Hi gals! Today I thought we’d take a brief break from our style series and simply have a little Q&A. I actually solicited and gathered most of these questions several weeks ago. So some of you may be wondering what happened to them. I’m not sure I’ll get around to answering all of them today. But I’ll try to answer as many reader questions as possible. And I’ll focus on those that have the broadest appeal. Let’s get started!
Q – Do you have any tips for being a pastor’s wife? My husband will graduate from Bible college in December (Lord willing) and he will pursue a job as a pastor. He loves to study and teach the Word of God, and I’m excited for him. He is 50, so he will be starting a new career later in life, but he’s a great leader, and he truly has a heart for people. I want to be prepared also, as I know being a pastor’s wife has responsibilities of its own. Any insight or recommendations you have would be helpful to me. ~ J.O.
Ah, I could write a book. Ha! And maybe I should. But I’ll try to give you a few top pointers instead. And for everyone else, you might want to think about your own pastor’s wife as you read my answer.
Being the wife of a pastor is a challenge. In some churches, people have very high and even unrealistic expectations of their pastors’ or staff’s wives. But I encourage you to do these few things first and foremost:
- Support your husband. That’s your first and most important ministry in the church. You have a unique opportunity and responsibility to minister to the church’s under-shepherd in a way that no one else can. (And I’m not necessarily talking about sexual intimacy, although that’s certainly supportive!) Spend time with him, do things outside of church with him, provide a haven for him at home, pray for him, believe in him and let him know you do, and always support and speak well of him to others.
- You do you at church. I believe ministers’ wives should be treated just like every other church member when it comes to expectations. A good minister’s wife will certainly volunteer and serve in her church, not because she’s the pastor’s wife, but because she’s a growing, thriving Christ-follower. And that ministry should reflect your personal spiritual gifts, callings, personality and interests. Don’t do anything under compulsion, but only because you feel led and joyful about doing it. (I always take at least 6 months to a year to just meet people and get to know the church before committing to do anything.)
- Don’t get sucked into common pitfalls. You’ll soon see these for what they are. For instance, I’ve never had a key to any building or room in any of the churches we’ve served in, and I like it that way. My husband doesn’t want people to ask me to “let them in” to rooms or buildings. He doesn’t want them to call on me because they can’t reach him or another staff person. I encourage you to think wisely about other such pitfalls and steer clear of them.
- Respect confidentialities. My husband keeps confidential the things that parishioners tell him, whether in counseling or a meeting or a personal conversation. He doesn’t divulge those to me and I don’t ask. Honestly, I don’t need to know or want to know everything that he knows about people in our church. Help your husband keep those confidentialities by not asking probing questions. Assure him that you understand that he needs to build trust with your church members and you don’t want to know the things that could shade your opinion of people.
- Protect your children. If you have children at home, I suggest you never talk about the nitty gritty of church in their presence. But I also suggest you don’t place unrealistic expectations on them. Let them be children…or teenagers. Don’t expect them to perform or always be perfect. Help them to enjoy church. And let them see you and your husband enjoying ministry.
- Make friends…slowly…wisely. Friendships in church can be a little tricky for pastors’ wives. I wish that weren’t true. But it is. I’ve always had at least a couple of friends in our churches that I could really be me with. But you do have to choose and build those relationships very wisely, very slowly, very prayerfully. I also think it’s a good idea to build relationships outside of your church.
- Let God protect your heart. Church can hurt. I mean, it can hurt really, really badly. But don’t let your heart grow cold or hard in response to those wounds. Instead, choose to love the people of God the way God loves them. Jesus died for them. So you can serve them. Even when they do and say hurtful things. Let God protect your heart so that you can engage graciously and freely.
I hope those are helpful. May God bless you, protect your heart and lead you and your husband into beautiful, fruitful ministries.
Q -Your makeup in your videos is so natural and beautiful. You have lovely white teeth! How do you achieve such natural looking beauty? ~ J.T.
Thanks. That’s kind. It’s funny because as I wrote another post just minutes ago I looked at my photos and felt so disappointed. I felt like I looked old and ragged and tired. And maybe I did! I’ve definitely needed a vacation.
But I think we’re all hardest on ourselves. So my first answer is simply give yourself a little grace. I’m sure you are a beautiful, lovely woman, and that others see you that way, too.
You can check out my most recent beauty routine in this previous post. Honestly, not much has changed since I wrote it. But I’m sure I’ll update it again soon. Maybe I’ll do a beauty video soon.
While James never whitens my teeth in my photos and I don’t even know how to whiten them in my videos, I don’t think they’re really especially white. In fact, I think they somehow look whiter in the videos than they really are. Maybe it’s just good lighting! I had them professionally whitened years ago, but I don’t think that lasted long. Now I occasionally whiten them with these Crest Whitening Strips. I can definitely tell a difference right after using them, so I frequently do the treatments right before photo shoots or big events like my son’s wedding.
Q – Do you maintain a working inventory of your wardrobe, with pictures? If so, how does it work, and would you recommend it? I’ve tried a list, with descriptions, but it’s cumbersome and not really a quick reference. I’ve found apps, but not sure how to choose or if they’re a good idea. ~ J.F.
Hmm. I’m not really sure if this is what you’re talking about. But I think the collages that I recently put together of my fall wardrobe essentials and my early fall capsule wardrobe are the closest thing I’ve done to what you’re describing. And this is the first time I’ve really done something like this.
I created these collages on Canva using a paid account. I was able to pull photos from websites where I’d bought the items (or similar items) and take the background out where needed. You can’t take the background out of your photos with the free accounts. But you might could still do something similar. And I do think creating this visual has helped me to organize and (hopefully) better utilize my wardrobe. So I’ll definitely continue doing this. You could create a similar collage on Canva using your own photos, too.
I also talked about creating a Wardrobe Wish List in this previous post. So you might find that helpful, too. Other than that I don’t really have anything else to recommend. But I do think that having some sort of photo collage of your clothing is helpful. You could even just catalog the pieces on your phone probably.
Q – Have you talked about your new hair style? I LOVE it and plan to take your picture when I finally get out to the salon. Styling tips would be wonderful! ~ M.B. (I received about 349 similar questions. Ha!)
Okay. I think it’s time to go ahead and talk about this. And you may not like why.
My standard answer to this question thus far has been that I’m not ready to share because I’ve not really known what I’m doing. I’ve been trying to “restore my curls” (that seems to be the lingo!) by using some products gifted to me and some techniques I’ll cover briefly. But honestly, I’m not loving it. I don’t feel like myself and I don’t like that I have to fool with my hair every day. So, like it or not sweet gals, I’m returning to my straight hairstyle. Yep. I am.
Meanwhile, let me tell you what I used and refer you to some resources I used, if you’re interested.
- Monat Hydrating Shampoo (curls need lots of hydration moisture)
- Monat Hydrating Conditioner (rinse out with cold water)
- and Monat Curl Cream (don’t use too much, just a dab)
- Sebastian Whipped Cream styling mousse (or here)
The key to cultivating your curls, evidently, is to get any previously used products off or out of your hair, and to renourish your hair and restore its moisture. Some people even suggest clarifying your hair without shampoo, using only water and apple cider vinegar. Then you want to refrain from using much heat on your hair. So I used the diffuser on my hair dryer to dry my hair as I scrunched or curled it with my fingers.
The problem for me was that I think it would take months to get my hair nourished to the point where it doesn’t feel dry and crunchy when curly. I don’t want crunchy curls. And I know my curls looked pretty to you gals, but they felt crunchy to me. On the other hand, when I dry my hair with a round brush and use a flat iron to straighten it, my hair feels very healthy and silky.
So that’s that. I’m sorry if you’re disappointed in my hairstyle choice. But a gal’s gotta do what a gal’s gotta do. I may let it curl occasionally still. But for the most part I’m returning to my straight locks.
If you’re interested in more information about restoring or styling your curly or wavy hair, I suggest you check out Loreen May at https://www.instagram.com/dayinmay/ on Instagram. She has beautiful curls and is a Monat rep.
Q – What shoes look best with athleisure outfits like jogger pants and the Talbots athletic pants you (and I now) have? ~ K.P.
I generally like what I call fashion sneakers with my athleisure outfits. I wore these Tory Burch sneakers (mine are titanium white with Tory navy) or my parchment white Madewell Sidewalk Sneakers most often with mine in the summer (and now). But you could also wear a colored sneaker or one with a fun print like these leopard print sneakers from Madewell(that I just ordered while answering your question!!!).
But I did also wear my black Sperry flip flops with my athleisure pants quite a bit this summer. In fact, I specifically purchased those flip flops to wear with athleisure pants. I wanted something very understated and a little sporty, not your common flip flop that you wear to the beach or in a bath house. Know what I mean?
But as we transition into fall I think solid colored loafers or mules can work well with athleisure looks, too. You just want to make sure your loafers are modern looking. I can’t say enough about the Everlane Day Loafers and Day Mules. They’re both extremely comfortably and just so classy and modern. Do check the sizing information. They run small or large, depending on your size.
They’re also BOTH marked down significantly right now.
But probably my favorite shoes to wear with athleisure looks in the late fall and winter are my wedge sneakers. They are so stinking fun!!! I have these in black perf Nappa leather. Oh my! Here they are at Nordstrom Rack knocked down 58%! You’ll find so many from my favorite brand, Linea Paolo, here, and many are marked down. I purchased these in black and in snake print in the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale and love, love, love them. But I returned both because I couldn’t justify keeping them since I already had some so similar.
Along the same lines, I think you could wear these feminine wedges with athleisure looks, too, in the fall through spring. Depending on the situation, and especially if you need something waterproof, these shoes by Jambu would work with athleisure looks, too.
Ultimately, when pairing shoes with athleisure looks, you want something
- a little sporty
- that works with your personal style aesthetic
- seasonally appropriate
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Q – What made you/helped you decide to be a blogger? Where did you learn about it? I’m sure it helps that you were already a writer but you are very good at all of it. Same for YouTube ~ M.Z.
Thank you. I do enjoy what I do. I started my first blog (no longer online) way back in 2005. As time went on and my kids grew up, I began to invest more and more time into it. I phased out two blogs, but eventually began blogging regularly at my KayHarms.com inspirational blog around 2008, as I also started working more at my speaking and writing ministry. It was a natural way to connect with my audience and promote my books and speaking.
I started this fashion blog in 2018 after losing about 20 pounds. My husband had just purchased a camera and taken up photography. My kids were grown and gone and I wanted to start contributing more toward our family income. I prayed about it and was willing to go to work somewhere, but my options were limited in the military town we lived in at the time. Plus, I’d grown to love working for myself and calling all the shots. Ha!
I had followed a couple of fashion bloggers for a while and felt like I could do what they were doing, but with my own voice and style. I have a degree in public relations, and what I do here is really a modern version of what I learned to do in Journalism School at the University of Georgia back in the 80s. So, while I had to teach myself a lot of the technical stuff, I already had the writing chops and the PR smarts to do this.
I had no misgivings about how much work would be required or how time consuming it would be to begin my own business. And that’s what this is. It’s a business. I work about 50-60 hours a week. I love it and I enjoy it and I try to think of it as a service and a community. But I also have to treat it like a business. Otherwise, it would never be as successful as it is becoming.
But I’ll be honest. You gals are what keep me focused, pressing forward and enthusiastic about this venture. You make it a joy.
After watching lots of YouTube videos, pretty much the same thing happened. I just thought, “I can do that.” James and I talked about it and decided that if we jumped into YouTube we wanted to do it right. It’s always been important to me that everything I produce be good quality, whether that’s my books (that I self-published), this blog or my other one, or YouTube videos. So we counted the costs, planned ahead, did the research and set a target date.
This past week my YouTube channel gained a lot of traction through my collaboration with Robin at Faith & Flour. I’m very grateful to her. We have well over 2,000 subscribers now and my videos have been watched over 4,000 hours. Yippee!
Q – Kay, I hope I’m not too late but I wonder if you could recommend a daily devotional book for young men. My sons are in their twenties and I’d like to get them each a devotional for their birthdays or Christmas. ~ B.C.
Hahaha! I hope I’m not too late! I think they might like The One Year Uncommon Life Daily Challenge by Super Bowl–winning former head coach Tony Dungy and co-author Nathan Whitaker. I like that this is a one-year devotional guide instead of just a short one. Plus, who doesn’t love Tony Dungy??? This book will definitely be on my Christmas Gift Guide for Men. (Watch for those in early November!)
Now I Have a Question for You!
I have been considering for some time now hosting a sort of women’s retreat/conference that would focus on fashion, beauty, fitness and inner beauty. The bulk of the conference would be fashion and beauty. But we might offer an optional morning workout, a session on aging with grace and strength or a FASTer Way to Fat Loss Q&A. And we’d also have one to two optional inner beauty sessions with an emphasis on Scripture. But, again, the conference would mainly be fashion and beauty. The other things would be optional.
As I imagine the conference/retreat right now, it would also possibly include:
- fashion shows (from some of your favorite brands)
- shopping parties at some of my readers’ favorite stores
- style seminars
- make-over demonstrations
- panel discussions of some sort
- optional sight-seeing excursions
- and lots of good food!
There would be lots of opportunity for meeting women from all over the country, talking about aging with grace and getting tips from the experts (think Nordstrom stylist, Talbots trunk show, Kendra Scott shopping party, Mary Kay makeover, etc.)
What do you think? Would you attend something like that? I’d love for you to help me dream a little about this. I’ll have to make final decisions based on logistics, costs and other constraints. But I’d love for us to start brainstorming together. Mainly I want to know what you would potentially participate in.
- Would you attend a two-night, two & a half day conference/retreat?
- Would you like to come to Cincinnati, where I know the ins and outs?
- Would you bring other women with you? or come by yourself or with a friend?
- Would you be down for all the things I mentioned???
If you’re not interested or this just isn’t your jam, there’s no need to comment to that effect in the comments below. I get it. I know this is not for everyone. And you are still my valued reader even if you aren’t interested.
But if you are interested in something like this, would you please let me know in the comments below?
Obviously I’m not planning this for anytime too soon. Right now, I’m thinking maybe next fall, 2021. Or we could shoot for the spring… And you also need to remember that there would be costs involved. I have no idea how much right now. I really need to know if anyone is faintly interested before I start putting too much effort into researching it.
Thanks for reading…
Thanks so much for reading this rambling post! And thanks for your questions, ladies. If I didn’t get to your question, it’s because I’m considering it for a full post.
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Blessed for My Day
When I teach my Satisfied…at Last! Bible study, I usually begin by asking women what they long for, what they’re hungry for deep in their souls. Many can answer me easily. Women are hungry for unconditional love, a sense of significance, a feeling of purpose and direction, as well as security.
But occasionally there are some women who can’t think of a thing they long for. That would be great except the reason is not always a good one. If you don’t have occasional hunger pangs for “something more” it may be because you’re running to all the wrong things for a little satisfaction. It’s kind of like filling up on snacks and then not being hungry for a good dinner. Today let’s consider whether or not we’re allowing the things of this world to fill us, even temporarily, to the point that we no longer desire the things of God which truly satisfy.
Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.” ~ John 4:13-15