A little over a month ago I filled out an application for the chance at an experience of a lifetime. Most of the application was typical requested information on pretty much any application. Then at the bottom of the application were two questions that have the potential to lead to a truly life changing experience, an #ItalianSabbatical. Three months of life in the south of Italy 🇮🇹 in the town of Grottole, experiencing life as a local, serving to help revitalize this small village.
I have no visibility of the number of applications received but I imagine it is in the thousands, as it was open to a number of countries and add to that, the vast reach of the sponsor, #Airbnb.
I filled in all the blanks and proceeded to the bottom of the application to those two questions that could be my key to Italy!!
I am sure that of the possible thousands of people that applied, many of them have a formal training/schooling and likely a long, impressive resume to boot. Good for them! I don’t have either of those things but I don’t know that’s what’s important in this situation. I, with my big heart and love of God’s people, have as good of a chance as the doctor from Spain or the Engineer from Mexico (just examples off the top of my brain, I don’t know who applied or what their qualifications are).
So to get to the questions…here they are, along with my responses, true to theheARTofkimmy, from my heart and just being “ME”.
What’s your story and why are you ready to move to Grottole and take a sabbatical?
From a very young age I knew that I wanted to be a wife and mother. I married an amazing man when I was twenty-three, we quickly started a family, and have spent the majority of the last twenty-five years raising our three children. For the majority of that time, I have been fortunate to be afforded the opportunity to stay home and raise our children while my husband was in the work force, either in civilian life or serving our country in the Armed Forces. He now owns and is running two companies from the comfort of his home office.
This past fall, we dropped our youngest child off at college and moved back to Florida, closer to our elderly parents and other family. While we still have our middle child living at home, we are essentially empty nesters, learning our new normal, settling into our next chapter together as a middle aged married couple.
I have a heart for God’s people and for serving in different capacities in places I have lived. My kids are young adults now and it’s time for Momma to venture out into the world! I have not been able to shake the desire to come to Grottole, immerse myself in such a beautiful place, share my heart, my time, and my talent to help bring new life to this hidden gem.
How would you contribute to the local community and make a difference in Grottole? Tell us what your passions are – Are you an artist? Are you a musician? Do you have arts or craft skills? Do you have any other related experience e.g. cooking skills, a passion for photography, etc.?
I consider myself, in a sense, to be a Jack-of-all-trades. Raising my children has been my top priority over the years so I have not graduated college and I’ve never really had a “career”. I have worked when we needed the money and I have had odd jobs, just because I wanted to work. Some people might consider that a downside to being a stay-at-home mother, I however, consider it an upside!
I have so much to contribute and share with the people and city of Grottole. My passions are simple, faith, family, art, and children. Having been born into a Christian home, Faith has always been a part of my life; it is woven in all areas of my life, including my time spent working with children in different capacities. My heart and soul goes into my passions and explains why being an art teacher at a small Catholic school was such an amazing experience. I have also been a school librarian, an assistant teacher for a first and second grade classroom, a Catechist in my parish, and a teacher for toddlers age one – three years of age.
Outside of my passions, I have experience in retail, police dispatching, and as a volunteer EMT. I have some experience with photography, creative lettering, and writing and have even helped pour concrete floors in the Dominican Republic. I am a certified Peer Minister, a Eucharistic Minister, and Lector. I would love to be part of this amazing opportunity and share my heART with Grottole!
The selection process is well underway and finalists will likely be announced within the next week to ten days. I am saying a prayer and leaving it all in God’s hands, HIS will be done!
While answering two questions on an application may affect my chances to participate in the opportunity of a lifetime, there are much more important questions and responses in this life. Answers that affect eternity. Have you accepted Jesus as your Savior? God’s Word says:
“That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”Romans 10:9-10
I have known Jesus for a long time. I grew up in a Christian home and have been exposed to God’s Word and belief and faith in Jesus for many, many years. Accepting Him does not guarantee a life free from troubles or sadness but it certainly makes this walk through life, the good and especially the bad, a little easier and with a hope and joy that only HE can bring. HE is the provider of all of my blessings and my compass through all of my struggles. I am so grateful, for…
…”It is not joy that makes us grateful, it is gratitude that makes us joyful.” -David Steindl Rast
I don’t have any control over the selection process for this summer sabbatical, but I know the One who is in control. I don’t have all the answers, but I know the One who holds the answers. So, I rest in HIM and patiently wait for His timing and direction for my life. What about you? Do you know HIM?