I have been blogging for over six years. I jumped on the bandwagon in September ’05 with an apologetic first entry, sorry that I hadn’t adopted the trend earlier, not unlike Baby Boomers and The Facebook.
I was an almost-daily blogger for the years 2006-2008 when my husband and I, with our two daughters, moved to Ghana, West Africa to establish a mission partnership with our sister church there. After realizing that cross-cultural work is much harder than those triumphant missionary biographies would have you believe (see Jackie Pullinger for details), I found it cathartic to tell my story of day-to-day living in Africa to the internet.
The Silent Years were when we returned to Canada to change my husband’s job description from “Missionary” to “Pastor.” As faithful a listener as the internet had been, I didn’t feel up to processing my intense reverse culture shock so publicly. You would have enjoyed some of the stories, though. Like the time, at the peak of it, at a girly get-together, I listened to my friends’ oh-so-dogmatic opinions about whether one should find out the sex of their baby before he/she is born. I might have thought “Blah… blah… blah…” OUT LOUD. And we had at least 12 seconds of uninterrupted, awkward silence. Sitcom Gold.
I kept trying to write, even got a nudge in that direction when I was published in a small Christian magazine. I tried opening a new blog (right here), but I was uninspired and my posts sporadic.
Instead, I started a Fair-Trade business. For 3 1/2 years, I built a business importing beads, baskets and batik from my friends back in Ghana. A large part of my job was marketing the products by talking about the resourcefulness and ingenuity of the Ghanaian people, which inevitably opened a way for me to speak of my experiences. I may have gained friends of customers by over-disclosing.
As of last week, I have sold the business and have an itch to fire up the old blog. I’ve gained some new experiences in my recent roles as a business owner, (reluctant) Pastor’s Wife, (enthusiastic) Women’s Ministry Leader, (reluctant and enthusiastic) mother of two girls entering their teens.
As I approach middle age–I’ve been trying out this term since I recently had to move a product away from my face to read the fine print. Horrifying.–I’m reflecting on my life experiences: the different jobs I’ve had, the places I’ve been, where God has led my husband and I in ministry and our relationships… They seem so varied it’s hard to see where or how they might be channeled for use in the future.
The way I see it, there are two things that link my past experiences and my new adventures. The first is an absolute peace that God is working out the details, just as he promises. The second is that I can write about them.