June 12, 2017
I just wanted to mention that late last week, we reached a Smithellaneous milestone: 20,000 comments in a little over 5 years. (About half of those comments were me replying to your comments.) Sharyn McDonald was the one who left the 20,000th comment. Thanks everyone, for making this such a great, interactive community.
I think I’ve posted this old poster of Steve and me before, but I just ran across it again and got a chuckle out of it. It is inconceivable to me that we were ever that young. (OR that skinny!)
For those of you who may be new to Smithellaneous, let me give you a little history behind that poster. For sixteen years, Steve and I and our family lived in RV’s full-time, traveling to about 30 states doing concerts and preaching in services in churches across the country.
As you can probably imagine, there were many happenings of happiness and many happenings of hardship living on the road with no permanent home to go back to. It was incredibly difficult at times and incredibly joyful and fulfilling at other times.
It was actually my dream from the time I was a small girl to travel and sing with my family and I’m so thankful I got to do it for those 16 years.
Last Sunday, we ate lunch with a family who serve as missionaries in a central Eurasian country. (I can’t mention the name because of security/safety concerns.) They spoke in our Sunday morning service as part of their fund-raising process to enable them to return to their country in September.
During lunch, Sarah and I chatted with the mom and daughter while the husband and two sons talked with Steve at the other end of the table. She told us that if one of them was to need any sort of serious medical care, it would require a 5-hour plane ride to the nearest city with a major medical facility. When I heard that, I immediately thought that I would never again complain about us having to drive two hours to our nearest large medical center.
They have had to learn two incredibly difficult languages and they live under the constant stress of living in a country that is hostile to what they believe and what they have dedicated their lives to.
The three kids are well-adjusted, smart, funny, verbal and well-mannered. While their stateside counterparts will head back to school this fall and go to football games and proms, the three of them will get on a plane with their parents and spend the next four years in a country that is beautiful and difficult and isolated. And yet I didn’t get the sense from any of them that it was something they dreaded; they have lived there already and it seens a natural thing to go back and set up housekeeping once again. (The family also served in Africa for a couple of years.)
I can’t even imagine the lives they are headed back to– the living in a different culture, the raising and educating of children far from people who know them and love them. It is truly a calling and a dedication of one’s life to something greater than their own purposes.
Our family lived in RV’s for 16 years and had joys and adventures all along the way.
And our new missionary friends live out of the country full-time, having their own set of joys and adventures.
As I think about the differences and similarities between us, it is amazing to me that each one of us born to this earth walks such completely different paths. When you look at a wrinkled, wailing newborn, no one knows where her feet will lead her or where her heart will instruct her to go. She may live her whole life within 300 miles of her birth place or she may wander the world like it was her own backyard.
The great joy of it all is that we have the privilege to choose the paths our hearts lead us on. And when we take wrong turns on those paths (as all of us do) we learn it is never too late to begin again.
So here’s a post to honor my new missionary friend as she and her family prepare to fly away to a distant land.
It’s also a post to honor the women out there who hang their apron on the same hook in the same kitchen night after month after year and find sweet joy and fulfillment in doing so.
In the end, all the roads of our lives will hopefully lead us home–even if home turns out to be places we find along the way.
What about you? If money wasn’t an issue, would you prefer to set down roots somewhere and stay put, or would you prefer to travel and see the world?
And speaking of traveling, what countries have you visited? Do you have a favorite?
Thrift stores, fuzzy socks
and conversing with my Yorkie
are all on the list of things I love.