~A Tough Start~

“You’re probably not going to have a husband by the end of the weekend.” This is what the doctor told me -a 21 year old, pregnant mommy- as my husband lay fighting for his life in ICU and my 18-month old daughter was in pediatric care with an unknown illness stealing her life away. This is how our marriage and family began and today, I am so grateful for that painful experience. Both Kent & Laura survived streptococcal septicemia and we had healthy baby Anna 3 months after this hospital experience. Three years later Emily was born and she completed our little family of 5. This intense beginning laid a foundation for a life-long principal that we strive to live by: Live every day to the fullest and have fun along the way. We are not “live only for the weekend” kind of people and I think we take more risks than some who like a more settled and seemingly secure way of life.

Time for a “new” hobby

Fast forward about 20 years and, with our kids all grown up, we decided it was time to resurrect an old hobby. You may have already guessed it… motorcycles!! Once Kent was familiar with riding his Kawasaki Vulcan 800, he wanted me to ride on the back to enjoy the scenic countryside around Calgary. This was a big fear-hurdle for me to jump but I knew I wanted to spend more time with my hubby as we entered that empty-nesting stage of life so I learned how to ride on the back of the bike. I actually began to enjoy that sense of freedom and exhilaration as we rode two-up on that cute little red bike. We made some new friends and spent more time with our riding buddies. One lovely autumn day in October 2014, we were riding with a group out to Canmore, Alberta when my best friend’s bike went over the double-solid line and directly into a pick-up truck towing a loaded horse trailer. Stephanie died instantly and our lives were forever changed in that moment and during the weeks following as we dealt with the trauma of the event as well as the grief of losing someone so special. Stephanie was a joyful person filled with a zest for life, a love of others, and a sense of courage like no one else I’d ever met. It’s because of this legacy she leaves behind that I am still constantly challenged to get outside my comfort zone and try something new. This whole life-changing tragedy has also reminded us to live everyday to the fullest because, even though God knows the number of our days, we do not so let’s live out loud. Like Stephanie.

Two years after Stephanie’s accident, I went with my daughter Anna to motorcycle training school and in October, 2016 passed my road test for a class 6; on a VERY cold fall day with snow on the ground! This whole process has been a huge lesson in overcoming fear and the Lord did a great work in my heart and mind, teaching me to trust in His sovereignty and to remember that all life is in His hands. Again, I transitioned from white-knuckle fear to actually enjoying riding my own bike. Now I absolutely love to ride!

North to Alaska

In February 2016 we sold two businesses that Kent had worked on for almost a decade. This decision wasn’t entirely our own but God has mysterious ways of leading and directing us into His path so we tried to roll with it as best we could. Because this was never part of our life plan, we were left with lots of free time on our hands and no real direction. We chose to “Wait on the LORD” (Psa 27:14) and during this time Kent spent many hours reading the Bible and being encouraged by authors such as Charles Spurgeon. This was a precious time of spiritual growth that would become a foundation for our future.
In order to take advantage of our freed up schedules, we planned a motorcycle trip from Calgary, through Vancouver to Prince Rupert where we boarded a ferry for 2 nights and landed in Alaska! We then enjoyed our ride down the Alaska Highway to Jasper then home for a few days before embarking on another bike tour. This time we rode the Beartooth Highway and Chief Joseph on our way through Yellowstone and back home. These trips took about a month and we loved (almost) every minute of it. We learned things about ourselves like:
  • exploring new areas can be a bit scary but super rewarding
  • we LOVE meeting new people
  • two people on one motorcycle with 3 weeks worth of “stuff” equals a whole new level of Living Light
  • we LOVE spending time together in close proximity (very close)
  • eating out every day is a challenge for a celiac like Lisa
  • Lisa definitely needs her own bike for future trips
  • Lisa is high maintenance!

Sell the House?!

I appreciate the fall season as the weather gets cooler, the colours of the landscape shift from green to yellow, and routine gets back to normal. In September I was feeling restless – as if I had lost my purpose in life. I asked God to show me what I was to be doing with my time and I already had in mind that I would go back to work part-time. He spoke very clearly to me and told me to get my house in order. Okay, that freaked me out a little so I asked for specifics.
“Do You mean my relationships, my finances, my literal house or what?” He meant for me to get my literal house in order so the next several months were spent, not at a part-time job but cleaning, organizing, painting, and purging. I worked hard without knowing why, only trusting that I had heard God correctly and was being obedient. At one point Kent suggested that maybe we’re supposed to sell the house. Haha… funny guy. Nah. We weren’t ever planning to sell the house. Throughout the winter Kent began working with an organization that brings strategic planning and support to Christian schools across Canada. This helped bring in some finances and pushed him outside of his comfort zone.

We have always welcomed the changes that happen to us when we choose to venture out of the little space we create in life that we think is safe

In March 2017 it came as a bit of a shock to both of us that the idea of living in an RV full-time could be the path that God has laid out for us. Who does that?! Talk about venturing outside your comfort zone; we’ve never RV’d in our life. Nope, not even a tent trailer. A few tenting weekends with the ol’ Coleman propane stove and a mummy bag and we’ve been guests in Mom & Dad’s trailer a few times but that’s about it. What follows is the rapid succession of events:
  • March: Maybe we’re supposed to live in an RV full-time.
  • April: Purge. Organize. Paint.
  • May: Family trip to Disneyland then to Mexico for dental work. Run an Air BnB.
  • June: Mom & Dad move their rig to Calgary for the summer and Kent goes to Peru for missions trip.
  • July: Downsize. Meet with our Realtor to assess the house. Sell Kent’s motorcycle.
  • August: Downsize more. Put the house on the market. Sell the 4 bedroom house. Sell Lisa’s motorcycle. Clear a boatload of debt!
  • September: Downsize yet again. Move to a 2 bedroom upstairs duplex.
  • October: Start a new business – Donate Your Change Canada
  • November: Launch DYCC to bring an innovative funding model to Canadian charities and non-profit organizations.
We are currently living in, what I affectionately call, The Funnel. We have sold, given away, and thrown out so much stuff it’s just crazy! I’m generally known as a “chucker” (the opposite of a pack-rat) but I still managed to collect a remarkable amount of stuff over the 12 years of living in one place. This current apartment we live in is good preparation for moving into our future RV. I still have many things to give away but most of it will go to my kids as they launch into their new independent lives.
And now we continue to wait on the Lord and follow His lead for the next steps. When will we actually hit the road? We’re hoping for September 2018 but we try to hold our plans loosely and see how the Lord directs.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.

In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6

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