The A to Z of the Pastor’s Wife – R is for Reading Room


RR 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. 🙂

The A to Z of the Pastor’s Wife – Q is for Queen


QQ 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.

The A to Z of the Pastor’s Wife – P is for Perks


PP 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 postThe 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. 🙂

The A to Z of the Pastor’s Wife – Old Hat


OO 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. 🙂

The A to Z of the Pastor’s Wife – N is for Natural


NN is for Natural

You know I’m coming to the conclusion, that for all I’ve pondered so far on the subject of being the pastor’s wife (in case you’ve just joined us, that only happened in December 2015 – I’m quite the novice), I actually can only be myself.

I don’t want to make excuses – I heard a sermon recently about how we can’t really go on saying, “well my Dad had a temper, and I have a temper just like him. It’s the way I am, I can’t help it.” I’m not talking about excusing all my weaknesses and faults by blaming my heritage/culture/upbringing/traumatic childhood/not enough of this/too much of that – delete as appropriate. I do believe my faults are my own. What I’m mean is – I am who I am. If I tried to be some other type of PW, it wouldn’t be me. I’d be pretending.

I’ve talked about this a bit already in an earlier post but the reason it’s come up again for me is that we were told the other day that we are loved – a lot – by our church family. I kinda knew; they certainly show it. But to hear it and to have it said so enthusiastically, and willingly… it came as a surprise.

I wanted to say, “Are you sure? Cos this is all you’re getting, and it doesn’t feel like much.” But I didn’t say that, I just swallowed the massive lump in my throat and said, “Thanks.”

I know I’ve lots to learn, and I’ll probably make a pig’s breakfast of things on occasion. Right now however, I’m accepted as I am. I’m allowed to be myself; just natural. That’s an amazing gift.

I just pray that I can do the same for others.

The A to Z of the Pastor’s Wife – M is for Mammy


MM is for Mammy

OK before we start, I know ‘what if’ is a bit of a waste of time, especially when there is absolutely no way of knowing the answer to the question.

But…

There are two that have been rolling around my head for a while.

  1. What would my mammy of me being a pastor’s wife?
  2. Would I be better at this, if I was a mammy?

See I told you there wasn’t much point in the questions! So why can’t I get them out of my head?

I hope my mam would like what I’m doing now. When I started down this journey of faith, she wasn’t very happy. She was hurt, and worried that I was not on the path that I’d been brought up to travel on. I didn’t react well to her reaction and so, when it came to conversations about faith, there were a few difficult years. Over time I think she realised it was right for me. She got on great with himself and I know she really enjoyed our wedding day; and travelling to Wales to visit us when she did.

I am not sure what she would think of this development. I hope she’d be happy about this part of the journey too.

As for question 2. Well, the problem there is, I always think I’d be better at stuff if I was a mammy. I’m sure I’d be great at getting up early, more organised, more tidy, more patient, more sociable, skinnier, taller, faster, I’d have shiny hair AND shiny floors… See where I’m going with this? pointless.com!

There’s no doubt I’d have a better understanding of family life and the issues parents face, if I was one. I suppose I’m hoping that whatever the gaps in my knowledge and experience, God will fill them. I pray He will give me the spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that I may know Him better. (Eph 1:17)

If I have that, then maybe all the stuff I don’t know (what ifs included), won’t matter so much.

The A to Z of the Pastor’s Wife – L is for Late


LL is for Late

yes yes I know – this post should have gone up last Thursday.

Sorry it’s late.

Actually, lateness is a subject I could talk about at length (if I had time). I do have a bit of trouble with the ol’ time keeping. I love that I only have to walk down the stairs to church, and just 5 minutes to work (7 minutes if I amble – but I rarely have a whole 2 minutes of excess time. )

I envy people who are sticklers for time and arrive with the perfect amount of minutage to spare. If I do manage to get ready and leave early for an event, I end up the first one there, sitting around on my own. That doesn’t happen a lot! I often go from “Great, I have 20 minutes before it’s time to leave”, to “arrgghhhh I should be gone by now”, and I never know what happened to those interim minutes.

Many folk think it’s rude to be late. If it is, it’s not deliberate. I’ve always been like it. Same with school, college and every job I’ve ever had. I’ve haven’t had an official late attendance record since school but even now, it’s always skin of my teeth stuff.

I get the feeling that I probably shouldn’t be late for things anymore. I’m just not sure how to change…

Must dash, gotta do ‘M’, ‘N’ and O to catch up.  Better late than never eh…?

Or not! 🙂

The A to Z of the Pastor’s Wife – K is for Kyrie eleison


KK is for Kyrie eleison

Kyrie is more than just the translated word for mercy. It’s a petition for mercy. The crying out, in the knowledge that you are in need of it. The most powerful sung version of it for me, comes from an unlikely place.

I’m not a big fan of Sinéad O’Connor. I can never decide whether I want to shout at her or hug her, but what ever I think of what she says, I’m constantly blown away by how she sings. She has the most powerful, emotive voice; I believe she’s has one of the greatest and underrated voices of our generation.

Some years ago she sang a Kyrie live on a popular Friday night TV show in Ireland. I was pinned to my chair. To me it seemed she wasn’t just singing it. It really felt like a cry for mercy. I know she’s an artiste and can ‘bring it’ when she needs to. But it looked, felt and sounded 100% genuine to me.

Everyone is in need of mercy; and it turns out that the best way to receive it is to show it. Matthew 5:7 tells us, ‘Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.’

I’ve been worried about how easy it would be, to ‘run out’ of mercy, of grace, of patience… but I’m reminded that as I show mercy to others, mercy will be shown to me. The more I give, the more I’ll receive.

 

The A to Z of the Pastor’s Wife – J is for Jazz-hands


JJ is for Jazz-hands

I’m a bit of a performer, I won’t deny it. I come from a family of entertainers. We were raised to sing and have fun together. I know I’m able to make people laugh – whether it’s with me or at me is another thing. 🙂

Being ‘up the front’ in a room full of people does not phase me at all. Even if I hadn’t got a speech prepared, I could still stand up there and make an impression. I get it from my Dad; he was at home on the stage.

Being the Pastor’s wife is an ‘up the front’ role. One of the things I’m pondering is, do I move into ‘entertainer’ mode every time I’m in a room full of people? I know that I do it to some degree, I always have a story to tell. But it’s not my job to entertain. So I’m just wondering if, in the church, I should try to turn that off – or even down a bit.

Problem is, I don’t know if I can. I’ve never been one for sitting on my hands – it’s even harder to do when they are the jazz variety. I’m not even sure that I have to – I’m still working this one out.

Any thoughts?

The A to Z of the Pastor’s Wife – I is for Intercession


II is for Intercession

Interceding is a particular type of prayer. Dictionary.com says it is “a prayer to God on behalf of another.”

I know I need to pray for myself, but I’ve found more and more that my prayers are moving outward.
And NO, do not say “well done” or give me a slap on the back! It should have happened years ago!

I’ve had to get organised with prayer as the list got very long, very quick. I am stunned at how much more satisfying it is to concentrate on praying for others. I’ve always done it to some degree, but the focus was mostly on my situation and sadness. That has changed now. It had to.

Of course, when I stopped concentrating on praying for myself an amazing thing happened. I’m constantly being prayed for!

Now I know this has long been the case. If you’re reading this and have been praying for me, don’t think I’m only noticing now. I know I’ve been surrounded by prayers by many people for many years. But I get a lot of prayer while I’m ‘in the room’ now.

Actually when I first noticed it, I was embarrassed, I felt bad; selfish in a way. I said that to himself and he reminded me how much we need those prayers. They are part of the expression of love that is shown to us. No matter how long the prayer list, how bad some of the situations, we are never left out.

I’m so grateful for those prayers and I hope they never stop. God (literally) knows I needs them! 🙂