Sweet Minivan

IMG_8967   We are currently on the road, traveling across the northeast, reconnecting with the community of people who have had a say in who are today.  Do you ever take a moment just to think about how you got to where you are?  Who and what impacted this very moment that you are now in the midst of experiencing?  Some of those memories might make you giggle, cringe, weep, breathless, or bring on slew of other emotions, but at the end of the day, the experiences, the people, the places, the feelings, add up to make you, you.

Randy and I have been to many places, spent a lot of time doing life outside of where we are most comfortable.  We have shared many meals with new and not so new friends, enjoying the fruit that only time in community can cultivate.  We have been to places that have been tough and others that have been a cinch.

But the road we are currently on has been one of the most unique so far.  Talking to people, sharing with strangers, mustering up the courage to ask those that cross our path, if they would like to join us in what we are doing, has left us feeling vulnerable at times.  Many times I see that word and it carries with it a belly aching feeling, one where safety is craved, and the unknown attempts to drag you into the fetal position.   But currently it has left me reaching up, digging in, and pouring out to Christ.

When we are not having conversations with friends and family, we can be found in our minivan.  What does life look like in the Stahley mobile?  Let me offer you with a glimpse.

IMG_8869Ezra continues to ask me if we are going to Africa tomorrow.  And I continue to let her know that I will for sure share with her when we will be crossing the pond, providing her with enough time to wrap up all of the loose ends here in the states.



RubIMG_8854y continues to eat with her fingers, often creating a mask out of any condiment that she can get her digits in community with.  Sour cream is usually the culprit, but today it was ice cream…at the playground, near the sandbox.



IMG_8926Shiloh opted for a piece of diaper wipe rolled up and shoved up her left nostril while we were on our way to PA.  I jumped into action in a calm collected manner: (RANDY, STOP THE VAN, PULL IT OVER, THE BABY HAS A WIPE UP HER NOSE!!…pan the camera to her brother in the back that is now sobbing and asking in all seriousness.. “Is she going to die?”  For the record, Randy did follow through with all my ranting requests and we were able to secure the wipe with a pair of tweezers.  She is quite a curious girl.

IMG_8866Grayson is consistently working on how to squeeze a few additional moments out of his precious screen time.  Apps always seem to be magically downloading.  Overall though, all of those early trips between Maine and Ohio have paid off and have made him into a decent traveler.  Now if he could just get a long with whom ever he is sitting by, we would be all set.


The Stahleys!Randy has taken to earplugs during the last hour of most of the car rides.  It is around that time that the volume seems to escalate in our car and there is absolutely no escape.  I often picture myself being thrown from the car, rolling in the fetal position to the safety of the wilderness, but my kids noise-making quickly rescues me and jerks me back to the reality that is our van ride.