Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Why?? Why are you doing this?!?

Note from Melissa: This post was originally written on 8/24/2014.

Hello everyone! 
I realize it's been longer than I had planned to give another update on our adventure, however, during the summer time we didn't really have time to do much, so there wasn't much to update you on. The summer was an adventure in and of itself. Keith was traveling and camp pastoring at 11 preteen/children's summer camp sessions. When we could, we all traveled together as a family. When we weren't on the road together, we were going our separate ways to participate in Boy Scout camp and Cub Scout camps. The most refreshing part of my summer was having the privilege to go on a solo trip to La Montana Azul in beautiful Costa Rica for a week-long Qigong retreat! (It was AMAZING, and eventually I'll write a blog post about it.) So, with all of the traveling, you see, there really wasn't much time to work on our RV or get rid of more stuff. Now that we're pretty much done with traveling for the summer, we've gotten back to work. I plan on having more to share in September on our progress. 

However, I realize that although my hubby and I have both posted on our blogs and shared in person our plan of adventure, we're still getting asked this question all the time: WHY? Friends, family, acquaintances, strangers.... anyone we tell our plan of selling our home, things, and traveling together in an RV want to know. Why are you choosing this for your family? Well, let me share with you why this new adventure means so much to us.

1. Simplicity/Minimalism- A peaceful home is something Keith and I both want for our family. We know from experience that the fewer "things" you own, the happier you are. There was a time a few years back that we went through our whole house (with the help of a friend) and simplified everything. We got rid of and sold tons of stuff, and rearranged and organized in such a way that it would be easier to keep our house simplified. It was a difficult process. But the results were immediate: our house felt more peaceful, and we were markedly happier.

 So, this process, of moving from a 2400 sq. ft. home to a 31 ft. pull-behind RV is just a bigger version of what we've already done before. 
We know that with fewer things to take care of, there will be a simplicity in our lives that we've been lacking lately. I've read many blogs of others' journeys of simplicity in their own lives, and I have yet to find a single person who regretted parting with their things. It is never easy to part with things you've accumulated, and I know this will be a dramatic change. But we are excited about the end result, and the good things that will come from this endeavor!

Simplicity and Minimalism are not just limited to material possessions. This process can be applied to time as well. We want our time to be spent in a simplistic and meaningful way. We foresee our new lifestyle helping us also simplify the way we spend our time, and helping us to be very intentional in our activities and what we say "yes" to.

2. Family Unity in Ministry- Our livelihood is Coast 2 Coast Family Ministries. As much as most of that responsibility falls on Keith, our kids are now at an age where we can work together more in ministry. This is a chance for our family to learn by doing, and to work towards a common goal together. We have experienced some of this "teamwork" traveling together in the summers, and during the rest of the year we all take turns traveling with Keith. It has been a great experience, that has brought us all closer together.We truly want our life's work to be a "Family" ministry!

3. The Experience of a Lifetime- We love traveling. Its our family's favorite hobby. Keith and I had decided long ago that once our kids were out of the house we were going to travel anywhere and everywhere we could. But guess what? LIFE IS SHORT. And we are in a position where if we didn't have the burden of a house and mortgage, we wouldn't have to wait to travel at all, we could see the world WITH our kids instead of without them. We have realized that our time is short with our kiddos as well. I have a deep desire to raise our kids with a wide open view of the world. I don't want them to read about places and things in books, and that be the extent of their knowledge. Keith and I are in a unique position to really and truly SHOW our kids the world. To give them the experience and education of a lifetime. To kick our homeschooling experience up a notch. We don't want to wait until they are "out of our hair" to experience the world. We want to experience it together, as a family!

And, the biggest reason of all:

4. A Living Example- Of all the parenting responsibilities I feel the strongest about, being a living example of everything I want for them to see, know, feel, believe, is at the very top of the list.
 It is one thing to tell your kids: you don't need possessions to be happy, you don't have to take the path everyone else does- you can make your own, you can dream big and make things happen, you can work hard to achieve something important to you, your life is infinitely enriched when you serve others, God takes care of us- you can trust  Him, step out and be brave- try something new! 
We can talk about those things all day long. But how on earth are our kids really going to know how do those things if they aren't modeled and demonstrated for them, in real life? When it comes to life lessons like these, Keith and I don't want to talk about it. We want to be about it.

Ultimately, reason #4 is what I think about as I go through my closet to get rid of things. It's on my mind as we plan, begin to process, and figure out how to make this happen. It's what has been going through my head when we've had to part with our pets, that we love dearly. 

These next few months of moving possessions out of our home, parting with items that bring back wonderful memories, preparing our house and land for someone else to make a home out of are going to be hard work; physically and emotionally. But I truly believe what we are going to get in return from this grand adventure that we are embracing and preparing for is going to bring forth all kinds of awesome things for our family, and will be worth every single drop of blood, sweat, and tears that come along with it.

I'm going to be perfectly honest. I. Can't. Wait!

~ Melissa