Faith, Love & Marriage

First Lady Woes: A Silent Sisterhood

I thank God everyday that no one has yet to invent the mind-reading machine. For every church member who would blush, cringe, and run from reading their First Lady’s thoughts–it would be the end of the Christian Church as we know it. 

God aligned the moon and stars for me to recently hang out with some pastor wives. All professionals in our own right, making time for a meal or a gathering takes time and effort. One sister, I had never met. Two I had met on occasion. At two different times of my day I was able to bless and be blessed by the simple encounters of their spirit. Our husbands are great buddies, and we ourselves decided to dash that old adage of competition among women, and get to know each other better. I have been identified as the seasoned pastor wife. At fourty years old, seventeen years married, eleven years as a pastor’s wife and six as a youth pastor’s wife–I guess you could call me seasoned. 😳 #LeSigh

We talked. We laughed. We talked some more.  We high-fived. We nodded our heads in empathy. We raised our glasses in agreement. Yep! Some of us do #drank. We reveled in the awesomeness and burden of our sisterhood. Our closest friends, as best as they can, as much as they would love to, can’t truly empathize with the role we wear. 

I. HAD. NO. CLUE. WHAT. BEING. A. PASTOR. WIFE. WOULD. ENTAIL. 

God knows why He kept me in the dark! 

It is a sisterhood of women who have mastered the art of “grin and bear it” for weekly service. Of women who are either over rated or under valued. Of women whose husbands are revered and they are reviled. Of women who miscarry one Sunday and are in church the next. Of women whose esteem is so low, their purse/shoe expenses are so high. Of women who seethe quietly in the pews with stiff backs and cold hearts. Of women who leave challenging jobs to sit in a service thinking of what’s on their agenda for tomorrow. Of women who feel the pressure to be something they can never be. Of women who have to clothe, bathe, feed, educate children and make it look easy. Of women who are stay-at-home moms and regarded as being lazy. Of women who are working professionals and regarded as being too ambitious. Of women living that damned if you do and damned if you don’t type of life. 
So the next time you glance over to your pastor wife in service, say a silent prayer for her well being. Pray her sanity remains intact. Pray her personal relationship with Jesus is an everyday experience. Pray her husband and her children receive her very best. Pray that God provides her with an outlet to be herself. 

Pray that she doesn’t cuss one of these triflin’ members out…

 JUST. PRAY. 

 

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September To Remember: Birthday Bags

September is the month of my mom’s birth. I wanted to take the time to remember her as I knew her to be. Not a sainted woman but a sometimes strong, sometimes frail example of womanhood. 

Fondest early childhood memory meant munching on sweet and salty snacks she was bagging for my classroom kindergarten party. It’s a vague memory of me and her at our dining table assembling ziplock bags. I remember eating more than I was bagging. I remember being excited. It would be the only class party I would have in my years as a student. 

She would soon come to embrace certain religious teachings and no longer celebrate birthdays or holidays. I would come to hate this doctrine she took on as her own. She would eventually concede and I would be thankful. My child’s mind missed my fun mom. I was glad the weird church teachings didn’t change her all the way. 

My last birthday gift would be a beautiful vase of flowers. She insisted I pick it up before they wilted. How was I to know this would be her last earthly gift to me?

September to remember. 

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For The Clueless: Football Starter Kit

This originally started out as an Instagram post. My family members were ragging on me because I’m the alien, the odd ball of the group. I. Don’t. Watch. Football. I. Could. Care. Less. 

And so I get teased. But I take it all in stride because at day’s end I’m not the nagging wife who just can’t understand why a pigskin and men in tights (well hmm scratch that last part) can be such a big deal. My husband yelled like a caveman today when the first play came on his large screen tv. It’s football season! Well, for the wives and girlfriends who just can’t quite fathom what the big deal is about, quit while you’re ahead.

Women who could give a rat’s ahem …behind about football, this is my starter kit tip for you. 

1-Buy him the bigger TV. He will leave yours alone. 

2-You won’t see him until Tuesday morning every week. Get yo life and be missing too. 

3-Don’t pretend to like football. Ain’t nobody got time to explain what a Hail Mary is. Hint: it’s not a Sunday prayer. 

4-Don’t throw any tantrums. He won’t hear you anyway. 

5-Remodel your house during football season. He won’t notice until Valentine’s Day and by then it’s too late! 😂😂

6-Watch 30 for 30 on ESPN. You will be surprised how much more respect you will have for the game of football. Or lack thereof. 

7-Walking in front of the television in your thongs will TEMPORARILY distract him. 😎. Do you know how long television football really is?!!

8-It’s okay to be the only girl among your girlfriends who doesn’t care for the game. Don’t worry, 1/3 of them are pretenders, 1/3 are trying to keep their man, and the other 1/3 tryna get a man. 😝

9-Enjoy the quiet weekends to yourself. Read more. Study more. Shop more. 

10-Don’t worry. He’s coming back to you. Sometime around February leading into March (probably, maybe.)

You’ve been duly warned. Leave well enough alone and wait it out. Basketball season is right around the corner. Ugh!!!

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Good Stress, Bad Stress

We have bastardized the word stress to where it’s been minimized to just meaning being annoyed at a person, place, or thing. 

Stop with the dumb jokes! You stressing me out right now.” 

“Trying to find the right color pair of shoes for this dress is stressing me!”

Stress defined is a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.

Stress has gotten a bad rap. It’s been negatively connotated and relegated to the back of the file cabinet of things not to talk about. 
Yet stress can be an accelerant to change. Be it good stress or bad. There’s nothing that gets you off your laurels quicker than an event that sets you on edge. Wife threatening to leave you. That’s stress. Grieving the loss of a loved one. That’s stress. Boss dancing on your last nerve. That’s stress. Children making poor choices. That’s stress. Working on your doctorates. That’s stress. Losing your home to a hurricane. That’s stress. Bringing home a new baby. That’s stress. Getting engaged. That’s stress. 

The response to the strain or tension that you are facing is what makes or breaks the deal for your sanity and well being. What tools do you have in place to help you plow through the muck? 

Prayer (defined as conversations with God) and reading works for me; coupled with the occasional “let me run this by you” convos I have with trusted friends. For some it’s life coaching from a total stranger. For others it’s a circle of friends they can trust. Journaling, working out, blogging, baking, mountain climbing whatever it takes to return to your centered self–do it. 

Stress will remain a given in human existence. It is a reminder of our frailty and humanness. A reminder that we are not alone in our journey. That others have been down this or similar roads before and have come out on the other side better for it. 

It is the placing of one foot in front of the other that will move us from fear to fortitude.