My Hour of Need
My family is in an hour of need and I've been urged by a caring friend to reach out to my online community at large and ask for help. This is not an easy thing for me to do, I'm shaking as I write this, but I love you all so much and I know there is a season for all things. This is my season for needing help. I'll explain:
At the beginning of 2018, our well-laid plans dissolved before us and within a few months, we were (joyfully and hopefully) destitute.
Rewind to late last year, we were living in my hometown, Moscow, Idaho, and had finally begun to put down roots. We'd moved away several times with the hope of starting over somewhere else, but something seemed to pull us back each time. This time it was the promise of a successful future. You see, my husband, Wesley, had become involved in a local martial arts gym where he coached Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. This gym was his second home - his tribe - and we decided to move back to Moscow because there was talk of him eventually taking over ownership, a longtime dream of his. I hadn't seen my husband this excited about anything in years. I knew I could make a life in Moscow work if it meant this dream coming true for him, so for the third time in less than a decade, we came back.
This time, though, it really did seem like a future in Moscow had the potential to be stable and fulfilling, an idea that had once been unimaginable because of my painful past here.
A few months after we moved back, I began thriving as well. Advocacy and family life were feeding my soul, and I was beginning to rediscover myself as a whole, healed woman in ways I never expected. Even though living in Moscow still presented daily difficulties and tensions for me, advocacy, mothering, and my work as an online customer service representative were keeping my life full and forward moving.
In Fall of 2017, were chugging ahead with our plans when Wesley became involved in abuse advocacy in the online Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu community. Within a couple of months, we became aware of a situation associated with the gym Wesley coached at. No one at the gym was in any immediate danger (this was a matter of an affiliation in Hawaii) but Wesley and his sensei had irreconcilable differences in opinions about what should be done, and last January, Wesley made the heartbreaking choice to walk away from the gym. Overnight, he lost nearly his entire community and most of his friends, not to mention the dream he'd been fostering for years. I have never seen my husband so low and destroyed, and I have never been so proud to stand beside him.
Around this same time, he faced financial devastation with his business when a nightmarish situation with a client turned worse after they sold their house and left town without making the final payment. As a result, Wesley couldn't pay his employees and he lost all but one of them. He had no legal recourse and had to accept this difficult fate.
We suddenly found ourselves stretched thinner than ever, unable to pay our bills, surrounded by the rubble of our life, with mounting debt and no foreseeable solution in sight.
To say we were devastated is an understatement, but we knew that couldn't be the ruling force. Life was demanding we find a way and we had very little time do so. Through a series of what I can only describe as divinely inspired events, we both began to dream again, but this time we dug deep and found dreams we hadn't let breathe in years. Dreams of moving to Canada. Dreams of traveling with our children. We started using all our spare time to research one crazy idea Wesley had a dream about years ago while we were living in Portland. I remember him waking up one morning and saying to me,
"Babe, I had a dream that we converted a school bus into a tiny house and lived in it with our kids."
My thought at the time was, No way.
But something was different in me now. Taking a risk of this magnitude didn't sound so scary compared to everything else we'd already been through together. Our life had already fallen apart, and truthfully, what more did we have to lose? This felt exhilarating and unknown, and something in my soul was whispering, yes.
So we took a giant leap of faith. Last May, I applied for my very first credit card, got approved for $6,000, and we bought a 1997 Blue Bird school bus, in mint condition. We named him Farley, parked him in the alley behind the rental house we lived in, and started gutting him on Wesley's lunch breaks. We also began forging plans to travel and see the country, and ultimately move to Canada, and to our shock and delight things began lining up beautifully. We were thrilled about life and the future in a whole new way.
While we worked on the bus and Wesley worked furiously every day to catch up at work (he's been perpetually behind since the nightmare job) our financial situation grew more and more dire. The bills were mounting and despite both of us working, we just couldn't bring in money quickly enough. In June, we were informed the rental we were living in was being sold and would need to be shown to prospective buyers, which added a special element of chaos as I suddenly had to keep our house spotlessly clean and tidy for showings, while we were in the middle of downsizing and packing. The house sold fairly quickly, and the new owners wanted to begin renovations right away so they could move in once our lease was up at the end of July. The prospect of living in the house during construction was not a great one, and we already two months behind on rent so we knew we'd likely be evicted soon. We decided to find another living situation before our lease was up.
A family member of mine owns several acres outside of Moscow, and when I told them what was happening in our lives, they very generously welcomed us to set up a long-term campsite at their property while we work on the bus. It has been an immeasurable gift and has saved us a great deal of money and stress. Living in the countryside has been wildly fun for our four young children, and it has brought much needed peace and serenity to my tired soul.
But our ability to work on Farley since we moved out here six weeks ago has been impeded by lack of funds and lack of time, not to mention the difficulties of caring for a family of six while camping, and our home is just not getting finished in the time we expected.
This brings us to our present hour of need, and it's where you have an opportunity to enter the story.
In another act of great kindness, a talented friend of mine created a GoFundMe campaign to help us raise money for the bus. I was floored at the amount of effort and heart he put into designing a logo and brand for Farley, and we felt so loved by his actions. It was launched several days ago, but I've been traveling for my grandmother's funeral and haven't had the time or energy to promote it much until now.
Also, there's one final twist I need to share with you.
Our time here in the countryside has been wonderful, but all things must come to an end and we have been asked to leave the property we're living on. We need to be cleared off by September 15th, no matter the state of the bus. While so much is out of our control right now, we are bound and determined to make this dream of ours into a reality, but perhaps more importantly right now, it is an absolute necessity that we make this happen. Our children need a roof over their heads, and before long it will be too cold to camp. Though are spirits are high and we are relentlessly positive about our situation, we are homeless and we need our beloved community now.
We need to raise this money, and we need to raise it soon. Please help us.
How can you help, you ask? By donating any sum of money to our campaign, The Farley Fund! Even $5 would make a meaningful difference for our family and would get us one step closer to living in our home and launching into our next adventure!
We also need to help this GoFundMe campaign gain some visibility, and that means I need you to share it!!! To do that, just copy the link below, share it on your social media accounts, and use the hashtag #TheFarleyFund. Or better yet, copy the link in the search bar and share this blog post along with it!
Here's the link to the campaign:
Okay friends, if you read this far, thank you so much for listening. This is not the kind of vulnerability I'm used to, but I know this is part of my growth. Detaching my worth from our financial situation and understanding that everyone falls on hard times and everyone deserves love, is something we've worked to embody toward others. We're choosing to trust now that the Universe will bless us with that in return.
Love & Light from our hearts to yours,
Natalie Rose Greenfield
(Wesley, Avalon, Raven, Phoenix, Wren, and Juno the dog.)