Sunday, November 22, 2009

Not the best day....or week for that matter!

Okay, so SHOCKER - I'm actually writing in the morning hours rather than the wee hours of the feels pretty weird.

I have just been struggling all morning and thought maybe some of you out there are experiencing the same thing. So, I thought I'd share - I think it might be a little therapeutic of me.

So, Jonathan's been gone a lot the last two weeks....both literally and figuratively. He's been traveling and, therefore, has too much to catch up on when he gets back. I have been doing pretty well with it....until THIS MORNING! (Of course, because it's a Sunday, right!?!)

I have been sitting at the table with my kids painting thinking to myself:
"Gosh, it's so nice to be forgotten."
"Oh look, he has forgotten his kids, too. Great."
"I guess I just have to raise these kids by myself."

So, that last thought finally got to me and registered as 'RIDICULOUS!'

So, I did something completely radical.....I went to Jesus.

I didn't know what I needed or where to find it this morning, so I went to, typed in "grace", and literally prayed that the Lord would pop something up that I needed to read. (Don't judge - I know this isn't always the best approach, but this morning it was "all I got")

As I read through the vast list of verses that contained "grace", I did keep reading one over and over again....

"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of GRACE and TRUTH."
John 1:14

I have just been sitting here realizing that our whole life these days is committed to not just sharing the love of Christ, but of LIVING a life that reflects Him too....He was FULL OF GRACE AND TRUTH.

This morning - I am not.
I am full of judgment and lies.
Bitterness towards my husband for missing a couple of breakfasts. - Not grace.
Self Pity for myself because I have it so horrible. - Not true.

So, thank you Lord for showing me this. For revealing to me the TRUTH - I am privileged, I am blessed, the lines have fallen for me in extremely pleasant places. I am happy to hold down the fort while my husband tends to things elsewhere, we are a team, we are not forgotten. YOUR grace is ENOUGH. May that be so today and always.

So there it is....if you read this, please pray for me that I will live in this truth today.

For now - I'm off to get the kids dressed, fed, and in the car.......what was that verse again????

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What Pastor's Wives Endure...

Oh my goodness, it's been a long time since I wrote anything on here....can it be that "things" have slowed down and become peaceful?

Let's just say it's been quiet.
I like quiet.

I have been thinking more and more about all the lies that we are bombarded with as pastor's wives, I've just not had anything 'riveting' to share. Jonathan mentioned the other day that I pretty much summed everything up when I spoke to the wives at the Acts 29 Bootcamp in Houston this past September.

The theme of the conference was "ENDURE" so I, along with Megan Frazier and Susan Wesley, spoke to future pastor's wives about what the wife endures during her first 2 years of PW'ing.
Soooo, if you'd like a link to this, just email me and I'll pass it along! (

I hope you're all well!!!

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Oh goodness, here it is, another after-eleven-o'clock post!

As I mentioned last time, I want to start a post group/discussion on the "lies pastor's wives believe." I thought I'd start the with one that I've already confessed to......Self Pity was what I called it earlier, but it stems from the lie that MY LIFE COULD BE (and SHOULD be) SO MUCH BETTER!

When we started our church the summer of 2007, I had a 5 month old and a 21 month old. Our core team met in our home every Tuesday night. In addition to caring for these tiny children and somehow getting the entire house cleaned, I also cooked the meal for upwards of 18 adults. This, of course, entailed having to get to the grocery store that morning - with those two "precious" kids in tow - and it usually entailed atleast 2 trips because I would always forget the important ingredients the first time.

I won't try to sugar coat those days - they were brutal. When I look back, I think I was on the verge of a breakdown at times. It was during that season that I developed "I HATE MY LIFE" days. These were days, invariably on Tuesdays, that I truly convinced myself that I hated my life. Not that I was having a hard day, not that grocery shopping stunk, not that this was a bad week.....I truly-madly-deeply HATED my life.

Yay, Yay, YAY, those days are mostly behind me, Praise the Great High God! I did, however, create a habit during that season of talking to myself about all the ways that my life could be better - if we were doing something different, if I had married someone else, if I didn't have the two children, if I went back to work, IF -IF- IF- IF ONLY IF! It's a crazy and poisonous cycle to get into and, for a while, I really enjoyed the martyr that it created.

If you are in this cycle right now, please listen to me:

I am so grateful that the Lord did not and does not allow me to linger in those thoughts anymore. He has shown me* that Self-Pity is a liar and an unwise choice of a friend. He has shown me the vast array of treasures that He has set before me. He has shown me that His is the most excellent way...hang in there. Go on a treasure hunt if you have to - trust that the Lord is always honest. He has promised good to you. Go on a treasure hunt to find those good things in your life. They are all around us, even us Pastor's Wives, if we'll just open our eyes to them and close our ears to the lies of the Evil one. It's a promise you can bank on.

"The theif comes only to steal, kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." John 10:10

Let's believe this.
Let's set our hope on this.
Let's set our thoughts on this.

How radically different could our situation be if we see it from the eyes of one who believes that Jesus Christ has come so that we may have abundant life!

I know this is getting long, so I'd like to close with something my pal Jen Bell ( sent me this week. I asked some of my fellow Pastor's Wives pals to share some of their personal challenges during their first years as a PW. Here is a section of what she wrote.....

If you truly desire to be a support to him, you can't get obsessed with the question "what have YOU done for ME lately?". .. Brad told me to expect a tremendously busy first year.. MAYBE two.. well, here we are seven years later.. probably much busier than we were then.. so settle in, and learn to enjoy the ride. Find ways to connect with him in the midst all that he's juggling and be a place of refuge for him. (you'll know when you're doing a good job if he speaks sweetly about you in his sermons and he doesn't have to ask permission to use your latest blowup as an illustration : ) FOCUS on the benefits of your lot in life.. NOT the negatives.. don't compare yourself with your girlfriend who gets to lunch at the country club and hang out with her independently wealthy hubby all day playing golf.. compare yourself with the poor widow in Africa who has to walk five miles each morning to draw dirty water for her children to drink before she has to leave them to fend for themselves while she walks another 3 miles to the marketplace to sell trinkets totaling $1 for the week....

Amen and goodnight.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Well hello there.
I have had so many fun, crazy, weird, exciting, and just silly things going through my head lately, it's good to be writing some of it out. I guess some forms of insomnia have their payoff!

We had the privilege of hosting a new church planter in our home the past few days...Ben from City Church in Fort Worth, TX. It's always so fun to hear the questions that newcomers ask...and even more fun to realize that you're getting to the point that you actually some answers. Real answers. Not the kind where you realize, halfway through your response, that you really have no idea what you're talking about. Real answers because you've got real experiences and real history.

Most of Ben's time was spent with Jonathan and other church planting minded men. He came to our city group leaders' meeting, attended staff meeting, had a brainstorming lunch, etc. Jonathan and I never really got nor took the time to do so much research, and I really admire Ben for being so information oriented!

Jonathan was the focus of the most of the questions, but last night I fielded a few under the heading: "What are some ways that I can prepare myself to support my wife as we prepare to plant this church?"

Oh my, I had no idea he planned on staying with us long enough to get the full answer to this question!!! wink. tear. wink.

What a loaded question, Ben!!!

As I mentioned before, I have been preparing to give a talk at the Acts 29 Bootcamp in Houston in a few weeks....the focus of the week is "endurance", so the answers to this question have been all over my head and heart for some time. But first - I'm wondering what YOU would say. How would YOU answer this question? I am certainly not the only Pastor's wife who might have enjoyed a little more encouragement in the early how can you help our Ben out? (I'll give you a footnote in the talk in Houston!)

For me....although, yes, I did ramble quite a bit....I camped out on LIES.
I have only begun to realize that so much of my heartache, disappointment, confusion, anger, frustration, and so forth stemmed from LIES that I was believing or atleast being intrigued by.

I don't know about you, but I don't think I've ever had this much trouble discerning the truth from a lie before. As I look back, I was being literally bombarded by lies and half-truths moment by moment.
* You're not ready for this.
* You're not good enough for this role.
* You're not what everyone in your church wants you to be.
* You're husband wishes he had chosen someone else.
* You're a phony.
* You're alone.
* It will never get better.

blah blah blah blah blah.

This is still a pretty new realization to me - so in an effort to really grasp ahold of the lessons I have to learn, I think I'll start writing out a bit of a series...."The Lies that Pastor's Wives are Told". Please feel free to add your own - I've got my experience and you've got yours - I think together we can fight harder!

For now, Ben had to settle with this answer:

"Please be aware - very aware - that your wife is under attack like she has never before experienced. She won't even know it for a long time. Please pursue your wife - be on the lookout for ways that she is beaten down and discouraged...Pray for her as a warrior fighting an invisible opponent. Encourage her often. Compliment her. Speak the truth to her."


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

New Home Construction...

Good's after midnight. Jonathan has been gone for 14 days. He is due to return tomorrow afternoon so, like the little kid in the Disney commercial - "I'm too excited to sleep!"

I have been preparing for the Acts 29 Houston Bootcamp and came across this quote from C.S. Lewis...I just had to share it.

"Imagine yourself living in a house.
God comes in to rebuild that house.
At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense.
What on Earth is He up to?
The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra florr there, running up towers, making courtyards.
You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage;
but He is building a palace."

How fun is this!!??!!

I have been reflecting a lot lately - duh, I've got a blog now - and this quote pretty much sums up what's been running through my mind. After such a crazy 18 months, I am now able to see so much progress and growth in my own heart that I'm almost thankful for that painful season. (I said "almost" so please don't expect too much from me too soon! wink.) I am beginning to see alot of what Lewis is talking about.....I am learning to sit quietly, to listen, and to pray in ways that before have been unknown to me. What a blessing. If it takes tears to produce true joy, put me in that house!

If you're a pastor's wife, I hope you'll take 1 of 2 actions after reading this Lewis quote:
1. If your house is currently "under massive construction", I pray that you will find...actually SEEK OUT, a woman who is trustworthy to share your experience. You need the strength of another when you're all out of your own.

2. If your house is getting a reprieve (and I'm sure it's only momentary), please take the time to reflect and rejoice. Recount to the Lord the amazing things He has done in your life and your heart. Then, please take the time to encourage and pray with someone 'under construction.' We need each other, don't we. ? .

"Look among the nations, and watch; and be utterly amazed.
For I am doing something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told." Habakkuk 1:5

I'm so excited at this thought - whatever we're going through, something awesome IS happening...not just in our churches, but in US! Yay!

(Sorry, the book I'm reading didn't reference which Lewis book the quote is from...if you know, please share!)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Power of Perspective

Well, last week was crazy for my family. We drove 5 hours to Tyler, spend two hours with my grandmother before she passed away, and then drove back. We spent 24 hours at home preparing our schedules for the trip back to Tyler for the visitation Wednesday and funeral Thursday. Our schedules, as these things go, also included preparing Jonathan for a trip to Uganda next week, a rehearsal dinner and lingerie shower on Thursday night, a bridesmaids brunch Friday morning, a wedding Friday night, a bible study in my home Saturday morning, Sewing Lessons on Saturday afternoon IN ADDITION to hosting 3 women on Thursday night and another 3 women on Friday night who were coming in town for the wedding mentioned earlier. I quickly became overwhelmed. I don't think I'm crazy to think that my overwhelmedness is understandable...can I hear an "amen?"!!!

Well, I'll make this extremely long story a very short story for you and say that somehow, some miraculous way, we were able to get everything done - make it to every appointment - and attend to every obligation. This was truly a miracle...if you know me well, you know that my strong points are NOT details, so I am truly thankful that the Lord pulled all this together for such a way that I was truly able to enjoy myself at a most wonderful wedding despite having had only about 15 hours of sleep the entire week.

So, now I'm finally at the good part....during the wedding reception, I spent some time with a fellow church planter's wife, Kelli Skinner.

Kelli is a long-time acquaintance of mine that I have always admired for being a strong woman of faith. She and her husband James have been church planting for about 10 years...they are currently at Crossroads Church of Ruston, Louisiana. After about 30 minutes with her, my perspective on my perspective has completely changed....crazy!

I remember learning the following phrase in a business course in college:
"one's perception is one's reality - regardless of reality."

I think that somehow I've been living out this sentence.

As Kelli and I talked, I expected to hear stories from a seasoned pastor's wife who has "arrived." I expected Kelli to be completely at peace, completely comfortable in her role, and completely content. I mean, come on, she's been at this for 10 years - she should for sure be able to give me a time line for what comes next and at what point our lives will settle down and become 'normal.'

In reality - Kelli is very much in the same position I am. She is still struggling to figure out her role, she is still working out a balance between church life and family life, she is still hurting from painful relationships, she is still lonely, and...her eyes still well up when asked, "how are you?"

I couldn't believe it. Kelli Skinner, one of the wisest and kindest people I know, is in the same situation as me and feeling the same emotions as me.

You would think that I would be discouraged by this, but I'm not. In fact, I'm very excited about this....
Ever since we started planting, I have labeled certain days and certain seasons as either "I hate my life days" or "the-walls-are-caving-in-days." After talking with Kelli, I realized that my perspective has been wrong, that I have been misreading the situation all this time.

My walls have not been caving in, I have just been placed in a very narrow room. The second situation is far better. Caving walls will consume and crush me. A narrow room is just a narrow room. It may be uncomfortable and I may be claustrophobic at times, but I can adjust to it's size. I will be okay.

This has been a huge freeing lesson for me.
By simply changing my perspective and seeing rightly into my situation, I have found freedom. I can breathe now. I can let go of some of the fear that I've been hanging on to knowing that it will not devour me. The room is still narrow - my troubles didn't mysteriously go away - but I have a lot more freedom than before!

You may remember a man in the gospel of Mark who was given sight after being touched by Jesus. Jesus touched him once, and he could see but only slightly. Then, Jesus touched him a second time and he could see perfectly. (Mark 8:25)

My prayer for myself and for you is that we will continue to seek the Lord's hand on our eyes so that we can receive perfect vision. That because we have received Sight, we are no longer overcome by heartache, bitterness and fear - but instead, we are able to live in His freedom and thereby extend grace to help and mercy for those in need.....

Okay, so I've been meaning to visit my blog for a L-O-N-G time...but it turns out, you must have the correct email address and password to login to your own blog. Who knew!?! Well, I finally figured out which address created this blog, so here I am!!!

I learned something REALLY cool Friday night from another Church Planter's Wife - I can't wait to share that with you....stay tuned, that's coming this evening once my little ones are tucked neatly away in their dirty beds that I haven't washed in a couple of weeks...shhhh, please don't tell anyone!

For now, I wanted to post a link to an Acts 29 Bootcamp that is coming to Houston, TX, in September....I just found out that I'll be leading the Women's Track for that....CRAZY! I thought I'd let all of you know about it in case you'd like to come out. There are some amazing speakers lined up: Matt Chandler, Matt Carter, Jonathan Dodson (oh, love him, he's my favorite one).

The "theme" for this bootcamp is ENDURE. I am just really excited about this. If you've read any of my other posts, you are well aware that the "enduring" part of all this planter's wife stuff is the hardest for me.

So, check this out - let me know if you can come and I'll save you a front row seat...or a back row seat if you prefer!