Salvage, Stitches, Storage, and Sadness

Salvage, Stitches, Storage, and Sadness

April 22, while driving in Michigan at 11pm (about to call it a night), we came to an intersection with a blinking yellow light. We had the right of way. A car on the intersecting road decided to go. I slammed on the SUV brakes, Caleb slammed on the truck brakes, and the RV brakes didn’t work right (and they worked fine up until this point). The RV kept going, ripped the hitch in the truck bed almost completely out, slammed into the cab and back tail light area, and the truck slammed into our SUV.

We were able to coast into a local grocery store in White Lake, about an hour east of Lansing. Everyone was fine. The truck and RV were totalled by the insurance companies. The SUV probably would have been but we only had liability on it. It is still drivable. We also ended up getting another truck already (although now it needs an EGR delete). We couldn’t finance another RV until the insurance paid for the other one. They wouldn’t pay until we moved out. I had took pictures and videos on my smart phone but then the screen broke and I am back to a flip phone.

We visited the local Baptist Church the day after the wreck and have fell in love with the people. Everyone has been so helpful and welcoming. A loving family has welcomed us into their home while we wait on the bank to finance us. All our stuff was in a 5×10 ft storage unit until a few days ago when we moved it to the pastor’s garage. We have enjoyed helping out at the church when we can and now call it home.

Caleb has had a job since April 25th but got injured on the job after two weeks of working​ there. While cutting down a tree with a chainsaw, the tree fell quicker than planned (his boss didn’t have the trunk held tight), branches hit the chainsaw which swung back and hit Caleb’s knee. He got 12 stitches. He was still working but was overdoing it a lot so missed about 10 days of work (spread out, not all in a row). It was at a bad spot and kept splitting open. It looks way better now.

When he first got the stitches

Also at the end of May, my family had another gut wrenching blow. My younger brother overdosed (not Herion) and was in the hospital for four days before he passed. He was my step dad’s only child. My stepdad had passed in January from esophagal cancer. My family is all deeply grieved and will never​ be the same. We are still very much in shock because no one expected my always-smiling, 22 year old brother to die. The day before he spent making future plans with his girlfriend. It still just feels like a dream that we wish we could wake up from!

We miss you two so much!

As far as my family (the four of us) goes, we plan to get a new RV soon, Lord willing. Also my husband is probably switching jobs soon to something more permanent. I will update more as the Lord reveals His plans for our lives. He has done tons of pruning on us and we keep our faith and hope on His future plans for us. We are loving where He is leading us and just need to give things time to fall into place!
Rest in Peace 

Dakota (Cody)

December 30, 1994 -May 30, 2017

Always smiling!
My little brother will be missed so much!
I could always depend on him to be a great Uncle “Cookie” to m boys. Lucas gave him the nick name when he was younger.

Reflecting on Our First Year of RV Living

Reflecting on Our First Year of RV Living

A Year…

A lot happens in 365 days. Babies are born, people pass away, and life keeps changing. Nothing stays the same. Some changes might seem insignificant but everything is always changing.

April last year we bought our first RV: Harvey. We downsized from a 2 bedroom rental house with a basement and back yard to an RV and the world as our backyard. A lot has changed. Some changes were huge like changing to a newer RV, moving to different states, and what we did for income. Other minor changes impacted us significantly and caused lots of personal growth in our lives.

1. Our Faith has Grown

Living life on the road, as believers, we have changed from traditional church goers to more Christ followers. We used to help out at the local Baptist church every now and again but mostly were pew sitters. Since going fulltime, we have helped many churches in different capacities. In Elkhart, Indiana we gave advice on how to reach our generation. A church in Bushnell, Florida we helped with repairing their bus and with demolition on a room and hallway they transformed into a beautiful lobby. In Lake Wales, Florida we helped with an outreach ministry, some visitation, and song leading (my husband). In Dothan, Alabama we helped a pastor with repairing his trucks and work on his farm. We just help our fellow man in any way we feel God lead us.

2. The Type of People We Know has Grown

With all our moving, we have met people from many walks of life. We have met many types of Christians, other RVers, and a variety of others. We enjoyed conversations with many. We shared meals with fellow RVers, friends, and family. My son and I signed with a deaf couple at an RV park and I translated for a deaf man attending our Alabama church. We recently shared our truck and RV with a man named Jake and his sweet puppy Sage, who were looking for a ride from Florida to Michigan. People are amazing and should all be loved and respected for who God made them, regardless if they are different.

3. Our Hope in Humanity has Grown

We have not always been on the giving end this year, we have had many people bless us! Family and friends have opened their homes, couches, and driveways up to us. Two different churches have let us hook up for free in their parking lot. We have been blessed with gifts of money, food, clothes, or even toys for our boys. Other RVers have gave us free advice and helped us with our vehicles and/or rigs. We shared Thanksgiving with a sweet pastor and his wife. We had an RV park manager let us stay a few weeks for free when we had no work. RVers of two seperate parks gave us Christmas cards filled with money when we couldn’t find work. People really do still look out for their fellow man!

4. Our Relationships with Family and Friends have Grown

It seems almost against logic but we feel closer to others when we can travel. We are able to uproot easily, to visit people we miss, or help others in need. I was able to be with my family when my stepdad died. I also stayed with my mom for 8 days to help her pack up some of her house and just keep her  company. We stayed with friends when traveling through Knoxville, TN and traveled to PA last year to visit cousins. We parked the RV at an Aunt and Uncle’s farm in Pensacola, Florida. This year has been filled with many growing relationships.

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How has a life of RVing and/or minimalism impacted your social life?

Grief, My Current Companion

Grief, My Current Companion
My boys and I went to the beach in memory of my stepdad who passed on January 21st.

Grief is so hard to understand. One day, everything seems fine. The next you are depressed and do things in memory of the one passed. The next you are too busy to cry. The following you are walking in a fog. The next day you are angry at God for letting them die so young and crying your eyes out! 

My stepdad was an amazing Pap-Pap!

My stepdad lost his year and a half long fight against Esophageal Cancer. I underestimated how hard his passing would hit me. It doesn’t help when sick kids, depression, financial struggle, and a strained marriage are thrown into the mix. But since he passed, my emotions are everywhere! I really don’t know what kind of support I need during this season of my life. If you are trying to comfort those grieving, be ready for the many different “days”. They may want to cry, scream, reminisce, laugh, talk, or ignore people altogether. Meals, hugs, and offering help with kids, housework, or errands is appreciated!

The words slipped away into the ocean. Such symbolism of his life’s passing.

So in this grieving time, I am not sure how often I will write. My life feels on hold. My weight loss journey is currently non-existent. My minimalism has came to a halt. I want to celebrate life but I don’t know how through all this pain. I want life to make sense. I want to be surrounded by family and I feel lost in the wilderness, states away. The loss of a loved one while on the road is hard. You can’t always move back home while you grieve. Life just keeps going even though you feel like you are sitting still.

Life: Raw and Unfiltered

Lately, I have been at a loss of words for my blog writing. This has been a season of waiting on God, on reflection, of sorting through emotions, and of trying to figure out life. The longer I live, the more confused about life I get.

Some days, life feels so short. That life is “but a vapor”. You’re born, you live, you die. What are we doing with that dash that will be on our tombstone some day? Are we living a meaningful life? Do our short lives matter? Even as a Christian, I have my days of doubts. Why am I here on earth? What is my purpose?

This past year I have spent minimizing my physical possessions. I have even changed my eating habits, lost some weight, and dealt with some skeletons in my closet. But despite all that, I am searching for more in life. The  WHY? I don’t know when I will find that answer. I will just keep trying my best to worship and serve God, and love others the best I can. 

This is all part of my journey. Although lately, my GPS just keeps saying “rerouting” without a clear path or destination. I am trying to navigate through financial hardships, a dying step-dad, and emotionally needy children. I keep looking to the Lord. I keep searching for a glimmer of light in this dark valley. Is it just around this next bend? Oh, Lord I hope so!

Sometimes Life Gets Messy But…

To many this does not look that messy. But after a hard day of housework and homework, this is a MESS! It has been a hard day with the boys. Everything was a battle. Everything tested my patience. Everything seemed to be argued about. Lots and lots “breathing” moments. 

Sometimes life gets messy but God doesn’t leave us in that mess. He wants better for us. He wants deep conversations between a parent and a child to releive the tension, attitudes, and struggle. He wants a husband to help his wife out after a rough day with the kids so he can be her knight in shining armour once more. 

Life gets messy but sometimes the messiest moments lead to our greatest moments of growth, of mending, and of healing. God takes our messy moments and turns them for good. Tonight was a reminder to me that we all are messy people. We all snap at a people we love, neglect others’ needs, and forget to “treat others how we want to be treated”. Days like this remind me I need a Savior, I need Jesus Christ. 

“For God sent not hia Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him  might be saved.” -John 3:17

I didn’t write this to preach but to share how the Lord impacts my life. He helps me on my rough days keep it together. He is my example of long-suffering, compassion, and love. I am not perfect but I hope I have modeled to my family, especially my boys, a glimpse of the Father’s forgiveness, love, and patience today.

Do you have a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ? I’d love to hear about how He impacts your daily life!