But in honor of this important month that is now over, I've decided to write about my favorite things about being a pastor's wife. I'm not always angry you know (I'm only sometimes angry, usually before I've had my morning coffee), and there are some perks!
So here's my Pastor's Appreciation Top 10:
10. Awesome PARKING SPOT and the FIRST LADY SEAT. I've heard that some churches have a special parking spot for their senior pastor by the door. And they save the first seat of the first row for the "first lady"- the pastor's wife. We're not one of those churches but I usually get a great spot for my car and my bum because I'm at church early. I do wonder if I'm ever a first lady, can I wear a really big hat? That would be cool.
9. ACCESS TO THE CHURCH AT ANY TIME. Sometimes I leave stuff at church - on a nice day, it's my coat or sunglasses; sometimes it's one of my kids' Bibles. And when I forget, I can come by and get it at any time, because I have the church key on my keychain. Yes!
8. FOOD - This morning, I actually had a church member bring over a freshly baked pumpkin pie, made with pumpkins that he grew himself!!! Score! This is just the tip of the iceberg folks. We get freshly baked cookies, bread, biscuits and gravy, tomatoes and apples just off the vine/tree, etc.. And they wonder why so many ministers have diabetes. I'm not complaining, please keep the food coming!
7. SKILLS - My husband may be very intelligent, well read and well spoken, but he is not good with his hands. I put together the IKEA furniture in our house. My dad comes over and fixes the garbage disposal. We pay people to do a whole lot of odd jobs in our home; but there are some good samaritans who come over and help Kumar for free. They help him change the ceiling fan/light fixtures, install pergo floors, set up the printer, put the training wheels on Wilo's bike. These things do not come easy to us, so we greatly appreciate the gift of time and skilled labor that our friends and parishioners bestow on us.
|Not only did some church members' bring us this bouquet of Hydrangea, they started a cutting for me, so maybe (MAYBE) I'll have a plant to show for it next year.|
6. COMPLAINTS - When I have a complaint about the heat, volume or length of a sermon, I feel like it gets heard. Kumar may just be nodding his head absentmindedly, but I feel like he could/would get up and change the thermostat for me. Or maybe I just know who to really ask (Collier).
5. SHOWERS - The minister's kids are the church's kids. Never did I feel this more, than when I had Jaelin, my first daughter. We moved from California to Maryland while I was pregnant, so we had baby showers at both churches, in addition to baby showers at both schools that I worked at, plus baby showers thrown by family and friends, and various baby gifts dropped off at the hospital and our home (some at 8am, sabbath morning-don't do that). We have enough praying angel stuffed animals, kids Bibles and devotional books, and blankets for a family of 10! People are so generous when you are having a baby - I think that's why we had Wilo! (Just kidding, sorta).
4. VACATIONS - We may not have tons of money to go on international vacations, but where-ever we can drive to, we have a place to stay. Many of our well to do friends live in spacious digs in awesome places (Wooster B&B), own timeshares, condos or vacation homes that they invite us to. So we go. As long as they aren't talking church politics, we relax and enjoy their generosity. Kumar also occasionally gets some pretty sweet speaking gigs, that allow for me to do some sightseeing and eating across the country (Vancouver, NYC, Miami, food trucks!). Vacation to me is all about the food, and the people I share it with of course!
|Best meal ever at Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill in Vegas|
|Best view ever at Whistler, where Kumar spoke at BC Campmeeting this summer|
3. FLEX SCHEDULE - This one is a biggie. No, Kumar does not only work from 8-12 on sabbath morning. But Kumar's flexible schedule has been a real blessing while we've had babies and preschoolers in the house. I was in a lot of childcare at a young age, and although nothing really bad happened there, I didn't enjoy it. So when I had kids, I hoped and prayed that I wouldn't have to drag my kids around to continue working part-time. All the problems that come with being a working mom- packing up their stuff (The bottle is in the fridge), forgotten homework (Call your dad), snow days (Aha- I'm a teacher), sick kids (good luck Kumar!), I've mostly avoided because of Kumar's flexible schedule and our parents' wonderful capacity to help out.
|I've enjoyed working motherhood because of Kumar's flexibility|
2. FRIENDS - Kumar is really good at making friends. I'm really good at keeping them. I'm lucky to have a ginormous group of great friends; and I keep meeting and making more friends outside of my usual frame of reference (mother's room) because of Kumar's job and personality. Sure, they know him as their pastor, but it's nice to not be lonely on a Saturday night.
1. I actually miscalculated and only listed 9 things, so I'm gonna make one up on the fly - LOVING YOUR JOB. Kumar sure does complain a lot, but in the end, being a pastor was what he was made to do. I knew that when I married him. His parents dedicated him to ministry as a baby, and as much as he hates board meetings and finance meetings, and meeting with the cleaning company, he LOVES Bible studies with people who are just getting to know Jesus. When you love your job, it means everything!