I came across a video this morning on Facebook. It was of a little girl about to attempt to slide down a small slide. She tells the person behind the camera to watch her, then she goes down the slide (unintentionally) face first, hits the ground, and you hear a little “YAY!” She stands to her feet, hands in the air, and says, “I did it!” The video was appropriately titled, “We all have different definitions of success.”
I just thought that was just a beautiful picture of our life right now. We have chosen an unconventional lifestyle, living in an unconventional home, homeschooling our kids, and making our business work in an unconventional way. Some would look at our life and say we are crazy and that there is no way we’ll ever be able to make it work. That’s ok, and I’ll tell you why.
We have now been living this way for 6 months, and in that time, my heart has been filled with so much joy, my faith has been stretched, and I’ve grown as a wife and a mommy. I’ve watched our little family blossom. The kids and I get to wake up every morning and spend time in God’s Word, reinforcing the importance of our faith. We then sit down and do several hours of school work. Emily has gone from being very mediocre, and behind in some areas, in her 6th grade work to learning things that I learned as a sophomore in high school. Tyler is technically in 1st grade, but is doing 2nd and sometimes 3rd grade curriculum because the 1st grade stuff is too easy and doesn’t keep his attention. My children are learning how to learn. We learn about the stars and the solar system by stargazing and researching and watching meteor showers at night. We watched the Monarch butterflies and learned about migration. We learn about different landforms by hiking through them. We find arrowheads in the ground and learn about the people who used them. We watch the porcupine (from a distance, of course) at the campsite next to us climb the tree every evening and research to find out everything we can learn about them. The world is our school and weare having a blast. Some may disagree with the methods, but I define it as success. It’s all about perspective.
I often get asked how we do it…I mean how do four of us, a dog, a cat, and a fish live in a trailer? Don’t we get tired of each other and the small space? The answer is: well, yes….and no. There are times when I’m trying to fix dinner; Tipper is under my feet, Tyler is rolling cars from one end of the trailer to other, and Emily is singing “to herself”, while Paul is trying to make a phone call. LOL! But, you know what? That happened in our 2300 sq. foot house too! Then there are the times that I walk into the kids’ room, which currently is lit up with Christmas lights, and they are snuggled up together reading a book or watching a movie. They also love to ride their bikes and play outside. As many of you know, where we lived before, they couldn’t really do that safely. We have some of the most awesome backyards everywhere we go, so we spend a lot of time outside. Also, we have a really large trailer with 2 bedrooms and 1 1/2 baths. So, if we do need to separate, there are options. 🙂 But, for the most part, we have had some of the sweetest family times we’ve ever had. Paul is able to be a part of what we do. For our entire marriage he has worked long hours and missed out on so much family time. We are making memories together and enjoying God’s wonderful creation. Some may still think we’re crazy, but I define it as success. It’s all about perspective.
We have also been asked about the negatives about living in an RV. It’s honestly hard to think of negatives. A few weeks ago a friend of mine asked the kids what was the worst thing about living in an RV. Emily said “the bugs”. I would agree with that. We basically live in the wild, so yes, there are bugs, but we have seen some really cool ones! You should seriously google Tarantula Hawk. Tyler’s reply was that he didn’t like to stay in RV parks where you can’t see the starts at night. That was his biggest negative. I agree with that one too! We love our Texas State Parks! We probably won’t ever stay at an RV Campground again. Negatives for me? I would say the only thing I can think of is baking. Yes, it’s difficult to bake things in a temperamental RV oven, but not impossible. My oven and I have a love/hate relationship. 🙂 The fact is, there are not many things that we consider negatives, so I define that as a success. It’s all about perspective.
How many times do we compare ourselves to others in the area of success? Compare how much money we have or don’t have? Compare how big or how fancy our house is, or isn’t? Compare how beautiful or how strong or fit we feel, or don’t? Compare our education or abilities, or lack there of? Compare our business ventures or career choices? Compare our relationships or marriages? Compare our children? This list goes on…and it’s really exhausting!
Success isn’t always about the big achievements and possessions in this life. Sometimes success is when we slide down a slide and maybe not land the way we thought we would, but know we are right where God wants us to be as He drops little breadcrumbs along the way to build our faith in Him and lead us on a grand adventure….together! That’s my life. I’ve lived it over and over again. Success is in your perspective. You may not have the riches of this world, my friend, but if you have and share love, faith, and joy, you are a success!
Just something to think about….
25 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?
28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?
31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.