Thursday, April 30, 2009

Livin' in a Fish Bowl

I just typed up this big ol' blog about livin' life in a fish bowl.  You know, a pastor's family - it seems people feel they have *the right* to stick their noses right up against the glass of our life, our decisions, our choices and cast their judgement.

Anyways, I typed up this whole blog, then realised I can't even publish it!  What if someone didn't agree?  What if someone felt offended?  What if I made someone as mad as I feel right now??

Yes, I'm upset.  I don't understand this invasion of privacy.  I've been told by other, older, more experienced PW's that this is just the reality of the ministry.  Ugh.  I don't think I *really* understood that until now.  It sucks. (I'm probably not allowed to say that, ugh..)

My mom told me most of the PWs she has known have always been quite closed-mouthed, not really sharing ANYTHING.  That just *so* isn't me.  Is it supposed to be me?  Am I supposed to change myself because of this?  In order to keep our lives from becoming gossip, do I simply have to stop talking about our day to day living - the good and the bad?  Am I allowed to have friends?  

I feel like stomping my foot and yelling "THIS ISN'T FAIR!!" ....... as if *that* would do any good.

So, if you are a pastor's wife, what do you do?  Do you have friends?  Do they attend your church?  Are your friends all other PWs?  How do you handle it when church members feel it is their right to inspect your life, for their approval?

And if you are a church member, what part of your pastor's life is up for discussion?  All of it?  Do you feel it is your right, even your *obligation*, to make sure they are making 'good' and 'right' decisions??  Have you ever really thought about how this would make them feel?  Or do you simply feel that 'goes with the territory' of being a pastor's family?  I'm honestly curious.

(Ok, curious and ticked.  Hey, I'm human.)

For now, I just need to keep my mouth closed.  I need to be less open.  I need to learn whether or not I can honestly have "friends" at church - I know that sounds so harsh, but I'm at a loss here, I'm not sure *what* to do???

Give me your opinion, at least then I'll get an idea of where some people stand on this matter.  Thanks y'all~

p.s.  I'm sure I'll feel better about this whole matter soon ~ I just feel like I'm floundering around here, not really knowing what's "allowed" as a PW.  I just *knew* I wasn't going to be very good at this role....ugh.

p.p.s.  and OBVIOUSLY, I can't share exactly what this is about, but it's not all that SPECIFIC of a topic.  Every PW I've met has dealt with this issue, to some extent.  

p.p.p.s.  at the very least, this is teaching me to be less judgemental.  You NEVER know all the facts, all the history behind a decision in SOMEONE ELSE'S life.  Therefore, I need to stop drawing my own conclusions and judging others.  'Cause honestly, it sucks.  (ooh man, I need to stop doing that!  ;)  ~L.


Leanne said...

Hi Lori,
Sorry for your pain!
I recently read a fiction book called Desperate Pastor's Wives by Ginger Kolbaba and Christy Scannell. I got it from the public library. It was good and it certainly made me appreciate all that pastor's wives have to put up with! Some of it was upsetting as to what those ladies had to deal with, but it was eye opening and funny too.

Jeni said...

OH MY GOSH I was going to talk abou that SAME book, wierd huh? I was just getting ready to go to library to check out the newest one (if Leanne doesn't beat me! ha) I'm so sorry so so sorry Lori you are feeling so bad, I could tell you really feel badly! Don't know what you are facing but just keep being you!! I'm sure you do have to be somewhat guarded but I'm sorry someone obviously hurt you very much! Definately praying for you tonight for peace and rest!! sorry

*Michigan Momma* said...

Oh, I'm really alright ladies - but thanks SO MUCH for your support and encouragement.

It's not even really to ME ~ more to Dean, at least he is the one that has to deal with things like this most often. And he's *much* better at dealing with these things - he keeps things in perspective, whereas I simply get emotional and defensive (especially of my hubby, I love him so much!).

So anyways, I had thought about coming back and deleting the blog post, but it's a reality of my life, so I'm gonna leave it. Yet just so everyone knows....I'm okay - or at least I will be. I just need to remember to focus on God (a repeating theme around here it seems, eh? I must be a S L O W learner...).

Sooooooooo.....I'm gonna try my best to guard my tongue (aren't we all admonished to this anyway?) but I can't stop being ME, I just can't. I'm talkative, I'm a bit loud, I enjoy people and relationships. I pray the Lord will give me wisdom in this area - and I pray the people I interact with will have GRACE for me & my mistakes....*big ol' sigh*

(Oh, and hey, I enjoyed the carrot cake tonight - how sweet of you!!)

Luv ya ladies~

Anonymous said...

Lori did not know the carrot cake actually came from the men's discipleship group. Actually, I think Gary M. bought it.


Jeni said...

Oh I wasn't the carrot cake maker, haha Gary Malmquist (the ones you're buying from, I'm glad he and Dean got to meet finally! haha) anyhow Gary bought the snack tonight for b. it wasn't me! so if it was YUCKY you now know I didn't BAKE IT!! ha

Jeni said...

haha Dean beat me too it! was it yucky? hahahahha

Anonymous said...

Ummmm, no!!! It was quite yummy. I think he said he got it from Sam's Club. Gordan's has a good one too!


Anonymous said...

This is what happens when you are a PW. Sorry! You have to deal w/the criticisms that come. Not everyone is going to like what you are doing.

You have to let these things roll off your back. Your life will always be scrutinized, whether you like it or not.

If you weren't nursing I'd suggest a fast. Somethings only come w/fasting and praying. In this case, an understanding how how to deal w/this.


Anneatheart said...

Hmmm, I've always gone to a small church, and we know each other, but don't make it a point to 'get into' each others' lives. I think the problem for you, is that you are a young pastor's wife, with small children and still learning. I've gone to the same church for 17 years, gasp! and when I first started going, the pastor's kids were teens.

If I were you, then whatever is going on, especially if someone came to me about it, I would have to say that they need to take it the Lord and allow the Holy Spirit to deal with me. Many times a person will really mess things up, rather, if left up to the Holy Spirit to convict, the situation works much better. (what a concept!) You do need to guard your personal life more than others, but I understand the need to be real and honest with SOMEBODY!!! I think you need to just take it to the Lord and let Him work it out. Rest in that :)

Holly said...

Hmmm. Wow. Yeah, Lori, it is a part of being a pw. I wish that I knew something to make it better.

I thought being a pw was a very lonely job - not only in one church, but over our years in several different churches. It's hard to have friends within the congregation. Yes, it CAN be done, yes, it is worth pursuing, it is just hard.

Being a pastor's family feels like being public property, in some respects. I don't think I was ever very good at that!

I was always so paranoid, so cautious...but I don't think you need to be. I think you should be yourself...yourself that is always open to the Lord's voice and leading and refinement in your life.

Sometimes, as was said above, you just need to let things roll off your back. Sometimes, things will need to be dealt with. Hopefully, the end result will be that all parties involved grow in love and understanding within the body of Christ.

Love ya, girl. Hang in there, and feel free to e-mail me! :)

Vicki said...

I didnt read everyones post, and Im not sure exactly what you are asking but here is my opinion anyway.. As a Pastor's Wife myself I choose to be totally open and honest with people. Except that as a PW I am more careful to check my heart before I speak. So as long as what I say isnt totally judgemental or what not then I share away. Why? Because people need to know that we are REAL people, with REAL feelings and a REAL life and a REAL sin nature. Lord knows that I've tried to live up to some other PW's "image" of christianity. But I think the difference is for a PW (as it should be for ANY christian) we have to think before we speak. We as Christians shouldnt net foolish chatter come out of our mouths (see Proverbs 10).. I wish I could go on further but my kids have come out of the play room and I can not think. :P My point is do not hide your heart from your church, but be careful what is in your heart to begin with. Bringing every thought captive. Because what is in a mans heart is that which comes out of his mouth...eventually. :)

Bless You. Im praying for you, even if this event is over, just because Im a PW myself and i know how hard it is. Oh and as far as the church having opinions on MY life.. Um ya right. :) Im mean like that. If my church didnt like my choices and wanted me to change them, after much prayer and consideration I would be searching out a new body of believers. (Prayer because an issue brought in love and not seflishness should be brought to consideration)