If Mama Ain’t Happy…

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Photo Credit: jonathan mcintosh via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: jonathan mcintosh via Compfight cc

I’ve started a new blog at www.droppingtheact.com. Check it out for the latest content.

Today=a Happy Day!! Sort of. My globe-trotting husband is back from eight days spent gallivanting around Turkey, Georgia, and Armenia (OK, he wasn’t really gallivanting, it was for work, but really, how awesome is that?). So now he is home, but he’s sick. Boo! And he’s really only home for today (and he will spend it in bed, sleeping) and then he’s on the move again, headed for Chi Alpha services at the University of Northern Iowa and then youth convention this weekend and a service out of town this Sunday. So we might actually see him again next Monday! 🙂

Please don’t think I’m complaining, because if you’re involved in ministry this probably sounds vaguely familiar to you as well. Ministry life is all about sharing. Your husband, your family, your time, your heart. And it’s a great life! But too much sharing, and not enough time for each other or yourself (especially if you’re an introvert like me), can start to wear away your joy. Healthy boundaries are the key to surviving in the middle of ministry demands. I know that my husband enjoys being busy–he thrives on it–and is generally not happy sitting around twiddling his thumbs.  With that said, I feel loved when we spend time together. So we make it a priority to have a weekly date night. Things often pop up to get in the way, but we have to make it non-negotiable or else my family understands the full meaning of the phrase “when mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!” 🙂

That’s one of the ways that we stay connected with each other, but I would love to hear what you do!  I’m always looking for creative ways to thrive as a family in ministry.

How do you stay connected with your spouse in the middle of a hectic ministry life?

What are some boundaries that you’ve established that seem to help?

What have been some of your best ways to stay engaged with your children that ensures they aren’t being overlooked in the busyness of life?

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5 thoughts on “If Mama Ain’t Happy…

  1. Jan

    Erica, thank you for the reminder about date night. I need to restart that habit. (And restart and restart. How do we keep getting derailed??) especially when it is such a wonderful thing to look forward to! I’m fortunate that our pastor insists that all of us on staff plan a date night every week. Now to figure out what we should do. What’s your favorite date? Dinner? Movie? Bookstore?

    • Ummm…yes! I love all of those things for dates. Now that the weather is warming up Jonathan and I like to go bike riding too. I don’t usually care what we do as long as we’re together and the phone is turned off!! 🙂

      • Jan

        Ah, yes…the PHONE. It’s unreal how much our daily lives are now shaped around a phone that seems to be tethered to us!

  2. We have been in ministry since 1987. Most of that time we have both had jobs outside of ministry in addition to our ministry obligations. We hold tightly to a sabbath rest which we typically spend together for most of the day. For us, that day is Friday. We try very hard to keep that day as a day of rest, worship, relaxation and/or recreation. As far as children, I made sure to schedule time with them several times a week. We also had breakfast together most mornings. Once they were ready for school, we would spend a few minutes playing a game, or taking the dog for a walk.

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