Monday, February 29, 2016

Day Seven:

We spent most of the day driving north today.  At the beginning of the day it was 80 degrees… now it is back to 45… oh well, We spent the day mostly driving with a few small excursions.  We talked a lot of what we are to do next.  I am still full of compassion for the homeless.  I read an article about a city north of here that tried to allow parking zones for homeless to park unmolested.  The one and only taker for the project was a church in a smallish neighborhood on the east side.  It was supposed to be a quiet transaction between the city and the church.  Just a place for people to park.  There was cry of outrage.  People living close to the church fearing for their lives and property… funny the only person who was to park there was a young woman… and her children… 

I keep asking, God what are we to do?

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Day Six:

The ocean!  The Ocean!  I don’t know why it has such significance for me but to me there is nothing that screams louder of the existence of God.  He is expressed so clearly in the power of the waves and the vastness of the water I am surrounded by Him when I rush into it’s torrents.  Like the explanation of Aslan in the “Chronicles of Narnia” The sea is so not safe… but it is good.  It is big and strong and massive… and you can fight with the current or let it wash all over you.  So unpredictable as it rushes up and to you and dashes away.  I LOVE the ocean.  

I’m not sure what was significant about today.  We plunged into the waves.  Rested and relaxed.  In the camper next to us was a young boy who was clearly autistic.  He was verbal.  He asked for our names many times.  And we talked to mom.  She was very grateful that he had finally started talking!  Who cares if he repeats himself… a lot.  He was talking and starting to socialize with people around him.  It was a big deal.  

So many times we miss that fact that we are blessed.  We have a different picture of what being blessed is or should be.  We are in a van… with no idea where we are going to end up… but we have a van.  It runs.  We enjoy each other and we have a Father more vast than the ocean… and more overwhelming than it’s waves.

Day Five:

This post was not typed in caps but I can't seem to fix it AHHH sorry, I'm not trying to yell :(

Today I felt homeless, and at the same time very blessed.  Many people who are homeless come south for the winter.  Some towns are known to grow as much as thirty thousand in homeless populations each winter.  Just last night we were approached by three separate sets of people all homeless and sad.  Not counting the many at street corners.  They are all asking for cash, something to help them get from here to there.  I know, I know some are druggies working a very easy angle… but I have been homeless and sometimes, many times homelessness comes after a series of very unfortunate events.  Like a two income family that loses one income because of accident, illness, death, or divorce.  Then what?  One two months after the rent is not paid they are out on the streets and wondering what happened.

Last night we found a Walmart (which often allows overnight parking for people who are passing through). We settled for the night only to be notified by the security guard that this particular walmart doesn’t allow overnight parking.  We talked to the security guard for a while about options.  The problem? It is illegal to sleep in your car here.  Seriously?  Illegal to be homeless?  Well, not exactly.  It is illegal to have an asset of safety while homeless.  After hearing that it was illegal to sleep in our car, I did some searches.  One article was about a woman who slept on the street beside her car so that she wouldn’t be arrested.  Your kidding right?  Who is served by a law like that???  Good grief!

What kind of a world do we live in?  After people have lost everything and land in their car.  we arrest them simply because they are down and out and have no place to go.. impound their car and strip them of any remaining hope.  Can we really be that heartless???  I am thinking of the many women I've talked with who ended up in their car because they had to make the choice to run in order to protect their children.  What of them?  Do you arrest the mama simply because she is sleeping in her car?  take away her car and her children???  Who could write a law like that?  Who could carry it out? 

As I googled I found there were a few churches whose paring lots were "safe zones".  People were welcome to come to those churches and park in their parking lots without reprisal.  I suppose that should sooth my feathers but my reaction is WHAT??? Can't we invite them in?  But then again If I were homeless and a woman with children I would want to stay in the relative safety of my car.  I would also much rather pick the place I parked... especially if I was being hunted.

We had options, We found a campground.  I almost felt guilty taking that option but sometimes being conscientious objector just isn’t worth it.  Wondering what we can do to make a difference.  

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Day Four:

Another chilly night brrrr!  But just enough blankets to stave off the cold.  Funny way to travel.  We have a bunch of boxes of stuff on the floor of our van then a piece of plywood… then our precious mattress, very comfy.  But… feeling pretty homeless.

We took some time today to hike through the hills and just listen.       

We wanted to hear many things… where are we going?  How do we serve the LORD from here?  We just wanted to hear.  Mostly the impression we had was that we were headed in the right direction, and I heard a wake up call to listen up… and be ready… ready for what?

Later we spent the evening in worship and then chatting in a diner with a several people with passionate dreams.  Sweet fellowship is a beautiful thing!

Day Three:

Well we got further south today, it’s nice here in the day time but pretty nippy at night brrr!  It feels like every day there is a nugget to ponder.  Today we were asked by a friend, “What did God call us to… what is our vision?”  Does the direction we are headed in now point us toward that call or away from it? 

Hmmm, I ponder choices in terms of peace.  Like that passage that says, “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to the which also ye were called in one body; and be ye thankful.” Colossians 3:15  I tend to make tough decisions by sleeping on them and measuring my peace in the morning.  So, do I feel peace about the direction we are headed?  (listening) I feel peace with the direction we are headed but I do feel a nudge to become more intentional in moving toward a vision… 

I must admit that money always feels like a trap… more powerful than God somehow.  Moving forward toward our vision takes money…  God what about that?  (listening) … Hmmm  sometimes I wonder if He calls us to move our feet… before He parts the water.  (Joshua 3:13 And it shall come to pass, when the soles of the feet of the priests that bear the ark of Jehovah, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, that the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off, even the waters that come down from above; and they shall stand in one heap.” ) (emphasis mine)

Friday, February 26, 2016

Day Two:

So late last evening our host shared a youtube clip by the piano guys called, “Beethoven’s 5 secrets” It’s starts with a quote attributed to Beethoven, “I Don’t only practice your art, but force your way into it’s secrets.  For it and knowledge  raise men to the Divine.” 

I think I would word that differently, but maybe not… Is the “art” that we practice actually our spiritual gift?  If so then this is so true!  I believe that the deep purpose of our gifts is to draw all those who witness us moving in them up to the Divine.  And whether your gift is some in the creative arts or in hospitality or whatever, perfecting your craft is a worthy pursuit isn’t it?  Aren’t there secrets to learn about how to move in who we are?  Not to get good at what we do… but to elevate… to touch the Divine.

That line gave me pause.  I struggle finding value in my “art”.  To me it is immature and sloppy.  In some ways I think I am barking up the wrong tree.  Calling one thing my “art” when it is really something totally different. Hmmm something to ponder

So this morning was interesting as well.  Our host for the night had left early.  We were packing to leave and he returned unexpectedly.  Not sure why, but God said, “listen up” and so I listened.

He was talking about business and how his company was taking a new approach.  They sought to choose the one thing that they did well… and to offer only that as their service.  That meant they were willing to say to their customers that they were not the right company for them.  They started booking only projects that were a good match to their skill set.  I know that only makes sense right?  But how many times do we try to turn ourselves into pretzels in order to accomplish what we are not good at?  

So God how does that relate to me?  It seems to reflect back to Beethoven’s quote, “Don’t only practice your art, but force your way into it’s secrets.”  But I don’t know exactly why.

Day One:

Today didn’t feel much like seeking God.  We got to the airplane way early this morning.  We left later than what I wanted.  I like to get to airport early but I wasn’t alone.  My son drove us to the airport.  He went “his way” even though it took longer because he thought it was “more straight forward”.  How can you object when he just got up a 5 in the morning simply to give his crazy parents a ride to the airport so they can go no where in particular for who knows how long?  

Hmmm I tried not to care, I tried not to be nervous… what’s the difference?  If we left on our flight or three flights later?  We would still get there!  It was an exercise in trust and not sweating the small stuff.  When we got to the airport it was crazy quiet.  In my mind it should have been one of the busiest times of the day to catch a flight… but there was literally no one in line.  I walked right up to the counter… no wait at all.  When does that happen?  We were 50 minutes from take off and no one was at the ticket counter.  We went up to security and there were literally two people in front of us.  Hmmm, I guess there is no place to wonder if God intends for us to seek Him.
The next question is how do we do this?  Today we picked up our camping equipment from the storage unit we rented to store our bare essentials from the last contract job site.  I have no idea when we will be back for the rest.  It needs to be soon… storage is way more expensive than the value of anything we have stored there.  We are ready…well mostly… tomorrow we can officially get started… at least by sometime tomorrow… God help me to even remember the questions I have… so far it’s still too crazy to think… slowing down is HARD!!! 

In looking at the scriptures today I am drawn to ponder John 8:31-32 “31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.””

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Seeking God

It has been a repeat of the last four years.  We get a contract in March.  My husband works hard until October then things dry up and we look for work until the following March.  Our pocket book is exhausted… we are exhausted and nothing short of depressed.  I called my husband on the phone one morning in February, still no word on work.  I’ve never heard him sound so depressed.  We talked about it later… after our daughter confided in me that she didn’t see the same relationship with God in us that we used to have… wow, that was honest!  We needed a change… it’s the north, it’s cold… we need to get out in God’s creation and hear from Him… so… we decided to go south… fly to where we had our car stored waiting for our next job possibility… then drive south to  any place warm enough to walk around and not freeze your buns off!  That’s it… our whole plan… go south, get warm and seek the Lord.  People have asked what our plans are… plans? plans?  I plan to sleep in our car, eat out of an ice chest, rest, hike, pray and hope God comes to speak to me.  Do we always have to have a plan?  We have nothing we need to do right now, who needs a plan?

(I can’t tell you how many people have asked for our “plan” I’m beginning to feel self conscious about it. Maybe our lives are too planned?)