1. Everyone at church knows your name, address and phone number by heart. And you are still struggling to remember every person’s name and how they are related to each other.
2. Everyone asks you how you are feeling and how you like the weather, but the conversation will never get deeper than that.
3. People are always asking if you want their old couch, extra bed, lawn chairs, etc. etc.
4. Everyone except the older people remembers your food allergies and makes things “special for the pastors wife” at get-togethers .
5. The older people never remember the food allergies and you feel horrible telling them about it again since they are so sweet and made something just for you, so you eat it anyways.
6. Your children know exactly what you are talking about when you mention church, and run up to the building as excited as if it were home.
7. When you have a baby you are showered with gifts and cards and over a weeks worth of meals, but you have no one to help around the house or babysit your children.
8. Everyone else talks about their family parties, get-togethers, dinners and Christmas gifts and then they ask what you are doing for Christmas and all you can say is “church”.
9. Everyone says how nice it must be that your husband has “flexible” hours and can “drop by to help you out whenever you need it”. And you can’t explain that even though you live close to the church and you husband can make it home for lunch almost every day, he works every weekend and holiday, is on call for hospital visits or counseling at anytime, and he is gone at meetings 3 out of 7 nights a week, sometimes more.
11. People randomly show up at your door (usually just as your toddlers have stripped their clothes off and emptied the garbage can) to check on something in the house, drop something off, ask the pastor something, etc.etc.
12. You can’t mention any questions or doubts about the particular “brand” of church you are serving. You have to be 100% party-line or you could cause major problems in the faith lives of church members.
13. You feel a strange sense of loyalty and concern for the people you are serving, even though you know that in a few years when you leave they will forget all about you in a few months time.