May 18, 2010

Plans that go awry

I've spent a lot of time thinking about starting a blog. Most of my friends here in Alaska seem to have them, and I've been encouraged to start one for myself. I hear it's a great way to keep in touch with the people at home. Home being Pennsylvania. I think it would also be practical and beneficial to have a record of things that I can reflect back on after we leave Alaska, almost like a photo album.
The most difficult part for me was a title. I've never been very good at "titling" things. How can you describe your life, that your writing about, in only a word or two? For some, that might come easily, but definitely not for me. I tossed around a few ideas in my head and on the layout page, but none seemed exactly right (One was something about living in the land of the midnight sun, and other Alaskan titles). So I started thinking about why I was starting a blog in the first place...My life has changed A LOT in the last two years. If I was living in my hometown in Pennsylvania, would I have a blog? Umm no. If I wasn't a brand-new Army wife living almost as far away from home as possible, would I have a blog? If I wasn't experiencing something completely new on an almost daily basis, would I have a blog? Would I feel the need to document my days? Probably not. The reason I'm writing this is because I'm living a life I never thought I would, so why not write it all down? Hence, my title "Expecting the unexpected...". Not only did this seem to fit with my life over the last year or so, it's a military mantra. You never seem to know what will happen next.
Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be living in Alaska. Even when I agreed to marry my husband, who was planning on a military career, I assumed Alaska was the last place in the world we would end up. Ironically, it became the first place we ended up. One week after our wedding, we drove the 4,100 and some miles to Anchorage. What a learning experience that was! I moved out of my tiny hometown in central Pennsylvania, away from everyone and everything I've ever known, and I fell into Eagle River, AK. The strangest part for me is that after less than 8 months, THIS now feels like home. And that didn't take the whole 8 months. It took about 2 months for it to feel like home, and I credit the church and the friendships I've found here for that. I feel like I've been here forever.
But back to the title...My description shows one of my favorite quotes, and it's from John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men. Never my favorite book, I remember reading it in 9th grade English (or was it 10th?), but the quote stuck with me. As a student teacher, years later, my supervisor loved to say that whenever I'd show her my lesson plans for approval. As a teacher, it's usually true, but as a person living in the world it's ALWAYS true. I've had things planned out more times than I can count in the last 5 years. However, none of that even matters now, but those plans all went "awry" in their own little ways, and I was led down a different path. My path has brought me to the Army (which I never saw coming) and to Alaska (which was even more unlikely than me being involved with the Army). It's all such a blessing though, because so much good has been brought into my life because my plans went awry. I've realized it's as much a good thing as a bad thing when plans go awry.
As my plans go more and more awry (yes, I'm using that word a lot), I see more and more opportunities come into my life. Opportunities to expand as a Christian, a teacher, a wife, and a leader. Some I never saw coming, but when I expect the unexpected, I'm always pleasantly surprised at the good things at work in my life.


  1. Welcome to the wide world of blogging!

    "Expecting the unexpected"'s a military mantra. So is "hurry up and wait", and for the squids out there, "Never Again Volunteer Yourself". ;)

  2. Over the years, I have attempted to start several diaries or journals or the like, and I rarely ever stay committed to it longer than a few entries. Seeing how long you have devoted yourself to your blog, and how dedicated you are to it, is really inspiring to me. I guess, in a lot of ways, I started my blog for similar reasons. I have a lot of thoughts floating around in my head: some that I never want to forget and some that I just want to get out of there, and a blog (or journal) helps to accomplish both things. Someday, I hope I (and maybe even my kids) can look back on my memoirs and realize how full my life has been.

    I need to get better at blogging on a regular basis because sometimes writing down the little things is the only way we keep from forgetting them.

    Keep up the good work! I plan to eventually read/catch up on ALL of your blog entries, and I have finally begun at the beginning. :) I figure if I start here and keep up with the new ones, eventually, I'll meet in the middle! :)

    Once again, you inspire me! Keep up the great work! :)


Comments make my day!