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It's Been a While…

It’s been a long time since we posted anything on the blog, so on this final day of 2021, I’ll do a quick catch up, and post some reflections on what we’ve learned/experienced since we’ve been on the road. 

We’ll be spending the New Year (and the next few weeks) near Palm Desert, CA, before we head down to the Baja Peninsula for a few weeks. Hopefully in the New Year, we’ll be posting more frequently on our blog!

We’ve spent the past few months in Arizona, and I’ve discovered how much I love the desert, its stark beauty, its stunning sunrises and sunsets, and the dispersed camping/boondocking that is quite common in the Arizona desert. (I’d never heard of “boondocking” before we launched, but it’s quite popular in Arizona and other parts of the Southwest. Essentially, boondocking is being “off the grid” in your RV (no water, sewer, or electrical hookups, and no RV campground costs!)). Boondocking is strangely liberating. And it’s not just boondocking and the deserts of Arizona that I love; it’s all of the diverse geography of Arizona – the snow covered mountains, the red rocks of Sedona, and the breathtaking views of the Grand Canyon. 

We just left Quartzsite, Arizona, the mecca of boondocking. Since attending a “Full Time RV Families” meet-up in November at White Tank Mountain Regional Park in Arizona, we’ve stayed in touch with a number of these families, boondocking with them around Arizona.  This has been a highlight of our trip.  Our youngest has loved boondocking and the freedom of being in the open desert. 

As I look back over the months since we’ve been on the road, here are some other learnings since we left Minneapolis on August 1st:

*This trip has pushed us far outside of the “bubble” we occupied while living in Minneapolis. (Truly, this deserves a post all of its own!) We’re in relationship with and have become friends with folks very different from us. 

*It’s taken me nearly seven months to really step into this new life, this routine without Sunday sermons, memorial services, pastoral care, fundraising, and so many other pieces of ministry, and to begin to imagine what might be next for me. I feel clear that stepping back from ministry was the right move for me, and ministry was in my bloodstream, so it was hard to imagine what was next. Just in the past month, I have discovered that I have head and heart space to begin to imagine other possibilities for my life and am beginning to actively explore them (more on that, soon!) 

*We’ve discovered that we like to move and travel at a pretty slow pace. Our initial itinerary had us moving too quickly as far as how many miles we would travel and where we’d be at this point in the trip. It turns out “Slow Down” or “Go Slow” was our phrase for 2021.  

*Finally, while there certainly have been difficult moments on this trip, I feel closer to Juliana and our boys than ever before. I’m grateful for that. 

Happy New Year!

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