Wednesday, August 27, 2014

What's your story? Here's the beginning of mine... & a #giveaway #atlasgirl

This post is a belated part of Emily Wierenga's #AtlasGirl Blog Tour. I will be giving away a copy of her book. Use the Rafflecopter at the end of the post to enter for a chance to win.

Also, this is the beginning of a Wednesday series in which I tell my story...

I grew up on a dairy farm milking cows, or at least helping to. Washing udders and the like. I smelled like milk replacer (the equivalent of formula for calves) when I was at school. I showed cows in 4-H where I would wear green pants and a white polo shirt and had hair as short as a boy. That's why my twin sister and I were often mistaken for such.

It was too hard to leave the farm for a vacation, so we didn't. For the most part I didn't mind. But there was that time we were going to go to Busch Gardens in Virginia. I was so excited that I dreamt about what it would be like. I would have wide open space to ride my Big Wheel.

In the end, we weren't able to go. No one reliable could stay with the cows. So I never found out if Busch Gardens was better than a great area for my hot ride.

My dreams of a big wide world were many years in the making. I didn't think of other countries until some friends I met in my first college level Spanish class talked of their plans to study abroad.

So it was with no little angst and lots of spirit, at 20 years old, I boarded my first plane, a 747, en-route to a semester abroad in Barcelona, Spain. The first in my family to have a passport.

My mother said I went on that plane one person and came back another. She was right. The fact that I write this in Budapest, Hungary, my home, points to this truth.

But it was the woman who saw her dreams split wide and shatter. Whose hopes of love and career came to nothing. The one who knew she was loved and it was time to move home. The one who saw her life was wilderness wandering until she made peace with her past. The one who had no idea of the next step but trusted God did. The one who accepted the job teaching math even though she knew it wasn't her 'passion'. The one who said yes to life in that same small town where she helped milked cows as a kid.

It's the one who learned love and faith and letting go of striving in the arms of her dying mother. The one who cried in desperation those final weeks for the strength to face the wasting away. The one who met her remarkable husband in the land of the dying. The one who with gasping breath embraced her mother's last words to not hold back from God and love and life.

She's the one that's beginning to hope. Beginning to believe she could see this whole wide world changed.

(sharing with Jennifer, Laura, SoliDeoGloria & Emily)


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