Let’s talk about something happy today, shall we? Let’s explore a dream that is actually coming true for one of my favorite families on the planet.
When we moved to Tampa a year and a half ago, we got an email from my aunt and uncle who live in Orlando encouraging us to reach out to friends of theirs in our area. “We think you’ll enjoy them,” they said. So we called them and on Labor Day of 2011, we went to their house for the first time (which was a five minute drive from the house we ended up buying) and the rest, as they say, is history.
Kevin and Jenni Keiter became a lifeline for us in our difficult first year here. We met with them weekly for a Bible study and they walked us through the dark days that followed our life being turned upside down. Together we all began to process and move toward living a life less encumbered with the confines of tradition. We began to break free and explore what living a radical life might look like.
We decided to take faith seriously and we got to cheer each other along the path toward living in freedom.
Jenni is an amazing photographer, a home schooling mama extraordinaire and has one of the sharpest wits I’ve ever met. Seriously, her humor is the best! She and her family have embarked on a dream trip and I couldn’t be more proud of them and in awe of their faith and their willingness to obey, even when obedience seems kind of crazy. Today, Jenni is here to tell you a little about what they’re up to.
From Jenni: Hi all! Several months ago, my husband Kevin and I took a step toward a life long dream and last week, we pushed off, along with our three children for a year long excursion around the United States. We sold our house, my smokin’ hot minivan, and at least a third of our possessions. We farmed the kitty out to a wonderful neighbor for the next eleven months and moved into the “Bob T” (Big Ol’ Bahonkin’ Trailer) on January 5, leaving the state of Florida for the adventure of a lifetime.
Everyone wants to know why we are doing this. Why give up all the trappings of a great life and work so hard for a 12-month odyssey? We’ve tried hard to come up with our “elevator answer.” You know, the one you can use to explain your mission in 20 seconds or less. But most of the time when people ask me I feel like I can’t come up with anything better than, “Um, because we really like s’mores?”
In truth, we know exactly what we are after. It’s just not a short answer and I’ve found more than a few people don’t truly want to hear it. I can think of at least two dozen reasons not to do this, but at the end of my life I doubt a single one will seem good enough to trump the regret I would feel if we didn’t. We are doing this to be together as a family in God’s AMAZING creation. We want to experience the gift of our national park system while it still looks like something worth saving. And probably the biggest reason is to show our children what it means to live counter-culturally: to turn away from the relentless pursuit of “more and bigger” and instead seek our heavenly Father and His will. He has never failed to speak to me in big ways when I get out in the wilderness.
Of course God, being the ultimate pursuer of hearts has not remained silent, waiting for us to hit the woods. The preparations for this adventure have been very difficult. If you think moving is stressful I can assure you that moving into an RV (by way of six different locations in twenty days) will teach you a new definition of chaos.
In the moments when I am cranky and tired I remember that field of wildflowers in Olympic National Park.
When I feel suffocated by the lack of order as we live out of bins and suitcases I draw a breath to discover I can clearly remember the one I inhaled at the summit of a Colorado “14er.”
When I think we will never finish the work (still working on this rig, even seven days into the trip) I can see the palette of reds and ochres that paint the desert southwest.
These moments of refreshment can only be from God, His voice reminding me that He is here in all the madness regardless of the GPS coordinates or where my feet are currently planted.
So I invite you all to come along with us, live vicariously through our blog (if I had a dime for everyone who has said that I would have about $2.70!). Learn with us, laugh with us, seek the Creator with us. You can find us at Dareyou2move.com. We hope to hear from you!
So there you have it! You will want to follow along because what they’re doing is awesome, Jenni is wickedly funny and as you can see, her photos are awe inspiring!