Category archives: Traveling

A day in the life of a road-schooler

If your parents have a job where they have to travel during the school year, then you might have to become a road-schooler. And your mom might sometimes refer to your trailer house as a "traveling school house." That might get on your nerves a little.There will be days when you have to ride in the truck for HOURS, while your dad pulls your house behind you and your mom makes you do your school, before you get to play games on the iPad. If you road-school, then you might live in Texas for the first part of the month, Mississippi for the middle part, and Florida for the last part. And if you're originally from Michigan, your parents might keep saying, so annoyingly, right when you want to pout and have a bad day, "Hey! At least we're WARM in FEBRUARY!" If you do live in a [...]

The Stories that Came out of Denham Springs

I feel completely inadequate to tell you the stories that have come out of Denham Springs while we were there. I think because God's work in those precious people's hearts was so profound, that I'm afraid if I try to put words to it, I will diminish it. What we witnessed there was sacred and I'm afraid to touch it. But, these people have a story and you and I--we feed off of each other's stories. Story is what helps us see that we're not alone. And so, I've prayed and I'm showing up here in this space, and I'm going to do my best to give you an account. First of all, you need some background. These specific people that we ministered to had already been through so much. And when I say so much, that's an understatement. But because they had already gone through the fire, fig[...]

When You Wonder if You're Doing Important Enough Things

In the mobile home park where we're staying this week, there's a great old tree near a pile of stones. It adorns the front entrance. I've always had a thing for trees.  Trees become my friends. I bond with them like some kind of hippie child.  I've gone to  visit my new tree friend a couple times just to stare up into its branches and wonder about life. This tree has the most inviting limbs. If I were a little bit younger, I tell myself, I'd climb up into these big wide branches toward the sky and just sit a while. This week, I've wrestled with things. Even though we travel around in an RV for about eight months out of the year and minister to churches, I still wonder if I'm doing enough. I wonder if my life counts for much. I ask myself, "Why all the angst? What is[...]

We're Ready to Hit the Open Road Again

We've been home for about a month. Taken a rest from our travels. Our break has been just the right amounts of rest and play. Time spent with our precious friends and family. We've paused for reflection and have set out,  doing and going,  preparing for Christmas. We've played with old toys and gotten excited over new ones. The house now looks like it barfed up Christmas. But, that's okay. I'm learning not to stress about these things. A house is not a place of perfection. (I tell myself this when I see the cobwebs and the laundry pile and that base board that needs reglued.) A house is a place to land. A spot, unique to your own family's personality, where you can come and put your things down and build something out of your imagination and know that no matter what, yo[...]

When You Wonder What Your Life is For

I talked to the lady at the hotel who puts out our breakfast. "What do you do?" she asks.  We must look like a sight, scrounging around for donuts and eggs and coffee with all our ragamuffin kids. "We travel for work," I say. But, I can tell she's still curious, so I do my best to explain. "We help churches. We go live on their parking lot." I point out the window at our house on wheels. "We help the people with their marriages and their families and their relationship with God." She nods slowly, like maybe she's tracking with me. "We help them with their hard things. We help them become healthy in their hearts." I pat my chest with my hand. "In here. We help them with what's in here." She smiles wide and nods earnest. I think maybe she gets it--the rest of what I didn't have [...]

How the Ordinary Moments Can Be the Most Impactful Ones

Today, I was helping Brent wind up the hoses to our trailer, as we packed up for our final jaunt to home. As I bent down to secure the hose in place while Brent wound it round and round, I had a flashback memory of me and my Pa. There we were again, out in the yard, Pa teaching me how to wind up the water hose. There's an art to it, you know. You can't just wind a hose up any old way or else it'll get all jangled and kinked up. When the memory came, racing back in vividly bright colors, I cried, quiet. Because winding up a water hose with my Dad was the most ordinary moment I can imagine. But, you never know which ordinary moment will lodge itself secure in your memory and then come traipsing back years later, in the most brilliantly alive narration. I paused and just let th[...]

Road Life: The Parts I Love (And Don't Love)

If you ask me what I love about traveling, I'll tell you that it's the parts that allow me to pause, and soak in my kids' childhood, just like I did when I was back home, out in our backyard. The other day, we played out on a playground in Ruston, Louisiana, at the church where we stayed. Wherever we land, we make our own backyard, always finding some green space, and this church had the biggest field, edged in by pine trees and hardwoods and dappled with ant hills (which we were careful not to stand on top of.) And if you walk all the way up the hill of the parking lot, there's this little playground, fenced and mulched and inviting us to romp. I sat on the bottom of the slide in the gentle warmth of a Louisiana spring, and just gazed at each of my children, enjoying their l[...]

Trailer Life

We're at this RV park in Arkansas. (My Pa has been sick, so since we were already driving through, we decided to take a week to be close to him and my family.) We usually live in church parking lots, so this is our first time to stay in an RV park. There's this fun and interesting community here. That's us, in Gigantor. When you drive Gigantor into an RV park, everyone comes out to meet you. There was the retired Marine driving by in his Jeep who stopped to chat for a bit. He was cussin' until we told him what we do. (Ministers to the church.) And then he was like, "Let me tell you something! I'm real proud of what you guys are doing. Real proud." And we were like, "Well, we're really proud of you, for serving our country." And he was like, "But, not as proud as I am of you." The[...]

How To Listen To What Your Life is Telling You

You never know what a year will bring. But, later, when those 365 revolutions around the sun, spin to a close, you can look back and see what the year was trying to tell you. I thumb through the pages of this last year and put my ear up closely to the pictures, the scribbling down of my days, to see if I can hear what my life is saying. To listen for what my Maker is telling me, through the reverberation of all those light-speeding moments. Just before the new year had birthed out new again, Haven was born. Haven, whose name means, "safe place." And "a refuge." We whispered into her that the One who made her is our safe place. He's our true Home. And that all of us are meant to be safe places for others. We prayed that she would become that sort of human, walking around[...]

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