Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Family Update - May 2012

As you know, our family has been in the middle of a transition for a while now.  We continue to wait on what God has for us in vocational ministry, but we are making a few changes in the process.

Joel is still working the secular job he's had since last year.  While it's not what he wants to be doing long-term, we are very, very thankful that he has had continuous work.

Our family will be moving closer to our church in a month or so.  We have found a house to rent and are making preparations to move.  This will eliminate a lot of driving (especially on Sunday) and allow us to be more involved with our church family.  Since we won't be locked into a long-term lease, we will be ready to pack up and move again when a ministry fit is found.  We have to be out of our house by August 2, but we plan to move well in advance of that date.

Many have asked how the search is going - to be's difficult.  We drove to one ministry (here in MI) in March and spent several hours with a search committee.  Joel has had several phone conversations and even a conference call with a pulpit committee recently.  None of these options have resulted in a new ministry for us.  We continue to look, send resumes, follow leads and pray for guidance.  It's frustrating, at times, but we know that we are not in control of this timeline.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Living the Fishbowl Life?

Are you/Have you been a ministry wife?  Can you give me your input?  I'm trying to put some thoughts together and need some thoughts from you.  If you would, answer the following questions - and if you don't want to post them publicly, you can email them to me (gearhart0624 at gmail dot com) or send me a Facebook message.  All emailed answers will be kept confidential.

1.  What do you think is your role as a ministry wife?

2.  What kinds of struggles do you face because of your role as a ministry wife?

3.  Did you/do you feel like you live in a fishbowl - under constant scrutiny and the watchful eyes of those around you?

4.  What are your greatest joys as a ministry wife?

5.  If you have children, how does the ministry play a role in how you are raising/have raised them?  Would you do things differently if you were not in the ministry?

6.  What keeps you up at night?

7.  What kind of ministry are you part of (school, church, missionary, camp, etc.)?

8.  If you had it to do all over again, would you choose this path for your life?  Why/Why not?

9.  What topics have you found to be "taboo" when it comes to discussing ministry life?

10.  What do you wish you could tell a younger woman about ministry life?

You're probably wondering why I'm asking these questions....and rightly so.  I've actually been brainstorming for a new blog idea (I'd love to write a book, but a blog is much more manageable.)  I don't know if it will ever happen, but I wanted to ask the questions anyways.

Resources and discussions regarding life as a ministry wife are few and far between, especially online. Issues are skirted and there seems to be some sort of odd silence about what life is really like for ministry wives.

Any input you can offer is greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Not as I planned....

Today my youngest little guy turns 5.  He's sweet and funny and I can't imagine NOT having him in our family.

I was six weeks along in my pregnancy with Trevor before I even suspected that I might be pregnant.  I had been hitting the gym and my shirts were fitting so well, but my pants were getting harder and harder to button.  I was quite confused but figured that things were just shifting.  One September afternoon (I remember that it was the day of the Awana fair at church) I took a nap and could not figure out why I was so tired.  When I got up from the nap, the thought hit me....could it be?  Certainly not!  I grabbed a test out of the closet (leftover from when Josiah came along) and it was instantly positive.  I thought for sure that it must be expired or fact, it took 4 tests to convince me that we were going to have another baby.

We were thrilled and surprised.  We desired more children, but Josiah was 2 weeks away from his first birthday and we didn't think another baby would come along quite so soon.  Once the initial shock wore off we began to get really excited....until the ultrasound.

You see, I prayed for a girl.  I was convinced I was going to have a girl.  You might remember that we had a mistaken ultrasound with Josiah (we were told he was a girl) so I thought for sure that God was going to give us a girl this time.  We already had 2 boys, so a girl would balance things out a bit.  In my mind, I convinced myself that since God had surprised us with this baby, He was going to really make it a good surprise and give us a girl.  

He didn't.  When the ultrasound tech told us (with Camden and Josiah watching and waiting) that another boy was on his way, I couldn't even look at the screen. I didn't want a boy.  I didn't plan for this pregnancy at all and another boy was certainly NOT on my radar.  How was I going to parent 3 boys?  Didn't God care that I really, really wanted to have a girl?  What was He thinking??

The next couple months were met with many sleepless nights.  Outwardly I smiled and accepted the heartfelt congratulations from friends and family.  Inwardly I battled with the idea that I didn't get what I wanted.  I laid awake many nights praying that God would help me to love and want this baby.  I couldn't imagine going through labor in this state of mind.

I know what you're probably thinking:  how selfish.  You're right.  I was selfish.  I was inwardly focused.  I should have been grateful for the fact that I could have children at all.  I battled with these thoughts.  I had friends that had miscarried and would give anything to have a child and here I was not happy with the gender.  I wanted to be excited.  I wanted to want a boy.  I knew that God was going to have to change my heart and my mind.

Trevor was due in May, and it was about mid-March before I finally came to terms with God's plan for our family. I spent the last 6 weeks preparing my mind and heart to welcome another boy into our family.  By the  time Trevor arrived, I was so excited with how God was blessing our family.

Today, I cannot imagine NOT having Trevor.  While the world would say he was a mistake (unplanned and not the gender I initially desired) I know that his life is a gift from God.  God decided that he would be and God decided that I would get to be his mother.  He's definitely a momma's boy (and I milk it!).  He brings us so much joy.  There's not a doubt in my mind that Trevor is a good gift from my good God.