Alice's Restaurant ~ Dishin' Up Food for Thought

Alice's Restaurant ~ Dishin' Up Food for Thought ~~~ A place to share what I am thinking, reading, feeling & contemplating as I travel on this journey called life.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Just Thinkin'

The view from our campground in Kerrville. 
A lot of things have been going through my mind today ~ time to put them down on paper and do some reflecting.  The above picture is the sunset from last night here in Kerrville.  It just evokes thoughts of change.  And I have lots of changes in recent months, in the past year, in my life.

I don't want to get too heavy in this post but want to think about the many changes I have had in my life in the last year ~~~ (note anything that is underlined is a link to another post or link to a different page)

~~ January 2010 ~~ Ron came home and we did some serious talking about our work future.  Our plumbing business was failing more each day.  Ron had two plumbing jobs in January.  We both were stressing about how we were going to pay our bills.  Even wondering where and how we could get some groceries.  And that is what proceeded his question/directive: pick a place to go and lets see if we can get jobs with the carnival.  So that is what we did.  You can read about our we came to make the decision to join the carnival and our time with the carnival beginning here.

~~ February 2010 ~~ we got ready to go to work traveling, working and living the carnival life.

~~ March to September 2010 ~~ we worked, traveled and lived as carnies.  We had lots of fun, met lots of neat people, made lots of friends and got back on our feet financially.  God answered many prayers: providing meals, money for motor home repairs, blessing us as we shared His love with others.  Yet working for the carnival was really hard work with lots of long hours especially for Ron.  We learned to trust God not just for the little things like having the money to buy groceries but for the big things like when the drive shaft fell off the motor home.  God encouraged me in my thoughts to learn how to drive the motor home.  And I did and now I drive with confidence most of the time.  (Haven't driven in heavy traffic yet).  He answered specific prayer.  As I walked across the yard to pay the mechanic I told the Lord we only had $645, please don't let the repairs cost more than that.  The repairs were $642 and change!

~~ May 2010 ~~ We rode the roller coaster of emotions.  Finding out we were going to be Grandparents again on Mother's Day and then learning the next evening that Tory went home to be with Jesus.  It was hard to be so far away from Brandon & Danalyn as they mourned the loss of their precious baby.  Yet we were thankful that Danalyn was okay.

~~ October 2010 ~~ We took a well deserved four week vacation.  Taking 5 days to get to Lewiston, ID and then spending three weeks with Brandon, Danalyn, Max & Christopher. Starting here you can read about our time with family and what we did after carnival life.  Again we were at a turning point in our work situation.  Now with both of us unemployed we needed to decide what we were going to do.  We started sending out applications to campgrounds, spoke with Rob with Funtastic Show about 2011, and sought the Lord for where He would lead us next. 

~~ November 2010 ~~ We returned to Whatcom County and I started back at Northwood as church secretary.  And we continued to seek new employment.  We enjoyed being back with family and friends yet felt anxious about what were we going to do next.  We had the opportunity to share our testimony at church.  We were showered with love after sharing some of our struggles and reminded how precious our Northwood Family is to us.   Ron mentioned he wanted to sell Christmas Trees.  Well the Lord answered those prayers by providing work for us selling trees for Noel Christmas Trees in Edmond, WA.  That adventure begins here.  

~~ December 2010 ~~ We sold Christmas Trees and continued to apply for work.  We sought the prayers of many for the Lord to open the right door for us in the area of employment.  We saw God working as we ultimately had four job offers.  Two from Texas and two from California.  We felt the Lord leading us to Lone Star Corral as the Office Manager & Property Manager.  We finished selling Christmas Trees on Christmas Eve at 5:00 p.m.  We went to a wonderful Christmas Eve service at Edmonds Lutheran Church where we were reminded of God's ultimate gift for us ~ his son, Jesus.  We thank the Lord for giving us his son, to lead, guide and love us each day.  We then took another two week vacation and went to Post Falls, ID to see Brandon and his family at a basketball tournament and then onto Lewiston for more time with the grands and their parents.  

~~ January 2011 ~~ We returned to Whatcom County for Ron to serve on jury duty and to get get ready for our trip to Texas.  We anticipated leaving on February 13 and arriving in D'Hanis, TX on March 11.  But once again God challenged us in our faith and belief.  Were we as flexible and trusting of Him as we said.  Again we rode the roller coaster of having plans set and then having those plans changed and then changed again within a matter of two hours.  

We finished what we needed to do in Blaine, saw as many of our family as we could, had a few meals with friends and even got sick before we actually got on the road for Texas.  Again the roller coaster was in full swing ~ anxious to head off on a new adventure yet feeling sad leaving friends and family for a place we have never been and where we knew no one.  I knew we were heading where the Lord was sending us ~ all the pieces to the puzzle fell into place to be anything but from the Lord.

~~ January 26 to February 19 ~~ we have been on the road.  We have seen family and old friends as well as made new friends as we have traveled.  We have had motor home problems leading to thoughts of "Lord are you really here?  How the heck are we going to get to Texas if all our gas money is spent on repairs?"  Seeking prayers from many and crying out to the Lord in wonder.  

One day specifically comes to mind.  Tuesday, February 8 was probably the hardest day I have had in a long time.  We had already spent two days at the mechanics in North Bend, WA had replaced some parts in Middletown, CA with each of those costing us what I thought was precious money ~ money we didn't have to spare for mechanical issues.  We needed all the money we had to get us to Texas. We had borrowed money after the first issues in Washington and now we were using some of that to pay for the repairs in Fresno.   I remember sitting at the table while Ron was outside working on the motor home with tears streaming down my face.  Feeling like I was ready to give up ~ but then again that wasn't an option either ~ couldn't stay at the Fresno RV Park we were at indefinitely.  I once again sought the prayers of others, cried on Ron's shoulders and just wasn't sure if we had made a mistake or not in heading to Texas.  My heart ached, my head hurt with a headache and my eyes hurt from so much crying.  I just didn't know what WE were going to do.  And then it was time to go to dinner at Jim & Sharon's with Belva. I didn't think I would be good company but I went with Ron and I put on what I thought was a happy face.

I wasn't a very good actress.  At dinner Jim prayed for us in our travels, for the Lord to provide for our every need, for us to enjoy our time of traveling and of course for us to have a good dinner.   Little did I know how God would provide for us.  And once again I was reminded that God is in control and it is his timing not mine on when things should happen and how they would happen.  The Lord has blessed us over and over on this trip.  He has provided funds where there were none.  We have gotten groceries from those we did not expect any.  We have been taken out to eat to share in family and friend time.  God has truly blessed me/us over and over again.

I can't say that enough ~ God has blessed us over and over again.  Not just on this trip but in so many ways.  It's just right now the blessings we have received as we have traveled from Blaine, WA to Lewiston, ID to Bend, OR to Corning, CA to Middletown, CA to Fresno, CA to Phoenix, AZ, and onto Tucson and McNeal, AZ and now as we near the end of this journey to Texas.  

I keep telling myself my vacation is almost over.  Tomorrow is the last day of that vacation and then we start a new adventure.  The adventure of being Office & Property Managers of a campground ~ something else we have talked about doing and God is blessing us with the desires of our hearts. 

I think about the new changes coming our way ~

~ we will have regular days off
~ we will meet lots of new people
~ we will once again have regular paychecks and get back on that stable financial plateau 
~ we will not be moving all the time; don't get me wrong I enjoy moving around but I am ready to be in one place for awhile
~ we have a new grandbaby coming in May, that is always exciting
~ we get to see new parts of this ole country where.have never been
~ we will make new friends

and we get to do all this with God's blessings on our lives.  He guides us each day if we let him.  That's the key ~~ trusting and seeking God each day.  Living out our faith in our actions and words.

I want to close with this prayer: Thank you Lord for allowing me to blessed with so many Christian friends through the years.  Thank you for a loving husband who has an adventurous soul and showers me with his love every day.  Thank you Lord for Jamie & Brandon and their families.  For expanding my family, for surrounding me in love and for special friends who have walked with me through the hard times and the good.  Thank you for loving me Jesus!