On one of our many adventures exploring Southern California’s farming country, we happened upon quite the spectacle—an osprey enjoying a sushi lunch atop a power pole.
Enjoy yourselves as well,
Jenni and Ken
Okay, so here goes. This is the first post for my new blog and also will be the last post for this, my old blog. Believe me, this is no small undertaking, nor is it done without much thought and prayer. It is difficult to leave something behind that has been my companion, my outlet for so long.
God has been prompting me again, quite insistently as He does at times, especially when I am not listening to His still small voice. He has instructed me to start a new blog totally dedicated to our mission, Bethel Grace Abbey. He has prompted me that RV’ing the Dream needs to be left behind. I cried out to Him that I would lose all my followers if I stopped writing on RV’ing the Dream. Our Benevolent Father assured me, however, that those who are meant to follow, will continue to follow even if I leave my old blog behind. God assured me that when I switch over to a blog totally dedicated to our mission, Bethel Grace Abbey, He will populate my online community far more than the few (His word) who follow our adventures on RV’ing the Dream.
I argued with Him, as I often do because I am human. I argued that this is the most popular my blog has ever been. The number of hits soar daily. So it is difficult for me to leave behind something that has finally come into its own. And maybe that’s the problem. The Dream was never to be “its own.” The Dream has always been His, even though at first I imagined we would be on a wonderful journey, traveling these beautiful United States of ours, for at least five years.
But as you can probably tell, as time has passed, the entire flavor of my blog changed. Everything I do is now in pursuit of the calling He graciously placed on my heart many years ago. My whole life is consumed by His calling. As each day passes, the mission, the dream, the calling becomes clearer and clearer in my mind and in my heart. As each day passes, more and more of my time and energy are spent in pursuit of His dream for my life.
So it is with reluctance but also with great anticipation that I now leave “RV’ing the Dream” behind and start anew on this new blog, “When He Reigns” that He wants me to write. I am placing a link here on RV’ing the Dream so that all who desire to continue to follow, can.
Please find it in your heart to bless this mission of ours by spreading the word about our mission to humbly serve the heartbroken and homeless of Southern California, because when He reigns, it pours! And I can feel we are on the brink of something huge and glorious happening in our lives.
Thank you all for seeing me through all my heartache and pain, my trials and fears, and for continuing with us on our journey into this glorious new day.
In His Holy Name,
P.S. If I have recently given you one of my business cards or told you personally to seek us out for help, I apologize that I am now changing things up. Sometimes that is how God works in our lives. Please follow the link to our mission. My email and phone numbers are still the same. The only thing to change is my blog. I love you all. Hang in there. Help is coming soon!
There’s a whole fascinating history behind the cultivation and propagation of the palm date, but I won’t go into detail here. You can find that information here on Wikipedia or by looking up Shields Date Gardens on the internet.
Turns, out, this luscious albeit forbidden fruit has to be hand pollinated, and to get our facts straight, we stopped in Mecca and talked with one of the palm date farmers and got the scoop directly from the (eh hem, excuse the turn of phrase) fruit fornicator’s mouth.
Oh, please, put your indignation away. I know you at least chuckled at my attempt at humor.
And I know you will chuckle again next time you go to buy some dates for your holiday baking needs.
After all, “Humor results when society says you can't scratch certain things in public, but they itch in public.” ~Tom Walsh
Joy and laughter to you and yours,
Jenni and Ken
“Humor is a reminder that no matter how high the throne one sits on, one sits on one's bottom.” ~Taki
We came across an abundance of pelicans, herons, gulls, and cranes on the shores of The Salton Sea, and this is what had Ken so preoccupied with the binoculars as I snapped away with my camera.
And so without further ado, we shall share our pictures.
Love and blessings,
Jenni and Ken
Gracefulness, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.
Our intended destination for Wednesday’s adventure was The Salton Sea. However, since we dawdled an awful long time, taking in the gross extravagance of Palm Springs and that surrounding area, we ended up with very little time to explore the area surrounding The Salton Sea.
Harrumph. We will just have to return another day, I guess.
This beautiful graffiti was found on the fence surrounding the abandoned community pool.
We did get to explore a rather sad little community called Desert Shores, which is right on the edge of The Salton Sea. At one time, it probably was a nice little place to live; however, the economy, the housing crash, or what have you must have took its toll, because very few businesses remain open today. In fact, we saw an ambulance service, a motel, and a church, and not much else. Thank God there was a church so that the community would not totally be forsaken.
It saddened me that the community pool and the fire station stood abandoned, along with many private businesses. There were a few nice houses interspersed, but most of the housing was probably for the workers from the surrounding produce farms.
We did get some beautiful pictures, and I am pleased to be able to share them with you.
In our next post, we shall see what Ken was so interested in viewing. Until then, keep searching for your joy.
Jenni and Ken
The daytime temps are perfect, allowing us to still comfortably wear our T-shirts and shorts even this late in the year, and the nighttime temps are just chilly enough to warrant snuggling beneath the quilt I made for Ken out of his old T-shirts. In other words, it’s just how I like it.
On Wednesday, we decided to take advantage of the gloriously beautiful weather by driving to The Salton Sea. On our way, we passed through Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Indian Wells, La Quinta, Indio, Coachella, and finally Mecca, Desert Shores, and The Salton Sea. I think I named them all.
It was one town right after the other, blending so well it was difficult to say exactly when we passed from one to the next, unless we happened to catch the welcome signs. Although the farther we drove, the poorer the cities became. Then, it was easy to tell where the rich left off and the working stiffs began. The first half dozen cities were so opulent that even the bus shelters looked like stucco gazebos, for lack of a better description.
These are some of the pictures from the first part of our adventure. Mecca, Desert Shores, and The Salton Sea will have to wait for the next posts.
Along Highway 10 just outside of Banning, there’s a stretch of the desert that has been put to good use as a wind farm. I love seeing alternate energy sources being incorporated so well, as they are in So Cal. Some may call them ugly or even eyesores, but I find them beautiful in both their simplicity and purpose.
Jenni and Ken
Oh, it has been a glorious week so far, and it is only Wednesday!
I’d love to just blurt out all the goodness that God has been bestowing on us as of late, but I will take my time and parse it out properly over the next few posts.
Yesterday was an absolutely beautiful day. I spent it with my daughter, doing not much of anything, just mom and daughter stuff. We made gluten free peanut butter cookies (recipe to follow) and she highlighted my hair . . . wait for it . . . wait . . .
PURPLE! And so now with my natural silver/gray, I’m sporting the Sacramento King’s colors! Too funny. That one’s just for you, Dale! (Okay, so it doesn’t show up all that well in this picture, but my hair is tinted purple on the ends.)
Those of you who know me personally might notice something else about the pictures. I’m losing weight, although I am not sure how much because I have not stepped on a scale since Portland. Needless to say, I am down a few sizes. Yea! And it is simply melting away without all the usual starvation and torture. What’s my secret, you may ask? Well, when we started our journey, we basically changed our entire lifestyle. That, and I give thanks to God for this, another blessing in my life.
Okay, so I am blurting out an awful lot of the goodness all at once.
On to the cookie recipe. It is the simplest and most delicious cookie recipe ever. Even if you are not gluten intolerant, you may want to try these. They are amazing.
GLUTEN FREE PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES
That’s it, unless you are hankering for chocolate with your peanut butter, then add some chocolate chips and you are good to go.
Bake for 10-12 minutes in a 350 degree oven, and I promise they will disappear right before your eyes, even before they have had a chance to cool. Better double the recipe, folks, it is that good.
Love and blessings to you all,
Jenni and Ken
While we were in the mountainous region above Banning, which I spoke of in my last post, we came upon what remained after a recent wildfire. From a distance, the area looked, charred, desolate, devoid of anything good or life sustaining.
As we approached, I meditated on how life’s trials can leave us charred, alone, wasting away for want of that certain something that will renew our souls.
Then I walked among the burned relics, the charred bushes, the melted debris left behind earlier by litterbugs.
And this is what I found, life striving to survive despite all odds. The char was falling away to reveal glowing, vibrant branches beneath.
I was awestruck, speechless. The beauty I found in the midst of this destruction astounded and refreshed my soul.
Thank You, Lord, for all Your lessons and Your grace. Amen.
Jenni and Ken
The other day, we decided to take a drive into the mountainous region above Banning. Our end destination was to check out an RV park called Silent Valley. Though it was technically only ten or so miles outside of Banning, those ten miles were winding, sharp, and steep in places. When we turned off California State Highway 243 onto Poppet Flats Road, the elevation was at least 4000 feet.
Although Silent Valley appears, for all purposes, to be a wonderful place to stay, being essentially a town within itself, we decided not to chance taking the Raven up that hill. For now, we are just bouncing back and forth between Fisherman’s Retreat and Cherry Valley Lakes, and we will most likely still be bouncing back and forth come Christmas and New Year’s.
When I prayed about whether we should move on or not, (since Ken had itchy feet and wanted to get to Arizona before any snow falls on the passes), God gave me peace about staying in this area for now.
Besides, we are making connections here. God is presenting us with good, new relationships and He is healing old ones. We’ve hooked up with a local pastor and his wife, and they have been blessing us with their goodness. And Ken, being the gregarious one, has made several other friends as well. There are good people, here in Beaumont.
I feel good here, soul-wise. I feel at home. Ken is happy either way, whether we move on or stay, so long as a decision has been made. So for now, we stay.
Blessings to you and yours,
Jenni and Ken
Banning, as viewed from Hwy 243