Does your family have goals?
What dreams do you want to accomplish with your kids? Go on a mission trip together, build a farm, or go on a long RV trip around the USA? Those were just a few of ours. We were blessed enough to build a small farm and cultivate a vineyard for about a decade and now we are embarking on an adventurous trip with all the children around the USA for 3 months!
Follow our Instagram Accounts Here to see LIVE Instastories from our family as we travel around the USA!
Do you have a dream or a vision for your family?
Or do most of your dreams and goals center around your career, your projects, and attaining things?
I will admit, when Isaac and I were younger, many of the goals and dreams we were pursuing and working hard towards would have fallen into the earthly category. Yes, we are both visionaries and obviously had spiritual goals and aspirations for growing our marriage and family.
Like most marriages, we desired a thriving marriage, not one that would be simply surviving in 20 years. As parents, we certainly hoped for spiritual maturity and fruit in all our children and were excited about the opportunity to disciple our children.
But in the first few years of marriage, we justified Isaac’s intense work schedule (80-100 hours per week), believing that if he worked hard while he was young he wouldn’t have to work that hard when the kids were out of the toddler stage. But as we studied Scripture, matured, and had a little more life experience, we quickly realized that perspective wasn’t the model of family life God calls His people too. God was calling us to work hard because He made us to work, but we were also called to disciple our children in everything we did, which meant taking the kids with us as much as possible. Because Isaac was a committed father, he would take the kids to work with him as much as possible, and I would do the training in work ethic around the home and property during the week. On weekends, we worked hard together as a family. One of our family mottos was “WORK HARD, PLAY HARD!”
Aside from leaving a legacy of strong work ethic, about 10 years into our marriage Isaac and I began dreaming other, more practical dreams for our family.
One such dream was related to our children’s education and worldview.
Since we homeschooled, we had a dream too, one day, take our children on an RV adventure around the USA!
We wanted our children to see the USA, the historical sites, and monuments where history took place so that they could put a place to the image in their minds that they had learned about. We wanted them to see the differences in weather, culture, homes, and more.
But as the years went by, we found ourselves becoming more tied down than ever. Owning a small farm and hobby vineyard tied us to the land making it very difficult to leave, especially for long periods of time. Then once we didn’t have that, we found ourselves tied down to a business that grew to over 40 employees. It was beginning to look like this dream of ours wasn’t going to be accomplished.
Then after our business failed a couple years ago, we spent the next two years working to get out of debt and survive.
God always provided and surprised us with His graces and mercies, through the hardest season of our lives and marriage. Isaac immediately began working with the software company he had co-founded over 8 years ago, Conveyour.com.
Then, in a blink of an eye, we looked at our children and realized how old they were getting. Our oldest is just about to head off to PHC in Virginia this August, in fact! We are delighted and so proud of her hard work, but we also realized that it’s NOW OR NEVER as far as doing an RV trip around the USA.
You know how it can be when kids go off to college! They work hard during the summers in between to pay for school. We knew we couldn’t ask her to give us a whole summer in the future! And who knows what the future holds, right?! There could be “special friends” involved in the future too! 🙂
We already have the RV, so no extra cost there (other than the lack of income from not renting it out)!
Then we began praying about potentially renting out the home we have been renting on the ranch. And without trying God orchestrated the perfect scenario: the right young couple and the approval from our landlords! We were able to sublet the house to a newlywed couple that was moving to Bend! It was a great deal for them to rent a furnished home for a few months while they looked for a place to live here AND we didn’t have to move completely out! Plus, even though we gave them a killer deal, their monthly payment covers the cost of our gas and RV Parks while we are gone!
It was happening! Our dream was becoming a reality!
When it comes to actually accomplishing crazy dreams, as parents, we model for our children what it looks like to live out the dream.
Sure, there is NEVER a good time to go, but if there ever was a good time, it was NOW! No employees, Isaac able to work remotely from anywhere, no land or home to care for, we already own the RV, AND as far as cost goes… it’s actually a little less to be on the road. So here we are, taking a leap of faith, stepping out into the great unknown of the USA road as a family of nine with one on the way!
One thing we heard from a lot of people was, “WHAT IF?”
I feel the need to address this because WHAT IFS could be a REASON WHY PEOPLE DON’T EVER SHOOT FOR THEIR GOALS, STEP OUT IN FAITH AND DO SOMETHING BIG.
WHAT IFS ARE DREAM KILLERS.
Of course, there are a million things that could go wrong. But isn’t that true of just living life at home on the ranch? We are just coming out of the hardest two years of our lives and have walked through some deep dark valleys. Life isn’t fair, it is hard most times, and things happen. Kids get sick. Vehicles break down.
It’s called LIFE! But in the end, do we choose to let those things rule us, change our attitudes or perspectives? Or do we allow those hard things to GROW US and prepare us for the life ahead?
Don’t let the what ifs stop you from dreaming. Give your dreams and desires to God and ask Him if your dreams could be His will for your life! Sometimes God gives us dreams and it is up to us to trust Him and obey. For us, this RV trip was a dream of ours for MANY reasons:
- to leave a legacy (we want our kids to witness us accomplishing dreams, not just dreaming)
- to impact our kid’s worldviews
- to teach them about the USA in a very hands-on way
- to show love to God’s people all over the USA and share the GOSPEL when able
- to meet up with other brothers and sisters in Christ and encourage one another –Courageous Mom Meet-Ups & Nights Out
- to develop stronger relationships with our kids
- to have undistracted time as a family before our oldest went off for college
- to be on a MISSION TRIP as a family, living and loving people wherever He leads us
- to see family that many of our children haven’t even met yet because they live on the other side of the nation
- to have a fun adventure together
Thus far, on our trip, we have experienced a few minor frustrations, like the RV slide motor burning out and the windshield wipers stop working. But we just see that as an opportunity to be refined and still have a good attitude. It has been an opportunity for us to practice flexibility and teach our kids that too!
We are so thankful for this opportunity to live around the country for 3 months! We have felt the presence of God surrounding us and protecting us the ENTIRE time and we are so thankful for Him and all of your prayers!
It’s really a dream come true!
I hope you follow our journey around the USA by following our family VLOG on Youtube Here: #TheTolpins
Episode #1 of Roadtrip with 7 kids