stuck in Idaho

Hello from Idaho where our family sits with a broken RV frame and no clear answers on the horizon about when (or if) our RV will ever hit the road again.

It’s certainly not the first time in the last three years of our travels that we’ve been broken down, but it is the first time that the solution timeline doesn’t really matter to me.

photo: sitting still with no end in sight

SHARED VALUES

Every family has a set of values that they hold dear. Near the top of our list is community. However, regular, meaningful interaction with people who recognize their need for one another has proven to be more elusive to develop than we expected.

Discovering this shared value among the Full-Time RV community has been a glorious surprise. Without it, our time on the road would have simply been a year-long road trip to see sights and spend time as a family. Instead, our one year plan blossomed into three years of shared experiences with others who had dared to jump into the unknown and found the pay off worth the risk because we’d found each other in the process.

photo: Fulltime Family Rally (our traveling community)

GROWING ROOTS

A little over a year ago, Trent and I discussed the possibility of becoming more stationary. In fact, we even tried on the thought of building a home while looking at some land for sale in Kamiah, Idaho. At the time, the idea felt big and bulky and I quickly sluffed it off. Contemplating a stationary lifestyle conjured up thoughts of shackles and anchors–the timing simply wasn’t right.

However, I knew that someday instead of balking, I might embrace the prospect of putting down roots once again. Over the last several months God has been working on my heart and preparing me for a new season of settling in and slowing down. This time, as I sensed it coming on the horizon, my soul anticipated it like welcome rain.

PRIORITY: PEOPLE

While no location that we’ve visited has checked off every preference box, our hearts have continued to return to the little town that was initially our stopover location after we sold our home and before we purchased our RV. Kamiah, Idaho is nestled in a beautiful valley where the Clearwater River carves itself through the landscape of wild fruit trees, deer and sleepy towns with no stoplights.

photo: overlooking the Clearwater River

What the area lacks in size and programs, it makes up for in depth of relationships. Here people don’t wait for an invitation to stop by and visits often last longer than the daylight. Offers to help are backed up by willing hands and generous actions among believers are the norm. Over time, it became impossible to overlook the shared priority of people. Even after we began our RV travels, Kamiah remained our comforting “home base” which sang the note of community so strong and clear that we never forgot it’s tune.

photo: after church get together by the river

MINNESOTA MIGRATION

One of the beautiful ways that God revealed His timing for us to become more stationary was through the willing migration of my in-laws from Minnesota to Kamiah. Our hearts have desired to live close to them for years, so we saw this move as both an unexpected blessing as well as a confirmation that it was time to slow our travels down.

What we couldn’t have expected was their decision to purchase the very property we’d previously had our eyes on and then offer to let us build our own home on it too! This section of land is perfectly positioned minutes from town yet tucked gently behind a hill just off the main road allowing both ease of access and private solitude. After three years of living in RV parks, the idea of a quiet patch of property fills my introvert soul with song.

photo: Trent and my in-laws exploring the top ridge of their new property

UNEXPECTED, OVERFLOWING BLESSINGS

If that wasn’t enough, God pulled out all the stops and orchestrated the timing for my mom and step-dad to be one of the first to learn that the neighboring property was going up for sale during the small sliver of time that they came to visit and pray about moving to the area! God allowed the timing, price, and location to become a perfect fit for their needs.

As a special bonus, one of our favorite families lives on the other side of my parent’s new property making for a whole neighborhood of friends and family!

photo: google map of our new community

LOCAL MINISTRY

Aside from family, friends, and community, a unique set of circumstances led me to a non-profit ministry using fitness as a tool to spread the gospel. I’m in the process of completing my training in this area to become a Revelation Wellness Gospel preacher, fitness teacher. Because our travels are slowing down, I will soon be able to utilize this area of ministry locally.

So, while I don’t know when our RV will be safe to pull down the road once again, I do have a lot of peace that we are exactly where we are supposed to be.

Q & A

Q: Do you still plan to do YWAM next summer?

A: Yes, my previous blog post about traveling to Tyler, Texas for a family DTS is still part of our plan.

Q: Are you going to stop RVing? Do you plan to sell your RV?

A: We do not have plans to sell our RV at this time. We will know more about the future of our RV travels as things unfold with insurance and our before-mentioned frame issue. A reservation along the California coast is currently scheduled for late winter in order to “escape” a portion of the colder winter season by traveling south. Once we return from our DTS next year we anticipate that we will have a better feel for how travel will look for our family moving forward (more international travel perhaps?). We are open to whatever God leads us into!

Q: Are you building a house?

A: Yes. Work has begun on our home (I’ll share photos and details in a future post). The completion date is uncertain. Once full-hookups are ready on the property, we will move our RV out of the RV park that we are staying in and live on-site until our house is liveable.

Q: How does the rest of your family feel about this transition?

A: It’s possible that my husband is the most excited of us all (although our daughter is a top contender as well). Dreams of hunting on our own property fill his head while Ashlyn can’t wait to garden and own animals. Our two youngest boys are excited but would also be content to continue traveling full-time. Hunter, our oldest, is thrilled at the prospect of a bedroom that he can stand up in (unlike his RV loft). However, he misses his “road friends” and would happily give up the bedroom in order to continue our travels.

Did I miss anything? Feel free to post your questions below!

4 thoughts on “stuck in Idaho”

  1. Happy for you guys! That all worked out pretty well. It’ll be great for your kids to have grandparents so close.

    We’re about to become “townies” – it’s been a good experience being out in the boonies, our host family and church have been awesome, but we’re ready to be back on paved roads again. The house we’re closing on is .4 miles from my office, about the same to the town square, library, etc. Other than the odd 2 mile trip to Walmart we’re hoping for a walkable life.

    Have fun building1

    1. It worked out well indeed! I am so thankful. I am happy to hear that you are about to have a walkable life. That is something I really enjoy about the little town we are living near now (being able to walk from place to place). It is fun to see how each season of our lives God has something new for us to learn and to appreciate isn’t it?

  2. A family DTS!
    Dan and I each completed a DTS- though separately. A very transformational adventure full of growth opportunities. Interested to know why YWAM Tyler?
    Very excited for your family, let us know how we can pray.

    1. Hi Kathleen! How cool that both you and Dan have done a DTS. Where did you go and what base were you at? I wrote a blog post here http://faithtakesflight.com/our-heavenly-father-is-not-a-grandpa explaining our process of deciding on Tyler, TX. Please pray that God helps our family to recognize the opportunities he has for us between now and our DTS for this area and that when we do go to YWAM, He uses it to transform each of us in the ways needed.

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