Category Archives: You Asked

What’s Your Flavor … Fun with the Hubby

Q: What fun things do you and your spouse do together? (@katelynferguson)

And for good measure, I’m throwing in pics of us with our husbands in case you aren’t familiar with them.

Lori: Jud and I love date day. Now that our littlest is in all-day Kinder, Jud’s day off is our day together … just the two of us. We always eat breakfast after we drop the kids off and then we hit the movies, shop, walk around the bookstore, sit at a coffee shop, play tourist in Vegas, or just sit together in our quiet house. Best of all Jud makes me laugh, which oddly enough, is quite a task.

Brandi: For fun … honestly, sometimes just getting a mean out sans kids is enough fun to keep me happy! 🙂 We love double dates, playing cards, camping, sitting on the porch together, and hiking.

Jessica: We love to take trips together. Getting away from all the stress/ pressure really refreshes us.

We also love to put the kids down early, order in sushi, and rent a movie:)

Tiffany: We love to talk over coffee, watch movies, talk about our future. We also love to talk about ministry.

Lisa: My husband and I like to hang out , eat and just get away!

Donna: Tommy and I love lunch dates. Sometimes we enjoy sitting next to each other reading … a little proximity time. We also love to get away by ourselves, even if it is finding a place for the kids to be for the night and staying at home alone!

What do you do to have fun with your spouse?

What’s Your Flavor … How We Got Here

I’m wondering how you guys linked up originally? Did you meet in person, was it purely from blogging? Did your husbands meet first? (@koalainscotland)

Once upon a time in a land far, far away …

I actually met Donna first about 5 years ago when we went on little mini-roundtable ski trip in Colorado with our husbands who were already friends. Truth be told, I’m sure Donna wasn’t at all impressed because I was sick, grouchy, and I don’t ski. So I was pretty anti-social. But we did talk to them about a job opening which they later took at our home church, which then allowed us to see them several times a year when we go home.

About 3 years ago, Jessica and Lisa met at c3 in Dallas. Lisa is the first “conference friend” that followed up with Jessica by phone, and they started chatting and becoming real-life friends.

A year later, Donna and Jess met at a Fellowship Church marriage retreat. And that same year, I met Jessica when she and Bil came to Vegas for an ARC Roundtable. We went shopping and hit it off.

June 1, 2008 Brandi randomly found my blog somehow and left a comment. I know that date because I just went back and looked it up … not because I’m super freaky. I then started following her blog and we began chatting it up on Twitter.

That Fall Lisa, Jessica, Donna and I met in Miami for a Pastors’ Wives Roundtable. Donna and I met Lisa for the first time there. I actually tried to get Brandi invited because I wanted to meet her in person, but it was all full … so sad.

At that Roundtable I met a super sweet PW named Robin Mitchell who went home and told Tiffany about my blog. So, she started following. Soon, we were chatting in 10 minute increments because it is hard to chat for long with so many kiddies around.

Then, while at a coaching event in Oklahoma City, Tiffany met Jessica. I remember Tiffany and I talking about their meeting later that week. See, Jessica is the most well-connected person we know. Everyone seems to know her.

Last summer, while they were on Sabbatical, Pete and Brandi came to Vegas. We went to dinner and hung out. Brandi and I had a great time and pretty much ignored everyone else that we were with … sorry Catrons, Jud and Pete. We figured out very quickly how similar our hearts were for pastors’ wives. We started talking on the phone and dreaming about teaming up. And I quickly charmed her into jumping on board around here.

In September, we piloted our first Virtual Roundtable with the 6 of us. The 2 hours flew by. We had a wonderful time together. After that I started the arm twisting via phone and pulling everyone onto the team.

In February, we had our 2nd Virtual Roundtable together. The only problem was that we needed more time! Thankfully, March 1st everyone flew out here to Vegas to meet and be together. For many it was the first time to meet face-to-face.

And that, my friends, is the very convoluted story of how we all met … how we got here.

I’m curious: how did you originally find your way here?

You Asked Pt 15

question markQuestion: “How do you handle people who think they know you and you have never met?”


Well, I should say I have plenty of people that I feel like I know but really don’t, too. And I probably act like a total dork when I finally meet them too.


But I think I’ll answer this from the point of view of our kids. When we are around town or especially around the church, we have strangers walk up to us and talk to the kids about personal things that Jud has probably shared in a sermon or something. They are the kinds of conversations that would lead our kids to believe that they actually knew those people. 


So, we do lots of talking about the difference in people that know us and people that we know. The kids know that they can’t go with anyone unless they can say that person’s name … it doesn’t matter if that person knows the kids’ names or details about them or our family. It is tough. We work on being polite, but there is a fine line there because I don’t want them to get too comfortable talking to tons of people that they don’t know.


What do you do with your kids? And how would you answer that question for yourself?

You Asked Pt 13

yellow-window-2Ok … on to the very last question: How do you encourage your husband through the hard stuff? When he goes through a season of feeling defeated and depressed (which I hear that most church leaders feel), I often wonder if encouragement just means being nice or giving a good kick in the butt and not putting up with it.


I’ve noticed two kinds of down times. The first is Monday morning. I didn’t really notice this until Jud started preaching every weekend. But Monday morning is usually no good. I’m sure lots of it is spiritual warfare. I know Satan likes to mess with him after he has preached. I also think after expending so much adrenaline over the weekend, he is completely worn out. So, what do I do? I mainly just try to give him space. I know he recharges by being alone, so I know if I give him a few hours to rest and work, he usually snaps back out of it.


Then there are two seasons when I notice things are tougher. One is around Christmas and the other in the late spring/early summer. I think in both instances he is usually worn out. He has carried loads of stress and typically gone on long preaching runs. So, as much as I’m able, I try to clear our schedules from anything extra during those times. No dinners out with people. No extra stuff at night. I just try to give him as much time at home, away from everything as I can. Also, these are the two times of year that we try to head out of town. I don’t know what it is about crossing the state line … but somehow it makes a difference. 


Also, I do totally believe encouragement is huge. Encouragement literally means to pour courage into. If I can do anything to pour courage into Jud during the hard times … that is awesome. And I try to listen. Sometimes I have to practically interview him, but I can usually get him talking. And since that is what worked for me, I always try to make sure that he is talking … if not to me … then to his best bud and accountability partner Mike.


And lastly, I just pray, pray, pray for him during those times. I pray that God will bring lots of other people into his path to help build him up and support him. And we have literally seen that happen. What a blessing.


I don’t know that this is an answer to your question at all, but it is the best I’ve got.



It Had Its Hold On Me

old-window-2Before I answer the last question in the You Asked mini-series, I thought I better give you a little bit of a glimpse into me. The last question asks how I help Jud through the rough times in ministry. I’ll get to the answer to that question tomorrow. Jud does have rough times … times where he is worn out or completely stressed. But I am the one who has had my struggle with depression. 


Depression had its hold on me for about  a two year period after we moved to California. I couldn’t really pin down what was wrong with me. We had great friends. We served at a wonderful church. I had an amazing husband and baby. I loved Jesus. But something in me just turned off. I didn’t want to do any of the things I had always loved doing. I didn’t read. I didn’t really want to get out too much. I hardly got out of my track suits. I was emotionally void … numb. Jud knew something was wrong, and tried his best to draw me out … to encourage me, but nothing really happened. 


Oddly enough, what started me back on the path of being well again was a miscarriage. It broke something in me. I cried … and cried … and cried. I started talking and opening up. It didn’t happen over night … but it did happen. That thing that had somehow gotten turned off, turned back on.


Depression is different for everyone. But I know that I’m not the only one in ministry that it has had its hold on. If you are there now, I’m praying for you. I know the loneliness and isolation of it. 


So there it is.