Monday, February 08, 2010
You Can Still Wear Cute Shoes--a review
I don't do many book reviews on this blog. But this just isn't any book. This is a book I've anticipated the release and I could not wait to get my hands on it. And it did not disappoint.
I first *met* Lisa McKay when Iris pointed her readers to an online Bible Study that was starting called "I Am." I was pouring a lot of me into teaching other people and not enough allowing myself to be refilled. This study was the refresher I needed. I found Lisa to be deep, funny, penetrating, accessible and an amazing communicator. So, I started following her blog. Her blog is also funny, challenging, and accessible! When she announced that she was writing this book I was excited for her and committed to pray for her. Sometimes I succeeded, other times I dropped that prayer ball totally. I eagerly watched as she wrote the book, sent it off for editing and finally had a print release date. I can tell you that the end result of this book was worth the wait.
You Can Still Wear Cute Shoes is a handbook for pastors' wives everywhere. You are probably shaking your head in wonderment because you all know that I am not a pastor's wife. But I know a lot of pastor's wives and Lisa also speaks to the layperson about what it looks like behind the door of the parsonage. This book will touch you and will make you laugh, but it will ultimately make you think about how you impact your pastor's family with your words and actions (or silence and inaction). Whilst giving guidance on how to maintain your own person and ministry alongside being one's husband's greatest supporter, she is reminding the layperson to extend grace to the pastor's wife and allow her to use her own gifts. The discussions about pastor's children remind us to allow their kids to grow up without too much pressure to be something they are not. Her advice about moving and preparing children for the move, or more specifically praying for God to draw the child's heart as he is drawing your heart to the next place, was timely advice for me to heed!
One thing that amazed me as I read this book is seeing all of my past and current pastor's wives somewhere in the pages. I've had pastor's wives who were extroverts and others who were introverts, some who were involved in everything and other's selective in their ministry contribution, some with young children at home and others who were empty-nesters. In the pages of this book I saw things that *I* had held against some of them or that I know others held against them. I found myself thinking "that makes so much sense" or "I wish I had known/considered that." I know that this book will lead me to be more understanding of the needs of the pastor and his family (I know it could be 'and her family', but not really in my denominational tradition).
Lisa is open in her writing. The reader gets a good look at her life as a pastor's wife, including the struggles and the mistakes. I appreciate that realness. She uses humour well to make her points. But do not get the impression that this book is fluffy stories of her life with some advice attached. It is not. It is Biblically grounded, with solid reflection on the Scripture and plenty of going back to the original Greek language to keep this word-geek intrigued. This is not fluff. It is amazing teaching around the subject of supporting one's spouse in his calling from God.
Read this book if you are a pastor or minister's wife. I am sure you will be blessed to see that your life is very much like those who share your path of life. Read this book if you are friends with a pastor's wife. It will help you see ways to encourage and support your friend. Read this book if you are just someone in the pew who knows the pastor's wife but is not close to her. It may help you find a ministry of support, of prayer or just of understanding. In case you have got the message, read the book. It is a blessing.
For the record, no one asked me to comment on the book and I purchased it myself. I just found after my marathon-I-can't-put-it-down reading that I wanted to point my readers to a blessing. Let me know if you do read it and what stands out to you!
Oh, and Lisa if you are reading...I have always been convinced that if we had met when I was still in Alabama we would be fast friends. After reading the opening of chapter five I know if for sure. Who wouldn't become fast friends with someone who understands "please don't breathe in my face"! LOL!