More people than I can name have said to me, "You're not a typical Pastor's wife." At first, I didn't know how to take that. I certainly knew I was not typical as I envisioned typical. To me the typical pastor's wife:
~is always dressed neatly with hair combed and a smile on her face
~has a clean, organized house, and life
~can play the piano like Dino and sing like Dion
~can teach or preach without any preparation
~always says and does the right thing, no matter what the situation might be
~is attractive, small, petite, or not so attractive, fat, and old
~os never boisterous, loud, or obnoxious, and does not laugh loudly
~always has perfect timing, perfect answers, and perfect wisdom
Those things disqualified me from the beginning. I was horrified when I came to believe that I had a whole lot of chaning to do to "fit" into the Pastor's wife mold. I had settled it in my heart that I was going to be miserable just like most pastor's wives I'd met!
In fact, I felt so unfit to be a pastor's wife, I honestly expected God to kill me off and bring the right woman into my husband's life.
You see, we weren't saved when we got married. We met in a bar, and I certainly was not "the one" his pentecostal holiness parents were praying for. He married me in his disobedience, so I expected that now he was back on track, God would have to put me out of the race so that the right woman could be by his side.
Finally, God bailed me out. One day He just literally screamed at me "I made you the way you are because that is the way that I will use you!!" Whew! What a relief. My child would grow up with her mother!
After several years of these comments I began to think about the term "typical" pastor's wife. What in the world was that anyway? I found it to be something different to every person I asked different to every Pastor's wife I met! So if there really wasn't anything "typical" in ministry, how could I be "atypical"?
I decided that instead of being "a typical pastors wife", I would be an "atypical pastors wife", and enjoy it! Yep! I just decided to be myself, just the way God created me to be and I'm nothing like the woman I described above.
~I'm unorganized to the hilt, even my Franklin day planner doesn't do me that much good! I guess it would be if I actually read it every day, but that's something I just don't do.
~I did learn to play the piano, but I torture the ivories more than I tickle them.
~I don't sing like Dion. I'm a firm believer in making a joyful noise unto the Lord!"
~I can talk at the drop of a hat, but that's not preaching or teaching.
~my house could be called anything but neat! For heaven's sake, I have three teens and a golden retriever stuffed into a 3 bedroom house. My boys are typical. They shoot competively but can't hit the toilet, they are impressive on the basketball court but can't shoot their dirty clothes into a laundry basket, they can't fill an ice cube tray, wash a dirty dish much less get it from the table to the sink! (Truly, I raised them better than that! But when they became teenagers, the hormones must have erased all their former training!).
~I sometimes engage my mouth before my brain. My husband just holds his breath when people ask me a question! I'm a say what you think and think what you say kind of person. You will always know what I think and how I feel about whatever subject you ask me about. In fact, I've been told by our congregation members that I am the only person that can "cut them off at the knees and they feel good about it!" Believe me, THAT is God!
~Very few of my clothes fit because I'm so tall, my hair grows any direction it wants and wouldn't lay down even if greased with shortening.
~I am the life of the party--loud, boisterous, and irritating at times. (I wasn't dubbed "the agitator" as a child for no reason!) You know it's bad when the worship team buys you a stuffed toy for your birthday that plays "Wild Thing" when you squeeze it's paw!
In spite of all of this, I've learned to enjoy my life and to enjoy who God has made me to be. I don't mind living in the proverbial fishbowl because I enjoy life. I wish more people would stand and stare because they might just get some good ideas about how to be happy even when the whole world is crashing in around you or you find yourself swimming in a lot of poop! I'm not perfect, but that is what makes life fun!
There've been a lot of books, conferences, and teaching on "being uniquely you". Well, I saw a t-shirt that summed it all up for me. It said "You're unique! Just like everyone else!" My identity is in Christ. My self esteem and my self worth are in Christ. All I have to be is what He's created me to be. I can be a "typical" and an "atypical" pastor's wife all at the same time. All that matters is that God is pleased!
So when people say to me "you're a Pastor's wife?" or "you sure broke the mold" or "you're not a typical pastor's wife", I smile and say "thank you for that compliment!" They look at me strange sometimes, especially those who think that I should act more "pastoral", but at least I'm not walking around with my panties all in a wad!
Once I put a message on our answering machine that went like this:
I'm sorry we can't answer the phone
We may be sleeping or on the throne
We may be outside.......
Well, some mother of Israel from our church called and informed me that it wasn't very "pastoral"to be talking about toilets in my answering machine message, so I changed it.
Now it says "I'm sorry we can't answer your call, we may be alseep or at the mall, we may be outside or at a convention, or in a room of the house that I'd.....better not mention. So leave us a message and oh, by the way, take care, God bless and have a great day!!!!