Pioneer life

Alison here…
Here I sit in Oregon. We have spent several days experiencing this wild state. If you haven’t been here, I would highly recommend a visit. We didn’t even make it to the coast as planned and yet I have been completely enchanted. We have been in the mountains, the pines, the vast open land with no trees, only sagebrush, the snow, the sun, and, oh, the sky! We have traveled alongside the Columbia and Snake Rivers that I lack words to describe.

It has a totally different feel from Idaho and Wyoming where bears and buffalo lurked everywhere, but what it has in common with those states is a vast feeling that reminds one of Conestoga wagons and Natives.
I have completely romanticized the pioneer days in my mind. If I could have lived at any other time in history, it would have been in a covered wagon headed west. I know, I know. I’m much too spoiled to really do well with it, and would have run screaming for the future the first time I had to use a chamber pot, but ever since I read Laura Ingalls, I’ve been in love with the clothes, the simplicity, the family life.
We visited the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center. Very, very cool for me. I got to picture myself in that wagon, read quotes from travelers of yesterday, and actually stood on the path that remains of the Oregon Trail. Of course, I bought the diary of a woman who made the trip once upon a time and read it immediately.

Kyrsten is studying this for school as we travel so we have learned much from sight as well as study! Also, we bought the Oregon Trail app for all our iPads and iPods so we are all lost in the mid-1800′; well, as much as it is possible to be lost in the 1800’s on an iPad.
Kyrsten is also learning about Lewis and Clark and we have traveled to many of their stops. Can you imagine being the very first to see this land long before power lines and hotels dotted the landscape?
That is what is so fascinating about the West. You can still see it! So much of it looks like it must have then when it looked like God meant for it to instead of how man has developed it.

We do a lot of talking as a family. We laughed tonight at dinner about how it’s amazing that we not only still have things to talk about with each other, but we still love to! We still laugh and tease and cry together.
We kind of feel like pioneers in a way. I don’t know anyone else who has done what we are doing so that feels like a first. We packed our “wagon” with essentials (much less than seemed possible to live off of) and set off with no specific knowledge of our course, just an abiding faith that God would cover us. We have unique challenges to face as a family regarding our working together. We have certainly learned how to make do with less. We feel somewhat estranged from home. We keep a diary (you’re reading it). Yes, I’m quite aware there are a million differences, but still the similarities fascinate me.
We left knowing that God has been preparing us for this journey for years, really. He birthed the dream in us many years ago and allowed us to see glimpses along the way as to how it might actually happen. Each step along the way toward our dream increased our faith and sometimes really stretched it! Like giving us the vehicle, but holding the date for months til we could leave. Of course, in retrospect, we see how much His plan and timing provided things we couldn’t have planned in a million years. We had planned to be gone in the summer, but had we gone then, I can’t imagine how we would have ever had availability at a campground to just drive in and choose whatever spot we want! We were concerned about winter holding off as we got delayed in the Virginias. Ha! We have had a bubble of beautiful weather surround us in every state! Can’t tell you how many times we’ve heard, “You sure came at the right time! It’s never this nice this time of year!” And as we leave, here comes the snow!
I just love living in His favor! He is so very, very good to me. How does one acquire favor that allows for your wildest dreams? Well, I don’t claim to have all the answers and I know in my humanity I don’t deserve one bit of it, but I can tell you what I do know.
First of all He is crazy about me. I don’t have to do anything about that. It’s just fact.
But from there it can only start with complete surrender. The trade-off is, God, You are King of my life and when I turn every single one of my plans over to You, I let go of all control. It doesn’t matter if the things You ask me make me unpopular or set me apart from “normal.” I will be obedient to whatever You ask of me because the box this world has made for me to live in just isn’t big enough for all the goodness You have for me. I GIVE UP!
The minute Christian and I got to these places individually and in our marriage, and as each of our children have in turn, the sky opened up and favor rained down. Our faith shouldn’t look typical! It shouldn’t ever look average! We were meant to LIVE and ABUNDANTLY! We love what God is doing and long for others to jump out of the box and get a little crazy like we are! Come on in, the water’s fine!!!

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