You asked

February 02, 2012

You asked... Filling gaps

A while back I did a series where I invited people to ask me questions.  While it seems as though I abandoned the questions that the kind readers asked me, alas I have not.  I am bringing it back today (can you guess I was at loss for what to write?)

So Ashley asked: What is it like being married to a focused, driven person when you are more laid back in personality?

I really like this question.  Really only in the past few years would I consider myself a laid back person.  It's almost like the more focused and driven my husband has become, the more laid back I have become.

Have you ever seen the scene in Rocky where Rocky describes his relationship with Adrian?  Rocky says, "She got gaps, I got gaps, together we fill gaps."  I love it!  That is what a great marriage is about, filling gaps.

Does my laid back personality ever clash with his drive?  Of course, but we make a conscience effort to compliment each other.  My hope is that at the end of our lives, he will look back and say that I helped him relax and enjoy the crazy ride.  And that I will look back and see what an amazing ride I got to experience with him.

May 17, 2011

You asked... early ministry

I wanted to know how you dealt with your hubby going to seminary and working at church? What kind of adjustments did you have to make (i.e. budget, time spent together, etc.)? I'm pretty sure you addressed something along these lines in the past but I wanted to hear more about how you felt. What helped you get through this time? What verses did you cling to? Thanks in advance!

We moved to Charlotte in September 2005 to plant Elevation Church.  We did not take a salary from the church at the time and my husband was supporting our family through itinerant speaking.  In addition to pastoring our church, he was attending seminary.

His schedule was crazy.  He was attending seminary at an extension location 2 hours away all day, every Monday.  On Tuesday-Thursday he would work on messages, lead our staff (volunteers as well), and do seminary work.  On Friday and Saturday he would usually be off preaching at some event.  Sundays we would have church.

At the time Elijah was just a few months old and a very fussy baby.  Needless to say our life was hectic and unsure.  We didn't even know if what we were doing was working.  It was a time in our life that God was building our faith.

But here is what I want to say.  Sometimes I think God builds your faith because what he has for you down the road is even more difficult.  Kinda like you can't learn to multiply until you first learn to add.  How did we get through such a difficult time?  We took one day at a time.  God was building in us the faith and the stamina that we would need for the days ahead.

Our lives are hectic now too.  My husband still travels, he has graduated seminary but is now working on writing his 2nd book, he still has a message to prepare each week and a full staff to lead.  Instead of one child, we now have three.  And we still have days where we are not sure if what we are doing is working.  And we take one day at a time.

Matthew 6:31-34 says this
So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

To live in the dream of "one day when..." is a deadly trap.  Do what God has called you to do today.  Tomorrow will not necessarily be easier, just different.

May 12, 2011

You asked... a blast from my past

Screen shot 2011-05-11 at 11.50.00 AMI've been wondering, its good that you've blogged about your experiences as a wife and mother but I'm curious, what were you like before Pr SF? When you were teenager or younger and single? :)How was your life back then? What were your dreams, passion and etc?

Yes, this is a picture of me catching a fish at about age 9.  I grew up in South Florida and my parents loved to take us fishing and camping.  I wasn't always thrilled to go on such adventures.  I have always been more of the indoor type.  But I am so thankful for the wonderful experiences my parents gave me as a child. 

We not only fished and camped in South Florida but all over the US.  In fact, my parents took us to 49 of the the United States.  Pretty impressive, I think.

My favorite thing about this picture are the rings you can see on my fingers.  I always have loved jewelry.  I hardly ever leave home without it and apparently I have always been that way.

My parents did a great job raising me.  As a child, I dreamed of being getting married and becoming a mother.  During my teenage years, my parents taught me (among many things) to always let the boys come to me, never to chase after them. 

I remember my dad saying that I would make the two most important decisions of my life in my early 20s: Who I would spend the rest of my life with, and what I would to do every day from 9-5 for the rest of my life.  No pressure, huh?  They helped me to see that I needed to get myself in the right position to make those decisions well.  I needed to choose the right friends and go to the right school.

Somehow they were able to guide me in the right direction while making me think I was making my own decisions.  Now that was some good parenting. 

PS.  Today is my Mom's birthday.  Happy Birthday Mom, I love you.





April 12, 2011

Be yourself (the addendum)

Last week I posted and answer to this question...
Is it hard for people to see you as yourself, or do they find it hard to seperate you from some of the different hats you wear? (pastor wife, etc.._)

You can read what I wrote here.

After a great date night conversation with my husband, I realized that my post was not finished.  I have something I need to add.

You see, my husband is the opposite of a people-pleaser.  Truly a role model for me in this area of my life.  Last week he had a situation where he was misunderstood by another person in ministry and it hurt him.  He had made a choice to put our family and our church priority over an outside ministry event and another person was not happy with that.

Here's the thing, and this is not just pertaining to ministry.  In life, you can either become a slave to everyone's opinions of what you should do and say, or you can decide what your gifts and priorities are and order your life around that.  BUT either way, someone is not going to be happy because you can never make everyone happy with you, no matter how hard you try.  And it always hurts when people are not happy with you.

My goal should not be to make everyone happy.  My goal should be to serve and honor the people God has directly placed in my life, to put them first and let everything else fall into place.  For me that is my husband, then my kids, then my family, close friends and our church.  And when, not if, someone gets upset because I did not meet their expectation, I will be sad, I will be hurt, but I will not be surprised.

So in clarification of this statement that I made last week, "As best as I can, I need to tell others who I am, not the other way around," telling others who I am doesn't always mean that everyone will be happy with me, but hopefully my kids will not grow up saying I put everyone before them.  And hopefully, my marriage will be stronger in 20 years than it is today because I chose to make it a priority.

April 07, 2011

You asked... be yourself

Amy asked... Is it hard for people to see you as yourself, or do they find it hard to seperate you from some of the different hats you wear? (pastor wife, etc.._)

I am not sure if I can separate myself from my different roles.  I think that the different roles we play in life (wife, mom, friend, daughter, pastor's wife), play a huge part in defining who we are.

I have shared before that I struggle with being a people pleaser.  I would be lying if I said I didn't care what people think about me, or that I didn't desire to live up to everyone's expectations of me.

As best as I can, I need to tell others who I am, not the other way around.

The best thing I can do for my husband, my family and our church is to be confident in who I am, who God made me to be and nothing else.  I need to know what I am good at and what I am not good at.  I think it is an insult to God for me to spend my time and energy trying to be someone I am not.

When you know who you are, what you are good at, what you like, what your priorities are etc... you are able to say yes to the right things and no to the rest.  Then you live with the peace that you are being who God called you to be, not a slave to who others think you should be.

April 05, 2011

You asked, yet again

You asked
Having a newborn has left me with a bit of writer's block.  So I am bringing back, You Asked.  I would love to answer some of your questions.  Simply leave a comment on this post and I will answer them over the next few weeks and months (no promises to answer them all but I will do my best). 

November 12, 2009

You asked again

Next week I am hijacking my husband's blog and I need your help.

What would you like to hear about?  Ask me anything.  Well, almost anything.

Leave your comments on this post and I will try to answer them next week over at

October 13, 2009

You asked... my day

What does a 'normal' day look like for you: Do you and the boys spend most of the day at home, or do you participate in lots of activities with them? (story time at the library, playgroup, etc)  What time do you get up in the morning? Do the boys take naps? When is "me time" for you & what do spend your "me time" doing? How does your family spend evenings together after dinner? Posted by: Rachel

I purposefully waited to answer this question until after the summer because our summer routine is so different from what we do during the school year (as I sure is the same for most of you).  So now that our routine is officially routine, I will share with you what our week looks like.

Our boys wake up between 7-8 each day.  M/W/F, Elijah is in 4-K from 9-1pm.  Graham goes 1-2 days a week (9-1pm) in a 2 year old program at Elijah's school.  I have a class at the gym that I take while the boys are in school (or Graham goes with me if he is not in school that day).  During this time I also try to run errands, and/or visit our church office.  We are almost always home by 2pm. 

In the afternoons, Graham takes a 2 hour nap and Elijah has room time.  This is my down time where I try to take care of bills, calls, blog, read, bible study (and occasionally nap). After rest time, our afternoons are filled with play (inside or outside) and maybe cartoon or two while I cook dinner.  My husband usually comes home around 6.  We eat dinner and after a little play time with Daddy, we have bath/story/bed time.  Our kids go to bed pretty early, between 7-8.

Tuesdays are our no plans day.  We make dr. appointments etc, but try to stick around the house.  Thursdays we are in a morning Bible study with some other ladies from our church.  Our afternoon and evening are the same every day (except Thursday is our date night :) ).

Fridays are special, my husband's day off.  We spend time together in the morning (while the boys are at school) and then a fun activity with the boys that afternoon.  Weather permitting, we'll do a pumpkin patch this week.

It feels good to have routine, its not glamorous, but no one's life really is.  Our kids seem to behave better because they know what to expect.

Saturdays we gear up for the weekend at church which begins about 4pm that night (service at 6) and then services all day on on Sunday.  Our weekend routine is a whole other post for another day.

Today is Tuesday and Elijah and Graham have some friends here playing.  They are making a mess and having a great time.  I have four little ones waiting anxiously to make sugar cookies.  Check back here or my twitter later for some pics.

October 06, 2009

You asked... Mentors

I started at least 4 blog posts yesterday.  None of them made it much past the title, all are saved in my drafts.  Ever have one of those days when your words just won't flow?  That was yesterday.  Today is a new day.  And in light of my wonderful weekend spent in Austin, Texas, I thought I would answer this question...

Do you have a pastor's wife that mentors you? If so, how did you find her? Thanks!  Posted by:Indy

The life of a pastor's wife can be odd.  You are loved by many yet known by few.  The life of a pastor's wife comes with many, many perks (loved by many) but at times is quite lonely (known by few).  Mentors and peers, sharing the same situation, can be difficult to find but seem to be essential to survival.

Sometimes we need to let go of this ideal mentoring relationship.  Allow people to mentor you from afar.  Become a student of others who have gone before you and done it well.  READ and LISTEN.

I can honestly say that some of my mentors are heroes of the faith... Corrie ten Boon, Ruth Graham, and Beth Moore.  I have read their books and listened to their messages.  Their lives inspire me to improve and encourage me to keep going.  I love to listen to great sermons.  I recently listened to a message by Joyce Rodgers (wife of the late Adrian Rodgers) and was inspired by what an incredible pastor's wife she was.

My copy of Mrs. Rodger's message came to me from my closest, real life mentor, my mom.  My mother was a pastor's wife all of my childhood.  She encourages me and prays for me in a way that most people cannot.  I am so thankful for her.

I have also found that peer relationships with other pastor's wives are very beneficial.  I have been privileged to develop relationships with a handful of other pastor's wives in similar situation to mine in other cities around the country.  Some of them I have met because of my husband's relationship with their husband.  Others I have met at conferences (that I tagged along to).  Still others I "know" from a cyber relationship (I follow their blogs or twitter). 

This past weekend, my husband spoke at a conference in Austin.  I met up with a few of my friends from around the country.  We had a great time sharing ideas, failures, and life. Lisa, Jessica, Robin, Julie, and Donna, I had a great time with you!

So sum it all up in the words of my favorite preacher, you gotta work watcha got!  Develop the relationships you have, pray and ask God to send you the ones you don't  have, and in the mean time, read and listen to those that inspire you.

Here are a few recommended reading resources...
Its My Turn, by Ruth Bell Graham
The Hiding Place, by Corrie ten Boom
25 Surprising Marriages, by William J. Peterson
A Life Embraced, a hopeful guide for the pastor's wife, by Gayle Haggard

August 27, 2009

You asked... don't push

I am entitling this post Don't Push.  I am answering these two specific questions that are seemingly inapplicable to someone who does not have young children, but stick with me, read the whole post, there's something here for everyone.

If Graham is off his paci .... how did you do it? And what age?
I'm just looking for some tips and support!!
  Posted by: Joy Henderson

Hi Joy!  I am currently in the processes of transitioning Graham to leave his paci in his bed.  If you know Graham, you know that he has always had two security items, a blanket and a paci.  Up until very recently I let him take both items everywhere we went. 

The blanket soon became a hygene issue for me (I think the day he insisted on having it at the pool was the last straw for me), so we started with that first.  I started making Graham leave it in his bed.  This was difficult for him for about a day and a half (during which he had to sit in his crib if he wanted to hold it).

Once he got use to it, I asked him if he wanted to leave his paci, at first he said no and I didn't push it.  Eventually, he did it.  I would still keep the paci in my purse or his bag when we went out.  ESPECIALLY at church.  Church is the last place I would make Graham go without his paci because it is the place he feels the least secure.  I don't care if people think that he is too old for a paci.  Graham is afraid at church.  He never knows how long it will be before he sees me again, and there are strange people (to him at least) constantly talking to him.

The past two weeks he has not used the paci at all except for sleep times.  I am so proud of him.  I didn't push it and he has done great.  I have heard that a paci will not effect your child's teeth until age 5.  For now, that is my goal to completely take it away (although I have hopes it will be sooner).

This is a lesson I have learned the hard way, which brings me to the next question...

How did potty training go for you? Any tips for someone in the trenches of pt? Any fun hints that worked for you?  Posted by: Resa

My tip?  Don't push it.  I "potty trained" Elijah for about 8 months.  I tried every.thing.  When Elijah was ready, he got it.  He was 3 1/2 and almost gave me a heart attack.  He has since had about 5 accidents total and sleeps in underwear.

Nothing about it was fun because I pushed it.  I have no real tips because nothing I did worked.  I probably prolonged it in the end because I made it such and issue.

How does this apply to everybody else?

We all have someone/thing in our life that we try to control or push...
    Friend we desperately want to come to Christ?
    Prayer we desperately want answered?
    Buy a house or car?
    Job change?

Sometimes, you just need to stop.  Stop nagging, stop fussing, stop asking, stop whining.  Just stop.  Leave the pesrosn/issue with the Lord.  Sometimes being pushy just prolongs the process.  Act only when all signs point to readiness and quit worrying about what others think about you.

Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him.  Psalm 37:7a

See I told you pacies and potties apply to everyone.