Monday, July 27, 2009

When There Is No Return Address...

Yesterday a comment was left anonymously. While I normally don't address comments left by anonymous individuals, I want to take the time to answer the concerns raised in the event that any of you had any similar questions but were afraid to ask.

Why not get a part time job on weekends, or nights to help out your family?
Believe me, I've thought about it. Whenever I see the signs, "Now Hiring," I think about walking in and applying. But here's the thing, I'm a pastor's wife and a mother. Those are my jobs. I'm not saying that I can't have another occupation and until we moved to Utah I did. But being a pastor's wife is not equal to sitting around doing nothing and then showing up at church on Sunday morning. I found a site where it was put this way, "...if the Lord calls a man into the ministry, He calls the whole man, and that includes the man's wife and his family. The Apostle Paul in 1 Timothy 3 gives us the qualifications of a 'bishop' or what we call a pastor, and in verse 4 we see the following: 'one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence.' 'Rules well' is an idiom for being a biblical husband with a submissive wife and children that love and respect him. The pastor who is the head of his home will be more successful as a leader in the church, and of course this means that his wife is his helper in the ministry of the home as well as the church. The ministry is a partnership in all areas of life and not just in the home life. The wife does not do the work of the pastor, but the pastor and his wife are a team who are yoked together to do God's work." It would be impossible for me to work on Sunday and still fulfill my role as a pastor's wife. Due to my church commitments, which I am called by God to do, it would likely be impossible for me to work evenings/nights or Saturdays as well. Much like a politician's wife, I need to be at almost all church events in order to support my husband as the spiritual leader of our church. I could likely work during the day but then I wouldn't be investing in the lives of my children. My husband and I have decided, through prayer and biblical principle, that it is extremely important to us that we are the ones raising our children.

With all your close church friends and what not, if your husband can not watch the kids, maybe they would help.
Putting the above reasoning aside, there are several other reasons I could not work at the moment. To begin, if I worked nights I don't have a clue how I would sleep. I couldn't sleep during the day because the three year old and the baby would likely join forces and burn the house down. Not to mention the fact that we definitely wouldn't pass our post placement evaluations if I was sleeping instead of changing diapers. If I worked in the evenings so that I was back in time to sleep, my husband would not be able to commit to being home with them each and every night. He often has meetings and, additionally, has to make himself available when the people in our congregation need him. Essentially he is on call all the time. We certainly could elicit help from members of our congregation. However, if I made minimum wage, I would bring home $7.25 an hour. I haven't babysat in years but I assume the going rate for a sitter is much higher than $7.25 an hour for two children. Technically, unless I landed a job that paid much more than minimum wage, I'd be losing money by going to work part time. I'm sure that there would be people in our church who would be willing to babysit for free but that would certainly be a donation of their time. As we all know, time is money. I think I'd rather write someone a one time check of $100 than be their free babysitter on a weekly basis.

When most people want something they will work hard for it, and do whatever it takes, and not just sit around and wait for people to hand it to you.
Completely agreed. I have never intended for this blog to be used to "beg for money". Beg for prayer, yes. Beg for support, yes. Beg for money, no. The donation button is simply there for people who feel led to contribute to God's work--and yes, we believe this is God's work. We believe we are being called to fight for this precious child. When God calls us to do something, he provides a way for it to be done. He can provide in any number of ways but we certainly aren't waiting around for a handout.

I wish you luck, but honestly it seems like you should do some more to help yourself, than sit around and ask people for money.
The solution offered for us helping ourselves is for me to get a job. While this might help our financial situation, it would hurt our legal situation. One of the things we have going for us is that we are a stable family with two parents in the home, one who does not work outside the home and who is personally able to raise our small children. Additionally, when we were selected to raise and parent Matthew, we were chosen, in part, because I stay at home and have much time to devote to the boys. I remember a conversation I had with his birth mother about if or when I would go back to work. I replied that I likely would, when I no longer had young children who were not yet in school. I will not change the terms of our agreement unless God makes it abundantly clear to both my husband and myself that that is our only option.

Being a stay at home mother and a pastor's wife is hard and busy work. But they are extremely fulfilling jobs. If anyone has ever believed that I expect a handout, please understand that I absolutely do not. Accepting your donations has been humbling and often incredibly difficult for us. We simply never believed that the cost of this would double (with no end in sight) from our original estimation. We wish we could do it on our own. But we just do not believe that Garrett or Matthew would benefit from my getting a job. On a positive note, because of the generous gifts we've received, we can now afford the monthly payments. Obviously, there will still be difficult decisions ahead and times where we will be begging you for your prayers, but we hope no one ever feels guilted into giving us money.

This has all come off a bit formal and technical but is meant to give a straightforward response to questions that may have crossed your mind. It is not written with any anger or resentment. Hopefully by tomorrow I will be back to writing about life size tomatoes and the antics of The Rock Star and his Little Buddy.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Lori,
    I hope anonymous comments like those are rare, and sent by a person who has stumbled upon this site and has no idea who you are and what you're going through. I have never felt you were begging for anything other than prayer and wisdom and direction and miracles. Maybe some readers out there needed to have certain questions answered, but I certainly hope you are not feeling remorse for anything you have shared with us up to this point. We love Matthew and care deeply about the wholeness of your family.

  3. I commend you in doing the hardest job in the world...being a mom. Top that off with all your pastoral wife/family duties and I have no clue how you can balance it all. I would fail at doing all the things that you do. It is preposterous to think that you could have another job on top of your already 2 full time jobs, and I hope "anonymous" and whoever else was thinking you should get one sees that now.

    Keep up the great work; you are a blessing to your family, your church, and your friends. :o)


    ps- I look forward to the continued adventures of rock star and little buddy! The stories always give me a smile throughout the day.

  4. Well written. There will always be people who see things differently than we do. Keep fighting the fight.

  5. I am saddened you even felt obligated to write a response to this clearly ignorant individual who commented under the 'safe' blanket of anonymous. Lori, you don't have to justify your callings....but I do understand your human need to rebut as a means to reassure yourself and others that you ARE doing the right things. Nasty comments can shake you to the core, that I understand. Please know that your blog does not come across as 'needy' or you begging for money. You are a kind & caring woman who is victim of an attack. Don't let it waiver you!

  6. Very well said - I think you are doing a compendable job on often two of the most overlooked jobs out there. And while I can't speak directly to your job as a pastor's wife - all I have to do is look at your adorbable boys to see that you are top notch at your role as a SAHM!

  7. Lori,

    Wow, it sounds like someone was trying to hurt you :( that's a bummer, but they obviously have no idea the commitments on your plate right now and what those commitments mean to you. We have chosen for me to stay home as well, and while we have tough days (financially) there are no other options for us at this time.

    I hope you let the hurtful comments slide and continue to focus on your husband and boys. Being raised a PK, I totally relate to being a support to the church and pastor/husband/dad. And that IS a job.

    In addition, I love your blog. You are an entertaining and excellent writer and I have never once had the impression you are begging for money :) In the family of God we are called to be support to one another and that support is done in many different ways. And as we have discovered this last year, many people find much JOY in giving money to worthy and amazing causes.

    Just my two cents on the matter :)

  8. Thanks for this. Thanks for being home for your boys like mom was home for us. Thanks for seeing that parents are the best people to raise children, and not some anonymous nanny who makes off-base comments on blogs. Thank you for your example of faith, perseverance, prayer, and patience. Keep it up.

  9. I agree with all the previous comments and am sorry that you even had to explain yourself! I think that it has been very evident that you are doing as the Lord has led your family and are living by biblical principles. Being a SAHM is a big job, let alone being a pastor's wife. That's a full plate already. I think you're doing a great job.

  10. My husband often tells me stories about how his parents would forget to pick him up as a child and how he doesn't feel very close to his parents now. It will mean so so much when they are older that you were there for them now. I know that it's meant a lot for me that my mom stayed at home when I was growing up.

  11. I can't believe people would leave such comments and then not have the guts to leave their name.

    No one - NO ONE has any idea how difficult our government can be when it comes to children unless they experience it themselves.

    No one - NO ONE has any idea how costly the lawyer is, the trips to court unless they experience it themselves.

    And no one - NO ONE has any idea how big a toll this process takes on the mental, physical and emotional side of someone unless they experience it themselves.

  12. Well written.
    And I am not sorry you had to write it. Better you to defend these important roles than someone who would be angry or snippy.

    Our world often just throws it up..."Need more money in your family? Get another job"...well, when both parents go to work they hire someone to do what they are leaving. So therefore, it is an important and real "job' simply don't get a paycheck. If you hire someone to watch, feed and care for your children, and possibly someone else to care for and clean the home then these roles must be important. Society has screamed at us since the 60's that this is bad, and oppressive, but they are wrong.I was ready to go off an a big speech, but I do not want to offend anyone that feels they have to work full time with young kids.

  13. Well said. I agree with you whole heartedly. You are doing the right things. Keep it up Momma :)

  14. wow, just got caught up on all the drama. and all the thoughts and encouragement i was going to give has already been said many different ways, so i'll just leave it at, "well done!"

  15. Not that you owed me anything, but i actually appreciate you taking the time to write a post explaining some aspects of life which maybe have not come out in the past, or at least I have not seen.

    Many can think I am rude, and uncaring and whatever else they think. However, I live in the real world, not just a world where everyone thinks everyone is great and everything is A-ok. The reality is many, many people are stuggling in this day.

    While I may choose not to reveal much about myself, I will say that my occupation is that of a Court Reporter. I sit in court, day in and day out, and watch people's lives fall apart. Today, I saw in foreclosure court, where the docket was so large, that we were not even able to finish it in a days time, and have to call people back another day. I sit in child support court, where the fathers refuse to pay even $50 a week for their kid, and the moms work 2 and 3 jobs. I do criminal , where crimes of selling drugs and bank robberies are skyrocketing.

    Life isn't easy for many people, myself included. But my point was that people who want something, sometimes have to give in and find alternate ways and do things they thought they may not have to. Whether that means a job, a yard sale, watching other peoples kids in your home with your own, who knows what it means in the log run for you.

    It is obvious you have the support of a lot of friends on your blog, and that is great. And just to be clear, I don't believe that I ever used the word "beg" in my last post.

    So, there you have it. I will leave you alone, and not comment anymore.

  16. I think anonymous has missed the whole purpose of your blog. It is about your family and sharing with your friends and family what is going on in your life. It is not a blog for donations. Besides if people feel compelled to donate, that is their business not any one elses. As a fellow stay at home mom I know you have the hardest job on earth. I know you are doing the best thing for precious Matthew.

  17. Lori,
    Well, this was an interesting twist of chapters. I am so very proud of you and your heart.

    I too, cannot wrap my mind around working outside the home and making the exact same amount of money it would take to pay for the sitter or daycare. Waiting and wanting so long to have a baby and then turning around and having someone else raise it makes no sense to me.

    Furthermore and above all else, what I have with Zoe is immesurable, and I am so happy to have been able to be with her her at home since her birth. Money is incredibly tight, but I would rather downsize, pinch pennies and work out of the home as I am now rather than go back to working outside the home. Mommyhood is much harder than I thought it would be, but seeing my guidance within Zoe is seeing what piece of our future I am giving to the world.

    Your words, your strength, your heart and your dedication all encompass what we adore and respect so much about you, and we all will continue to support you, your family and your path that God is beautifully paving.

  18. wow! All I can say is that I hope you don't get comments like that all the time...being a wife, much less a Pastor's wife, and a mother are FULL TIME jobs! And the amount of money you would make at any job would not make it worth leaving your children in someone else's care.
    Please know, that you have my total support in this...I am a stay at home mom, and my family thinks I am off my rocker for not working since we have to make sacrifices. But, I know that I am doing the right thing.

    And so are you!!!

    Just my humble opinion ;)

  19. Lori,
    I suppose we open ourselves up to these kinds of questions/comments having a blog about our lives. But I'm glad you responded to that person. You are a proud & loving mother and I have never thought that you're doing anything other than God's work.
    Whatever help you're getting, is just a response to that love.
    Big hug to you!

  20. Money will always come and go ...time with your children can never be replaced. :)

  21. Lori, I have been reading your blog for sometime now via Running Wildly. I don't know that I've ever taken the time to comment, but I felt really compelled to do finally do so. First of all, thank you for taking the time to write, although originally for your family and friends to be updated and connected, you have deeply encouraged me as a young woman and wife and others too I can see. I can understand why and am glad that you responded to the anonymous comment, as hard as that can be. I guess I can see where some of those kind of comments or questions come from when you learn where that person's reverence point is... and in the world's eyes it makes some sense. However, as you explained so concisely, it really makes more sense for you to be home with your boys and being a mom and pastor's wife are really more than full time jobs. When we love Jesus and commit our lives to serving God and living as He commands, priorities are different. I admire your commitment to your marriage, your kids, this adoption journey, your church family and ultimately to being a woman in love with God. Thanks for writing! May you continue to be blessed. --Amber