Tuesday, August 14, 2012

From the wife of a youth minister.....

I really love being a youth minister's wife.  Really I do.  I have a heart and passion for youth ministry.  I love being with teenagers, and I love to see teenagers falling in love with God.  Amazing.  Teens are inspiring and fun.  I love to see them study their Bible's and open their hearts in prayer.  Sometimes I wish that I would've majored in youth ministry.  When thinking about this path in college- I wasn't sure if it was the right path for me though.  I knew that I could never do youth ministry without my husband.... in my mind it was always a joint effort.  I don't think I could work separately from my husband in the church... it would be to close of quarters to partner with someone else (who wasn't my spouse) to do the work of the church in ministering to teenage girls.  So.... not knowing who my husband would be at the time, or if he would do youth ministry, or for that matter even like teenagers- it was a no-brainer to not choose that route.  Besides- all I really wanted to do was be able to stay at home and raise babies and be a wife.  But, I always wanted to be a teacher too and have my own classroom.  This route allowed me to have summers off to do ministry and also to be with my own kids one day when they were in school.

Anywho... I am beyond blessed to get to partner with Lantz {in an unpaid} position.  I am so grateful for his heart for ministry and teens.  I am so grateful that I get to go to (almost) all of the youth events and work side by side with him.  How lucky am I?  I get to be a stay-at-home mom and on top of that I get to serve the Lord beside my husband in ministering to teens.

I preface all of the above to be honest.... this past summer was hard.  I mean really hard.  It was hard for a number of reasons though.  With two sweet and amazing baby girls it is impossible to drag them to everything youth group related.  So, I didn't get to make every trip or go to every activity.

This means a number of things... but number one, it means that I am away from my love... my partner in crime... my best friend... my better half.... my husband.  It was really hard.  I don't know how people handle their spouses traveling.  I feel like a weeny just admitting this was so trying for me, because I know so many others who spend countless days, nights, or weeks away from their spouse.  I spent a total of 16 days away from Lantz all within 6 weeks.  It was so hard.  If you have two little ones, than you know how challenging it can be at times.  Some days (when Lantz isn't out of town) I am counting the minutes when he gets home so I can take a break from playing dress-up dolls or holding a crying baby... or two crying babies for that matter.  So... to go 16 days with no one coming home at the end of the day was hard.  Really hard.  I love my girls more than words can say, but it's hard to do it by yourself.... and I'm blessed to have family near by who were so sweet to drop in and help me at times.  I just can't imagine how single parents do it.  Plus- I don't sleep well when Lantz isn't home- I just toss and turn all night-- and my dog is on extra alert and likes to bark at every twig breaking outside.  So- on top of it being hard it was tiring too.  

Well....um....  can I be really honest?  I was a little jealous too.  I mean he got to go on two AMAZING mission trips and serve.  He went to Nicaragua and also to South Texas.  Now... these are not "luxury" trips, so you might think I'm crazy for being a little jealous.... but if you read above then you get it.  I love youth ministry.... not just that though.  I LOVE my heavenly Father so much and I would have loved the opportunity to serve him in a different way, or to have been molded by Him in a different way.  I think it would have been incredible to have been apart of those two trips and to serve others but also to watch our teens grow in new ways.  Lantz came back with a little bit of a new lens, and I stayed here... unchanged and a bit envious.... but still grateful to be with my girls.

I am appreciative that I was able to go to camp Kadesh at ACU with Lantz and serve alongside him there the first week of summer.  It was a rough week there too.  Amazing- but hard.  We are talking like 16 to 17 hour days. So even though we got to bring the girls with us- we had a hard time.  It was exhausting.  I am breastfeeding Sawyer and so I had to excuse myself every now and then to feed her, or go pump.  It was hard on Kennedie because she would see us for just a little while here and there and then scream and cry as we dropped her and she watched us walk away (with Sawyer).  It was an incredible week, and I'll definitely do it again- but it wasn't really good quality "family time" if you know what I mean.

I also was able to go with Lantz on our Senior Leadership Retreat.  But again- that was hard because we were away from the girls for 4 days.  It was really hard to leave Sawyer for the first time.  We took them down south to Camp Eagle where we "roughed it" a bit.  We stayed two nights in un-airconditioned cabins and one night out camping.  We carried huge packs (mine was like 32 pounds.. along with my handy pump inside) and hiked in the crazy heat.  It was really fun to excuse myself randomly from the group and go pump behind a rock.... awesome.... not.  But- such an incredible growing opportunity for our Seniors, and I'm grateful that I had the chance to go and continue to build those relationships.

I also missed out on 3 amazing middle school mission days.  Lantz took the kids one day to make "smile boxes" for children around the world who are less fortunate.  Another day they went to Fort Worth to play with kids at an inner city camp.  And another day they went to downtown Dallas to serve all day at an organization that works with the homeless population.  It all sounded incredible.

When Lantz was home it was busy and still hard.  Summers are crazy.  Even if he's home he has to hurry and get the details worked out for the next trip or event.  He did a great job being with us girls as best as possible, but it was hard.  Plus he preached this last weekend so he had a sermon to prepare.  And now... he is preparing for the Labor Day Retreat for the teens.  I feel like once we get through with that life will slow down a bit.

So, as grateful as I am for Lantz's amazing job- it was a rough, and exhausting summer.  I'm ready for life to get back into a rhythm and for the pace to slow some.

But I know that my calling is so much more right now.  The Lord of all the universe has entrusted me two beautiful girls to raise to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him.  I know I can't get caught up in envy and woe.  I have a mission field at home that I've been called to, and I can't slack.  I only get once chance.  I'm grateful that the Lord continues to remind me of my value as a mother.  I can only pray that I am doing what I can to raise Christ followers.

I don't know exactly where all this came from.... I mean, I didn't intend to sit and write all of this, but here it is... out there for the whole world.  I know that sometimes I just dump pictures, but I still want this to be a place where I can track our day to day things and a place where I can share openly.  I'm not sure if there was a point to any of it, but I just wanted to be honest.

I love the Lord so much.  I love my sweet husband.  I love my amazing girls.   And as hard as it can be at times, I love youth ministry.

Precious Lord, thank you for the life you have blessed me with.  May I rejoice always and be grateful for all that you have given me.  You are Lord, and you are so good.  May my heart continue to be molded for your service.  In Jesus name, Amen.  



2 comments:

  1. I understand every.single.feeling you just wrote. I had a hard time when Reese and Lucy were babies at pleasant ridge. This summer he played YM AND preacher at our church and I was at home with 4 kids, two that weren't mine and who didn't appreciate me! It was tough. BUT... I still love YM. We are crazy! Summer is almost over. And every summer your kids will get a little older and a little easier. Hang in there.

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  2. Jessica, you are amazing! I'm sure it was a difficult summer. I'm so thankful that my wonderful brother has an amazing wife who not only supports him, but chooses to be in the ministry with him. You make a great team! Love you both1
    P.S. Next summer Mikalie and I are coming to babysit so you can go on at least one of the Mission Trips. Tell Lantz as soon as he gets it on the calendar to get it on my calendar. ;)

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