Tag Archives: pastor’s wife

Sowing in Tears – A Pastor’s Wife on Sunday Morning

I’m thrilled to have my friend Colette Loudin sharing a post with us today – this post is so personally challenging to me, and I know it will be to you, too. Please give her some share love on Facebook, Pinterest, etc., and check out her blog Lessons from the Sparrow.

I hugged him close as he clawed and scraped and tried to kick his sister over and over again. He was so frustrated, and I was too. He grunted and groaned quietly as he thrashed about, giving no ear to the message his dad was preaching right in front of him. I tried to calmly restrain him as tears streamed down my face.
Sowing in Tears - Sunday morning

“Sundays are just so hard, Mom.” I know, sweetheart. I know they are. But they’re worth it, too.

This precious son of six years is life and energy and cuddles and punches. He’s the one that hears the gospel over and over and over again as I hold him close and talk through what went wrong. He brings tears and fears and joy and laughter. Sometimes I don’t know how to love him well. Sometimes I wonder if I’m getting in the way of his seeing Christ. Sometimes I absolutely lose it on him. Because I can’t understand how in the world he could do the very thing we just talked about not doing. And then I see me. And my sin. Over and over and over again. The Israelites followed that path. And so often I have, too. And God disciplined them. He showed grace. He broke, and He mended. He fought for His people. And God disciplines me. He shows grace. He breaks, and He mends. He fights for me.

My eyes closed and opened to look at my husband standing behind the pulpit. And this vision came into my mind—my tough child, grown. A man, tall in stature and wise in heart. Standing at that same podium in that same church. The sunlight beaming through the stained glass behind him. And as he speaks to the people whom he now joins in faith, he looks at that front row where he spent his youth. I’m there—the whispers of years and time have painted my hair and kissed my face. And as he looks at me on that front pew, our eyes meet. A flood of memories washes over him. Our battles against sin…together. His face softens as he remembers the hard Sundays. And he understands in that moment the beauty of those struggles. The reward of it all.

My heart quieted. There was hope in that vision for me. Hope that, maybe one day, I will see the fruit of this labor.

“Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.” Psalm 126:5-6

I have no guarantee that my son will grow into a wise man who follows the Lord. There’s no protocol I could follow to produce a man of faith. That is entirely in the Lord’s hands. And there’s a freedom in that, too. It doesn’t depend on me. However, I do have the holy and heavy responsibility to diligently display God’s patience and goodness and grace to my children. To fight alongside them toward victory. Bearing the daily weight of that in the living out brings weeping and sorrow in response to my son’s sin. It is no easy thing to mother.
This Sunday, we will sit together and pray. He will pray, as he often does, that God will help him to listen and to obey. That God will calm his body and mind and help him do what he knows he should do in the church service. And he might find victory this Sunday. And he might not. But when he messes up, I will hug him close, love him gently, and speak the same truth into his little big heart. And I’ll hold that sweet vision ever before me. That one day, just maybe, I shall come home with shouts of joy because of the beautiful work God has done within him through these years of sowing. And I will look my precious, grown boy in the face, and our hearts will join with the Israelites in proclaiming, “ The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.”

 

Colette LoudinColette is a lead pastor’s wife and mother of four whose passion is to awaken women to the great need of rightly studying the word and being an active part of the local church, no matter what season of life they are in. She loves all things birth and newborns, conversations about food allergies and gut health, and reaching out to the overlooked. You can follow her blog at lessonsfromthesparrow.wordpress.com.

Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Your Anger (including a suggestion for Pastor’s Wives)

When Brad and I were newlyweds, we made sure that we never let the sun go down on our anger.

In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry (Ephesians 4:26, NIV)

We took this as literally as possible. If we were not at peace with each other, we thought we had to stay up all night until we had resolved every scrap of our fight.

Right now I’m having a good belly laugh thinking about it. Then? Not so funny.

So in bed we would sit, with the bedside table lit. One of us (usually me) just wanted to sleep already. The other one was trying to figure out the quickest way to put a nice, tidy bow on our argument.

We were even less loving and respectful because we knew we had to stay up until we had really made up with each other, and we were taking it out on the other person!

It took us awhile to realize that if we got a little bit of sleep, we would wake up with a fresh perspective and have much more love and forgiveness and compromise to offer. Go figure. 😉

Nowadays, we usually fight in the evening because that’s the only time we can have a real conversation! Usually, we are all resolved and in love again when we go to sleep. But there are times where we have to come to a stopping point. I don’t think it’s a good idea to go to bed in a huff – hence the verse above. Both of you end up mad, miffed, confused, and not in a good place when you wake up.

But if we can’t resolve something, sometimes we just recognize that. “I hear that you feel hurt by this and want XYZ. I can’t seem to wrap my mind around XYZ instead of ABC. Can we think and talk about it some more (tomorrow/at lunch/whenever you can)?”

The verse says don’t sin in your anger. Don’t let the sun go down on your anger. Not “Don’t let the sun go down on your conflict.”

I heard a really awesome suggestion for this especially for pastor’s wives. A PW in our city said that early in their marriage and ministry, she would always seem to have a conflict with her husband near the weekend (i.e., before Sunday morning when he would have to preach and be focused on shepherding). When she realized they were always fighting on the weekend, she thought Oooo I bet that enemy just loves me getting all riled up and seeing us in conflict while my husband is trying to teach the Word of God.

And she made a resolution. She decided that if she felt hurt or upset by something near the weekend, instead of bringing it up and kicking off an argument, she would just wait until after church on Sunday to talk about it.

She was happily surprised when Sunday rolled around and she could hardly remember what little thing she was so upset about. So if you’re a PW, consider this! I have been trying this out myself, and I think (hope) it’s made a lot of difference in my husband’s Sundays.

Does Being a Pastor’s Wife Ever Get Easier?

It’s been a while since I’ve talked about being a pastor’s wife. But I don’t want to disregard those pastor’s wives who read this blog and are looking for help and hope!

Do you ever wonder if being a pastor’s wife gets easier? You hope it does, right? But is that hope a desperation, like If it never gets better I want out. Or is that hope a confident expectation, like God chose my husband to be a pastor, and He will provide for our situation.

I truly pray that it’s the latter for you when you’re struggling. Thankfully, as much as I’ve struggled with being a pastor’s wife at times, God always made it clear to me that my husband is called to ministry, and I feel a strong conviction to be 100% his encourager in that. Yup, even when my heart is at its worst, God blesses me with His will.

I have only been a pastor’s wife for close to 4 years now – unless you count 4 years of full time seminary (which perhaps you should because that was the most difficult time in our marriage!) – and I’m not the wife of a senior pastor. I’m know beyond a shadow of a doubt there are things a senior pastor’s wife deals with that I know nothing about.

But if I had to answer this question, I would shout YES! It does get easier!

And sometimes it’s still harder, but in the big fat general sense – easier! I don’t have time in this post to address those temporary hard times; I will save that for another time.

If I had to boil it down, I think being a pastor’s wife gets easier most often due to these reasons:

Time

Time gives me the opportunity to look at the big picture. Instead of focusing on nitty gritty grievances, I can see how the entire role (and journey) of being a pastor’s wife is a blessing, a learning experience, and a unique way God chose to train me up.

Relationships

When you’re a pastor’s wife, unless you are at the beginning of a church, you usually walk into a fully formed church, complete with fully formed relationships and fully formed ideas of what pastor’s wives are like. One might say it takes a lot of confidence to walk into a place like that and be able to integrate easily. It does take confidence – confidence in the Lord’s power to build you up with His people. Confidence in the unity He desires you to have with others. Confidence in who He made you to be and acceptance of the fact that you will not be everyone’s best friend.

As a pastor’s wife, I don’t have the luxury of building deep relationships capriciously. I actually have to be mindful of the accountability partners I choose. But once the Lord has provided believers who know you well and help build you up in Him, being a pastor’s wife becomes much easier. You have someone else you can rely on for prayer and strength! It’s a burdern lifter.

Building relationships with the lost is also crucial. Keeping God’s mission at the forefront of your life takes the focus off of yourself and puts it back on Jesus. You don’t have to “be the pastor’s wife” with the lost. You are you. Seeing the fruit of these relationships makes you want to keep going!

Spiritual Maturity

As a believer, it’s essential that you remain connected to God. As a pastor’s wife, I’m not sure how I could make it without His strength. As He matures me through His word and other believers, living out his calling in my life is just plain easier.

So, pastor’s wife, what else has encouraged you in God’s calling?

Mommies, Ask for Help!

I hope all of you had an amazing Easter celebrating the resurrection of our Savior!

God really blessed me with being able to use some of my spiritual gifts while at our church service. A dear, dear friend who lives on the West Coast visited last week (also a blessing!), and she reminded me of one of my gifts that I basically have been hiding under a rug. Seizing opportunities to use that gift made me feel alive!

But for a pastor’s wife, Easter can be very difficult and draining. Not only is Easter the single-largest event at a church on Sunday morning throughout the year, but this year, our church met at a new location (we were outgrowing our other space so yay!)

So Brad had usual getting-ready-for-Easter duty, and then he also had a bunch of extra things he needed to take care of related to the new space. Bottom line, he’s been very tied up getting ready for Easter. Thankfully, we talked about the expectations ahead of time, and I knew what was ahead, so I was able to mentally prepare and all of that time away went great!

In all of the busy time, Brad asked me what he could pray for. I told him Easter morning. Because church “events” are very difficult for me. I am a Sunday morning single parent. On steroids. Not only am I in charge of getting kiddos ready and fed and to church. I’m in charge of all potty detail, dropping off sweet children (hoping they’re happy at drop-off), and then comes the event after the service.

With the toddler in tow, I have to figure out how to get all of the stuff (chairs, bags, etc.) to the grassy area, then figure out how to feed us (OK, really me) when all Samuel sees is jumpy houses and the Easter bunny. Actually eating the meal is usually a trick and interrupted by playtime, egg hunt, etc. In fact, this is the first year we’ve made the Easter bunny and egg hunt because the previous two years I just couldn’t get to everything on time. Even though I was right there!

So I told Brad that I was worried that I would be in a bad mood and not be a blessing. That we wouldn’t be able to enjoy the event. That I would just be so tired!

So he prayed.

And I decided to ask for help.

Many people have family who lives close or who are in town, and so they have built-in help! 😉 Every so often, I get blessed with that, but with family who lives out of town, I decided that I need to take advantage of the family God has given me through the church.

I have a community group I could ask for help, but they all have little ones, too. So I trekked out to the car, and started hauling my huge load toward the grassy area. “ARG!” came out of my mouth – I hadn’t asked for any help!

A friend walked by and asked if I needed help. In my head, I wanted to say, “NO! I can do it myself!” I’m so proud.

Instead, I said, “Yes.” He said he’d be right there, and he grabbed two of my chairs. And another friend walked by and said, “Can I help you?” I said, “Well, Jason’s helping me,” as she took a couple of bags from me.

Can you hear how hard it was for me to suck up my pride? In such a teensy tiny situation? But these friends really helped me! It was such a blessing – even though it seems small. I could SEE how God was answering my husband’s prayer for me.

And of course, he did as much as he could to help me too. In fact, he took Samuel to the egg hunt while I ate my entire plate of food!!! (Aren’t they handsome!?)

(Thanks Bobby for the great pic!)

Bottom line, mommies. Sometimes, we need to ask for help! Even when we don’t want to. We need to pray for it. And make our husbands aware of our needs so they can be our hero when they can.

When Being a Pastor’s Wife is Hard: Trials

There are times when being a pastor’s wife seems unbearable. Something has happened, whether you’re aware of it or not, and all  of a sudden, you feel like your family, ministry, career, etc. are all crumbling down. And you want to crumble with it.

I’m not going to point fingers in this post because I know that congregations and pastors/pastors’ families alike can bring pain into ministry. We are all sinners, and we will all seek pleasure over God at some point.


{Read this entire post over at Clutch Talk here!}

When Being a Pastor’s Wife is Hard: Expectations

When my husband first told me he was being called into full-time ministry, we had not been married even a year. Since I didn’t grow up with a Christian lifestyle, I thought, Oh no! What am I going to do!? I’m not made to be a pastor’s wife! That’s not me! But as a friend told me last year: If you’re husband is called to be a pastor, you are also called – to be a pastor’s wife.

I’m guest-posting this month at ClutchTalk. See this full post here.

Preach the Gospel…to Yourself

Yesterday, I guest-posted at ClutchTalk – a blog specifically for Pastor’s Wives!

As a pastor’s wife, the message I often speak to myself is “Do more.” You know: go earlier, stay later, give more, disciple more, sign up more, offer more.

I have to remind myself that this is a false gospel. This is not the message of God, nor is it what ministry is all about. But it’s so tempting to listen to this idol of mine! Because when it comes down to it – doing something is easy and ministry is hard, and I want to believe that I’m following God’s will and being sanctified more each day. Simply doing something convinces me that I’m on the correct path.

Read the rest of the post here.

Thank You

I have been blessed lately. Particularly by our church body.

We have been going through a difficult time with our childcare situation. Ever since I switched from working from my home office to filming and recording in a studio part-time, things have been going downhill.

Unfortunately, I was ignoring the signs.

I feel awful now looking back, but it took a big mistake on our nanny’s part for me to see how bad it had gotten. A couple of Friday’s ago, when I got home, she was rushing out of the front door to get his car seat from her car, looking guilty.

Samuel was asleep. I paid her, and she left.

I wondered where they went, but I figured they went to the park or storytime or something and didn’t ask. (Hello, mommy! You always have a right to ask where your son has been!)

After Samuel woke up, I changed his diaper and was horrified at how utterly soaked he was. There is no way he had been changed in the previous several hours. My heart sank.

We went to have a snack, and his bib and dishes from his morning snack and lunch were all missing. In her car, I’m assuming. This means they were gone for at least 3 hours, and I’m assuming by the 2 clean diapers that were in the car seat she brought in that he wasn’t changed the entire time before his nap.

I was furious. So furious I wanted to call and ask her what kind of person doesn’t change a child’s diaper!? Especially someone who has plenty of experience to know better.

I didn’t call. Because I knew I would speak in anger.

She had already told us she was going to be leaving, but that she would keep watching Sam until we found someone. Apparently, she had mentally checked out of her job.

I felt sick as I looked back at other small things that had been leading to this moment. Her attitude and disrespect towards me. Her never ever telling me that Samuel and her had a fun day or that he’s such a precious guy. She always said, “He did OK.” I thought, Wow, he must really not do well with other people. Since then, he’s been watched by several others who tell me how fun he is and what a joy. The little man I know.

My heart breaks to think that for many months he was with someone who didn’t want to care for him. It’s SO hard being a working mom, and this just makes it seem unbearable.

After that Friday, I called every single person and lead I knew to find someone who could love him. Someone I could trust. I prayed. I stayed up at night thinking about it. I treasured him and apologized.

While I was looking, some near and dear friends and some members of our church body whom I don’t even know very well helped me out by caring for Samuel. For free. For love. To bless me.

And I can’t thank them enough for restoring the part of my mama soul that was so diminished. The little thank you notes I write just do not do justice to what they offered me.

There are other ways our body has been blessing us this week, and I’m just blown away by how our church loves us in so many ways. I know many who pray for us every single day. How do they offer that sacrifice!?

I don’t know. But I say Thank You. Thank. You.

Give Your Family Your Time!

 Sometimes a pastor’s wife’s life can be busy. You know, Sunday morning single parent, community group on Tuesdays, Brad gone to church business meetings (i.e., membership, interest meetings, planning meetings, etc.), and mornings and evenings alone while Brad is coaching lay leaders.

It’s not every day or anything, and some weeks are busier than others. But after awhile, it can get a little old. And my perception can magnify the time apart.

Well, let me tell you – my husband blessed me the other day! It was one of those weeks where every single night was marked off for something, and family was coming in for the weekend. For once, and by the grace of God, I was handling the week’s outlook pretty well.

On Thursday morning, Brad told me I “might” be getting a package that day. A package? That wasn’t really like Brad. He’s a words-of-affirmation kind of guy, not a gift-giving guy. He asked what our plans were to be sure Samuel and I would be home.

I sort of forgot about it until he called me at about 9:30.

“Did you get your package?”

“No.”

“Hmm.”

“Should I check outside?”

“Sure!”

“Nope, it’s not here! I’ll call you when I get it.”

Ten minutes later, there was a knock on the door. I tried to look out the window, but didn’t see anything. So I opened the door.

Brad was my package!

I think my grin was about as big as my head! Time with hubby and daddy! In the middle of the workday! During a very busy week! Wahoo!

We had 2 hours of family time – time we wouldn’t have had otherwise that week.

We did normal family things – went to the park, played outside, had a snack. What we did wasn’t the point.

We had time together, and that’s all I wanted.

It was a special blessing – the best package I could have gotten!

Guys, sometimes that’s all we want – just you. Home with us. I know we can’t all just leave work (and don’t worry, Brad works well over 40 hours every week, so he’s not slackin’) in the middle of the day. But anything you can do – do it! We will respect how you’ve made a sacrifice just to be with us.

The Candid Kissing Experiment {Results}

I feel like a failure.

Maybe you would guess that I started my experiment strong. I was happy to say I had a good track record of quality kisses with my hubby … for a few days.

And I realized how important kissing is. It breaks tension. It brings laughter. It connects us briefly when we can’t connect in other ways. It reminds us of when we were dating in college (maybe it shouldn’t! :)).

In short, I think intimate kissing with your spouse is like diluted sex. There is a mystery in the connection that I can’t quite put my finger on – barriers go away, and intimacy starts to fill in those cracks.

But it’s oh so hard! I must say, we had a very tough week, both as a church family, and as our own little family unit. Brad wasn’t home as much as usual, and when he was, we were exhausted. We tried, but sometimes, we could only eek out a fainthearted kiss.

However, I’m still going to count the experiment as a success. Not only did we kiss more, our kisses had more meaning behind them. They said We’re a team! I support you! I like you. You are special to me like no one else is.

And I think that’s really the goal – to be more intentional about filling the short moments with our spouses with meaningful moments. Moments that unite us – that help us be a picture of Jesus and the church.

I’m praying for a different sort of week – one in which we can have dinners together, laugh deeply, cozy up often, and – yes – share intimate kisses.

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