Since I was a child, I have been very adventurous and dreamed of traveling the world. I imagined myself traveling to the farthest edges of the earth, seeing the 7 Wonders of the World, tasting strange foods, and barely making my way out of each country with my life. I was not limited by anything in my imaginary adventures!
Well, I started my adventurous life by serving in the military as soon as I graduated High School. God said, "Go", and I went running to the adventure I had ahead of me. I dreamed of an "Officer and a Gentleman" experience! I was consumed with pride with the opportunity to serve my country and to wear the uniform. Of course, it was nothing like I imagined. I didn't meet the "Officer". Ironically, I barely traveled. My duty station was the home of the newest plane, the B-2 Bomber, and most people stayed at the duty station long- term. The plane was constantly being viewed by public officials (senators, generals etc.) and the Base General wanted to make sure we ran as a top-notch ship. So I stayed in.....wait for it.....Knobnoster, MO for 4 years!
Next, I attended Christ for the Nations Institute in Dallas, Texas. I experienced much learning and growth at school. I did not meet the "Officer", but I did meet my Knight in Shining Armor. Before we married, I traveled China, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Cambodia. Woohoo!! The adventure I'd been waiting for! My Knight in Shining Armor and I married in 2002. We served at Christ for the Nations church at the start of our marriage, and then moved to a church in Ft Worth. We had our first child, Rachel, in 2005, our second, Isaac, in 2008, and our third, Ryan, in 2010. My adventurous spirit had laid dormant for 7 years.
But wait a minute...I'm a mom! If that ain't adventurous, nothing is! I've survived many illnesses, tried my fair share of weird foods, and my body has been more disgusting at times that I care to share. I have willingly and gladly served my children. If it is God's will, they are all the adventure I need. During the past 5 years, I also had the opportunity to start a preschool program from scratch. Last year, I was able to travel to Belarus and serve pastors. I also traveled to Ethiopia to serve an organization called Kidmia, working with orphans.
This past year has changed my life completely. I am out on a new adventure. I am Super Mom, 007 Mom Extraordinaire!
Before I traveled to Ethiopia, I read a book called "Kisses from Katie". This book is about a young girl who traveled to help orphans in Uganda. Her experience was very humbling to me. I recognized how minor some of my first world issues were in comparison to the problems others face around the world, and my love grew to serve the weakest of these. I assumed this book was going to help my heart and vision before I traveled to Ethiopia. Little did I know that when I returned from Ethiopia, my next adventure would be unexpected and almost more than I could bear. In April 2012, my childhood friend died. As I flew to her funeral, I asked the Lord to not let grief overwhelm me. I wanted to be there to serve. I asked Him to strengthen me. He helped me to serve her family in every capacity possible. If I saw a need, I was willing and able to help: I wrote her eulogy, helped pick out her clothes, and prepared the wake and much more. The Lord taught me how to serve while my heart was truly broken (He really is close to the brokenhearted!).
As I read "Kisses from Katie", I asked the Lord to help me to serve the weak, helpless and sick with a joyful attitude. I asked the Lord to help me sacrifice my selfishness on His altar and to serve His children.
Little did I know 'the sick and the weak' would be my 2 year old son? In November 2012, Ryan was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. His own little body attacked itself and shut down his pancreas. Instead of just snot and throw-up being on my clothes, they now often have blood stains. I have to watch my own child bleed multiple times a day, and after I give him at least four shots a day, his little arms and legs are filled with bruises. My nights are restless and sometimes sleepless. My life is now consumed with a chronic illness. I had to quit my job to take care of him, and my travels to the end of the earth have come to a complete stand- still.
Through all this, I have learned that I do not love and serve because it is easy. I serve and love because I am filled with His love, which is all-consuming. I love because He loved me first. Adventures with Jesus have no boundaries. It is not always the adventure you expected, but it is always so much more than you expected ( above what you could ever ask or think).
Due to my son's illness I had to resign from my job, and the Lord led me to start writing. I hope to encourage others, get down to the real nitty gritty of trials, and return to the ideas of simplicity. As we go through trials, we look for words of grandeur and enlightenment to capture all the answers to our questions. As we search, the Lord whispers to us and has us return to simple faith.