Howdy!

Well I hope you all had ample opportunity to reflect on Christmas and it’s true meaning.  I so loved this year’s Christmas program from Lakeside Community Chapel, especially the comparison on how different people see Christmas.  It’s been something I keep returning to over and over again in my mind.

We have been (perhaps a bit unexpectedly) enjoying  Lubbock, Texas these last three weeks.  From day one it’s been a pleasant shock to find that everything in Lubbock is nearby.  Nothing is more than 15 minutes away due to the several well constructed highways in town.  But also our RV park is super close to many key stores (read: Target and the Starbucks drive-thru).  Lubbock also has like 75 neighborhood playgrounds to choose from, which is super nice. Plus also, it’s been so nice to have family live in town.  It’s been at least a decade since either of us have lived in the same town as our parent or sibling.  This, as it so happens, it s a very game changing fact.  Both Geoff and I started to wonder what staying in Lubbock for much longer than we planned, might look like.  We would have to figure out a new birth plan, think through our housing options, consider the weather and finances, and most of all a new church home.  So we went to a new church, toured a birth center, realized we could stay in the RV almost as long as we felt comfortable without the threat of deadly winter troubles like those we’d been considering in Colorado, (well, maybe we might have more to say about that once we make it through the freak winter storm we are currently hunkered down in 🙂 ) and hey as it turns out Lubbock is pretty affordable in most ways!

So we’ve decided to stay.

Just like that we have a new church home.  We are looking toward membership in the next month and are happily pondering ways we might serve.  I also signed Levi and I up for BSF and are awaiting the coming of January 6th with much anticipation!

I am fairly certain no one from the RV community is a frequent reader of this blog, but let me just comment briefly on what it’s like to find out you are pregnant on the road.  Practitioners are not a big fan of being anything less than your provider from day one till the day the baby pops out.  I’ve found this to be true both of OBGYNs as well as midwives (once you get to a certain point).  It has been tough to make appointments in new cities, transferring records from multiple providers and not feeling like a crazy loon for living in an RV and saying we’d only be in a place for a certain number of weeks.  It’s much more complicated than just popping in to a walk-in-clinic everywhere we go.  Practitioners refuse to see you for all kinds of reasons that I never realized before.  And if you have something that needs followup care, boy, that gets complicated.  So when I started to try to make a 16 week appointment in Lubbock and even the midwife said she’d prefer not to see me if I wasn’t staying, I knew we were in a tough spot.  But God went before us and redeemed our situation, as usual.  Back at 8 weeks, an OB tested my thyroid which gave us a bit of a scare because it was a bit low.  Without knowing anything about the common nature of a low TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) in the first trimester, things got a bit dicey as we tried to piece together prenatal care and specialists in various cities.  Thankfully, now that we are in the second trimester all has returned to normal!  So I’m very glad to have a plan and provider for the remainder of the pregnancy.

I also feel like being an RVer has been working on a (slightly hidden) area of pride- that of where I live or even what I call what I live in.  When we bought the RV, I tried to school my family and friends to call it an RV or a fifth wheel or a Rig or really anything but a trailer, because well that sounded bad.  And when I am choosing which RV park to stay at we’ve been avoiding certain types of places because well, they are considered less desirable.  But in the course of travels you eventually succumb to the fact that you do live in a trailer and you do end up staying in trailer parks, with legit mobile homes.  And you know what, it’s really not so bad.  I’ve had some distinct opinions about living in traditional apartments or what style of kitchen I can live with or lots of other things I think I “need”.  And really those things aren’t inherent in happiness or my needs.  Right now, for example we are living in an RV park I was the least excited about visiting, because it has no real attractions- no sweet bridges off the port bow or waterways out my windows or mountain views or playgrounds on site, etc, etc.  But it does have a sweet price point and Levi always manages to find something he loves at every site.  He loves driving his elephant and scooter all over the place, which has been definitely easier since this park has mostly cement.  I should be a lot more like Levi than having such preconceived notions and high expectations.  It just makes me realize how much I’ve taken to looking good in the eyes of others.  Jesus doesn’t call me to live in elaborate kitchens with lovely furnishings and well manicured lawns (I’m not saying he forbids it either).  Those things can become idols, like I’ve realized they’ve been in my mind, if we are not careful.  It’s just sometimes staggering the pressure I’ve realized I feel about how others see me or my situation.  And yet how little I’ve been wondering what God thinks of my situation (and he’s probably not spending too much time judging me for what color kitchen cabinets I might have in the future); He’s much more likely concerned with whether I’m spending time making room for Him in my life.  I say all this to confess it as I know I’ve expressed shades of these things in past posts but also because I think it’s very common among younger generations, something almost engrained.

So I realize this has been a bit of a mind dump but it’s been a while since I’v blogged so it’s all been up there in my brain waiting for an opportunity to come out.  So, you’re welcome.

Some other timely FAQ’s are:

Do you know what gender baby you are having?  No we don’t.  But probably in the next several weeks that will come to light.

Are you alive, given the weather forecast for Texas? Yes we are.  We bought our first snow shovel as a married couple this week.  We readied our RV for the winter as best we could on short-ish notice.  And we got the DVD’s out from our basement storage for hunkering down with a toddler who loves the outdoors.  So we still have power and while our city water connection did freeze up about 10 minutes into the storm we filled our fresh water tank so we still have water for showering and dishes and we got several jugs of water for drinking.  So 24 hours in, all is status quo.  Geoff has the week off, so we are getting lots of quality family time and generous gift givers gave us lots of new toys to play with (Levi’s).  The storm started with several hours of very large hail, thunder snow, more hail/sleet, and now has rounded out into a more normal snow fall.  The wind is obviously the best with gusts up to 50+ miles per hour.  That makes for some rocking conditions in the RV but nothing too difficult to bear.  We were ‘itchy for adventures’, after all 🙂

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Levi enjoying alternative uses for his new toys

Alright I’ll leave you to whatever you were doing before you started reading this book of a post.  But I hope you are well and if you were hoping for a Christmas card from us, well we got those out mid-day on Christmas Eve, so you might get them before the New Year. 🙂

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This was a clear reject from our Christmas card photo shoot.

Farewell from snowy Texas,

Big Rig Rose

 

 

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Little Rock, Rocks :)

We’ve been having such a great time in Little Rock these past 3 weeks! We are staying at an RV park that abuts the Arkansas River and is just a pedestrian bridge away from downtown Little Rock.  IMG_7382We look out onto these cool industrial looking bridges and get both sunsets and sunrises right from our windows.  At night the bridges are lit up and have pretty dancing lights.  The RV park itself is not fancy nor is there much grass but all the grass it does have is right in our back yard between our RV and the river.  Levi is also pretty partial to rocks and gravel so that makes the RV park toddler friendly in our books.

IMG_7380Just off the back section of the RV park is a gate that connects to the pedestrian bridge.  And just on the other side of the gate they are in the process of assembling a new bridge so we get to watch construction workers and cranes and big trucks very often, another Levi favorite.

But probably our favorite part of Little Rock has been the time spent with our fellow RV friends.  One of Geoff’s coworkers and his wife, the main inspiration for us getting the RV, have been here for our whole stay.  It’s been such a blessing to have friends next door.  We’ve been able to hang out and go on some field trips together.  It’s been pretty much perfect, especially on the days when I’d run out of ways to entertain a toddler and the morning sickness was strong, I called on our favorite neighbor for backup.  Sadly they pulled out earlier today, we will definitely miss them!

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Here are a few shots from a field trip to the Big Dam Bridge

As a family we’ve had fun exploring the downtown area, local parks, and the Little Rock Zoo.  We’ve been on a LOT of walks, visited several museums and even eaten a few meals out, at real-ish restaurants, with Levi.

We hope you are all enjoying your Thanksgiving, we are giving our little oven a workout and enjoying a bit of a progressive-course-Thanksgiving at our house. 🙂 We are thankful for God’s provision, protection and guiding hand in our lives.  I read a blog this week that, while simple, seemed to hit me between the eyes, she said “The secret to contentment is to be thankful for the blessings you do have instead of focusing on what you don’t have.” Well it reminds me that I have been all too focused on not feeling excellent, the challenges of parenting, and a number of other things.  Sometimes the allure of the world and societal expectations draws my heart away from the miraculous truth of the gift of my salvation.  I hope you know this gift personally too.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Big Rig Rose

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The water table at the Wonder Place
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You have to be quick with the camera with this one. This is from our trip to the Discovery Museum.
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Levi all bundled up after a walk and waiting to eat some dinner.  He’s kind of obsessed with stuffed animals.

Happy November :)

Well I kind of didn’t blog in October besides on the 1st, sorry about that.  Life kind of happened over here.  To pick up where we left off, we were leaving the raging river over concerns of flooding and moved early to an unexpected stop with lots of geese, swans, guinea fowl (I had to look that up on the internet), and apparently very aggressive roosters that you shouldn’t walk away with your back toward them or “they’ll get you”.  Then we got a call in the middle of the night that Geoff’s dad had passed away in California.  So that sped up our plans to move to our next location outside of Knoxville.

So Geoff made plans to be away for three weeks (!!) while he handled things with his Dad’s estate and then went to Colorado for a business retreat.  I made plans to learn how to flush the black tanks and how to convince my family members to come stay with Levi and I so we would more than likely survive the three week Geoff-sabbatical.  Thankfully my Dad and Step-Mom came for a week and a half and my Mom came for five days! We took lots of field trips including to the Smoky Mountains, Cades Cove (we saw a bear!), various Knoxville parks, the Exotic Petting Zoo, the grocery store, Chick-Fil-a play place, as well as a quick jaunt through Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. Which nothing for nothing, but guys, all you former coworkers who talked about Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg like it was the bee’s knees, you have some ‘splaining to do.  Because Pigeon Forge was just weird.  Like a run down strange way to offer an amusement park ala carte along the side of a highway for miles and miles.  A certain number of persons lead me to believe it was like this gorgeous mountain town will little cabins basically carved into the mountain where rustic living meets perfection.  Wow. That’s a bit untrue.  And Gatlinburg while very cute-looking was VERY full of cars everywhere and it did seem pretty unlikely that there would be a parking space big enough for the dually in any of the lots I saw.  So we drove in and out.   I’m just letting you know incase someone in your life hasn’t told you the hard truths.  🙂

Anywho, somewhere back in North Carolina I began to suspect we had a stowaway aboard.  And after a bit of internet scouring, bathroom cabinet searching, and one expired pregnancy test later we did indeed discover the stowaway.  But we will all have to wait till May 2016 to meet this little man or woman.  For now though, he or she has been causing quite a stir will my ability to function normally so that’s why I haven’t written any blog posts and why I needed lots of family members to come do my job for me because Levi doesn’t seem to understand the Stowaway Situation we have going on here.

Our blurry stowaway
Our blurry stowaway

Oh yeah.  And we moved two times since I started writing this post.  We left the state of Tennessee (I’m not missing it, sorry I took out all my morning sickness dislike on you Tennessee) and we are now enjoying the city of Little Rock.  We have a beautiful view and are in a pretty convenient location to some nearby attractions.  But that’s another post for another day.

A Little Rock sunset
A Little Rock sunset

On the spiritual front, I keep reminding myself to ask for God’s strength to get through each day.  And then I forget and need more reminding.  It’s been a grueling uphill climb lately but with God’s help we’ll get there, even when I lose perspective.

So I’m sure you have lots of questions or maybe my mom or some elder from our church has already answered them for you :).  But we are now on a new course headed for Colorado Springs for the foreseeable future.  And since the convenient RV park is apparently majorly lackluster we might be looking for a house rental (gasp) starting in January.  So if you know of anyone…. 🙂 All the other details remain unfigured out and I’m sure God will clue us in when we get closer.

So how about you?  What have you been up to this October and November? How is your (unfailing) reliance on the Lord? What’s new on your plate? Let us know, we love to hear from you!

Currently barefoot and well yes, pregnant

Big Rig Rose

Blogging in the valleys

So we safely arrived to our new campground on Saturday despite some uniquely small curvy roads overlooking a giant river.  This campground is a bit different from the last few, it’s difinatively smaller, more rustic, a few more full timers of all varieties (tent campers and lodge dwellers) and there a huge rushing river in our backyard.  And it’s been raining kind of a lot (and the river’s been rising, but you know, no big deal).  Really what I’m saying is, I’m not all that comfortable with this campground as maybe I was at the last.  So it’s moments like these God uses to point out when my hope’s in the wrong thing.  I mean come on, I just wrote you a whole post about it last time and then fell off the writing mojo train.  So I’ve been quietly reading my bible and a marriage book I’ve been going through without any mind altering revelations.  And I’ve been waiting on some Godly wisdom in regards to this mothering stuff, especially since Levi seems to be kicking it up a notch.

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The Nolichucky River
The bank
The bank
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The view from our window, that brown thing out there is the river

And then I was reminded of something from my Ephesians study, my true identity.  God says in Ephesians 1 that I am blessed with every spiritual blessing (like the complete package), chosen adopted, redeemed, and marked.  With so much right there in this sentence it’s hard to imagine focusing on all my awkward surrounding issues.  Paul goes on to say in Ephesians 1:7-8  “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us.” When asked to paraphrase this section I liked thinking of God as a cheerful giver of grace.  Man, I’m sure glad of that today, I’m in need of some hearty helpings of grace! 

How do you deal with spiritual valley’s? Do you take a quick self examination? Do you get back to basics? Do you get on your knees? Do you revive yourself with your favorite biblical truths?  Well those are some of my tactics.  I’ve been surprised with how God has shown me specific mercies today through blogs and posts and through my preparations for my last bible study with two sweet women (in which we have been studying Ephesians).  So in times like these I’m glad God’s not finished with me yet.  And it’s likely that if you are reading this, He’s not finished with you either.

From the Valley of the Smoky Mountains,

Big Rig Rose

ps Since I didn’t publish this at naptime when I wrote it, we have decided to move campgrounds in the morning due to a possible threat of flooding and getting trapped at the campground.  Given our track record with close calls and flooding, it seems like a good idea all around.  🙂 Pray for us, an uber small bridge awaits us on the way out!

Mount Airy Musings

welcome to mt airy

Well after 23 days in Mt. Airy, North Carolina we are not experts in much except we can get to the our Friends’ (who shall not be named specifically because apparently that’s dangerous) house without GPS and that’s really quite something, even in the dark.  But there are a few things we’ve noticed in our time here.  One, Mt. Airy is called Mayberry because it is the real life hometown of Andy Griffith and the Andy Griffith Show is based on parts of the town.  Two, the culture here is a bit different than Florida.  When I moved to Tampa, Florida from Massachusetts 11 years ago it was a big cultural adjustment for me.  It probably took 2 or 3 years before I felt less surprised by the cultural differences.  I imagine that the same could be said for any move from one region to another.

I can’t say I can put my finger on all the cultural differences but here are a few we’ve seen so far.

  1.  Church is popular.  When I put “churches” into the yellow pages, it said there were 116 with a proper Mt. Airy address.  For a general population of 10,000 that’s a lot of churches, friends! Just as a point of reference, our favorite French church planters are praying for God to build ONE church for every 10,000 people.  With so many churches, you can imagine that church is widely discussed and talked about and Jesus’ name is freely used.  I went into the Walmart and I found a line of Blessed Life clothing, or something like that.  I mean there were shirts that said Jesus in big letters right there on sale at Walmart.  #NotInFlorida.
  2. The accent.  The strong southern accent is very alluring, like the siren call.  Well mostly.  You want to just keep listening to them talk, partly because you have no idea what they are saying and if you keep listening you might just figure it out and partly because they sound like they are having more fun talking than you do with your non-accent. I went to make a donation at Goodwill and my big dually truck couldn’t fit into the allotted space for donation drive-ups, so I poked my head into the door to hand them my donation and I was met by a woman whose face revealed that I just opened a door I wasn’t allowed to open and smiling, she said something like “Ya scared me, you’ve got to stomb on the bale”.  I apologized and left and then I realized that ‘bale’ was the word for ‘bell’.  Got it: my car was supposed to stomp on the bell, to alert her to come out and pick up my donation.  It takes me a bit but I usually figure it out. 🙂
  3. The friendliness.  Well see here’s the thing, this video and article by Gone with the Wynns really psyched me up for the amount of friendliness I would find when I got here.  So I think my expectations were a little high.  But I think there’s genuinely more friendliness here than in Florida, at least I was surprised by the amount of it I found in Walmart, really!  I think being southern (like real southern, not Floridian) makes you a bit more predisposed to friendliness.  I think it’s culturally normal to talk to strangers in stores, to make deep inquiries in the the grocery line, to be big on smiles and peppy in your hellos.  It’s good practice for me to channel my inner southern bell (or bale, as it were).
  4. Everyone’s related.  In a small town where people often live their whole lives, you are bound to know just about everyone, be very involved in family life and possibly be related to a good deal of your neighbors.  This both is and is not the case in Florida. I noticed this who’s who phenomenon, as I aged out into the Tampa adult population, I found it was hard to make friends with people who already had a complete set of friends.  Now, I’m not sure how similar this concept is across the country but I’m willing to bet it just depends on how small a town you are settling in.  In Boston, this isn’t the case among the average folks, I think it’s more apparent when you get into the upper levels of society.  So you might have to dig deep into #3 and put on your southern friendliness to make new friends and keep the old, if you know what I mean.
  5. Less is more, or all you have.  When you relocate to a small town you need to readjust your expectations.  I was always confused when my Mom would come to visit in Florida and say, “look at all these strip malls, there’s one on every block!” That’s because in Norton, Massachusetts you learn to be content with the grocery store being 15 plus minutes away, having one or two choices of gas and maybe one or two choices of clothing stores, unless you wanted to drive ALL the way to the mall.  It’s kind of like that here, Winston Salem is a bit of a drive depending on where you are and where you are headed, it could be 45 minutes to get to the ‘specialty store’ you want to go to (or an hour if you want to go to Costco).  For me, that’s beyond what I call the ‘cry zone’, usually Levi starts to lose it somewhere after 20-25 minutes riding in the car.  So I really have to decide if that 45 minute drive is worth it.  I went to “The Mayberry Mall” and was surprised to find there were 23 stores, that’s including Kmart and the Army recruitment office.  And while they didn’t have a kids play space they did have 4 of those little cars you can pay $1 to ride and Levi thought that was good enough for him.  So I’m fine with shopping at Food Lion instead of trekking 35 minutes to Aldi and we even found some chicken everyone can eat (if they wanted to cheat on their vegan diet)! #cornfree

Well that’s just scratching the surface of the differences I’m sure.  It can be helpful to know the standards of the culture, because most likely it will be pretty different from Jesus’ standards.  If I’m not paying attention I can allow myself to be discipled by the culture around me, instead of by Jesus.  This, by the way, was pointed out by David Brady as I listened to his sermon at Christ Community Church a couple of weeks ago.  He reminded me that in order to be a disciple of Jesus I have to stop being a disciple of myself (or of the culture), I have to stop doing what I want to do.  That’s a hard lesson for me, one I’m still practicing.  Sometimes I just get grumpy and want to wallow in my grump.  Or I get upset that the culture around me is not meeting my every need because of some cultural difference or perceived flaw and I choose to be angry instead of seeking God, searching His word for answers and modeling my Lord as he lived amongst a culture different than that in heaven with harsh critics and few who truly understood him.

Ultimately, no matter where I live, my hope should always be in God, not on available amenities, how easy the transition of moving and adjusting is, or any of the rest.  But sometimes I forget this and these things feel especially important, so I’m telling myself right now, and you can listen in, when Jesus is all I have, I have all I need.  I’m sure it’s easier to say than to live through, but it’s the real end goal of all of our lives, to know Him better, deeper, truer.

So how about you? Are you deeply rooted in your hometown, a newcomer, or maybe a nomad? How does the culture around you, affect your day to day life? And where, if you dare to peel back the onion layers, is your hope?

Well that’s all from Mayberry!

-Big Rig Rose

A Few of My Favorite Things

Okay, without very much deep introspection here is my list of my top five favorite aspects of our RV and RV living lifestyle after approximately 35 days in our rig.  You may also see that many of these top five could also double as the bottom five reasons, but read on.

  1.  Less space.  So I don’t know how many square feet we have because that would take a tape measure, toddler-free time and a proper to-do list, but I know it’s not 2200 sq feet.  So with less square footage, you have to be choosy and understanding of your smaller stature.  That leads to the ‘less is more’ simple living lifestyle, which if you know me, you know was the real draw moving into an RV.  The less space means less to clean, less to keep track of, less room for being messy, less space in the freezer, fewer seating options, less pantry space, less wall space, you get the idea.  All-in-all I kind of dig that.  Sure sometimes in the grocery store I wonder if the contents of my cart will actually fit into my freezer but I figure I can always take something out, shuffle something around or repackage something to make it work if it comes to it.  But so far I haven’t run into this imagined grocery store haul placement problem that I often envision.
    The freezer
    The freezer

    Yes, Levi’s toys do end up all over our living room often and yes it means he has indefinite access to stubborn Bailey who refuses to seek higher ground but there’s always clean up time and well I don’t know really what to do about stubborn Bailey yet.  When we get tired of the inside we go outside to play in our new “sand box” and when we get hot we come inside and enjoy the air conditioning.  When we get stir crazy we run an errand in the truck or go for a local adventure.  It’s basically the same as before we moved into the RV, just regular life with a toddler.

    His sandbox
    His sandbox
  2. A small washer/dryer.  IS this really a pro? Well yes, hang with me.  So I can’t say that laundry is really my most favorite of house chores mainly due to how overwhelming it is to put all that laundry away.  But with the washer the size of a small basket it means you can fit about two days of average clothes use or one day of heavy clothes use in there.  So you put your meager load in the washer for 40 minutes and in the dryer (which is the same machine as the washer) for an hour and 45 minutes. Also, I hang up most of my shirts and shorts to air dry.  Then when the load is done I only have a few of Levi’s things to fold and a few of mine and a few of Geoff’s.  Then it’s all done!
    The combo washer dryer is located between our closets
    The combo washer dryer is located between our closets

    And I’m within arm’s reach of 2/3rds of all our clothes as I fold and hang things up.  It’s pretty nice.  And it’s short enough of an activity that I can do it most days without Levi really losing it.

    Here it is open
    Here it is open

    When I get behind in the laundry it does seem daunting to figure out how I’m going to catch up.  You see the washer dryer shakes the WHOLE RV like a mammoth earthquake.  Well, I’ve never been in an earthquake, mammoth or otherwise, but it’s really shaking.  So I think it’s hard to sleep or keep a napping or sleeping baby asleep while it’s doing all that shaking.  So it seems best to do the laundry in the morning and run the dryer soon after or in the afternoon.  It’s also supremely helpful to take the things out of the dryer within an hour of being done so as to minimize the number of wrinkles.  I think this is probably true for big dryers but it’s really true for the little ones.  So the timing of things can sometimes get off and the weekend can sometimes get us off course, so it’s all a balance, but in the end I’m pumped about our small washer dryer.

  3. The views. How great is it to fill almost every window of your house with beautiful nature? Well we have a lot of windows and I can tell you, it’s SO great! In Tampa we had the river which was really connected to the bay so there was a tide that came in and out and changed the direction of the water flow throughout the day.  It was just so pretty!  Here in North Carolina, we have some hills, a lake and a small hiking trail around the lake and the woods. Most of the time this RV park is pretty empty so your views of these things are generally unobstructed.  This does bring me to the flip side of this pro- when you have neighbors, especially neighbors who are VERY close due to the size of the RV spaces, your views change and so does your privacy.  This past weekend was Labor Day, in case you hadn’t heard, and the park went from having about 10 of us here to 105 RV’s and every spot filled! It’s nice to see and people watch but it does change the atmosphere and your view a bit, so there’s that.

    Our current camp site in Mt. Airy, NC
    Our current view in Mt. Airy, NC
  4. The counter and the sink covers.  When I was in some grade, like 5th maybe, we had to invent something.  I noticed that our cat and small kitten liked to get into the sink to lick the ice cream bowls so I invented The Kitty Sink Cover.  It fit perfectly on top of the sink (and was covered with fabric that matched the curtains) and kept the cats out of the sink (and was clearly preferred over actually doing the dishes, in my mind).  Well, basically the RV industry has either ripped off this idea or they came up with it first.  (I’m not sure but I’ll defer to them on this one.) So basically you can fill up both sides of your sink with dirty dishes and cover them with the sink covers that are made of the same material as your counter top and you can basically forget you have dirty dishes!! Guys, this is genius! Well, genius right up until you have to do something about those dishes or you need something in the sink.  But still, it seems like a socially acceptable form of what I did in college, which was make a pile of my dirty dishes and leave them on my window sill till I was absolutely forced to clean them.  Don’t worry, Mom and mom-types, we do our dishes every day but it’s nice to still have all that counter space while your sink is full.  Since we don’t have a dishwasher it really makes the whole dish thing bearable.  Well done RV makers!

    The counter and sink. The sink is where the little black hole is
    The counter and sink. The sink is where the little black hole is
  5. A reprieve from the heat.  Okay I know I’m not going to be popular in the Tampa Bay markets for this one but, really, its been pretty sweet to not be as hot as we were in Florida.  We’ve spent quite a bit of time outside (for us) in the last 13 days (since leaving Florida) with various temperatures and humidity levels but it’s been an obvious difference from the scorching sun and humidity of Clearwater.  I’m not going to lie, I’m kind of pumped about remember this thing called, Fall.  One of my Florida friends on Instagram used this hashtag #itsfallsomewhere and I love that, it is fall somewhere and we are going to find it! Ready or not, scarf weather, here we come!
He kind of looks like that guy from the Gunnies here but he's is outside playing
He kind of looks like that guy from the Goonies here but he’s is outside playing

 

So that’s where we are at, how about you? What are you enjoying these days?

So long from Mayberry,

Big Rig Rose

The lie of the perfect life

Our current camp site in Mt. Airy, NC
Our current camp site in Mt. Airy, NC

So in my blog I’ve set out to be transparent and honest with you about myself and the RVing life.  Sometimes I hear people idealize living or traveling in an RV and I want to be honest that although I’m seeing a lot of positive things about this lifestyle, it’s not some picturesque fantasy of the perfect life.  Yes there are lots of amazing things about living this way and I do plan on writing the next blog entry on our top pros and cons but I want to make sure we are on the same page first.  The thing is, no one’s life is perfect.  As a follower of Christ, there are (at least) four reasons God gives me to help prepare me that my life (as his follower) won’t be perfect.

First and foremost I’m a sinner.  Let me just let you know right here I’ve fallen short of the glory of God.  You’ve what? Well it’s like this, “There is no one righteous, not even one… all have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one. Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit. The poison of vipers is on their lips. Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.  Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways,  and the way of peace they do not know. There is no fear of God before their eyes.” (Romans 3: 11-18) Well that is a definition of me and all people without God.  We want our own way and we do and say things to achieve our goals.  So inevitably this self motivated path in life leads each person to disobey God’s plan for us and we go our own way (this, friends is called sin).  Well even though I’ve come to have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, I’m still a sinner.  So I still choose my own way sometimes and this leads to a number of (self inflicted or other such) difficulties. And usually difficulties means imperfect in my mind.

That brings me to my next point, God’s definition of perfect is not the same as my definition.  My definition is probably something like: when everything goes exactly as I see it in my mind’s eye, with no wrinkles, snafoo’s, ugliness, or sadness, the best case scenario in every possible way.  God’s definition of perfect is more like obeying the will of God with all your heart, mind and strength without deviation even amidst pain, suffering, loss, happiness, gain and changing life circumstances.  This should be no surprise to me for two reasons: One, in Isaiah 55:9 God says that “For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” So God’s ways are not like my ways (this is both excellent news and challenging news as sometimes it does lead to confusion on my part since God doesn’t think like me). And two, because when Jesus who lived on earth as both 100% God and 100% man, he was the only person to ever live a perfect life, meaning he never sinned or chose to follow his own will instead of God the Father’s. This is what 1 John 3:5 said “you know that he (Jesus) appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin.” Jesus had to come to save us because we could never live the perfect life.  Also when you think about it Jesus’ life circumstances weren’t very perfect, he was hated by much of the Jewish population, his own brothers doubted his authenticity and he was beaten and killed at a young age. Oh yeah, sometimes I forget about those points when I just want my life to be easy and fun.

Ultimately while I’m masquerading as a citizen of the United States of America I’m really a citizen of Heaven.  As Paul says in Philippians 3:20-21 “our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.” In heaven, things will be God’s definition of perfect but here on earth God lets me know that in this life I “will have trouble” (see John 16:33).  So I should not be surprised when I do.

God’s goal for my life here on earth is sanctification.  What? That means that while sometimes I think my goal is to keep a clean house and raise a pleasant man-child and be a kind wife and not go broke, the real goal of my life is to become more like Jesus, to be made holy like God.  Well, God you and I have a lot of work to do then, because I’m a long way off! 😉 So it really shouldn’t surprise me when I find myself in challenging situations because He’s trying to grow me just like James 1:2-8 says. So I can rejoice in my imperfect life and you can too!

I think the reason why God annunciates these points so clearly is that my human brain is naturally inclined to love comfort and ease and our own ideas of perfection.  Well you know now, that that whole second half of that sentence is a lie.  So when I say good stuff about my physical life you can kind of ‘take it with a grain of salt’ and when I say something about my spiritual life, that’s the real deal. Okay now that we are on the same page, I’ll get you that pro con list, hopefully with pictures. 🙂

With love and imperfection,

Big Rig Rose