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Ladies, you all know I'm about 29 weeks along with another sweet baby girl and the two areas of my life that have suffered during this pregnancy have been gardening (I won't even post pictures this summer. It's TERRIBLE out there. Overrun with grasshoppers, weeds...shameful) and blogging.

I've also made a few changes in what requires my attention. I have bowed out of most ministry commitments at church not because I'm not interested or don't love the people, but because I'm only one person with almost 4 kids. Yes, everyone is busy but I no longer feel the need to "carry my weight". I serve in the church nursery and that's the extent of it. I'm friendly, I call folks for playdates or sometimes to come over for dinner. I make sure their pastor has enough time to prepare, I iron his shirt, I remind him of things should the need arise, I make him tasty meals and clean the house and teach the children.

My point is, fellow pastor's wives, I know I must very carefully decide what I'll commit to do. Yes, I will come to every wonderful MOPS meeting, but I cannot be the one posting flyers about it all over town. Yes, I'll attend every ladies' Bible study but I can't lead it anymore. Yes, I'll come to or suggest a women's ministry event but I can't be the one to plan it and carry it out. Yes, I'll come to church every Sunday and take my kids to Sunday School but I can't teach it.

There are lots of ways to show my support and commitment to our body of believers, but just because I'm married to the pastor doesn't mean I'm the go-to woman for every event. I've learned, slooooowwwlllly, that I don't have to be involved to some degree in everything that goes on. My ministry at this season of my life is to my family of small children.

Are there some days I wish I could do something "more" than that. YES. But I keep reminding myself of something someone said to me once, "The days with small children are long, but the years are short." Someday, when my children are grown, I'll be the one helping plan the picnic, the ladies' event, the Bible study, whatever.

But for now, I just can't.

And that's OK.

11 comments:

Well, you have struck a chord for many pastor's wives and many church members. I struggle with this, and I'm sure many, many other pastor's wives do as well.

We are to serve our husbands and families and churches just like other church members do. My husband reminds me all the time that the best way I serve our church is by serving here at home. Good words, but at times hard to remember due to my own fear of man.

September 7, 2008 at 3:58 PM  

I think that's great! And totally appropriate. Our church emphasizes that mothers with young children should only participate and mothers with grown children should organize.

Yet, I think everyone should do what you are called to do. I don't have children, yet I don't especially feel called to serve in the children's ministry either. It's good to know your own limitations and do what you have been called to do!

September 7, 2008 at 6:01 PM  

Thanks for sharing. It sounds like you've got a lot of things on your plate and it must be so exhausting!!

May you have a week full of God's abounding love and grace as you minister to your family.

I hope that God will give you really neat, personal touches of sheer joy and encouragement this week :)

thanks again for being real and for sharing your heart!

September 7, 2008 at 6:29 PM  

Good for you, I'm with you 100%

September 8, 2008 at 5:36 PM  

That's great. Too often people get in the mindset that the pastor's wife is supposed to xnumber of things, when in reality, she can only handle so much. Good for you that you are not giving in to other's demands and stressing yourself out in the process.

September 9, 2008 at 6:45 AM  

I applaud you and say stick to your guns. I have told my husband that the next church we move to I am not joining any committees, teaching classes, taking on any projects. It's so easy to start with one committee, oh, and then there's this, and that and "you would be perfect for... would you mind..." and sooner than later the pastor's wife is looked to and doing a majority of what was done by others. I know!
I would love our church to have the pattern of younger mothers taking in and older women giving out but (and I'm quoting here) the older women have said it's "our turn" to sit and be served and the younger gals to serve because they did it when they had to do it all when they were younger. It's a yucky, yucky attitude. I just want to let activities and circles and committees die. Sorry, I'm venting here. But seriously the PW is silently expected to be THE woman of the church and that's wrong. I need boldness to step down, regardless if the traditions continue and get snubbed because I seemingly don't care for them. Thanks for your post and the room to rant.

September 9, 2008 at 7:33 AM  

Tami-sounds like you have a very wise husband :)

Anita-I'm glad your church wants to serve younger women who have less time to be in charge of stuff. That's wonderful! And we all know there are plenty of areas to serve besides children's ministry (confession time: i have children and i love them, but i'm not the best children's ministry person...)

Finish-Thanks for the sweet comment. That really made my day. Now could you post some tips on how to shed the extra baby weight through diet and running? I'm getting the bug even though I'm still 30 weeks along...

Tara & Kelli-I think maybe all women are tempted to take on too much, even if you aren't a PW. There's just a lot of pressure, no?

IWJT-Boy, you hit the nail on the head! Stuff is so backward! What great insight! I hope you can find a place to scale back in your own congregation. You can do it (or not do it!) :)

September 9, 2008 at 8:22 AM  

i think you're a pretty smart woman :) it's so important to know what you can and cannot accomplish during each season of life.

September 9, 2008 at 9:25 AM  

I found your blog through WFMW, and wanted to say hello. I also am an accidental pastor's wife. I definitely never expected to marry someone who wanted to be a pastor. Mostly, I never expected someone who wanted to be a pastor to marry me. But thankfully my sweet husband (back when he met me) didn't mind that I was going to medical school and wanted to be a doctor. So even though I don't yet have children, I definitely identify with everything about what I can commit to do. Which isn't much. Thankfully, our little church seems to appreciate me for who I am and not expect me to be at every single meeting. Don't forget that you are just like any other church member - nothing more, nothing less. It shouldn't matter who your husband is.

September 10, 2008 at 1:55 PM  

Julie, I am standing and applauding this post. What wisdom I see and I hope it spreads!

Being in that older woman category, I want to tell you and your readers that I really appreciate your honesty about the bad attitude so many older women have,thinking their job is done and the younger women ought to take over. Thankfully, I think many older women are being exposed to some great teaching on this subject, like Susan Hunt's books that talk about older women mentoring younger ones. I think many of them just are doing what they saw done before them and they still need to learn what Titus 2 actuallly means.

Again, great post!

September 14, 2008 at 5:30 AM  

Hi-- I'd like to chat with you about contributing to a new blog for young pastor's wives. www.clutchtalk.blogspot.com. I couldn't find your email address on your blog, but would you mind emailing me. clutchtalk AT gmail.
We'd love to either interview you, ask you to be a guest blogger or repost something you've already written (and of course, link to your blog). Looking forward to hearing from you.

Delina

November 17, 2008 at 12:55 PM  

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