Thursday, January 28, 2010

Overachiever in the worst way...

Bring it on!

Those were my very last words in the post titled, Comfirmation or Conformation?

I spoke too soon.

We are expecting four or so inches of snow beginning tonight and throughout tomorrow afternoon. We are still staying with good friends in their basement until it warms up a bit.

And the fact that the RV is having electrical trouble still. 

It got "brought" real good.

In the fact that I pulled a muscle in my back yesterday morning that rendered me pretty much useless for the rest of the day. Thanks to our friend, I kept a heating pad on it for the evening hoping it would feel better today.


There is much to be done. Wood needs to be loaded and brought in for the woodstove. I need to clean out the refigerator in the RV (you really don't even want to know why), and the slides need to be brought in before the snow tonight.

And I can't help do much of it, if any.

Factor in that on the east coast, our home state of North Carolina included, has had springlike weather for days!


In the high 60's. Yeah.

So, I'm sitting here on the couch, propped up with pillows, drinking my coffee, which is normally a respite in the day for me. Until I'm doing it because I have to. The crow I'm having to choke down with the coffee isn't so tasty, either.

So there you have it, friends. 

My lesson for the day.
Think before you challenge the universe.

And then rethink it, or else God might just give you what you asked for!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

New Year's Resolutions...and Reservations

New blog entry.
What's for dinner?
Book editing.
Birthday card for mom. 
Esther study homework. (which rocks, BTW)

 So, yeah.... That's my to do list today. But, only part of it. It's about twice as long. There's emails and messages that I want to answer too. I'm finding that trying to balance the balance itself is a full time job. Why can I not just get it together? I'm merely typing out loud here.

Wanna know something else? I've been out three times this week. Maybe. That goes for last week too. So how can I have so much to do when I don't go anywhere? The weather has been frigid, with some snow and it just hasn't been worth the effort. We have gotten above 50 degrees for a couple of days and it feels like a heat wave. Short sleeves and no jackets here. You'd think we were in Florida. 

Crazy tourists.

Our tanks in the RV were freezing up and the water lines weren't thawing out so we've been staying with friends for a couple weeks until it warms up. The space has been nice, but I do miss our little home.

And...I've had access to a dishwasher. The small luxuries! I had refused to use it...until yesterday. I didn't want to get used to having one again. Six months of washing everything by hand, and you just get used to doing it. Not that I or the girls like it, but used to it. Just sayin'.

Confession: I'm a list maker. 

Nice, neat, long, laborious lists. You'd think that if I put so much time into it, my life would be more organized. Ha! It's funny because the girls had been on a schedule since they were a couple months old. Sleep, eat, school, activities...

And I like it that way. 

In our sticks and bricks, their was more normality. Being mobile has brought some changes. We are up later. Much later. And so are the girls. That takes some getting used to.

Lists are not so effective when everyone is too tired or crabby to accomplish them! So, I'm working on putting it all down, putting it all away and just going to bed. Period. The editing, changes to our website, and administration of it all is just going to need to wait. I'll just move it to tomorrow's to-do list. Ha!

This girl is tired. 


But, tired. 

And a little cooped up. We went to the grocery store for an hour or so yesterday. The girls thanked me. Enough said. It's comical when your kids enjoy going to the store. 

We have a conference in Greenville, SC this next week and it will feel good to get back on the road. I've been chomping at the bit, and our day trip to Nashville, on Thursday, for meetings was a welcome respite. There wasn't any time for shopping or sight seeing, but eating lunch at Panera was a reminder of civilization. The two hour drive, there and back, was good for adult conversation.

We've been parked for a couple months now. It has been an excellent time to close out 2009 with time to gather our thoughts for 2010. Slowing down long enough to do that has proved beneficial, but I'm excited about traveling again. I want 2010 to be a phenomenal year, but also want to keep in perspective what we can handle and what we cannot. 

I don't want to lose focus of what my priorities for this year are.
What my goals are.
What I can manage. Effectively.
Who I can help. 
Where I can be used.

And none of it is possible if I am too tired to do it all.

One of my New Year's resolutions is to sleep. And rest. 

To put it all down and walk away.
Physically. And mentally.

It will all be there tomorrow and I know that part of being effective is actually feeling like accomplishing that to-do list in the first place. 

I resolve to get more sleep. 
Better sleep. 
Deep sleep,
All the while pushing away the thoughts that I'm lazy for doing it. Or irresponsible. Or selfish.

I reserve time for the most important things in my life (sleep being one of them) and let God handle the rest. I'm expecting great things for 2010 and looking forward to everything falling into place.

What changes are you making for 2010?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Conformation or Confirmation?

(originally written December 30, 2009)

Today is a day for reflection.
It is a day of reflection, not just because we will soon be ushering out 2009, but because of the many changes in 2009!

This comes on the heels of weeks of mulling things over.

And two blogs/notes of my cyber friends who also live with their families in their RVs full time. Our life and its changes this year have been nothing short of something you only hear or see about in a movie. Lest I am making drama out of something that really isn’t, I have been pondering these last few weeks about exactly what our lifestyle does appear like. Basing my observations on the many questions and comments we get, we just may have fallen off the deep end.

We are weird.
A few bricks shy of a load.
In short: one house shy of normal.

Interestingly enough, I can say, without hesitation, that it has been the single best year of our lives together. Many challenges along the way, sure, but the best nonetheless. I have been working at break neck pace these last two weeks to finish my book. Coupled with finishing the last couple chapters that had been started weeks ago, but still required some meatiness, and evaluating where we are headed in 2010, really threw me for a loop.

We are gearing up for an awesome tour and conference this coming year and I couldn’t be more excited on a ministerial front. It is the personal facet that has garnered more thought. Some doubts have surfaced along the way.

Doubts about our choices.
Doubts about my girls’ education.
Doubts about stability.
Doubts about finances.

Doubts about the same things that everyone who lives a normal lifestyle would have.

I realized something though.

I realized that the times I have had the most anxieties have been fueled by unkind or suggestive comments by others first.

I was fine.
I was busy.
I was progressing, and then slap!

Some have meant well and some haven’t. And that’s finally okay with me. Well, at least beginning to be okay with me. Why have I questioned something that I know to be what we are supposed to be doing? After some more thought, I know now that I never questioned our choices, I was questioning what others were thinking about our choices.

That bothered me.

I wanted people to be okay with our lifestyle.
I wanted our families to not freak out.
I desired support from our friends.

I wasn’t however, looking at it objectively. To someone who has lived in the same home for 30 years, in the same town, with all the same family and friends, we just might come off as some loonies. I do get that now and I’m okay with that. If it’s one thing I have learned about living in an RV, is that you meet all kinds of folks with all sorts of stories and lifestyle choices.

And you know what, why should I care?
I don’t live their life or their struggles or victories.
I have learned to be a lot less judgmental.
And frankly, the happiest people I’ve met on the road are those with really different choices than mine.

The sureties I do have are that we love our kids. We love each other and although not perfect, we know this will be an experience of a lifetime. My girls don’t know every math equation, every science chemical experiment, or every verb and adverb. Heck, I don’t even know that. They are a work in progress just like their parents are.

And the ride doing it together has been super fun.

Someone told me three years ago when I started homeschooling, “Don’t worry. Homeschooling isn’t about knowing all the answers, it’s about being able to find all the answers. Thank goodness for Google and Wikipedia!

Please, don’t ask them to prove that they can read.
Please, don’t suggest that maybe they need to attend public school.
And kindly, don’t ask me if what we’re doing is legal.

Yes, it’s been asked.

And, please, don’t ask me or them if they feel bad or sad for being “taken away” from their friends and grandparents.

The girls are smart.
Socially aware.
Economically relevant.
Giving of their time.
Most days, but they are still children.

All of us as a family aren’t there yet, but we’re trying! Would they have learned this if we had not chosen this path? I’m not so sure. That’s sad, because we really had no excuses before.

I guess in a way, we are modern day part time nomads of sorts. We park for a bit. Travel for a bit. We get many, many questions about every day life and we hope to answer most of them via video soon. So if you have any specific questions you’d like for me to answer, shoot me a message.

We have been so blessed in 2009 with families who have supported our crazy dream.
With businesses who have donated services and time.
With churches opening their doors to us.
With friends from long ago who have donated money for specific causes.
With other road families who lend support and encouragement.

I am grateful for my cyber road friends! Some I’ve met in person, some I haven’t, and some I may never because they reside on other continents, but nonetheless, they have been an awesome outlet for chatting, commiserating, and praying with. There is a camaraderie with us full-time Rvers.

We get each other.
We support each other.
We laugh with each other.
We cry with one another (especially when something breaks, leaks, blows up, freezes up or goes flat).

I know it’s hard to absorb being so familiar with those you don’t see, but there is a realness, what you see is what you get. Some do it because they have to. Others simply because they want to. Some just take a “year off” and withdraw from the rat race. Others, it becomes a lifestyle. However the mechanics of the dynamic, it matters not.

They get it.

2009 has been fun.
Roller coaster of a ride.

We’re all hanging on for dear life and can’t wait to see what 2010 holds for our family. I am so grateful to have this opportunity to travel and serve. We get asked if we ever have fun too. Yes! We aren’t always serving or working. We always laugh when people ask us if we work too. Yes! In some ways we have worked harder since we left than we did for some time before. We’re not very abnormal. We have met some super awesome folks on the road. I am also indebted to the families who are helping get us where we need to be, because we can’t do it alone. 2009 has been an awesome year, full of new beginnings, new relationships, new travel, and new experiences.

2009 has also been a year of confirmation for me (just in the knick of time, though. Yesterday was cutting it close. I’m just sayin’) and reminded me that conformation to society’s standards of what the average number of children in a family should be, the average number of square feet your house should be, or the average number of cars you should own, well…. Just isn’t so average anymore. More and more families are living outside the box and we’re one of them. Well, not really, the RV feels like a box sometimes, but you get my point.

We are having an amazing time and could not have been successful without you, our friends (new and old), our families (by birth and the ones who’ve adopted us) and our God who’s been so faithful.

Thank you to everyone who has sent a kind message, an encouraging email, anyone who has contributed to the Revolution Tour this year, and everyone who is following our blogs. I love you and am always happy to hear from you! Keep the messages coming!

I’ll take confirmation over conformation today and welcome 2010 for all it has to offer and more.

Bring it on!

Let Freedom Ring! She needs wide open spaces...

(originally written July 4, 2009)

When this journey began, I can tell you the day, the moment, the second.
When it will end is quite a bit more elusive.
Today is not the birth of it, but it is the beginning.

Anyone who has embarked on a maiden voyage such as this can relate.

Lucid words; descriptive words cannot mimic to you the feelings of freedom and liberation. They are merely an injustice to a life giving experience that absolutely frees my soul. Wave upon wave of raw emotion takes residence in my mind; sheer excitement and hope for the days ahead.

The gain…the loss.
The known…and unknown.

The wave recedes from the shore, but just as a wave does, it returns coming closer and stronger until the tide changes.

Question after question.
Assurance after assurance.

There is comfort in the drone of the engine and the road brings with it a certain rhythm. It ushers in a peace and clarity. My thoughts settle into a rhythm of their own and life as our family has been living it is receding into the rear view.

April 2004 begins like any other month, only doesn’t end so.

The tragic loss of our beloved throws me head first into crisis mode.
Sink or swim.

The calling is heard for all things immaterial and unnecessary in my life to be eliminated.

October 2005 begins like any other month, only doesn’t end so.

A string of circumstances beckons us and we sell our thirty-five hundred square foot home and most other frivolous possessions that claimed our ownership.

Drastic changes.
Rug jerked out from under you, changes.
Revelations are poignant.

Thus, our journey to a simpler life was conceived.
A more rewarding life.
A more lucrative life.
A healthier life.

And still it wasn’t enough.

The tugging became like a nagging headache that just wouldn’t surrender.

Thus, a few more implementations.
A few more steps down the path.

March 2007, we purchase the RV and spend nearly every weekend until July traveling.

July 8th, 2007 is when she was born.

She was birthed like all other babies, with excitement, plans and a commitment to do right by her. We leave on a five week extended road trip that changes our lives. We think we’re crazy, that something must be a little off. Surely no others our age are living like this; doing this, except retirees or the rich.

We were neither.

It pushed us to plan for it further and get our random act together. It is the life-changing decision to take our family and our dog on the road in our RV full time.

The show must go on and we were front and center in the drama of our life. Timing and unfinished business dictated our time lapse from birth to departure, but we sail nonetheless!

Those who know us closely, are not surprised, really. We are known to entertain and succumb to our ambitious ideas, convictions and plans. It is still to be determined if this is a good, bad or indifferent philosophy.

We are abnormal.
We take risks that others will not.
We take risks and develop concepts that others can’t see,
Don’t see.

We are not wealthy.

Our means does not dictate our decision, but our decision dictates our wealth.

Wealth in health, not money.
And wealth of freedom.
A freedom from legalism.
From financial slavery.
From obligation.
From anxiety and sickness.
From doubt.
From unfulfillment.

‘From’… the meaning of behind- a place where you already have been. From is the opposite of where the to is. We have to identify and label the from to know the to and how to get there.

Our to is: relational wealth, health, and independence, and surety about who we have become and how we are going to spread this and bless others with it.

Accept the invitation to join me as I learn and discover what each day, each hour, each minute has to offer.

As I dive deep and soul search and pay it forward.
As I soak up what this present life is asking of me;
What God is asking of me.

What is nudging you?
What is your nagging headache that will not relent?
What is God asking of you today?

What are your circumstances asking of you today?
Are you headed in that direction?
What are you doing to get there?

I’m on my way to there.
I’ll update soon to let you know where there is.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Accidentally on Purpose...just realizing that who I am is who I've been all along

(originally written March 15, 2009)


Lost the aspiration, not the inspiration.
Lost the will, the stamina, the purposed effort.
The will to create and do.

My efforts of doing have been applied to the wrong deeds.
Mindless, numb thinking, in circles.

Rotating and swirling down into the abyss of blindness.
Hearing, but not seeing.

Clarity left. She slipped away almost unnoticed, yet abruptly. I missed her and knew she had taken her bow.

Yes! Knowledge.

The first step to getting my groove back.
To rethreading the gears.

I hear my niche faintly calling through the fog.  Self-absorption of circumstances and mindset has spun its ugly web of deception and defeat.

Where has the woman gone who pushed the envelpe with a belief system not so politically correct, long before it became progressive orthodox or mainstream?

What happened to the woman who ushered myself and others into thought provoking evaluation of their own lives?

Where is she?

She is reemerging.

She is reaching and stretching through the hardened soil, groggy from years of dormancy. This is the year to relocate and reestablish that woman as a progressive and essential organism of society.

Her existence will count.

She will again become a force to be reckoned with.
Her debut is imminent.
Her one act, one-hit wonder life is over.

The horizon is looking clearer, my friend, and I am eagerly waiting to be center stage once more.

No more understudy life.
I've got the lead role and I'm running with it.

Who Am I....

I am Wife. Mama. Teacher. Sister. Daughter. Friend. Truth seeker. Reader. Researcher. Traveler. Blogger.

For the sake of clarity, I will backtrack a few months to post blogs that I have already written and stored away. Feeling a bit like a squirrel storing nuts for the winter whose stash is about to take over and spill out through the hole in the tree, I will share. Hoarding isn't good for anything, blogging included.

I've spent time trying to organize (fail), chronologize (fail), and every other -ize forever.

Months, actually.

Trying to -ize my thoughts.
My timeline.
My life.
My purpose.


My best bet is to just do it and hope that it all gels and makes sense.

Email is a wonderful luxury, isn't it? (especially for those of us who travel pretty much full time). Shoot me one if the pieces don't all fit and you're left hanging with questions.

Random is a theme here.
You can bet on that.
No apologies offered.