Saturday, July 12, 2014


We've just wrapped up 4 consecutive weeks of chaos (VBS, back to back youth camps, and Kids Kamp) and are taking a quick breather before Allen leaves Friday for mission trip to San Francisco. I know I said I would be MIA for 2 weeks, and that turned into 3. I was tempted to let it turn into 4, but  I had an exchange with someone the other day that sparked this post.
I honestly don't remember where I was or even the exact question I was asked, but someone asked me something along the lines of how the month had been or how we were holding up, and I answered honestly.

"Tired. We're ready for a break."

The person I was talking to told me they love my honesty, and it got my wheels turning.

Do I always answer honestly? Am I too honest? Is there such a thing?
Who has two thumbs and over thinks everything?

Guilty as charged.

As pastors' wives, where's that balance? I want to be genuine, but I don't want to sound like I'm complaining or ungrateful.
When I say that we're tired and ready for a break, that's not to say that the last 4 weeks haven't been so good. Week 2 of youth camp is probably the hottest place I've ever been and I had a sick kid for a day, but 50 students made professions of faith. Salvation trumps illness.
If I made a pros and cons list the pro side would definitely win out. Maybe I should make one and carry copies around to give to people that ask me how we're doing?? Too much?

I don't want to tell people I'm "doing great" if I'm not. I don't want to word vomit on people either.
I generally give more to people that I'm closer to, and I have to consider the time and place as well. When someone spots me across the parking lot at Hobby Lobby and yells, "Hey! How are you?" it's not the appropriate time to share with them the details of my week. However, as I mentioned, I won't say "Great!!" if that's not the truth. My go to when I'm not 'great' is, "Hangin' in there."
There are times when I'd like to say, "Hanging by a thread and the next person that needs something from me or my husband is getting punched in the throat!"
I feel like that would be frowned upon.

Seriously, though, what's the expectation of those of us in ministry? Of course we have bad days. Are we allowed to share it? Are we allowed to show it? Do we put on a happy face and pretend everything is ok because what will people think if they see that we have real emotions and struggles and issues?

I would love you to weigh in on this. Do you tend to overshare, or do you have a bent towards the 'happy face'? What's the balance for you?


Anonymous said...

Amy - you are a great writer.......I always leave your posts with something to ponder........and usually something to work on........Keep "hanging in there" and being "great"!!

Bonnie said...

I think about this ALOT of the time! We are called to be real with our family - to be transparent...but
1. It can be hard for me to share personal things (I'm not saying that's a good excuse, but nonetheless)
2. I'm not sure at least half of the time if the person asking truly wants an honest answer.
3. I tend to feel like I'm burdening other people when I dump my trash on them.

It's been difficult for me, but God has really been showing me that He has given me this awesome family of believers for many reasons, one of them being that we are SUPPOSED to bear one another's burdens. Like you, I have a smaller group of people with whom I share things with, which seems perfectly normal to me. But, as I relinquish my own prideful independence (which is where many of my problems spring from!) God continues to bless me with friends that sharpen, pray for, and bear my burdens alongside of me.

Honesty to me means vulnerability and transparency. And I truly think (and have experienced) that God blesses us for it.

Thank you for your thoughts! It's so nice to know that I'm not the only one with these things bouncing around in my head.

BrandyJ-jeremiah29:11 said...

Transparency, I believe, is so important and allows friends, and especially those in ministry or the spotlight, to be viewed as approachable and "real". There is nothing more important to me as a person and as a friend, than to know who I am actually dealing with. I love honesty... it can be hard... it can make you vulnerable... but it is worth it. I would rather have a "tired, we need a break" response over "these last weeks have been perfect! I wish we had four more just like them!" :--) I love that you are real with the people of our church. Real with moms. Real with friends. Real with your feelings on this blog. A church can be a really big place even when it is a small church and one can get lost and feel alone and disconnected very easily. With sentiments like this, I believe you help others to relate to "the pastor's wife" in a very real and personal way. Thank you for your honesty. I will try to be more honest when asked how I am doing. I think I will adopt the "hanging in there" answer as well. :-) B

Mike and Cymbre said...

I'm a little behind but I'm catching up on your posts--Life has started to slow down and hopefully I'll stay caught up! I was challenged back in high school to not give the "Great, how are you?" cookie cutter reply when asked how I was doing. I find myself defaulting back to that during different seasons in my life but try to be honest, and then try to give details based on who is asking…although I'm not always good at filtering. It is always funny to see the surprised reaction on the persons' face who wasn't actually expecting an honest reply. I think we have all grown so used to getting the "Great, how are you?" reply that we are thrown off when we receive an actual answer! Thanks for the reminder to be real. I do think that in ministry, we are expected to always reply with "Great!" and sometimes that is not where God has us.