marriage. betrayal. pain. forgiveness. restoration.

>> July 28, 2011

I was so excited to have received a package from my friend Cindy Beall. Inside, was what is pictured to the left. This is not just a book. This is her first book, officially published and I am elated to have a copy. I declare, that it is the next best seller! You need to get your hands on one right away; you will not be able to put the book down. (It’s one of those good one’s)

Cindy Beall has walked a journey no wife dreams of when she is planning her wedding, giving birth, living the married life, much less coupled with being in ministry. The standstill moment of discovering your husband was unfaithful. To complicate the situation, there was more than one woman, one might be pregnant and being he was in ministry their new situation was fixing to go on blast because we all know that ministry equals a public life. Did I mention that they had just moved and taken over a new staff position at one of the most influential churches? Did I mention that they had already been married several years and had a precious child?

In her book “Healing your marriage when trust is broken” Cindy shares her pain, the process, the forgiveness and the restoration her marriage went through. Did you catch my last phrase; the restoration. That’s right; God completely restored and renewed a marriage that had been broken to pieces.

I have personally never experienced the anguish one goes through upon that type of discovery, but every woman can relate on a certain level to shattered dreams, painful words, dreaded experiences and the negative impacts as results of various decisions. If we do not allow God to work through us, enabling us to forgive and ultimately restore you can expect roots of bitterness, rejection, pain leading to anger and the list goes on making us unpleasant people. Or maybe you know someone who has been through this type of situation or possibly you are going through it yourself. I invite you to pick up this book at your nearest retailer. You will never be the same.

In the words of Craig Groeschel her pastor “Her courage will inspire you.” “Her transparency will win you.” “Her story will change you.”


© CLUTCH, 2009-2011 unless otherwise sourced.
Use allowed by express written permission only.
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the family that left

>> July 25, 2011

It's happened at every church in America. A once active family leaves. Some leave on good terms, others leave on not so good terms, some disappear, a multitude of reason could fit here; you get the picture. There are so many scenarios surrounding stances on when and why a family leaves.

Last year we had a family leave that was very near and dear to our hearts. The husband came to church but did not serve the Lord. We loved on him, he volunteered here and there, but wasn't ready to commit to Christ. He came to church to appease his wife and it lasted almost two years. The woman had children close in age to my kiddos and they were so precious. As they weaved into the church body we began seeing them at least two to three times a week. Our children played together on a weekly basis, we shopped, laughed, had garage sales, lots of fun times. She served as a lead volunteer for one our ministries and one day she disappeared. She stopped coming suddenly, didn't return phone calls, didn't reply to text messages, stayed facebook friends but quite commenting and interaction. In the beginning, I really made effort because of how close we had gotten to reach out. I knew I couldn't have offended her, surly not we were friends on a certain level, our kids were friends, I was confused. After being ignored so many times, the only thing left to do is pray and move on.

I say all of that to say for the first time in little over a year, I ran into her at the gym. She saw me first and kept walking, avoiding eye contact. But the eye contact had been made, I only had a few seconds to react. Part of me wanted to stay quiet and ignore, but that would only have left me in wonder and possibly an opportunity for a root to set in that wasn't there. The other part of me was so happy to see her face and it appeared she was doing well. Then once again I was quickly taken back as I recalled the rejection when I reached out; after she fell off the planet. Nevertheless, I spoke up and said "Hi Roxanne" (not her real name obviously) she said "Oh hi" in her passing by. I wanted to approach and hug (I'm from the south) and ask how are you doing? What happened to you? Is everything going okay now? How are the kids? How is Aaron? (not husbands real name either) but it was obvious she wasn't open to conversation as she kept walking like I was more of a stranger.

I have lots on my plate, so there isn't much time to dwell on the situation but it did bring me to ask the question "how do you react should you face this situation again?" Even under different circumstances; there are people I have begged God to not let me run into for both their good and my good at the local grocery store, mall or local eateries. (I'm being real ladies) I have purposed in my heart to walk love and release things. Might not be the greatest method, but it's how my heart functions. I believe releasing people, events, emotions, situations into the hands of God really brings freedom, less we harbor hurt, resentment, bitterness and lots of other emotions. I don't want to live a life depressed, in fear or anger. What do you do when you run into a family that left the church?

Ignore them
Walk the opposite directions
Nod and smile
Stop and say hello
Be a jerk, making snark comments

I hope that we can learn to let things go and walk in love. Post your best practices here, I'd love to hear them and believe you me it happens all across America so we could all use cleaver methods on how to handle awkward moments when you run into them.

© CLUTCH, 2009-2011 unless otherwise sourced.
Use allowed by express written permission only.
Tweets, trackbacks, and link sharing encouraged.


stressful days and speaking the word

>> July 18, 2011

If I told you the fierceness of my last three to four weeks you wouldn’t believe me. I can hardly believe it myself.

I feel like a boxer that has had their tail whooped. Or maybe like this picture of a cow doing what a dolphin does, completely working out of my element.

This occurred, that occurred, this fell through, that failed to work, XYZ caused major stress and emotional exhaustion. Ladies, my list goes on.

I was literally at the end of my rope, holding on with whatever I had left in me, then the air conditioning at the house went out. My response “Oh my gosh are you serious??!!!??" The compressor was bad so we were living out of a hotel last week until they ordered the part and fixed it.

While staying in a “suite” (which is still small by the way, for kiddos), Matthew accidently spilled daddy’s coffee. The coffee was on the counter, he was reaching for another glass nearby, bumped it and well… landed on his head! Yes, that is right, hot burning coffee. Soon after we were at the doctor’s office, and he had 1st degree burns on his scalp.

Upon checkout, he hit his head very hard on the counter, you should have seen the face of the entire front office. Then at home he jumped on a non sturdy surface, fell, and hit his face. Thought I was going to have to go back to the doctors. By the next day, I was on major edge.

I wasn't feeling very pastor's-wifey, super spiritual or even very Christian-y for that matter. Everything piled up over the last several weeks, not to mention I have only three weeks till finals for summer session.

I was on the verge of a panic attack. At least that’s what I think -- I don’t normally have anxiety, but I would get these waves of heat flashes and felt extremely anxious inside for no reason. Well, I guess there was reason, but no existing emergency at those points. I've just been completely and entirely emotionally whooped.

Have you ever had one of those days, weeks, or months like I have? Where it feels like you are operating out of your element, similar to the picture? Some things that happen in life are natural factors, simply cause and effect. But other situations, I believe, are attacks of the enemy. Whichever you are faced with, it puts the squeeze on.

When families leave the church.

When Janie misunderstood you and now Janie and her network look at you funny.

When you have misspoken and stepped on someone's toes.

When you have kept quiet and the internal dialog is driving you nuts.

When you have prayed and prayed and prayed and prayed...

Sometimes, things just aren't going well. If you are having a bad day, a bad week, a bad month or a bad streak, I want to encourage you to speak the word and in midst of the craziness of life don’t walk around morbidly expecting something else to fall apart.

Go about your day expecting God to do a miracle.

Is it hard? Yes. But do not drive yourself into the ground, rather hold your head high and keep walking. You may feel like you have a limp and are barely dragging, but keep going forward. Let his Word be the air you breathe.


© CLUTCH, 2009-2011 unless otherwise sourced.
Use allowed by express written permission only.
Tweets, trackbacks, and link sharing encouraged.


you have the power::to make your husband live in misery

>> July 7, 2011

Yes, you read it right. In misery.

Because of you.

“That’s horrible!” you say. “I’m not that kind of wife. Marriage is about making each other happy!” Which is true. But what about when you don’t like what your husband does for a living? And what about when that job is his call from God?

Some of you are reading this and starting to mumble to yourself already. You know you can’t stand the fact that you’ve been “forced” into the role of being a pastor’s wife. You despise the pressure. You’re terrified by the demands. You loathe the fact that your husband is always on call. You’d be thrilled if he came home one day and announced that he was changing careers to something, anything, else.

Some of you can’t relate to all that angst and frustration. You don’t mind your husband being a pastor. Sure, the hours can be frustrating when he gets phone calls or visitors early in the morning or late at night. And yes, it isn’t fun sitting alone in church (when you actually go). But mostly, his life of ministry doesn’t affect you much. You do your thing, and he does his. And ministry is definitely his thing, not yours.

Or maybe you’re reading this and sitting a tiny bit straighter in your seat with a little sanctified pride. You’re not like those other ministry wives! You just love being the pastor’s wife. You like the influence it gives you. You’re friendly to everyone at church, involved in several ministries, and lots of people come to you for advice. You’re so proud of your husband in the pulpit that you could just burst. And you have lots of ideas about how he should do his job, too. In fact, sometimes you think to yourself that you could do his job just as well - or maybe even better. And maybe you could... But (without launching a discussion about whether you should be the pastor), the fact is that you’re not. He is. And he can sense when you think you’re better than him.

I used to swear that I’d never marry a pastor. Most of the theology students I knew were either lazy, egotistical or fanatical, and some were a blend of all three. Then I met my husband, and God tweaked my perspective. But I’ll freely admit various moments when I’ve met all three of those descriptions above.

However, none of those attitudes lead to a happy home or a satisfied marriage. And they definitely don’t foster a successful ministry. Powerful pastors come from peaceful homes, where they know that they are loved and supported by the most valuable person in their lives - you. When life at home is harmonious, he’s free to focus his energy on his calling.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mean that you should be a doormat. I definitely don’t mean that you should avoid communicating about problems just to keep the peace. And I absolutely don’t mean that you should pretend to be someone you’re not.

I am saying that if you’re not supportive of your husband’s calling, it’s going to have negative effects on your home life. Your children will pick up on the tension and it can have a lifelong  damaging impact on their view of marriage and ministry. Your husband may work longer and longer hours because at home he’s not getting support and admiration and peace. And your feelings are likely to keep going in a desperate cycle of frustration because your heart just isn’t in it.

I am saying that if you see ministry as “his job” and not yours, the disconnect is going to cause cracks in the foundation of your relationship sooner or later. Your church members can sense when you aren’t interested in them. When your husband consistently shows up alone to church activities, they start to wonder if everything is okay in the pastor’s marriage. Besides, every member is called to be a minister according to their gifts - even the pastor’s wife.

You aren’t exempt from the basic expectations of service, participation and ministry that God wants from everyone else in the church body. Yes, being the pastor is your husband’s job, but you're a member of the body, too.

I am saying that if you think you could do a better job than your husband, be careful to avoid letting other people in on the secret. Listen to yourself and make sure that when you offer advice it sounds supportive, not second-guessing. Just because he handles situations differently than you think he should, doesn’t mean he’s doing it wrong. People can tell when you don’t trust his judgment. And sadly, some will use that against him.

Any of these attitudes can wreak havoc with your husband’s confidence in his ability to fulfill his calling. His courage can be undermined just as much by a spirit of competition as by your irritated frustration at the demands of his job.

Life as a pastor’s wife is personally invasive. You already know that. You share your husband with dozens (or hundreds) of other people who often feel that their claim to him is just as valid as yours. You can either choose to embrace the reality of his calling, or you can make his existence a living hell.

And no godly man wants to face the choice between making his wife happy and rejecting the call of God.

So as the pastor’s wife, you’ve got a choice to make. You can indulge in resentment, or do your part to make home a happy place. You’ve got the power to make the pastor eager to get back home, or make him wish his visitation would last longer so he can delay his return.

He’s your warrior. You’re his cheerleader. And no, I’m not being sexist. It’s just the plain facts. Your attitude gives him the courage to live out his divine calling. Or not.

If you’re not on board with your husband’s calling, you need to be prepared for the inevitable results. And if you want home to be peaceful, a place your husband can’t wait to get back and see you - you might want to pray about a change of heart.

“Can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction?” Amos 3:3 (NLT)


© CLUTCH, 2009-2011 unless otherwise sourced.
Use allowed by express written permission only.
Tweets, trackbacks, and link sharing encouraged.

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