If someone asked me “What do you do”, I’d be hard press to answer. Let’s see, I am a Christian, wife, mother, grandmother, writer, baker/chef, scrapbooker, and part-time genealogist. Oh, and did I mention I work fulltime 40-hour-weeks outside the home as well?
I recently had a discussion with a friend of mine who’s not a Christian. Joe knows I’m a social butterfly, but he also knows I prefer to be a homebody. I always did. He says I live a sheltered life. That like a hermit, I’m closed in all the time and I don’t do anything. Part of me wanted to laugh because honestly, there are not enough hours in the run of a day to do everything I want to do, let alone do the things I need to do.
So I decided to take a walk down memory lane and look back on my life. Then, I’ll ask you to answer the following question: is this what you would consider a sheltered life? Am I missing something ?
I was 16 years old when, in 1977, my dad and I watched the new movie Roots: Saga of an American Family. I couldn’t believe what I saw, heard, and how they treated these people. I don’t think there’s a strong enough adjective to describe how I felt. At the end of the movie, I vowed that one day I’d go to Africa. I even said I’d marry an African. God had someone else in mind for me and He blessed me with a wonderful husband. He and I joke about that sometimes. He knows I’ve always had an immense love for these people.
In 1984, my great-uncle, who was involved in genealogy for many years, passed the “genealogy bug” down to me. Years later, when he passed away, my great-aunt gave me all his work. Wow… I love digging, and looking for a link between families. It’s a lot of fun.
In 1989, I opened my heart to Jesus. I’ve never looked back. This is not to say life is always rosy. Where in the Bible does it say that Christians don’t go through trials? It doesn’t. But, I loved my life as a follower of Christ. He’s always been there to help me through the trials, and when wall was too high for me to climb, He led me to walk around it. And when the load was too heavy for me to bear, He carried me… Load and all.
I’ve done many things as a Christian I more than likely wouldn’t have even thought of had it not been for Him. When we joined a church, I joined the choir, met awesome people, learned sign language, and got involved with the church’s Deaf ministry. Twenty four years later, I’m still there, “interpreting” on Sunday mornings for our deaf congregants. My first calling? Perhaps.
It took me 21 years before I realized my African dream, but with God, I did it… and not only once but twice. In 1998, God honoured the desire of my heart by opening a door. I joined a team of World Vision volunteers for a short-term mission “trip of a lifetime” to the beautiful land of Zimbabwe, Africa. I spent the entire month of July there. But it wasn’t long enough, so He opened it again in Nov/Dec 1999. This time I spent six weeks there.
It was around 2003 that I started scrapbooking. Of course, one of the first albums I did was my 1998 African journey. Then, I moved on to our family heritage album, created an album for each of my boys. Now, we have a grandson. Is there anything more satisfying than mounting pages for his album? I forget how many albums I have for him now. I take so many pictures of him.
In 2010, we wanted to buy a house. We looked at many but each one had something one of us didn’t like. So we looked at the possibility of building instead. We made a list of the things we both wanted in preparation to meet with a contractor. Just a few days before we were to meet with him, our Realtor showed us this house. God has a true sense of humor. EVERYTHING from our list is in this house. And more!
In 2012, I attended Write to Publish in Chicago. I published my first book. I’ve written for many years, ‘just for fun’ but never took my writing seriously until the past few years. I entered a challenge, met the 50K in 30 days, entered the story in a publishing contest twice, shortlisted, worked with an editor and finally published it on Amazon. Now, I’m working on another story which I hope to pitch to an agent next year at another writers’ conference. God willing, of course!
These are but a few of the things I’ve done. I traveled across Canada twice, to the USA on different occasions. I’ve always been a go-getter and when I put my heart to doing something, I normally do it.
Sadly, poor Joe walked away from God many years ago and he no longer knows Christ as the personal Saviour of his life. That breaks my heart. I’ve talked to him about God on several occasions, but he doesn’t believe in what I believe. To be honest, he doesn’t seem to know what he himself believes. I wish there were a way I could convince him. But he doesn’t want to talk about it.
Ideally, it would be nice if he met a Christian who could lead him to Christ. Will you please pray for Joe? Please pray, since he won’t listen to me, that God will put someone in his path.