We had a great day of weeding out!!! I LOVE THIS WEATHER!! It was perfect today - a little cloudy so that it wasn't too hot, a nice soft breeze, it was awesome! We got everything out of the outer compartments of the RV and sorted through it all. I also vacuumed out our car and realized the last time I remember doing that was Washington, DC! Yikes! It took me an hour and a half to do it! We must have had dirt on the floor from like 13 states! :-) Anyway, we ended up with 4 piles - 1 was a pile of things we will be taking to Lighthouse (it's like Goodwill), 1 pile of stuff we'll be taking to a friend's huge attic (we already have a few things in there), 1 small pile of stuff we'll be taking to our storage unit, and 1 pile of stuff we stuffed back into the compartments of the RV. We are planning on re-weighing ourselves tomorrow. We don't think we got rid of 2000 pounds, but we're hoping it will be around 1000 pounds! We still have stuff we could get rid of on the inside, but we'll have to do that later. Tomorrow will be dumping, getting LP, weighing ourselves, delivering our stuff to storage and Lighthouse, and getting ready to celebrate New Years! Yeehaw! I wish everyone a very Happy New Year!
I hope everyone has had a wonderful day celebrating the birth of Christ! Our life journal readings this week have been all about the resurrection account in John, and I really liked that it helped us keep the focus on what we are really celebrating. It is not just that Christ was born, but that He died for us! We wouldn't have had much reason to celebrate Him apart from that. Anyway, we warned the kids that this would be a very small Christmas - just a few gifts a piece - and they have really had great attitudes. Plus my parents and my Aunt and cousin helped filled in some gaps with their wonderful gifts to the kids, so that was such a blessing! I had a great Christmas present in that my sister made pancakes for the kids this morning and let Tim and me sleep in until about 8:30am! We had a lovely day - the weather was absolutely gorgeous!!! I sat out near my parents' pool a few times throughout the day soaking in the sun. I think I'm finally thawed out from our northern excursion! :-) Well, I pray everyone enjoyed time with their families and were able to offer grace and forgiveness towards each other when the inevitable bumps happened. Tim and I were talking tonight about our hearts' desire to help families, and thinking of all the families getting together today and many people feeling so alone even in the midst of being with their families - the thought just makes our desire grow to help be a conduit of God's grace to heal hurting marriages and families. We are continuing to pray for the wisdom in how to identify the right venue for this, and still would so appreciate your prayers for us in this. Here are some pictures from our day - hope you enjoy.
I hope everyone is enjoying the Christmas Season! This has been the most low-key Christmas I think I've ever had, and yet it still feels stressful since coming off of the past 3 months when our schedule was our own. Now I'm finding many other factors dictating our schedule and remembering that is the way we used to constantly live! I'm guessing there are a few of you out there who can relate, eh? It's really hard to break away from that, especially when you have so many doctor's visits! Speaking of doctor's visits, Noah got his braces on yesterday and I must say he is doing quite well with them, although you would rarely hear Noah complain of pain anyway. Nor of hunger (although he did say he was hungry I think once this past year), nor of feeling sick. He just can't be bothered with those little irritations. It seems to me his mind is always workng on more important things. I have to say, I've been wondering how in the world to challenge that mind since he finished the high school web design classes he took at the beginning of this year. They were year long classes that should have taken him 2 years total to take them, and only took him 3 months each, earning him A's in both classes. (Sorry - Mom's got bragging rights). :-) And every assignment I give him he finishes pretty quickly and then seems bored. The people who's back yard we are parked in reminded me of this website that I have known about but didn't think about turning Noah onto called lynda.com. It has all kinds of educational techno stuff on there, and it has really been an answer to prayer. He is eating the material on that site up!! It's been fun to watch him.
Well, today we unhooked to dump and get LP. It has been SOOOOO nice to not be in freezing weather and concerned about running out of LP!!! I really do love Florida! Tim's been saying that he believes our camper has been overweight for what it is rated for, so we had it weighed today. I'm still in shock. We're rated for 14,050 pounds. The scales said we weighed 16,020 pounds (this was before we dumped, but STILL - that is crazy!). That is almost 2,000 pounds OVER what this camper is rated for! Yikesee!! That's like a TON overweight! (Hmm - I wonder if that has anything to do with blown tires we've experienced?) So now we're talking about selling our tow dolly and getting some type of pull behind storage thingy that we could drive our car onto and has places we could offload some of our stuff. from the camper to. We'll have to figure out how much this is rated to pull behind it, but we're thinking we'll have a better chance of not going over that rating since our car is so light (1,000 pounds less than any other minivan). I think Tim's a little discouraged because we have a lot to do before we can go back out on the road, especially maintenance-wise. We need to have the slide fixed, the antennae crank handle fixed, the LP gauge fixed, the curtain to our bedroom fixed, a leak repaired, and probably a few other things I'm not thinking of at the moment. But, we're still believing God's guiding, so He will be providing! We'll keep you posted!
Yesterday was my 39th birthday!! OK, so maybe it wasn't my 39th birthday, but it was my birthday, and it was a very nice day indeed. I was able to go to my work out class in the morning and then have a nice shower at the YMCA. The kids kept asking me what I wanted for my birthday, and I really didn't want anything, so they pooled their money together and took me to brunch at the Brunchery - it was a great time! They made me some wonderful cards - I love the creativity of kids! Tim bought me a very nice card, I had calls and emails from family and friends, I just have SO much to be thankful for! Then we went to a Christmas party with people I used to work with at IBM and AT&T - it was a lot of fun catching up with them and just hanging out together. Most of them were from my days in the Customer Assistance department at IBM - we had a really great group of people who genuinely liked working together. Those were the days! Today we went to church instead of having little church, and then had a great day of rest (with the exception of a very needed trip to the laundromat). The next several days are going to be busy, busy, busy! I'm sure no one else can relate to that! :-) Let's pray for grace and peace for each other! Blessings!
For those who have been following us since the beginning, you may remember when we were trying to get on the road back in August we were engaged in a battle with all our stuff! We finally just crammed the last of the things we thought we would use into our camper so we could get going, figuring we could organize it and find a place for all of it on the way. It turns out, there were several things we never could find a place for, so this is how we handled it. While we were travelling we had a bunch of stuff on Nathan and Noah's bed in the cabover area. Then when we stopped for the night, we would drag it all down and put it in the driver's and passenger's seats. Then we'd drag it all back up in the cabover when we had to roll again. Yeehaw!! So yesterday Nicole and I took all that stuff out and loaded probably 1/2 of it in the car and took it to our storage facility! Our storage is pretty full already, otherwise we would have taken all of it. But we were able to cram in everything we took there, and left feeling pretty proud of ourselves. :-) Earlier in the day we all went to Noah's orthodontist appointment - he'll be getting braces on Tuesday - and then Tim dropped Nicole and me off at a friend's house for girl time with the mom and daughter there. He went on to our church with the boys, and the boys watched a movie while he had some guy time with a guy there at the church. And then last night I was able to go my work out class!! All in all, a very busy but satisfying day. We still are coveting your prayers in regards to direction and provision, and we so appreciate all the encouragement we get on many different levels. Blessings to all!
I ran into people all day today who said, "It's SO COLD!" and now I know why people up north laugh at us Floridians when we say that! Today had a high of 50-something around here and it still felt great to me after all the cold weather we have experienced over the past several weeks! We started our lined up doctor visits today. Today was Nathan's orthodontist. Tomorrow is Noah's. Monday all 4 kids see the dentist and Noah his neurologist and Nathan goes back to his orthodontist. Tuesday Tim & I see the dentist, and Wednesday I see the 'female' doctor for a routine check up. Whew! Today we had a great homeschool day, and then Tim and Nicholas dropped off Nicole and me at the laundromat to do laundry while they made a Walmart run. We finished all the laundry, including folding, in like 45 minutes (the washers were something like 19 minutes and the dryers took 18 minutes). Why can't our home washers and dryers do that? Our washer used to take at least an hour to wash, and our dryer took even longer to dry, and everybody else I know seems to have washers and dryers that take that long, too. Someone needs to do something about that! :-) Well, I hope everyone is enjoying the reason for the season and not getting too stressed out at all the other stuff! Blessings to all!
We had SUCH a great time with my family yesterday. My parents, my sister, and my aunt and uncle who were in town from Illinois – it was SO nice. Tim fixed a fantastic dinner (thus the picture at the dinner table and the one of him in the kitchen). It is really good to be home.
Everyone is asking us how long we will be in town. That is a good question. Originally we were thinking we would be here for about 3 weeks and then we’d be ‘out there’ again. But we also were thinking Tim was going to have a source of revenue while we were travelling that, bottom line, just wasn’t as much as we thought it would be and simply isn’t enough to sustain us on the road. So, now what? Being back in familiar territory and back with my family yesterday and back in warmer weather (even though there’s a cold front here it is STILL warmer than where we’ve been) has really been pulling at me. So last night Tim and I did a lot of talking and praying for confirmation of what God wants. I woke up this morning to my Bible reading in Hebrews 10 and 11 and sensed, once again, His confirmation of His will in what we are doing. That hasn’t changed. Verses like these out of Hebrews 10, verses 35-39 lept out at me:
So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For in just a very little while,
"He who is coming will come and will not delay.
But my righteous one will live by faith.
And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him."
But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.
And then in Hebrews 11, the great faith chapter, it says in verses 8-10 & 13:
By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents (he was camping!), as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God
All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth.
I LOVE verse 8, ‘even though he did not know where he was going’. That’s us!!! I had a great talk this morning with a sweet friend who was so encouraging. I was that we still don’t have the platform for ministry to families that we thought we would have by now, which was another factor in me questioning if we should go ‘out there’ again without definite plans of how we would help familes. She said she has sensed all along that this trip was preparing us for that platform and that the platform would come at the end of our 1 year journey, not in the midst. I had never even considered that. Either way, I have no doubt God has told us to go, and as I've heard before, where God guides, He provides, and that is what we are believing He will do. So, that is our status. We're here until God provides for us to go 'out there' again. We are praying and listening and looking forward to seeing how God does something that looks impossible to me. I leave you with another great verse from Hebrews 11, verse 1:
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
We all agree - it has been so great being on the road, but the feeling of being home is still a great feeling! I was just bursting with excitement when I went to my dance class this morning - I hugged everyone!! But I soon realized how out of shape I was when I thought the class was almost over because of how tired I was but it was only 1/2 way through! I made it all the way to the end, granted my tongue was hanging out, but I did make it. Then it was off to our sweet neighbors (who have been faithfully collecting and sending our mail) to get hair cuts for the boys. It was great seeing our old house next door from the outside. We were all really wanting to just walk in the front door, but we didn't want to intrude, so we refrained from even knocking on the door. Maybe later this week. ANYWAY, you can read Nicole's post for the rest of the details of today, but I just wanted to say how nice it was to go to our home church tonight. While Tim and I prayed as we were driving to church this evening, I was struck at how great the feeling of being 'home' is after being gone for over 3 months. But I was also imagining how it will feel when we get to heaven, our real home! I can only imagine. You know, someone should write a song about that or something. :-) Anyway, it was a lot of fun seeing people again and hugging necks and just being 'home'. Plus the experience of worshipping God together with others and sensing His Spirit moving was such a blessing. We were able to hug 2 of our most faithful commentors of this blog today (one in our neighborhood and the other at church) and it was just SO great to see them, along with everyone else. I admit it, I feel very full tonight (and not just because we had a nice dinner in our camper tonight). But there's more - we will be going to see my parents and my sister and my aunt and her husband tomorrow!! Can't wait to see them! I guess it just makes me all that more thankful for the many people God has blessed our lives with.
We camped last night in Perry, Ga, and on the advice of someone who commented on our blog, we went to the Museum of Aviation in Warner Robins today. In fact, they met us there themselves. It was a great museum, and I couldn’t believe it was free. We had a very nice time with a very nice family, and here are the pictures to prove it:
We were going to stay here one more night, but we are all really ready to be in our hometown, so we are leaving now and will pull into our hometown probably around 11pm tonight.
Well, we just weren't sure we would make it until today on our LP, so Tim unhooked and went with Nicholas into town yesterday to get LP. I took the triplets on a short hike in the woods, and then we went to the park lodge to eat our packed lunch. We all met up back at the buddy site (Nathan and I get a kick out of saying that), and after setting everything up again we took off in the car to visit the falls. They were stunning! Here are some pictures:
We'll be checking out of here shortly and heading to Georgia! Can't wait for Florida and warmer weather! Blessings to all!
Tim & Jodie