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rv trip, Simply...Living For Him

RV Trip and Lessons Learned…

If you haven’t read Part 1 and Part 2 of the story of our RV trip please click here
RV Trip Part 1   RV Trip Part 2

Part 3
I am still having a hard time figuring out all that went on during this trip. We had prayed every single day about this trip for nine months. We had it on our hearts. We planned. We prayed.

Even though things turned out so different than we had imagined, I know God is sovereign. I know there are lessons in it all. It just may take awhile to sort it all out.

I had expected to get away from distractions and noise on this trip-to really connect with the Lord. Instead there was so much distraction with all of the RV problems, that never happened. Yet other things I saw, I did not expect.

Some things I did not expect to learn on this trip:

  • I appreciate my home so, so, so much more than ever. Nothing is taken for granted. I am so grateful for all of the comforts of home. I have so much right here at home, right in front of my eyes. I need to cherish it.
  • I appreciate my family so much. My husband’s family took us in for 3 days, and seeing his 90 year old grandmother in action was surely eye opening. She is a true Proverbs 31 woman. A beautiful thing to witness. I will not soon forget. She serves with a glad heart. She puts others first. She displays grace.  What a blessing!
  • Family is so important. It can be all you have at times. 
  • I appreciate my husband so much. This goes without saying. His patience, endurance, and strength when I was depleted is unmatched. He puts his family and our needs above his own, always. 
  • Childlike faith is real. Our children never once worried or were sad. Wherever we took them, they were happy. To them…skipping stones in the river was the best thing ever! Sitting by the fire was amazing! Cathcing fireflies was awesome! Traveling all day was an adventure! There was nothing that wasn’t exciting to them. What a blessing. Even when my son was sick, he kept saying, “I’m OK Mommy.” So thankful for childlike faith.

I also learned some things that need to be worked on:

  • My joy must not be dependent on circumstance. Needless to say the circumstances when my son was sick were scary. Being so far away and feeling helpless was scary. Yet, I could not see the outcome and my faith was tested. I struggled.  I let fear take over.
  • God will allow things to happen that are not favorable because in the end He is using it. He will use it for good, even when it is hard. 
  • His ways are not my ways. They never will be unless I completely surrender it all to Him. Easier said than done, sometimes.

Working on it…

For now, I need to regain focus. After our final trip down to Florida this week, I will be taking some serious downtime. Some prayer. Some focus. I want my life to be different. This trip has changed me. Inside.

When all my comfort was stripped from me, I saw what matters most…and that pushes me even further to simply live, for HIM.

© copyright 2012 – All rights reserved


rv trip

RV Trip (Part 2)

If you missed Part 1 of our RV Trip story yesterday, please click here to read it first…

Part 2
So here we were, 700 miles from home, sick kids, and a vehicle that I did not feel safe driving in, let alone sleeping in.

It is a helpless feeling being so far away. At this point we still had 10 more days until we would meeting up with family in Florida (and staying at a Disney hotel…) and at that point 10 days may as well have been 10 years. I couldn’t imagine going further in the RV.

We called the RV company and told them about the sick kids and the mold smell in the RV. We suspected mold and didn’t feel safe. Far from helpful, they didn’t give us many viable options.

I prayed, I read my Bible, I tried everything. I couldn’t shake the panic feeling. At this point I was out of control. We were staying with relatives for a few days and I went to bed hoping to feel better about things in the morning….

I awoke the next morning feeling the same. Then I turned to my husband and said, “Can’t we just go home and get plane tickets to Florida?” My husband is by far the most patient man in the world. He just looked at me and said,
“We can try.”

I spent several hours on the internet and phone trying to get plane tickets. Finally I was able to do so. Hoping that the RV company would refund at least half of our money if we returned the vehicle early, we went ahead and booked the tickets.

The plan was then to rest a bit in North Carolina, get everyone well, and drive home over the weekend.  Then at home we would rest a week before taking a flight down to Disney. We were to meet up with my family in Disney, a gift from my parents. We had to get there!

This trip had slowly evolved into something I never imagined. I must say, the kids were incredible. They were happy wherever we were. Here I was in a constant panic and they just trusted us with a childlike faith. They never questioned things…they just were happy wherever we went.

{Praise God}

The weekend came and we left at 5 am to drive 12 hours back to New Jersey. The ride went much better than I had anticipated. I wasn’t able to help with the driving because the RV was too big, which meant my husband would do it all alone. He never complained. He never grumbled. He simply said he wanted me to feel safe. And happy.

The trek home was long. We had to take several detours because we couldn’t take the RV through any tunnels in Baltimore. We were about 2 hours from home, and we hit TONS of traffic. Still we pushed through. And made it home in about 14 hours.

Stretching at a rest stop…

Once home we bought a mold test. We wanted to be sure if the RV company gave us grief about giving us our money back  we could prove there was mold in the RV.

Imagine my disgust when those little petri dishes grew all kinds of icky stuff. My poor baby boy had slept in that area and got sick from it. Guilt. Guilt. Guilt.

We finally did resolve things with the RV company and they did refund us our money back from the rest of the trip. With the amount of money saved on remaining campgrounds for 10 days and gas/travel, we actually probably saved money in the long run.

The kicker was today…I saw that there is a tropical storm in Florida.
It is causing flooding, tornadoes, and storms where we would have been staying this week.

God did protect us. He knew. 

Why He had me go through all this, I have yet to understand…

but more on that tomorrow…come back for Part 3 and read about my feelings on this whole trip….

© copyright 2012 – All rights reserved


rv trip

RV Trip (Part 1)

As you all know we had been planning a family RV trip for a very long time. We have always wanted to do it and we were so excited that we were finally having the chance to see it happen. We prayed, we planned, we counted the days. Everything seemed to fall into place.

I never actually drove…the picture was just for effect! 🙂

What didn’t make sense though was last week, the night before we were to leave I had unexplainable feelings. I would describe it as being extremely overwhelmed, worried, and fearful. I hardly slept all night and just felt completely overwhelmed with so many feelings.

By morning it seemed I just needed to get going and I would be fine. It was probably normal jitters…

But was it?

It’s hard to yet wrap my mind around all that happened the past week but I will try to get it into words.  I am still trying to make sense of it myself.

We arrived our first day at Assateague Island in Maryland. Home of the wild ponies. If you or your children have read Misty of Chincoteague then you know about this place. We had read this book together and it was quite surreal to now actually be here. We had a spot over the sand dunes from the beach and the ponies were wandering around all night. Very cool experience….

We left that morning for Chikahominy River Park, right outside of Williamsburg, VA. I had a hard time relaxing in the RV when we were driving. Even though my husband was comfortable and had no problems driving, I was constantly looking ahead feeling anxious. We traveled over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge that day which was extraordinary…

We settled in that evening at Chikahominy, there was less panic and we were able to sleep well. The next morning we went to Williamsburg which we absolutely LOVED.

We spent 3 days in Williamsburg…all along I would fight feelings of fear. I prayed, I asked God to take it away…I know fear doesn’t come from God…

but was God trying to tell me all along something…was the fear actually a mother’s instinct?

that, I am still trying to discern….

Anyway, every time I would think about how far away from home we were in the RV, I would panic. When I thought about how much further we had to go, I would panic.

And then, it happened…

Our third night in Williamsburg, my son, who had been sleeping in the loft bed in the RV woke up crying during the night. He came down to sleep in our bed and he was coughing really bad. He had this cough since around the 2nd day and he had commented that every time he went to sleep it started.  But now he was coughing something awful, and wheezing. He fell back asleep but I stared at him as his breathing was really fast and really loud.  Here at 4 am, I started looking up urgent care facilities on my phone. It is not a good feeling being so far from home, in an RV, with a sick child.

The plan was that day to go down to North Carolina to stay with family for a few days. When my son woke up we decided to get down to NC and assess then if he should go to a doctor. At this point 2 more kids were coughing.

The ride down to North Carolina seemed to be eternally long. I was completely consumed with worry at this point. Feeling trapped on the road, so far from home with a sick child.

It only got worse…when we got to North Carolina, I went up to the area where my son was sleeping and the smell hit me so hard. There had always been a “smell” to the RV, but it was clearly coming from his sleeping area and it was awful. We realized there was water damage up in that area. My husband said the place we rented from told him about it the day we picked up the RV but that it had been fixed. This was the first I heard about it.

At this point we suspected mold behind the repaired water damage. The smell was horrendous up there. I can’t believe my son had been sleeping up there, and every cough reminded me of this.

It was here that I hit my breaking point. Uncontrollable crying, fear, and feeling completely helpless…

God, why oh why, is this happening? 
We prayed about this trip, and we thought we were in your will…

what was happening?

Should I have listened to that mother’s instinct the night before we left? 
Should we have not taken the trip?

But here we were, 700 miles from home….

Be sure to come back for part 2 tomorrow…
To be continued…

© copyright 2012 – All rights reserved


rv trip, simplifying, Simply...Living For Him

Where Dreams Become Reality-The BIG RV Trip!

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The heavens declare the glory of God,

and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.

Day to day pours out speech,
and night to night reveals knowledge.

There is no speech, nor are there words,
whose voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.
In them he has set a tent for the sun,
which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber,
and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.

Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
and its circuit to the end of them,
and there is nothing hidden from its heat.
Psalm 119: 1-5

Tomorrow is the day! 
We will pick up our rental RV for our BIG trip!

The dream to take an RV trip has been our hearts for longer than I can remember. We tried planning it once before and it fell through. This time however, God has worked out the details and through much prayer, planning, and saving, the dream will be a reality.
We will be traveling down the east coast, stopping in each state along the way. I will be blogging along the way about our experience of leaving it all behind for a 30ft space, for 6 people on the road.

I am looking forward to seeing God’s creation, escaping the noise and distractions of everyday life, and spending some much needed time with the Lord and my family. We plan on devoting lots of time to His Word and prayer as a family. I also hope to be inspired to begin my next book- Simply Living…for Him, about simplifying ALL areas of our lives.

There are so many unknowns on a trip like this-from caring for the RV, to the “hook ups” on the way, to how on earth we will be after a few weeks on the road? {ready to throw in the towel?}

But I go forward, fully trusting the Lord for His plan. He has given me so much peace about this trip and taken away much of the usual anxiety I would have. I am so grateful.
Please subscribe here or follow on facebook. I will be posting often.  This is truly a time where the rubber meets the road-where my desire to simplify will be a reality. Will I miss the comforts of home or be free from them? Will I miss our “stuff” or enjoy the simple things? 

Join us on our adventure and spread the word…one family leaving it all behind…and Simply Living…for Him!

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© copyright 2012 – All rights reserved