I’ve been a somewhat reluctant blogger for years. Trained a journalist, I preferred to write others’ stories, leaving me out of the ink. I had spent five years in Indonesia, trying to get the language to stick, the sweat to dry and the questions to silence. Then the kids came along and my mind turned to mush.
But through the years, I’d grown some gray hairs, entered my 30s, deepened my soul along with the wrinkles and found my story.
I was born on an island—in Hawaii—and have ended up on another island—Tarakan, Indonesia (which is just off the coast of the more well-known Borneo). And I lived a lot of places in between the two. As a kid, I moved as often as every six months to three years.
Each time I moved, I was lonely and felt out of place until I threw myself into new friendships, then watched the moving trucks return and start it all over again.
But my mom could whip up a batch of warm cookies in a house full of boxes. My dad taught me how to keep my elbow up when throwing a football in any sized yard we had. And my siblings stood next to me at the bus stops on the first days of the new schools.
I graduated from high school in Colorado Springs, where my parents and sisters now live. I attended Grove City College in Pennsylvania. And I met my husband, Brad, on a bus going from Germany to Italy for a youth camp. Our first conversation lasted through four countries, and we’ve continued to talk and share our hearts and dreams as we married and moved to Indonesia six years ago.
My husband had the idea to fly airplanes with a purpose in the jungle, so we joined Mission Aviation Fellowship in 2004. I was completely in, eager to live a life of meaning and service to my God, even if it meant I had to give up pizza.
I’ve learned how to drive on the left side of the road, and how to make friends on the other side of the world. And the needs and struggles and blessings and cute kids and handsome hubby and extravagant God have taught me lessons that have changed me. Now I try to live bravely, love deeply and express honestly.