I love when the Lord brings just the right book along at just the right time. The Church Planting Wife by Christine Hoover was such a book for me. While we are not currently church planters (though this may somewhat be a part of our future!), I believe her words of encouragement and experience are helpful for all pastors’ wives or anyone in full-time vocational ministry for that matter. There were many times throughout the book where as she was describing one of her own past experiences, I felt as if she was inside my head, describing some of the same fears or struggles or hardships. The book is saturated with God’s Word and how to apply His Word to all of the regular aspects of ministry…from being helpmates to our husbands to not fearing man, but God alone. I especially loved her perspective on family. So many pastors today assume that their wives are considered to be staff members of the church as well and place almost impossible expectations on their wives, expectations that take them away from their primary responsibility of serving and caring for the needs of their husbands and children. Hoover mentions many times the priority she places on her role as a wife and a mother and is careful to make sure that she balances her time in service to the church wisely in order that she does not neglect her family. Also woven throughout her book is the theme of trusting God with all aspects of our ministry…growth comes from God, financial stability comes from God, the salvation of those we minister to comes from God, leaders come from God. We must remain dependent on Him for all the things we long to see, which means prayer is of utmost importance and I have been encouraged to more consistently turn to the Lord for the things I desire in our own ministry. In some ways I felt like this book re-fueled my soul and gave me a fresh wind to press on in ministry, faithfully sharing the gospel, building relationships and making disciples and for that, I’m thankful! Christine Hoover also blogs here if you want to check it out!