pray out fear, freedom is waiting on the other side

Some people say it’s best to face your fears. However, in order to embrace the freedom that is waiting on the other side, we need more than posture, we need a plan.  Here is what I have found to be the number-one most effective strategy: pray out fear.

We don’t often realize how many decisions are based on our fears. While some fears are rational and designed to keep us alive, I believe most of the fear that guides our decisions are not of this life-preserving variety. These fears need to be identified and dealt with.

FIRST: FIND THE FEAR

It’s become a little game I play—an adult version of hide-and-seek—identify areas in my life where fear is hiding. Because of our traveling lifestyle, my circumstances are continually shifting. This means I always have a lot of new material to work with, making it easier for me to flush out fear from its dark corners so I can meet it head-on and pray it out.

Since we started traveling, I’ve found that each region of the country has its own natural disasters, potentially deadly animals or unique hazards. Residents worldwide are often pretty low-key about the particular brand of danger living in their own backyard. However, there always seem to be a group of people who haven’t actually been to said location but yet have strong opinions which they must share for the sake of our family’s health and welfare. We discovered this to be particularly true while planning our trip to Alaska. As often happens, the list of fear factors only seemed to grow with each new person we spoke with.

-Bug and mosquito populations

-Road conditions

-Route decisions

-Weather conditions

Internet access

-Bear encounters

-RV and truck breakdowns

-Flat tires

-Cracked windshields

-Food prices

-Mail retrieval

pray out fear

FEAR VULTURES

As our Alaska departure date drew near, I noticed how frequently this group of people rotated around this list like vultures, picking at their own favorite fears and flinging them in our direction. I will admit, the temptation to bite was strong.

Continue reading “pray out fear, freedom is waiting on the other side”

how to find eternal value in a short-lived gold rush

In the late summer of 1896, while our country was coming out of a financial recession, three men followed a hunch and found gold in the Klondike River of Canada’s Yukon Territory. As news of their new gold discovery spread south to Seattle, it lit a flame in the hearts of the recently impoverished people. That flame licked its way across the continent and set the hearts of over 100,000 ablaze with the hope that they too could strike it rich. Leaving behind families and jobs, they flocked north hoping to cash in and turn their luck around.

DISAPPOINTING DISCOVERY

The journey was long and arduous. Most were not prepared for the extreme conditions that awaited them. 70,000 were forced to turn back before reaching their intended destination of Dawson City. About a year after setting out, the remaining 30,000 began arriving into Dawson only to discover that claims had already been made on the land containing their treasured riches. A few stayed on to seek employment. Most turned back, empty-handed.

SILENT SENTINEL

The city of Dawson, complete with dirt streets, now stands as a capsule of time reminding us of how quickly a dream can come and go. Tailings* stand in lonely heaps just outside the city’s border reminding me of a child who has lost interest in his toys and was never asked to clean up the mess. The original dredge used to coax great riches from the hidden folds of the earth has been retired from active duty and now stands as a silent sentinel guarding the memories of the past.

eternal value short-lived gold rush

GOLD GLITTER

For Quinten’s 9th birthday we tried our luck panning on the banks of the Klondike River. With hopes held high but expectations kept low, we scooped and swished like the best of them, eyes alert for the elusive gold glitter at the bottom of our pans. While the experience proved memorable in both a historical and educational sense, we were left with gold dust so fine you could only enjoy its glitter before washing it away in the stream. Continue reading “how to find eternal value in a short-lived gold rush”

how limited water, food, and internet can be good

Our trip through Canada to Alaska has been educationally gratifying. My mind has soaked up the opportunity to learn about the Klondike Gold Rush and whaling industry of the late 1800’s and the Steamboat era that soon followed. However, another aspect of personal application has been a lesson on limited living or: how limited water, food, and internet can be good for you.

A NEW TRAVEL APPROACH

In many ways, this road route has differed from those that we have done in the past. For one, we are traveling with another family for an extended amount of time, sharing the ebb and flow of travel days, trip planning, and potty break pullout stops. For another, we don’t have a pre-scheduled itinerary with campground reservations stretching into the weeks and months ahead. Instead, we have a general overview of our route and every few days we review the next leg of our trip and make tentative plans for our upcoming stops.

limited living
Photo: Last original bridge from the Alaskan Hwy

This method of travel is made possible due to advanced planning on my husband’s part who worked to ready the RV for extended dry camping endeavors. The beautiful thing about dry camping is the cost (often free if you are simply parking at a roadside pullout) and the flexibility (Want to stay longer? No problem! Ready to leave sooner? Let’s go!).

limited living
Photo: A view of our solar setup

Continue reading “how limited water, food, and internet can be good”

our Mecca | the Alaska Hwy

Photo credit: Madison Sloan

As our little caravan pushes northward, I am settling into a predictable rhythm:

 

Wake up.

Eat breakfast.

Workout.

Prep the RV for travel.

Hit the road between 10 and 11.

Chat with our traveling friends (the Sloans) via walkie-talkie about road conditions, a joke, riddle or perhaps a verse of the day.

Help the kids with school in the car.

Watch for animals.

Pause for breathtaking vistas, overlooks, lakes and towering mountain ranges.

Call out animal sightings (black bear, moose, wood buffalo, and rock sheep) over the walkies.

Stop for a potty and lunch break.

Spy additional animals.

See more spectacular views.

Discuss where to stop for the night.

Find a pullout and set up house.

Cook dinner.

Prep lunches for the next day.

Pull down the shades to block out the sun.

Head to bed.

Wake up.

((Repeat))

 

We are currently on day six of this routine. Our hair is greasy. My laundry basket is plump and we are ready for a solid 24 hours without movement. Yet, despite the fervent pace of our travels, we’ve been blessed by several beautiful pauses:

Continue reading “our Mecca | the Alaska Hwy”

something strange, something new, something big, something blue

Back in January, we attended a Fulltime Families Retreat in Southern California. One evening, we invited the Sloan family over to get to know them better. Part of our conversation included upcoming summer destinations. They planned to visit the East Coast and our plans included Alaska.

SOMETHING FUNNY

The next morning the Sloan’s informed us that their summer plans had changed during the night—they now planned to go to Alaska with us! Surprisingly, this isn’t that unusual in our lifestyle. You meet people. You like them. You travel with them. But it is funny to take myself out of the fulltime travel mindset and try to picture a scenario like this happening. You invite someone new to the area over for lunch after church. You talk about your upcoming plans for a family vacation to Florida. The following Sunday they announce surprise: they’ve booked the same flight and plan to tag along! I can’t imagine that ever happening, yet it does when you live your life on the road and get the freedom to choose your neighbors and travel companions.

Photo: Our Alaska travel buddies

We couldn’t be more thrilled to be traveling to Alaska with the Sloans. Besides the fact that we all get along great, Jeff has been to Alaska on several occasions. He has a wealth of knowledge and handy skills in case we run into any trouble with our RV. Continue reading “something strange, something new, something big, something blue”