As most of you who read this blog may know, Scott is in his 5th (and Lord-willing final) year of seminary. One of the aspects of The Master's Seminary that distinguished itself from the other seminaries we were considering 5 years ago was the emphasis that it placed on the family. With the heavy load that the students are required to undertake, it is not hard to see why some seminarians shamefully neglect their priorities of loving and leading their wives and families. We decided that this scenario was least likely to happen at TMS, where wives are not forgotten by the school. In addition to classes like the Pastor's Home where wives attend class with their husbands, and the annual Fall Picnic and Spring Banquet, there is a special program dedicated just for seminary wives that meets for 10 weeks during each semester.
In Seminary Wives, each semester focuses on a theme (this semester's happens to be "disciplined for godliness" taken from I Timothy 4:7,8). I like the fact that wives are encouraged to grow alongside their husbands in the Word, as we are training for our own unique ministry that we will have as a pastor's wife. We are also forming friendships with other women who understand what it is like to have a husband in seminary, and we are being led by table leaders who are who are professors' or elders' wives.
Last night, my table (led by Dawn Iverson, who is the wife of an elder at Grace Community) talked about last week's message (which I missed due to illness), prayer requests, praises, and creative and/or money-saving tips. We talked about how a pastor's wife, who is often on a limited budget, should gracefully deal with all the wedding and baby shower invitations she will receive. What is she to do if she cannot afford to buy gifts for every one of them and still be responsible with her household budget? So we brainstormed...and here are some of the ideas we came up with:
a scrapbook of favorite recipes on decorative 3x5 cards
a prayer for the couple or a Bible verse calligraphied or neatly printed and framed
a group gift of a scrapbook including advice from older women on how to have a loving, lasting, God-honoring marriage
a frame with the couple's name and wedding date burned into it
handmade cards (thank you's, blank, or multiple occassion)
for baby showers:
some of the ideas above, modified for babies
sewing burp cloths or blankets
a list of money-saving tips for moms (Grocery game, anyone? or www.mommysavers.com)
Do you have any ideas? Please share them in the comments and I'll pass them on!
The night was topped off with a convicting message from Donna Shannon about disciplining our thoughts. How easy it is to let them wander if we are not being purposeful about taking every thought captive! One of the 'take home points' for me was this: if my mind is a glass to be filled, am I choosing what goes in (by spending my time reading Scripture, meditating, singing hymns, praying, etc) or am I passively letting the world fill it with its own philosophies (by wasting time, daydreaming, watching TV, listening to radio, reading silly books or magazines, etc*). Because, as she pointed out, we do what we do and we feel what we feel because we think what we think. We cannot expect godly behavior if we haven't been disciplined to think godly thoughts.
*Disclaimer: I am not trying to come across as a cultural fundamentalist. I think it is fine to enjoy the things of the world that were created for our pleasure (and I gladly partake!), and I shy away from the type of Christianity that shuns the world and keeps all secular activities at an arm's length, but we must exercise wisdom in setting our priorities.
So that's just a small glimpse of sem wives. I really enjoy talking with the ladies at my table, as it is one of the times in my week that I get to enjoy conversations with adults without being interrupted to wipe spit-up off my sleeve.