Florida – Week One Recap

I can’t believe it’s already been a week since we arrived here and “ran” to the beach as fast as we could to catch our beach glimpse before our first sunset! :).

In some ways, it feels like time has slowed down because we have a much slower pace and we’re getting lots of moments to practice being still… but time also flew because we are truly enjoying this!

I feel like so much has already happened in our relationships and hearts. This has been so healing already. I’m so grateful for the space and time we’re getting. We have no TV, I’m not doing any social media except Instagram at night, and we have no commitments (other than B continuing to work hard M-F). It’s beautiful.

My expectations on myself each day are to seek the Lord, seek my family’s hearts, seek nature, exercise & education, and get us all fed and somewhat clean. With such broad goals, so few things to check off the list, and not feeling pulled in many different directions, we’re really getting the heart to heart moments that were so desperately needed. We’re also able to be really flexible and stop what we are doing and truly disciple and discipline the kids. The LORD really loves us and our children. I’m so grateful for how He has taken care of each of us and our special family bond within this crazy year and despite all our (my) mistakes and shortcomings.

He’s helping make our month in Florida a time of rest but also a time to build up our hiking muscles & lungs and also our spirit-led hearts and minds!

He is bringing to my attention some wrong thought patterns I have let take root.  I’m very aware of the “battlefield of the mind”.   Stillness is so hard for my personality but also so needed.   My mind moves so quick and takes off on a whim and before I know it I’ve spiraled down a rabbit hole of unhelpful thoughts that lead to feelings of desperation or anxiety or shame and I don’t even know how I got there. The quiet and slow pace is really giving me the space I need for Him to get my full attention and teach me and rewire some negative patterns.

I’m also so so so grateful for the minimal amount of time it now takes each day to put our stuff in order, clean, and take care of our things. Since we listed our house for sale mid August – right before it flooded – I feel we’ve had no order and most of our time has been spent moving, throwing out and/ or organizing stuff. That’s not abundant living ha . I pray we can continue to live simply like we are now and that this adventure changes us forever! I’m so thankful for the ease and true rest I feel right now. My neck even truly feels so relaxed and loose. I got tears in my eyes just writing it.

Thank you LORD! It’s been a joy to serve others this year and be called to minister and lead in different ways, but the truth is that no work He calls us to compares at ALL to just being with Him. Just being His and knowing the contentment of being His little girl (or boy). What a gift it is to get these moments.

Thank you LORD for helping us seek you and your healing, no matter what it takes. You know what each of your children need and when.

Seeking the LORD together is truly the main goal of this whole adventure. All our adventuring and seeking and exploring will be meaningless if it’s not done with us intentionally knowing the LORD is the guide and our constant companion.

Now — some of the adventures we’ve had with Him this week! 🙂

We enjoyed the beach on an 80 degree, sunny day. And all God’s people said, Amen! 🙌🏻

We’ve done hiking hiking and more hiking

Biking, hammocking ,quiet times and a ridiculous amount of reading !

Seeing manatees in the wild! What a joy and highlight this was for all of us!

When we first got there this family of 5 was right there! I won’t tell you which of us was labeled as that big “muscular” one there in the middle!

We went right around the corner and there was just SO many! I think the sign said 270 were spotted that day.

Yes this is a baby smiling at us. His name is Blub.

If you don’t think a nose could be cute… well here ya go:

These 2 won a Gold medal for synchronized swimming but the photographer was enjoying it too much to get a good capture!

This baby manatee played with the log that the bird was on until the bird finally had enough and flew off. We named this one RayRay but of course that’s purely just because we love that name and has nothing to do with anything. 🙂

Please Lord let our mansions in heaven be near manatees! Omgoodness we just loved them!

Best $6 we ever spent, ever!

He’s waving his little fin bye bye now! Ohh I want one!

We are really loving all the trees and wildlife.

We call this ugly beautiful:

I have a goal to capture a photo of the state bird and flower of each state. I was so tickled when I stopped for water and this bird flew and landed right above me! I’m almost positive this is a northern mockingbird, the state bird of Florida! MomMom can you confirm!?


It’s amazing how the slower pace makes even the “normal” seem so so beautiful!

Gopher tortoise!  They don’t swim, they can live to be 100, and their burrows are impressive.  We love them!

We visited the Valiant Air Warbird Museum and had such an amazing tour guide. Even if I’m not necessarily passionate about what we are learning about, I love listening to tour guides or teachers that are passionate about what they are sharing.   It makes you share their passion and joy for those hours together!   I’m still kicking myself for not bringing a notebook but the kids wrote down their impressions and facts they remembered as highlights – and looking at those – I know they took away the most important lessons. The D-Day plane was the most impactful for me. But my fave part of the whole day was when a fighter plane of some sort did a fly over our hanger and all of a sudden you see 30+ men age 70+ run like little boys full of excitement to see what exact plane it was and to discuss it together! Most of these volunteers are retired military pilots or mechanics/ engineers. It was a sweet moment to be a part of.

We ate in all week – it was easier to cook than expected. (More on that later!) But Saturday we splurged and enjoyed Dinner and treats at Disney Springs!

Woody is feeling like home, for sure. I have so many sweet memories of walking back at dinner time or dusk this week. With tired legs, sunkissed faces, and happy hearts – we round the last bend and get that feeling of sweet relief – there he is, we’re home!

Some nights our legs were more tired than others 🙂

I hope to share with y’all in an upcoming post something like…. “funny things we find ourselves saying” because this is a different lifestyle with a big learning curve so we’ve had great laughter this week :).

Love y’all !

8 thoughts on “Florida – Week One Recap

  1. Wendy Hemphill

    Nothing like a sabbatical.
    Perfect time in your kid’s lives.
    Never go back to the highly cluttered and demanding life.
    This culture is killing true living.

  2. Gary & Deanie Hurst

    Deanie and I are enjoying your posts and a so excited to follow your adventures with God! The pictures are amazing! We continue to pray as you move to your next stop.

  3. Roberta Quigley

    This is truly beautiful! From the expressions on faces to God’s beauty in nature captured so well in the pictures. Your words are thought provoking and inspiring! Carry on Rookie Roadsters!

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  5. <3 I just loved this post so much. From the beauty of God's creations in your pictures, to the beautiful smiles on all of your faces, it just made my heart so happy for your sweet family! I'm incredibly happy to hear you're all finding that peaceful balance, seeking and being in His Presence on this trip. You're all so blessed to be doing what others only dream of 🙂 Continuing to pray for you all on your travels. Keep on Keeping On Rookies!

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