articleshare:: 5 Phrases Every Pastor's Family Should Know

>> November 30, 2009

I saw this article on and wanted to share.

Here are the 5 phrases they say every pastor's family should know:

  • "I'm having a difficult time."
  • "I need to pray."
  • "I don't know."
  • "I'm not comfortable with that."
  • "I have a history too."
The author writes: "Each time we reveal to our church members that we are “real,” it serves to chip away at the glass of the fishbowl, until one day we might just find ourselves free to swim along with all the other fish in the sea! "

Read the whole article here. What do you think? What phrase do you think every pastor's wife should know?


guest blog: preconceived notions, surrender and peace (part 4)

>> November 27, 2009

(...continued... start from the beginning)

I’m sure I’m not the only one to have high hopes about a situation, only to come crashing down into despair. So if you are there, you are not alone.

Take it to God.

Surrender again.

He said that He would not leave us comfortless and that He would never leave or forsake us. He is faithful to fulfill His promises, I assure you.

‘Father, I pray today for all those who are finding themselves in situations they never dreamed they would be in. I pray that your sweet peace would wrap around their hearts at this very hour. Help them, Lord, to trust your heart and not their own. Hold them in your lap and dry their tears. Thank you, Father, for your faithfulness to hear our every prayer. Amen.’

As a PK, Carrie had many dreams--to make it big in Nashville, marry a tall, dark and handsome prince, own a metallic green Chevy Beretta, be a missionary, and wear a pair of jeans. 3 of her dreams came true.

Today you will find her supporting her high school sweetheart on the mission field of Eastern Europe. You will also find her homeschooling, gardening, canning, cleaning (oh, the laundry!), reading, writing, or singing.

She enjoys long walks, date night, talking with friends, listening to singing and preaching in English, and uninterrupted sleep. Other than Jesus and family, Carrie is most thankful for chocolate, good books, internet, and indoor plumbing.

Her heart is to serve. She has a burden for the Gypsy children in her area and wants to make sure they are fed and clothed. She also has a burden for women—women who feel that they are carrying their burdens alone. Her desire is to show the love of God in both word and deed.

You can find her musings at Perfectly Imperfect.


guest blog: preconceived notions (part 3)

>> November 25, 2009


After a few years on the mission field, apartment life had finally gotten to me. My gaggle of children was growing as fast as the apartment was shrinking. We didn’t have much room to turn around and felt like sardines in a can.

I dreamed of a home. A house with room to spread out and a yard for the kids to play.

My dreams came true in the summer of 2007. The house was in pretty good shape, though it would need indoor plumbing and a fresh coat of paint. The land was a perfect size, full of fruit trees of all kinds. I fell in love with it.

But before we could take possession, the former owner gutted the house. In the place of the cabinets, flooring, and electrical outlets she took, she left a huge mess, bare wires, and a plain unlivable house. It didn’t even look like the same house.

We were aghast.

We quickly composed ourselves and went to work trying to make our new home livable. I kept my chin up most days, though the work on the house, the needs of the children, and the ministry weighed on me heavily.

Ready or not, our apartment lease was up and we moved into the “new” house. For a while we had to shower in the mud brick barn (Did you know that it takes two to shower? One to hold the watering can and one to stand under it and wash up.).

I held up fairly well until mid October when the fall winds blew in. I remember one night taking a shower in the barn and the wind was so cold that I shook with chills. I cried. Then I felt badly for crying. What a big baby I had turned out to be.

But God worked things out. No, things didn’t work out like in my dreams. Instead I got to experience what life is like for the many people in the villages here—people who live in run down houses, people who sit on the floor instead of furniture, people who wonder if their roof will fall in on them. From my own hardships I developed a deeper love and appreciation for the people.

What I have learned (and am still learning) is that God’s plans don’t usually go the way we think they should. But they are always right and always for our good.

Stay tuned for Part 4 on Friday!


guest blog: preconceived notions (part 2)

>> November 23, 2009

continued from yesterday.

With all the packing and farewells behind me, I climbed aboard a plane for the first time in my life, with 4 small children in tow, a newborn on my chest, and my Love by my side.

Twenty-four hours into the trip, our last plane about to land, my Love and I looked into each other’s eyes. “Are you ready?” he asked. With tears of joy I told him I was ready. I had dreamed for so long of all those we would meet, the children we would feed, and the people we would clothe. Together we would tell the world of Christ’s love.

But all my plans and wishes quickly crumbled before my very eyes. Dogs everywhere, crowded, busy streets, terrible traffic with no personal vehicle—all of it was so dangerous for small children. My Love was able to join another missionary and work among the people, but I stayed in the apartment with the children.

The already tiny apartment felt smaller and smaller by the day.

I was once again spiraling into despair. Had I not been called? Had I not surrendered to work among the people? Was I to spend my days inside a small apartment forever? Why did God call me just to leave me sit?

What a silly, stubborn child I was (am).

Somehow knowing what I was going through, a fellow missionary wife stopped by one day. We talked for a while and as she was getting up to leave, she hugged me and said, “Carrie, surrender again. God knows what He is doing and knows what is best for both you and the ministry. Surrender again.”

“Surrender again. And again and again. God’s way and not mine.” Those were the thoughts I meditated on.

Soon I found myself on my knees telling God that if He wanted me to be the best peanut butter cookie baker, then that’s what I wanted to be.

Surrender didn’t change my situation. It didn’t make the apartment larger. It didn’t make the dogs go away.

Surrender gave me peace. Sweet, sweet peace.

Check out Part 3, tomorrow.


guest blog: preconceived notions (part 1)

Today we begin a series by Carrie, who alongside her husband, serves as a missionary in Eastern Europe.

I am a die-hard optimist, seeing the world through my own designer rose-colored glasses. So when my husband surrendered to the mission field and we began to talk about deputation, I had very high hopes.

Of course all the churches we visited would want to support us because my husband is a great preacher, the kids and I could sing and play instruments and the five-year-old could quote scripture like no one I had ever seen. People would embrace us with open arms.

Well, after several months of visiting churches to fill a quota and never receiving support, I became discouraged. No, I became bitter. I started just going through the motions. A fake smile. A forced song. I lost sight of what really mattered.

One night at a missions conference in TN, I was particularly unpleasant of heart. I didn’t want to be there. I hated feeling like I was on display along side the other families where the one with the best behaved children and the nicest song would be picked for support.

Then it happened. A young woman from the church walked up to me, holding a baby in her arms. She spoke to me with such admiration. She told me how much she loved missions conferences and how challenged she was by them. She thanked me for giving up my home to tell the world of Christ’s love.

Her words smote my heart. I had once been that young woman.

Just then I heard the tender voice of my Heavenly Father, speaking to my cold, hard heart, “Remember the Carrie who used to love missions conferences? Remember her tears? Remember her heart for others? Remember the night she surrendered to go with me, come what may? What happened to that Carrie?”

I cried out to my Father and asked Him to draw me closer so that I could see His plan and not my own preconceived notions about how things were supposed to be. I surrendered again to His will.

I went back the next night, full of zeal and ready to follow Christ wherever He may lead. I found the young woman and hugged her. Later that night, her husband surrendered to the mission field. She ran back to where I was at our display table and hugged me like she’d never let go. She thanked me for being there and letting the Lord use me to help her.

But I didn’t help her. She helped me.

As a PK, Carrie had many dreams---to make it big in Nashville, marry a tall, dark and handsome prince, own a metallic green Chevy Beretta, be a missionary, and wear a pair of jeans. 3 of her dreams came true.
Today you will find her supporting her high school sweetheart on the mission field of Eastern Europe. You will also find her homeschooling, gardening, canning, cleaning (oh, the laundry!), reading, writing, or singing.
You can find her musings at Perfectly Imperfect.


what's coming up on Clutch

>> November 20, 2009

After brainstorming, planning, strategizing and dreaming, here's a sneak peek of some of the cool things we have in store for you in the next year:

  • Online workshops (get your headphones and webcams ready!)
  • Online small group for PWs (led by a seasoned PW)
  • Blog Redesign (by PW-owned Woot Designs)
  • More interviews
  • PW-related book reviews
  • More guest blogs
Prayerfully, we'll get to meet more of you and create ways to connect in person at various ministry conferences around the country!

What would you like to see incorporated into Clutch? Tell us!


facts and favorites

>> November 18, 2009

Our trip down memory lane continues....

spousal abuse: one woman's story
follow the leader
the hospitality commands
the doctrine of hate
10 ways to give your PH amazing support

All the Interviews with PWs were my favorites
Audio interview with Lisa Chan
Guest blog: 8 reasons to close your blinds
What do you call your PH?
Guest blog: LPL Event Recap

who is your PH's wardrobe consultant?

open letter from a pastor's wife

Our dreadful April Fool's Joke

readers in: 68 countries
total pageviews: almost 22,000


PMS: weeks in review

>> November 17, 2009

In this past year of Clutch, we began to dedicate the first full week of each month to dealing with real, and oftentimes serious, issues that PWs deal with in ministry.
PMS stands for:

These, we believe, were some of the most helpful posts that tackled issues head-on. They also featured the victories that many PWs had over these problems, mistakes and sins. For those of you who may have missed it, here's a PMS Year-In-Review.

I'm linking to the first post in the weekly series for each month, so keep clicking "Newer Posts" to read more on the topic for the week.

Spousal Abuse
One Woman's Story

Sexual Sin
The day everything changed

The Demise of Hospitality
Reality Check: The current state of hospitality

Forgiving the big things

Mean People
The doctrine of Hate

Hospitality @ church
How do YOU find ways to foster warmth and genuine relationships among your church family?

How has your role as PW affected your career choices?
The stay-at-home PW

How do we maintain our sanity as women married to wonderful but very human men of God - while supporting, respecting, loving, and honoring them?
10 quickest ways to undermine your PH

What strategies do you employ to set boundaries in ministry?
Boundaries in your marriage

What you would do to help a fellow PW who finds herself in a tough spot?
The reluctant pastor's wife


happy birthday, Clutch!

>> November 16, 2009

A year ago Sarah and I started this blog in hopes that we'd create a place where young pastor's wives could connect, share and encourage. We started the blog with 2 posts, parts 1 and 2 of when his ministry cramps your style and ever since then we've written about the various ways that that tension between our will, our husband's job and God's will plays out in our fishbowl existence.

I think I speak for both of us, that our journey in creating and developing Clutch has been better than we anticipated. God has allowed us to bless other PWs and blessed us with amazing insight, camaraderie and friendships. Getting to meet all of you, albeit virtually, has been a blast and a true blessing. You are amazing women, dedicated to God, your PH, your families and the ups and downs of living ministry. We've loved hearing your stories, getting your perspectives on ministry and hearing your laughter and good nature through your comments. Thank you.

We're going to commemorate our first year all week long and give you a glimpse of what's coming in 2010. We look forward to another year of our growing relationship with you and sharing this journey that we're all in. Maybe this year will be the year that we meet some of you in person.

Here's to you, PWs. You've made our year! Go have a cupcake to celebrate...the calories don't count today! :)


giveaway winner!

And the winner is......

#6, Jan who said "I am not typical at all. I am not QUIET and I can't play the piano!"

Jan, please send an email to clutchtalk AT gmail DOT com with your mailing address and we'll get the details for your custom letter ironed out!

Thanks for playing! :)


pastors, depression and suicide

>> November 11, 2009

Anyone read the article in USA Today a couple of weeks ago? Propelled by a pastor's suicide in North Carolina, the article explores the reasons lead a pastor to feel depressed and that there's no way out. Some interesting notes from the article:

  • Being a pastor — a high-profile, high-stress job with nearly impossible expectations for success — can send one down the road to depression, according to pastoral counselors.
  • It's a job that breeds isolation and loneliness — the pastorate's "greatest occupational hazards," said Scoggin, who counsels many Baptist and other ministers. "These suicides are born out of a lack of those social supports that can intervene in times of personal crisis."
  • "The likelihood is that one out of every four pastors is depressed,.."
  • Counselors say ... fewer depressed ministers get treated because of career fears, social stigma and spiritual taboo.

    "Clergy do not talk about it because it violates their understanding of their faith," said Scoggin. "They believe they are not supposed to have those kinds of thoughts."

  • Society still places a stigma on mental illness, but Christians make it worse, he said, by "over-spiritualizing" depression and other disorders — dismissing them as a lack of faith or a sign of weakness.
  • For pastors, treatment can come at a high price. "You are committing career suicide if you have to seek treatment," said Stanford, "particularly if you have to take time off."
What are your thoughts? In what ways are PWs at risk for this occupational hazard? How can we help a PH who is depressed? How do you help a depressed PH without sidelining the ministry forever (or is this even a consideration?)


giveaway: custom initial letter

>> November 10, 2009

Amber, the PW we interviewed yesterday, is giving away one of her custom creations, a metal initial ornament. It includes ribbon to hang on Christmas tree or mantel!

Here's an example (the winner will choose a letter of her choice):

The letter (capital) will be AROUND 5" tall.
Check out the other items in Amber's Etsy shop! She has headbands, necklace pendants, hairbows for kids,... great stuff.

We love promoting the things that other PWs are doing. If you'd like to do a giveaway of something you made, let us know!

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment with your:

Church name/location:
Name one way that you are not the typical PW:

You have until noon (PST) on Saturday, November 14, to enter. The random winner will be announced soon after.

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