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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Showing posts with label pastorswife. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pastorswife. Show all posts

31 December

Following God Into the New Year

“The New Year stands before me, like a doorway, waiting for me to enter. However, I want to sit still before it and ask God to go before me.
In the past I’ve raced through the doorway, ready to face the New Year with excitement. Other times I’ve walked through it, hesitant of the future due to current circumstances. And then I’ve crawled through the doorway, dreading the future because of the pain of the previous year.
So I sit, waiting, praying, and with a thankful heart because of this past year’s blessings. Can He do it again? Knock my socks off with His provisions, blessings, and love? It doesn’t matter, the important thing is that He goes before me.
No more racing, walking, or crawling. For He is My Good Shepherd, and where He leads I will follow. For He knows the plans He has for me, and it’s in Him that I’ll put my trust.”

I wrote this at the beginning of 2014—a year I’ll never forget. Three months after I wrote these words my husband had routine outpatient neck surgery and within thirty minutes of getting him home he had a heart attack.
After a ride in an ambulance, hours of waiting in the ER, 10 days in the hospital, a heart cath and then quadruple bypass surgery the day after Easter, we came home again and prepared for weeks of recovery.
            As I look at the New Year ahead I’m reminded that I don’t know what may happen in the months to come for our family, our church, or our ministry. However, I know the One who does know and I put my trust in Him. He was with me that difficult year in 2014, as well as the past three years and I know He will be with me in 2018.
            What about you? Are you moving into this year anxious, excited, expectant, or with dread? Take this month to remember how God has cared for you in the past, how He has showed up when you needed Him, and provided for you whether financially, physically, mentally, or spiritually. Are you seeking direction? Look to Him. Are you looking for answers? Take time to listen. Do you need rest? Be still and let Him carry you.
            Whatever this next year holds, we need to remember that God is already there and He is waiting on us. My prayer for you is that you will trust Him in all things.

            So, as for me and the upcoming year . . .

“I sit, waiting, praying, and with a thankful heart because of this past year’s blessings. Can He do it again? Knock my socks off with His provisions, blessings, and love? It doesn’t matter, the important thing is that He goes before me.
No more racing, walking, or crawling. For He is My Good Shepherd, and where He leads I will follow. For He knows the plans He has for me, and it’s in Him that I’ll put my trust.”

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:

08 November

There's Always Something to be Thankful For

November is typically the time of year when my Facebook newsfeed fills up with, "Today I'm thankful for..." every day of the month, yet those same people quickly lose their spirit of thankfulness as soon as the month is over. 

Most lose it the day after Thanksgiving when they hit the Black Friday sales.

I've had times when my heart has been more thankful than others, but even in the rotten periods I've learned there is always something to be thankful for.

We had several years of trying times in ministry at several separate churches. Some were so bad we would ask each other from time to time if we were the problem because the opposition was so great. We worked for several churches I wouldn't invite people to. I had people ask me where I went to church, and I'd tell them and then tell them where they could find a good church. There were times when I'd make the five mile drive to church, stop halfway and return home, call him and say, "I just can't do it today."

But there was always something to be thankful for.

The view of the river from my back porch became a sanctuary during those years. Holding my children close was like air in my lungs. My job that took me out of town a few evenings a week gave me confidence when speaking in front of groups and provided a boost to my self-esteem when I felt beaten down by people at church. I was even thankful for the rumors spread about me because I knew they weren't true. (I'm still married, unlike the rumors said, and still alive and in good health, unlike other rumors).

Sometimes the thankfulness was simply being glad that I wasn't as miserable as the person complaining to me or gossiping about me. 

Through the years I've strived to keep our home a peaceful place so even when church isn't the peaceful environment, my family knew home was a haven. Home was a place where we didn't talk about one another, where we could find quiet if we needed it, where we were free to laugh and be ourselves, and where we lived life, making sure we were the same people in front of each other as we were anywhere else we went.

Today I'm thankful that we raised children who love the Lord, despite witnessing how cruel His children could be. I'm thankful that we went through the tough times we did because it made us stronger leaders. I'm thankful for all of the seasons because God has always shown His faithfulness.

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


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)

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? 


01 May

The Yearly Pastors' Wives Directory is Now Live!

Since only so many blogs will fit on our main page, I've created a seasonal directory for all pastors' wives who blog. The blogroll will continue; but as the list grows, new posts will cycle off the front page more quickly.

Why a seasonal directory? Because people start blogging. People stop blogging. People move their blogs. The list goes on....

 It's open starting today. Go here to join ---> 2012-2013 Pastors Wives Blogging Directory

and please, spread the word so others can join, too...

<a href="http://www.pastorswives.com/p/our-members.html" title="pastors wives directory"><img src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/b/R29vZ2xl/AVvXsEgpSyoTl9xYJ25no5oMv1OjDZjHBovhRtrPTswHNtCdNFufF9jfDD-QXDUznonXLQkiY4IyRvzbnqvqvK_EE0TF86-lOO0i2aksjSSR_73Y_fkcgl8kq4lHhHUdmcX-92uqpjk59Y7D74cL/s1600/pw12-summer-directory.jpg" alt="pastorswives.com"></a>


17 April

Blog Round-up & Link-Up: PW Directory, Church Predators, Encouragment, Copyright, etc.

I will soon be starting a seasonal directory of pastors' wives who are currently blogging. The problem with blog lists is that they easily get out of date. Many people who start blogging do not continue. Others may move their blogs to another domain. I myself took a break for a couple of years and have also renamed my blog.

My solution to keeping our directory up-to-date is to start from scratch each season, and allow those who are still currently blogging to re-list. Also, if you find yourself last on the list -- it's only for a season. Our directory will be hosted on this page.

I'll be launching this sometime next week, and if you read this blog, you have early warning. You can link up your home/main page or your about me page. Subscribe or Follow so you don't miss out.

On to the blogs...

I'm pleased to welcome two new blogs to our little community. Jada has been blogging at Food, Fun, Family for quite some time. I always look forward to reading what she's written, and am so glad she's joined in. Also, new to our fold is Melissa at Laughing through Life -- she's just getting started blogging, and I'm sure would appreciate a warm welcome.

Encouragement for those who feel insignificant:
If you find yourself in a situation and you're not sure what God is doing, then you really need to read Surprised by Redemption by Shelly Miller. In ministry, you may never know this side of heaven the impact you're having on people or their children, but Shelly's story gives you a beautiful glimpse.

What Churches Should Know About Sex Offenders:
Did you know that many sex offenders specifically target churches? Probably. But this recent post from The Resurgence details that along with other facts and figures and why they're uniquely important to churches. A must read!

Copyright Tips:
Another must-read for bloggers. Have you ever posted a line from a song? Just one little line? You may be in violation of the law and not even realize it. Edie Melson explains copyright basics for bloggers in Part 1 and Part 2 of her Copyright 101 Series.

PW Blogs:
I didn't really cover pw blogs this time, but if you'd like to link up your favorite post(s) of the last month, I'll include a link-up at the bottom of this post. (I'll be linking up Redemption in the Church Kitchen myself.) Feel free to include an image from your post or your profile photo.

NOTE: This is just for your favorite post(s). Our directory will launch next week. Please make sure you link up to a specific post on your blog for this link-up. If you want your blog added to our blogroll stream over there ------------->
leave a comment here. Thanks!


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.


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