May 30, 2016-June 5, 2016
West Palm Beach, Florida -Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Range of miles: 16,217-17,360
Monday: Memorial Day
Not going to lie, the rhythm of back to back conventions was wearing on Team HTHL. We were running on empty, and we were in need of a refill. Bless cousin Mike! He surprised us by renting a pontoon boat for all to enjoy! We spent Memorial Day recharging and cruising the waters that encircle Peanut Island Park!
It was a wonderfully long relaxing day of soaking in the sunshine, enjoying cool breezes, chatting, laughing, and doing nothing at all.
Each kickback moment filled the cup of our souls drop by drop.
It amazes me how “doing nothing” strengthened all of us.
In the afternoon, we watched a brewing thunderstorm in the distance that thankfully, didn’t make it to our side of the inlet.
Later, we found a tiny island and docked the boat. My cousin Nancy and I fell asleep on the sandy shoreline while Forrest fished, Mike sat on the boat, and BusyGirl played on the beach.
We were filled to the brim and recharged for the next adventure!
We said goodbye to Nancy and Mike. Our tearful departure was averted because we knew we would see each other in the middle of June for my nephew’s wedding.
Large raindrops escorted us north towards North Carolina, my husband’s home state! Forrest resurrected his dormant southern accent and proceeded to educate BusyGirl in the southern pronunciation of words like “turkle’ for turtle and “chimlbly’ for chimney.
In the afternoon, we received word from one of our vendor friends that set up might be a little longer than usual because of some logistics at the convention center. So we switched our plans to include a Wednesday set up instead of a Thursday set-up. Just outside of Winston-Salem, we rolled into a truck stop about 11:00 pm and quickly fell asleep.
At a truck stop, the sunrise is the only alarm clock we need. We got a quick cup of coffee for me and a Breakfast Essentials for Forrest and BusyGirl. We arrived in the morning at the North Carolinians for Home Education (NCHE) convention content, filled, and ready to serve.
It was a good thing we arrived a day early. Our vendor friend was right. There were some out-of-the- ordinary obstacles having to do with parking and a longer than usual distance from trailer to booth. Also, the air conditioner strained and struggled to keep up with the demands of the many hardworking vendors which rendered the hall steamy. Despite the obstacles, NCHE leadership and vendors were determined to serve. We all pushed through to keep our attitudes set on grace!
I’ll admit, it was the slowest booth setup on record for Team HTHL. Our normal hour and a half set up turned into a six hour set up. We just didn’t feel like rushing around.
Doors to the NCHE opened at 9 am and the vendor hall quickly filled up with hundreds of homeschool families. Homeschooling is alive and well in North Carolina. In fact, there are more children homeschooling than attending private school! It is estimated that 67, 000+ students are homeschooling in North Carolina!
Attendees were eager to learn! After both my workshops, impromptu mini Q&A discussion groups formed outside the lecture hall lasting about an hour. Together, we shared resources, encouraged each other, and discovered once again, that we are not alone in our struggles.
The convention came to a close.
Love Sundays! It’s my day to refill and recharge! We attended church at Westside Fellowship in Elon, North Carolina. To our delight they had special guests, the Niboneras, a musically talented family from the Congo who have a mission to spread the love of Christ while providing relief to women and children, young and old, who have been traumatized by war in the Congo. Through their testimony, I learned my faith, hope, and love should lead me to sacrifice the present on the altar of the future.
After church, we visited with Forrest’s Aunt Mafalda, my father-in-love’s sister. We hadn’t seen this spunky lady since 2003. It was a joy to see her again! We spent the evening catching up and reminiscing.
I loved hearing about the old homestead, stories about my father-in-love growing up, and about Pop and Granny. The Mora family are no strangers to hard work. Pop worked on a dairy farm. Granny took care of the kids, farmed, and hunted! She would prepare and can a thousand quarts of vegetables and meat on a wood stove just to keep food on the table all year long. Aunt Mafalda told me she remembered her mom preparing lunches for her school-age children. Before sunrise, she would shoot a couple of squirrels, skin them out, fry them up, and tuck them into her children’s lunch pail. <pause and let that sink in!> We “modern day” women really have nothing to complain about!
Aunt Mafalda even gave me her mom’s pound cake recipe! She said, “With this recipe, I can still make $20.00 at my church’s cake auction for the young ones to go on a mission trip!”
On this trip, I’ve been honored to meet so many who pour out our their lives for others.
In Mathew 10:42 it says …
” And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.”
When I think I have nothing left to give, God fills me up. God fills our souls like a tall glass of iced Southern sweet tea so we can offer the same to others.
It’s a cycle. Pour out, refill, pour out, refill (repeat)
I have often thought that my exhaustion indicates that I am doing something wrong. It is not. It just means I need a refill.
I’m so glad God offers me free refills!
From Our Home (On the Road) to Yours,
Thanks for joining us! Next stop? Home Education Association of Virginia (HEAV) June 9-11, 2016
Follow our journey on HTHL’s Google Map (Click: HERE)