Sunday, March 15, 2009

Nashville...

I was so excited to get home, so I could blog about my last 3 days! I was blessed with a trip to a Beth Moore Conference in Nashville. I went with my Mom and S-I-L, Sara. I've been to many Living Proof Conferences and they are always awesome. This one was special though. It was designated for minister's wives only. I sat among 1200 women who are married to a minister. Some married into it, some were surprised by it, later on in their marriages. I listened to what many are going through in their ministries and marriages and realized very quickly...it's in every ministry. The struggles, the stress, the hurt. Whether you share your husband with a congregation of 50 or a congregation of 5000, your lives are not your own.

Me with Mom and Sara...two of my very best friends.


Beth Moore and Travis Cottrell came with a heart to minister to a group of women, who just like their husbands, have committed their lives and families to the ministry. For better or worse, we're in it with him.

Travis Cottrell...


They made us feel so special. Every time we walked in or out of the sanctuary, they filled our hands with an abundance of gifts. I grew up in a minister's home, so I had a good idea of what it would be like when Alex surrendered to the ministry. Though it's very different when it's YOUR husband that someone is upset with or doesn't agree with. :) What a lot of congregations don't realize are...so often, there is no one to minister to the pastor and his family when they are dealing with something difficult. When one of us would be at the hospital, I remember my Mom and Dad would sit in the waiting area alone...no one there to pray with them and encourage them. My Daddy sacrificed many hours with his family to tend to the needs of other families. I realize that will be asked of Alex and our family, as well. It's not a job that you walk away from, after 8 hours of service to your employer. I encourage you...love on your pastors and their families...minister to them whenever possible. It will mean more to that pastor and his family than you could ever imagine. No they aren't perfect...they never will be and trust me, they know it. :)

I had such a sweet time with God over the past few days. I found myself falling in love with Him and the ministry, in a way that I never have before. I'm excited about what He has in store. I know it won't always be easy. To be honest, Journey has been in existence for a little over a year and we've already had times where I thought to myself..."I just want to go somewhere and be a member that comes when I want...with no commitment...this is too hard." But God gets a hold of me quickly and reminds me that my life is not my own. It's His. He told me at the conference that I work for Him, that He chose me, and that I'm blessed because of it. What a sweet time we had and I would encourage your church to send your minister's wives, the next time this conference is available. I walked away excited and refreshed to serve our church family and support Alex in any way I can.

Me, Mom & Sara at Darfon's.


I leave for Springfield, tomorrow. Not sure how often I will be online. Know that I'm praying for each and every one of you. I pray that you find yourself falling in love with the God of this universe, in a way that you've never experienced...that He would be your one true love. Know that He wants you and loves you more than anyone else every could!

Love to all,
Jill

35 comments:

Suzanne@NotesfromthePatch said...

My dear Jill:
You are incredible to be praying for US when you are personally going through so much. You have touched my heart tonight. God is using you. Bless you.

elainaann said...

What a sweet post. Thank you for the glipse into your heart and what God is doing with you. It is such an encouragement. Andrew and I pray for you and Alex often. We love you and hope that you know that.

Faith said...

Jill, what a precious post. Thank you so much for sharing from your heart and helping us understand a little better what you, as servants and leaders in ministry, feel and go through. I know it is such a sacrifice...you are a blessing to so many, and I pray that God would bless you abundantly in return.

I'm so thankful for the time you had to get away with your girls and be refreshed, renewed and encouraged.

I'm praying, praying, praying for you sweet girl! I hope so much that we will be able to meet in person one day so I can hug your neck and talk for hours!

Have a great trip in Springfield! Just know I am lifting you up, no matter what this week may hold.

Love and hugs, Faith

Rhonda Rae said...

Gurl im so glad your that we are all at J.C. and Im glad ur always there. You always have a smile on ur face and no matter how bad my morning has been u greet us with a smile and it makes me feel better, Im such a loser huh. Lol we are so blessed to have yall around and we know it

annalee said...

thanks for sharing your heart and your wisdom. i am praying for you too!

Rathi said...

What a great post! Have a great trip to Springfield and will be praying for you and your hubby as well!

Alice said...

Marrying into a Pastor's family, I can feel some of the same feelings you talked about in this entry. It is hard many times but it is also rewarding in other ways. I try to look at the positive side of it but there are times, like you said, that the "minister" needs a "minister".

Thanks for your open heart in this post. Hope you are pumped up and ready to go again after some Beth Moore (I LOVE me some Beth Moore).

Joannah said...

What a great way to spend the weekend! I love Beth Moore. I just received a bible study of hers on Daniel that I'm going to start this week.

Enjoy your next trip, too. I hope this week brings both of us some very blessed news!

:-)

courtney said...

Hey Jill, I was thinking about you this weekend, I am hoping and praying for the best. Enjoy a fresh start to a fresh week!

Anonymous said...

I am always moved by your energy, your selflessness, your message, your perspective and your walk with the Lord. I think we all benefit from your spirit. In church this week end I was reminded that "to align my will with God's will" is the defining goal. Thank you for giving to others. Thank you for your example.
May you always be blessed.

Hope said...

I loved this post, you always have just what I need to hear.

I just had this discussion with my mom the other day. I am a preacher's kid and it was hard...some problems you need to talk to your pastor about - not your dad!

My dad has retired - sorta. The church he is attending right now needs to hear what you just said. The only one that takes time to be there for the members is the pastor and my parents. But, when the pastor is ill or my parents...it is just them. I wanna send a memo haha.

Pastoring is a 24/7 'job' and they just don't get to leave 'it' at the office. Sometimes I wished we were just members then, but boy how I loved to hear my daddy preach - still do.

Always in my prayers.

twondra said...

What a sweet post. Very touching. Thanks for sharing. I'm glad you had a good time! You guys look so happy.

Vashti said...

Mart and I are in FULL time ministry and I can totally relate to your post! It is hard and it is non-stop. Thankyou for the prayers! Im praying hard for you too. Hope you are doing well.
xx

Jim and April said...

what a great post and great pics too! I kind of understand in a way because my dad is a pastor! Its definitely not an easy job that God has called them to but its one that is worth it!

becca said...

I love Travis Cottrell! I heard him at the convention last year and had to have his CD.
I do know a bit of what pastor's families go thru. I didn't marry a pastor, I married his son. But it still opened my eyes a lot.

Shannon said...

Sounded like a wonderful event!! I'm so glad you got to go. Have fun in Springfield!!

Cheryl said...

What a wonderful experience you were able to be a part of. Glad you had a wonderful weekend!

Eric and Emily said...

Looks like a nice trip and a good time! A much needed distraction I am sure to all the IF stuff. How nice!

Jenna said...

Jill, I am so glad ya'll had a great time! The picture of ya'll are just beautiful - I can just see God's love shining through them!

I am praying praying praying for you sweet friend!!!

Glitter and Bliss said...

Just checking in. It sounds like you had a wonderful time. I am so glad!!! I know you blessed many, and I am truly one of them...just reading your post.

La La said...

So glad you had a wonderful time. It takes a speical type of person to share your lives with all of the people that you do, in the way that you do. ((hugs))

Mel said...

You are so awesome. God is so amazing and works wonderfully through you. He really does.
I am glad you had such a good trip and I hope you continue on these good feelings you're having right now.
Praying for you.
*hugs*

Heather said...

I am so thankful and happy that you had such a wonderful and blessed weekend! Thanks for sharing with us and thanks for the "word" that God is so in love with us! I can't hear that enough in my insecure little mind!!!
I worked in youth ministry for three years so I know a little about what being in ministry is like. I am so glad you were "treated" to a fun weekend- you deserve it! I am praying, praying, praying for you!
Have a great Springfield trip!

twondra said...

I nominated for you for an award! See my blog. :)

MiMi said...

Jill,

I am so excited that you have decided to start memorizing, too! I know what you mean about it being harder to memorize now than it used to be. You can only imagine how hard it is when you get to be MY age! (-: You will never regret hiding God's Word in your heart! His Word never returns void! It is amazing how many times throughout the week that God calls to mind one of the verses that I am memorizing.

I am so thankful that you got to get away -- and how special for it to be with your mom and sister-in-law. It sounds like an awesome time of refreshment and renewal.

Just want you to know that you are in my prayers and I can't wait to hear about what God is doing in your life!

Love you, sweet friend,
Emilie

Seraphim said...

I can't believe someone I have never met has had such a profound influence on me! Jill, I just want you to know you have really helped reignite my faith and I am praying up a storm for you and Alex right now. Thanks for sharing what life is like for a Minister and his wife. Lots of love and cuddles to you. Take good care xxx

James said...

I love Beth Moore.. I'm glad you had a great time. Thanks for the reminders about the Creator of the universe. It helps put things in perspective and I needed that today. Have fun on your next trip!

Polly Gamwich said...

Just want you to know I'm thinking of you today ...

Guy and Julie said...

Jill,
I found your blog on the prayer blog. I live in AR also and am currently sorting out our next step in the fertility process. I was wondering where you are going and what you think of the clinic. We are 1 step away from IVF and are trying to decide whether or not to go to LR or to stay local. If you get a chance to email me, it's greenhouseblog@hotmail.com If not, that's ok too.
Thanks so much,
Julie

Lacy said...

I had never really thought about how hard ministering is on the minister and his/her family, to share your lives with so many people. I hear Beth Moore is amazing, and I am so glad you had the chance to go to the conference and be with family!! I've been praying for you Jill, that this cycle will give you one more person to share your life with!

Paula said...

I'm thinking of you and praying that there's a little baby in your tummy :)

becca said...

I am getting quite anxious sitting over here! It is very hard for me to not be nosy. But so far so good :)
I LOVE to go to Firefly. I made a small attempt at going every Saturday (David goes to pipe and tobacco every week) but I just couldn't bring myself to spend that much every week. BUT if you ever want to go just for fun (even if it's not your birthday :) give me a call... or text... or email...

Seraphim said...

For some reason you are very much in my thoughts right now Jill. Lots of love coming your way xxxx

Shannon said...

Praying for you!

Rob & Lindsey said...

Hey Jill! I just love you! I know I have never met you face to face but you are an amazing person! I am glad you had such a great time! I have been praying for you and Alex! Love ya!

Lindsey