Sunday, May 31, 2015
Sometimes, you get an itch. A dream gets dreamed, mulled over, pondered...and then filed away in the cabinet. Life happens. Babies occupy wombs, newborns give way in to toddlers, more babies come, school starts for bigger kids, college starts over for husbands, you become a birth worker who is on call constantly....and the dream gets shoved further and further into the bottom of the box. Life gets piled on top, things get messy, and the dream becomes squelched. Unable to breathe, what once seemed like a feasible accomplishment becomes an impossible task.
Life marches on, and years go by. With the years come good- growth as a family. Houses. Responsibilities. Pets. School. Church. Opportunities to serve. Work committees. But not unlike a garden, a family dynamic can have weeds creep in that start taking up root. Selfishness blooms. Greed. Fighting and bickering with brothers becomes incessant. Video games take over. Relationships get put on the back burner for self.
Jose and I have watched our oldest two children change significantly over the last year. We have spent time praying, seeking God and what he would have for our family, and how to best get our family back to being tight knit. We want to have a family that works as a unit- to favor each other, to work as a team, to put self last, and to serve one another in love when ever possible. What the littlest children in our family see set before them in the oldest children, they will pick up. Something has to change. And now.
So we threw out our fleeces, started asking each other and God what he would have for us, if this would even work, and what we wanted out of this ordeal. Jose literally asked for a dream, and God gave him a dream.
We want kids that give sacrificially. To do that, we have to give them opportunity to.
We want kids that love unconditionally. To do that, we have to give them changes to demonstrate real love when it's hard.
We want kids that know material possessions aren't a priority. To do that, we need to show them people, cultures, God's creation. The rim of the Grand Canyon. The delicateness of a monarch in the Sequoias. The tender heart of the homeless man that we break bread with. We have to give them a chance to LOVE.
We want kids that are bonded together in a way that selfishness cannot tear them apart. To do that, we have to make room for serving, for adventure, for caring for each other.
We have the opportunity to foster change in our family, or sit back and watch things fester.
We have chosen to take the dream out of the box, dust it off, and hold it in our hands. We have chosen to take a leap of faith, where it seems scary and exciting and so much unknown, and release it to God, follow Him where he takes us, and see our family grow as a result.
Our family is leaving Port Saint Lucie- for a season- for a year of growth together. Our house is getting sold, and all our belongings, save a few boxes of memories, and our entire lives will become mobile. We are embarking on a 6-12 month road schooling journey. Two parents, four children, three pets, a huge rig, and a 30-something-foot trailer that houses all our ambition.
In the coming months, we will continue preparing our home to be sold, selling our belongings, and procuring gear for our endeavors. Our minivan will be traded out for an eight seater, diesel, and tow capacity of nearly 10,000 pounds. The kids have already been in on the action, helping to weed through books and stuffed animals and clothing, paring down to just the absolute necessities.
The kid's last formal day of school for the 2015-2016 school year will be the last day before Christmas break. We will spend the holidays with family, prepping last minute things and tying loose ends together, and shove off on our grand adventure across the country in mid January. Jose will be taking a leave of absence from his job, and has the ability to pick up travel nursing contracts along the way as funds necessitate.
The kids have been helping plan our journey so far. We plan to road school, and unit study the areas we are in. National Parks, monuments, National Forests, land marks, life lessons, people, foods, you name it, we will be learning it.
It's an exciting time for our family- winds of change are shifting our dynamic, and we are more than ready to see what God has in store for us this year, as we follow Him. For now, we don't feel as though we are being lead away from Florida long term, and the end goal will involve us coming back and finding a new place, unless God gives us some place we all fall in love with along the way.
Dreams are funny things. When you follow them, they can be amazing. Sometimes, though, you look back on things that you wish you did, your kids are teenagers, you are cemented in place, and life has taken over...and you always wonder, "what if..." We don't want to be in a place where we had the opportunity to foster change, and to take an adventure, and not. We understand it's not comfortable. We understand there is risk. We understand that we might HATE it. But what's the worst that happens? We hate it and bring everyone home and start fresh?! The scarier thought to us is that we would have the chance to make a real impact on our family's dynamic, learn life lessons, see the beautiful land God created, and not take it...
There has been lots of questions so far- and I know there will continue to be- so feel free to ask Jose and I if you have them. We are pretty open books!