I'm getting way thrilled, to say the least, about this wild journey ahead we've fittingly coined "The long way home" (seems to be the best way to describe it as we'll be finding our next home somewhere along the way.) Read here. Or watch the YouTube video here.
(I wrote this a few days ago while nearing the end of our little Texas Spring Break adventure…read on.)
Talk about a long way home....Last Thursday evening about 5pm...after a brief discussion of what we'd do on our upcoming Spring Break we decided to load up the Land Rover and set our sails for Texas (16 hours away) to visit family and friends. Within literally 2 hours of packing we were on our way.
You see, getting rid of everything you own (for the journey ahead) just isn't possible without saving some powerfully sentimental stuff. Hence the reason I loaded our car to the max....to deliver the goods to my sister, Amanda. Thankfully she said she would store anything we wanted while we're on this year long journey. Included in my loaded down Rover: Art, china, jewelry, photos, riding boots, saddle, (need to sell it in Texas), silver, books, shells, a vintage globe and my boys' giant growth chart I made. Barely did I find a corner to stuff the luggage at the last minute (a slight exaggeration I'm sure).
A twelve-hour drive to Dallas ... straight through the night!!!!. All without mentioning a word to his family (or mine for that matter)....and not one friend did we tell we were coming.
After staying a day and night at my Aunt and Uncle's house (they're always uber hospitable) in Dallas we left on a four hour trip to Austin (actually, Buda, just south of weird).
To say our family was a little taken aback by our sudden surprise visit would be a massive understatement.
We literally just walked through the door unannounced.
Once the shock dissipated I then headed over to see my best friend (all of which I planned on Facebook Live-ing until I chickened out at the last minute) and blew her mind.
We were both overflowing with JOY!!!! It had been a really long time since we've been home. I also surprised a dear friend with her absolute favorite work of art I owned.....which actually made it ON Facebook live.....check it out here on the Facebook link.
|my bestie....Vintage....love her!|
Finally, I find myself lying on the couch ... my sisters new home ... 1:30 AM ... San Antonio .... nestled on top of a giant hill in the middle of a cozy cul de sac overlooking the city skyline. Captivating views which we fully experienced earlier tonight as my sister, Amanda, took Aunt Sunday and I on a walk around her amazing neighborhood.
|middle of the night walk with these two lovies|
If I may take you on a slight detour from our vacation experience discussion: Ever since our walk in what felt like the woods tonight, I keep recalling random hiking experiences. You may already be aware, I used to be super adventurous with quite a few memories involving hiking...occasionally in some sort of wacky non-hiking shoes like cowboy boots, flip-flops, mules, barefoot and even a few what-was-I-thinking moments in heels...... I suppose my motto was, when you see an opportunity to explore new spaces you just take it!
Hiking at all ages, all terrains, all temperatures, and altitudes …
I found myself constantly exploring the great outdoors.
Now come back with me to the present moment…..I command my mind to focus on the now....quiet house...middle of the night. (check out our FB Live giving you a tutorial on washing your face with coconut oil...interesting)
Some things came up tonight while having a deep conversation with my sister, after everyone went on to bed. Come to find out we're both going through similar situations; experiencing the same frustrations, growth and failures. So while I’m listening to her lament I was quietly praying for wisdom in what to say.
I've been praying for many years for the gifts of wisdom and knowledge. Tonight I experienced God speaking to both of us through powerfully pointed words that somehow came from my mouth. My mouth. Shocking!
I mean it was just last night …my honey and I were out with friends in Buda …chatting through some deep stuff with an old friend... where my words were far less eloquent and impactful. I found, in the moment, that my level of thinking and ability to articulate those thoughts and feelings were not lining up or playing well together.
So basically I flopped!
Then tonight all of a sudden words and ideas started flowing :: the advice that I was giving felt God breathed. Why could I not speak with the right words about 26 hours ago to my searching and doubtful friend?
The answer to my question may never be revealed but I will say that being used by God to speak profound words of life in a situation is quite exhilarating. I’m both humbled and honored.
Now is neither the time nor the place to open wide the wounds my sis and I are only now beginning to come to grips with, repent of, forgive for and heal from. In time I will share our story but for now can I turn the conversation back to the earlier randomness of a side note?
… Hiking ...
This blog post may or may not be scattered and slightly allusive but ask yourself "how does my brain work after days of minimal sleep and loads of over stimulation?"
Anyway, I'll leave you with this: a hiking story.
14 miles total.
We left knowing we only had about 4.5 hours of daylight ... we thought it might be a tough run until the park ranger informed us there was NO WAY we could make it....then we just saw ourselves a challenge.
He informed us that some of the trail was straight up. And he even heard of rescue crews taking as much as 7 hours top to bottom.
He had no idea who he was talking to! With no flashlight, pocket knife, proper hiking boots or tent : we set out with a bottle of water, sunflower seeds, and a small packed lunch . . . we began the gradual ascent at the pace of 5k speed walkers (I'm certain of this fact).
Along the trek, we kept passing people left, right, and center..... all the while chomping on about 396 sunflower seeds leaving a sizable trail of shells behind us. I will attest to the fact that the sunflower seed shell tasting, destruction, consumption, and ejection process is an art form that Melissa and I have bravely mastered. It’s only downfall, carrying a conversation was next to impossible at the rate of speed in which we were processing said seeds.
We were eating up some major ground and loving life, In our own unique way. I heard a man comment as we slipped by on a really tight turn "man you girls don't stop to smell the roses, do ya?." I quickly replied with a heavy southern drawl "we ain't got no time".
We got to the top in record time and even carved out some time for a mini lunch break. We ate our sandwiches dangling our legs off the 7500 foot drop off (maybe 3,000 or even 10,000 feet who can remember) with no rail of any kind….
As we sat there in awe, the magnitude of this one of a kind experience began setting in. We felt like we were on top of the world. We took it all in in total silence for what seemed like ages. (15 minutes). Time...reflection…peace.
I came to a deep revelation that every adventure has it’s own rhythm and flow. Top speed or snail pace. Smelling roses or blazing trails. Stopping for a picture or simply allowing a thoughtful glance in the direction of new found beauty.
We’re always creating memories.
When we finally and reluctantly began our descent it dawned on us that the sun was setting fast. No time to stop and photograph the deer standing 2 feet from the trail....we were on a mission, my friends. (Ask me one day the beginning of this camping adventure story......WILD)
Practically sprinting down the mountain, trying to beat the sun, we passed a whole bunch of people we passed on the way up. On more than one occasion we heard whispers as we passed "weren't those the girls who passed us a ways back?” “how are they already coming back down?"
Sweaty and out of breath with pain shooting through each of my improperly shod feet, we finally made it back to the rangers staition where he proceeded to bicker with us....he insisted there was no way possible we hiked the entire trail that fast and claim to have made time for lunch.
The next day we couldn't walk!!!!!
Now…..I must get some sleep.
Good night, or rather,
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