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Thursday, February 5, 2015

Random Side Note

So...I got a lot of feedback from my post the other day-mainly from pastor's wives. And for a moment, I'm focusing on Senior Pastors, Lead Pastors, the big boss. I know staff wives have their own challenges but it's different when the buck stops with your man.

 Being a pastor's wife is really hard.  It's tough balancing your husband as the leader of your house and hearing about the status of the church.  It's tough with the schedule that not only he keeps but if you're like we were, the whole family keeps.  Our family really pastored as a family unit.  The kids went with us a lot of times (if it was appropriate) to do ministry.  We got invited to a lot of social events (which I LOVED).  Our schedule was crazy....I did love it actually.   I got a lot of phone calls and texts to pray and counsel or just to listen...not as much as Levi but still.  He probably had better answers too:)

Emotionally it's also tough. I will say that our church was incredible and very healthy and we didn't experience the emotional turmoil and I will just say it, abuse, that a lot of pastors face.  We did experience the pain, hurt, and grief right alongside our people and that's hard to handle sometimes.  It's just weird.  You know a lot about people and a lot of it is fabulous but a lot of it is hard. It's ugly at times and dirty and wrong and yet you love these people.  We cultivated a culture of authenticity and a safe place where our people could be honest about their hurts, habits, and struggles.

Balancing raising kids and knowing people are watching your parenting is tricky.  That glass house thing sucks.  Parenting is hard enough being able to do it in the privacy of your own home.  Kids happen to have their own personalities and thoughts and sometimes, they're not those perfect, little angels that pastor's kids are supposed to be...sense the sarcasm please.

Loving your pastor (who also happens to be your hubby) after you've had a big fight about something stupid or after you or he has said something hurtful and then you watch him spread the Good News at church, it's enough to make you go crazy.  Trying not to feel like a hypocrite or that he is tough.  I'm keeping it real people. I hope this isn't just me that felt that way at times and I adore Levi for the record.  Marriage is tough anyway, add that element and see how much fun that is!

Worrying about your personal finances along with the financial status of the church is stressful.

This church thing consumes your husband.  You see him answer the phone and immediately wonder what's going on.  Praying that it's a good phone call.  You see his emotion, his stress, his joy.  You have conversations on your date night about things that could help the church, help a certain family, help the kid's department.  You get your feelings hurt when people are ugly or hurtful or act like they know how to run a church better than your man.  You act like your feelings are not hurt.

You try to figure out who your friends are...who can you trust, confide in?  You don't want to heap it on your husband, he has enough to deal with.  

Your husband has given his life.  You have given your life, your family's life to this body of people who aren't always the nicest, most Christlike human beings.

You're not perfect and it's okay.  It's okay if you don't have your hands in every area of ministry at your church...even now, those are hard words to type.  I'm a bit of a perfectionist, control freak.  You don't even have to sing or play the piano.  You don't have to like everyone at your church.  You're human.  Let yourself be!

I really can't complain about the people at Catalyst.  Man, we were blessed with fabulous people but I heard lots of horror stories and my heart breaks for pastor's wives.  If you're a pastor's wife and you don't have anyone to talk to that understands, message me, call me.  I know you need support.

We're in HOT Water

So, one of our big gripes about our house was our hot water heater and how we didn't have enough hot water.  We had to strategically plan our Sunday mornings so we could all get showered and out of the house on time. I couldn't run the dishwasher and shower at the same time for fear of no hot water, feel my pain? Right?!!  So, we went on like this for 6 months.  It wasn't awful, it was just a little inconvenient.  Well, after Christmas, the breaker was getting flipped by the hot water heater and we were sure we were going to have to replace the whole thing because, let's face it, it was not working at full potential....or so we thought.  Thankfully, my husband is frugal enough to do some research before replacing the whole heater.  He found out that we could by a new heating element for $30 and if that solved it great, if not, then a new hot water heater was in the future. Thankfully, with the long distance help of Don, Levi installed the new heating element and it worked.  We had hot water and I mean HOT water.  So hot that it's almost too hot and I love hot showers and baths.  We forgot how nice it was to have unlimited (almost) hot water.  We had gotten okay with the way it was.

So, that got me often do we as Christians or even just as people, go along with things being just okay?  How often do we just coast along because things aren't awful?  How long do we fail to cultivate an active spiritual life with Christ because we're doing pretty good on our own and there's no present crisis?  How long do we avoid difficult, confrontational conversations with our spouse because we know that if we go there, there could be a major fallout even though the end product could be a much healthier relationship?   How long do we turn a blind eye to a negative behavior of our child because if we actually acknowledge it, we actually have to parent and deal with it?

I wonder if we actually:

  • got in the Word of God on a daily basis and made that and our prayer time just as important as other time sucking behaviors (I'll let you fill in your time suck of choice- mine was Facebook),  if we would find that our minds, hearts, and souls were refreshed and renewed.  I think we would yearn for that time and we would see our lives change in such a positive way.
  • talked about the "elephants" in the closet with our spouse/significant other before they turned into the huge issues that we create them to be, if we wouldn't find the intimacy that our hearts long for with our spouse and a more joyful home.
  • tuned into our kids and got to the heart of their behaviors and dealt with them consistently and compassionately if we wouldn't see them develop into the responsible, kind, and caring people we know they were created to be.  I think we would also have a lot more fun!
I don't know but I think it's worth a shot.  I know that for me, it's easy to get into a rut...even if it's a good, well meaning rut, it's still a rut.  I get focused on doing all the right things and following all the right rules and I lose sight of the meaning and purpose of what I'm really hear for.   I've got to get back to being intentional about my time in devotions, my time with my husband, my time with my kids.  It goes by so fast.  I don't want to just coast...I want to soar.  I want to make a difference and I want to be effective in all I do, not just complacent about it.