Do Not Worry

Matthew 6:26  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.

In the last post I talked about how our carefully laid plans for the next 1 ½ years was totally changed when God came in and swept them all aside in just a couple of days. And His sweeping continued because we continued to plan.

Since God seemed to push our plans up, we met with a realtor the next day. We now planned to sell the house later in the year and be on the road by late fall or early 2021. The realtor told us the things we would have to do to prepare the house to sell (stage, remodel, paint etc.) as selling a house today, is not at all what it used to be.

And it was overwhelming…

Very overwhelming…

I was starting to panic…

The next day, Sunday, Greg was gone for a good part of the day and I did what I do best:

  • Worry
  • Pray
  • Fret
  • Pray
  • Pace
  • Cry and pray some more

And in all my worrying and fretting God was working…

On his way home Greg called and said, “Are you sitting down” (this statement was becoming a habit – read here -and he continued),  “I just received a call from someone who wants to buy our house.”

So this was our week:

Monday we talk retirement ideas…

Tuesday God reveals ROAM…

Wednesday we plan out how it will look…

Friday Greg gives a 60-90 day notice instead of our plan of 18 months…

Saturday we talk with a realtor about listing the house in the fall…

Sunday we have an offer on the house…

The following Saturday we sign papers…

…And in all my worrying and fretting God was working.

Matthew 6:25-27

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

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When God Does a “Fast Forward”

Most believers know that many times we are painfully waiting on God to move, as it seems, to us anyway, that He is moving too slow.

Not this time.

One day we make the decision to work with ROAM, in a few years, when we are both retired. Our original long range plan was to work full time until 67 and then work part-time to 70. Illness forced me to retire early. Greg however planned to stay on course.

…Until that fateful week in late January

…One day we are figuring out what retirement will look like

…The next day God changes things

We both felt that we should move up our ROAM plans. So we…

…Did some number crunching

…Planning

…And got it all figured out…

  • Greg would work until spring of 2021
  • We would save like crazy
  • That would provide healthcare coverage until we were 65
  • We would fix the house once Greg retires next year
  • Then put the house on the market summer of 2021
  • Hit the road full time fall of 2021

…Or so we thought

Later that week when he went back to work he was going to give an 18 month notice. On Friday when he was coming home I get a call. “Are you sitting down?” he asks. Then he tells me when he went in to give notice, and the words 60-90 days came out of his mouth instead of 18 months.

…Deep sigh

…Don’t panic

…God’s got this

So now what God?

Job 37:5 God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding.

Posted in Faith, Obedience, Peace, Trust | 2 Comments

It’s Official – ROAM – RV’s On a Mission

Our crazy journey of going full-time as RVer’s has a purpose, while admittedly we know we can only see part of that, since God has a way of bringing so much more into anything and everything we do. If we let Him.

It is amazing that this even became part of our story:

Over a decade ago I had a temp employee who worked a few hours a week for me for a short time. In one of my conversations with her she shared that she also worked for an organization called ROAM (Rv’s on a Mission). I was curious and asked for a brief explaination.

…End of conversation

…Or so I thought

Greg was home sick for a week and in our many discussions we talked about what retirement might look like when he retired in a fews years.

Note, ” in a few years.”

In that discussion I remembered my conversation about ROAM and told him about it. He became excited. Very excited. After research we decided that it would be a good way to still serve and keep busy in our later years.

Note, “our later years.”

Little did we know what God was going to do that that conversation and move retirement up.

…Way up

…Like right now up

Only God can take a forgotten seemingly insignificant conversation from years ago and change the course of your life. 

Still serving, just in a different way, on the journey. Jackie

I Peter 4:10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

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Covid Impact

The title alone gives the impression that this will be a negative post and while the changes we had to make were disappointing we ended up just where we needed to be.

In this post I talked about the unexpected with the trailer slideout moving out while traveling.

But…

“And we know that all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28

So while a trailer mishap doesn’t seem good, it turned out it was. A blessing in disquise.

Plans...
I'm a planner
An organizer
Like my ducks in a row
(if you want to see how far that gets me read here)

So of course once we knew we were headed out, I made plans. 

I had in place …

  • One week reserved to camp and say good-bye to our Missouri younger 2 grandkids
  • Options for camping through Iowa
    • Take 1-2 weeks for us
    • Vacation
    • Regroup
    • Adjust to our new lifestyle
  • Head to Illinois for our first volunteer site

Then Covid hit. Campgrounds were closed. Resturants were closed. Historic sites were closed.

So we waited. Plans were set aside.

A week before we were to head out, the state campground opened up so we were able to spend time to say good-bye to Noah and Grace.

We changed our vacation plans from 2+ to 1 week to make our way to Illinois. We made reservations in St. Charles, MO a stop on the way and a place we like to visit.

So where was God in all of this?

  • Our RV dealer is just outside St. Charles
  • When this happened we needed to head there
  • Our Iowa plans would have had to change
  • The dealership had never seen the slide out issue and they weren’t sure how to handle
  • While in the shop, they found another problem that would be a major problem down the road
  • For reasons unknown to the dealer the techs from Grand Design just happened to show up and they fixed the slide out issue
  • We got an overhaul on the trailer – no charge on anything

It was still disappointing not to have the vacation and downtime we had hoped for. But we are thankful that God was looking out for us.

Grateful on the journey, Jackie

“And we know that all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28

Posted in Blessing, Trust | Tagged | 4 Comments

“I’m the Hammer”

Greg would say I am the Energizer Bunny with batteries that never die. Until a couple of years ago when illness put me flat on back with no energy for months. It’s been a long recovery and I’m still on that road.

So along comes a major move. From almost 3000 sq feet to 300 sq feet. Selling everything. Including closing up a busness. So in addition to the planning, purging and preparing to sell everything, there was the emotional toll of saying good-bye to a full life and business built over the past 2 decades. It was no easy task. It stalled me. My already depleted batteries didn’t want to charge.

So along came Kathy. I have a few close deep friends that I would lay down my life for and cherish to the depth of my soul. Kathy is one of those friends.

Every Saturday, and many week nights after work she would come. I’d tell her, “Don’t come, I don’t have the energy to do anything.”

She’d say, “That’s okay, I’m the hammer, just tell me what to do.”

So I did. And she did.

We cried, worked, shared memories, laughed, cried some more. Kathy made it possible for me to do the impossible.

Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times, and a brother (or sister) is born for a time of adversity.

Blessed with sacrificial friends, on the journey, Jackie

Posted in Blessing, Family, Friendship | Tagged | 3 Comments

When things go wrong as they sometimes will…. Choose Joy

Don’t Quit
by John Greenleaf Whittier
When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.
Life is strange with its twists and turns
As every one of us sometimes learns
And many a failure comes about
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow—
You may succeed with another blow.
Success is failure turned inside out—
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell just how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit—
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.

This poem is in the public domain.

We’ve camped enough to know that your trailer is like your house or car. It needs maintenance and things can will go wrong. When we started talking about going full-time, it was with the understanding it would not be problem free.

We just didn’t expect to see a problem within an hour of heading out:

It’s supposed to look like this:

Needless to say, there was just a little panic, several calls, discussions, sighs and worries (on my part).

And this was just the beginning – but that is for another time.

I found this a week later in a store and thought it was a perfect response reminder.

Psalm 5:11 But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.

We didn’t sing for joy over this, but we saw God’s protection and provision. More on that as well in posts to come.

“When things go wrong as they sometimes will…” stay on the journey, Jackie

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Silly Us!

Starting up this blog again partially came from posting this photo on Facebook along with numerous requests to write the story of how this life change came to be, as well as the chronicling of our work and journey.

With the photo, I gave this summary:

So for those who are wondering or asking about what this picture is all
about…

A few months ago, God through some really neat ways provided this really
nice trailer, beyond our wildest dreams. We just thought He was blessing us to
be able to take extended vacations (2-4) weeks in more comfort.

Silly us. All along He had other plans. A few weeks ago He made it known
to us that we should fully retire, sell all and follow Him. So we being who we
are methodically planned out our time line. Work until early next year, me
finish up with my business and students. Get on medicare so we’d have
insurance. Fix up the house next spring, put it on the market next summer and
hit the road next fall.

Silly us. He had other plans. Within a week of making our plans, our
house sold. So we figured we would live in the trailer, save money, work and
hit the road the beginning of next year.

Silly us. He has work for us to do this year and then starting next year
we plan to work with ROAM (RVs on a Mission). Volunteering at churches and
church camps etc. across the US.

We stopped making plans. We are in the processing of finishing up what we
are doing here – work, closing my business, getting things sorted, gifted, or
ready to sell. We close in May and will be on the road in June.

A journey of a lifetime is about to begin.

So our journey has begun, but God started it long before this and I will be sharing in the coming days.

Jackie

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Oh! The Places We Will Go!

Our journey has begun.

“Come follow Me.” These words were spoken by Jesus to many individuals in the Gospels. Not just to the disciples.

This is what I know:

Jesus didn’t just call one. Not all will follow. Each call is different.

Our call has taken us from NY to VT to MA to MO and now… any and everywhere. Yet to be determined, by God.

And the idea of leaving a house, move to a 5th wheel, and travel as God directs, is filled with many emotions:

  • Doubt
  • Fear
  • Excitement
  • Overwhelment

I realized I was seeking answers regarding the destination and not the Master of my destiny.

So God, here I am. Ready (I think) for the unknown journey, seeking you and letting the destination unfold in your timing.

Jeremiah 29:13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Note: I had been encouraged by dozens of people to write down the stories of not only how we got to this point (and I will in future posts) but also of the traveling and ministering we will do.

An example of that encouragement to document is the atlas and journal pictured above. One of Greg’s customers mailed them to us after hearing about our journey. The atlas is for Greg as he will be driving, the journal is for me as I’ll be the one capturing our adventures.

It’s all about the journey, Jackie

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My Rock and Salvation

Rocks in Back Yard 2 Web
Psalm 62:7
In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.
 
The rocks in my backyard.
For one more week.
Then we will drive away.
To places known and unknown.
 
And while I may move away from these rocks,
My God,
My Strength,
And the Rock of my salvation moves with me.
Starting on a new journey. Jackie
Posted in Faith, Obedience, Trust | 1 Comment

Slow Down, For a Moment of Rest

One day on the way to work, I made a conscious effort to slow down. I normally spend my commute scanning the highway looking for the best and fastest way to get to work. It’s not because I’m late, because I head in an hour early. It’s because I am always focused on the next task. And in the morning the task is to get to work and a jump start on my day.

This particular day, I made a mental note to not to rush. I realized that by slowing down I was given a moment to rest.

A moment of rest that…

…gave rest to my thoughts
…let me feel my heart beat slower
…felt my face relax
…gave me a chance to smile
…reminded me that life is not a race

Now the impulse to slow down didn’t last. And I had to remind myself to slow down many times during that commute. And it was more than a slowing down of speed. It was a slowing down of the pace I was setting for the day.

I still got to work. Maybe a minute or two later. Those 2 minutes didn’t cost me productivity for the day.

Instead…

…it relaxed me
…put my day in perspective
…allowed me to see the vast landscape in front of me
…let me feel the warm breeze as I stepped out my car
…and gave me a chance to embrace a new and pretty day

Later in the week while sitting in my sunroom I watched this cardinal as it flew to a bench that perched just long enough for me to capture a picture.

Cardinal on Bench 2

Then a few seconds later it flitted to a new spot.

Cardinal on Bench

After a few times of resting, and moving, it flew off. It reminded that sometimes just a moment, a conscious decision to take a breath, is a moment of rest.

Exodus 33:14 “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest. 

Seeking the presence of God, in the moments, to find rest, on the Journey, Jackie

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