It's been two weeks since we last posted and I know that's a no-no in blog world. But it's pretty hard to find time to write when you're living out of your car, visiting people you haven't seen in a decade and adventuring through monumental nature sights like the rustic Oregon coast, famous Crater Lake (made from a volcano!), the Redwoods and Yosemite. Often without any signal or reception. Yes, we've been out of touch with many, but very in the moment with one another and with the friends and family in front of us.
And that's the point. I've had to remind myself of that whenever I think about how behind we are on our posts. So. Much. Has. Happened. And I want to share it all with you! But it will just have to come in spurts as we're able, and the sequence may be off. We want to share with you about Utah, Washington, the INSP conference in Seattle, Oregon, northern California, Bethel, our time with family and all we're learning and doing along the way! Eventually we'll get there.
Right now we're visiting Matt's sister Mary and her husband Kory who live in Sacramento. It's been a blast. We've gone hiking, canyon jumping and swimming, picnicking in Yosemite and seeing the splendor of it all. Nature is the best entertainment, not to mention the cheapest! My adventure tank is definitely full, which is a sweet kiss from God since He knows how I come alive with that kind of stuff. But my physical and emotional energy tank has needed some tending to. We've stayed up late most nights. Alone time doesn't really happen unless Matt and I get real creative and intentional with how to give it to one another (and as much as I'm an outgoing person who loves to engage people, I'm also an introvert in the sense that I draw my energy and strength from being alone, so I'm grateful for some time today that Matt has gifted to me by taking the kids on errands). And you can imagine the challenge of Matt and I getting couple time together since we're constantly with the kiddos, and then sleeping in tents or often in one big room. I have no idea how the early pioneers had private conversations or moments with all those kids in a one room house!
But there is this overarching sense of peace knowing we are right in God's plan for us this summer. And He knows our needs. And we are learning to depend on Him in new ways. We are going a little deeper in our understanding of what it means to wait on Him. What it means to find our anchor in Him when our previous concept of "normalcy" is in no way our current reality. He Himself is our anchor when we don't have total control over the pace or schedule of our days, when we can't always find the time or place to do the typical "quiet time" or processing time, when we're tired and when there are people we love in front of us to engage (and that we really want to engage) even when we feel a little empty.
Moments of drawing back, pulling away are important. But I feel like He is teaching us new ways to do this...whether it be losing a little more sleep to get it in, or finding the quiet well in the midst of the chaos. Jesus can be found and His strength drawn from in loud noisy spaces full of activity as well as in the quiet serene calm of a solitary nature spot. And I've really needed to learn this for a long time.
Thanks for following along. Thanks for the little texts you've sent here and there reminding us that we are missed and loved even when we've been quiet. We have felt so much love on this trip, both from the people we're visiting who have welcomed us whole-heartedly, making space in their schedules for us, space in their homes, making us meals and sending us off with food; and from those on the other side of the trip, those who are praying for us and who have supported this trip with their words and gifts and thoughtful gestures. Thank you for the gift cards many of you sent with us! And thanks for your continued prayers.
Please leave a comment below and let us know how you're doing and what you are up to! And Matt already has a post on the conference that you can expect to see very soon. We'll write as we can!