Wednesday, June 18, 2014

My mouth

I have these moments in life when my mouth opens and words come out. Suddenly it's as though I'm trapped inside this body and have no control anymore because inside I'm screaming


but it's too late the words have left my mouth forever in the air and can not be taken back. Why can't I stop myself??

Here is an example:
 I was outside talking with my neighbor and she had just informed me that their dog had been so sick she had to be put down. Me in my awesome sensitivity, trying to be consoling to this poor woman.(Can I just add for my own safety I am very much a dog LOVER!! I have lost a few in my life and it was like losing a family member so pay no attention to what I actually said to this poor woman) As I was speaking the words I knew it was wrong. I think I said something like "well it is just a dog" which is the complete opposite of what I was trying to say. I have this terrible habit of continuing to talk as if talking will either do two things 1. make them completely forget the first thing I said or 2. explain away the reason I said such an idiotic statement. I remember that voice in my head screaming to stop but I just couldn't. I have a  serious inability to just "SHUT UP!"

Why do I have this need to keep talking? Even in emails,. text messages, any kind of written communication I feel like I'm worse, I really should just stop. What makes this worse is that now there is written physical proof of my insensitivity. I try to make it short and sweet but then the obsessive need to continue to read, reread, and read again before and after I send it. If I find something that I don't think is coming across the right way suddenly before my brain can catch up to what is happening I'm typing another message to explain what I meant instead. It's a terribly vicious cycle.

 Another word moment for me is when I am approached with news. Being the wife of someone in ministry I am brought lots of news. Good news, bad news, and in between news. Sometimes the words come so smoothly out of my mouth and I can only give God the credit for that because on my own I'm a rambling fool. I know what to say when someone tells me "I got engaged", "we're having a baby", "I accepted the Lord into my life" all such exciting jump for joy moments that I think even when something like "wow" or in a very unenthusiastic voice "that's great" comes out of my mouth it's covered by the other persons excitement. It's the times when I am approached and I can already read on their faces the news is not great, suddenly I am stumbling over my words. I want to be encouraging, I want to speak life into people, but I'm left with the deer in headlights, jaw hanging open shocked look on my face with no words, or at least none that make sense.

What do you say to your best friend that tells you she has cancer? My heart breaks so quickly that I feel like I can't breathe. I can't even imagine what she may be going through but my body is going through such shock that I just can't process what may come out of my mouth and for a moment I become selfish because I start to run through all the things that will come with this. I hate that my natural instinct is to start imagining all the ways this would affect me. It was a moment when I really discovered how important she was to me I NEED her she can't be sick. Suddenly I forget that this has nothing to do with me but everything to do with someone I love and care for deeply. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME??

Which brings me to  my family(which by the way is not the answer to "what is wrong with me" that was more of a rhetorical question) who I'm afraid get the worst of these crazy ramblings and words that come out of my mouth before I can stop them. Once those words leave my mouth there is no erasing them. I am ashamed of some of the things I have spoken to my husband. Words that are meant to tear down and not lift up. I am disappointed in some words that have come out of my mouth directed at my children. Spoken out of anger or frustration. I pray that I have not done permanent damage to them. They are such a blessing to me and I would never want them to feel any less.

What I am learning especially in the ministry is that words are so important. I want to be wise with my words. I want to be uplifting with my words. I know that we can apologize and ask for forgiveness but once those words have hit the air it's too late. I say this because I have had words spoken to me and over me that still hang with me. Words that I have let define me. What is so precious about words is that they have this powerful ability to make someone feel special, appreciated, LOVED but they also have the opposite affect and can make someone feel unappreciated, insignificant, and UNLOVED.

I want to speak life and love into people.
 give me the words to speak, give me the courage to speak them, and the knowledge to know when to speak them. Take away my selfishness and help me to see what is important. Help me to know when my mouth should close and silence is best. Thank you God for loving me and my mouth!

"and now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is LOVE." 
                                                                                     1 Corinthians 13:13

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

10 Years

I feel it's important to report that I have now been married for 10 years. In 10 years we have had lived in 4 states, moved 7 times, had 5 cars, 2 dogs, and most importantly had 4 beautiful amazing children. I am so blessed.
Just so very blessed
God is so good! Happy 10 Years!
(should have posted this sooner)

Monday, June 9, 2014

Voice of a Pastors Wife

I have recently read a few blogs that have emphasized the point of view of a pastors wife. Giving a church congregation a little insight into what she may go through on a weekly or even daily basis. I really enjoyed reading them and could relate to about 90% of what was said.

In recent days, months, years, I have experienced the highs and lows of being a pastors wife, so I thought why not!! I'll throw my two cents in. I'm hoping this will serve two purposes, one being that this is an outlet for me to express what I am feeling and I certainly am not here to rant and complain about how miserably hard my life is because when it comes down to it there is not one thing I would change about my life. (Remember that as you continue to read NOT ONE THING) My other purpose is to maybe encourage a few of us to be more conscious of what comes out of our mouths. I would say  most of what I write applies to all of us at some point or another. I've got a good twelve years under my belt, while some may feel that's just the beginning and it probably is, I feel I've had plenty of experiences to share my point of view.

Did you hear me?? We are not going to be the same. I will not do the same things that your previous pastors wife did. My husband and I recently had a conversation with our daughter about how everyone is different, that we all think, act, and look differently. If we were all the same this world would be boring! Yes I think it's fair to have certain expectations of your pastors wife. For example, does she love her husband, does she support him in his ministry, is she a loving mother, does she show you kindness and love? Those are all great things to expect in a pastors wife. This actually can apply to your pastor as well. There is nothing more frustrating than to hear "well our last pastor did it this way". God saw fit to bring us to where we are so trust that we are working according to God's plan.

Ugh! Where do I begin?? This is the worst, I admit is such a sneaky little creature, I can get tangled in it's crazy little web so quickly without even knowing. I have seen this destroy lives, and destroy churches. It's not pretty, so STOP IT! Do not try to disguise it by using the phrase "we need to pray for..." adding the word pray does not make it free of gossip. Did you know that we can pray for someone and not have to hear every detail of their current situation and past situation that got them to their current situation? SHOCKING!

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29

Do you know that when you say things in front of other church members about your pastor or pastors wife two things usually happen.
1. It will eventually get back to the pastor.
2. You will have caused serious damage to your pastors wife.
I want to focus on that second one because this I have great experience in. My heart has so many wounds from people who claim they were giving "constructive criticism" or "just speaking in a moment of frustration". I do not claim that pastors wives are the only ones to experience this I'm just merely stating what I have been through. It may all be in my head but I feel that we are looked at as though we should have this magical ability to just let all of that roll off our shoulders. Those are the wounds that stay around, those are the wounds that satan will use to attack your pastors wife. So not only have your words caused damage but you have just given the devil some ammo to use. I know that there will be moments when you will be disappointed in me or my husband, that you won't always agree with what we choose to do. I would just ask that instead of participating in the gossip web go straight to the source of your frustration. Come to us. We want to talk to you.

I feel like we are on some sort of covert operation where the instructions are:
1. Love Everyone
2. Trust No One
Do you know how hard it is to find friends when you are in the ministry?? I mean truly good faithful trusting friends. Ones that take you as you are knowing that you are human and are sinful by nature. Ones that know and clearly understand that just because you are the pastors wife does not mean that you have got it all together. It can be a lonely road. It's not a fun experience when you find that someone you had shared and opened up to was suddenly sharing your struggles with fellow church members.

 We have been very blessed and have found very good friends who have been loving, understanding and I would even call them cheerleaders in our lives that have cheered us on even through the lows.

I'm just going to point out that my husband does not sit around in his office all day reading books, playing video games, and just having a good 'ole time. I'm not sure what people think but I get the impression when talking to some, that they are under the assumption that my husbands job is easy and restful.
There are some days when I'm pretty sure that he has spoken to church members, complete strangers and crazy people who just walk in randomly to sell something more than he has spoken to his wife. It's not easy sharing my husband with you all.
One of the things I read in a blog about pastors wives was that they sometimes feel like a single mother on Sundays. Just this mothers day our youngest son woke up with a fever. Unfortunately it's not really an option for daddy to stay home with his sick boy. (maybe that was a bad example because I have to admit staying home for some baby snuggles is pretty awesome) It is however a stressful situation when your son refuses to go into the nursery and you have to drag him out screaming in the middle of a service. Those are the moments I would most like to have "daddy" to take care of it. Sundays are sometimes my least favorite days because those are one of the days where you get to see and hear more from my husband than I do.

The life of a pastors wife is not an easy one. We face criticism not only on ourselves but we hear it about our husband and even our children. We hold in our thoughts and feelings for fear of causing hurt feelings. We walk a lonely road at times and most likely when the church is going through major blessings your pastors family is going through battles. Satan would love nothing more than to destroy a church and there is no greater way than to creep into the lives of your leaders. Just make sure you're not giving him any extra ammo!!
 Words hurt!
"sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me"
I'd rather be hit with sticks and stones.