December 31, 2009

New Year's Resolutions

2009 has been a joy-filled year for me. I had my first child in January, and the year was filled with wonderful moments and exciting milestones.

For the church, however (and thus my spouse's professional life), the year has been a challenging one. As my blog posts here indicate, I am generally pretty negative about church life, and (surprise, surprise) that attitude has not really helped the situation, for me or my spouse!

So, I'm resolving to be more positive in the new year. I'm not sure exactly what that will look like--especially since I place a high priority on being "real," and not hiding or burying one's emotions--but I am going to try to look for the positive in challenging church situations and people.

I am going to try not to indulge and nurture the negative attitudes that inevitably creep in. Do you know what I mean? Sometimes anger or frustration flares up quickly, but rather than relaxing and letting it pass, I dwell on it and fan the flame until it burns hot.

What about you? Are you making any resolutions for 2010? Any that affect your relationship with your spouse and the church?

Jessica Miller Kelley celebrates mommyhood and tries to "keep it real" at her blog, The Parsonage Family.


  1. This has been a year of only a few transitions. I have a new grandson--makes 2 wonderful grandkids and the other daughter graduated from college and began graduate school. My job is fine and, despite the recession, our church is growing the thriving. My resolutions are to keep in better touch with friends and exercise more. These are not new resolutions but I am resolved to try harder this time--again.

  2. 2009 had its ups and downs, and life changed for the Webb family greatly for 2010. My sweetie is now a pastor's wife again instead of clergy. I am glad to have her back. As for News Years resolutions, I am glad they are not promises, I would like to loss 10lbs, and have some peace that I haven't had in a while.

  3. My husband preached during advent about what gift am I going to bring to the baby Jesus. So, I have decided to stop negative comments about the church as well. So when friends or coworkers ask how our church is I will mention a ministry that is going well rather than comments about the problems of the church. We have a weekly mission lunch that is doing well and our children's Sunday School has gone from 2 kids (my own) to 10 kids. I did allow myself the option to complain only to my spouse about church so that I have a place to vent. I have caught my self a few times slipping. It may take some time to retrain myself to focus on the positive.

  4. Jessica, as you know, I'm not a minister's spouse. But growing up in a very church-oriented family and working for a religious denomination as a communicator for the first 11 years of my career, I am very familiar with these struggles. I applaud you for starting this forum.

    I believe we all have choices to deal with, process and to hold on to or release or not what happens to us in life. I also believe each experience can be a teaching one. I know that it is hard to stomach when it happens in the name of Christianity. I wonder about older minister's spouses who have traveled this road successfully as a mentor-source?

    All the best to you. I believe in authenticity. I also believe in owning what is ours and knowing that we can choose how we will deal with what comes our way and how we let it effect us. I've written in my blog about how I've become angry by things that people say regarding special needs and etc. and then processed how I owned it, looked at it and chose to release it. Often this is a process I repeat with each experience. I write none of this to deflect your experiences!

    I imagine that what I judge unfairly happens is that spouses are held to a higher standard. It's a construct and a stereotype that is best eroded. The ministers and spouses with whom I've connected the most are the ones who are most authentic. They get angry, they process, they sort it out. And that's healthy. It is healthy to talk about it here and to let others know you are processing it all. We learn from other's processes.

  5. Mine is simple, get to know the Lord Jesus as how HE intended us to know Him. Faithfully, daily, with all of our hearts. Even if that means with so few people who desire a deep relationship. Those type of people are rare anymore. I think of the old camp song....

    " I have decided to follow Jesus..
    Tho' none go with me, still I will follow"

    That's how I feel!