The time has come....SCHOOL!!! yes, already. Tomorrow Selah begins 2nd grade! I am not starting anything with my other 3. Joy is just about 8 weeks, Ellie, 18 mo, and Sam just turned 3. The first week of September Sam will be starting Pre-K! He will be going to the same program Selah went to 2 years ago and he has the same teacher, who I really like. His class will be from 8am-10:30am every day, which is when I am "planning" on doing school with Selah. So earlier bedtimes and more scheduled nap times are in my near future=)
Another thing we are wanting to get more scheduled with is our family devotions. We have been slacking big time! I am sure you all know how it \is! You get convicted about not having family devotions, so you start them. The first night you sing like 5 songs, do a great lesson, prayer request time, and maybe you even throw in a craft!! Then after even a few more days like that you cut out the craft, the songs, and most of the lesson....and in the end, you end up with a short goodnight prayer. The same pattern seems to go with Bible reading, prayer, dieting, and exercising, the way we raise our children...you know, ALL of the things we need and things that are important to the Lord!
WHY in the world is it soooo hard to be consistent? Why do we have such a hard time denying ourselves in order to do more to please the Lord? For example, devotions! After making and eating dinner I do dishes, and clean up the house from the crazy day, and I am exhausted! Then you have to get all of the kids cleaned up and ready for bed, and then clean up all of the mess you made doing that. All this after a day of diaper changing, feeding babies, preparing meals and snacks, cleaning up along the way, laundry, dishes, errands, school, whining, fighting, etc. etc.(you know the drill!)....and it is very hard to want to then have devotions....by then I just want everyone in their beds sleeping!
How selfish can I be!? really. It is a shame that I would rather just say a quick prayer with my kids so I can go plop on the couch and eat junk food (which is a whole other subject all together!!!) and watch tv (another subject, lol) so I can "relax", over wanting to spend quality time with my children by teaching them God's Word and filling their little minds and hearts with thoughts of Him before they lay down to sleep. It makes me sad to look at where my priorities have been lately. I think of the words Jesus spoke.....
40But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.
41And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
42But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
And while I want to pass down to my daughters the art of homemaking ,and taking good care of your home, family, and husband, I want even more to pass down to them, and to my son, the "good part". How can I do that if all they see me doing is things around the house all day, then saying a quick prayer and putting them to bed without ever really taking the time to share God's actual Word with them. I will say that I do use the entire day to teach them about the Lord by little comments I make here and there and when they are being corrected, but I want to develop in them a hunger for His Word and I want them to know all of the wonderful promises that can be found in it.
I have always struggled with consistency in this area, and as I look back on our family devotions as kids, they were very inconsistent. I do not want my children to struggle with that. I want to teach them to make this a priority, not just a habit, but something they love, and a time they look forward to each day. I don't want them to feel like they can go to sleep until they have had that special time.
Anyways, just one thing I have been convicted about lately...among many others! God has richly blessed me with these 4 beautiful babies, and I so want to mold them into servants of His. I do not ever want them to resent us, or the ministry, or especially the Lord! My husband feels the same way I do, and I am so thankful for a man that is willing to lead His family for the Lord. I feel for those mommies who do not have a Godly husband who can lead their family in a devotional time.
But also, let me encourage you mommies who are in that situation, keep it up! If your husband is not leading the children in the ways of the Lord, step up and do it yourself!! Even some "christian" husbands do not think it is important, and in turn the wife just gets bitter and resentful thinking about what the husband "should" be doing, and she neglects to have this special time with her children.....just DO IT! Someone needs to step up and train the children that nothing is more important than having a personal, meaningful relationship with Jesus. When he sees that you are making an effort to make this your priority, he'll eventually feel convicted and step up! Just keep praying fot the Lord to change his heart.
Well, anyways, we did devotions last night. My husband wasn't home, but the kids and I sang a couple of songs, read a Psalm, and a story in their kid's devotional. I felt so good when they went to bed. Even better than I feel when there is not a dirty dish in the sink, and the house is clean....I am slowly learning, "the good part" and praying I can pass this down to my precious children.
Sunday, July 31, 2011
Monday, July 25, 2011
How long have you been married? 9 years
How many children do you have? How old are they? 4 kids—Avery (6), Mike (4), Olivia (2), Zach- 7 weeks.
1. Where/How did you meet your husband? We met in 2000 at
…I thought he was a big goof-off! Turns out I was right, but he was also an amazing man who became my best friend and then my husband. Heartland Baptist Bible College
2, When did you get saved? When I was 18, at a camp in
3. Can you share your testimony? It was my last summer in our church’s youth group. I knew deep down that I wasn’t saved, but never wanted to admit it or even think about it. I had started becoming bitter about my parents marital issues, and was hanging around with the wrong crowd and headed down a bad path. I didn’t want to go to the family/teen camp at the end of July, but the other girls at church talked me into it. I tried to avoid the afternoon services where the teens had their own separate service with very convicting preaching. But there was one afternoon where I wasn’t needed in the jr church services, so I was forced to sit in the service—and since I had walked in late, I wasn’t sitting near my friends. A song at the beginning AND the sermon were all directed at me. I started to realize that God actually loved me and WANTED to have a relationship with me in spite of how I’d been living and behaving. And that I couldn’t blame my behavior on my parents—God was holding me accountable for my own actions. That day,
July 31st 1998, I was saved by the grace of God and I have never taken that for granted. Had it not been for the Lord and his loving kindness and long-suffering, I would be lost, confused, and would certainly not have the life that I now have.
4. How long have you been in the ministry? Since June of 2002. My husband has been pastoring for 3 ½ years.
5. How did you know the Lord wanted you in the ministry? Was it hard for you to submit to that or did you know 100% sure right away that this is what God wanted for your life? I knew not long after I was saved that the Lord wanted me in full-time ministry. That’s when I decided to go to HBBC. So no, even though I was very nervous, I knew the Lord would help me through it since that was his plan for me.
6. How old were you when you your husband first held a position of leadership? We were both 22 yrs old when my husband took his first position as youth pastor under Bro. Dale Webster in
7. And if you were young, did you have a hard time adjusting because of your age? Did you feel “ready” to be in that position? Did you feel you had a harder time being respected or taken seriously because of your age? It was very tough at first, we weren’t much older than some of the teens in our youth group! It was hard to gain respect at first from the girls, but once they saw that I held my ground on important matters AND showed them love and support at the same time, they started to listen more and trust me. I think being the age we were was also a good thing, because we were young and goofy ourselves—our trips and activities were always a lot of fun!
8. Once you had children did you find you did less in the ministry and was that hard for you? Definitely. I feel like I always have to apologize for not doing more. Thankfully the ladies in our church are very understanding and love to help. I had one lady tell me that my job was taking care of my husband’s needs so that he could do HIS job better. And she thanked me for doing my job so that my husband could do his. I appreciated that, it really put things into perspective. I know that once my kids are a little older, I’ll be able to do a lot more around the church and plan more activities for the ladies. It’s important to have a good solid group of women to delegate to—it should never be one woman doing everything.
9. What are some ways you included and involved your children in the ministry?
-Baby…Um…he makes people smile? Haha J
-Toddler…I make sure my bigger kids are kind, respectful, and helpful to others in the church. My kids will greet people with a smile, shake their hands (sometimes I have to remind them to not be shy and hide behind me), they also straighten song books and clean up trash off the floor. I try to help them understand that being part of a church is like being part of a team, and we all pitch in!
11. What would be the best thing you would tell a mom who is raising her children in the ministry? Focus on your husband, kids and home first! If those things aren’t in order, nothing you do at the church will be either. Your husband and kids need to be happy and healthy for things to run smoothly. Don’t over-work yourself. Let others help out, even if things aren’t done exactly the way you want.
12. Are you naturally a submissive person or do you sometimes have a hard time easily following your husband? I am most definitely NOT naturally submissive. It’s something I have to work on constantly. I have a great husband who makes smart decisions for our family, and I have to remind myself of that. I’ve learned to give my opinion in a polite way, but remembering that it’s up to him.
13. What do you do to encourage your husband when he is discouraged with the work? I remind him that the Lord has always gotten us through rough situations, and that things usually don’t seem so bad the next day.
14. How do deal with any criticism toward your husband from others? This really hasn’t happened too much to us since he’s been pastoring. If someone has an issue, they usually just go straight to him and he deals with it. And likewise, if someone came to me complaining about my husband, I would direct them to him so they could work it out properly.
15. How do you deal with personal criticisms? I would simply sit down with that person one on one and see what the problem is and what I can do to make it better. Usually just talking things through makes people feel so much better!
16. Do you set aside date nights/days with your husband? Definitely! It’s tougher the more kids we have, but we do it.
17. What is the biggest thing you have learned about being married to a man in the ministry? That I have to “share” him!
18. What are some ways you protect your husband from “those” women in the church? Well thankfully so far we don’t have any of “those” women yet. Since men can sometimes be oblivious to flirting, I’d probably mention that so-and-so is getting a little too close and he needs to be aware of it. And then I’d probably stay at his side a little more the next time we’re at church!
19. Do you and your husband have devotion or prayer time together daily? Not daily. This is something I’ve been thinking about lately, and we really need to set aside time for that.
20. Do you have a hard time sharing your burdens with your husband in fear that it will discourage him? Sometimes. It’s hard because I don’t want to discourage him, but at the same time I don’t want to keep things bottled up.
21. What do you do to encourage yourself in the Lord? Listen to good Godly music!
22. What is your favorite Scripture? One of my favorites is Proverbs 30:8,9 “Remove far from me vanity and lies; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny thee and say, Who is the Lord? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.”
23. Do you have a favorite song? There is a song called Don’t Be Afraid, it’s on our Legacy Five “Songs We Used to Sing” CD. It lifts me up every time!
24. What is your biggest struggle in the ministry? TIME! Sometimes I wish days had at least 5 extra hours in them!
25. Do you have find that you are not able to have close lady friends in your church? To a point. Steve has 2 sisters in the church that I am fairly close with, and I feel like I can open up with them more since they are family.
26. When you are discouraged, do you feel like you can “show” that feeling to ladies in the church? Or, do you feel like you always have to portray the “perfect” happy Pastor’s wife? I think it’s good that people see us as normal people with normal human emotions. No one appreciates a fake plastered smile, and people are smart enough to see through it. I think showing discouragement, as long as it doesn’t bring shame to your husband or family, and you’re not revealing personal too-personal information, shows that you have a heart…and we ALL need encouragement once in a while.
27. Have you ever made a big mistake or offended someone, and if yes, how did you go about restoring that relationship? There was one time where I asked something of someone, and they totally showed everyone how disappointed they were. It was a little odd, so a few days later I took that person aside and asked why they had been upset. It was really just a misunderstanding, and they felt terrible for how they had behaved. I felt bad that I didn’t explain myself better. We both apologized and hugged!
28. Do you have other lady ministry friends that you go to for counsel and “venting” purposes? Yes, there are a couple of ladies that I can chat with about ministry “stuff” and I think that’s important for every lady in the ministry. We understand each other, and it’s nice to not have to vent to our husbands and wear them down!
29. Other than praying, what is the most encouraging thing ladies in the church can do for you? A hug is wonderful! Or sometimes the other ladies will tell me I look lovely, or they’ll tell me they just love my husband’s preaching. Those things leave a big smile on my face!
30. What is your favorite way to serve the Lord in your church? Singing! We’re still working on getting special music together, and hopefully we’ll have a choir soon.
31. Do you currently have special Ladies Bible Study, meetings, or fellowships? Sometimes, more once the fall/winter is here. We have so many families out of town at different times during the summer and it makes it very hard.
32. What ways to you encourage your ladies to get involved in the work of the church? I make sure I tell them thank you and how much I appreciate them when they do help. They are more likely to help out more when they feel needed and appreciated. My husband encourages everyone from the pulpit to get involved and how much the Lord will bless them when they do—that helps the most!
33. What is the most important thing you want to pass down to your children? To love the Lord, and no matter what they do in life to make sure they allow God to lead them.
34. In all of your business, how do you fit your personal time in with the Lord each day? It has to be first thing in the morning! If the kids are all up, I will put on a cartoon and they are very respectful of my time when I’m reading/praying. My day goes so much better when the first part of it is spent with the Lord. Of course, I might have to nurse a baby or change a diaper first but I think God understands!
35. Out of all that you have learned being in the full time ministry, what is the most important thing you have learned? That people NEED love and encouragement. We can have church, then lock up and go home and go about our week until the next service. But even just a little note, a card, an email, a phone call, and invite to go out for breakfast, can make a person’s WEEK! I was talking to a sweet lady at church on Sunday morning, and somehow our conversation let me to say “Well my husband and I just love having you in our church. Your smile really lights up the room, and just walking into church and seeing you here feels like a breath of fresh air!” (And I meant every word, she is an awesome lady.) And she started blushing and smiling, and then even got a few tears in her eyes. It’s amazing how much we can help and encourage one another so easily. I try to remind myself that if I THINK something kind in my head about someone, to make sure and TELL them.
36. How would you describe the “perfect” Pastor’s wife? That’s a tough one! I could list a million things like always being on time, always available to help out in any area, always organized, an amazing decorator, teacher, singer, wife, mom, etc etc. But really, if a pastor’s wife was perfect in every way, that would be a downfall! People need to see that we are NOT perfect, and that we are a work in progress. Could you imagine how discouraging it would be for the women in a church to constantly try to be like the pastor’s wife only to fail? If they see me with a fault that I try to overcome, and they see me getting better and better at it, that gives them hope that with prayer and time they can overcome those things that are holding them down too! And we can share those failures and how we are working on them as a testimony to what the Lord can do in a person’s life.
10. Do you ever worry that your children would resent the ministry and what are some ways you tried to make it fun for them? I do worry sometimes, because I know so many preachers kids that ended up rebelling and having nothing to do with God. The best advice I’ve been given is to make sure that they know the church does not come before them. We have family days where we’ll do something fun like Chuck E. Cheese or the park and a picnic. We try to have little family get-aways to the beach, and we make it all about the kids. As far as making the ministry fun, I don’t really have to do anything at this point—they really have a blast at church. They love the other kids, and they love Sunday School. Before we leave for church, I smile and say “Who wants to go to church??” And they’ll yell, “I DO!!” My 2-yr old yells the loudest!
Monday, July 18, 2011
How long have you been married? 37 years
How many children do you have? How old are they? 3 sons: 34, 33, 30.
1. Where/How did you meet your husband? Baptist Bible College in Springfield, MO
2. When did you get saved? Just before my 16th birthday
3. Can you share your testimony? After giving my parents much grief my mother decided that they should take me to church. We had no idea where we were going, but as we were driving around Detroit, we saw a sign that pointed to Ryan Road Baptist Church, so that’s where we went. It was a strong independent fundamental soul-winning church. After a few weeks of going and being convicted of my sin, while I was at home alone in my bedroom I asked God if he was real. I flipped through a Bible looking for Him to answer. This was the year 1970, so the word “Peace” caught my eye in John 14:27. “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you, not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be trouble, neither let it be afraid.” Wow! That spoke to my heart. That is exactly what I needed. It was just like my eyes were opened and I knew God was real. I prayed and asked him to forgive me for not believing and for all I’d done against Him. I knew immediately that He had forgiven me, but hadn’t learned the terminology that I was now “saved.” I went to school the next day, so happy, telling everyone I believed in God. The next Sunday when I went to church I saw the tract,
God’s Simple Plan of Salvation. I was so happy to know then that I was saved and could tell others. I couldn’t do enough for God and surrendered to the ministry.
God’s Simple Plan of Salvation. I was so happy to know then that I was saved and could tell others. I couldn’t do enough for God and surrendered to the ministry.
4. How long have you been in the ministry? 36 years
5. How did you know the Lord wanted you in the ministry? Was it hard for you to submit to that or did you know 100% sure right away that this is what God wanted for your life? It was my heart’s desire and God gave me complete peace with that decision. When times got tough, I always knew it wasn’t a choice for me to make.
6. How old were you when you your husband first held a position of leadership? I was 20 and my husband was 21.
7. And if you were young, did you have a hard time adjusting because of your age? Did you feel “ready” to be in that position? I felt very ready. Lacked maturity, but made up for it in enthusiasm.
8. Did you feel you had a harder time being respected or taken seriously because of your age? I always looked much younger, so people didn’t always take me seriously. My husband had somewhat the same experience when we first started out.
9. Once you had children did you find you did less in the ministry and was that hard for you? My husband would not ever allow the children/babies to hinder us. They were brought along and involved with anything we did. They were always part of the ministry.
10. What are some ways you included and involved your children in the ministry?
a. Baby-I worked a lot in the nursery
b. Toddler-I started a toddler church program at the church we were youth directors at.
c. School age/teens- visitation, pro teen program, choir and playing instruments.
11. Did you ever worry that your children would resent the ministry and what are some ways you tried to make it fun for them? I believe the parent’s attitude about the ministry has the most impact. We would be doing the same thing if we weren’t in the ministry. Having missionaries/evangelists in our home was a special treat for the kids and I loved it when the missionaries/evangelists would spend time with the children and make them feel special. Many people in the church would show special attention to the kids too, so that made it fun.
12. What would be the best thing you would tell a mom who is raising her children in the ministry? Never discuss problems or let your children hear negative things about the church members. Keep a positive attitude that God will work all things out. And He does!
13. Are you naturally a submissive person or do you sometimes have a hard time easily following your husband? I guess I always thought I was, but as I look back I know there was room for improvement. We both have a strong leadership drive, but mostly we are on the same page.
14. What do you do to encourage your husband when he is discouraged with the work? Pray for him and just let him talk through it. We have lots of long talks together and that encourages both of us.
15. How do deal with any criticism toward your husband from others? Makes me mad, but I know the best thing to do is just try to love and pray for that person. I know that God will take care of the situation in His time. He always does.
16. How do you deal with personal criticisms? When I was younger it would bother me. Now that I’m older I realize the only person that really matters is what my husband thinks. I do try to see if there is any validation to what they are saying and “fix it” if I feel the need. There will always be someone to criticize you.
17. Do you set aside date nights/days with your husband? We’ve been empty nesters for some time now, but we always look for fun things to do together whenever we are together.
18. What is the biggest thing you have learned about being married to a man in the ministry? Let them do what they feel God wants them to do and always be a support. That means being very flexible. Plans change quickly and it’s just better to go with the flow.
19. What are some ways you protect your husband from “those” women in the church? My husband does a great job of staying above reproach.
20. Do you and your husband have devotion or prayer time together daily? Not every day.
21. Do you have a hard time sharing your burdens with your husband in fear that it will discourage him? Not anymore. He is a good listener and most times has the best advice.
22. What do you do to encourage yourself in the Lord? Read the Bible. When I ask for encouragement, He gives it to me through the Scriptures.
23. What is your favorite Scripture? John 14:27
24. Do you have a favorite song? It is Well
25. What is your biggest struggle in the ministry? Ministering to negative people. I don’t like to be around negative people.
26. Do you have find that you are not able to have close lady friends in your church? I think it’s harder when you are younger because there may be more jealously among the younger women. I have lots of kinds of friends in the church. I try to do things with all the ladies. Some of the older officer’s wives are my best friends.
27. When you are discouraged, do you feel like you can “show” that feeling to ladies in the church? Or, do you feel like you always have to portray the “perfect” happy Pastor’s wife? You better let your ladies know you are a real person. If you can’t cry at church when you need to and be real, your ladies won’t be able to relate to you. Let them see how God can work in your life.
28. Have you ever made a big mistake or offended someone, and if yes, how did you go about restoring that relationship? Own up to your mistakes. Ask for forgiveness and go the extra mile to “fix it.” You will gain a friend and make strong bonds with your ladies. Those that resist will move on.
29. Do you have other lady ministry friends that you go to for counsel and “venting” purposes? A few of my best friends are pastor’s wives. They are always encouraging and loving. They give the best advice.
30. Other than praying, what is the most encouraging thing ladies in the church can do for you? Ask about my children.
31. What is your favorite way to serve the Lord in your church? I love to teach ladies, teach sign language, head up Ladies in ministry outreaches and interpret for the Deaf.
32. Do you currently have special Ladies Bible Study, meetings, or fellowships? Ladies Missionary Outreach
33. What ways to you encourage your ladies to get involved in the work of the church? To minister in whatever gift God has given them. I like to help them find out their gifts.
34. What is the most important thing you want to pass down to your children? Just to keep serving the Lord no matter what happens in this world.
35. In all of your business, how do you fit your personal time in with the Lord each day? How can He not be in everything I do?
36. Out of all that you have learned being in the full time ministry, what is the most important thing you have learned? Just to love people. Many people are disgruntled because they are not happy with themselves. Insecurities can be displayed in many different forms. Showing God’s love goes a long way!
37. How would you describe the “perfect” Pastor’s wife? Being the kind of wife that her husband needs.
Monday, July 11, 2011
How long have you been married? We will celebrate our 9th anniversary this November.
How many children/grandchildren do you have? How old are they? We have three boys: Joshua (7), Jacob (5) and Jason (2). My youngest sister, Cheryl (16), lives with us too.
1. Where/How did you meet your husband? I met my husband my freshman year of high school during summer marching band camp in 1998. I was 14 & he was 17. He called & asked me to be his girlfriend on May 3, 1999…. I guess you can figure out what my answer was ;)
2. When did you get saved? My pastor’s wife led me to the Lord on a Wednesday night in April 2000. I was 15 years old.
3. Can you share your testimony? Not really sure where to start. I grew up with a very “charismatic” church background. I never really knew exactly what I believed (it always seemed to be changing with each new preacher I heard) & I was very confused about many things concerning God & church. Around the time my parents separated in 1999, I began attending Fundamental Baptist Church (because I liked this one boy, lol). I asked the preacher & preacher’s wife questions after nearly every sermon as the Holy Spirit worked in my heart to reveal my lost condition & need of a Saviour. About 6 months later, I got saved! That boy I mentioned that I liked also accepted Jesus as his Saviour just two months later. Two years later we were married & off the Heartland Baptist Bible College in Oklahoma City. After graduation my husband served as a youth pastor in Fort Worth, TX for about a year & then we came back to our home church. A couple years later, because of health problems, our pastor resigned & our home church called my husband as pastor. It is both an honor & extremely humbling for my husband to pastor the church he grew up in since he was two years old. Our church is very special to us: it is where both my husband & I were saved & baptized, where we were married, where all three of our children were dedicated to the Lord, where our oldest two boys were saved…. I can’t wait to see what all God is going to add to this growing list of why FBC is so dear to us! God is far too good to the Calaways!
4. How long have you been in the ministry? 8 years
5. How did you know the Lord wanted you in the ministry? Was it hard for you to submit to that or did you know 100% sure right away that this is what God wanted for your life? The summer after I was saved, I went to youth camp. I have my journal that I took notes in during the preaching that week. Each lesson I wrote something like, “Could God ever use me to be a preacher’s wife? …Will I be the one? …I just want God to use me.” I knew God wanted me to be a preacher’s wife, but I didn’t make any public decision. (This is going to sound so immature, but hey, I was just 16 and such a baby Christian)…. I didn’t go forward during camp because I had this boyfriend that wasn’t called to preach. He was about to go to a local secular college & study music. I was sure he was THE ONE for me & if he wasn’t going to be a preacher, then how could I be a preacher’s wife? I knew this boy loved me too. I didn’t want my boyfriend to all of the sudden say he was called to preach just because I felt the Lord calling me to be a preacher’s wife. So I never said anything to anyone for a whole year! Then it was church camp time again. The Lord continued to speak to my heart about surrendering to His ministry. Again, I didn’t go forward. I tried to convince myself I was just getting “caught up” in the moment at camp. After I came home from camp, the most unexpected thing happened: that boy I liked so much announced that God had called him to preach & he was going to Bible college in the fall!!! What? Really?!!!! 5 months later he asked me to marry him…. Well, DUH! J And here we are. I am in awe at how God works. Ain’t God good? ;)
6. How old were you when your husband first held a position of leadership? I was 19; he was 22.
7. And if you were young, did you have a hard time adjusting because of your age? Did you feel “ready” to be in that position? Did you feel you had a harder time being respected or taken seriously because of your age? Yes. No. Yes. J These scriptures help me when Satan attacks in this area:
a. Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. – 1 Timothy 4:12
b. Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD. Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth. – Jeremiah 1:4-9
c. …for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and of a fair countenance. – 1 Samuel 17:42(b)
8. Once you had children did you find you did less in the ministry and was that hard for you? I don’t know what it is like to not have kids while in the ministry because our oldest was born 3 months before my husband graduated from college. I make a conscious effort to not use my children as an excuse to not do the work the Lord has called our family to do. I am continually looking for ways to teach & train my children how to serve the Lord WITH Mommy & Daddy.
9. What are some ways you included and involved your children in the ministry?
a. Baby… We just take them everywhere we go, especially to visit with widows & shut-ins.
b. Toddler… Have them shake hands with our members as they leave after services. Our people always smile when our boys shake their hands or give a high five. Our youngest loves to help set out the offering plates. Also, if they can make a mess dragging out all the toys, they can put away all the toys! Teach them everything has a place. Let all things be done decently and in order. – 1 Corinthians 14:40
c. School age… Teach them to sing with our family for specials as soon as they are able. Our boys help bring the trash cans in from the street, receive the offering, lead the pledges during Sunday school assembly, water plants and they help fill & clean the baptistery as needed. We encourage my sister to sing specials, play the piano & clarinet, and help in the nursery & Sunday school classes when needed. We also encourage them to quote scripture passages during evening services.
10. Do you ever worry that your children will resent the ministry and what are some ways you tried to make it fun for them? Yes, I do worry about that. My husband & I try not to complain about anything remotely related to the church or ministry in front of our children. Each day I do make it a point to say in front of my children, “Thank You, Lord, for making us a preacher’s family!” I tell them how God has a very special plan for our family & a job that only the Calaways can do. I also don’t force/make them do anything “extra” just because they are the preacher’s kids. If they don’t want to sing a special with Mommy & Daddy, we don’t make them. If they don’t want to set out the offering plates, they don’t have to. We don’t make them shake everyone’s hands at the doors as they leave (however, they do have to shake at least 5 people’s hands before running to the gym to play). They don’t have to quote scripture in “big church”… but we make a big deal when they do! We want their service to be sincere & from the heart. I make sure each day I tell them individually, “I’m so proud of you!” I recently read this quote: “God is Light. In Him there is no darkness at all. In His parenting there is no flaw. But despite His perfect fatherhood, His children rebel.” I love gleaning parenting wisdom from older preachers & their wives as well.
11. What would be the best thing you would tell a mom who is raising her children in the ministry? Love your kids. Love their daddy more. Love the Lord the most. And make sure your kids know it! Remember, love is spelled T-I-M-E.
12. Are you naturally a submissive person or do you sometimes have a hard time easily following your husband? I think I am a naturally submissive person. I often think of the song, Wherever He Leads, I’ll Go, and I know when I follow my husband’s leadership, I am following my God.
13. What do you do to encourage your husband when he is discouraged with the work? Tell the kids to be quiet ;) Seriously. That helps. I recently read this quote: “Sometimes the most spiritual advice a preacher’s or missionary’s wife can give her husband is to urge that he rest.”
14. How do deal with any criticism toward your husband from others? Boxing gloves? J I don’t ever confront those that criticize nor do I feel the need to defend my husband to them. I don’t think it is my place. If the criticism is spoken directly to me, I just tell the criticizer, “Well, that’s something to pray about. I’m thankful He’s still workin’ on me too.”
15. How do you deal with personal criticisms? Cry & pray…. And pray some more. I spend a lot of time evaluating myself to see if there be any truth to the criticism & pray that the Lord helps me change if need be. I always want to have a teachable spirit.
16. Do you set aside date nights/days with your husband? Annually for our anniversary, does that count? LOL!
17. What is the biggest thing you have learned about being married to a man in the ministry? He’s God’s man, not mine.
18. What are some ways you protect your husband from “those” women in the church? I tell my husband immediately if I have the slightest uneasy feeling. He has always cautiously heeded my warnings. I also do my best to make sure he can daily rejoice with the wife of his youth (Proverbs 5:18). I try to take good care of my personal appearance, our children & our home. I want him to be proud of me & our life together. I love the scent of vanilla. I wear vanilla perfume & I also burn vanilla candles in our home each day. One day when we were out, my husband made the comment in a store, “This smells like home. Wonder why?” It was the vanilla! Ever since then I try to do little things each day that appeal to all his senses, hoping to make an impression & serve as a reminder to him when he is away from home that he already has the best life/wife…. No need to look elsewhere! J
19. Do you and your husband have devotion or prayer time together daily? Just me & him, no. However, our whole family prays together at bedtime each evening.
20. Do you have a hard time sharing your burdens with your husband in fear that it will discourage him? No, not really. We talk about everything with each other. I think it helps us know how to pray for and encourage one another. We are not in this alone. We are a team, a partnership.
a. Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend. – Proverbs 27:17
b. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do. – 1 Thessalonians 5:11
c. Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. – Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
d. Bear ye one another's burdens… – Galatians 6:2(a)
21. What do you do to encourage yourself in the Lord? Read: my bible, publications like The Baptist Times, this blog & others like it, cards/letters people have given to me
22. What is your favorite Scripture? And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven. – Luke 7:48. I love knowing that my literal voice travels all the way to heaven and into the very ears of God when I pray. In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried to my God: and he did hear my voice out of his temple, and my cry did enter into his ears. – 2 Samuel 22:7. God is just far too good to us, always pouring out undeserved blessings! Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah. – Psalms 68:19
23. Do you have a favorite song? It Is Well With My Soul, I Can Go In, The Judgment
24. What is your biggest struggle in the ministry? Feeling inadequate. Wondering why God would ever use me? Balancing/managing my time.
25. Do you find that you are not able to have close lady friends in your church? I don’t desire to be closer to any one particular lady than another…. That would not be wise. However, I do try to have as close of a relationship as each individual lady will allow. I want them to know that I care about each of them, not just as a whole (my church ladies), but as unique individuals.
26. When you are discouraged, do you feel like you can “show” that feeling to ladies in the church? Or, do you feel like you always have to portray the “perfect” happy Pastor’s wife? I’m not sure I know how to word my answer to this question, but I will do my best. I think it is good for the ladies to see that I am human & that I am not immune to life’s difficulties. Often the Lord allows us to go through hard times so that we might better understand & encourage our sisters in Christ. I try never to complain to the ladies about ministry or home life.
27. Have you ever made a big mistake or offended someone, and if yes, how did you go about restoring that relationship? I’m sure I have offended others far more often than I am aware. I would go directly to the person & ask for forgiveness. I never say, “Sorry IF I hurt/offended you.” If you have to apologize, then YES, you did in fact hurt/offend them. Don’t say “if”. It makes it seem like you don’t really think you did hurt/offend them. Instead I say, “Sorry that I offended you by doing/saying…… Could find it in your heart to please forgive me? I’m truly sorry my actions hurt/offended you.” Sometimes, even when you’re not really in the wrong, it’s best to apologize simply for the sake of restoring harmony to the relationship. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! – Psalms 133:1
28. Do you have other lady ministry friends that you go to for counsel and “venting” purposes? Yes. In our area we have monthly dinners (no preaching at these meetings, just eating & fellowship) with about 10 other ministry families. These dinners have been a HUGE blessing to me! I’ve also enjoyed getting better acquainted with other ministry wives on Facebook.
29. Other than praying, what is the most encouraging thing ladies in the church can do for you? I have felt most encouraged when I receive a card or letter in the mail from one of our ladies. It means so much to me that they took the time to send a sweet note to me. When they complement my children, my heart swells. I don’t think they realize how much of a blessing their kind words can be.
30. What is your favorite way to serve the Lord in your church? I enjoy singing specials & preparing for ladies’ meetings.
- Do you currently have special Ladies Bible Study, meetings, or fellowships? Yes. About a year & a half ago we started having monthly ladies’ meetings. We meet on the last Saturday of each month at 10am. We call it our monthly C.I.A. Meeting (Christians In Action). During our C.I.A. Meetings we have congregational singing, play a game & win prizes, & then I present a Bible lesson & a specific challenge/assignment to practical application of the lesson. Each C.I.A. Meeting is designed to minister to 3 vital areas of your spiritual life: There is a time for me (the devotion & lesson), a time for us (the fellowship after the devotion/lesson time) & a time for Him (the time we spend practicing & sharing what we learned). We also have women’s Bible study at 10am on the 2nd & 4th Tuesday of each month. We just finished a year-long study on Proverbs 31. The ladies were challenged to memorize Proverbs 31:10-31 as we studied it. Now the ladies are taking turns comparing & contrasting 10 different women of the Bible to the virtuous woman. I also try to take the ladies to a retreat or two each year. We also have an annual Mother’s Day banquet.
32. What ways do you encourage your ladies to get involved in the work of the church? I post “JOIN THE C.I.A.” posters everywhere (kitchen, bathroom stalls, hallways, etc.)! It’s bright pink paper with a calendar of upcoming church events. I always put out sign-up sheets for even the littlest of things. We had C.I.A. t-shirts, C.I.A. tote bags & C.I.A. business cards made…. You’d be surprised how little things like that create excitement!
33. What is the most important thing you pray to pass down to your daughters? I don’t have any daughters… yet ;) For my sons, I hope to teach them to love God, His Word & His people. I want them to want what Mommy & Daddy have…. a personal, real relationship with Jesus Christ. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. – 3 John 1:4
34. In all of your business, how do you fit your personal time in with the Lord each day? I do my Bible reading in the morning or afternoon. Usually after everyone goes to bed at night, I stay up and just talk with the Lord for a long while. I’m a night owl & my late night talks all alone with my Heavenly Father are most precious to me. I try to pick a specific verse each day that I read in scripture to thank the Lord for each day. As a mom, I feel most proud when I hear/see my children repeating what I have taught them that day….. I think God likes to know I too am paying attention when He speaks. ;)
35. Out of all that you have learned being in the full time ministry, what is the most important thing you have learned? Always have a servant’s heart…. At church & home.
36. How would you describe the “perfect” Pastor’s wife? Not me, but I’d love to meet her….. I have a TON of questions! ;)