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    An Open Letter of Apology to My Children (For Pastors’ Kids)

    September 26, 2016


    Photo Credit: Rebecca Bogdan

    Dear Anna, Sarah, Rebecca and Ruthie,

    I’ve been nag– er, talking to you a lot lately about serving more in the home. I’ve pointed out that you should have the same work ethic in regard to housework as you do at your work places and in school. You are excellent employees and students, but when it comes to helping me keep up the house? Well, I’ve been complaining. But maybe I needed a little perspective. Today, I think I found that.

    Thinking about all this while folding laundry, in a flash I saw each of you on Sunday morning. I closed my eyes and saw you hauling free baked goods from the car to the church kitchen. I saw you slicing bagels, cutting grapes, setting out the juice and donuts. I saw you sitting at the church computer, putting words up on the screen, Sunday after Sunday. I saw you on the floor rocking  fussy babies. I saw you emptying trash and sweeping up muffin crumbs. Straightening chairs and throwing away tissues and communion cups. Playing the drums and piano and singing when you didn’t necessarily feel like singing.

    I saw you showing up, over and over again. I had watched you leave your Daddy’s sermon yesterday to go help in kids’ church. And my heart broke into sobs this morning, seeing that vision of you leaving the sanctuary to go meet yet another need. It’s something I’ve seen time and time again and it will always haunt me. You’ve been the ones we’ve counted on week after week, when there was no one else in those precise moments.

    And through it all, for four years, you have never once complained.

    We could never possibly have done this without you, and we still couldn’t today.

    And all the while, you could be somewhere else on Sunday. Somewhere that’s more a fit for your teenage druthers. But you keep choosing little us. You keep choosing the place where you can best serve–not the place that can best serve you.

    My darlings, it breaks my heart and humbles me all at once. Your dad and I don’t deserve you four girls. We really don’t. And you deserve better. You deserve to be in a broader place on Sundays– a fun place, a cool-church place where you can receive. Not keep giving like you do.

    I promise you, sweetest angels, God has watched you even closer than we have, every second. He keeps track. And he is pleased with you. Well pleased. You will hear it straight from His mouth someday. You will.

    As much as it pains me that you would choose the lonely position of serving This Small Church with your parents, it delights me all at once because I know the kind of people you are becoming through it. I know the kind of blessing you will be to a pastor someday. Or a boss. And yes, to those under your authority. Especially to them. Through serving like you do, you are becoming the kind of leader everyone wants and needs.

    I am sorry that I have exacted more from you than I should have in the home, the very place you need to rest from all your labors. You have needed, in our house, a sanctuary from the sanctuary, and I have taken that from you and turned it into a chore-house. I am sorry.

    I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me….

    I do love you so.


    P.S. Dad says you still need to do chores at home.

    One thought on “An Open Letter of Apology to My Children (For Pastors’ Kids)

    1. Victor says:

      Wow! Your best blog yet! And to think these awesome girls are our (my wife and I) grandchildren!

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