow, or too syrupy for me to stand for very long. But this one stands apart.

Leigh is a gifted and insightful writer, holding an M.Div.Bl from Southwestern Seminary; and more importantly, a love for her fellow pastor's wife.

Each devotional practically identifies with the pain/emotions we're feeling, ends with encouragement and insight from God's word, followed by prayer and action steps that lead to healing.

Read an excerpt online at Medium. This is the very first devotional in the book--the one that kicks off the 40-day journey from lamenting the pain to loving the church again.

Here's a sample:

I see the hope in my husband’s eyes slowly dying. It dims a little with every idea shot down, every deacon who puts a finger in his face before he gets up to preach ...

We live in a messy, sin-stained world. Those who are meant to be God’s people don’t always live like it. As ministers and church leaders, being on the front lines of the battle means we get hit by the shrapnel. It hurts, and sometimes anger is our gut-level response to the pain. Anger at ourselves. Anger at our churches. Anger at God, because it’s his fault we’re here in the first place.

When you are angry at God, the worst thing you can do is hide it....

Read the rest at:



02 October

Pastors(Wife) Appreciation Day

Pastors' appreciation month has become more well-known and publicized in recent years, and companies like Hallmark have even joined the likes of Dayspring in making clergy appreciation cards now.

With the knowledge of the day, comes expectation. It's a bit like knowing your birthday is approaching and hoping someone will say, "Happy Birthday" or send you a card.

I have met some pastors' wives whose churches really go all out in honoring their husbands and/or family. Others receive some acknowledgement, while still others receive none at all. I've even met staff pastors’ wives who served in churches where only the senior pastor was honored in October.

So, if no one says how much they appreciate your service to the Lord this month, or even if they do, let me say it to you -- I appreciate you. We're in this together and you are a valuable member of God's team.

I know how you, pastor and wife, pour of yourselves into your congregation. I know how you love them and/or strive to love when some may seem annoying or exasperating. I know how you pray for them in secret and how you do things at church that many may take for granted.

I know how you felt when a church member you considered a friend gave you the cold shoulder because they were upset with your husband.

I know how you've sat on pins and needles, wishing you could be a fly on the wall, while your beloved was in a tough meeting that went long.

I also know the joy you've felt as you've seen the fruit of your efforts. I've felt the amazement you've felt as you've seen God work in situations you'd deemed hopeless.

I know the discomfort you felt when someone came to you for advice simply because you are the pastor's wife, and the elation you felt when God helped you guide them in His wisdom.

And I know the honor and humility you've felt as you've been presented opportunities to serve that are unique to your gifts, personality, and experience. But more importantly than that--God knows, and He's cheering you on.

"For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints." (Hebrews 6:10, NASB95)

Others appreciate you, too. There are Christians all over the world who honor pastors by providing retreat and vacation facilities for pastors, wives, (and sometimes families) at little to no cost. They know your sacrifice, and they are there for you.

We have personally worked with BroomTree Ministries, and it is a beautiful place to refresh and renew. They didn't use the evening meal to pull out the multi-level marketing plan nor the time-share condo opportunity. They simply wanted to encourage us.

While it is certainly neat to be honored and encouraged by other Christians, I think it's even "neater" how much God values your service to Him. Did you know that there's a special crown of honor for pastors? Peter calls it the "unfading crown of glory”. (1 Peter 5:1-4)

So if pastor's appreciation day comes and go without anyone noticing, and if pastor's appreciation month is a bit disappointing, please know that God sees what you do. He sees the love, prayers, and hard work you pour into His sheep; and He says, "Well done."

In the end, that's what matters the most.

"...because you know that your work in the Lord is never wasted." (1 Corinthians 15:58b, NCV)

About the author:

Ramona Griffith married into the ministry in 1993. Originally from Texas, her family took a step (or a drive, a really long drive) of faith when they moved to Wisconsin a few years ago. Ramona helped Sue Mitchum re-launch PastorsWives.Org in 2003, and later founded PastorsWives.Com to extend that ministry. She occasionally blogs at Ramona Writes, "Again". You can also find her on twitter and pinterest.  -- (View all posts by Ramona)

01 April

"Those Few Sheep": Pastors' Wives in Small Churches

This is for all the pastors' wives in small churches!!! We often hear ourselves saying that it's not about numbers. Yet, in our hearts, it's hard to not look at numbers sometimes. Amen?

Others may sneer at our attendance figures, too, declaring publicly that we're insignificant or ineffective. Or, they may just declare it quietly in their thoughts, as they dismiss us and anything we may have to say.

David faced similar ridicule, too, right before he faced Goliath. In 1 Samuel 17 we cringe along with him, as his oldest brother scolds him:
 28 ...“Why did you come here? Who’s taking care of those few sheep of yours in the desert? ..." (NCV)
Ouch! But we all know better. We know the rest of David's story! And God know the rest of our stories, too.

My family's story goes something like this:

When we switched denominations, we found ourselves starting over. My husband served bi-vocationally before moving up to a full time position. The next logical step would have been higher up, not down.

After 13 years helping that church turn the next corner or two, we moved across the country to a ... wait for it... *smaller* church. Not the typical aim of a pastoral couple, and it wasn't always our aim either.

 It was tempting to stay at our previous church, bask in the accomplishments, and coast. It was also tempting to hold out there until we could find somewhere bigger to serve. But neither option was the best use of our gifts. (And believe it or not, the smaller church was a better financial decision for us than staying, but that's a whole other post!)

Though frustrating at times, I do love small churches. They have their own strengths and weaknesses. I believe it takes a unique set of gifts and callings to minister well in them, just as it does serving in a larger church or a mega-church. What works in one setting doesn't always work in the other, and vice versa.

The thing to remember is that small churches are small for a reason -- maybe they're in a really small town; maybe they have some challenges to overcome from past hurts or controversies. That takes time -- lots of it, to build trust and confidence in your ability to lead them.

At our previous church, a former colleague of my husband's told him to give the church three years to turn around; and if nothing happened, to leave. Honestly, we thought that was giving up too soon, and we were right.

The church did turn around, but it took seven years before people began to realize that he wasn't just another revolving-door pastor. It took that long to really start gaining trust. It took being there and walking people through their darkest hours.

I have more to say, but I'll end there for now. What about you? Are you in a small church? Do you love it or hate it right now?


25 March

God Shows Up Right in the Middle of the Ugly

Like many, I've been watching the new Bible Series on the History Channel. I always find it helpful to watch certain shows that I know others will be talking about, plus it's always neat to see how an artist will fill in the lines between the lines we all know.

There are conversations you know must have happened (case in point, the argument regarding whether it was legal to try someone at night), yet they're not recorded. There's also the whole angle of how the people surrounding many of the events might have been affected (the scene with Samson's mom, for instance.)

My favorite part of this series, though, is the way God shows up right there in the middle of the ugly. Just as tax collectors are exacting their brutality, He calls out and says, "Mary!"

That may not have been the exact way that particular scene happened, but it illustrates a greater truth. God doesn't wait for the ugly to die down before He speaks. He often doesn't wait until things are calm and we're ready to deal with them. He speaks now. He acts now.

As a pastor's wife, I have in the past been involved in the planning and grunt work that goes into an event. During those times, I've often found myself pushing off any personal or spiritual growth I might receive from the event until later. I like to process after the fact, but many times God is wanting to do His work right then and there in the middle of it all.

I know that Holy Week can be a crazy time for pastors' families, and I encourage you to make the time to slow down, be still, and know God.

But... don't just know God in the slow times. Look for Him in the insane, the busy, the traumatic, and the absolutely crazy.


11 March

Bad Advice: "God Will Fix It," I Said

She's a nurse. More specifically, she's a single mom who worked hard to put herself through school. No doubt she sacrificed to do it, and I'm sure money was still pretty tight even after she graduated.

Still, she made a tough decision.

No pressure at all from us, but she came to believe that her second part-time job took her out of church way too often, so she gave her notice and announced it on facebook.

So far, so good. But then I opened my mouth (albeit via my fingers).

"What a hard decision," I affirmed,"but I fully believe God will honor that and replace your lost income."

As I walked away from the computer screen, I began questioning myself. This is nothing new -- I second-guess myself and my actions mercilessly. I've learned to endure it and move on, lest I never do or say anything, ever.

But this time it was different. "How do you know that God will replace those funds?" and "What will happen to her faith if you tell her that and then He doesn't?" kept echoing in my mind.

And so I listened to the questions, and thought about why I'd ever said or written a statement like that. Truth is, the best I could come up with is that I'd heard other people say that very same thing. Likely, they had a similar personal experience and God did reward their faithfulness. But does their experience mean that material reward for a sacrifice is guaranteed?

Certainly, we see in the Bible stories of God's faithfulness. He did prosper people monetarily. But if I really ponder, it's tough to come up with a time when someone had it easy because they made a tough choice. Often, those choices cost them, sometimes dearly; though there may have been a reward of some kind later down the road.

Yesterday my class was discussing a passage from Exodus 4 and 5. Moses had gathered the leaders of Israel and told them of God's plan to free them, showing them some of the signs God empowered them to give. In faith, the leaders sent Moses and Aaron off to Pharaoh with their full blessing. The reward? Their oppression was worsened and the Israelites called for God to judge Moses and Aaron because of it.

Yes, God did eventually secure their freedom, and they even plundered the Egyptians for material blessings; but I'm pretty sure that during the time of the plagues, they still had to make their bricks without straw.

"But Where is Your Faith?" you might ask me.

I would say that my faith is not in believing that if I do the right thing, God will always bless me in the way I see fit. I believe that true faith is doing what you know is right in spite of the consequences.

Yes, God rescued Daniel from the lion's den. But His rescue of Stephen looked very different. Stephen's reward for faithfulness was seeing Jesus standing in his honor as he was martyred.

Of all the stands for God people have made, the one that challenges me the most is that of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego:
 “Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves to you. If you throw us into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from the furnace. He will save us from your power, O king. But even if God does not save us, we want you, O king, to know this: We will not serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.” (Daniel 3:16-18, NCV)
Yes, God CAN save me and/or bless me; but even if He does not, I will obey Him. That's the attitude I long to have for all of my decisions, big or small.

THAT is faith. THAT is counting the cost (Luke 14:28). We may still feel like backing out when our faith is put to the test, but fully appreciating ahead of time what is on the line can help us prepare for tough times that may come.

So, the next time I see the woman whom I encouraged with bad advice, I'll tell her that my words were well-intentioned, but wrong. May God help me to give her true encouragement for her journey instead.

Have you ever given someone advice and regretted it later? 


03 May

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? 


07 April

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. 


Yes, God is still with us.


16 February

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.


31 January

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.


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...

30 January


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.


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)

24 January

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.

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...

23 January

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. 


by a holy & loving God who seeks us out;

and simply asks, 

"Why are you hiding?"


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