When is “Pastor’s Wife Appreciation Month?”

This post is going to cost me, big-time.  Murf hates the spotlight.  But she’ll get over it, and I need to do this.

logo-Pastor_Appreciation_Month-300x165October is Pastor Appreciation Month.  There are memes about it floating around Facebook, greeting cards are available in Christian bookstores, and thoughtful gestures and encouraging words are coming from all sides.  It’s kind, it’s thoughtful, and it’s appreciated.

It’s also incomplete.  You see, there is someone intimately connected to pretty much everything that I do, but who remains, by choice, in the background.  As a result, no one thanks her for a sermon or Bible Study that I teach.  No one celebrates with her the results of a powerful outreach event or missions trip.  And no one sends her notes to express their gratitude.  But nothing I do would be the same without her.

There is no Pastor’s Wife Appreciation Month.  But I have a blog, so in my case, I can fix that.

Murf Gaston has been living with me, putting up with my sometimes-crazy lifestyle, and serving by my side for 31 years (our anniversary is this Wednesday – I remembered!).  She is a fairly private woman who finds herself married to a very public man.  She handles that dissonance with grace and a good sense of humor, but I know it has had its challenging moments.

IMG_0716My ministry takes place in an office, behind a pulpit, or through a keyboard, and occasionally involves domestic or international travel to important places.  Most of my wife’s ministry takes place in the chair you see pictured here.  This is her office, her podium, the important place to which she travels.  Lingering pain from injuries she suffered in a car crash ten years ago makes her less active in this season of life than we expected.  But she is no less significant.

This is where she prays.  She prays for our daughters, for our son-in-law, and for our grandson.  She prays for our church, for the people we serve, and for the various ministries that we oversee.  This is where she spends her Sabbath moments, and this is where she prays for me while I am on my Sabbath hikes.  God meets her here.

IMG_0708The items on the table next to the chair reflect her focus.  There is a rose from our garden.  There is her Bible, and a prayer book called The Valley of Vision.  There is a packet of index cards on which she has written the lyrics of her favorite hymns.  There is a prayer sheet with the names of the members of our summer mission teams.  And there are a couple of good Christian books that she is reading.  These constitute the “tools of the trade” of her ministry.  She uses them all, regularly.  Faithfully.

The time my wife spends in this chair, next to this table, is central to all that we do together.  Her role is much less visible than mine, so it tends to go unnoticed.  But I notice it, and more importantly, God does.  Through this post, I’m glad that you do, too.

We’re not unique.  I know there are thousands of pastors, maybe tens of thousands, who could write the kinds of things I’ve written here.  And if you take a moment to express thanks to your pastor, I would be glad to see you keep these thoughts in mind, and include thanks for the less-visible member of the team.

Now, please pray that she quickly forgives me for this post.  After all, our anniversary is coming up!

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About Sabbath Thoughts

My name is Mike Gaston. I am a former missionary, a Shepherding Pastor at Heights Church in Prescott, AZ, a happy husband, a spoiled father of two daughters, a proud grandfather, and a recently-convinced pursuer of the benefits of intentional, regular, contemplative, Christ-centered rest. This blog will allow me to share thoughts about Sabbath, as well as thoughts about God and the Christian life that come out of my restful Sabbath moments.
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20 Responses to When is “Pastor’s Wife Appreciation Month?”

  1. Pingback: When is “Pastor’s Wife Appreciation Month?” | ChristianBookBarn.com

  2. debra petrella says:

    your both an enormous blessing to Grace and the far reaching countries of the world. May God uphold all the pastors wives who share their husbands with so many.

  3. Faith O says:

    The thought that “behind every great man is a woman” came to mind here….I dare say that it would be appropriate to make that “behind every great man is a woman praying”…..God is always at work, changing lives through men and women who answer the call in obedience to share His love at home and abroad….what a blessing to the men of God who have a woman like Murf, who stands not behind, but beside you supporting your ministries whether at home or overseas…thank you Murf, for so faithfully sharing your husband with GBC and the world…and for your prayers spoken from your heart, for a lost world that needs Christ so desperately. We thank God for your love of family and for Mike, but more so for the bride He gave Mike that is exactly who he needs to share each day with…Happy Anniversary, and may God continue to use each of you to further His gospel, and build His Kingdom.

  4. Karen F. says:

    Mike, this is a lovely portrait of a Godly woman. God bless Murf. 🙂

  5. Denise says:

    Long before you guys came to minister at Grace B, I remember PT (as we called him in our home d/t our dtr hanging out at his home) talking about or telling some stories about a Mike and Murf. Murf being a very unique name to remember. She was/is so in the background that for years after you were here I had no idea what she looked like. I did, however, know who her mother was. I would so enjoy going to the foyer after every first service to see what she would be wearing that Sunday. When I finally approached her to let her know how lovely she always looked and how she always brought a smile to my face did I learn that she was Murf’s mother. That is when I learned why I did not know what a “Murf” (lovingly said) looked like as she told me that Murf was not as “flamboyant ” as she herself was and perferred remaining in the prayer room during services to pray, especially when you spoke. So I thought, I don’t want to know what Murf looked liked because I knew she was special as she did not any want any self attention. You do indeed have a special priceless gift in your wife. At last I did meet her, although I am not sure I would recognize her today after that one sighting. She might remember me as the one who said to her, “I wanted to see how long I could go without knowing what you looked like”. It was a lunch gathering for staff and their families. She, as I now saw in action for myself, ministering to someone there by just being at their side and not needing to be part of the “action”. It has remained a vivid picture in my mind of a humble servant thinking of others and their needs over themselves. Sorry to have rambled on, but have enjoyed my own trip down memory lane. Still miss your mom, Murf! Mike, don’t let Murf know what I look like in case she is mad at me too. But we need know about her as she is a wonderful example for us all. Thanks for the picture of her “work/worship station”. Another wonderful visual to be imprinted into my mind as an example to follow. Thanks for sharing and for listening. Make “Pastor’s Wife Appreciation Month” a yearly treat!

  6. Linda Olson says:

    Thank you for the glimpse into your wife’s life. I didn’t know her at all when we lived in Santa Clarita and went to Grace, but she sounds like the wonderful wife God made her to be to/for you!

  7. Debby Cullen says:

    Mike, you have brought tears to my eyes and I know to Murf’s as well. The words that always come to mind when I think of Murf are Prayer Warrior. Blessings to Murf for all she does and endures. Love from the Cullen’s

  8. bonniesaucy says:

    Yes, I’ve always thought of Murf as a special treasure you have. 🙂

  9. Reblogged this on Sabbath Thoughts and commented:

    She walked me through cancer. She cares for our grandson. She prays for our family and our ministry. This post from last year seems even more appropriate this year, so it’s time for a repeat.

  10. Debbie says:

    Thank you for giving us a glimpse of the woman behind the good man. We dearly appreciate our Pastor’s wives.

  11. Penny Burch says:

    Thank you Murf. Be gracious to your husband for his unabashed public display of love and praise although he gushes about you with frequency, as you know. Thank you for watching over this good man, and being his helpmate and friend. Murf, you are a living example of a Godly wife. And…I also read the Valley of Vision book of prayers

  12. Pingback: Appreciation for This Pastor’s Wife | Sabbath Thoughts

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