I was setting in our cozy family room this morning, while propped up on my cushiony chase. Taking in a breathing treatment, I began to pray what should I share next...
Then it hit me boundaries are so important for Pastor families.
This was a lesson my family had to learn the hard way and reaped the consequences of not having them.
After swallowing the pill of you want me to go where? Then arriving and life took on a whole new meaning of busy. It took on a whole new look of what was now our new normal.
For a family of four 3 hours away from all they new was normal it was.A shock and hard it took a heavy tole. We paid a high price for not having a clue .... Like I said in my previous post I did not have a mentor. So there wasn't no one to call when I felt like I was drowning and loosing all that I knew.
Taking on a pastorship is a team effort, its not just your husbands ministry its your families and everyone plays a part. Wether they realize it or not .... Not being prepared causes a wave of confusion and lots of unnecessary hurt.
We learned lots of lessons in the mountains, I often refer to that time as our learning stage...
We learned so much in those seven years! We took away both good and bad experiences. Yet looking back I see that it shaped our hearts to serve in such a larger way for Jesus.
So I would like to take a moment and share why its important set boundaries for your family and your home. Your home and ministry will be so much better for them.
I think the hardest thing for us was finding a balance for ministry obligations and time for our family. I know that sounds awful, but it was true. As a pastors family we don't ever have a moment when we are not on call. Our phones interrupt dinner, Tragedy often changes the course of our day, and our doors are always open to someone who needs to talk or be counciled.
Often times someone will just drop by because they just want to spend time. In those moments great relationships are born. Yet when is it okay to say now is not a good time.
This was a hard lesson for my little family to learn.
After a time I started notice a change in my girls. they dreaded the phone ringing. the knock at the door wasn't met with enthusiasm anymore.
it wasn't really till we knew our time in the mountains had ended and we were headed for a whole new wild adventure. That my kids spoke up and said before we go somethings need too change.
I will never ever forget that night as they shared their hearts about how ministry had effected them. I knew our new journey would have to be different and it has been. Theses are the boundaries I set in place for our family once we moved and settles going on 31/2 years ago.
1- Mondays were family day and unless it was emergency that someone else could not handle. We spend the day together and have dinner all together.
2- Its okay not to give your address out especially if you decide not to live in the parsonage!
you can always meet and council someone at the church, their home, or a coffee shop. this keeps from special times with our kids from being interrupted
3- You don't have to best friends with everyone lol. Actually choose your close friends wisely! .Your not always gonna be close to everyone and that's okay.
4- its okay to hold intimate details of your past in your heart and only share them with people you trust. Your testimony does not mean they need every detail to know where God has brought you from.
5- Let your kids be kids! They only have one childhood. Let them make friends with who they choose! As long as they are good influences. Let them have pink hair if they want lol ... Those skinny jeans arent gonna send her to hell lol.... She already feels like everyone treats her differently because she is the pastors kids. tell anyone who has an opinion of your kids. In the nicest way that you can, Your family is just like theirs your husbands calling is just different. Just because I am the preachers family we are far from perfect.
6- Its okay to say no or now isn't a good time. We evaluate each thing we are presented with before we answer. If it is something I don't have to be involved with and I cant be there or participate. I no longer feel guilty. I also allow my kids to make the decision for themselves instead of making them feel like they have to say yes every time they are asked to do something. For example babysit.
7- Make time to date your man!!! This is important. because often us pastors wives feel pushed to the side lines. He has responsibilities to do and obligations that often lead him away from home! So put it on his calendar and have some alone time with him! You both will be glad you did!Turn your phones off and let someone else handle the anything that arises and tend to one another's needs!
8- Last and not least its okay to tell church members to call before they visit! There is always days that its not convenient for visitors or even a time of day that's not good.. For example we homeschool so i have made a general rule no visitors during that time.Who doesn't need a day in their p.j's! Honestly everyone respects that for the most part.
These are just a few things that help us to stay sane. However life sometimes throws a punch and we have avert our plans for something different. One more piece of advise if I may. Make sure you have someone you trust completely to confide in. We all need someone to listen and someone to be there for us! Just make sure you can trust them and never let that person be a family member. That tends to cause lots and lots of problems.
I truly hope this helps to encourage and help someone. Being a preachers wife is one of my greatest joys! I wouldn't trade it for nothing. however on the real side of it! It can be hard and full of challenges. Find what makes your home run smoothly and go with it!
I am praying for all of you and I pray you have a truly blessed week!