After driving 7 hours on what felt like a buckin’ bronco we finally made it to San Antonio! The roads are so terribly bumpy in between NOLA and here. RR was so nausea that he decided to run for governor of both Texas and Louisiana to do something about these highways! His political plans couldn’t help his ornery attitude on the drive that day so we had to plug him into Minecraft to build perfectly designed and constructed smooth roads … (so we could all get some peace from his old man grumbling).
To prove he isn’t exaggerating though – when we opened Woody at a gas station the fridge door had somehow gotten open and food was tossed around. Woody’s door had lost a screw also and gotten all bent and lopsided. Every other ride we’ve been on it looked like *nothing* had shifted. We expected this from Louisiana 🙂 but we expected better from you, Texas! <Insert me singing God Blessed Texas>.
Texas immediately redeemed itself for us because the first gas station we stopped at everybody was so polite and friendly and the clerk even gave us 8 free cinnamon buns! Most importantly we saw 4 cowboy hats! B refused to let me take a picture with my first Texas cowboy 😦 so I made him promise to dress up as one for Halloween!
The girls were literally *squealing* when they saw the bathrooms in our RV park:
On a serious note, I need to share some heart work the Lord did in me this week. He has really been working on me a lot these last few years on surrender: letting go of expectations, being able to trust Him and accept His sovereignty when things don’t go as planned, and being okay with imperfections. I would say He’s done a great job teaching and changing me in these areas in the last decade and especially this past year !!! But of course it will be a lifelong work.
It was bound to happen – but one day this week I had to have a little breakdown when I realized how high my expectations about this trip were and that I needed to tame my Clark Griswold self. Here are some of the realities I had to work through:
- As we move from place to place, we always come with us 🙂 . What I mean is our baggage and bad patterns don’t miraculously get dropped off at each state like I apparently wanted them to. This Mommy-ing and wife-ing stuff is WORK.
- It hasn’t been 75 and sunny every day on this journey which I so dreamed about . After the worst year of weather ever – I had joked enough times that it was going to be perfect weather on this trip that I think I actually had convinced myself it would be hehe.
- I put way too much pressure on the adventure itself. Wanting to take this “once in a lifetime” opportunity to really show the kids new people, places, and culture. It’s been hard some weeks (last week) dealing with traffic, a broken bike, plans changing, and trying to discern how much to explore out n about and how much to have at home days.
- We really didn’t have a lot of time to plan for this trip. It’s been a whirlwind since the flood and all I planned was locations but didn’t know what I wanted to do in each !!!! I started to worry that by the time we figure out how to do each particular city we are in – it will be time to leave and we’ve missed it all haha.
- The bank account, B working full time, and our energy levels are limiting factors into my expectations as well.
SO – I faced these realities and my sinful self. I had to confess that at the first sign of imperfect I had become an Israelite and I was discontent and ungrateful. And I had started to whine to B. Worst mistake I make every time haha. He is so undeserving of any whine. And really it just doesn’t help.
Truth: Women, we are too much for our men to handle unless we’ve already laid it all down with the Lord FIRST!! It makes it so much worse when I don’t go to the Lord as my best friend, Savior, and Father FIRST. I very much still talk to B and love to process with him but not first. The Lord meets my needs and reminds me of the hard lessons He has taught me in such a tender way that only HE can!!
Happy wife = happy life is just so true! And the best gift I can give B is being satisfied and content in the Lord. For real! That’s one HUGE way I can show love and thanks to him.
Yes – last week- it felt like things were falling apart a bit and I got *scared* instead of trusting and content…. but God uses all things for good… and the mini breakdown led to a beautiful breakthrough!!!
I write this truth down and say it often but living it out is harder: loving the LORD (being loved by Him!!) and loving each other is THE most important thing we will experience on this adventure.
I’m grateful He sunk that lesson in even deeper this week.
If we’re being well loved by Him – and in turn loving well – then we’re following Him. If we’re following Him – then we’re on the adventure He wants us on!
If we don’t get to see everything we want to, if we miss out on “must sees”, if the weather stinks and plans change – it really is all good!!! We see the work the Lord is doing – and that alone is worth everything that led us here.
All of these “bucket list” items are amazing experiences for our children and we are SO grateful for what they are learning — but these things too will pass away. These buildings, historical monuments, everything. But pursuing the Lord and people will always be most important and the only things that will last.
We are so grateful to learn in person instead of at a desk reading books !!! We love this opportunity so much – but it’s just a part of THE adventure that will last forever.
Soooo —- Mommy confessed and repented and asked for forgiveness. Our one kiddo who just has been such a handful from day one (of his life) expressed how much he truly wants the Lord to change him and was sorry for his pre teen disrespect and general ungrateful unhappiness. He is such a sweet, fun, unique, and gifted boy. I have no doubt the Lord’s hands are going to mold and use him for amazing things!!! What’s a handful to me is perfectly created for the Lord’s infinitely huge and capable hands. So we will keep giving him to the Lords hands – exactly where he should be.
The other 3 had done nothing wrong . at. all….. and just had to forgive the 2 of us who are “gifted” with such strong organizational and leadership qualities (ie: commanding control freaks), that I know the Lord will use for His glory — but are hard to deal with in the meantime.
We all took time to reflect on the trip so far and Mommy especially remembered – wow! Literally, God has gone above and beyond to make this such an amazing adventure. The truth is we’ve had barely any issues, the kids have gotten along SO well and that hasn’t been an issue, B has transitioned to work on the road perfectly and is thriving, the weather and traffic have been almost perfect, we’ve always had the perfect RV spots chosen for us that we didn’t even pick!!! We’ve gotten to see and learn SOOOO much!
How ungrateful for me to forget just because we had an off week in New Orleans. I couldn’t express the growing anxiousness and discontent I was having the past week — I thought it was just the NOLA dark spirits bothering me — but He’s such a good Daddy to reveal how we have wandered. And it’s always in His perfect time.
After our breakthrough – the Lord gave us one of my fave days of the trip. It only could have been better if B was with us. It doesn’t seem fair that the one who had the bad attitudes and anxiety issues gets this glorious day but He knows best 🙂
So just like He does…. He got me up from my tear soaked pillow …. filled me up with His grace and a new trust in Him, ready to start again! We went out and found a state park (this is what I need to look for in each locations! Nature!) and we were just happy happy happy to enjoy His creation almost untouched. Oh! And on the way there flipping through the radio I heard Ms Val’s moms voice (Elisabeth Elliot) and the Lord ministered to me so much through her as we drove. Her talk that day was all about SURRENDER of course! Surrender + trust + contentedness in Him = the lessons of my life.
RR is at his best when he’s in nature. Out in nature, he is so content and peaceful. He doesn’t rush or command us around and he talks to me – more than one word answers hehe. I love seeing him like this!
I had no idea he was so good at skipping rocks! The girls and I were so impressed:
He was so funny trying to run across these “paths” of rocks like a football drill trying not to get wet:
One of E & AB’s fave things to do is find natures little comfy cozy places. There was some great little “quiet moment” spots at this park:
We loved our first bird blind:
I’m still practicing shooting in Manual mode – getting better but not perfect 🙂 .
By the way those camelback water backpacks the kids are wearing!?! Best Christmas gift I ever got
It was such a beautiful day. There’s no art gallery in the world as good as this one:
It was such a beautiful day and undeserved, like everything else in life. Thank you Father!