Simply b Photos » The Big Blue Bus Tour

finding our objective

The other day I got a little overwhelmed about our adventure. I couldn’t specify what exactly was causing me anxiety – just that it was there, nagging me.

I hate when I’m feeling jumpy and unsure. When I second guess myself and wonder if I’ve lost my mind. You ever feel that way?

When Jake got home, he talked me off the ceiling. He added perspective and clarity that I so desperately needed. We’re a good team, Jake and I are. I wouldn’t attempt what we’re about to do without him. During our conversation we were able to clarify our goals for the big blue bus tour, which is what had been missing. We had the plan, but what was the objective? What were we trying to achieve? I felt uneasy considering it a long vacation, or even a work trip. Rather, we needed structure and identifiable goals.

The dialogue meandered a bit the way it usually does when Jake and I are working through an idea. But when we were done, we had solid objectives to focus on: spiritual strength, physical health, and education. Of course, these should be at the center of our lives daily, regardless of what we are doing. However, it is so easy to get distracted. (At least around here!) We’re looking forward to the opportunity to devote our time and efforts to these principles.

We’re going to have morning pt together: biking, running, etc. We’re thinking of running (I use the term running very loosely here – I hope you understand that. In my case it’s sure to be more of a shuffle.) a 10k while we are in California in an effort to keep us motivated. Our morning pt will be followed by devotional. We plan to read the Book of Mormon as a family before Jacob leaves on his mission.

I’ve quoted this before, but it’s near and dear to my heart.

“I feel certain that if, in our homes, parents will read from the Book of Mormon prayerfully and regularly, both by themselves and with their children, the spirit of that great book will come to permeate our homes and all who dwell therein. The spirit of reverence will increase; mutual respect and consideration for each other will grow. The spirit of contention will depart. Parents will counsel their children in greater love and wisdom. Children will be more responsive and submissive to the counsel of their parents. Righteousness will increase. Faith, hope, and charity—the pure love of Christ—will abound in our homes and lives, bringing in their wake peace, joy, and happiness.”
~ President Marion G. Romney

Our days always go better when we start with prayer and scriptures, yet it’s so easy to hit the ground running instead of taking the time. We are not always consistent with our scripture study, but when we are, I feel the blessings that it brings to the home. And really – who doesn’t want a home (or a big blue bus) filled with peace, joy, and happiness?

This morning Jacob suggested that we have devotional. After we read scriptures, Jacob shared his testimony of how the Lord heard his prayers while he was in Wyoming. Tears coursed down my cheeks as I felt the Spirit testify of the truthfulness of what he said. Nothing could have brought me more comfort than to know that in the toughest times, when he really needed Him, The Lord was there for Jacob. But more than that, Jacob had the faith to ask.

The world today would have us believe that reliance on God and belief in His principles is old-fashioned and out of date. That we are narrow minded and misguided. I’m grateful for the knowledge that this is false doctrine and a tool of the adversary to make us feel insecure and unsure.

President Thomas S. Monson wrote an article recently that gives a strong warning to those who will listen. You can find the whole article here. But I’d like to quote this part which is so powerful and relevant to the world today!

“In the decades since the end of World War II, standards of morality have lowered again and again. Crime spirals upward; decency careens downward. Many are on a giant roller coaster of disaster, seeking the thrills of the moment while sacrificing the joys of eternity. Thus we forfeit peace.

We forget how the Greeks and Romans prevailed magnificently in a barbaric world and how that triumph ended — how a slackness and softness finally overcame them to their ruin. In the end, more than they wanted freedom, they wanted security and a comfortable life; and they lost all—comfort and security and freedom.

Do not yield to Satan’s enticements; rather, stand firm for truth. The unsatisfied yearnings of the soul will not be met by a never-ending quest for joy amidst the thrills of sensation and vice. Vice never leads to virtue. Hate never promotes love. Cowardice never gives courage. Doubt never inspires faith.

Some find it difficult to withstand the mocking and unsavory remarks of foolish ones who ridicule chastity, honesty, and obedience to God’s commands. But the world has ever belittled adherence to principle. When Noah was instructed to build an ark, the foolish populace looked at the cloudless sky and then scoffed and jeered — until the rain came.

Must we learn such costly lessons over and over again? Times change, but truth persists. When we fail to profit from the experiences of the past, we are doomed to repeat them with all their heartache, suffering, and anguish. Haven’t we the wisdom to obey Him who knows the beginning from the end — our Lord, who designed the plan of salvation—rather than that serpent, who despised its beauty?”

Oh how I love President Monson.

We closed our devotional today with this scripture from Helaman 5:12.

And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.

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*A peak at the inside of our bus. It’s pretty dang awesome.

The latest on the Big Blue Bus Tour? Jake and Jacob took most of the seats out of the bus today. The previous owner had removed the school bus benches and replaced them with motor coach seats. They recline, have arm rests and foot rests! He also had a couple tables where the chairs faced each other so you could play games, eat a meal, etc. As it was it would have made a great party bus!! We’re removing almost everything so that we can fill it with boxes and furniture for our trip to Alaska. That room in the back is a tiny bathroom and on the ceiling are air-conditioners (two of them). Under the tables are the heaters.

The trip from here to there (5000 miles) is going to be as quick as possible. We won’t get the luxury of relaxing in our bus until we get to Alaska – at which point we’ll redesign it for our needs.

Tomorrow we’re back to packing. We hope to get the closets packed and store what we are keeping in suitcases. Ten days until we move out of the house. We’re also listing furniture on Craigslist. I wish y’all were here to take some of it off my hands. It would sell in a heartbeat in kodiak!:)

Hope you are all doing great! I love to hear from you, thanks for your comments!

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