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!


  1. Hey,,
    Awesome blog! I came here from Emii's blog -- you know, Girlz 4 God.

    Anyways, hope to be back -- and feel free to check out my blog and follow at

    Libby x

  2. Hi Jennifer, always love to add another FOTR blog to my list. I'll have to go back and read about your 'tour' - are you heading to the rally? I'm sure KY IS cold, although these past few days in FL have been very chilly!

    Looking forward to reading more....

    Ali -aka: BritsOnTour(

  3. would really love to meet you guys. please let me know if you will be in the DC area before the end of march. after that we don't know where we will be and i love that. your blog really hit home with me. in over 10 years of living on the road i have heard many different reactions. most of them positive luckily. sometimes you have to take the good with the bad.

    happy trails
    tara weed