Wednesday, September 23, 2015

No Tiara

"Well, the job doesn't come with a tiara, that's for sure!"

This was my not-so-serious answer to the question, "How do you like being a pastor's wife?"

See, I've been me much longer than I've been a pastor's wife. I've been a teacher, a mom, a volunteer in and out of church, and a homemaker for many years. I've only been a pastor's wife for two. And only in one place.

In some ways, our church is a throwback. One pastor. No secretary. A part-time custodian for the gym/classrooms, and volunteers for cleaning the sanctuary. My husband is pastor of preaching. And pastor of plumbing. And pastor of building and grounds. And pastor of volunteers and visiting and cleaning the sanctuary when there is an extra event...

I do help out in the church. Our wee one and I are taking our turn at cleaning the sanctuary this month. I plan to teach Sunday School in November. When there's a potluck, I bring our share (or a bit more).

And there are certainly times when my contribution is as great as my pastor-husband's. For example, in the past month, we have had church-related guests (some staying here, some not) three or four times. I love hosting visitors, as long as they can deal with our busy household and steep stairs. We often invite people to eat with us, and having overnight guests is a fairly frequent thing. I don't mind the laundry, cooking, or cleaning up at all...

But there's no tiara that comes with the job.

And I don't mind that at all. I'm not really a tiara kind of girl. Or middle-aged woman.

Being a pastor's wife has been a blessing, just like I thought it would be when I was eleven and shocked my mom by answering the age-old "What do you want to be when you grow up?" with "A minister's wife." Then I was told that I should be something for ME, not as an attachment to someone else, and while I believe that in many ways, I also believe that God has called me to be a pastor's wife.

It fits me. And I like it. Alongside being a homeschooling mom. My ministry may not be very visible, but that isn't what God calls us to. I love supporting my husband in his work. I love praying with the worried grandma and the grieving mother when they call the parsonage, but my husband isn't home. Providing a plate full of food for someone wandering through the yard is a ministry for me. Being a safe place for various families to drop off their children in an emergency is a ministry for me. Teaching my daughter and the young Jicarilla boy who has joined us for school this year is a huge undertaking, and very much a calling. Adding in the other two kids for Science is a blessing.

My mentor in being a pastor's wife died recently, and I miss her. I know she would read this and give me a call to encourage me. I hope that someday I can be remembered as I remember her: As a woman of God who fulfilled my calling well.

Even if it doesn't come with a tiara.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Create in me

"Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." Psalm 51:10

This verse drew me in this morning. Renewal is something I've been thinking about during my spiritual "lull." On this day I was walking, seeking God's presence as my Sunday began.

And then I realized...

Well, duh...

No matter how hard I try, renewal is not my work. It's God's.

Look at the words of the Psalm again: "Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." God is creating. God is renewing.

So, instead of trying to think of new ways to approach my lack of spiritual motivation, I prayed the Psalm: "Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." I gave this work to God and entreated with Him to work in me.

I will trust in Him to complete His good work in me (Philippians 1:6). God began His work in me when I was a child. I sought Him eagerly throughout my adolescence. I dropped away in college, but it has been almost exactly 20 years since I returned, somewhat reluctantly, to church.

God drew me back to church and worked in me to renew my faith. He has grown and developed my faith and my understanding. He has equipped me to meet His call in my life. He will continue to work in me until I am completely transformed. This lull will produce His fruit. And I will continue to pray and read and study and trust. He is faithful and I am His.


And amen.

Sunday, September 6, 2015


 I haven't done much glass work lately. I'm in a lull. Not that I don't have work to do; I'm in the middle of a piece in my series that is framed in found frames, but I am completely uninspired to work on it...

Do you experience lulls? I think it's pretty normal. We get enthused about something for a while, then our interest wanes, and pretty soon we're in a lull.

I've just ended a lull in kayaking. When we moved to Dulce, New Mexico, two years ago I thought I would kayak in the lakes on the reservation. I've been there a few times, but the lakes are very low and muddy. It's been a challenge to get in and out of the kayaks (and the lake!). I was even considering selling my kayaks... but then a friend asked me to bring the kayaks so she and her children could try out the sport. We met at a lovely lake in Colorado, and I realized that there was amazing kayaking available in the area. Since then, I've been kayaking numerous times and enjoyed it immensely.

Trying something new sometimes restarts our motivation to enjoy something. That's the strategy I've been using to bring me out of my current lull in seeking God. It's not a change in what I believe, but just that I have been in a lull for seeking God, seeking His guidance, seeking His will...

I've tried new devotionals. More prayer time. Reading books. Listening to Christian music. Trying to write for my blog. Not much was working. I haven't felt totally lost or disconnected, just not inspired.

 I have read John Piper's Desiring God daily devotionals for a while now. They are always excellent. So I decided to pick up the book from my husband's extensive library. I've been reading it for only a few days, but it has begun to pull me out of the lull. Thank you, God, for your faithful leaders who inspire us to follow You.

I pray that you are not in a lull, but if you are, don't give up. God will provide. We can rest in that truth. Especially when we can't see the way out for ourselves; that's when God's faithfulness shines.