Thursday, May 24, 2012

Our story

It’s hard to know exactly which details to include in telling one’s story, and it seems even more difficult if one is trying to show how God has orchestrated one’s life.* 
Does my story start when my parents met at their local church of Christ? Or years earlier, when their parents each moved to Amarillo, for different reasons?
Or when my parents decided to get married and then proceeded to have two (very awesome) little girls?
Or when my dad decided to leave his position as a pharmacist in Texas and move his family all over the country for sales positions?
Or does the story only really begin when Mom and Dad announced that we would be moving to St. Louis, after which I sobbed and cried and said I wasn’t going and where was St. Louis, anyway?
I don’t know how far back to start when telling my family’s story. Since I have to pick a point in time, I think I will start in August of 1996, with one very important lead-in.
I truly have the best parents I could ever have asked for, prayed for, wished for. I am grateful for everything they did for me, starting the day I was born. They prayed for me, challenged me, disciplined me, cared for me, and ultimately set me up for the life I have now. I do not wish to minimize their impact on my life, but I have to start my family’s story somewhere, so I will start the summer I turned fourteen.
We (Mom, Dad, Allie, and I) had moved to St. Louis from Atlanta in August of 1996. For some reason, we visited the Lafayette church of Christ the first Sunday we were in town. For some reason, we went to Sunday School that very first time visiting. For some reason, Ryan Bond was sitting in my class instead of at his grandparents’ lake house, where he usually spent his summer weekends.
I remember what I was wearing, probably because Ryan won’t let me forget it. I do know that my make-up was awful, I had bangs, and I still had braces on my teeth. Nonetheless, Ryan said the first time he saw me, he knew he would marry me. I had just turned fourteen; he had just turned fifteen.
He waited a full year before asking me out. He and my dad rode bikes the day of our first date, sophomore year Homecoming. For some reason, he kissed me. For some reason, I let him. Then, for a reason known as humiliation, I avoided him for a full year.
For some reason, he didn’t give up on me, and a year later he asked me to Homecoming our junior year. For some reason, one of his friends asked very publicly if we were a couple (we weren’t), and, not wanting to embarrass him in front of his friends, I said that it was up to Ryan. Ryan, of course, said that we were a couple.
For some reason, we stayed a couple most of the rest of high school. (I did break up with him our senior year for a month or two and for reasons I won’t discuss on this blog because they seem very lame now. Let’s just say I had a crush on another boy, and that other boy never made a move.)
For reasons entirely obvious, we went to college together. Ryan asked me to marry him after the fall semester of our junior year (WE WERE SO YOUNG), and I said yes.
We wed the summer before our senior year of college, and I guess that is where the real story of our family begins.
Our life together has taken lots of twists and turns, not the least of which has been our move to our current Kansan city. The woman who hired Ryan put us in contact with a local realtor. As she drove us around town, she pointed out area high schools where I might be interested in teaching. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I wasn’t planning on teaching here.
For some reason, I hastily applied anyway at one school. For some reason, when they called to schedule an interview, I said yes. For some reason, they had a vacancy in the subject area I taught, for the next semester, with my very favorite curriculum. And for some reason, they hired me.
One of that school’s board members introduced Ryan to his son-in-law, and Ryan has since worked for both men. Those jobs have allowed me to stop teaching and to stay home with our daughters, and those men have introduced both of us to a wonderful local community.
We have become a family here. This is where we learned very difficult professional lessons, home-owner lessons, marriage lessons, and relationship lessons. This is where we have grown our family to three, four, and five members.
What if my parents hadn’t moved to St. Louis? What if Ryan had given up on me when I kept giving him reasons to? What if I hadn’t become a teacher? What if we hadn’t had our exact realtor?
Sometimes, it’s fun to play the what if game. But right now, I am just so very grateful that all of the little details in my life have worked out just so, so that I am sitting in this house at this address in this city with this husband beside me and those girls upstairs not sleeping even when they should be.
I love our family’s story. And I think we should know more about other people’s stories. The next time you see me, unless I am heavily drugged in a hospital room or equally drugged with the potent sleep-deprivation-because-a-newborn-lives-here phenomena, please tell me your story. I would really love to hear it.
*As you read, please assume I acknowledge God directed all of the details that led me to this point in my life. I could never, ever, have built a life like I have.


  1. I enjoyed your mini-memoir! John and I used to call this game, "The Children of Israel" game, telling the stories and concluding each one with, "Yes, surely the Lord has led us to this place."

    I look forward to some story telling when we meet again.

    Praying blessings for the journey that lies ahead...

  2. I loved reading this. Although your story really started when you met me... ;) Love you!!