Saturday, January 31, 2009


Okay, confession time. You know you've been a pastor's wife too long when...

Here's mine, hot off the press. Today I needed to make a quick phone call. In the realm of phone calls this one was very simple...a quick "Do you need me to bring X to church tomorrow?" I called, got voicemail and had just started leaving my message when mayhem broke out in the living room. Something happened, my youngest was crying, voices were raising. In true mommy form without thinking my brain did that split thing it does. I was trying to sort through what was going on with the boys while finishing up my phone message. I hit the end of the message and came to in time to hear myself say " Jesus' name, Amen" instead of "Goodbye." Sheesh! Can I play the spiritual card and try to point out it's more natural for me to end a conversation with "Amen" than "Goodbye?" 

Anyone else have a fun faux pas to share?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


One of the more challenging aspects of the ministry has to do with holidays. I'm not talking so much about which ones to celebrate, but rather HOW to make sure you form meaningful family traditions when so many holidays fall on Sunday and/or are key ministry seasons. Sadly, I must admit I've had times when I've chosen to pout and grouse about how intrusive ministry is, instead of modeling servant-hood (which is quite counterproductive when I'm trying to grow my boys into men who love God and see people as He does). Truth be told, the times I've struggled with a bad attitude it's been more about laziness and my own comfort than any actual infringement into my family's life. With a little creativity and sense of adventure, new traditions forged around service can be MORE meaningful and draw us closer to each other.

Here's how Jerolyn Bogear (a friend of mine) and her family celebrate Christmas.

"Christmas Eve dinner has always been a tough one for our family to work out. Every church we’ve been in has had a Christmas Eve service with, of course, the pastoral families in charge. After setting up in the late afternoon and tearing down after the service, how do you have a special supper? We solved that problem completely by accident a few years ago. Here’s the story. We came home from the Christmas Eve service to find a stack of four pretty boxes in graduated sizes, tied with ribbon sitting on our front porch. While we were at church serving others, one of my mother’s Christmas gifts--edible goodies—had arrived. There were sausages, cheeses, crackers, cookies and petit fours – a complete feast. We ripped into the boxes and started chowing down. I’m usually a stickler about table manners, but that night was a free-for-all.
And so the tradition continues. We’ve modified it a bit over the years, adding peel and eat shrimp, a crock-pot of BBQ mini sausages, and cheese squeezed from a can. We also watch a Christmas movie while we pig out. One thing hasn’t changed; the annual manner-less, plate-less munch fest tradition lives on. We learned a valuable lesson that Christmas Eve a few years ago. We can serve others and have holiday family fun at the same time."

Your turn--Does any one else have any great ideas or stories to share?

Monday, January 26, 2009

You Might be a Pastor's Wife If...

-You've ever used communion cups to give your children juice
-You've ever been tempted to hang a "Bed and Breakfast" sign in front of your house
-You've ever lived in a home with a tunnel to the church basement
-You've ever lived in a home that had curtains donated "in special memory" of a loved one
-You've ever invited people to your children's birthday parties as a ministry outreach
-You attend three or more baby showers and/or birthday parties a month
-You've ever been the alternate pianist whether you can play piano or not
-You've ever been home alone until midnight because of a board meeting
-You've ever baked cookies, cinnamon rolls or other food items for more than 100 people
-You've ever had someone you don't know tell you what a good speaker your husband is
-You've ever had someone you don't know tell you how insensitive your husband is
-The hospital waiting room was full of church people when one or all of your children were born
-You've ever had a church board hand you a job description with no attached salary package
-You've ever had someone angry with you because you sent a card, but didn't come to see them
-You've ever had someone angry with you because you came to see them, but didn't send a card
-You've ever thought of yourself as highly called and grossly under-qualified
-You've ever taken a 48 hour bus ride across the country with children who were not your own
-The church phone line rings directly into your home

Got any to add?

Here we go!

As you may well know, being a pastor's wife has it's own special challenges. You face the struggle of balancing your own active personal ministry as well as what comes with trying to support your husband in a very difficult (albeit rewarding) ministry position of his own. I think we've all felt the struggle of the dance to be a vibrant, supportive catalyst for his ministry, being obedient to our own calling and trying to raise children who follow passionately after God--the whole time living in somewhat of a glass house. It's easy to feel a little “Barbie dollish” (is that a word?) and glossed over. In spite of all that, this world needs pastor's wives who are real and vulnerable.

A few years ago now I had an instant flash of “what if.” What if there was something out there for the special stresses pastor’s wives face? What if there was some way to connect women who feel so very alone and disconnected. What if pastor's wives could get advice and encouragement from women who are where they are, facing what they face? Those very thoughts gave birth to the idea of having "ordinary" pastor's wives contribute to a practical book. Unfortunately, after untold hours spent writing, editing, pitching the idea, ect. it still sits in a lovely and very large folder in my hard drive. With the marvels of modern technology, however, there's no reason the issues, comments and insight myself and four other pastor's wives tossed around can't be out where some women will possibly feel encouraged and strengthened. In fact, the exciting thing about a blog is that there is wonderful opportunity for much more interaction and comments from women who have been in the ministry trenches many more years than the five of us. 

With that in mind, I believe the first (or I guess it would be second) post will be a fun one to contribute to...