This morning while reviewing our travel plans we realized that we (meaning Carl) had made a mistake by not looking closely enough at the travel route.  A minor change in routing was required so we cancelled one reservation (eliminating the Chincoteague stop) and replaced it with another stop in New Jersey.

As our travels unfold, we have been amazed that every change that we have had to make has brought us opportunities.   The Lord shows us opportunities to share our faith by allowing us help others, or strengthens our faith by allowing us to need the help of others.

Whether we are helping or being helped, sharing our faith or having others share their faith, we are happy and at peace with our life as directed by the Lord.  It is when we move on our own or, knowing the will of the Lord, go in a different direction that we become disillusioned.  It is not that God demands obedience, it is not that He dictates what we must do.  No, we can do as we please.  He lays out the consequences of our actions and allows us the freedom to choose… life eternal with Him or without Him… peace and joy forever or your worst nightmare forever.

We pulled into the campground yesterday afternoon. Evidently this place pre-assigns campsites so we took what was chosen and made the best of it… tiny site, uneven ground and sewer setup almost too high. It took setting up and then, because of the soft ground, another setup to get and stay level (the second time in the rain). We are now very comfortable and we were able to enjoy life while the wind blew and the thunder roared last night.

Every place we camp during this phase of our lives is a new place, some are good and some are not so good. As we travel we are learning those places to avoid in the future and adjusting our plans accordingly. Of course, we are also finding those rare gems where the location is good, the sites and the staff are great, and the fellow campers are friendly and helpful.

Today is Linda’s day of rest and, even though the drive was only 90 miles and 2 hours, she is sleeping. We are so pleased that we can still travel, and we thank God every day for His mercy and love. We have each been through valleys with God and we have also been on the mountaintop with Him.

Too often we speak about God and His blessings and how we know that He is with us without speaking about Jesus, without telling about how to come to the Lord. Many there are who know of God, who long for a relationship with Him but have no clue about how to reach out to Him.

We need to become more focused on telling the story of the one true God, the triune God, the Father Son and Holy Spirit. Most people acknowledge that there is a supreme being, that there is or was a god or many gods of the universe who do or have interacted with this world. What they do not know is that all gods but one have been created by man to help explain this world in which we live. All gods but one expect man to come to them, all gods but one expect man to earn his way into heaven, all gods but one love conditionally.

Only the triune God loves His creation, man, unconditionally, without reservations and with all His August Being. If we do not talk about Jesus as the Way to God then we have failed to do more than tell a heart-warming story.

When we have not been totally honest with those we love, we run the risk of the truth just showing up and the truth can be a scary, hurtful thing. Hearing the truth, for the first time, when it has been withheld for a long time is painful and requires understanding and compassion. We all have our little secrets and hurts, we all have painful memories and bad things that have been done to us. Rather than bury them, we need to express them. If we don’t open them to the light, if we don’t let others see our pain, if we keep our hurts hidden, others will not know, will not be able to understand, will not be able to see us as we are… broken and yet strong through Christ, human and fallible and yet whole and pure through the blood of Jesus.

Words can wound and words can heal and sometimes the same words can do both. With the help of the Lord, the choice is always ours. Pray for the wisdom to see past the hurt and the pain, pray for insight to see the truth in the rubble of life and pray for the Lord’s mercy and goodness to flow into your heart.

To many people this week at Williamsburg would be considered a bad week. We have not left the campground yet, and may not except for me to shop. There have been several days of rain and yet, this has been a very good week. We have been to the pool and hot tub twice and met some wonderful folks while at the pool and hot tub and even while walking the cat.

This sounds boring and to some people it would be. Not to us. Our Lord has a purpose for everything that happens in our lives. He is always preparing us for the future, readying us for life with Him in eternity. We see His Hand in every experience of our lives. Whether He is leading us through a valley or showing us a mountaintop, the Lord is there.

There are times when we doubt His presence, when we are angry with Him and even times when we try to walk away from Him. But we can’t ignore Him. He is still always there, always loving us and always waiting for us to turn around and embrace Him. He waits, even through our anger and our hate, He loves us. Turn around now, as long as you live He waits.

Yesterday was our normal day of rest after traveling. As we had coffee outside our trailer, Billy from next door came by and we started talking. As Billy and I talked Linda went next door and talked with his wife. We then got together at their site and enjoyed the company.

We came back to the trailer and rested for the afternoon then went for a swim, met a second couple and fellowshipped, and then spent time in the hot tub where we met a third couple and had good fellowship. So, today, Linda resumes her rest time and tries to recuperate from both the travel time and the fellowship time.

We make our plans and the Lord orders our steps. He puts people in front of us who need our story, who need to hear about Linda and the Lord, or me and the Lord, or us and the Lord. Sometimes our rest time becomes His. Each of these couples needed to hear from us as we needed to hear from them. Each time of sharing was completely different, from the loss of children, to coping with six boys 20 years apart and 5 weddings in 8 months to imminent retirement and deciding to RV fulltime. We learn from each contact and grow with God’s lessons every day.

We are leaving this campground in Lynchburg to move forward on our journey. Continuing our trip is a little more difficult this time because we have really enjoyed our stay here. This place has been a peaceful haven where we could go out to see people and places and return to an enjoyable atmosphere.

We watched as friends gathered to camp together and have good, family fun. While we enjoyed watching others fellowship, we realized that we are missing the feeling of fellowship in our lives. That means that this will probably be the last long swing in our traveling. After this year, well… actually, April of next year, we will find a home base and take short trips to see family and old friends.

Of course, we will enjoy this journey to the fullest. Next stop is one of our favorite places. Williamsburg where we will steep ourselves in history. We will look at successes and failures of the past, revel in all the historical reenactments that we can find and thank the Lord that we are able to do what we are doing.

Linda felt fine yesterday after all the activity the day before, we even walked the cat together, sat outside in front a fire in our fire pit and enjoyed the evening. All in all, a wonderful relaxing day of rest. And then today… Linda is just now getting the reaction to doing too much from the day before yesterday. She will spend today taking care of her special needs so that tomorrow we will be able to travel.

Even though we love this life we are living, the reconnecting with friends and relatives and seeing the United States, there is a price to pay beyond the monetary. We both have health issues that come up, mine not nearly as severe as Linda’s, and we both miss seeing our family. We continue on (traveling and spreading the Lord’s love) because we feel that life is a gift from the Lord, a gift to be used in His service and for His glory.

We were never guaranteed an easy life. We were never promised freedom from poverty or pain. In fact, if you follow Christ, you are promised a life of martyrdom, pain and suffering, a life set apart from the world. Yes, following Christ is full of hardships… and joy and peace and love… it seems impossible but it is true.

Monticello is a thought-provoking tranquil place that was the home of our third president, Thomas Jefferson. Yesterday, Linda and I went there to tour the house and grounds. We spent the afternoon walking up and down the small mountain with magnificent views and thoroughly tired ourselves out. While we could speak of the brilliant and conflicted man, the turbulent time he was drawn into and the life he lived, we need not, for his life and decisions speak for themselves.

After Monticello, we stopped to dine in Lovingston at the Golden Arches and had a fine repast replete with ice cream for desert. The weather had been near perfection all day, our shared love for each other very evident and the grace of the Lord was abundantly clear as we walked, talked and listened through day.

This morning we woke to more grace from the Lord as there were few ill effects from yesterday. In fact, we slept in to 8:30 and took our coffee outside in our lounge chairs and just, well, ‘lounged’ until 11:30 when we realized that we needed to eat breakfast.

Moments of ministry came, were met and slipped away quietly. Just being children of God ministers to you and to others in many gentle and unseen ways.

During this travel adventure we have risen at 5:30 while on projects and around 7:00 (with no alarm) when not on projects. That is until this week. In this campground, we have been waking between 8 and 9. This may be because of the extra-long drive to get here, or perhaps because of the time change, or simply that the TV shows end at 11 instead of 10. Or we could be more content here, more at peace with our surroundings. This is a nice, quiet campground and we have a great site.

On Wednesday, we met with Miss Laverne Davis and Diane and Lisa for dinner at a nice restaurant and bar called Bull Daddy’s in Appomattox. It was truly wonderful to see these women from Linda’s past so excited to see her again and reminisce. This is the fourth time since we started traveling that Linda has found people from the past who were, and still are, friends.

Each of these encounters has brought healing and joy. As I witness these reunions I am truly blessed to see the hand of God working to bring even more peace to Linda. Her heart, already full of love, is overflowing with the joy of the Lord and it shows.

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