The good, the bad and the ugly…
We get asked this question all the time. How did we do it? How did we start this life so many see as a dream? The amount of times we get called “lucky”. We are blessed, incredibly blessed by a God who loves us to death. But don’t believe for a second we haven’t worked really hard to reach our goals, or been through some incredible challenges.
Many times in life I think we just take things as they come, accepting the daily grind as the norm. I know we did for many many years. There comes a moment in life when you realise you have choices and things don’t need to be the way they are. It was only when Karl was pushed to his limit physically, mentally and emotionally that change HAD to happen for him, and us. He couldn’t do “it”- the life we had at that point, any longer. It wasn’t a choice at that point- it was a necessity. The choice came in how our new life would look, not the change that had to happen.
So we sat down together and figured out how we could do “this”. I still thought it sounded like a bit of a joke, but he was determined. I don’t think I knew at that point how serious he was about it all. I am the first to admit I was a little behind on the vision. Within a couple of months of that discussion, we had bought Betty (through the equity on our home), and Karl drove her home to us. It all felt a little more real, but it felt fun. Kinda like we were playing house, some kind of fun game…. I started to tell friends our plans with a big silly grin on my face. I would still nervously laugh when I said I would homeschool. I had no idea about the struggles that were coming.
Karl worked long long hours, running the businesses and working on the bus every spare minute that he had. He made the calls, did the enquiries involved in registration and all of that fun stuff, did the research on solar systems, batteries, hot water systems, water pumps, seating arrangements, appliances, fittings etc etc. He became the king at Google. Yes it was fun, but it was also work! We were so blessed to have his dad on board, who did A LOT of the structural work inside Betty when Karl couldn’t due to work demands. But the bills were wracking up….
During this time I was still not 100% on board mentally (although I thought I was) but I could see the money flying out the door. Yes, we went over budget. I was busy working, looking after the kids and all that fun stuff. I did get involved choosing colours, how Betty would generally look like when she was done. If we were going to do this full time I needed a home. I knew otherwise I would struggle, become stir crazy and possibly resentful.
Then finally it was all done, and after a few mechanical hiccups we hit the road ahead of schedule. A few things went wrong in our first 1000 km’s and we thought it would constantly be problems on the road, but it did settle down pretty quickly.
But; Karl was tired. In fact I have never seen him so tired ( we have been married for 13 years)- he is usually a boundless ball of energy, often working and helping other people out, even on his holiday time. He basically stopped working completely for a couple of months, and slept a lot. No wonder really. He had worked himself to the bone, and while I worked and helped where I could (ok probably not as much as I could, actually definitely not as much as I could; looking back I was reluctant to leave and subconsciously dragged my heels), he moved a trade business full of 8 years worth of junk and equipment to a new venue, packed most of the house and shed up for storage , sale or rubbish (I did help a fair bit there), worked running 2 businesses, AND put hours into the bus at night, and volunteered at church. Plus he took the kids when I was out working some evenings. This change in his energy level was very very scary for me to see.
We headed up to Geraldton for a short visit, and Karl was offered a job in construction by some family we will be forever grateful to, so he took that up. They could see he didn’t want to give up the business we had, but was wrung dry, and so in their grace and love offered him a purpose. We continued to manage the business back home, although lightly, while he was refreshed by trying his hand at some different work. This family caught us when we were down, a soft spot, an absolute Godsend. I like to say we were like jelly on a a cake rack, completely falling through the holes, and they were a bowl underneath. They caught us, and offered us a place of acceptance and rest, without judgement. They had us stay on their property (in Betty). They were just there, and let us figure ourselves out in one of the trickiest times I have ever been through. My gratitude can not be expressed in words for their love and kindness.
During those first few months on the road, I have never been so financially worried. It was a choice to wake up and focus on God’s word rather than wasting away my days in worry, but often I failed. I had lost the husband I knew, the one with the amazing drive, and the bills were piling up. We were down to counting pennies on every purchase, prioritising needs, and learnt a lot about budgeting for the first time. It turns out necessity is a pretty amazing teacher.
We still had our workshop running back home, which turned out to be a huge blessing but at the time the overheads were sucking us dry. We decided to close the premises we were running (rent, and all the other costs) and our awesome workers decided to still work for us, but from home. This was a pretty dark time, as we didn’t know if all of our hard work establishing the business would perish without a shop front. At this time Karl felt well enough to start back with seat covers and motor trimming part-time, so we felt a slow trickle of relief. It didn’t happen all at once but things slowly got better. And the business was still steady at home despite the change of venue.
Then I started building up my team of wellness advocates with Essential Oils and realised how beautiful and fulfilling this business is, and how much potential it had. I work with my closest friends as my business partners, we are making a huge impact in the health of other families, and I am able to stay connected and support my team from wherever I am (as long as I have coverage). The oils themselves have been very supportive for me, and the business has given me back a spark which got lost for a while there. After stripping back and giving up many of the things I was so passionate about when we left home, again I have a dream. Blessings upon blessings.
So I hope that dispels some of the images you may have that this is all a perfect set up and was so easy to just do. It took guts, bravery and determination, mostly on Karl’s part. And there was a lot of risk, a lot of prayer for guidance. I am so blessed to have Karl. So incredibly blessed.
So if you are wanting a change, I guess the first step is, are you really ready to change or are you just dreaming? What are you willing to suffer or go through to make your dream a reality? Because it will take work. Harder work than you may have ever done. And risk. Not everything will be roses. But when you are determined to make those goals a reality, you will do the work. When you see the life you are currently living is no longer an option, you will make a way.
If you have a goal, write it down. Break it into smaller goals, and work towards it with a timeframe. Make it realistic, but move towards it constantly. These things do not happen by accident. It will mean sacrifices. It will mean life looking a lot different to what you may be used to (I was a serial clothes buyer/shopper in general but I have completely stopped; I only have 1 body and 1 pair of feet after all). There are so many ways we have changed, but looking back I can also see incredible growth. Growth is never easy (and it hurts), but it is so worth it.
*UPDATE: Beck started to really take her business to the next level with doTERRA, and led her team to Diamond in June of 2017. Karl decided to jump on board and help her run her multi 6 figure business (and homeschool the kids, and much more) and in August they sold their traditional business, and now do doTERRA together full time! The travels will continue as their team needs them, and they are still LOVING living in Betty and the freedom they have attained).
My favourite bible verses during this time have been:
Cast your cares upon Him, for He cares for you. Psalm 55:22
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
Rejoice in the Lord always, I say it again, rejoice. Philippians 4:4
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4: 6-7
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. Philippians 4:8