This is a journal entry from this past weekend on our first RV trip since moving out of our home:
When Clinton and I talked about what we should do after we sold the house, he was a bit apprehensive about living in an RV. He thought it might be exciting, but then he would waiver about it. I was gung-ho about it since the beginning. You see I love new beginnings and I love adventures to new places even more. We have been on plenty of RV trips in the past and our family has always had such a great time. We have always said, jointly, that the best decision we ever made was to buy our RV. The last weekend in our home brought a reality check of what we were leaving behind as the property was just beginning to come alive with full sun, budding plants, trees and flowers.
After moving out nothing could have prepared me for what we had in store the first couple of days after being out of the home. In the midst of experiencing burn out and the desire to rest we went to my parent’s house with the thought that we would all just sleep for two days and do nothing but vegetate and get re-energized. Instead we were met with many more challenges which you can read about on my post from last week HERE.
This Wednesday marked a week out of our home. At this point we still had not slept in the RV because it was still packed with things thrown in it from the move. On short notice we cleared it up as best as we could and then headed down to Sacramento for an appointment. On the way down we were almost to our destination when we had our first mechanical problem. The problem was fixed and we were off and on our way. The next day we realized that on top of the other previous problem, we apparently made an 8 hour drive without brake lights or turning lights. So, the RV was worked on until about 2pm the next day. The entire time the family had no choice, but to be in the RV because we were not in a location we could go out and explore. As you could imagine the six children were getting restless and daddy was stressed about the RV which is not just a recreational vehicle, but our home! It was then I announced, “Ok kids the Word of the day is FLEXIBLE!” God is working on us being flexible.
After shopping that afternoon, the reality began to sink in that we just did a bunch of shopping for items to put into the RV to make living more manageable. However, there could be the possibility that overnight the vehicle, our home, could become totally useless and stationary with no notice. I think the unsurety of the whole situation started to finally effect my husband. He was grumpy and it showed. To make matters worse he ended up losing our cell phone just after the RV was ready to go back on the road. He was concerned that it was an expensive phone and I was just concerned that we might lose touch with people since much of my contact info is on that phone. On the way to our next destination tension was mounting for him and something happened with traffic. I can’t remember exactly the situation, but while we were driving something in traffic caused us to jiggle enough that a huge water jug we just filled got jolted over and spilled all over the floor, so we had to rush to clean that up. The entire time this is going on the children and I are trying to remain in good spirits, but daddy was clearing frustrated and deep in thought about this expedition that is actually going to be a new lifestyle for us. I would like to say, “This is not his usual character”, but I could see him counting the cost silently and laboring mentally over whether or not he made the right decision to live in an RV full time with all of our kiddos. To add to the frustration here we were in a different area with the intention to totally depend on internet service on our phone to plan our trip over this weekend. We tried going to a Verizon store to get a new phone and the store closed just 15 minutes before, which was disappointing to Clinton. We searched high and low for that phone and we retraced his steps at stores etc. Nothing. Later that afternoon after the joyfulness wore off and the Sacramento heat turned up. One of my kid’s was complaining about siblings sitting too close to her while we were driving. She wanted space. I reminded her that when the Israelite’s were being led through the wilderness I am sure plenty of them were uncomfortable, but yet this was God’s plan. I used to be a Director for a Women’s Mission program before and I reminded them that there are people who are homeless and they do not have a choice about who they get to sleep and sit next to. I assured her that her siblings smelled a lot better than some of these poor people that smelled like urine so much of the time. I reminded her to be flexible.
Why are we making such a great sacrifice? For starters we are free from debt which is bondage to us, so we feel more rescued than anything. However, we are choosing to live in an RV because we want to simplify life for this season in our lives. We are seeking to have more time with our children. We know that soon enough this lifestyle will find its rhythm. We just have to be patient and in the meanwhile enjoy the ride…
This trip has been so instructive in so many areas. In some instances it is bringing out some of our greatest character flaws, while at other times it is showing the Lord strong in our lives. Clinton ended up apologizing to the family for his attitude and asked for our forgiveness and told us he repented to God. He acknowledged that he is being tested and at some points failing like all of us have at some point or another.
Tonight one my girl’s was once again feeling the tension of the cramped space and was exhausted so I told her to get to bed. On the way to get dressed she banged her head so hard on the edge of the cabinet. I felt so bad for her. She looked so defeated. Just five minutes later my 21 month old fell backwards and hit his head really hard on a piece of metal under the front seat and was screaming. I was feeling so moved by my children’s pain. My daughter went to her bed which is really the sofa bed she shares with two other kids and is in the center of the RV. She laid hiding her face as if she just wanted to disappear. I felt horrible for her. I brought lotion and rubbed her feet and legs. I stroked her hair and massaged her face. I whispered to her that I loved her and I was sorry she hit her head. I felt so helpless.
As I was writing this blog post at 1:30am I heard a huge slam in the living room and it was my son. He fell out of his bunk bed for the second night in a row. The first night the kids below dumped him out by pushing the base up with their bodies since it is just a temporary fabricated bunk bed system they made, but tonight he rolled out and both times fell flat on his face. The first time he was very brave and got up with a good attitude. He helped his grandfather make that bed system and he was so proud of it. He was so excited to sleep on it the first night. Now he was laying on the ground face covered in blood from falling so hard. He was crying that his eyes hurt and his nose was aching. He was defeated. Once again. As a mother I felt helpless and then I felt guilty because earlier I thought of putting something down that could break his fall if he fell again. I put his air mattress on the floor and I laid next to him, stroking his hair telling him how proud I am of him and what a wonderful young man he is turning into. I praised him and told him I love him. I prayed over him. Once again I felt helpless to make this traumatic incident disappear. I am reminded about flexibility and how my son reminded me earlier today during a trying time, “Flexible, the Lord wants us to be flexible.” Even now I just want to go curl up next to him and tell him it will be all right. Can you pray for our family? Pray for the Lord’s protection over us. Thank you
Update: This trip was one was like a roller coaster ride for sure, but in the end the word of the day is still flexible. We are not going to put our boy in his bunk until we know it is safe.
This was a Facebook post that basically sums it all up for now.
“After about the fifth stubbed toe in the family because of confined space, having my son come to give me a hug on the front seat but instead dumped my lunch plate on my lap, making a makeshift door so someone can use the bathroom, I burst out into laughter! I just laughed and said, “This is our new life, God really wants to grow us. I think we’re going to learn to laugh about a lot more things! Clinton response, we must be crazy. No not crazy just obedient to what we feel God is calling us to do. Anyone interested in us doing a youtube series? So you can follow the Exodus? Let me know”
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