So THANKFUL!

Yesterday afternoon was a bit unnerving…as many of you know, Ron’s cousin Erv passed away the end of April from a major TBI after falling 20’+ off a ladder ~ late yesterday afternoon, J, our boss came into the office and said Ron was pretty dirty and didn’t say anything else. About 15 minutes later Ron walked or should I say hobbled into the office. He looked like he had been for a swim in a mud bath full of twigs…I asked him what happened…he was quiet then quietly said “I fell off a ladder.” I think my heart stopped for a second…it took the brain a few minutes to catch up that he was standing in front of me so he was okay…well at least he was upright and moving.

I asked him what happened…he said he thought he was on the bottom rung of the ladder (he was actually two steps up) and stepped down. And down he went…he landed on his left butt cheek (thank goodness for padding) and then rolled into a small portable heater. He laid there for a few minutes, checking to make sure nothing was broke and like typical, STUBBORN, Ron he got up and finished what he was doing. About that time J came into the maintenance shop.

I will be honest, my first thoughts were “sure hope you didn’t break anything” AND “you fool, why didn’t you call someone on the radio or the phone???” and then I thought of Psalm 46…God is our refuge and our strength in times of trouble and was so glad for God’s protection of Ron has he fell.

Once again, I am reminded – anything can change in a moment. Make sure to tell those you love and care about “I love you” for you never know when something horrible could happen.

Psalm 46 reminds us often that God is with us during the difficult and scary times just like he is with us during the good and pleasant times.

After Ron went back to the trailer I picked up my pen and realized that I was shaking and quickly thought of

Be Still,
Just Be Still,
Breath
and Give Thanks!!!

Later in the evening as I was watching Ron rest in the recliner so many friends and family came to mind: Tina, Marvalie, Angie, Anita and the whole Bach family, and Miriam who have all recently lost their spouse (father, grandpa, son, brother and uncle) unexpectedly and quickly and I was feeling a bit unnerved…as we never know when something can and will happen. And the song

came to my mind. And so today I begin today saying It is Well with My Soul BUT that is only because I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that no matter what happens here on earth I will never be truly alone as my Jesus walks side by side with me.

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In closing, just remember we are never promised tomorrow, so say and do what you need today ~ and keep your faith in Jesus, knowing no matter what happens
He is always with you!!!

Tired yet encouraged!

I’m so tired this morning…I woke up just after 5:00 this morning with a low blood sugar…got up and took care of that, crawled back into bed and tried to go back to sleep…that didn’t happen 🥹 so after tossing for about 45 minutes I got up again.

I opened my Bible and little devotional this morning and the verse was “to encourage one another.” It didn’t say complain, it said encourage!!!

As tired as I am I don’t feel very encouraging so I sat and reflected on yesterday and the note from a friend that my recent blog posts have been an encouragement to her! I often wonder who reads my blog, does anyone really care about what I write and if even, what I write is important and I was encouraged by her short little note to me.

I’m still tired…after not working for the past six months, getting up on a regular schedule, standing for a lot longer at one time then I have in a long time, I’m tired. Yesterday and today, we are helping out extra here at the campground…our choice!!! And there is a light at the end of the tunnel…more workampers are due to arrive soon! And it’s just two days of a full work day as tomorrow we go back to our regular schedule of half days…so it’s okay for me to be tired for one or two days. And I know, once I get moving around I will be okay.

So this leads to a few questions for y’all ~

1. What are some ways you combat being tired?

2. How do you encourage others?

3. Not that this has anything to do with what I have written today ~ what’s your favorite ice cream?

Love How God Talks to Me!

This morning I opened a little devotional book and found a few nuggets:

~ age and experience are an asset!

~ choices; we all have choices every day. I can either choose to live in fear and full of anxiety OR I can choose to embrace life, living each life bravely and with anticipation and full of joy!

~ fear and anxiety rob me of joy!!!

~ embrace life with grace; grace for myself and others!

And then this memory popped up on Facebook this morning:

I just chuckled and thought “thank you Lord for this reminder ~ make good choices. Whether those choices be about food or getting outside for a walk, choose to speak kindly, extending grace and mercy and remembering I don’t know what others are dealing with at any given moment…so just extend love and give a smile!!!

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~thank you Lord for the rest I got last night,
~thank you for the call from Aunt Tiny and the update on Erv ~ Lord continue to be with Erv as he faces many hurdles from his fall, be with Anita, Ashley, Ian and all the family as stand in love and support during this time, be with the physicians and nursing staff providing care
~thank you Lord for our jobs here at Camp Sparrow, help us to be the smile to those who need one
~thank you Lord that Baby Jesse came through his surgery, continue to work in his precious little life and give love and comfort to his parents as they walk this journey with this teeny, tiny little guy!!!

Keep Trusting!

Life is hard at times and sometimes the hard part comes when you think things are going well and you are then caught off guard.

That was me yesterday! This morning God gave me the verses above and below…to keep trusting in Him and not man or woman.

What I read from above is ” Do not give up even when being or even feeling attacked.”

I wrote this to a Pastor friend this morning: It is beautiful here but yet still there is drama…maybe that’s what my traveling is trying to escape drama and God wants me to learn to deal with it instead….UGH…God always gives us a reason to learn.

Another friend asked me awhile back: was I running from something which I whole heartedly denied – but maybe there was truth to her question.

I know it sounds like I’m writing in circles and maybe I am … my want is to be happy, to enjoy life, to enjoy where I work and what I do. When we arrived here at Camp Sparrow I was excited, looking forward to making new friends, enjoying meeting campers from all over and having some free time to play with Ron, to check out the area and yet this morning I am in a place where my mind says, get in the truck and just go.

BUT GOD says, TRUST ME!!! I brought you here for a reason. So this morning I chatted with God…well I talked to Him, not sure it was with but more of to…

Remember His mercies are new every morning and He gives me grace abundantly and calls me to do the same for others…so as I sit here contemplating going to work I find myself crying out…Lord, please give me a heart of love, a face that smiles and a mouth that thinks long and hard before speaking. Help me to learn the computer system, to not fret about things I don’t have control over…oh yes…here comes FLEXIBLE

Shared by my bestie…she sure knows me!!!

And that is how I know God loves me and has a great sense of humor….take a word/topic that I have had to work on, learn from so many times that makes me shake my head in agreement and smile, reminding myself it’s not all about me!!! But wait ~ it isn’t???

Oh Lord, help me today to really trust in you, to seek you first before opening my mouth, to think before I speak and to be open and quiet to follow Your leading.

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Before closing…a couple of urgent prayer requests

1. for baby Jesse who goes into surgery at 9:30a (EDT), pray for protection for Jesse, peace for his mama and daddy, for wisdom and guidance for the doctors

2. for Ron’s cousin, Erv who had a serious accident on Monday when he fell from a ladder suffering a traumatic brain injury and is in ICU. For his sweet wife, Anita, mom, Aunt Tiny, his children Ian and Ashley and their whole extended family. Pray for healing and comfort, strength and understanding, for wisdom for the doctors

and I ask this all in God’s name and His will…which is often so hard as we know what we want but is it what and how the Lord would work through things.
Just Pray!

Good Friday ~ Really?

Good morning on this chilly Friday from Gaffney, SC…yes we have arrived! Started our new jobs on Wednesday at Camp Sparrow RV Resort. To say things have gone smoothly would be an understatement. So let’s back up a couple of weeks…

Last week we spent two days with sweet friends from Washington state who were in town, found a great little Thai restaurant in Wesley Chapel, enjoyed lots of laughter and sharing of memories and making new ones, said good-bye to our son and his family, spent an evening at the vet’s with B’s two dogs…they are fine, just got into a tussle over protecting D though she really didn’t need protecting just lots of rest, fluids and to feel better. Spent time with each of our three youngest grandsons! And was filled with lots of anxiety!!! You know the stuff that makes me crazy on the inside, loud on the outside and posting things on Facebook out of fear…UGH!!

BUT God!!! God continued to provide though I often cried out privately and publicly what were we going to do with no money, traveling by the seat of our pants and lots of prayers for safety on the road. I chatted via Facebook and texts with some sweet friends, spoke a lot of prayers out loud, cried to God from my heart…my fear and anxiety about making the trip from Wesley Chapel to Gaffney, SC BUT God!!! provided.

Friday morning began with a checkup for Ron with the cardiologist ~ good report, heart function had gone from 42% to 45%, told him to keep doing what he is doing, added a beta-blocker to his medication list and said “find a cardiologist and get connected once we move to Gaffney.” That is on our To Do List for things to do in this first month!! After stops at the tire store to pick up the two spares ~ which we didn’t need ~ thank you Jesus!! Stopped at the pharmacy and readied the trailer for travel. We had hoped to be on the road by Noon ~ it was actually 2:02p when we pulled out of the campground!

The first day of travel was a doozy: flagged by a DOT worker who thought we had a wheel bearing going out, sat in the rest area for about an hour praying, texting with Pastor Fred, sending out prayer requests and then just said…”Lord, we know you have provided this job for us in Gaffney and we will trust you will get us there! Amen!!!” And we continued…in slow rolling traffic – that’s okay, we moved steady, got multiple warnings about accidents, never seeing any but seeing remnants, chatted with a couple who had a car spin out in front of their motorhome, hit it on the right side, ripped off the front corner panel BUT God! no one was hurt, the lady’s car ended up in the ditch, airbags going off but no one was hurt!!! Thank you Jesus for your protection!!!

The weather was beautiful
&

We connected with Facebook friends, Art & Belinda and their sweet children…had an exciting welcome to their yard by cutting the corner short and needing the help of a great tow truck driver to get us out of this:

and letting us enjoy this beautiful view on Saturday morning!

Thank you to Austin for helping Ron with the trailer jack to get us back on the road. As we were preparing to continue on our journey on Saturday, young Jaxon asked to pray for us…I think there is a young man on the road to being a great warrior for the Lord! Jaxon prayed for safety and for us to have a good life!!! Thank you Jesus for this sweet young man!!!

Saturday we made our way to Milledgeville, GA to spend the night with our sweet friend Merel and her mama, Annelle. We had the best shrimp and pasta dinner ~

followed by this delicious dessert:
&

Sunday afternoon we made to Carolina Landing, a Thousand Trails campground. Upon arrival we realized the weld had not held on the trailer jack so emails were sent to our new boss asking if we could come into the park on Monday instead of Tuesday…sure come on in!!!

Monday we had our third uneventful day of travel, beautiful sunshine
to our beautiful campsite at Camp Sparrow!

For those of you who have travelled along with us over the years, you may remember the year I chose flexible to be my theme…well it’s a good thing God game me those lessons and continues today to give me opportunity to be flexible in our lives…as we were greeted at Camp Sparrow by the COO with the knowledge that the manager who hired us had been let go that morning…I don’t know all the details and that’s okay…we are being flexible and trusting God to continue to provide. We have lots of questions, trusting God for this job that he brought us too and will just see what the Lord provides!

Tuesday we finished setting up the trailer, went for a walk around the new section of the campground, found a grocery store and pharmacy and just relaxed a bit. Wednesday we met with one of the transitional managers, shadowed and began learning the new campground program and worked a full day. Thursday we met the new onsite managers and their two sweet girls, C & E! Continued with training and meeting the other employees ~ a total of eight including the new managers and getting my new health insurance all lined up so there won’t be a lack of coverage ~ thank you Jesus for continuing to provide!!! Can’t say it enough…thank you Jesus for providing even when my faith was little!!! We ended the day having dinner with the Regional Manager, the new onsite managers, six other employees and the transitional manager!!

Bringing us to this beautiful

and Yes it is THE GOOD FRIDAY!! My scripture verses and devotional this morning come from Jeremiah 29:12~13

and Psalm 31:6

Good Friday ~ the day Christ died for me, for us, taking on all our sins and rising three days later to give us the everlasting hope that no matter how puzzling, disturbing, crazy and scary this world may be we have HOPE!!! and for that I give thanks on this chilly morning here in Gaffney, SC!!!

Busy, Yet Reminded to Breathe ~ Lenten Season ~ Day 20

Time…oh how I wish I could stop it at times and other days wish it would move faster. The saying “time passes quickly” is so true especially when there are lots of things that need to happen in a certain amount of calendar days!!!

YET, this morning I am reminded that it doesn’t matter how fast or slow the days go

and I am so thankful for that. The past week has been crazy, busy at times, other times just the kind of day where you watch the clock, or fall asleep and think you will only nap for 2 hours and five hours later you glance at the clock and say “Oh crap ~ where did the time go!” Both Ron and I are looking forward to being on the same sleep schedule. Right now the three nights he works, I find myself staying up late so I can snuggle and sleep next to him ~ there is just something comforting being able to reach out and touch his foot or hand and know we are together. And then I wonder how can I do the things I need to do because I have slept half the day away. It seems lately I am being constantly reminded that this is just for a season and this season is coming to a close and a new season and new adventure are on the horizon.

This morning in God’s word (Joshua 5) ~ he encouraged me

that He is with me every step of the way, from the Luther Lenten Devotional I am reminded “In a time of journey, whether it be 40 years of journey through the wilderness, 40 days of journey through a crisis, or 40 hours of anxiety or despair, God’s promise holds us.  God’s promise is unconditional, which means it is always offered to us, no matter where we are, who we are, or in what situation we may be.” 

Isn’t that a great promise…we are never alone!!!

So as I start this week off running, well after sleeping almost 10 hours!!! I am reminded to keep my eyes on the destination but to enjoy the journey. So many things to do this week…the must do’s ~ doctor appointment, clean and purge stuff in the trailer (I know, it’s a never ending job!!!), organize and figure out how to store all my yarn ~ don’t say give it away ~ I have projects to do!!! Spend time with Brandon, Danalyn, Chris, Treyson and Alex!! We will definitely miss being close by so need to soak up all the time with them that we can!! Some me time ~ connecting with a new friend to say “see you later” BUT most of all being thankful for every day that I am blessed to have here on earth!!!

As I just wrote that last line I thought of three friends that are facing some struggles ~ thankful that I can pray for each of them and be an encouragement to them in a little moment of time and I pray that they (and you) are able to find a little spark of joy and sunshine in your day today!! If you think of them, please say a prayer for peace, reconciliation, calmness and joy to shine in their lives! I know they would appreciate the prayers.

In closing, the verse below closed out my devotionals and I was reminded of my most happy place…being near the water, watching and enjoying God’s handiwork. I won’t see the ocean or even a lake or river today BUT I can know in my heart that He will always love me, just like He loves you! That HIS grace and mercies are new every day and isn’t that refreshing…knowing we get a “do over” every single day!!!

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Is there a “do over” you need today?
My “do over” for me, is give myself the grace that I so willingly give to others when I don’t meet all my crazy expectations. Lord, help me remember to breathe, one foot in front of the other, to stop and smell the flowers and enjoy this day that you have given me!!!

Lenten Day 16 – Love Like Jesus

Both of these verses were in my reading this afternoon, yes afternoon! I usually try to have my quiet time with the Lord in the morning but this week is kind of crazy. Our grandson, Christopher joined us yesterday for a night and today Treyson is staying for two nights.

We asked Christopher what he wanted to do while hanging with us…watching movies, eating burgers and sleeping in! So we did…we watched the 2008 Batman movie “The Dark Night” and then the new release “The Adam Project.” They are not movies we would have chosen to watch but we are glad we did. “The Adam Project” had amazing special effects and a great message at the end of the movie.

Lunch was burgers at Chili’s

We took Christopher over to his Grandma & Pop Pops for tonight and picked up Treyson. The boys are both going to Boy Scout Camp in Georgia this summer and Treyson still needed to earn some money to go towards camp so he is busy helping Grandpa do some much needed trailer cleaning.
.

This is the front after the first scrubbing (f you look closely at the top you can still see some of the nasty green pollen)…and as you can see below they are doing the front once again!!!

Tonight dinner will be cheese dogs w/tater tots and veggies and then movie time with Treyson. Tomorrow morning Treyson and Ron will caulk around the sunroof in the bathroom of the travel trailer…it’s not bad that it drips in the shower but it’s really not good for the trailer 😂

Also tomorrow we will head to the post office to mail out a Crocheted Dish Towel to the first contest winner of Crochet Creations by Ali.

Congratulations to Jim Tuck!!!

Back to my devotional this morning and welcome to my world of moving from one topic to another without skipping a beat !!!

Some of the thoughts I wrote down:
~ we should strive to be more Christ like each and every day
~ be more real
~ not that our works will get us into heaven, it is our love and belief in Jesus and so my prayer is that each day I can love more like Jesus!
~ and again I come back to struggling with feelings, making mistakes and have to remind myself feelings are neither right nor wrong, they just are AND when I make a mistake or am struggling I can remember that there really aren’t failures (except the failure to learn from our mistakes) because if I learn from a mistake I also learn how to accept more of God’s grace in my life and thus be able to learn how to extend grace to others. And I am so thankful for God’s grace!!! And the fact that I don’t have to strive to be perfect…I just need to

Moving and Trusting

If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you know that we have lived full time in an RV since Fall 2006 and started traveling in Fall 2009.

In a nutshell we have worked for a carnival, sold Christmas trees, managed a campground in Texas, then in Missouri, as well as Ron worked for Amazon in Kansas and back to Missouri to manage the same campground with different owners.

And then we worked at GUMI Camp, USA and then moved back to Oregon, then again to Texas, spent a few months in Utah ~ the altitude was a bit high for Ron and again we made our way to Texas. Then to North Carolina and most recently to Florida.

We have managed a 55+ independent living company, been house parents to more teenagers than we ever would have imagined, worked as gate guards and then foster parents to some sweet precious children who we miss dearly (we continue to pray for them and hope they remember us with love and then house parents in an emergency shelter and again here in Florida for a time. And then we made the tough decision to leave child care…we loved working with most of the children, it was very difficult with some of them but after dealing with a ton of verbal and emotional abuse from some of the older boys we decided it was time to find something else. So without much thinking, a lot of reacting and feeling like we didn’t have many choices we quit our jobs at AKP. Ron returned to Amazon here in Florida.

We have so enjoyed our time in Florida, being close to our son Brandon and his family, finding a church that we enjoyed and learning from Pastor Fred to keep seeking the Lord through everything we faced. And we have faced a few things that were unexpected…Ron having a heart attack right before Thanksgiving, me (Ali) spending Christmas in the hospital with heart and GERD issues, Ron reacting to his new medications and spending another 24 hours in the hospital and struggling to make ends meet…many people

prayed for us, blessed us in ways we could never imagine and us praying for guidance, seeking counsel from friends and praying and seeking the Lord’s will for us, for what and where we should be for the next season. And Ron kept saying “Keep trusting God, He hasn’t failed us yet and there is no reason why He will now.”

And once again, among all of my anxiety and yet holding on to God’s promises that

and taking each day, moment by moment and trusting and tackling the elephant one bite at a time, seeking God’s plan for us, and trusting some more and letting go of what my/our wants our God opens doors!!!

And He has done that. After talking with people in Vermont, Iowa, Alabama and South Carolina, we have accepted positions at Camp Sparrow RV Park in Gaffney, SC. Yes we are excited for another new adventure and yet sad to be moving away from our son and his family here in Florida. But in our sadness, we celebrate all the fun times we have had the past few months being with our grandsons, spending holidays together and for this season of our lives!!!

And we can’t wait to see what the next chapter involves!!!

God is Faithful and Trustworthy ~ Lenten Day 14

It’s been a few days of craziness for us ~ I was due to return from Oregon on 3/16, changed my flight to 3/13 – leave Portland at 2:00p arrive in Tampa at 11:55p…forgot to figure in

and then arriving at the airport find out my flight to DFW won’t arrive in time for my connection to Tampa so I got rerouted including two 4.5 hr layovers!!! Oh my goodness!!! So I called Ron ~ honey you get to sleep tonight…just get up at 4:00a to pick me up at 6:00a…sent a text at Midnight…nope flight not due in until 6:30a so no need to get up quite so early!!! Finally arrived, got my luggage (one of which was a broken suitcase ~ decided it was 12 years old, not worth it to file a claim plus too dang tired to worry about it). Crawled into my bed at 7:30a!! Sleep never felt so good!!!

I am thankful that the Lord provided me the opportunity to help out a friend and be reminded over and over again how He faithfully provides for his children.

In one of my devotions this morning I am reminded how “the Bible doesn’t ask us to explain why things happen but to remember how God’s wisdom and power have been at work, even long before you or me. This keeps us from interpreting present circumstances hastily, limiting grace to timelines, or cramming the darker mysteries of life into bright, tidy spiritual boxes. Our times are in his hand. Now is the time for seeking his care and trusting that when this season, too, is past, it will be revealed among the ranks of God’s mighty history with his people, a page in the calendar year of God’s time.

Ecclesiastes tells us

Before making the trip to Oregon, Ron told me multiple times “Maybe you aren’t working right now so you can be available to help our friend.” We have had over 80K air miles just sitting there ~ enough to cover my flights and I could be unemployed in Oregon as well as in Florida…so off I went. I was glad to be there to assist with family and health issues, get things in a manageable form and see my sweet ocean!! As most of you know, the ocean is my happy place!!!

And in Pacific Northwest fashion I was sent back to Florida in the midst of a storm!!!

As I reflect on Ecclesiastes as our lives are filled with different seasons I reflect back on my past…as a young wife, then young mom, losing a child when I was just a child, mom of rambunctious toddlers and teenagers who made me question my ability as a parent, as an adult dealing with past emotional trauma of abuse of every kind imaginable, as an adult child of alcoholics and dealing with their lives and death and how their lives affected my life in so many ways.

I can see how the Lord was with me, even when I didn’t see or feel Him!!! The hard things I have dealt with have led me to be able to help others…minister to those who are watching a baby pass away before their eyes, losing a teenager who had their whole life ahead of them, listening as someone sat by their parents bedside saying goodbye, being there to welcome the birth of a healthy child, celebrating graduations from high school and college, sending our loved ones to a foreign country to fight battles no one understands. So many things…that we want to question, wonder the why and how and yet God reminds us over and over that he is our refuge and strength ~ in Psalm 63

In verse 1, the psalmist cries, “My soul thirsts for you,” and God is our sanctuary. In verse 5 we hear, “My soul is satisfied,” and God’s promise is abundant. In verse 8, “My soul clings to you,” and God is our refuge.  God is holding us up and piecing us together one day at a time 

One day at a time, one step at a time, one minute or hour at a time ~ that’s how God is…He is with us every step we take, every decision we make even when we don’t understand or know what to do…and that’s where our (my) trust in God comes from trusting even in difficult times.

Something I have shared a lot in the past few days has been

And that is how we should face each day,

and

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And so Ron and I continue to trust and seek where the Lord wants us to be?

Stay tuned for some news!!

God’s Promises Never Fail ~ Day 11 of Lent

Woke up tired and sore today. Not as bad as some days have been, but definitely my back doesn’t like something BUT God met me once again right where I am!

One of my devotions today talked about how Jesus has felt every emotion that I could possibly imagine, he has been sad, tired, frustrated and also energized, loved and persevered! If God can do all these things and He promises to always be with me and even though today feels like a hard day I can take comfort in knowing I am not alone.

So today, as Ron and I talk about upcoming opportunities and what we want we continue to say “if it’s God’s will we can do ………… “

Another thing I read this morning that spoke to me had to do with Blessings. One devotion stated “blessings are God’s main way of communicating his grace for us.” And to remember that blessings are not just things for us, but also ways we can share God’s love with others. Even as my back is hurting today, if I can focus on others, pray for others, encourage others my aches and pains don’t seem to heavy.

One thing I am working on is changing how I say things to myself…instead of saying things in a negative way I’m trying to change my words into positive…for example I have told myself this morning “even though my back is hurting, I am able to still go for a walk and do the things that I need to do.”

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My question for the day is:
How do you change a negative thought or situation into a positive one?

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I want to close with something that I am very thankful for…
I am thankful for people I have gotten to meet through my blog over the years.
Today I celebrate with another RV’r couple who have always encouraged us in our journey as we travel and work across the country, I celebrate with them that they were able to get a sweet looking truck and can’t wait to see what their new home on wheels will look like!!!

I’m thankful for the encouragement I get when people leave me comments. Some are from people we have met while traveling, met only on Facebook and through our blogs, some we have been able to meet and hug in person and for those who have become our family, some who live this crazy RV life and some who live in one place and share their stability with us! I am just thankful for all those in my life who love and encourage me in so many different ways!!!

Who are you thankful for today?