This week has been interesting. Of course, anytime you try to step into God’s will for your life, start seeking wisdom, or are on the right path our Enemy tries to steal our joy and throw us off. I’ll be the first to admit I forget to put on the FULL armor. Since the day I found out my book was ready for publication I have experienced “attacks” that are so far out in left field that the only explanation is spiritual warfare surrounding me. Kingdom work comes with a price.
Sunday evening I spent most of my time doing an obscene amount of laundry because the kids haven’t learned that they HAVE to keep their clean clothes put away. I spent Saturday organizing the Bigs clothing so hopefully it won’t be a problem again. It took 2-1/2 hours this time. Some of that time I used to write a blog post about praying with your husband, then when I returned home we ended up having an argument that was shameful. Granted we are under stress at the moment but it’s not like us to pit against each other in such a way. Of course, we saw it for what it was and rectified it with prayer. We are a team and we both are given the Royal Armor from the King, we just have to remember to wear it and stay obedient to the Spirit. Otherwise, the Enemy will rip us apart. So, our week started off with spiritual self checks.
Monday, we had appointments all day but I had to capture this genuine picture of Evan reading the line in my book that referenced them when they were little. After he read a paragraph in “I Don’t Want to Be a Sidekick” he said, “awe, Mom, that’s sweet; I love you.” I’m so glad he felt that he and his brother were honored, even if they were very small when that particular devotional was written. They were tickled to death and excited to know that mom gave them a place in her book. Made my heart so happy. We did some shopping, had teeth cleaned, braces adjusted, groceries picked up, and visited with sweet friends before heading back to our home in the wilderness.
Don’t be alarmed by the skid mark he earned Tuesday evening. He was playing with neighbors, running down hill and fell. The funny part was he complained about his hands which looked fine after washing and never mentioned his forehead which was hid beneath his hair. It should have at least had an ice pack but h me went straight back outside to play with the neighbors without saying a word. He was all better in a few days. This is how kids earn the title of “knot head”.
We woke up early Tuesday for Trade Day in Summerville and scored lots of fresh veggies and fruit as well as some treasures. The kids were excited to discover a new local park and visited with some of the older ladies out walking. One in particular was very depressed and was finding some joy in feeding the fish. She’d been doing it for a week but was worried about who would feed them if she didn’t. Gunner was good conversation for her if you can imagine.
Yes, he moved us again...
Wednesday was not too exciting until I came home from church that evening to find James had moved our camper to the opposite side of our driveway and further back. It’s a better position as far as positions go but I feel like I’m constantly looking for new places for our stuff to go and moving things around so we don’t look jankey to the neighbors that drive by to check us out. Speaking of which I haven’t seen as many drive by’s this week. One did stop to introduce herself because her grandson is here a lot and he wanted my boys to swim with him. She was so sweet and shared such a life story of heartbreak and triumph. She was happy to come in and sit for a bit. It was nice meeting someone new.
Our realtor (who was so kind to us from day 1) sent us a fruit and wine basket so that was pretty exciting. Actually, any delivery is exciting. For example, I didn’t want to use glass mixing bowls here so I ordered some super cute camping theme melamine bowls, when they finally arrived I ended up rearranging the entire kitchen. I have a problem area in the camper I’m working on...
Our house plans, table, laundry, laundry soap, anything that doesn’t yet have a home, and a random catch all drawer system. This area was driving me bonkers.
I am working on that space. I ordered stools and we are putting up the cutest little bar table in front of the window. I hate all the brown in this thing and want to paint but still need to convince James that it’s a thing people do to campers. I have an entire Pinterest board of ideas and an awesome friend whose brain I’ve been picking. She sent me the below picture and it was something James and I both liked.
James found us a place to get great froyo in Rome so after we run and play the babies get a little treat but first Momma needs her miles in. While they ate theirs I talked to our Lighthouse caseworker to make sure our home was “closed”. We left it open for “just in case” but camper living isn’t something we can be approved for and if we decide to open we have 3 years to do so without redoing everything for approval.
The Berry run was easy compared to the mountainside walk back home. I walked and pushed them Thursday looking go for my “Welcome to our Tribe” door hanger I painted at Alydots. It was on the camper when James moved it and he had to drive around the circle and down the road and back to turn around the monstrosity. He didn’t take my sign down. It’s gone. We never found it but my legs were on fire so that’s progress too I guess.
This kid said “This is so satisfying” when he saw they were harvesting the corn fields this week. He’s pretty excited to see how the process works so I had to buy him corn this week so he could get the full effect. It doesn’t take much to make him happy but I have decided his Love Language is “Acts of Service”. If I can tune into and learn his language I think it will make his little life so much more rich. I also think this is why he loves his Nana so. It’s her life language too; pull the weeds, sweep the porch, water flowers... He is so happy when I do things for him. I love this boy.
The Bigs are earning their keep. I have so many projects for them that they’ll never be bored. If I run out, there’s always picking up more rocks. This week we put mulch out to help with the dirt and dust from James clearly some trees around the camper and pulling up roots near the driveway. We have more gravel coming and more mulch is needed.
I was tickled to death Friday night to see my boy in uniform. Man, did I get choked up watching him play the National Anthem with the band. He sure makes us proud and this move has been a challenge for him but he’s keeping up and even his demeanor had been better. He is such a joy.
Again, Acts of Service had got to be his love language as he found great joy himself in helping with all the gravel. I can’t help myself though when I find him toys. I can’t find his dump truck so it must be in storage. I may just have to get another so he can really spend some time working his “comstruction site”
In regards to my Facebook poll about an outdoor shower, we DO have an really nice indoor shower with hot water and good lighting INSIDE the camper. So, no worries. However, sometimes the guys are just nasty and the shower floor is questionable to the big guys even though I know it’s perfectly fine. So, James bought a really cool outdoor shower with a hot water heater that runs on propane but we need to build a shower. On the other side of their bunk house is where I want to build one for them. I experienced many a cold shower outdoors at Camp Adahi the summer of ‘96. 22 years later and they get to have hot water. So, I’ll be building the below shower.
Lastly, I bought the babies this swing. You would think hanging this sucker was easy. It wasn’t. I had to find a good sturdy tree with a huge branch and that took almost 2 weeks, then I had to see if I could get the rope over the branch. After 18499 throws the rock on the end of my rope cleared it and then it took jiggling to get it down. Great! However there were smaller trees in the way so I had to cut them down with a chain saw. Thank goodness it’s a light weight one, but I did it. It wasn’t hard at all. I moved the trees and the swing was a huge HIT. Next week, I need to set up the playground near it so I can watch them play while I work.
Oh and the progress on the house. We moved 3 loads of brush off, James took and passed the test with the county so that he can install our septic system, I’m hoping he can get the basement dug next week so we can get temporary power. That’s going to change the game for us.
Also, Wednesday while he is off I am driving to Maryville, TN to discuss this massive Bible Study that’s coming up with my book. If you haven’t purchased yours please go here. I have a case in my car if your in Ringgold and need to meet. We can arrange it. I’m so excited for all my friends who are joining but it’s just as exciting to see people I don’t know commenting and recommending my book. The private messages are the best. I’m so happy that the labor of love in writing Fresh Start is producing fruits and inspiring others. God is good.
Just always remember...
It will be okay.
I love reading about your life. Just a heads up, when your in Rome with the littles down by the Forum in Rome from Memorial Day till end of September there is a free water park for the kids. It opens 10 am till 10 pm (I don't know about evenings because I never go that late) cant wait to keep reading about your guys life. Have a blast! - Christina Anderson
Oh how I love reading about your journey. You are an inspiration to others. i will pray for you regarding the spiritual warfare. Many hugs to you all! - Brandy Siemens