Me and My Mama Mouth

Oct 01, 2013

She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. (Proverbs 31:26 ESV)

The other day my son, a smart preteen, was up to the challenge of washing the dishes. He didn’t give me an attitude when asked. He wasn’t disrespectful. He didn’t drag his feet. So why was I battling the urge to harshly point out how he was doing it all wrong?

Because he wasn’t doing it my way.

He started with the grimy pots, then moved to the plates and silverware. Finally, he had to bubble up more water to spit-shine the glasses. While working, he stacked plastic cups in a pyramid.

Irritation welled up. An unkind reaction was itching to come out. I could easily have let my mama mouth take over: It uses way more water to wash the dishes in that order. Plus the water is filthy now! Stop playing with those cups while you work. You’re so slow.

I wanted to be a control freak. I wanted to fire off the unkind words hidden in my unspoken thoughts: The only way...

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The Typical Pastor's Wife is Dead

Oct 01, 2013

We think the “typical” pastor’s wife or woman in ministry is dead. You know, that woman who had it all together, never seemed to struggle, played the piano, attended every event, and met everyone’s expectations—although she could have had some help with her wardrobe.

Those of us in ministry have heard, read and said “I’m not the typical pastor’s wife” so many times, we’ve started to wonder if she really ever existed at all, or if she really only existed in people’s minds and expectations. We spend mass amounts of time, energy, emotion, and effort comparing ourselves to a myth. And the problem is—we fall short. Our attention turns to our shortcomings and failings instead of staying focused on God and who He created us to be.

But the truth is, God knew exactly what He was doing, exactly who He was calling. He knows our shortcomings and our struggles, and He has extended His call to leadership and ministry anyway.

...
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Give Thanks In All Things

Sep 11, 2013

Give Thanks In All Things

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

1 Thessolonians 5:18

One of the most difficult things for me to understand as a grieving mother, and as a Christian, is how to be thankful in all things.  I read a daily devotional and over and over again it tells me no matter what adversities we face to always give thanks to God.

Well, I’ll be honest with you; I did not comprehend how I was to be thankful when I was mourning the loss of my only child.  I thought I was a bad Christian because I couldn’t seem to grasp this central message in the Bible.

I’m still not all the way to understanding it, but I have started to see glimpses of comprehension coming through.  It is hard for us to trust and be thankful in all circumstances of our life, but that is exactly what we are called to do by God:  To come to Him with a thankful heart.  To let go and trust Him to take care of us...

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There’s No Way

Sep 02, 2013

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 (NIV 1984)

I put my head against my bedroom wall, closed my eyes, and whispered, “There’s no way.” 10 years ago, my world collided with what seemed like an impossible invitation from God: adopt two teen boys from war-torn Liberia.

No matter how many times I whispered, “there’s no way,” this nagging sense of possibility wouldn’t leave me. It wove its way through every fiber of my being until I stood up and shifted everything I thought my family would be with one weakly whispered, “Yes.”

I can honestly say, there were moments of sheer joy where I felt reassured that I’d heard God right.

But there were many other moments where life felt chaotic, messy, and really hard. There were tears. There were times I wondered if I’d heard God wrong.

There were more times even after we adopted where I said,...

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NAHUM: A Message of Doom… and Hope

Sep 02, 2013

NAHUM: A Message of Doom… and Hope

Nahum had devastating news for the people of God. Their city would be destroyed. His book of prophecy, however, focused them — and us — on the character of God. That’s where his message of doom starts, and that’s where the hope of all ages begins: “The Lord is slow to anger and great in power” (Nah. 1:3).

It’s because of the greatness of God’s character that we must take Him seriously, even when the news is overwhelming.

Nahum writes in chapter one, verse seven, words that are among the most comforting in all of Scripture: “The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust in Him.”

From Women of Faith Devotional Bible. Copyright © 2003 (Thomas Nelson, Inc.) Used by permission.

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A Walk Through the Dark

Aug 01, 2013


On January 18, 1989, my husband died. In a matter of seconds, I went from living in the light to walking in the dark.

And I’ve always been afraid of the dark.

I can give no compelling reason for my fear, but it’s there. As a child, I went to sleep with a night-light. At night I still keep the bathroom light on and leave the door slightly open. When I enter our home, I hit the light switches; the more the better. No one will ever find me walking through a pitch-black field or along an unlit beach.

It’s not just the physical darkness. I also strongly dislike being “kept in the dark.” I’m one of those people who reads the first chapter of a book to get the plot and then immediately skips over to the final chapter. Something in me has to know how everything turns out. Only then can I enjoy the middle of the book.

On that day in 1989, I began a walk having no idea how or where it would end, or how long it would take. I couldn’t have prepared for...

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Rising Above the Trees

Jul 01, 2013

Rising Above the Trees

We all know the familiar expression “He can’t see the forest for the trees.” It is used to describe a person who is so absorbed in the things right in front of him that he has lost a sense of the bigger picture. I believe this is exactly what has happened to many Christians in the twenty-first century—we have become so absorbed by the “trees” of our everyday lives that we have lost a sense of the bigger story within which our lives take place. We grow up, go to school, begin careers, get married, have kids, and struggle daily with life’s challenges. These are trees of our lives that occupy most of our waking hours.

Our church lives are not all that different. We go to church each week, sing some songs, and listen to a sermon. Maybe we even pray before meals, read our Bibles daily, and participate in small-group Bible studies. But they can become just more trees in a life already cluttered with trees. What happened to...

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Women of Faith speaker Pat Smith supports husband at 'DWTS' premiere

Sep 25, 2012

DALLAS, TX (AP) - On Monday, September 24, Women of Faith speaker Pat Smith, will reenter the grand ballroom arena once again, to cheer on her husband Emmitt as he keeps his eye on the mirror ball prize.

The former NFL star will compete in the All-Star season of Dancing with the Stars, hoping for the first ever two-time champion title.

"I remember the first time Emmitt got the call to be on Dancing with the Stars," said Pat Smith, former actress and beauty queen. "I thought they were calling for me but when I watched him I was amazed, thinking, this brother can dance! Look at my man go!"

In 2006, when Emmitt, along with dance partner Cheryl Burke, was named the Mirror Ball Trophy winner of the hit ABC reality show, Pat supported her husband each step of the way.

"I am so happy to be married to such a great man," said Pat. "Despite our busy schedules, he always makes his family his priority, supporting our goals and dreams. I am thrilled that he has another opportunity to show the...

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Pat Smith Supports Husband at Dancing with the Stars Premiere

Sep 12, 2012

Pat Smith, wife of NFL's Emmitt Smith, is a powerful speaker on this year's Women of Faith 'Celebrate What Matters' tour.

DALLAS, Sept. 19, 2012 -- /PRNewswire/ -- On Monday, September 24, Women of Faith speaker Pat Smith, will reenter the grand ballroom arena once again, to cheer on her husband Emmitt as he keeps his eye on the mirror ball prize. The former NFL star will compete in the All-Star season of Dancing with the Stars, hoping for the first ever two-time champion title.

"I remember the first time Emmitt got the call to be on Dancing with the Stars," said Pat Smith, former actress and beauty queen. "I thought they were calling for me but when I watched him I was amazed, thinking, this brother can dance! Look at my man go!"

In 2006, when Emmitt, along with dance partner Cheryl Burke, was named the Mirror Ball Trophy winner of the hit ABC reality show, Pat supported her husband each step of the way. "I am so happy to be married to such a great man," said Pat. "Despite our busy...

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Words That Sting

Jun 01, 2011

Words That Sting

When you talk, do not say harmful things, but say what people need—words that will help others become stronger.
— Ephesians 4:29 NCV

When you think about the relationships in your life—friends and acquaintances, family members, co-workers, or fellow students—is there anybody who has hurt you by what they’ve said? Their words might have been an offhanded comment or a momentary attack. Their words might have been just an aside, but they stung deeply and left you reeling.

I want to suggest six principles that often help me when I’d rather react or attack instead of listening to the one who makes me feel chided. Although the pain may not go away immediately (or maybe ever), the effort to apply helpful actions will see you through and keep you from giving up on that other individual.

1. Let the person finish talking before you say anything. Sometimes all the other person wants is to make her point known.

2. State back to the person...

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