‘Cute Shoes’  Online Discussion                         ~Chapter Six and a Giveaway!

UPDATE: 

I will select a winner  of the giveaway and post her name on Monday.   I’m not going to close comments so the discussion can continue but know that the current entry 37 will be the cut off for the giveaway.  In the meantime, I’m headed out the door to the ATL to see Mama Beth and worship with 10,000 of my closest friends.  I hope to see lots of you there!  I’ll tell you all about it when I get back!   xoxoxoxo   Lisa

Hey Girls!  It’s time for us to jump back in to our book discussion but it seems rude to get straight to business without catching up for a bit first.

Last week was Spring Break and the weather was p-e-r-f-e-c-t-i-o-n.  Luke and I cleaned out our storage building and if we’d had a camera crew could have easily filmed our own segment of American Pickers.  If I were a better blogger I would have some pictures for you.  The reality is I’m a stinky blogger so you’ll have to envision my awesome locker baskets that I’ve held on to for years waiting to find just the right place for them and the box of old metal toy trucks Luke bought at an auction before we met.   We also have an antique bed that was manufactured by the Gettysburg, Pennsylvania Furniture Co. in 1927 and an old laxative tin that came out of my great-grandmother’s pie safe.  The medication is long since gone but I’m thinking the tin would look cool on a shelf in our bathroom.  An inspiration piece of sorts.

The kids went to their grandparent’s house in Georgia Thursday.  Luke spoke at a banquet for a ministry we dearly love on Thursday night.  Friday we hit every homebuilding supply store in a 100 mile radius to gather ideas.  Saturday morning I spoke at a women’s luncheon for a group of adorable women with some serious skillz in the food/decor department.  (I’ll show pictures and tell you more about them in a couple of days.  Lots of great ideas from their event.)  Saturday afternoon Luke and I drove to Cartersville, GA to see the house we are building in real life.  A developer has it for sale so the darlin’ realtor let us go in and spend lots of time taking pictures, etc. so we could see if it felt like home. (It totally did.)  I am challenged when it comes to seeing a house plan in 3D so the tour was gold.

And then it was Sunday and since all the kids were still gone I got to church on time. 

Whoot!

And now that I’ve finally worked myself around to church, let’s get to our discussion on ‘Embracing Your Thing’.  I’m going to pitch out some straight forward questions.  I also want to point out to you that I’ve added a plug-in that allows you to reply to various commenters.  I’m trying to use that more to communicate with you and I hope you will use it as well to talk back and forth with one another.  Don’t forget to begin your response with your name, state, and area of ministry.

This chapter deals with our individual giftedness and how that is manifested in our congregations.   Let’s talk about it!

1.  What is your favorite area of ministry within the church and are you currently serving there?

2.  Which activities and ministries are you doing that fall outside your personal calling?

3.  Would you characterize your contribution to the body as exhilarating or exhausting?  Keep in mind that exhilarated exhaustion is not the same as burnout exhaustion. 

4.  If you are burned out, what are some of the reasons you’ve not yet stepped out of the fire?

5. Has caring for young children or perhaps aging parents caused you to grieve being unable to do more with the church? In what ways has the Lord confirmed caregiving is the ministry ordained for you in this season?

 

I’m looking forward to hearing your answers on this one!  To thank you for your participation, I’m going to give away two more copies of the book for those of you who don’t yet have it.  Simply leave a comment telling us if you are hoping to win one for yourself or your pastor’s wife.  I’ll announce a winner on Thursday.

‘Cute Shoes’ Online Discussion                      ~ Chapter Five

I think I may have mentioned a time or three that it really was never my intention to take over this blog with book talk. Unfortunately, when one only writes one to two days per week and one of those is a scheduled discussion, it’s pretty hard not to.

I’ve not been ignoring you on purpose. Truth is I’ve been really busy forgiving that big orange orb in the sky after being mad at it for neglecting these parts for the better portion of three months. We’ve kissed and made up now that I’ve officially been able to wear flip flops two days in a row. Now watch it turn cold because I became overconfident in the sun’s love for me.

I’ve also been doing lots of other exciting things such as cleaning and organizing all of the bedrooms along with their respective closets. Not that you could tell it if you came over today but the satisfaction remains. Is it just our family or are little girls one thousand times slobbier than little boys? When I opened her closet and looked under her bed, I literally had to stop and ask Jesus for the strength to bless and not curse. If Hoarders runs out of case studies, I can totally hook them up.

There’s so much more to tell. Luke got The Girl a rabbit – a heartbreak waiting to happen. We aren’t the greatest animal people. We are also celebrating our 20th anniversary this week. And drumroll please….We are officially building a house. A fabulous anniversary gift indeed. I’ll speak more to that later. But for the record and to dispel rumors that I continue to hear – I did not get rich from writing a book – there is no money for a first time author in writing a church resource book – and Luke has no intention of ever leaving ministry and living off my wealth. Were he to do that, you could visit us living in a box on the corner. Or maybe a series of boxes if I ever write another book.

I started to apologize for chasing that rabbit and realized, WAIT, now I literally can! Because I needed yet one more to run after!

Good grief, we got some book discussion to do.

Okay, I just loved reading through all of your responses about conflict. So much wisdom there. It’s also evident there are some very raw emotions churning in some of us. For you girls who are currently hashing through some hard things, please know I am praying over you and that I get it. Boy do I get it. What I also get, however, is that no matter how hurtful Christ’s people can be, the privilege of serving His Bride is always, always worth it. As my brilliant husband often states it, we’ll get ticked off at the cashier at Walmart for being rude but that doesn’t keep us from going back. What does it say about us when we are quicker to withdraw our hearts from church than we are a big box store that doesn’t even have polenta when we need it and schedules square dances smack in the middle of the aisle the week before Christmas?

Clearly, I have Walmart issues.

Where were we? Chapter Five? YES! I Can Have BFF’s in the Church Pews!!

Here are a couple of things we’ll talk about this week:

1. On pg. 114, I talked about ‘Balancing Your Five’. Describe your circle of friends and how they fit into the categories suggested.

2. What has been your experience in having bff’s at church? If it was ugly, please don’t dishonor anyone but tell us what you learned in the process. If it has been great, throw out some ideas as to why you feel your friendships have been successful.

3. Are you a blogger or blog reader? Share how online friendships have helped you connect with other ministry wives. If you haven’t connected yet, check out the Married to the Ministry blogroll here at this site. You’ll never be lonely again.

I consider all of you my bff’s and have loved getting to know you in this way! Don’t forget when signing in for this week’s discussion to note your name, location, and area of ministry. Looking forward to hearing from you on this one!

‘Cute Shoes’ Online Discussion                         ~Chapter Four

When I began typing this morning my first thought was “What?  Could it be possible that we are already on Chapter Five?”  The answer to that was clearly “no”.  We are only on Chapter Four (..because I ditched y’all last week. Sorry about that.) but man is it a loaded one.  Church Can Hurt, girls.  ‘Tis sad, but true. 

Before we get rolling, I want to be sure to say once again that you are always free to jump in the discussion at any time whether you’ve participated at all or randomly. 

So, yeah.  Church can hurt.  I don’t want to sound flip but I need to let y’all know up front that I am one who deals with painful/complicated things in a private way and will then try to smile my way through it in public.  Healthy, right?  My therapist thinks so, too.  If I seem like I’m not laid low by the heartbreak we’ve experienced in ministry, it’s for two reasons:  a) I refuse to be.  b) If I were I probably couldn’t tell you in this format.

Vague much?

With that said, if you’ve read the book you heard me tell about a heart-wrenching ministry experience (p. 87-90) that at the time was very painful.  However, I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything and I mean ANYTHING because it literally saved us later when we saw a similar situation begin to rear it’s ugly head again.  We wouldn’t have known how in the world to stop it in it’s tracks had the same scenario not played out from beginning to end once before.

What I want to encourage you with today is the knowledge that NOTHING you will undergo as a shepherd of the church is a wasted suffering.  We are refined through persecution and we are perfected by learning that we are sometimes the ones in the wrong. As impossible as it may seem, as much as you are able, embrace the ugly. God speaks through it all, girlfriends. Luke and I wouldn’t be even one fraction as capable ministers if it weren’t for the mileage of misery. We want to be shocked by people and their actions but the truth is, when Satan is in the mix, anyone is capable of anything – even the family serving behind the pulpit. Knowing that, we can be aware of his schemes to divide the body and hopefully head his forked tail off at the pass.

I want to keep today’s discussion positive without ignoring the fact that many of you may be in the midst of hot controversy even as we speak.  Here are a couple of questions to consider.  You are free to elaborate but try to keep the length manageable:

1.  What lessons have you learned in your most current season of church conflict that have made you and your hubby better servant leaders?   What methods of forgiveness did you employ?  Did you realize your own mistake and make amends? 
2.  If you are still embittered because of a painful church experience, state as succinctly as possible why you’ve been unable to move forward. If you aren’t currently in a mess, speak encouragement in your comment to a sister who is.
3.  Anything in particular resonate with you from this chapter?

Thank you girls for hanging in with me!  Oh, how I’d love to have these conversations in a coffee shop with you somewhere. In the meantime, consider yourself hugged.

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