Category Archives: Faith

10-4 Good Buddy

So as you may know, we’ve been living in Mountain Grove, MO for the last few months. Jacob found a job working for Ready Transport, I haven’t had any luck.

As excited as we are that he has a job, we really miss spending all of our time together. So…we started brainstorming possible job opportunities in which we could work together. The other factor we were considering was finances. Jacob and I are trying to pay off all of our debt as soon as possible, which is made more difficult when only one of us is working.

So, Jacob had an idea one day…what if we were truck drivers? They have team drivers, where two people drive so that the truck can go longer distances in a shorter amount of time (a truck driver is only allowed to drive 11 hours in a 24 hour period), and very often married couples will drive as a team. Most of the negatives associated with trucking have to do with time spent away from home and family – but what about when your family is on the road with you? Well, then your family is just getting paid to travel. We liked the sound of that! So I started doing some research.

In order to drive for a truck company, you have to go to truck driving school. Cost for truck driving school ranges from $1,900 – $3,900, a person. BUT, we saw on some forums that some truck companies will pay for the schooling up front and then you have to agree to work for them for a specified amount of time (13 months). We found one such company and after applying were accepted to their academy 🙂 So off to truck driving school we go…

Speaking of which – our school is located in Phoenix, AZ. We’re excited! We’ll be doing training in Phoenix and then that will become our home base. Our current plan is to buy a camper and live in it the 3 days a month we’ll be home. 🙂 We’re equally excited about this fact. In regards to debt pay off, we’ll have ALL of our debt paid off in less than a year! So far it’s been impossible for me to say that without smiling.

So if anyone has any trucking advice for us, please feel free to give it!

Advertisements

6 Comments

Filed under Faith, Happiness, Life, Moving, Trucking

Choose Your Own Adventure

Last Saturday was a beautiful day and it’d been way too long since Jacob and I had enjoyed the great outdoors so we set out for the river to enjoy some fun in the sun and possibly a small hike.

On the way out we passed this old school-house and thought it was really cute.

Then, Jacob had a surprise for me. With his new job (we told you about that right? … anyway) he does a lot of driving and apparently he’d seen this look out tower.


So we climbed up it! 🙂

It was mighty tall!

And the view was awesome.

Now, you can’t see it in the pictures, and it’d be easy for me to just continue with the story, you none the wiser, but I gotta tell you…I had a death grip on those railings every bit of the way! That tower was TALL and a little shifty, not to mention there were almost no rails blocking you from falling off the sides. NOT KID FRIENDLY! As we were almost all the way back down we thought about counting all the stairs, but neither of us felt like going all the way back up. It could have been laziness, on my part it was mostly terror.

So after the beautiful view from the tower we continued on toward the river.

We made it to the river, which was really pretty and would have been pleasantly peaceful if it weren’t for the huge family off to the left (out of the picture) and the pontoon that showed up right as we got in the water. So with that, we ate our packed lunches and decided to try to find this other camp site Jacob had heard about that’s supposed to be beautiful and free [right in our price range :)] So on we went.

We found the camp site and it was indeed beautiful and free. We drove around the area, planning future camping weekends, and on the way out we saw a sign for a camping trail and excitedly stopped to investigate said trail. As you can see in the picture, we weren’t planning on, or prepared for, a serious hike. We both had swimsuits on, and not much more in the area of protection. So we set off to check it out.

We found the trail head and discovered that either way we went, it was gonna be a long hike. Without giving it a whole lot of thought (definitely not enough thought) we headed out for the shorter of the two trails, the South Loop.

As we began the hike we were really enjoying ourselves. The trail was pretty and there were lots of pretty flowers and vegetation along the way.

So as we’re enjoying ourselves on the hike we get to a part of the trail that’s really overgrown and thorny (not fun) and then shortly after we cleared that, we got to a fork in the road that wasn’t marked at all. Frustrated, we went a little ways down each path and decided to go to the left. (We both realize now that this was the point at which we should have turned back, but of course we didn’t.)

So on we went, still not too worried about the trail. A few hours later we got to a point in the trail with two signs, one for the North Loop (the 10 mile loop we opted out of) and one sign for Roby Lake. Obviously, we were once again frustrated and neither sign was any help. We had already been going for hours so the idea of going back seemed horrible and we went to the left toward Roby Lake, hoping that would be the one.

After a 1/2 mile or so down that path, and two forks, we decide that this isn’t the right one and we turn back to the same intersection with all the useless signs. It’s at this point that I start to vocalize what’s been running through my head for the last hour or so. We only have so much sunlight left. It was 3:3o when we started this hike and while the sun is still shining quite brightly, if we don’t find a way out in the next couple of hours…well, I don’t know what. As you can see…i was freaking out a little bit. Jacob and I figured that if we had already gone so long down the trail we were on, if we went on the North Loop maybe the end of the trail would be just about a mile down that way…we hoped. Either way, there was nothing else we could do but keep walking, so we did…for hours.

until we found ANOTHER fork in the road with a small sign:

The writing in Sharpie says “Big Piney Trail Camp”. Big Piney Trail was the name of the trail we started on so we figured this was a good way to go.

1/2 an hour later I started re-thinking the wisdom in following signs written in Sharpie in the middle of the forest. At this point I’m scared. I don’t want to spend the night in the forest. Oh AND, both our cell phones are still in the truck, we didn’t bother to bring those along. And the 1/2 full bottle of water we had started with was now almost empty. I knew we wouldn’t die if we didn’t get out soon, but that still didn’t bring me a lot of comfort with the prospect of spending the night in the wilderness with absolutely no provisions looming overhead.

This whole time we had been hoping to pass over a gravel road at some point because we had passed over one at the beginning of the trail and we figured we’d have to go back over to get back to the trail head.

Eventually we found the road and crossed it, following the trail on the other side. However, about a 1/4 mile in we decided that since the sun was already starting to go down, our best bet would be to go back to the gravel road and walk along that till we find the camp and possibly a car with helpful people.

So we turned around, found the road again, picked a direction to start walking and headed off. One car passed us, just waving but not stopping to help and I felt exhausted.  We both had mud all up and down our legs, our faces were weathered and every movement came with a lot of effort. Finally, a car drove up and stopped so we asked which way the Paddy Creek Campground was – the opposite way we were heading of course. So we said thank you and turned around to walk. Graciously, the gentleman told us that they were headed there and they could give us a ride if we’d like.

I’m not sure I’ve ever felt that relieved. I heaved a great sigh and said thank you with all the gratitude I could muster, Jacob tossed his huge walking stick into the woods and we piled in.

By the time we got to the campground we learned that not only were we 2-3 miles from the campground, but we had ended up making a big circle without knowing, and approached the campground from the opposite direction we had left it.

As we reached the truck all of my exhaustion set in and I began to realize just how frightened I had been the whole time. Of course, my natural reaction to all of that was just to start laughing, incessantly. It wasn’t like a raucous laughter, just a small low chuckle that I couldn’t stop.

After deciding that none of the pictures were going to come out ok, we gave up on them and headed home, thankful for the fact that we could. We looked at the clock when we got in the truck – it was just after 8:30. As we drove home, the sun went down and by the time we got home, it was dark. My own bed has never felt so good!

What you should glean from this tale:

– Don’t be stupid

– When you have hesitations about an activity, speak up before it’s too late

– Don’t venture into the woods with your swimsuit, half a bottle of water for two people, and a camera. (dumb!)

– TAKE YOUR PHONE!

– Make sure there’s a trail map – if there isn’t, DON’T go!

– Don’t be stupid! (It needed to be stated twice – trust me!)

Glad to be home!

-The Fortunate

2 Comments

Filed under Faith, Life, Uncategorized

Experience

“Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn.” – C.S. Lewis

This morning marks our last shift at the Weaver Inn. As our final hours dwindle down we consider our time here Mansfield, MO. Though short and riddled with obstacles, the time here was incredibly profitable. As newlyweds we were able to spend a full 2 months with each other, day in and day out. While this amount of time with your spouse brings its own challenges, the things that we’ve learned with and about each other as a result of this time have strengthened our relationship and brought us even closer together.

Upon accepting the position in Mansfield, Jacob and I began to wonder about small town life. Would we like it? Would it be quaint and cute? Maybe we’ll love it and resign to live is small towns forever. Will the people be more real, and down-to-earth? Will it encourage us to lead a more healthy lifestyle, in diet and activity?

The resounding answer to all of those questions, for us at least, was “no”.

Quaint: “Attractively unusual or old-fashioned” – Was Mansfield unusual and old-fashioned? Yes! Attractively so? … not so much. I don’t want you to think that we hate this town or that we didn’t like anyone we met here – that is not the case – we just found that, for the things we want in life, small town life just won’t work for us. We’ve met some great people and enjoyed much of our time. It’s just time for us to move on.

We’re excited to see what our next adventure will be and where it will lead us. For now, we’ll be spending the summer with his family, after that? We’ll see…

“I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

Leave a comment

Filed under Faith, Happiness, Life, Moving, Uncategorized, Weaver Inn

“Man”

After getting called “kid” again, and again, this week I started thinking. What does it mean to be a man? And, why am I not a man?

So what makes a man? Is it the size of your bank account, your job, how much hair you have, how many people you get to boss around, how big your house is, how new your car is, or that you DON”T have a mohawk? I wouldn’t know.

None of these things have value to me. I had the great fortune to have a father that has his priorities straight. Being a man, as far as I can tell, is living like Jesus. Loving my family and every person I meet. Realizing that success is not measured by money or fame. And that what God wants me to do may look like complete lunacy to everyone else.  Oh, and having a mohawk. Of course.

Philippians 2 says to not strive for things, or do things out of pride. To value others higher than yourself and to care for them. And to be like Jesus,when even though He was God, He made Himself a man of no reputation, like a servant.

Men may not have a great track record;

Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more,
Men were deceivers ever,-
One foot in sea and one on shore,
To one thing constant never.
William Shakespeare
Much Ado About Nothing

But what it takes to really be a man would turn this world upside down.

So, be a man.

-Jacob

1 Comment

Filed under Faith, Life

Love

So I watched this special on CNN last night called “Unwelcome: The Muslims Next Door” and it got me thinking.

First, I want to say that I am a christian. I believe that Christ is the one true messiah and that he died on the cross for our sins, rose again three days later and because of that, we can now have a relationship with Christ. I believe these things because it’s what the Bible tells me. Repeatedly.

However, the Bible also tells me some other things. Christ consistently told people to love others. We are told that “they will know us by our love” and that we should be “salt and light” to the earth. A pastor I heard recently mentioned the fact that light attracts, therefore my life should be so attractive that people want to know me. That light should draw people to me. Unfortunately, Christians often seem to think that if we don’t agree with something, our job is to stop it at all costs. For some reason, we choose not to obey Christ and just love people, trusting in him to work in their lives (or our own), and have faith that the Lord knows what he’s doing.

I’m not saying that you change what you believe to appease other people. I’m not even saying to be quiet and never tell them what you believe. In fact, I’m saying the opposite. Instead of protesting, yelling, slandering and bullying – why don’t we befriend them. NOT in a manipulative, “keep your enemies closer” kind of way – but in a “Jesus loves and died for everyone” kind of way. Why don’t we get to know the Muslims in our community? Learn about what they actually believe and how that affects the way they live, rather than making assumptions about their religion based on the radical actions of members of their belief system. I think often times Christians forget about the Crusades. What if people looked at every christian person based on that unfortunate time in our history?

Yesterday morning Jacob and I tried one of the churches in town here. It’s only our second week here in this new town and we really wanted to find a place to worship that is in the town we live in. So we go to this church and everything starts out pretty good. The people were welcoming when we first got there, someone came over and gave us a bulletin and a few other people smiled. Not bad for a small town. Then the praise and worship began and it was better than I expected. The songs were all at least 10 years old (barring the obligatory Casting Crowns special) but they did a really good job and I enjoyed it. So then we did communion, sang another song and the transition between songs and the preaching started. At this point, both Jacob and I are feeling pretty good about this place. It’s not fantastic, but it’s way more than we expected (a bit cynical I know, but small towns aren’t known for their progressive services). So…there were no strikes on the tally so far…and yes, we do have a tally system…I’ll get to that later.

Sermon begins:

So, about 5 minutes in and we get a comment about the Tsunami being God pulling back his limits and letting judgment happen – the slight cringe begins – then another 5 minutes later the Nation of Israel is negatively referred to as “The JEWS” while the “church” is lifted up and put in their place as God’s chosen people. The sermon continues and we run into a number of doctrinal differences and have to endure another racial slur and a few ignorant comments. By the time the sermon concluded we were positive this was not the place for us.

Honestly, what was so frustrating to me wasn’t even the doctrinal differences. When you’re church hunting you expect that, that’s why you visit multiple places. The racist comments were what really got to me. This pastor was the same pastor who said that light attracts and that our lives should be so attractive that people want to know us and be a part of our lives.

The contradiction stuck in my head through the entire service and ultimately all the way to last night while I was watching the CNN special. Why is it okay for christians so make fun of people who don’t believe the same thing that they do? It is absolutely your right to disagree with them, but nowhere in the Bible does it give us license to slander them?

As far as Muslims in our community? Welcome! Christ spent his time with people who didn’t believe what he did. He was honest when questions arose and he never faltered on what he believed, but he loved people. He served and cared for the people who didn’t even believe in him. He provided for people who had nothing, and didn’t ask for anything in return.

I’m definitely not the most loving person. I struggle to see past people’s differences and my first reaction, shamefully, is to judge. But I want to be different, I want to be better, to be more like Jesus. I want to love those that are different, because that’s what Christ called me to –  and that’s what I signed up for. I signed up to be like a man who spent his entire life trying to get people to understand that he loved them, even though loving killed him in the end. Selfless, unconditional love for God’s people. All people.

-Rachel

3 Comments

Filed under Faith, Life