Archive for the ‘Hope’ Category

Not your average pastor’s wife

November 10th, 2015 Posted by 1 comment

pwI’ve been in ministry with Mike, my pastor/husband, for 37 years. I’ve come a long way from the naive young women I was in 1979. Along the way I decided to not only survive, but enjoy the life God brought to me. In learning to enjoy who I was and where I was, I had to leave behind misconceptions I had picked up along the way and embrace new ways of thinking. Here are some of the things I now know:

1. There is no such thing as a call to be a pastor’s wife.

The term “pastor’s wife” isn’t found anywhere in the Bible. The desire to join your husband in ministry is more probably your own call to pastoring or a gift of hospitality, mentoring, teaching or evangelism.

2. Just because a program in the church is in place, doesn’t mean it needs to remain.

Pastor’s-wife friend, Melisa, from Washington State says she and her husband spent the first four years of ministry in their little mountain town “turning off the lights.” They stopped programs people weren’t supporting, and ones not meeting the current needs in their congregation, in order to get down to the basics of what their congregation needed and could support. Just because your organization offers a program is not a mandate your church needs to be doing it. Seek God’s direction.

3. In God’s kingdom you don’t get kuddos for being married to the pastor of the largest church in town or condemnation for being married to the pastor of the smallest church either.

The size of your church isn’t indicative of your spirituality. The Bible says “some plant, some water, but God gives the increase.” Don’t waste valuable energy on numbers, concentrate on ministry.

4. You need a best friend, or two, in your church.

I’m on firm ground here since Jesus’ best friends were Peter, James and John. So feel free to seek like-minded women to encourage you and enjoy the blessing they will give you. There are those who say you shouldn’t because of the chance of hurt feelings but if you don’t flaunt your friendship, it won’t cause any more problems than the myriad of other things that people can complain about.

5. Your call is as important as your husband’s call.

This is a frightening statement even to write, but despite its truth, when wrapped in years of assumption that a call to ministry is the spiritual kingpin, you, like me, may find it hard to grasp. All gifts are bestowed by God and are equal in the Body. And using your gift is as important for you as it is for your husband to use his. For some it will be easy because your gift will mesh with pastoring, for others it will seem at times to be in opposition to his. Maybe you’re offered a promotion in another state, an opportunity somewhere else in which to use your gift. Don’t immediately subjugate your gift for his, because God who gave them to each of you and knows where He wants you to go will direct your dance if you will allow him.

6. You, by virtue, of being married to the pastor, are not equipped or obligated to perform tasks that the previous pastor’s wife filled or ones in which members assume you are equipped to do.

If you’re not trained, you do not, nor should, be offering counseling. That is not to say you can’t lend a sympathetic ear and pray with them, but don’t step beyond what you are equipped. The same goes for leading the choir, or heading up a multitude of programs. Your position in this particular body should be directed by God and carry the support of yourself and your husband.

7. Avoid the pedestal.

Everyone likes to be admired, however, the only allowable vertical relationship is between us and God.  Don’t allow people to see you as perfect or above them, or better than they. It doesn’t help them and is deadly for you.

8. There will always be expectations for you from others. 

This is true and you cannot stop others from having them, you can only stop yourself from trying to fulfill them. I don’t know what ones you’ll encounter because it varies from denomination and culture, but because someone assumes you will act or perform in a certain way should not be a sentence for you. Neither does this mean that you don’t owe your church respect, that you get to simply be me. Some expectations will not hurt us: certain appropriate dress for services, etc. Learn to discern which you should give into with good grace and which to graciously not follow.

9. If you are blessed with children, concentrate on them, not the church.

Your husband, by virtue of his job, will be at the beck-and-call of the church, so don’t make your children emotional orphans by doing the same. No, they do not need to be the sole focus, but don’t assume that serving the church is more godly than being a mom. It isn’t. A better compromise is to invite them into ministry with you and your husband, let them learn the joy of serving others. It will produce benefits for later life.

10. Enjoy yourself

I never wanted to marry a pastor because I’d never met a happy pastor’s wife. Sad? Yes indeed. But if this is the life God gave you, take the role in your hands and mold it into a life that you can enjoy and in which you can flourish. Like I said, if pastor’s wife isn’t in the Bible, then the possibilities are wide open.



Hopes for a Happy Peace-filled Christmas

December 16th, 2014 Posted by No comments


I imagine many of you relate to the line from Paul’s letter to  the Corinthians where he said, “Your lives are a letter  written in our hearts; known and read by everyone…” This  is what I feel when I see my children standing strong in  God, growing and ministering. I wish to say, “There! That is  what I spent my time on, they are the evidence of my  sincerity, prayer, and dependence on God to raise up godly  children.”

They all grown now, wives, a husband, secure in themselves and where God has placed them and they make me smile. A lot.

Jana is a board member of Blossom Ministry in Washington State. She wrote in their winter newsletter the following article I’d like to share with you.:

Planting Gardens

 At this point, if you’ve been reading our Blossom Newsletter in the last couple of years you know that my husband and I lost our son when I was 5.5 months pregnant.  It’s been more than 2 years since we lost him, 3 years since we first learned we would probably deal with infertility, and with another miscarriage last spring it’s an understatement to say we’re tired of loss and waiting.

 This is my HARD place.  My “dark night of the soul” if you will.  I feel like I am in an never-ending         desert; wilderness; dare I say, exile?

 What do you do when you have been sent to exile?  Either by your own choices or simply because this broken life finds itself there…how do you cope when you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel?  And what do you do while you wait?

 Jeremiah chapter 29 opens with a letter that Jeremiah wrote to the exiles.  He says that the Lord God of Israel commands that these exiles should, “…Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce…Increase in number there; do not decrease.

Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”

Build. live. plant. eat. multiply. pray.

In other words: You’re going to be here for awhile.  You may as well be productive while you wait.  That list is full…years worth of stuff to keep you busy while you wait for freedom.  The exiles were banished for 70 years before God brought them home.  What a LONG time to sit and twiddle your thumbs.  Maybe not as long of a time if you have something to show for yourself while you waited     expectantly.

We find more lists from God throughout scripture. 

In Psalm 37:7-9 we are told to trust, do good, dwell, cultivate, delight and rest.  In Proverbs 3:5-6 God  reminds us to trust and not lean on our own understanding.

Once Jeremiah gives God’s commands to the exiles he brings a word of hope:  “This is what the Lord says:

“When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”  ~ Jeremiah 29: 10-14

 He promises light at the end of the tunnel!  I  don’t know when that will be for me or for you  but someday we will be brought home from exile.  Multiple times God promises to bring us home:

Ezekiel 21:41  “When I bring you home from exile, you will be like a pleasing sacrifice to me.  And I will display my holiness through you as all the  nations watch!”

Jeremiah 12:15 says “But afterward I will return and have compassion on all of them. I will bring them home to their own lands again, each nation to its own possession. “

Deuteronomy 30:1-10 (paraphrased)  In the future when you are living among the nations to which the Lord your God has exiled you, take to heart all these instructions. Then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes. He will have mercy on you and gather you back from all the nations where he has scattered you. Even though you are banished to the ends of the earth, the Lord your God will gather you from there and bring you back again. The Lord your God will change your heart and the hearts of all your descendants, so that you will love him with all your heart and soul and so you may live!  The Lord your God will then make you successful in everything you do. He will give you many children and numerous livestock, and he will cause your fields to produce abundant        harvests, for the Lord will again delight in being good to you as he was to your ancestors. The Lord your God will delight in you if you obey his voice and keep the commands and decrees  written in this Book of Instruction, and if you turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and soul.

 ~ Jana

[Reprinted by permission, Blossom Ministries, 2014]

I hope her story touches your heart as it does mine.

tree And Jana is not the only writer in the family, our younger  daughter, Jenn, recently began a blog for young mothers.  You can read it here: and be  blessed by her love of God.


May God fill this holiday season with Joy and Peace.

Janice Hildreth 


A wish for a hope-filled Spring

May 3rd, 2014 Posted by No comments

Spring is a time of new beginnings and sometimes new beginnings inspire hope in us. I’ve been thinking a lot about hope and know that when I feel its peaceful presence I am fueled with renewed purpose to continue my work in this life.

Even something as mundane as a Monday brings me hope. Of course if you’re not a pastor’s wife you won’t understand why this is, but trust me, Mondays bloom with hopeful possibilities for the future.

The beauty of flowers just budding in my garden send me dreaming of scent-filled afternoons and charming bouquets on my counters — hopeful.

God understands the importance of hope in our lives and takes pleasure in gracing us with these moments.

It is true that hope doesn’t have an impact without the experience of walking through a dark time. The endless days of a child’s illness become touched by hope when his fever breaks, and we know our prayers have been answered.

If you’re like me, you have things you have seen decades pass without seeing a dream come to pass, but the knowledge that God planted our dream, watered it, and kept it alive, revives our hope that we will yet see it happen. And because of His hope, we persevere.

If you’re going through a hard time, lean on God’s word and rejoice in the Hope of the World for He is sharing your days and experiences with you, and does not leave you hopeless.

Romans 5:2-5 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.