I'm just a wife and mother who earnestly desires to grow in my faith and it's demonstration. DISCLAIMER! I have absolutely no problem with women in the clergy. As a matter of fact, I have several female pastors who I consider friends. In my home, the pastor is a male so the pronouns I use to refer to a pastor tend to be male. This is not a statement of any kind. Just a reflection of my every day life!

Posts tagged ‘careers’

The Care and Feeding of A Pastor’s Family – Part 2

Quick note:  I already posted a couple of disclaimers in the first post that I won’t repeat here.  Today’s thoughts are inspired by the fact that I have personally experienced how touching it is when a congregation member expresses appreciation.

Are you ready for part 2? I’ll be honest – this one could be tough.  Are you sure you are ready?  Okay – here goes.

Say “Thank you”.  Often

Sound simple?  Or maybe a little ridiculous?

Let me explain why it matters.  Your pastor is on duty 24/7.  Literally every day of the year.  Sure, he may take a vacation.  But I assure you that if a major crisis came up – for example, the death of a church member or an illness that put them in serious condition – there is a strong chance that your pastor (and his family) will lose their vacation so he can be there for the person in crisis.  Those big family holidays that so many choose to visit family for?  Your pastor can’t exactly do that.  He has to work on Christmas Eve, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day. . . you get the idea.  In the last post I mentioned the fact that a Pastor and his family may live several hours away from extended family.  If he’s working Christmas Eve and the family lives several hours away (in our case, 10 or 17 depending on which family we would visit) he will either have to fly ($$$) or spend most of Christmas Day driving.  His family too.

I’ve had date nights cancelled because a church family member had been rushed to the hospital. Other dates have been interrupted (sometimes repeatedly) when we ran into members of the congregation around town and hubby stopped to chat.  Same goes for family outings.  It’s just the nature of the “business”.

And Sunday?  Craziest day of the week in my house!  I was once chatting with another pastor’s wife when someone joined our conversation.  Somehow we got on to the topic of Sunday and this third person made the comment about Sunday being a day for slowing down and spending time with family.  My pastor-wife friend and I looked at one another for a moment and, at the exact same moment, burst out laughing.  Sunday is pretty much the complete opposite of slow and family-focused in my house!  Most pastor’s families would say the same thing.  I love hearing my hubby preach so that’s the trade-off for me.  But he is busy working, connecting with church members, etc. from the moment he arrives in the building (before 8 a.m.) until we get home four hours  later(or thereabouts).

In every congregation, there is that one person who is just never completely happy with the pastor (or his spouse or his kids) and is very willing to let the pastor know when he or a family member has failed to meet expectations.  My hubby once got a complaint because my son was slouching in church.  My son runs the computer that is hooked up to the projector and it sits on the pew next to him so sometimes he slides down in the pew to be able to see the screen and click the arrows at the right time.  To me, griping about slouching is silly and petty but hubby still has to field those complaints and I’m so grateful he does!

I’m not sharing any of this to gain sympathy or point fingers.  There is no other profession that I know of that requires a person to be on-call, ready to go at a moment’s notice 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  In a discussion with other pastor’s wives about this very issue, one of the women said, “Since we can’t change the 24/7 demands of the job, what do you think would make it easier?”  There was a moment of silence until one of the wives spoke up and said, “Thank you.”  We looked at her, confused, until she explained:  “It would be nice for hubby or the family to hear a ‘thank you’ now and then.  I’m not looking for more money or more days off.  Just some appreciation.”

Want to ease the strain of a 24/7 on-call lifestyle for both your pastor and his family?  Let them know how much you appreciate his willingness to be so available and how grateful you are for the families willingness to roll with the schedule changes that happen at a moment’s notice.  A simple “Thank You” means more than you can possibly know.

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Growing Pains

Nothing too profound tonight.  Just more thoughts crowding my mind regarding the passage of time and the growth of my kids, both biological and honorary.

If there is one piece of information I would embed in the brain of every high school senior, college student – let’s just say every young adult – it would be this: life is one big improv exercise and we are ALL living by the creed “fake it till you make it.”

My youngest daughter is a senior this year.  She and a number of her classmates have expressed some dismay and stress over having to have life all figured out.  Yeah, I’m still waiting to get there.

I know of more than a few 20 somethings who are stressing about “what they want to be when they grow-up.”

Let me lay it out in simple terms – I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in music education and a Master’s degree in Education.  Yes, I’m using the Master’s as an adjunct professor and I use my musical training all the time accompanying the choirs in the local high school as well as teaching private voice and piano students.  I have also taught music in literally every grade K-12 – general music, choral music, even some instrumental music instruction.

But along the way I’ve also worked as a cocktail waitress in a country club and on the banquet staff at the same facility.  I was a successful salesperson with a home party business.  Did some substitute teaching, clerical temp work, retail work . . . in other words, my career path has been nothing close to a straight line.

And I wouldn’t trade any of the lessons I’ve learned or experiences I’ve had.

If you are a young person in college, looking to go to college or wondering what to do with your life, give yourself a break!  Most of us are just making it up as we go along!  The maturity comes in when we learn to dance as often as possible, smile at every opportunity, and laugh whenever we have the chance!  Don’t get so focused on the destination that you miss the fun on the journey.

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