"If you'll live like no one else,
then later you can live like no one else."
~Dave Ramsey ~
I'm not sure of the context of this quote, but it did give me a chuckle perhaps because I frequently hear myself complaining to the Lord about wanting to live life as a "normal" church member rather than being the pastor's wife! I guess I already do "live like no one else."
For over 34 years now, my husband and I have been in full-time pastoral ministry. People watched my children grow up, criticizing my parenting skills; they've criticized my housekeeping skills in the parsonage; and they've expected me to lead women's ministry, sing in the choir, lead Bible studies, visit the sick, pick up those who need a ride to church, teach Sunday School and/or Children's Church, along with anything else that needs doing... because I'm the pastor's wife. Now that my children have grown and I don't work outside the home, I suppose I ought to have time for a few more assorted duties as well.
In the ministry, I felt like I always needed to be an example of servanthood, so I never said "no" to anything that I was asked to do. I felt the need to be strong and in control so others would see how Christians are supposed to handle problems. How could I help and counsel others, if I couldn't manage my own inner stress I reasoned?
God to Bonnie.... Hello!!!!! Over the last 34 years, He has spent time showing me the unrealistic expectations I fall victim to. Most of those expectations are my own - the ones I place on myself so I shine in the eyes of those around me; the ones that prevent me from seeing myself as a failure. Too often I've had to scrape myself off the floor and rub my bumps and bruises where I fell trying to be something I'm not.
I've come to see that pastor's wives are human and fallible - we need prayer just like the women in our congregations, but too often we don't know how to ask for it. It has taken me a long time to learn how to be open about my warts and wrinkles. Sure some still criticize or expect more of me than I am able or willing to give, but I'm more secure in my relationship with the Lord now. It doesn't matter as much what others think as long as He thinks I'm okay!
To me this quote serves as a reminder to be my own unique self and to put that vertical relationship with the Lord first in my life. When I do that I will live a tailor-made life, so different and unique from anyone else - a life where I find joy in His presence today and for eternity.
If you'd like to play along today, simply blog about the quote on your site, then visit our hostess Amy at her site, In Pursuit of Proverbs 31. Leave your URL for your blog site in the Mr. Linky box so everyone can share what you've written and while you're there, be sure to leave Amy a comment.
Feel free to check out the blogs of other participants to see how they interpretted the quote as well.
Happy IOW Tuesday!