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May 16, 2007

Comments

Wendy

This sounds like a very interesting book. I understand the "false guilt" feeling, especially when the boys were still home. It is still there, only not as intense, since I don't have to feel as if I am neglecting them to do things for myself.

How is Joanne doing with using her half days for herself? The times I do that, I feel very guilty (school work, housework, laundry). It doesn't go away, and if anything, I feel more stressed, because now I have twice as much to do.

I wonder, too, if part of the stress I place on myself is the generation I grew up in. Moms were usually stay-at-home Moms and did everything. We grew up believing that it was a woman's responsibility to do all cooking, cleaning, laundry, raising the kids,etc. So as my generation went to work, we just included that in our workload. When the boys were home Lee was a very active father. He was always willing to help me when I asked him, but truth to be told, I rarely did. Why did he wait to be asked? The same generational thing, I suspect. He did (does) all the "manly" things - yard work/car maintenance/ etc. :)

I think the younger generation is better about sharing responsibilities. I see Josh and Dani sharing household chores, each doing what they don't mind being responsible for and dividing up the things that they both hate.

I will be interested to see other women's perceptions on this, including Joanne's.

Teresa

Pastor it is hard in today's work world. If a woman is good at her job and or successful then she is too driven. If a woman has an opinion she is outspoken. Yet when there are tasks to be done it usually falls to a woman to complete because "they can multi-task, they are better at details, they follow through and have the time". There is such a double standard.

When Rick lost his job and we had to regroup as a family it now fell to me to be the primary bread winner of our household. Being that we live on commissions now - it is really a tough load to bear. There are times I am angry for the position I'm in. Angry at Rick for the change in structure even though it was not his fault. There are times I wish for the 8-4 job sitting in an office and taking care of things and then going home for the day. I'm never done. Time for mediatation and prayer every day wow even that is a challenge.If I can not schedule it like church on Sunday sometimes it can not get done because I run out of time or shuffle it off. Sounds horrible doesn't it? Which adds even more guilt that I am not even fulfilling my responses to God.

I know that I'm supposed to be thankful to God for the job and the life. I am for the most part.

Sometimes it feels like you can never get the day done. working 12 hours in a stressful environment, then the house, finding time for Rick and throw in two recently very needy emotionally, widowed mothers and it is a lot to carry. To remember Jesus saying come to me all who are weary and I will give you rest sounds like freedom and it should be if a woman could really take the time to let go and let God.

It is draining emotionally, mentally and spiritually not to even mention physically. I do thank God for all that he does but I can only laugh when people say "why I don't understand what you do? Can't you do more? why are you tired. Wow this is all you made this month that sucks." My favorite one is "your job sucks".

Man if only they walked in your shoes for a day instead of judging you that would be a blessing. The world has created a place where everyone is judged on performance, goals, material things housing. Thankfully God judges my heart even when I'm too stressed to pray He knows and he carries me through that day and through life. If I could learn to leave guilt at the cross where it belongs then I really could have rest. No one has showed me how to really do this.

In the past I was able to volunteer at church and find the passion and the release that has not been successful at OSL for me. I can't even settle into a bible class without the fear of being judged that I won't be good enough, won't fit in or won't know enough. More guilt, more stress.
I look forward to reading this book when I can find the time and when I can afford to buy it.

Maria

I'll have to put this book on my "to read" list, it sounds very interesting. I agree with a lot of what Wendy and Theresa said. It is so hard to find balance, and to feel like you're providing to the best of your ability for all the people that you love. I am very fortunate to have a helpful husband, but I don't think he understands the constant pressure I am under from my employer, my family, my volunteer commitments, etc. I know that I put a lot of the pressure on myself, but it's done strictly out of love and a sense of wanting to give everyone my best. So I feel guilty.

And heaven forbid, if you actually do well at these activities, you get tapped to do more and more. The harvest is plenty, but the workers are few. More guilt.

I think my mother, were she still alive, would be appalled by the house I keep and the constant sense of disarray in my life. Then again, she didn't work full-time, and she wasn't nearly as involved as I am in volunteer activities. It gets to a point where you even question whether you're neglecting your family by being involved in outside activities, even if they are ones that you enjoy or do for the Kingdom. Still more guilt.

If you're a working mom, you feel guilty because you're not always there for your family. If you're a stay at home mom, I imagine you feel guilty that you're not contributing to the family finances. You really can't win. With all the guilt it's almost like being Catholic again! ;-)

I commend you for trying to understand this issue, I know it's a very significant one for at least half your congregation!


Pastor Olsen

I am ever so thankful as a pastor, as a man, and as a husband that each of you has shared these insights. It is not easy being open and honest with ourselves, let alone other about these issues. It is greatly appreaciated. I hope that others can step forward and share their stories, concerns and even guilts with one another. It is my desire with the help of the Lord to try to do something more than just a blog for the women in our congregation, something to gather them together and to be able to lean on one another. Please pray that God would open a door or two in our congregation so that these real issues can be heard, we can grow and then hear the peace of God which passes all understanding. Thank you women, mothers, ladies for who you are. YOU TRULY MAKE THE WORLD TURN.

One more comment: Is there something that I can do, or even more that you can do as a mother and a woman to help the next generation? or do they see the frustration and guilt and our little girls either outright rebel against it all or go the other way and the cycle is carried, maybe at a higher cost to that next generation? I pray it is not to late for mothers and women now, but it certainly isn't to late for our future mothers.

Teresa

Your last comment is crucial. Can you do something yes. We can raise our daughters and our sons to not follow "gender limitations" to understand the bible was written in some different times. We are built and based on the bible yes but quoting it to put a women in her place teaches the wrong things. To understand the stresses on families and our young people that is what the bible and God wants us to do. A class for women to know it is okay to break, to talk to need to be with others, Not a womens gripe session. I mean a real group where people can share and help and know that God cares and what the word says for us. Then and only then can our congregation be stronger and help our children to not repeat the same guilt.

Diane

I have experienced over and over working in a "man's world/environment" where my intelligence is seen as a threat. Being assertive is seen as being excuse the term "bitchy." You begin to think that there is something wrong with you or you are not good enough. Then you come home and the house is messy, the kids are cranky and complaining etc etc. I don't have a choice about working and sometimes I wish it wasn't so hard to take care of my kids by myself. The type of session Teresa mentioned would be similar in effect to when we went to Ele's Place - an affirmation that others feel the same way - where you can identify with the people around you and say "hey, she knows what I'm talking about...."

Kathy

This is the first opportunity I've taken to read your exploration of this book and the comments posted.How interesting! I share in being a full-time working wife/mom. But, admit it is new to me as I was blessed to be able to work part-time as my children were growing up. Even working pt, tho, had its challenges in choices I had to make and prioritizing resposibilites. I was not always successful at helping my family "change patterns of thinking" from that 50's era to the reality of today. LOTS of fustration and feelings of failure on the homefront for me. One thing that my mother-in-law shared with me as a young bride, the Lord used to help me sort things out. She said,"Keep this priority- God first, husband and family second, and self last." Mind you, that hasn't always been my choice of order :). Yet, with God's help, through His Word, I have come to believe that is HIS order of things. The hard part is judging when its time (just as Jesus set the example) to renew my own strength in order to truly be of help to God and others. I am looking forward to reading more from this site!

Teresa

are you going to finish this book or maybe do a bible study on it? From responses posted here it appears you started a really good topic and there is some interest in exploring this further.

Denise George, What Women Wish Pastors Knew

Thank you, Pastor, for your interest in What Women Wish Pastors Knew. Your reflections on my book are insightful, honest, and right on target. May God richly bless you as you minister to others and bless them in Christ's name. All best wishes, Denise George, May 22, 2008
By the way, my new book (What Pastors Wish Church Members Knew!) will be released by Zondervan in Feb. 2009. This book gives church members suggestions on how they can better minister to their pastor.

NomiZinee

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