Rob and I celebrated our 17 year anniversary last week. I realize that 17 years most likely sounds like an eternity to those of you who have just been married few years, or are dating, engaged, or not even thinking about that yet. I also realize that anyone who has been married more than 17 years has an entirely different perspective than I do, and our time married is like a drop in the bucket compared to however long you’ve been married.
But, I do think that we’ve learned some stuff along the way. Our circumstances are unique, but aren’t everyone’s?
I want to know what you want to know about our marriage. Got any questions? I’d love to hear them and field them as best as possible.
It’s official. The Wegner’s are going to India. Rob’s fabulous assistant Jeanna hit the button on Friday, so now it’s a done deal. WE’RE GOING! All 5 of us. Me, Rob, Maddie-10, Whitney-9, and Isabelle-5. (yes, 5… oh my, what are we doing?)
This is one of my favorite photos we have ever taken of life in India. You can’t see the women’s faces, but you can see they are alive with color and strength. Women in India are proud of their beautiful sari’s and proud of the hard work they endure to live. I look at this photo when I am feeling distraught over my messy kitchen floor, or about having to pop some instant meal in the microwave and serve it on paper plates.
My life is easy.
My back hurts, I have bad arthritis. So do they, and they don’t have medicine. They don’t get to lay on their couch in the middle of the day if they are wilted from the sun. I do.
We’re going to India not to “bring them hope.” They know hope. They know how to live. We’re going to learn with them, grow with them, encourage them as we are encouraged.
I can not wait.
Check out the details of what exactly we will be up to on Rob's blog.
We planted our garden a few weeks ago. Here in the mid-west, you’re not “supposed” to plant until after Mother’s Day. I couldn’t help it. I could not wait. The day was beautiful, the whole family was into it…it was great fun. We pulled weeds, dug in the dirt, and planted all day long. At one point, the girls along with some neighbor girls decided to see just how many worms they could gather up. They walked over to me with a giant fist full of 100 worms. Each counted and some named. I told you it was great fun.
We carried on until the clouds rolled in and it started sprinkling, watering our freshly planted flowers. I felt God was smiling on us, his final approval buckets of rain to finish the day.
I didn’t get to a whole flat of flowers. I laid them on the side of the house until the next day, but forgot about them for a couple of weeks. Rob was so kind this past weekend and endured the pain of the new Hannah Montana movie for the both of us while I stayed home for a bit of rare quiet.
I watered all our previously planted flowers, made the rounds to the side of the house only to see my poor forgotten flowers. Dead. Wilted. Sad.
I’ve got this stubborn streak in me. It tells me to do things that other people tell me I shouldn’t. Like “Never plant before Mother’s Day,” and “Never plant dead flowers.”
Well, I can’t honestly say I’ve ever heard anyone tell me not to plant dead flowers, but I’m even stubborn when it comes to my own common sense.
I planted them. Then something odd happened. I sensed the presence of God. I felt Him whispering in my ear, “I bring life from death” over and over again. With every shovel full of dirt and wilted plant in the ground, “Life from death, life from death, life from death.” It became sort of a mantra, a dare from God to me to believe the unbelievable. A dare from Him to me to pray His words.
And so I did. “God, bring life from death.”
I left my dead flowers in the ground after I watered them, smiled and walked away.
That night, Rob and I learned of the tragic suicide attempt of a beautiful girl with a beautiful spirit that we happen to know quite well.
And you know what was the first thought that popped in my head, standing there in the middle of the night, the vision of her amazing smile burned in my mind? “Life from death.”
The clouds have hung low all week long. I snuck a peak out my rainy window to check on my dead flowers. They’re alive.
You can only imagine the hope I have for this girl.
God is stubborn too. He sees hope where there is only despair. He brings peace to chaos.
Of all the images from the inauguration yesterday, this one was the most symbolic. It says to me "Every thing is going to be O.K." Not because Obama is a super-star, or a god, or a flawless leader. It's because of Who we are still depending on as a nation. We still pray at our inaugurations. People bowed their heads as Obama and Michelle held on to the Bible and held on to each other.
This picture reminds me of all of that. The same God that held Abraham Lincoln through the perilous days of the Civil War and the eradication of slavery is still holding on to us today.
What is it about God and America? Why doesn't he just let us go? We have not deserved his love or protection. We say these times are tough, but every day I read about or hear from our friends in India who are being tortured, killed, starved, kicked out of their homes…Just yesterday we received a letter from our 10 yr. old Compassion International girl that said her 14 yr. old sister was married. She had to. Her Mom couldn't take care of her any more.
We live in a safe, protected country. Our kids are comfortable. Our bellies are full. We are so fortunate, and so, so blessed.
Occupation: Stay at home Mom, but I have picked up a few babysitting and puppy sitting jobs in the neighborhood to make ends meet. I am the only mom that stays home in my neighborhood, so it works out well for me!
Rob and I attended the same church growing up. When I was 12 and he was 15, he became good friends with my older brothers. It was love at first sight for both of us. We were best friends first, but started dating when I was 16 and he was 19. We were married when I was 19. I have never regretted being married so young.
How long have you been a PW?
16 years- Rob started working at GCC right out of college. I followed him here after we got married.
What is something you wish church members knew or understood about you (or your family)? We love to see GCC friends in public and say hi, but my children get confused when people start crying and telling their dad their problems at the mall or the McDonald’s play area.
What is your favorite way to partner with your husband in ministry? I love hands-on ministry in India or at Son City Kids, our ministry to the children of inner-city South Bend.
What's the hardest thing about being a PW? Making and maintaining friendships.
What are some of the perks of being married to a pastor? Of course the very spiritual answer would be “all the changed lives” , but other pastor’s wives know that already soo…
Traveling with him to India and seeing the Taj Mahal.
Conferences that are located in WARM places during the winter.
I got to eat lunch sitting next to President Jimmy Carter and his wife Roslyn once. That was a pretty big perk.
In what ways would you still like to grow in your role as a PW? I love the age and stage our children are at right now, but it really limits my “hands-on” time for ministry. I am really looking forward to the day when I can travel to India more often with Rob, not just to see exotic things like the Taj Mahal, but to serve women and children of the third world. I look forward to the day when I can invest more of my life there.
How do you help your kids deal with the pressures of being pastor's kids? My kids are pretty fortunate to be raised in such an amazing community and church. I rarely see our church members treating our children any differently than the other children at our church. Our senior pastor, Dr. Mark Beeson and his wife Sheila paved the way for us in the way they raised their children in this same community and church. They did not allow their children to have special privileges or use the term P.K. with them. Neither do we.
What is the most meaningful thing you do to support your husband? Being a dutiful housewife (sarcasm intended). I am not Suzie Home-maker, but I do my best to maintain our household at a level that brings peace and happiness to all. This is really hard considering I have rheumatoid arthritis and have three extrememly spirited little girls.
Do you have any PW mentors? I sure do.
Gail MacDonald has been an amazing friend and mentor to me in many ways. She is a fountain of wisdom, and she speaks to the deepest part of me.
Sheila Beeson, our senior pastor’s wife is an amazing wife and mother to her grown children. She and Mark did so many things right in raising their kids, I just want to be like her.
What's playing on your iPod? I don’t have an iPod, but I do have a Zune, which was supposed to be my Christmas present. (I accidentally opened it because the package had my name on it.)
I just downloaded Handel's Messiah. It's a huge part of my personal Christmas tradition every year. The girls don't appreciate it, so I listen with my headphones.
Other stuff that's on it:
John Denver (don't laugh)
Your husband is a pastor at a church with four weekend services (2 on Saturday and 2 on Sunday), how do you manage that weekend schedule?The girls and I usually attend Saturday nights when Rob is on. It's easier for me to get them ready in the evening than the morning. I used to attend several services before we had kids. I really wish I still could, but with 3 kids, it's just too much.
Have you encountered any "expectations" in that regard?Nope, none whatsoever.
How do you like to spend your husband's day off? Sleeping in, going out to breakfast together if the girls are at school, hanging around home, going hiking, having family pizza/movie night so I don’t have to cook.