the interview: andrea

>> April 13, 2009


Husband: Travis
Caleb (4 1/2), Taite (2)
Occupation: WAHM (I am a full time mother but also run my own photography/graphic business from home. It works well because I can do my job during the boys naps or at night.. as well as schedule shoots around my husbands clock.)
West End Baptist Church in Williamston NC - (site under construction)


How long have you been married? 6 years

How did you meet? We met at my church in Matthews, NC. I was 16, he was 23. He was the interim youth/children's pastor for that summer. The moment I saw him I thought "Wow... it be nice to have a man like him..." Not just regarding looks... but his maturity and love for the Lord..

Don't jump to conclusions though. No dating went on until years later. After he moved back to Wake Forest, NC to finish his Master's at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary... we kept in touch... long story short.. when I turned 18 we started to date (that was in Aug 2001). June 2002 we were engaged... and Jan 2003 we were married. I was 19, he was 25.

How long have you been a PW? Since we were married. So 6 years.

What is something you wish church members knew or understood about you (or your family)? That I am still young... and at times feel very intimidated to be a pastors wife. I feel like people think I should have it all together all the time because I am a pastors wife... I can't even begin to name all the looks and rolled eyes I've gotten from previous church members... regarding my children... regarding my looks... my actions, etc.

I want our church to understand the pressures a pastors wife feels some days... and to just love and respect us despite a moved chair in the nursery or child's tantrum.

What is your favorite way to partner with your husband in ministry? I love it when we can take the kids and go visit shut-ins... there are so many members of our church who would LOVE to be there for worship... but can't. They are trapped in nursing homes, alone.. and I just think it brings them such joy when we come to visit. Even if our kids touch every single thing in their room, it's still a great time... and an awesome opportunity to teach our children to serve as well.

What's the hardest thing about being a PW? Trying not to worry so much what others think or say about you and your family. Also being extra careful to remain blameless and not offend.

What are some of the perks of being married to a pastor? He can make his own schedule to a degree. :) With his office being within walking distance... if I have an emergency I can almost always find him. Plus, it's kind of fun being able to look on that pulpit every Sunday and think, "he's mine" hehehe.

In what ways would you still like to grow in your role as a PW? I'd love to become more confident in the area of teaching. I really struggle in that area. I find I can serve in ways ... such as remodel a nursery by painting a mural and organizing it... Or I can put together a great website for our church or help with the photography in the church directory... But when it comes to teaching I really struggle.

I hope that maybe once my kids are older and I have more freedom that I can do this more.

What are some techniques or resources you've found that have enriched your quiet time with God?
Right now I am reading a book called While They Were Sleeping: 12 Character Traits for Moms to Pray by Anne Arkins. I LOVE THIS BOOK! It has been my devotional tool for months now. You could read it over and over again and still get amazing truth out of it. It's simply written, yet so applicable. It has really given me that desire to pray more for my children.

Do you network with other pastor's wives? How? Before moving to Williamston we moved from Northern Ohio. While living in Ohio I really struggled to find someone I really connected with. I, at the time, was really young (21), and felt I didn't have much in common with those around me. I felt very secluded at times and many days, very lonely.

When we moved from Ohio, though, I began to really pray about this... and prayed that the Lord would bring at least one friend in my life that I could connect with.

Before we even moved to Williamston we found out an old roommate of my husbands was living 12 miles from the church. He was a pastor in the town over. Within a month of living in Williamston we connected with this family, and now almost a year and a half later we see them weekly. Kelly and I have become great friends, our children are the same ages, we understand each other a lot because we are both young pastors wives in southern churches. It has been just a true answer to prayer and I am so thankful for it.

Kelly and I have since connected with many other pastors wives in our area. All of which we are so very thankful for.

We get to enjoy chatting on the phone, exchanging emails, meeting up for story time at the local library, lunch at Wendy's, park play dates and even ladies night out! :) The Lord knew just what I needed.

How do you help your kids deal with the pressures of being pastor's kids? Well, my kids are still kind of young. Caleb isn't yet 5 and Taite is 2. So I haven't really had to help them deal with too much. The one thing, though, that I find does help my children is to be involved. Caleb who isn't even 5 has sat with me in worship since he was 2. I really felt that keeping him in worship would be a great benefit. It would not only teach him to SIT, it would also teach him about worship. He has already started asking questions about the offering plate... why people go up to pray... why we pass around a plate full of grape juice and crackers... haha... He is going to learn and benefit SOOO MUCH from this..

I do pray our children learn to be respectful and kind... and that when others judge them more than others in the church, that they'd know the Word and how we are supposed to respond.

What are some ways that you manage alone with your kids during church services or other functions when your husband is "on"? I have backpacks for my boys. Inside those I try to pack quiet things for them to do while in worship. Books are great... a toy car (as long as they don't bang it on the pew or hymnal) ... Also encouraging them to do well for a piece of gum works sometimes. :)

Currently, though, if I have to keep BOTH with me in a worship service... I often have to leave. As much as I don't want to leave, I would rather leave than take away from someone's time in worship. I don't mind sitting in the nursery occasionally.

In what ways do you think things are different for our generation of pastor's wives? I think this generation is a lot more relaxed. Had I lived 25 years ago and walked into a church with flipflops on and jeans... I may of been in a bit of trouble. :)

Now, though, I am able to roam the town with my boys in "very casual" clothing... without the worries of what others may think, to a degree. I am very casual and I believe in being totally real and transparent. I want to be myself... and I think for me to not dress casual would be fake.

I remember as a young girl going to church Sunday morning.... seeing all these women in proper dress... fancy clothes... and often times feeling left out and cheap. My family wasn't RICH by any means and therefore I didn't have all the fancy clothing. When I'd go to worship dressed LESS than worthy (in their eyes), I felt less of a person... and hated going.

I stopped going to church when I was around 13 because of this... and lived 2 years without church. I, of course, wasn't saved at the time. Now as an adult I really want to make those around me comfortable...

In what areas of ministry do you feel passionate about? I feel very passionate in reaching out to the lost families in our church... not so much the YOUNG families.. but any family that is unchurched... I do photography around our town. Many of the families I photograph are unchurched... Some of the sweetest couples I meet don't even step foot into church, are completely and totally lost. My prayer is that we can reach them... I pray the Lord uses my business as a window to those families.

I am also passionate about those teens who have lost parents, yet still come to church alone... or moms who have lost husbands...

What is the most meaningful thing you do to support your husband? Pray for him, encourage him... support him.

Do you have any PW mentors? A few. My Pastors wife back in Charlotte, NC., Debbie Whitener, also my friend Kelly, Casey Cooper (the pastors wife I served with in Ohio), Sherre Ungar (My friends pastors wife in FL), and Tara Dew (Wake Forest pastors Wife).

What valuable lessons have you learned as a PW? To not judge :) and to not worry what others think...especially when it is in regards to something silly.

How do you fit the traditional/stereotypical role of a PW? In what ways do you break the mold? I am far from traditional...I think I'm a good mix. :) I knew I didn't fit the mold when almost everyone I told I was a Pastors wife was surprised :) Not because of how I acted (I wasnt acting wrongly)... but because of my age (Im 25 but I look 19), and also my personality. I also have a tattoo! :-\ eek!

What are you reading? Besides the Word and the book mentioned above... thats about it! I am so busy right now with being a mom, keeping up a house, and running my business... that there isnt much time to read. I do read a lot of children's books to my kids though! One of their favorites right now is called Babar and the Succotash Bird.

What's playing on your ipod?

JJ Heller - Painted Red
Jaime Soles - for the kids :) - great artist, we own almost all his cds, the kids LOVE THEM!

How do you like to spend your husband's day off? I try to always sleep in :) We like to go to the park with the kids and picnic...Maybe take a trip to the big city (aka Greenville)... go to TARGET (I love me some Target), and then maybe Chick-fil-A so the kids can enjoy an indoor play area for once (our town has none).

My best advice...
Bring everything before the Cross.
Don't try and be someone you're not.
Remember who you answer to... not what everyone else says.
Support and love your husband.
Cherish your kids...
And never cease sharing the good news of Christ!

Check out Andrea's blog, Uniquely Placed where you can also get a glimpse of her fabulous photography. Have questions for Andrea? Ask away...


Gina Carlin April 15, 2009 at 1:17 AM  

Great interview! Drea is amazing. She is so talented and such an inspiration as a godly Mom.

Anonymous,  April 15, 2009 at 8:22 AM  

I feel as if I am reading my own interview, I to was a PW at 20 yrs. Boy, did I get dagger eyes and made to feel I was not important. Many, many lonely times. I felt like no one understood what I was going thru. Trying to find my identity in being the PW was hard, until I realized my identity is not in what people think I am supposed to be but in who I am in Christ. Another lesson over the 8 yrs as PW is trying not to care what others think and being careful of the relationships I build, bc they seem to offend others. Those can be tough. And now wanting so much for my kids that the place we serve doesnt offer. How do you deal with that?
I am so thankful sites like these are available bc they bring comfort and encouragement for women pw's like me.

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