Who’s Sleeping with Your Bishop?
For a variety of reasons, I haven’t posted lately about my experiences as a bishop’s wife. Recently, however, I’ve been feeling rather introspective about my husband’s calling, my role as the bishop’s wife, and the different issues (both good and bad) associated with this particular 800 pound gorilla.
Even though I’ve been the bishop’s wife for over five years now, on a regular basis I still feel like I have no idea what I’m doing. I mean, should I even be “doing” anything at all? My husband was presented with the always-interesting-to-read-late-at-night Church Handbook of Instructions, but no canon of procedure was ever provided to me.
So, is this even considered a calling? Are there specific expectations connected with my role? Are there tasks or duties I should be fulfilling? And, do any of those tasks involve something more meaningful than playing the traditional “hostess,” “bishopric meeting treat-maker,” or “housekeeper while husband is at meetings”? As the bishop’s wife, are there spiritual duties that I should be seeking to fulfill? Where should the lines be drawn as to what is or isn’t appropriate?
Thus far, my plan of action as the “Mother of the Ward” has been predominantly determined by:
1) Following personal spiritual promptings (which, frankly, I don’t even know if I’m entitled to have, considering I have no priesthood stewardship over the ward), and
2) Emulating the actions of other bishops’ wives that I have come into contact with, whom I admire.
For example, one of my former bishop’s wives was really wonderful about investing extra time and energy into opening up their family’s home to all the members of the ward. Every Sunday evening she spearheaded an activity at their home for a particular group of individuals (YW, YM, single adults, young marrieds, etc.). Together, she and her husband presented a spiritual lesson on a topic they had both been praying about. True, there was a hostessing element to the evening with standard-fare refreshments after the lesson, but the real value she added was through her insightful spiritual messages and example. My husband and I have attempted to implement something similar in our ward at different times. Usually we do pretty well at hosting one activity in our home per month for about four or five months, and then we burn out and don’t hold these small group activities until we’ve regained our energy (or our sanity) two or three months later.
And, speaking of burnout, I’ve been feeling rather burned out lately. Not at the fiery “you must be released or else” stage, but more along the lines of slow-roasted, slow-burning “I’m too tired to think about it” fatigue. I’m just worn out. I’m feeling very little motivation with respect to being a good little bishop’s wife lately.
I would love to hear about your bishop’s wife, in the hope that maybe something will inspire me or motivate me to try a little harder. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the role of a bishop’s wife in general.
What is the role your current bishop’s wife plays in your ward?
Does your bishop’s wife play any sort of a “spiritual” role in your ward?
If you were a bishop’s wife, how would you approach your role?