What a blessing this past weekend was..... I had the honor of working along side a new friend named Dana Schmoyer (which actually does rhyme with Jana - in case you care) to lead the Youth Pastor's Wives connect group. Connect groups are small groups that are focused on connecting people that are in similar situations at the Simply Youth Ministry Conference in Louisville, KY
During our time together we laughed, we cried, and we shared heart felt stories with one another.... we prayed together and shared hope together. Although I was one of the leaders of the group - I walked away so encouraged. I feel as though God is adding "loving on pastor's wives" to my list of passions. I was blessed to be in such a distinct group of women.
Here are a few things that I learned this weekend about Youth Pastor's Wives....
1. We often feel alone and desire to have solid friendships - but often feel as though we don't have a place to vent and share our hurts. We want to honor our husband and not speak against our church so we need an outside friend that can listen.
2. The church has been both a place of great hurt and great healing.... If you ever find a perfect church don't join it because you will mess it up! We know that churches aren't perfect but it is challenging when it is a place of such hurt and negativity.
3. We love our husbands and when others say negative things - we don't always handle ourselves well! Let's just say that our cat claws sometimes surface.
4. We love ministry - we may not be able to be there every week for every youth event because we are home with the kids or working our full time jobs, but we are invested even when we aren't there.
5. We have made great sacrifices for ministry.... nights when our "evening alone" is interupted by a student in crisis. Days when eight hours at the office turns into 12. Mornings when it is all you can do to get out of bed because you just spend the entire weekend loving and investing in the lives of teenagers.
Here are some things that may help (as shared during our time together)
1. Have a date night - even if it is just at your house laying bed eating popcorn and watching a movie. It is a must! Your priorities must be God then your spouse, then family.... and then ministry!
2. Know your limitations - you don't have to be someone you are not - find your gifts and use them and delegate the rest - it allows others to experience a blessing!
3. Protect your heart.... as much as you want to know all the details from your husband - set boundaries - maybe ask him not to tell you the names of those involved in the drama, or just tell you what you absolutely must know - as detail people this can be a challenge but it can help keep the peace and keep our cat claws at bay!
4. Set up some boundaries as far as phone and computer are concerned - turn off the phone during dinner.... just one more thing doesn't need to happen during dinner. Family time is fully present time.
5. Pray for your husband - specifically! He needs to know that you love him support him, respect him and most importantly pray for him - ask him how you can pray for him today!
Hope this encourages you! The weekend was a blast and I can't wait until next year!