Friendship - Part 1

Friendship - Part 1

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There are 32 days left before our family will be packed and on the road in a 36-foot travel trailer with our 4 kids and hit the road on an epic business and personal adventure around the outer edge of the US.

As we prepare, one of the things that seem to be constantly on our minds is friendship. Friendships are deeply important to us. In fact, 2 weeks ago we celebrated our annual “Friendsgiving,” where we spend 5 days in the mountains of Colorado, eating, playing and having deep conversations with a group of 3 families. I once heard a quote, “friends are family you choose.” This quote has definitely played out in our lives, as we have not lived near our extended families for over 17 years. While friends do not replace our family, they do bring us a deep sense of community and belonging. A big question we are wrestling through with our Colorado friends is how can we stay in community while we are traveling around. Thankfully, rather than run away from the hard questions, they are leaning in. We are ever grateful for good friends because it allows for a healthy departure and a healthy return. As adults we can wrestle through this, but one of the challenges has been how to help our kids walk through this as well.

This has translated into scheduling some intentional play dates so our children can say goodbye and have some special times. One of our daughter’s friends is planning a special Christmas party with all of her school friends, and our boys are planning trips to the local indoor trampoline park, skateboard park and some video games with theirs. Each of our children plans to ask a close friend to help facilitate the signing of their yearbook because we will be gone during the end of the school year.

We feel loved and cared for. We feel pursued and sought out. We feel honored and want to also honor our friends.

A friend is described as somebody who trusts and is fond of another, a favored person who makes life better, a buddy, advocate, mentor with whom you share your life. We asked our kids at dinner last night how they were a good friend and how they struggled to be a good friend. We also asked them who was a good friend to them and who led them astray. In between trying to get four kids to answer all those questions, wanting seconds on food, and jeering each other, we hope they learn how important that friends can impact your life.

Were you a trustworthy friend today? Did you make someone’s life better today? Do you have a buddy, advocate, or mentor that you could share your life with?

Pray we all see the friends God has placed in our lives - both the silver and the gold ones!


Seattle

Seattle

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Today we start our second week of our fast and prayer. In 33 days we will be packed and on the road in a 36-foot travel trailer with our 4 kids and hit the road on an epic business and personal adventure around the outer edge of the US.

Today, I (Greg) will be in Seattle. I am representing Xcelerate as a cloud-based accounting firm for churches at the Association of Related Churches (ARC) Meet-Up with Dino Rizzo. In 2003, my wife, Jessica and I, packed up our Toyota Camry with most of our prized belongings and drove out to Seattle from our home in South Carolina to help plant a church with three other young couples. Like many of the church planters we work with now, we were young and ready to storm the gates of hell! It was Seattle that made the way for Xcelerate.  

Seattle also holds our first joys of parenthood and held our first-born son Jude. We bought our first home, a 980 square-foot major fixer-upper. I fell in love with the water all around us, and Jessica fell in love with the beautiful flowers from Pike’s Place Market. It was a time when had a fire to use our young marriage to passionately pursue what God called us to. Seattle also holds many losses. Miscarriages took three children before they were able to breathe their first breath. Through infertility our idea of how our family would grow began to change. This is where we first began to open our hearts toward the concept of adoption.

We had already planned to make Seattle one of our stops on the RV trip. We still have many friends there and wanted to show our kids what we our life was like before them. A few months back Jessica began to sense God inviting us to stay in Seattle from Mother’s Day through Father’s Day of 2019. We have some unfinished grief to process and some joys to remember. Seattle holds a lot of joy and pain, so much goodness and so much heartache. Seattle represents when we would say to the enemy, “You will not steal, kill, and destroy” and “God will prevail”. He was out to destroy our church, our finances, our ability to grow our family due to multiple miscarriages and failed foster-to-adopt placements, and our emotions. I know many of you church planters feel the same way - you are on the front lines of the gospel, and the enemy will do all he can to stop families from running to Jesus...especially if that means stopping YOU.

So, we are going to Seattle from the day representing motherhood to the day representing fatherhood as a symbol to the enemy that he has no hold on us. God will prevail!

Pray for me (Greg) today as I meet with 50 or so pastors on the front-lines of ministry. Pray God would show up for our family from Mother’s Day of 2019 to Father’s Day of 2019!

 


Hope of Christmas

Hope of Christmas

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Today is Day 7 of our fast and prayer. In 34 days we will be packed up and on the road in our 36-foot travel trailer with our 4 kids. We will hit the road on an epic business and personal adventure around the outer edge of the US.

It is also for those that attend church, the first Sunday of Advent. Advent is a way the early church developed to help people prepare their hearts for one of the most important Christian holidays. Advent is a time of preparation, and it literally means “coming.” It counts down the Sundays till we celebrate the birth of Jesus, the child who came to change everything. Children are a great example to us during this time as they anticipate the coming of gifts under the tree. It is with this same anticipation that we look to both the birth of Jesus and the hope in His second coming where He makes all things new.

Would you please join us in prayer today as we anticipate and wonder how Jesus will invite us, the path we will take, and the memories that will be made. Our anticipation is high and so are our hopes.


Hanging out with Joy and Grief

Hanging out with Joy and Grief

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We are in Day 6 of our fast and prayer. In 35 days we will packed up a 36-foot travel trailer with our 4 kids and be on the road on an epic business and personal adventure around the outer edge of the US. As we wrote about yesterday we are in a time of preparation and transition. I am not sure about your family, but for Team Daley, transitions aren’t easy. We are a blended family of biological and adopted children. Even though many transitions in life are good like growing up and heading of to college, getting married, leaving a toxic job or birthing/adopting a child, our family sees most transitions as something to be feared. All of our kids have anxiety around things that are unknown. Some of our kids are still learning they can really trust us to provide a safe, nurturing environment. During this time, we find ourselves asking each other these two questions several times a day?

  1. How can we help our kids and ourselves learn to transition better?

  2. What can we do to leave well?

 The hard part about transitions of ending and beginning are a mixed bag. They can be filled with both excitement and grief, joy and loss. We love joy and excitement, but loss and grief is something I would rather run from than engage. An example is we are going on the trip of a lifetime, but to do it we need to leave everything we know and great friends here in Colorado. In the life of a 40 year old 6 months seems relatively short, but to a 10 year old that is 8% of their life.

We are trying hard to engage the grief and loss. We started by naming it for ourselves and then began helping our kids name it. Next, we have named it with some close friends. It wasn’t easy and it is vulnerable, but something magical happened. In engaging it the fear began to reside and a more settled feeling has come. We have a ways to go in answering these two questions, but we have many transitions in the future to practice.

Do you have any ideas? How have you left well that felt memorable?


Home Is Where the Camper Is

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During this time of preparation to leave, the concept of “home” has come up a lot. What is home? Is it just where your heart is? Can I experience home at a hotel or a campsite? As our family of six have discussed it, some of what often makes us “homesick” are certain items that help remind us we are safe, loved and accepted. This concept is extremely important to us because we are about to load a few items into a 36 foot travel trailer and call it “home” for over 6 months. That’s half a year! Can a camper really feel like home? Will it feel like one big camping trip? We worry that feelings of “homelessness” will creep in as we travel around the country.

Last week we asked the kids, “What is something that you can pack and take with us that would remind you of home when you are homesick on the road?” Answers ranged from stuffed animals and pillows to guitars, plants, and important pictures. Everyone’s answers were different. When we each thought about home we thought about different things.

Friends

One that came up for everyone in the family was friends. This one is so much harder as we can’t bring any of you with us. Many tears flowed as we contemplated leaving some of our close friends for so long. We don’t have a lot of answers on this one, and we suspect that there is no great answer, but we are working on it. Thankfully we will be able to leverage technology to stay connected, but it’s hard to recreate Sunday night dinners with our best friends or a deep conversations over a cup of tea or a glass of whiskey. You can’t have an epic laser tag battle or go sledding on Skype. Our church community will spend about 25 Sunday’s worshiping without us. In this we are grieving.

Rhythms

The last “home” item we talked about is rhythms. Rhythms are those things that help us stay grounded from week to busy week. They help us stay connected. Things like Friday night movie night (easily replicated) and Sabbath (a little harder, because it has involved the friends from above). An easy one was our “Team Daley Huddle.” We tried “family meetings,” but that word always made the kids nervous. We wanted them to be fun and talk about some real things. We laugh and giggle and then usually someone lets out some noxious gas at some point, but some of the sweetest times of connection have come from these huddles. I am also sure we will have to create some new rhythms as well. At Xcelerate one of our core values is “Healthy Life Rhythms” and without them we fail to live in to each second with a full heart.

What is your concept of home?

If it is a fully furnished 5 bedroom, 3 bath town home with a really nice patio then come rent ours for 6 months. Not kidding :) We pray our home is rented to the family God is leading to make a “home” in Fort Collins, CO.

Know someone? Let us know and in the meantime, please pray we take the great parts of “home” with us.

The Earth Below My Feet-Part 2

The Earth Below My Feet-Part 2

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Vision can be a noun or a verb. When it is used as a verb, it means to “imagine”. Personally, I find it helpful to use vision as a verb more than a noun. If I can “imagine” how it will be, I can create effective goals and objectives towards that vision.

How do I imagine our children’s education, Xcelerate, our personal finances, our communication tools, our packing methods, our ability to engage in meaningful conversations, our capacity for company growth, our relationships, our meals, our interactions with other RVers, our truck and RV issues while on the road?

Yesterday, we had fun asking the kids what they wanted to specifically learn in each subject on the road trip. Learning is so fun if you get to help create it. Some of the answers were science explosions, realistic art, typing, famous buildings, creative writing, baby chicks, putting things in the right spots, clay, slavery, making things out of paper, learning to play a ukulele, how to paint, rocks and minerals, JFK, carving, Elvis, states that held wars, and presidents. What is so awesome about this is every one of these learning opportunities will be available. And, along the way researching, writing, and creating blogs about their learning will pull in the educational requirements that will push them to the next grade level.

We are praying that God gives us a vision for what he sees. When it comes to education, what does God want us to learn on the trip? What opportunities will they have to learn more about themselves? How will that propel them to a deeper relationship with Christ now and as they get older?

Please join us in Prayer at noon for Clarity of Vision for the following:

  • Our children’s education

  • Xcelerate’s growth while on the road

  • Where we will go and who we will see

  • How we will interact around food and conversations with each other

Thank you for praying with us on Day 4!


The Earth Below My Feet

The Earth Below My Feet

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Have you ever prepared to do something that you knew was the right thing, but it seemed crazy? Almost everyday we are asking, “are we crazy?”

In these times we keep our eyes on the why. What is God’s purpose that will prevail according to Proverbs 19:21?

As a family we love most of the words to Mumford and Sons songs. I say most because there are some songs, we need to skip over 😊. We can relate with their passion, their deep sense of words, and their inquisitive wonder. A song that has felt like a theme song for the trip has been “Below My Feet”. In this song Mumford writes,

Keep the earth below my feet

From my sweat, my blood runs weak

Let me learn from where I have been

Keep my eyes to serve, my hands to learn

Keep my eyes to serve, my hands to learn

This song reminds me that we are going to be very close to the ground we came from. The Daley family as a unit will be touching more ground than we ever have in one season. We will be close to the dirt, the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean, the mountains, camper hookups, the elements, firepits, waterfalls, hiking trails, relationships, clients, and so much more. 

We will also be in contact with less people we know. We are in a sense removing ourselves from our current community where we are known. It feels humbling and modest. It fills us with trepidation! Yet, three years ago God planted this idea in Greg’s mind, and I can’t ignore the excitement we had and the drive that has pushed us to follow through. Without a shadow of a doubt, I know part of God’s purpose that will prevail is the Daley’s contribution to the world around us. How will God keep our eyes serving? How will God keep our hands learning? How can we serve and learn with you?

I’m excited to find out.

What is God doing? Pray for continued Clarity of Vision, the state of being able to see where to serve and where to learn……to be continued.

Peace

Peace

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Thank you to those who have chosen to join us in prayer, fasting or both for the Xcelerate Daley Roadtrip.

Today we need Prayers of Peace. Peace in the midst of preparation is vital as we have so many things swirling around in our heads. We can’t think when we don’t feel peace. Peace is described as freedom from disturbance. Don’t you feel pulled in 1000 directions each day veering you away from the important and back to the urgent? Important items are not as tangible because they are focused more on mission, purpose, values, and goals. Important items take forethought and planning, yet that is what propels our vision forward. It is easier to feel more productive with the urgent because it solves the here and now. Urgent items focus on tasks that require a reaction because they scream for our attention while the important simply whispers softly.

Please pray we stay grounded in the important. Please pray we aren’t distracted by the urgent. We need a spirit of restfulness, exuding a quiet and soothing quality about us when we interact with our children, our family, our team, our clients, and the world around us. We all have a lot on our minds and our responses can make or break the daily interactions with those around us. Are we being kind to the staff at stores during holiday shopping? Are we being inquisitive when we notice someone is hurting? Do we notice the homeless man or woman at the corner of a stoplight? Are we available to help lead and intentionally develop our team? Are we present when our kids want to tell us about their day? Are we available to pick up the phone?

Do you have your biggest arguments with the people you love right before a big trip? That’s why we need Peace Prayers! With this big trip coming around the corner and time isn’t stopping, our stress levels are rising, and the check lists are growing.

 

Thank you for your Peace Prayers at noon today!

Preparation for the Road

Preparation for the Road

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On the road…

You may have heard by now that we (The Daley’s) are going on the road for 6 months WITH our 4 kids IN an RV! Yes, it might be crazy, but what started as a dream 3 years ago is becoming a reality.

How did it start?

Well, Greg came home one day and said “what do you think of taking an RV around the U.S. for a time and allowing our kids learn more experientially?” I (Jessica) loved the idea and we continued to dream, and then reality set in and all the questions like, “what if our kids get behind in school for life?” and “how will we all survive in 350 square feet of space?” We threw it in the “maybe someday” category until we saw a Fort Collins Magazine article about a family in Fort Collins who had just come back from a similar RV Trip. Our idea, had a name…Road Schooling. We thought if they could do it then maybe, just maybe we could too.

The next thought was could our business be ready for this?

We shared it with our growing team and actually put it on our strategic plan as taking Xcelerate on the road. We were already a virtual company so work could get done with just an internet connection, however, this dream caused us to do a deep dive into our processes, our systems such as Quickbooks Online, Intuit Online Payroll for Accountants, Karbon, Smartvault, T-sheets, Expensify, and our people.  Leaders already worked at our company, but we needed to empower them. The Xcelerate team rose up to meet the challenge so we could shift our focus of being in the business to more working on the business. The Xcelerate team has walked this vision with us for years without really knowing the HOW of it all.

Where are we going?

Our truck and travel trailer will take us south from our home in Colorado and then trace the outer edge of the country counter clockwise. Xcelerate client churches are all along the way as well as many of our team members we call stakeholders. As a virtual company we often use video conferencing to meet new clients, but this way we will get to meet them in person. Computers have really allowed us to run a business with a much larger impact then if we could only work with churches close to us, but there is something special about meeting face to face. We will even get to worship on Sundays with our churches and really see how God is using them.

A time of preparation?

At the beginning of 2018, Greg and I chose One Word that we felt the Lord impressing on us. My word was Curious and Greg’s word was Resilient. We knew if we were to get in a confined space for any amount of time with the 6 of us, we needed to prepare our hearts just as much as our business. We just didn’t know how, but God SHOWED up! With intentional eyes and ears and with God-given guides in our lives, we both dove in to our own stories. It was hard. It was scary. Un-dealt with emotions and stories had lived for too long and we needed God’s healing. Some of the destinations on the trip hold some of those hard stories and we needed to face them before we embarked. Hurting people hurt people, but the flip side is also true, healed people heal people.  We have already seen the changes in our parenting, our marriage, our relationships, and our friendships.

Our business coach, Scott Conners from Crankset Group, used to say “do you have clear eyes and a full heart?” anytime we were headed into something new or hard. We now are able to say, “YES.”

Will you join us?

No not in the RV :) We have 40 days before we take off. We know the last thing that the enemy wants is for any of us to have life, healing, restoration and purpose. We want to pray Proverbs 19:21 over our trip which says, “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” We have already discovered that God’s purpose for this trip is way more than we could have ever imagined. God will Prevail!

We are going to take the next 40 days and fast during lunch and pray. Would you pray with us? Each day we will pray for something specific and we need your prayers as well. If you want to join us in the fasting from lunch each day or even just once a week, we need it! But, anytime you can join us in prayer would be great.

Today we need Prayers for Protection of our Health. Over the last twelve weeks, we have all struggled with long-term colds and coughs that will NOT go away. At least one to two of us have been sick for the last twelve weeks. The kids need energy to finish well at school, church, and with their friends. We need energy to leave well with Xcelerate, our home, our friends, our family, and our 2019 vision.

Thank you for joining our journey!

The Daley Family