Entering Nomads Land

Top of the Duomo. Firenze, Italy.I’m not entirely sure where or when my nomadic soul was born, but I do know that it’s been deep-rooted in me for a very long time. I can change plans in a jiffy and change locations at [almost] teleporting speed… (if only!) I’ve been told countless times, “I can’t keep up with where you’re at!” My childhood was filled with travels and adventures. At sixteen, I flew from Colorado to Maryland to spend a summer working at a camp. When I returned, I told my parents that I was ready to move to Oregon with them. Oregon was a lifelong dream of theirs, but they were waiting until I graduated. But I was ready.  Four months later, at seventeen, we moved to Oregon. At eighteen, I met Tyler and I was married at nineteen. At twenty years old, I moved to Morro Bay, California where Tyler finished his military career.

Sometime in between those years in Morro Bay, Tyler started developing a wonder for the world too. We started dreaming of all of the places we could live. Charleston, South Carolina was first on the list, but we were open to anywhere. There was one thing we knew for sure – we did not want to be in California anymore. Since my business follows me wherever I go, we were deciding where we would live based on where Tyler would get a job. Well, one year ago, as we said goodbye to military life, Tyler got an offer from a Yacht Club in Newport Beach, California as the Dockmaster/Marina Manager. We said, “Hey, why not!” And decided to give California another shot! We moved one week after he got the job and that’s where we’ve been for the last year.

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Opening Day at Balboa Yacht Club

While we have enjoyed the “long vacation” in Newport Beach and have made incredible memories, it has never felt like the right place for us to live. To the outside world, this place makes sense for us. We love yachts, boats, waterways, and beaches. We live in our travel trailer on a lagoon with a marina. It’s a paradise. And it’s a great vacation destination. But it’s not somewhere that we feel like we belong. We can’t quite explain it, but we both feel it. Six months ago, we went to Europe. That childlike wonder for the world has always still been in me, but I feel that when Tyler went to Europe for the first time, a whole new dimension to the world started to exist for him. He started to dream about where we wanted to go next. Charleston has never left our mind and I’m convinced we will live there one day. We started thinking about other places on the East Coast or in Texas. But Oregon started showing up a lot everywhere we looked. We would be hit with nostalgia for fishing, crabbing, clamming, and foraging for berries, mushrooms, and plants. We miss being self-sustained by living off of the land and the sea. We absolutely loved the activities we could do in Oregon. We want to live simply and minimally. The more we thought about Oregon, the more we mentally checked out of our life in California.


God has been preparing our hearts too. We have had a very distinct deadline in our minds for June 1 for various reasons. Long story short, some doors shut (plot twist!) and others opened. So, we started thinking outside the box. The more we thought about it, the more it didn’t make sense to stay here anymore. So… no good reason to stay is a good reason to go!

We didn’t want to wait anymore. Life is too short! If there’s something that you want to do, go do it! We are not trees with roots – we can move. A week ago, we were at a crossroads to make a decision. Do we stay and keep living in a place we really don’t want to live, or do we do something that completely defies logic but feels right in our heart?  Obviously, these two nomads chose the latter. 

So to summarize our final decision: We are moving to Oregon! Tyler put in his notice at work and he will be leaving his Marina Manager position to pursue something better! And just so you all know… happiness is not found in a job! There are far greater things out there than a job title. Living a full life that you love – doing activities that you love to do and being in a place that feels right to you is extremely important for your happiness! It’s our own “Oregon Trail” of sorts! We will move “Charlie the Trailer” up there and continue to live in it. Because let’s be honest, we like being portable!

We don’t know how long we’ll be in Oregon. We like to live moment by moment. We may settle into Oregon or we may stay for several months before moving on to somewhere else! Tyler will start pursuing opportunities once we are in Oregon. So if anyone knows of anything, let us know! I will be continuing to grow my business, so if you or someone you know is looking for a Health & Nutrition Coach, please reach out to me! We’re really excited for this new chapter in our lives! There are so many different ways we can go. But what we know for certain is that we miss Oregon and want to spend time there again and that we were ready to leave California. We are really entering Nomads Land now! And we thank all of you who believe in us and encourage us in all of our crazy adventures! And if you’ve ever thought of doing the unthinkable… just do it!

I thought I’d leave you all with an anonymous quote I found that really sums it all up:
“One fine day, it will be your turn. You will leave homes, cities, and countries to pursue grander ambitions. You will leave friends and possibilities for the chance to roam the world and make deeper connections. You will defy your fear of change, hold your head high and do what you once thought was unthinkable: walk away. And it will be scary. At first. But what I hope you’ll find in the end is that in leaving, you don’t just find love, adventure, or freedom. More than anything, you find you.”

Fearless

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This is a moment.

20160329153513_IMG_02837 more hours in 2017… what!?

I always say that every year goes by fast, but really. This year was no exception. We have so many incredible memories that were made in 2017 and I want to share a little bit of them with you! With that said, I do feel that it’s important to share some memories that did not go according to our plan. It’s important to remember that not every memory will be fun, but God has a plan for everything – even if it’s not our plan.

At the beginning of this year, I watched a man lose his life to the sea. As I did hundreds of times before, I went to watch the massive, stormy waves at Morro Rock and listen to the roar of the ocean. In the same spot where I stood and watched many people baptized on Easter morning, I found a body floating in the water like a piece of driftwood. I ran to tell Tyler, who immediately went to assist in the rescue. I will never forget his face. A blue-eyed man in his sixties, with a whole lifetime of memories and experiences, was lifeless in front of me. In a matter of 30 minutes, a man went from facing his choice to accept adventure to facing his choice to accept Jesus. I had no idea how much this event would affect me, but the fragility of life has become all too real since that moment. I realized how insignificant some things are, and how significant some choices are. It made me realize how I need to cherish every moment because the next day is not guaranteed. Along those lines, Tyler’s grandpa passed away while we were overseas and we found out when we returned. Tyler had a severe shoulder injury from a bike crash on his birthday. (But holy cow, how he had such a positive attitude the whole time in the hospital beats me!) We had a collision in our truck a couple weeks ago. (Which ironically, Tyler was more upset about the damage of his truck than when he damaged his body…) But through all of these times, here’s what I remember: family. Calling my parents or Tyler’s parents, sometimes crying. I am incredibly grateful for the parents that we both have and how we can always count on them to be there for us. I wanted to share some of our tough memories to show that we all go through some hard times and we all deal with it differently. Now, we had very few hard times, and countless incredible memories to be grateful for… so moving on!
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We settled into life in our travel trailer! Read our journey in our blog post here: https://imaginaetion.wordpress.com/2017/12/31/one-year-on-wheels/

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In May, Tyler completed his 6-year term in the military and left the Coast Guard life. He landed a job as the Dockmaster at a Yacht Club in Newport Beach, where he manages the marina and boats. No longer did I have to say goodbye to him for 2-3 days at a time. Sometimes the smallest details can really impact you… I remember on his first day at his new job as the Dockmaster, I noticed his cell phone charger on his side of the bed. I panicked at first. “Oh no! He forgot his charger! … Wait…” He didn’t need his charger, because he would be coming home!! I wasn’t used to having him home at nights, so that was a huge blessing for me! It’s been nice to count on him being home in the evenings now. (Also: we live 20 minutes from Disneyland, so you can absolutely believe we’ve been there this year!)

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Last day he wore this uniform!
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The Yacht Club that Tyler works at is behind him.

Living close to my sisters and brother-in-law has been another blessing! I’ve seen them more frequently and it’s rare us three Davis sisters live in a close proximity to each other!
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In May, I created 21-Day Challenges for my Herbalife Team. These have been incredible and we’ve helped many people lose weight and gain their confidence back! We are launching something unbelievable in January, and I believe these 21 Day Challenges were just the beginning of an incredible impact we can make! The support and community that we are able to bring to our clients in all different states and countries is so fun!
Winner Results.jpgI traveled to Oregon twice (March and October), Colorado (June), and St. Louis (July). At the end of November, Tyler and I both traveled to France and Italy. Tyler had never traveled internationally and we had the most incredible 12-day vacation in Europe. Exploring Paris, Venice, Cinque Terre, Florence, and Rome together was something I will never forget. There are perfect trips, and then there are PERFECT trips. And it was just that! I plan on having some separate blog posts on our time in Europe!
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These were just the highlights with soo many memories in between! One thing that I’ve been learning is to just stay present. Reflect on the past, dream for the future, but live in the now. Be present. So many people are focused on what is to come, that they forget to enjoy the moment they are in. Because this is a memory just like anything else. So as we head into 2018, let’s just stay present and cherish every single moment. Do the crazy things and don’t postpone them. We are not guaranteed tomorrow, but we have right now. So live it to the fullest! Right now, THIS is a moment. How are you going to remember it?

Peace out, 2017.

nae.

One Year on Wheels

Today celebrates one year in our house on wheels! I’m a sentimental person who loves reflecting, so it’s perfect that this anniversary lands on New Year’s Eve – the day everyone is looking back on the year! My mom sent me an awesome article on RV life today. It triggered a long reply from me on the gratitude I have for our portable lifestyle. She encouraged me to write a blog post on it… so here I am!

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365 days ago, we bought a brand new 33-foot 2016 Dutchmen Kodiak Travel Trailer to live in with our dog and our even-larger cat. But first, let me explain why we chose to do so. In November 2016, we found out that our rented 1700 sq. ft townhome in Morro Bay, CA was on the market. It was a 2 bedroom, 2 bath home with a garage that held our boat and dirt bike in it. We had WAY too many things for two people. While I was traveling in New England in November, the townhouse sold. We were at a crossroad. We knew that in 6 short months, Tyler would be leaving the Coast Guard and we didn’t plan on staying in Morro Bay. So, I presented the idea of living in a travel trailer to Tyler. Side note: If you don’t know this about me, I’m very spontaneous and innovative. I think outside the box and have crazy ideas that can change our life in an instant! I was nervous to bring up the idea to Tyler – I had a pros and cons list written out and ready to give him my whole speech! But before I got too far in, he said, “I think it’s a great idea!” (Phew! That was easy.) The next month consisted of trading in our Ford Escape (that we only had for 3 months) for a 2017 Silverado truck in order to tow, and lots of shopping for the perfect trailer! We adapted to a “minimalist” mindset and got rid of most of our things. (We do have memory boxes, our boat, and dirt bike in storage.) It was SO freeing to learn to live minimally! And after choosing the perfect travel trailer, we signed the papers on December 31, 2016 and drove our travel trailer to Pismo Beach, CA for our first night.

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Most people have a certain preconceived notion about what trailer life is like… more like a “trailer trash” feel. I can assure you, that is far from the truth! Our neighbors are constantly changing (another joy of this lifestyle) and most of our neighbors have been retired folks – those who want to see the country or be close to their children and grandchildren. We occasionally see some young people like us, but it’s rare! I, personally, think more younger people should give it a try! Many thought we were insane. Even those closest to us gave us three months before we’d be sick of it. And here we are, 12 months in and absolutely not sick of the trailer life! We are, however, getting antsy from being in one place for too long… 😉
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I am incredibly grateful for this last year. In the last 12 months, Tyler and I learned to adjust and adapt. To get an RV spot, we camped out overnight with a blanket on the concrete ground (because we forgot chairs).
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ME.

 

The day after we got our trailer, the torrential rainstorms that put California out of its drought started and we had to learn how to hook up the trailer to the truck with flash flooding. For the next couple of months, we leveled the trailer daily due to flooding. We’ve prayed we wouldn’t wake up in Kansas the next morning after several weeks in the worst wind storms I’ve ever encountered. We’ve had cows as our neighbors and a favorite avocado farm next door. We’ve listened to frogs chirp, coyotes howl, and hawks screech all from the comfort of our couch.

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We currently live on a waterfront resort with a private lagoon and marina. We’ve learned to adjust to the Southern California heat. Next week, we’ll be seeing the waves crash just outside our back windows.20170512_184806
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I am so thankful that we can take our home virtually anywhere. With our nomadic mindset, we are glad to be in a situation that doesn’t leave roots, just yet. Because one month from now, or one year from now could look completely different than it does today. Because it can! 365 days in this lifestyle, and who knows how many more! And that’s the best thrill to me! 

nae.

“JUMP! It will catch you!”

Last November, while visiting my parents in Connecticut, we went to a place called “IT.” IT is the largest indoor high ropes course in the world and found in the back of a furniture store. Yes, you heard that right.. We didn’t have a lot of time so my dad and I decided to just do the climbing courses. I was a little nervous – I haven’t rock climbed since my years at summer camp and I was very aware of my fear of heights. I was uneasy about it, but still calm enough to say, “Yes, let’s do it! I’ll regret it if I don’t!” My dad and I geared up and checked out the climbing courses. We started with the easiest one. “I’ve got this!” The instructor said “You’re good to go,” and that was my cue to start the climb. I felt confident and secure, knowing that I was attached to the instructor in case I slipped. It was simple enough and my dad was climbing the wall adjacent to mine. I noticed that the rope I was attached to seemed to slack a lot. So I gripped a little harder to the blocks, but never looked down once. I just kept reaching ahead of me until I reached the top! With a sigh of relief, I glanced at my dad and gave a smile as I looked down for the first time to make sure my instructor was ready for me to let go so I could rappel down. “Where’s my instructor!? Why am I not attached to a rope down there!? Am I still attached at all!?” I looked at my clip, connected to a rope. I followed the rope with my eyes until it reached a machine at the top of the ceiling. My stomach dropped. WHAT. My fear-struck face turned to meet my dad’s calm and collected grin. “We aren’t attached!” I gasped. Nonchalantly, my dad replied,“Yes, we are! We are attached to the machine. We just have to jump!” So he let go and showed me how it was done. When he reached the ground, he looked up at me and gave me a thumbs up. I gripped a little tighter. I managed to finally let go and rappel to the ground.

I thought to myself, “Boy, have times changed.” Back in MY day, there was always someone on the ground attached to the other end of the rope, watching intently and tightening the line as I climbed higher. For some reason, it was easier to look at the instructor in his eyes and trust his own hands than to trust a machine to catch me.

We moved on to the hardest climbing course. These were large pillars that moved in a circle, with each pillar climbing in height as you continue stepping on the course. The last two pillars move and shake around with your body. My dad went first. With each step he took, he made it look so easy! Once he got to the top, I could tell he was struggling for a second to make that jump but it didn’t take long for him to leap down. Then it was my turn. I asked my dad, “So you just jump when you’re ready to jump?” “Yes,” he replied, “It will catch you.” I asked him for advice to make it to the top. He said, “Just focus on the pillar in front of you. Don’t look down, don’t look ahead. Just take it one pillar at a time.” I took his advice. I never once looked down and I stayed extremely focused on that next pillar in front of me. It took a lot of core strength, but I really wasn’t scared of this one as I climbed it. When I reached the top, I wasn’t afraid at all… Then I looked down and I immediately understood what it felt like to be a cat. A cat has no problem getting up the tree, but then it feels stuck and cannot come down. I was totally fine getting up to the top of the course, but as soon as I took that glance down, I realized I could NOT jump. “Why would I jump when I am perfectly safe up here?” I held my balance in a low squat, balancing on a teetering pillar looking down at my dad and several instructors below. “I can stay up here. I don’t need to jump. I’m safe up here. If I make it down there, it means I’m successful but that’s putting me at risk. I don’t need to jump.” I continued to convince myself of a false reality that I was safe and didn’t need to get to the ground. I started hearing the instructors and my dad say “Just jump! It will slow you down! It will catch you!” IT. I suddenly knew exactly why they called the place IT. IT will catch you. IT will slow you down. They are talking about the crazy machine that holds you up! Who is IT? The machine is IT. Although it seemed like half an hour that I was balancing on that pole, it totaled four minutes. No matter how hard I tried to convince myself, I knew I couldn’t stay on that pillar forever. I looked down at the people below again. As I felt myself starting to hyperventilate and shake like a leaf, I knew my body wouldn’t last much longer. Instead of telling myself to stay put, I started thinking of reasons to jump. “This is a good learning experience. I need to get out of my comfort zone. Just jump, Janae, just jump! These instructors have gone before me. My dad just finished the course. These people who have been successful in this are giving me advice to jump! They know what this is like, standing at the top, and they are telling me to just jump! Mind over matter, Janae. I can do this. Breathe. And…” I jumped. IT slowed me down. IT caught me. The people who had gone before me were right. They saw my struggle and they knew what it was like. Because I listened to them, I was successful.

Often times, we push ourselves just to the edge where we are about to have a breakthrough of success. But then we convince ourselves that it’s okay not to take risks and to just settle where we are, in a safe zone. But there are so many successful people who have gone before us and understand what it’s like. They are telling us exactly what they did. Although we can follow the example of those who have been successful in what we want to achieve, sometimes we can become paralyzed with fear. To overcome this, we must shift our mindset and think of enough reasons why. Do it afraid. Jump, and the net will appear.
It’s time to jump. Breathe. And…

 

 

Proverbs 22:6 – “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

“Even though this boy is not my child and I do not know who he is, I love him. I don’t know if I will ever know him, but I pray I will see him in Heaven one day, and that in some way, somehow, Tyler and I were able to show the love of Jesus by sending this gift to him.” – I wrote this in an Instagram post on November 20, 2015. For almost two years, I’ve thought about that Operation Christmas Child shoe box that Tyler and I packed during the holidays. I wondered about the little boy that received it. I receive magazines from Samaritan’s Purse with photos of children receiving their shoe boxes. I look at every box to see if I recognize any of the boxes. I remember seeing a photo of children receiving their boxes in the Philippines and I thought to myself, “That could be our box. It’s too hard to tell!” And I went on wondering.

For those who are unfamiliar with this, Operation Christmas Child is through Samaritan’s Purse. Every year, people can fill a shoe box with supplies and toys for a boy or girl and deliver it to one of the hundreds of locations in the U.S. that accepts the boxes during one week in November. Some people choose to include a letter and picture of themselves inside the box, so that the boy or girl receiving the box can see who it came from! These packages are flown around the world into over 100 countries, and delivered to children in need. I packed shoe boxes all throughout my childhood and even volunteered with Samaritan’s purse several years at the warehouse where all of the shoe boxes arrive to be inspected and prepared for shipping. I also volunteered one year by packing the airplane that would fly overseas to deliver the boxes to the children.

So in 2015, Tyler and I chose to pack a shoe box for a little boy who was in the age group of 5-9 years old. It was so fun to shop for him! We decided to pack it in a clear container the size of a shoe box, because we packed it so full! A few of the items were hygiene supplies, toys, and a Bible coloring book. We attached a photo of us and a letter with our names and our address, just in case the boy could write back. I drove to a local church, prayed over the box, and stacked it on top of the other shoe boxes. And that was that!
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Fast-forward to yesterday. I just discovered a “Message Request” folder on Facebook Messenger. There was a message from August 20, 2016 that I had never seen. It was from Mharie from Manila, Philippines. She introduced herself and said “I am the receiver of your gift to Born Again Church on this April 2016. Thanks for the wonderful gift, I’m very happy!” 

I was so confused, and had no idea what gift she was talking about. I never sent a gift to the Philippines. I responded, “I just saw this! What gift are you talking about?” 
Mharie: “Okay, I’ll send your picture and your letter to prove that my child received gift from you. Thanks for responding to my message.” 
Me: “You’re welcome. Okay, yes. Please send me a picture!”
I was still so confused. At 4:45am this morning, I woke up to a picture and these words: “This is the gift I’m talking about. I’m grateful of what I’ve received. Thanks for your wonderful gift. We appreciate your kind and love to other people.”
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At 4:45 in the morning, I was crying tears of joy. I was in shock! I cannot believe the boy’s mom found me on Facebook!!! I responded to her, and send a voice message of me speaking a Tagalog phrase that my dad taught me last November: “Ikinagagalak kong makilala kayo.” It means “I’m glad to meet you.”

My parents used to live in Manila, Philippines. Sometimes things come full circle! I am so happy she found me on Facebook. I will develop a friendship with her. Someday, I hope to meet her and her boy, who we’ve prayed over.

There is so much we can do for others. Sometimes the most simple of things can impact someone else tremendously. I hope this inspires you to pack a shoe box this year. www.samaritanspurse.org/occ

“You guys are my angels.”

In June, I returned to my hometown in Colorado for a visit. My friends (Beth, Isaac, and Ali) and I went to a late dinner at Beaujo’s Pizza. We sat at an outdoor table with couch seating. With delicious mountain pies and great company, we hunkered down for soulful conversations and lots of laughter! All of a sudden, we hear a broken voice. “Excuse me, I don’t mean to bother y’all…” (Okay, we’ve heard this a million times, right!? We know that homeless people ask for money. We’ve even grown numb to them, believing that all of them just want to buy booze and drugs. But this was different.) Before even turning to see him, I could sense the sincerity in his voice. He was embarrassed and heartbroken in his shaky voice. I turned to see him – a black man with tears in his eyes, looking like he had been crying for a while. One of my greatest gifts is my ability to discern authenticity.  (It was obvious this was new for him – he wasn’t used to asking yet.) I saw straight into his heart and he was hurting. “Excuse me, I don’t mean to bother y’all…” he paused as he tried to collect himself enough to form his question. “…and I’m so sorry I have to ask this, but do you have $2 you could spare? I’m so so hungry and I just want to get a taco at Taco Bell.”

For what felt like eternity, but was only a matter of seconds, there was silence. We all have become numb by situations like this. We had leftovers in a box so I said, “Let’s give him our pizza.” He overheard me and said “I hate to turn that down but I can’t have tomato sauce.” (At this point, most people would say that he was just looking for money and didn’t need food, because he wouldn’t turn the pizza down if he was hungry. But I wasn’t going to give up. So I came up with a solution.) I said among my friends (knowing he could hear me), “Well, 2 of the 3 leftover slices are olive oil based with no tomato sauce.” He was overjoyed and said, “Oh! I would be so happy to have that! I only need one slice though. I don’t want to cause any trouble.” (Of course, we gave him both slices.) As we were talking, he said he needed to try to get on the bus. Ali asked how much the bus ticket was. She gave a couple dollars to Isaac to give to him. Isaac stood up and approached the wall where the man was. Isaac said, “I’ll tell you what. We’re gonna give you both slices and cover your bus ride.” The man began to tear up and remained speechless as he looked at each one of us. Through tears and patting his chest, he said “You guys must have God in you!” I exclaimed, “We do!”

He looked back at Isaac and said, “I’ll accept the pizza and the money, but can we pray first?” OF COURSE! He told us his name was Fred. We prayed over Fred together, as his tears came down more and more. Isaac prayed, “Lord, I don’t know if I’m saying the right things but you know Fred and his heart. It seems he’s been going through a rough time, but help him know how much he is loved by you.” After several minutes of prayer, we said “Amen” and Fred told Isaac he did say the right words. Fred looked at us and said, “You guys are my angels. I will never forget you guys.” I said, “Fred? We love you.” He started to cry again. “I love you guys, too!” He let out a heavy sigh like he was letting go of a heavy weight he’s been carrying. He told us he had been laid off at his job and became homeless because of it. Every morning at 4:30, he comes down looking for jobs, but people would rather hire someone younger than a 58 year old man. He consistently searches for a job. I told him that one of these days, someone will see that heart of gold that he has because that’s what will separate him from the others, no matter of age. He said “Wow! Now I’m gonna hold onto that!” He thanked us so much and we all gave him a hug. That made him cry again. We said goodnight and he began to walk away. We saw the pizza on the table! “Fred! You forgot your pizza!” He laughed and came back to us. He said, “I was just so happy, I forgot about the food!” (And that is how God can satisfy our spiritual appetite! Thank you, God, for using us to reflect your love.)

This reminds me of one of my favorite songs right now: “Fix My Eyes” by for King & Country. Let us not grow numb or live in fear. Continue to love through Christ.
Lyrics: 
Hit rewind, click delete
Stand face to face with the younger me
All of the mistakes
All of the heartbreak
Here’s what I’d do differently, I’d

Love like I’m not scared
Give when it’s not fair
Live life for another
Take time for a brother
Fight for the weak ones
Speak out for freedom
Find faith in the battle
Stand tall but above it all
Fix my eyes on You

I learned the lines and talked the talk
(Everybody knows it, everybody knows it)
But the road less traveled is hard to walk
(Everybody knows it, everybody knows)
It takes a soldier
Who knows his orders
To walk the walk I’m supposed to walk

The things of earth are dimming
In the light of Your glory and grace
I’ll set my sights upon Heaven
I’m fixing my eyes on You