Wednesday, September 14, 2011

What I Shared With The Ladies - Part 1

Recently I was given the amazing opportunity to share at a ladies retreat. Not normally excited about speaking in front of people, and by not normally excited I mean terrified and avoid it at all costs, I felt like this was something I would like to have a go at doing. I was excited about the subject matter and really felt like I had something to share. I posted on facebook yesterday to see if anyone would be interested in reading what I shared ... I got a lot of positive responses so I'm going to share ! It was a two hour talk so I will spread it over a few posts ...

Originally, I was asked to share about organizing your kitchen. Giving it a new look. I was not really sure how to do that without individual kitchens to organize. So I wrote back to the organizer of the retreat and told her I'd be willing to talk about the life that is lived in the kitchen as a wife and mother …. That's what we're going to talk about today.

We're going to look at …. Purpose. Perspective. Some Practicalities. A couple of Pitfalls. And I'll give you some tips for Planning.

No matter your stage in life, whether you are a wife, ex wife, mother of growing or already grown children, grandmother, or if you have no kids, or are still single … whatever your situation, I hope you are able to take something, some principle or idea from what I share today that will be useful to you in your stage in life ...

I'm going to share MY STORY with you, not so that you will go away feeling like you need to be like me or do things like me but because my story is what I have to share.

We all have unique stories, and different lives. I love that. I can't live your story and you can't live mine, but we can learn from each other ...

In 1972 my parents, who had both lived in the American state of Ohio for their entire lives, ran away and got married. They ran pretty far. Dad had enlisted in the Navy and their first duty station was Spain. That was in March.

I was born 13 months later.

When I was about 18 months old, my parents met some people from Youth With A Mission (YWAM) who introduced them to Jesus. Their lives (and mine) were changed forever.

We lived in a YWAM community houses for years to come so I was always surrounded by people of different nationalities and cultures.

When I was four, our little family, I had a little brother by this stage, moved to Italy where my parents started a YWAM community house where we lived.

Three years later, when it was time to move again, Dad was asked if he would consider leaving the Navy and take on a full time leadership role with YWAM. He and Mom prayed about it and really felt like he should stay in the Navy.

I started school in Italy, but not long into the 1st grade it was time to move again.

Our little family of five (I had a two year old sister now too) packed up again and this time we moved to Maryland, which is in America. What a strange time in our lives that was.

We lived in a house with just the 5 of us, everyone I knew spoke English, my brother and I got in trouble for peeing in the neighbors bushes ... a totally acceptable thing for children (and adults) to do in Europe !

We went to a restaurant for my birthday when I was about 7 years old and I ordered the ‘spaghetti vongale’ which my parents had to translate to the waiters - it’s spaghetti with clams. When they brought it to me I informed them that they had forgotten the vongale ! They hadn’t ... they just didn’t come in the shells like in Italy.

It didn’t take us long to adjust to this new life, it never did. People often ask me if I felt uprooted or insecure moving so often.

My answer is NEVER.

My parents knew the secret. Our ‘home’ was never a certain building or town that we lived in. Our ‘home’ was always each other and the rich family traditions my parents either carried on or started. Those things kept a ‘sameness’ and a stability about our lives.

So, I’m in grade four now. I have another sister. That’s four of us. Three girls and one boy. It’s time to move again. This time we moved back to Spain. Back to the beautiful beaches, amazingly laid back people, and an entire country that closes down in the middle of the day for a nap !

(I am the grumpy one in the front ....)

Fast forward a bit. I’ve finished grade 6 and we move to Canada. This was probably our hardest move because Dad was an exchange officer which meant we weren’t on a Navy base with a bunch of other Navy kids who were used to moving all the time. We were dropped into a school were everyone had been friends since birth ! It was an adventure, especially since by this age we should have been fluent in French. We had to go to a tutor instead of french class because we were totally lost ! It was also a really cool time in our lives where we got to go to parties at the embassy. One year we were part of a group who sang “oh Canada” at the Canadian Prime Ministers Canada Day party.

And we got to go to George Bush’s birthday party and meet him, when he was still Vice President to Ronald Reagan.

We only stayed in Canada for two years and were thrilled when we got to move back to Spain for a third tour of duty. This is pretty unusual.

I was in grade 9 now and much more independent. We didn’t live on the base this time so I had lots of Spanish friends.

My life pretty much consisted of school, the pool (where I was on the swim team and had an after school and weekend job as lifeguard), the beach and the night clubs. Six months before I was to graduate from high school, we moved again. This time to Japan.

We looked at options to keep me in Spain til I graduated but none of them worked out. I’m glad. Japan is where I met my husband ! (you can read more of OUR STORY if you like)

(us ... in Russia)

I’d been there a few years already. I’d graduated from highschool. I’d gone off to Hawaii and done a DTS (a short term school with YWAM where you learn about God and relationships and then go off on an outreach to ‘practice’ what you’ve learned ... I went to Bulgaria) Back in Japan, wondering what to do, not studying because my goal in life had always been to grow up, get married and have babies. I joined Kings Kids ... another YWAM thing.

One Kings Kids trip took me to Russia on a boat ... this is the trip that started it all for me and Rory. About a year later, I had to move to Colorado and we had a long distance relationship that lasted four years before we got married and moved to Australia.

In January I will have been in this country 14 years ! Our time here has not been in one place. We spent a couple of months in Toowong, then moved to Ipswich. Our son Jono was born while we lived in Ipswich. He will be 10 in November ! I think we were in Ipswich about 3 years and then Rory’s job (he’s an engineer ... he builds bridges) took us to Bundy, where our daughter Alia was born. She will be 8 in just a couple of weeks. Three years in Bundy, then we headed west. We lived in the tiny town of Cloncurry for about 14 months. About 10 months into it, we took a little vacation to our favorite place. While we were here, we visited some friends from Colorado and went to church with them. We walked into their ‘church’ and immediately knew we needed to move and become a part of what was happening there. A couple of months later Rory was offered a job out of the blue, location OUR FAVORITE PLACE !

We accepted and here we are 5 years later ....

... Stay tuned for Part 2


Sabba and Nanny September 14, 2011 at 5:44 PM  

I love it, but I think you already knew that! (The pictures really add to the tale!)

Amy September 14, 2011 at 11:30 PM  

Bon, I have missed you!

I am loving reading your story!!

Jessica September 15, 2011 at 2:29 AM  

I had no idea you've lived such an exciting life! Thank you for sharing.

Ellie September 15, 2011 at 9:01 AM  

Loving it already... Ready for more. Saw that part 2 is up so I'm heading on over there...

Nancy September 15, 2011 at 10:36 AM  

Very interesting!

Tessa September 16, 2011 at 11:15 AM  

The ladies so appreciated your sharing. I am encouraging them to read with the beautiful pictures. I love what you have presented and many will find it helpful as well as challenging.

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