Stephanie and I have put together a checklist of things we must do to prepare before we leave Arizona. The list is just short of a million (almost). It's a bit daunting, to say the least. As I look it over, fear creeps in. We have made a decision to rip our family out of our happy life where we have most everything we want and need in order to do something extraordinary and new. I don't have any doubt we made the right decision, but here are my top 5 reasons (not in any particular order) that we should just stay put:
We already love our lives right here, right now. Why disrupt something that is so good? People all over the world long for a safe place to live, stable jobs, well-running vehicles, and a family full of joy. We already have all that - and more!
What if we have to start from scratch all over again? Our goal is to go on this adventure for 1 year. Perhaps we will go longer but we want to have a realistic goal when we begin. At the end of a year, what will it be like? We will have sold our house, vehicles, furniture, and all the normal stuff people use to fill their homes. I must admit, this seems a bit frightening. It was one thing when we were fresh out of undergrad and everything we owned fit in my Jeep. It's quite another now. This time we are not so young. We are not at the beginning of our careers. We have children to provide for!
We already live near our family and friends. Our almost-4-year-old daughter cried out in the car the other day (tears in her eyes) that she was going to "miss Ma" (the name she calls my mom). We have family and a ton of friends right here in Arizona. We are connected. We know lots of people. Certainly, we don't want our girls to miss opportunities to spend time with their grandparents, to see their cousins, or to play with our friends' children. Perhaps, we will be using Skype more often? Maybe our friends and family will visit us along the way?
The economy is such that this is probably the very worst time in our lifetime to sell our belongings. Owning a home that had lost such an enormous amount of equity wasn't quite as worrisome before we put it on the market. Now, the terrible reality stares at us in the face. This one can give me a stomach ache if I am not careful.
No matter who you ask, this whole thing is a bit risky: to take everything we have and invest it in things that matter. We have noble purposes and hearts full of love but...that alone doesn't guarantee success. It is frightening to think of all the things that could potentially go awry - all of the "what ifs."
What we keep coming back to is this: When Stephanie and I talk to each other and to God about what we are planning - we are at peace. When we really evaluate our goals and dreams - when we consider the brevity of life - this plan represents exactly who we want to be and what we want to do. It models the things we want to teach our children. We may have 5 reasons Give Every Day is a bad idea but, we also have at least 100 reasons why we need to do it.
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