A Place To Call Home

It is hard to believe that it has been a little over two months. If someone would have told me 6 months ago that we would sell our house and that we would be living in a 36 foot travel trailer…I would have laughed (and then taken measures to ensure that such a situation would NEVER happen). This new life of ours is not one I ever could have seen coming…even just a short time ago.

But here we are.

We have learned a lot in a short amount of time. RV life is certainly one that takes some getting used to, not impossible, but definitely an adjustment. A lot of people have questions and comments for us because of our newly acquired lifestyle. Honestly, I have a few questions and comments for us, too. I mean, after all, we are a family of five living in an RV, for goodness’ sake.

Here is the thing. Some days, we are just surviving. The waters rise and we can seem to barely keep our heads above the waves. It seems as if once one problem is fixed, 300 more arise in its place. There are also days when living in such a small space proves to be no longer bearable. The children’s voices permeate every place and space and the words ‘peace’, ‘quiet’, and ‘privacy’ mean nothing. These days, are hard. Sometimes, in these hard times, I doubt every and all decisions we have made. Were we crazy? What made us think we could do this? Are we doing the right thing? The latter one, is the one that sticks to your gut and keeps you up at night. It plays on all your worst doubts and fears. I would be lying if I said there were never times where a tear broke through here or there.

Then, somewhere in the bleak of night, the rays of sunlight come beaming through and it is like breathing in a fresh breath of hope. For the days where it seems as if survival is the only way of living, there also come the days were you can see that you will not only survive, but there is the hope to thrive.

These days are appearing more and more often. I would love to tell you that it is because of me and the things I have done…but, that would be nowhere near the truth. The only part I have in all of this turning out alright is in the surrender, the obedience and in trusting the One who holds every single moment in His hands. But, even then, I can only accomplish any of those things by and through His grace.

Since living here, we have had the opportunity to experience the lovely of His creation. We have enjoyed nature hikes, poem readings in seemingly secret thickets, we have watched the leaves perform their beautiful autumn dance, and have enjoyed listening to the calls of various birds flittering and fluttering all around us. We have enjoyed long nights under the moon and a few oak trees while listening to the crackling of a fire. Often, the tightness of our new home doesn’t phase me. We go about our day to day task with a smattering of ease. In fact, our family time has been richer and sweeter since moving out here. The close quarters is almost cozy in nature and I welcome its warmth.  These days, my heart swells and it is easy to see how everything will work out just fine; it is easy to enjoy the beauty of simple living; it all makes sense on these days. During these times, my heart finds its song again and it dances with joy.

But, there is a joy to be found in all times and in all seasons.

The hard days, they are getting fewer. I have seen where I needed to be stretched and where I needed to grow. Friends and family have certainly stepped in and encouraged us and often themselves lending a helping hand.  In the quiet moments, I have found myself giving thanks for the hard times…for the times where waves nearly drowned. I am learning there is a process – there is often a pain accompanied with growth, and not all pain is bad. I have learned that I can be shaped by hard times and grow from them or I can let them defeat me. In keeping my focus on Him, I am doing my best to let difficult times grow me. I am learning that in the growth, my walk with Him is closer and truer than I could have imagined it being.

So, the best answer I can give to people asking how life is going for us?

Well, it would be that we are learning to appreciate every moment of the journey. We are blessed with a sustaining grace that will bring moments beautiful and bring us through moments raw and rough. We are, every day, more and more confident and content in the place of life we are walking through and in the place where we call home.

Walking the ‘Thy Will’ Way

I walk along the soft leaf laden path. The wonder of autumn has fallen and the ground now bears evidence of its presence. Each step I take, lands on a padded surface. I lose myself in thought.

Thy Will Be Done.

It is familiar. It is desperate. It is soothing. It is unknown. It is, above all else – perfect. I recall when Jesus teaches us how to pray, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”. In the same way Jesus knew this to be the only way to live and breathe, He also knew the weight of its meaning. For a prayer of Thy will, means stepping into a space where self is abandoned…crucified and the will of God is surely being done. Jesus’ heart beat the same as His Father. In the very place where He cried out to Him in a plea of asking His father to have this cup pass from Him, He also was already One with Him in perfect obedience.

 He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, “O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done”.  (Matthew 26:42)

A prayer of Thy will is not a prayer that is without sacrifice. It is not a prayer that is free from experiencing and walking through broken. A prayer of Thy will, is not a prayer that refuses to die to self and refuses to take up one’s own cross.

A prayer of Thy Will is walking with the One who is worth every sacrifice. It is a prayer that experiences and walks through broken. A prayer of Thy will, must die to self and take up one’s own cross.

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? (Matthew 16:24-26)

Walking in a Thy will way.

This kind of walk makes me think. As I find my way through the trees, I am reminded. I watch the leaf as it dances through the air. It floats and falls with absolute certainty of its role – dying and letting go. The tree does not hold on. The tree lets go so it can experience the fulfillment of new growth at the right time and the right season.

If we could only see the beauty of releasing our own dead leaves. It is only through our accepting and walking through the Thy will moments that we will experience the forsaking of self; it is also where we will be able to one day experience true living.

To walk in the aching joy of Thy will begins with the heart and the thoughts that are produced from it. It asks for a revelation of any thing harmful, offensive, grievous, dishonest, or wicked way that is within…so that it can be surrendered to the cross. Dying to self…this will allow us to be lead in the everlasting way.

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139:23-24)

The wind rushes by and the sun beams down — it refreshes and it rejuvenates.

I don’t have to know or understand every circumstance, but I do need to surrender them all to His will and walk in obedience to where He is calling me in these circumstances. I am reminded that where I am weak, is exactly where He is strong. I don’t have to worry about my perfect obedience, for there is One who has (and only could) obeyed perfectly; I lean into that obedience, His obedience. I invite it to envelop me. I raise my eyes and my hands lift in surrendering praise.

My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:2)

I am reminded of His goodness, His faithfulness, His mercy, His grace and His steadfast love that endures forever. I can trust in His perfect ways. I can trust that He is working all things for our good and His glory. I can trust in Him

So I think…

Could we all, the body of Christ, come together and die to the self we so desperately hold on to? Could we all embrace the sacrificial life of Thy Will? Could His beloved come together and walk in His everlasting way…even if it means braving through the messes and brokenness of life? Could we love each other and encourage each other as we walk the hard road of Thy Will together?

By His grace, I think we can.

The Big Move

I see the words written in my journal. When asked how we ended up here on this new journey, I must go back to the pages that hold some of my prayers and reflections. The month was January and the words, – “Should we sell our house”…with a notation, “then what”. This was not something that we had talked about or a thought we had even entertained. I was confused as to why this question was settling itself somewhere inside of me.

February comes and goes, we have formed an outlook, a forecast if you will, for what our plans and goals were for the next five years. Somewhere, after year five — that is when we thought we would revisit the idea of selling our house. But, God had different plans. 

Words written in my journal, the month is now April. The idea of selling hasn’t been shaken, even after a set plan in place. I pray for direction and why this thought is being pressed so…I don’t understand it. My husband and I begin to entertain the idea. So, maybe it is sooner that 5 years…maybe we are looking at 3 years or so.

We begin to dream. A house sold, a mortgage paid off…and all of a sudden, life is looking vastly different. A big metal home on a small piece of land. Maybe 2 years from now.

Late July. Maybe, we buy land and pay on it while living in our current house?  We look at different plots of land…even made it to the point of taking the steps to making an offer on two. As we moved forward with making an offer, each piece of land disappears…sudden buyers come in and swoop it out of our grasp. We are confused. We are disheartened. But somewhere in our own frustration and our own unknown, the whisper becomes even louder – it is time to sell.

We are now in the first week of August. This is not making any sense. We have no where to go, not even any plans on where we could go. Nothing about this seems right. We wrestled. We doubted. We encouraged each other in our doubts. We prayed. We moved forward.

A text was sent to our friend-and-now-realtor. We were really doing this. She scheduled pictures…two days later she scheduled three showings…the next day we had an offer. Doubts were smashed, Just.Like.That.

The day we got the offer, we went out and drove around…almost aimlessly. Up until this day, we had not had any luck finding anything within a price range we were willing to pay and/or we could not find a location we felt was right. Our hearts were wide open…maybe our destination was not meant to be here. We prayed some more.

Then this day. We quite literally, happened upon the piece of land we now call home. The vision that had been placed in our minds, was here…it even had the large metal shop (though not big and grand, perfectly sufficient).

A long process then began: more praying, more doubting, more unusual circumstances, more detours, more trusting and more surrendering. A process of selling and buying that, altogether, took us two months. It was the craziest experience I have ever been through, ever. To rely on and make drastic decisions based on blind faith and trust, was not something I was not altogether familiar with…but His faithfulness was more than true and His grace was more than sufficient.

This beginning part of our journey, it stretched our faith and our endurance. We were tested and we hit (many) peak moments of stress. Moving is not for the weak, especially when it is a rather sudden thing…an unplanned thing. But there we were, weak…and moving. Many times, I was brought back to a moment I had in February of this year. While in deep contemplation and prayer with God, He challenged, as well as directed, me – “Don’t be afraid to step into obedience. Trust Me”.  This kind of obedience and this kind of trust…it is more than I can accomplish on my own. It is only because of Him that my husband and I were able to obey Him in this new journey and it is also only because of Him that we made it through this time. His peace was always just a prayer away and He supplied it freely and perfectly.

This journey we are now on…well, we don’t quite understand it yet ourselves. All we know it has been an interesting one; we also know — that it has only just begun.