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Marketplace Meanderings

Taking a look at our web site, as I do randomly to keep a feel for the progress and direction of Concerts of Hope, I am reminded of the faith and power of this journey.  The picture of the RV freshly purchased through the labor of our hands, sitting longingly in the drive way of the home that we were sacrificing, is so riveting.  Sure the vision was cast and a plan formulated but...there were days of severe faith testing and wondering if the money would add up to the banks requirement.  I worked day and night to secure the loan and the bank came through after several proposals were submitted.  Wow! Those were stressful days yet rewarding ones, as we never lost sight of the goal. 

Part of our plan was to sell the nice van we owned and move this into a truck loan.  We did sell the van, in fact the check was in hand and the vehicle passed the emissions test.  For some reason beyond explanation, the buyer returned the van (which is in good condition, yet still ten years old) and requested her money back.  Being it was immediately returned and keeping good faith in the community, the check was returned.  There went our truck.  As I have been reminded in not so comfortable ways, we are not in charge of this un-scripted journey.  God never asks us to be foolish and he responds to faith which is not what is seen.  Can I explain the returned check and vehicle? No.  It’s not for me to question. 

It wasn’t long after this that a whole string of events spring boarded us to Deland Florida.  We were towed to the property of a family we met at a recent event in October.  This family so graciously allowed us to stay unconditionally on their beautiful ten acre property.  You might find a family who exemplifies character of this magnitude once in a life time.  So much was learned and experienced during this time.  Kyrsten and I sold jewelry as she sang her songs at the DeLand Farmers Market.   There were many Wednesday mornings we began our day at 3:30am in order to get in line for an open space which was like hunting in the dark.  There isn’t enough time or space to recall the conversations Kyrsten and I had with hundreds of people.  I remember one girl who stood quietly off to the left of our display.  She remained for at least twenty minutes until she finally spoke as the soulful music of kyrsten’s voice caressed the air. I learned she was suffering from bouts of depression expressed in Mental Illness and had been in the hospital twice already in the new year.  My heart went out to this teenager who was negotiating the rough curves of life.  She purchased a bracelet and invited us to share Concerts of Hope with her private college.

One morning a lady showed up out of no where to share a message with us.  Perhaps she was an angel for the message was specific in encouraging content.  She reminded us that not in the too distant future the First will be Last and the Last will be First!  Stay vigilant and diligent in faith for your day is coming.  Wow!  What can you say to these Divine Appointments. 

More stirring to my soul, is the fact these conversations took place in the Market Place; the wanderings of the common man.  We also learned more about the difference between the religious and true Christians.  This journey has revealed more on this subject than I have time to write about.  Let’s just say the crowd at the Market Place listened with out judgment and many times shared the needs in their families or friends lives.  So many conversations turned to the person in front of us or the people they cared about.  Isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be?  It was so freeing to express the vision and mission of Concerts of Hope.  Jesus knew exactly what he was doing when he spent so much time in the Market Place among the common and ordinary man. 

The power of the gift given to our family through the Strung Up Jewelry Collection never ceased to amaze us and keep us in an attitude of gratefulness.  We added another vending location in Daytona and this kept us very busy keeping the inventory up.  I walked to the trial run of the Daytona 500 on a bright spring afternoon.  I am sure the free spirits such as Mark Twain could give some insight into the way I felt this day and many other times.  I learned that when you are not beholden to things which don’t matter, life takes on a whole new perspective.

We were invited to take part in other shows as a result of being available in the Market Place.  Kyrsten moved many people with her own original songs and covers.   I was blessed to watch mothers park their children in front of her and observe the twinkle in the eyes as she sang, sometimes directly to them.   I also would witness congested isles as multiple people stopped to listen.  So many would say she was as good if not better than most American Idol contestants.  Men would stop, tilt their head toward the musical sound waves and listen.  I am reminded of the innocence of youth and their being young but once.  I will forever cherish the moments spent together.  Kyrsten and I, along with the other girls, will not have this opportunity again to soak in the faith, love and crazy life of RVing.  Please don’t feel sorry for us….. ever!  We are having the time of our lives. 
Kaitlyn and Kourtney exhibited such yeoman spirits of diligence in tackling their home school duties.  Very rarely did we cajole or press for them to work.  They had an amazing year of learning not just from books but the lessons spoken and un-spoken to them from the road of life.  I am so proud of them as Kourtney begins her Junior year and Kaitlyn her senior.  They belong to a Home School association in Tennessee and will receive a diploma at the associations graduation.  Some very successful people have been home schooled including TimTebow who was taught by his mother for much of his education.   He ended up at the University of Florida where Kaitlyn wants to attend.  She has excellent grades from Lebanon High School where she attended through her sophomore year and posted a 4.0 for this year’s effort.  God knows where these precious children of his need to be and how to get them there.  Our job as parents is to love them so they can believe in themselves to dream the impossible dreams.  Kourtney is developing in the arts of singing, songwriting and dance.  She is a good student as well. 


Kyrsten is continuing to write and sing her songs for whomever will listen and many love to listen.  She has been inhibited a bit by the ongoing uncertainty of  her Pylonidal Cyst. This physical problem has been difficult to deal with and creates scheduling challenges for her as well related to future surgeries etc.  Her original songs are so fitting for the message we present, it is difficult to not see her as a tremendous asset to Concerts of Hope.  We are working with medical institutions to get her the very best surgeons and care.  It appears that multiple surgeries, including plastic surgery, will be the order as we move along.
 
You always wonder about a twenty year old in the prime of her life being smitten with such an ailment.  Kyrsten has learned valuable lessons of friendship along the way as her friends around the country have been faithful.  Some flowers are due to be handed out to her.  She rarely complains as life has been interrupted while still in Tennessee and here in Florida on the road.  She lost significant income during the holiday season, on leave from Cracker Barrel, as she was recovering from four surgeries in Tennessee.  We believed she was healing but to our consternation she is not.  She has four tunnels on her posterior that refuse to heal and because of failed surgery techniques.  She is a trooper and God has his hand on her as well.
  
We were towed to Hobe Sound, Florida, where we call home at the present.  While your home roots are not always accepting of your life or decisions, there are good things about being here.  We have spent quality time with my mother and she is a very gracious woman who has provided a comfortable place for us to park.  Life is challenging on the road.  However, not one of us regret the momentous decision made last summer. 

Joyce is who she is, the most amazing woman, mother, administrator, board member and wife.  She has given so much to her family and the two businesses; Concerts of Hope and Strung Up Jewelry.  She and I are soul mates as we travel many miles and spend hours together vending at shows.  We have had time away from the kids lately and realize the empty nest won’t find us staring at each other with nothing to say.  We work together constantly yet understand the need for alone time and time away from work.  She is a warrior of the highest level.  She is the Rock of this family. 


I have been blessed with good health and no set backs with my illness.  I have had to adjust and plow forward when my body was saying quit.  The provision of astounding proportions has allowed me to relax and not be hassled by unhealthy expectations.  Little did I know the idea to wrap a few guitar strings together would be our lively hood on this un-scripted journey.  I must thank my God and Creator as he does all things well.  The timing has been nothing but perfect from invention to the Market Place.  Hundreds of people have been touched by the story connected at the hip because of Strung Up Jewelry.  As spoken by a lady stopping by the booth who was retired from the U.S. Senate, “I could tell you were both very special people when I walked up to your table.”    

I am overwhelmed with emotion as I write the conclusion to this blog post.  The Rosemans could never take credit for such astounding provision, protection and planning.  August marks our first year anniversary from the time we left our yard to park at the infamous “Resort” in Lebanon, TN.   There is so much to accomplish as we move forward. 


This next year will find us purchasing a Quad Cab 3 quarter ton truck to pull the fifth wheel.  This will give the mobility so needed to accomplish the task’s commissioned for us to carry out. We didn't begin this journey without Faith and the road will not be completed without it.  There is a power in trust: it must forever be exercised on a second, minute and hourly basis. 


Thank you to all who prayed, gave and simply said we believe in you.   We are moving forward with our Passion and Purpose to help People with mental illness experience Hope.             

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