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Showing posts with label pastors wife post. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pastors wife post. 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:

04 January

New Beginnings (January PW Link-Up)

That is my theme for 2015. (Do you do resolutions or themes for the new year?)

Brigid Schulte is currently musing to me in, Overwhelmed: Work, Love, & Play When No One Has The Time that I need to... yep, you guessed it... PLAY ever so much more.

A ministry friend frequently shares articles regarding the benefits of being well-rested and unhurried at home and in church, and I often appreciatively read them and mark related books in my to-read list. I believe that is how I first stumbled on this gem.

So I'm resolving to get away from "the overwhelm," as Schulte calls it, and the resultant shrinking of my prefrontal cortex (yes, people, our stressed out brains are actually shrinking under the weight of so much busyness, and thus becoming even less able to handle stress!); out of "contaminated time" where I'm not truly at rest because I'm thinking of what all I've yet to do, and more into "time serenity" where I'm lost in the moment. This is who and how I once was, before I became entrapped in mid-western suburbia.

Another book I've recently read "off the record" so to speak, makes it clear that a pastor's family needs a non-anxious presence to best face the spiritual battles that may come their way. That means time spent in the word & prayer, but also time just spent together having fun as a family and as a couple.

Last year, I resolved to be more hospitable in opening up my home, which meant I spent some chunks of hurried & focused time cleaning and organizing (to a point of being presentable, far from perfect). The more I invite others over, the cleaner my house gets! Crazy how that works.

So now, even though the big room in our basement, which would double our entertaining space if it were clean, still looks like one of those hoarder shows visited but gave up halfway through, it is time to PLAY HARD. PLAY WELL. AND PLAY OFTEN.

 Feel free to share your thoughts on the new year, whatever they may be.

And please be encouraged that God -- who has always been -- was with you at your beginning, and every new beginning you've ever experienced. May you experience His blessings in a new way this year -- both in your personal life and ministry!


30 November

A Simple, Meaningful Christmas (Link-Up)

As children, we delighted in the gift-giving and receiving, the special activities, the lights, the cookies, the stories, and all the things that came together to make the Christmas season special.

And then we grew up…

Suddenly each of those activities required planning and preparation. Then they multiplied into many more obligations needing crammed in to an already hectic schedule. For many adults, Christmas becomes a season to survive rather than a season to celebrate. Somewhere along the way, many of us feel like somehow we’re missing the whole point.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

First, Keeping it Simple:
If ever there were a time to simplify our lives, I believe the Christmas season needs it the most. I would love to hear the thoughts of others, and I will in turn share some of mine:

- Our yearly Christmas program is a simple rather than elaborate production during a regular evening worship time of our church. We perform it to glorify God, not ourselves. We also schedule it on a Sunday when we’d usually have a fellowship meal, so that we’re not adding an extra event to the normal calendar.

- We don’t have a separate program for children, youth, adults, or other special choirs. We do one program and each group has a small part in it, so that we’re not adding additional stress to the season. The children generally practice their small part at the end of the Sunday school hour and/or for a few minutes immediately after our regular mid-week children’s program.

- We do have other celebratory events, but they’re also kept simple and scheduled during our regular meeting times.

- As a family, we carefully evaluate the events and activities we attend or participate in. We don’t become hermits, but we do purposefully slow our social calendar down and spend more time together instead.

- We focus on our relationship with God. We let Him center us as only He can. I will often begin a new study or devotional that helps me to know Him more.

Making it Meaningful:
When we simplify the season, we also make room for a more meaningful event in our lives and in the lives of those around us. We can volunteer in local organizations that make a difference in our community, and give the gift of our time and talents to others. And most of all, we make room in our lives for true worship and communion with God, who rescued us from a path of self-destruction and replaced it with an abundant life.

Several years ago, inspired by some of my fellow online pastors’ wives, I put an end to the endless shopping to find gifts for those who already have everything they could possibly want or need, and started donating to charities in their honor instead. I did this for family, church workers, and even school teachers (how many apple-themed knick knacks or gallons of shower gel do they really need?) I matched their interests with gift ideas from the World Vision Gift Catalog, or I donated to a charity they already work with, such as the Gideons or denominational disaster relief organizations.  This year, thanks to other pastors’ wives from around the world, I’ve also become aware of Tearfund, Heifer International, and The Leprosy Mission.

Looking for something more? Then perhaps you’re up to the Advent Conspiracy. I took the challenge a few years back and organized a charitable giving fundraiser for the Pure Water, Pure Love ministry.

We can also be creative in how we give to others. Fair trade organizations like World Crafts and Trade As One offer opportunities to buy gifts that help families in developing nations earn a living wage and break the cycle of poverty. This trading relationship also gives missions personnel an inroad for sharing the gospel.

This evening, I just spent some time perusing an article in my local paper detailing wish lists of local charities, and pondering where/how we might serve. It is my firm belief that we are to minister first in the field we are planted, so I always try to go local first.

I would encourage everyone who reads this article to be open and sensitive to a worthy cause God may be laying on your heart this Christmas season. And please… tell us about it in the comment section or link up your posts so that we can all share in the joy!

May God bless you with a worshipful and meaningful Christmas.


08 November

Thankful Pastor's Wife -- November Link-up

"Thanks makes now a sanctuary."  
- Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts

I'm relaunching the monthly pastors' wives link-up, and how fitting for November if we talk about thankfulness. I would love to read your thankful posts.

We all have struggles, and there's always space to talk about that. But this month, I'd especially love to hear about things and/or people you're thankful for in your church.

Feel free to link up old posts as well about ways being the pastor's wife has brought you joy/made you thankful. Or, if you have a "thankful" tag/label/category on your blog, link to that!

Need some inspiration? Check out these thankful posts from Atypical Pastors Wife!

02 August

The Pastor's Wife Post (August 2013, Volume 1-#2) {Link-Up}

Looks like the internet had quite the glitch today! If you're back online, it's time again to share your favorite posts -- any posts from this summer that you really poured your heart into or otherwise believe would be of interest to pastors' wives, link them up here!

Right now, it's fine to link up more than one! There's room for that, believe me!

Please remember to visit and comment on the blogs of your sister PW's, especially if you participate in the link-up! I know they'll appreciate connecting with you and would love to hear your encouragement.


31 March

The Pastor's Wife Post (April 2013, Volume 1-#1) {Link-Up}

Here, finally, I have an idea for an unconfusing pw link-up! This site is a work in progress, to say the least! I'm just making this up as I go, people!

From now on, I'll post a monthly link-up (just like this) for pastors' wives to share their favorite posts of the month. And then, I'll do a monthly round-up of what all you'd like to share with others? Simple and do-able, methinks!
(Confused? That's to be expected when dealing with me! But please just bear with me and we'll get it figured out!)

I'm postdating this one to March 31st, but it's new today (April 5, 2013). So, any posts from April that you really poured your heart into or otherwise believe would be of interest to pastors' wives, link them up here!

Right now, it's fine to link up more than one! There's room for that, believe me!

Please remember to visit and comment on the blogs of your sister PW's, especially if you participate in the link-up! I know they'll appreciate connecting with you and would love to hear your encouragement.

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