Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

In the midst of turkey, stuffing, rolls, pie, tea, pop, football and mapping out your Black Friday routes, don't forget the reason and purpose for this give thanks! The Bible reminds us to in all things give thanks (1 Thessalonians 5:18)! Offer thanks for all that you've experienced and gone through good or bad for it was the will of God for your life and those experiences should have drawn you closer to Him! Also offer thanks for what's to come and I'm so excited about what's to come!! Offer thanks for your family and friends. While you're offering thanks don't forget to think of others who may be less fortunate than you. If you're able to give back please do as every little bit helps! Finally offer thanks for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ: it is because of what He did that we are!!

From my family to yours Happy Thanksgiving!!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Season of Transistioning

You know it is said that darkness comes just before the break of day. I consider this a fair warning that a situation or circumstance will usually get worse before it gets better. While this thought is a very valid observation, it is often a mere afterthought. I say that because while going through difficulties, strains, trouble, sorrow, and pain, you're in that moment wondering why, how, and what. You may even think when- as in when will it be over, but seldom does it dawn on you in the midst of the suffering you're going to come out better! It just doesn't equate the same: suffering + pain = triumph, hmmm. Well it doesn't equal out in the human/carnal mindset. See, we in our humanity dislike suffering and pain and we feel as if we will forever remain in that state especially when it comes to change, interruptions...transition! The saying goes the only thing that's constant in life is change- it's inevitable! Ministry wives know far too well that life for us is all about change, yet we struggle with this occurrence the most! I know I can easily get used to things flowing a certain way and will quickly become disturbed when things deviate from that flow. So how then do we deal with seasons of transitioning?

I'm currently reading a book by author and Bible study teacher Priscilla Shirer entitled Life Interrupted. This book is based on the story of Jonah and how in the midst of his path of comfort and the familiar God interrupts that path and summons him to a new path- one in which Jonah didn't want to take. Priscilla suggest that we look at interruptions differently. Instead of looking at interruptions as an inconvenience we should
embrace interruptions in anticipation of what God is about to do in our lives. Maybe that interruption is the detour that will lead your life into an abundance of peace, joy and fulfillment! Maybe that interruption is the deviation that will save your life from heartache, pain and resentment! Have you ever been driving somewhere in a hurry because you were late and you ended up driving behind someone who was coasting down the street as if they had no where to go? Drove you crazy right? Just as you're about to go in a road rage you pass the scene of an accident and you think to yourself, wow, that could have been me. You realized had that slow poke not gotten in your way perhaps you could have been one of the victims in that accident! It is at that point that you begin to thank God for that interruption, because as irritating as that slow driver was, he or she was actually the interruption that saved you a lot of pain and perhaps even your life!

So the next time you're in a season of transition and let's face it there will be a next time...embrace it!

There Are Great Rewards to Being a Pastor's (Ministry) Wife!

There Are Great Rewards to Being A Ministry Wife

I’m always looking for great resources on the Internet for Pastor/Minister’s Wives (P/M Ws), whether it be articles, video teachings, or fellowships, conferences and retreat opportunities. Most of the information I find is beneficial yet a lot of it dwells on the negative aspects of being a ministry wife. My prayer for this blog and the fellowship ministry is to provide a balance between the highs and lows of holding such a position. As it seems the lows are brought to the forefront more than the highs. I’ve seen an ex-pastor’s wife upload YouTube videos not only depicting the demise of her unfortunate marriage but outright degrading and questioning the church. I purchased an eBook written by what I perceived to be a pastor’s wife thinking it would provide insight and comfort and the book was filled with the author’s horrific accounts of being married to a pastor who lived a different life than he preached. Needless to say she’s also an ex-pastor’s wife. While these ladies are sharing their experiences and it may in fact be beneficial to someone I’m afraid that the hurt and pain still apparent in their lives have left them bitter, resentful, and angry. These feelings if expressed to a vulnerable P/M W could garner confusion and discouragement. The key is to provide encouragement for the lows and celebration for the highs- a balance that will deal with the issues instead of skate around them, yet provide hope in times of despair. There are great rewards to being a ministry wife! Some of the rewards are obvious and some of the rewards require us to dig a little deeper for exposure. Take a look at a few:

  • A Greater Relationship With God: Let me preface to say that we should have a personal relationship with God through Jesus not just because we’re ministry wives. We must establish this relationship because we want to be saved from our sins and redeemed back to God! But, when you are a ministry wife, your relationship with God should become greater, because you’re going to have to pray, fast, and build up your most holy faith in the Word in order to endure in this position. You are better in every area of your life when your relationship with God is firm and solid.
  • Called To Serve: Contrary to popular belief that ministry couples are called to be pampered and catered to is a far cry from the truth. The truth is ministry couples are called to serve! We are called to serve God, we are called to serve our Pastor/Husbands and we are called to serve people! Serving others require that we think less of ourselves and more about someone else. When we choose to serve others we open up the portal for God to bless us and make it conducive for service to be reciprocated back to us!
  • Called to Be An Example/Role Model: Many people in the public’s eye deter from this role. I must admit I did early on in this position. It is a lot of pressure to have someone watch our every move, decision, trials and triumphs. But the fact that others look at our lives as living examples of how we are to be Christ-like reminds me of the lyrics in a Kirk Franklin song that says we may be the only Jesus they see. Being in this position causes us to be accountable to and for our actions which will in turn help strengthen our walk with Christ!
  • Fulfillment: To sum it up, a greater relationship with God, serving others and being a Christian example makes for a fulfilling and purpose filled life! What an honor to be in such a position where we can impact the lives of others in a positive and life changing way! The ultimate and fulfilling reward for us is a guaranteed place in Heaven as we’ve accepted His gift for our lives through salvation and relished in the many blessings He’s bestowed upon us!  

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Transparency: Who Do You Release To?

Transparency: Who Do You Release To?

Life is filled with ups, downs, tosses and turns. Normally we get through life pretty steadily by ourselves with the help of the Lord! There are however, other times when along with God, we need another listening ear or shoulder to cry on. Many of us in the position of being a Pastor/Minister’s Wife (P/M W) find that a listening ear or shoulder to cry on may not be well within reach. A P/M W is a leader who is looked upon with reverence and respect. While P/M W’s are human and we go through many difficulties in life, we have to be careful who we release to. The average layperson can’t handle or relate to some of the issues we go through, especially if those issues are pertaining to the personal life of the Pastor’s family. In order to maintain a certain level of respect between spiritual leaders and lay members it’s often best to keep specific personal life details to a minimum. So that often leaves a P/M W in search of the right person to release to in times of crisis, trials, and errors. The chosen person should be Godly, discreet, wise, and mature. Finding a person with these characteristics will insure that what is released will remain concealed from others to prevent slander and gossip, is dealt with in a Godly manner to make sure his presence is available to lead one to reputable answers, and is handled with wise and mature counsel to present a safe and trustworthy place to come back to again. So, who do P/M W’s release to? Here are a few options to consider:

God: Who else knows us better than the one who fearfully and wonderfully made us! God has a listening ear and he’s waiting for us to cast our cares upon him, for he cares! Our intimate thoughts and concerns will be in trusted care, never to be used against us but used to help us. Releasing to God insures a guaranteed successful solution to any problem or issue. God’s love, grace, and mercy towards us is always the welcomed calm and peace to any storm that seeks to rage in our lives. Finally, God is readily available to us. We can access him day or night, 365 days of the year!

Pastor/Husband: Next to God, our Pastor/Husbands’ should be the most important person in our lives. Meaning we should be able to tell them our dreams, aspirations, and desires as well as reveal to them our mistakes and failures. As God intertwines are hearts as one there may be times when our Pastor/Husband will sense the need for us to vent or release before we can even approach them. We can trust that our Pastor/Husband have our best interest at heart and will do all they can to protect that interest. 

Another P/M Wife: As P/M Wives we are in unique positions and we encounter unique situations. Another P/M wife can relate to the highs and lows of being married to a minister of the gospel. Forming a sisterhood of support, prayer, and encouragement will open the door of opportunity needed to connect with someone else who can share insight and mentorship. More than likely we've experienced or will experience some of the same things that will make for great teachable moments. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Competing With The Church & Other Stuff!

Competing With the Church and Other Stuff!

Services, revivals, conferences, business meeting, counseling sessions, hospital visits, etc. are all appointments that appear on the calendar of our Pastor/Minister husbands (P/M H). There may be another calendar full of appointments for his personal/non-ministry related items as well. While you try to support your P/M H in all his endeavors and even accompany him on a majority of those engagements, sometimes we wonder where we fit in! There have been times I’ve even joked with my husband about being “penciled” in on his calendar. Competing with your P/M H’s schedule is a common issue related to being married to a man of the cloth and if this issue isn’t addressed I’m afraid it can cause some major problems at home. Wives who find themselves competing with the church and other stuff may become resentful and jealous towards the church and their husbands. The church and other stuff your P/M H occupies his time with, although important, may just be getting in the way of him spending quality time with you- his wife. Pastor and Pastor’s Wife Elder Debra B. Morton, wife of Bishop Paul S. Morton, authored a book entitled Help, Lord, My Husband Has Two Wives. I can’t seem to find this book in print now, but I sure would love to get my hands on it. As I can recall, the book is about the resentment Pastor Morton found herself developing for the church because it was taking her husband away from her so often. It was as if he was balancing his time between two wives: her and the church, with the church getting the most of his time.
So, what do you do when you find yourself in competition with the church and other stuff taking your husband away from spending quality time with you? Here are some helpful steps:

  1. Pray: While we should always and diligently pray for our husbands, we should pray specific prayers for areas in their lives where they may be weak. So we might pray for God to help our husbands find a balance between church and family. We can also pray for ourselves that God will keep us from becoming resentful and help us with any isolation we may feel. While it’s easy for us to try to take matters in our own hands, issues like this are best resolved when God leads us and guides us on what to do. Remember the Bible reminds us to be anxious for nothing but give ourselves over to pray about everything (Philippians 4:6)!
  2. Be Understanding: Most of the time it is not the intentions of our husbands to get so caught up in their callings and duties that they forget about their family. It’s just that they’re so passionate about what God has for them to do. We as wives have to be understanding of the great responsibilities our husbands have to encompass even if it means sacrificing quality time together. If we proceed to nag and complain about the time our husbands spend away from home, we may hinder them from operating at their full potential and our nagging and complaining may also keep them from wanting to come home. The Bible describes that it is better for a husband to dwell in the corner of a housetop than with a nagging wife in a big house (Proverbs 21:9)!
  3. Discuss & Set Boundaries: While this step should be visited upon your husband’s acceptance of his calling and/or beginning of marriage, it often isn’t or should be reviewed more frequently. Take the time to discuss with your husband boundaries he can set so his schedule doesn’t interfere with quality family time. You may want to discuss office days and hours and vacation times your husband can set and stick to as best as possible. You may want to set boundaries regarding discussions of work at home. While it may be tempting for your husband to bring his work home, it may just be best to leave his work on the job! Finally be open for changes to occur as your husband has a unique position that requires him to be available around the clock. Remember the Bible reminds us to not get weary in doing well for in due season we will reap if we faint not (Galatians 6:9)!
  4.      Be Proactive: Don’t sit around mopping about the time less spent together: take action and find ways to spend quality time with your husband! Do you accompany your husband to conferences or other out-of-town ministry engagements? Well, use that down time when he’s not preparing of course, to plan something special. Better yet, stay an extra day after and enjoy the city/town you’re in together! Since his weekends are pretty full, why not plan a weekday outing? Or do like I plan to do and wisk him off for a weekend getaway. I’m sure another willing minister will stand proxy for your husband those few days. While you may have to plan unconventional moments around your husband’s schedule, it can be done! Remember the Bible talks about husbands and wives not depriving each other of intimate times except in times of prayer and fasting, after which, they should come back together quickly to diffuse any plots of the enemy (1 Corinthians 7:5)!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

More Posts Coming...

Praise the Lord Ladies <insert praise here>! 
I know it has been a loooooooooooooooong time since I've posted to this blog and I do apologize for  the neglect! In addition to life being busy, God has been busy with me. He's been shaping, molding, purging, cutting back and cutting off in and through me. And the journey is not complete. He is making me into what he wants me to be! While a lot of this transformation doesn't feel good, believe me, it's all good because when I come out, I'll be so much stronger, wiser, better (come on Marvin Sapp)!! In the midst of this extreme makeover I've been directed to deactivate some activities and to reactivate some activities. I had to deactivate my Facebook account, deactivate my beauty blog, deactivate my mind, and deactivate my heart! I have to reactivate my Word life, my prayer life, and my devotional life to God so he can continue to do a good work in me. He has a great task for me to do and it's going to take my total devotion to him in order to accomplish the goal. So, I'm going to let you in on this journey with me and prayerfully it will help you also. As we're all on a journey to stay tuned!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Moment of Inspiration: Find Your Way Back

Hey Beauties- so I've been slacking in offering you inspirational posts! And in the day and time we're living in...we need some inspiration! How easy is it for us to get caught up or lost in life's circumstances and tragedies; dramas and upheavals; disappointments and losses, only to realize we've eased away from God and the assignment He has for our lives. Ever felt unfulfilled, uninspired, or you just didn't give a darn- yep I said darn! You just merely existed, carrying on in life like a robot- doing your everyday routine, but not really accomplishing nothing! Have you ever cried out to God but it seemed like He had put your supplications in an automated messaging system and He hadn't yet gotten back to you? What an empty and lonely feeling, especially if you've ever encountered his presence! Well, I've been there and I'm sure you have too, if you're not there now and I'm here to encourage myself and you in the Lord!

So, what's the solution? How can you find that fulfillment, peace, and joy that you once had? Well, I'm glad you asked, because it's so simple and the answer is well within your reach: look up! Yep, look up! Look up and realize you're not alone! Look up and realize God is and has been right there all along! You couldn't see him, because you've had your head hung down and with a hung down head you drag your hope and will down also! But let me remind you to always look up to Jesus who is the author and finisher of your faith! Let me also remind you to look to the hills- that's where all your help comes from. God promised he would never leave you nor forsake you! He'll be there to the end because he sticks closer than a brother! In other words, when you find you've lost your place in this world, find your way back to him!

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