This is a blog that has been waiting to happen. Yup – it’s me. Paul.
There have been times where it has seemed like I should blog about our internet equipment, or about the truck. Sometimes we get questions about our rig that only I can answer, and my wife asks me how to word the answer. But, there has always been something holding me back from going down that particular road.
One time I made a video about how to mount a solar-powered spotlight to the roof of the RV to light up the flag that flies above. It was waiting for the final shot, which was going to be the flag waving at night. I shot the film and never added it to the final video. There it has sat, in my projects folder, for the last two years, without ever getting to our YouTube channel.
As a RV’ers source of “how-to RV” Our Moving House has been a resounding [insert sound of crickets].
In the meantime, my wife has been diligently blogging about our family, and the way God leads us each and every day to teach our kids and build our lives. There have been stories of the places we have experienced; seeing with our own eyes the history of this nation, and the beauty that God created in the world around us.
The truth is, if you want to find out “how-to” do X, Y, Z on your RV, there are a myriad of great resources out there. We generally find that, of the many suggestions, the way that works for us is somewhere in between all of them. You just have to find out what works for your particular need, and your rig.
There is, however, one avenue that is not often talked about among RV’ers, and that is how we all individually walk (or haul) through this life.
The fact is that the life of a full-time RV’er is very different from the typical “American Dream” of a house, with a white picket fence, where the husband and wife raise their kids with the help of the public-school system. There is a distinct point of decision that we all reached that made us break from the mold, setting out on a life of discovery.
This is not your typical life. This is not a life of comfort and ease, with a wide-open road in front of us, and room to dream. It can be frustrating, and very challenging at times, to simply live a sustainable way of life without a permanent piece of American soil to call “home”.
Whatever path in life you have chosen, we all experience the same issues; financial, emotional, sometimes spiritual (although I would argue all things are spiritual in nature). We all have times where we don’t know where the next $ is coming from. We all experience the frustration of not knowing how to teach our kids what we know they need to live their lives in this world. We all reach a place of despair from time-to-time where escape eludes us.
So, that brings me to the subject of this particular blog: hope.
There have been a few points in my life where drastic change was necessary. At those points I have often stalled, delaying what needed to happen in the hope that I wouldn’t need to. One of those times arose a little over 4 years ago after a meeting in my boss’s office. My wife was waiting for me in the car outside, and as I got into the car all I could say was “he destroyed me”.
I had come to the point where I was ill. I had been working incessantly. There was so much about the place I worked that did not line-up with who I was, who I wanted to be, or God’s nature. That place had infiltrated my life, my soul. It was toxic. I began acting the same way as I saw others acting around me. I began to filter everything through the success chart that had been established as the way to become a better “leader” in my home (when I got to see it), and in the community. It was a path of destruction that lead to bitterness and anger. In my less-than-stable condition I lashed out at immediate problems with a ferocity that landed me time with a professional counselor. It was a very disorienting, confusing, out-of-control existence.
After that day, I had immediate choices to make. What was next? We had been looking for some time for yet another place where this same cycle could repeat itself, as it had done by that day, 3 times. Nothing ever worked out. I had nowhere to go. What was worse, I had lost my hope that things could be done this way with a different outcome.
The problem we face when we are faced with these “drastic changes” is that, by definition, they are “drastic” (violent, severe, or extensive). They come at moments when we are the least capable of making good, informed choices.
The immediate “answer” was to jump into my business that I had been running on the side as a full-time gig. Not really a major decision to make, as that was all I had left.
Before I continue headlong into a blow-by-blow account of every decision I made over the year that followed, let me stop for a second and let you know what I did right. The very first thing I did was to STOP and LOOK UP.
Maybe I lost some of you with those words? We know that there are a good crowd of people who follow our little blog, but we don’t know everyone’s circumstances. Maybe, you have a bad experience of church, or faith. Maybe your family has been divided because of it. Maybe that is also why you are on the road…? Maybe you have a blow-by-blow account of negative experiences and circumstances that is in an area in your heart and mind that you just don’t want to go to anymore. I am with you. I agree. I have been avoiding it too.
Read on… it’s okay. Even if you have given up on, or have never seen the need to get into the world of faith, let me tell you that there is always something to learn from someone else’s experience, even if you don’t agree with their fundamental beliefs and motivations.
The phrase “raise your eyes” is used often in the bible when God is telling someone to get their head out of their… the sand (!) and look up to the bigger picture. We all have a sphere of influence. There are people observing us, and learning what to do, or not to do based on what they see us do, or not do. You are creating a story that is sometimes seen by those around you, and often is playing in our heads as we walk through each day. Lifting up our eyes is a call to focus our attention on things outside of ourselves. That is a good thing, right? Stop being self-centered. Care about how you affect those around you.
That first day on my own, out of a job, and disconnected from the security of a pay check. I stopped and looked up. I raised my eyes.
On reflection, I think that was the point where we, as a family, knew that we needed to leave that place. But, it took another year of false starts and rabbit trails before we finally left that city and began a path of healing that would take us around the country, on the road.
It has taken 3 years of this life to finally find what I needed 4 years ago; hope.
Maybe you have experienced a point where “drastic change” was necessary; where you found yourself having to make changes when you were least ready to make them. Maybe you had a lot of “false starts” that you now wish you could have done differently or avoided totally. Maybe you are on the road, trying to find the hope you once had.
Let us know your story. We all have one.