Seek First The Kingdom

One scripture that constantly comes to mind is Matthew 6:33 which states, “Keep on, then, seeking first the Kingdom and his righteousness, and all these other things will be added to you.”

With this in mind we have decided to work on personal improvement so that we might serve God to the full extent that our own circumstances permit. I officially put in the paperwork for early retirement two weeks ago.

We start our mornings now with the daily text, a prayer, and either field service or medical appointments. We round out the end of the day with personal or family study, meetings (twice per week), Etsy order filling, and housework. It’s still a little scary, but I think that means we are on the right track.

luke 1 45 wm Happy is she who believed

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Focus On Today

I was thinking today about how overwhelmed I’ve been. In making decisions about our path to the next adventure in our lives I feel like my husband and I might have lost our way.

keep calm and focus on today

I saw the above meme online and it made me stop for just a second and remember our model prayer. We are instructed in Matthew to pray for today. We are reminded to “not be afraid” and to “never be anxious”. So, I need to pray for help with those things. Deep breath!

be not afraid

I’ll just leave these scriptures here for a reminder:

Matthew 6:22, 23

22 “The lamp of the body is the eye.+ If, then, your eye is simple,* your whole body will be bright; 23 but if your eye is wicked,*+ your whole body will be dark. If in reality the light that is in you is darkness, how great that darkness is!+

1 Timothy 6:8

8 So, having sustenance and covering, we shall be content with these things.+

Matthew 6:33

33 “Keep on, then, seeking* first the kingdom and his righteousness,+ and all these [other] things will be added to YOU

Hebrews 13:5

5 Let [YOUR] manner of life be free of the love of money,+ while YOU are content+ with the present things.+ For he has said: “I will by no means leave you nor by any means forsake you.”

Luke 12:15

15 Then he said to them: “Keep YOUR eyes open and guard against every sort of covetousness,+ because even when a person has an abundance his life does not result from the things he possesses

Philippians 1:10

10 that YOU may make sure of the more important things,+ so that YOU may be flawless+ and not be stumbling+ others up to the day of Christ,

Galatians 5:22, 23

22 On the other hand, the fruitage+ of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness,+ faith, 23 mildness, self-control.+ Against such things there is no law.+

Galatians 6:9

9 So let us not give up in doing what is fine,+ for in due season we shall reap if we do not tire out.+

Psalm 37:10

10 And just a little while longer, and the wicked one will be no more;+

And you will certainly give attention to his place, and he will not be.+

Proverbs 2:21, 22

21 For the upright are the ones that will reside in the earth,+ and the blameless are the ones that will be left over in it.+ 22 As regards the wicked, they will be cut off from the very earth;+ and as for the treacherous, they will be torn away from it.+

1 Thessalonians 5:6

6 So, then, let us not sleep+ on as the rest do,+ but let us stay awake+ and keep our senses

Luke 21:34, 35

34 “But pay attention to yourselves that YOUR hearts never become weighed down with overeating and heavy+ drinking and anxieties+ of life,* and suddenly that day be instantly upon YOU+ 35 as a snare.+ For it will come in upon all those dwelling upon the face of all the earth.+

Colossians 3:5

5 Deaden,+ therefore, YOUR body members+ that are upon the earth as respects fornication,* uncleanness,* sexual appetite,*+ hurtful desire, and covetousness,+ which is idolatry.

Philippians 4:8

8 Finally, brothers, whatever things* are true, whatever things are of serious concern, whatever things are righteous, whatever things are chaste,+ whatever things are lovable,* whatever things are well spoken of, whatever virtue there is and whatever praiseworthy thing there is, continue considering these things.+

Philippians 4:6, 7

6 Do not be anxious over anything,+ but in everything by prayer and supplication+ along with thanksgiving let YOUR petitions be made known to God;+ 7 and the peace+ of God that excels all thought will guard YOUR hearts+ and YOUR mental powers by means of Christ Jesus

Matthew 8:20

20 But Jesus said to him: “Foxes have dens and birds of heaven have roosts, but the Son of man* has nowhere to lay down his head.”+

Proverbs 3:5, 6

5 Trust in Jehovah with all your heart+ and do not lean upon your own understanding.+ 6 In all your ways take notice of him,+ and he himself will make your paths straight.+

2 Corinthians 13:5

5 Keep testing whether YOU are in the faith, keep proving what YOU yourselves are.+ Or do YOU not recognize that Jesus Christ is in union with YOU?+ Unless YOU are disapproved.

2 Timothy 1:7

7 For God gave us not a spirit of cowardice,+ but that of power+ and of love and of soundness of mind.+

Isaiah 41:10

10 Do not be afraid, for I am with you.+ Do not gaze about, for I am your God.*+ I will fortify you.+ I will really help you.+ I will really keep fast hold of you with my right hand+ of righteousness

James 4:7, 8

7 Subject yourselves,+ therefore, to God; but oppose* the Devil,+ and he will flee from YOU.+ 8 Draw close to God, and he will draw close to YOU.+ Cleanse YOUR hands, YOU sinners,+ and purify YOUR hearts,+ YOU indecisive*+ ones

Proverbs 19:20

20 Listen to counsel and accept discipline,+ in order that you may become wise in your future.+

What, What, What Are We Doing??

(See bottom of this blog post for an update)

Sometimes desperate circumstances call for desperate measures. Once I understood that my best friend and lover was suffering from a disabling disorder (combat-related PTSD) that wasn’t responding to traditional therapy I asked myself, “what else can we do?”. I did research online and at the library. I called his psychiatrist whenever I needed advice and started seeing a therapist myself specifically for PTSD caregiver support.

Then I saw this blog, Two Happy Campers, where this couple decided to leave their home (part-time) and go on outdoor adventures in a truck camper with their two dogs. I thought that was extreme. I mean, I’m a city girl! I like the idea of camping but am much better suited for five-star hotels, spas, and room service. The more I dug into camper/RV lifestyles (there are tons of blogs about this, who knew?) I started to recall phrases I had been reading and hearing regarding coping with PTSD:

  • Keep things simple
  • Put everything in its place (my hubby has OCD tendencies)
  • Focus on the basics
  • One day at a time
  • Get fresh air, start exercising
  • Don’t isolate
  • Make thoughtful changes

Then I thought, could we consider this? Could we simplify our 5 bedroom house (we have a lot of stuff for just two people and it’s a constant source of stress for my husband), downsize our wardrobes, cut our ties with the 9 to 5 (and live on just his disability), and lead a much more frugal life?

The same things in the bulleted list above are what we learn from the Holy Scriptures. At Matthew 6:22 it states, “The lamp of the body is the eye. If, then, your eye is focused, your whole body will be bright. The footnote lets us know that the context of the translated word “focused” is modern “simple”. So, keep your eye simple. What we were learning from mental health professionals aligned with what we are taught from the holy scriptures. Acting on it was a no-brainer!

tiny house

Crazy, right? Then I thought, maybe the way we live right now is crazy. The average American spends 1/3 to 1/2 of their income on a home that takes 15 years to work to pay off. 76% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. Maybe living the “normal” way is actually crazy. What if we could live on less and instead of investing in a career and house we could invest in our personal relationships with our creator, each other, and nature?

Rat-Race

Next, I though about living vs. surviving. With PTSD it seems like the sufferer and his family just survives daily life. I want (and deserve) to see my husband really live, not just survive. What if by changing things drastically we could both get back to living instead of just getting through each day to face another filled with the same issues in the same spot?

dont just survive live

Another scripture that kept coming to mind is Matthew 6:33 which states, “Keep on, then, seeking first the Kingdom and his righteousness, and all these other things will be added to you.” With this in mind we decided that going from full-time working to full-time RVing seemed like a moot point. So we have decided to work on personal improvement so that we might serve God to the full extent that our own circumstances permit.

We start our mornings now with the daily text, a prayer, and either field service or medical appointments. We round out the end of the day with personal or family study, meetings, and housework. It’s still a little scary, but I think that means we are on the right track. The planning stages of this adventure has begun. Join us while we figure out the rest!

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2016 UPDATE

I’m a regular pioneer as of September 1, 2016. As of May 5, 2017 we are part-time RVers and international travelers for need-greater work!!

… Matthew 6:33 states, “Keep on, then, seeking first the Kingdom and his righteousness, and all these other things will be added to you.” With this in mind we decided that going from full-time working to full-time RVing seemed like a moot point. So we have decided to work on personal improvement so that we might serve God to the full extent that our own circumstances permit.

We start our mornings now with the daily text, a prayer, and either field service or medical appointments. We round out the end of the day with personal or family study, meetings, and housework. It’s still a little scary, but I think that means we are on the right track. The adventure has begun. Join us while we figure out the rest!