You Know You’re a Youth Pastor’s Wife When…

1.) There’s a bus key on your key chain but you don’t drive bus.

2.) Your children have all been youth group mascots throughout the years.

3.) Your toddler could fist-pump and other cool hand signs by eighteen months.

4.) Male students of all ages call your house to see if your husband can come play.

5.) You love playing cards and the latest board games alongside the students too.

6.) There are scores of youth group-age girls, college girls, and even young married moms whom you will forever call “My girls.” Coffee dates are often.

7.) Your husband and his 11th grade son dominate at dodgeball and ultimate frisbee.

8.) Your Facebook friends are predominately students– current and former.

9.) You and your man find yourself talking about youth group stuff on dates and have to laughingly ban the topic temporarily.

10.) When you drive past teens waking down the street, you crane your head, praying for them and hoping they’re plugged into a good church somewhere!

Tag! You’re it. “You Know You’re a West Coast Artist When…” or “You Know You’re a Foreign Service Officer When…” or “You Know You’re Married to a Chiropractor When…” or “You Know You’re a Teacher When…” I’m eager to read yours. Feel free to link up to this post here.

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  1. Dontmissyoursunsetlady on January 23, 2012 at 1:04 am

    I love this! I've always wanted to know what life in full time Ministry was like! Thank you for your encouragement on my post!

  2. Kateri on January 23, 2012 at 1:40 am

    This was fun to read. I could certainly do one on being a visiting nurse…I'll have to think about that for a bit. πŸ™‚

  3. Lisa notes... on January 23, 2012 at 2:19 am

    This makes me smile, thinking of youth ministers I've known through the years and their kids. You're right on target. πŸ™‚ Thank you for for what you do for teens!

  4. tandemingtroll on January 23, 2012 at 3:21 am

    That was fun to read. Thanks for you comment on my blog. Gardening for me has never been very fruitful. I joke that I have a black thumb :-D. I am hoping my daughter, who has managed to start things from seed and nurse a basil plant to create yummy pesto can help me nurture the plants. She is excited. Our current landscaping is nice because it needs so little attention.

  5. Zoe on January 23, 2012 at 11:34 am

    Great post Jenn. It brings back memories of hosting a Campus Outreach group on Sunday nights. Watching 6 college guys wolf down dozens of hotdogs in only moments was a sight to behold.
    Praying for you as you continue to minister to the next generation.

  6. Houseofmills on January 23, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    Those were great. Most people have to ban talking about their kids on dates, I suppose the youth group is like your kids. hahaha!

  7. tandemingtroll on January 23, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    This is a great post. I will think of something and post it on my blog, linking to your blog. Right now, I am leaning toward "You know you're getting older…" πŸ˜€

  8. Anonymous on January 23, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    You suckered me into it.

  9. Jennifer Dougan on January 24, 2012 at 2:04 am

    Hi TJ/Angelonwheels,

    You're welcome. Thanks for stopping by.


    I would love to see your visiting-nurse post. Tag back when you do it, so I can find it. πŸ™‚


    My pleasure. Thank you for partnering with other youth pastors and their families. Friendships for ministry families are special.


  10. Jennifer Dougan on January 24, 2012 at 2:11 am

    Hi Tandeming Troll,

    Mm, basil from scratch! As soon as our house sells and I can fill my house with plants again, I am going to start some more basil too. So good for food. Good for your daughter. I doubt you have a black thumb πŸ™‚ -you just need the right plants that are sturdy and tolerant. Philodendrons, aloe vera, etc.

    I would love to hear your "You Know You're Old When…" post. I feel exhausted now after jogging laps, so that would be appropriate for me too. πŸ˜‰ Link it up here so I can find it.

    Jennifer Dougan

  11. Jennifer Dougan on January 24, 2012 at 2:13 am


    Thank you! I grinned at the image of college guys wolfing down endless pizzas. That's about right for that age. They are wonderful. How long did you do Campus Outreach?

    Thank you for the prayer cover, Zoe. Always needed and appreciated.


  12. Jennifer Dougan on January 24, 2012 at 2:18 am


    Yes, it's true! They ARE like our kids. I call them "my teens" all the time and truly feel that way.


  13. Jennifer Dougan on January 24, 2012 at 2:32 am

    Matt, I'm so glad you jumped in. I was hoping you would. So fun to read yours and Connie's and Baghdad Anne's. As a third culture kid (TCK), I could relate to many of them too.

    I'd add: you miss the fabulous sound of African rain on zinc roofs, you ask for mangoes for Christmas, and smile nostalgically at the starfruits and papayas in the grocery store, wishing they were less expensive here; coconuts remind you of hairy monkeyheads at the open air markets, and you love the feeling of zooming in and out of crazy traffic in a cheap taxi with African reggae playing loudly. You miss the camaraderie of having an entire community gather around small tvs powered by private generators to watch local football teams and hearing the cheers ricochet through the valley.

    Now I am just intrigued to hear further stories about the code-switching in your kids, and about that book someday…

    Fun to hear from you again.


  14. SteveS on January 24, 2012 at 4:52 am

    Jennifer-funny stuff, inspiring too. "Go therefore and make disciples…" Kudos to you and your husband. Oh, sorry, no blog to link to as of yet.

  15. Zoe Elmore on January 24, 2012 at 11:47 am

    Hey there Jenn,
    Tom and I have supported Campus Outreach since 2001 when our oldest son Josh became involved with them his freshman year in college. Tom served on their board until 2009. Josh and his wife Kelsey now partner with C.O as they minister to young men and women at their Crossfit Gym. We are grateful to see God use
    them, and it's an encouragement that even though we don't see it, God is at work in the life of our younger son Joe. I count it an honor to partner with you i prayer for your ministry.

  16. Jennifer Dougan on January 24, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    Hi Steve,

    Nice to see you again. Thank you.


  17. Unknown on January 24, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    Such a cute list Jennifer! You know you're the mother of PKs when you're children are acting unruly at church and you're the LAST person to notice! (my experience only of course!)

  18. Jennifer Dougan on January 24, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    I grinned at your comment. Yes, my pks have acted unruly at church too. Trying out the drum-set to look like dad, picking up a microphone, etc. Rascals. πŸ™‚ I'm glad they feel comfortable there though.

    Are you a pastor's wife then?

    Jennifer Dougan

  19. elaine @ peace for the journey on January 24, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    You know you're brain is frazzled when you can't even think of a cute "You know you're a __________" fill-in.

    Sorry. Just one of those days.


  20. elaine @ peace for the journey on January 24, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    Or you use the word "you're" instead of your.

  21. Jennifer Dougan on January 24, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    Hi Elaine,

    I have those sleepy kind of days too.

    You changed your photo. πŸ™‚

    Have a great week. Thanks for stopping by.


  22. Glenda Parker Fiction Writer on January 25, 2012 at 2:33 am

    I loved your post. it was so funny. Keep up the good work I'm praying for you guys.God bless you.

  23. Danielle on January 25, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    Hey girl! Thanks for stopping by my blog. I actually have the two blogs. The girls Ministry one and my personal one.:-)

    I love these tid-bits of information. It's nice to see into people's lives!;-)

  24. Jennifer Dougan on January 26, 2012 at 3:35 am

    Hi Danielle,

    Thanks for your ministry to teen girls, and for stopping by here today.


  25. Cheryl Barker on January 27, 2012 at 1:02 am

    Our youth pastor's wife had incredible and lasting influence on our daughter. You have a very important role, Jennifer!

  26. Jennifer Dougan on January 27, 2012 at 1:17 am

    Hi Cheryl,

    Thank you! I am so glad your daughter had someone pouring into her life too (besides you guys too). I'm sure they loved her deeply, just like I love my teens.


  27. cabinart on January 31, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    Jennifer, thank you for the idea. I used it on my blog last week and linked to yours. Had so much to say that it took me 3 posts that carried over into this week!

    The church where I grew up was too small for a youth pastor until my senior year in high school. I went off to college, but he zeroed in on my older sister. He has been a very fine brother-in-law to me for the past 32 years. (became a senior pastor many years ago)

  28. Jennifer Dougan on January 31, 2012 at 11:54 pm


    I'm glad to hear that. What fun. I will head right over and read them.


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