Jeff and I realize more than ever that we are a team and any good team needs deliberation and collaboration. We left Phoenix on May 31st a tired mess. A complete mess for a number of unknown and known reasons, reasons like: years of facing family abuse and the trauma and evil on the souls involved, leading and relinquishing a church, walking away from unfinished dreams, choosing not to deny but face the wounds our children have in their hears and minds because of our choices and the harsh world they grow up in, overworking, financial adversity, and having God answer our prayers in complete opposite ways than we thought. We were turned upside down and given a road on an RV to travel for the summer. This road around the U.S. has given us the time for looking back and looking forward- to talk about the transitional season we are in. As we drive through beautiful country, the needed questions and answers are tossed around. Tears have time to fall, truthful things are said and received. It seems that so much is undone and it often feels like looking at life is like looking at a puzzle… blurry pieces of pain and agony, light and color.
The last couple of weeks we have been alone as a family. The go-go-go of vacation slowed down and we have been camping at state parks, KOAs, and Walmart parking lots. These weeks on the road with people and with just ourselves have offered so much direct healing in our hearts. I could tell story after story of amazing realizations and “Aha” moments that have been balm to our sore places. I am thankful for this. However, I would be dishonest to say that everything is better… the wreckage is real and big. It is not gone. Rest and healing have occurred, but with this comes more understanding of our need for Him and continued grace and mercy for the brokenness of our hearts. Healing and wreckage go together. It is a teeter-totter of events. He is the Master, and at times, we blindly continue to follow Him, knowing it is hopeless without Him. He is the light, the life, the way. Truth He knows, and truth He shares with us when He sees fit. One day at a time. Our broken hearts try to trust as we break and somehow miraculously get rebuilt again. Each morning we start a new day, and by nightfall we lay ourselves down not knowing how we will do it again. But we do, day after day. There has to be a Force leading us on. A mysterious Force who knows the way, the plan. This is Who we follow.
Now for the fun stuff… The pictures! We have covered a lot of ground and seen magnificent sights.
Went to church at a Salvation Army Community Center. They graced us with free day passes to the pool
The boys enjoying their reading time
Our cheap ass drink carrier for the kids’ water bottles! Ha
Our family actually hit a low around this time. We had been on the road for 5 wks, all up in each others space and finally the words and attitudes had formed patterns. The kids were taking shots and their hearts had lost their softness. Jeff and I were fed up with the complaining, sassyness, and tired from the coaching of the different relationships/hearts, including our own! What we were “doing” definitely wasn’t working. All the normal graces and reasoning seemed depleted. The kids were in bed for the night and Jeff and I schemed together. Something had to change. So the list was made and points were to be earned the next day for electronic time and other special things.
We do not like running our household on a list of rules and on an earning system, but we were desperate. It worked! So interesting to watch little humans be recharged by having a goal and than able to enjoy the fruits of the care and kindness of one another. I think it provided some steadiness amidst all the changes and lack of routine. The detailed point system didn’t last long and we are back to our go with the flow type family style. It was a good reset.
Chicken fights have become a favorite
We had been waiting the whole trip to go to the movies, and the special day came
Found a beautiful river to swim and fish at
Took an old Montana road towards a small town named Pony and then to some Hot Springs
A highlight for us all: swimming in natural hot springs
Yellowstone National Park (Montana & Wyoming) was next…
This park and the wildlife we saw, blew our minds! It was seriously a natural Disneyland. Surprises around every corner. We were all hyped by the awe!!
We saw Elk
We saw waterfalls
We saw deer
We even saw a black bear!
We saw seriously about 600 buffalo. They crossed the roads constantly. At this point, Isaac said the cutest things, like, “This is the most amazing, beautiful world we have ever seen!”
Noah took some of these photos and had fun using the camera
Saw the smelly volcanic activity
almost lost daddy…
Then through Wyoming
Some of the desserty parts reminded us of home… and then we climbed into the mountains of wildflowers!
We had to stop, enjoy and lay in them
Finally, South Dakota
They rock climbed!
We found one of Halle’s strengths. She easily climbed to the top and loved it!
Mia had her moment! She had been waiting for a promised horse riding experience. She not only rode, but enjoyed the horses everyday on the property.
They hid from the occasional rain
we enjoyed lots of meals, made by yours truly, fresh off the RV
Good ole’ smores!
And we made it to Rushmore
We are in Colorado now. It feels official… we are on our way back, back to Arizona. Hopeful for the future and still present in all the mess. Trucking on, moving forward.