“Saddle up your horses, we’ve got a trail to blaze through the wild blue yonder of God’s amazing grace. Let’s follow our leader into the glorious unknown. This is the life like no other…This is the Great Adventure!” –  Steven Curtis Chapman

Transitioning from a fairly “typical” OT job (in Knoxville where I worked for the State of Tennessee-Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities) which was close to my family and lots of my friends – and the security and familiarity of knowing (pretty much) what to expect each day….,where I would shop for groceries, the doctor or dentist I would see if needed, the lunch spot I would go to for my favorite sandwich, where to go get stamps if needed, the people and their pets that I would see walking in the neighborhood, etc. That has ALL changed, by my choosing, but initially from a tug at my heart from God.

I have had a recruiter, named Jennifer, from Cross Country TravCorps (www.crosscountrytravcorps.com) for many years who I have been conversing with about doing travel OT. And I was in the process of trying to get a travel job when I was still in Birmingham, AL when someone from the State of TN called to let me know an OT position had opened up and asked me if I would please apply. Even though the salary was subpar, the job would be back “home” and I could see my family and friends on a more regular basis. Also, I needed to refinance my home in Knoxville, and I could legally do this if I was living back on the property. These things were a bonus with taking the State job, plus, all I needed was a year and a half to be vested with the State and that is a BIG DEAL. Plus I loved my co-workers whom I had worked with years prior with the State.

When I mentioned being, “in the process of getting a travel job,”  I want to say that the very day after I accepted the State of Tennessee job, my recruiter, Jennifer, called to tell me she had a 5 month inpatient acute care position in HAWAII…..seriously???? are you kidding me????? But I knew in my heart of hearts that the right thing to do was to mosey on back to the Smoky Mountains, the place that ultimately holds my heart. I didn’t doubt that decision at all b/c God allowed everything to fall into place.

For those who know me well , I’m sure my decision to return back to the OT travel world, did not come as a surprise….I have always had a gypsy soul.  [side bar: I did take one travel assignment years ago with another company to get to Alabama for a relationship but only did one 3 month assignment before taking on several PRN jobs in the area that equalled full time work for me. That was a different experience for me, too, professionally, as there were lots of unknowns… IF you would get the work hours…. WHERE you would be needed/working…. and IF the work would be enough to pay the bills.]

I have always had faith in God and He has NEVER let me down. He has always provided for me and I like to think I was in the right place to make a difference as an OT in peoples’ lives as they faced major life changes from various diagnoses such as stroke, spinal cord injury, etc.   Even though the relationship I moved to Alabama for did not pan out, and thankfully so, because it changed my life in many ways. For instance, I am stronger than I’ve ever been in some ways and in other ways I am jaded, as that relationship left deep scars. Scars that continue to heal and ultimately make me a better version of myself. MAJOR shout out to my therapist who helped me during those times… I know you are out there following in my current journey and I want to thank you, because you played a HUGE role in me getting to where I am right now. The absolute BEST and MOST WONDERFUL thing about my move to Alabama was/is the soul-pleasing, deep friendships I made while there. God knew exactly who I needed in my life at that time and those friendships, and the love we share, have proved to be unconditional. I thank God for those friendships!]

As I continue to transition to full time RV living on the road and my quest to land my first assignment with Cross Country, I am focusing on living in the moment and soaking up the culture that surrounds me on the road… presently in Sante Fe, New Mexico.

I have hoped and prayed to land my first OT gig in Montana, so on May 23, 2017 I completed my online application and along the way have had to send in various required documents that are needed…..a physical within the last year and the corresponding blood work. I also have to get re-certified in CPR and get a TB skin test completed. I wasn’t aware of the CPR and TB test until shortly  before I left Knoxville, so proving to get those items on the road will be interesting. But I know I’ll get them done somehow, someway. I learned that I can take the BLS for healthcare providers online, but will have to find somewhere to complete the skills portion of the certification. Maybe on a reservation somewhere?  I wasn’t required to be certified in CPR with my job with the State, but every other job I’ve ever had this was a requirement. Cross Country Travcorps will reimburse me for the costs involved with CPR certification, TB tests and obtaining licensure…which is a MAJOR bonus!

I am stoked about providing OT in various areas, learning, growing, and spreading my wings a bit more in this thing called life. I thank God for the opportunity to share this adventure with a spectacular, people loving, God-fearing, life loving, kind, loving, and laid back human being like Karole Sessums –  and not to mention the bonus of living in a paid off RV (we will just ignore the fact that we had some generator problems today), and to be able to visit areas of His beautiful world that I have never seen before, and continue to strive to be an example of Christ in my walk as an Occupational Therapist and in my day to day walk on this gorgeous earth.

I know I fail constantly but I pray for guidance, patience, and peace as I struggle with missing my family and being far away from them, especially as my parents are aging. I stay as connected to my parents as I possibly can via cell phone, but for those who know them well….there’s no face-timing, skyping, emailing, etc. Heck, my parents have never even owned a computer, nor do they know how to check their voicemail messages on their flip phones. But they are two of the finest human beings I believe God has ever created and I am blessed to be their daughter. I take them with me in spirit wherever I go.  Happy Father’s Day, Dad! You’re the best!!!

And in the words/lyrics of Steven Curtis Chapman….”saddle up your horses, we’ve got a trail to blaze through the wild blue yonder of God’s amazing grace. Let’s follow our leader into the glorious unknown. This is the life like no other…This is the Great Adventure!”


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    June 17, 2017 at 10:29 pm

    Yippee kiyo kiyea!!! Cowgirl up and enjoy every moment.

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    June 19, 2017 at 2:35 am

    Well said, Lisa Trentham! Enjoy the journey and keep posting your heartfelt reflections. Love every one of them!

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