" No one ever asked me how it felt to be me, but when I told the truth about that; I felt free!" -The Help

Friday, September 30, 2011

Confessions of a Pastors Wife

*I do not always listen to Christian music
*I never wear skirts
*I dont know everything about teenagers, you are better off asking my husband
*I don't know where your kid's sunday school class is
*I'd rather not publicly pray at every event I am a part of
*I don't like the 2nd Tuesday evening of the month
*I don't always want to be at church either
*I don't always have all the right answers
*I've never seen "Facing the Giants" or "Fireproof"
*I sneak candy into the movie theatre
*I don't always recycle
*I'd rather watch the movie than read the book
*I watch reality TV
*I subscribe to People magazine
*I check my Facebook during church sometimes
*When your kids are on a trip with my husband, my kids are home alone with me
*If you don't know the reference to a Bible verse, I probably don't either
*If it's a Friday night in the fall I'm probably at your kid's football game
*If there is a stain on the carpet at church, my kid probably did it
*If there is a typo in the bulletin it's not my fault
*I don't know why we sang that song instead of this song in the service today
*I don't know where the Senior Pastor is vacationing this week or who the guy preaching is
*I don't know the schedule for the Living Christmas Tree
*I don't play the piano or the organ
*If I fall asleep in church it's because your kids were at my house until midnight
*I don't mind if you call us in he middle of the night if there is a crisis!!!!

To be continued....

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Apparently Merriam Webster (whoever that is) thinks the word "Calling" means; A strong inner impulse toward a particular course of action especially when accompanied by conviction of divine influence or the vocation in which one customarily engages in." Man, Marriam Webster sure does sound like a professional individual. I personally would define calling as "Picking up the phone and dialing numbers," but that's just me.

I have never claimed to be "called" to youth ministry. By that, I mean...if my husband was not doing ministry, I would not be doing ministry (for a living at least). Had I not married him I would probably not be working at a church full time and being in "ministry" as a vocation. Because, it isn't my vocational calling. I know some married folks who are called to ministry together. They work together, they live together, they raise a family together, they do church events together because that is their calling. I say to them... Go get 'em. Good for you! But that is not how our family is wired.

When I think about what my "calling" is, I have to admit the fist thing that comes to mind isn't that I am called to ministry, but rather that I am called to be my husbands helpmate, confidant, prayer support, and friend. For me that would be my calling no matter what his vocation was. If he was a plumber (which by the way would have come in handy last week) I would be "called" to support him in that. Whatever that means.

I remember when we were interviewing at a church before we got hired at our current church to be the youth pastor there. The church board wanted to ask ME a series of questions. My husband politely declined their request and said you would be hiring HIM not my wife. I was SO thankful. That question was one of the main reason we called that pastor that next morning and told him we didn't think that church was the right fit for us.

While I am not "called" to ministry, I am passionate about seeing the ministry that my husband does succeed, so...I fully support and try to engage as much as possible to see him succeed. I guess that is my real calling. Is that ok? I am a pastors wife who isn't called to ministry. Well, it appears God is using us, so it must be!

By the way, Merriam Webster's third definition of calling is; "the cry of a female cat in heat" for whatever that's worth.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Saturday=the day before Sunday

I have mixed emotions about Saturdays. Actually it really depends on what is going on that particular Saturday. I thoroughly enjoy Saturdays like today where I got to sleep in (thank you husband!). We also got to go watch a nephew's soccer game. Then, we went out to lunch- Let me clarify...we drove through sonic and got lunch. Then, we met our good friend at Costco and got stocked up for the week.
What a fun day to just hang out as a family. Some Saturdays are a little less low key. For example, last Saturday my husband and oldest son went to do a service project with the church. They picked up trash along the river. It was a great little project for our son and they both enjoyed themselves. It's always fun to be able to be involved in community projects like that.

Then, the inevitable. "Honey, I really need to go the church sometime today to set up for tomorrow." Of course you do. I try really hard to put my initial feelings aside at these moments. There is usually at least an eye roll of some point if I am being honest. It goes back to the filter thing :) It's not that I am bitter or upset that he has to go to the church, it is just that sometimes it feels like a momentum killer in our day. It isn't my husband's fault and nothing he does makes it feel that way, it is just my own personal deal. I try so hard to make sure my kids don't sense the slight inconvenience in my voice. They don't need to know. So, we simply say daddy has to run to the church really quick while we have rest time. And that is what I need...rest time. Time to realize that it really isn't all that bad. And today, I got lucky...both boys slept and I got a few moments to myself to watch the food network. I know, I know I could have been doing a million other things during that time. But guess what? I didn't. All I wanted to do is watch a little Triple D. And now, both boys are up and my husbands home. I am sure the rooms look beautiful for tomorrow honey. And we all got a few moments of quiet time so that we can continue our Saturday as a family.

P.S. You should be proud, we got out of Costco only spending $50...boo-ya!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

My Wednesday Oasis

I hope you don’t think less of me for this. Actually, it’s ok if you do.  Ready?  I don’t go to church on Wednesday nights. Yep! That’s right I sure don’t. And yes, I am STILL a pastors wife!  I mean, it isn’t like I am against going to church on Wed. nights, it’s not like I make a concerted effort NOT to go, I just never really have.  I actually haven’t gone regularly for several years.   When we first got married I used to go and help out with the youth group. Then, I joined a group of students and was a Bible study leader. Then, I quit.   I started working full time and went back to school and life was just busy. Just this last spring I started going off and on to a women's Bible study, but then I had our baby and the busyness was taken to a whole other level.
It seems to me that Wed. nights have many purposes, one of which is to allow people to be together with Christian friends and re-focus for the rest of the week. To sort of take a step back, a break if you will from the business of the week. To spend some time focusing on God so that we are prepared for the rest of the week, whatever that may bring.  It’s seems to me it is intended to be an oasis of sorts.  For me, my Wednesday oasis happens in a little bit of a different way.  I have chosen to take Wednesday nights as a quiet night at home. My husband goes to church (SHOCKING!) and most often takes my oldest son with him.  Sometimes I clean, sometimes I do laundry, sometimes I grocery shop, sometimes I blog and sometimes…I sit and hold my baby and catch up on my recorded t.v.  That’s it. Just sit and relax.  Wednesday nights have become an oasis for me..at home! It’s quiet (for the most part), it’s still, it’s peaceful, it's a time to recharge, it’s Joye time, and it is needed for me!

Starting next week I am going back to church every other Wednesday night to be a part of a group about “Mothers of Boys."   Let me tell you, I am so stinkin' excited about this class! If there is one thing I want to educate myself about it is how to be a mom of a boy!  While it is true that I am going to miss my “Oasis Wednesday nights” at home, I am so excited to join a group of women who are moms of boys.  I'll keep you posted on how it goes.  Hopefully these ladies have taught their sons the number to call in case of emergency...cuz we all know I haven't!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Just ANOTHER manic monday...

Oh...Doctors. Oh how I loathe thee. Except for my OB who is FABULOUS! But other than that I am not a fan of any doctor or dentist or really anyone whose primary purpose in life is to poke and prod at any part of my body and then take all the money that was in my savings account. Thank you very much.

Today, both my boys had "well baby" visits. In reality they should probably be called "your kid hasn't been sick for a while so bring them into our germy office and have them touch everything that the kid with phnemonia has been touching so your kid can be sick in a couple days too" visit. P.S. I always give my kids bath after being at the doctor...cuz, you know...that will surely wash the germs away.

Anyway...So, both boys...at the doctor. Can I just say I love our pediatrician! She is a quirky awesome lady who looks so much like lady gaga it's scary. She is such an amazing doctor though and we have had our fair share of time to get to know her. Maybe someday I will blog about our first 2 years with our oldest son, but not today. Ok, so we are still at the doctor. She goes through the whole thing..your kids are tall, they have huge heads, they are very smart, one of them looks more hispanic than the other...bla bla bla. And then...she quizzes our four year old. "What do you wear when you ride a bike?" He says "helmet" whew...one down. "what should you wear when you are in the car?" "seatbelt" whew...two down. "What is the number you should call when there is an emergency?" "Mcqueen, lightyear pee-pee" Um....yeah. not exactly son. So apparently 4 years old is a good time to teach your child about 911. We will be working on that next monday apparently. Then, she drops the bomb. She tells our son "I'm sorry but I am going to have to give you a couple shots so that you can stay healthy" His face goes white as a ghost. "Is it going to hurt?" She doesn't even lie, she says "yeah, it will hurt but only for a second." My husband proceeds to bear hug him and hold him down while the nurse gives him not 1 shot, not 2 shots, not 3 shots but 4 stinkin shots!!! Good night people...can you figure out how to combine these things into one mama shot? Poor kid. We promised him ice cream afterwards so we proceeded to uswirl where you can hear people getting fatter by the spoonful.

Then, it was my turn...dun dun dun. Eye doctor for me. Which, btw I hate that I have to go every year to get my contact prescription renewed. Seems like every two years would suffice. And that...is why I am not a doctor. So I go to the eye doctor, everythings fine, Then, she drops the bomb. "I am going to have to dialate your eyes." Ugh. Let me just tell you driving home with dialated eyes is neither fun nor safe. To top it all off I literally could not read the 4 texts I got while in the doctors office. I also could not read the card machine to type in my pin to pay for the appointment. Ya... I Probably shouldn't have been driving.

All in a "stay home mommy day." Stay tuned for next Monday's manic-ness. (is that a word?)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Filter-less Friends

I know absolutely nothing about cars. At one point some guy friends of mine actually got me to believe my blinker fluid was low. True story. The last thing I know anything about is oil filters, but...I think that I think they are used to filter out the bad oil and only let the good oil into the engine. Yes?! Am I close? So, I guess the point of a personal filter would be to keep yourself from saying the "bad" things and only allow yourself to say the "good" things. Yes? I'll be honest, most people who know me well probably wouldn't say I have much of a personal filter. I often say things I probably shouldn't and more often speak before I think. Probably not the best characteristic of mine. I tend to be just slightly sarcastic. Ok, fine I am over the top sarcastic. It is kind of my way of having a filter, but also saying what I think.

While I see a lot of value in being honest and real with people, I have come to realize there is a time and a place for everything. I have learned there is importance to knowing my audience.

Sometimes, I get tired of telling people what they want to hear. Sometimes, I just want to tell them what I really think. I am wise enough now to know that is not always the best idea. Filters are NECESSARY! Especially in ministry. There are way to many things I want to say about church that I NEED to filter. What I have come to realize about myself is that many times how I really feel is simply how I feel in that MOMENT, not how I REALLY feel. That is why my filter is so valuable to me. Too many times I look back and say, "I can't believe I said that." That isn't how I really feel, it's just how I felt in that moment, and now I have left that person with a wrong impression of me.

This evening I got a sweet text from a very dear friend and she told me one thing she loves about our friendship is that she can just be herself and doesn't have to use her filter. Wow! Isn't that the truth. Don't we all need friends like that? Friends where we can say how we are really feeling and not be judged? Friends that won't look down on us because we feel a certain way? Friends that will give us the benefit of the doubt when we tell them something that we probably shouldn't? Friends that believe in who we are even when we tell them the truth about what we think of ourselves? Friends that we don't have to call later and say "what I really meant was...?" If I am really honest, I really only have a few friends like that. I worry about what many of the people in my life are going to think. Are they going to judge what I say because I am a pastors wife? Maybe or maybe not.

So, here's to my filter-less friends. You know who you are!! Thank you for loving me no matter what. Thank you for the breaks in life you give me to just be me and not feel the pressure to say the right thing. You are the people who have gotten me through this ministry life over the last 11 years...and you are all getting oil filters for Christmas from me- hope you know how to use 'em, cuz I don't!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Our dirty laundry

About a month ago we were at my husband's parent's house having lunch with several of his family members. Some how the topic of laundry came up.  The moms were talking about how they feel they have a constant load of laundry running, the dads were saying nothing.  I spoke up and declared that I do not do my husband's laundry. Silence. Complete and utter silence. My husband's gramma spoke up in complete and utter shock and said "WHAT??!! You don't do his laundry??  Well, what DO you DO then?  I have never heard of a wife that doesn't do her husband's laundry!"  Guess what Gramma, you have now!  I have never done his laundry. Never. Not when we were dating, not when we first got married, not when I worked only part time, not when I was on maternity leave eating bon bons for 3 months. Never.

See, I do my laundry every week on Mondays. "Stay at home mommy day."  I use that time to do my laundry that has piled up since the last Monday. I also do the boys laundry on that day. My husband on the other hand, he does not use his day off to do his laundry.  He is usually doing something a bit more exciting, like working from home...on his day off.  Let's be honest, he does have an advantage in that he has literally hundreds of camp, retreat, mission trip and special event t-shirts he is able to cycle through. He also has a job where he can wear t-shirts to work on most days.  I, on the other hand, am only allowed to wear t-shirts to work once a year when BSU is playing U of I.

So there you have it, you want me to air our dirty laundry?  There it is...I don't do my husbands laundry. And quite frankly...I am ok with it.  Some pastors wife huh?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Just another Manic Monday

Growing up, and even after I got married I was sure I wanted to be a stay at home mom.  My mom was a stay at home mom and I remember several days after school there was fresh home baked bread or cookies ready for us. Man, what a life! Stay at home, bake all day, sleep in, watch Regis and Kelly every morning, eat whenever and whatever I wanted. Seriously, who wouldn't want to do that?! I don't remember any of my good intentions about wanting to say home having anything to do with the well being of our future children. Just the well being of my lazy habits. When we first got married I think we both kind of knew there was no way financially I would be able to stay home. We had (and still do) more student loans than we could count.  Maybe someday before Jesus comes we will have them paid off, but not today.  Part of me felt a little bitter about the fact that I knew I would not be able to be a stay at home mom. Now I know...I should probably get all the facts before I start harboring random bitterness.

See, Mondays is what we refer to as "Stay home Mommy Day" at our house. Mondays are my day home with the boys. both boys. by myself.  I know, I know, there are a million people out there who do this everyday and have 5, 6, 7 or even 19 kids (and counting...). To those of you out there...I commend you, I really really do.  I wish I had the strength and mental toughness and patience to do what you do day in and day out. I believe some people were created for staying home. And others...well, we were not.  For those of you who are stay at home moms, I sincerely want to be more like you.  But, I have to admit, I am a better mom because I work. For me, work is a place where I can just be Joye. I am not my husbands wife, I am not my kids mom, I am not the staff person in the sunday school class, I am Joye. Not only am I just Joye there, I am known for the things I am able to accomplish at my job.  It might be selfish, but I need that. I need a place where my identity isn't wrapped up in who my family is.  Sure, people at work know that I am pastors wife, and I am happy to talk about it there. But, it is not my primary role. And that, for me, is a needed break.

Once again I am so glad God knew what He was doing when I was dreaming about being a stay at home mom.  As for Mondays, there are good ones and bad ones. Ones that fly by and ones that feel like an entire month of Mondays in one day. Ones that I think to myself I could do this everyday and ones that I would pay to be at work that day.  But, regardless of how the Monday goes, I am thankful that my children will always remember Mondays as "Stay home mommy day." It is an important day for me be connect, love on and truly BE with my boys.  So today, even though  it was a little rough, I am happy I was able to be here with the boys. Tomorrow I will get a break...and go to work.  

And for the record, Regis only has 49 shows left before he retires anyway.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Why I am not a social worker

When I started college my freshman year I was a social work major. I didn't know much about social work but I knew I loved people, was compassionate, enjoyed helping people and found hope in seeing other succeed.  Sounds like a perfect recipe for a social worker eh? Luckily God knew better.  I ended up taking a year off of school my junior year because we were getting married. Yah, Yah, we were young. I know. Go ahead and tell me but you will be about the millionth person to do so. Maybe someday I will blog about the joys and pains of getting married so young. But, not today. So, I took a year off school and ended up going back as a business major. It's a good thing. Last night I discovered one of the (possibly many) reasons the Lord did not have social work in His plan for me.

My husband and our two boys were headed to the church for a movie night in the park. As we approached a major intersection in our little town I noticed a young pregnant woman carrying a toddler and waiting to cross the street. She did not look good. She looked sad, distraught, tired, scared and angry. She was wearing dark sunglasses but was obviously crying.  I told my husband we had to stop and help her.  He of course asked "what are we going to do for her?" I said "I don't know but we have to stop." We pulled over and asked if she needed any help. She said through broken tears "No, I'm fine."  Ok, why do girls (myself included) always do that? It is like we have too much pride or are too fearful to accept help for someone. Granted, we were strangers and I am sure she was a little concerned about that. I would be too.  So, we went on our way.  The rest of the way I kept telling my husband "we have to help her, we have to help her" and he kept saying "we tried, we tried." By this point I was bawling my eyes out and my 4 year old was quite confused.  We went back to the church and my sister had just pulled up with her family. I ran to her car and said "You have to come help me, there is a woman who needs our help." We got into my car and went back to find the girl.  I pulled over and got out of the car basically cornering her and told her through tears that we really wanted to help her. She was hesitant (as I would be) but eventually agreed to let us give her a ride to a grocery store 1/2 mile away.  On our way there we learned that she was 7 months pregnant and her son was a year old. She had gotten into a fight with her boyfriend. She continued telling us how she really felt like she needed to leave him but that she didn't think she could because he was the father of her two children.  My sister and I waited with "Betsy" for about 20 minutes in the parking lot while her mom to came pick her up. I gave her some water and her boy a juice box. As I sat there and listened to her story my heart broke. What a beautiful woman and a beautiful baby boy and soon to be girl.  Betsy was lost and totally hopeless. I felt completely helpless! As she got out of my car and into her moms, my sister told her we would be praying for her. I actually (against all kinds of rules I am sure) gave her my cell number and told her to call me if she ever needed anything.

As my sister and I pulled away I could barely function. I wanted so badly to for her to be ok. To be able to find peace. To be able to get out of the bad situation she is in. To have the courage to walk away from a man who doesn't realize what she is worth and how precious his babies are.  But, all I could do was cry, and cry and cry and cry.   And then I came home and cried and cried some more.  Ok, fine....I am a baby. I am pretty sure crying isn't in the job description of a social worker.  However, for me...last night, it was in the job description of a Jesus worker.  Please join me in praying for Betsy.  My guess is I will never know how things turn out with her and her two beautiful babies this side of eternity. My only hope is that something either my sister or I said will put a spark in her heart and maybe, just maybe she will someday know the best social worker there is.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

My worst fear...

Have I told you my worst fear yet? Probably not huh? Well, here it is. My absolute worst fear is going into water in a car. seriously. Like, driving next to a river and losing control and going into the river...oh man, I have serious nightmares about that! I watched a mythbusters once about that very thing and they said your best chance is to wait until the car is completely submerged so the pressure equalizes and then open the door. Ha! Are you kidding me? I would not be calm enough to wait until the car completely submerges. And really, what would I be doing while I am waiting? Updating my facebook status? "Just went into a river, don't worry, waiting for pressure to equalize. Meet you all at Jimmy Johns." Yeah. Probably not.  Every time I hear a story about a car going into water I say a big prayer for those involved knowing how scary that would be.

My second worst fear is the dentist! Seriously, talk about panic attacks!

My third worst fear is a little more personal. I am terrified of raising kids while in the ministry. I mean terrified. My husband and I did not have kids for 7 years after we got married. Largely because I could not wrap my mind around raising a pastor's kid.  I have known way to many pastor's kids who have gone off the deep end. They ended up saying things like, "Why would I want to be a part of something that takes my dad away from our family so much?" Or worse, they see hard things their parents go through being in ministry and want nothing to do with it. Or, they think they have to be perfect. Don't get me wrong, I have known PLENTY of good pastor's kids who are doing well and serving in the church. My husband is one example. He is a pastor's kid. But how in the world do you raise your kids to LOVE the church? How do you make the distinction in your kids minds between church and daddy's work? How do you guard your children from the messiness that is ministry when your husband gets called away for an emergency at dinner time? And how do I portray joy during those times when inside I want to scream?

I also fear my kids being judged because they are "pastors kids." Just because my kid's dad is a pastor does not mean they are perfect. In fact...are you ready for this? Our family is not perfect either.  We have tough days. We yell at each other sometimes. Sometimes we don't speak to each other for an evening. Sometimes don't treat each other with respect. We aren't the perfect family, and my husband is the family ministry pastor! I want my kids to have room to be kids and not feel the pressure to be perfect. Of course I want them to be the best that they can be, but I want them to feel the freedom to be who they are. I never want them to feel like they have to act a certain way or be a certain person because they are a pastors kid, but rather because they are a child of God.

I have always planned on being real with my children about most everything. I think they need to know that I am not perfect, I mess up, I say things I shouldn't, I have a bad attitude sometimes and sometimes I wish my husband worked at Walmart. I want them to know it is ok to be frustrated and to ask questions. Otherwise, I fear they will think they have to be perfect because they think I am perfect. Ha! There's basically no chance that will happen. But, where is the line between being real with my kids yet creating in them the same passion for the church that I have?  So many questions....I should probably just stop and watch some football, now that is a mindless activity! 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Same car?!

I can count on one hand the amount of times this has happened, and it was amazing! My husband and I actually drove to church in the Same.car! My poor 4 year old was so confused. He kept asking things in the morning like "Daddy, when are you leaving for church?" "Can I go with daddy?" "Is mommy's car broken?"  When we came out of church that morning our son yelled "i want to go with daddy this time" and we both looked at each other and said how bout you go with mommy AND daddy! How exciting!

My status on Facebook that morning said something to the effect of what a wonderful morning it was because we all got to go in the same car to church! Out of the 11 people who either commented or "liked" my status, 8 of them were pastors wives! Apparently we all understand the concept of 2 cars to church on sunday morning. I am just waiting for the day when the boys can drive and we will have 3 cars at church!!

Everyone Welcome!

So...I started thinking last night (not usually a good thing for me). I realized there are probably HUSBANDS of pastors out there too! I just wanted to let all of the husbands of pastors out there know that they are MORE THAN WELCOME to participate in this blog. Actually, EVERYONE is more than welcome. Whether you have been in the ministry for 50 years or you are brand new to this ministry thing, or maybe...your aren't even in vocational ministry. Please, feel welcome to read and comment. I love hearing everyone's perspective! We are an equal opportunity blog.
Ok, thats all.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Looking for community..

Well, here it is...a dream of mine fulfilled. I have been wanting to start a blog for pastors wives for a long time. I finally got up the courage...probably because I finally feel like my husband's job is secure enough that I can't get him fired.

My hope is that this will become a place of community, hope, laughter, tears and a whole lot of love for those of us who call ourselves pastor's wives. Or, in my case who OTHERS call a pastors wife.  I never thought in a millions years I would be on this side of ministry. Never.Ever. But, here I am...and I am longing for a community of people who share similar joys and struggles with me. Being the wife of a pastor is a special calling, and one that has experiences that many times only those who are in the trenches of ministry understand.

Please feel free to comment or e-mail me if there is a "topic" you would like to discuss or would like us to try to blog about. Trust me...I don't know everything, in fact there is a whole lot of stuff I DON'T know! But, I do know that having a community to be real with is a Jesus idea. So...let's do it ladies!!