My life is full of the unexpected. As a young adult, I had all my ducks in a row. I had experienced culture and fast-paced city life. Settling into my career in the suburbs, I anticipated stability in family life. When the man of my dreams whisked me away to a rural community though, I never looked back. Now I am enjoying the serenity of starry nights, clean air and non-existent traffic. Good thing too, because I would have trouble finding peace if I looked for it in my chaotic life. In my youth, I couldn’t wait for stability. Now it turns out my restless spirit is much more powerful.
Who am I really? I’ve been a school board teacher, a homeschooling parent, a foster mom, a host mom to foreign exchange students, my husband’s I.T. department/accountant and a freelance writer. Ask me next month and you might hear something totally different.
Hosting exchange students was never in the master plan. Neither was providing foster care. Running a business? Nope. Homeschooling? Nada. I was going to be a career mom. Plain and simple. I was going to teach other people’s children and be the perfect wife and mother on evenings and weekends. Of course, the best laid plans always seem to find their own direction.
Somewhere along the line, Hubby and I decided that we would like to help others, so we opened our home. Teenage foster kids began to trickle in on weekends. Daytrips, outdoor adventures and games nights became the norm. We were having a blast. When occasional weekends turned into long-term care, entertainment moved over to usher in the daily grind. Homework battles, discipline issues and tied-up telephones reigned. In the midst of the adventure, our own children arrived. Though life was no longer all fun and games, we and our children developed relationships we hope will last a lifetime.
As foster children eventually moved on and maternity leaves ended, faith and maternal instincts began to have their way with my mindset. Like many moms, holding that real live baby changed the way I thought about daycare forever. Since staying home was not yet an option, we hired a live-in Filipina nanny to bridge the gap. And so began our family’s interest in other cultures. Intrigued, we were inspired to host Japanese exchange students. All of these young women have been a delight and they too will always be a part of our family.
I have since given up my career in favour of supporting my husband in business. I’ve also revisited an adolescent dream and taken up freelance writing. We have decided to homeschool our children too. We now have a great deal of flexibility in schedules and curriculum along with the time to nurture their spiritual development. The children are thriving. It will soon be time to decide what the next leg of our journey will be. Home education and two work-from-home parents means the options are limitless.
We opened our home to bless others. Little did we know that we would be the ones to receive the blessings. I have learned to love change and can’t wait to see what the future holds. Though change can be stressful, I am learning to embrace chaos and find joy in every situation.
What’s the most unexpected turn your life has taken? Are you resenting it, embracing it or somewhere in between?