Category Archives: Pastor's wife

A year in Maine

Have you ever been on a vacation & wished you could stay longer?

This year has been like an extended vacation for me. It’s my first year not to work full-time since Holden was 1 yr old.

It has truly been the best way to see Maine – river swimming in the summer, fire-building outside as the leaves change, hibernating for the winter in ‘Narnia’, and now watching the green & pink explode.
20140531-093811-34691866.jpg

20140531-093814-34694460.jpg

20140531-093812-34692691.jpg

20140531-093813-34693449.jpg

20140531-093815-34695318.jpg

20140531-093811-34691078.jpg

But the best part has been getting to know the people here. They live and think distinctly different than I’ve ever lived. They value things I have never known.

While moving back and forth across the country was an expensive way to experience this, I am so thankful for this year.

Advertisements

Life Redesign – Goal 3: Begin spending time getting to know the hearts of women in my church – 1 month report & New Goal 5: Get consistent with bible study.

Mixed reviews on this one…

I have really enjoyed meeting for lunch with several ladies from church. I was really excited when I got invited to lunch with 3 ladies… I hadn’t realized how much initiating I had been doing.

Several ladies got together to plan a bible study. They are open to trying my beloved method through Kay Arthur’s Precept Ministries International of inductive bible study. But to do that, I’ve got to step up and lead it… which also means I have to keep up with my homework! I’ve spent my 10 years attending Precept bible studies at Houston’s First Baptist Church and Sagemont Church, and since I worked full-time, I never made myself do all the homework.
So this is good for me… I need to do the homework. I have the time. I need to make it important.
So we will be doing Matthew Chapters 1-13 for the next 8 weeks.20140205-102400.jpg

I guess this meets Goal 5: Get consistent with bible study

This month has also been hard. I have experience some spiritual attack that made me want to walk away. I have put myself out there and been criticized, and I realize it would be so much easier to leave the church work to Joel.

Then I must remember:
I was called to follow The Lord and minister with my life BEFORE Joel. Before kids.

I don’t have the option to turn away. Turning away will be like deciding not to be me.

A house full of people!

One thing that feels like a failure about my last “season” of life, the one between Basilica & now, was that we had a lonely house. Our neighborhood lacked kids, we never discovered which church friends would come over all the time, and honestly I hated my house.

I really noticed the absence of opportunities to practice hospitality!

I hoped & prayed it would be different as we changed seasons.

I am so happy that in the 2.5 days in my home, while it was in shambles, I’ve already had lots of visitors, kids running up & down the stairs, new friends for Darin, and laughter!

Thank you, Lord!

Book: Is There Anybody Out There?: A Journey from Despair to Hope

I happened upon a book in our Kindle app, Is There Anybody Out There?: A Journey from Despair to Hope by Mez McConnell…
I asked Joel about it and he didn’t even recall where it was from.

It ended up being a message to my weary soul.

This book is the life story of Mez, who grew up on the European version of ‘the projects’. It’s a little rough to read about his childhood… Abuse, neglect, invisibility.

But it was a slap in the face consistent with my current Precepts bible study of Romans. When Mez was introduced to the Gospel, the church he was introduced into was Law, not Grace. And as someone constantly evaluating how to be a church leader, it was a serious reminder what it feels like to enter a church culture that expects right behavior by flesh, without waiting for the Spirit to do a work.

Alive

There are many things I’m not sure what to say about our visit to a prospective church in Maine.
But there are a few things I would like to reflect on…

In 2009, when we closed Basilica, we returned to Kaleo and my role changed. I went from Joel’s co-churchplanter to one-of-four pastors wives. I was worn out from 3 years of ministry ups and downs & welcomed the lower level of expectation for me as a church leader.

But then 3 years swept by and I started feeling funny about my identity as a minister of the gospel. It’s so hard to get moving when you are sitting completely still… and I’ve been sitting still in terms of Kaleo. My only ministry involvement has been outside the church, with Redeemed Ministries.

I felt a little lost, like the part of me that I planned to rest after Basilica might have forgotten who it was.20130102-211150.jpg
Then we came to Maine.20130102-211030.jpg
Joel has been corresponding with this church about possibly being their pastor since last Spring. The church and our family need to see if we are a good fit… So he is preaching 2 Sundays in a row, with lots of fellowship in the middle. He preached last Sunday on Biblical Community.
Then the fellowship began. We have had the opportunity to be with small & large groups of church members on Sunday evening, Monday evening (New Year’s Eve), and Tuesday (New Year’s Day).20130102-211126.jpg
Each day, I felt like a part of me that I had missed was alive. My heart and mind felt like they had the ministerial vision of God that I have missed seeing through. I felt renewed. I am so excited to see that this time of Joel’s education at HBU has been a time of hibernation, not death.

Post-Basilica Syndrome (PBS)

In the past week, I’ve been a part of several conversations talking about how Basilica was the best church, and hard to replace.
These are really great conversations to be in.
They are also really reinforcing that we made the right decision in closing Basilica.
I miss Basilica too.
In many ways, it is like an old relationship:

  • easy to remember the good parts,
  • easy to forget the hard parts,
  • easy to wonder if it could be better if you tried it again.

I wonder about that third one, too.
And I wonder if we could bring our growth from our mistakes in as an asset.
But I mainly feel like we would be trying to relive our “first kiss” and live in a constant state of comparison.
I could be wrong.

Processing Basilica

I have hesitated to write on this topic for awhile… wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to put out for public critic.

But I definitely need to process, and I would like my own record, so read at your own risk.

In 2 days, The Basilica Community, a church started by Joel, Jessica and I, will be closing. This has been a shock to some people, confusing for others, and expected for a few.

I wasn’t shocked. But I am sad. And happy.
In many ways, Basilica shares the role of a dysfunctional boyfriend in my life – I know I will miss it, and it will be weird when people don’t identify us together, but hopefully there is something even better down the road.

Jessica started me dwelling on this sentiment when she said that it will be sad that her children (yet to be born) will never know about this huge part of her & Jimmy’s life.
I guess that’s true. I think for a child, much of their parent’s life is like this – unfathomable, like finding out your mom had a fiance before your dad, or that your mom was a ___________ or _____________.

And I realized it’s not as sad as it seems right now.
Because I don’t look back and wish my children could know the men I dated before. I am thankful for the beautiful life we have together.

Tangent… back to Basilica.

So, as many close to me have seen, there have been many faces of Basilica for me:
– hopeful, energetic, and entrepreneurial
– carefree and fun
– trying my hand at counseling girls, and making lots of mistakes
– planning a mission trip, with some personal baggage
– experiencing loss and burn out
– stepping back and healing

As I look back, I cannot imagine NOT having these experiences. I have learned so much!

So, while it was hard to consider that this work has been completed, for me, it does feel completed. I don’t feel like we are leaving anyone “incomplete”. I feel like the core that we have are all strong in faith, gifted in different ways, and they can shake up some churches in their areas.

In reflecting with Joel last night, I realized several really pleasant things:

This experience has really changed (improved) our relationship. How I see him is totally different, and much more biblical.

We have gained skills that are huge and open up many more options for us than we had before. It feels like we are much more equipped to join many different types of ministries, and able to understand the roles, and where they need us to step up and follow and support and lead – depending on the situation. I guess the word might be versatile.

—-
For the past year, as I healed from burn out and hurt, I have had trouble seeing any good in Basilica – as a church and as a people.
But in the month since the decision was made to close, I have been able to stop analyzing everything and everyone.
And I have been flooded with peace.
And I have felt empowered once again to speak into lives.
And I have been able to remember all God has done here.

I think it is a healthy sadness in the completion.
I wonder if this is how it feels when your children grow up, and you finally step back and realize that your “raising them” job is done.
I hope I am able to look back and see all the evidences of grace as I can in Basilica now.