Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Can I just be honest?

Like, when I am not, huh?

The truth is that planting a church can be really hard on your marriage and family. I just want everyone out there to be really clear on this point. Don't think it's all godliness and great-relating here in this household. One minute you are doing some really great stuff that is directly tied to the kingdom and the next minute, you are freezing up inside because of a dirty dish left on the nightstand (which is probably even more directly tied to the kingdom). This thing we are doing has been incredibly stressful at times, and our marriage has taken on greater strain emotionally, physically, financially, and relationally than we have ever faced before. We've hardly seen each other for months, and when we do there is "stuff" that has to be done, bills to pay, kids crying for attention, etc. etc. We are doing our best but it is really hard sometimes. We don't fight. Sometimes, we just wouldn't even have the energy to, which is bad because sometimes a good knock-down, drag-out fight is just what the doctor ordered.

I'm telling you this for a couple of reasons (not so you will volunteer to babysit)...

1. We have given up the gig of being the perfect pastor and perfect pastor's wife so that we can be "good leaders". We are regular people with "warts and all." We aren't trying to launch a church where we encourage people to be just like us. We are trying to be a church where we all try to be like Jesus because we can be really lousy people left to our own devices.

2. While some might read this and think of it as some nummy bit of gossip to speculate the juicy morsels of just how bad it might be (and I can't control whether or not you are that kind of person) ...some of you might just want to know how we are really doing and how you can really pray for us.

3. You need to know you aren't alone. Other ministry people and non-ministry people know that marriage is a tough gig. I think Robb and I have an amazing love...a once in a lifetime soul-connection that not everyone experiences. But marriage is very daily and very hard sometimes. If you are out there thinking, "what's wrong with us lately?" You aren't alone.

I love my husband. I love that he is so committed to Jesus that he will figure out a way to relate to me, come hell or highwater.

So there you go. Honest and authentic and all that crap.


mukeyjoy said...

OK, so what has been a huge help to me lately is journaling. As you know, my man has been working his full time job and training at another part time. So you know "stress" likes to peek its ugly little head up in times like this. So I went to Wal-Mart with the 3 kids (in single mother fashion) and picked out a nice journal and pen (and 3 more - one for each child) and took about 20 pages to pour my guts out - while the kids ran around like banchies at McDonald's Play Place. Then the next day I ripped into about 10 more pages. Before I knew it I had nothing left to write about. A week later I didn't even feel the same. So I got it all out w/ out even over-loading my husband w/ my entire word limit for the week!
So for me, my journal is my new best friend.
Hang in there :)

ness said...

good call, M! I think that this blog was kind of like that for a while for me, but when Vintage went public, I felt a lot of pressure to not air the "dirty laundry." (Though it isn't as if anybody did anything wrong, just the impish mix of circumstances). I guess this morning, I just decided it wasn't doing anybody any good tucked away... but it might do some good to share it.

D is finished at his old job soon, right? Hooray for one job instead of two!!!

sf said...

I just want to tell you that I do get it-(ha-got a chuckle out of the perfect pastor/pastor's wife line!). It is hard work. More than most people realise.
One of my favorite words: simplify. Also try to make the time to just have FUN together -as a couple- and as a family. Hope this helps even a tiny bit.:)

kingsjoy said...

Ness, big thumbs up for your honesty. There are completely RIDICULOUS expectations out there for "ministry" people.

Wise words were once spoken to me (and I believe it more today than before): one's "ministry" to his/her family far outweighs all public "ministry" in importance.

There's a reason we hear about "ministry" families falling apart--people get it backwards.

All that said to encourage you to keep it out there, in the open. There is no shame in being human. The shame is in pretending to be superhuman to meet people's expectations.

And, yes, there's a light at the end of the tunnel, just another month or so working two jobs...and I'm feeling really positive about the new one.

ness said...

You are right about expectations...but the worst is the expectations you put on yourself: The temptation is so strong to put that "perfect" face out there...I mean, come on...people are just getting to know us...we want them to think well of us, right?

But I think that's where the lies come in...when you let yourself believe its better to play a part, rather than be a person.

All of a sudden though it dawned on me...What if people are reading this blog thinking, "Why don't we start a church like that? Why don't we do something crazy for the kingdom? These guys are doing okay and it doesn't seem to be taking anything from their family time or anything..."

It would be irresponsible of me to not say, "Consider the cost, folks."
It's not that it can't be done, but it will cost you something and you might as well know it up front.
I'm not sorry (yet?) and it has been worth it, but it's been hard. The lines are just much fuzzier than God-family-work.

I'm glad that the two-job thing is ending for you soon!

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