Women’s hearts

Advent

Every Sunday, the children are invited forward at our church. It’s one of my favorite parts of the service. Squiggly kids. Tentative ones. The bosses. The boisterous. The people-pleasers. Their unabashed traits shining in all their glory. No time-crafted mask covers that beauty yet. Sigh.

What does Advent mean? the children are asked. It’s one simple question. One simple answer. Coming. And the first purple candle of Advent is lit.

This year, John and I mailed Advent candles [...]

Does God Really Use Our Brokenness?

“Everything is broken. That’s how the light gets in.”  Leonard Cohen

John and I are often surprised that God delights in working through us. Yet like most humans, we are still bent towards the belief that God only uses our gifts and abilities.  So last night’s dinner conversation was especially encouraging.

New York City is full of beautiful old church buildings that serve a handful of congregants at best and that’s only if the church is still used [...]

By |November 22nd, 2017|Shari Thomas|1 Comment|

Who Is The Woman Married To Your Pastor?

The Top Ten Things the Woman Married to Your Pastor Wants You to Know:

10. She’s her own person. She is not  an appendage of the pastor. She might even have differing political, social and biblical views than her spouse. She is in a position where sharing those views could negatively effect her husband’s job. You might be surprised and delighted to discover how different she may be from what you previously thought.

9. She has a [...]

Living in a Time of Trauma

By Guest Blogger Dr. Penny Freeman

Barbara Brown Taylor says “Pain and suffering makes theologians of us all.”

It’s true. There is no shortage of trauma these days. This summer our eyes have been glued to the devastation of hurricanes. Harvey left Houston in a state of disrepair that left me slack jawed. Irma wiped out Barbuda (an island I didn’t know existed until three weeks ago) and Maria totaled Puerto Rico the same time an [...]

Preparing My Heart To Be With Others

Friends were over last week and I stumbled out of bed and into the kitchen, talking. About ten minutes into the mostly one-way conversation I caught myself. “Meds. I haven’t taken my meds!” Thankfully, I was with friends. They love me in spite of what I say or my need for meds. Still, I was reminded how easily I can go about my day completely unprepared to be a member of the human race.

My [...]

Help! How Do I Deal With My Contempt?

My last blog elicited quite a few responses asking how we should handle our contemptuous hearts. Remember, contempt is the number one marriage killer. It’s not something to take lightly.

Tackling an answer in a blog doesn’t do the problem justice. One size does not fit all. Still, I’m going to offer an approach by sharing what’s helped identify and root out contempt in our marriage. Bear in mind that this was after [...]

By |February 15th, 2017|Shari Thomas|4 Comments|

Under the Covers, Under His Smile.

It’s 9:30 a.m. I’m still in my pajamas. I allow the indulgence telling myself I’m just enjoying the new PJ’s I got for Christmas. Telling myself I have extra time since I didn’t work out this morning. Telling myself that twenty-seven years of child rearing allows me to stay in bed as long as I want.

I recall the winters I walked our kids to school. The baby, thermal-sack bundled under the plasticized stroller cover. [...]

Why Can’t I Hear Angels Sing? The Twelve Labors of Christmas

By Dr. Penny Freeman

  1. List everything you think people in your life want that will bring them ultimate joy.
  2. Try to find these items cheaper (anywhere) by checking all the search engines and local merchants within a five-mile radius.
  3. Stop and drag out all the decorating stuff. Trim the tree to surprise your spouse. Put all the boxes away to keep house tidy.
  4. Maintain a good attitude.
  5. Create a Martha Stewart-type menu to feed eight hungry adults and three [...]

Holidays Make Me Blue for Something…

By Dr. Penny Freeman

I am still full and none of my pants fit. The table was lovely and the food came out perfectly. We drank eggnog, consumed food we only see once a year, and everyone was in a good mood and on time (except for a two-year old who can’t help being two right now).

Leftovers were abundant, and people went home to sleep off the food coma. My weary body crawled towards bed. [...]

Too Much….

This summer I began writing on a life-long interest, survival and resiliency, only to discover that my friend Penny Freeman was doing the same. Here are her thoughts:

I am learning about resiliency for my new life stage (sixth decade of life, fourth decade of marriage, having less energy, a weaker body, and grandchildren who expand my heart and my desire to run until I am dead).  Resiliency fascinates me because I am staring down [...]