I am asking if you will invite me to your “inbox”?
Like you, I am labeled the Pastor’s wife (I prefer the term The Pastor’s Partner) and because of this position, we are faced with a myriad of expectations spoken and unspoken. My motive is very simple….to offer encouragement.
It would be difficult to put in words how heavy this has weighed on my heart to reach out. Although it may appear to have been a simple decision to just write, click and send I just received my second notice to renew this blog domain name so that clue indicates that I have been procrastinating…..mostly out of fear! That sounds crazy! But, for me it is a different commitment than posting a “like” on Facebook, tweeting a quote or sending a picture on instagram….I want to come alongside the Pastor’s Partner and simply offer encouragement and an ear on our journey.
If you have been on this journey very long, then you have seen and experienced so much in your life and in the lives of other women….pain, joy, growth, disappointment, rejection, restoration, discouragement, loneliness, happiness, success, failure…and I have come to realize more than ever we need to break out of isolation, fear and loneliness and take the risk of friendship, vulnerability and trust.
This morning I was rehearsing the same prayer….”O Father, give me the courage to be all you have called me to be…..”, and the Holy Spirit quite suddenly interrupted by reminding me how many times I have confessed, “I am NOT….!” and filled in the blanks with a variety of words such as…”enough”, “intelligent”, “witty”, “adequate” and the list is endless when fear is running the show!
Then, I heard in my Spirit, “You are not, but I AM!” That was all it took to sit down and begin writing.
Unexpectedly, like a rushing stream, as I showered and dressed this morning, the Lord reminded me of so many women who have influenced my life over the years. I am now 60 years old, so it has seemed like a lot of years! Knowing what many of them faced, I am sure they had similar fears, but it didn’t appear to stop them!
I need to compliment a few of the women. You also need to join me and take some time to stir up the memory of whom God has used to encourage, testify, imprint, mentor or listen on your journey. Express your gratitude by posting a reply here and tagging them to this link.
My mother, Barbara Henderson, always an inspiration! A Godly woman, wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, teacher, professional! I have watched her endure in prayer with patience and persistence during very difficult times. And I have seen her rejoice and be glad in seasons of great favor! She has been a treasure and continues to encourage me and believe in me!
It has been my privilege to work with numerous women who have served as Partners to Bishops in Ohio just because of my previous job. Women such as…..
Jackie Walker….she trained me to work as a bookkeeper and secretary at my first job in the Ohio Church of God State Office. She taught me excellence.
Jamie Massey…..while serving in Ohio, I watched as God began to use her life as a true minister of the Gospel in women’s conferences. More than what she “did”, it inspired me that she kept her sons and husband a priority. She showed me the value of living where you are and allowing God to open doors.
Peggy Smith…..a woman of joy! She was always a breath of fresh air and truly partnered with her husband at home, on the road and in the office! She made me laugh so many times and shared wonderful hospitality! She took the time to be a “friend” and just be there…..priceless!
LaQuita Propes….so graceful and focused! I recall the time going in her basement at the parsonage and seeing her recumbent bike (I think that is what it was-lol!) surrounded by the Bible and various books where she read and studied. She exercised her soul and body and at the same time cared for a beautiful daughter with special needs, her husband and son. She believed in me and during her tenure gave me permission to produce a few issues of “The Pastor’s Partner” newsletter ….she probably knew I was “reaching”, but allowed me the opportunity to stretch and her support and love are unforgettable!
Debbie Childers….a beautiful woman who partnered faithfully with her husband! I was always amazed that she could pull together a newsletter and/or a conference and still travel everywhere with her husband! She “received” so graciously from him….this may sound silly in our day and age, but I was impressed because she allowed him to love her and made no excuse for his lavish care. Her humility and respect spoke wonderful lessons to me!
Jan Wright….so creative! She taught me to think “out of the box”! Also, she really understands the value of friends and taught me the value of having fun with them. It really is okay to PLAY!
Kathy Isaacs…..she came in with such enthusiasm, energy and excitement and brought women into connection through prayer and friendship! I recall the day in one of the prayer meetings at the office where she went around and prayed for every one of the staff. Her prayer for me was for “boldness”! Her memory is always in my heart. Her courage, love, support and tenacity inspired me….. the last words I heard from her on the balcony in the parsonage as she stood weak from the ravages of cancer and chemo are imprinted on my mind….”Celebrate Everything!!”
If you have read this far, thank you for allowing me to “Celebrate” these women. I hope several have come to your mind. My eyes have filled with tears as I recalled these memories because at the time their influence was not fully realized.
We have all taken spiritual gift tests, I am sure, or at least you are aware of some strengths you possess. The “I AM” reminded me this morning, that He gave me gifts. One of the gifts is that I am an “Encourager”, an “Exhorter” in the Biblical sense. I do not write this with “pride” or “ego”……. quite humbly I submit to you that we each have gifts and we are responsible to give them away.
My encouragement to you today is to “remember” we bear His Image. It doesn’t matter what gets piled on top of it, He is still there waiting to be revealed through you!
Thank you in advance for allowing me to your “inbox”!
“Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, for on You do I lean and in You do I trust. Cause me to know the way wherein I should walk, for I life up my inner self to You.” Psalm 143:8
With Loving Encouragement,