Thursday, March 29, 2012

6 months... A reflection.

September 23, 2011-March 23, 2012
6 months on the road in an RV:  
Otherwise known as a lifetime...

Not sure how I should write this blog to mark our 6 month anniversary of full-time Rving.  Should I recap all we've done?  Should I just say happy anniversary?  I think I'll feel out this post as I write...


Departure day... we pulled away from Tyndall AFB in Panama City, FL with so much excitement about our journey ahead!  We left with only a general idea of where we would go, how long we'd be there, and how long the trip would last.

6 months later, we still don't know where we are going beyond next week or how long this adventure will last!

One thing we do know, according to "our plan"...it will end by the end of summer, if not before.  This has been an amazing experience, but we know beyond a shadow of a doubt...we are not free spirits and do not want to live a nomadic lifestyle forever :)  This journey has stretched us in new ways, like we knew and hoped it would.  But, it also reenforces our knowledge of who we are... we are home bodies.  We like to be free spirits only within known boundaries :)


A few insights:

* We really can live without so many "things" that we think we "must have" in order to survive.  Even having very little with us, we still have TOO much!  We still have too many clothes, toys, books, food, etc.  We are abundantly blessed!  I look forward to continuing to live a downsized life because in this...we actually can live an oversized life!

* We love the adventure of seeing God everywhere, especially worshipping and fellowshipping with our brothers and sisters in Christ in churches all over the USA.  But, we long for a "home" church and a faith family that know us intimately.

* We miss walking to our own mailbox and getting our mail... daily.  I would've thought this silly 6 months ago, but for us...we like having a home address :)  Answering the, "Where are you from?" question is so much more difficult to answer now!  It was already difficult to answer being a military family!

* Jon NEEDS to work!  He loves to work and is ready to jump back into the race.  Although...it'll be with new vision, purpose, and passion.

* We miss our dear bosom buddies.  :(  I really thought that staying in contact more frequently would happen with my dearest of friends, but the reality of life is... you put out the fires that are in front of you.  We've met some really interesting, wonderful people, but these are not the ones that know my deepest heart's desires and weaknesses.  They are not the ones to go to their knees in prayer for us and share the wholeness of life with us.

* We miss our dog and sugar gliders.

* We miss trips to our library where the librarians are so happy we're there!  And having enough room to bring home 50 books from the library if we want :)

* All the "free time" I thought we'd have did not materialize.  :(  We still have the same responsibilities of life...cooking, cleaning, laundry, financial planning, schooling, child training, etc. that we always have had.  Plus, we have new things to do:  trip planning, finding a way to get Wifi or Mifi connections, learning our way around new towns...where's a church, Walmart, post office...or whatever else we may need, but don't know where it is.

* With an ever changing schedule and location, routine is hard to come by.  And we LOVE routine!  It is harder to get the important things done because we "have all day" to accomplish them.

* This list is actually much longer than I've written so far, but these are some of the big ones that come to mind as I was writing.

Obviously, the above insights are preferences.  God is always with us.  He is enough.

They are honestly not complaints, just observations.

Some of the insights surprised us, some did not--we knew.  


Areas of growth:

* There have been many times that because we couldn't do some things ourselves, we asked God to help us... and He did every time!  Back at home, we would just handle most of these things ourselves because we could.

* We are much more resourceful than we thought we could be.  God gives us fresh ideas and wisdom daily on how to live on the road like this.

* We've grown even closer as a family, and we were pretty tight before!  The biggest growth has come with Jon seeing the kids in all aspects of their lives... how they "do" their days, especially in the area of schooling.  We've been able to do deep heart work with our children in this area, especially with our boy child.  :)

* We have strengthened our faith muscles...in new ways.  God has given us lots of new exercises to do :)

* Adjusting our expectations was and continues to be critical.  We often set very high expectations and if they aren't met, could led to disappointment...when actually, we still had a fantastic experience.  We commit every day to God and we trust that He prepares the way for us.  His ways are often not ours, but they are always better...even if we don't understand.

* We find a new favorite of the journey almost every week.  :)  We loved the horseback riding during autumn in the Smokies best, then we loved the Insectarium best, then we loved the rock climbing at Joshua Tree Nat'l Park best, then holding brand new baby goats was the best thing ever...until we went sledding with Uncle Joey and Auntie Allison!  We've learned that new and great adventures are always around the next bend in the road... and we are so blessed to have so many favorites along the way :)


Some idiosyncrasies about RV life:

* Just about everything pulls double or triple duty...especially our space.  So...we break down, set up, and shift... a lot.

* Yup, the toilet paper isn't quilted anymore...but we have found some single-ply that isn't too bad.  

* I can take a full hot shower...with 6 gallons of water :)  

* We REALLY miss our garbage disposal!

*  We ALL know what kind of power we're hooked up to (30 or 50 amp) and how many electric things we can run at the same time :)

*  It takes a team to do everything... we use everyone's eyes when parking!  

* You have to give lots of grace to each other... in close quarters you will be tripping on someone else's stuff and bumping into each other.  There is no point in getting angry and feel like your space has been violated...because it has been :)

* I enjoy not having a dishwasher (most of the time.)  The kitchen is cleaned up after every meal!

* We have woken up not remembering where we are parked!

* When one person wakes up...everyone wakes up :)  The whole house wobbles when you roll over!

* Using a water pump is annoying and loud, but we're so thankful to be able to have water at our finger tips when needed even when not hooked up to a water source.

* Not all campground water tastes good!  Overall though, we drink the campground water.  We've only been I think two places where it just wasn't bearable and got some bottled water.

* We ALL know and look for Clearance Heights at overpasses and gas stations.  

*  Diesel fuel is not available at all gas stations!

* We learn something new daily.



Jon and I think we'll understand and fully appreciate the value and experience of this adventure after it's over and as time passes.  Through the years, it'll be a memory that is a Team Monty family memory.  Just like when we all experienced our very first mission trip to Costa Rica--- together.  It'll hold us together, as it has tied our hearts with one heartstring.

A quote I just read and love:  "Sometimes you never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory."

Are we glad we went on this grand journey?  Yes!
Do we look forward to the remaining time we have?  Yes!
Do we look forward to settling back down again?  YES!

If you have any questions about our time so far that I haven't addressed, but you really want to know about... just post a comment here and I'll answer your questions. :)



2 comments:

  1. So many of these things resonate with us as well. After 8 years we are ready for that Church heart love we have missed. It would be so cool if you decided to settle near us. I know our daughter would love to get to know your daughter better. The same goes for us. May God bless you through the rest of your trip.

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    1. I'm happy that you've decided to put down roots again. I hear that Prescott is just beautiful! We still are holding out a little hope that we'll make it to the Grand Canyon during this trip. Maybe we'd get a chance to meet up then. May God bless you as you settle into your new hometown

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