All that waiting, and waiting some more, finally turned into THE day. The day we packed our suitcases into our van (which we will sell soon), cleaned the toilet one last time, and turned over the keys to no longer be the occupants, much less the pastor’s family, who made the church parsonage our home. It was a strange feeling.
From there we traveled north, back to our old stomping grounds, to live for a few weeks in transition as we meet up with friends and family, and get the last of our ducks in a row before leaving the lower 48. It’s been good! We’ve had time to play, sleep in late, reconnect with people, and start to process through all that comes with no longer being what we were before. Sunday was particularly strange for us as we meandered into a church service, with no responsibilities on our plate.
Jonathan’s not a pastor! I’m not a pastor’s wife! Our kid’s aren’t PK’s! We don’t live in a fish bowl, or in a small town. There is no more sand under our nails or being washed with our clothes. We walk through the city and no one knows us, or cares who we are. We aren’t headed back home after a week of vacation. There is no children’s church to prepare for, no sermon to study for, no worship team to sing on. I’m just me, a wife and mom, with a history that seems strangely forever ago already.
I’m sure this processing will take some time. Pastoral ministry has come to define who we are. And we don’t know any other way of being right now. Someday I’m guessing I’ll feel differently, but today I’m feeling like it’s about time to get back to the usual routine. It’s time to check in on people, invite someone over, make sure the Bible study is in order, clip my kids finger nails on Saturday night. Instead, I’m not sure what to do, except rest and enjoy this change in our seasons.
We’re about to go hiking. And we’ll work on being a “normal” family. One that takes a day off without interruption. One that lives outside of the fishbowl and breathes the air of anonymity. One that doesn’t feel strange not being a part of all the inner workings of a church. Someday that might be us, but today, we’re just a family rediscovering what it means to NOT be a pastor’s family. Regardless, the nail cutting routine will remain in place. 🙂