Our 6 Week RV Trip During COVID, RIOTS & God’s Miracles: Part 1

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Episode Summary

This is part one of a two-part series where we are sharing highlights, God’s miracles, and the truth about how COVID-19 impacted our trip in eight different states. We get to teach our kids how to live during COVID because it’s going to be here for a while and who knows what’s coming down the road. We should walk in wisdom but at the same time continue to truly live. That was our conviction in keeping with our plans to do a 6 week RV trip. While it certainly wasn’t easy, it was worthy and we are so glad we went. We share tips, stories, and God’s provision.

When deciding if we should still follow through on our plans for a one-month RV trip with our 8 kids we considered how COVID-19, riots, and who knew what else was going to come would impact our trip. Was it safe? Should we postpone?

In this first episode of a two-part series where we share about our 6 week RV trip we share how different things are in the eight states we visited, but also a profound truth we all need to be encouraged in, that these things may not change, but we still need to live life. We must live by example and show our children how to walk that fine line of being respectful and a light in a time of unrest in our country while also living life to the fullest and sharing the joy of the Lord with others.

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Full Transcript:

Welcome to Courageous Parenting Podcasts, a weekly show to equip parents with biblical truth on raising confident Christian kids in an uncertain world. Hi, I’m Angie from Courageous Mom. And I’m Isaac from Resolute Man.

We’ve been married 20 years and I’ve seen the fruit in raising our eight kids biblically based on the raw truth found in the Bible. We can no longer let the culture win the hearts of children. Too many children from Christian families are walking away from the faith by age 18. And it doesn’t have to be this way. It shouldn’t be this way. Join us as we start an important conversation about effective parenting in a phone.

Hey, we’re back in town from our incredible trip with the family. Welcome to the podcast.

Hey, everybody. Excited to be here and be home again.

Yeah, so is quite the trip. Definitely interesting travelling during Covid.

And we visited eight states and during riots and.

Yeah. Protesting, which definitely gave us some concern beforehand.

I was wondering if I was putting my family in harm’s way or if this was a wise choice to pursue the trip that we’d planned a long time ago. It was already delayed a month, but we decided to. We felt the conviction to go for it. And we’re so glad we did. But want to share some stories, lessons, miracles and some outcomes that I think would be encouraging your family.

So before we dive into those, though, you guys, we just wanted to say thank you for all of your support for all the shares on social media. It really helps us to get the word out to other people so that they can be encouraged in the word as well. And this episode’s a little bit different than our other episodes. As you guys know, if you’ve been listening for a while, we usually are hitting hard topics, and we’re talking about topics and how they relate to parenting and what we should be meditating on as Christian parents and remembering and reminding our kids of. Right. And so we dive into scriptures and things like that. And we thought that it would be a great opportunity for you guys to get to know us a little bit more on a personal level by sharing our personal testimony of these last six weeks, been on the road with our eight kids. And we did share a little bit of our heart in our previous podcast, which you guys we actually filmed that on the road. Yeah. I don’t know if you guys saw that podcast, but it’s it was titled No Perfect Parents Allowed. Yeah. Right.

but our four week trip turned into a five and a half week trip.

So, yeah, almost just a few days shy of six weeks. And we were just having so much fun, obviously. But we also had some delays, which we will talk to you guys about today. Yeah. And so some people might think, wow, I’m going away for a month or even more than a month.

How do you do that, Isaac?

Yeah, I think, you know, when when I was younger, obviously, I was working hard in a way where I couldn’t leave very often. I had to really schedule a week off. I had flexibility.

But still as an entrepreneur and, you know, as much busier, lots of responsibility for people. Hard to get away from other people when they’re depending on you.

Yeah, exactly. So it was different back then.

And we really realized, as we had some young kids that it was very hard to travel and we felt a conviction to purchase an RV. I think eleven years ago. Yeah. And yeah. back then. And so it’s a thirty nine foot class A RV. We’ve been blessed by it. And it’s been incredible because as our family grew, it literally becomes impossible to vacation. Now there is air B&B now, but as we share a story in El Paso later, there wasn’t an air BMB available that would fit our whole family.

and with Covid things are different as far as air B&B goes, just because different people don’t want to necessarily be renting their homes out right now. And then there’s also the reality is, is there BMB didn’t exist for the first like decade that we were parenting. Maybe more than that.

It was Soha we were trying we’d go to the Oregon coast, but we’d have four young kids and we’d pack everything into the hotel, back out of the hotel.

We’d have to convince them to let us come in because we wanted the baby. Yeah, we we can’t obviously in a different way.

So it’s just it just seemed challenging to actually take breaks and be spontaneous, because when you’re wanting to go somewhere, a lot of plannings involved usually. And that didn’t really fit with our life necessarily. Yeah, it was a busy life. And so that’s part of how we’re able to do it. Also, I think God has orientated our life in a way where we can work from the road, which is a huge blessing. Yeah. So we did work. It wasn’t it wasn’t just a vacation. I was wanting to clarify that although the kids did feel like aspects of it were a vacation, it was much bigger and much more than that. Yeah.

And I would say that this so if you guys have been falling for a while, you’ve probably heard us talk about our three month RV trip that we did two years ago, just before our oldest daughter went off to college. We were like, oh, we’ve had this dream of doing this, like, trip round the United States. And we really wanted to do that. And we’re kind of like, okay, well, we don’t know what the future holds as they go to college. Then they potentially have a job. They maybe need somebody like you just never know. Right. So we were really like feeling the pressure of wanting to get that that dream that we had at ten years before, you know, we really wanted to do that. And I will share that. Like I remember when we were preparing for that, people were even going. How do you even, like, prepare to be gone that long? And so back then, we were able to lease out the home that we were. sublet it, I guess, is what’s called. That was a huge blessing that helped provide some extra income so that we could stay on the road. We also had a massive garage sale and we raised like six thousand dollars for the trip. You remember that? And ended up spending on car repairs just before we left. And so there were a lot of things that we did. There was a lot of planning that was probably six months of really big planning leading up to that trip. And I will just that was different. You were working way more on that trip than you were on this trip.

Absolutely. Full time, actually. Yeah. Time job. This time I was able to be more flex, which is amazing.

Shorter trip, too. So I think that’s important. Well, we did still work, but it was also we prepped our kids that it was a mission trip, that we’re gonna go and we’re going to be spontaneous. We’re gonna not be rigid in our path, although we did do some planning. Kelsey did a fabulous job planning a lot of the trip for us, just perfectly.

She loves doing that sort of thing. It’s so helpful.

So helpful. But but the second half of the trip, I would say, was more sporadic. And and we met a lot of people on the road and God was able to use our kids, user family, use us and some unique ways, which is really cool. So I think that’s important if you’re ever going to do a trip. It’s OK. It’s a vacation. But why not make it more than a vacation? Why not add in and prep your kids? It’s a mission trip and that we’re going to grow stronger together. And so I think it’s really important, you know, help you in any trip. Even short trips you do is to get the focus off of themselves and only what they want to do and focus on something bigger that God wants to do through them and in the whole family together. And that transforms when you go out to eat, how they act there a light and that transforms when you go to the beach, whatever you do. Yeah. And if things don’t work out, it transforms how they react.

They’re flexible. Yeah, it’s true. And so I would say if there’s that one, one of the main first things that we did, aside from like the obvious, which is like booking RV parks and resorts. Right. So Kelsey helped us to do some planning with that and calling places and reserving spots for the first like two, three weeks. And then we were able to know more about our timeline once we got on the road to be able to continue planning further down the road. And so that was a huge, huge help. That was one thing that we did. To be able to get out the door. Right. Another thing was that was what Isaac is talking about, which is having family meetings and sharing vision and casting vision, really. And then also engaging the kids and inviting them to take ownership in communicating about what their heart is and what God’s laid on their heart for this trip too. Right. Yeah. And so that has just been exciting as the kids get older, too, to just see like when we when we say, hey, let’s do a courageous parenting, meet up or let’s meet with some family that’s been in the Kurdish parenting mentor program like all the kids were hands down. Yeah, that’s super exciting. Let’s do it.

Well, that was a major reason for the trip, too, is to actually meet in person with some of the courageous parents around the country. And that was super amazing.

Yeah. And I will say that for those of you listening right now, obviously, like that covid stuff is still all happening around the countries, different state to state. And so, yes, that did actually negatively impact our plans. We did want to have meet ups while we were on the road, like at coffee shops, but coffee shops were closed down, like they are open for people to necessarily go in and meet other people, the beaches work and restaurants, right? Yeah. And so we we kind of found ways to meet with people. And some people even invited us into their home, which was very gracious.

And so so one of those dreams that you’re mentioning there, one of the dreams when I mentioned the beginning here, was the kids all wanted to learn how to surf and they really wanted a lot of beach time. So we’re like, OK. Texas has Beach, California beach. So let’s make sure we spend a lot of our time in those two places. And so that was one of the things because, you know, we live in central organ. There’s not beaches here, but there’s an amazing lakes and rivers.

And I mean, we’ve gone to the beach, our kids whole childhood going to the Oregon coast. That’s very different cause the water is cold. Yeah. And so it’s it’s just very different experience. On our last RV trip, we were all over the East Coast. So the kids, we’re experiencing East Coast beaches. Yeah. Which was super fun. And we didn’t really know what to expect of Texas beaches. We had actually not been to Texas with our kids. We had been flown there for different things. But this was our first time taking the RV to Texas and to Arizona. And just think, you know, when it’s a little risky, when you ask your kids, what are your dreams, what are the things you want to do?

Because sometimes the things they say are going to be way out of your comfort zone or maybe something you’ve never done before and you have no knowledge of. Oh, that’s so true for sure. Surfing. I’ve never been surfing. I can swim, but it’s not like it’s my favorite thing to do and it’s not like I’m super great at it. So, you know, it’s like, you know, I didn’t grow up in the water by any means. Washington State. Very cold water.

So that’s where Isaac and I are so different, you guys, as we’re just sharing our stories and you’re getting to know us a little bit. I’m very much my. My childhood was very different. So I grew up doing swim team swim lessons, my whole childhood and then swim team all the way through high school and then lifeguarded, taught swimming lessons, taught aqua aerobics. Did the whole surfing thing, like, but I haven’t done it for 20, 25 years. Right. And so being able to be on the beach with the kids was really fun. It was different than what I had experienced because when I was a kid, we didn’t do road trips to Texas.

So let’s kick this thing off. So we started by, you know, from where we live in Oregon and jetted to Idaho. And we didn’t spend much time in there because there was a real desire to really start the trip in Moab.

Yes. So we we really hightailed it from Oregon through Idaho down to Moab, Utah. You haven’t been there before. It’s one of our favorite places that we’ve been to on this trip.

Just go Google Moab and hit images.

Yeah. its where Arches. National Park is. And you guys we pulled tonight the Arches National Park. And normally we do. We do have like a national park pass. But a lot of the national parks had been closed down due to Covid. Some were starting to open up by the time that we were going on the trip. But it was really like an everyday you had to kind of keep track of what was opening, what was closing, what was going on.

You know, what’s interesting now that we’re done with the trip.

Kind of feels like we just barely made it into everything as things were either opening, just opening or just closed, just as we left. Yeah. And so was this unique window that we were able to pass through pretty well.

I mean, part of it, too. I think that we were just so overjoyed to be on the trip and with our family. And it was just really we were really grateful for what we were able to experience, that even if things had changed, we didn’t necessarily notice everything, or at least our kids didn’t. We may have, but we didn’t focus on that. We focused more on what we were thankful for. Yeah. And so I think that the kids didn’t even really notice much of how covid had changed things. Like, for example, we went to Arches National Park. Right. We were in drive around. And then later that day we were doing ATV and Canyon Land, which is right there. And so we had this, like, window of time. Right. So we had like the whole morning to do arches. We pull up and we’re like, we don’t have our national park pass. I totally didn’t have time to pull off printing off the fourth grade passport that you can get. You got to Google that if you’re interested in national parks, because you can actually get like a free pass.

Into national parks if you have a fourth grader. It ended up being free and Parks ended up being free because of covid.

Yeah. So they said we’re not sure if we’re gonna be closing or not. So we’re not charging this season. And so because of that unknowing of day to day what was going to be happening, they were like, you can just go in for free. They’re letting everyone in for free, which was a huge blessing.

Yeah. So now that the RV park culture is awesome, by the way, just like camping culture, I’m sure it’s exactly the same. And it’s just that people are really relaxed. They’re really into adventure. And regardless of what you believe about masks and not trying to make a mask statement here, except the reality was nobody really wears masks. So it’s a very freeing kind of.

Yeah. Camping way thing. And I mean, you’re all kind of social distance because your people are careful being wise and so forth.

But the pools were open in Utah and they weren’t in Idaho, I don’t think, and they weren’t in Oregon and they still aren’t in the Oregon RV.

So.

So that was really a blessing. Our kids love. We parked the RV, we set up, and then we go to the pool and then we go do something in the area. It just needs so pretty and pretty much most days during the trip.

We were in the pool or on the beaches and that was amazing. That was also the same for Texas and all of the pools of the parks that we visited.

And there are quite a few all the pools and bathrooms, showers were open. They were not open in Oregon and Idaho. Showers, baths and pools were not open while we were on our trip. They were also not open in New Mexico. And California was and it was one where ended on the county, it felt like or the RV park because some of them hadn’t yet, like, cleaned their pools yet because of that.

And there was just a lot of RV parks just closed, just nice and open. So that was that.

There were some that were, you know, half vacancy and then there were some that were completely full.

Right. And so it just was a really interesting experience, you know, talking to the people who have, like, half vacancy. I guess I always went in and was, you know, dealing with registration and just chit chatting with the people. They’re like, yeah, we’ve had so many cancellations because people are not doing their summer vacations anymore or different things like that, right? Yes. And so that actually allowed us to be able to get favor with our last minute RV spots in some regards and. And so a lot of things opened up for us last met and those last couple weeks that we were on our RV trip, so absolutely, absolutely.

So want to take a moment and give you something for free if you haven’t got it already is the date night one. She is a beautiful document you can download that will have some key questions on it for your date night. Just get in alignment about what’s most important for your family, no matter what time of year. It’s always important to recalibrate. You can get that by going to CourageousParenting.com and subscribing to our mailing list. Also, you can get all of our show notes and everything, a CourageousParenting.com. And I also just want to share real quick about the parenting mentor programs. So many families are being transformed by going through this as the six week self-paced program with Live engagement for us and even direct interaction. So if you want to join us, here’s a little bit more about it. You can find out more at CourageousParenting.com.

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We now haven’t been trained to how we want to raise our children. We have so many answers to the questions that have been in our mind.

It’s not just these hypothetical situations or it’s not just this. Here’s what I think you should do. It’s let me show you where in scripture this is. Do your legacy a favor and yourself a favor and just do it. One of the best things that we’ve done this year, one of the best investments we’ve made this year. And I could not recommend it more or no longer fearing dark days ahead.

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The renting the ATV’s is so family of 10 on ATV. So with ages two to 20, No one between us and we got to six seaters. And so there’s five of us each. I drove one. Austin drove the other. And it was amazing. Yeah. I went out for like five hours or four hours, some like and we it was kind of mellow into the canyon lands and huge canyons river and just off road. And then pretty soon the road would deteriorate and pretty soon it wasn’t really a road anymore, like where’s the road.

Yes. Now we’re climbing, you know, dirt roads with rocks and and going through mud puddle, you know, and it was up inclines and crazy stuff. And, you know, Austin took them through some puddles and got muddy and it was it was absolutely epic. So I would encourage you not to fear doing that with your kids.

And I will say, well, one of our kids is not even two yet and that we were able to put his Car seat, seat belt in and we put him in the middle on the back that they said that they do it all the time. He had a helmet. All kids wore helmets, you know. And so we took all the safety precautions and it was just such a blast. He loved it the most.

He is the one that was like.

We will go fast and get a little get get a little suspension working.

Yeah, it was so much fun. And, you know, guys, those are the types of things where I was just like that was a surprise for kids. I don’t think they were expecting that. And we loved being able to, like, randomly surprise them with stuff like and it was spontaneous.

So that wasn’t in the. Sure. Plans. No, I don’t. You get to Moag. That’s another place where was everywhere. If you make really fun things for sure.

Plans any time to your kids ahead of time when they don’t work out, it can be very devastating. So I hold some of that back. I have ideas about things, but i dont make for sure plans. And they’re like, what are we doing? Well, we’ll see what God has for us. Guys, maybe there’s some reason that we shift gears, but if we don’t tell them exactly what it is yet and they’re all down. We do talk about some things. Yeah. But we never told them they would be going surfing for sure or anything like that cause I’m like, how am i going to pull that off? I. That sounds really expensive. We have zero equipment and all these kids. How in the world would that happen?

Oh, can you imagine how expensive that would be. You guys renting wetsuits and surfboards and all the things, so. Yeah. So anyway, we highly, highly recommend Utah. Moab was one of the biggest I would say the top three or top five highlights of our six weeks was just Moab seen Arches National Park. The kids really enjoyed the rocks and doing the the ATVing thing in Canyon Land. That was awesome. Yeah. So then we moved on in to Colorado. We didn’t spend a ton of time in Colorado, but we did go to Mesa Verde where the cliff dwellings of the Pueblo people are. Right.

And there’s a lot of famous photographers have taken pictures of this stuff.

Yacine. Yeah. So you guys, if you’re getting curious, knowing you’re like what there’s like what are cliff dwellings? So Invision canyons. Right. So this is even near like the Navaho Canyon there. And there were federal signs that said Navajo Canyon territory and different things like that when we were on our cliff dwelling tour. Right. And we were on our little we drove through that area and we’re able to get out and go to, like, the viewpoints and take photos and see them. The one thing that was a little bit. I’ll be honest, a little bit disappointing to me is I was really excited about being able to tour down into the cliff dwellings, but all the tours were canceled due to covered. Yeah. And also the museums everywhere were closed. And so we were able to kind of like peek in the windows.

There weren’t a lot of people either. So it was very, very few people.

So very few. So we got to zip through there. And there’s only a couple hours, which normally I think it takes like a whole day is a long time. And we were able to still read the information when we went to the pit houses, for example, and see how they lived before they lived in the cliff dwellings. And to learn about those people and, you know, you guys, it was super exciting. I mean, we had studied a little bit about them and classical conversations during one of the cycles. And so some of my kids remember that. And they were really excited to be able to see it with their own eyes and see that it’s preserved and that so there and like think about it just to think that they’re sitting there going, how did they get it and how did they have to climb out and say, oh, they must’ve been like, amazing layers. You know, they’re like envisioning what it would be like to climb from where they were, did farming up above where they lived and then like throw ropes down. It was incredible.

So not a lot of time in Colorado, but we definitely saw that. We started out at one RV park for a couple nights.

It was a couple nights and during that time too you guys, like there was some really huge. Well, looking back and even that day, huge answer to prayer because one of our kids started having some really serious back pain. And we had taken this said child to chiropractor’s many times and had taken them to their doctors many times for back pains. They’d been adjusted many, many times in the last couple years, and we took them to the only chiropractor that was open in Mesa Verde.

Now, this is a very small community compared to like, you know, even central Oregon. There’s a lot more chiropractors here. And we go in and this guy is amazing. He takes x rays of our kid and right away is able to diagnose C curve scoliosis. Give us exercises for them to do on the road trip to help adjust, help relieve pain. Different things. Massive help. Massive help. We were able to go back the next day, get corrected again on some things. And I just am really thankful because we had tried pretty much everyone here in central Oregon and there was no diagnosis.

Praise the lord, you know. What it took was being in a small town in the corner of Colorado to get the right diagnosis. And now we can try to find the right help. And so I’m.

I’m really thankful because sometimes you do have to get out of your Moriya to find the help that you know, just to have objective. Sometimes doctors don’t have an objective view. Right. Like if they’ve known you for a long time and they’re like, oh, I don’t know, this kid maybe is complaining or something. I don’t. And so it’s just really healthy to be able to go in there and for them to take a deeper look and be able to right away diagnose that. I’m really thankful.

And our child handled it really well, received the news, in fact. Yeah, hard to receive that. But also encouraging to know. Yeah. And now we know what to pray for and pray for healing and to work.

Renard’s working on. Yeah. And so anyway see you guys could be praying for us on that during. That’s a kind of a fairly, that’s a fairly new journey that we’re working on with this kiddo. And some tough news, but we were able to like go wow, OK, so let’s get a better foam mattress for the RV trip and now do some things to help that kid be more comfortable, too. Yeah. And so anyway, that just was a really in my for my mom, Maha, I was like really praising God for being able to be where we were at that time.

And then we went into New Mexico and Covid restrictions were strong. They’re really strong. And it just seemed like it was hard to go out to eat. It was hard to RV parks were closed, a lot of, you know, some. So it just didn’t seem like a place where close up that. So we just decided to kind of just drive through it. So we we mostly drove through it, but it was really tough because the winds is really open land and the RV is very high as 12 feet, seven inches high. Thirty nine feet long. So it’s like a sale. So when the wind hits, it’s like you have to fight with it sometimes. And I’m not trying to discourage you from ever driving one of those things because you can do it. But, yeah, you just it’s just the reality just takes some experience. So it’s like it’s pretty intense. I just remember the winds and your arms were sore after that. You have to turn into the wind going straight. I literally turn my wheel just to be able to keep going straight some day. And so I would you know, there’s semis and things around you.

And so it takes diligence. But here’s here’s things. This isn’t to scare you because God’s in control and God is powerful and he wants us to pray. Do you know when I drive and I drove a lot. I’m the only one that drove the RV is. I prayed more than I think I have in a long time.

You always do in your heart because, you know, I’m very confident with it.

I’ve been driving it for 10 years. No accidents in it while it’s driving it. Praise God. Yeah. I’ve had some accidents with other people renting it and things, but that’s normal. Nothing major, but so praise God for that. But I think it’s not because of me. It’s because I pray when I’m driving. So if you’re a little nervous, like what’s going to be like driving a trailer or something like that, the solution is be wise.

Don’t be prideful when you’re driving. Don’t be overconfident. Be humble about the potentials here in wisdom. You’re being safe, but everything’s safe distances and all that taking extra precautions. But then the secret is to pray. And I really felt like God was protecting us right around us. And we had another driver we brought the excursion for around the town vehicle and that was getting difficult. Why was it getting difficult?

Well, just because we had so many kids. So, you know, we have we have eight kids. There’s 10 of us, and there’s actually only nine seats. We had to have the console in the front and put in what we call bucket seat right Isaac. And so we put in bucket seat to have that extra seat. And so we had to double buckle for the little short stints that we would go and do things where we weren’t with the RV. Now, when when we’re driving like long distances in between RV parks, for example, or camping, half of the crew is in the RV and a few would be in the yeah. You know, it was different every time.

Kelsey and Austin did a lot of the excursion driving.

I was mainly wherever the little people were up so that I could be Mom. You’re managing the house. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. And so when Isaac is driving, that’s one reason he’s able to actually have more prayer time is because somebody else is actually managing everything else. You’re doing the other hard work. And so he’s able to really focus on the driving. And I don’t typically talk to you much unless we’re like on a really calms space. I’ll sit in the front and we’ll have chitchats and stuff like that. But but typically, if it’s like lunchtime nap, you’re busy. Everything’s like that. I’m in the back and he’s up in the front by himself. Maybe kids sit.

And so it became a little harder because their kids are bigger and it was long. You know, Mom, around town we’re going places an excursion double Buckling. So the kids started praying for a sprinter van. We used to have a sprinter van and it seated eleven people and it was just so nice. To have that to be up the room for everybody in the room for stuff in the back. Oh, yes. Things and so the kids in and I knew that we couldn’t afford a sprinter van. What they cost used. We couldn’t afford because they’re usually they start around, you know, if you want one with not like the max miles already on them, but just good amount of miles. They’re like twenty five grand at least. So that’s without four by four. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. For sure. So but they were Austin really spearheaded that and he was looking but it definitely got us praying about it more and got it in our minds, which was interesting. And then we.

From New Mexico we went in to oh we visited a church in New Mexico and they just re opened what we didn’t know it was a satellite church, like they have a main church and then they have other locations.

So. And so they had no idea. Yeah. There was a pastor there.

They did like the opening comments and prayer.

And then then the rest the sermon was on a screen was on the screen.

But that’s all right. Yeah.

But it was good to see other Christians in, you know, connect with them briefly. Yeah.

And just see where the heart is that people around the country, although I will say it was difficult because the other Sundays that we were in town, we did look to see if there were churches that were open at least, but most places were closed and most of the areas that we traveled while we were on our trip. So we did our home church. Just our family. Yeah. Yeah, it was good. Isaac, we were reading through Revelation through part of it, and then also in Colossians, which we shared a little bit about what what what we were learning in the last podcast.

Yeah. So then we went to Texas and we spent quite a bit of time in Texas. Its huge. We spent over two weeks, little over two weeks. I think it ended up being in Abilene, Texas was our first stop. And I don’t know a lot about Abilene, Texas, but they have one of the best RV parks that ever been. And we went in and we drove. And when you drive in, you kind of see everybody parked in all the spots, you know, so and spacious. And then I saw this one spot. It was like perfect spot. And it had this swinging chair and had a barbecue already set up.

I’d never seen them had a like a cast iron table with cushioned chairs that seats six people for a fire pit.

And it was just like, wow, I want that one. And sure enough, that’s the one we got.

Yeah, that’s the one Kelsey had reserved. And so when we come in and of course, the kids are like all their noses are up against the window. They’re like, look at the pool.

It was just it was a great resort.

That was an epic day. Yeah, for sure. And so that was like our first experience really with Texas. Yeah.

And we were like and bigger and better and better in Texas. It was pretty fun. Yeah.

And then after Abilene we headed down to the Austin area and that was where we surprised our kids. The second time and we got a pontoon boat on Lake Travis that was so fun with that jump pad that floats and we’ve got bring brought the paddleboards inflatable paddleboards.

And that was so fun.

Yeah. So for those of you who were watching our story on Instagram, you probably saw us with our paddle at boards a few times. Those we actually didn’t rent those. Each time we’re using paddleboards, we own those paddleboards. We got them here and Bend before like a month beforehand. And we have been loving them. We take them out everywhere with us when we go places now.

But they just pump up. Lake Travis, Lake Travis is absolutely beautiful if you’re going to Texas. That’s that’s a win win.

Yeah, for sure. You got to do that to rent a boat. We rented a pontoon boat speed boat. This time we rented a pontoon boat was our first time renting one of those and it was just such a blast. And the kids got to try driving a boat. Yeah, it was fun. Yeah. So we great on that great day. Yeah. And then while we were in Austin, you also went paddleboarding with Megan and Ethan down the river and got to see part of the city.

Oh yeah. So Megan, we had an RV Park, right, just on the skirts of the city of Austin. And we went downtown and we had some lunch with Megan and Ethan and then we paddle boarded in. I don’t know what you call it, but it’s a town town, literally. And you’re going under bridges and stuff and then out in front of the skyline of Austin. And it’s really crazy because there’s turtles in there, all kinds of turtles around you and there’s people everywhere. There’s people jumping off the bridges into the water. There’s people on the sides like barbecuing on the ledges and there’s boats and kayaks.

And yeah, there was tons of people. So that was a really neat experience. And but, you know, one thing about Austin, I’ve been to Austin before. I’ve been to South by Southwest Conference before. It’s one of the major creative and tech conferences in the world. And I’ve seen Austin, when it’s doing well and Austin, is not doing well right now, you know, I think a lot of major cities are not looking so good right now based on the riots and protesting things that are happening. Definitely Austin was that there’s hardly anybody downtown. Things were boarded up. Yeah, a lot of that.

So we did drive through a few of the major cities in the states that we visited. And one of the things that the term that comes to my mind is it’s like a ghost town in some places.

I mean, there is I remember even driving through one of the towns, I don’t know if it was it might have been San Antonio. And there was you expect when you’re in Texas to see Tumbleweed. Right. Go going to the result. And and we did see that. But then in a different city, we saw a box as if it was a tumble. There was no people anywhere around El Paso. And and so, like, they’re just there definitely has been some it’s been an exodus from the cities and they’re kind of run down, not all of them, but some of them.

Austin definitely looked like it got hit a little bit. And then we went to Galveston.

Oh, yes. They’re like, okay, let’s hit the Gulf Coast.

So there’s the East Coast, the West Coast, and there’s a Gulf Coast.

That’s right. So the Gulf of Mexico, we were in Texas along the Texas coast, which we had never been there before, ever. Yeah. Right. And didn’t really know what to expect. And for those of you who are in Texas, you’d be like, why did you come for the The beach in Texas? But you guys warm water. It was warm, but it was also brown and we weren’t expecting that. Obviously, if you do a little bit of Galveston, you’ll find out that there’s a loop current, right, because of the Gulf, but also the Mississippi Rivers bringing stuff in.

And so, you know, the water’s brown and it’s not necessarily contaminated. It’s just brown with swirling and everything. But sometimes maybe it is minimal.

We don’t know if we went in the water, we went in the water and we had a great time.

It was so much fun. That was beaches are beautiful. And, you know, if you guys, again, if you’re watching you price out a lot of spike ball, your kids brought one game with them on this trip and it was Spike Ball. And it’s the best if you haven’t played Spike Ball with your kids. I just to give you a courageous parenting challenge to learn these rules and play some spike ball with your kids because you will become addicted to this game.

It is so much fun in the mayhem has not stopped since we are home. And I’m so sore every muscle in my body for it.

So. And so when you guys were still playing Spike Ball almost every day.

That’s true. And I need to get more fit just to keep up with the way our family is.

That’s a good thing. Good things can keep you alive longer. Yeah. But you guys, we did have a great time in Galveston. We went to the Jamaica Beach RV resort and they had an awesome lazy river that we spent like a half of a day at, actually. Oh, yeah. It was so much fun. We got to see some friends. Oh, yeah. Met us there. The American road trip family. all of the meetings were sporadic people and messages on these very spontaneous, spontaneous like we had. We want to go to the beach where you never visit again before.

And I’ve met them before. So they joined us. And then another family can’t be next to us, joined us. And we’re all sitting on our little patch of grass by our RV, very small for like eight hours.

If you don’t like it, you know, just chit chatting middle until the end of the night and good times.

There’s so many good times. And, you know, I, I just want to encourage you guys, like, it was so fun because this kind of stuff was not planned. It was spontaneous. We spent the day at the beach and then the next day we spent some time like I was doing laundry everyday, like four days, which is a big chore. That’s like guess that four to six hour job.

Sometimes we’re in there together at midnight.

Yeah. Usually I would say probably 60, 70 percent of the time I did doing much.

But I was keeping you company.

Yeah. He would sit there, she has your work and you would work. You would do work. Oh do laptop work. Yeah.

He’d bring his laptop and he’d sit and he’d work and I have my system as she has her laundry system that’s you know, she kind of enjoys doing.

I love doing laundry and, I love having my husband to help with the lifting part because bringing all of the clothes and sleeping bags and towels from the RV for ten people, that’s that’s a big job. So.

So it’s not for the faint of heart. It’s sometimes you have to commit to things and then find out how much work it is and how hard it is. Yeah. Because it’s so worth it if you just dwell on how hard something might be, you may never do things that are important experiences.

They’re so fun. So we had a great time in Galveston and then we moved on to the next beach, which was Corpus Christi, and then we moved down to South Padre Island in Corpus Christi.

The water got really a lot clearer.

It wasn’t perfectly clear, but it was a little brown button and it was very about ten feet into the ocean. I was then I was getting my. Think I’m more optimistic on this, but right.

And it was beautiful. Corpus Christi, where the water was gorgeous. It felt clean. It was warm. The beaches were gorgeous.

Okay. The kids had such a great. The sand was perfect. We. We spent a good amount of time playing on the beach. And then we headed down to South Padre Island. And we were there for two or three days.

Now, just spontaneous little. Jerry, I’m like kids. If you want to see the best beach in Texas, we’ve got to go to South Padre because we were going to shoot straight up to San Antonio from Corpus Christi. Yeah. But then they’re like, no, we want to see the best beach. So then we.

So we’re right very close to the border of Mexico. Yeah.

It is one of the southern. It’s the second southernmost point in America other than in Florida. So the town where we were in Florida. Yeah.

Yeah, that’s cool. That’s a interesting fact. I didn’t know. Yes. So South Padre Island was unbelievable. It was a great experience. Although this is where one of our first, like, miraculous thing happened, I would say we got that sweet RV spot we at Fort Round Front.

It was a stampede at the jump house. Oh, it was crazy. Okay. That’s right.

Next time you spot was totally booked up. Right. And this was at the point where we had already gone past our RV reservations. So we’re calling. We’re asking. No, I do not know. We’re booked.

And I’m like, can you just check one more time for me? And they’re like, oh.

Oh, wow. Something did open up. So they heard one. And then we get there and we’re in it. We’re in a great spot. Yeah. But in the morning, I’m going to do laundry and I see the perfect spot and it’s empty. And I’m like, I’m just gonna ask. Yeah. So I go into the office and in my case, anybody in that spot went to one and they look in they’re like, nope. And I’m like, oh, would it be too much if we moved because we’re just four spots down. And they totally accommodated us. You guys, it was the perfect it was the perfect RV spot because there’s literally right in front of the place structure view of the water, the view, the water, the bay. There was a tetherball pool. We were able to play Spike Ball right there. Kids get really out there and we can see them. Yeah. From the RV. But we also had that deck, the house price deck, Adirondack chairs and. Oh, it’s just gorgeous. And God’s provision is me just provided. But that wasn’t the work. I mean, that was a miracle, but that wasn’t what I was talking about. So Isaac and I hadn’t had date night and we’re at like three weeks. Like Ang let’s go , 10 p.m. let’s let’s go out. Yeah. He’s it’s like 9:30. And he he goes the kids, he’s like kids. I won’t take your mom out. They’re like, yep, sounds good. You know, Kelsey’s like, go, go, go. And Austin’s totally you know, all the older kids are like, yeah, go. We’ve got this. Yeah. And so I quickly change. We get in the car, we just take off. We’re like, hey, where are we going to go? Right.

Because I know many restaurants are closed. This is really cool restaurant right on the bay because there’s a bay side in the beach side because it’s on a little islands. Thin Island. Yeah. And so on the bayside, there’s core restaurants. So we go and there’s all people in there and they go, no, we’re not seeing any more people.

We’re like, well, I mean.

But it was weird, though, because there were people that literally just got sat right in front of I might have been a private thing. And so I don’t know. I mean, we had it was weird. We had masks with us. I don’t know if we were wearing them, but they were like, no, sorry. And they didn’t listen and were like, well, OK, now what? And so we’re looking around.

Most places look close to here. There’s a strip of bars, right? Oh, my. No, I had never been to a like a normal bar. She’s been to places that serve drinks that are more restaurant.

But there’s I’ve never been to a bar in my life. I’ve steered clear of them my whole life.

We’ll find a cool spot in the bar.

And so and I’m like, so then I try and go in this one. And she’s like, No, not that one. No, I. You’re trying all this other one’s. No, not. Yeah.

He’s like Mr. Vigilent with the mask. Don’t take a step forward until you get that mask on. And we’re like, whoa, okay. We put the masks on and then we took five steps beyond and then you’re allowed to take that off.

Nobody on our side said that’s kind of how it was. Yeah. Anyway, as they record me.

Okay. But so this place had an awesome setup because it was like also a place where during the day water sports are rented. Yeah. And so they had this huge dock that had chairs and tables set up and you could go and sit there after you, you know, got something to eat or whatever. Yeah. And so where we decided to go way down to the end of the dock. So there’s like nobody out there near us right now. So we’re out on the end of this dock and we’re sitting there.

And you guys, it occurs to me, it dawns on me that this is probably this is like where Jaws is filmed. Right. Like, I’m looking and it’s like.

Which is one of those movies that terrified my wife.

Okay. So this is like a very traumatic experience for me. I promised myself I wish I was never, ever. Go to this place, right? And I’m sitting there, I couldn’t help but like, look at the water and and I’m like looking around and there’s like this right over there and people fisher jumping in.

I’m like, I’m kind of jumping Isaac laughing at me. Anyways, so we’re having a fun date night or Isaac’s having a fun date night. I’ve never been more terrified.

I we sat way from all the people in the bar and just to have a private time way down the dock.

Yes. And so there’s nobody sitting there talking. And then all of a sudden a guy walks by and he was obviously very he was drunk.

He looked upset. He looked very drunk. He wasn’t walking straight. He was a big guy. And he came by us and then walked back. And then he walked by us again. And that’s when you guys might relate to this. But I got in the posture of booking and I remember my moves. My guy moves and I’m gonna remember, you know, I’m going to get my body situated. Some that’s stuck under the tables, my lady, protect my life. So I if I was in that mode of, you know, calm, but just ready.

I definitely felt that there was a threat. Yeah, we weren’t sure. And so we tried to enjoy that the next private time. And then he walks back down again and then he goes to this tiny little door that says private do not enter. And it’s like a tiny it’s not even a dock, you guys. But I mean, to call it a dock. It was like a foot and a half to two feet wide. He walks along it and gets into this really nice fishing boat. And I’m like, Isaac, that can’t be his boat. Like, what is this guy anyway?

I think that we should close this out and do a part two, because we’re getting so we’re it’s it’s getting a little long and there’s some really amazing parts of the trip left. And I think it will end up being like an hour and 20 minutes. So this is a perfect spot.

It’s a little cliff hanger, to, to pause and say thank you for joining us in the second part.

I think you’re really going to love because it does the surfing end up happening and how does God do that? Maybe. What happens to this guy? And there’s many other things that come about that God provides. The breakdowns.

We’ll talk about all of that in the next episode.

But we hope this is encouraging for you. Whether you take a week with your family a couple of weeks or have a dream way down the road of organizing your life in a way where you could do a three or four week trip of some sort. It doesn’t have to be an RV trip, but hopefully it is encouraging you to not let Covid not let the things deter and change the joy and the adventures you can have as a family. You might have to do them a little differently.

You may have to be have wisdom, but you can still do them. One of the things that I’d like to end on as one of the things I’ve been telling our kids, which is you guys, you know what? This virus is not going away and there will be more viruses in the future. It’s predicted in the Bible. Right. There’s going to be more hardships in life. But that doesn’t mean that you stop living. You still have to find a way to live life. We want to be wise. We want to be loving. We want to care for other people. And the Commission is important, but we still need to live life.

Don’t live for Someday. Remember, the life you’re living is your life. The life your kids are living. Is there life and you have influence over that. Now understand resources and things like that. I will tell you, this was a big sacrifice of resources. There’s a lot of things we could have been doing if we were working full time. Yeah, there’s a lot of things that ended up costing way more money and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Did we have to dip into some of our savings for a house? Oh, yeah, we did. And I don’t regret it. Was that the plan? No, but something’s happened. And then God provide in some other ways. And we’ll tell you in the next episode. But thanks for joining us.

See you next time.

Hey, thanks for listening to this episode. We wanted to quickly tell you about a six week online parenting mentor program.

Isaac and I created a powerful biblical curriculum. Here’s how it works. Each week, Isaac and I release a video with a downloadable parenting package to make it easy for you and your spouse to incorporate those teachings directly into your parenting.

It’s an incredible program where we cover everything from obedience training to overcoming mistakes most Christians are making. But more than that, it’s an incredible community. You’ll have access to a private online group live Webcast and the courageous parenting text message line where I can send weekly encouragements straight to your phone.

If you’re interested in joining our next online parenting mentorship program, secure your spot now at CourageousParenting.com.

That’s CourageousParenting.com

Written By Angie Tolpin
Angie has been married to Isaac for 19 years and together they have eight children, whom she homeschools. She is the Founder of CourageousMom.com, a doula, the author of the best-selling book Redeeming Childbirth, and the creator of the first ever Christian Postpartum Course. Angie loves ministering to Women and has created a few online Bible Studies on Biblical Friendship and Motherhood.

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