Sometimes we look at sights in nature but don't really see. While hiking in the woods the other day, it became a realization that we need to open our heart and eyes to see the beauty of the simple things in nature with each season. There is so much order and purpose in His creation. God has given us awesome beauty in this world to see and enjoy... if we would but stop to see and feel it. Join us as this blog is about stopping to see the real beauty around touch and feel it... "Through the Lens".

Our Friends

Monday, November 26, 2007

Three Things I Learned From Full-timers

Ok, I know I've learned more than just three things but these are the three I have been thinking about lately.

I think I have bought into the the buzz word of society - to plan for the future, to look ahead and make my long term and short term objectives. The teacher in me is so used to this concept after all we are required to make lesson plans. Those of us waiting to full-time are planning for this future lifestyle. Some are planning on retiring at a certain date, planning to sell their house, planning on what RV they want to purchase. That is what full-timers do don't they? They plan on where they want to travel, what state(s) they want to visit. They plan on when they want to travel, how far and where they want to stop for fuel, lunch or the night. They plan where they might want to workamp and the list goes on. Some full-timers even make an itinerary. Now don't get me wrong there is nothing wrong with planning. We certainly need to spend a certain amount of our energies planning but when planning is all we do we are only looking at what we don't currently have. We are looking into a future time but not a current time. Full-timers have taught me to plan well but they didn't stop there they also taught me to live in the moment.

Full-timers live in the moment. They have taught me to look around at where I am at the moment and to explore my environment. They take a walk and hold hands. They might attend a local play or ballgame, shop at a local store, taste the local food and attend a local church service. They might just sit under their awning and sip a cold ice tea and just enjoy their surroundings. They slow down!! It doesn't matter what my future plans might be I need to learn this lesson from my friends. I need to slow down and just enjoy where I am this moment in time.

My full-time friends didn't stop there. They also taught me to look back at the past. Oh I know, society tells you to move forward and never look back. If you never look behind you then you will miss the blessings in your life. It is when you turn around and look at where you have been and the distance your life has covered you realize what a wonderful life you have lived so far. Some things might be hard to revisit, some things hurt deeply, we all have had our share of hard moments but when you look back you realize that you made it, you are a survivor. This is when you really see the grace of God. You find that you might have made your far share of mistakes but for the most part you have been successful at this thing called life. You see the joys and wonderful moments that have defined your life. Full-timers look back! They take pictures and record their journeys in blogs and journals. Have you ever talked to a full-timer? It is not long before they begin to tell you their adventures with great excitement. They tell you where they have been, you know where they are and then they share where they plan to go next. They are excited about all aspects of their life! Isn't it a shame the rest of the world can't feel that same excitement about their life? We all could - those full-timing, those waiting to full-time and those that will never full-time - because we all have been given this wonderful thing called life.

Thank you my friends for your valuable lessons for life! I have made my plans and now will live in the moment till those plans are fullfilled and I will celebrate my past and how it defines who I am. After all it is A Wonderful Life!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Mind Games and Reality

In my last post I mentioned that waiting is not one of my favorite things. I don't believe anybody really likes the waiting game. When you are waiting to begin a new lifestyle the waiting begins to get a little weird. One of the journals that I read,, put it best when they said "now the flip flopping begins." Your mind begins to play those little mind games. You begin to ask yourself questions such as, "Is this the right thing to do?" "Do we really want to leave our security blanket and venture out in the world?" "Will I miss my "things" when I can't see them each day?" "What about Stephen?" In my case, I begin to visualize the Ozzie and Harriet kind of existence which is far from reality. Our son is not going to be living in LaGrange, we have no family living here any longer. The closest relatives are in Nashville which is almost 300 miles away. Our son will most likely be living in Nashville upon his graduation in May. We do have some wonderful friends and a super church. The reality is our friends will remain friends. That won't change because our house has wheels. The wheels will enable us to visit these special people whenever we are in the area or feeling homesick. There are wonderful churches everywhere. God speaks to us in different places and locations NOT just one building.
Again, the wheels will enable us to return and visit this special church and the special friends that attend there. This has to be the wonderful advantage to the full-time lifestyle. To go where your heart leads you. To learn about our history, to see and touch the past, to really experience life. The ultimate field trip!!

Will the mind games continue? Will I continue to ask myself those hard questions? Probably. I believe everyone has and does ask those questions whenever they are about to make such a life changing decision. It is how we answer the questions that matter. It is how we answer the questions that determine how we live the rest of our lives. Mike and I want to live fully, we want to experience much and to give back to our world in some way. We want to always thank God for the "freedom 2 roll."