Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Mess? What mess?

October 26, 2021 0


Have you ever been to visit someone’s home, been admiring how clean everything is and then they say “I’m sorry things are such a mess!”? I don’t have one of this homes. 

No one has ever remarked on how clean our current home is but they have used other words like cozy, quiet, peaceful. Sometimes we get so caught up in cleaning and creating the allusion of tidy that we miss some of the most important work of hospitality, making others feel welcomed. 

Yes of course things should be clean enough that people don’t sit on the couch and get a big stain on their pants, people shouldn’t be afraid of catching something because they used your bathroom. But don’t forget that people that entertained Christ in their homes probably had dirt floors. 

By all means toss the trash and sweep your floors before guests arrive but don’t wear yourself out cleaning corners you haven’t looked at since the last time someone visited. Take time to also prepare your heart and quiet your spirit. These things are just as an important of a mess to clean up as the dust bunnies in the living room. Maybe even more so. 

Monday, October 25, 2021

Covered Dish

October 25, 2021 0


There are several ways to approach bringing a dish to the church potluck. You can bring your favorite dish, Pastor’s favorite dish, if you have kids then their favorite, or you can go out on a limb and bring something you’ve never made before. Nine times out of ten, I bring something I’ve never made before. And here’s why

At every church we’ve ever been to, Joel is one of the last people through the line. Part of that is personality and part of it is responsibilities that keep him from sitting and having a bite. Because of this, if he knows I made his favorite dish and gets to the line and it’s all gone or just a bite or two is left, how disappointing is that? Same for with the kids dishes and they may or may not be the type to let me know about it. So instead of setting my family up for disappointment, I instead use the potluck as my testing grounds. When people like something I keep track of it and bring it again. If the family likes it, it may go into regular rotation of meals. And here’s the best part, if it’s a flop i don’t feel any guilt about it languishing in my fridge until garbage day. I tried it just wasn’t good, toss the rest of it. 

What about you? What types of things do you normally take to potlucks? 

PS If you keep track of your recipes on Pinterest then you can easily share winners with folks that ask for recipes. 

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Loose leash

October 23, 2021 0


This past winter, we adopted a two year old Germans shepherd dog from the humane society. For the first few months with us, she was undergoing heart worm treatment. That meant that she always had to be on leash in the yard and wasn’t allowed to take walks. Around the beginning of June, she was given the all clear to start moving. 

We were so excited to go for walks, she was so excited. We barely noticed that she was pulling on the leash. It felt like her exuberance for life was uncontainable and she just needed to get out there and explore the world. I figured she’d eventually get to the place where the novelty of outside would wear off and she’d stop pulling naturally. 

Well, that was not the case. She I think pulled more as her energy returned and the walks became more common. I was building my biceps but I knew that winter was on the horizon and images of slick ice and firm jerk had me thinking of ambulances. I doubled down on the research on gadgets to stop pulling. One of my friends said gadgets never work, you just have to be willing to look silly.

She suggested a method of the moment the dog puts tension on the leash to turn and walk the other direction. I figured it was worth a shot, it had to be better than an er trip on a cold winters day. Our mile walk that day barely made it out of the yard. It’s been a week or so since we started, we cover a mile in the distance of about a block so there’s improvement! 

Why do I bring this up? Because it reminds me of my relationship with God. You see, dogs pull because they think they’re in control of where they’re going. And in some ways that’s true, especially if they pull enough to break free. I’m often the dog in this example, pulling against the one who’s actually in control. Thinking I have to get to a certain place as quickly as possible, with no real concern for what I may be missing along the way. Just let me lead, I’m sure I know the way! You’re being too slow, Lord, hurry up already. 

But the truth is God is in control and staying close enough that ever transition isn’t a shard jerk to my well planned ideas is actually better. It’s more enjoyable for me when I keep that leash loose, I’m able to explore side adventures that I’d zoom past if I live life on the end of my leash. God wants us to be in relationship together, not me tethered to Him, being weighted down by my own desires. And that’s the real difference between the loose and the taut leash. A taut leash is so I don’t run away and lose myself. But a loose leash is really just a symbol that we belong to each other, it’s not needed for control, just a reminder to one another and the world that we’re in it together. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

For my enemies

October 20, 2021 0

 When I read and studied scripture before becoming a Mrs. Pastor, I always thought that praying for my enemies meant people at war with the United States. Little did I know that the enemy can live so much closer to home. 

Yes, as it turns out sometimes the people that we’re called to minister to are the very ones that qualify as our enemies. I’ve had so many hurtful things said about me, to me, behind my back that if I had a nickel for every time I could probably end world hunger. The worst part is the most hurtful things were said by the people I drew in the closest. Those that I thought were safe ended up tearing me down the most. 

I could get into details but if you’ve experienced this, you don’t need any wound stories and if you dint know what I’m talking about then praise the Lord and May it always be that way. I would like to say that it didn’t hurt but the truth is, I was very much wounded and haven’t felt the desire to be so transparent with people we minister to since. Now see I didn’t say that I’m not transparent with people, I just choose different variety of folks to share those parts of myself with. 

Unfortunately, pain like this can easily cause us to pull away from everyone. The only thing I’ve found that helps me to stay connected when the ugly rears its head is prayer. Reconnecting with the Holy Spirit does amazing things. It’s not always free form prayer, sometimes I pray scripture, others I pray ancient texts, sometimes modern prayers. And occasionally I will just break down and offer the Lord my brokenness. 

I recently read in a book from Matt Mikalatos that the only real cure for a broken heart is more love. And that is so very true when it comes to healing the pain of betrayal. We don’t get better in isolation but in community. And the only way we can make our way back to that is by praying for our enemies until there are no enemies left.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021


October 19, 2021 0

 I recently was reading some random tweets and one of me struck me all wrong. A young youth minister was told by her youth group that she dresses like a pastor’s wife. She was aghast. I was aghast!

Is it an insult to tell someone that they dress like a Mrs. Pastor? It certainly felt like that was the case when I read this tweet. But the reality is that we don’t have a dress code do we, Mrs. Pastor? We are women and men that dress the gambit from head coverings to high tops. We’re not required to wear frumpy clothes that hide our personality. We have freedom in Christ. Freedom to dress in ways that glorify God by celebrating our uniqueness. 

We’re allowed to pierce our noses, tuck our hair away in buns, wear mini skirts, or maxis. It’s not an insult to dress like a Mrs. Pastor. It should be a joy. A joy because when we know who we are, we’re comfortable in our skin and want our clothes to express that love of self, too. So the next time you or I randomly run across someone trying to besmirch how we dress, let’s remind them we dint have a dress code. 

Monday, October 18, 2021


October 18, 2021 0

 What do you think of when you hear church growth? Often people think of increasing the number of Sunday worship attendance. And that is definitely a measurable way to look at church growth.

But what if instead of focusing on the number of people in the pews, we looked at how we’re living our lives. The church doesn’t actually grow when Christians start attending a new church. It grows when someone who didn’t know Jesus Christ before comes to know him and proclaim him as Lord of their life. That means in order for us to be focused on church growth, we need to be in relationship with non-believers. And it means that we need to be encouraging our church to minister to people who aren’t showing up on Sunday and have never been to a church. 

Yes, it’s wonderful when a Christian who’s been looking for a church shows up and finds a place to connect. It’s even more wonderful when someone who had no idea that God was seeking to be in relationship with them becomes a part of the body of believers. 

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Ain’t Got None

October 16, 2021 0


There are so many articles and lists about saving money and they all have one common flaw, they assume you have money to spend. But how do you save money when the only place you spend is bills and groceries. Here are a few tips that might help add a little padding.

1. Tithe. Yes, I know that sounds a little crazy to some because your whole life is built around serving the church but tithing is an exercise that has always made our money go further. 

2. Plan. One of the biggest expenditures with a family that doesn’t have a lot to go around is often groceries. Make a meal plan and take into account the amount of time you’ll have to prepare meals so that you don’t get caught coming home after a long day of church, committee meetings, and loving on people just to realize you don’t have the energy to make that 3 hour prep dinner you had planned. It’s okay to plan to eat convenience food from the grocer. 

3. Freeze it. If you have the space, buy things on sale or bulk and then put them into storage so they’re ready when you are. We would often buy milk on sale and then freeze them. Frozen vegetables can be delicious, often cheaper, and no fear of them being forgotten and tossed in the fridge. 

4. Read emails from service providers. Our electric company sent an email out asking if we’d take a survey about our house in exchange for a kit to help us save money. The kit ended up having several led lightbulbs, among some other cost savings items. The lightbulbs not only save us electric but we saved the initial investment as well. You never know what they may have hiding in those emails.

5. Look at your usage. When we have phones, streaming services, and the likes sometimes it feels like unlimited May be the best choice. But often we’re paying for things we don’t really use. There is no benefit for keeping your accounts open to things like Hulu and Netflix if you aren’t currently binging a show. You can buy a month and then turn it back off. There are also several different phone carrier options for cellular service that are owned by the large companies but sell under off names. These companies offer a deep discount for month to month plans that may fit your needs. For example, there’s a $10 a month plan with unlimited texting, 200 minutes of calling and gig of data. This is perfect for someone that spends time around wifi and prefers to text or video chat. 

6. Less is more. Sometimes, we think we need to have all the things in order to enjoy our family. The truth is less can be more, especially in this fast paced world. The simple act of sitting together and breaking bread every day is enough. Our families don’t need fancy vacations, expensive dinners out, or is in a sea of debt. They just need us. 

7. Gifts are gifts. We always had a steady income, even in the years it wasn’t quite enough. During that time, we decided that instead of relying on cash gifts that accompanied things like funerals we would use them as gifts to our family. So they would be used for a nice meal, clothing, a new book, any number of things. It was always for extras. That choice allowed us to graciously accept them regardless of their size. And even now, almost twenty years in full time ministry, those gifts are still a blessing. 

What ways have you found to save a dollar or two?

Thursday, October 14, 2021


October 14, 2021 0

 Have you ever walked in a room and everyone stopped talking? What am I thinking, you’re Mrs. Pastor, of course you have. Let’s talk about that today.

First, you are not everyone’s cup of tea and you shouldn’t change yourself to make mean people happy. Because guess what, you can’t make mean people happy no matter what. 

Second, if church isn’t a safe place for you to be yourself, find a place where you can express yourself and be comfortable.

Third, what do you do with a group of people that you can’t get rid of that just don’t like you very much? Find ways to love them, even if they don’t reciprocate, acknowledge, or desire it. 

One of the hardest parts of being a Mrs. Pastor is not growing hard, bitter, or vengeful. Learning how to love people that don’t love you is part of that job. It can be done but not by yourself. And sometimes the most loving thing you can do for a congregation is stop giving them fodder and make your interactions with them short, sweet, few, and far between.  

You’re beautiful and a great friend and even if some churches don’t agree, it doesn’t make it true. Our identity is found in Christ and Christ alone. If we were who the church said we are, our life would be very one dimensional and that’s just not ever going to be true. 

Wednesday, October 13, 2021


October 13, 2021 0


Do you remember what it was like to have friends as a kid? You would play together at recess, maybe swap lunch items in the cafeteria, send notes back and forth in class. Friendship was uncomplicated. 

Sometimes as a Mrs. Pastor friendship can be very complicated and we long for the easy days of childhood friendship. When Joel and I were first married, I stumbled upon a book and in one of the chapters the author declared that your husband can’t be your everything. And I’ve found that to be true for my friends as well. Yes, I have some very close friends that I can share anything with but I also have a variety of niche friends. 

The hardest lesson that I’ve had to learn about friendship as Mrs. Pastor is that I’m not always going to be the same friend for someone that they are for me. I’ve had to accept others friendship and gladly take the gift relationship they’ve extended to me without always being able to reciprocate. And that’s not from a lack of desire, but more so a humbleness. I can’t be all things for everyone either.

So for some, I’m the meme girl, others I’m the listening ear, some I’m the one with recipes. Being friends as an adult is accepting that none of us can be everything for each other. And when we can do that, we can discover that friendship can be found anywhere. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

No Thank You

October 12, 2021 0


When you raise kids in the church, it can be a benefit to raise adventurous eaters. It can make eating in public, at the home of others, or when traveling a lot easier. But it’s also a lot of work at your own table. 

One of our best tools was the No Thank You Bite. We would offer some of everything that was served for dinner and if the response was “No, thank you” they would get one bite of it on their plate. Never required to eat an large amount of food but encouraged to taste every food. 

We would follow up no thank you bites with a conversation. “What don’t you like about it?” This simple question lead us into many discussions on food and all its different aspects. Do you like sour, crunchy, creamy, sweet? 

Our little one has outgrown no thank you bites but we still talk about food at the table. She’s allowed to not like things and she often can tell you exactly why or how she’d change the dish to make it more enjoyable. She has a wide range of foods that she loves and can often find something to eat in any situation. 

We also would allow her to rename any new dish, turning things like tater tot casserole into flibbity bippity. And we would be adventurous with our own choices, showing her the joy of trying a large variety of new foods. We have also explored many different cultures in our homeschool by exploring their cuisine. 

Tell me, how do you teach your kids to be adventurous eaters?

Monday, October 11, 2021

Not the Mama!

October 11, 2021 0


Do you remember the baby Dino, Sinclair? He loves to tell people they weren’t his momma. I mention him today because there’s a culture that I’ve seen in the United States of wives not only treating their husband like children but referring to them that way as well. Jokingly they’ll call their husband “my other son.” Or they’ll complain that their husband is not responsible for an equal potion of work around the home among other things. 

I wanted to remind you today that you are not the momma. If you’re complaining to yourself or others that your spouse is just as much work as having another child, you might want to take a look at how you treat him. Do you nag about what he’s wearing, eating, or doing with his free time? Do you ask him to do things and then complete the task for him? Are you treating him as if he can’t get things accomplished without your help? 

I’m going to let you in on a little secret, most men do not want you to be their mother. And most people do not want their ever decision second guessed. If you don’t want to wait on how ever long it will take for your spouse to do something then take care of it yourself. If you’re concerned about your spouse’s health then serve healthy meals and invite them to go for a walk with you. If you’re jealous that they’re not working on the house while it’s falling down around them, figure out a way to rest as well. 

I’m not saying that husbands should get a free ride, I am saying they should be able to live in their home without being referred to as a child, nagged, belittled, and huffed at. Love your spouse, don’t be their momma, be their cheerleader, lover, confidant, helper.

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Yours, Mine, Ours

October 10, 2021 0


Through the years, I’ve discovered that there are several types of ministry. They generally fit into the category of yours (the church), mine (Mrs. Pastor), and ours (the church and Mrs. Pastor). All of them are good but it’s important to know which it is when you’re looking for help with your ministry. 


The church will gladly fill and support ministries that they feel are theirs. They need very little encouragement from leadership to get things done in regards to it. It’s really quite lovely to not need to sit on a board or ask people to volunteer for these ministries. 


The church may or may not help you with this. You will often find that you’re the driving force and if you weren’t around the ministry would not be happening. Often these are things that are close to your heart and are not church specific OR they’re a need you see in the life of the church and want to help create change. It’s important that they aren’t pet projects but that God has specifically asked you to take them on. If not they can cause burn out and division between you and the church. 


In my opinion, these are the best types of ministries. They use your gifts and talents and the church’s enthusiasm. They can also be a bit like a unicorn. You may think that you’ll never stumble upon such a thing but they do exist. It takes time, prayer, and patience to discover and get these ministries off the ground. 

The important part in ministry is to find a happy mix of yours and mine while searching for ours. I’d love to hear about some of the ministries that you’ve had in churches that fall into the Ours category!

Saturday, October 9, 2021

I do that!

October 09, 2021 0

 It’s easy when you’re the one helping make everything happen behind the scenes to forget about ministering to yourself. I find myself looking for ways to love on my family, like serving their favorite meals, baking their requested treats, watching the shoes they pick. And all of those are good things but they shouldn’t negate filling our own cup. 

Take some time today to do something that you love to do, even if it’s only for a minute or two. Make plans to minister to yourself this coming week, carving out the time and space to do the things that enjoy. 

Having a hard time figuring out what that could possibly be? Take a moment to write down fifteen things that make you smile when you think about doing them and start from there. 

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Let’s do something

October 07, 2021 0

 Our daughter has grown up in the church, she’s almost an independent adult now. We homeschooled, we travelled, we did Sunday school, we studied the Bible, we locked down, she’s been there through it all. This is the kid who asked one night about someone who had been in the hospital if they died or went home because she knew those were the two main ways people leave hospitals. 

When she started texting, we started sending each other silly memes like the one above. Some I’ve sent have been big flops, others have been shared with her friends. It’s important to discover something that you can do with your children outside of church. It doesn’t matter if it’s cycling, exploring restaurants, basket weaving, or meme sharing. Taking time to connect with our family can be a bright spot for you and them. 

What’s something you can do with your family that’s not related to church?

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Are we friends?

October 06, 2021 0

When you think about your spouse, does the word friend come to mind? Often things like partners, lovers, helper, roommates come but what about friendship? 

It can be a terribly lonely position to be the Pastor’s wife. And you may not always have a friend that you can trust with certain things you want to talk about. Even though your spouse wont’t take the place of a good girl’s fun weekend, they can be your dearest friend, if you put the work in to help make it happen. One of things that I’ve done to help cultivate my relationship with my husband is that I’ve become a student of all things Joel. I take note of what he likes, enjoys, finds exciting, and I’ve learned how to incorporate bits and pieces of those into my own life. No I don’t have a sports team but when I run across an interesting tidbit on the internet, I bring it up and let him either explain it to me or discuss it with him. Those little snippets of information sometimes lead to our most enjoyable conversations. 

As with all friendships, your love a devotion towards him will also lead to a deeper relationship for both of you. It helps to have a friend that you trust and that will understand when you need to vent about something small and very church specific. I’d highly recommend cultivating that friendship with your spouse.