There's a story that goes around our denomination about a pastor's wife who made a big mistake. It was moving day for her and her husband. Moving day is extremely stressful for the pastor's family. You're moving to a church that you don't know, surrounded by people you have never met who suddenly show up to unload your moving truck and then start pulling apart your boxes and going through your stuff. You have to remain pleasant and wifely, but you really just want to scream and ask everyone to leave so you can put your stuff where you want it, not where you are just going to have to move it again 3 or 4 days later. Then you have to worry about your confidential things, which certain church members of every church delight in finding and "sorting" through. It's a trial for even the best of us.
But this one poor wife will never be forgotten. She was in the process of unloading her truck. She and her husband had been in their house for just a few hours. She hadn't even seen the church yet. Congregants were swarming all over her and she was just trying to get through it. She hadn't even unpacked her kitchen stuff when the head of the women's group came up to her and told her about the bake sale the church was having the next day. Moving day occurs in summer and traditionally churches are very busy then. Church doesn't stop just because a new pastor is coming in. But this woman approached the pastor's wife and said, "Of course, we can expect 3 dozen cookies from you tomorrow for the bake sale?"
The pastor's wife didn't even think. She was tired, hot and sweaty and fed up with all of these people going through her stuff. She just reacted. She said, "I'm not making any DAMN cookies!" And with that her fate was sealed. There was an audible gasp and she was never able to overcome that one moment. The story still makes the rounds everytime moving day comes around as a warning to the wives to be careful what they say.
And no, I am not that wife. But I could be. Our soon-to-be new church is really pushing my buttons. Now, they have a pastor who is retiring and has been fighting cancer for several years. He has not done anything but preach for a long time and the church has been sustaining itself without his help. So needless to say, the church is overly excited about getting us, getting a real pastor who will actually do things.
It all started with Facebook. Once the announcement came that we were the new pastoral family, people I didn't know started friending me. I don't use FB as a clique kind of thing. I use it to stay in contact with old friends. But these people have never met me and I can't tell them in person yet because... THEY DON'T KNOW ME! Hubby asked me to go ahead and friend them because it would be really awkward if I didn't. So I did. But now they're sending me all this crap AND they took my personal email address and started forwarding me those "God" memes that I hate. Don't forward snivel to me, PLEASE!!!
But I am trying to be patient and see it from their side. They just want to incorporate me into their family as soon as possible and want me to feel at home there. But I am just feeling like screaming "I DO NOT GET PAID BY THE CHURCH!!! YOU ARE NOT MY JOB! LEAVE ME ALONE!"
And then last night Hubby got an email from the soon-to-be church's VBS coordinator. They are holding off until after E gets there so she can take part. We're going to have been there one week. ONE!! I need to find a job, paint the rooms, get E settled. I very specifically told them at our initial meeting not to expect to see me on anything but Sunday for about 6 weeks while we got settled. I really did. I know I don't normally speak up for myself, but I made that very clear! But the email said, "We have set VBS and, blah, blah,blah. By the way, we hope MW will help with the meals."
"I'm not going to cook the DAMN meals!" I screamed at Hubby. Enough! I can see that I am going to be really disliked for a while at this church because I am going to have to set some firm boundaries. I always take part in my husband's ministry. That's not a ridiculous thing to assume by the church. BUT....I need some time to settle. I need some breathing room. I need the stupid memes to leave me alone.
I really don't want to be the damn cookie wife, but I will if I have to.