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Saturday, May 26, 2007

My New Brilliant Plan for our Lives...

We had an 8 hour car ride yesterday. With four kids. I think there should be an award of some kind for that.
8 hours of listening to kids movies and watching po-dunk towns fly by will make your mind wander.
Actually, the mind wandering started earlier in the week. You see, I read a book (recommended by Laurie Mounce) this week that was set in the mountains of Georgia. It didn't take long into the book before I was certain we needed to live in the mountains. Last year, while at Camp Ozark, I read a John Grisham book where a man was sent to Italy through the witness protection program, and I was most certain that we needed to live in Italy. (Or at least visit! I've never been to Europe.) Rusty has been to Europe and some other cool places, but prior to high school graduation, I'd only been out of the state to Arkansas. I come from a large family, and my Dad has always been in the ministry, so our vacation budget was nill. We lived in the Houston area and we vacationed in Galveston. Usually in a church member's condo, or some such free/cheap deal. I now realize that family vacations are about family time, but back then, I was more than annoyed with a car ride squeezed between my smelly, leggy brothers, perfecting their burps for the family vacation burping contest. (A contest I never entered. I was a girly girl.)
All that to say...I sometimes have the longing to travel! But I don't want to just spend a week or two in some interesting, completely different location. I want to spend a whole year there. I want to spend all four seasons there. I don't want to spend just a summer in the mountains. I want to see the Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer come and go. I want to know what it's really like to live in snow; (if it is anything like I've romanticized it to be, or if I will totally hate it.) I want to know what it's like to hike up a mountain in your backyard everyday instead of going to the gym. I have so many questions! I want to know what the people are like...what their churches are like...how our lives would be different.
When we pass through a small town in Arkansas, I spend the next 20 min. imagining what it would be like to live there and go to First Baptist Church Delight, AR, etc. I do this with every place I see. I construct an elaborate imaginary life there. My kids go to the K-12 all-in-one campus, we go to Melba's Homecookin' Diner every Thursday for lunch, Rusty runs a small practice behind our house...it goes on.
So we've decided we could do short-term missionary work in all of these places. Rusty could set up a practice to meet a need in the community and immediately establish a rapport with us and the community. Then we could share Jesus with the people in our new temporary home! What a great plan! Do you think I could get the mission Board on board with this?
So here is the list I have compiled of the interesting places I want to live for a year each.
1. Australia.
Preferably somewhere near the Barrier Reef. I understand this is a very unchurched region. I learned a lot about Australia this year in Kindergarten, and I'm fascinated. Besides, Emma would do anything to go to Steve Irwin's zoo where animals are NOT kept in cages! She is violently opposed to that! We have watched enough of the animal shows on TV to want to see a wallaby and kangaroo in person. And most of all, I REALLY, REALLY want to listen to those people talk for a year. It will drive Rusty nuts!
2. Roatan, Honduras.
We went there once on a cruise, and the beach was unbelievable. The poverty was heart-breaking. We've always talked about going back there to do mission work.
3. Montana.
I am dead-set on living in the mountains.
4. The Appalachian Mountains.
Yes, the mountain people! Rusty hasn't read the book "Christy", so he does not share this dream. I am sure the mountain people need our help!
5. Lake Tahoe.
This is a gorgeous place! We visited there when we were first married, and we've always dreamed of retiring there. It has mountains and the beautiful Lake! Our mission here will be Ski Doctor. We can minister to all of the tourists via medicine, while my kids become expert skiiers.
6. Alaska.
I'm not sure I could endure this kind of cold in the winter, but this is Rusty's contribution to the list. (I'll throw him one.) However, it definitely is an interesting place. I could go with it.
That's my list for now. I have a feeling every book I read will add another year to the adventure.
I want to know what places you guys would choose...join my dream world.
Any suggestions?


aggie07 said...

First, I want to say, if you do ever go to Europe, PLEASE let me be the lucky person who gets to go and help with the kids!!! That would be so much fun. Secondly, we should devise some kind of plan so you can come visit in Boston during all of the seasons...You could mini-experience the seasons, churches, people, shopping, etc. Okay, as for my dream places to live, other than Boston, I want to live in Italy, London, Paris, Denmark, Ireland,Luxemburg,Russia, Turkey, and China.

Anonymous said...

I like Amanda's list.

Since I am currently traveling, my list is being updated daily.

All I can say is Praise the Lord for London.

I seriously am ready to stay there for quite some time and see all the seasons.

Julie and I have been so fortunate to experience the people in almost all of our destinations instead of the sights. This has been a huge gift and blessing. ( and way cheaper)

We met some absolutely fabulous people in London.

Let me just add this:
From going to living hope and taking her hands, and from learning that we are to live as aliens and strangers, it is NOT HARD to travel/live in a different country.
It is NO different that living in College Station and giving up our human needs and wants daily so that our brothers and sisters and our lives can ooze with glory and joy for the Lord.

My heart is so broken that I have to come back to the states where we are spoiled beyond belief.
Living Hope and this amazing community of believers are the exception.

These people are hungry for truth.
I have met them.
And I have tasted the goodness of the Lord.

Miss you all dearly,

Melodi said...

Hawaii, hands down. I've never been, but my parents went the year after I left home for college!

Jennifer Bacak said...

Good ones! I want to add some of these to my list.
Bekah, good to hear from you! I want to continue to hear how it's going with you and Julie!

Anonymous said...

You know I'm NO stranger to travel...so of course I have some ideas :) Why did you drop Italy from the list?? You shouldn't...and I could help you out there since I've traveled most of that country!! (and I dream of going back all the time!) Anyway, I also think you should consider Costa Rica, there is a great need there for a family like yours and its GORGEOUS!!! I'm with you on Australia, as well as Fiji and Bora Bora :) That's all I've got...for now!

Anthony and Sharon said...

Ok...parttime stalker coming out:) (I'm here via Heather's blog via Brooke B.'s blog)
I'd like to suggest the country of Malaysia. Several reasons, which I think will accomplish several of your goals.
1. It's close to Australia so you can vacation for way cheaper than from the US...you'll also meet Australians on a more regular basis in malls and what not.
2. There are beaches better than the Caribbean.
3. The Government hospitals have to hire doctors from outside the country because their own doctors only want to work privately.
4. Your kids would learn 3 new languages...Bahasa Malaysia, Mandarin Chinese, and Tamil (spoke in Sri Lanka and parts of India)
5. There are plenty of ways your boys could be cool outdoorsy guys, lots of Jungles; while your girl(s) could be girly girls because Kuala Lumpur is a great high class city.
6. There are only 2 season changes- dry to rainy, but it doesn't get dark 6 months out of the year like in Alaska.
7. Borneo has rare monkeys NOT in cages.

You might as well come for 2 years if you're gonna go through the trouble of packing!

Jon, Sally, & Jude said...

I think Alaska is a great one. I used to live in Alaska - it's a great place for children. It is incredibly beautiful in the summer. We lived right in front of the forest, so during the summer we picked berries from the trees, moose would eat leaves off of the trees in the neighborhood, the Iditarod went across the lake behind our house, we watched ice sculptures being built (shaved is more like it), dog sledding races. The fall is tremendous - all sorts of colors in the leaves. For a school project we had to collect as many different color leaves as possible - all sorts of shades of green, yellow, red, orange, blue (just kidding on that one). Plus, snow is great for kids - there was nothing better than being a young boy driving toy vehicles through the snow; we made roads and highways and caves. We visited a Native American village that you could only get to by boat along the rive. We would watch the Northern Lights. One of the things I love best about being up north - the air smells and feels pure, clean, and is just down right wonderful.

I think Alaska needs to be moved up on the list! :)