We got to church a little late. Someone told us, "Your family saved a spot for the two of you…on the second row." That meant we had to walk ALL THE WAY to the front, but we didn't care. We were excited! Yesterday was a big day for my family. We celebrated my parents' 30th Anniversary as Pastor and "First Lady" of First Baptist Church in Callahan, FL. Thirty years! When they came to the church in 1979 Mom was 19 and Dad was 24. A lot has happened in all those years, and I'm so grateful that God placed our family there.
During the service I listened as different people spoke about how thankful they are for my parents. At some point I started thinking about what I would have said if given the opportunity. So since this is my little spot on the web, and I can say whatever I want…I will!
I'm thankful that I grew up in a church that loves and supports their pastor. I've met a lot of other minister's children over the years, and many of them don't have the wonderful experience that my brother and I have had. We've always felt loved and accepted (even though we're both a little weird). Thank you! Over the years people have taken time to invest in our lives and have helped us to grow as Christians rather than judging us when we messed up. People regularly ask us both what it was like growing up being the preacher's kids, and I can honestly say it was a privilege! Yes, it was a little awkward being in the fishbowl at times, but our parents taught us to focus on the positive. And there is a lot to be thankful for. Like having over 600 people at our wedding-people who watched me grow up, treat me like family, genuinely love me and share in my joy! There are also a LOT of shoulders to cry on during the trials of life. Romans 12:15 says that as Christians we are to "Rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn." FBC Callahan has always been faithful in doing both and has supported our family greatly.
I'm also thankful for my parents-for their leadership, faithfulness, transparency, compassion and grace. I told my mom last week that I'm convinced being a pastor's wife is the hardest job in the world. (Being a pastor runs a close second in my book!) Mainly because of this: you know how when someone treats you bad you can handle it, but when someone treats your loved ones bad you want to claw their eyes out? You get the point! Mom is perfect for the role though. She loves people, and they just naturally love her back. If they don't, she kills them with kindness until they give in and realize it's just easier to love her than not! My dad has an authoritative personality and is a natural leader. I think God had a plan there! I'm proud of him, because he has always been faithful to preach God's Word-all of it. Not just the verses that give people a warm fuzzy and make them feel good abut themselves. 🙂 Growing up, they always told me and Don that God blesses faithfulness. It sounds like a simple concept, but if you can really grasp it, it's huge. They've both given their lives to serving Jesus Christ and have impacted thousands of people because of they're faithfulness. God has blessed them over and over again. A lot of people have no idea where Callahan is, but heaven sure does!!!
Mom and Dad,
I'm SO PROUD of you!!!
2 Corinthians 9:13
As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ.
PS-My friend Kari took pictures yesterday, so I snagged a few from her blog. She has more if you want to check them out. She has such a talent for catching people "in the moment"!