My wife, Katie LaPierre, left for the Ladies Retreat on Tuesday and she should be back in less than an hour. Aside from a missionary trip I went on a few years ago, I’m pretty sure this is the longest we’ve been apart. As a disclaimer, I know for a lot of couples two nights isn’t very long! Usually the longest we’re apart is the few hours I’m at the office between visits to walk home and see how she and the kids are doing.
Katie LaPierre—the mother
Occasionally Katie has some function that takes her away for a few hours leaving me to watch the kids. Whenever that happens, my appreciation and respect for her always soars. I try to take care of our kids and our house, while constantly asking myself, “How does she do this so well every day?”
Having all three kids the last few days wasn’t that big of a deal considering my dad was with me the entire time, I didn’t have that much food to prepare, I didn’t worry about any laundry, and as opposed to making sure the house was spotless I focused on keeping it “maintained.” To think my wife does all these things every day is really unbelievable…actually, that she does all these things and stays in a good mood is probably the most unbelievable part.
Katie LaPierre—the pastor’s wife
When I was thinking really seriously about marrying Katie, I had a pretty good idea at the time that I would be a pastor in the future, which meant I really needed to marry a woman who could be a pastor’s wife. I thought that was the case with Katie and she even told me she’d been told she should marry a pastor someday. When I worked part-time and then full-time in ministry at Grace Baptist in Lemoore, CA I don’t think Katie really occupied the position of “pastor’s wife” (at least not in the traditional sense), because I wasn’t the senior pastor. We had a number of Bible studies at our house each week (three to be exact: youth group, young adults’ group and an adult home fellowship), and she did a great job with hospitality, but she wasn’t really involved with counseling or planning events.
When we got to Woodland, she really had the opportunity to invest in the church and the women in the church instead of only our kids, our home and me. I’ve really been amazed by the job I’ve seen her do. I guess I would say that while I was able to see her excel as a wife and mother, now I was able to see her in an entirely new capacity and she did a better job than I could have imagined. Occasionally I’ve walked in the house and observed the quarterly women’s meeting, pleasantly surprised by her leadership skills. She planned a ladies’ conference, and now this ladies’ retreat better than I could have imagined. Each function she’s been involved with has seemed to go so well.
If I wasn’t a pastor, I really feel like there would be some church that would miss out on being able to have her as their “pastor’s wife.” Part of it has to do with the women she’s surrounded with as well. Every time someone steps out in putting on a ministry event like she’s done, it’s a risky move, because you’re setting yourself up for criticism. This is the case with people behind almost any ministry in the church: VBS, Christmas programs, outreaches, nursery, etc. There will always be people who feel like something should have been done differently. “It would have been better if we would have planned it for these days instead.” “Why did she choose that _______.” “Why did she decide to do it that way?” “Why didn’t she have enough ______.” “We should have left at this time instead.”
Fortunately, the women at WCC are really supportive, encouraging, helpful and understanding. They don’t complain or criticize which I think makes my wife’s ministry much easier and emotionally safer. I invited Katie to write the letter on the back of this week’s bulletin and her conclusion really summed up what I’ve observed, “When I moved away from California I prayed the Lord would bring girlfriends into my life that challenged me and loved me. He has definitely answered that prayer.”
If you read all the way to here, thanks for letting me share my heart for my wife.