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Glass half full or half empty?

You know, every now and then, something strikes a cord in my very being and I get on my soapbox. I’ve done it about following your dreams and about driving safely just to name a couple. But today, I am writing about attitude. Reader beware- I didn’t pull too many punches on this one.

It may be that we are riding through a lower income area that this has come up, but it’s still in the attitude, not the money. Richard and I know what it’s like to be extremely low income- been there, done that, got the T-shirt, but you are only as “poor” as your attitude and approach to life. Low income is a situation, “Poor” is a state of mind. I think I’ve written about that one before too, so I won’t get stuck on that subject. 

Lord knows that I am not perfect, but I generally manage to have a glass-half-full attitude.

I have heard one too many times lately, “Wow-  you have a long ways to go.”

SERIOUSLY?

What about “WOW, YOU’VE COME A LONG WAYS?”

I mean, people have been saying that the whole time, but we’ve got about 500 miles left to go and we’ve come over 3,300. We’ve just heard it the negative way an awful lot lately. How about, “Wow, you’re almost there- you can do it!” 

(Thank you, by the way, to every0ne who has said it that way and encouraged us. )

Then there’s the, “Gee, I’d like to {fill in the blank} if I ever won the lottery.”

I could understand that statement if it were something like {retire, buy a yacht, and sale around the world for 5 years.} Though in my opinion, you don’t have to win the lottery to do that either (we even know someone who did it just like we saved for this ride). But people have been filling in the blank with things like {travel to Wyoming.}  

I just scratch my head at that one. Last I checked, there are only 3 states between Kentucky and Wyoming- an easily drivable distance. I bet you could even get on a bus if you didn’t trust your car. Give up a few cigarettes and a can of coke a day if you want it bad enough and it won’t be long until you saved enough to travel to Wyoming- WITHOUT winning the lottery.  Add to that whatever money you waste on lottery tickets and it’ll add up even faster.

Then there’s my favorite, “If I ever got the time or money, I’d ride across America too.”

REALLY? If you are saying that, you won’t ever do it.

Do you really thing Richard and I had any more TIME or MONEY than anyone else? I have actually heard people say this who I know for a fact make 3 times what Richard and I did but they live in an area where the cost of living is 5 times cheaper than where we live.

It’s all in the attitude. We made this a priority and gave up EVERYTHING we didn’t need to exist so that we could save money for this trip. And we didn’t do that just for a few months- we did it for 3 years. And we even managed to splatter in a little fun here and there when we couldn’t stand it anymore. We also quite our jobs. You say that’s crazy. Yeah,  maybe it is. But you have to sacrifice if you want to follow your dreams.

Now I’m not going to leave God out here either. Granted, we couldn’t have done ANY of this without HIS strength and thumbs up for us taking on this journey. We had to be REAL sure that we were not going against HIS will for our lives to have the faith to quit our jobs. But I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, just like a captain can not steer a sail boat when it is not moving, God generally does not steer a person’s life toward great things unless they are stepping out in faith and doing SOMETHING. But you have to be willing to sacrifice, to alter your plans, and to work hard for anything to change. You start with the little things- like giving up soda and saving that money- and let your momentum grow and see where it takes you before you jump to the crazy stuff like quitting jobs. But you have to start somewhere.

And you HAVE to have a glass-half-full and getting fuller-by-the-day attitude! Or call it a find-a-way-make-a-way attitude. Or what about a ‘positive, radical, mental attitude’? Say it any way you want, but that kind of attitude honors God, gets your life moving and shaking in exciting ways, and makes dreams come true. It is not about your time, money, winning the lottery, or any other excuse. It all begins with your attitude.



11 comments

  1. Wow! In Kansas we call your blog this morning a “Come to Jesus meeting”.

    Your journey has helped me so much. When I have been down, really down, feeling that there is nowhere to go, you inspire me. I have prayed for you all and you are praying for me, and I have had some good news in the last few days!

    We had a lot of customers in the east with the bird dog business and it is a bit of a cultural thing too, I think. How tough is it, rather than how easy is it! Kind of an industrial attitude if you will. Here in Kansas, we plant crops and pray for rain. Fabulous the way God has made us all so different and has put us all here together, to fill the highs and lows of life, love and faith.

    Thanks for your prayers for me and I am going to keep praying for you:
    That God keeps you all safe and well.
    That He inspires folks to welcome you into their homes, lives and hearts.
    That folks are open to receive God’s Spirit and blessings through you.
    In Jesus’ name. Amen.

  2. What a great post! I had never thought about “low income” and “poor” in that way before. So right on!! I’ve been following you guys since you stayed with my friend and her two children in Placerville. I am so inspired by you! I pray that He will continue to lead, guide and protect you as you continue on your way. Almost there! God bless you guys and your traveling buddies!

  3. You know, 500 miles sounds like a lot but when you think of how far you have came it is nothing. You both are such a blessing to those of us who have gotten to share just a tiny bit of your travels. You inspire. So don’t take to heart the things people say that don’t sit well with you. As they say ” It takes all kinds to make a world” is true. We admire what you are striving for and for the courage you have to follow your dreams. May God contune to bless you and keep you all safe.

  4. Wow, what an enlightening blog! We agree with you 100%. So glad to see you off that coal hauling road. Looks like you made great progress today. Virginia tomorrow? Wow.

    You’re constantly in our prayers.

    Love and God Bless you.

  5. I want to laugh out loud, with joy! Melany is right: that was a “come to Jesus” blog! And Libby is right: 500 miles IS a lot! But LOOK HOW FAR YOU’VE COME!!!!! How boggling that anyone could say otherwise!

    I find the same attitude where I work: “I’d come to see you (and receive the care for my body that your office provides) but I can’t afford it.” And I think, what else are you choosing to do instead? I don’t mind if they choose not to come, but don’t tell me it’s not a choice because it is. It doesn’t matter what you “give up” or what you get instead. And it doesn’t matter how much or how little you have. It matters that you think in terms of what do I have to work with and what do I want most? I’ve been able to do some things I couldn’t “afford” because I chose not to do other things that I “could afford” but which added up to enough to let me do or have something I wanted more! It’s about choices and feeling rich because I realize I have choices instead of feeling poor because I’m not making the choices that reflect what I really care about in life.

    Thanks for sharing your insights and your journey with us, Richard and Jeannette! You inspire us to think about what really matters.

  6. You are right, you have come a long way and have done a tremendous things but some people can’t or won’t do this type of thing because of family, children , elderly parents. Maybe when people in this area say”Wow! You got a long ways to go” we are actually thinking”Wow! the most dangerous is yet to come!” we know these roads and it will probably take you longer than you ever imagined. You mentioned how good people were to you in other areas, but you only mentioned the negative of this area, when people have a lot to give and it doesn’t hurt is one thing but when others who have sickness and troubles but open their homes and feed strangers and their animals without a blink is another. Not to take away from your journey, I think you both are doing a amazing thing for a cause which is great and I wish you all safety on your journey.

  7. I love this blog! To be totally honest, I think it’s my favorite yet!! You gave me more encouragement and drive than you can ever imagine. I am planning an adventure/mission of my own starting May 19, 2014. I would love to tell you about it but here is not the place. I have already started giving up things I have discovered are not that vitalfor me to be relatively happy and comfortable. Some are things that many people couldn’t live without but this mission is important enough to me that I feel it’s definitely worth it. Just for starters, I recently moved in to a 26′ camper to begin saving expenses and am learning new and creative ways to downsize and live more simply. You two are my main inspiration. I can’t say thanks enough for giving me the courage and inspiration to attempt this adventure. May our Loving God and Savior continue to protect you and keep you safe. And yes, I feel that wow, look how far you have gone and that you are almost there! :)
    God Bless you all,
    Lori

  8. Amen and Amen!

    Some (many?) people in Appalachia barely travel outside of their county, so 500 miles seems like a major expedition. To most of us, it is an easy day’s drive. You are so right about one’s attitude! Too many people, NOT limited to Applachia, are willing to do something only if money falls from the sky. Yet, if it did, they would still not do that something: they would squander it on their addictions because they did not save it or earn it.

    Godspeed to the finish line!!

  9. The past few days I have been thinking about jslone’s comments. For background, “my” Sunday School class is working our way through the Ray Vander Laan video & book seriies of Faith Lessons. I generally have a dim view of videos, being an old-fashioned book guy. We encountered a Chapter (a DVD) this summer and I was astounded! These are superb!

    Caution: There are challenging issues and calls to action, both personally and as a community of faith in Jesus Christ.

    Whether we are looking across the “Jordan” to our Promised Land, or are (more likely) settled in it, and perhaps on a Yo-Yo to some degree, it is our duty to exert influence in our families, communities and in our culture. So we call out ideas and behaviors that are wrong or damaging.

    We must also we willing to offer forgiveness, exhort others to righteous living and introduce others to Jesus Christ, Savior and Lord of the Universe.

    Be thankful for the gracious gift of strangers opening their homes, barns and pastures to you and your horses, and I/we know that you are very, very thankful for these things. At the same time, there may be opportunities to exhort others to get out of their “rut” and move closer to perfection by throwing off, however gradually in some cases, the things that enslave them to the World.

    That’s probably enough preachin’ for today!

  10. WE miss you guys so much. When I read this I am reminded of the wonderful blessing you were to Ronnie and I.
    Can’t wait to see you at the finish line……. IT’S SOOOO CLOSE I CAN EVEN FEEL IT!! We are very proud of you and ‘YOU HAVE COME A LONG WAY BABY. :)


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