After this year

After this year 1People ask us all of the time - "Will you go back to Arizona after your 365 days of giving?" "Will you return to conventional jobs?" "Will you write a book?" "Will you go abroad?"

And the answer is: we don't know. We're not keeping secrets about it either.

We sold almost everything, started driving...and now we're changing. I'm convinced that our brains are actually being rewired by this.

It might even be appropriate to say that we're having a quarter-life crisis. Or awakening. Or something like that.

Perhaps we'll stumble upon Dreamtown, USA - build a house, create a home, and give to others in a quiet community.

Or maybe we'll go to a humid place with long winters and no bakeries...because God calls us there.

Perhaps we'll go back to school. We both have our Masters, but we sometimes dream of MBAs and PhDs.

Or maybe we'll just stay enrolled in the school of hardknocks. Experience is one of the best teachers, after all. (Travel is a pretty good one too.)

After this year 2Perhaps we'll speak about leadership at conferences and churches.

Or maybe we'll lead by washing feet and telling stories and sorting poopy clothing.

Perhaps we'll go abroad right away.

But more likely, we'll have a new baby to suckle and sling.

Maybe we'll do ALL of that.

What we do know is that we want to stay out of debt. We know we want money to not be our master. We know we want to cherish the closest ones first. We want to put greed behind us and love before us.

Most importantly, we know that we want to hear HIM - His voice in this too-loud world, in our too-cluttered hearts that we are so desperately trying to clear.

But what will that look like? Where will we go? How will we live? THAT - I do not know.

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27 comments on “After this year”

  1. I think it is great you aren't focusing yet on what you are going to do when you return. Keep the faith and lean on the Lord and you will be led where you need to land.

  2. Smiling.

    You're so right when you say you can't predict it. Really, we can't predict life in any incarnation, even a "normal" life and it's folly that we try. All we can do is live this day that we're given.

    You're also right that your brains are being rewired by this. I whole heartedly agree with you on that because it's happened (and continues to happen) to us as we move forward with this life. There is an awakening of sorts when you let go of everything familiar, everything you thought you knew and just step into the world and wait to see what happens. It's a scary, but entirely worthwhile and rewarding thing.

    I can't tell you how much I'm enjoying following your thoughts as you guys walk through the world. Our family celebrated three years on the road full time last week and it's the coolest thing. We have no immediate plans to return to a "real life" and in fact, our dreams just keep getting bigger.

    Congratulations! Press on! And do plan to cross paths with us this summer somehow!!

    1. You're right - yet again. It is scary. It is worthwhile. It is rewarding. All of that...and much, much more.

      P.S. I CAN'T WAIT until you "unveil" your new dreams.

  3. Do you guys listen to Car Talk? A few weeks ago they had a couple on who were looking to get an RV and travel the country for a year. The car talk guys thought they were crazy! Made me think of you guys, and why you might be crazy, you are also doing something quite noble! Looking forward to seeing what is next!

    1. No, we don't...but it sounds familiar. In fact, I just googled it and am reading up on the show now. Do you enjoy it?

  4. Good post :) I feel so much the same, yet I haven't done the RV thing. We did live in the middle east for a year and a half, though, and that thoroughly changed our family perspective. I must say that all this talk about your "someday" baby #3 has me wondering....WHEN will it happen? :) What a lovely thing to look forward to...
    "Greed behind us, love before us" - putting it into my quotes!

    1. I'm wondering the same thing. We just stopped using birth control this month so...I suppose anything is possible now. ;)

      P.S. When did you live in the middle east? How old were your kids then? I want to hear more!

  5. I love that you are writing through the "not knowing" part of this journey as well, Stephanie. I so appreciate it when people take off the masks of "having it all figured out" - your openness is refreshing. Always, always praying for you and your brave family.

  6. Thank you for allowing us to follow along and get a glimpse of the journey - it's one we all go through in one way or the other! I have to AMEN you on the debt thing - it is so freeing to not have debt. Right now we simply have a mortgage and one that is well below what we can sell our house for - that is a blessing too!

  7. really, really love this post Stephanie! Events like this change lives, perspectives, desires, needs and wants...it's amazing how getting out of our comfort zones can really challenge us in so many ways!

  8. Love this! I believe God very much wants us to wrestle with Him, and to ask hard questions of Him, and of ourselves. This is because God is still speaking to us! We have to keep listening for those new messages, even when they give us great pause.

    So excited to hear more!

  9. Beautifully said. And you will know when it's His timing for you to know. You are an incredible example of Christ Jesus!

  10. so beautifully written. I think it's nice that you have an "end point"at which you will have to decide what direction God is calling you to go in. Sometimes, being a stay at home mom, I sorta forget what day it is and where we're going b/c the days all blend in. This is not good for me as a very goal-oriented person, because I feel like I am never accomplishing something.
    Even if you don't know what will happen a year from now, you have your direction for THIS year and THIS moment, which is more than many people have, I think... you will look back and say "what hath God wrought!" and it will be Beautiful, I am sure. And by that time, I am sure you will have the direction you need for the next step! :)

  11. This makes me admire your quest all the more, because that is one of the things I struggle with the most: the not knowing. I am a planner by nature and the unknown SCARES me to DEATH. Even with my faith, I still struggle with that one. So thanks for sharing your uncertainty. And making it be okay.

  12. Oh, I hear you, friend! Having been {and still living} in a season of the GREAT UNKNOWN, it is HARD & SCARY and I am pretty sure I have ventured into or lived through a mini-quarter-life crisis as well.

    With that said, I am praying for you guys, as I do for us, that His face will be your banner, His love with be your anthem, and His heartbeat will become one with yours so that no matter where you go, you will know...YOU ARE THERE...RIGHT where He wanted and planned all along, even when it feels like you are being held in the claws of an eagle, who is flying across the Grand Canyon, hanging on for dear life and hoping you don't get dropped.

    Hahahahahahaa....had to add a little dramatic flair because well...it REALLY DOES feel like that, right??

  13. You are so lucky to have a man that shares thesame dream and opinions with you. I know whatever you guys decide will be the best for you and your lovely girls. You've been talking a whole lot about babies, do you want another girl or a boy?

    1. We love little girls...but a boy would be new and wonderful too! As Tim always says, I guess we have a 50/50 chance either way. :)

  14. I so love that you are keeping your plans in an open hand. Sometimes His leadership is in staying, sometimes it is in going . . . It is so amazing to be open to whatever it is, for a time such as this. Thanks for inviting us into your journey.

  15. I am glad you wrote this out. I'm sure that as you travel, He will answer your questions. I think quarter-life crises are good - they are God's way of shaking us up and re-examining our life and our choices. I have always felt like a better, more well-rounded person.

    I also think there is tremendous value in living hour-by-hour and minute-by-minute. I am a planner by nature and always feel like I'm looking ahead to what's next, and I am afraid that I am not enjoying my life in the now.

    PS - I have my MBA so if you have any questions or just want an opinion, let me know!

    1. I'm a planner too...so I'm stepping out of my comfort zone a little (a lot?). ;)

      I actually do have three questions for you:
      1. Where did you earn your MBA?
      2. Did you think it was a worthwhile ambition?
      3. If you could go back in time, would you do it again?

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