Friday, September 7, 2007

God's wife?

God's Wife?A little boy about 10 years old was standing before a shoe store on Broadway, barefooted, peering through the window, and shivering with cold.
A lady approached the boy and said, "My little fellow, why are you looking so earnestly in that window?""I was asking God to give me a pair of shoes," was the boy's reply.
The lady took him by the hand and went into the store, and asked the clerk to get half a dozen pairs of socks for the boy. She then asked if he could give her a basin of water and a towel. He quickly brought themto her.She took the little fellow to the back of the store and, removing her gloves, knelt down, washed his feet and dried them with a towel. By this time the clerk had returned with the socks. Placing a pair upon the boy's feet, she purchased him a pair of shoes, and tying up the remaining pairs of socks, gave them to him. She patted him on the head and said, "No doubt, my little fellow, you feel more comfortable now?"
As she turned to go, the astonished lad caught her by the hand, and looking up in her face, with tears in his eyes, answered the question with these words,
"Are you God's Wife?"

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

God didn't stop up my septic tank

I now know more about septic tanks than I ever wanted to know! Our tank backed up Monday today is Wednesday and the plumber finally arrived and popped the top to the tank. Needless to say the news is not good! My credit card how has $3,500 added to the balance. At least I don’t have to go out in the woods to potty anymore (good thing we live in the country) and the plumber promises me that within the hour I will be able to enjoy a nice hot bath!

When our problems with the septic tank first began it was right in the middle of our son exit from Georgia. My first thought was “Lord, why me – haven’t you given me enough to handle for a while”. I was on the verge of have myself a “pity party” when I received a call from my daughter in law saying that Billy had made it to Virginia safe and sound. I have been holding my breath and praying every few minutes since he pulled out of the driveway. So mid pity part I had to stop and thank God for the safe arrived of a very precious package. Nothing like a prayer answered to put a damper on a good pity party.

I adjusted my attitude and decided that having to go to the woods and not being able to take a shower for a few days was not such a bad thing. THEN the plumber got here and delivers the news – I had figured it would be $500 or so – but $3,500 took me aback. Potential “pity party” on the horizon! Oh, whoa with me, this is awful. Thought this time – “Lord, look at all the things I do for you! This is not fair! Look at the people down the street, they don’t even go to church and they are not having any problems.” I wallowed in that little thought for a few awhile.

I went and sat on the front porch and watched the humming birds and looked at the beauty of the flowers blooming. I saw how green Mr. Johnson’s sugar cane had become since the recent rains. I heard a cow bellow for her calf and a hawk scream from the top branch of a large pecan tree.

I had to apologies to God. I am one of the most blessed people on earth! I have a beautiful home, one many would love to call their own. I live far enough in the country that I can still enjoy the wonders of this world. I have more than enough food to eat. I have amassed enough clothes and shoes to outfit a small army. I have a husband that I share a “fairy tale” marriage with. I have three grown kids that I actually enjoy being around and a Grandson that is my heart. AND I have a credit card to put the plumbing bill on and a job that will allow me to pay the bill.

I have not accomplished or acquired any of these things on my own. God has been good me!
So, while I am standing in that hot shower I am going to count my blessings and cancel my “pity party” invitations.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Not everyone is going to love the Deacon - and some may love him a bit too much

Not everyone is going to LOVE your Rev. Mr. and some might love him too much!

If your husband will be ordained soon don’t think you are going to join hands and skip into church to a standing ovation every week. Nope, there are going to be those that he just can’t make happy no matter what he does. His Homilies will be too long or too short. He does not deliver his sermon the same way the priest does; or even worse the “Old Deacon”. (You know the one that your husband replaced). He paid too much attention to Ms. Jones and did not even speak to Ms. Smith. Little Johnny ask him to bless his new cross and the blessing just did not sound right to someone nearby. Did you see how he held that baby during baptism, and I don’t think he put enough water on her head!
Trust me you will hear things about your husband that makes you want to poke someone in the head with a sharp object. You know how hard you husband worked on his Homily; you can count the hours it took him away from the family. And that Baptism looked beautiful to you! First and for most you have to remember it is not your job to defend your husband. In most cases he does not need to be defended. Folks are entitled to their opinion (even if it is wrong) and they have no trouble voicing it to you or the Priest. Very seldom do I mention anything that is said to Tom. As a Deacon he has enough on his plate, and if he does something wrong Father Ed will let him know. However I will be the first one to let him know if his Homily was a stinker. Remember I have been listening to Tom preach for years so the bar is set rather high! When the kids were young he judge how well his delivery was based on what they remembered, now he just has me and I don’t give out many A’s. I never know what Tom’s Homily’s are going to be about – I hear them for the first time along with the congregation.
Then there are the people or should I say “women” that are going to “love” him just a little too much. This is a subject that no one wants to talk about, but everybody asks about when we are one on one. I have no idea why, but I saw it happen when Tom was a minister – some women just have a thing about a “Man of the Cloth”. These are the women that always have a question for your husband or they just need a few minutes of this time. Let’s face it girls we are lucky our husbands are wonderful caring men. A quality that is not found often enough in men and if a “church lady” is lonely they are going to latch on to a man that seems to care. Trust me you husband has been warned in formation (or at least I hope he has) and he will know how to handle the situation with no interference from you. Don’t start looking at every lady that is nice to your husband with suspicious eyes – you will make your life and his miserable. Just know that it could happen! Tom does have one rule that has served him well over the years - he is never alone with a women. He does not go to lunch with a women alone, he does not close his office door when he is alone with a woman and he will not go to visit a women alone. Sad that a Deacon or Priest have to worry about these things but they do.

I do not stand at the back of the church with Tom after Mass. Why not you ask – because if someone needs to talk to him they need to feel free to do so. Folks will often approach your husband with family problems that they would never think of speaking to the priest about. That is one of the blessings our husbands bring to the church, they have dealt with mad wives and teenagers.

Your husband is not in a popularity contest and sometimes he will have to make decisions that will not sit well with some people. Your job is to be that “soft place” for him to land when the going get rough. Love him, pray for him and support him even if it is from a distance sometimes.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

What to expect when you become a Deacon's Wife

Since I am a Deacon’s wife I have been asked to write something occasionally about my “Life as a Deacon’s” other half. I guess the reason I don’t write about it more often is because it is not something that I think about very much. It simply is a fact, one that I would not change. I am going to try and address a few of the most common questions that I am asked – most questions come from wives of men in formation. Here is the test – if anyone out there is reading this that has a question feel free to send it to me either by email are by way of a comment and I will answer it to the best of my ability.
1. My husband is going to be an ordained deacon will I be Rev. Ms. Smith?
The short answer is NO. It depends on your diocese but in Atlanta wives are encouraged to attend classes with their husbands. It will educate you not only to what will be expected of your husband after ordination but you will learn more about what the Church teaches. If at all possible I urge you to attend when possible – education is always a good thing! The church is paying lots of money for your husband’s education and you have a chance to get it free.
2. What will be expected of me from the church after he is ordained?
Short answer NOTHING. This is not your “vocation” it is your husbands. All the Church asks is that you support your husband. Truth is the Church will appreciate you being as involved as possible. You and your husband may be involved in some of the same ministries and you may find your own nitch. Remember that you represent your husband and the Church at all times.
As a Deacon’s wife you will be privy to some information that is not intended for the general population – as good as you might feel the gossip is don’t share! Support comes in all forms and proper behavior and trust are just a couple.
3. We do “EVERYTHING” together. I am afraid that after he is ordained he will not have any time for me.
Short answer Maybe Not! This is the question that is always first and foremost in wives of “soon to be Deacons”. It is also the hardest question to answer because the answer depends on your husband’s ability to say “No”. Your husband has accepted the call to become a Deacon because he has a deep desire to serve God’s people. In accepting a position as a Deacon your husband has accepted a position of “service”. In most parishes he will be used to serve to the point of physical, mental and spiritual exhaustion if he does not learn to say no. While it is your job to support your husband in his service it is also your job to remind him if necessary that he just might be burning the ole candle at both ends. We have a group of Deacon friends and we try and get together every few of months(the Deacon’s in formation in our area are also invited) and as it always happens the men end up in one room and the wives in another and “family time management” is always a topic of discussion. Some men have been Deacon’s for years and still struggle with “family time management”. Others learned early on that their first commitment is to their family – these wives are the ones with the big smiles on their face!
I could write in length about this topic – and I will if you want me to – but the bottom line is: Our husbands walk a very tedious and demanding tight rope. Most have full time “money” jobs – strange how many parishioners think that just because they become “Deacons” that they only work for the Church – that require more than 40 hours a week. They have families that depend on them to be their “Sheppard”. Then there is the Church “flock” that they are to serve. One wrong step in either direction can cause their house of cards to crash. Not enough emphasis placed on their “money” job can place their employment in jeopardy, too much time spent with their “Church family” can place their own family in danger.

The one thing I know for certain is that your husband will not be able to succeed in any of these areas without your love, support and prayers.

What do I do as a Deacon’s wife you might ask? Well, last night at mass I was the sacristan, alter server and choir director. The week before I was the janitor, the people that clean did not show up. I try to wear what ever “hat” needed so that Mass is all my husband and Father have to worry about. My love is teaching OCIA, which I have been doing for 10 years. I go with Tom as often as possible (and when needed) to make home or hospital visits, home blessings and Adult education classes that he teaches.

I have no idea if this ramble will help anyone or even if there is a need for such a post. If I can be of any help to anyone all you have to do is drop me a line. I will continue to post questions if you ask them. If not I will be forced to go back to talking about my childhood!