This week’s job description: Spouse

By Curtis K. Shelburne

I’m writing this column this week from a hotel in Austin, Texas. It’s Monday, and I’m scared to death that I’m gonna wake up in about ten minutes and it will be Friday and this wonderful week will be over! (I’ve been taking regular naps already and we just got here yesterday evening)

I know it’s not rational, but I fully believe that during vacation you go not into Daylight Saving Time, but into some sort of Vacation Hypertime where the sand in the hourglass turns into water squirting through under such pressure that the time-glass almost lifts itself off the desk.

It’s like you’re holding a beautiful white precious ball of snow in your hand and trying to save it for just the right moment and just the right target. You were building a snowman a few moments ago, but you blink your eyes and find that you’ve suddenly been transported to a tropical island and the temperature is 95 and the snowball is melting and slipping right through your fingers at an alarming rate. In 10 seconds, it’s gone and you blink your eyes again and you’re back where the windchill is 20 and now your hands are wet but the snow all around you is melted and you’re standing ankle-deep in cold mud wondering what happened to Paradise.

Well, I’m not exactly in Paradise this week, but I think I’m close. That’s no comment on Austin. I’m enough of a Texan to think deep down that Texas is indeed close to Paradise, but I’ve not been in Austin all that often. I know they often make silly laws here. I know this is bluebonnet country. I’m looking forward to seeing the state capitol building for the first time in a lot of years and visiting a great museum or two, etc.

But Paradise to me this week has little to do with location. It has everything to do with “not all that much to have to do.” You see, my main job title this week is simply “spouse.” My wife and I have gone to a bunch of conventions and conferences where I was the board member, meeting attender and public-servant getting-in-required-hours-type person. Her job was to be the spouse — the sleeping late, doing what she wanted to do, see-ya-at-dinner person. I’ve long thought it looked like a great job description, and for almost a whole week, I get to try it! I think I’ll be very good at it.

Her Honor (this is a Municipal Judge’s training conference) just went to a meeting. I just went to a nap.

I brought a little work. Some things still have to be done-like a column or two and planning worship for a week or so away and putting together an issue of a devotional magazine. Don’t tell anybody, but unless I get really inspired I’m probably preaching a sermon of the “old but (I hope) good” variety this Sunday. But whatever work I do I’ll be doing in slippers, warm fuzzy sweat pants and a t-shirt while I occasionally drink coffee, nibble on chocolate and take frequent naps. 

It’s overcast and drizzly outside and the freeway is teeming with poor tired souls commuting from work. Her Excellency (I mean, Her Honor) is at a meeting learning how to be a better public servant. I think such training is a good thing. I’m pulling for more of it.

I know this week that it’s a blessing to one preacher’s soul and he is most thankful for it!

Curtis Shelburne is pastor of 16th & Ave. D. Church of Christ in Muleshoe. Contact him at