It's been a rough day today.
Some of it is I couldn't sleep last night so I forced myself to do so at 1:30am and then I started having weird disturbing dreams so I was up by 8am instead of sleeping in.
Part of it is the natural cycle to accepting my allergies. I bounce between fear, helplessness and anger. I feel like I don't know how to cook anymore because of all the drastic changes I need. I know my family needs calcium too so I'm having to buy my favorite dairy products for them and not have any myself. Frustrating.
Part of it is my husband. Yesterday his mom decided to do yard work, and long story short, she broke her wrist. She's 73, has rheumatoid arthritis and refuses to wear appropriate shoes or clothing.... all things that just scream that she should have hired someone to do what she was trying to do. Anyways, this and the Elder's meeting last night put him into a downward spiral again.
He's been in the ministry for 10 years. In the Lutheran church, your first congregation is assigned to you. You can move as you please as long as another church calls you. He's been here 10 years, and hasn't received a single call. So not a single other church has wanted him, iykwim? At the Elder's meeting last night, they decided he could have 3 weeks of vacation. At his years of service it should be at least 4. He has never taken a pay raise in the 10 years he's been here, and never asked for anything but to be maintained on the best insurance plan. At the meeting last night, the elder's essentially said "We've never had a Pastor stay more then 10 years." and gave the huge implication of "what the hell are you still doing here?" There has been ONE family in our entire congregation that has told us they are glad we have been here for the last 10 years. Everyone else has said things along the line of "What? 10 years...how come you've been here that long?" So much for gratefulness for having a spiritual leader. (And yes, deep down we both know that verbal gratification is not why my husband does this work.)
So my husband has a huge burr in his saddle about moving again. Moving is a catch 22. To do so, you have to tell your District President to put your papers out. It's up to him if he does or doesn't. If he doesn't, you have to contact presidents yourself and that leads to the whole "Will this pastor do this to me later on down the line?" thoughts from the presidents you contact.
He's sure a change, even to a similar type congregation would be good for us. That he'd have 10 years of experience to start from and yes, he'd make mistakes, but they'd be different from what he's got hanging over him now.
And then there is me. I trust him on this and if he needs this, I will support him. But I think of our children- they are so happy in Lutheran School. To pull them during the school year, and not even knowing if we'd get to an area where we could continue Lutheran Education..... Then there is me. I'm 15 weeks pregnant. Finding a new OB, delivering this child somewhere different from all the rest.... Our health- will our insurance transfer (a huge concern when your husband has a "pre-existing" condition). Just the thought of having to find new doctors and chiropractors makes me itch right now. What about all the crap in our house right now that we're slowly weeding through to get rid of?
So many unknowns and I know, God will provide and I need to trust in him. But when you can't see His Will and you don't know if it's your Husband's Will or God's to move, what am I supposed to do?
Hubby is over at church right now because he just couldn't take the noise of the kids. Well duh, they get on my nerves too at times but they're being good. I just don't get the restlessness. We have many things to be thankful for here. It's the constant comparing to what other people/church's have that's getting him and there's no getting him to stop lately, despite him acknowledging that there will be problems everywhere.
Back to his mother- so she was supposed to make the cake for hubby's Ordination Anniversary and was bringing all the paper supplies. Well now that's up to me. I honestly don't have the money this month to do it but will manage. But then with his piss poor attitude and his bull**** about how being in one place for 10 years is so horrible, it makes me want to just throw up my hands and stop doing this party for him. He's throwing fits about it- why, I have no friggin clue because 10 years of service is a great thing.... it's like, why the heck am I trying so hard to do this nice thing if he's so convinced everyone can't understand why he's still here and he's wishing he was somewhere else?
I'm sorry Michelle! What denomination of Lutheran are you? We had our longterm pastors (married couple) leave right after Karl was born. It was a huge change but I honestly think it was best for the pastors and for our church. It's part of the evalution of the church. The old pastors had been here for approx. 15 years.
Hoping everything will work out for him and you! That is a lot of potential upheaval for you to deal with, and it's hard when your dh is crabby and unappreciative of his life and what you are doing. Hope his mom has a quick recovery!
Wow Michelle! I am so sorry to hear DH is down right now...I know how hard it is when my husband is down in the dumps...it's very hard to get to the "bottom" of their feelings sometimes, cause lots of times they don't even know what they are. You are right that God will find a way for you and whatever happens will be. It doesn't sound to me that it would be all that bad for at least your husband to try to get moved...but I don't know much about all that. It too is so hard to see what's good in your life sometimes, and who's to say a change will really make him happy if that's not the source of his frustration really....am I making a lick of sense?
I understand restlessness though, I deal with that almost every day. Me and my husband both are always striving to do more and seems we are constantly moving, changing, etc. I personally have a HARD time seeing how wonderful my life is, and man I am so blessed, so this should not be in the least bit hard...but many days it is. So I can understand his feelings...especially knowing noone there seems very appreciative of what he's done. My husband is very good at making me see how lovely, blessed, and full my life is and setting me straight, but not sure to tell you how to do this yourself.
Something else, and this may sound really crazy, but when I feel I need God to help me with a decision, I spend a lot of time just "listening". Like when the kids are napping or at night when they're sleeping, I just tune everything out and try to just listen and it's funny that at these times I feel such peace...not to say I get the answers, but sometimes I think I do. May be crazy, but it works for me.
I feel sad for you and hope that you guys can come to an agreement on this and that your husband can feel some peace. KUP and thanks for trusting in us to share your thoughts and concerns.
Married to my best friend 10-16-1993
DS #1 08-16-1999
oh, Michelle, I wish I could give you a hug in person.
it's a tough call on the moving to another church - DH's will vs. God's will. I'll pray for you guys. I think in the end, something will happen that will make perfect sense. Is there a particular person that DH gets the vibe (that he needs to move on) from? If so, can he talk to that person to get a sense of what's really being felt? The paster at the Methodist church here has been here FOREVER. And it's been a good thing. We're Catholic (I'd be a Methodist if DH supported it though, I think) and one of our priests has been here for 6 years - most of us are ready to see him go. But that's because he's not kid-friendly, and our parish is overrun with kids. I don't know how much love he feels from our parish, I don't talk to him. Anyhow, that being said, I think he probably knows the frustration felt by a good part of the congregation. I hope that your husband doesn't feel that at all. If the congregation is content, that's a good thing. They've grown with your husband, he's grown with them.
I don't know how this other church calling thing works. How do they know who to call? I mean, would a parishioner attend a service at your church and decide he likes the minister and suggest him back at his church? I'm perplexed by the whole thing. In the Catholic church, the diocese is who decides where priests go. There's not much of a choice in the matter.
I hope DH can shake off the funk he's feeling. Good things come to those who wait, right? And I know the idea of moving is hard for you, but when the time comes I think it will work out.
Meanwhile, if MIL was going to buy paper supplies, a broken wrist shouldn't stop her from shopping. Offer to give her a ride to the store so she can still pick those things out. Seriously, if she was going to do it before, then she should still do it, broken wrist or not. Maybe it will give her a feeling of .... crap, I can't think of the word, but along the lines of independence/support. (that does suck that she didn't hire anyone to do the yardwork).
I'm curious as to what ordination of Lutheran you are as well. In the almost 30years my dad has been going to the Lutheran church I grew up in there have been 4 pastors and 1 was only an interim pastor. I know our city has at least 2 Lutheran schools.
Daughter Rileigh Ann arriving January 2012
Teetering on the brink of big changes is a worry no matter what they are. I know nothing of how it all work or God's will, but i do think that from a practical point of view maybe you should have a chat with DH and look to be on the same page. All the things you listed about how inconvenient it would be to move are pretty important issues. Maybe if you set a date for seriously looking into it (once some of the issues are resolved), it would take the pressure off?
Korben, 12 months
Lyric, 34 months
Ada, born sleeping, Sept 2007
Zane, one day on earth, October 2006
We're Missouri Synod.
Husband and I are really on the same page, we just read that page from different directions. LOL As he said just now, getting papers out doesn't mean a call and a call doesn't mean we have to accept. We'd make sure all my worries were covered before accepting.
In the Lutheran Church, you fill out paperwork. Lots and lots of paperwork. You have a Personal Information Form (PIF) and a self evaluation tool (set). The SET is filled out by you, and also by your Circuit Counselor and your board of Elders. It's a self-evaluation tool where each group lists numbers for areas.... 1 being good and 5 being bad. So "children's ministry" "adult ministry" "personal hygeine" etc. The PIF asks the Pastor to explain his feelings on things- styles of worship, communion, dealing with x,y,z... etc. When your "papers" go out, your District President is sending these forms to other District Presidents.
When an LCMS church is looking to call someone, they go through a list and rank certain things. The District President takes that, talks with the congregation leadership and then makes a list of pastors from the list of forms he's read through that he feels would best fit this congregation. The congregation has a chance to add any names they know of to that list, and then makes a short list by reading through the papers. From there, they decide on the top choice. They interview, the pastor comes to visit (sometimes), etc. Then it's decided to call the person or not. If they do, the pastor and family usually visit the place to further decide. They accept or decline after more meetings to answer questions on living arrangements, insurance, benefits, etc. If the called pastor declines, they go to # 2 and then #3 on their list. If all those decline, the congregation starts over again. This is unless they accept a candidate right out of the seminary. Then their District President decides who comes to them and there is no choosing.
Kebrina- I grew up in a congregation where the pastor who baptized me retired there after 30 years of service. The current pastor has been there since I was 11 (so 18 years). For both of them this was their 2nd call and will be their last. I'm used to long lasting pastors. My husband is the ONLY one from his class still in his first call though. That's a little disconcerting to him.
One of you asked if it was one person in the church we could talk to about it? Honestly, it's much of the church. It's not always meant viciously, but they really haven't had a pastor stay 10 years or more since the mid 80s when that Pastor had a huge scandel in the area and is no longer a pastor. In their heads they just mentally write us off so they can handle it when we're gone. Even some of our biggest supporters have come to us and said "I visited this church this past weekend and it would be PERFECT for you for your next call." Um thanks- you do know that means we'd be LEAVING YOU WITHOUT A PASTOR then, right?
I took the kids and went to town. Scared the crap out of hubby because he wouldn't talk to me over at church so I just left and didn't leave him a note (which I ALWAYS do). He thought I left to go to my parent's because I didn't answer my phone when he first called (I left it in the van while we shopped). I'm not that type of person, to just run off for a week or something, especially when hubby's at his lowest and needs us. He needed to be reassured that he can't shake us off that easily. But he told me he couldn't handle the kids and I and we couldn't just keep waiting on his mood and sitting on eggshells at home. So I took the kids for happy meals and then ordered his cake and flowers for his party and got a blender. We walked the toy aisles a bit and hubby and I talked while the kids played with their happy meal toys.
He's stressed because of a funeral and his mom and he just blindly pushed away before we could I guess. He does it out of his own insecurities. He did this to me once while we were dating. It took me until we talked in the parking lot to realize what was going on but now that I get it... I can handle it. I bullied him- took the decisions out of his hand (which he just sometimes needs) and told him what we were going to do to get through today and how we were going to handle things and what he was going to do and in what order to get his church work done and then told him the kids and I weren't going anywhere no matter how grumpy he got.
Oh and MIL and the supplies? She's in Michigan. She did buy all the supplies before her wrist. She was bringing them with her next week when she drove here. But she felt guilty and has apparantly mailed all the supplies to us with 2 day shipping. She's sending a check for the cake too.
I'm so glad that I have you all to talk to. You gals really get that yes, it's a church life, but it's not always sunshine and roses, and it's okay. Clergy families have bad days too. Thank you all.
I don't have much more to add, but like Gwen, I wish I could give you a hug in person. I know you and your husband have done your best and it's so hard to feel unappreciated. I'll keep you guys and your future plans in my prayers.
Glad to hear you were able to talk and get some things settled though. And yay for the Mt. Dew! You deserved it after a day like you had!
Kayson 10-9-06 & Cohen 02-08-10
I'm glad that you got out with the kids, sounds like you really needed it (and the Mountain Dew too ). I'm also glad that you spoke to DH and things seem to be better, based on your recent update. And that's terrific that MIL sent the stuff and a check, bet you feel relieved about that.
Thanks for sharing all of that information about how it works in your church. That was a lot to type out! I love learning how different churches do things. (meanwhile, I'm wondering how to reply to a friend who wrote me and said that the Catholic "Hail Mary" is just like praying to an idol. *sigh* I like to talk to Mary, raising Jesus couldn't have been easy! So I don't relate to what my friend is saying at all.)