Sunday, September 26, 2010

It's All Part of the Journey

Thirteen months ago we drove away from our family & friends, from our home.  We headed out on an adventure of a lifetime.  We didn't know how long it would last or even if we would enjoy it.  But we knew one thing, we longed for a new place to call "home".  Even then (if we answered honestly) we would have told you that we wouldn't be settling back down in California.  Not that we don't like it, we love it, HELLO OCEAN, FAMILY, FRIENDS, COMFORT.  It was more a sense of just knowing California would not become our home again. 

All along we prayed for God's guidance and His wisdom.  We prayed that He would lead us to that place that was to be our home.  And He guided...guided us on an unforgettable journey, one that will leave us longing to travel again, but KNOWING without a doubt where we are to call our home.  I cannot begin to put into words what has transpired these past three months, it is more than one midnight posting can handle.  I can say that for 10 months we traveled throughout nine different states and not once did we feel like "this could be home", don't get me wrong there were cute towns, wonderful people and fantabulous restaurants, but not "home".  We didn't even long to be back in Northern California, yes we missed the people & the ocean, but we didn't long for it.  That was until we arrived in St. wasn't all bright lights and fancy fun, it wasn't the best weather or the best was community, comfort and peace.  It was right. 

All together we were in St. Louis for two months and at the one month mark we knew we didn't want to leave, we tried to talk ourselves out of it.  It went something like this, "oh we just miss community" or "well it's been a rough month, we won't feel like this in a few weeks, we'll be ready to leave" or "at this point we'd probably settle down anywhere"...I mean who chooses to make St. Louis, MO their home when they could live on the coast of California??!!  About 10 days prior to leaving St. Louis we began praying for a way to come back, we knew God was calling us to be there.  Our church family had begun praying for us.  We left St. Louis and felt heart sick &  homesick. 

And then over the course of the this past month we went from longing to be back in St. Louis (but still sometimes trying to talk ourselves out of it) to Nick getting a job offer for a permanent (non-traveling) position with the same company he is working for now.  And now knowing that in a little over a month we will be trekking up California to get whats left of our belongings (we sold or got rid of most everything last July) and then making the move to St. Louis.  There are many many miracles and beautiful details of how God has planned this so us it was impossible, we prayed for it anyway and what do you know the impossible is becoming possible.  And I will continue to believe that He will work out all the details and continue to make the impossible possible; the move, our housing, our life once we arrive. 

Now to anwser some of your questions:
Do you think you will live in St. Louis FOREVER?  Honestly I don't know.  I do know we would love to travel again and not just weekends and summer vacations, we are already dreaming of traveling for an extended period of time.  I have no idea when that will be or how that will play out.  It could be in a year or it could be in ten or it could be never.  If I hadn't learned this before, this adventure has pounded it into my brain...I cannot plan my life.  I can dream, I can pray, I can steer, but I cannot control. 

Are you selling the RV? We aren't 100% sure yet, but I would lean towards yes.  As sad as that is, we know that if we were to full-time again we would want something with more storage and larger.  And plus, I've always made fun of those people we have an RV/Trailer/5th Wheel and pay money to store it, pay the insurance and never use it.  We are moving to St. Louis to live our life there, we won't be going to the lake on the weekends or taking off for weeks in the summer.  We have had so much fun traveling in it & have loved making it our home, we want it to be enjoyed, not wasted. 

Why St. Louis?  I can only answer that by saying we feel a strong calling to be there.  We feel convicted to love on the people in that area that are less fortunate than we are.  We desire to be in community with people there.  Plus, it is a SWEET city; museums, parks, restaurants, big city life...yet oh so close to country farms and nature. 

If I didn't anwser a question you might have or you are wanting more info on our home on wheels that may or may not be for sale :) or you have some St. Louis or moving cross country advice, feel free to comment or email me at lendefamily (at) gmail . com

And last but not least, don't stop reading just because we won't be a traveling family anymore...I can assure you our life will still be full of adventure.  In the next month we have to find a home, suited for seven in an city that has over 79 neighborhoods (in the city limits) and almost 3 million people in the metro area.  I am hyperventilating just thinking about it. 


  1. I won't stop reading! I'm kinda sad that as I begin my traveling adventure, that you will be stopping but Lake of the Ozarks Missouri is where my family lives so we will be through there a lot. I'm sure you will find a really nice house, I know people that live in St. Charles but I don't know if you want to live in the burbs. I'm really excited for you!!!! I'll email you with those questions!

  2. I'm so glad you've found a place to call home. But seriously, CA will be missing you! :)

  3. Love youre writing, miss your (face to face) friendship, will probably never stop reading. Youre stuck with me babe. I'm a little dissapointed that you will be planting such distant roots, but I gues we now have a destination point if we ever travel. ;)

  4. Wow Steph! So excited for you guys! Too bad you didn't end up in Boise or something ;) but you have such an awesome testimony and I can't wait to see how God plans to you use and Nick and the kiddos in St. Louis!! Praying for you all!

  5. Just commented and think I lost my post. But congrats again, way to have the faith!! We're here for anything you need and would love to help you out with anything, please let me know what you need! I can put out feelers for housing when you decide on a neighborhood or area, and remember you always have a country home in St. Louis right here, even if it's just for a visit! Can't wait to see our "RV friends" again!!!

  6. Ah, I missed this!! I hope we do get to meet up soon then, although I'm sure we'll be swinging by St. Louis too!

  7. Best wishes for peace and clarity as you make decisions (I know there will be quite a few!) in the coming weeks. It sounds like you have had many adventures, but it's clear that this isn't the end. Perhaps it's just the beginning to something even more grand?

    Thinking of you!

  8. I just found your wonderful blog today...if you haven't been to Grants Farm in STL, you should definitely check it out. It's where they house the Budweiser Clydesdale's and many many other animals and the best part is, it's free, you just have to pay to park. I lived about 2 hours outside of STL for a little over a year and I love that city. I hope you all enjoy your time there!


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