the sea of sanctification | Ventura, CA

Perched atop a wall of immovable rock, overlooking the Pacific Ocean, I watch as my kids create an imaginary world.

sea of sanctification

Each child sets up shop in a different location, collecting treasures: sea glass, red wood, seaweed, and driftwood.

Their shell currency allows them to conduct commerce amongst themselves while they build and expand their rocky residences.

BEACHSIDE TREASURE

I’m invited to peruse and shop at my leisure. Soon, I’ve discovered a brilliant excuse to invest in the purchase of driftwood: new curtain rods. Over the course of the afternoon, my living room becomes more personalized as the factory rods are replaced with decorative driftwood.

Later, as I walk through the campground I notice that I am not alone in my driftwood acquisition. Nearly every RV I pass has a stash laying about. In a lifestyle that fosters minimalism, the popularity of this beachside treasure does not escape my notice.

PAINFUL PROCESS

What could be easily overlooked, however, is the inherent pain represented in each piece of wood. Devastating wildfires, followed by substantial rains resulting in fatal mudslides have recently swept through this coastal area. An influx of driftwood debris has ensued.

Birthed from deep devastation and death, a treasure trove has washed ashore. Continue reading “the sea of sanctification | Ventura, CA”

my caring coddiwomple community | Fulltime Family Rally

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.

Fulltime Family Rally
A time of feasting: Instant Pot Potluck: Photo Credit: Staffan Lindström

A TIME OF FAMINE

Our first few months on the road felt very isolated. We knew there was a community out there, it was just a matter of finding them. Six months into our travels I wrote a post where I listed the highs and lows of our nomadic lifestyle. In it, I noted our lack of outside relationships as one of our lows. Three months later I wrote a post titled “Is it possible to have community on the road?” Below is an excerpt from this post.

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”.

Fulltime Family Rally
Before and after: rallies helped my daughter make new friend connections

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”

comparison crap | my first 5K

I’ve never done this before. In fact, the concept still seems to lack a sense of sagacious* forethought.

my first 5K

Nevertheless, I have woken up at 5:30 in order to be ready to take my place behind this starting line. In all ironic honesty, I paid money to wake up early and stand behind this line.

my first 5K

I can’t help but wonder what the high-school version of myself would have thought of this unexpected twist. I–the girl who saw no logic in running unless it was from something dangerous or toward home plate–is about to run 5 Kilometers for the pure challenge of it. Continue reading “comparison crap | my first 5K”

pulling joy

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.

FESTIVE FEEL

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.

SHARING SICKNESS

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”

serving as a family at Gleanings for the Hungry | Dinuba, CA

So, um, hi. Remember me? You may or may not have noticed but it’s been nearly a month since I’ve put finger to key here on the blog. Shortly after my last post, we spent a week serving as a family at Gleanings for the Hungry and had a phenomenal time. God really blessed Trent and I during our time there and since then we’ve been thinking new thoughts and praying over new dreams. While I hope to possibly share more on that in the future, I’ve really stumbled over how to convey our Gleanings experience with you. The ensuing result has been silence which as it turns out, makes for a terrible read. So in an effort to plunge forward, setting perfection aside, I present our Gleanings for the Hungry experience:

SERVING AS A FAMILY AT GLEANINGS FOR THE HUNGRY

Mom, how soon can I go back to work tomorrow?” my six year old asks with sparkling eyes and an upturned chin. “After we eat breakfast and do devotions together as a group,” I respond. He heaves a big sigh and with slumped shoulders confides, “I just was hoping we could get started as soon as I woke up.

It’s the end of our first full day serving as a family at Gleanings for the Hungry in Dinuba, CA. We are all weary from a day worn well. As I lay down to rest and reflect, I can’t help but smile as I replay favorite memories from the day in my mind.

-Ashlyn, invited to sit down at the sewing machine in the quilt room and stitch the final hem to finish off the hand-made quilt that will be sent to Mexico.

serving as a family at Gleanings for the Hungry

-Quinten and Tanner working in the soup room assembly line catching the dried mix into bags. Continue reading “serving as a family at Gleanings for the Hungry | Dinuba, CA”