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.
As for bible study? We’ve moved it to Wednesday morning.
How about you? What does a typical Wednesday evening look like?
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”
This is a transitional week. Mentally, I’m shifting from thoughts revolving around our shocking dental visit toward meal and trip planning. That last little blog post I wrote about being kicked out of the dentist office created quite the stir. Typically I’m thrilled to hear from a small handful of you in the form of a comment or email. I wasn’t prepared for the avalanche of thoughts, opinions and advice that poured in. Over 200 comments accompanied the 40,000+ page views.
I typically take the time to respond to each blog comment. However, I gave myself a pass on this one due to both the volume and, in some cases, the sheer lunacy shared. I have a hard time engaging in assaulting conversations so I simply tapped out on a few of them. Chances are, if you are still reading my blog now, you did not leave one of those comments. However, I did add a few notes of clarification to the dental post as there seemed to be some confusion over our motives. Feel free to click over to read the updates if you felt we might have been after fame or money (spoiler alert: we weren’t).
Finally, in an attempt to bring some closure to the topic, we were able to locate a dentist in the Phoenix area who comes highly recommended by a trusted friend. We’ve made appointments for all four kids (on the same day—hallelujah) and look forward to experiencing his laser (no shot, no drill, no anesthesia, no cursing–just seeing if you are paying attention) dentistry technique in a few weeks.
MOMENT OF SILENCE
Physically, we have transitioned back into our RV after a month of living with friends while warranty work was completed. Can we just take a brief moment to acknowledge the four families who willingly housed us over the last month? I mean truly, you know you’ve got die-hard friends when they let your dirty laundry intermingle with theirs and don’t mind when you walk into their kitchen with morning breath and bed head. Tschida, Hembry, McKee and Swan families: you win top hospitality awards! We are truly, madly, deeply grateful to call you friends! Continue reading “a place of transition”
Yes, you read that title correctly. Alternative options included:
My dentist taught my child his first curse word.
How to get kicked out of your dentist office.
Shall we just dig right in?
LET ME SET THE STAGE
We’ve been standing on home turf in Idaho since the sun had it’s big event last month. Prior to that we’ve been on the move traveling full-time with our family of 6 in our 5th wheel RV. In the last 12 months we’ve gone from Idaho down to Florida, northward to Prince Edward Island and back to Idaho covering a total of over 16,000 miles. Coming back to the Pacific Northwest has been like slipping into a favorite pair of jeans. It just feels right.
In the extra spaces of time between seeing family, visiting old friends, floating the river, searching for huckleberries, kayaking, starting school and RV repairs, we’ve been catching up on doctor, eye and dental appointments. Due to our insurance plan, these things are both cumbersome and costly to do out of state. Therefore, I made myself sticky notes and phone reminders to set up appointment times well in advance. Remember the month of July when we were stuck in Canada? I used my spare time to make caramel corn and set up dental appointments for the kids (don’t think about that too deeply). I was not, under any circumstance, going to miss making appointments during our Idaho visiting window because I’m type-A like that. You can imagine my glee when I scored new patient appointment times for all four kids on the same day.
IT’S DENTIST DAY
Fast forward to September 13, 2017. We are up early. Our dental appointment time is at 9:30 and Lewiston is a 90 minute drive. Tanner is especially excited. A year ago he missed out on a dental appointment due to scheduling complications right before our launch. I help him brush his teeth while he informs me, “I’m just so excited to see the dentist today!” Neither of us could guess that in the coming few hours we will both be sitting front and center to a full-on display of Dr. Potty Mouth DMD. Continue reading “the day my dentist called the police to remove us from his office | Chief Joseph Dental Clinic in Lewiston, ID”
This is no quotidian* day. It’s been marked in our mental calendar for over a year. After all, how often does a total solar eclipse occur on your 18th wedding anniversary?
For this momentous occasion we have positioned ourselves within the path of totality by boondocking at a lovely Harvest Host location in Weiser, ID. Surrounded by fruit trees, family and some serious astronomical sun chasers, we are in good company.
THE SOLAR SUPER BOWL BEGINS
A solar telescope is set up. Eclipse glasses are within reach. Pinhole viewers are being crafted. Plastic lawn chairs face east. Excitement is building. The solar super bowl is about to commence and the spectators are fully unified. Continue reading “path of totality | Weiser, ID”