Ever heard the song by the Oh Hellos, “Second Child, Restless Child?”
Here are the lyrics so you’ll understand me a little more, or at least this post a bit…
See, i was born the second child
With a spirit running wild, running free
And they saw trouble in my eyes
They were quick to recognize the devil in me
See, i was born a restless child
And i could hear the world outside calling me
And heaven knows how hard i tried
But the devil whispered lies i believed
Can you hear it hanging on the wind?
Can you feel it underneath your skin?
You’ve got to go on, further than you’ve ever gone
You’ve got to run far from all you’ve ever known
You’ve got to run far from all you’ve ever known
(The Oh Hello’s, “Second Child, Restless Child” – Through the Deep, Dark Valley)
I’ve been blaring this song by the Oh Hello’s for the last two months in Jason’s car, sunroof open, hair whipping around, every word memorized and heartfelt, maybe pushing the speed limit a little. I’ve always liked my music loud but with little kids in the car for over 11 years now, not gonna lie…I try to keep the Noah’s Ark tunes to a minimum, zoned to the back speakers. I grew up with Fleetwood Mac, Jim Croce, Chicago, The Eagles, Steely Dan, John Denver, Linda Ronstadt, and Elton John, just to name a few. Not sure how I got suckered into cheesy kids’ music. I’ve gotta rectify this…
Anyway, with the transition and waiting period we have been in over the last several months regarding Jason’s employment, I’ve had what some might consider a mid-life crisis, only I didn’t buy a race car or start dating a younger man. We did pay off my 2001 Accord and I’ve gone out on more dates with my husband, but this “awakening” you could say is more about self re-discovery.
You see, I was born a second child, with a spirit running wild, running free. I was born a restless child and I could hear the world outside calling me...and I went to college to explore and learn and go. Even before college I was the curious kid, the explorer, building dirt forts in the woods with my sisters and riding bikes for hours on end, playing with friends…curious. I wanted to go, go, go. My former work and experience before being a full-time mom was in leadership development, mentoring, cross-cultural ministry, international missions, and pastoral ministry. After 9.5 years of marriage we welcomed our sweet girl into our lives and I have stayed home ever since. I remember thinking, “I know how to hang out with college students, but what on earth will I know about being with a baby?!”
Somehow we’ve made it this far! I love being a wife and mom! These are my favorite things! But, somewhere in the last 12ish years I’ve lost my wonder, my passion for adventure, the part of me that was free and fearless. Some call it “being a responsible parent.” I’ve been pondering that sentiment lately and would disagree…my desire to sell everything and travel doesn’t make me irresponsible. Before Em was 2 years old she flew over 30x. Ryan has flown once. Now, I’m not saying, “Oh, poor American kid from the suburbs, he’s only flown once…” It’s just that while Noah’s life and death freed me from holding tightly to things, I do believe over the last several years I’ve allowed my head and heart to fear a bit, getting used to being home, the “safety” and the routine, while at the same time, feeling restless and suffocated, unnatural to who I’ve been created to be. Not discontent, just not right in my own skin.
So, when Jason’s department was eliminated at work and we had some time to pray and dream and think about “What if???” it’s like that spark came alive in me again. You see, Jason has been doing my dream job for the past 4 years, what I studied for, that is, helping women and children in 3rd world countries to be self-sustaining. And I’ve been snuggling and reading books and playing Legos and pastoring women and did a radio gig for a while and some retreats here and there, but every time Jason got a new stamp in his passport without us, I grieved a bit…because I want each of our passports to get stamped, at the same time, in the same country, together.
And that’s what our prayer was at the kitchen table (which I sold today a bit prematurely, but whatever…we have a kitchen counter…#pubcrawl): “Dear Lord, we want to do life TOGETHER, as a family, not going in several different directions, but together…
“Father, please bless Jason to be able to use his strengths and gifts to serve others, please let him work from home, and please provide a job where he’ll need to travel…and we’ll get to go with him, together…Amen.”
And so, God did. He has provided a beautiful opportunity for Jason to work with World Vision International, a position where he can work from home (wherever that may be at any given time), and one where he’ll need to build relationships with several partnering countries around the world, setting his own travel schedule. Emily had already asked to be homeschooled next year, so the world will be her classroom, and Ryan is 3ish, portable and potty-trained, curious, and already knows his continents and ABC’s, so we’re good to go.
Practically speaking, we are currently finishing the basement and hope to sell our home filled with a lot of love and a ton of prayers to a family that will love it and build fantastic memories in it. We hope to do this without ever listing it. The house and everything in it is for sale, minus the family, dog, some pictures, and Spot the fish. We will put a few family treasures in storage, use this town where our amazing family lives as a base, and head out, knowing a few more details soon, making some as we go.
As far as what I’ll be doing? Well, I get to be with my best friend and kids all over the world, seeing new places and meeting people, sharing God’s love, and hearing peoples’ stories! And I’m taking my “Founder of Bevy” hat off the shelf, dusting it off, and Em and I will be meeting with women and girls all over who are interested in starting adult and kid Bevy groups, “Bevies” in their communities, places where building bridges of authenticity, learning stories, and serving is at the core. And Jason and I will be hosting gatherings where we will share some of our marriage story, the good, bad, and ugly, and pray for other couples who need a little encouragement because Satan is doing a knock-up job at discouraging and destroying them these days. Jason thinks I have a book in me, so for a couple hours each day he’ll run off with the ninos to explore and I’ll write my heart out here and there. And Ryan and I (and Em) will keep on snuggling and laughing and chasing and exploring, just in different locations, meeting new friends, where the common language is simply playing together, where no stereotypes or prejudices have been formed, but trucks go “Brmmmm!” and dinosaurs “Rawrrrr!”
So, stay tuned because we’d love to meet you face to face, hear your stories, share meals and love and laughter and prayer together…and we’d love your prayers, too, as we embark! The world outside is calling…