Getting This Out of the Way

Who am I?

I have been told (by my husband) that I really should give a sort of quick hand-wave at a self-bio before I really start “blogging.” I don’t want to. And if this blog were really all about me pursuing my own interests, then I wouldn’t be writing this. Take a picture: this is me being sacrificial. It won’t happen again. So where to begin the painful (though brief) process . . .

“Begin at the beginning, and when you get to the end, stop.” The Mad Hatter, Alice in Wonderland.

Let’s call this,

Heather: A Brief (and very incomplete) History


My Husband Made Me

I was born in 1974. My parents were recent converts of the Jesus People variety. Both had lived on the same commune in the foothills of Palo Alto, California, though for quite different reasons. Mom went to “The Land” to be alone in her teepee, while my father went to be with people, pursuing the whole brotherhood of man experience, grinding his own peanut butter, and so on (I should post a picture). He slept in a tree house. Eventually they ended up at the same church and married soon there after. After all, Jesus was coming back soon. As He didn’t return as scheduled, I was born pre-Rapture and three sisters and a brother followed in the next ten years. My parents were at the beginning of their theological journey and we kids were along for the ride.

A flyby of my early years includes (but is not limited to), Christian school, church school, home school, and public school, Dad traveling to Nigeria, Nigerians living with us, lots of soccer games and gymnastic meets and attendance at non-denominational, charismatic churches. I never even attended a reformed congregation until my parents’ church moved that direction in my early twenties. My formative years were spent in youth groups of many sorts (generic, large evangelly, Baptist, and Four Square), and then a YWAM (Youth With A Mission, yeah!) school and mission. My personal experiences were enough to make the teaspoon of satire in Credenda seem tame. Moving onward….

Surfing entered the picture when I was twelve. My dad took us on a weekend trip to Monterey. We passed through Marina, a long beach with large sand dunes, a hang gliding school, and surfers. I was transfixed by the surfers and the waves and from that time on wanted nothing more than to surf. The next fourteen years were spent doing just that. I fit a few other things in, such as making pizza, sporadic community college and a History degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz, but surfing and traveling to surf and saving money to buy a bass hound 10.2 boat were the overarching factors in my life. I began competing when I was sixteen, driving up and down the California coast on a regular basis. Soon I was addicted to traveling abroad for waves: Costa Rica, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Barbados, Chile, Argentina, Hawaii, Fiji, Indonesia, and two summers of teaching surfing all over Europe (from Holland to Portugal). A good chunk of every year was spent outside of the United States, usually somewhere warm. After a six month stint in Chile, I headed back home and settled into a house by the ocean (with some most lovely roommates) and a real job at a software company—though the office was close enough to the water that I could surf for my lunch break, and my boss was kind enough to tolerate wet hair, tardiness and international excursions (thanks James). I was 26 and had settled into an identity of singleness and a simple desire to be a cool aunt. My own kids would never happen. It was during this lull in my travels that I became acquainted with a young punk named Mr. Nathan D. Wilson (another story for another time). Needless to say, my life was turned upside-down and has never been righted. I hadn’t been away from the ocean for more than a week and a half in over a decade and next thing I know I’m in Idaho, married to a wonderful gent, mother to four marvelous kids and taking part in an epic house project.

Lots of gaps in this here story of my life but whatever. I’m all done writing about me…for now. Let’s talk about you. Your hopes and dreams. Where do you see yourself in five years, ten years, fifteen years? Wait. That’s an Amway flashback. I so dislike when “friends” call to get together and somehow the conversation just naturally flows to the great new product they happen to have discovered. Ok. I’ll stop now. Bedtime.

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19 thoughts on “Getting This Out of the Way

  1. HAHaha! Hilarious. I think few of us have traveled quite so varied a route as you have. By the way, all you folks out in cyberland, I can vouch for the epic house project. It’s looking good now.

  2. Thanks, Heather, for clueing us in what your husband means by “a girl stolen from the ocean” on the Leepike book jacket! (For all of us not in Moscow ) I was beginning to wonder if you were a real, live mermaid! 🙂 I also grew up on the coast of CA (a little further south, but lived in Monterey for a while, too.) and this post brought back some amusing memories. 🙂

  3. Soooo, you have to be a natural born writer in order to belong to the Wilson clan? I mean, did the right reverend meet you at the door with a composition test or something? I’m just trying to figure this out, ’cause I’ve yet to “meet” a Wilson who couldn’t write. (end of backhanded compliment)

    Thanks for telling us a little about your journey.

  4. I read this past midnite last night, and had to stifle my laughter (in consideration of my sleeping family) at your closing Amway comment…Too funny! (And by the way…nice to hear your story…I was raised in ‘the beautiful state of Jefferson’, where converted commune hippies abound…and treehouses are still available to rent. My memories of my first visit to a reformed church include lots of conversation of “Are you PCA, OPC, …?” but sounded more like “Are you SPCA, OCD…” Ummm…pretty much had no clue what all THAT was about! Thankfully, discovered Wilson writings about 15 years ago…)

    Appreciate your sacrifice 🙂 and looking forward to hearing more from you!

  5. I had to check the weather channel to see if hell had frozen over. The Wilson women are blogging. Okay…I’ll come along for the ride. I’m having fun already. Love the graphics! You have excellent taste.

    Lucy Zoe

  6. Oh Heather! Laugh out loud hysterical. My word women. Erin Farley and I thought we would produce good stand up routines but I might have to cut you in on the deal.
    And a hardy Amen to “My husband made me”
    Too sweet and true. 🙂
    Can’t wait to see you and the fam.

  7. thanks, heather. among you girls, is there one who is “the funny one”? seems like you’re all pretty clever.

    everything about my life changed when i got married, too. my husband says that single girls are called to pursue their own calling, and worthy guys are called to interrupt that calling with something better. a lesser man just wouldn’t be worth it!

    rebekah and lizziejank, any bios forthcoming? we know your parents, but i bet there would be surprises to hear from your perspective….

  8. I am so glad you wrote your story out for us. I am hugely encouraged by you! I have lately been feeling a little low as I look at how my husband and I are moving all over the continent with our six kids, and wondering what are we DOING to these youngsters. It is heartening to read your story and be reminded that an “alternative” upbringing can really be rich….and my guys can still land in a place that is interesting and fruitful, as you have.

  9. My personal opinion is that such a slight allusion to your courtship may suffice for now, but not for long.
    Remember when dad was in that board meeting in Nashville and got a phone call from Nate, asking for permission to court his daughter. What was dad’s exact reply…oh yes…it was a shocked “have you ever met my daughter?!?”

    I, for one, appreciate the “ocean” part of your story. If you had never become a surfer, you wouldn’t have started the Surfer’s Bible Study at your home AND your 2 surfer brother-in-laws may never have had a chance to hear the gospel and have their lives transformed by the grace shown to them there, through you and others. God is good.

  10. Thanks all for your comments. Good fun. Good people. Go team.

    The funny one? Wouldn’t be me. Lizzie? Bekah? Any takers?

    All for swapping YWAM stories. Was an interesting time and I haven’t met too many YWAMers in this neck of the woods.

    Thanks for the compliment but I don’t fancy myself to be much of a writer. Too lazy work at it. My experience is limited to lots of school papers as a history major and a bit of freelance writing for surfing/travel magazines. However, thanks to a journalist father and grandfather, as well as a childhood home full of books, I am a fan of a good story and a phrase well turned.

    Out of words and conveniently duty calls (in the form of snack time and dishes). Ciao for now.

  11. I keep vacillating between abject mea culpas and delighted giggling. Do please keep it up, everyone!

  12. I have to agree with Natalie…great writing. It is great fun to hear about your life especially the surfing. Somewhere in the distant past in the dry flatlands of Arkansas and Texas, I began dreaming of surfing. In recent years, I’ve gotten my feet wet on a longboard in Lahaina, Maui and Tamarindo Beach, Costa Rica. I can see why people live for the next wave. You are quite brave to surf the Oregon coast. I live in OR now and can vouch for the teeth chattering, turning blue, freezing water temperatures. When you feel like being sacrificial again, I’d love to read more about your surfing and competition. I know there are some great stories and championships out there to write about.

  13. I really enjoy the Oregon coast though it does make me feel more than a bit sharky (which is funny for someone coming from Santa Cruz). One of these days I’ll tell some surfing tales. Glad you’ve had a chance to get in the water.

  14. Ruth, a wetsuit will make all the difference! There’s an Alaskan current all the way to Baja, so it’s 52 degrees all the way down our Pacific Coast. The upside–no hurricanes (unless your a surfer on the East Coast, who lives for hurricanes!) Anyway, I, too look forward to some of your surfing tales, Heather! (I was always too much a chicken to ever get off a boogey board!) –and the travel tales, too!!

  15. I ended up back here accidentally – so when do we get the story of you and your “wonderful gent” ending up together? Working for a software company in California doesn’t quite tie the pieces together. 🙂

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