Though all love originates in God and is for that reason God's own love, yet we are permitted to catch and reflect back that love in such manner that it becomes our love indeed, in much the same way that sunlight reflected from the moon becomes moonlight. - A.W. Tozer

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Working and Waiting

The future draws nearer, as always. (And yet it's always the same distance; funny how that works.) We're filling our last month here in Missouri by working like crazed woodchucks on the house projects. I've been cleaning, packing, and planning. Aaron has finished the deck, the painting and almost all the little projects upstairs. Now all that remains is the basement.

It seems very daunting to me: wiring, drywall, flooring, ceiling, paint. My husband, who is on track to give Bob Vila a real run for his money someday, assures me that it will all be done before we know it, and none of it is as difficult as I make it sound. I can only hope that he's right, and I'm not. Since that's usually the case, there is cause for optimism.

A very sweet couple has expressed interest in purchasing our house, and we are so excited to work with them as we finish these last projects and prepare to head out into the great beyond. The thought of leaving our home in the hands of people who will appreciate it is an amazing blessing, and a huge weight off our shoulders.

I spent the last week measuring every little piece of our new RV when I went to Oklahoma to visit family and help with VBS. I have pictures and dimensions for every cabinet and cubby hole, and am already thinking about what I can cram where. How many pairs of jeans do we each need? How many shoes? Will I be able to fit my crate of curriculum and my box of extra books? What tools can Aaron fit into the space underneath? Where will we hang our bicycles?

These questions will all have answers in the near future (I hope). Until then we continue to work, plan, dream, and sort. Much trash has been disguised as treasure over the last few years, and I have to separate the one from the other. Some things are easy to discard, and others give me pause, but, all in all, it's been an unexpectedly joyful experience.

Sunday, July 6, 2014


We are now officially RV owners. With the help of a few trusted relatives we purchased a 2007 Jayco Jayflight. It has two bunks in a "room" at one end and a master bedroom at the other. In the middle is one couch, one little table with just enough room for four chairs, and a tiny kitchen. (Don't worry, there's a bathroom set-up as well.)

Aaron and I haven't actually seen it yet, but our parents have all had the opportunity to check it out, and we have complete faith in their judgement and knowledge. I will go to join our children at their Grandmas' houses in one week, and will start taking pictures, making measurements, and possibly despairing over how little room there really is in a 32' 5th wheel.

We have read many books, watched online videos, searched blogs and RV websites, and communicated with other "full-time families" to prepare ourselves as much as possible, but I hope that we are under no illusions as to how different this life will be than anything in our previous experience.

I look forward to the experiment, anyway. Regardless of the outcome, we will have learned and grown, and if we can be used by God as something other than a parable of caution to the unwise in the midst of our endeavors, then whatever comes will be worth...well...whatever comes.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

I May Have a Problem

Since the kids are visiting Grandmas and Grandpas in Oklahoma, we are working sun-up to sun-down to prepare our home for what we hope will be its brief stay on the real estate market, then its new owners, who are surely out there somewhere. There is a new deck out back, which has been about one week in the making. I am covered in wood stain, and my husband has a tan like he did back in the farm boy days. Today, while he put in the stairs, I focused my attention on the windows. Then I heard the siren call of my books.

I've packed almost all of them into boxes, organized by genre and author where appropriate. Out of the mass, these are the two that received the extra treatment of a Ziploc bag before they were placed in the cardboard box.  These are, believe it or not, two of my favorite books of all time. One discovered in childhood, and one discovered in my college years.

Dear Rat was one of those mysterious books that just appear in a family bookshelf, and no one can trace its origin. I only remember stumbling across it as a small child. It is the story of a young rat in Paris, who solves a mystery and falls in love. The first-person narration is wonderful, and it may have been my first introduction to the world of detective fiction. (The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew entered my life at around the same time.)

Berlin Diary, on the other hand, is the journal of a famous news correspondent in WWII. William Shirer (one of the Murrow boys) went on to write the Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, also an excellent book. His diary, though, is great for any student of WWII, or anyone who is curious about life in a culture of increasing aggression and self-conceit. (Don't the two often go hand in hand?) It begins in 1934 and ends when he returns to the U.S. in December of 1940, telling the tales of the birth pangs of broadcast journalism and the on set of one of the darkest stains on human history.

If I could, I'd protect all my lovely books, but I know that most of them would be easy to replace, or would not break my heart if I didn't have them in storage after all. Well, let's be honest, if I could, I'd bring them all along with me in the RV, but that's not going to happen.

However, since Dear Rat is out of print, and Berlin Diary is a first edition (yes, I have another one that I keep to actually read), they will receive the special treatment. They don't get a place in the box of antique books, but they do get to rise above the rest of the paper hoi polloi.