Monday, October 10, 2011

This Is Our Adventure

Adventure.  Defined as an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity.  We, as humans crave adventure.  As Christians we are called to a life of adventure.  God doesn't want us to play it safe, to be content.  He wants us strike out and spread his word, to risk it all to do His work here on earth.

The need for adventure runs deep for every American.  Our country was founded on the backs of adventurers.  Imagine if the pilgrims had been content to stay in Europe?

See Jen?  You had fun!

I believe every childhood should include adventure.

My childhood adventure took the form of a horse farm.  The summer before my freshman year of high school, my parents decided to by a horse boarding facility.  They have always been business minded people.  My Dad owned a tire business and my Mom turned her hobby of cross stitching into a small business.  Adventures in their own right, no doubt!  So when the opportunity came up to buy the farm, they jumped on it.  It was the busiest summer of our lives, I have never worked so hard.

My horse Razzberry.

My parents sold the farm about 10 years later, but the lessons we learned will last a lifetime.  I learned what it felt like to put in a hard days work.  I learned to put up hay, drive tractors and mow lawn.  I learned responsibility and teamwork.  I spent a great deal of time with my Dad.  We had many good conversations over the manure spreader.   It wasn't always easy, many days I hated having to do chores.  I wanted to be a normal teenager with less responsibility and more time to spend with my friends.  Now, as an adult I realize how lucky I was.  We made family memories that will last a lifetime.  We share a bond that we may not otherwise have.  I am grateful.

I've always been a little sad that my kids have never had the opportunities I had.  I grew up visiting my Grandfathers farms.  Running and playing in wide open places.  Riding on Grandpas lap in the combine.  Walking in the woods and working in the garden with Grandma.  My kids are growing up in the city.  Will they experience the satisfying feeling of falling into bed after an exhausting days work?

My maternal Grandfather was an adventurer.  At 15, he left his home in Nebraska and hitched a ride to Michigan, following the opportunities.  He had a few family members in Michigan, but for the most part he was on his own.  He managed a farm for years until he saved enough to buy his own.  He was a successful farmer, raised 4 children, and lived a long happy life.

My sister, Jen, and her family have found family adventure through their adoption experiences.  They have traveled to three countries, incorporate their children's cultures into their daily lives, and plan to return to their children's countries of origin in the future.  Adoption in its own right is an adventure.  Adding in the international aspect ups the ante.  Oh, and, raising 6 kids is a daily adventure. :)

My brother met his wife (In Nebraska!)  while driving over the road truck.  An adventure for sure!

I've decided that moving is our family's adventure destiny.  We've tried to get away from it, but it just keeps finding us.  We've often joked that we should just buy a really cool motor home to live in, save the packing so often!  Learning to embrace our adventure, instead of fighting it will be our challenge.  Slowly we are seeing the positive side.

Our kids are learning how to deal with life changing situations.  We are coming together, creating our own family memories.  Through stress and tears, we are making each other laugh.


Jim and Marney.

The girls are learning to mow lawn!  Learning that yes, Marney, it is possible for your butt to sweat!

We by no means live on a farm, but our little acre and a half is proving to be a challenge and adventure for our city kids.  Already they have scouted out locations for a tree fort, dug out the bow and arrow set from Christmas, found some teeny tiny, yet unidentified frogs, and just felt the sense of freedom that comes with a little room to roam.

They are learning skills that will prepare them for their own life adventures, what ever they may be.  Chances of them all finding jobs and establishing lives near us are slim to none in this changing world.  We can either embrace this fact, or fight it.   Changing my frame of reference from what I am losing, to what they are gaining, has made all the difference.  After all, this is not just our family adventure, it's their childhood adventure!


  1. Okay, it was semi fun, but I'm never white water rafting again. Funny, in some ways that CO trip was the trip from hell, yet we still thought it was a good trip. I guess you're right we do always find some type of adventure! Great post.

  2. Great Post Jill! I love that you are getting to update more often, makes me feel like you are still around! :) What a lucky girl you were, getting to spend your teenage years on your very own horse farm. We boarded our horses, but I worked at that farm for years, and will never forget the sweat, hard work and best friendships I formed with my horses, Mac and Rocky :) Also-now I'm a little weird and I love the smell of a barn...Glad you are having a good time finding your new adventure!

  3. Always fun to read about your childhood memories both good and bad. Thanks for helping me think about your move in a more positive way. It really is about more than Jim having a good job. I am "getting it" even as I sit here with tears running down my face. I miss you guys terribly but I get it!!!! Love, Mom

  4. Jill, this is such a beautiful post! I am blessed to live with so many warm childhood memories myself. Your experiences are beautiful memories to pass down to your children.