Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Maple Grove, MN

Greetings! It’s been two weeks since we arrived back home in Maple Grove, MN, and set up camp just 6 miles from our house. We were so blessed to be welcomed home with a beautiful banner and balloons from the Martins and Frasers! Thank you so much!!


It’s been a whirlwind the last couple of weeks with Rich traveling for work, catching up with friends, and just generally trying to settle back into life. Our house has been on the market since we left last October – and this week an offer came in – and we accepted! If all goes well, we will close June 15th. Next step is to move our stuff into storage.

And now for the question of the day: Do you know where you’re going yet? Nope. We have no clue. But we have a God who promises He has a plan for us (Jeremiah 29:11). So we’re trusting Him, leaning not on our own understanding, and believing that His word is true – He will make our path straight (Proverbs 3:5-6). We’ll keep you posted as the journey continues…

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Today is the day!

If you haven’t noticed already, we are heading north. We left Kansas City on Sunday and after a short stay in Des Moines, IA, our next stop is home sweet home - Maple Grove, MN!

I have to say it is bittersweet. On one hand, we are very excited to reconnect with those we have missed so much in the past six months. On the other hand, there is a part of us that doesn’t want this to end. We have had an amazing time and have been so incredibly blessed along the way that it’s hard to imagine this season coming to an end.


And then there is the question everyone is asking: What next? The truth is we are wondering the same thing! Our house is still for sale. And though we believe we are moving to a place with land, we don’t know when. And we don’t know where. This is the part of walking by faith that isn’t so easy. Being willing to wait without trying to figure it out and make something happen is hard. Living in the unknown is unusual for us. We’re planners. We like our ducks in a row. We are accountants and this doesn’t balance!


But above all else, our heart’s desire is to live a life of faith - trusting and depending on God to lead the way. He is faithful, and though it feels uncomfortable, we really do believe that
all He has in store for us is good.

I can’t think of a better way to convey where we are at than this song. No pictures of us this time…just Lincoln Brewster pouring out his heart singing words we are claiming as our own. Today is the day!

On a side note, yesterday I was pondering life from a different perspective…you can read more at http://conniebendickson.blogspot.com/

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Kansas City, MO

After Albuquerque, we headed out on a two-day driving extravaganza all the way to Kansas City, MO, with an overnight stop in Oklahoma City. We spent the week freezing our butts off and wondering why we decided to go north before June. :-) We got our furnace fixed again…for the third time…BUT, we couldn’t use it because we were out of propane. It has been a good lesson for us to understand, ever so slightly, what is a daily reality for many. We think the furnace really is working now…they replaced the motor and – praise God – it was under warranty!

We had a very nice week camped at a quiet serene place - Longview Campground. We enjoyed
Waldo Pizza - you gotta love a place that has soy cheese on the menu! We celebrated Passover remembering how God led His people out of Egypt (slavery) and into the Promised Land (freedom) – and how He does the same for us. (No, we aren't converting to Judaism...we have just find it meaningful to celebrate the same festivals that Jesus did when He walked on this earth). We were also blessed to visit the International House of Prayer over Easter weekend and were grateful to be reminded once again that “Jesus paid it all – all to Him I owe…my sin had left a crimson stain...but He washed it white as snow.”

Father, thank you for loving us so much that you sacrificed Your only Son to pay for our sin. Thank you, Jesus, for going to the cross so that we can be forgiven and have abundant lifenow and forever. Your love is amazing! Help us to be more like you, Jesus.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Grand Canyon & Albuquerque, NM

After Phoenix we headed north into the mountains near Flagstaff, to a small town on Route 66 - Williams, AZ, where we spent two nights at the Grand Canyon Railway RV Park. The kids enjoyed the indoor pool and we had to get used to weather that was much cooler than Phoenix! We saw a Wild West Shootout before boarding the train that took us to the Grand Canyon. There were some interesting entertainment and on the way back we were held up by a band of train robbers on horseback. It was a two hours and 15 minutes each way and Rich really appreciated not having to drive.

If you’ve ever been to the Grand Canyon then you know what I’m about to say is true: It is absolutely “indescribable”!! It is a magnificent work of art – a masterpiece - sculpted and painted by the Creator of the universe. There are no words to adequately describe it and pictures do not even come close to doing it justice. If this canyon isn’t convincing evidence for a God who loves beauty and goes to great lengths to reveal Himself to us, I don’t know what is. If you want to understand what I’m talking about, you have to see it for yourself. There is no other way to take it in.

After marveling at the canyon, it was time for my mom to fly back to MN so we made our way to Albuquerque, NM. As we pulled into
American RV Park, Ashley noticed that the ARK (Acts of Random Kindness) family was parked there. They are a family of six living life on the road and doing acts of random kindness wherever they go. We emailed with them a few months ago, but we had no idea they were in our neck of the woods. We had a great afternoon getting to know them and hearing about how God is leading their journey. And we had the privilege of taking their kids hiking with us at Petroglyph National Monument. They are an amazing family dedicated to serving the Lord and we sincerely hope our paths cross again soon. You can read more about them at: www.thearktour.org

Next stop…stay tuned…we’re back in the central time zone!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Tucson, Minneapolis, Phoenix

After leaving Chinle, we headed south to Tucson, AZ, to visit my cousin, Lisa, who I haven’t seen for 17 years! She and her husband have been living full-time in their motorhome for 14 years now (I guess it runs in the family). We were blessed to be able to park right next to them at Voyager RV Park where they are work-camping for the season. And we were doubly blessed with my mom flying in to visit us again. She was more than happy to escape the long, cold MN winter – and we were so happy to see her! This worked out beautifully as Rich had to fly to Minneapolis for two business meetings. And, since my mom was there and my cousin was next door, I got to hop on a plane and head to MN to attend a conference with a group of dear friends. I told you it has been a whirlwind lately…now you know why our blog hasn’t been up to date for awhile!

While I was gone, my cousin took everyone to
Saguaro National Park to see an incredible array of cacti. It is such a unique landscape in the desert and there is more life there than I imagined. We really enjoyed our morning desert walks with my cousin. She even taught the kids the names of all the different cacti species. We also visited San Xavier del Bac Mission which was built in the late 1700’s and is under constant restoration to preserve this historic building.

Oh, remember that incident with the rock that nearly damaged the radiator? Well, as it turns out, the van was not as fortunate as the RV after being dragged over the rock. We ended up having to stay an extra day in Tucson to get the suspension and tie rod repaired. Honestly, I think God did some kind of miracle because we drove the van for quite a few days before it started acting up. It was perfectly fine until Rich picked me up at the airport and the steering started locking up and making an awful squealing noise. We took it in for repairs and were happy to have extra time with my cousin while the van was getting fixed up.

Next we went to Phoenix to visit Bob and Doris – Rich’s great aunt and uncle. They have a beautiful place in Apache Junction and we had a great time dining with them at Los Gringos Locos.

Then we were off to Sun City to visit my aunt Marvel, my cousin Penny, and her husband Jim. We enjoyed spending the afternoon visiting with them. And we were so excited to go home with a trunk full of oranges and grapefruits that we got to pick ourselves in their back yard! I cannot believe how sweet grapefruit is when it is allowed to ripen on the tree. We are still enjoying that beautiful fruit!

Time is flying and it’s hard to believe we’ve been gone nearly six months. Life on the road has been very busy the last few weeks and we are happy to be settling into a healthy rhythm again this week. Lessons from the desert: The whole earth is filled with Your glory, Lord!