Called to Live the Salt Life!

From camping to a beach condo, God has all sorts of twists and turns in this adventure!

Advertisements

A Last-Minute God

Forty-five. Forty-five days till settlement and yet no solidified plan. In forty-five days or less if settlement gets bumped up, which oddly enough I am hoping for, I will be houseless.

ontimegodI do know there will be no RV, as originally assumed. No, it would appear that “plan” was eliminated. I went from,”Okay, God, we will sell the house and go where you say to go…via an RV, yes I like THAT plan!” That WAS the plan, the plan I was good with, but in actuality that was God’s way of luring me out of my comfortable, safe, and stable home – not to mention beloved rose garden while purging me from my junk, both literal and spiritual. After all, it was an adventure for God, right? Still is an adventure for God, but it is certainly not looking the way I envisioned. Oh no, it is far scarier and more uncomfortable than I ever imagined. Had I known, I probably would have opted for safe, convenient, and comfortable. Just keeping it real. In fact, I suspect God’s plan is to literally scare the hell out of me. Not to torment me, but to empower me in His Spirit. You have heard Jesus specializes in setting us free from our fears, haven’t you? All hell has broken loose since committing to “God’s plans”, but miraculously I am learning to have peace, to choose grace, and to quell fear. I confess I have not consistently passed and feel as though the final exam of all that I have learned spiritually the past three years is coming to a head. Nevertheless, I press on.

so-um-god-whats-the-plan-oh-ok-ill-wait-you-do-your-thingSure, I have no real plan. Nothing lined up. Didn’t even realize I prefer plans till it became grossly evident there is no plan. All I know for certain at this point is I am moving out of my house of ten years while significantly downsizing and learning to let go. Let go of my stuff and my plans. Through it all, the Lord tenderly invites me to remove my idols in exchange for the ongoing revelation of my identity in Him. Within this treacherous road, each passing day presents an opportunity of transformation. A death and resurrection.

Alas, while sitting here with no definitive plan and no details worked out for certain, I am realizing He isn’t an “on-time God” as the old gospel song goes because if He was, we’d have a timely plan by now! Ha! Rather, He is more of a last-minute God, but then again I suppose that is on-time in God’s realm. One thing I can testify for certain: God’s plan is a process. Albeit a difficult one to flow in at times, but a prerequisite, nevertheless.

I keep hearing Him say, “You ARE the plan.”, and yet I have no idea what that even means…Perhaps He isn’t a “last-minute God”. Perhaps I am just a “last-minute” follower.

The Plan Is To Abandon My Plans

proverbs16-9Little did I know as I stepped out in this faith adventure that through out it all, the theme would be to abandon it all. Abandon my need to figure it out, abandon my need to plan, to research, to implement. Abandon my need to strive and provide. In fact, God’s plan is for me to abandon my plan A, plan B, plan Z.

Throughout these last 6 months, I’ve learned the delicate art of being in peace despite not knowing the plan or what it is going to look like or how this journey will end. Is that not the very definition of faith? Generally speaking, the term faith or even having faith in Jesus is simple – what is not simple is when the God you believe in reveals to you just how backwards your thinking is not to mention how backwards your religion is!

You see, the world and even much of religion is all about what can I get out this job, this relationship, this faith, or out of this church. Much of religion is focused on how one can get to heaven, for example. Rather, in God’s world or God’s kingdom, it is about getting Heaven to Earth. Put another way, it is about getting the Spirit of Christ, which is the Holy Spirit or if you will, the Spirit of Heaven into us and into our realm. Jesus says, “The Kingdom of God is inside you” (Luke 17:20-21). 10529-the-kingdom-of-god-is-within-youIt also is why He taught in the famously quoted yet misunderstood Lord’s prayer, “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.” It’s not about getting to heaven, though being resurrected into eternal life is an added bonus. It’s about tapping into the resurrecting, healing, supernatural redemptive heavenly love residing within you right here on Earth right now upon receiving His Spirit! How marvelous we don’t have to wait to get anywhere to experience the miraculous and yet how incredibly ignorant of us to not realize we’ve got the God-goods all this time and aren’t using it. Imagine what the world would look like if we only realized we have the keys to the kingdom that unlock sickness, death, captivity, etc.

Furthermore, such keys to God’s kingdom seem backwards and therefore are commonly overlooked or misunderstood. After all, who knew to die to our wants and desires is to genuinely live in complete satisfaction (Philippians 1:21), to give up is to gain (Philippians 3:7-8), to help is how to be helped or to heal is how we ourselves are healed (Isaiah 58), or to show mercy is how to be forgiven (Matthew 6:15; James 2:13), to not judge is to avoid captivity of that same judgment (Romans 2:1-2), and so on?

downloadSuch truths are being magnified to me more and more as I seek Him, hear Him, and obey His plan. Throughout this process of selling my home of 10 years, giving away my things, and attempting to plan it out (whatever “it” is), my fears and controlling tendencies have surely manifested. Just like in life, I experienced some valleys and some victories, but even so I am learning how to:

  • have peace in the chaos
  • how to choose faith over fear
  • how to be still instead of striving

All the while, I’m understanding it is my earthly and religious mentality that is backwards. Honestly, it has been overwhelming at times. Truth usually is.

I chuckle as I naively thought to myself not so long ago what an exciting God-adventure this would be. Ha! The joke is on me! Listening to God’s voice, trusting Him, and allowing Him to renew my thinking while transforming my heart IS the real adventure!va-map He invited me to this adventure, I naively accepted, but already early on in this journey, the Spirit of the Living God has resurrected parts of me I didn’t even know were dead. He has , correction, IS removing false comforters and fake ids. God has an interesting way of identifying what you find your comfort in and your identity in, one by one, and then revealing your true identity in Him as well as how to operate in your purposed identity within His kingdom. I assure you it is not always comforting. It can be mind-blowing, exhausting, frustrating, unbelievably painful, and yet glorious. It is what I call “the horribly-amazing-purification-process” or perhaps, “The Big Reveal!”.

On top of breaking me free from well… me, He is showing me this “adventure” is way bigger than I ever-imagined. Frankly, it freaks me out if I try to plan, research, or think on it too much. Again, He is breaking me of such fruitless activity. But while I’m lying in bed fighting with my thoughts and anxieties, He keeps telling me to “Be still and know that He is God” (Psalm 46:10).

il_fullxfull-626408484_pr4rI once heard someone say, “If your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough!” That seems to be precisely how God works. So now, in addition to this bizarre camping-calling of sharing the love of Christ through prayer, prophecy, evangelism, and song, it has become, “Great, now that you have stepped out in faith and are coming into the understanding of who I created you to be as well as how to operate in such kingdom principles and your kingdom role, you’ll also be ministering on the beach, on the boardwalk, in churches, in hotels, and wherever else I lead you.”

After 6 months of going through this horribly-amazing adventure, I am beginning to fully understand this was His plan all along…inviting me to abandon all my plans so that He could further reveal my identity in Him and using that identity to bring Heaven to Earth. It is all backwards. Give up what you think it should look like or what you think is right. Instead,embrace the Kingdom’s culture, focus with a single-eye, and walk out an adventure of a lifetime. After all, that is The Plan! Thy will be done, thy Kingdom come, on Earth as it is in Heaven.

Park It!

download

If you are looking for a bit more privacy and spectacular views when camping, you may want to pass on the typical RV parks. Instead, you could explore the plethora of other public parks our beautiful country boasts!

Before you hit the road though, you may want to investigate the intended park’s campsites and if your RV will fit. Camper Report did extensive research saving you time and potential embarrassing moments. Click here for Camper Report’s video on what lengths are best for parks like these. You can also check out Camper Report’s full report here.

After you know your RV size, here are a few options of camping wilderness to consider…

National Park Service

highwayCheck out this link to search for National Parks in your state or any other state you are thinking of visiting. If you already know the names of the parks you are interested in, this same link will provide more information about the park you selected.

If you are like us and plan on visiting many National Parks within the next year, you may want to invest in their annual pass giving you access to all the National Parks. This expense is just $80 and well worth it. National Park Service also offers other passes that may suit your adventurous needs.

US Forest Service

mfSimilarly, camping at a National Forest may beckon your adventurous spirit. If so, check out the US Forest Service’s site for more information. You can also search for places to see and things to do through their site. Check it out here!

You may also find this link with various maps helpful courtesy of the US Forest Service.

State Parks

patapsco

What about if you want to visit or camp in a state park? Here is a helpful site to get you started. It’s called America’s Parks.  What I love about this site is once you click on the State you are interested it, if you click on the region, this site will list for you the State parks within that specific region of the State, which saves you much research time. Be sure to find out what the fees are to camp and what the deal is with RVs staying there. Some states offer annual passes saving you bundles – this is particularly appealing to full-timers like us!

Overall, National Parks, US Forest Parks, and State Parks are some pretty sweet and affordable options just waiting for you to explore or even to call home!

Hiking During the Open House

kilgorefallsmd3-11-20-16
Kilgore Falls, Maryland

This past Sunday, our realtor hosted an Open House and had a fair amount of people coming through the home especially when you consider it was a blustery cold autumn day. While our realtor got to work, the hubster and I, along with our little dog, decided to go for a hike not far from home.

kilgorefallsmd-11-20-16

Despite the wind advisory and chilly weather, we bundled up and went exploring. The crisp air filled our lungs while the fast paced, but easy hike, warmed our bodies.

kilgorefallsmd2-11-20-16Our pooch ran along the trail and couldn’t contain his excitement. We, too, were thrilled to be amongst the great outdoors and getting some exercise! kilgorefallsmd-11-20-16-jerryleoUpon a brief hike of probably less than a half of mile, we reached huge boulders, a calming creek, and flowing waterfalls. Now, these falls, known as Kilgore Falls located in Jarrettsville, Maryland,  were nothing like the ones we’ve seen in North Carolina and certainly not like the magnificent falls in Oregon, but these falls were still pretty and most of all, convenient, being they are short drive from home.

If you are ever in the Maryland area, Kilgore Falls is a must.