The Minister’s Wife – review

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The Minister’s Wife: A Memoir of Faith, Doubt, Friendship, Loneliness, Forgiveness, and More by Karen Stiller

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



I first discovered this book when I attended a webinar on writing spiritual memoir hosted by an Ottawa writing group, where the author, Karen Stiller, was the presenter. I was intrigued. Watching a later interview of Karen by Patricia Paddey on YouTube had me downloading a Kindle edition of the book, and I’m so glad I did.

The Minster’s Wife is a beautifully written memoir of Stiller’s spiritual journey, from her introduction to faith in her youth to her current self-admittedly greying years as a still-learning believer and minister’s wife.


I love the humble, self-deprecating tone of Stiller’s faith pilgrimage stories, which are rich in detail and often humorous.

In fourteen chapters organized by topic rather than chronologically, Stiller relates tales of “Identity,” “Doubt,” “Community,” “Envy,” “Forgiveness,” “Holiness,” and more, Stiller gives us glimpses into her pastor’s wife role that is as satisfying and rewarding as it is sometimes frustrating and challenging. Her love for the church, her children, and her husband glows through her candidly confessed imperfections.


I so appreciated Stiller’s lack of bitterness and self-pity, as she described her experiences, both bad and good. Her stories gave me a new appreciation for the role of pastor’s wife. Her style of showing us what happened without over-explaining its significance left room for this reader to mull over the multi-layered learning that happens so often in real life.



The Minister’s Wife is recommended reading for lovers of memoir and for ministers, minister’s wives, and all of us parishioners who love them.




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Martha, Mary & Jesus - Artist unknown

Martha, Mary & Jesus – Artist unknown

Today’s Writer’s Blog Hop topic: “Character Sketch of My Hero” made me stop and think. What hero did Ruth Snyder, who organized this meme, have in mind?
– The hero character of a book or story I’m writing?
– My real-life hero?
– My heroic ideal?

I’ve decided to write about the hero that ignites my imagination—my ideal. I’m going to create this hero from a montage of heroic women that live in my favorite book—the Bible, picking out characteristics of each that I admire and would like to develop.

My Bible Character hero has:

  • The age-defying inner and outer beauty of Sarai (Sarah) – Genesis 12:11; 1 Peter 3:1-6.
  • The willingness to risk of Rahab – Joshua 2:1-21.
  • The loyalty of Ruth – Ruth 1:16.
  • The prayer tenacity of Hannah, and then her integrity when it comes to keeping promises – 1 Samuel 1:10-11; 24-28.
  • The business drive and versatility of the Proverbs woman, along with her wise speech, governed by kindness – Proverbs 31:10-30.
  • The death-defying faith in God of Esther, together with her charm and sense of timing – Esther 4:16; 5:4, 6-8.
  • The hospitality of Martha , and the quietness of spirit to sit at Jesus’ feet of her sister Mary – Luke 10:38-42.
  • The practical helpfulness and service of Dorcas – Acts 9:36,39.
  • And above all, the willingness to say “yes” to whatever God asks of me, lived out so beautifully by Mary the mother of Jesus – Luke 1:38.

Who is your hero?

To see who other writers are naming as their hero, check out the links at today’s blog hop headquarters: HERE.

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