A hundred years ago...o.k. not that many.
But 30+ years ago I bought a plane ticket and left on a jet plane for Arizona. I had never ventured far from the farm, going 60 miles away to college was the extent of my travels alone. So when I said as a 19 year old I wanted to visit Rob during the summer and I wanted to go by myself, I got my parents
encouragement to go, but I had to pay for the ticket and figure it all out. In those days there was not Hotwire or online sites to buy my ticket. I went to the travel agency.
I had no idea what I was doing but was excited to be on my own travelling, even if it was just from Iowa to Arizona. It wasn't a direct flight, I had to figure out how to make my connection in Denver. I made it on my own and lived to tell about it. Yes, it was a big deal for this farm girl who spent her summers going to Grandpa Lynk's cabin in Minnesota, mowing their yards and walking beans for my farmer dad.
Rob, on the other hand, moved a lot during his growing up years. He and his buddy Ray, set out for college in a car that didn't have a back seat. They drove from Arizona to Iowa many times, arriving at Bible college in jeans, t-shirts and flip flops. Ever the adventurer.
And now our kids can't seem to stay in one place. I guess it's in their blood to live life to the fullest as they have ventured outside their comfort zones. Justin deployed to Iraq and back, and more recently off to North Dakota last winter to check out the work in the oil fields, he returned in March and is happily living and working in the area. Several summers ago Kelsey went to Italy to work as a nanny, which in hind sight not sure we would approve her going again. And then there's Hannah. She leaves for Ireland in less than a month. I will let her fill you in at The Journey of A Solo Wanderer
. She wants to
develop an understanding for things that are bigger than me.
And Lauren is well on her way to following in her siblings footsteps as she spent a week away in PA this summer at a Fellowship of Christian Athletes camp, then was on to St. Louis for a week with her youth group for a week of learning, worshipping, serving and getting to know her friends better.
All these adventures the Gates family has taken and continues to take do not always live up to the ideals and expectations we imagine. Sometimes there have been negative consequences or situations and circumstances that turned out so totally different than ever imagined.
But is success always measured by a positive outcome? Why does everything have to go our way before we say it was successful?
More often than not 'real life' happens and sometimes it involves pain and suffering or a lot of hard work.
But God uses all things
, not just positive outcomes, to make us more like Him.
He uses the unexpected, the trial, the unmet expectations to point us to Him and that is why I will continue to say
Life is too short to play it safe.
As long as I am following God and encouraging my family to do the same you will probably continue to hear about those Gates kids and their parents. Passport in hand, I'm ready to go anywhere.
As I continue to love my children and give them to God everyday, may I encourage you, my readers to trust God with everything He has given you. God loves you and your loved ones more than you can fathom and you can trust Him to take care of them for everything they need...from the beginning of their lives to their salvation and to their homegoing. You can trust Him...I know I do...I've had a lot of practice.