Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Parlor Time

We were at a rehearsal dinner for a very special couple recently and anyone who wanted to share was allowed to get up and say something about the bride and groom. Various people shared heartfelt comments or funny anecdotes and then one of the groom's grandpas stood up. He and his wife have been married for over 50 years and he said that their secret to such a long marriage in a day when lack of commitment and divorce are rampant was...

Parlor Time.

Parlor time, you may ask? Who even calls it a parlor anymore? How could parlor time ensure a healthy marriage? He went on to explain that after they were done eating breakfast, they took their coffee into the parlor, opened their Bible and read scriptures to each other!

Parlor Time!!!!

Psalm 119:105-112
By your words I can see where I’m going;
    they throw a beam of light on my dark path.
I’ve committed myself and I’ll never turn back
    from living by your righteous order.
Everything’s falling apart on me, God;
    put me together again with your Word.
Festoon me with your finest sayings, God;
    teach me your holy rules.
My life is as close as my own hands,
    but I don’t forget what you have revealed.
The wicked do their best to throw me off track,
    but I don’t swerve an inch from your course.
I inherited your book on living; it’s mine forever—
    what a gift! And how happy it makes me!
I concentrate on doing exactly what you say—
    I always have and always will.

Parlor Time!

Times will change, emotions will wane, bodies will start to sag, economic well-being will fluctuate...but the Word remains the one constant in our lives that we can always rely on.

1Peter 1:24-25

"People are like grass; their beauty is like a flower in the field. The grass withers and the flower fades. But the Word of The Lord remains forever."

Tim and I may not sit and read the Word to each other every day, but I'm thankful Parlor Time is not unfamiliar to us. I am thankful that the Word is woven throughout our every day lives and that it is the foundation on which we have chosen to build our lives, our family and our ministry. I pray we can always say this is true as long as we are on this earth because we may just only be as strong as our last…

Parlor Time!

Saturday, May 24, 2014


When you mention the word, "home", the memories that one word invokes are as varied as the people who remember them. For some,  home was a place of safety and comfort. For some, home was a place of unconditional love and acceptance. For some, sadly, home was a place of ridicule, abuse and condemnation. Those memories are powerful. They either offer a welcoming beckon to return or an unseen force that propels us as far away as we can get, trying to outrun the haunting emotions that accompany them. 

We were just on vacation in Charleston, SC. It is an amazingly beautiful place, rich in history, amazing food, beaches and botanicals that are pleasing to the eye and offer aromas that surround you and draw you closer. Our family doesn't get away a lot since the vacation budget is way down at the bottom of the totem pole. Thanks to the amazing kindness of friends who let us stay in their vacation home, though, there we were in May...quite possibly the best month ever to visit Charleston. I may, however, be slightly biased because May is the month that the jasmine is intoxicating at every turn!!

At any rate, the plan was to stay for a week. A week of fun, relaxation, not having to plan what's next on the menu for me to fix, watching movies, playing in the waves, experiencing the places we learned about in history...well, you get the idea. I was a pretty happy girl. We didn't tell the kids we were going until a few days before we left and, if you're a parent, the reasons for that need no explanation!! We spent the days before in excitement, though, plotting and planning what we would do while we were there. To say we were thrilled to get away from the responsibilities of life and experience something new would be an understatement and we did until we'd been there for approximately 3 days and then it happened...

They started wanting to go home.


Not to the beach. Not to the park. Not to a famous landmark or a boat ride thru the harbour


Initially I found it a little perplexing and then it bordered on annoying until it hit me...we have created the kind of home environment that draws our kids back, no matter where they are or what they're doing. Home is a place of enjoyment where they are totally accepted and loved unconditionally. It's not fancy, but it's a place of comfort and the place they'd rather be more than anywhere else. 

My heart is full!!

I didn't go to college and earn a degree for all I wanted to do was be a wife and a Mama. Granted, it can be a rather thankless job at times, but it was what I wanted to be more than anything else in the world...and I wanted to be good at it. I wanted to create the kind of home that drew my kids back. I wanted them to see something or smell something when they were out exploring the world and have it remind them of home. I wanted them to eat a dish that made them think, "Well, it's good, but not as good as Mama makes." Are these selfish desires or lofty goals? Sometimes the line between the two gets muddled, but they are there none-the-less.

So here I sit on my back porch, savoring the smell of jasmine (He's good like that to let it bloom right as I return) and reflecting on an "almost week" of fun and making memories. Our oldest two children didn't get to go on this trip because they are becoming responsible adults now (*wink**wink*) and couldn't get away so I was happy to come home and see our oldest daughter who was still here. I was also almost excited to find out that when our oldest son left yesterday he forgot a bag of dirty clothes (he's responsible, but forgetful ;0) ) because it meant I could wash them and then drive to meet him this afternoon where he is working for the weekend and have some time over dinner with him. Coming home early has had it's perks and it's made me realize that, while I could maybe have done a lot of things better, I did one thing really right...

I helped make HOME somewhere our family loves to be!!!    

Thursday, May 1, 2014


I used to think that a mom came up with the whole cloning idea…until I became a pastor's wife! Now I'm pretty sure a pastor's wife decided duplicating herself was her only hope. I love what we do! I LOVE the people we call our own and the relationships we have built. I find it a huge under-taking, though. I think what weighs on me the most is the responsibility of it all. If you take this job seriously, if you realize the impact you can have on people's lives (good and bad) and if you see these people as God sees them then it can become overwhelming at times. 

It is a misnomer to assume that the church is filled with people who have it all together. As Tim likes to say, none of us will ever have our tassels turned this side of heaven and so, consequently, the church is filled with the healed and the hurting alike. So many have deep wounds, hidden sins and consuming insecurities that keep them handcuffed and unable to experience freedom in Christ. Seeing women shake off chains and walk in new-found freedom is one of the greatest joys of my heart!! 

As the shepherdess of the flock, it is hard when you encounter so many women and see the degree of their hurt, though. There is a huge responsibility in the counsel given because, as I look at these women I meet with, pray with and seek to give Biblical counsel to, I realize the far-reaching impact of what is taking place. This counsel shared not only affects these women who have sought it out, but it has potential to affect their spouses, their families, their friends and their extended realms of influence.

It is in these times when the weight of it all can seem crushing to me. When I feel like there are so many needs and not enough me to go around. It is then that I must remind myself that it is HE who must do the work and HE who shoulders the responsibility of it all. HE multiplies the time and energy so that there is enough to go around and HE is the only One who can break chains and heal hearts. HE is the one who gives insight and peels back layers to get to buried wounds and HE is the one who leads the way out of darkness and onto the path of freedom.

The key to it all for me and other pastor's wives who find themselves constantly pouring into the lives and hearts of others is this…we must not neglect our own personal time with Him because that is the key to being equipped for all He calls us to do. We must spend time in the quiet place listening to His still small voice so that we can be renewed and so that the words we speak are His and not our own. We must be constantly plugged into Him as our source of strength and not rely solely on our own resources. Some days that seems easier done than others. I know there are so many of you who pray me  and my fellow sisters (pastor's wives) on a regular basis and that means more than you will ever know! Please don't stop. 

Prayers trump cloning any day, but some days it does seem like a viable option!!!