Thursday, May 30, 2013

Fishbowl Hide and Seek

Many an office have a fish tank. Off the top of my head, my chiropractor has one, my pediatrician has one, a Community Resource center has one, etc. Why are they there? Because it's soothing? Because it demonstrates life? Both of those are possible, but regardless of why they're there, the fish find themselves under constant watch throughout the day. Imagine being a fish, where you home has glass walls. Everyone is watching you all day. In fact, it's not just like your home in your neighborhood where someone might glance in a window as they walk by, but rather the walls are glass for the sole purpose of giving you the ability to see in. As you vacuum, someone is watching. As you sleep, someone is watching. As you wash the dishes, someone is watching. 
It's often said that a pastor's family lives in a fishbowl. We live in a small town so I know when we go to Walmart, that people I know are viewing me as a pastor's wife. I know as we walk our neighborhood, we have purposed to connect in the community so people know we are a pastor's family. We've actually been told that people know we're a pastor's family and are being judged by whether or not the toys in our yard are picked up every day, as well as how we discipline our children, pay our bills on time, have a dirty car... you get the idea. And I'm not being paranoid... we have been told these things by people that feel we need the reminder. 

We currently have a family of 7 staying with us, making 14 people in the house and I realized the other day that my fishbowl is now under constant surveillance. We now have people that see when we leave dirty clothes on the floor of the bathroom, wake up with morning breath, yell at my kids too quickly, don't bathe my kids enough, let the clothes sit in the washer overnight, or don't do the dishes before bed, don't spend 'enough' time in The Word daily, etc. Again, I'm not being paranoid... these are actual conversations that have been had. 

I stressed for the first several days they were here and now on day 11, I have begun to relax. I'm working through a book by Dorothy Patterson called, "A Handbook for Minister's Wives" and I believe I might just re-read it every time I finish it, or perhaps at least read it monthly. I so needed the reminders she gives. 

It is so simple that our priorities are not to please "man" but to please God. But please allow me to be transparent with you and share... that simple truth is so difficult to remember when a person is standing in front of you and you can just *feel* them looking at the stains in your carpet. I know I know, I need to repent.

Sometimes, like in a fish tank, I'd like to duck behind the volcano (in my house it's laundry!) and be hidden for a few minutes of rest. That currently is not the case and God is teaching me so much through this season. I'm so thankful for the examples of gracious hospitality extended to my family as well as demonstrated by my parents over the years and it is my prayer that *HE* would receive glory through this situation, even as I muck it up with my messy corners and selfish desires. I am human, I am not a neat freak, I have a backed up laundry pile, I don't scrub my toilet every day, and I need friendship just like you. 

1 comment:

  1. No one should have to live their live trying to live up to someone elses ideas and plans. My dad is 93 and I tell him all the time the best gift he ever gave us was not caring what anyone else thinks.
    The Lord knows what we do with our lives and I think the person who is wasting their time criticizing is the one who should worry about their actions.
    We all can do only so much. Life is not a stage to pretend everything is perfect.
    Take time to love and laugh with your family, teach all how to be kind...the rest will take care of itself.
    I wish you much love laughter and joy in your life. Your children will grow up so much quicker that you can possibly imagine.


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