‘Cute Shoes’ Online Discussion ~ Chapter Five
I think I may have mentioned a time or three that it really was never my intention to take over this blog with book talk. Unfortunately, when one only writes one to two days per week and one of those is a scheduled discussion, it’s pretty hard not to.
I’ve not been ignoring you on purpose. Truth is I’ve been really busy forgiving that big orange orb in the sky after being mad at it for neglecting these parts for the better portion of three months. We’ve kissed and made up now that I’ve officially been able to wear flip flops two days in a row. Now watch it turn cold because I became overconfident in the sun’s love for me.
I’ve also been doing lots of other exciting things such as cleaning and organizing all of the bedrooms along with their respective closets. Not that you could tell it if you came over today but the satisfaction remains. Is it just our family or are little girls one thousand times slobbier than little boys? When I opened her closet and looked under her bed, I literally had to stop and ask Jesus for the strength to bless and not curse. If Hoarders runs out of case studies, I can totally hook them up.
There’s so much more to tell. Luke got The Girl a rabbit – a heartbreak waiting to happen. We aren’t the greatest animal people. We are also celebrating our 20th anniversary this week. And drumroll please….We are officially building a house. A fabulous anniversary gift indeed. I’ll speak more to that later. But for the record and to dispel rumors that I continue to hear – I did not get rich from writing a book – there is no money for a first time author in writing a church resource book – and Luke has no intention of ever leaving ministry and living off my wealth. Were he to do that, you could visit us living in a box on the corner. Or maybe a series of boxes if I ever write another book.
I started to apologize for chasing that rabbit and realized, WAIT, now I literally can! Because I needed yet one more to run after!
Good grief, we got some book discussion to do.
Okay, I just loved reading through all of your responses about conflict. So much wisdom there. It’s also evident there are some very raw emotions churning in some of us. For you girls who are currently hashing through some hard things, please know I am praying over you and that I get it. Boy do I get it. What I also get, however, is that no matter how hurtful Christ’s people can be, the privilege of serving His Bride is always, always worth it. As my brilliant husband often states it, we’ll get ticked off at the cashier at Walmart for being rude but that doesn’t keep us from going back. What does it say about us when we are quicker to withdraw our hearts from church than we are a big box store that doesn’t even have polenta when we need it and schedules square dances smack in the middle of the aisle the week before Christmas?
Clearly, I have Walmart issues.
Where were we? Chapter Five? YES! I Can Have BFF’s in the Church Pews!!
Here are a couple of things we’ll talk about this week:
1. On pg. 114, I talked about ‘Balancing Your Five’. Describe your circle of friends and how they fit into the categories suggested.
2. What has been your experience in having bff’s at church? If it was ugly, please don’t dishonor anyone but tell us what you learned in the process. If it has been great, throw out some ideas as to why you feel your friendships have been successful.
3. Are you a blogger or blog reader? Share how online friendships have helped you connect with other ministry wives. If you haven’t connected yet, check out the Married to the Ministry blogroll here at this site. You’ll never be lonely again.
I consider all of you my bff’s and have loved getting to know you in this way! Don’t forget when signing in for this week’s discussion to note your name, location, and area of ministry. Looking forward to hearing from you on this one!
Ok, I am going to buy your book now! I have been lurking here for a couple of days, but share some common ground… my hubs is the worship pastor at our church. I am so glad that you are down-to-earth and tell it like it REALLY is. I will be coming back for the book discussion but following your blog through my own. Thanks for your site. I really appreciate it!
Hmmm … BFFs in the pews are tough. I have found that they usually won’t be other staff gals, and that has been a hard hope to let go of. It still makes me sad, but it’s been my reality, and I’ve stubbornly accepted it. I have found that I won’t have a lot of what I think of as “level C” friends (deeper), but those who have been in leadership or in families that lead will be most likely to give me permission to be their “friend” and the gift to be mine. I’m afraid I still have a “be careful” voice in my head, and some days I wish I could just have some gal pal there to just be totally honest with … thus, the joy of blogging and finding sweet gifts of friendship among some other women in ministry whom I have yet to meet in person. That’s been a gift. And I’m hoping I’ll show up on your blog roll soon … but BFFs do NOT put pressure on ministry wives, so no hurry! ;)
.-= Julie- Pastor of Mobilization-41-Tenn.´s last blog ..Tasty Tuesday ~ Herb Butter Balls =-.
BFFs… It’s kind of like the long skirt issue. My husband didn’t really require me to change my wardrobe; I assumed he had expectations that he didn’t.
Similarly with BFF’s, there’s a voice in my head that tells me I can’t be transparent, I can’t be too friendly with anyone from church, including other women in leadership. Sure, I’ve been hurt in the past, but is it really as hazardous terrain as I think, or is it mostly in my head?
I tend to trust people first. Others tend to wait and see before trusting, and it seems like this is the best way to go as far as church friendships, but because it’s unnatural for me, it is uncomfortable. And I don’t want to make a mistake that could have major backlash for myself, my husband, or the ministry, so I think I put some distance between myself and others as a safety mechanism.
Since we’re still relatively new to our area, online friendships have been a godsend. I’m a blogger and many of my online friends are fellow writers, but we laugh and pray and share, and when I found myself in need, several came to my rescue although we have yet to meet. Meeting face-to-face will only enrich our friendship.
.-= PatriciaW´s last blog ..Wednesday Worship: With All I Am by Hillsongs =-.
Crystal, AL, hubs is not currently in a ministry position. He/we is/are praying about seminary right now!
1. This is a tough subject for me because I don’t have many friends. It’s hard to even admit that because for some reason I feel like there must be reasons why some people don’t have friends. My close circle of friends includes my husband (if we’re counting him), my mom and my sister. And I really only talk to my sister 2-3 times a week because she lives in VA. And as far as who I spend the most time with.. it would be my boys who are one and three! I go to a wonderful church now where there are a lot of women my age and was even a part of a woman’s Bible study. I met some great women but those friendships never moved beyond that study. I see them at church and we talk but my connection with them begins and ends on Sunday. And when we were serving at a church, I didn’t have any close friends there either.
2. I guess I answered that above! :) I’ve never had close friends while serving at a church. It wasn’t my choice, I just never had the opportunity to get close to anyone. There were a lot of people I could talk to and enjoyed being around but those were only inside the walls of the church. I have longed and prayed for those really deep kinds of friendships for some time though. I have a WONDERFUL husband but it would be nice to have some really close girlfriends. Sometimes it would be nice to just be able to call someone up to talk… go to lunch with… God knows best though. And maybe it’s not what I need.
3. I love to blog.. although my blogging is pretty boring! I do enjoy reading others blogs! I’ve never ‘met’ anyone who I’ve really got to know other than reading their blog.
.-= Crystal´s last blog ..Menu Plan Monday 4/5 ~ Weighing in =-.
I found your blog the other day through Amanda Jones’ blog and it shows just how perfect God’s timing is…my husband is being ordained on Sunday. I am so ready to buy your book so I can get this thing off to a good start! :) Thanks for sharing your experiences!
I have some precious BFF’s at my church. Maybe I haven’t been in the ministry long enough to know better! lol. I try to be as transparent as possible with everyone, however, there are a few of my girls friends that share more with than others. There are times when I just need someone to talk to (or vent to). It gets hard at times hearing from others but never being able to share your own problems concerns in return. I have a precious few girls that I can turn too when I am in need. They are not only my BFF’s but they are amazing prayer warriors. For that I am thankful.
My husband and I do not have a circle of others Pastors or PW’s in our area that we can share with. However, as you said Lisa, Jesus is our Ultimate BFF! I am thankful for the reminder that it is okay to have friends inside the church. As Jesus modeled: He had 12, then 3 closer friends and one special friend (John The Beloved). Knowing if it was okay for Jesus, relieves any guilt that might creep in about having special “pew friends”.
Lastly, I adore my virtual BFF’s! It is such an outlet to me after a long day to check out blogs, etc. Helps me feel connected and not so isolated (as the enemy wants me to believe I am). I don’t always leave comments but know I am out here “stalking” you! (just kidding!!). Seriously, I am out here seeking wisdom from you all and praying for you and your ministry.
.-= Becky´s last blog ..Be careful what you wish for….. =-.
1. As I think about friendships, in and out of the church, it is sometimes a painful issue, because God never seems to plant me in the same place for very long. That has had a tendency to make my friendships broad and not deep.It takes time to really get to know someone. For that very reason, my friendship with my husband is the deepest and most important to me. God has always sent me those friends I need at just the right moments. As I think about it, I’d have to say I’m lucky to have so many BFFs from so many different parts of my life. I am grateful for emails and telephones to sustain my friendships with those who are scattered around the world. Let’s hear it for SKYPE!
2. I have had some friends from the church, but at the moment most of my really close friends are other pastor’s wives. At my former church, all of my friends were church members and it worked really well. At our current church, a large church, I have found I be “revered” (I really hate being up on the pedestal), or feared (because I am American, not Brazilian and they can’t quite figure me out). For the first time in my life, I have found people who think being my friend is some kind of advantage, and I have really been hurt by those who I thought “liked” me, but just wanted to see my home, or find out information, or seek favor in some kind of way. It does tend to make me wary! There is even a lot of jealousy, some suggesting that I should be careful to sit in a different place and with different people every Sunday so no one thinks I like one person more than another one. Still it would not be fair to say I don’t have a number of dear friends at the church, despite all the odds against it! I have decided I don’t care what anyone says and I will enjoy the gift of friendship with them.
3. One of the reasons I am a blogger is so I don’t have to write so many emails to my scattered friends. I belong to a pastor’s wives “group” online here in Brazil and that has been an important contact. Also FACEBOOK and ORKUT have helped me make contact and chat with new and old friends. I know virtual friends are no substitute for going shopping together, but I will acknowledge that they can sometimes be there for me when my real friends can’t (because of time or distance). Although I don’t suppose it’s for everyone, I have made a number of really gratifying and joyful friendships via the internet.
Lisa, this has been a long entry, but I just wanted to add, that I have been meeting to discuss your book with another pastor’s wife here in Brazil (who speaks English) and these discussions have been life changing. This week we offered thanks to God for your life and your writing ministry. You have given her a new sense of calling to ministry. Thank you so much.
.-= Peggy Fonseca´s last blog ..I Am Not Right =-.
A fellow pastor’s wife friend said she was told not to have friends in the church because they will turn on you. Her response was, “Well it’s worth the risk.” I tend to agree. I think it’s hard to serve in a church where you are not connected to people. I have two to three close friends in the church I can be open with. However, I keep the door open for other friendships. I try to converse with other people in the fellowship hall and not always talk to “my group” every Sunday.
It is helpful and refreshing to have friends outside the church. I joined a MOPS group at another church and met two friends who don’t go to my church. I can’t fully share everything with them because they have connections with people who go to my church. It is a nice change of pace hanging out with other moms from other churches. My husband and I don’t do much with other pastors and pastor’s wives. We’ve made efforts, but there has not always been much interest on the other side. Back when I was a youth pastor, I had quite a few other youth pastor friends.
One thing I struggle with is the fact some people see me as the “information person.” Some of my friends at church often ask me, “Well how is this person doing?” or “What is going on with this committee?” Obviously I am the first to know about most things being married to the pastor. Lately I have felt drained talking about “church” so much.
As for blogging, I’ve had a blog for three years. I LOVE to write. It has not been an avenue for me to make on line friends other than one or two. I would not define those as “close.” Facebook has helped me reconnect with old friends and I read a few blogs of old friends and family members. I probably spend too much time on the Internet as it is. I would love to have a more of a “blog circle” but that hasn’t seemed to worked out.
.-= Amy´s last blog ..Not the week we expected =-.
1. I have always had difficulty making friends, so most of my friendships tend to be somewhat shallow. I am finding right now, that my group of friends has changed from peers to those who are younger than me. (I am becoming the older, supposedly wiser, lady of the friendship.) I do have several PW friends whom I can turn to at any time for any reason, but we don’t necessarily communicate on a regular basis.
2. Although we have been in the ministry for over 13 years, I have had very few friends in the “pews”. I think this has hindered our ministry some, because I am sometimes seen as aloof or unsociable. What they don’t realize is that I am extremely shy.
3. I have a blog, but I do not post very often. Since our new church plant is an online church, I am using Facebook and Twitter much more than my blog. The online aspect makes the idea of “friends in the pews” much different. For me, it is a little easier to communicate electronically than face to face. I am just waiting to see what God will do with my friendships in the future. I will be working harder at making new friends and strengthening old friendships.
.-= Tanya-church planter-CA´s last blog ..You Gotta Have Faith =-.
Hello Ladies! I’m new to this site and wanted to briefly tell you my story. My husband was called to plant a church 3 years ago so we, along with our young son, packed up moved to start this church; our first church btw. Exactly a year ago this month we left the church and moved back. There were several reasons that played a part but mostly we felt God’s leading to leave. Anyway, I came across your book over a month ago at the book store and felt prompted to purchase it. I felt silly buying it since I haven’t been a “Pastor’s Wife” for a year now. The book has been sitting on my bedside table this entire time and today I finally picked up the book and began reading it. I’m confused… am I still a Pastor’s Wife, was this previous church plant a one-time deal that’s now over, will God ever give us a ministry opportunity again, did we blow it, etc. Anyways, I just wanted to let you know I’m joining you in reading and hoping to uncover answers along the way :-)
Patty, 44, SC, married to my very best friend who happens to pastor a church
God has always been kind enough to send me at least one friend to every church situation we have ever been in. That one person was always someone I could trust. Unfortunately, when we’ve moved (and there’s been plenty of that!) I have pretty much lost contact (although Facebook has helped me reconnect!). I do have a circle of friends that I have known for 30 years and I am so grateful that we are as close in proximity to them now as we have been for the last 15 years! So, we have reinstated the monthly dinners.
I learned the hard way that the preacher’s wife must carefully choose her words to not only those in your church, but to those in the community as well. So, I do feel guarded right now. We’ve only been here 18 months, so I know that as time goes on, I will be able to discern who I can trust to be truly my friend. Friends in ministry are crucial and we are fortunate to have met several other ministry couples near us to socialize and NOT talk about church with.
I blog, but haven’t really met anyone through my blog. I do, however, have a few bloggy friends that I read every time that they post something (HI, Emily and Kay) and I pray for each time I think of them because I know that means God has brought them to my mind for some reason. I am a face-to-face kind of girl, and want to be able to see the people I talk to (I hate, hate, hate the phone).
God is good, and He is sufficient. However, I think he made me a social creature so I await the day that He will supply my need here as He has done in the past.
.-= Patty´s last blog ..youth zoo trip =-.
April, 30s, Louisiana, College minster’s wife
I am in a very different situation than most PWs. We had been members at our church for several years before my husband joined the staff. So I already have a group of friends that know me for me, not for the minister’s wife. And I really haven’t seen any changes in our friendship since my husband went on staff.
That being said, friendship doesn’t come easily to me. I have a whole host of insecurity-related baggage that often prevents me from opening up and being more vulnerable. I’m counting on God to heal those broken areas in me so I can enjoy my friendships even more!
.-= April´s last blog ..Hope for the Future =-.
It is totally God’s timing that I saw this today! I just finished reading through the book – I am on Spring Break this week (1st Grade Teacher) and so i took this opportunity to go ahead and try my best to finish the book! So glad I was able to! But this is the chapter that hit me the most. I think this is because I am more of an introvert. I definitely come out of my shell when I am in a group I feel comfortable with, but when I am around new people, it is a really hard thing for me. Even when I really want to just break out of my shell and walk up and introduce myself to new people, somehow I always back out of it.
That being said this chapter challenged me because of the situation my husband and I are in. We have been in ministry since we have been married (2 years this coming August), but we are now serving at a smaller church in Middle Tennessee and my husband is the Worship and Student Pastor. We are extremely excited about all that God has allowed and is continuing to allow us to be a part of! However, I am in the place where I am having to step out of my shell and make friends quickly. It is not a bad thing, it is just different for me. The church is in a smaller community and so many of the members of the church have known one another for years, and although I have been in situations like that myself it is a little intimidating on the other side of it! :) So I really took to heart the part of the chapter about taking advantage of every invitation – even if the ladies I am spending time with are not in my age group. :) So today, the senior Pastor’s wife invited me to go to lunch with her and a friend, and even though I could have just said no, I said yes and went and really enjoyed the time together with the two ladies. I just had to share how God blessed me with that today! :) I was so encouraged by how He showed up in such simplicity and I would have missed out on that had I given in to my thoughts of not accepting the invitation. :)
.-= Layne´s last blog ..Generosity and The Kingdom of God! =-.
Necoe, 34, OK former PW
I am one of those that believes strongly that friendships in church should be approached very carefully, especially if you are in a church that is in a difficult/controversial time. However, that being said, a couple of my dearest friends I have were members of our church and prayer partners. I think as the PW it requires you to have a lot of maturity to be BFF with members. Experience has taught me my own limits. While Alan was pastoring, the Lord blessed me with another dear friend who was not a member. Our daughters were school mates, but it was refreshing to have a friend that was not tied into our church, because we were literally just best friends.
I like the circle of friends concept. Its important to meet people outside the church that are in the community too. (Like other PW’s from churches in your area). I am an introvert, so I tend to be real close to few people rather than know a lot of people, but I tried to go out of my way to participate in school events, sports with the kids, etc. Everyone wants to feel like they can be loved, and who better to show them than a PW.
As for blogging, I am a newbie, but have met several other women through this blog. I think encouragement to each other is a great way to start friendships. It helps to know that you aren’t alone out there in the world.
.-= Necoe´s last blog ..I Love Life =-.