When we left the seminary I was dead-set against going to a church with a parsonage. I pictured a sad, neglected house and fights with the property board when the toilet broke.
What I live in right now is a lovely, well-cared for home that has plenty of space for our family. Someone else cuts the grass and shovels the snow. Posh!
The main drawback of being in a parsonage is that the fishbowl effect is magnified. Everyone at church knows where we live. Everyone in our neighborhood knows we are the pastor's family because this house has belonged to the church for decades. My husband jokes about "the compound" - as in, "Today I never left the compound. Home, church, home, church." The church is on one edge of the parking lot and our house is on the other.
I've heard that living in a parsonage can blur the line between home and work but for us, it has made the boundary between more clear. When my husband needs to work he can always get to church, so he rarely works at home.
Ten years ago this would have been an unhealthy situation for us. I would have been too sensitive to being so easily known. I would have felt self-conscious most of the time. Now, however, I am comforted by the congregation's care for us and usually like the easy movement between home and church.
That we are here now reassures me that God knows our needs and He provides for us with wisdom we could not understand. May He lead me to trust Him more.