We’ve often said that this full-time traveling lifestyle has thrust us into a season of “feast or famine” when it comes to community. While we are in close proximity to other traveling families, fireside chats, meals and general life together often abounds quite effortlessly. Conversely, the opposite is also true. When we are alone, especially for long stretches of time, a feeling of isolation is not uncommon.
Without a doubt, there are relationships to be had if you are willing to pursue them. Herein lies the rub. At times there is a choice between the pursuit of the location or the people…
Should our travels continue beyond this first year, I anticipate that the pull between places and people would begin to yield much more heavily toward people. As a result, I expect that we would begin to pursue places which are in close proximity to the people we wish to see rather than the reverse.
In three short months, our entire outlook had improved in this area. One key factor to finding our tribe was attending a Fulltime Family Rally. Rallies are in place to help families connect and create opportunities for relationships to develop that can continue down the road (both literally and figuratively). Some have even likened it to “speed dating for families”.
OUR FIRST FULLTIME FAMILY RALLY
We attended our first rally in Tallahassee, Florida last February. We came to it new to fulltime travel and very parched of community. The Florida Rally was huge, with over 80 families present. Seeing so many families all in one space really allowed us to get a better grasp of the size of the community we were joining. As we started to learn the number of years that these families had been on the road (some as many as 7+) and see the number of kids (and pets) they were traveling with, we began to see that this lifestyle could be sustainable. Continue reading “my caring coddiwomple community | Fulltime Family Rally”
Ashlyn was recently gifted a large amount of scrap fabric from a kind lady we met at church. As we pondered ways to make use of it, I turned to Pinterest for some inspiration. This led us down a delightful decorating rabbit hole. Come along and I’ll show you 6 free (or almost) RV decor ideas that we discovered!
1) NEW NO-SEW CURTAINS
I’ve considered redoing the dark brown curtains in our main living area multiple times. I even went so far as to purchase fabric from IKEA last winter for this purpose. However, upon making the first panel, I discovered that the color scheme just wasn’t quite right and I abandoned the effort.
It all worked out however because I’d kept that not-quite-right fabric and was able to repurpose it into no-sew fabric strip curtain valances by intermingling some of the fabric we had been given. The end result was perfect. It brightened up the room, required no sewing and was very cost effective! If you want more details on how to create these valances yourself, here are the instructions I followed.
Hello from Acton, California! It’s a chilly 49 degrees outside. Swift 25 mile an hour wind gusts are giving the juniper bushes outside my window a proper morning workout. Despite the clear blue skies and few stubborn leaves still clinging to the trees, we are not fooled; even here in Southern California, we have not fully escaped winter’s clutches.
Inside our electric fireplace blows its warmth and the faux logs eternally burn. Nat King Cole fills the air with the sounds of Christmas past. Our pint-sized Christmas tree, complete with homemade ornaments, and the neighboring diffuser emitting evergreen dream into the air, completes the seasonal sensory requirements. It’s not snowy Idaho, but we feel festive just the same.
Not so jolly are the germs we’ve been battling. Sore throats, coughs and fevers have been unintentionally swapped between the families we’ve been traveling with. It’s tricky to balance sharing spaces like playgrounds and potlucks without also sharing sickness. Continue reading “pulling joy”
The air is cool and crisp as I sit cross-legged in my plush camp chair. I’m snuggled under the fleece blanket my mother-in-law gifted me for Christmas last year. Above me the sky has tucked the sun into its western bed and the stars are roaming free. Around me sit a circle of friends and family. We’ve each parked our chairs in close proximity to the fire pit but random popping embers occasionally cause us to question our warmth vs. safety priorities.
By the way, it’s Wednesday evening. That lonely, middle-of-the-week night which, in former times of my life, marked things like bible study, soccer practice or the night we used to curl up on the couch and watch the next episode of Lost. It was not, however, social night. Getting together mid-week with multiple families for the pure purpose of hanging out was typically impractical, if not impossible.
Yet here we sit for the third week in a row, swapping stories in the dark while flames dance and kids play. It’s a gift. With time as our currency, we are rich and I don’t mourn soccer or Lost.
We’ve now had over a year’s worth of Sundays on the road. However I still stumble over myself when asked, “What do you do for church while traveling in an RV?” It’s a straightforward question but the answer isn’t clear-cut. Come with me while I unpack the details of what church looks like for us while RVing.
WHAT IS CHURCH?
Both Trent and I grew up going to church on Sundays. It is part of our family history and something we value. We believe that the church should be important to us because it is important to God. He loved the church. He gave Himself up for it (Ephesians 5:25).
Yet, as I’ve grown, so has my concept of what the church actually is. As a child, church was the white building on the street corner with a cross on top. Church was something we went to and sequentially left each week. Church was a building, a place of gathering, and an icon in town with a cross on the roof. This is not what Christ died for. Instead, I believe Christ died for people. John 10:11 tells us that Christ is the Shepherd who lays down His life for his sheep (not their barn). Therefore, my understanding has grown to realize that “church” is wherever believers are gathered together, regardless of the day of the week or the location of the gathering.
This may seem like an unnecessary distinction to make; however, I believe it is important to start here. Without this clarification, it can be easy to wander off into unnecessary confusion when answering the question, “What will you do for church on the road?” Because there is a big difference between asking, “What building do you plan to go to on Sundays?” and “How will you stay connected with other believers?”
DON’T STOP GATHERING
The writer to the Hebrews warned the early church to “not stop gathering together with other believers, as some are you are doing. Instead, we must continue to encourage each other even more as we see the day of the Lord coming” Hebrews 10:25. I believe this has as much relevance now as it did when first penned. As believers we crave time with other believers and that time pays dividends of encouragement, accountability and spiritual growth. Continue reading “what church looks like for us while RVing”