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 rest. Show all posts
Showing posts with label rest. Show all posts

19 September

Rest and Trust

Racing thoughts spilled over the rim of Nicole’s mind. The annual ladies retreat was only a week away and the musician was suddenly unavailable. Her two teenagers were getting out of hand. Prayer meeting was in an hour and dinner wasn’t near ready. She dropped the vegetables on the counter and pulled out the cutting board.

Grateful the church was only ten minutes away, she considered other ingredients on hand to throw into a summer salad she could call dinner. The leftover chicken would add protein. Fresh pecans would delight her husband. And she was pretty sure there was a bottle of everybody’s favorite dressing in the fridge. It just might work.

Her hands flew as she started chopping. Clack, clack, clack. The knife’s rhythm somehow calmed her breathing. By the time she broke open the bell pepper and rinsed it, she was absorbed in the task. Her palm pressed into the handle as she sliced through the red vegetable’s skin. Bite-size pieces materialized.

She didn’t notice the blood until she rested the onion on the board. Dropping the knife, she reached across and grabbed at her injured thumb. Exerting pressure to close the wound, she stepped to the sink and pushed at the faucet with her elbow. The scarlet stream sent balls of light floating before her eyes. Her forearms caught her body weight against the counter’s edge. What now?

Once her head cleared Nicole inspected the injury and decided to treat it herself. While she alternated between applying pressure and wrapping gauze around the gash she turned to the Lord for solutions to her dilemma. Surely He created her for more than the incessant pressure that drove her.

She called her daughter to come finish the salad. When her son appeared to announce his hunger, she had him set the table. What would happen if I took on less?

They joined hands as her husband prayed. “Eat up, kids. We don’t want to be late.” The ping of forks on porcelain kept a bustling pace.

“Jeff, my hand is sore. I think I’ll stay home.” Nicole paused to check his reaction.

“That sounds like a good idea. Are you sure you’ll be all right by yourself? Caroline can stay with you.” Anxiety laced his words. “Can I pick up anything for you at the store?”

She closed her eyes as she took a cleansing breath. “No, dear. I’ll be fine.” Concern left his face and teased out a smile on hers. “Would you mind asking Joan Bennet to find a replacement musician for the retreat? I can’t think of anyone.”

“Sure. I’ll be happy to take care of that. Joan’s got connections. I’m sure she’ll find someone. Don’t worry.” He wiped his mouth with the checkered napkin. “Okay, kids. Let’s go.”

Peace I [Jesus] leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid (John 14:27).

Brief Bio
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 enjoy the life God created 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 Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Google+ she’ll be delighted by a reason to practice.

13 July

Stop and Smell the Roses

All too often we put expectations on ourselves that God never intended for us to have. We just got back from a youth trip last night. Let me just tell you about this trip.

The day before we left, our church van broke down. And I'm not talking about a "hey let's take it to the mechanic for a couple hours and have him fix it" kind of break down, I mean a "this van is going to be out of service for a few days" kind of break down. We have already paid for all our reservations and events, so canceling the trip is out of the question. And in our panicked-mode, it took us about 6 1/2 hours to realize we have two working personal vehicles we can take (mine along with a vehicle we were going to sale -- that is until Allen drove it this weekend and fell in love with it again).

Fast forward to the day we leave. 7:00 AM bright and early and all our students are there on time and ready to go. We make it to Ruston, La, (about 25 minutes from our small-town Farmerville) to top off our gas tanks. Then it happens, Allen asks me the question. "Hey sweetie everything goes in the (insert card name) card here right?" Long story short, he had to go all the way back to Farmerville to retrieve the correct cards, so now we are a good hour behind schedule. 

We finally make it to Dallas and have the time of our lives just getting to get away with our students. (We planned this rip to get closer to our students and to let them get away after losing two teenagers to tragedy in our small town this year). Being a youth trip, you never get much sleep (unless you are Allen and can sleep through a tornado). So our 5 hour drive back home (that turned into 6 hours because of a sudden storm) felt like 15 hours for me driving a car while the students are passed out NOT keeping me company. We ate a classic hot pocket and macaroni dinner when we got home and were in bed by 10. 

So, I wake up this morning knowing that I have so much to do. I need to clean house after we wrecked it in the middle of packing. I need to go to the church and price everything we have for our youth garage sale in less than two weeks. I need to plan out the rest of our personal summer (the youth's summer is already good to go). I need to make sure Allen has everything he needs at the office today and that he stops to eat lunch. I need to start packing because we move into our new house in two weeks. The list goes on and on. And as I get up to head to the washer and dryer, I hear it.

That still small whisper..

"Just stop and spend some time with me." 

 "Yes, God of course. I will as soon as I get started with some of this laundry."

"The laundry will still be there afterwards."

Soooooooo... I put my to-do list aside and just sat down and spent some time with God. He didn't have any big revelations for me. He didn't have any life-changing assignments to give me. He just simply reminded me of all the incredible things that happened this past weekend. He reminded me of the smiles on three particular students’ faces who have been facing a lot at home. He reminded me of our youngest student who decided to give his life to Jesus on this trip. He reminded me of the beautiful scenery on the drive to Dallas. He allowed me to just sit and rest in His presence before I started my week.

Many times people in ministry feel they are only successful if they are always going going going and always have a full to-do list. If we don't have a busy and therefore stressful week, then it wasn't a "good week for the ministry." But that's not how it is suppose to be at all. God never calls us to "busy". He calls us to His work. And God knows what is best for His children. God knows that in order to do our best, we also need to rest. God knows that we won't always see the fruit of our hard work immediately, but He always leaves small things for us to search for to know that we are doing well. 

Don't worry about that list. There will be time for it to get done. Stop. Reflect on the beautiful things around you. Smell those roses. The things God allows us to be a part of. Rest in His presence. Love on Him. The renewed strength and refreshed mind that you will have afterwards is far greater than anything even the best night's sleep could give you.

"Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed."  
Luke 10:41-42

About the Author:
My name is Katherine Norris, and I am a Youth Pastor alongside my incredible husband, Allen Norris. We got married in August 2016 and live in the small town of Farmerville, La. We are both full-time youth pastors, full-time college students, and I am a part-time barista at our hometown coffee shop. I am majoring in Family and Consumer Sciences, and cannot wait to graduate. We love our students, and I cannot wait to see what God has in store for our lives.

Connect with Katherine:

15 April

Observations of the American Pastor Couple -- (Guest Post by Rita Hanon)

We have been watching all of you.  And we are encouraged. 

A lot of polls and articles in Christian magazines report that the pastor in the USA is overworked, over tired, and on the brink of burn out.  These facts may all be true of some or even many, but often these articles paint a picture of the pastor couple that is full of negatives.  We see a very different picture that is full of positives and promise.   

Perhaps we just see a different kind of pastor in the retreat setting.  I don’t think there is a way to “poll” the answer to that statement.  We can say this; the couples who come are from over 93 denominations, 35 states, and 10 countries.  They are all ages and have shepherded a congregation from 1 month to 50 years. 

The variety is huge – the commonality is simple. Because they are called to serve, by a God who knew full well what He was doing when He called them, and how they could not do any of it without Him; there is a vast difference between the pastor who is shepherding the flock and the person who is (or thinks he is) in command.  So that makes it simple – a pastor knows he needs time away – a person who feels he is in control has no need to get away to talk to God. 

So the following is what we observe:

  • Pastors know that they're second in command – it is God’s church – no one else’s
  • Pastors are more polite than any other “people group” we have every dealt with
  • Pastors are more grateful and express that gratitude honestly and humbly
  • Pastors have a drive to learn, read, excel, and grow that is amazing
  • Pastors are often very critical and aware of their own shortcomings 
  • Pastors feel torn between serving the church and their family  
  • Pastors often expect their spouses to understand more than those spouses can
  • Pastors receive more direct, confrontational criticism from those they are trying to serve, knowing full well that these critics cannot be "fired" and simply replaced by "hiring" another parishioner
  • Pastors' wives are resourceful, patient, and creative
  • Pastors' wives often feel that they do not fit the “mold” of Pastor’s Wife
  • Pastors' wives are often lonely and long for close women friends
  • Pastors' wives are protective of their husbands and children
  • The very best thing you can give a pastor’s wife is time alone with her husband
  • Both pastor and spouse are sleep deprived
  • Each longs to laugh, be prayed for, sleep, be cared for, and hear from God

When the pastor couple *catches up on their sleep* and begins to hear God’s still small voice for their own lives, then we see amazing changes: 
  • Couples can see each other through God’s eyes instead of their own veil of tribulations.  
  • Being separated from the church offers an opportunity for a distant, honest viewpoint that is more ready for solutions from God and not men
  • Each person can begin to grasp how much God loves them; just as they are – just where they are – just who they are
  • The place of Holy space gives grace to every face

One of the days during our retreats we give each couple some questions to talk about with each other: 
1.  What do you believe God has uniquely gifted you to do?
2. Tell me, [in the last 6 months] about what activities that you have been engaged in have stoked your passion?
3.  Are you in a place where you can do more of what stokes your passion?
4.  If you are not, what do you need to do to change this?

One pastor wrote that when they got these questions, his wife easily shared the answers to these questions while he felt numb and unable to even identify what he believed God had gifted him to do.  Through the rest of the retreat and on into the next 6 months this pastor wrestled with this dilemma.  They talked and prayed and finally received an answer that not only let him stay in his senior pastor role in his church, but also find a way to have others take over so much of the routine things that bogged him down, giving him the freedom to do what God has equipped him to do. 

Another pastor’s wife called our retreats, “A way to push God’s reset button”.  She suggested that you run to your Bible and read Psalm 139 to grasp how much God really does love you. 

So we see clergy a little different from the polls.  We see people trying to change the “bad stuff” in their lives and focus in on the wonder and high privilege of serving the God who loves them, by taking time to ask Him for His help.   Sometimes we get to see Him answer their prayers -- the look on their faces when they get those answers is priceless.   We also are privileged to hear about how God called each one into ministry.  Each couple unique – each call unique.  It gives us a view of the pastorate in America that is encouraging, hopeful and gives reason to pray for all of the churches and their shepherd-leaders. 

If you are a pastor – thank you. 
If you are a pastor’s spouse – thank you.
If you are in a congregation – thank you for praying for your pastor and spouse.  

Some couples have only attended a retreat once; others come back for a second or third go-round.  Each retreat is 5 days so we really get to know you. They are free of charge, so there is no excuse for you to delay taking the time away with Jesus.  


Dwayne and Rita Hanon founded the Cedarly Pastor's Retreat Center, and later Broomtree Ministries, answering God's call to provide pastoral couples a place to recharge and reconnect with God and each other. My husband and I have had the pleasure of attending both retreats under their leadership. I'll never forget hearing Dwayne speak to our congregation, reminding us that God commands us to rest, and for good reason! If you've never taken a retreat or sabbatical, you should -- might I suggest once every 7 years?


Pastors' Wives On Facebook