Tag Archives: travel

Living in more…

I’m beginning to feel the urgency to live…

 in “MORE.”

And perhaps my definition of more… looks quite different than what you may be expecting from the concept of living in more.

Living in more…

How many of us live pay check to paycheck?

Go about our days like clock work.

Do the same thing day after day after day?

But what if there is more to this life?

What if we have unfulfilled dreams and callings and desires? 

Why not start living in the more?

You see…

More is where the faith is.

More is where the trust is.

More is in the mundane and the simple.

Yet excites us like no other. 

Let’s stop living mediocre lives.

Let’s stop allowing comparison to be the theif of our joy.

Why not live in the more…

We don’t have to look the part, dress the part, blend in with the crowd…

You see…

More is so much different.

Living in more is going against the flow,

Daring to dream,

Looking different,

Standing out in the crowd,

 Living in more calls us to a life of 

generous giving,

intentional serving,

Being bold, brave and courageous.

Living in more calls us to live with less but to love much more. 

It calls us to give up and sacrifice, but to walk in abundance.

Strip yourself from all that entangles you… walk out on a limb… and step forward in a sold out life of MORE! 

A recent living in more opportunity was spent with my daughter at a tulip garden. This day was an ordinary, drizzly Sunday… she and I actually had a little “disagreement” earlier that day… and instead of allowing the day to be cloudy, rainy and filled with our yucky attitudes… we spontaneously stopped and picked tulips and decided to live in MORE! It changed our gloomy day and gloomy hearts and filled our souls with sunshine and beauty. 

We love finding fun little places to visit during our travels… and love meeting people and taking the time to hear their stories too. 

If you are in the Dallas area near Springtime, I highly recommend visiting Texas Tulips in Pilot Point, TX. Check their website first to make sure the tulips are still in bloom though. The tulips are beautiful and we stopped and chatted a bit with the owner’s wife and heard her story of their family moving to the states several years ago from Holland, as this was her husbands dream since he was a little boy. This family chose to “live in more.” They had a dream and made it a reality! He was a master tulip gardener in Holland and moved to Texas to open one of the few tulip gardens in the U.S. 

Lovely family and fabulous visit. Here’s a little photo of the owner and my daughter. 

https://texas-tulips.com//

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Mama’s keep praying

I have been praying for my first born on a deeper level over the past several months. 

He turned 12 on 05.05.05 (cool birthdate, right?) and I have been praying for him to grow personally in his walk with the Lord. Obviously, as parents we do all we can to point all of our children to Christ.  We have family devotional time, bible time with roadschool and we pray at night and take them to church…

but I’m developing a burden to visually observe my preteen grow deeper on his own… to crave that personal relationship with God and not just be a druggy… “drugged to church lol”

And mama’s if that is your heart cry for your children… keep praying…

 Keep believing…

Keep approaching  the throne of grace with much confidence over your treasures. 

I have been praying and lately… I have seen first hand the Lord at work in my little man. 

Last month there was an opportunity for a baseball game… it was a scrimmage and not a real game and my husband encouraged the boys to go for extra practice… and my son said no. 

You see, going to baseball would mean missing church and my son didn’t want to miss church. I love that he picked Jesus over baseball… and trust me, my boy LOVES baseball… but it’s clear that his love for Jesus is even greater. 

Then a few weeks ago, I noticed he had been carrying around a little red bible in his pocket. He showed it to me and said he had been carrying it around because it always brings comfort and strength. Hello! I can learn a thing or two from him! That was for sure a “melt my heart” moment.

In His youth class at church, the leaders encouraged the boys to write down a verse and prayer request each day and turn them in the following week… now my son is a rule follower and it didn’t surprise me that he did this requested task… but I was absolutely amazed at his dedication each day to read the Word on his own and pray.  

I love what I am seeing the Lord do in and through my boy. I am honored to be his mom. I will continue to pray, continue to trust and continue seeing him grow in the Lord and shine the light of Christ! 

Mamas… be encouraged! 

Keep doing what you are doing to point your babies to the Lord. 

Even the quiet ones… like my Jonah… are watching. 

Don’t quit praying…

Don’t give up…

Keep looking like Jesus…

Continue leading them to Jesus and you will see the fruit of your labor!!! 

And since my fella just turned 12… I figured I’d show you a few pics of him over the years and the fun time we had celebrating him turning 12.

As you probably know, we travel the US in an RV and actual parties are rare these days for our kids birthdays because it is unusual for us to be around family and friends during our travels… well this year we happened to meet 2 precious traveling families like ourselves and we had enough kids between us to have a party… so Jonah picked to go to an indoor trampoline center to celebrate turning 12. 
1 John 3:1: “how great is the love the Lord has lavished on us that we shall be called children of God.” 



Every moment being your mom has been a blessing Jonah! I couldn’t have asked for a better first born son.

And a few pics of his 12th birthday…

Wonderfully made…

Psalm 139 is one of my most favorite Psalms. 

I remember memorizing it with a Bible study group I was a part of in college.

But I absolutely began to hold it near and dear to my heart when I was pregnant with my second child, Jacob Avery. 

I claimed a particular scripture over each of my children while they were in my womb and Psalm 139:14 was the one the Lord impressed upon my heart for my Jacob.

He turned 10 this past year and I can’t even believe he is now double digits! My, oh my how time flies! I try and blog around my kiddos birthdays but Nov and Dec were very crazy travel months for our family and I have yet to blog about my little 10 year old sweetie. 

I just love him to pieces. He has the biggest heart! He loves Jesus something fierce… and wears a cross necklace around his neck daily! He is strong, tough and athletic. He doesn’t conform to the pattern of this world… he is true to his cowboy ways… rather we are in NYC, Boston, Wyoming, Colorado or Texas… you will find him sticking with his cowboy attire regardless of the way others around him dress. We could all learn a thing or two from that example!


We happened to be in Georgia during the time of his birthday so we turned his celebration into a birthday week and had lots of fun with family and friends throughout the week. 

And we are really all about experiences instead of things for gifts around here since there are 6 of us and we live in a tiny space. So…. his favorite team, the Georgia Bulldogs, just happened to play on the day of his actual birthday so we snagged some tix and surprised him with a day trip to Athens! Go Dawgs!!

Prior to our trip to the South, our traveling life landed us 4 months in Colorado and it was amazing! While there we had the opportunity to visit the Great Sand Dunes National Park!


We actually went for my hubbys birthday! Again, experiences not things. Sand galore!!!! We had a blast! 


One of my favorite memories there was when my son mentioned that all of this sand reminded him of the verse in Psalm 139 where it speaks of the Lord’s thoughts towards us outnumbering the grains of sand. 


Psalm 139:1-18:

“You have searched me, Lord, 

and you know me. 

You know when I sit and when I rise;

 you perceive my thoughts from afar. 

You discern my going out and my lying down;

 you are familiar with all my ways.

Before a word is on my tongue

    you, Lord, know it completely.

You hem me in behind and before,

    and you lay your hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,

    too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit?

    Where can I flee from your presence?

If I go up to the heavens, you are there;

    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

If I rise on the wings of the dawn,

    if I settle on the far side of the sea,

even there your hand will guide me,

    your right hand will hold me fast.

If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me

    and the light become night around me,”

even the darkness will not be dark to you;

    the night will shine like the day,

    for darkness is as light to you.

For you created my inmost being;

    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

    your works are wonderful,

    I know that full well.

My frame was not hidden from you

    when I was made in the secret place,

    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.

Your eyes saw my unformed body;

    all the days ordained for me were written in your book

    before one of them came to be.

How precious to me are your thoughts, God!

    How vast is the sum of them!

Were I to count them,

    they would outnumber the grains of sand—

    when I awake, I am still with you.” 

Yes! I love when scripture clicks for them and they apply to every day life! The word of God really is live and active! 


The Lord has a beautiful story already written for each of our lives. From conception to death… He has a plan! 

I wanted to end this post with a little art I doodled in my journaling Bible on Psalm 139. 

My daughter and I were playing a game of Old Maid and loved the characters on the cards so much that we decided to draw them! 

I picked a boy and a girl to represent my 4 arrows! I praise the Lord for these 4. They are absolutely amazing gifts the Lord has entrusted to me and my hubby. 

Brown eyed girl

I can’t believe I have my very own brown eyed girl. 

For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a mommy… my desire was to have four boys and one girl, to be exact. 


And the Lord saw fit to just about fill my quiver with my ❤️ desire. Psalm 37:4

I have three amazing boys and one phenomenal little girl. I also have a tiny treasure in Heaven… So we must wait til we are all united to find out if that little arrow is a boy or girl.

My desire to have only one daughter was quite a selfish one, if I’m honest. 

I didn’t want to have to share.

I didn’t want to have to shop, or dine or vacation with more than one darling daughter. 

I didn’t want to have to watch her and her sister grow up and do things without me…

So selfishly, I wanted just one little girl to have for me, just me. 

Now that makes me sounds just plain rude, doesn’t it? And obviously I would have been estatic with a house full of girls… And obviously, I think it’s lovely and grand for those of you who have more than one daughter. Girls are amazing! And now that I have one of my very own… I wouldn’t mind having an entire slew of them (until it was time to pay for those weddings 😉).  Being a girl mom is the best! 

I can still hear the words “it’s a girl” ringing loud and clear in my ears from the doctor who helped bring her into this world.  From the moment the delivery nurse laid my beautiful one in my arms… I was smitten with pink, frills and bows. 

I have my very own brown eyed girl. With the exception of those eyes… She is my mini me! Life is so fun with her in it! She is 50% girlie girl and 50% tomboy just like her mama. She is an absolute delight and today we celebrate our sweet Emma Rose turning 8! 

Her heart is one of gold. She is kind and tender and will be the first one to cry if a sad movie is on or one of her siblings is being disciplined. 

And she has made my heart wide open to the desire to bring other little children into our home. Our family desires to open a home for foster children/orphan care in the future and I know she will be on the front lines of making this ministry a success.

A few weeks ago, our traveling family had the blessing of hearing an international choir sing at the church we were attending in Colorado. After the concert, you could sign up to sponsor a child from a third world country through Compassion International. I asked Emma Rose to pray and pick out the child the Lord impressed upon her heart. She was very tendered to this one particular little girl named Norley from Ecuador.

I filled out the forms, gave my initial donation, and this little girl became our sponsored child. 

The moment Emma Rose found out that we were not bringing this little one home with us she was devastated. With tears in her eyes, she exclaimed “but mama, I thought she was coming home with us tonight. I didn’t know how we would fit her in our camper, but I was ready to share my bunk with her.” 

Such a precious heart! Emma Rose, you never know what God has in store. He just might bring little Norley to our home one day… And if not Norley,  I assure you He will one day fill our home with lots of giggles and laughter from other sweet little girls that He desires us to open our doors to when the time is just right to open our desired ministry. 

And if your heart wasn’t already big enough… Just last week you told me you wanted to gather all of your money, and any money you received for your birthday to buy gifts for children in the U.S. and other countries who aren’t as blessed. You shine the light of Jesus better than anyone I know (Matthew 5:16)!

Happy birthday darling daughter. You love big and we adore you! May blessings upon blessings be bestowed upon our brown eyed beauty! 

Psalm 37:4 is the verse I have claimed over you since the moment I knew you were in my womb…

“Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” 




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.