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I was a new pastor’s wife when my
husband took me to a small town in Oklahoma. We fought until
we learned to love each other during the two years we spent
there. I was the new girl in town. I knew no one and barely
knew my husband, Brad. He was busy with his church, and there
I was, stuck. No money, no job and no friends. I was
uncomfortable in my new role and resented it when others
referred to me as “the preacher’s wife.” I failed to see what
an honor that was.
The parishioners made attempts to
befriend me, but I was too busy being lonely and angry, and
was bound and determined to let Brad know it. I pouted and
packed, whined and packed, and threw things at him and packed.
“I’m leaving!” I would scream when he came home. With the
fifty cents I had in my pocket and no gas money, I don’t know
where I thought I was going, but I was
“Don’t do me any favors,” he would reply,
which only caused me to turn on my heels and shout, “I’m
staying, and don’t try and stop me!” Who did he think he was?
I wasn’t about to let him kick me out.
between my daily suitcase-packing episodes, I remembered that
I had promised to love him for better or for worse. In
desperation, I found ways to entertain myself. I spent hours
picking from the six pecan trees in the front yard. I quickly
realized that even though we had no money, the pecans made
great Christmas gifts. I even found a job. Then my husband
came home one day and announced that he had an interview at a
church in Louisiana. I had just learned to live in
True to form, I pouted and griped on the way
to Louisiana. Then something stopped me in my tracks. We were
on our way through Texas when we ran right into what looked
like a giant crystal bowl. An ice storm had hit the area a few
days earlier, and it was the most beautiful sight I had ever
seen. And there I was, gnawing on my husband. Somewhere
between Denton and Sulphur, I had taken off my wedding rings
and tucked them into the folds of my skirt so that I could
apply some hand cream. The ice we were skidding on distracted
me just enough that I forgot to put my rings back
Three hours later I looked down and realized that I
had lost my rings out on the highway when I had stepped out of
the car to take a picture of a horse and buggy driving by. But
which highway? Everything looks the same in an ice storm,
especially when you are in unfamiliar country.
buy you another ring,” my husband said.
I knew he meant
well, but the ring was a family heirloom. “That ring can’t be
replaced,” I cried.
“Honey, we don’t even know where to
begin looking,” he said. “No, we’re NOT going back,” he
insisted as he turned the car around and headed back to look
for the rings.
It was hours before we found a location
that seemed familiar. Occasionally some well-meaning person
would pull his car over to the side of the road, roll down his
window and yell, “Hey, buddy, what’d ya lose?” At one point,
there must have been ten cars stopped on the side of the road,
all abandoned by the occupants who had joined in the search.
But with the sun going down, it was obvious that our chances
of finding the rings were slim. I was crushed.
it, Honey, they’re gone,” Brad said. “I know you’re upset. I
promise to try and find a suitable replacement.”
he was right. The walk in the cold that day had given me time
to think about the day’s events. I played the scene over and
over in my mind, and what I saw was not a pretty sight. I had
ranted and raved, nagged and wailed, and acted like a spoiled
brat. I took a good long look at my husband pacing back and
forth in the freezing cold. He had driven three hours back to
this desolate area in the middle of a treacherous ice storm
without one thought for himself, attempting to find something
that was important to me.
The rings might be gone, but
there could never be a suitable replacement for my husband.
Suddenly, the rings seemed so unimportant. I resolved right
then and there to stop thinking only of myself.
at that very moment that I opened the car door and began to
step inside. Something on the floor caught my eye. My rings! I
grabbed them and waved them in the air. Brad rushed to my side
and put them back on my finger. “This is where these rings
belong,” he whispered. I looked into his eyes, and knew that I
had found what I was looking for. It wasn’t my rings that were
lost that day—I was the one who had been missing.
in the pastorate hasn’t changed. The only thing that has
changed is me. We still move around more than I like. And I
still have to start over again every time we do. But I’ve
learned to appreciate when people call me “the preacher’s
wife,” because etched into my mind is a frozen road in Texas,
and a voice that whispers, “This is where these rings
|My pastor friend put sanitary hot
air hand dryers in the rest rooms at his church and
after two weeks took them out. I asked him why and he
confessed that they worked fine but when he went in
there he saw a sign that read, "For a sample of this
week's sermon, push the button."
Crockpot Swiss Chicken
chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
6 slices Swiss
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 cups stuffing mix
1/2 cup butter or
Lightly spray crock-pot with
cooking spray. Place chicken breasts in bottom of
crock-pot. Top with cheese. Combine soup and milk,
stirring well. Spoon soup mixture over cheese; sprinkle
with stuffing mix. Drizzle melted butter over stuffing
mix. Cook on high 4 to 6
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