Sunday, June 15, 2008

Six Year Anniversary


Dave's preached at Trinity United Presbyterian Church for six years. I've been a "pastor's wife" for six years. We've lived in rural southern Illinois for six years. We've inhabited the manse, located on the same block as the church, on the parking lot, for six years. Much has happened. Much has changed in our lives. I've learned lots. I look back on these years as a learning experience. That gets me through. Celebrating, or while remembering, these six years I've come up with six lessons learned:

1) Manse living sucks. 'Scuse my French but living on the property of the church, next to the church-10-feet-from-the-church-back-yard-is-the-parking-lot-no-neighbors sucks. Across the street is an empty lot and an apartment building. Strangers come by for handouts. We feel confined. Churches, if you're listening, tear down the manse next to the church and build your pastors a house some where away from the church building, among people of the community. 

2) Gossip destroys. I used to wonder why Gossip was listed with the other heinous sins but I've witnessed it's destructive power and I've seen how a Gossiper can be oblivious to their destructive power, thinking their actions are harmless, falling into the trap that Gossip isn't a sin, it's just passing information. It's effects are harmful, tearing apart relationships, breeding anger, bitterness, pain and hatred. 

3) The PCUSA is not the be all and end all of Christendom, though some inside, deep inside, the denomination would like to believe they are the trailblazers of enlightenment for the Christian church.

4) I know why pastor's wives remain distant and are perceived as aloof from the congregation. It's to protect their family, marriage and selves. If I started all over I would probably not step in to so many responsibilities which cling to me like leaches. Responsibilities within the church, once taken on by the PW seem to be near impossible to shake off, without snide comments from some members of the congregation.

5) Small town, rural living has been romanticized by the likes of Jan Karon. Because the population remains stagnant, things that need to change don't change. Tradition is a strong, almost immovable, value, maybe higher than faithfulness.

6) My husband has been a faithful witness, an excellent expositor, a selfless giver and a tireless leader to this congregation and to his Lord. The folks who have sat in our pews have heard the word of God each time he has preached. Dave has revealed truth. He has served his brothers and sisters and fed the stranger. He loves the Word and loves to open up it's truth to those with ears to hear. 

3 comments:

Julo said...

This is one of the best posts on being a Pastor's Wife I've ever read.

I'm going on three years and I wish I had learned these things sooner. I resonated with ALL of them.

Julie said...

You are amazing! I've said it before, but it's worth repeating. And I'm so proud of you guys (knowing you) for sticking it out & learning hard lessons. Appreciate your respect and love for your husband through it all. I know he's so glad to have you by his side. You guys are a great team. Come visit us—PULEEEEEAASE!!!

Orrange said...

six years!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! congrats to you guys for persevering through some hard changes, adjustments, and circumstances.