A blessing in Cheyenne…

I love the idea of community. 

The book of Acts explains in great detail the type of community I long for. 

When Peter addressed the crowd of followers on the day of Pentacost, 3,000 believers were added on that day… Talk about a mega church plant overnight!

3K heard the Word, believed and decided to be followers of Christ. Now that’s church.  The number was astounding… But while studying the birth of the Christian church from the book of Acts, what filled me with joy more than the grand number was the huge sense of community. 

Acts 2:42-47: “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles.
They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. 

In the beginning, the idea of community was established. It’s such a beautiful thing. I have always been intrigued by other cultures and their sense of community. During my years as  a pediatric oncology nurse, I had the blessing to really get to know several Hispanic families as I cared for their sick little ones.  They always had a large family and community to help them during thier time of need. 

And now that we are a traveling family, we have had the opportunity to engage in many various communities across the USA. I am forever grateful for this season in our lives. Although community looks different for us now that we travel, perhaps we aren’t able to engage in the same community on a daily basis, we are blessed to meet so many people throughout the country and establish community whether we are. 

You may have read this before in a previous blog or on social media, but one thing I am constantly praying over our family is that we live out Matthew 5:16 (shine His light) everywhere we go and that we have open hearts and open hands. I never want us to miss an opportunity to be a blessing or to be blessed. If our heart and hands are constantly open, the Lord is able to work in our midst and allow us to shine His light to every community we embark upon. 

Having this mindset has allowed us to invite a homeless man, Mr. Jack to a Chris Tomlin album release party at our church in Atlanta and watch as he worshipped the Lord with tears streaming down his face. 

We have been able to buy dinners for people whom we felt we needed to in a restaurant, we have been able to pour the love of Jesus to other families and invite kids to church that we have met at the campsites.  My daughter and I even had the opportunity to lead a precious little one to Christ! Open hearts and open hands… Community! Community can happen wherever you are planted, rather you have a large tribe or a small one and regardless of the amount of time you have invested into an area. 

Last month, our family drove to Cheyenne, Wyoming to spend a day at Frontier Days.

I highly recommend this fun event if you are in the area next July. 

And even there, we desired to live out Matthew 5:16 with open hearts and open hands. Except this time… Instead of striving to bless others… We were blessed beyond measure…

  
This beautiful little one filled my heart with such JOY! 

As I was ordering my Indian taco (because everyone raved about the Indian tacos at Frontier days… And it did not disappoint), this little sweetie came up to me and said “I like your necklace. I like your shirt and hair and jeans and shoes.” Wow! Talk about making someone feel good. Then she goes on to say, “Girl, you are just gorg…e…ous!” With the gorgeous drawn out and exaggerated. I thanked her, we giggled a bit and I begged her to come home with me for my daily dose of much needed encouragement. 

Throughout the day, we continued to encounter this precious one and she would always say to her mom, “Look! There’s my best friend!” She was such a doll.  When we met once again near the petting zoo and horse stables, I had the best conversation with her and her mom about being a blessing to others. She for sure blessed my socks off and filled my love tank that day with all of her compliments.  I was able to share Psalm 139 (being fearfully and wonderfully made) with her and explained how that scripture was speaking of her. As I walked away from this precious one, after numerous encounters throughout the day, my heart was filled with JOY!

We had many other beautiful encounters like this one during our day at Frontier Days. I will share those a little later in another blog post. 

I love that church can happen anywhere you are.  As followers of Christ, we are church… And church can even happen in the middle of Frontier Days in the middle of Cheyenne, Wyoming! 

Here are a few pics from our fun day…

   
    
    
    
 

Overcoming fears…

From the moment he was old enough to be afraid, my first born had fears.  

When he was 2 and in preschool, he would go to the directors office when his preschool teacher vacuumed after lunch because he was afraid of the loud noise.

When someone pulled the fire alarm at church and his children’s class didn’t follow procedure like he had been taught (to go outside), a fear of fires was born in him. 

When we had to grab the children and head to the basement in the middle of the night because of a tornado warning, a fear of storms was created. 

Fears

We all have them

We can’t deny them

And the way our current world seems to be filled with such darkness on most days, fears are legit and understandable.

But

Can we allow them to lord over us? 

Can we use them as a crutch to never enjoy life to the fullest? 

Can we hide and live in fear forever?

Is that what God wants for us? 

Did God create us to fear the things of this world? 

NO! 

Were we made for so much more? 

Does God tell us to fear Him and nothing else? 

Does God have greater plans for our lives than to succumb to our fears? 

YES! 

  This is a picture of our family at the very top of Pike’s Peak. And my son… My first born who has many fears… With the fear of heights being one of those… Is in the photo with us! What an astounding accomplishment! We were so proud of him to come with us as we traveled the 14K feet in elevation and the fact that he even got out of the truck and walked around by choice, was a miracle in itself. 

    

Jonah, we are so proud of you! 

He has come so far! Not only has he overcome his fear of loud noises, fires and heights… He is daily growing in the Lord and is trusting His life with the Creator of the Heavens and Earth! 

The Lord has big plans for my boy’s life! I love watching the Lord pursue him and draw him unto Himself.

Just this past Winter, we saw a first hand glimpse of God doing just that. 

We were visiting my husbands parents and my best friend in Nashville and spent a day exploring downtown Franklin, TN. 

We had a beautiful encounter with God in this store called Philanthropy. God was showing off for my son and it was wonderful for this mama to have a front row seat. 

When we walked into the store, Jonah noticed this metal cross. And without a doubt in my mind, and regardless the cost, I knew we had to buy it for him. 

You see, he is somewhat of a private individual… And like many men, his walk with the Lord is somewhat private. Now my second born son, we call him “preacher Jake” because he has proudly worn a cross necklace for years and is quick to want to purchase a cross or anything else that displays his faith in Jesus. 

Jonah, on the other hand is more private. We know he loves the Lord and has a personal relationship with Jesus, but he isn’t as quick to “display” it. 

So when he eyed this cross in Philanthropy, carried it around the store, and continuously spoke of how fond he was of it… We knew we would be purchasing it. 

During our time in the store, we had a lovely conversation with a precious woman who worked there, and spent a few minutes writing prayer requests on their prayer wall.

   

After spending time in the store, my husband went to the register to pay for the cross for my son Jonah. And that was the moment we witnessed the Lord show off for my son. The precious lady that we spent so much time talking with, was also the cashier, and she told us, she felt as if the Lord wanted her to purchase this cross for our family. 

Wow! I was in tears! She had no idea the fears my son carried with him, the shyness of his heart and that his wanting this cross was such a big deal. She didn’t know, but God did! God loves my son so much and through this cross displayed His love!  

(Below is a photo of Jonah and the sweet woman who paid for his cross). 

  

And to this day, my son has this special cross displayed over his bunk in our camper. It is a beautiful reminder of Gods love and perfect plan for each of our lives! 

  
Jesus paid it all…

He paid it all so that we won’t have to 

Worry

Doubt

Live in anxiety

Have fear

Jesus paid it all…

So that we can be set free

Walk in faith

Trust and obey

And just like my son on that beautiful afternoon on top of Pike’s Peak…

Jesus paid it all so that we all can be an

OVERCOMER! 

  

Thank you Jesus for creating my son to be an overcomer so that he can enjoy the beautiful display of your splendor! 

And for your enjoyment, here are a few pics from our drive up Pikes Peak… 

  
    
    
   
  

Is our choice to homeschool ruining our kids lives?

“You have HOW many kids?”

“Really, and they are ALL yours?”

“You know what causes this don’t you?”

“And you homeschool?”

“Seriously, they aren’t gonna be socialized if they aren’t in real school.”

“How long do you plan on homeschooling?”

“There’s no way you can continue this when they get to high school.”

“You did what??”

“Are you crazy? You rented out your home and now travel in a home on wheels?”

“What about all of your things? You need your stuff.”

“And what about the kids toys? I just feel so bad for them without all of their toys.”

“So you mean to tell me you roadschool? Like you travel the US while teaching your children?”

“And you chose this life? Like it wasn’t just bad luck that you and your family ended up this way?”

“No way girl. Not me. I wouldn’t want your life. You must be a much better mom and wife than I am because I certainly wouldn’t say yes to what you have said yes to.”

Those are real statements that I have had spoken over me. True story.  

But thankfully, those words have never come from those who mean the most to us; from those who are most important in our lives. Our friends and family have always applauded us, cheered for us, encouraged us and rallied us along during all of our “crazy” choices to have more than the traditional 2 children, homeschool (and now roadschool) our kids, rent out our 4K sq ft home and trade it for a 4 hundred sq ft home on wheels.  Perhaps some of them have thought some of the above comments but have never acted on them or judged us in any way. And for that, we are grateful. 
Those words may have come from acquaintances and complete strangers… But in reality, the enemy speaks those same thoughts (lies. All lies) over me almost every day. 

The enemy wants me to believe that I am crazy…

That I can’t handle having 4 kids… And the idea to foster/adopt a slew of them one day when we stop traveling is even crazier. 

That I am incapable of homeschooling our children. 

That they are going to grow up dumb and not be able to function in society. 

That I am ruining their lives and future of ever obtaining a college acceptance letter or even a job for that matter.

That I am the worst mom and teacher ever.

That living in a camper is completely insane and that yes, they need their toys and I need more stuff. 

Lies. All lies. 

Because when I scrolled back through my paul6homeschool 2015/16 school year hashtag on IG…

I saw life

I saw love

I saw learning

I saw creativity

I saw smiles

I saw growth

I saw adventure

I saw 4 children creating memories and dreaming dreams that could never be accomplished if we did life any other way. 

These kids have schooled in about 38 States, too many national and State parks to count, numerous museums and aquariums, and tons of libraries.  

Book work? Yes, they did book work. 180 Math lessons to be exact. Yes, they read books and sat through many grammar lessons. Yes, they are up to par in comparison with others in their age group… 

But those things pale in comaparison to the journey and adventures made. Nothing can top going to the top of the Empire State Building, putting their hands on the real Plymouth Rock, studying mammals and wild life at Yellow Stone National Park, being in awe of the Grand Tetons,  doing their copy work down by the river in Colorado, learning all about sea life in Florida, fishing in the Great Lakes or learning all of the US State capitals by actually putting their feet on the ground in those states instead of only staring at a map.

So get behind me Satan. Move over. This mama and her 4 munchkins (along with their hard working daddy) are exactly where God wants us to be. He’s got this! He’s leading the way, guiding our path, and as we lean into Him… We will follow whichever path He has designed for us. We will take the good days with the bad and make lasting memories. 

“You have 4 kids, live in a camper and roadschool by choice?” 

Yes, yes I do. 

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

 Here’s a little glimpse into their homeschool journey this past year.   

    
    
   
So if you are a homeschooling, Roadschooling, unschooling whatever you want to call it schooling mom… Stand strong. Hold your head high. March forward. Press on. And trust the plan God has mapped out for you.

You are strong and courageous.

You are more than conquerors.

You are free from keeping up with the Jones’ and living a cookie cutter life. 

You can be different and look different and go against the norm. 

Stop comparing your life to those around you and stare straight at Jesus, keeping your eyes on Him and He will not let you down. He’s got this. And so do YOU! 

If homeschooling is what God has called you to… Then Go FOR IT!

No. You are not ruining your kids lives… And neither am I. 
Psalm 127.3: “children are a heritage from the Lord. “

Proverbs 22.6: “train a child up in the way he should go… “

Philippians 4.13: “i can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” 

Proverbs 3.5-6: “trust in the Lord with all of your heart…”

Romans 8.37: “we are more than conquers through Him who loves us!” 


Dwell

  

“How lovely is your dwelling place,

    Lord Almighty!

My soul yearns, even faints,

    for the courts of the Lord;

my heart and my flesh cry out

    for the living God.

Even the sparrow has found a home,

    and the swallow a nest for herself,

    where she may have her young—

a place near your altar,

    Lord Almighty, my King and my God.

Blessed are those who dwell in your house;

    they are ever praising you.

Blessed are those whose strength is in you,

    whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.

As they pass through the Valley of Baka,

    they make it a place of springs;

    the autumn rains also cover it with pools.

They go from strength to strength,

    till each appears before God in Zion.

Hear my prayer, Lord God Almighty;

    listen to me, God of Jacob.

Look on our shield, O God;

    look with favor on your anointed one.

Better is one day in your courts

    than a thousand elsewhere;

I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God

    than dwell in the tents of the wicked.

For the Lord God is a sun and shield;

    the Lord bestows favor and honor;

no good thing does he withhold

    from those whose walk is blameless.

Lord Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in you” (Psalm 84).

  

 I can’t even believe this is the majestic view I woke up to outside our camper window this morning. My aunt and uncle have graciously allowed us to park our “home on wheels” on their land in beautiful Colorado until a campsite opens up for us next week. 

We had an adventurous and crazy 4 day drive here from Florida and got here later than we had planned last night due to car problems. All the kiddies are still sleeping, because we are all a little confused with the time change (EST to MST), and I rejoice that I have these few moments to study God’s word and bask in the beauty that surrounds me by looking out this tiny window. 

And this view reminded me of one of my most favorite Psalms. I have come to Psalm 84 on some of my lowest moments and on some of my best days…

and here today… My heart was drawn to it once again as I cannot get over the beautiful picture God has painted right before my eyes. Oh Lord, how lovely is your dwelling place.
I don’t know what your view looks like today, if you are on a mountain high or sitting in the middle of a valley. But my prayer for you is that you find Him wherever you are. 

Find beauty in the change.

Seek Him in the hard.

Praise Him on the mountain top.

Bask in His goodness.

Trust Him with the unknown.

Dwell in His presence today. 

  

In the middle of nowhere Texas

If you are wondering if there really are any good people left in this world. There are.If you are wondering if God really does answer prayer, work miracles, and sometimes answers those prayers in a matter of minutes? He does.

Yesterday was living proof of both statements above. We have been traveling the past 4 days from Jeff’s previous job in Florida to his next assignment in Colorado. 

As we were driving through middle of nowhere TX, like nothing but a bull and an oil rig in sight, our check engine light came on and our car started smoking a little. 😁

Paul6 went into holy hands raised in the air, Lord we need a miracle, kind of praying. 🙏🏼🙌🏻

We were able to pull off the interstate and onto a side road before it completely went kaput. We just so “happened” (coincidence not) to pull behind a family who had pulled over to check their boat trailer. 

And it just so happened that something told the wife of the family that they needed to pull over (coincidence not). God did that for us! 

And it just so happened (coincidence not) the husband of the family works on cars for a living. He took one look and saw it was a heater hose that broke which was causing antifreeze to leak and our car to over heat and smoke. They cut the hose, wrapped it with mechanical tape and cable ties, added antifreeze and water and we were good to go. 

We headed to the next one horse town and are now at an auto parts store to get a better hose… And little did we know, the family followed us the entire way and the husband is now helping Jeff work on the Yukon at the parts store. 

    
Yes. There are good people in the world and God still answers prayers. He worked a miracle right before our eyes today and what a testimony of Gods provision and protection for our kids to witness. Thank you Jesus for Mr. Cody from TX. May you bless him for blessing us.

In the name of Jesus, we will make it all the way to Colorado without another problem and then… Will be buying ourselves a truck that is actually capable of pulling this house on wheels of ours. 

 There are so many “ups” to this adventurous life… But I always want to make sure to share those “downs” too. But either way we will choose JoY!

Amd this signed soared high over the auto parts store…

  

And even today, when we had to pull over because the Yukon was overheating, the kids made memories and explored. Regardless the circumstances… We must choose JoY! 

   
   

  

You matter

If you stick around our family for long, you will soon realize that birthdays are a really big deal for our family.

It’s somewhat an oxymoron though because as much as I beg my children to stay their current ages… I celebrate their special day to the extreme.  

2 of our kiddos celebrate their special day in May. Our bookends. 

Jonah’s birthday is May 5 (05.05.05 to be exact)!!! and 

Emory Roman’s is May 24th. 

Now that we travel, we try to make birthdays more about experiences than things. Living in a tiny house leaves us with minimal room for tons of gifts. Experiences are so fun because they create space for forever memories!

This year we purchased Lego Land annual passes for the entire family to celebrate our firstborn. When Jonah found out we would be staying at an RV park only 2 miles from LegoLand… He was beyond excited and asked for a day at Legoland for his birthday. It was only a tad bit more for annual passes, so we enjoyed LL almost every week during our 4 month stay in Florida. While in FL, my mom and aunt came to visit so we enjoyed a day there with them on Jonah’s actual birthday. Two of our close friends and thier families came to LL while we were in FL too so we also enjoyed a fun day with them! We loved LL and highly recommend it to anyone with young children. 

   
   

  

Our littlest guy turned 3 while we were staying in FL so we without a doubt had to take him to Magic Kingdom for his birthday experience! It was a dreamy day and he made it oh so memorable. We all enjoyed Disney through the eyes of a 3 year old. The magic and lights were not only evident throughout the park… But the sparkle in his sweet little eyes as he oohed and aahhed over the characters, shows and parade, will forever be etched in our hearts! What a memorable 3rd birthday for our sweet Emory Roman!  

 

    
 

Birthdays are a big deal to our family! You will for sure be celebrated well and maybe even for an entire month because to us, birthdays are extra special! And more than that… You matter to God. We were each uniquely created to be a beautiful display of the Lord’s splendor. 

Psalm 139 (The Message Bible)

“God, investigate my life;

    get all the facts firsthand.

I’m an open book to you;

    even from a distance, you know what I’m thinking.

You know when I leave and when I get back;

    I’m never out of your sight.

You know everything I’m going to say

    before I start the first sentence.

I look behind me and you’re there,

    then up ahead and you’re there, too

    your reassuring presence, coming and going.

This is too much, too wonderful—

    I can’t take it all in!

Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit?

    to be out of your sight?

If I climb to the sky, you’re there!

    If I go underground, you’re there!

If I flew on morning’s wings

    to the far western horizon,

You’d find me in a minute—

    you’re already there waiting!

Then I said to myself, “Oh, he even sees me in the dark!

    At night I’m immersed in the light!”

It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to you;

    night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to you.

Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;

    you formed me in my mother’s womb.

I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!

    Body and soul, I am marvelously made!

    I worship in adoration—what a creation!

You know me inside and out,

    you know every bone in my body;

You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,

    how I was sculpted from nothing into something.

Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;

    all the stages of my life were spread out before you,

The days of my life all prepared

    before I’d even lived one day.

Your thoughts—how rare, how beautiful!

    God, I’ll never comprehend them!

I couldn’t even begin to count them—

    any more than I could count the sand of the sea.

Oh, let me rise in the morning and live always with you!”
HAPPY MAY BIRTHDAY to our two bookends! 


   

  

  

  

Kragle

My kids loved the Lego movie when it came out several years ago… In the movie, the dad used “Kragle” to hold the Legos together. Kragle was really KRAZY GLUE with several of the letters rubbed off to form the word KRAGLE. Our family still uses that word quite often in jokes and conversation. 

I was reminded of that fun word the other day while studying the Nicene Creed with IF Equip.  (Go to Ifequip.com or get the IF Gathering App for more info and to participate in this wonderful online study). We studied that through Jesus all things were made. Colossians 1 speaks of Jesus holding all things together (verse 17). And my mind automatically went to the thought that Jesus is our Kragle! 

Jesus holds our wounds together

Jesus holds our marriages together

Jesus holds our families together

Jesus holds our emotions together

Jesus holds our hearts together

Jesus holds us

Jesus strengthens us

Jesus forms us

And 

Jesus is our KRAGLE

In Him ALL things hold together! 

  
When you feel like you don’t have it all together, you can’t put things into place on your own and life is shattering around you… Let Jesus be the glue that binds everything together in perfect unity and love! 

If you’ve been around the blog for long, you know we are a traveling family and our current location just so happens to be close enough to LegoLand that we frequent there quite often. So, just because, I thought I would share a few pics from some of our fun days at LegoLand!    

   
    
   

  
 And we even had some good friends from Georgia come to town, so we were able to enjoy Lego Land with them!
          
  

    And speaking of my devotional time and how Jesus is our Kragel… I thought it was only fitting that we ended that day at Legoland… And snuck over to the Legoland hotel lobby. 😉 and I’m so glad we did because a little 3 yo boy from another country fell, busted his head and his poor, frantic mom couldn’t find dad or keep up with her other son.

So glad we snuck over and was in the right place at the right time so I could help out… And thankfully, with just a little “Kragel” the little guy was fine!

  

  

    

And as the saying goes at Lego Land… 

“Everything is awesome!”