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

Showing posts with label encouragement. Show all posts
Showing posts with label encouragement. Show all posts

21 November

Dodging Pity Puddles


"Not yet, no one is here."

"Five minutes."

"I hope so. This was a crazy week and as you know, it took all I had in me to prepare. I sure do hope someone shows up."

"Thanks honey, I will call on my way home . . . it could be sooner than later."

Ever been there? You've had a busy week and it took all you could do to prepare for a meeting, Bible study, or get-together and then either no one shows up, or just a few.

I have, obviously, and it was just a few weeks ago. As I sat in a chair looking out the window waiting for at least one car to pull up I felt it—that familiar tap on my heart when the Lord needs to get my attention. I knew my attitude was not good when I was on the phone with my husband, but at the moment I felt I had good reason to feel as I did.

As the minutes ticked, God took this time as a teaching moment. You know, the moments you take with your children or grandchildren when they are doing something wrong or inappropriate and you guide them. Well, that was where I was. He had my full attention and was going to teach me something right then.

In those minutes He gently reminded me that this wasn’t about me. I know, in ministry we are well aware that we signed up for “it’s not about me,” but sometimes we get tired and we fall into a pity puddle and forget. Yes, I said pity puddle, instead of party. Puddles are stinking and stagnating, and that was about my attitude at the moment.

But our Heavenly Father is so gracious and if we will give Him our attention for those teaching moments, He will not only guide us, but prepare us and give us the energy for the work He has called us to, as well as pour over us His peace.

In those quiet moments of waiting He reminded me that this was His work and the dear ones I was waiting on, they were His also. He didn’t prompt me to teach this particular Bible Study for the numbers so that my worth could be validated. No, He prompted me to teach for many reasons; to use the gifts He had given me, to begin to grow our new women’s ministry, to bring together these ladies for instruction and fellowship. If only one came, then my preparation was for her. It wasn’t about my performance or their attendance but about obedience.

While in the midst of ministry I think we can stumble and fall face first into a pity puddle. But again, our Heavenly Father is full of grace and love. He will always give us what we need when He has asked us to serve Him. Our part is to be obedient and keep our eyes focused on Him, then it doesn’t matter the outcome.

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good word in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ,” (Phil 1:6 ESV).

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. 

Connect With Beth:

25 July

Just a Touch

There are seasons in the Christian life, and perhaps especially in frontline service, when the path we walk darkens. We find ourselves surrounded by pain or grief, facing burdensome assignments or insurmountable obstacles. The air we breathe reeks of danger and fear … worsened by silence from heaven, the sense we’re alone. All alone.

God promises to be with us always, but sometimes we forget. Thankfully He floods our lives with reminders of His presence.

I learned the value of training my spiritual eyes from Edith Schaeffer, wife of Dr. Francis Schaeffer. Her weekly Bible studies during my years at L’Abri unveiled a fresh perspective. She wove observations of every day sights and situations we tend to overlook into illustrations of God’s hand at work in the world.* Her teaching rivaled the expertise of the miller’s daughter in Rumplestiltskin who spun straw into gold.

Developing my focusing skills bore fruit when I was recovering from hip replacement surgery. The simple task of taking a shower morphed into a prisoner of war experience—small enclosure, drumming water, complete isolation, imminent danger. My cruel captor was the fear of falling, beating me to remain upright when I wanted to hunch in a corner. Darkness like a black bag over my head disoriented me as I clenched my eyes against stinging shampoo. Yet I stood and endured.

In one particular torture session I felt myself tilting sideways and panic surged. My hand shot out and struck the white tiles. No handhold to grasp, but the wall held firm. I leaned into the support and gulped at the security I found. My pulse settled and peace penetrated. I opened my eyes and stood erect. A breath or two and I took hold of the back brush, returning to my mission. Occasionally I poked out my elbow to confirm rescue was less than an arm’s length away.

And so it is with the pilgrim journey in a fallen world. We find ourselves in shadowed valleys, feeling overcome by what’s behind, beside, or before us. Whether in a local church or on the mission field the LORD is our all-sufficient Sovereign, more secure than any vertical upright. He’s the ever-present promise-keeper who rescues and loves on those He calls His own.

Let me encourage you. The next time you find yourself in a tight spot, battered and nearly broken, remember God is closer than your tub surround. You don’t have to open your eyes to find Him. Slip out your hand and lean into His strength. Draw peace from His presence. He’s right there.

“Never will I Ieave you; never will I forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6, Hebrews 13:5 NIV1984

*A Way of Seeing, by Edith Schaeffer, is a collection of sixty essays with fresh insights on biblical Truth.

About the Author
Sandra Allen Lovelace is a continuing missionary, a pastor’s wife emeritus, and a homeschool pioneer. She’s a well-respected speaker and author known for her candor and warmth. Sandra’s current manuscript invites wallflower women to reach for the life God intends them to live. 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. If you contact her at Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, or Instagram she’ll be delighted with a reason to practice.

Pastors' Wives On Facebook