Retrospective – half a decade

5 years ago exactly, we took a leap of faith and we moved to Romania. A few suitcases full of our earthly belongings, but a heart full of courage and a mind full of dreams. 

I had to go away first, across the ocean, far from my comfort zone and familiar culture. To intertwine our lives together as a new couple and learn to depend on God. We practiced our financial independence, paying debts, learning new skills, building our confidence. 

Our whole lives we had to practice not to letting the noise of other’s opinions drown out our inner voice. You think the loud voices are the ones to dread? It’s not. It’s the subtle dripping of doubt, of those who appear to know better, who say they have your best interest at heart, but they only project their own fears. 

We are simple people. Modest. And given our adult professional background, we most often come as a surprise to people we meet. For some it’s a nice surprise, that we are down to earth and simple. To others, we are uncomfortably unsophisticated and real.  The disconnect goes both ways. We don’t have a big home or an expensive car or fancy vacations. But my husband and I feel and see the same, and that makes our lives comfortable enough and peaceful. 

We adopted a wonderful girl who has grown so much these past three years, in stature, wisdom and spirit. She is delightful and she is her own person. We only lead the way, open doors and believe in her while loving her wholeheartedly. Isn’t this what we all want as human beings? To belong and to be loved? And then we blossom! 

In the same breath, we wait to meet the little sister in a month, God-willing maybe even sooner. 

While it was in my power to inquire about her, I did so. God gave me a voice and intuition. I believe even my restlessness a couple of months ago was not in vain. Now I’m at peace with whatever He has planned for us. It’s strangely comforting to pray for something so specific and then in the same breath utter that His will be done. Thanking Him for everything as if it already has been given to us.  

We are a strange bunch. To this world we may seems crazy, often times. 

Tomorrow I will be a plenary speaker at a forum about empowering women. What has been on my heart lately, is the importance of defining our values, of clarifying our moral code and living by it. That’s empowering across worlds and cultures. And for the last decade and a half, this has served me well. Integrity is a choice. Much like love is an action, not a feeling.

Words are powerful. Feedback offered with kindness and specificity, in a context of open communication can be life infusing.

Also, a good leader sees the potential in people. And we have the seed of leadership in us. Just as at some point others saw potential in us, our parents, our teachers, maybe a good boss at some point… we are empowered to see potential in others and bring it to life.

Speak what can be into existence. As sisters and friends. As wives. As leaders and as moms.