I never anticipated that I would go from living the American dream to living out an unexpected dream for my life.
I mean really, we were living the American dream. Why would we give it all up to pursue something that is so uncertain, unstable, and definitely not the norm?
Well, let me invite you into this process a bit more and maybe it will stir something inside you too… and give you an update to our constantly shifting plans.
Our plans to move from California to living in an RV to landing somewhere in Idaho continue to shift and change at the seams, and yet what doesn’t change is the deeper hope and peace we have that we are still heading in the right direction.
We packed our dream home this past weekend, which was so incredibly hard. Because I loved my home. And it’s hard to give up something you love. Now all of our furniture and items that are not day-to-day living items are stored in one semi-large tightly tetris-organized Zippy storage container (that my husband so carefully engineered to make all our furniture fit) and will eventually make it’s way to Idaho when we are ready for them. We also have many boxes and items stored in our 41 ft. fifth wheel trailer that we originally planned on driving around the western states, travelling on the road, until mid-December. This is where our story changes.
We are no longer taking our trailer and travelling to multiple locations. We are no longer doing our long cross-country trek like we originally planned. Things shifted and more glimpses of the future began to make it’s way clearer as we continued navigating this uncertain path. A path that now involves a 50-acre ranch in a quaint little town of Emmett, Idaho birthing an unexpected dream and redirecting us in a direction we never knew we would be embarking on.
A few months ago, right after my husband and I decided it was time for him to quit his job and make a drastic change to our life, we began exploring our options for where we might end up. We talked about a quieter pace of life, somewhere a bit more rural instead of the bustling, crowded city area of Los Angeles (even though we are on the outskirts of it, it still feels like we are in the heart of it). I definitely wanted someplace not too cold or wet (hey, I’m a California girl that loves her sunshine) but still close enough for all our family in California to visit. Jeff wanted a place where he could fish to his hearts delight. We also wanted a place that was less expensive to live in with lower taxes and a more conservative feel. That ruled out many places and originally ruled out Idaho (because I thought it was too cold), until I heard about the Boise area which I discovered has milder winters and still plenty of sunshiny days. It also seems to provide everything else we were looking for in a place to live…and for some reason I was drawn to it.
We decided it would be good to explore various areas in our RV but stay in the Boise, Idaho area for a month to really get a feel for the place before deciding to buy a home. But as we got closer and closer to the RV adventure of travelling around, we felt less and less excited or sure that this was what we were supposed to do. We began to wonder if the RV was even a good idea in the first place.
Let me just tell you the changes we are now pursuing in a nutshell and how we got to this place of change and why we believe this is exactly what God was beckoning us to. We recently became unexpected small partners for a 50-acre ranch in Emmett, Idaho that is going to be re-built to become a Christian retreat/events center. The deal was about to fall through and when we found out about it, we had 24-hours to decide. Through an intentional time of prayer, I knew within a minute due to the deep amount of peace I felt that we were to be a part of this dream. This shifted our plans to travel as it became abundantly clear that we should go straight there. The place needs a ton of work to get it up and running (prayerfully) by April, 2019. We will now be taking our RV straight to the ranch and living in it for the first month or so and then we will stay in one of the smaller homes (very simple and nothing fancy) on the property. I’m currently staying at my parents house for the next 4 weeks while Jeff (my husband) takes a spiritual solitude time in Washington for 3 weeks facilitated through a Christian counselor. He comes back September 30 and after that we will head to the ranch and start our unexpected dream to help build the Christian retreat/events center!
I know, wow right?! This was not what we expected to happen and yet, I’ve seen so many arrows pointing to this place that I can’t help but believe that this is exactly what God had prepared for us to do and be involved in. And if we didn’t decided on the RV adventure initially, this new path probably wouldn’t have been possible because we would have likely bought a house already in Idaho and we may not have had the necessary funds to help become partners in making this ranch possible. Plus, we still need the RV until we can get a home on the property fixed up enough to live in (hopefully).
The events that led up to this moment has me in awe of God and His clear involvement. It’s crazy to look back and see how all the pieces have come together so beautifully. We only knew at first that my husband was to quit his job and we would be moving. We had no idea where. No idea what was going to happen. But we KNEW this was the right decision. We had a deeper peace leading us and we knew God would provide like He always has and always will. My coaching business is thriving, I have multiple book contracts pending, and we are so thankful for the ways God keeps providing for us amidst this uncertain adventure.
One thing you need to know about this decision to go to this ranch and why I know I am supposed to be involved in it. When I met with the couple buying the ranch, I asked them what their vision was for this place. They looked at each other then looked in my eyes and replied, “Our hope and vision is that people of all walks of life and through various events become refined and restored by God. We will be naming this place Restoration Ranch.”
If you’ve been following me long enough, you know the meaning behind those words. Refine and Restore. This is the mission God gave me and placed in my heart over three years ago. God told me to hold onto this mission and share it with others. It is the title of my debut non-fiction book which I’m writing right now. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
I know this is the path God had planned for me and my family all along and there is no time to waste on the road now that we know our help is needed on this ranch to make this unexpected dream and mission a reality.
So there you have it friend! I’m not exactly sure how this is all going to pan out but I’m so incredibly hopeful and excited for this move from California to Idaho and this shift from living the American dream to living out this unexpected dream for our life. Perhaps this is only temporary. Or maybe we will be there long term. I don’t really know. But I do know this is the next step for us. And perhaps this will inspire you to think about your own life and have the courage to step out and take that invitation by God when He beckons you to “Come and follow me…”
P.S. Current set-up at Grandma’s and Grandpa’s house involves painting a million pictures and hanging them on her mirror. 🙂