Called Out: Security in the Spotlight

Security In The Spotlight – From a Grown Up PK turned Pastor’s Wife

by Amy Toornstra

At age five, I was the cute preacher daughter with my “nearly white” blonde hair and giant blue eyes. The elderly ladies doted over me.  My family spent countless Sunday noon lunches at church member’s homes.  My sister, brother, and I were “little entertainers” and loved the extra attention.  I was a normal kid like every other child in the church, but I was often thrust into the spotlight.  While it rarely bothered me as child, the spotlight became more evident as entered into awkward adolescence.

At some point I was not very cute anymore. In seventh my grade my family moved to another church one state over.   I was a scrawny tomboyish junior high girl with bad hair and braces who craved friends within our church.  After making an effort to become friends with the other girls for two years, I lost hope.  I decided to attend youth group (with the support of my parents and our church council) at a different church where I flourished with friends. Around this time conflict erupted between people in our church entrapping my dad in a state of depression. I wanted to walk away from the church entirely.   But I didn’t.  I realized at that point in my life that God was bigger than the arguments that were ripping our church apart.  He had a perfect plan for me.  Little did I know that plan included re-entering the spotlight.

At some point in your ministry you, your spouse, and/or your children will face times of loneliness, pain, and frustration. It is inevitable.  I grew bitter at the church and it was difficult to express this to my family.  I worried about being judged or misunderstood.  I was grateful for all the breaks from the stress of church life.  My parents were intentional about creating meaningful family vacations.  In the times when it was difficult to separate yourself from the frustrations, counseling was something several members of my family benefited from.  Including me.

It is easy to be a mommy of PK’s right now.  My children are five, three and one and irresistibly cute.  Church members pass them around and give them treats.  While I do not know what the future holds, I know I want to be available when it gets challenging.  As parents in the ministry, let us make any effort to love and nurture our children no matter what age they are.  They crave our undivided attention and long for quality time with us.  The ministry is not easy for us.  We have to remember it is difficult for them too.

Amy is a mom to three kids (ages 6, 3 1/2, and 22 months) and a pastor’s wife.  They live in Salem, Oregon.  She’s a news correspondent for The Banner and she blogs at Everyday Mom She enjoys running, digital scrap booking, and writing.

*Are you interested in writing an article for Called Out?  Do you know someone who might?  Be sure to check out our submission guidelines.  If you have any questions or are ready to submit your article, please email us at  We’ve loved what we’ve received, so please keep them coming!  Look for our next Called Out article on September 2.

Called Out: Who are You Mentoring?

Who are You Mentoring?

By Rachel Schelb

I’ve only been a minister’s wife for 2 ½ years. When we came to our church, I was excited! I thought for sure I would be mentored by the two other staff wives, or at least that we would get together once in a while just to spend time together. I’m the type of girl who, as a small child, would spend 10-15 minutes watching other kids play on the playground to make sure I knew proper protocol, etc. Absurd I know, but that’s me!  As a new minister’s wife, I was eager to be mentored, trained and encouraged on this new journey by those who have gone before.

Mentoring is crucial for women. Titus 2:3-5 states:

“Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.”

Older women, (and not just in age but also spiritually older) should be role models. Those who are older must live in a manner worthy of imitation and teach what is good. Why must they do this? To teach the younger women!

When we look at the things women are supposed to teach the newbies coming up after them, we see they’re “simple” topics that bear a lot of weight, especially as a staff wife! Love your husbands and children, be self-controlled and pure (who else has wanted to tell that church member just what you think of them?) to take care of the home, to be kind, and to respect their husbands so that no one can malign the word of God.

As ministry wives are we being Titus 2 women? Am I living in such a way that others can model my behavior? Am I teaching those new to being a staff wife the topics found in Titus 2? Or do I feel too inadequate to take such a role? As a newbie, I am thankful for the minister’s wives at other churches who have taken me under their wing and I have learned from the lack of help from my church the importance of helping those around us.

I may feel inadequate, you may feel inadequate, but we have to help those around us. Together we can encourage and learn from each other. We can learn how to love our families better. We can encourage each other in self-control and purity, we can assist each other in taking care of the home, being kind and respecting our husbands. And if we work together in doing this, we can point people to the Lord and draw each other closer to Him as well!

Rachel Schelb is married to a student pastor and they live in Brandon, FL.  They’ve been married for two 1/2 years and met while Andy was in seminary.  Rachel loves baking, painting and most of all, teaching girls and women the word of God.  She blogs at The Schelbs.

 *Are you interested in writing an article for Called Out?  Do you know someone who might?  Be sure to check out our submission guidelines.  If you have any questions or are ready to submit your article, please email us at  We’ve loved what we’ve received, so please keep them coming!  Look for our next Called Out article on August 19.

Called Out: Wading


By Tricia Hodges

I absolutely LOVE the beach!  I could spend my life listening to the waves crash against the shore, smelling the salty air with my toes in the sand and the sun shining above.  It’s the most relaxing place on earth!

But, while I love the beach, I’m not so thrilled with the ocean.  It scares me.  It is immense, and powerful, and full of various dangerous creatures.  So, when we go to the beach, I am definitely a wader.  You will rarely catch me in ocean water that is deeper than knee level.  It’s. Just. Not. Happening.

My husband was watching a show on television the other night and they were doing some deep sea diving.  They were talking about all of the treasures that are buried deep in the ocean and I thought to myself, “Good thing they make television shows like this, or I would never see these treasures buried in the ocean’s depths.”

A day or so later, my man and I were talking ministry (as we often do), and God brought back to mind that show.  I love how the Lord works!  And I was convicted about my daily time with the Lord.

I LOVE Him, no doubt about it.  We have dedicated our lives to His service and to furthering His gospel.  I love to hear the quiet whisper of the Holy Spirit.  I love singing praises to Him in worship, I love reading about Him and memorizing and teaching His Word…but, I am just wading.

And I am tired of wading.

I want to deep sea dive!  I want to experience the treasures hidden deep in the depths of His Word.  I want the FULL experience.  I want to be immersed in His goodness, holiness, and love!  I want to learn new truths about Him every day, around every corner!!

I long for DEPTH, not shallowness.

How about you?  Are you a wading Christian?  If so, I encourage you to take the plunge with me.  Begin by asking the Lord to reveal more of Himself to you today than He ever has before.  Then, don’t keep it to yourself!!  Share it with someone else and encourage them to go deeper as well.

Let’s not be shallow, wading Christians that miss out on the lessons and blessings that come from the depths of God’s Word.  Let’s go deep sea diving today!

“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.”
1 Corinthians 2:9-10

Tricia is a ministry wife and mother of three.  She loves to teach and has a great desire to see others come to know and love the Lord.  In her spare time, she authors Two Tiaras and a Sword.

*Are you interested in writing an article for Called Out?  Do you know someone who might?  Be sure to check out our submission guidelines.  If you have any questions or are ready to submit your article, please email us at  We’ve loved what we’ve received, so please keep them coming!  Look for our next Called Out article on August 5.

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