first lady

>> January 20, 2009

Do people call you the first lady of the church? (Some jokingly say I'm the second lady, my husband is an associate in a 2-pastor church.) With all the glitz, glamour, pomp & circumstance of the last few days, it's probably hard for most of us to identify with the label "first lady" in general, and our new first lady, in particular.

For starters:

  • the Secret Service doesn't give us a ride everywhere
  • designers don't make us gowns and suits and cross their fingers that we'll wear their clothes
  • what we wear is not on ET and Extra every night
  • her husband's "congregation" is larger than even the biggest multi-site mega-church
  • people complain if her husband says he was led by God to do something.
But in some ways, it is natural for a PW to be able to identify with a woman who very publicly is her husband's biggest supporter, who makes her own career ambitions 2nd to her husband's and who is willing to use her gifts and interests within the parameters of her role.

You, PW, have other things in common with the First Lady.
  • People who don't know you, and maybe who've never even met you, have strong opinions about you.
  • Good or bad, people notice what you wear.
  • You have the power to be a great asset or a crippling liability to your husband's ministry/position.
  • Your life is oftentimes at the mercy of the demands of your husband's job/responsibilities.
  • You have the privilege of partnering with your husband and investing your life in something huge and important that you feel passionate about.
  • At times your life will be lived in a fishbowl.
  • You can influence and motivate the women around you.
In what ways can you identify with the role of First Lady?


michellewegner January 21, 2009 at 8:22 AM  

No one calls me first lady, or second, or third...That's not the culutre of our church at all, and it was, we wouldn't be there. That's so not for me.

I did, however identify w/Michelle Obama in some small way yesterday. The public scruitnyn is intense, but she has the grace to carry herself in a very positive way.

And yes, the stylist and fashion budget would be a huge plus, wouldn't it? :)

Jessica McKee January 21, 2009 at 8:59 AM  

Thanks for the thoughts! I love the idea that we all, regardless of our place in life, work hard to support our husbands and their ministries.

I can also relate to having help with the children. I think it's great that Michelle's mom is moving in with them to help with her girls. I am blessed to have the support of my mom and mil whenever I need help with my boys.

I wonder if Michelle O will sell that suit on eBay? I could see me walking into Christmas Eve services wearing that . . .

cherryt7 January 21, 2009 at 10:13 AM  

It's funny... we're newer at our church and I have been dubbed literally, "The First Lady..." (By those that we've enjoyed getting to know, not by strangers trying to be mean...)

People scrutinize our educational decisions... scrutinize is probably too strong a word, but they definitely care what we're deciding for our kids...

Oh, I wish I could have a budget line item for wardrobe... I would be a good stewards (NY&Co has great sales...)

Lily January 22, 2009 at 8:06 PM  

I've never been called First Lady of the church by anyone actually in my church. That tends to be an outsider thing to call me. One church member refers to me as "PW". It's not said out of a need to dehumanize me-- just as a friendly nickname.

Yes, I feel public scrutiny over my wardrobe. And my waistline. I lead worship at our church, and EVERYONE notices if I've gained weight (which I have lately). They also notice if I'm feeling slightly tired or if I just don't look my best. Complaints about things I say and do-- whether I'm doing too much or too little. I feel criticized from every corner sometimes, and watched at all times.

Other times I feel adored. And those times I greatly appreciate and thank my Heavenly Father for.

So yes, I guess in some ways I do feel bit in common with our new first lady. Though I don't have the whole world watching me (thankfully), I do feel like a mini-celebrity in our precious little community. And just as other celebrities, there are people who are quick to lift up and others who are quick to tear down.

And I wish I had the budget line item for wardrobe too. I'd probably dress better. LOL

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