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As you might expect, living life on the road for the past two and a half months has changed our lives, but most of all it has changed our hearts.
Living in this RV and traveling America has transformed every part of my life. It makes the worst days absolutely horrible, but it makes the best days feel like cupcakes and puppy dogs, which is incidentally what my Tuesday looked like.
In Sioux Falls, Heath and I planned to work two jobs in one day. Many of the hourly workers we’ve met in our travels work more than one job, so we figured we’d give it a try. We planned to work one in the morning and one in the afternoon with a short break in between to drive to our next location.
But our day, like everything else in life, did not go according to plan.
When we arrived at our first job at Oh My Cupcakes! (Yes, it is absolutely as adorable as it sounds), we gave them our explanation of how the day typically goes. Heath will do anything you tell him too, even wearing a pink polka dot apron all day, and I will follow him around with the camera. We let them know we had a second job this afternoon at Shop Dog Boutique.
“Great! They are our neighbors, just downstairs.”
We couldn’t believe our luck. Sioux Falls, South Dakota isn’t exactly a large city, but no city is RV friendly. This bit of news meant we could leave our RV safe in the large parking lot and walk to our next job.
A reporter called Heath and set up plans to interview us for an article. She texted Heath a restaurant name, also in the small shopping center where we worked, and said she’d buy us lunch.
My heart brimmed with gratitude and amazement. Not because someone wanted to write a story on us and not because the day could involve eating cupcake icing, but because everything came together like pieces of a magnificent puzzle.
When you’re living a lifestyle that doesn’t provide any discretionary income or any facetime with people your age or any sense of community, you learn to appreciate everything a little more.
After spending the morning befriending the lovely cupcake bakers, we walked to the restaurant for lunch and talked with the kind reporter.
When the waiter brought me a plate of warm food, food I didn’t have to cook, from a recipe that I didn’t have to look up online, I wanted to cry. I wanted to gush with gratitude that someone would cook for me or that someone would buy me a hot meal.
It may sound silly, or maybe it just makes me sound depressingly poor, but that one-day changed my heart. At the end of the day, I walked away with two free meals, half a dozen cupcakes, and a small community of bakers and dog lovers who supported me.
People do not need to give to us. People do not need to be kind to us or welcome us into their lives or bake gluten free cupcakes.
But they do.
I’ll probably write about this topic a hundred more times as I travel, but I’m humbled by the kindness extended to me.
I’m humbled by how God uses our jobs to connect us with Christian communities a thousand miles away from home. I’m humbled by the meals I eat with strangers. I’m humbled by the taste of a gourmet cupcake, something I hadn’t tasted in years.
Living in an RV has changed my heart because it opens my life to new opportunities. Filming this documentary, if it affects no one else, will leave a profound, lasting impact on me.