The Author

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I am a high school English teacher, and mother of two charming little ones of my own. I teach in a high poverty urban charter school, while I live in a typical American suburb that has frequently been rated one of the safest cities in the country. It is a paradox I struggle with constantly, but it is my life.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Ministry and Marriage

Like anything else, I suppose, being married to a youth minister has its ups and downs.  For one, you never really disappear at church.  Actually, come to think of it, I'm not sure if this is an up or a down.  Its mostly an up. Like the Cheers song says, "Sometimes you want to go, where everybody knows your name."  Everyone at my church knows my name (okay, at least my last name, I get called "Mrs" at church quite often"), even if I don't know everyone else's names yet.  We've been at this church for over a year, and I am still learning names, but there are several hundred people in the church, and I am not very involved, so it takes time. 

There are definitely feel good moments.  At the annual church business meeting yesterday, the president's report said such remarkably nice things about my husband that I was practically moved to tears. Having other people remind you of all the reason's you married a person.... definitely a perk. 

But there are downsides. Like all the traveling.  All youth ministers travel.  If you were involved in a high school youth ministry as a teenager, then you know what I mean and why.  The most meaningful times of bonding and ministry are on trips and overnighters and things like that.  Plus, there are also conferences and trainings.  In addition, Marc is in graduate school now through a distance program, which means he travels to Iowa several times a year.  I don't begrudge him these trips, but it can be a difficult, lonely time, especially for a parent. When I was younger and did not have kids, I would fill these times with activities with my friends. Other times, I would even go with him. Now, my kids keep me home for most of these.  There is a youth pastor's wife who blogs regularly and she talks about "camp season," with the same sentiments.  She says, "It’s hard to stay strong and supportive of my husband after being alone for so many days and nights."

And it just never seems to happen at a good time.  This weekend, Vinny had tech rehearsals all weekend.  The theatre is about half an hour from our house, and the drop off and pick up times just did not coordinate well with Tiana's sleep schedule.  With a lot of help from my mom, I made it work, but add rain and cold to the mix and it is just yuck inconvenient.  Last night was the final dress rehearsal, so, as you theatre people will understand, it of course ran late. As we waited outside in the cold, while it drizzled on our heads, I was one of the only parents there with a little one.  I chatted with the moms around me, and many of them have younger kids too, but they were of course home with their husbands.  

Such is life.  Everyone has their struggles.  I'd certainly rather parent solo a few weeks/weekends a year than for months at a time like military wives.  

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