Prioritizing & Time Management with Jesus

As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.”
But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.” 
Luke 10:38-42

Mary and Martha were sisters.  Jesus had come to stay with them.  Martha was busy getting everything prepared while Mary sat and listened to Jesus.  This really irked Martha because she was left with all of the work!  She complained to Jesus and asked him to tell Mary to go help her.  Jesus’s response was for Martha not to get all worked up about the things that needed to get done but to invest in personal time with him! 

Sometimes we get too busy in life. Okay, a lot of times we get too busy in life!  We then focus on what isn’t as important and we change our priorities.  Jesus was reminding Martha that the things she was doing (busy everyday work) would always be there and that spending time with him was more important.  Mary “got it!”  She was spending time with Jesus.  I have a confession to make, up until I was older, I always kind of sided with Martha.  It had to be frustrating for her!  Here she is “stuck with all of the work” while “sweet little Mary” sits and visits with Jesus.  lol Does that sound about right? But now I get it!  Jesus wanted to spend time with Martha and Mary!  They could have sandwiches and grapes instead of a gourmet meal.  The dishes could wait!

How does that apply to my life?  I need to take time to spend time with Jesus, the dishes can wait.  I need to make time with Him a priority.  There will always be busy work to do but I will be better equipped to handle life when I make time for that one on one with Jesus. Time with Jesus is an investment that will last a lifetime and will have a meaningful impact on my life versus time spent with social media or doing the dishes.  I can still do those things but I need to put them in order after my time with Jesus!

Jesus, help me to be diligent in my time management.  Help me keep my eyes focused on You! 

Dear New Pastor’s Wife

I’m not sure how you got here, but here is where you are. Maybe you knew what you were getting yourself into, maybe you woke up one day after years of marriage to a man who decided God was telling him it was time to pastor a church. You might be excited to begin this ministry journey or you may be nervous, wondering what you’ve gotten yourself into. However you feel today, this word is for you.

I’m quickly approaching a decade of ministry under my belt, but goodness, I still have a lot to learn. God has been gracious to walk with me through different churches, roles and situations in ministry so that I have a bit of experience. Here’s a few things I learned along the way that would have been abundantly helpful to know starting out.

God has called and equipped you.

We talk so often of our husbands ‘answering the call,’ using all the fancy church words. But sister, God has called you to this ministry too. A husband whose wife isn’t on board and isn’t supportive of him in his ministry, is a husband who cannot pastor to his full abilities. God can still do wonderful things through him, don’t get me wrong. Be we, the pastor’s wife, have been called to this life too.

Let us not forget that whom God calls, He also equips. We all have different personalities and gifts, but God knows you, your husband and He knows your church. He’s equipped YOU to be the pastor’s wife of fill-in-the-blank church here. No one else was called for such a time as this in your church but you. Instead of running away from it, step into that. Take confidence in knowing that God has got you, He didn’t just want your husband at your church. He wants you there too.

You please God, not people.

From the time you step into your church, people have placed expectations on you. Sure, people can say that they don’t, but let’s be real here, they for sure do. It’s important to know that you also place expectations on yourself as well. You’ll be harder on yourself and tell yourself more hurtful things than anyone in that church will. But rest assured that we don’t answer to men. We answer only to God.

In my time of ministry, there have been many hurtful things said to me, about me, to my husband or about my husband. It’s so hard not to get wrapped up in those, to feel bitter and shameful – or even guilty. But we must keep our eyes on Jesus. He’s the one who has placed us here, He is the head of our church and our only duty is to do what He’s asked of us.

If you aren’t sure how to please God, let alone the people, then start here. Love God most. Spend time in His word and in prayer with Him daily. And then, love people. Love them when it’s easy, love them when it’s hard. Speak to them about what God is doing in your life. Be authentic and allow people glimpses into your real, Jesus-led life.

Your first and most important ministry is to your husband and children.

In a moment of transparency, this one is probably the hardest for me. I repeat this one to myself when I bring my kids to church solo week in and week out. I repeat this one when I’m doing bedtime by myself for the third night in a row. I repeat this one when I want SO MUCH to be out doing ministry, but I’m home with the kids while my husband is doing the ministry.

I must be reminded of my backwards thinking. Goodness, I do ministry all day long with my two sweet kiddos under my care. If I cannot share the Gospel and disciple my children, what business do I have trying to “do ministry” in my church?

Friend, your husband and kids are your first ministry. Love your husband, encourage him, support him, ask him often the best way you can serve him while he serves others. And as for your kiddos, whether you have them now or they’ll come later, passing along the Gospel to them is the only hope for future generations. If we want the Church to thrive, then we need to take our role in raising up our children in the fear of the Lord very seriously.

I wish I could see you, give you a hug and tell you that this is your best life. Maybe not the easiest or the prettiest, the one with the biggest salary or the fanciest house but doing the work that God has called us to is the very best. When things get tough (and unfortunately, they will at times), cling tightly to the promises of God. Remember that you are called and equipped for the task at hand