In the beginning…

This has been a challenging road, surprisingly, only mentally. Everything else has been smooth sailing, from selling the house to getting to where I am parked today. Please stay with me as I tell you the story of how I got to where I am today.

It doesn’t matter how much planning and organizing we do, the Lord has already published it to our calendars.
You want me to do what?

It all started with me resigning from my job at the VA. Certain global events determined my decision. Some crying was involved, but when I went to the Lord in prayer, He comforted me and let me know that I was going to be okay. I looked at my military retirement and VA disability pay and compared them to my current expenses and began to budget. Some luxury expenses were cut in anticipation to the upcoming loss of my job, but I knew that I would be able to survive on this small income.

Not long after, I started getting signs, via YouTube videos, articles, and scriptures about witnessing. “Okay, God. I get it. You want me to witness to people.” About 2 weeks later, I was walking my dogs and stared dead at my neighbor’s travel trailer and got a revelation that I needed to sell the house, buy an RV, and get on the road and witness to people. Wow! I’ve had clear revelations from God before, but this one was abundantly clear. Okay. How exciting, I guess? Hitting the road and leaving everything behind has never been on my “dream” list.

Going with His plan

Sometimes we just have to be obedient and trust God.

My 2 week notice was put in, goodbyes were said, found a realtor, and our first meeting was the following Monday. “When do you want to be on the road?” Josh Breslow, my realtor asked. “By Thanksgiving,” I replied. And just like that, I was getting the house prepped to sell. The stress between fixing things that needed to be fixed, selling all the contents of a 2500 sqft house, and what to do with the chickens was weighing heavy on me. I wrote out a schedule of what to do each day and had some spare time to take breaks in between. The house was set to go on the market October 29th and I already had someone wanting to put in an offer. What? Okay, had to give others that scheduled a showing a fair shot. House went on the market, had 4 potential buyers who wanted to put in an offer opening weekend. 2 offers came in, but that was enough for me to accept one. I took the one that wanted to buy my furniture and keep the chickens. Huge weight off my back. Josh did a great job going back and forth with the buyer’s agent and getting everything needed in to make this deal happen. Thanks, Josh!

I thought I needed to strip and repaint this door. I took a poll on the new color it should be. Luckily a chip of paint off the door for a color match at Home Depot saved me a lot of work. With a little bit of sanding and touching up with paint, the door looks good as new.

Okay, so I didn’t have to worry about selling anything or taking the chickens to my sister’s in Georgia. Now I can worry about purchasing an RV and getting things into storage. RV purchased, stressed myself out towing it home and had a neighbor park it in the yard for me. My driveway and the street was not wide enough to maneuver it onto.

For the next 3 weeks, this thing sat in my front yard. I’m sure the neighbors had something to say about it. Funny thing is, the camper that started this whole thing was no longer there and a copy of mine was sitting in its place.

Let me tell you, sorting through things that I wanted to keep, buying things for an RV, and moving things into it and into storage was a daily and stressful task. Worrying about loading too much weight into the RV and into the truck was also another stressor. I kept second-guessing myself and my ability to research the truck and trailer’s GVWR, GCWR, truck payload, trailer cargo weight, dry hitch weight, proper loading, etc. I had even thought about upgrading the Silverado 1500, but I knew that it could pull a 7,000 lbs loaded trailer with the truck’s payload weight almost maxed out. I must have went to the weigh station 4 times the day prior to leaving to make sure I had the weight distributed correctly. I think I even had a panic attack the last day.

While sorting through my military stuff, I found these great glasses. Famously known to military folks as “BCGs” or “birth control glasses.”
The lies the enemy tells us, but he doesn’t have to win

I’m not gonna lie, I had a lot of hesitation and wanted to just quit and keep the brick and mortar house. Why take me out of my comfort zone? Venturing into an uncomfortable lifestyle was something I kept questioning God about. “Why can’t you just make this easy for me?” I knew this was the enemy. My increased anxiety, stress levels, lack of self-confidence, second guessing myself, and sleepless nights was spiritual warfare. I was under attack. But God… I went to Him with prayers and asked friends and family for prayer. I am so thankful that the Lord has put people in my life that support me. I also know that this is truly a “God thing” because despite all of the spiritual warfare I was going through, everything else was moving smoothly along without any issues. I mean, who can ask for anything easier than your buyer letting you leave everything behind?

The enemy can get into our heads and make us want to quit, but despite all of his attempts, we need to remember that God is in control and if we just lay it all on Him, He will get us through it.
Church family and temporary goodbye

I am thankful that I have a place I can still call “home.” My church family has been so great and supportive through this whole process. Some didn’t want to let me go, but also knew that they can’t stop God. I was given sweet and thoughtful gifts, and heartfelt cards. They know I will be back. After all, I signed up for the Feb-Mar mission trip to Guatemala. I love my church family and will miss them very much.

D-day

Probably not the best thing to title this section, but it is what it is. So December 1st, closing day, my 48th birthday, and the day I am set to get on the road and head to Sasquatch Farm, my first adventure. I may have woke up too early (4:30 am) and barely got any sleep the night prior. I still had stuff I needed to get into the trailer and the trailer was already parked on church property. Well, got that done and had some time to spare for a very short nap and visit my neighbor one last time before I had to head out to close. My anxiety was in over-drive by the time I hit the Parks Realty office. Everything was still moving smoothly and to my surprise, I was getting a little more money than I expected. My anxiety suddenly disappeared and I was left with a calmness. I have finally made it over this hurdle. Whew. Josh gave me a gift basket with a very thoughtful gift inside. I also let him get a selfie with me and post on his social media. Yes, I got my 15 seconds of fame. My house was also his first home sale. Congratulations to the both of us!

Celebrating Josh’s first home sale and my home sale, and also my birthday with a selfie. If you recognize Josh, it’s because he was a news anchor before getting his dream job as a real estate agent. Thank you, Josh!
Such a beautiful and thoughtful gift. Too bad I didn’t pack a Christmas tree to hang this on. Thank you, again, Josh for being the best realtor anyone selling a house can ask for.

So back to D-day. I went to my church to pick up my trailer and make final preparations to it before its maiden voyage. My Associate Pastor Jeff prayed over me. Talked to Pastor Ian and he gave some encouraging words. I am thankful to have such a supporting church to come back to. Well, got on the road and felt like everything was fine, but as I was approaching Murfreesboro, I believe that God told me to pull over, check the tire pressure and see if a truck dealership had any bigger model trucks and to just go ahead and trade this truck in today. After pulling into the wrong driveway, signing my life away to get financed and trade in the 1500, and transferring everything from the 1500 to my new 2500, in the rain, it was dark. Tim, my salesman had to ground guide me through the dealership parking lot so I can get the trailer out without running over any more curbs. He was also nice enough to give me directions to the Cracker Barrel so I can spend my first night on the road in a parking lot. I ended up turning into the wrong parking lot and couldn’t get out to get to the Cracker Barrel parking lot because the street was narrow and everyone and their mom was on that road after doing some holiday shopping. Since I accidentally parked in a hotel/motel parking lot, and they wouldn’t let me stay there overnight without booking a room, I decided that because it had already been a long day, to go ahead and book a room. After all, the dogs had been in the truck all day and I was exhausted. I got on the road the next day and finally made it to my first destination. I really wasn’t nervous anymore and despite the suction from semi trucks pulling you into them as they pass by, the drive was great.

Truck and trailer after making a detour to the RV dealership in Lebanon, TN to get the trailer hitch readjusted.
1st stop, Sasquatch Farm, South Pittsburgh, Tennessee

This was the first campground that popped into my Facebook feed and I new that this was the first place that the Lord wanted me to go. I hesitated on booking it because I was fearful of backing up the trailer on my own without practice and wanted to find only pull-thru sites. This place had very few pull-thru sites. One of my anxiety and sleepless nights while I was still in the house, I had a feeling that I just needed to get on the website and see if there was a pull-thru site available and just book it. I entered the dates of December 1st to January 3rd and, boom. There was a pull-thru spot available. Or so I thought it was a pull-thru spot. It doesn’t matter anyway because I am here now, in a back up site. Haha. I found that campground staff are nice. Well, the ones here are. I was taught how to drain my tanks at the dump station, which doesn’t seem as nasty of a job as most people make it out to be. I was allowed to move to a better site, only because this is the off season for most RVers and there are plenty of open spots.

I am slowly making this trailer functional. It’s hard going from a 2500 sqft home to a 200ish (if that) space. It’s winter time, so cold weather clothes weigh more than summer clothes. I somehow think that I need 10 pairs of jeans, 10 pairs of sweat pants, 20 short and long sleeve t-shirts, 5 sweaters, 8 hoodies, 100 pairs of socks and underwear, 3 raincoats, and 2 jackets. Oh, I forgot the shoes. I really don’t need all of these clothes. They take up space and add weight to the trailer. Luckily, there is always a donation center located anywhere along your travel route.

I have gone on a few hikes, ran out of one tank of propane in one night ( I think I have a leak somewhere), built a campfire and fried ground beef over it, managed to survive a severe thunderstorm, high winds, and a tornado that never came. And despite the name of this place, the only Sasquatches I think I will see, are the silhouettes that they have scattered around the area.

I have met a handful of people here, so far, many non-believers. I am waiting on the Lord to prompt me into a discussion of salvation. The one person here that is a believer, wants to have dinner so we can talk about Jesus. I want to see if he is willing to team up with me to invite people for bible study and prayer time.

I haven’t booked my next site yet. I’m a procrastinator and I am also waiting on the Lord to prompt me to my next location. I’m here until January 3rd and have a few more adventures before departing here. I still need to decorate my trailer with Christmas lights (for you Josh), go on more hikes, find the Large Falls, caves, and rock climbing walls, take more pictures and learn how to use my grandpa Bill’s cameras, continue to downsize, celebrate the New Year with my sister Vicky and her family (yes, they will be camping here that weekend), and just enjoy these opportunities that the Lord has given me.

Sasquatch Farm map. I have yet to explore the east side of the property. There are no marked trails to those sites, so waiting on a good day to do put my rusty land navigation skills to work.

Thank you for the continued prayers. I look forward to sharing more adventures and God’s glorious word and what His journey has in store for me.

Check out this episode on podcast

<audio controls src="<iframe src="https://anchor.fm/cathrine-jones/embed/episodes/In-the-beginning-e1d833r&quot; height="102px" width="400px" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">

4 responses to “In the beginning…”

  1. Great start to your blog and new life, love you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cathrine, great start to your blogging! The pictures are great too! Have fun out there and stay safe!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Cathrine I so enjoyed this and am so proud of you! I walked by your old desk on Monday and really missed you though! I do not know much about blogs so I don’t know how to automatically follow you so that I don’t miss any of your adventures…you may have to teach me. Merry Christmas My Friend! Love, Michelle p.s. so glad everything worked out with the chickens! ☺

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi! I’m glad I ran across your site. There are some amazing parallels between your story and mine. May God bless you and perhaps one day we will meet on the road. My religious travel blog is http://www.tincanpilgrim.com.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: