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Guest Post: From Pumpkins To Purpose; Finding Community on the Road

Kimberly No Comments

As my first official Halloween Hangout event draws to a close, I find myself deep in reflection.  Somehow, over the course of a few days, my perspective of this wonderful life has broadened to an almost unfathomable depth.  People I didn’t even know a few days ago are now amongst my greatest teachers and have inspired me in ways I’m still digesting.  How could a modest gathering of like-minded families affect one so drastically in such a short period of time?  img_0599
My family recently joined Fulltime Families and our journey is only now beginning to take shape.  Upon arriving for the Hangout event, we were excited to meet up with familiar faces and enjoy the fun activities planned.  We anticipated the candy and the crafts, the games and the food, however, I had no idea the impact it would have overall.

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What began as an opportunity to fellowship with full-time families developed into something much greater.  The small talk lead to deep discussion.  The crafts turned into service projects.  The nightly campfires turned into friendships like none I’ve ever known.  Our bond is one of unity in community and so many families chose to serve one another as mentors.  Despite knowing our time together would be short, many invested themselves to help those still finding their way.  I’m in awe with gratitude and humbled by the generosity of each family.
The days were filled with laughter and squeals of children playing rowdy games of calf-tag.  Freshly tie-dyed shirts dried in the sun and colorfully-decorated pumpkins were proudly displayed.  A costumed parade of children giggled past creatively embellished campers and candy became it’s own food group for the weekend.  The evenings were announced with the burning of the first logs and campsites hosted a place for little ones to gather for movie time under the stars.  Memories were made and friendships were engraved into the hearts of children and adults alike.

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Magic occurred in the hours after dusk.  After children were tucked into bed or settled down to draw their day to a close, many parents gathered their camping chairs and the ring around the fire grew.  As the flames danced, I realized what a heartbeat this time of the day was to those of us who attended.  It was a time of sharing our adventures with one another and those more experienced counseled with great wisdom to those of us eager to receive.  Tales of mishaps and great epiphanies laced their way into discussion and each night, I felt this time by the fire breathed life into why we chose this lifestyle for our family.

img_0534I was encouraged on so many levels, some of which were made through quiet observation.  Beyond the advantages of spending time in fellowship while witnessing our children form fast friendships, I saw men gathered under the hood of a truck diagnosing mechanical issues.  I witnessed a community of people halt their festivities to assist a camper struggling to back into his site.  Collectively, we winced at the potential for damage and action was taken, not knowing if the driver was even one of  our own.  It didn’t matter because we have all garnered an appreciation for our rig being our home, not our hobby.
As rigs have begun to roll out and the campground sites become vacant, it’s apparent how essential it is we stay connected as we blaze our own individual trails.  Not only for our enjoyment, but rather, for our presence.  Together we boldly declare the impossible is possible and that with perseverance and tenacity, dreams transition into reality.  I cannot imagine one could leave a gathering such as this without being renewed and refocused.
And so I’ve come full-circle and now see clearly how I can be so affected by the incredible families within our community over the course of a few days.  It’s because we are families within a family.  We have taken it upon ourselves to create a place of inclusion and each member is vital to the health of the full-time family endeavor.  It’s not about whether or not we can succeed on our own through independent travel.  It’s entirely possible to live this life disconnected and without investing into a community of fellow travelers.  The true question to ponder is why would you want to?

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img_0542Erica Allen is on her way to living life on purpose. She is a full-time RVing mom to 4 energetic kids and wife to her high school sweetheart, Jason. Her blog, Rambling While Rolling – One Mom’s Perspective of Life on the Road, showcases her adventures of life beyond the limits of property lines.

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