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?

Music on a Monday – when a song tells you how you’re feeling


I had just taken my seat in the second row, for the Now & Then Production Company‘s performance of Jesus Christ Superstar (JCS) and I was already battling tears. It was a combination of things; but mainly it was because almost exactly 1 month before, I’d sat in the same spot for my dad’s funeral. The venue was St. Mary’s Priory in Tallaght. Also my nephew was playing Jesus in the show and I knew from what I’d heard that (as usual) his performance would blow me away.

If you’re a regular reader here then you’ll know that 2014 has been hard and I’m slowing getting back to full strength. Tomorrow my friend who died January, would have been celebrating a big birthday. We talked about the shindig he didn’t want to have but that he’d probably have anyway. I promised that even though I couldn’t make the last celebration, I’d definitely be at the next!

You just never know, do you?!

Anyway, second row, JCS, neff on stage, me on the brink…
The show was great. A modern take on the direction and costumes etc. Fab cast and orchestra. And I actually forget for a minute that I was in the church and was engrossed in the performance.
I have to be honest, JCS isn’t my fave – mainly cos it doesn’t make any mention of the resurrection. Jesus is taken down from the cross and that’s pretty much it. But it was a great production.

christopher jcs
My nephew Christopher Keeley playing Jesus in JCS April 2014. Photo from http://www.nowandthenproductions.com

We get to the scene where Jesus is in the Garden of Gethsemane. He’s praying and crying out to God. He sings… “I’m not as sure as when we started. Then I was inspired, now I’m sad and tired.”

The damn burst.

It was like the whole of the last few months had been summed up in that one line. Maybe even more than months. I was talking the other day to a friend about how excited and enthusiastic I used to be. But now… I’m sad and tired.

The good news is that I’m not as sad and tired as I felt that night at the show. But I’ve a long way to go. That night, that song, confirmed how I was feeling.

We’re a long way from Pharrell Williams, but if you know me, you know that I’ll tell you if I get there 🙂

The too-long Facebook status update on why I’m not writing a Good Friday blog post…


This started out by me updating my Facebook status saying ‘I don’t think I have a Good Friday post in me today. #heavyheart and all that.’ Then I kept typing…

‘Reading my Good Friday post from last Easter it feels like it was written by someone else. It’s like I’m a different person from who I was this time last year. Life has been a game of snakes and ladders for me. Am praying for the strength to start climbing again.’

Still not too long for a Facebook post? I’ve seen longer… but I wasn’t finished.

small_5260296039I don’t really want to write another ‘Oh I feel so depressed’ blog post. I really don’t. I want to be happy and I want to be able to say out loud that I’m happy. But I feel like I’ve a heaviness settled upon me that I can’t rise above. I suppose that is grief; and I’m recovering (or not) from compounded grief at the moment. Two very different but big losses in the space of 3 months.

I think of Jesus carrying His cross to Calvary and I know I’m supposed to consider my ‘light and momentary troubles’ (2 Corinthians 4) as nothing compared to what He has done for us. And I’m trying to. I really am. But today l can’t find light and momentary.

Last year was so exciting. All the writing opportunities and the literary festivals and launching the book. I really felt that my writing career was taking off. No notions of being rich and famous – just published and out there. And yes I am that. But this year I was supposed to continue that and improve on that but I don’t know if I can. As I said I feel like it’s always snakes and ladders with me. I keep sliding back down and have to drag myself back to the bottom rung and start again.

Maybe that is everyone’s life and it just doesn’t look like it from where I’m standing. But it really really doesn’t look like it from where I’m standing.

One thing I know about Good Friday is that Sunday is coming. I doubt I’ll be back on form within 48 hours but resurrection day is coming.

After my mam died in 2005 I felt overwhelmed with the sadness that the previous few years had brought. God led me to this verse; I had it on a piece of paper, taped to my pc monitor in work. 1 Peter 5:10

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

I feel like I’m in need of this promise again. Starting that journey (again) to restoration and steadfast-ness. I wish I didn’t have to take the journey (again), but for some reason I do.

Vicky's crossTonight in our church service I’ll be singing… ‘and with every breath that I am given I will sing salvation’s song.’ As I read this back, it doesn’t sound much like salvation’s song. But then again Psalm 40 verse 2 says ‘he lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand’
Firm… steadfast…
exactly what I need right now.

So maybe it’s not that far away salvation’s song after all.

Verse 1 of that Psalm says ‘I waited patiently for the Lord and he turned to me and heard my cry.’
So here I am… waiting…

I am sure about one thing tho…. this was far too long for a Facebook post.  

photo credits
Snakes and Ladders: weesen via photopin cc
Cross: used with permission from @vickymiti