Category Archives: Standards

Just Keepin’ It Real

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Yesterday I told a sweet friend that her husband needed to be a preacher. We’ve known them for several years, watching them grow from early marriage to a family of five, and seeing them both mature leaps and bounds in their biblical knowledge. But she laughed a little bit (and cried a little bit) and said, “I could never be a preacher’s wife!” This made me start thinking, as I often have before: what does that really mean?

There are some people who think preachers’ wives belong in some high place on a pedestal. That we always carry a Bible tucked into our pockets (and can quote on demand) and never have an ugly, vengeful, prideful thought in our heads. Our marriages must be a haven of bliss – we’re married to a preacher, after all! We act demurely, always with dignity, and we speak just the right words at just the right moment. (These people haven’t met me!) 😉 Oh, and we never forget to clean the light switch covers and the floor behind the toilet. Twice a week! And then there are those who believe quite the opposite: preachers’ wives are hypocritical gossips who don’t control their children and spend too much money on clothes. And, they whisper, just where did that money come from, hmmm?

I’m sad that there are preachers’ wives who perpetuate both of those stereotypes. There are some who seem to enjoy being on that high pedestal, being set apart and admired. Let me tell you, I’ve seen some of the “high places” that the Bible talks about – and as they are usually cultic worship sites, I’m pretty sure we shouldn’t want to be put there. Then others absolutely rebel against the idea of having any responsibility as the wife of a preacher. “I can’t help it, I am who I am…take me or leave me!”

I can’t speak for other wives in ministry, but I don’t fit in either of those categories. But because I believe in keeping it real, I can tell you the honest truth about who I am, after 32 years of experience as a preacher’s wife. I’ve made a lot of mistakes – a LOT. Some of them carried hard consequences. More than once I’ve pretended to know more Bible than I actually did, because I wasn’t in the Word like I should have been. There have been times I’ve been full of resentment about expectations I thought were unfair; hard-hearted and unforgiving toward a fellow Christian. I’m crazy about my husband, but there has been conflict, and we’ve hurt each other. I forget to be thoughtful. Sometimes I just don’t want to assemble with the church, and I don’t exactly know what is wrong with me. I’ve been harsh and critical in my judgment of others, impatient when they didn’t think just like I did or make the same choices that I made. There are times I struggle with doubts and questions. I know this is hard to believe (⇐sarcasm, another of my flaws…) but sometimes I give my opinion when no one has asked for it! And that’s a non-exhaustive list of my flaws!

In short, I am an ordinary woman. It comes as no surprise to anyone who knows me that I am far from that perfect pedestal wife. And I think there are far more of us “ordinary woman” preachers’ wives than there are the pedestal kind. I know that God doesn’t expect my light to shine brighter than any other Christian’s light simply because I am a preacher’s wife (although I may be presented with more opportunities to shine His light.) What I have to say carries no weight of importance – only what God says. Every day I am thankful that He has forgiven me and does not remember my past. Every day now, I open His word because I love Him more than I ever have, and I want to know more about who He is. Despite my mistakes, my resentments, unforgiving attitudes, and doubts, I know His mercies are new every morning and if I lean on Him, He will help me through the day. He promised to draw near to me as I fight against the one who wants me to continue struggling, and I trust Him to keep all of His promises. I’ve seen His faithfulness over and over to me, even when I was not full of faith toward Him. I am not who I once was – or pretended to be.

I wanted to tell my friend yesterday – you already are a “preacher’s wife”. And friend, you know who you are and if you happen to read this – your humility and tender heart are beautiful to me, and I know to God also. You are just the kind of “preacher’s wife” that the world needs. Preachers’ wives are just women who question and struggle and stumble. Anyone who tries to make you think differently is not doing you any favors (and isn’t being very honest.) Don’t be afraid of who you think you aren’t – be confident in who the Lord knows you are. He builds us up, He heals our wounds, He lifts the humble. “…The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love,” (Psalm 147).

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Don’t Forget Your Pants

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Jordan recently received his senior ring in a ceremony commemorating his upcoming graduation (that he says can’t come soon enough) from Texas State University.

[Picture my proud mama beam here.]

The seniors who chose to participate walked single file through Strahan Coliseum, shook hands with official-looking people and dipped their hands in San Marcos River water while posing for pictures. I’m pretty sure Jordan was a reluctant participant. 🙂

Hang on, I’m getting to my point.

These young men and women were asked to wear “business attire.” For some, that meant nice blue jeans and boots. Quite a few of the men had on suits, and many of the women wore dresses. But one young woman in particular caught my eye (and quite a few others, I’m sure) because I think she forgot the bottom half of her pants suit. No kidding. She wore a buttoned suit coat and I’m not sure what else. Sorry for the mental picture, guys.

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While I’m sorry to say that my first reaction was one of distaste, I then began to wonder why this young woman chose to wear something like that. Was this (in her judgment) typical business attire? I wondered if her father was there, and if he wanted to run down the steps and throw a blanket around her. I wondered if there was someone in the audience that she was trying to impress with her beauty. I wondered if no one had ever explained to her that she was worth so much more than the skin beneath her coat.

I’ve noticed that as my size has gone down, so has the average neckline at the department stores. But not the hemline! It tends to be higher! Hmmm…I wonder why.

Here’s what I wish.

I wish girls of all ages would honestly, clearly, prayerfully, carefully, Biblically and humbly consider if the clothing they choose to wear reflects godliness (1 Tim. 2:9-10.)

I wish that our standards came from God and not fashion magazines or celebrities or best friends.

I wish that our girls would be so filled with God’s love and so content with pleasing Him that they would not want so badly to be physically admired and desired.

As far as my own attitudes are concerned – I wish that I were gentler and more patient in my attitudes towards those who are still learning and growing.

I wish that I did a better job exhibiting the amazing love of God towards ALL people, especially those who have no knowledge of Him.

Maybe some of you would agree that we all have some work to do?

Food log: Ham and one Kerbey Lane pancake for breakfast.  1 1/3 slice of grilled chicken pizza from Pizza Garden (YUM); some of Erin’s evil drizzled chocolate popcorn as a mid-afternoon snack; and soup & ½ piece of corn casserole/cornbread and one piece of dill bread at Anita’s Christmas party. And 1 little pecan pie tart and a 1X2 piece of coffee cake. NOT A GREAT EATING DAY. L

Hobbits Shouldn’t Take Shortcuts, and Neither Should I

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“There were many paths that led up into those mountains, and many passes over them. But most of the paths were cheats and deceptions and led nowhere or to bad ends; and most of the passes were infested by evil things and dreadful dangers. The dwarves and the hobbit, helped by the wise advice of Elrond and the knowledge and memory of Gandalf, took the right road to the right pass.” J.R.R. Tolkien

I’ve been reading The Hobbit while puffing away on the elliptical machine, making it a much more enjoyable experience. Confession: I’ve never read any of the Lord of the Rings books (Gasp! And for that matter, I’ve ALSO never read any Jane Austen!)

Now that I’ve lost all of your respect, let me move on.

Those few sentences made me stop (not really, I kept puffing away…) and think. There are so many life applications! Here is one: there are a lot of ways to lose a few pounds. Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, Atkins, HCG,  and Gastric Bypass to name just a few.

(Remember Richard Simmons’s Deal-A-Meal? and Susan Powter?)

I don’t want to be a snob, but I really do believe that there is no shortcut: no easy, quick, painless way to lose weight and keep it off.  Some of the methods you hear about really are just cheats and deceptions. Some are even dangerous. I think it’s smart to have wise advice and knowledge from people who know what they’re talking about.

And a much more important application. There are many man-made “paths” and “passes” in the religious world. They are cheats, deceptive, evil and dreadful.  Jesus said “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12) He also said “I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.” (John 10:9) And, He said “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

No shortcuts for me. I want to take the right road to the right pass – I want to follow the One who knows what He’s talking about.

Food log today: 1/2 cup cottage cheese, 10 almonds for breakfast. I ran out of ham AND Pam, so my egg stuck to the pan. 😦 We had lunch at Mama Fu’s – I had about 1/4 cup of egg drop soup, 2 steamed potstickers, and 1/2 of my chicken broccoli plate. Supper was a big spinach salad with 2 tsp sunflower seeds and 2 tsp Olive Garden dressing, 2 ounces of yesterday’s leftover meatloaf, and some pita chips and hummus. And I had a teaspoon of peanut butter when we got home from the gym. 🙂

Bacon Makes Me Happy

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Last Sunday, John made us miserable but today he made us happy. 🙂 One of the things that he said that stood out to me was this:

“The world promises a lot, but delivers little.”

Isn’t that the truth? We love to be given gifts and pampered and showered with adoration and praise – we think THAT is what makes us happy. But God gives a much better picture of happiness:

“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.” (Psalm 1:1-3)

We also think that being skinny will make us happy. But today, Oreo Balls and Holiday Bacon Appetizers made ME happy – at least temporarily. Here is the link for those of you who asked:

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http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ree-drummond/holiday-bacon-appetizers-recipe/index.html

They don’t look too pretty, but they were tasty!

Food log today – cottage cheese and one scrambled egg for breakfast, and about 10 almonds. Lunch – 4 oz meatloaf (made with 96% lean ground beef), 1/2 of a baked potato with a Laughing Cow swiss cheese (you can have TWO for ONE point!), green beans. A 1X2 slice of Tim’s birthday cake. Supper…finger foods at our Care Group meeting. I had 3 of the bacon appetizers, some pita chips and hummus, two boneless Wild Wings, some carrots, and a naked Oreo Ball (no chocolate coating – probably cut the calories by a little bit!) 🙂 Not a great food day. Oh, well – tomorrow is another day.