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we were just about to the point in the trail where we would repel down the rock wall to where we would spend the day climbing. we came to the most narrow place in the path. todd, our guide, was in front of me and peter was behind me. todd had pretty much all the climbing gear, ropes, carabiners, cam locks, etc. his pack probably weighed about 40 lbs. i had my measly backpack with my harness, shoes, water bottles and some snacks. peter had his backpack with pretty much the same contents but he also had a rope in a rope bag hanging over him.

back to the narrow place in the path.

it was really narrow. to the left was a massive boulder. to the right was a 30 to 40 foot drop. a 30 to 40 foot drop down some major rocks. as we passed through the narrow part, i was a little nervous (i have had a heightened awareness of my own mortality since i attempted to summit mt. rainier) but it wasn’t until it occurred to me that peter, tall, like six-foot three tall peter was behind me. maneuvering around the branches on this narrow part of the path was hard enough for me at five-foot five and the branches were at my face–i couldn’t imagine having branches starting at my chest and trying to push them all out-of-the-way while crossing this super narrow space with gaps between the rocks we were walking on.

whew. we made it through the narrow part.

todd sets our ropes and peter and i prepare to repel down the wall. we put on our harnesses and enjoy the beautiful weather the Lord blessed us with and being outside with good company.

todd finishes setting the ropes and asks us if we’re ready to repel. we look at our harnesses and todd says, “hey peter, you gotta double-back your harness. i’m pretty sure lindsey would like you to make it down the repel and live the rest the day.” for those that don’t know, when climbing, you have to double back the waist belt and leg loops of your harness. that way they won’t come undone (like that crazy scene in the beginning of cliff hanger when sylvester stalone can’t rescue his woman… her harness wasn’t double-backed).

that’s why we have safety checks. so peter double-backed his harness and we were all set. all three of us repelled down the wall and enjoyed a day of climbing from that point forward.

but something really struck me in that moment. something i wasn’t prepared for and something that has stuck with me since last saturday. for the past three years since i’ve started climbing i haven’t really been all that concerned about the danger of it. i simply went about doing things that people might consider dangerous because it seemed like fun. it’s exciting. but something changed that day. suddenly i realized, there is this person i deeply care about doing this crazy dangerous stuff with me. suddenly the danger seemed to overtake the feeling of adventure. suddenly all that was at stake became real. one slip on the path, one lapse in safety measures and nothing would be the same.

this might seem overly dramatic to some, but i don’t think it is. through this experience the Lord showed me something profound. the greatest step of faith in my life to date, is choosing to trust God with peter’s life and my life. and committing to peter, means i’m committing to trusting God’s will for both of us. i know, duh linds. but when mortality comes into the picture, decisions take on a whole new perspective.

before i was blessed with peter i found it easier to trust the Lord with my life in these dangerous situations. truly believing (i know, this might sound morbid to some) that God has my life and if He chose to take it while doing some crazy dangerous thing that’s okay with me. but bring peter into the picture, and wow, my thoughts and feelings change dramatically.

i don’t naturally trust the Lord with peter’s life like i have trusted the Lord with my own. i want to hold tight to peter’s life, protect him, ensure he’s safe and cared for. but i can’t control his life. God is in control, God is sovereign. and walking by faith means trusting the Lord with EVERYTHING, including the lives of the people we love.

i didn’t see this side of trust coming my way. but it makes sense to me. am i going to trust the Lord and His leading knowing He can change the course of things at anytime? am i going to step out in faith in this relationship and know that the Lord promises to be with us no matter the storms, trials, difficulties?

without faith it is impossible to please God. i want to please God. trusting God with this relationship with peter is my greatest step of faith yet. and i praise God for it.

ecclesiastes 4:9-12

9 Two are better than one,
       because they have a good return for their work:

 10 If one falls down,
       his friend can help him up.
       But pity the man who falls
       and has no one to help him up!

 11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
       But how can one keep warm alone?

 12 Though one may be overpowered,
       two can defend themselves.
       A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

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a friend had this quote in her facebook status message the other day and i just thought it was so perfectly profound for where i find myself right now.

“if we postpone our journey till the storm dies down, we may never get started.”

– JI Packer

Lord – you are as close as the mention of your name and You are the calmer of the storms. let us trust You no matter the situation and circumstances. cling to what is true! we are warriors :-)

Last Friday was a BIG day and I didn’t realize it until it was almost over. I was full of emotions and even as I type this, various feelings are welling up inside. The more I think about it, the more I see how this was such a significant anniversary not just for Peter and I, but for me as an individual. It was three years ago this past Friday that he and I ended our engagement and ended our relationship.

I was in a dark and painful place. I wanted to believe God that I would get out of it; I wanted to believe that He had more for me. But I was hurt. It was a pain I had never known and to this day would not wish upon my worst enemy. But He, the Lord Almighty does indeed make beauty from ashes.

I never thought I would stop believing that to be married meant you were successful, I never thought I could love God more than anything else, I never thought I could be a woman capable of marriage, I never thought I would have a love affair with Jesus, and I certainly didn’t believe that God could redeem and restore Peter and I like He has. I am just amazed at what the Lord can do in such a short time.

It has been a hard tearful road. But I’ve learned sometimes you have to fight for the good things, even when the Lord has given you the blessing. I’ve learned, my Jesus is my everything and He is all I need. I’ve learned to grab hold of Him and not let go. Everything else is to be held with an open palm.

My mind has been flooded with these promises:

judges 6:12 (of course!) “the Lord is with you mighty warrior!”

psalm 37:4 “delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart.”

eccl. 3:11 “He has made everything beautiful in His time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”

I will never know this side of Heaven just how incredible You are Lord. Thank You for the parts You allow me to see.  Thank You for writing my story. A story that could truly only be written by the uncreated One. Only You could be both the builder and the wrecking ball.

Just when my tears were falling deep enough to drown
Down in the valley of the shadow of a doubt
When I gave up that’s when He came to lift me out
And set me high, yeah

When I saw it as a gift of matchless worth
I started thinking it was something I deserved
He pulled the rug from underneath without a word
And left me dry, yeah

So piece together these little mysteries
It isn’t hard to see the writing on the wall
Triumph and tragedy, only God can be
Both the builder and the wrecking ball

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

He gave them freedom and a fertile promise land
They took for granted their deliverance at hand
Thirty-nine years later they’re still walking through that sand
Wondering why, why

So piece together these little mysteries
It isn’t hard to see the writing on the wall
Triumph and tragedy, only God can be
Both the builder and the wrecking ball

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

And He builds it up, and He knocks it down
Just to build it up even stronger

So piece together these little mysteries
It isn’t hard to see the writing on the wall
Triumph and tragedy, only God can be
Both the builder and the wrecking ball

Jill Philips – Wrecking Ball

A week or so ago I got this message on Facebook from a really good friend, it’s from the social interview application (I still don’t know how it works and I’m not going to find out).

The question it asked her was, “If Lindsey starred in a TV show, what would her character be like?”

My friend answered: “Adventurous, smart and a little mysterious!”

When I read it at first I thought, wow, that’s pretty cool! I’ve always wanted to be an adventurous person but never really considered myself one. I know I’m not smart but if she wants to think I am that’s totally cool. Mysterious? Really?

Hmm… I think I’ll sit on this for a little while longer.

april 1, 2009

yesterday, for whatever reason i decided to listen to some bebo norman… i haven’t listened to his music in a LONG time. and it was such a profound time with the Lord while i listened to the very music that helped get me through the hardest time of my life, thus far. it brought me to a place of realizing just what the Lord had done, and WOW, what an amazing work he has done!

I Will Life My Eyes (by Bebo Norman)

God, my God, I cry out
Your beloved needs You now
God, be near, calm my fear

And take my doubt
Your kindness is what pulls me up
Your love is all that draws me in

I will lift my eyes to the Maker
Of the mountains I can’t climb
I will lift my eyes to the Calmer
Of the oceans raging wild
I will lift my eyes to the Healer
Of the hurt I hold inside
I will lift my eyes, lift my eyes to You

God, my God, let Mercy sing
Her melody over me
God, right here all I bring
Is all of me

‘Cause You are and You were and You will be forever
The Lover I need to save me
‘Cause You fashioned the earth and You hold it together, God
So hold me now

this song in particular, i thought of mt. rainier and not making it to the top. not making it to the top of the mountain God created, the maker of the mountain i can’t climb. and that’s just it, the attempt to climb was the goal of God, while i thought the goal was to make it to the top; it was on the side of the mountain that the Lord showed me what i needed to know. that was His goal, for me to see that the God who created the mountains i can’t climb has plans for my life. and oh how i need Him so much right now and always! and i needed Him then too, but now i know and that it isn’t just on the side of the mountain or in the rough times, but in the good times and in the blessing, i need Him just as much! His presence is so necessary in EVERY SEASON. to be desperate for Him at all times is the only way for me to live.

oh Lord, how i love you! and i can’t help but smile, cry and laugh all at once, the maker of the mountains i can’t climb loves me! WOW! and THAT is all i need!

He was the same God when i was in despair, in a place of utter desperation as He is right now. He meets me in all stages and seasons of life, I AM BLESSED to know my God and be loved by Him. hallelujah!

mt_rainier_framed

Lord, may i never forget this time, where you have brought me from. may i always remember how great You are, how small i am, yet how You love me. help me to never keep this to myself, but profess Your love all the days of my life!

is having a hard time believing life gets better than this! 

yes, that was my facebook status last thursday and this is why:

a friend of mine sent me an email earlier in the week challenging me on the “comfort” of my quiet time with the Lord. he said he was going to pray that something “unusual” would happen this week to in a sense shake me out of my comfort but not create disruption per say, rather draw me closer to Him. whether that be through people, music, a conversation, who knows. but that my time would be “unusual.”

well, it was. and that is where my status message came from.

tuesday evening i worked out and it was a very hard workout. the kind of workout where i knew that i was going to sleep like a rock. i was so fearful of sleeping through my alarm that i set it ridiculously loud (my roommate wasn’t home for a couple days). i think my alarm was loud enough for the neighbors to hear… but apparently not loud enough for me! i still managed to oversleep by 45 minutes, which meant i had to sacrifice my quiet time. (i know, you see where this is going).

so when i got home that evening i went for my run (i’m training for a race) and then got ready to do my quiet time. but i decided to try something i had tried months ago but didn’t have “success” with – i dimmed the lights in my living room, lit a bunch of candles, put on worship music and that’s just what i did. i sat in my living room, all by myself and worshipped my God, prayed, journaled, read His Word and enjoyed His presence like never before!

i have never, in my time walking with the Lord, felt His presence in my own home like that. He was so near and i could feel His delight in me, to the point of laughter.

i said, “who am i Lord that you would care this much to be here like this right now. to let me  feel not only Your nearness but Your delight!?!?”

it was truly the most incredible evening. i went into it with expectancy and the Lord answered. i even asked Him to reveal to me how i should pray about a few things in my life right now (things i may share in the future but right now they are between the Lord and I) and He answered! and very specifically too!

i am so grateful for a God that truly loves and cares for His people. and so grateful for friends that aren’t afraid to challenge me and friends that will pray for me (and the fact that the Lord has brought me to a place where i’ll accept the challenge and not buck the challenger!). what a serious blessing in such a cold world.

a few months ago i posted an entry about my next mountain adventure, the grand teton. my partner in crime this go around, my roommate, asked me what i felt the Lord was saying about us going. i looked at her like she had two heads and proceeded to tell her nothing… because i hadn’t asked!

in that moment i could feel the Lord “looking” at me and i remembered a day last summer, while training to summit mt. rainier, when i realized i had jumped into that adventure and not once asked the Lord if it was His will for me to do it. it had never occurred to me to seek His will for something like that. sure, to go on a missions trip or take a job, serve in a ministry… all those seemed like times when i should seek the Lord’s will. but to climb a mountain? really?

it was then i realized, my time is not my own no matter the situation. every minute of every day belongs to Him and is on loan to me. and up until that realization while training for rainier, i realized the Lord had been blessing me and my training efforts despite the fact that i never asked Him if i should take on that adventure. in His kind, gentle nature He blessed it in spite of me. and it was at that moment i promised not to do anything without the Lord’s permission first.

needless to say, in my eagerness to embark on another mountainous adventure, i forgot to ask the Lord’s will. so when shelly said, what do you hear the Lord saying about it? i was dumbfounded. i had forgotten what He had so gently asked me to do.

so for the next few days and weeks i sought the Lord’s will. i had no peace about the climb. something about it wasn’t sitting right in my spirit and i knew this wasn’t the Lord’s will.

and then one day, in my quiet time with Him, i heard, “let me provide your adventure.”

to which of course i said, “ok, let’s talk mountains.”

but God doesn’t work that way. but He does give us peace when we are in His will. i have no idea what kind of adventure He wants to take me on, especially considering i feel like just living life in Him is an adventure. but i do know, whatever it is, it’s gonna be incredible!

Perhaps it’s because I work in a Christian institution, perhaps it’s because I am a Christian and try to stay up on what’s going on in the world of Christians, perhaps it’s because I have a heart for women’s ministry and try to keep on top of what’s going on in that world as well, perhaps it’s all those things that have led me to feel like many of the messages I hear about women within Christianity are rather difficult to swallow.

So, instead of rattling off all the messages and teachings I’ve heard lately and totally dragging them through the mud and stand on my soapbox as to why I don’t agree (with scriptural support of course)… I would like to pose this option to all the women out there who claim to have a faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. Let 2009 be the year in which you chase after God with reckless abandon down every street and avenue in which He leads you.

As daughters of the Most High God, our most important tasks in this life are to worship, praise, honor, serve and follow with reckless abandon our Creator. He may bring us into different roles throughout our lives, but those roles are not our identity, a daughter of the Most High God is. And when we embrace that identity, our effectiveness and ability to do the tasks required of us in each role can be done with grace and excellence. Only the Lord knows the game plan for our lives, we know from His Word, that we are to love our God with all our heart and soul. Be confident and secure in the Creator and His design for you and your life, and live that life as it was meant to be lived – in freedom, love and servitude to the Most High.

Here’s to the wild ride of 2009 with the King of Glory!  

france-2008-161

(okay, so not sure if anyone needed that pep talk, but I feel better :-) )  

so today i got to talk to patrick from jackson hole mountain guides, the guide service we will use for grand, and he was great. (oh yes, we’re gonna do it!!!! soooo excited!!!!) seriously, the guys and girls in the mountaineering/climbing community are so great. they’re always so nice, helpful and super friendly. when we were getting off the phone, super nice mountain guy said he’d email me the info i need. the pic below came in that email – so beautiful!

grand11

Lord willing, we will head to wyoming at the end of july/early august and spend four days on the grand and who knows the rest yet. although, we’re pretty sure we’re going to try to climb devil’s tower as well when we are out there. woohoo! seriously pumped! (and maybe a little crazy)

After getting back from Mt. Rainier, I knew I wanted to attempt Rainier again but also climb other mountains… but I thought I’d want to wait a while, like a few years…

Not the case, I want to go at this again next summer. And this time, I’d like to try Grand Teton! There are quite a lot of factors that go into this decision, and I’m still wading through them. Not to mention, my potential partner(s) in crime have some things to consider as well.

So, as we contemplate our plans for summer 2009, I leave you with this picture. Who wouldn’t want to climb this?!?!

l_053-2_grand_teton

(photo by Wayne Bush)

this weekend we went up to devil’s lake to celebrate shelly’s b-day. we had a blast with s’mores, climbing and just good old hanging out! here are some pics :-)

shelly and i building the fire

hanging out, getting ready for some s’mores!

the cabin we stayed in – where i accidentally broke the light fixture, oops!

the gang before we started climbing :-)

steve, our guide, giving us our instructions for the day. he was great!

steve helping pia so she can belay me – woohoo! she was a belaying machine that day!

that’s me :-)

that’s emily – she made it to the top!

helen and cicely – this was helen’s first time climbing!

sarah, shelly and pia

all the girls – i love this pic!

there’s helen! and shelly’s belaying her :-)

that’s me again…

there’s shelly, she looks awesome!

one last fun shot of the birthday girl!

pia posted her recap of our adventure on her blog and it is quite some good reading! take a look and enjoy a good laugh : ) http://onomatopia.wordpress.com/

i serve a mighty God who hears His children and answers their prayers. and this experience reinforced that fact for me. i don’t really know where to start but what i do know is God showed up moment after moment through experience and people over the four day summit climb.

ephesians 3:20 says God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think. i saw this on our climb. i didn’t make it to the summit of mt. rainier (this time) but God showed me how much this journey, 10 months in the making, was about so much more than just reaching the top of the mountain. He answered every prayer that was prayed and answered it beyond what i expected.

we started with orientation on wednesday and then thursday we hit a snow field for climbing school. it was a very fun day of learning all sorts of things that i never thought of, including how to “save” ourselves should we fall during the climb. the next day we would begin the two day summit attempt. orientation and the snow school were a huge answer to prayer as they truly calmed anxieties over how to pack properly and layer clothing properly as well. just the beginning of God showing up : )

(on our way back from snow school – thanks for the pic rick!)

friday morning we drove to paradise and hiked to camp muir. it was pretty crazy to start in pretty warm weather (pia and i had on our long underwear with shorts over them) and end up hiking through lots and lots of snow ending at camp muir, home for the night.

(that’s another team climbing up where we had just come from)

(pia and i on our way up to camp muir – lunch break, this was when i decided it was snickers and m&m’s time, pia had cold pizza, yum!)

(camp muir: we slept in that box)

once we got to camp muir our guides told us what to expect in the next few hours, how to deal with mild forms of altitude sickness and then told us we had to go to bed soon. i had the beginning of a pretty killer headache from the altitude but i did the pressure breathing that the guides recommended and prayed and prayed for it to go away, and it did!

we got to camp muir at 4/4:30 pm and were to be in bed by 6 pm for a wake-up sometime between midnight and 1 am. it wasn’t easy to sleep but i had my ipod and listened to the good old brooklyn tabernacle choir. pia woke up at one point and smacked me in the face (supposedly by accident – haha) because a mouse had run across her head. i told her she was crazy, but in fact, we’re pretty sure a mouse did run over her head!

(jen and i shortly after we were supposed to be in bed – that’s cloud cover below us!)

at about 12:30 am the guides came in and “woke us up.” it was time to eat, layer up and get all our gear on and ready. the wind was howling like crazy. personally, i had never experienced that kind of wind in my life. dirt was flying everywhere but we were getting ready to go. at this point, pia decided not to attempt the summit. she didn’t feel like her footing was totally secure on the way up to camp muir and felt that with the wind, she just wasn’t quite steady enough and comfortable with being roped in to other people (for fear of taking them down with her). so sven (one of the team members) and i walked down to the start of the glacier, got our crampons on and roped in to our guide pete. with ice axes in hand, we followed the rest of the group across the cowlitz glacier toward the summit (camp muir is at 10,000 feet and our first break was at 11,200-ish at the “flats”).

as we moved across the glacier the wind was sincerely wicked. everyone, including guides, was getting knocked around a bit. once we crossed the glacier we made our way onto cathedral gap (rocks and lots of rocks). the wind stopped us a few times, forcing the front of the team to take cover as to not get shoved off their feet. at one point pete yelled to sven and i to move towards him very quickly, we ran as best we could on the narrow (and i mean narrow) path to get to him. praise the Lord we made it in time as a rather large rock just missed sven. i was praying this entire time that God would protect us from the rocks that make up the mountain He created.

by the time we made it to the first break, through rock falls and wind, i was pretty freaked out. the way the wind was blowing made me feel like i was a mere 95 lbs. and i know i’m not a big girl, but i sure am not a small one either! when i heard that the wind might get worse, i knew i needed to really consider what i was doing. our guides were wonderful, absolutely incredible, and told me i was physically ready to make this summit. mentally, i knew i was not 100%. i was torn, should i contonue on or turn back with a team that was going back? at that moment, sven put his hand on my shoulder and told me it was ok. that simple gesture was just what i needed at that moment. he then reached into his pack, pulled out his camera and asked me if i had read the quote on the back of the door at camp muir. i hadn’t, so he showed it to me:

God used sven in that moment to show me, it was ok for me to turn around. it was ok for me to head back to what felt safe to me at that moment. i can’t explain how scared i was up there, and surprised that i was scared. i can tell you i’m still struggling with the disappointment that comes from not reaching the goal you have trained for for so long. but like i said in the begining of this post, there was much more to this summit attempt then reaching, or in my case, not reaching the summit. most of the team made it and man, i am so proud of each of them!! that was not an easy fete by any means!

for so long i thought the purpose of this journey was to summit a mountain, and while i struggle with not reaching that goal, i praise God for showing me the many other blessings and privileges that came out of this journey. i praise God that He has given me the privilege of seeing His hand move so vividly throughout these four days.

i praise God for our guides, we could not have asked for anyone better (not even our prayers were as good as these guys). each one of them, alex, pete and pat, is so well rounded, grounded and clearly understand what it means to be a visitor on the mountain. each one so humble and encouraging. alex was the same guide that took my friend cindy and her husband graham up mt. rainier three years ago – cindy is the friend pia and i met while training on the stairs. coincidence? heck no! that was God, all the way. pete was the same guide that took cindy and her husband graham to mt. baker and was his guide for a seminar course. again, totally God.

our team was incredible as well. we prayed for unity amongst the team members and i tell you, i don’t think you could find a more unified group of strangers anywhere. each person was willing to step out for the other, and each one brought something special to the team. there is no doubt in my mind that the Lord intended each of us to meet. sven, mark, eric, jen, josh, dave and rick, you guys rock! i don’t know why we had the privilege of journeying together, perhaps our paths were only meant to cross for those few days, or maybe these relationships will remain through time (i hope so), regardless, i know with all my heart, God intended for each of us to meet.

i went into this adventure 10 months ago as one woman (can i call myself a woman? perhaps girl is better?) and ended it a different one. i hope to one day reach the summit of mt. rainier, but until then, i will keep praising God for all the ways He answers prayers, makes divine appointments, and directs our paths even when we don’t see the turns coming.

the Summit for Someone team and our guides!

PS – when i got home, my roommate did the best thing ever! she had a snickers blizzard DQ icecream cake waiting for me! seriously, how awesome is she? and it is decorated with a mountain! she also knew i didn’t make it to the summit, but decided regardless of reaching the top or not, i made it : ) praise the Lord for amazing friends!

God is so good! this morning i was spending time with Him and He gave me such a sweet Word from the Bible.

isaiah 40: 9-11:

You who bring good tidings to Zion,
go up on a high mountain.
You who bring good tidings to Jerusalem,
lift up your voice with a shout,
lift it up, do not be afraid;
say to the towns of Judah,
“Here is your God!”

See, the Sovereign LORD comes with power,
and his arm rules for him.
See, his reward is with him,
and his recompense accompanies him.

He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young.

isaiah 40: 29-31:

He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.

Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;

but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

all i can say is “heck yeah!” to stand on the summit of rainier and witness the glory of God just sounds so remarkable. i can’t believe the it is here and that we’re leaving tomorrow. the time has flown by! i am so thankful for all the times throughout this journey that i have felt the presence of the Lord, His sweet, loving presence, pushing me forward, edging closer to our goal. and i am so thankful to Him for continually showing me through His Word and circumstances, that He is with me and will be my strength and my protector. i just can’t help but praise Him for the journey thus far and for what i know He will do in the days to come!

well it’s almost time to head west so shelly and i met pia at the northbrook REI and got the last minute items we need for the trip. here are some pics from our adventure in the outdoor “candy shop” we love!

my feet and shelly’s feet in the world’s ugliest shoes. i know so many people that love these things, but i can’t get past how ugly they are to even consider the comfort is worth wearing them.

in lieu of a head lamp, pia discovered this handy hat with a light in the visor. after careful thought and consideration we decided perhaps she should stick to the actual headlamp, but it was a tough decision.

we’re taking these with us, not sure if we’ll use them, don’t think i’ll tell you either. that will most likely be left out of the final trip report : )

one week from today we will be leaving the flatlands of the midwest for the peaks of washington sate, and i have to admit, something is quite off right now. i didn’t really get a single good night’s sleep in france and i haven’t since i have been home either. every night i seem to fall into that strange shallow sleep where you know you are dreaming but don’t care to wake yourself up. and all my dreams have been totally bizarre, making no sense at all – especially since i am not one to dream a lot. however, there is one constant theme, a mountain is always involved in some way, shape or form (go figure).

what i have realized through these restless nights, the climb i did in france and the anticipation of mt. rainier, is that i really have absolutely no control over the end game. i have done all i can do, i have trained harder for this than anything in my life, i have read and read and read about what i should know and do in advance, i have all the gear i could possibly need and even reserved the things i don’t have. i plan to drink tons of water on the way up to combat altitude sickness and have more determination to reach the top than i’ve ever had to do anything in my life (including finishing the marathons i’ve run).

but in the end, i am at the mercy of the weather, altitude acclimatization and the temperament of the mountain that day (if that makes sense). and as i linger in this place of unknowns, i keep hearing the Lord say, “trust me.” He created the mountain i plan to summit, He controls the weather, He formed and fashioned this body that i have pushed to the limits. He is in control and i need to rest in that and be peaceful. i can not forget what He has already shown me: He is my protector, my salvation, my comforter, my keeper, my Father, my Savior, my redeemer, my friend. He is my everything. and with Him all things are possible.

so i ask you to pray for me, to pray for pia, to pray for our guides, and to pray for all the people we will be climbing with. i ask you to pray that we would grow so much closer to our God through this adventure, that we would praise Him in the good and the bad, and trust Him and His will. that regardless of outcome He is sovereign and has control therefore, i have nothing to be anxious about.

thank you friends, i wish i could express to you the gratitude i truly feel in my heart for all you prayer warriors interceding on our behalf.

this song just seems too perfect for this time:

Wonderful, merciful Savior
Precious Redeemer and
Friend
Who would have thought that a Lamb
Could rescue the souls of men
Oh you rescue the souls of men

Counselor, Comforter, Keeper
Spirit we long to embrace
You offer hope when our hearts have
Hopelessly lost the way
Oh, we’ve hopelessly lost the way

You are the One that we praise
You are the One we adore
You give the healing and grace
Our hearts always hunger for
Oh, our hearts always hunger for

Almighty, infinite Father
Faithfully loving Your own
Here in our weakness You find us
Falling before Your throne
Oh, we’re falling before Your throne

today was our first day in the alps and it is BEAUTIFUL! i’m not going to bother writing about everything. instead, i’ll let the pics and captions tell about our adventures : )

DAY 0: we hung out in megeve (where we are staying) for a couple hours until we were able to get into the place we are staying all week.

the view from where we are staying in megeve, crazy! that’s mont blanc!

DAY 1: day trip to chamonix – mont blanc. we took the Aiguille du Midi cable car from chamonix up to mont blanc to start a 1.5 – 2 hour hike

the view of the retreating glacier from chamonix village

the view when we got off the cable car, breathtaking!

hiking : )

the view as we approached our lunch destination

grand hotel du montenvers, where we had lunch. this place was incredible and the food was amazing as well!

DAY 2: rock climbing and mom’s b-day : )

that’s me, so fun!

my sister listening to our guide, gabriel, really watching as he barely spoke english! climbing is climbing though and it doesn’t change regardless of the language used : )

celebrating mom’s b-day. isn’t she beautiful!!

DAY 3: we had a pretty chill morning, went for a run and picked up some fresh bread and breakfast fixin’s in megeve village.

in the afternoon we headed to a restaurant where we were taught how to cook some authentic french food. it was a blast! this was the view from the restaurant.

DAY 4: this was the scariest day of my life and i am not exaggerating at all. i went on what i thought was going to be a glacier travel hike (i kinda made that term up) where i was going to use my crampons for the first time and just mosey across a glacier and back. instead, we hiked across the glacier and then climbed up the side of the mountain! i have never experienced anything like this in my life.

that’s me at the beginning of our adventure, still smiling as i had no idea what i was about to do!

that’s me looking at our final destination, where that pointy building is at the top of that jagged rock. i’m totally freaked out at this point, but there is nothing i can do but go up and finish the climb! (although i did contemplate how i could injure myself just enough to need helicopter rescue, but then i thought about all the people that would take and missing the rainier summit and decided not to go that route – just kidding! kinda … )

holding on to the rock for dear life!

almost done : )

and i made it to the end!! praise the Lord! (i’m pretty sure that is mont blanc in the background)

DAY 5: hot air ballooning! this was a blast! and then we hit the market to make dinner tonight, so much fun : )

there were three balloons that went up at the same time this morning and this was one of them being blown up. it was so neat to watch it all happen.

one of the other balloons. if you ever have the chance to do this, i highly recommend you don’t pass it up!

shelly (sans weighted pack) joined pia and i today for a six hour hike with 50 lbs. we’re both totally pooped so all i can write, i have got to get to bed, is under the captions of the pics shelly took today.

getting ready to hike with my scary spice mountaineering boots. can you see my curled lip, not looking forward to this…

checking my hydration system

before we atarted hiking, mind you it is 6:30 a.m., i had my cranky pants on big time! shelly got it on camera, priceless.

pia trying to keep herself cool. it was scary hot and humid today.

i think this was the beginning of hour five, it felt like forever at that point.

we still managed laugh at the very end : ) i love this pic!

today the last bit of my gear came in the mail – woohoo!!! i am sooo excited : ) here’s a pic of me in my cube, where the box ‘o’ gear was delivered. i had to try some of it on… gave some folks a good laugh : )

in my right had is the ice axe, i really wanted to take off the cardboard covering, but somehow i didn’t think that was a good idea at work. in my left hand are my trekking poles. good times.

i felt like i could keep going if i had to! this saturday we hiked up and down those stairs we have come to know all too well for most of those nine hours and i actually felt “good” afterwards. it was incredible!

i had the worst attitude when we started too. i mean the worst! i’m usually pretty good at embracing the “suck it up, you have to do it” attitude. but for some reason, i was seriously resisting finding anything good in this pending nine hour pilgrimage. i was totally stuck on the fact that i was going to be hiking longer than i am typically at work. and then i was also thinking about how i have run three marathons and none of that training requires this much of me. so see, my attitude was HORRIBLE!

but alas (oh how i love to say that) the Lord blessed our obedience and showed me that i just might be physically ready for this challenge!

if you read this blog (which clearly you are right now) i ask that you please pray for pia and i when it comes to summit. we have been diligently working our little tails off, but we are at the mercy of altitude adjustment and weather. if you have bee reading this blog with any kind of consistency, you know as well that i believe in a God who is mightier than the weather man, and made the mountain we are hoping to stand on top of. so i trust, that if it is the Lord’s will He will get us up there safely : )

thanks for your support and prayers as we come into the home stretch of this incredible adventure!

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