Thirteen years ago, when my husband felt called to go into pastoral ministry, we took the plunge. We found ourselves at Candler School of Theology on the campus of Emory University in Atlanta, GA. Married two years and with no children, thus began one of the best adventures of our married life. I worked during the day while my husband attended classes to earn his Masters in Divinity degree. I baked at night while he read pages and pages and pages of religious textbooks. I perfected cinnamon rolls and learned the art of baking a true French baguette. We lived in a tiny little apartment with the smallest kitchen you have ever seen, but boy was it fun. Our time at Candler was truly blessed and we came away with friendships to last a lifetime.
Now, even after 10 years in the ministry, I find it hard to put my thoughts into words. When we were just starting out, I voiced my trepidation with friends who all responded, “Oh, you will be the best pastor’s wife!” They were quite certain of that – more than I was. I was thankful for their confidence in me but still wondered if I could really live up to the picture-perfect image of being a “pastor’s wife.” I could play the piano, yes, but was that the only pre-requisite? Looking back, I’m thankful our first appointment was at a large church where there were really no expectations placed on me at all! I needed those first few years to figure out where my gifts were and what I felt called to do. Our first church was a tremendous blessing, in so many ways.
These days, I feel more seasoned. I know where my gifts lie. I know when to say yes and when to say no. I still probably too often say yes when I shouldn’t, and more often feel pulled between being a good mother to my children and over-committing myself to the ministries of our church. Why do I do that? I think many pastors’ wives have the mentality that we have to DO something or even MANY things just because of our role. It’s easy to take on more than we can handle. Instead, I’ve learned that it’s best to just focus on where I feel called. God didn’t call me to be busy. God called me to be a blessing. I hope that in some small way I can do just that.
Although pastoral ministry certainly has its fair share of sacrifices, the rewards are immeasurable. We are strengthened and supported by our church family in so many ways. We’ve been humbled and overwhelmed. And more often than not, we are recipients of God’s grace.I recently signed on to be part of the launch team for a new book titled The Church Planting Wife: Help and Hope for Her Heart by Christine Hoover. The wife of a church planting pastor and mom to three boys, Christine has 12 years of ministry and counseling experience and is passionate about helping other ministry wives flourish in their roles. Her popular blog, www.GraceCoversMe.com, encourages women to live and lead from grace.
This book was so very timely for me. It absolutely resonated with every aspect of my life! Christine’s writing is open and honest. If you are a pastor’s wife and especially if you are a church planting wife, I hope you will seek out this valuable resource and read it for yourself (go here for my giveaway!). I came away feeling uplifted, encouraged, and deeply blessed.
I’m linking up with Christine over at Grace Covers Me today as she releases her book, The Church Planting Wife: Help and Hope for Her Heart, and collects heart stories from church planting and ministry wives. Join us?
Until next time,