I’ve been hesitant to mention to my church peeps that I’m heading to a PW retreat this week. Invariably their first response is “Why?” Why do you need a retreat? Why do they even have retreats for pastor’s wives? Why are you so excited? I usually mumble something about it being more like a conference than a retreat then change the subject to what they need to do to take my place while I’m gone. It’s too complicated to tell them about a normal “day off” which involves a youth fund-raiser, making VBS decorations, taking food to someone who is sick, discussing plans for an upcoming special service with those involved, and having an impromptu counseling service with a distraught church member. And that’s just ONE Saturday!
Don’t get me wrong. I love being a PW. I love my life. I love my church peeps. But they just don’t understand how stressful life in ministry can be. So I’ve decided to make a list because lists are our friends.
20 reasons why a PW Retreat is important/good/necessary:
20. Gives me something exciting yet non-controversial, to post, tweet & blog about.
19. Puts things in perspective…someone’s troubles are bound to be worse than your own.
18. It’s a relief to not have to be the “shining example for all to see” for a couple of days.
17. The church phone rings at my house… ‘nough said.
16. It’s cheaper than nerve pills.
15. It’s even better than YouTube as a source for new & creative ideas for ministry.
14. It’s easier to “dance like no one is looking” when…no one is looking.
13. It’s an opportunity to find people to talk to that have been in my shoes.
12. It’s a chance to be around those who understand the difference between “doing ministry” and “being in ministry.”
11. I won’t be introduced to anyone as “& his lovely wife.”
10. You can vent about your husband without following it up with a list of his spiritual qualifications as pastor.
9. A PW can enjoy a time of worship and learning without having to teach, sing, lead, play the piano, or keep the nursery.
8. As a PW you have to deal with a lot of people on a daily basis. But talking to some people is like having a discussion with a piñata. You can talk to them all you want, but then you realize that it’s better to hit them with a stick and hope that good stuff comes out.
7. It’s not good for PW’s to hit people with sticks.
6. It’s a great place to find and become a sister-friend or mentor.
5. I can stay up as long as I want and sleep in the next day without feeling irresponsible or lazy.
4. Changes “laugh to keep from crying” to “laugh until we cry.”
3. I won’t be the only one able to lead the group in prayer over dinner.
2. No dishes, laundry or housework for 3 whole days!
1. It lets you know that you’re not alone.
I’m leaving for the Armed & Dangerous retreat tomorrow morning (and, no, I’m not packed yet). I’m so very excited! Can’t wait to meet my virtual friends face to face and to make some real-life connections with real-live PW’s from across the country. I’ll tell you all about it when I get back, so stay tuned. Until then, do you have any other reasons to add to my list? Why do pastor’s wives need an occasional retreat? Add your thoughts below: