Michelle & Laura

Sheila Beeson, Michelle Wagner & Laura Waltz led, “The Challenges and Joys of Being a Spouse to a Pastor” session during ReInnovate Conference 2012. Each of them bring a lot of wisdom to the table!!! Combined… the three of them have over 58 years of experience at Granger Community Church.

Sheila is the founding Pastor, Mark Beeson’s wife, they planted this church 25 years ago, Michelle and her husband Rob joined the team 20 years ago, and Laura and her husband Mark… 13 years.

Being married to a Pastor is a unique role that you can only understand if you’re in it. Sheila led the room of Pastor’s Wives by asking the following questions and each of us took our turns answering it. Oh and you know I did… 🙂

  • Question #1: What do you do to help your husband?
    • The answers in the room varied but each did have the same feel, from protecting / filtering calls for him to feeding his love language of affirmation. Each of us know our own husbands well and know what they need and what they don’t need. 
    • We all agreed they don’t need another person critiquing his sermon or the way he leads.
  • Question #2: What are your sacred pathways? How are you spiritually (physically/emotionally) revived? How do you get refreshed yourself? 
    • Sheila is naturally a nurturer but also an introvert so she likes to recharge by spending time outdoors, in her garden to feel renewed.
    • Laura is very much an extrovert and so, much like me, she loves being around people, she feels energized being with people. She also loves to worship and when she can be of help to someone, she gets filled up again.
    • Michelle is again like Sheila, an introvert where she feels recharged when she’s been able to get back into her creative writing, reading and carving out time for her family to get away. I would also add Instagramming to her list.
    • I started off with a smirk and a giggle by answering… “Shopping & copious amounts of coffee” but truth be told, I don’t spend near enough time getting refreshed or rejuvenated.
    • So now it’s your turn to answer the question, what do you do…
  • Question #3: Do you have a safe friend? Inside or outside of the Church. Do you have someone you can be yourself with?
    • Each of us need someone! As Pastor’s Wives this is so true and it needs to be a priority in our lives. Each week we could have people pulling at us, demanding things from us, complaining to us… you (and me) need someone who we can be ourselves with, no PW smile required and they won’t turn us in or use what they learn in private for moments of gossip. 
    • Some of us may not find this in our congregations or even in our towns but thank goodness for skype, facebook, text and twitter because we can find someone somewhere … not to complain or unload on… but someone who will see us for us and love us through all the highs and lows of leading of life. 
  • Question #4: Why do people like you or want to be your friend? What do you bring to the table? 
    • What are your strengths? 
    • What is it you like to do with your spare time?
    • This question led into the great conversation of, “Who are you?” I myself asked that question the other week and no, I still don’t have the answer.

I love what Shelia said just before she closed the session, I’ll be spending the next little while mulling it over for sure, “You do the thing that feeds your soul!” ~ Sheila Beeson 

No matter if you’re married to the Pastor or not, each of us needs to do what we were called to do. When we do that, we work from out of our strengths… and life is much more enjoyable for us and for our families!


I'm the Cool Mom of 4, Married to the Preacher Man, but at times I'm a little more Sass than Saint!

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  1. What? You mean I am supposed to look at you as Shannon the pastor's wife? Sorry I fail, you are Shannon my friend to me. No offence to your husband but what he does doesn't affect our friendship. Does that mean I should be Nolie, the military wife held to some kind of military standard? Heck no, I am me. Hope you love me for me.

  2. Yeah, what Nolie said. Ugh, I'd be devastated if people viewing me as "Alex, the wife of …" (not putting it on here lol).

    Any way, I'm glad you had a good time. I hope it opened up some things for you, gave you clarity in other areas, and gave you more questions to ask.

    Love you!

  3. What a great experience!! Sounds like it was a very rewarding day:)

  4. Even after 15 years of being "the pastor's wife" I am still shocked when people need to pigeonhole who I am by who I married. The people who expect my personality to match their image of a "pastor's wife" are usually disappointed.

    I do have a group of special friends who understand the challenges of the role. I feel very fortunate to have found them!

    Reading your blog post reminds me that I DO need to figure out what recharges my batteries. I had a rare day off today. I wanted to do something special for myself and ended up feeling a bit lost.

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