Thursday, March 28, 2013

Perfectly Peaceful Pastor's Wife


Where are those Easter eggs?

*An Easter Repost: 
It is Easter Week! I love this beautiful and contemplative Christian celebration. It is the season for believers to remember what God did for us and rejoice in the surprise happy ending! Would you like to see what happens behind the scenes on this High Holy Day? I will not speak for all ministry wives, but I will give you a picture of my typical Resurrection Sunday during my years as a pastor’s wife…

If you are at all involved in church-life…and there really is no such thing as “a little bit involved”, which is similar to saying “a little bit pregnant”. Because when it comes to church-life, you’re either all the way in or not. If you volunteer for one thing, you will soon hear your phone ringing for about fifty million other things. Churches run on volunteer help, so if we see your timid little hand even slightly twitch during a planning meeting; Ta da! YOU ARE IT! Yay you!
As I was saying, if you are involved in church-life you have no doubt seen your pastor’s wife standing next to her hubby greeting and maybe warmly embracing several different people following a beautiful and inspiring Easter service. From a distance she looks so serene, cool and collected. You may even feel a twinge of jealousy as you recall your crazy, difficult morning getting your young family to the early sunrise service and then pulling the kids away from their Easter baskets in order to go to the special church celebration on time. I was that calm, cool and collected pastor’s wife. I loved my life and chosen path, but I was jealous of you.
I loved Easter (still do!) and all it stood for. Hubs and I had decided that it should be as wonderful and full of life as Christmas, so we planned many special things for that one day each year. Our town, like many communities then, offered an Easter Sunrise Service where all the churches in town that could agree on at least one thing, got together to greet the rising sun with songs, scriptures and freezing people in the local park. So our church happily took part in the planning and organizing of this once-a-year gathering. That meant I was dragging my two boys out of their cozy beds at crazy-dark-o'clock and bundling them up to go stand in wet, soggy grass for an hour.
After the sunrise service I got my kiddos back home and packed up to return to the church for the annual pancake breakfast before the actual Easter service began. In between each of these jaunts my boys are running back to their sweet-filled Easter baskets that they found at the foot of their beds when they woke up. The sugar rush is beginning to catch up with them, it will manifest itself later on when the real service is about to begin and the whole church is very quiet.
Our little church was excited to hit the 100 mark one day each year!
So, there I am, all dressed up and working in a tiny old-fashioned kitchen with an ugly apron over my pretty new spring dress as we pile pancakes on plates.. The boys are now sliding out of my sight whenever possible to do who knows what on the blackboards of the Sunday School classrooms. The fellowship hall of our little church was packed to over-flowing (literally) with happy, dressed-up families and many families who only came to church on this one Sunday each year. It was loud, fun and full of life, I loved it!
Towards the end of the breakfast time I would sneak into the crowd and quietly gather the teen-agers to put them to work hiding plastic-candy-filled Easter eggs all over the church lawns. A few of the ladies in the church and I had spent several hours earlier in the week stuffing these eggs with non-melting, paper wrapped candies. While the grown-ups were eating the breakfast we also somehow managed to get the little ones to decorate pastel colored paper lunch sacks to collect their eggs in.
Keep in mind that during all this activity I am also being the gracious and inviting hostess to new people who were being brought up to me for introductions all morning. Because we were a small church, I literally had my hands in on every single activity that happened. I'm sure it will not surprise you to hear that the beginning moments of the actual Easter Service were my first chance to sit down all morning and even though it was not easy to keep a couple of sugar-wired boys in control, it was beautiful to sit and watch someone else, my Hubs, take charge. For some reason we had decided that it was important for the kids to be in the service instead of going out to the kids service on that day. Of course it was probably ME that made that decision because I was the Kids Church Director too! As I write this I have absolutely no idea how I did so much!
I don't believe my sons would say that they were cheated by this life. At least not in a huge degree, but I know that I feel like I may have robbed myself of enjoying them more, rather than taking care of everyone else. We had wonderful Easter afternoons with my parents and siblings who lived an hour away. After church we changed into more comfy clothes and packed ourselves into the mini-van.... hmm, I need to interrupt myself there and correct that statement. I changed into comfy clothes, but KEPT the boys in their nice outfits (such as they were by that point) so that Grandma could see how cute they looked. Ha! Sorry guys! I let them change after Grandma got her pictures taken of them! We got to watch the boys and their cousins do another egg hunt in Grandmas' yard and sit down to an amazing meal with tons of laughter and teasing. The drive home late that night would be a very quiet one as the boys snoozed with candy wrappers and plastic green grass in their hands.

I am hoping that this post is not sounding bitter or regretful about my days as a busy pastor’s wife. And I had plenty of help in all these activities. Actually, I don't think I would change very much about those days if I had the chance. But as you enjoy the amazing celebrations that happen in your church, it may be helpful to know all that went on behind the scenes to make this a sweet and joy-filled day for everyone.
Happy Easter!

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10 comments:

  1. No, this post doesn't sound bitter or regretful at all. Quite the opposite and very funny. I was practically out of breath, reading about all that you did. Wow! Much admiration for you, Susie!

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    1. It was a busy season in my life, very different now.

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  2. Hi Susie,

    Julie Luekenga referred me to your blog this morning. I read a few of your stories this morning, but didn't have time to comment on them. I really enjoyed all that you shared and could relate to today's. I've been hugely involved in Churches over the years and know how busy you can get once you raise your hand!! LOL!!! I haven't learned yet.....I'm still raising my hand!!! LOL!!! I am very busy in ministry and enjoying it so much!!!

    I look forward to getting to know you better through your stories......

    Walking by faith........Deb Holway

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    1. So glad you stopped by Deb. I enjoyed your blog also and look forward to getting to know you better!
      Susie

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  3. This is the first Easter in over 20 years that we aren't in the role of Pastor n' Wife. We're actually leaving town to spend the weekend with family-- the first in a long time. The hardest part of Easter-- well every Sunday-- has always been the hugging and chatting part, which sounds weird. I'm very much an introvert and all the small talk, asking after people (while they didn't always ask after me), answering questions about Bible studies, showers that needed done, nursery or children's church or all the things we should or shouldn't be doing, has made me gun-shy with the "fellowship" before and after church. Even though my husband is no longer the pastor, we still attend the same church and I find that people still approach me this way. The adjustment for us all will take time. I'm excited to approach Easter a bit differently this year, be at my mother-in-law's church and not have any expectations to think about. Ahhhh. :)

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    1. I know exactly what you mean Julie and I am so happy that this weekend will be one of peace and relaxation for you! Happy Easter new friend!

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  4. Wishing you a blessed Good Friday and a Happy Easter. Lovin' your pictures with the little ones. It's such a fun time!

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  5. Love it and can relate on so many levels. I know it sounds selfish but I want to be with family on holidays (including Christmas & Easter) but since we now live 3 hours from family and my husband is the pastor and we always have a Christmas Eve and Easter (of course) service, the family thing takes a backseat.

    I am jealous of the people who sleep in Easter morning and arrive in time for the service. I'd much rather have a leisurely breakfast at home than have to get up at the crack of dawn and smile pretty for all the visitors. ;-)

    But it is a sacrifice I am willing to make, like you, to (try to) show the love of Christ to a world in need.

    Thanks! Barb Winters :-)

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  6. I'm positive you gave so much more than you realize!

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  7. I remember those days so well...you and I walked in the same paths, just on different sides of the continent. I wouldn't trade those days for anything, but I'm kind of glad to be "retired" from it today. After a while these bodies just wear out and we need to let the younger ones take over. Precious memories. Thank you for helping me to relive them. I'd almost forgotten just how hectic and wonderful those days were.

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