Life as the minister’s wife

Published 10:03 am Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The honeyed tones of Valya Mobley’s southern drawl let you know immediately that she just might be one of those “Same Sweet Girls” Cassandra King writes about in her fiction.

Valya will tell you, as she told King on the afternoon of King’s recent lecture, she is rather “The Sunday Wife,” another of King’s novels about the spouse of a Methodist minister.

“Although my John is nothing like the husband in the book,” she adds.

Married to John Mobley, the regional minister for the Christian Church, Disciples of Christ in Alabama and northwest Florida, Valya’s route to this distinction was “a circuitous one” from her Kentucky roots to an early stint as a social worker, which she left for the experience of working aboard a cruise ship.

Valya was dressed as a clown when she and John first met on the boardwalk in Myrtle Beach. She was handing out time-share flyers to prospective buyers, and John introduced himself as a vacationing teacher. It was a few dates later he admitted he was, in fact, a minister.

“When I took my prospective minister boyfriend to meet my mother, she remarked that I ‘would have to change my ways,’” Valya laughed. “But my book club pals will attest that I haven’t.”

Valya has been writing poetry and personal recollections since her teenage days and last year published a collection of her writings that also include communion meditations written for Grace Christian Church.

The Mobley’s have two children, both now in college, and Valya’s time is filled with part-time catering work at the Feed and Seed Market, participation in two local hiking clubs, choir and book club meetings with ‘The Page Turners’ book club at the Pelham library.

She has also become an avid photographer and scrapbooker and enjoys trips with her mother, Doris Puffer, and sister, Patricia Lane. They have traveled to Costa Rica and Jamaica, swam with dolphins and manatees, and last year, Valya took her mother, at age 77, on her first white-water rafting trip down the Nantahala River.

In 2007, she and daughter, Janessa, donated their mother-daughter watercolor/poem collaboration to Safehouse.

“Imagination” by Valya Mobley

Imagine a life without fear, but joy.

Imagine you are stronger than you ever thought possible.

Imagine a life of purpose.

Imagine you spread your wings as a butterfly emerging from a cocoon.

You are a tree shooting out new branches.

You are a rose who has discarded its thorns.

Blue for hope and bubbles for inspiration.

Imagine yourself as you were meant to be.

“Life is an adventure,” Valya said. “And I am busy checking off my bucket list, one item at a time!”