Friday, January 30, 2015

almost home!

"You observe my travels and my rest;
You are aware of all my ways. 

You have encircled me;
You have placed Your hand on me.

Where can I go to escape Your Spirit?
Where can I flee from Your presence?

If I live at the eastern horizon
or settle at the western limits,
even there Your hand will lead me;
Your right hand will hold onto me."

Psalm 139, excerpts - Holman Christian Standard Bible

It's hard to believe this journey is almost over -- the 3-week road trip across the country.  It's been a long month, but at the same time it seems to have flown by! Every day new places to see and new people to meet, and almost every night a new bed to sleep in.  So, 24 days, 15 states, and more than 4,000 miles later, here we are in Bellingham, Washington.  We and our packed little Honda have made it all the way to the west coast, and in a few minutes we will board a ferry for the last leg of the trip to Alaska.

Coast to coast in our first two months of marriage!
Top: South Carolina, November 2014. Bottom: Oregon, January 2015.

Moments from the trip....

Something that was hard: Extraordinary amounts of socializing, and very little alone time for us as newlyweds, still figuring out marriage while living on the road.

Something that was funny: The Indian hotel owner who started out trying to rip us off, but ended up giving us a discount rate on a suite with a Jacuzzi.

Something that was cool: Seeing parts of our country that I've never seen before, including 6 new states.

Something that was a blessing: Hanging out with several young married couples, which was a fairly new thing for us as a couple. Makes us look forward to doing that more in Juneau. 

Thank you all for following our crazy journey and liking all our pictures on Facebook :-) Please keep us in your prayers on this final leg of the trip, through the waterways of southeast Alaska. I'll try to keep sharing photos! 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Road Trip Update #2

Road Trip Update #2! 

So far we've driven from Tennessee through Virginia, West Virginia, and a corner of Maryland to Pennsylvania, and stayed in Pennsylvania for 6 nights at 3 different houses.  We then drove across Ohio, stopped for lunch with a camp friend there, then continued on to Indiana, where we stayed for 2 nights in 2 different houses.  Leaving Indiana, we drove up to Michigan, and -- thankfully! -- we will be here, in the same house, for 4 nights.  

We have been in a lot of places and talked with a lot of people in the past week and a half.  I'll admit, some days it's totally exhausting.  Being the introverts that Brett and I both are, some days we just want to hide and not socialize with anyone!  But at the same time, it has been really good and interesting to see different places and connect with so many people.  I've been blessed by how gracious and giving all of our hosts have been.  People we know well, and people we hardly know, have opened up their homes to us, cooked us food, let us do our laundry, sat up late talking with us, and prayed for us. God is so good to provide everything we need on this journey, including time outside of our comfort zones :-) 

One of the nights we spent in Pennsylvania was with some friends of ours who were counselors at Echo Ranch my first summer there.  They just got married this past spring and are settled in their adorable little first house.  It was so fun to reconnect with them -- us girls chatting about newlywed life and homemaking, while the guys exchanged hunting stories.  

Another really enjoyable evening was our second night in Indiana, when we had dinner with several of Brett's great-uncles and great-aunts.  What a fun group of people, with so many outrageous and hilarious stories!  We spent a lot of time laughing that night! 

A quick update on our support-raising -- we're currently at 22% of the monthly amount we need to raise.  We spoke at a church in Pennsylvania last Sunday, who took up a wonderful offering for us, and we will be speaking here at a church in Michigan this coming Sunday.  Most of the support, though, has come from individuals who love us and believe in the ministry -- what a huge blessing!!  

I just gave our support-raising website a makeover today, so check it out!

Enjoy the day, wherever you are, and stay warm! :-)

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Day One.

The northward journey has begun.

I’ll be honest – the past 7 ½ weeks since we got married have been a total whirlwind!  We honeymooned, we attended camp staff conferences, and between those two things, we were on the road for a month.  We returned to Tennessee and settled into our first home, which we stayed in together for a total of about three weeks.  We began the process of learning how to live together as husband and wife.  We spent Christmas and New Year with my family.  I spent a couple of weeks sorting, prioritizing, and purging all of my worldly belongings, and yesterday we packed – or more like crammed – all of our things into our little Honda for the move across the country.  We officially moved out of our apartment last night, and this morning we hit the road. 

Tonight we’re at our first stop of many along the journey to Alaska – a relative’s home in Pennsylvania.  We’re taking nearly a month to get back to Juneau, visiting lots of people along the way.  It’s the journey that counts, right?

Yes, it’s been a whirlwind, and it will continue to be for the next few weeks…months…maybe years!  But the whirlwind is full of blessings and good times, too, as well as craziness and exhaustion.  It’s all good. 

Please be praying for us as we travel, and stay tuned here for road trip stories!