The Alamo & Christmas!
I’ve been thinking about friendships and those I miss back at home. What keeps me going is the people we meet on this journey –when they share their own stories of life and what God has done for them and how they use it to bless others. It makes me feel connected and it fights off the loneliness.
These connections and conversations have often made me think how much we need each other. I’ve been deeply wounded by many a person in my life (distant and not so distant past) and have a hard time trusting others because of it. Yet I can love fully when someone opens up and shares their story with me. It’s a way of saying, “I trust you with part of me”.
I miss kinships at home but I’m hoping that when I return, I will open up more and trust again without the fear of being wounded. To let people into my story and feel safe and trust again.
Friends are a good thing - even if hard to find and keep. We need each other. We can't receive if we are holding back. I know because I did it for too long. Be wise in who you trust, but not too careful.
NOW ONTO OUR WEEK IN PHOTOS...with some information on what we did.
Afterwards we went across the street to the Riverwalk. There is a shopping and dining area built below ground level. Once you are down there, it really does feel like another place - the lighting and noise change due to how and where it is built.
I kept feeling like I was in the pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland - and loved it!
When we started this trip October 5th, we wondered what we would be doing for Christmas and knew that even if we were in a hotel, we would be thankful and have what we needed.
Our friend Rebecka works for the Air Force and is stationed in San Antonio. She was not able to go home for Christmas this year...so God met both of our needs - Friends to celebrate with!
It was a wonderful week celebrated with Christmas movies, cinnamon rolls, the making of gingerbread houses and crazy games with all her Air Force buddies after a traditional Italian Christmas dinner.
The girls received several outfits for their dolls, new jammies, shirts and some "toys" to suit their interests and ages.
We leave Texas and head off to Louisiana tomorrow morning. We will be in Baton Rouge tomorrow and staying at a YWAM base the rest of the week.
The girls are doing well with their school work and I love that journaling is part of their writing. One day they will look back and remember all we did this year!
Your prayers are appreciated for our safety and wisdom as Josh makes connections to help support our financial needs.
We spent most of this past week staying at the Tyler Texas YWAM (youth with a mission) base where we were fed 3 meals a day, and had plenty of space for all of us to get some breathing room and take in God's amazing creation.
The girls noticed an "old" phone in their room and wanted to know how it worked. They got scared and thought they broke the phone when hey heard the "busy signal" come on from them holding it off the hook for too long. We got a good laugh at that!
While at the base, we met a gentleman who works with one of the ministries and hung out with him after dinner one night. The next day he phoned Josh to tell him he wanted to give us money so that we could take our kids to the local zoo! We went on Thursday - right in between 2 days with lots of rain. Apparently, no one wanted to go to the zoo in December or on a drizzly day because we were 4 of about 12 people there that day and were able to get some pretty good photos because of it.
The girls loved the cats - of course! Grace noticed that some were small enough to fit in her lap and the bobcats were her favorites. As you can see below, Sarah fell in love with the mountain lions.
We wrapped up our week at the state capital in Austin. We have been to 6 total now and this building was a favorite because of the architecture, not to mention the girls enjoyed how short the tour was so they could move onto more interesting things for a 10 and 11 year olds interests.
The hinges on the doors are brass and are original pieces. As they say, "Everything's bigger in Texas"!
We will be spending Christmas with our friend Rebecka in San Antonia. We arrived yesterday and attended church with her this morning. Her church meets in a movie theater and as guests, we were given free tickets to use this week! Before leaving Sarah said, "Mommy - God is taking care of us". Indeed He is.
Better late than never! ....I forgot to post a picture of Josh's TV interview in last weeks blog post. He did a great job. I couldn't have been prouder. Unfortunately it was not recorded.
How are things with the book tour part of the trip? Very slow.
We still see God providing and we have a peace about this choice and continue to see God use the message of Josh's book to impact people's lives as well as continue to be blessed in so many ways.
Please keep us in your prayers and continue to pass on the word of our journey and helping us with any connections with family friends or churches you may know of. Our itinerary is on RadicallyNormal.com, under the tour button.
We were in New Mexico in the beginning of last week. We had only one day to see Old Towne Santa Fe and to our delight stumbled on the United State's oldest church (1610) and other beautiful sites, including another older catholic church, a quaint shopping area and the state capital. (Ok, that last one was planned..) :)
Wednesday we visited Carlsbad Caverns. My girls are telling everyone this was their favorite part of our trip so far - which I find funny because they spent more time making an imaginary world inside the cave with conversations then they did admiring it for what it was. I think the imaginary world of them being the first explorers and finding fairy homes was much more interesting to them!
It was very impressive and only the finest of cameras could do it justice. Here are a few that hopefully captured the magnitude and beauty of this place.
That same day we drove into Texas. We were on a less traveled road and had wide open spaces for miles. Josh has formed the habit of filling up the tank when we have long travel days because there are often stretches of land where only semi trucks and untouched land fill the spaces.
While in Texas we stayed with friends, Genea and Mark Faught. We were taken out for a Texas BBQ dinner and had rolls with sausage and cherry jam every morning. Genea took us out to her brothers property (100 acres) and the girls fell in love with their cat and the open spaces to run.
The picture of the girls talking closely is them discussing who was brave enough to climb the 3 story playhouse and risk what kind of creatures might be hiding in it. I nominated myself and they quickly followed. :D
Some of the interesting things we have seen were entire towns built with buildings that had flat roofs - you would never see this in WA, with all the rain we have!
The vegetation is of course different...and they have the perfect dew drenched wheat stocks for "fairies to take showers in" - (according to our daughters). Here is a visual for you. ;)
We will be in Texas through Christmas. We are currently at the Tlyer, Texas YWAM base. Guess what was for breakfast? Yup - Sausage and biscuits!
Merry Christmas Y'all!
Grand Canyon and Petrified Forest
Greetings! I have switched blogs due to the other website not working to well. SO - if you want to stay updated on our trip around the US, please subscribe. I'd love to have you as part of our journey!
This week we went to The Grand Canyon AND The Petrified Forest, both in Arizona.
Below are pictures from The Grand Canyon on a very wet, cold and cloudy day. Still spectacular!
Below are pictures of the Painted Hills and Petrified Forest National Park. It was another cold, wet and windy day. The park ranger told us that the cloudy and rainy day helped bring out the colors in the mountains and the wood unlike a sunny day...so I guess we got lucky! ;D
We also took our girls miniature golfing (their first time!) in Phoenix. We found coupons in the display case of advertisements in the hotel lobby and paid just $16 for the 4 of us.
We definitely do a lot more on the road then we did in "real life". I was laid up on the couch for most of the past 3 +years with hip pain from the days that I did get out and move around - not to mention recovery from 2 hip surgeries. I'm not back to normal and often have to take it easy and we have to adjust our plans according to my hip pain, but we are still managing to experience so much - and I love it!
Josh has two radio interviews and one TV interview lined up for this next week. Harvest House (his publisher) sent an email to all pastors (approx. 2,500) on their email list who live in the areas where we plan to be at on any given time along with our itinerary, in hopes of getting him speaking engagements and opportunities to sell his book!
If you haven't read it, the best price is Amazon - Kindle or paperback. Check out his reviews and order a copy and let us know what you think!