On Monday I wrote about our family's goal of visiting all 50 states. I've discovered many families who are pursuing the same goal, including Alisa Abecassis, who chronicles her family's road trips at www.exploreall50.com. Alisa has great suggestions for planning trips and for things to do while on the road. She even includes road trip themes and soundtracks for the journey!
I'm so excited that Alisa has included a profile of our family in her most recent newsletter. Click here to read the profile, and while you're at Alisa's site, check out some of her tips. Maybe you will be inspired to look outside the box for your family's next great vacation!
A few years ago, my husband decided we should buy a camper. I wasn't entirely thrilled with the idea. To make a long story, short: he shopped, we bought a used camper, the babies jangled the metal window blinds every night we spent in it, we traded the first camper for a newer model with cloth window shades, and I have been sold out on the joys of camping ever since.
Camping introduced many new loves to me (more about those in other posts), and our "hotel room on wheels" opened the door to a family goal. We would visit 48 states prior to our oldest child's high school graduation and reward high school graduations with trips to Alaska and Hawaii. It has been a terrific goal. We've been to 33 states so far and have a very cool map on our camper to track our adventures (much like the one posted here).
But since our children have reached their 'tween years, a fog has settled in over our field of dreams. The goalpost is harder to see. Activities, finances, and responsibilities are making it harder to plan our next road trip. I'm unhappy about that. I want to look at some maps, book a few nights at a campground, and make some plans. Our summer road trips have provided some great memories and long, uninterrupted family time--time I crave to spend with my husband and children, seeing the beauty and diversity of God's creation. It makes me incredibly sad to think we may not reach our goal to "See All 50."
King Solomon knew the desire to make plans as well. Failing to plan, he warns, leads to "poverty" (Proverbs 6:11), but "the plans of the diligent lead to profit” (Proverbs 21:5).
In his heart, Solomon also knew the truth about planning that we often overlook: “In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps” (Proverbs 16:9). Lately it seems most of my steps are concealed in the fog. My heart wants answers to the big picture, long-term, lasting impact kinds of questions--answers that just aren't there. So I press on, even though the goalpost seems to keep moving, trusting that God's will for my life is better than any plan I can imagine. I pray to love His desires for my family and for me more than my own. And I pray that in the meantime, I will make more of each precious moment I am privileged to spend with the people I love because in the end, if I don't have love, I have nothing at all.
Author's Note: "Hands Free Mama" Rachel Macy Stafford offers some great encouragement for busy parents. Visit her website at www.handsfreemama.com.
I am a regular contributor to The Alabama Baptist newspaper, and I also write and edit for several religious, business and educational outlets through my business, McWhorter Media and Marketing.
One of the greatest privileges of being a writer is the opportunity to share the stories of others with a larger audience. I love to do that!
Sharing my own stories is much more challenging, though no less important to making sense of the challenges of Faith and Family in everyday life.
Thanks for joining me on this journey! Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or suggestions.
If you would like to receive new posts, I invite you to follow me on Twitter @CarrieMcWhorter or use the contact form to send me a newsletter request.
Others I'm following...