Where were you 10, 20, 30 years ago?


Some time ago "Abisomeone" tagged me with the "10-20-30 meme", inviting me to share what I was doing 10, 20 and 30 years ago.


I seem to have had trouble writing posts lately (busy!) but tonight I'm stuck at home waiting for the carpet man. Torrential rain on Monday came pouring in to my house down the walls as the gutters overflowed. I tried steam cleaning the carpets, but finally gave up tonight and rang the insurance company. They wanted to send out a carpet man straight away… therefore one rang me at 10.30 pm to inform me he was just leaving Werribee to come to my house in Croydon. (that has to be AT LEAST an hour's drive in my opinion… I'm in for a late night.)


So I have time to kill, and at last, I will share of my experiences…


10 years ago I spent most of my time looking after my gorgeous first son Daniel, a very cute just-turned one year old. I had recently been appointed as women's ministry coordinator for Churches of Christ Vic/Tas… a one year, one day a week position. I'm still employed by Churches of Christ and am still involved in women's ministry, so I rather outstayed my one-year term!


20 years ago I spent 6 months backpacking around Europe… probably at this time of year I would have been in Athens about to head off to Egypt and Israel. One of the highlights of my travels was spending a month living and studying at L'Abri in Switzerland… a simply stunning location, and an amazing opportunity to meet people all over the world who were exploring faith. One of the issues I studied there was women in ministry… I read and listened to tapes on the "difficult" passages of scripture about women wearing veils, sitting in silence, etc. The light began to dawn that these scriptures were written in very specific contexts, and ought to be interpreted in the light of all the women in leadership in the New Testament church. I had no idea at the time that God would later call me into ministry, or that God would give me such a passion to see women released into all that God intended them to do and to be in the service of Christ in the church and the world. At the time it was a simple academic interest… only in retrospect do I realize how significant getting my head into the world of the New Testament women would be in my life.


30 years ago I was in year 9 at school. My school had a special year 9 campus attached to a 19th century neo-gothic manor house. I LOVED this year of school… it was run in a way that was highly creative, with large blocks of time devoted to "general studies" around a variety of interesting themes. The only part of school I hated was being forced to learn touch-typing. Why would I ever need to learn this? It was boring and tedious and a dreadful way to spend an afternoon class. As it turns out, this horrible class I was forced to do years before the P.C. was invented has proved to be one of the most useful things I have ever learned… it is a skill I draw on almost every day.


I wonder if this is a bit like life in general… the parts that are distasteful to us at the time can become a means of blessing. Godly character formation is impossible without suffering, even in the "small sufferings" of learning to forgive, learning self-discipline, learning to put the needs of another before our own wants sometimes. Perhaps character is one of the few things we take into eternity.


Well… who else to "tag"?


I'm too tired to think. Please come soon carpet man….


AbiSomeone said…
Janet! Thanks for doing this ;^) I hope your carpet man came and went successfully...and that "soon" was not in the frequent biblical sense!

It is so very interesting how Romans 8:28 touches every part of our lives, eh? I would have loved to have studied at L'Abri, but we each seem to have our own path. I am glad that your path to encouraging women in ministry was straighter and more level than mine and for the graciousness of our Lord to equip you and give you to his church :^)

This is such a great meme...it is good to be able to think back and see where we've been in light of where we are...it gives us hope for where we are going, doesn't it?

Blessings...and hope your rain has diminished. We had torrential rain here, as well. The interstate between Portland and Seattle was under 10 feet of water at Centralia! I wonder how much damage they will find has been done, once the water is gone!
Janet McKinney said…
An interesting one...

10 years ago, I was 3 weeks married to my darling husband .... arhhh that brings good memories - accompanied by the more stressful ones of working through step-relationships with my son and daughter.

20 years ago - I was in the flows of early motherhood with my son just starting school ( they start on their fifth birthday in New Zealand) and daughter in kindy. They were fun years, and things were probably still pretty OK with my first marriage.

30 years ago, I was just finishing my second year at Teachers college, and had an operation on my left knee to prevent dislocation of the patella. While that worked, it started off years of arthritic pain, and inability to do exercise. Six weeks in full leg plaster in the Queensland summer was not the most comfortable memory in the world.
Janet Woodlock said…
Thanks Abi... yes Romans 8:28 means a lot to me.

Carpet man left about 1 am after ripping out a section of carpet he declared pretty much stuffed, and leaving dehumidifiers for a couple of other damp patches. I had woken up and 5 am yesterday... about 6 am today... so I'm feeling a bit foggy.

I've just worked out how to check your blog Janet (new to this!)... my goodness aren't you clever? You make such gorgeous stuff.

Interesting to hear your "10-20-30" experiences.
Janet McKinney said…
Thank you Janet - I have always enjoyed making things, but more and more I am recognising that there is worship in the process of creating.
Janet Woodlock said…
I think creative expression is part of what it means to be made in the image of God... for God is The Creator.

It is interesting that the first paradise was a garden and the renewed Creation visioned in Revelation is a city... I've heard it noted this validates the creative efforts of humans as "co-creators" with God... art and architecture and decorative arts and music are brought into the new Creation... we don't just go back to Eden, but a city with a garden.
Anonymous said…
Enjoyed your history! Have you always been a christian? What about your husband? Details please?! Enquiring minds want to know!

Seriously, one of the things I love to hear about from others are, "Who are you?" and "Where do you come from?" I forget that there is such a vast world I know nothing about!

Janet Woodlock said…
Well Penney... yes I grew up in a Christian home and all that! My husband grew up Catholic but left the church around age 12 when his father died, and re-engaged with Christianity in his mid-twenties.

What I might do is write a series of posts... you know, childhood, adolescence, young adulthood etc (ie stages of faith) to satisfy your curious mind with a bit more detail. And invite others to comment on significant people / thoughts / events in that stage of their life.

I've been a bit of a "dud blogger"... Christmas breakups are happening apace (this corresponds to the school summer holidays too for us Southern Hemisphereites, so the end of school year and Christmas creates breakup parties / dinners galore... I think I could have gone to 7 of these this week!)
Anonymous said…
Ooh, Ooh, you must also tell us your love story and how your husband reengaged with Christ?! We understand if we must wait until after Christmas for such a gift. God Bless!

Janet Woodlock said…
My husband rang me just before because he was paid profit share, and a couple of other people at work weren't eligible... so he asked if it was OK to give them the money because they needed it more.

That's why I love my husband more all the time... because he'll make sure they think it's just from the organisation... and because he always tries to do that which if fair... and because he's kind to a fault.

I know one isn't supposed to let one's right hand know what one's left hand is doing, but it's his kindness not mine! (I wouldn't have thought of it). So the few of us who read this blog might just have to keep it secret!

School pick up soon... you'll just have to wait for more. Patience, patience...

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