My husband works hard. He has always been a hard worker. That is one thing I like and admire about him--he's not afraid to get his hands dirty and dig in to do hard work. I have known some truly lazy people in my life and they are so hard to respect.
At one point over the last 4 years, my husband was working not 1, not 2, but 3 jobs all at once. That was a crazy time in our life! He had his "regular" job, a lawn service "on the side", and he was the "part-time" youth minister at our church. There were times the girls didn't even see him before they went to bed. I have always appreciated him taking care of our family so well, but 3 jobs was a little much.
One of those jobs, youth minister, was not taken for the income since there really wasn't any for a long time. This was pure ministry. He loved it and I was glad he was getting to serve in a way he had always wanted to. He took his role very seriously and was so good and so present in that position that people often forgot he had a "regular" job to work at all week long. The summers were especially hard with youth ministry. Sunday nights--youth event. Monday nights--area youth event. Tuesday--stay late at his "real" job to catch up on things. Wednesday--church and then minister's meetings afterward. Thursday--come home after work and actually see family! Friday and Saturday--catch up on all the things that need to be done at home or youth events.
It was during this time that we began to question how church activities affect families. It wasn't just that my husband was away from us, because truthfully we tried to be with him doing whatever the youth group was doing just so our family would be together. Having tons of church activities also affects other families. Youth are split off from their parents and other adults in the church constantly. Well, sometimes they need to be. And yet...
So, we had some good discussions about church and all things churchy. For a lot of reasons, my husband is stepping down from "part-time" youth ministry this month. We have seen a lot more of him and that has been nice. He has had time for actual recreation (golf!) for the first time in 4-5 years. Why? Why would someone work so hard that they don't even have time for doing fun things? Well, we were working for the Lord! It was a ministry and we took it seriously. I know some good, no great seeds were planted and our teens at church received good, no great teaching every week. Families were affected for the Lord. Wonderful things have happened over these last 3 years.
But I am very glad he is home. And I am looking forward to the great things that will happen in our family.