Counting the Cost (July)

by Funhog Family on August 11, 2011

July is behind us and we are a 1/3 of the way through this leg of our journey. Join us as we look at the facts and count the costs of our 50 state challenge.

July Stats
18 States Visited, 4807.5 Miles Driven, 4 Hotel Nights, 6 Restaurant Meals

The Cost (Financially Speaking)
Food – $1393.77
Gas – $1320.06
Lodging – $681.87
Activity Fees – $326.30
Gifts – $30.92
Laundry – $17.00
Total – $3769.92

The Real Cost

This trip may sound exciting to some and crazy to others. I thought I would try to show you a small picture of our life, such as you may not see in our video updates. Thus far, our trip has been full of struggles, tears, screams, sleep deprivation, and lots of hard work! We have put up and taken down tents so often that we have become experts. We have mastered the outdoor propane stove we brought and perfected the art of keeping ice (not water) in the cooler so as to preserve our food. We have been covered in mosquito, flea, and ant bites(thankfully no poison ivy yet) which make us scratch constantly. We have endured rain, thunder, lightning, strong winds, as well as heat and high humidity that made us long to be in the car with the air conditioning. The kids have whined about their “space” and asked a dozen times, “How long do we have to drive today?” Jodi and I have raised our voices over each others’ driving skills, not to mention those of reading the map. (No, we do not have a GPS!) I believe I could go on and on.

The Payoff
Our good friend Nathan Phillips says he likes to be “On the grow.” And Oh! How much we are learning and growing. Kendall has begun to take initiative – seeing things that need to be done and doing them. She has also become more helpful when Mommy is showering 3 or 4 kids at the same time. Chloe is helping more as well and becoming more patient, waiting for replies before jumping full steam ahead or letting someone else have something she wanted first. Sydney is putting others before herself when getting into the car, realizing that since she sits near the door she should allow the others to get in their places first. She is also learning to put into words what is bothering her so that we can help her out of any frustration. Elijah is eager beaver to “help” and Daddy and Mommy are learning to let him do so more and more in the hope that one day it will truly be helpful! He is also learning obedience and sharing. Tirzah is calming herself more in the car, keeping herself entertained during the drives when she is not sleeping. She is also learning to walk and has gotten in 3 molars and a front tooth since we began this trip! (We believe this has contributed to less crying.) And if you thought all of the kids were growing, boy have Jodi and I learned a lesson or two! I am learning what it means to deny oneself, take up my cross daily, and follow Christ. Until I truly did it physically, putting words into actions by taking care of my family in a whole new way and laying down my own desires with the intention of blessing them, I don’t know that I really understood what it meant. I’m getting a lesson every day on this trip. Jodi has been pretty incredible too. Her struggle is an emotional one though, as she focuses her energy on crying babies, whining kids, and trying to refocus the kids’ thoughts on what is most important – each other and thus Christ Himself. As a family, we have been reading through a Lamplighter book “Exiles in Babylon,” a story within a story, which has a vicar trying to reach out to the arrogant, deceitful people of castle LeStrange through the new steward who stands for truth amidst the many who only think of their own gain. The vicar does so by giving lectures in the steward’s cottage on the book of Daniel the prophet who also stood strong against the temptations and trials of living in Babylon under proud King Nebuchadnezzar. We just finished the part where the great King was humbled, having gone crazy and was left to eat grass as the cattle of the field and how God later restored the King. And Nebuchadnezzar’s response was, “Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and His ways justice: and those that walk in pride He is able to humble.” How much more should we as parents “act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God!” We pray that we will continue to humble ourselves before God, as He works in us both to will and to do His good pleasure – which now is to bring up our children in His ways that they may walk in the truth all of their days.

The Payoff is Priceless

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Mary O'Keefe August 13, 2011 at 7:57 pm

Hi Funhogs!

I so enjoyed reading your posts and am very glad that you enjoyed Pennsylvania so much. I have to tell you what a joy it was having your family stay with us–it was great getting to know each one of you. You are doing a wonderful thing, and I admire your commitment to each other and to the Lord. It is beautiful to see you living out your love of God and your family–I know you are having fun all the while, and I trust you will look back on this and relive the blessings you’re receiving each day. I’m so glad you stopped by–you brought a wonderful light into our home and we are so thankful! Love, Mary

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Funhog Family August 14, 2011 at 2:57 am

Thank you Mary! Your family was so precious and we thoroughly enjoyed our time with you. As a family we pray that our light shine to the glory of God, so praise the Lord if you were able to see even a glimmer that points to Him.

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