Tuesday, December 1, 2015
EMMA TELLS OF BEING BISHOP'S WIFE
I was asked to speak on being the wife of Bishop Eli. Don't know what to tell you. When the Lord selected Eli as Bishop, I tried not to cry, but I did. All I could think of is the work and strain it would put on Eli. Over the years, we have somehow, thanks to the Lord, figured out how to make everything work out - most of the time.
When I first became the Bishop's wife, I thought I had to organize all the ladies quiltings, dinners, bakes sales, etc. Then, I learned as Eli did, delegate, delegate, delegate.
Some of things I must do as Bishop's wife is attend anytime a single lady or child comes into see the Bishop. It is our belief that women not be alone with a man except their father or husband. So I attend.
Also, I must be at the baptism as Bishop Eli will pour the water on their head, but I will help the lady up with my hand and give her the kiss as a new member of our church. Eli does it to the young men and do it to the young ladies.
If the ladies have a meeting about something of the church like when we got the new dishes for the church wagon, I attend those. Unless I am ill, I attend all the church services.
I also, am not like the Bishop's wife that you read about in books. Eli does not give me jobs to sneak around ladies homes or businesses to give him gossip. I think people are glad to see me come into their homes and know I am not about do gossip back to my husband. I have been in peoples homes where the are in need and I have told Eli that.
One lady I went to see, was a widow, had no children and was very low on food. I felt Eli should know that. We then organized so that someone could take her to get groceries. If she had not had the money to buy groceries, Eli would have seen she had it. People sometimes don't want to ask for help, even the Amish.
We, usually are the first to find out when someone is ill. So, unless I am told otherwise, I spread the word to others of our church for prayer. We also are usually the first to know of someone's need and again, unless I am told otherwise, spread the word of the need. Eli tells me whether I should other know or not.
Anything I hear in our home or otherwise when someone is speaking to Eli as Bishop, is between us. We do not spread gossip or give out any information unless we are given permission. People sometimes come to tell Eli things in confidence and it is not our way to spread what they say.
Like any other housewife, I cook, clean, do laundry, sewing, canning, etc. Also, I like to have cookies or cake or pie for someone to munch on when they come to Eli or guests visit.
When Eli first became Bishop, I was sure my house had to be the most spotless. All the clothes we wear must be without wrinkles. Our shoes had to shine the brightest. My cooking had to be the best. Then I found out, all I have to be is human. Of course, my house is clean - most of the time. Sometimes there is a wrinkle in something Eli or myself are wearing. We might have mud on shoes after coming from the barn. My cooking is eatable - haven't food poisoned anyone yet.
Eli and I try pray first thing in the morning, but sometimes our one of us gets up for the other. So we pray alone. At all our meals, we say a prayer. In the evening, we have Bible reading, prayers and thank the Lord. Eli always prays for the people of our church, for the sick and for needs.
I try to with Eli as much as I can to the hospital, someone's home or elsewhere, but sometimes especially in the middle of the night, he will tell me to stay home. It is hard sometimes. I don't sleep well when he is gone. I finally decided to take these times to pray for whoever or wherever he is doing the Lord's work.
I don't know if I told you all you wanted to know. It was hard at first, but like I said it has become our way. I pray that the Lord gives Eli the strength to do all that he must.
Honor the Lord,