Family Time

When you’ve attended church at the same perish for nearly 16 years, there’s really no point in calling the people involved in the church just parishioners; they’re churchyfamily.  Throughout St. Mark’s congregation, I have multiple friends (ages 2-80), mentors, prayer partners, godparents and other parent-like figures. How lucky am I?

St. Marks has blessed me with the best Godmother a little girl could ask for. Mrs. Pamela Prewitt has been there for every occasion, every blessing and almost every Sunday to hug me and ask how I’m doing with the best Aunt Pammy smile without fail, hesitation or holding back any love. Mrs. Ames, one of the most inspirational ladies in my church, has always been there for me and insists that I come to her if I ever need anything. The special thing about that is I know she actually means it and will be actively praying for me and holding my hand without any judgment if I need it. Mrs. Judy, the DeMontels, the Straus’, Johnsons, the Pierces, Janoseks and so many more have been an incredible stronghold while growing up and still today. I know these are all just names to the social media world, but these names mean so much more to me than many of you will understand.

Now as I’ve said before in my previous writings, I am far from perfect or on track about following the good examples that are set for me. I’m so blessed with this church family , but I definitely take it for granted far too much. I end up complaining that I’m under a microscope, can never get away with anything and how embarrassing it is when my dad uses stories about me in his sermons. I know, I’m just being bratty now.

Going back through these complaints though helps me realize just how bratty and self-absolved I really am. I’m not under a microscope, I’m just being looked out for by people who love me and care.  I can never get away with anything because the fam has my back and they know better than I do.(and the things I’m trying to get away with are probably better simply not done at all) And my dad using me in his sermons is just because he loves me and I coincidently make great examples (And don’t forget, I’m the favorite…and I secretly love the attention anyways).

For me, going to church at St. Mark’s is like going home to hang out with my crazy family. I can’t thank them enough for making my experience as a PK as welcoming and homey as they have. I love my church family.

Q&A From My Perspective

Like I mentioned earlier in my introduction, there are many assumptions about the life of a PK. Usually, if I even dare mention in the presence of new friends that my father is a preacher, I’m flooded with the same questions I’ve been asked my wdad preachinhole life. However, over the years I’ve come to not mind mentioning my father’s occupation as much because I’ve become such a pro at answering these questions. So bring it on!

The usual questions are:

“How is your dad married? I thought priests had to be like married to the church or something.”

No, my father does not have to be “married to the church or something.” This only relates to Catholic priests. Although my mom might say that’s debatable. (In a non-hostile way, of course.) We are Episcopalian and it’s completely fine to get married and pop out some babies.

“So was your dad like super crazy strict growing up?”

My dad was actually fairly even headed when it came to rules and regulations. He had normal expectations of honesty in our household, respect for each other and ourselves, and proper right and wrong behavior. I almost always underFullSizeRenderstood his reasons behind each rule or punishment we received. So no, he wasn’t crazy strict splashing holy water on me if I slipped up and said a cuss word or wore a crop top.

Story time: When I was younger, if I misbehaved, one of the possible punishments I’d receive was three spanks with a wooden spoon. I was a mischievous imp as a child so therefore, received these spankings a solid handful of times and completely deserved it. As I got older, looking back and laughing at these times and my reaction to them, I asked my dad what his thought process was through it all. He said he hated punishing us, my mom had to basically leave the house during them, but he said, “I never punished my kids this way unless they deliberately disobeyed rules that were clearly in place; never for any other reason.” This is why I believe I have a fantastic father.

“ohhh you’re a preacher’s daughter… So you must be really bad, huh? *wink, wink*” (usually asked by a gross guy at a party or something).

First off, if you ask me this question, you’re annoying and I would appreciate it if you would leave me alone, thank you. So which side of the spectrum do I lean to: unruly devil-child or picture-perfect angel? I always say I’m contently in the middle. I’m not a complete fun-sucker with no sense of reality, staying home on a Friday night to read my Bible and don’t know the first thing about boys. But on the other hand, I don’t constantly rebel against my parents, do drugs, or sleep around. I have a perspective and reality this is very similar to many of my peers; I’m a fairly normal teenager. I was taught to hold myself to a certain standard and with respect. I can thank my parents for that state of mind.

“Where you forced to go to church all the time?”

Side story: When I was little, I would be woken up for church, fight my mom every step of the way when trying to get me in a dress, and driven to church. I would still be sleepy from waking up not long before the service that almost every Sunday during my dad’s sermon, I would lay down across the pew with my head on my mom’s lap and sleep completely through it. By the end of the service, I was ready to wake up, grab my dad’s hand and join him half way day the isle during the procession out (A congregational favorite that lead to a lot of attention and many “awws”).

My mom and dad always encouraged me to go to church. They did their best to make it known that it was the right thing in their eyes and that they wanted me to go, but they never forced me to. Either way, I’ve mostly always enjoyed going to church. Especially as I’ve gotten older, I view it more as family time than anything else.

Here Comes Trouble!

You know what they say about those preacher’s daughters… trouble…

My name is Bethany Hardie, I’m 19 years old and currently a sophomore at Texas State. I’m the youngest of three siblings and obviously the favorite. I love my family, our church, and making funny comments at inappropriate times with my sister during my dad’s sermons. God has a sense of humor too, right? My father is an Episcopal priest at St. Marks Episcopal Church in Corpus ChristIMG_4594i, Texas, and my mother is a personal chef. My brother, John, is 23 living in College Station, and my sister, Julianne, is 22 and finishing school in Corpus with my parents. My brother, sister, and I have grown up in an environment that revolved around our relationship with God, our relationship with each other, and our relationship with our church, in that order. This lifestyle affected each of us very differently and sent us in completely different directions in our lives.

I grew up in a community, in a congregation, in a church, where people have known me since I was three years old. These people have watched me grow up, sent me off to high school, supported me through my first car, boyfriend, and now seen me off to college. I would say that I have a close and special bond to many people in my church for this very reason: they’ve been through it all with me. However, because they were around for each step of my childhood, all eyes were on their minster, John Hardie’s, youngest daughter, his little girl, me. As a preacher’s kid or “PK” as lingo goes, I’ve had St. Marks19 years of experience in this position. This is why I chose to write about my life as preacher’s daughter; let me tell you a little about this lifetime job.

This blog is directed to enlighten my peers and the public about the realistic life of a preacher’s daughter. Preacher’s children are either expected to be rebellious hellions or perfect role models. This is the typical stereotype. Although this would make for a much more interesting story, I’m neither of these. I’m a fairly normal teenager with a fairly normal life. However, in contrast with a lot of other people, instead of just being raised by my parents, I was raised by a church as well. You know what they say, it takes a village… This is what I hope to portray in this blog: the many different characters and situations that have been a part of my life that have simply made me, me.