U is for Useful and Useless
We’re nearing the end of the AtoZ Challenge. ‘U’ marks the start of the last week. Thank you all so much for reading and popping by; for liking and commenting. It’s been a great encouragement.
I haven’t read nearly as many as I would have liked to, but the AtoZ Reflections post and the AtoZ Roadtrip will give me time to catch up.
If you haven’t been following from the start, I used the theme of being a pastor’s wife so I could explore the many thoughts and feelings I have about the whole thing. Himself has been a Pastor since December of last year. We’re a few years older than most who start this work and still finding our feet. As I’ve mentioned before, the role of the ‘Pastor’ is well defined and a lot clearer than that of the spouse. I’m trying to learn what I should do and what I can do.
I don’t want to swoosh around in a flurry of activity hoping to look and feel useful, like I’m fulfilling some previously unattended purpose. Nor do I want to sit around doing nothing – which I could do because the church is very well run and looked after.
In Wednesday’s ‘W’ post, I’m going to explore this a little more as I write about who, and what, I am. One thing that has come up in a few posts is this – I can only be who I am. if I try to be anyone else it’ll be false and unnatural. I wish I could be, and give, more; but I’m pretty sure being myself is how I can of most use.
S is for Sisterhood
Once a week, a group of ladies from our church and other churches meet together for Sisterhood.
I had an idea of Sisterhood meetings in my head. They didn’t seem like my cup of tea at all. Far too quiet and formal for my liking.
I’ve been joyfully surprised by the Sisterhood meetings at our church. They are lively and fun. We have a mix of speakers, a couple of songs, some lovely chat and prayer; and of course a cup of tea and some cake.
I have been blessed far more than I thought I would be. I’ve been challenged too about my preconceptions and presumptions. I have laughed my head off, and cried my eyes out with these women. I’ve learned a lot and had an opportunity to share too. (Including children’s songs with actions – these women are nothing if not young at heart. 🙂 )
Amongst this group, there’s a love for God and His Word. And a love for each other that has shown me what Sisterhood really is. Not a meeting; a family.
T is for Tea
Himself loves an ol’ cup of tea. His mother tells me that since she put a drop on a spoon and gave it to him, when he was still in his high chair, he loved it and has been a serious tea drinker ever since. (We can only thank God it wasn’t whisky she put on the spoon!)
The cup of tea (or coffee) after our church services is such a great event. Being a small church, most people who are on refreshments duty know who drinks what. So when you get to the counter, often your drink is handed to you just as you like it. I’ve done refreshments once or twice and the queue always takes longer to pass as I don’t have the list off by heart – yet.
Fellowship over a cuppa is a marvellous thing. It’s a vital part of church life. It’s how my brothers and sisters in Christ have become my friends. It’s how I’ve learned about their lives. It’s how I’ve come to understand a little more about what makes them tick. Not for general information gathering or to be ‘in the know’. I want to know so I can be of use, so I can pray intelligently, and I want them to be able to do the same for me.
The kettle is always on in our house, and regularly on in the church hall.
I find that very… refreshing 🙂
R is for Reading Room
Himself has an office. It’s in the same building as the one we live in; but he has to leave the flat and enter the building through another door.
It has meant that, for the first time, we don’t need to have an office in our home. We’ve always had one: between me working from home, us both being students, and working for ourselves for a while.
So, the extra bit of space we have, is officially called ‘The Reading Room’. It’s also a writing room. I suppose that might make it an office, but it’s got a different feel to it. Our hope is to try to keep it from being too ‘busy’ a space.
I have this (probably wild and unrealistic) vision of me sitting in calm and solitude in that room, or sitting chatting and praying with himself or others. That type of quiet, organised, reflective life doesn’t sound like me; but what is it they said they said about the Field of Dreams?
‘If you build it, they will come.’
Well I’ve got the room, let’s see if the quiet follows it. 🙂
Q is for Queen
I heard something the other day and thought to myself, “I love this church.”
There’s a lot of talk and coverage of the Queens’ s 90th birthday. There are many celebrations happening on a local and national level.
Someone asked if the church were having any sort of recognition or celebration of it. The church had a lovely celebration tea for the Queen’s diamond jubilee. But this time there would be no celebration. Well… Not for the Queen.
It turns out that one of our members is turning 90 too. Her family wanted to hold a celebration in the church hall. We couldn’t really have two 90th birthday parties… so our member’s celebration has taken precidence.
It’s only a small thing, but I was so blessed that, without hesitation, our lovely lady was a priority.
P is for Perks
I did mention, back in H is for home, that I would talk about ‘the perks of the job’ in today’s post (which should be yesterday’s post, but never mind.) Our home is definitely a perk. But there are many others.
There’s a great list of perks in the book I mentioned in the F post; The Minister’s Wife, by Ann Benton. Included are benefits such as: fame, a family to love, and the prayers of the saints. These ones really stood out to me.
It may seem a bit obnoxious to like the idea of a little bit of ‘fame’, but as I mentioned before, I do thrive in a crowd and I enjoy the opportunity to entertain 🙂 But the fame has other benefits linked to it; like the prayers of the saints. The church were praying for us for a year before they met us. They didn’t know who the pastor would be, or what family he had. They just prayed… For us. And they are still doing it, fervently and faithfully.
And a family to love? Marvellous, bring it on. I was raised in a big family and have always loved being surrounded by ‘my people’. This church that I’m a part of now, this flock that himself is the shepherd of – they are another family I can love. What a perk!
Ann Benton’s book is helpfully realistic. She’s quick to remind us that there are sacrifices to be made, and that this is a position of service. There’s no doubt that there are many positives to the role. I just need to remember, whether I’m experiencing the perks or the pains…
It’s a privilege. 🙂
O is for Old Hat
I work in bins, did you know that? Not IN actual bins, you understand. Part of my job is to take enquiries about bin collections etc. The size of waste bins has been reduced in many authorities – in an effort to curb landfill use and encourage recycling. So much of what we used day to day, can be recycled.
Recycling is hard work though. Rinse out the cartons and containers, flatten the cardboard, separate the cellophane from the plastic tray, squash down the bottles. Then there’s the food scraps. It is worth doing though. Recycling 6 teabags produces enough energy to make a cup of tea!
Much of what we use is reusable; it has value.
When you want to be a mammy and you don’t get to be one, it’s easy to think that there’s no purpose out there or you. I can sing but I’ll never be ‘a singer’. I am a writer, but I have no illusions of global success in that department. I do believe that I have an important job to do. I’ve been given this new purpose – in my 40s no less. What a joy it is to be recycled!
Many think that the things I believe are out of date too. I hope I can reflect some of the eternal purpose; the eternal necessity of Christianity. Talk about making myself useful. 🙂