From Ministry to Mold… and Back Again?

If you’ve been following my blog for awhile, then you know that my husband used to be a youth pastor.  He started out volunteering at the church where we met, but then got a full time job at a smaller church.  A couple of years after that he was offered a junior high position at one of the biggest churches in our area.  Each church had it’s own pros and cons, but overall he loved doing ministry and I liked being a “pastor’s wife.”

A couple of years ago the bubble burst, he lost his job in ministry, and since then he has started his own business as a mold inspector.  At first, it was a hit to the pride for both of us.  I know men usually find their identity in what they do, but I had found my identity in being a pastor’s wife.  There was something special about it, and I liked it.  So, when people would ask what he’s doing now, I would have to take a big gulp before I replied, “He’s a mold inspector.”  Yes, it’s an honorable profession.  Yes, it pays the bills.  Yes, someone needs to do it.  Yes, it saves lives from toxic black mold.  But it doesn’t feel as world-changing as being a youth pastor did.  I would sometimes just say, “Oh, he started his own business” just to avoid the word “mold.”  I don’t know.  It’s just not attractive.  And most people don’t know how to follow the statement, “He’s a mold inspector.”  I don’t blame them.  It’s kinda gross, and not very exciting at all.  So, you usually just get an exaggerated nod with an, “Oh… wow.”

However, two years have gone by, and now I love that Geric is a mold inspector.  There’s not an ounce of embarrassment when people ask me what my husband does for a living.  I suppose I’ve gotten used to it, and it helps that most people know now, so I don’t get asked too often.  I like it that he’s his own boss.  He makes his own rules and doesn’t have to answer to someone else.  He makes his own hours.  He works from home a lot.  We see each other now more than we have ever seen each other in the span of our relationship.  And it’s nice.  We’ve become friends again.

I also really, really love living outside of the fishbowl.  If you’ve been in ministry or been married to someone who’s in ministry or are a child of someone who is ministry then you know exactly what I’m talking about.  People know you.  People you don’t even recognize know you.  And people come up and say hi like they’ve known you for years and you don’t even recognize their face.  They know the names of your children and weird little stories about your life (that were probably used as a sermon illustration) and you smile and nod and act like you know them back, but you don’t.  It’s not a horrible thing, but it does feel a little awkward at times, especially if you’re a natural introvert, like me.

The problem is, my husband is a pastor.  He’s called to be in the ministry.  I completely understand it.  I am called to be a mother.  If I had no children, but had the ability to have children, it would be sad and depressing and I would have a constant nagging to create a family.  I could go on with my life, just my husband and I, and we could make the best of it, but there would be a void.  And that would suck.

So, that’s where we’re at.  We’re making the best of our situation, but there’s a void in Geric’s heart that can only be filled if he steps into his calling.  But it makes me nervous.  For starters, I’m just not a fan of change.  I don’t want to lose my husband to the ministry.  I don’t want him to take a job at a church that we are not completely sold out to.  I don’t know if I’m ready to move back into the fishbowl.  I’m comfortable where I’m at.

But I know I need to get out of the boat.  Because if you don’t get out of the boat, then you can’t walk on water, right?  I know that if Geric goes back into ministry, God will bless us.  I’m confident that there are blessings waiting for us (for me) if we step out in faith and trust that God has our best in mind.  I know He’ll never drop us, or let us drown, but it still doesn’t make stepping out of the boat any easier.

I also know that it’s my job to support my husband, help him to fulfill his dreams and to become the best version of himself that he could possibly be.  I would never want to be the reason that he didn’t go back into ministry and in essence, let his dream die.

So, that’s where we’re at.  I don’t know what’s going to happen from here.  I don’t know if doors will open or slam shut in our faces.  But I do know that we are going to hold each other’s hand and take a leap of faith, again.  And I know, just like every time before, we won’t fall.  We’ll soar.

The Day My Husband’s Dreams Came True

I married a surfer.  I like it.  He doesn’t watch a lot of sports (thank God for that) but he loves surfing and follows surfing regularly.  It’s his thing.  I like that it’s his thing.  I like that I can sit on the beach while my man does his thing.  It’s a win-win.

Thursday night Geric turned to me and said that he didn’t have any work lined up for Friday and he asked if I would want to take the kids to Huntington Beach to watch Kelly Slater surf in the US Open.  I said sure.  He said, “Really?”  But it was kind of a high pitched, “really?”  Like, the kind you would here from a ten year old when you surprise them with a trip to Disneyland.  He was a little bit excited.  And by “a little bit” I mean a lot.

The drive down Friday morning was filled with nervous yawns and excited shoulder stretches.  My man was excited!  He has been a fan of Kelly Slater’s since Kelly Slater has been “Kelly Slater.”  He knows all of his stats (in fact, he just recited quite a few of them to me) and he can even argue you to the grave that Kelly Slater is the best athlete ever.  Ever.  No, it’s not Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods or even Babe Ruth.  He told me.  It’s Kelly Slater.  He had some valid arguments, too.  He won me over.  I have to agree.

So, we made the same voyage I had made previously in the week with my sister.  This time I made Geric push the pack mule, I mean the stroller, down to the sand.  And this time we made our way to a spot amidst tiny bikini clad teenagers who had “Tilly’s” and “Pacsun” painted on their bellies.  And, no, they didn’t make me feel ancient.  Why would they?  I was rockin’ my best one-piece.  Boo yah, ladies.

I took a cute picture of Geric and Elijah.

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And the beachfront paparazzi.

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And this guy… he’s somebody.  Geric made me take his picture.  The guy in the gray shirt.  He’s a surfer.  That’s the best I got.

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The first heat involved this guy.  Tanner something-or-other.  He was good.  But it was here when I realized that it is extremely difficult to get a good shot of a moving surfer.  The guy in the stands with the gray shirt was way easier to photograph.

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The next heat was Kelly, and the sun came out just for him.  And I have to say, there was a feeling of celebrity in the air when he arrived on the beach.  And not the Paris Hilton variety, but the kind where people are really in awe of someone because they have actually accomplished something.

Then he surfed.

And friends, he’s amazing.  And I don’t know if you can tell from the rest of this post, but I don’t know much about surfing.  But he was amazing!  I was suddenly a really big fan.  You could tell he loved doing what he does.  He was passionate about it, and that’s always something.

And then… and then the dolphins.  It was crazy.  These dolphins came within 10 feet of the guy and played around and bodysurfed on the waves right next to him.  It was like he was one with the ocean.  So weird.  Geric said that happens a lot.  He’ll need a big wave to get a good score and out of nowhere a big wave comes forth out of the ocean… just for him.  They say surfing is a spiritual experience…

He did some awesome stuff.  Here’s some pictures.

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Taj Burrows and Dane Reynolds surfed Kelly’s heat.  Sucks to be those guys, right?  Not that they aren’t great, because they are.  But, come on.

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And then, the clincher.  Geric took the camera and fought through the crowds to get to the place where Kelly would walk up the beach to the stands.  And then this…

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Look at how close he is!  This is a moment, people.  A real moment.

Then we watched a little interview.

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And we packed up and left.

And Geric was so happy the rest of the day.  Of course he was on cloud nine that he had just seen one of his idols up close and personal, but he was really happy that I enjoyed it.  And I realized, we need more of this.  We need to enjoy the the things the other one is so passionate about more often.  Which is why he is now following my blog.  Ha!

But honestly, it’s really easy to become distracted by the day-to-day and kids and work and responsibility, and forget to do the things that we are passionate about, together.  It’s easy to take “me time” or even have a date night at a restaurant, but there is something that comes alive when we go beyond just spending time together, and really invest in the things our significant other loves. Gotta do more of it.  Really.

Oh, and look who won the event yesterday… of course.

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