I have this beautiful friend named Joy. Granted we have not officially met in person yet, but that will happen soon. November actually. Nonetheless, I count her as a friend. She has encouraged me. Prayed for me. Inspired me. Challenged me. A few months ago, she and her husband made the bold and brave decision to try something new and fight for the life they dreamed of with their kids. They sold their home and most of their belongings. They began a journey to explore and experience life in simple and loving ways. Joy and Don chose not to get stuck in a lifestyle that revolved around striving for more and maintaining. They chose to fight for their family and not get caught up in the race of comparison and outdoing others. For the next year or so they are taking time to travel the country in the gorgeous RV they customized. Katie Daisy (who designed my blog header) painted the sides of the RV….it is like happiness rolling down the street.
Yahoo.com recently created a short video about Joy and her family. Yesterday it was on the front page of Yahoo.
I watched the video with my kids…with happy tears for Joy and her family. There is no doubt they are facing all kinds of struggles and trials living on the road in confined space with four young kids. No doubt there are days that are hard and exhausting. But I am also confident that they will come out of this experience stronger and closer…with a tapestry of beautiful memories weaving them together.
I was so happy watching the video. Knowing Joy. Knowing what led to this decision. And then I read some of the comments.
I don’t get mean people. I don’t understand why people get online and say things they would never say to someone’s face. I just don’t get it. I would understand constructive discussion and criticism if the Proutys were sharing that every family should do what they are, but they aren’t. They are just being vulnerable and telling their story ~ what is right for their family for a season. Mean comments about that, I don’t understand. But, I’m not going to linger there because that would be fruitless and in vain.
What I do want to say today is for those of you that are brave like the Proutys….who are taking a bold risk or making a decision that others aren’t so supportive of…way to go friend. Taking a risk. Being brave and courageous even when you are scared and timid is miraculous. Your bravery inspires me. You confidence to keep stepping in the direction you know you are supposed to go, even when facing opposition or criticism, it is breathtaking to me.
So to my friends the Proutys and to those of you trying to be brave in the hard and in the beautiful….remember it is not the critic who counts.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great end of triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt