“He who has not been named”, aka “You know who”, aka “the trailer.”

Y’all.  Something awesome has happened! After years of dreaming and Pinterest pinning, we bought a junker of a camper a couple of weeks ago!   This beauty is appropriately disgusting and in disrepair.

IMG_9318.JPGThere has been much discussion about what name to give the trailer.  So far, nothing  has stuck.  For now, I am referring to it as “He (or she) who has not been named” or “You know who” This trailer is going to get a complete overhaul and it’s going to be so much fun!  (well, except for the parts where I get frustrated and wish we had never seen the thing)

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She needs a name
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This folds out to a bed; and a toilet that does NOT belong there
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Anyone care for dinner?
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Original sink and stove (which I LOVE). Those are staying.

I plan to document her progress here on the blog so make sure you follow to get all the updates!  Demo day is coming soon.

This trailer is ready for a makeover!

“He who has not been named”, aka “You know who”, aka “the trailer.”

He Goes With Me

I wrote this in December 2016.  Since then I have quit my job and I don’t exactly know where things are heading.  But I won’t be going alone…

Then Moses said, “If you don’t personally go with us, don’t make us leave this place. How will anyone know that you look favorably on me—on me and on your people—if you don’t go with us? For your presence among us sets your people and me apart from all other people on the earth.” The lord replied to Moses, “I will indeed do what you have asked, for I look favorably on you, and I know you by name.” Moses responded, “Then show me your glorious presence.” – Exodus 33:15-18

In Exodus 33, God had just punished the Israelites for making and worshiping the golden calf. The LORD told Moses to take the people to the Promised Land and He would drive out their enemies, but that He would not be going with them, lest He kill them all. The people were distressed about this and went into mourning and Moses continued to intercede for them. Essentially asking the LORD, what would it look like for your people to go without you? How would anyone know who they are? And finally, because of His relationship with Moses, He agrees to go with them and lead them to the Promised Land.

In the Old Testament, the children of Israel were God’s chosen people. His favor rested upon them and it was known to all. Because of the sacrifice of Jesus, we have been grafted in and have become part of the chosen. His Presence sets us apart. His blood sacrifice covering our sins, has distinguished us as His people.

As we move into a new year, many of us are transitioning away from one thing and to another. It could be new employment or career, a new relationship, a new ministry…the possibilities are endless. But no matter what our situation is, our response should be the same: I am not leaving this place unless YOU go with me. Show me Your glory. I will not go through the year 2017 without you walking before me and with me. If I don’t have Your Presence, then everything I do is meaningless. Your Presence is what sets me apart. Your Presence is what transforms my life and the lives of those around me. Your Presence is what I hold onto when there is nothing else left. Your Presence. Your Presence. Your Presence.

Lord, I pray as I walk through this year that Your Presence will be with me every step of the way. I ask that I experience Your Glory in a way I have never experienced it before. I want so much more of You than I ever have and I ask that each day I become more desperate for You and all You have for me. Show me Your Glory, Lord. Consume me with the fire of your Holy Spirit. This year, more than ever, I need you walking with me. And God, since you have promised you will always be with me, I ask you today: Show me Your Glorious Presence.

He Goes With Me

A Tribute

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Nana and me at my high school graduation

My Nana passed away January 22.  I was able to speak at her funeral last week.  Lots of memories were shared that day of her life, personality, experiences.  She was a wonderful grandmother that was adventurous and generous.   I wanted to post what I shared that day.  Memories of her and thoughts about her life:

Nana, as we all called her was always one ready to go on an adventure. She wasn’t one for sitting still for too long. She loved being around people. I remember bike rides, roller coasters and amusement parks, sleepovers with my friends at her house…She was always happiest when she was going.

It was only in the last few years that her body couldn’t keep up with her spirit. Even in the last times I saw and talked to her, she was wanting to get up and do things, go places. She may have been thinking about people and places from a long time agape, but she was still ready to go!  And she was READY to go into this last and eternal adventure. Paul said in 1 Cor 4:16-18

“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”

Nana had 2 identities: Her outer self and her inner self. Her earthly vessel and the identity that just abides in the vessel.

The inner person of Nana was raised in Christ and free of her vessel…not just this past Monday, but from the moment she put her trust in Jesus.

Her eyes were fixed on eternity. If she were here today, I know she would be telling us to not trust in our decaying earthly vessels, or all the temporal things around us that we trust in:  money, relationships, work, family… but instead to fix our eyes on the eternal. To trust in Jesus and in the things we cannot see but that we know to be true and everlasting.

We are not our bodies.

Nana lived. And I hope that every day you live, you live your life not focused on the limitations of your physical self, or trusting in things that are temporary. But that you will live your life with your eyes fixed and trusting in the eternal…trusting in Jesus and His resurrection and living your live in and through Him.

Only then will you experience life as the true adventure it is meant to be. Nana has finished her experience of the adventure of this temporal life. Monday she stepped through the veil to continue the adventure of eternity. I will miss her and the adventures we have had…but I know they aren’t over.

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Nana, Pa, and me at my college senior recital
A Tribute

Happy New Year! – Dare to Hope

Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the lord never ends His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!” – Lamentations 3:21-24

HOPE. What a small word with such a big and varied application. I hope that I don’t have to take that test today. I hope I get married. I hope I go to heaven. I hope that person I want to see is at the party. I hope nothing bad happens.

Hope is defined as a feeling of expectations and a desire for a certain thing to happen. And even daring to trust in that feeling. In the Bible, Abraham hoped against all hope, and through that became the father of many. (Romans 4:18) When there was nothing left to hope or believe for, Abraham did.  I read those verses a couple of weeks ago and that phrase jumped out at me.  When there was no reason to hope, Abraham hoped.

The 3 verses I began with came after the author is grieving loss, remembering a time of terrible hopelessness. And then he comes to this conclusion and says…I DARE TO HOPE. Why does he make this bold statement in the face of such anguish? Because more than despair, he knows that the LORD is faithful to the end. The LORD has mercy that is new every day. He will not give up on us, and because of that we can stand and hope.

2016 was a year that sometimes felt hopeless for me. Things didn’t turn out the way they were supposed to. The year started with such freshness and then the hits just kept on coming. I made plans, they got dashed.  Over and over and over.  There are still things that I am hoping for that haven’t happened yet.  There are things we need to happen in our family and finances and nothing has moved.  I have dreams and desires and somehow right now they seem to be stagnant.  Maybe this is how you feel, too. We all have our own situations and desires.  But here in Lamentations, as the author is grieving, he stops and says, “I DARE TO HOPE.”

So in 2017 I am daring to hope, and I dare you to hope! Hope in the never-ending faithfulness of the LORD. Hope in His mercies that greet you every morning. Remember who holds your future and dare to hope.

Lord, this year is my year of HOPE. I hope in your promises and rest in your Presence. I wake up each day ready to receive new mercy. I know you are my inheritance and I hold on to the hope and the promise that GREAT is your faithfulness.

Happy New Year! – Dare to Hope

New digs…

When last I wrote, we were living in a camper!  Living big in a small space.  Since then, we have upgraded to a little rental.  1100 square feet!  What??  I feel like I have so much space. My garage still has stuff in it that hasn’t been unpacked, and frankly, I don’t want to unpack it!  If I haven’t missed it since the end of May, do I really need it?  I like being able to clean things quickly and easily and I like not having lots of visual clutter.

We’ve been going through it all very slowly, making decisions about keeping vs. tossing.  The toss pile keeps getting larger!  Hooray!

Making life simple.  I like it.

New digs…

Vacation, Soap, and Contentment

We’ve finished our first month in the trailer!  Included in that was a vacation to our Nation’s Capital, Washington, D.C.  It was a wonderful trip and we had been wanting to take the girls for a long time.  It was definitely this radical change to our lifestyle that ultimately made it possible.  I will cherish the memories that we made on this trip.  It was one of our best vacations ever!

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IMG_7622.JPGIt’s really funny how many things you don’t consider when you move to a smaller space.  As I started packing up things in our bathroom back in May I found so many bath items!  Soaps, shampoos, lotions, body washes, band aid…  Some were from hotels or giveaway samples.  Some were clearance sale items from whatever semi-annual sale I attended last. Plus I apparently have a thing for Star Wars band aids.   I even found a few things that were duplicates because I would forget I had something, or couldn’t find it when I needed it. (this same thing happened in the kitchen, by the way.  Black beans and salt, anyone???)  Not that there is anything wrong with having a backup soap or deodorant, but no one really needs 3 industrial size bottles of aloe lotion.

At one point I made a decision.  I would pack all of that up and bring it into the trailer with me.  No soap left behind!  And I would USE.  IT.  UP.  No buying an item if I already had something identical or even similar.  Now, in this tiny camper bathroom that hauntingly reminds me of an airplane bathroom with an added shower, I have 2 regular house bathrooms full of health and beauty overflow.  It’s crowded in there.  And it is overwhelmingly obvious that I had too much stuff in my bathrooms.  The funny thing is, that I had an entire cabinet in the girls’ bathroom that was empty and I thought I was doing pretty well!

So far in this month I have finished up a bottle of body wash and I’m almost done with another, emptied a sunscreen bottle, a shampoo bottle, a tube of toothpaste, and a few bandaids.  I’ve only had to purchase one toothbrush and some deodorant for Nick.  I’ve put a few things in my shopping cart and then snapped back to reality and put it on the shelf.  Saying no is hard.  Sometimes you have to learn to say no in the little purchases.

I am constantly hit with the realization that I have so much more than I really need.  And sometimes I find myself craving more.  It’s ridiculous the lack of contentment that I find myself in at times.  Totally contrary to what the Lord has called us to.

In Philippians 4:11-13 (NLT)  Paul talks about contentment –

“Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.  I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.  For I can do everything through Christ,  who gives me strength.”

Can I be content with living in a camper?  Right now, yes.  What about tomorrow when I am introverting hardcore?  What about when my kids are fighting and have no place to separate, or when Nick isn’t feeling well and doesn’t have a quiet place to retreat?

Can I be content when things don’t turn out the way I thought they should?  When life isn’t going according to my carefully laid plans?  Am I content then, or do I become a ball of mush in the corner that is pretty much useless to everyone?

Sometimes it comes down to deciding you want to be content.  Going through life constantly consuming and never satisfied like some sort of zombie doesn’t really sound all that fulfilling.  I want to be full.  I want to be content no matter what situation I’m in.  Whether I’m living in this camper or living in a house.

Either way, it’s home.

Vacation, Soap, and Contentment

232 Square Feet of Awesome

232 Square Feet.  That doesn’t seem like much, does it?  No, it doesn’t.  No, it isn’t.  To say that we trip over each other is an understatement.  Poor cat has been stepped on multiple times – and he doesn’t appreciate it.

Privacy is almost nonexistent, and cabin fever will set in very quickly.  If it were fall or winter, I guarantee that we would be spending a lot of time outside.  But it’s the middle of a hot, humid summer.  No one wants to go out.  But we are learning to deal with it.  One of the girls had a mini-meltdown the other night because she wanted to live in a real house again.  She got over it.

I’m actually really enjoying it.  We have a lot of face time…not just FaceTime.  I’ve spent the last 10 months pulled in a million directions and I’m sad to say it was to the detriment of my family.  One of the pitfalls of my personality type (ISTJ) is getting the job done, come what may.  And while it is a good thing to get things accomplished, it’s not a good thing when it’s unbalanced, and family and self-care take a back seat.  I’m trying to learn not to let this happen, but I don’t always succeed.

So part of this summer adventure is connecting again. Connecting with God and each other.  Moving forward in a healthy way.

I’ve no idea where this adventure is taking us.  But we are following the Leader.  And He’s never led us wrong.

 

232 Square Feet of Awesome