If your heart is in a place where you can trust God enough to be open to doing anything or going anywhere, following Jesus is a compelling adventure.  In the gospels I read about His invitation to follow Him (Matthew 4:19) and I see the response: His disciples dropped everything they were doing and followed.  After a process of time, prayer, and soul-searching, Trent and I were in that place: we were ready to sell anything and follow anywhere.  We were prayerfully sensitive to the opportunities that came across our paths and sought to determine, “Is this opportunity God’s will for us or is this simply a distraction?” We waded through a sea of possibilities for almost a year.  We prayed through business opportunities, selling our home, buying a duplex, moving back to California, and moving overseas.  In the process, we discovered more about our passions, dreams and goals and we continued to bring these to the feet of Jesus and ask, “Show us what to do with these things in our hearts.” Some of the particular areas we processed included:
Finances: We have a heart for living free from the grip of financial control.  We want to be good stewards of everything God has entrusted us with.  We have goals to live with less, be entirely debt free, invest wisely and live generously in order to be better able to respond to the opportunities that God puts in our path.  God is still working in our hearts to help us understand more clearly how to align our bank account with His perfect will.

Travel: During my pre-marriage years, I was blessed to have many opportunities to travel.  Most of my travels were short-term mission trips during summer breaks. God allowed me to see Him work in many countries and travel to every continent (except Australia and Antarctica) by the age of 20.  I loved everything about traveling: the adventure, meeting new people, learning new things, trying new food and seeing God provide.  As Trent and I have shared our hearts with each other, it has become evident that he also has a heart for travel and we both desire to allow the eyes of our children to be opened to the needs and gifts of the world though travel.

Family: We have a passion for our family.  Honoring God though the children He has blessed us with is important.  Homeschooling was a future goal for us for many years, but it had been delayed primarily because of the online business that I owned.  Through a series of circumstances, homeschooling was pushed to the forefront and we had both the peace and confidence needed to step forward in faith and begin learning together through the platform of homeschooling.

Finances, travel and family, ironically with an acronym matching the name of this blog, are three particular areas that have been solidified more strongly this past year.  As a result, our personal desires started to take on a particular shape: we started dreaming about crazy things like selling our home and living debt free in a mico-home, traveling around the United States in a converted bus or visiting missionary friends around the world.  People like Nina Nelson who live in a converted school bus with her family of six, Tsh Oxenreider who will be traveling around the world with her family of five, and Jenn and Brent who have been traveling around the United States in an RV with their three kids and three pets since 2011 have become utterly fascinating to us.  I have read books like Notes from a Blue Bike: The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World while Trent reads Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel and together we compare notes and then relax at night by breathing in travel shows like oxygen.  Birthday gifts this year for our family have been travel backpacks (which are much more exciting to receive than one might first guess) and all of this is nicely punctuated by the geography study that we did last spring while homeschooling.

The tricky part is deciphering if our personal passions are aligned properly under God’s desires for us.  Thus, we have been pleading for God to lead us and praying we will discern His steps and be wise enough to follow in them.  The process isn’t always clear-cut, but it beats the alternative mundane, lukewarm-living, hands down.

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