How’d We Decide to Leap
Everyone we talk to about our plans wants to know the "why" behind our decision. It's not a quick 30 second conversation, but usually that's all the time we have with someone to share what has driven us to do what most people would consider less than sane.
I want to begin by saying that we're not exactly the type of people you'd pick out of a line up to do something so radical and counter American cultural. We both grew up in conservative families, went to conservative schools and then did the "play it safe" route by being a military family for 10 years. But when we took an opportunity to walk away from what is often considered the most secure job available, a military career, something must have gotten loose inside our brains.
It has always been a desire of ours to travel. We thought it would be with the Air Force, but Pilot is the only one who got to buy rugs from Turkish vendors, eat real gyros from Crete, and sip little umbrella decorated beverages in Ethiopia. I kept the home front running with 2-3 children in tow…which I loved, but would listen with a little envy hearing my husband tell of the neat places he'd been and wanted to share with us.
At one point, we began to explore full time mission work. There was an opportunity for a family in Southern Spain and we were excited! We went to a vision conference and began the process of submitting our applications, but God never kept us on that road. He closed that door, but never removed our desire to immerse our children in different cultures.
When we moved from North Carolina to Florida in 2010, it was a little mini-test to see if we could move our marketing company to a new location and still keep it going. When it worked, it the desire to travel continued to grow until we decided that it was time to GO! Looking at our oldest who is entering her teens, the time we have with her at home is getting shorter and shorter. What better way to grow closer, teach her things she could never learn in a book and help her learn Spanish than to live in another country, right?
So we started planning. We thought 6 months was long enough and began taking steps towards meeting our goal of living overseas by the fall of 2011. But just a few days before Easter, our landlord stopped by to, we thought, check on the tile floors that were cracking. When I answered the door, she had a pie in her hands with a big bow on the top. NOT a good sign, I thought.
Instead of us being able to extend our lease, she and her mom needed to move into the house… We took this as a sign that the Lord wanted us to move forward with our plans a bit faster than we'd anticipated, so that's what we did. And honestly, I've had such a peace about this decision from the beginning, which is quite out of character for me…or maybe is the beginning of a new character for me? Not sure about that one. :)
So here I am, just a few weeks out from selling pretty much every stinkin' thing we own, even my beloved Kitchen Aid mixer, and I'm ok! The house is getting bare and we're all showing signs of stress, but the excitement is greater than the fear or anxiety.
Is this easy? No way, but nothing that is worthwhile ever is. Most worthwhile things are those that people try to talk you out of doing, give you butterflies in your stomach when you pause long enough to consider them and often make you question your sanity.
We're beginning to think that, for us, staying in the "get more stuff" mentality that pervades American culture is insane. We don't want to raise our children thinking they have to have the newest stuff to be happy or be accepted. Our BIG goal is to help our children be comfortable with people who are very different than they are so they can build relationships with them and share the Gospel through their lives. The world is becoming more and more global and we feel like God is calling our family to prepare our children for this.
So that's a short version of why we're taking this leap. It's a huge leap of faith, trusting that God is going before us, but what is life if you can't live trusting in the One who created you?