It’s not so much the disappearance of bobby pins, barrettes, pony tail holders, and pacifiers that stumps me.  I’m baffled by the fact that they never show back up.  Where is the pile of 50 hair things, random socks, and pacifiers that I’ve never seen again?  Seriously?  Where?

Blah. I need a hair band right now to get my soon to be greasy hair off of my shiny forehead.  I’m so beat.  It’s funny how a long holiday weekend needs it’s own holiday weekend in order to recover from the exhaustion of a “break”. I need one of those right about now.

Lance had to preach this Sunday and any pastor’s wife knows that there is no weekend for such mommies.  On a preaching weekend, there is no such thing as a holiday.  I know it’s not one of those things that we’re supposed to say out loud but since I’m pretty much a scholar at doing that sort of thing, here it goes…..

Sometimes I really envy the women who aren’t in the ministry.  A lot of times I wish Lance could just go to work and come home and that be it…not fifteen people calling, 2 people in the hospital to visit, 14 conferences to attend, meetings to go to, counseling to do, etc.  The truth is that even if he wasn’t bi-vocational, that sort of thing never ends.  For some reason it’s socially unacceptable to say something about ministry being draining but worthwhile things can have their limit.  There has to be room for moms to get tired, family’s to need quiet time, children to need the whole family unit together, and so on.  I don’t care what you are giving your time to : charity, ministry, counseling, social work….even Mother Teresa needed a nap every now and then.  And all minister wives said a hardy AMEN.  I just heard a ‘hallelujah’ from the back, too.  That was me.  Now there’s a ‘praise the Lord’ from the corner.  That was me, too.  I’m running around the room yelling cause I really believe in what I just said.

Lance is reading this at work thinking, “Man, I should really get back to work.”  Just kidding, he isn’t thinking about work at all.  Lance is thinking, “Dang, you’re making me look bad!”  People aren’t “supposed” to say anything negative about ministry and really, I’m not! It’s hard though.  It’s time consuming.  People aren’t calling every other member of the congregation with the same questions and expectations like they are our family.  It’s not that it’s a bad thing and it’s not that it’s not an expected thing, it’s just that in real life, it gets exhausting.  Literally.  Where is our time?  Where do we have our own little solace as a family?  When a job is not nine to five, where does the job end and family time begin?  Lance just threw up in his throat when I called it a “job”.  Swallow it down, Lance.  Those little bags of chips I bought you for your lunch aren’t enough so you could use the extra calories.

Ultimately, I guess I’m just saying that it’s hard to have family time and protect some time for us that isn’t always fifteen phone calls “after hours”. It’s like perpetually being on call.  I know that’s Lance’s job to set limits and boundaries and that I’m not the one who controls that.  I’m not the one that is being called all day and planning to go on conferences, trips, and blar blar blah blar.

Yes, I meant to say ‘blar’ and ‘blah’ both.  That wasn’t a typo.

Anyways, if any women not involved in ministry are still reading =0), I suppose I am I just saying I need more family time and I think most women can relate to that. Moreover I need consistent family time.  Whether your husband works an unconventional job, is married to his phone, chasing commission, or just spending too much time pursuing his job and not his family, don’t you just feel like you want set time for your own little family tree?  Time that can’t be interrupted?  Gosh, a little morsel of time that is actually yours?!?!!  I know that gets hairy and a lot of people in the church and out will judge that statement since my scenario is ministry.

“How do you not bring that special needs couple pickles at nine at night?  You are their pastor and they need condiments!” (true story)

For my particular “job” situation or Lance’s I should say, the push to take each call and make each visit, go on each trip, etc., seems so noble that it’s hard to say no.  But I promise, men in ministry and not, it’s not wrong to not bonus that month if you got to go to the park with your family.  It’s not unwise pastor’s to not answer every call and you don’t have to be all and do all and frankly, you shouldn’t do all if you aren’t making family high on that list of musts.  Furthermore, you aren’t doing anything well if you’re priorities are that lopsided.

Sometimes I feel like we need to shut the phone off, blog off, computer off and be out of touch with everyone for a weekend so we can have quality time.  I feel like I go without as much family time as I need so I have even higher expectations for the time we do get.  There’s almost an anxiety about getting the most out of what time we have together that I don’t enjoy it as much as I would if I knew I could just have family time whenever.  When a weekend is botched I think, “Great, we won’t get another shot at alone time as a clan for another two weeks.”

I don’t know.  That just makes me sad.

We have a lot of time together I guess I just wish it wasn’t time that always involved being shared with calls, texts, questions, e-mails.  In a time where everyone wants more, has more, has more obligations, and ways to be connected, sometimes, all I want is my two little girls and their dad and a bunch of bread chasing, scary, honking ducks at the pond.  In a world where everyone wants to do great things and make a difference, honestly….

sometimes, all I want to be is normal.

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