Canaan Years - Being a PK

Being a Pastor's Kid was an interesting life.

I met lots of new people,
but sometimes I wanted to be alone.

Life was filled with activities,
but I was expected to lead them.

People respected me,
but I didn't have a best friend.

We never had enough money,
but we survived by making do.
(mostly on homemade bread, peanut butter, and apple butter)

Being a PK was hard
...especially for a teenager.

I felt my every action was being critiqued -
by my classmates,
by the community,
even by the church members.

The standards of our family were used as examples. I would be asked what I read, if I was allowed to go to the movies, or what clothes I allowed to wear. Once a friend asked if I could go on a double date. I was so excited - knowing which guys would be there. I was devastated when I found out I wasn't invited. They only wanted to know what my parents thought about it.

When I walked about the community (post office, store, friends' houses, etc.)it peeved me to overhear people talking against the church or my father. Even worse, their words turned sickening sweet and polite when they happened to see me.

At school, I was different. I carried a label - preacher's kid. In a way, it was good. I was never invited to drinking parties or join their plans to cheat on a test, but I didn't know how to fit in and still maintain my standards.

Being a PK also had some advantages.

We were able to live in the parsonage. I loved that big old house -with its barns and closets and back stairs and umpteen rooms. We lived right next to the church, so it didn't take much time to get there. (Although, I got in trouble a few times for arriving late because I didn't get ready until the last minute.)

I learned new skills. I got the job of typing up the church bulletin. (Does anyone remember those Xerox sheets of paper, with the blue ink inside?) Of course, we folded them on Saturday evening or before church on Sunday. I taught a Sunday School class and helped at VBS. I sang in the choir and worked in the nursery and did my part cleaning the building each week.

There were always people at our house. We always seemed to be taking in those in need. Sometimes, I was jealous of my parents' attention. It seemed they were often too busy to listen to me, but I learned to minister to others and be a friend to those who didn't have a home like mine. Candy Church, a foster girl, moved with us from New York. She met a nice young man, and they were married the following year on Valentine's Day.

The spare room, off the living room, might belong to a drunk or a college student or a missionary. I called our family the "Elastic Family," because it grew and shrunk so often. My father quoted the verse, Hebrews 13:2, "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares."

Later, I found this poem and thought it fit our family's lifestyle well -

The House By the Side of the Road
by Sam Walter Foss

Someone at school said to me one day, "You don't act the way you do because you really believe it. You just do it because your father is a preacher."

It shocked me. I wanted to say,"No! I do believe it!" but inwardly, I wondered if it was true. "Do I really believe it for myself, or am I just following and obeying my parents?" I went through a time of real soul-searching -reading my Bible and praying and thinking. I came out of that time stronger and confident that my faith was real - not that it was bad to follow and obey my parents, but I was sure of my God and my salvation.

I'm thankful for those years.
I made some great friends,
who helped me to get through those tough years.
(Thank you for putting up with me.)

Being a PK was never boring.
Yes, there were hard times,
but there were also times of great blessings.

Pray for your pastor's family.
They need your love and support.


vjc said...

As a PK myself, this blog made me smile. There were definitely pros and cons but I wouldn't trade a minute of it either. It certainly teaches you about life from a pretty unique perspective. :)

Sparrow said...

Great post! I was a PK for a few years, too. And later when I went to a public community college it was known that I was the very conservative, homeschooled, Christian girl and everyone was always watching to see how I would respond to things. It was a great privilage to be able to show Jesus through my actions, but such a scary responsability at the same time.

Sherri Ward said...

I wasn't even a Christian, and we never went to church as a family when I was growing up. So, although I can't relate to being a PK, I enjoyed this read very much, and it gave me new insights and I will pray for not only my Pastor, but his family! So glad you examined your faith and found it to be very real, Vonnie!


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