So This is What it Feels Like To Travel

We’ve been talking about traveling for over two months. And when we decidedly said, “yes,” that we would pack up our things and go live in a pull along trailer, I imagined it, every spare minute.

I packed in my head, while I was washing the dishes and while I was laying down at night. I imagined what it would be like to put our belongings in totes and how to velcro pictures on the walls of the RV and where we’d put the toys. I think this was my mind’s way of preparing myself.

Then we moved in, two weeks before we began traveling, because our friends  said that it’s always good to move in, while you’re still close to home, just in case you forget things. And while we were living in the trailer, that was parked out at our ministry’s family camp, I imagined what it would be like to hook the RV up to the semi and take off down the road.

I thought about it in the middle of the night when I was supposed to be sleeping. That was the part that made me most nervous. Me, managing the kids and the dog in the semi, while Brent drove us down the highway and took wide turns at the intersections. I wondered if we’d break down. Or if we’d have to get out and stop traffic. I wondered how we’d park this big ol sucker and if we’d get stuck somewhere. My momma heart imagined so many scary things and each time, I’d just have to take a breath and trust Jesus with what was right in front of us.

Then, a few days ago, we really did it. We took off and I was all nerves for about the first three hours. Every bump and every stop light had me on edge. Would we crash? Would we side-swipe a car? Would we take out a stop sign? But, my friends were praying for me and they were sending us well-wishes and notes of encouragement, so in those ways, they carried us along.

One friend texted, “Don’t forget to breathe.” And I think she texted at just the right moment, because I was breathing like my life was in danger every moment. So, I just had to keep taking a deep breath, and then another one, and I had to trust Jesus with this turn and then that one. With this particular mile, stretched out before us. I had to trust God with that. And isn’t that how our daily lives really are? That’s all we have to trust God with, come to think of it. One turn at a time. One mile. One hour. One day. God gives us grace for just that.

“So, this is what it feels like to travel,” I said to myself. It feels like remembering to breathe and reminding the kids to not go bazerk in the cab of the semi and it looks like lots of fields of grass and so much sky.

It took us two and half days to get to Texas, and one night, we had pizza at this little hole in the wall restaurant next to our hotel. There we met, “Big John.” He was a trucker, too, and sat right next to us. I waved. Because I always wave at the strangers and then we chatted about driving and life. Turns out, he knows Jesus. Turns out, he goes down to the bridge, in his town, and helps to feed the homeless. He asked us to pray for his wife. At one point, I looked over and this big ol trucker man and Brent had reached out and grabbed one another’s hand and were saying a faith-filled prayer together.

I marveled at that.

The waitress heard us talking about God and she asked us if we were missionaries. “Um, kind of,” I laughed. Because it’s hard to explain that you’re more like a missionary to the church. But, Christians need Jesus just as much as anybody. She piped up, “I want to be a missionary! I’m saving up to go oversees next year.”

God can meet with people in small hole in the walls places, in ordinary towns.

Yesterday, we accidentally turned down a service road, and there was a “no trucks” sign. I may have freaked out a little. But, God sent us some help. There was a sweet couple who pulled up next to us, gave us directions and then noticed we were frazzled and offered to lead the way. They put on their emergency flashers and drove us all the way to the road we needed. I waved like a lunatic to them, and thanked God for “angels” with beautiful brown skin and dark shiny hair.

Last evening, we got to the church in Texas and set up “house.” I swept and mopped the floors and put the area rugs down and cleaned up the sticky spill from the coffee creamer that had turned over in the fridge while we were driving. The kids ran around on the parking lot and road their bikes.

And this morning, it still took me an hour to make breakfast, just like it does back at home. And Haven spilled the dog’s water and Sam pooped his pants and the eggs nearly burned.

“This is what it feels like to travel,” I said again.

It feels like remembering to abide in Christ, here in this little trailer house. It feels calming my wildly anxious heart down and just doing the thing that’s right in front of me. It feels like speaking kindly to the kids, though I want to yell, and remembering that my Father God is here with me and He has a plan and I can surrender this moment to Him and the next one, because I’m just living on borrowed time, anyways.

Christ is all around me. He’s before and behind me and this adventure is ours to live with Him.

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8 Comments

  1. by Mal Loveing on September 9, 2017  5:35 pm Reply

    Maggie, you're somehow writing down all the thoughts I've had for the past 14 years!! Thank you for these words of life.

  2. by Auntie Moe on September 9, 2017  9:31 pm Reply

    moezart@cox.net
    Love you so much. Your honest words, life I've lived. Embrace the mission. You've already made it look homey and precious. Hope you get to share some craft time with yours and others.

  3. by Laura on September 10, 2017  5:15 pm Reply

    Beautiful words, Maggie. Thanks. We have always said someone needs to write a book on road life. I think I know who will do it. There are lots of stories out there from over 40 years of families traveling. You need to start collecting them as you gather your own together.

    • by Maggie on September 17, 2017  1:41 pm Reply

      That would be fun, Laura. I know you guys have some hilarious stories to contribute.

  4. by Vicki Napper on September 13, 2017  7:25 am Reply

    I was at Red Oak when you and Brent shared your testimony of how God brought you to this place. I appreciate the realistic way you speak one on one with our Lord and Father. I too have expressed to Him that I thought " this is a terrible idea"! I predict you will be a very successful mom and wife on the road as well as gain some wisdom not acquired any other way. You are a true example of the way obedience looks. I often need help to " want to want to" obey. Btw my two children traveling with you may have never been born if I hadn't finally agreed to allow Him to influence the number of children we had. We already had five, the last two twin babies. At this point in our lives was when LA came to our church(1991) in the form of Bill Elliff and Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

    • by Maggie on September 17, 2017  1:41 pm Reply

      Vicki! So nice to "meet" you on here. Thank you for this kind encouragement. I love your kids!

  5. by Donna Mccrary on September 15, 2017  3:01 am Reply

    You inspire me and make me want to serve our Lord all the more. I'm a grandma of seven aging from 8- 21 and mother of three. They don't come around much. I have lots of time to do His work yet seem to find many excuses. You are so young yet willing to go. Bless you. Love your posts.

    • by Maggie on September 17, 2017  1:40 pm Reply

      Thank you sooo much. Bless you!

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