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Showing posts with label pastors wife blog. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pastors wife blog. Show all posts

18 October

Recurring Dreams

My daughter and I were recently discussing recurring dreams that mess with our sleep. She’s had a dream three times and is relieved to wake up and realize it isn’t true.  As we talked about them I understood the three dreams I live while asleep reveal something deeper than I imagined.

The first dream involves driving in reverse. I hate reverse. My husband likes to back up across the church parking lot just to play, but it feels like I’m on a roller coaster. I tend to avoid anything that moves without my controlling it, so driving backwards is not my idea of a fun time. In my dream I’m driving in reverse and the car is out of control, spinning all over the place. No matter what I do I can’t fix it. I haven’t had this dream in a few years, and looking back I can see that parts of my life were out of my control. Things have since fallen into place and my dreams no longer involve reverse.

The second dream is one I haven’t had in almost a decade. In this dream I’ve got something in my mouth and can’t get it out. It’s the texture of the wax lips I used to chew on as a child, and it’s in big lumps and tiny slivers. No matter how much I try to empty my mouth of it, there is still more. This dream is an easy one to unwrap. It means I have something to say and can’t get the words out. I know the reason I don’t have this one anymore is because I’ve found my voice and the confidence to say what needs to be spoken. Fear of being ridiculed has vanished each time I speak where I would have once cowered.

The final dream is one I still have on occasion. I arrive at church to a full parking lot and have to park on the grass or the street. Once inside I find there is nowhere for me to sit. Every seat is full. As the pastor’s wife I have given myself an unassigned assigned seat: the first row second seat in from the left. It’s my spot. In my dream I’ve had to stand in the back or sit on stage with the choir (Choir? We don’t have a choir!) The more I thought about this dream, I realized it’s about my insecurity of not knowing my place or not knowing where I fit in as the pastor’s wife. Am I just another member of the congregation or am I a leader?

How many of us have felt this way? I am not someone who likes to be fussed over or have all eyes on me. Early in our adult ministry I entered church one morning with a new haircut. There was a collective gasp from the congregation and whispers of, “Suzanne got her hair cut.” It was enough to make me want to turn around and go home. I’ve faked my way through many a Sunday morning. But God has bigger plans and ideas, and sometimes they involve being uncomfortable. I’ve learned He is trustworthy and faithful. Even when I am apprehensive He will take care of me.

We can always trust Him with every part of our lives. Even when all eyes are on us.

About the Author:

Suzanne Schaffer has been in full-time ministry with her husband Wayne since 1992, pastoring in Pennsylvania and Illinois. She has two grown children and spends most of her days either writing or reading with a cup of tea close by. She enjoys attending auctions and sometimes brings home more stuff than she knows what to do with. She believes life is too short for mediocre food and insists on having good chocolate in the house at all times. You can connect with Suzanne at her blog, www.notenoughchocolate.blogspot.com

26 September

Thanks, I Needed That

At a city wide pastor and wives event we were seated at a table with another couple whom we have known for some time.  Everyone knows this couple. When most think of this couple, I think words such as "loud" and maybe even "obnoxious" come to mind. This couple loves the Lord but are known for sharing their opinions freely with much authority.

On the way home I asked my hubby,  " I wonder if I there are any ways that I appear to others in a different way than I see myself?”

It didn't take long to find out.

We attended a reunion of Christians we met in the 70s during the "Jesus Coffee House" era.  It was wonderful to see these people, many of whom still serve the Lord.  As I interacted with someone I've known for years, a remark was made to me that took me aback. Basically the person told me he didn't think I liked him.

I was shocked. Of course I like him. In fact, I admire him and his ministry. I was hurt by his remark to me. I asked him, with admittedly some defensiveness, to explain what he meant and he told me.

I was ready to tell him that he misunderstood me and took my actions the wrong way when my earlier prayer came to mind. Could this be the answer? Could God be showing me how I can look to others?

I left the reunion feeling a little bruised, but the more I pondered it  and tried to see it through his eyes, the more I began to realize that my actions could easily be interpreted as he apparently had interpreted them, even though I didn't mean them in a negative way.

Years ago, we used to hear about “The Reproofs of Life."  I don’t hear that phrase used anymore, but what it means is this:  We learn from difficult things that life teaches us.  Not watching where we are going and falling down is a “reproof of life."  Getting caught for stealing something is a “reproof of life."  

Being told you hurt someone can be a “reproof of life."

Proverbs 15:31 teaches this principle “He whose ear listens to the life-giving reproof will dwell among the wise.”

I emailed my old friend and thanked him sincerely for his remark to me.  It was a reproof that opened my eyes to a way I appeared to others that I was not aware of.  I began to think about how I can come across to others.from their perspective.

It’s easy to miss the reproofs of life.  It’s easy to think “Boy is he touchy, I was just kidding," or  “Of course I didn’t mean it that way, he took it the wrong way."

As PW’s, our actions are scrutinized--and in many cases, unfairly. But we can grow as women and Christians if we don’t simply write off the remarks of others as unfair.

Perhaps there is a grain of truth in the observations of others that we can learn from.

Ask ourselves:  how did I look from their eyes?  How did this sound to their ears? Even though I had good motives, from their perspective, could it look different?

My friend didn’t know he was giving me “life giving reproof” with his remark, but by looking at our interaction from his eyes, I gained some fresh new perspective and plan to approach people in a slightly different way in the future, more mindful of how I come across to others.

About the Author:

Deb Harrold has been a Christ follower since 1972. She is a pastor's wife, mother, grandmother, nurse, and ladies Bible teacher. You can connect with Deb at her blog, http://themistyflats.blogspot.com/

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