This post is part of a series celebrating our pastors’ wives — godly women who play the role of shepherdesses in our lives, taking care of our shepherds and becoming like second mothers to so many of us.Today, we're talking to Sis. Mandie Holmes, pastor's wife of First Pentecostal Church in North Little Rock, Arkansas.
Sis. Holmes, thank you so much for being willing to share with us today! Where do you and your husband pastor, and how long have you been there?
First Pentecostal Church in North Little Rock, Arkansas. I’ve lived here and attended FPC for 17-1/2 years.
If you could give your teenage self a piece of advice, what would it be?
Be patient; enjoy the trip. Enjoy doing things you can’t easily do when you’re married and have a child. Don’t rush married life. God will unfold it in His perfect will and timing. Throw yourself into becoming a better YOU to prepare yourself for what God has for you.
What do you find most rewarding about being a pastor’s wife?
I really love praying with people and watching them get victory. I feel most rewarded if I feel like I have genuinely helped someone.
What do you find most challenging?
So this goes hand in hand with the last question. There is nothing more defeating than to try to help someone, give them reasonable solutions, but they won’t take it to heart. I can’t make decisions for people. They have to want it bad enough to make the right decisions.
Any time someone is in the spotlight, they are an instant target for criticism. How have you dealt with criticism you’ve received?
First of all, we as humans automatically feel like criticism is a negative. In Genesis 50:20 (KJV) Joseph told his brothers, "But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive."
If we can turn the criticism we receive around to become a learning experience, we actually benefit from it. It can be a challenge though! I think women tend to give and receive emotions, hurts, feelings, etc., super close and with the heart.
One thing I try to implement when I feel criticism is to look at the one criticizing and ask myself, “Are they hurting in some way?” Hurt people hurt people, so if someone is going through financial distress or marital distress or they have a lot of "baggage" in life, often they can lash out.
Another question I ask myself: “Would I want to trade places with them?” I’m thankful for my life and everything I have. I don’t wish to trade places with someone else. This is something I’ve tried to teach my kids when they struggle with this, also. I really try to release it and pray for God’s help, pray He adjusts my mind and thinking about any given situation. It’s really a mindset. I can’t say it doesn’t bother me, but I think personally when I try to look at the reasons why someone acts in a particular way, it helps me deal with it better.
The responsibilities that come with ministry are demanding and time-consuming. How do you protect, prioritize, and maximize time with your family?
First, our home is our haven! I’ve always tried, as a wife and mother involved in church work, to make our home our safe place. I’ve tried to make my children’s lives feel as normal as possible because there are a lot of times when your plans change or their lives aren’t normal. Even before I had kids I was pretty adamant about giving 110% of myself to my husband and family. I never wanted my children to feel disadvantaged because we were in leadership or lived a separated lifestyle. If I never make an impact on anyone else, I’ve got to make sure my children love truth and love to live truth.
We try to take the time we have, no matter how much, to squeeze in family time. We always make meals together a priority. Often my husband and I meet up for lunch in the day to catch up. We love to sit by the fire as a family in the autumn evenings or do s’mores when the weather is cooler. Every year we take the kids on a trip. We usually surprise them with the destination a few days before or sometimes even at the airport. We just try to make the limited time we have count as much as possible.
Now for some fun questions! How did you meet your husband? How long have you been married?
We met here at the Little Rock camp meeting in 2001, we got engaged at Thanksgiving, and we were married the following June. We celebrate 18 years June 7, 2020.
Do you have any hobbies that you enjoy?
It goes without saying, my family is my life. I’ve laughed at times when people ask this question and say, “I take care of kids; that’s my hobby!” My husband and I love antiquing. I love to go for walks for exercise. Coffee, always!
If you could have a “perfect day,” what would that look like?
A quiet morning enjoying my coffee, a walk, lunch with my husband, and maybe some antiquing. The kids wouldn’t have homework, and we could enjoy dinner and a peaceful evening just being together. I think quality time is definitely one of my love languages.