Summer Road Trip 2016: Whaaaat and why?!

WHAT?

As we were in the day-dreaming stages of this adventure that we're about to embark on, I told a handful of people about my dreams way before I knew they would ever become a reality. I LOVED watching people's faces as I told them that I wanted to sell our home, buy an RV and live in it for a chunk of the summer. Most people looked at me like I had just expressed interest in living on Mars for a stint. I wish I could have captured secret photos of all of the facial expressions and put them together in a collage. There were a few of you, though, who reacted with genuine encouragement and excitement because you know me and you know how much an experience like this screams PORTA. Before I tell you about the journey, I have to give credit to our friends Dan and Laura from thecookandthecoach.com for being our pioneers and for inspiring us to be brave enough to do something big like this. Heather, Cara, Melissa and Sarah...I wouldn't have kept dreaming if it weren't for your encouragement and support! I love you guys!

In the next couple weeks we will be packing up our new-to-us RV and driving westward with our two boys and puppy. We plan to cover somewhere around 6 weeks and 6,000 miles, visit family and friends and meet new people. We have a general route planned out, but nothing is concrete and we like the idea of being spontaneous and "Porta"ble. Ha!

WHY?

Around mid-April of this year, a burning desire to get my family into an RV and travel around the United States entered into the depths of my adventure-loving heart. At many different points in the months that followed I attempted to squelch this desire because "on paper" it just didn’t make sense. We didn’t have the resources, time or energy to make a journey like this happen. Over and over I prayed that God would take this desire away if it was not coming from Him, yet…it only grew stronger.

Things began to come together in a strange way. Dan and I purged, cleaned, organized and painted our home of 13 years within just a few weeks. It was an ORDEAL. Our garage, closets and storage were filled with not only stuff, but precious precious memories. Teeny tiny clothes reminded me of the births of my babies. Every toy made me remember specific milestones. I found artwork and schoolwork from Elijah’s first years of preschool, which was such a tender time. Sorting through our droves of stuff was not only time-consuming, but emotionally depleting.

Slowly we began “purging” our lives almost in naïve preparation for a greater cause. Our boys wrapped up their kindergarten and third grade years. Dan had a sudden but amicable loss of employment. We cleaned out and sold our trailer we'd had at the dropzone for five years. We sold our home after having it on the market for two weeks. Just today we purchased an amazing used RV that we love. We will be stuffing all of our belongings into a storage unit this week. We canceled all summer plans and made time for an adventure that we feel in our cores is meant to happen.

If we would have sat down months or even weeks ago and written out everything required in order to make this trip happen, it would not have made sense and we never would have pursued it. I keep thinking of the story about the fish and bread from the Bible. Looking down on what little provisions they had and looking out at the thousands of people needing to eat, it must have seemed impossible. Sometimes the math just does not add up. Sometimes a huge leap of faith is required in order to move forward and follow His lead even if the plan seems totally crazy and impossible.

With all of Elijah’s surgeries and special medical needs that we've focused on so much over the years, our family was in survival mode for a long time. Now that we feel like we're out of the deep woods, we are beginning to think more about the big picture. It's a lot like mountain climbing. When climbing a mountain I imagine your only thought is, “JUST! ONE! MORE! STEP!” In the grueling times, nothing else matters except that very next step. But when you take a HUGE step back and admire the mountain from afar, you can appreciate its enormity, notice its details and become awe-struck by its overwhelming beauty. You gaze at it from top to bottom, side to side and take in the whole, beautiful big picture.

On this summer adventure, we want to get out there and take in the whole, beautiful big picture. We want to meet the people we normally wouldn’t meet. We want to spread the kindness of Jesus. We want to bundle up our family and explore and be kind whenever possible and show the love of Jesus to as many people as possible across the country. This is the motivating spirit of this adventure.

Being a food-lover and food blogger, I also want to explore food from different parts of the country. I also love the idea of creating food on the road RV-style and blogging about that.

And the last reason we are doing this is because we want to instill a sense of adventure in our boys. This world God created for us is amazing and it was made to explore. Despite fears and anxieties that each of us may have that revolve around traveling, I think it is so important to conquer our fears and always seek adventure. I believe God truly wants that for us.

We would love it if you followed our summer adventure! With two boys and a dog who loves to chew on everything, there certainly will be many!