Trusting God

Trusting God is not easy.  Oh when things are going well in our lives yes it’s easy to trust God.  But when you get fired unexpectedly, you have $12 in savings because you just got back from a wonderful vacation seeing family and friends, sharing tons of hugs and giggles with the grand-kids, and you have to scramble to find a place to park your home on wheels, you are trying to figure out how to get some medications, and trying to hold your head up high in the middle of chaos and confusion trusting is hard.  But we do trust.

We move one foot in front of the other.  We call our praying friends, we continue to be honest with our words, we don’t argue or yell or throw a temper tantrum, we move one foot in front of the other and we keep trusting.  We read God’s word, claiming his promises like in Jeremiah where we read    “I’ll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.  Jeremiah 29:9-11″      and then we laugh as we see how God really is in control and does know what He is doing and knows what is good for us.

And as we step forward some times the fear/worry creeps in we wonder how are we going to make it, how are we going to ever find another job much less get there ~ remember our home on wheels needs gas to get us down the road.  And then the Lord surprises us with a couple gifts of money that were totally unexpected and lovingly accepted.  And we follow God’s leading, stepping out in faith that the doors that are opening are really his leading.

So we continue to see his way.  Asking for prayer, getting encouragement in phone calls, emails and Facebook comments.  And we step out, load up everything we have and drive 800 miles to a place we have never been and what a beautiful place it is ~ Branson, MO.  And we continue to trust for full-time employment and thank God for the part-time work I have.  We take advantage of Ron not working as he gets some much needed personal business taken care of.  And we meet new people and make new friends. 

We talk about needing to find a local congregation so we can worship our heavenly Father with other believers.  And out of the world of Facebook he leads a gal to comment on a comment of mine and now today I am getting ready to go to a Ladies luncheon at the Friendly Baptist Church (that really is the name of the church).  I am so excited to fellowship with other women who love the Lord as I do.  We get invited to another church service that starts at 9 a.m. ~ which works great for our schedule as we need to open the campground office at noon on Sunday’s.

And we continue to pray, trust, and yes even have a little melt down so you send out a panic email, continue to trust and seek full-time employment.  We know what we would like to see happen but is it what God wants?  Is it what will happen in the real world?  We send out more prayer requests and then have a great interview and are offered full-time employment as managers of the campground where God has led us for part-time work. 

And then this morning I am pleasantly surprised by a reminder from God in my devotion that even though we didn’t know what was going to happen or even why certain things were happening God knew.  This morning’s devotion started with a reading in Ruth where Ruth tells Naomi she will go wherever she goes.  I claimed that verse when Ron and I moved to Blaine in 1989.  I would go wherever Ron wanted to go and I would keep the advice I received from Col. Nutt in 1978 that my job was to make our home a happy and welcoming home wherever we were living (we were in the Air Force at the time and stationed in Holland and I was wanting to go home!!) because if Ron had a happy home he could do his job wherever it took him.  And that has been one of my goals ~ to always have a happy home for our family no matter where we were living.

And then the devotion moved to Prov. 20:18 “Every purpose is established by counsel (the LORD).”    And reading ‘We all go through tough times.  It is how we deal with them and what we learn from them that defines who we are.  The Lord has a purpose for them all.”  and “It was as if God had been working in ways known only to Him, to bring us together.” and then closes with this prayer: “Father, your purpose is our good.  Let us be aware of the ways you work in our lives.” (By Brock Kidd in Daily Guideposts 2012)

And I think about a comment a friend made:   You come across so calm in all of this.  So you are an encouragement to me. 🙂   And I think if you only knew about my mini-melt down the other morning and then I think, okay it was only a mini-melt down, not a full blown anxiety attack where I feel paralyzed and freak out and fall apart and make matters worse than they are (remembering some of my behaviors when I was worried sick when Jamie was in Iraq or totally panicking because we didn’t have any money for groceries and feeling like I needed to beg any and everyone to help us).  And then I say “Thank you Lord for your love and grace and mercy in my life.  For loving me through the tough times and helping me to grow and trust in You even more.”

And I will never forget the morning of April 4, 2012 as we were being fired and thinking about God’s promise from Jeremiah 29:11 “OK Lord, I think you need to share with us now what those plans are because this is not making any sense to me at this moment.”

And we are now employed at a small campground, in a beautiful part of this country.  We are nestled in among some beautiful shade trees, have a swimming pool and exercise room to use whenever we want.  We have an opportunity to find the church where we know God will use us and we will feel like we are home.  And we feel a peace and calmness surrounding us that is a blessing all of its own.

So today I give thanks for how the Lord works in our lives even when we don’t understand!  He does know the plans he has for us.  Sometimes we just have to be open  to follow where He leads.

And this is view that we see each morning from our new home where the Lord led us!!

Making Dinner

Making Dinner ~ it shouldn’t be a hard decision but sometimes it takes me forever to figure out what to cook.  I enjoy cooking I just hate trying to figure out what to cook.  And I really don’t like it when I ask hubby “What would you like for dinner?” and his response is “I dont’ care.”

So this morning while I was working on the laptop I asked hubby if he would get out some meat from the freezer for dinner.  He said “OK.”  And promptly opened the freezer and jumped back as something fell out.  Dinner tonight is broiled pork steaks (that’s what fell out of the freezer) and home made potato salad (with the left over egg salad from lunch dumped in) and for dessert (which we don’t have every night) is banana nut chocolate chip bread.  And now looking at this I think we need a vegetable.  It will be either green beans or corn ~ whichever hubby gets out of the tote.

So how do you decide what to make for dinner?

Oh, one more thing ~ who does the dishes at your place?  Since moving into the motor home full time and there is only room for one person in the kitchen area we made a deal.  Who ever cooks dinner gets the night off from doing the dishes!!!  So I really don’t mind cooking because that means I don’t have to do the dishes.

And the Adventure Continues!

No one could ever say our life is boring ~ if they did they would be so wrong!

We were sad to hear that Carol & Kevin would be leaving Branson View Campground to go on a new adventure for them but we are so excited to announce:

We got offered the full-time manager’s position and we accepted!!

God is so good to us and sometimes we don’t understand why things happen but like His Word says  in Romans 26-28 Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good. 
We don’t know why we got terminated the way we did from the Alamo Area SKP Co-Op (yes we know what we were told, we know also what has come out since we left the park ~ only God really knows the truth) but we do know that God is in control of our lives.  We trust in Him, we love Him and we seek His guidance in how we live our lives.  
And God has truly turned a very uncomfortable and unsettling situation into a wonderful thing for us.  And that is full time work, in a setting we enjoy and in an area we have never been before.  And it gets us closer to Georgia where we hope to meet up with some good friends and Ron’s Uncle Mervin and his family.  
Thank you all for your encouragement and prayers as we moved forward in a blur, with one foot in front of the other and now rejoicing in the clear skies, lovely sunshine and lots of green trees here in Branson, MO.

First Waking Thoughts of the Morning ~ Terminated

Woke up this morning from a dream where I was back at the Lone Star Corral, doing something in the clubhouse kitchen and a couple of guys were in there with me.  E was asking me a question about something I had written up and R was kinda ignoring me but I could tell he was listening to the conversation.  And then “TERMINATED” was said in a sentence and I just stopped dead in my tracks and woke up.

Thinking about “terminated” my mind went back 24 years ago when we were moving from Federal Way, WA to Blaine, WA.  The situation at that time was that we were moving because there were just way too many people in the area.  At Christmas of 1988 Ron came home from running an errand on Christmas Eve and was very upset because it took him almost an hour to go 3 miles!  He was not a happy man and very stressed.  And then February of ’89 we moved to Blaine doing two of the things I said I would never do: 1~move to Blaine and 2~live with Ron’s mom.  Did both 🙂  And in making that move we had to terminate with our therapist who we had been seeing for 2 1/2 years.  And that scared me so much that I would find myself sick to my stomach quite often.  And I was even able to keep our last session for after we were moved and kinda settled into our new life.  So on April 3, 1989 we had our last session w/Tom.  And we talked about the word “termination” and why it scared me so much.  It just sounded so final, nothing after that and we had grown to love and appreciate Tom’s Christian counseling and his friendship and the thought of that ‘TERMINATING, ENDING, NEVER SEEING HIM AGAIN” was just plain scary to me.  How could I go on without him in my life.  He had helped me get through some really tough times: dealing with past abuse from my parents and how that in turn affected my life, my parenting, my marriage.  And what if something were to happen, what would I do if we were TERMINATED???

I will never forget that dinner.  We met at Black Angus in Federal Way.  Don’t have a clue what we ate.  We met in front at 6:30 p.m. (well a little later because Tom was never on time:) and we left there at 12:30 a.m.  Six hours!!  We talked, laughed, discussed some things like the night in 1986 which happened to be the first Friday of the month and we were going to Enumclaw for their Christmas parade with the boys after our session and Tom asked Ron “Do you know what sickening sweet it?”  Ron replied, “No.”  Tom described sickening sweet as taking a large can of Redi Whip and squirting the whole darn thing into your mouth and swallowing it (Tom’s brother used to do that to gross his momma out:) and then he told Ron “YOU are sickening sweet.”  I remember laughing to myself and Ron didn’t say much.  That is, until we were in the car heading to Enumclaw and Ron went on & on about he was not sickening sweet and how dare Tom say that to him.  I bet Ron must have referred to that comment at least 5x that night if not 10x.  And quite often through the next week.  Did he say anything to Tom at our next session?  Nope, nada, not a word.  Never said anything to him for 2 1/2 years until that night we were saying our good-byes.  The funny thing is that Tom never even remembered saying that to Ron, but here 31 years later we both remember that night and now often will joke about “ew…that must be sickening sweet” and then laugh about it. 

We talked about my mom and our relationship ~ pretty nil at that time.  And how I felt like I didn’t have a mom anymore.  And that hurt.  Thankful though that God healed that relationship for the most part and when she passed away in 2005 we were sharing our lives more with each other.  Not the way I always wanted a relationship with her but we did have a relationship and that is what is important.

And we talked about different things that had come up during the  2 1/2 years we met – like when I went on strike for almost 2 weeks.  Wonder if the boys remember that.  They were in shock that I said I was not going to do anything for them: no laundry, no cooking, no cleaning, nothing.  They wouldn’t pull their weight in our home by doing their chores like cleaning their bedroom, putting their clean laundry away, setting/clearing the table at dinner time without complaining and so I went on strike.  Jamie got so mad that he called Tom and told him HE needed a session with him.  And so Jamie saw Tom alone one week and then we had a joint session: Jamie & I and left their with a job chart for Jamie and a new understanding of what it meant to be part of a family.  We all work together for the common good.

Oh the memories I could share.  But that is for another time.  Back to the word “terminate.”  As you know just two weeks and two days ago we were TERMINATED from our positions at the Lone Star Corral.  And wow, what a difference to how I responded and handled the situation.  Never got sick, never yelled or even reacted.  Just did the business that needed to be done.  I am so thankful for my scripture that morning “I (being God) know the plans I have for you.”  And while Marti was telling us we were terminated that verse went through my head and I thought “OK, God you need to start sharing those plans with us and hopefully you will do it soon:).” 

Yes, I was in shock, it came out of nowhere.  I was hurt by the lies that were being said about both of us.  And yet, I put one foot in front of the other and said a ton of prayers and continued to put one foot in front of the other going where the Lord would lead us.  Yes, I cried when I called Pastor Charles, Dee and Merel.  Ron and I cried together, shared our thoughts and put one foot in front of the other.  Yet God is faithful and he has led us each and every day since that day 16 days ago (like he has for the 36+ years we have been married). 

Still don’t like the word “terminate” and yes it is final but this time it has been quite refreshing and freeing seeing how God is working in our lives, my life and the doors that have opened for us and how exciting it has been to see him take a situation that for a few minutes seemed so devastating and bring glory and honor to our Lord.

From Hondo, TX to Branson, MO ~ Part 3

What a glorious day!  We were both up early so got the rig ready to travel and began our day.  Our first ETA for for Cleburne, TX was 8:25, Gainseville, TX 9:59 and McAlester, OK was 12:04 p.m.  Let me just say we never reached a destination by the ETA per Maggie (our gps).  After stopping to get gas in Gainseville our new ETA was 11:33. 

Then we stopped at HEB so I could get one of my prescriptions filled (will need to transfer that one to Wal-Mart) our new ETA was 1:54 p.m. was for McAlester, OK.  While traveling that road we saw a gate across someone’s driveway with a sign that said “Dunn Broke Us Ranch” and we cracked up 🙂  And then we saw a Cracker Barrel ~ you know one of the many favorite restaurants RV’rs gush about – well we could not get in the RV parking area so we drove around the block, pulled into a doctor’s office parking lot and ate lunch.  Cracker Barrel was not to be today.  After lunch our ETA for McAlester, OK was 2:46.

Then changed Maggie to Checotah, OK; new ETA was 3:47.  Then we passed a town “Tushka, OK” and laughed for a few miles – wonder how different towns are named???  New destination and ETA was 4:37 for Sallisaw, OK ~ we actually was in the town center at 5:01 p.m.  Stopped and got gas – took almost 52 gallons!!!$187.35 good thing we only had to pay $3.59 a gallon. And in Sallisaw I saw my first dead armadillo ~ Ron had seen four by that time.  I told him they were trying to get back to Texas and it wasn’t working very well for them.

Final ETA for the day was 5:36 for Park Ridge Campground in Van Buren, Arkansas.  Actually arrived at 5:47 ~ so didn’t do too bad on that one.  And by 6:05 p.m. we were all set up and enjoying dinner of roasted chicken, mashed potatoes (thanks Lynda C.) and baby corn (you know the pickled little corn – the kids always called them baby corn and the name has stuck). 

Another total for the day Ron – 9 slug bugs and Ali 7 – one of these days I will see more than him 🙂

Here are some pictures from today’s travels.  Hope you enjoy them.  And remember you can click on them to make them bigger.

Our day tomorrow is to go from here to Branson, MO.  Maggie says its 154 miles should take about 3 1/2 hours ~ we will see!  Will check in later tomorrow night!!!

From Hondo to Branson, MO ~ Part 2

Am wondering if you can only put so many pictures in one blog post.  So here is to trying to get the rest of the photos for now ~  think I figured out the problem, can only upload 10 at a time 🙂  sorry if there are any duplicates ~ tried to find any.  Hope you enjoy these.


Would ask that you keep us in your prayers as we head out tomorrow morning.  We will be going north, skirting Dallas/Fort Worth and into Oklahoma.  Don’t know how long of a day we will put in on the road ~ it all depends on how many miles our butts can take in the chairs, the weather, the roads and life.  Our first target is McAllister, OK.  Will see if we get past there or not.  Stay tuned for the next update in this journey we call life.  Since we don’t know where we will land tomorrow night IF you need to reach us, give a shout out on the cell and we will call you when we can.

Wandering to Branson, MO ~ Part 1

Life is so fun when you let the Lord lead you and you pay attention.  Wednesday afternoon was offered the Part-time Assistant Manager position at a campground in Branson, MO.  So thankful for the networking of writing blogs, being a full-timer in an RV and trusting the Lord when our world gets turned topsy~turvy and seeing Him answer prayer!

So Thursday morning we were up early and off to Hondo to run some errands, take care of some business, be blessed with a visit with a special friend from Hondo First Baptist Church and of course the mandatory stop at Wally World before heading back up to Medina Lake Thousand Trails to load the rig and get on the road for our newest adventure.

And we were off to Lake Whitney Thousand Trails in Whitney, TX for two nights – one day of sight seeing, resting and getting a little more organized and tomorrow we will be off again, heading for Oklahoma.  Hope you enjoy the pictures from the last two days.

Can’t seem to add any more to this blog post so will go to Part 2 now.

Today is Monday

Thought I would try  to do a little update on our doings today.

I was up early and got busy on some paperwork that needed to be done.  Around 11:00 this morning we got a phone call from Diana (Assistant Manager at the LSC) that the case of wine we ordered/bought while in Nehalem, OR had arrived today.  Ron told her we would be down shortly.  So we got ready to go and made our way down to Hondo via Pipe Creek and Bandera.

Stopped in Pipe Creek to see if our mail had arrived.  Yea!  Thanks to Dee for sending it out so quick.  Inside was my new drivers license (remember all the crap I had to go through to get it) but no more worries, it has arrived and tucked safely in my wallet where it belongs.  We then drove through Bandera and down to Hondo.

First stop in Hondo was the Texas Workforce Center.  Had to check out a few things and found out we need to contact a lawyer (job for tomorrow) about some questions that we have.  Was encouraged by speaking to the two ladies in the office.  Then we were off to LSC and picked up our box of wine ~ definitely will be having a glass this evening!

We then headed east towards San Antonio to see if we could find where one of couple friends that we made while at the LSC are working as gate guards.  No such luck, so we turned Maggie (the gps) on and told her to take us back to Medina Lake Thousand Trails the shortest direction.  It was about 3:00 p.m.  Our ETA was 3:50 p.m.  Well we meandered and then needed to find a potty (you know how that goes) and so we headed toward Mico and found a port-a-potty, that had been cleaned earlier today!!!  and so took a few turns out of the way and then decided to drive to Medina Lake and see it from a different direction.  So amazing to see the water down so low.  And me without the camera ~ do need to remember to put it in the Jeep when we decide to drive somewhere.  Saw homes that used to be on waterfront property but not any more.  More like being on a cliff looking down on a river/creek.

We finally got headed back to the park, arriving at 4:30 p.m.  Decided to make dinner (already had meatballs and red sauce in the crock pot) so I made some fettuccine and had a delightful dinner with my sweet hubby.

And now hubby is watching Ax Men and I am getting ready to read a few of the blogs I follow. 

Wishing each of you a great evening.  Talk to you again soon.

Reality, Faith and Thoughts

A lot of things have been happening as most of you know.  And yesterday as I was waiting in the clubhouse to have Easter dinner that nasty Satan tried to enter my mind.  I found myself wondering “What are we going to do?  Do we start driving somewhere?  We have enough money to go about 800 miles.  I am scared and worry is starting to creep in.”

And then I said out loud and yet quietly “OK, LORD, you say you know the plans you have for us, you told me that on Wednesday morning before confusion, disbelief, shock set in and we were fired.  Lord, help me to keep my focus on you, see the blessings we have (so many friends commenting on my blogs, on Facebook and through email) that I know we are not alone.  Forgive me for letting doubt creep in just a few minutes ago.”  And then I walked away to say hello to some people and sat down and shared a delicious meal ~ the only thing that would have made it better was if there was dessert, making new friends and visiting with them for two hours.  And the worry and anxiety was gone.

Had a very relaxing late afternoon and evening with my hubby.  We sat outside enjoying the beautiful sunshine, listening to families laughing and playing in the swimming pool, reading and napping (Ron).  Later in the evening we had something I have not made in years: bacon and cheese toasted sandwiches ~ yummy!  Watched Amazing Race & Celebrity Apprentice before heading off to bed.  Slept well and woke refreshed about 7:15 this morning.

And then the mind began racing.  I got up, made myself some licorice tea, got caught up in my Guideposts Daily Planner ~ I write down each morning what we did the day before.  And I hadn’t written in it since we left San Antonio to go on vacation!  So I started with Wednesday, April 4th through yesterday and then backed up to March 23rd.  All caught up now.  Then I read my devotion for this morning.  “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.”  I Cor. 2:9 and then I pondered on those words.  Feeling encouraged that once again God has shown me that He knows what the plans are that he has for us even though we have no clue, no idea.  Thanks for the reminder Lord.  And then I read through some emails that friends have sent to us in the last few days ~ and one verse that keeps coming to mind (my paraphrase) “No need to worry, the birds don’t worry about where they will find food or shelter so why should I worry?”  Easy to read but sometimes so hard to follow and do. 

And this morning it is hard to hold onto that faith and trust when inside I am wanting to cry, scream and shout ~ what happened?  why did this happen?  we had plans for the coming year and now what will happen?  And this happened to us but it affects others too ~ friends who have made plans to be with us, trips to join other friends for a weekend of fun and adventure.  And we have little money which makes me scared ~ where do we go in three weeks, actually 2 1/4 when we have to leave Medina Lake Thousand Trails?  Yes we can go park to park but do we use up the gas/money to go 250 miles and if so which direction do we head.  Do we head back toward AZ, CA, OR or WA where things are familiar or do we head towards GA where we have friends & family but then we have to pay for camping? 

I have made a list of things to do ~ should I just start going down the list and do things one at a time?  do I jump around on that list and do things in a crazy kind of order?  And then more things pop into my mind of things that need to be done…can you hear the craziness starting to roll through my mind and heart?  I can.  I even thought of posting on Facebook ~ “Does anyone want to contribute to the Ron & Ali fund to cover gas, groceries, medicine?  And then the next thought ~ does that question say I have doubt and where is my faith?  So I don’t make the post on Facebook but I do share it with my friend so we can laugh about it.

I have so much to say but I feel like I have to be careful, can’t and don’t want to step on toes, since we don’t know exactly what will happen with unemployment (we make our first claim on 4/17 and then will find out if we get any benefits) and we don’t know if we are going to have to fight for the benefits or not.  Questions come to mind ~ do we have any recourse with the manner in which we were let go ~ the BOD didn’t even follow their own contract with us.  Can you tell I am floundering, wondering what our next step should be.  I would love to have a sit down conversation with the BOD but believe we would be lied to as we know we have been in the past.  Can you tell I am perplexed? 

I so wish we were part of a close church family, that we had a good relationship with a local pastor where we could go and talk and cry and pray with and be prayed for.  I wish I was in Blaine so I could walk into Charles’ office, sit in my spot on the couch and just blubber and blabber and know he would listen, give me some suggestions (which I always follow) and pray with me.  I am really missing my Northwood family and pastor/friend.

I would love to be able to go have a coffee date with my bestie so we could laugh and cry together but that’s kinda hard when I am in Texas and she is in WA.

And now the tears have started to fall and it is hard to see what I am writing so I am going to close for now.  Will check in either later tonight or again tomorrow.  Ali