How long have you been married? 9 years
How many children do you have? 5 How old are they? 7,6,5, 3, 11months
1. Where/How did you meet your husband? We met in Bible College
2. When did you get saved? July, '97
3. Can you share your testimony? I was raised in a pastor's home from the time I was 10 and was a deacon's kid before that, so was always in church. I remember asking questions about being saved around the age of 5. Then I remember being baptized. I know I must have prayed at some point otherwise I wouldn't have been baptized, but I don't remember it. I went off of that for a long time and really just tried to avoid testimony conversations. If I was asked I just said I was saved when I was 5. At 16 though, I couldn't take it anymore. On a Saturday night I couldn't sleep. I finally said, "Okay God, if you let me sleep, I'll talk to my mom in the morning." I went to sleep and got up the next morning ready to start the day of getting ready for church and all that. But God wouldn't leave me alone ;) So I went in and told my mom I needed to get saved. We knelt in her room and I prayed and accepted Christ. :)
4. How long have you been in the ministry? Officially on staff since January, '10
5. How did you know the Lord wanted you in the ministry? Was it hard for you to submit to that or did you know 100% sure right away that this is what God wanted for your life? I struggled with it for a long time. Being raised in the ministry I saw all the ups and downs so it wasn't something I was jumping at the chance to do. My parents were great about keeping a good attitude towards ministry and not sharing the negative things with us or talking about them when we were around, but as a kid you can still read your parents and see them struggling. I did surrender at camp though one year to do whatever God wanted and to serve in whatever ministry he wanted.
6. How old were you when you your husband first held a position of leadership? He was in charge of music and things like that before we were married, but actual staff position I was 29.
7. And if you were young, did you have a hard time adjusting because of your age? Did you feel “ready” to be in that position? Did you feel you had a harder time being respected or taken seriously because of your age? I didn't feel ready at all, but it wasn't because of my age. We had been working at a church teaching 3-5 yr olds and he was doing the music program. We did do some activities with the teens, but that was it. We were the 'fun' house - none of the teaching or other responsibility. Going from that to staff, I didn't feel like we were ready or had 'proved' ourselves yet!
8. Once you had children did you find you did less in the ministry and was that hard for you? At this point, I do struggle with that. It was never an issue when it was just normal church functions to be at - we were (and still are) always there. Now with having the extra teen activities (like youth rallys) I do struggle with not being able to go to everything. There have been times my husband has felt like it would be too long of a day for the kids to go so he has asked me to stay home. I want to be there for them - and feel like I should be, but I know my family is my first ministry as well as following my husband so I do struggle with that. Still trying to find that balance in everything.
9. What are some ways you include and involved your children in the ministry?
a. Baby…They always go and usually get passed around to everyone that wants a turn to hold them - and get spoiled haha!
b. Toddler…We have them help set things up, I let them cook/bake with me if we're making snacks for teen activites, they help clean up - basically they do everything we do. We find jobs they can handle - putting plates/napkins out, picking up trash etc.
c. School age…Same as above for toddler. They are involoved as much as their maturity allows. We had an activity today and my oldest was in charge of taking pictures during games... and he did a pretty good job! lol
10. Do you ever worry that your children will resent the ministry and what are some ways you try to make it fun for them? Sometimes, yes, I do worry about that. I've seen it a lot. Right now they think it's fun since there is a lot of 'playing' since we're working with teens. But we still try to make time at least one day a week that is family day and we take them to the park, or something that is just for them. Since our oldest 4 are boys wrestling with daddy is their favorite thing to do. We try to make sure they get that time. I also try to be careful to say we "get to go....." instead of we "have to go...." I don't (well typically haha!) feel like going to church is something I have to do, but that's usually how people say it. So I try to make it (or whatever activity is going on) sound even more positive by saying we 'get' to do whatever.
11. What would be the best thing you would tell a mom who is raising her children in the ministry? As much as possible, keep the negative attitudes, comments etc that you feel towards ministry and people out of ear shot of your kids. We all struggle with being discouraged or frustrated with people/situations at times and need that time to talk it out. Talk it out, but not in front of your kids. I have seen how negatively it affects them and how much more they have to work through - or more likely it is that they walk away from church alltogether when they hear the negative. It has made me even more thankful that my parents tried to be careful around me and my siblings.
12. Are you naturally a submissive person or do you sometimes have a hard time easily following your husband? I would be a more 'naturally submissive' person - to an extent! haha! I would much rather someone tell me what to do than have to be in charge myself, but at the same time I sometimes don't want someone telling me what to do, so it's harder to follow. Usually I am okay with following him, but there have been times I have really struggled following some decisions he's made.
13. What do you do to encourage your husband when he is discouraged with the work? Let him talk and try to remind him of the positive things God is doing/has done.
14. How do deal with any criticism toward your husband from others? So far we haven't had much of this. He is the fun, goofy guy everyone likes to be around :)
15. How do you deal with personal criticisms? Not so well... I usually go cry ;)
16. Do you set aside date nights/days with your husband? Not as regularly as I would like. We have done "at home dates" and put the kids to bed then eat dinner together, but it's been awhile. And going out is hard to do when you have 5 kids and no family close.
17. What is the biggest thing you have learned about being married to a man in the ministry? To expect the unexpected and just go with the flow. I am pretty laid back and easy going, but I still like to plan out my day/week. I have to process things out mentally if we have big activites coming up so when something comes up and changes my 'plans' I can start to feel overwhelmed. I have to learn to just let things go sometimes. 18. What are some ways you protect your husband from “those” women in the church? So far we haven't had to deal with this. Most of the women we're around are 'older' and think of/treat him like their son or grandson!
19. How do you guard your husband from the “crushes” of teen girls? There have been a few girls he will come tell me, "they won't leave me alone!" I'll tell him that's because they like him and he says they don't because he's married.... So I have explained to him how girls think and how they take any kind of male attention. He still doesn't understand how girls think, but we can talk about it. ;)Thankfully the girls haven't been from our church and have just come for different activities so it isn't something we have dealt with often. He is careful not to be alone in a room with girls and things like that though.
20. And how do you guard yourself from the crushes of teen boys? Not sure this would be an issue, but I am careful about talking with just them one on one or being in a room alone and things like that.
21. How do you deal with the parents that are always on their child’s side? So far, Praise GOD!, we haven't really had to deal with this. The issues that have come up, the parents have been the one to call and ask my husband to come talk to their kids.
22. How do you deal with the parent that think it is the youth pastor’s job to “raise” their children and blame them when their teen does wrong? We haven't had this yet, either.
23. How do you establish a good youth leader/parent relationship? I think we are still working on this. We try to talk to the parents as much as we can and let them know about what's going on. We have great parents so far and they all just seem excited about their kids coming and participating in things.
24. How do you deal with “clingy” teenagers? (Ya know the ones who are always following you). Try to be patient and listen as much I can.
25. How do you encourage/help those teens whose parents are not saved and do not attend church? Just try to remind them to do what God wants and honor their parents.
26. How do you feel about parents grounding their kids from teen activities? Haven't dealt with this yet from our teens. Really though, I'm on the fence about this issue. If there is going to be preaching I think they should go - that's what they obviously need. But I can see how the activities that usually go along with that can make a parent want to keep the home from the 'fun'.
27. In what ways do you deal with the “drama” of your ministry? The hard things like runaways, drugs, partying, drinking or teen pregnancies? My husband is quick to confront them and talk to them about whatever is going on. What we have dealt with so far has been very mild.
28. How do you encourage unity within your youth group? This is a big deal to my husband. He tells them a lot that their best friends should be at church. We have lots of activities (at least once a month and more during summer) so they are doing things together. It has worked well so far :)
29. What is the one thing you would like to get across to the people of your church regarding the youth? Hmmm this isn't really something I've ever thought about. Our church seems to have a great relationship overall. There doesn't seem to be any negative feelings or attitudes toward our youth.
30. What is the most DIScouraging thing someone can say to you regarding the youth? I really haven't dealt with this either. Most people have been very encouraging.
31. What do you do with your young children during activities? Bring them? Stay home? Do you have faithful ladies in the church who are willing to help you by watching them? I have already mentioned this, but usually we take them. There have been times I have stayed home, but that isn't often. We have ladies that are willing to watch them, but with having 5 (and 4 of them being boys lol) we hate to ask and we both feel strongly that it isn't someone else's responsibility to take care of our kids. So we are careful about how often we ask someone to watch them.
32. What is the most encouraging thing that other ladies in the church can do for you? Letting me know they are praying for me or appreciate me is very encouraging - whether it's by talking, a note or whatever it's a blessing.
33. What is the most encouraging thing your pastor’s wife can do for you or say to you? Letting me know she appreciates the work I've put in or what I'm doing. Talking to me about what's going on.
34. Most Discouraging? Being negative about decisions that have been made regarding family or ministry. It's isn't always easy to find that line.
35. Do you and your husband have devotion or prayer time together daily? No
36. Do you have a hard time sharing your burdens with your husband in fear that it will discourage him? Not usually. Typically or 'down' times are opposite so if I'm struggling he will encourage me.
37. What do you do to encourage yourself in the Lord? PRAY! Remind myself that none of what I'm doing is for me... and soon it will all pass. lol
38. What is your favorite Scripture? Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ, the same yesterday and today and forever. (I don't enjoy change and living in 'chaos' so I love this reminder that I always have a 'constant')
39. Do you have a favorite song? For my Good and For His Glory
40. What is your biggest struggle in the ministry? Talking to people. I am not a people person so it's very hard for me to go up and talk to people and start conversations - even if it's someone I know.
41. Do you have find that you are not able to have close lady friends in your church? Yes, partly because I'm not a people person and very private, but also because it's easy to start talking about 'negative' things with the church when you're together and that's not a good thing.
42. When you are discouraged, do you feel like you can “show” that feeling to ladies in the church? Or do you feel you must be the perfect, happy staff wife? Ha! I don't think I can pull off the perfect, happy staff wife lol! I try not to show when I'm discouraged. Apparently though my face is very expressive and I have had people think I'm upset when I'm not so, not sure I can hide it if I really am!
43. Have you ever made a big mistake or offended someone, and if yes, how did you go about restoring that relationship? Not that I can think of
44. Do you have other lady ministry friends that you go to for counsel and “venting” purposes? Yes, I have a couple I can talk to. I don't usually go to them for that, but when we do get together and something comes up I know I can share with them. And I do talk to my mom when something is really bothering me that I couldn't share with someone else. Since she is in the ministry I guess she counts ;)
45. What is your favorite way to serve the Lord in your church? I enjoy making food for special dinners or for the teens when we have activites. I have recently started "girl time" with our teen girls - it's basically like a ladies meeting. We meet once a month and have a devotion time. I do not enjoy speaking like that, but I have been enjoying it!
46. What is the most important thing you want to pass down to your children? To put God and His will first before anything else.
47. In all of your busyness, how do you fit your personal time in with the Lord each day? To be completely honest, this is one area I REALLY struggle with. I do better though if I do it in the morning. If I tell myself I'll do it later in the day I never do.
48. Other then the Bible, do you have any other books that have helped you along the way? Lies Women Believe, And the Truth That Sets Them Free is a GREAT book!
49. Out of all that you have learned being in the full time ministry, what is the most important thing you have learned? That God really does take care of His children. I saw it growing up - how God would provide when we had a need, but it's totally different when you're the 'grown up' and have to rely on God to meet those needs. It has been amazing to see God provide for us when we didn't see how it would be possible.