What’s your favorite guilty pleasure?
Having a pair of heels to match every outfit. I have 48 pair, but I only buy cheap and I keep them until they are totally worn out. The other day, I got a pair of ivory satin heels for $4.00.
What is your favorite kind of music?
This is complicated. For church, I like the old traditional hymns. I love holding the hymnbook and singing songs written hundreds of years ago that I know by heart since childhood.
Outside of church, I like contemporary Christian such as Todd Agnew, Third Day, and Mercy Me.
What is currently your favorite song?
It’s a tie between Martyr’s Song by Todd Agnew. It’s about Jesus welcoming a martyr to Heaven. I can’t listen to it without crying—in a good way.
What’s your favorite animal?
I’m a dog and cat lover, so I have both and can’t really pick which is my favorite. Dogs love unconditionally and cats are so fun to watch. But I do have a cat who thinks he’s a dog. He actually comes when you call him and he cuddles.
As for wild animals, I’ve always thought raccoons were so cute and white tigers are beautiful.
Do you have any form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?
If things don’t match, I can’t focus. When I was a kid, my dad was a carpenter. He built me a playhouse and decorated it with left over materials from job sites. The carpet was red, the wallpaper was blue. I’d sit for hours and try to figure out how to make it match.
A few years ago, someone brought two silk trees for our church. One had white striped leaves and one had yellow striped leaves. One was a foot taller than the other. The sat on each side behind the pulpit. I couldn’t focus on the sermon for trying to figure out how to make those trees match. And my husband was the one preaching. I finally moved one of the trees to the back of the church.
As a pastor’s wife, do you play the piano?
No. When my husband first answered the call to preach, every church we visited asked if I played the piano. I wish I did, but I don’t. We recently had a retired pastor and his wife join our church and she doesn’t play the piano either, but she said it was her most often asked question through the years.
What do you think your role is as a pastor’s wife?
I help out wherever needed and am very involved, but I don’t teach Sunday school, head up the ladies’ prayer group, or direct our outreach programs. I am back up Sunday school teacher for a kids class, I attend our ladies’ meetings and do the devotion a couple of times a year, and I’m the craft lady at VBS.
My sole job is to support the pastor, so that’s what I focus on.
What’s it like raising a preacher’s son?
I try really hard to keep church fun, since our son is there more than most kids. But we don’t practically live at the church. We’ve always been careful to say, we get to go to church instead of we have to go to church. We’re there at every service, but if there are extras, we don’t make him go. We have monthly association meetings with the 26 churches in our association. We don’t make him go to that. And when we visit sick members or people in the hospital, we don’t take him.
It amazes me the profound Biblical thoughts he comes up with because he is so churched. My husband asked him who his favorite disciple was a while back. He said—Paul, because he liked the way Paul and Silas sang praises to God and the doors unlocked on the jail and Paul kept the jailor from killing himself.
I didn’t know all that at his age. I was probably in my twenties before I knew that story.
Were you raised in church?
People assume I was, but I wasn’t. My parents moved to Michigan when I was a year old, then Illinois, then Georgia. We moved wherever houses were being built since my dad was a carpenter. In each state, they tried to find a small church like the one they’d grown up in—in rural Arkansas. Church attendance was sporadic and by the time we moved to Georgia, when I was seven, we didn’t go. I had friends that went and I went with them some.
My parents taught me who Jesus was and Biblical principles, but as far as knowing Bible stories or the books of the Bible, I didn’t. When I was twelve, we moved back to rural Arkansas and their home church with twelve members. I didn’t really start studying the Bible until I accepted Christ at fifteen. My parents still go to their small church and there are around thirty members now.
The church my husband pastors is in the next town. We run from seventy to eighty on Sunday morning.
Do you have siblings?
No. I’m an only child. And our son is an only child. He’s the only grandchild my parents will ever have. They live across a hayfield from us and they are lunatics where he’s concerned.
My mom sent me a saying the other day: Most kids are spoiled because you can’t spank Grandma.
So true! But at least she admits it.
Bio: Central Arkansas author, Shannon Taylor Vannatter is a stay-at-home mom/pastor’s wife. Vannatter has won the 2011 Inspirational Readers Choice Award in the short contemporary category, The 18th Annual Heartsong Awards 3rd Favorite New Author and #1 Contemporary Award.