My last day of work was Friday September 2nd and it was a strange feeling walking out of the office at the end of the day. I didn’t realize the significance of the timing as it coincided with Labor Day weekend. Labor Day is a holiday given to have a day of rest from work and to celebrate all that the American Workers have accomplished. Looking back, I felt like the Lord was saying to me that I am taking a rest from my ‘labors’ so that He could further accomplish a good work in me. I know that there is a negative stigma with doing this kind of thing, especially in America, and yet I know the timing is right despite the obstacles. –
We gave ourselves a week for the tedious task of packing up the essential belongings and cleaning up the house for renters; it was exhausting. Not to mention all of the plans we made to connect with friends and family before leaving. It was a very emotional week for us but also rewarding as we were blessed by so many people. I love how the Lord shows up in unexpected ways! The prayer that we were able to receive from our family, church body, and friends was very encouraging!
By 9:30pm on Thursday, September 8th, , we finally departed from our house and drove through the night to San Bernardino. The following morning Aimee and I were able to leave the girls with her parents so that we could drive down to San Diego to celebrate our 8-year anniversary. The actual day was August 16th but we did not have time in our schedule to get away then. It was a great ‘escape’ together and I am so grateful that we made it to the 8-year mark! The number eight means new beginnings and starting this journey felt like the beginning of a new chapter for us.
After spending time with family in San Diego and Los Angeles we officially headed east on Tuesday, September 13th. Our first stop was to Joshua Tree National Park, it was a fun stop with the girls as we looked to see the beauty in the desert. From there (Indio, CA) we drove to Flagstaff, Arizona and listened to some of Charlottes Web and Winnie the Pooh Audio books to keep us entertained along the way; as well as a stop in Seligman off Route 66. We were able to spend a day at The Grand Canyon and made memories that will last forever. All of the views were breathtaking and we all learned a lot. On our way out from there we hit up Walnut Canyon National Park, Meteor Crater and the Petrified Forest National Park. These were great destinations to include in Liberty’s new homeschooling journey and we thoroughly enjoyed the unique southwest desert landscape.
In the midst of our ‘mostly’ planned out road trip the Lord set us up with A DIVINE APPOINTMENT! We were on the tail end of our stretch and I was holding out to stop for as long as I could. I knew we were over due, but I just kept going for some reason. Then I exited and pulled up to a Flying J. Aimee got out and picked us up some coffee and then we were back in the car and started driving back to the interstate. Before we fully exited the entrance, I saw three white vans pulling in and the driver of one looked like someone I knew. I yelled at Aimee and said, ‘ hey I think that was The Call team!’ I flipped around and sure enough it was! A lot of them were the same ones that stayed with us back in February when we had a Pre-Call Rally in Tuolumne City. It was the most random place to stop in the middle of nowhere and yet God had something for us there. Aimee and I got out as the kids were sleeping in the van and we had the whole team (SAFA – Spiritual Air Force Academy) circle around us and pray. This was so encouraging and it felt like God was letting us know that we were on the right path.
We rolled in to New Mexico and waves of old memories started flooding my mind. It had been too long since my last visit. We were welcomed to Albuquerque by beautiful smiles and hugs as we entered one of my most cherished places. It was the very place where the Lord had brought me to get my life back together. In a nutshell it was: family, community, Holy Spirit, Baptism and proposal. It was wonderful to catch up and chat with Liesa our gracious host who has now turned much of the living area into an artsy and creative AIR BNB. My favorite part was taking the girls with us on a walk through of what we did the day that I proposed to Aimee. We enjoyed a breakfast burrito at Frontiers and then a trip to the Rio Grande. It was a great stop and I know we will be back there soon!
Our time in Albuquerque was relaxing but alas we had to face, THE DREADED 12. Yes, there was a 12 hour stretch from ABQ,NM to KC,MO and it was rather flat and…long. More audio books and worship songs please! The girls did extremely well and we did not have any surprise potty stops! I guess the fun part was passing through NM, TX, OK, KS and MO all in one day. By the time we arrived at the International House of Prayer, it was 12:30 AM. Of course we drove straight there thinking we would go in to the Prayer Room… because you know, it’s going 24/7! However, we were exhausted and thought it best to go to our Kansas City House (as Adessa puts it) to get some sleep. We had finally made it to our destination and it just so happened to be the 17th year anniversary of IHOPKC.
Here is a short video of some road trip footage: https://goo.gl/photos/ynXvtgdU4LYw2ZeJA (click link)
SOUNDTRACK SONG: Another Wave – Lindy Conant Feat Chloe Brennt)
Thanks for tuning in to our Journey! We will be sharing more soon about what we are doing out here – and give you a look at our day to day. In the mean time check out this clip from one of the first prayer room sets we sat in on (You might be able to spot Aimee and LIberty). God Bless!