Why It’s Hard To Be My Friend

Being married to a Pastor and balancing my friendships is a tricky thing.  One thing I have been thinking about a lot lately is my friendships with other women.  I love my friends.  I adore them.  I wish I could spend hour after hour with them just hanging out.  If you are my friend, or if you are close to someone whose spouse is in full-time ministry, you’ll sorta see what I’m trying to say. 

There has to be a lot of grace given and taken in these relationships.  My life is never the same day to day or week to week.  The times Rob is home with me and the girls is “retreat” time.  It’s time to back away from people, regroup, reorganize, and rethink.  Before all that happens, we just need quiet.  At the end of most days, Rob and I are just quiet.  We’re tired.  People can be draining.  Trying to save the world is hard!

I can’t tell you how many appointments I have had to cancel or reschedule because of Rob’s schedule.  I’ve had to reschedule breakfast with the same friend 10 times or more.  Does she get mad? Nope.  Grace has grown in our friendship over time.

Have I lost friends because of this?  Yep, more than have stayed around.  They did not like it very much that family, marriage, and ministry were so time consuming.  Not only time-consuming, but energy consuming.  When I looked at them and said, “I am so sorry, we just can not put our kids with another babysitter tonight., ” they packed up, left, and never came back. Ouch.

But, the friendships that have lasted these 16 years of ministry are the strongest and best I could ever ask for.

If you know a family like ours who is in full-time ministry, extend them extra grace.  They really do like you.  As a matter of fact, they probably love you more than you could know.  That’s why they do what they do.

6 thoughts on “Why It’s Hard To Be My Friend

  • June 19, 2008 at 9:19 am
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    I think this happens to a lot of families. We’ve made a few friends since we’ve moved here that DON’T have kids. They love us, we love them…but they want to do stuff every weekend w/ out kids.
    Hubby works all week, he wants to spend time w/ kids during the weekend. Not to mention the cost of a sitter. Seems to be a friendship of convenience at times.
    I had a great time w/ you guys last week and hope we can all do it again sometime…whenever. =)

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  • June 19, 2008 at 10:31 am
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    Marc and I are in a perculiar place in life. Most of our friends have younger children, I respect and understand that they have family time, ministry time, etc. I wish we all had more time to spend togther but I would never cut them out of my life because of this. The blessing for us has been that even though our children are grown we still spend time togeter so they have become the friends I hang out with (especially my girls). Thankfully Marc is my bestfriend so our downtime is spent together. Those of us who have been where you all are should be even more respectful of “family time”.

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  • June 19, 2008 at 10:37 am
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    Hi Michelle! Deanna Greene here…. from awhile back at Camp Adventure! I just ran across your blog last week for the first time, and it has been such an encouragement to me. I truly appreciate other pastor’s wives who are honest and real; it’s always good to know that what I am not alone in this journey, too!
    Blessings to you and Rob as you continue to do the work that God has placed before you!
    Deanna
    PS- Your girls are adorable!!! 🙂

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  • June 19, 2008 at 12:05 pm
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    Okay, Michelle…here you go again with another tremendous post. Are you reading my life to me? I think I might print this off and secretly tape several copies in all of our women’s restrooms at church 🙂
    And as far as the babysitting thing goes, dinner (PF Chang’s-mmmmm) & a movie was costing us almost $100 by the time we paid the sitter. Sick of it. It’ll keep you home at night. I recently “cut a deal” with another family in our church to do The Child Swap. We watch their kids for free/vice-versa. We’ll see how it goes.
    Anyway, great post!

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  • June 20, 2008 at 10:53 am
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    Michelle – more women should look at things the way you do – family first – awesome – time to recharge with husband – way to go – time to chill out from saving the world – necessary!! My family loves your family and grace abounds! Have an awesome week with Rob and the kids!

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  • June 20, 2008 at 12:25 pm
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    Michelle – I know my family struggles with balancing work. home life, friends, & family. Friendships get harder as our responsibilities grow but you are right, the friends that stick around are true friends. I am lucky enough to have one really great friend, who, even though she doesn’t have any children and is not married, still puts up with the demands of my life. I truly thank God for Jennifer.

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