Ready to Renovate

Right now we have our camper parked at D.J.’s dad’s house. (Ugh I really wish I had a better picture to show you guys but will get a new one once all the snow melts). Over the summer he decided to get rid of the above ground pool he had in his yard, which gave us the perfect parking spot to keep our camper and work on all our renovations. We’ve got a great set up right now with it literally plugged into the house and joke that once we have it all fixed up we won’t even need to take it anywhere. We can just get ourselves a nice little fire pit and camp out in Don’s backyard.

This project has been extra special because it’s given us a lot of extra time to spend with Don while he’s been battling liver cancer and waiting for a liver transplant. D.J.s sister and brother-in-law just had a baby in April so we made the road trip out to Idaho in July for Don to meet his granddaughter for the first time. It was during this trip that really got us thinking that we could really take advantage of the restrictions being placed on us by COVID and inspired us that we could travel around seeing the United States while still working remotely. Don was so excited about the idea and helped us brainstorm different ways that we could make this happen.  

I seriously don’t think we’d be able to take on this renovation without him. This is the first time I’m taking on a “DIY” project on this level. I took home economics and wood shop in middle school and loved those classes, but that is the extent of my professional experience. However, I like to consider myself pretty creative and crafty. I like working on fun little projects and so does D.J. so this is the perfect thing for us to take on right now.

I’d say the biggest thing I’ve learned so far is the importance of having the right tool for the job. I tell D.J. every day when we work on the camper how appreciative I am of all the resources available to us. Don used to be a carpenter before he got sick with liver disease in 2004, so not only does he have what seems to me like every single tool imaginable, but he is also so knowledgeable and helps guide us with what we should be doing.  

Like hello please just look at this trailer full of tools he has. I remember the first time D.J. pulled out scaffolding I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and didn’t know people had things like that just laying around.

I have the most exciting news to share that we got the call last week that Don is officially scheduled to get a liver transplant! A complete stranger will be donating half of their liver to Don on March 18th! All we know about the donor is they were originally trying to donate to someone they personally knew, but after going through the whole process, found out they were not a match, but they decided they still wanted to proceed, and Don was next in line! I truly cannot even wrap my head around the pure selflessness that goes into that decision. We will never be able to repay this person and might not even get to ever give them the thanks they deserve. So for now, we’re just gonna give our thanks to God and know we are on the receiving end of a miracle. 

On top of today being Ash Wednesday, it’s also Random Act of Kindness Day. I really felt the need to share this post today as a prime example of how one random act of kindness (a pretty large random act of kindness may I add) can literally change someone’s life. 

That trip to Idaho in July also really got me thinking about everything going on in this world right now and how everyone has their own cross to bear. Instead of being so quick to “cancel” someone because they have different viewpoints or look, act, or behave differently than you I think we would all benefit from being a little more empathetic and giving each other some grace.

That’s another reason why I started the Great Camp Mission. I’m so excited to finally start traveling and get to meet new friends out on the road and hear their stories. D.J. and I are so blessed with this adventure we’re taking on. I know God has so much in store for us and can’t wait to spread kindness and share God’s love wherever we go.  

I’m sharing Don’s GoFundMe if anyone feels called to help donate in the spirit of Random Act of Kindness Day. Please never forget even the smallest act of kindness can change a life. You can view it here.

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