Off the Road and Into Fellowship

Hey everyone! As most of you know, we've been out of the RV for a long time now. Last August we found a property that we fell in love with in Cotopaxi Colorado. It's about a 20 minute drive from the Royal Gorge Bridge and after being here for nearly a year it's really starting to feel like home. There was so much that went into our decision to stop full-timing that I'll have to leave it for another post. 

I can't believe that we haven't posted here for almost a year!! In some ways, our 8 month adventure in our RV feels like a lifetime ago. Our time on the road was so precious and we don't regret one minute of it. I hope the kids will be able to look back on it fondly as they grow up. That time together is something we'll always cherish. 

Sometimes it takes time to process different seasons that we go through in life. What did we experience, what did we learn, what was God trying to show us? I can't say I always understand why things happen the way they do... sometimes until years after the fact. We make decisions without always considering the ramifications. One thing I've learned as a Christian is that so much of my life is out of my hands. I can choose to accept that and walk in the Spirit, trusting that God will lead me as I submit to Him, or take the more painful route that is characterized by anxiety, fear, pride and stubbornness. Why do we so often put ourselves through the latter? 

For the first 6 months or so that we got off the road and came to live in the mountains, I didn't really understand why. Of course we loved it... what wasn't to love? Low cost of living, real peace and quiet, amazing neighbors, tons of time with our family and just space to live. But why? What did God have for us in Cotopaxi the place no one has ever heard of? 

The peace and quite has brought much needed time for reflection. Earlier this year I came across a quote by Spurgeon that really ministered to me personally. I liked it so much that I decided to frame it and on that same day, Lori pointed out the date to me. It was 125 years TO THE DAY that Spurgeon had preached that sermon where the quote was pulled from. Pretty awesome. 

The first lesson is that fellowship with God takes preeminence over everything. As a Christian, nothing in your life will be in balance if you aren't pursuing your relationship with God through Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit. What else could possibly be more important than that in this life?

Second, fellowship with other people matters. A lot. As a guy I don't often feel the need to have to be around people all the time. I'm perfectly content to go a week or two just doing my own thing. I have plenty of stuff to keep me busy. But just because I am capable of that doesn't mean is always a healthy thing. I have a lot to learn in that regard and Lori has been showing me by example how much it matters. 

The single hardest thing about being in the RV was not having regular fellowship with other people and especially other Christians. At first we were so excited and seeing family so much and doing so many amazing things that we didn't think about it all that much. But over time it began to get harder and at times excruciating. When you live in a random RV park for 2 weeks at a time and don't know a single soul for hundreds of miles it can wear you down. I remember one week when we were finally able to connect with another full time family and park next to them for about 5 days. We were so starved for relationships that I think we had dinner with them 4 nights in a row! 

Long story short, as we started to settle down in Cotopaxi, finding a Church was a big priority. We had already connected with our new neighbors a little bit, and we were now only about 10 minutes away from family we loved, but finding that Church family was super important for us and the kids. We landed at Living Stone Calvary Chapel and have pretty quickly gotten connected. It's been so sweet to be able to connect & serve again. It's been good for our souls... I don't know how else to describe it. 

My encouragement to people that are planning to full time or are considering it is to take stock of one of your most valuable assets... relationships. In all your planning, which trust me, I know can be extensive. Make a plan for how you will connect with other people on a very regular basis.

There is so much more to tell and we have some major ministry updates to share, but those will have to wait until a future post. 

Thanks so much for all your prayers last year! We care about each of you so very much and if we haven't heard from you in a while, please drop us a line. If you'd like to get away into the mountains for some peace and quite, come and visit us. We have a small guest cabin and comfy RV for you to stay. 

Much Love,

The Smiths