The Prodigal Returns

Do you have a prodigal child or know of someone that does? It’s so painful when your child walks away from God. Never give up on him or her. They are never too far gone for God to reach.

No matter what your child is doing with their life, love them. Our kids need to know we love them right where they are. Find common interests to talk with them about. By all means, don’t preach to them. They grew up learning about God and they know what you believe. The last thing they want is to hear another sermon. Now, if God tells you specifically something to share, by all means do it.

Be careful not to quench any hint of openness to spiritual things. For example, if your son calls to inform you that he has a doctor’s appointment at 2:00 P.M. tomorrow afternoon, don’t ask him, “Are you telling me this because you want me to pray?” Instead you could respond with, “Okay son, thanks for letting me know.” You and I both know you are going to pray. Your son is very possibly asking for prayer without outright asking.

In my opinion, the best way to reach a prodigal is through loving them and praying for them. In faith, begin to praise God for your prodigal’s return. That is what I am doing.

Feel free to watch this video where my friend Carol shares about her prodigal daughter’s return. You will be encouraged by her story.

Do you have suggestions for parents with prodigal children?

Toxic Soul can be purchased here:

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What We All Face

Do you ever feel like no one quite understands what it’s like to be a pastor’s wife? We have to be “on” whether we feel like it or not. You know what it’s like to plant a smile on your face even when you just feel like holding your head down and crying. Some of us feel the pressure of keeping our house spotless no matter what.

I remember my mom telling me, “We have to keep the house clean at all times because you never know when someone might stop by.” We lived in a parsonage right beside the church and Mom was right. There were many times people would stop by unannounced.

Here’s the good news: as a pastor’s wife you don’t have to be perfect. In fact what the world around us needs is for us to be real. We don’t need to be rude, however, there is nothing wrong with admitting when we’re having a bad day.

I’ll never forget getting out of the car at church only to be greeted with a rude comment from one of the church ladies. “You look like you just lost your best friend!” “I did, today,” I responded. Just that day my best friend told me we could no longer be friends and I was devastated. To my surprise, this same church lady brought us dinner the next day.

On a side note, after seven years of no contact, my best friend and I got back in touch. I am happy to tell you that she is now one of my most dearest friends and we have a much healthier relationship.

Just a few months ago I had the amazing privilege of going to Thailand. One of the main things I did there was spend one-on-one time with Thai pastors’ wives and female pastors. Hearing their stories was eye opening. The things we had in common were far greater than what we didn’t. One thing that rang clear to me: we are the same. No matter where you are in ministry, no matter the size of your church, we pastors’ wives struggle with many of the same issues. Being encouraged today my friend, you are not alone.

In this video, missionaries Chris Hosack and Tammy Brown briefly share about our time in Thailand as we reached out to the precious pastors’ wives and female pastors. I think you will be encouraged as you listen in.

What are some of the struggles you face as a pastor’s wife?

The Comparison Game

Do you struggle with comparing yourself to others? Me too! I am doing a lot better than I used to, but I still fall into that trap at times. As a matter of fact, even working on this blog I find myself feeling less than.

If only I could write as good as…

If only I was as talented as…

If only I was as smart as…

You know the routine. We all struggle at times. Can we ever truly be free from this crazy mind game? Hmmm, I really don’t know if that will happen this side of heaven. But what I do know, you can work on becoming the best you that you can possibly be.

God has called you for such a time as this. Instead of wishing you were more like “her,” start thanking God for the gifts He has given you. You are more than enough in Christ Jesus. Be free to be you!

Watch this video for more encouraging words on this subject.

Not Your Typical Affair

Image by nihan guzel dastan from Pixabay

Have you ever faced difficulties in your marriage? Being a pastor’s wife doesn’t mean you are immune to trials and tribulations, even in your marriage.

In this video, Sheri Hawley shares about a time in her marriage when she asked her husband, “Are you having an affair?”

Sheri is an amazing pastor’s wife with a gift of wit and wisdom. She is an ordained pastor alongside her husband, Frank, serving Garden Grove Church in Winter Haven, FL. Through her nearly 40 years of ministry, travel, speaking, and writing, Sheri has found that connecting with women all around the world and seeing them grow in their faith is her great passion. You can connect with Sheri through her blog at

She Writes for Him: Stories of Resilient Faith, a book in which women share their stories of how God brought them through difficult circumstances, and is available to order through the Amazon link below. Sheri tells her story in chapter 28.

Have you ever felt like you were living in the dark?

She Writes for Him: Stories of Resilient Faith can be purchased here:

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The Struggle is Real

Do you ever struggle with your big butt? Oops, I mean a big “but”. As a pastor’s wife I’m sure you have a crazy busy schedule and finding time to do the things you really want to do is difficult, to say the least.

I would clean out my closet, but… I would play barbies with my little girl, but… I would hang out with you, but… I would read this book, but…

There is hope my friend.

Have you learned how to say “No”? Just try it. Say it out loud. No! Come on Girl, say it like you mean it. NO!!!

I used to struggle with this two letter word so much. The funny thing is, my mom said “no” was the first word that ever came out of my mouth.

As a pastor’s wife, I had to re-learn how to say no. You can use your big “but” for your own good. This is what it looks like:

Thank you so much for inviting me, but I have a previous engagement.

Thank you so much for considering me for this position, but I am not able to do that at this time.

Thank you for asking me to speak, but speaking really isn’t my gifting.

It’s okay to say no. “I don’t want to” is a legitimate reason all on it’s on. However, when you say no, say it with grace.

Girlfriend, set yourself free. You don’t wear a cape and you don’t need to feel like you have to do everything that is set before you. God never intended for you to be a super woman. That was a lesson I learned the hard way and to be honest, I am still learning.

Several years ago I was at a state-wide meeting for pastors and pastors’ wives. I was asked to play the piano for the night service. I politely said, “No, I can’t play the piano.” and this person responded, “Come on Jan, we need you and you can do this.” My response was “My friend, I get static playing the radio and I sure can’t play the piano.” That was an easy no because I literally couldn’t do it. But there were times I would say yes to things because I could do it, but it didn’t necessarily mean that I should.

Just remember, not every good thing is a God thing. You should pray before making a big commitment to anything. Talk with your husband about it. If you have a mentor, definitely seek her advice.

Another thing I learned is you can always change your “no” to a “yes,” but once you say “yes,” you are pretty much committed. If you want to learn more, check out the book Boundaries, by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. Townsend.

Finally, one thing I wish someone had emphasized to me when I was a young pastor’s wife: God first, then family, then the ministry. That will be another blog for another day my friend.

What do you struggle with saying “no” to?

I love you and I believe in you my friend!


You can find the book Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud on the Amazon link below.

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Help, I’m a Pastor’s Wife

Do you ever feel like you are silently bleeding on the inside and smiling on the outside? Some Sundays you go to church and plaster a smile on your face while inwardly crying over what someone just said about your husband or your child. Or even worse, your marriage is falling apart but who can you tell? You’re married to the pastor! Girl, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

I want to encourage you to check out this video where I share a little about myself, and how God gave me the name and inspiration for Silently Bleeding. Throughout our journey together, I will talk about things that I’ve been through and even share some funny “Oops, did that just come out of my mouth?” moments.

We are all on a different journey, but I believe we can glean wisdom from one another. I will be sharing interviews that I’ve done with other pastors wives to help us tackle the hard issues. We will laugh together, cry together, and think to ourselves sometimes, “Yep, been there, felt that.”

It is my prayer that this will encourage you and strengthen your faith sweet friend!

Blessings, Jan