Fab Four Christmas

Yesterday was a day I've been excited about for a few weeks now.  It was the day to have Christmas with three special friends.  We call ourselves the "Fab Four" because, well -- we are four, and long term, friends - which is fabulous.  The Fab Four consists of myself and three ladies who have been close to me for almost the entirety of my time here in Florida.  The bond we have is built has been accomplished over years of loyal friendship, giving opportunity for trust to build.  The women I speak of keep me sane well, relatively sane, and bring a lot of joy to my life and hopefully I do the same for them.  Yesterday we shared tea at a local  shop called Maggie's, and exchanged Christmas gifts.  Girl time was shared over Paris, Plum and Peach teas, scones and devonshire cream, finger sandwiches, and an assortment of desserts.

One of the fab four gifted the rest of us with friendship books with a personal letter inside and sterling silver necklaces for each one with a beautiful verse inscribed.

I don't take these kind of  friendships lightly -- they mean everything to me.  They say if you have even just one loyal friend in life you've got it all, but I've been blessed with these three and several more besides, so I feel like the absolute richest woman in all the world.  Thank you, Jesus.  (The Bible says every good and perfect gift comes from Him.)

I hesitated to blog about the Fab Four Christmas because (and all the pastor's wives out there reading this will well understand this) in pastoring a church, disclosing something like this can bring jealousy.  In fact, it can downright rock a church!  Which is pretty stupid when you think about it.  In fact it's really stupid, but when it comes to women and drama, (or sin) does anything really make sense?  

I keep most of these kind of activities to myself (as positive as they are) and we never discuss them at church, to avoid hurt feelings...you know, the people who say, "now why didn't she have tea with ME?"  But the truth is, every pastor/pastor's wife needs to have opportunity to select and have close friends like everyone else, and to choose what they want to do with their down time.  (Most pw's I know have had the experience of someone in the church coming up to them saying, "I feel called to be your close friend" and they don't feel the same way.  That is a sticky situation and one that I always dread.  Sometimes such people will try to force something and it's a challenging situation to deal with.  A lot of times they don't really have interest in "you" as a person, it's the infatuation with being with the leader that they have romanticized.  Yes, you love them, and you are blessed to pastor them, but you do not feel "called to be their best friend."  You do not feel the urge to have lunch on your day off.)   The ladies I speak of understand the principles of leadership as they are all leaders in their own right, are fiercely loyal and would lay their lives down for me in a heartbeat and have run interference before to protect me from danger.  (Did you know sometimes ministers and their spouses do face physical, emotional or verbal danger?)   Where are those in the body of Christ who will truly befriend a minister or spouse and help them with things like this without a hidden or ill motivated agenda?  This is a ministry in itself.
Every pastor/pw needs times where they are with a few trusted friends and not a big crowd...
Times when they can truly relax with a small group or even one person...
Times when they can receive, not just give...
Times when they don't have to be "on"
Times when they don't have to have all the answers or even any answers... 
Times when word measuring is in short supply...
Times when they are accepted for who they are as a person and not just what they can do for somebody...
not to mention...people they don't have to watch their back with -- EVER.  

Finding people who will be this in your life AND still totally respect you as their leader are as rare as a needle in a haystack.  I've totally let it all hang out with the fab four AND I think it's probably safe for me to say that there's probably nobody they respect in ministry more than me.  I know, that's amazing!  I ask myself what I ever did to deserve it.  (Nothing, it's grace.)  They listen to me preach, seem to  never tire of it,  and are the first ones to say "amen" even though they have seen me in times of weakness.

A lot of people reading this post may not understand a lick of what I mean by any of this that I just shared but if you are pastoring you do understand. 

Thanks to those of you who listened to me share about  my fab four Christmas and are happy about it.  :)   And thanks Fab Four for an Uh-May-Zing afternoon yesterday.

(I know there are pw's reading this who are wistfully thinking, "I wish I had a fab four."  I understand.  And I will pray for you.)


Melissa said…
Love this! Love that you have them in your life! AWESOMENESS! Yes I wish all PW and Pastors have those close friends they can just "be" with. I am thankful that I have that as well. A few close friends that I know I can just be me and not have to be "on" or have the answers with. I love them and the love me and I am grateful for them. Specially thankful that I now live close enough to them that we can do things like lunch together!
Love you!
I love you too and I am so thankful every time I think about Michele introducing us...you have been a gift to me in so many ways. Thank you for being a keeper of what's on my heart (that I can't blog about), and I pray that I can be the same for you. xoxo
My psych class confirmed this very idea. Humans need other human beings for companionship. We need to be able to communicate, be heard and not judged. Of course women do this more than men (hey, that's what the book said) and this activity...this sharing...reduces stress greatly.

PD, I'm so glad to have you in my life. Because truly, there are somethings you just can't blog about and still hold on to your pastorate! LOL!

Love you bunches.
Lisa, I am so glad to have you in my life too...you'll just never know. I've learned so much from you and you've been there for me through some rough waters. Not to mention, you have taught me amazing things about hair alternatives. :) LOL!!!!!!

And...know whatcha mean about some things you just can't blog about and survive and for those things, well sista, I've got you on speed dial and vice versa. :)
Lily said…
I totally agree. PWs need friends. I've been on the receiving end of the "I feel that God is calling me to be your best buddy" kindof comment. Not only is it a bit creepy and pushy, but it makes you wonder what their ulterior motive is.

I think it's wonderful that you have this close-knit group of friends. Having a group of friends who really understand your life and appreciate you is such a blessing!