Decade in Review
As the New Year finally arrived in the States, I noticed a trend among fellow tweeters (for those confused, friends who use the networking application “Twitter”) using a tag stating “#tenyearsagotoday.” I decided to join in the fun, and I was a bit shocked when I recalled what I was doing at the beginning of the last decade, in the year 2000. Want to know what it was? I was counting all of the money I had made by babysitting for 2 separate families (one in the early evening for a dinner party, one through the rest of the night til wee hours of the next morning), so the parents could go to their wild Y2K parties. As a 15 year-old girl, I sure raked in a lot of cash that night, seeing as the parents all offered me (I didn’t ask for it, I swear!) a premium wage for missing out on celebrations of my own. It seems so strange to think that was all so long ago…
It’s even more peculiar to realize that I am now old enough to clearly remember things that have happened a whole decade ago… and even before! Sure, working at an elementary school for the past 3 years has made me have plenty of “am I really that old now?” moments, listening to the kids talk and then telling them my own stories of when I was their age. Growing up sure is a strange animal, and it’s had its clear ups and even clearer downs. But, I don’t believe I would give any of it away.
As I sit here thinking of all that has occurred in the past 10 years, it amazes me. There’s been a lot –
- I lost my Father in April of 2000.
- I stood in my brother’s wedding.
- I graduated from high school.
- I played collegiate soccer.
- I went overseas for the first time, and rang in the New Year 2004 while on a mission trip in Ghana, West Africa.
- I held my nephew for the very first time.
- I lived on my own for 2 months in war-torn Liberia, West Africa.
- I spent 6 1/2 months living and studying in Thailand.
- I graduated from Huntington University.
- I got married.
- I held my niece for the very first time.
- I got my first car (it’s true, I never had one before getting married!).
- I had my first full-time job (plus a few part-timers).
- I had my first puppy… and was devastated giving her away when we moved.
- I did all kinds of renovations on my first home with Brook.
- We designed & renovated half of an entire church building, then launched KidStuf for the first time ever at our church.
- I went on my first cruise.
- I’ve met TONS of people through speaking in churches and building up a team of supporters for Thailand.
- I moved to the opposite side of the globe – Thailand.
- We’ve dealt with the pain of not being there for Brook’s first niece being born.
- I’ve learned to speak, read, & write a completely new language.
- We had our first Christmas & New Year’s away from loved ones.
I know there are so many more things, and if you know me well, you already know what they are. These are just some of the big things that first come to mind as I look back at the last decade, and wonder what all will come next.
So, what will the next stretch hold for Brook & I? Well, the plan is to be in Thailand for 10 years, and we’ve only got about 5 months of that knocked out so far. But, what else will there be? New cities, new faces, new ministries, new family members, new believers, trips back home, all kinds of good, and surely rough times as well. It may seem a bit overwhelming right now to think of what our lives will do and where they will go, but I’m very thankful to have Brook by my side, loving family back home, and the support of friends who care about us.
Do you have any hopes or dreams for the next decade?