Well Mama Jean told me I need to write another blog post, so of course, I’m doing it (Insert angel emoji here). See the thing is, I write to process through my stuff. My emotions, my anxieties, my fears and obsessions, and to be quite honest I haven’t really been struggling lately. I’m just so dang happy! But Mama said I’m still allowed to write when I’m happy so here goes it.
I’m currently sitting in a RV Park in Study Butte, Texas, a stone’s throw away from Big Bend National Park. I have on my sunscreen and hat and I’m sitting in the sun with dusty orange and yellow and red mountains on the horizon. I don’t know what it is about Big Bend, but lemme tell ya, the place gets in your blood. It’s vast and full of wild critters and the weather is brutal. The wind the other day got up to 40 miles per hour. Our poor trailer almost toppled over. It tore up our tent we had set out. The sun is unforgiving and the next thing you know your lips are chapped and your legs are white from the dry skin. And the dust. Oh the dust. There is a heavy layer of it in our trailer. I have to wipe out our pots and pans before we use them.
But for some reason, I’m obsessed with this place. Me and a bunch of other people it seems, because the word has gotten out and the park is newly busy. I’m still trying to find words to describe the energy here and all I can come up with is this feeling of connected freedom. Freedom from stuff and luxuries and conveniences and unnecessary items. And completely connected to anther time of strong, independent settlers who somehow tamed the wild land and survived out in the middle of the harsh desert.
My Andrew is teaching a workshop in the Park. He set me up in the RV Park so I could have running water and a fresh battery. He has the truck, Ole’ Hoss, so I’m kinda stranded here. But the people are nice and there are an abundance of meandering trails that wind through the orange bluffs. So I take my walks every day with the girls and enjoy seeing them frolic around. I do my yoga outside and soak up the sun, and I cook my dinners while listening to jazz. It such a simple life that I start to depend on it’s simplicity. When I go to the city that is what I miss most; routine, quiet, uncomplicated horizons and simple pleasures.
Islay and Skye are laying the shade of Gertie, our trailer, and the constant breeze is ruffling their hair. Sometimes I’ll find both girls, sitting up, with their eyes closed facing the sun and sniffing the wind. Seeing them at such peace brings me peace. Heck, even my dogs are nature nerds. It’s kinda a family trait.
I don’t do so well when Andrew is gone, but my girls keep me company. I watch them play and take way too many pictures. They keep me intrigued and occupied on our walks. I have to admit I talk to them way too much. There are little dusty paw prints all throughout Gertie. I’m constantly sweeping up their hair, but they make me oh so happy.
Ole’ Gertie is somehow holding up. We take her to tough places, down tough dirt roads. Good thing Andrew is such a handy man. When he sets his mind to it, he can fix anything. And has had to many times since we’ve been on the road. We definitely got what we paid for with our trailer, but she’s hanging in there!
We’re in the process of our desert tour. First Big Bend, then the Grand Canyon, and onward to Zion National Park and other Utah parks; Arches NP and Canyonlands NP. Utah was the first place we went to when we started out on the road almost a year ago and I’m excited to go back. Can you believe it’s been that long! Some days it feels like yesterday that we started out, and other days I feel like I’ve been doing this forever. We have a little storage unit in Dallas, and I called it from the beginning: one day we’re going to go through that unit, sell what is left of our possessions and keep on chasing the sun.
Once you stop depending on items and stuff to make you happy, life gets a lot simpler. Like, I used to buy dresses. Lots of dresses. But there is just not much need for that on the road. I have five dresses that I rotate wearing to church. I never would have imagined I would be so happy with so little. I used to spend waaay too much money on my face and hair. It’s embarrassing actually. But now, my routine is sunscreen in the morning and baby wipes and coconut oil at night. When we’re off the grid, we only have so much water, so I can’t really stand there for five minutes, running water, to wash my face. Turns out baby wipes work just fine, they take off all the dirt and oil and has a nice little exfoliating effect. Then I lather with coconut oil and call it a day.
I get it though, I spend one day in the city and I all of the sudden feel like I don’t have enough. I don’t know why the city does that to me. I think it simply might be that there are a lot of people to compare myself to. I start looking at other women’s accessories and clothes and grocery baskets filled with extravagances that I start to see my life as rather bleak. Then I get back on the road and feel like I have plenty. Why do we compare? No matter how good we have it, there always seems to be someone who has it better. It can be debilitating and leave you feeling unsatisfied with what you do have. I’ve had to actually unfollow people on social media because I’m comparing my life to theirs. My face, my body, my lifestyle to theirs. It’s silly actually. If only I could bottle up this feeling of connected freedom, go to it when I’m lacking and share with my friends.
When I am lacking, I have an extra long quiet time. Is that a silly Christian phrase? I feel like it is. Andrew and I call silly Christian words that only this select group knows, Bingo Words. Like how we use the phrases, “doing community” and “how’s your walk?” I feel like “quiet time” is one of those Bingo Words. Anyhoodle. Back to the point, when I’m struggling comparing, feeling like I’m lacking, I spend extra long reading the Bible. It reminds me that there is something out there greater and bigger and more fulfilling. It puts my wants in perspective and reminds me that the Lord will provide for all of my needs. All of them. Andrew and I are not really in the place where we have extra spending money. But we’ve always had food to eat and gas for our tank and a place to sleep. Not only does the Lord provide all our material needs, but He gives us a sense of peace in the little things; our dogs, our view outside our window, a cooling breeze.
I often have to remind myself that I am not lacking. I have everything I need. Do you struggle with the same thing? Lacking? Do you compare yourself to others? Do you feel unsatisfied? How do you combat it? I would love to know your thoughts.
I find that when I get hit with that lacking feeling, I start listing out everything I’m thankful for. An amazing husband, sunsets, my dogs, my health, my trailer that provides shelter. Once I get started it seems to flow out and next thing I know I’m not comparing anymore.
Thank you for reading my rambles. I have been so encouraged by this community of readers and I really value you. So I say cheers to living simply, taking walks and watching sunsets!