Opportunities for wonderful experiences are everywhere, but I guess most of the time we are so focused on what we are doing, we can easily miss them.
We were recently very blessed to have seen a great opportunity for our family, and we took it! We were away camping for the Australia Day Long Weekend. I noticed a lady walk around the campground a few times and I smiled, but we never struck up a conversation.
I’m certainly not the reserved type, but I do take social cues if someone is a little shy or not wanting to talk. The next day, when we were at the camp kitchen having breakfast, I noticed her in there with her family ~ husband and two sons. I overheard them speaking in another language and quickly understood her not engaging the day before. But now knowing we have a few things incommon (1. Children; 2. Travel)
I politely enquired where they were from. She told me they were from Israel and had been in Australia for 2 years as she was a doctor and had a fellowship at a hospital in Melbourne. They were now taking 3 months to travel in their 4WD and tent up to Darwin!
Anyhow, over the next two days, we talked, went for walks along the beach and the kids played. It was such a lovely, easy relationship that formed that, when it was time for them to move on to the next location, we told them that when they get up to the Gold Coast / Brisbane area, they can stay with us for however long they would like to explore the region.
Whilst I was hoping they would take up the offer, I know a lot of people would not feel comfortable. We swapped telephone numbers and they left.
As it turned out, they called a week or so later and said that they would be up in our area soon – so again I offered them a place to stay – with a proper bed and roof! They said that they would love to come!
I shared the news with William who was ecstatic that he would see his friends again! I did however tell them that the only catch to staying with us was that one night they needed to cook a traditional Israeli meal! They agreed! The next night I cooked up a feast! It was great to have relaxed time talking about their journey and their world!
For the next 4 days, they went to a couple of theme parks, we showed them around Tamborine Mountain, we talked, we cooked and shared our stories. The kids played without any arguments ~ It was like we had always known these people. We had such a wonderful time and our relationship had blossomed that when they left, there were tears!
But there was such elation in my heart from having met and spent time with this beautiful Israeli family!
Now, if I had not stepped into a space of kindness (and willingness to help out another family) then I would have missed out on an opportunity:
For Me: To help a fellow family to have respite from a tent; To learn how Israeli people live; To taste real Israeli food (which is amazingly good!); To learn about the history of Israel and the Jews that settled there after the holocaust; To really know the gratitude of helping others. For William: To learn from another culture; To learn equality and inclusion; To understand kindness and extending help; To make new friends. So, the next time you are considering whether to offer to help someone, remember that you may be rewarded with more than you can ever give.
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Enjoy the gift of Nurture!