Monday, June 29, 2009

Places for solitude

I remember, i was 14, sitting on the "shore" of Elephant Butte Lake, NM, when my youth pastor encouraged us to claim a special place as "Holy Ground" where we could meet with God every day that week at summer church camp. I eventually found a patch of sand behind two shrubs which cut me off from everyone else - gave me enough solitude to feel like i could really focus and open my heart hoping to experience God in a new way that week. Each morning i met Him there in prayer and worship and whatever else. And if you know anything about God, you know that he was there - well, he is everywhere. After that summer, i have tried to make a habit of this when i get the chance.

While i was at APU i waited until most of the other students were asleep, and every night between 1 and 2 am i went to the prayer chapel and had the whole thing to myself. That year i grew in leaps and bounds as i enjoyed my intimate times with God in that tiny prayer chapel.

When i was a camp counselor at Id-Ra-Ha-Je, i would wake early - before my sweet campers would stir and i would watch the sun rise East over the beautiful mountains, as i was submerged within them. And i would pray - mostly for my campers. And i would sing praises. And it didn't take much discipline to wake, because i so longed and looked forward to those times to be with God.

In San Diego, first thing each morning i would hurry to Mission Beach, a few yards down the street from our apartment and i would scribble in my journal and nibble on a cinnamon roll as i watched the waves pound the sand, and hear the beautiful movement in the water.

These places that I claimed for time with God have always been so important in my life.

Yet, these last few years i have "lost the time" for these. for Him, i guess it would really be. It's harder to be alone when your very life is entwined with someone else's life. Especially when neither of us have regular schedules, it's hard to plan a regular time to be alone. And yeah, i've been tired a lot these last few years. but still....wouldn't you think that would be a greater reason to find a time and place to meet with God daily? Of course, God's love surrounds me every where i am, at every moment. Of course he speaks to me through friends and family and his beautiful creation. Of course, he is stronger and greater than my lack of self discipline. But for me - this time is something that i have found is important to ME - and i'm missing it.

I do feel like i am more lost and alone and living less purposefully than i've ever been. and i think this has everything to do with my lack of "perspective" when it comes to God's purpose for my life. And how would i know that perspective, if i am not seeking him and seeking his purpose for me. When i am just droning away every day....

So this week i am planning for myself a little day of "retreat".
como, CO

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Friday, June 26, 2009

Adventure again

being in Colorado has given us the opportunity to experience some glorious adventure at last. Tuesday afternoon we took our canoe down the Platte Canyon River which runs right through Littleton. It was pretty awesome. Much faster water than what i've been used to in Illinois and some pretty fun and stomach turning rapids that we got to shoot through. It was fun to be with Landon on the river - such beautiful solitude.

Landon and I have had the opportunity to be rock climbing on several occasions: both at our home crag in Colorado Springs and at some places closer to Littleton: Clear Creek Canyon and North Table Rock in Golden. I'm so grateful that Landon is such a great climber and is so patient with me. I often get either seriously freaked out when i all of the sudden realize how high i am and see the roaring river below, or really frustrated at myself for not being able to make the moves i know i should be capable of. Landon just tells me to chill out, "climbing is supposed to be fun!" Yeah i know. And it is fun. I love it. What i love the most is being in the beautiful nature that surrounds the rocks. It's awesome.

Mom and Dad recently purchased their first vacation property. So last weekend we spent a few beautiful days in Como, CO at my parent's cabin. It was beautiful and relaxing and amazing. Mom and Dad put satellite internet up there so i'm hoping to spend some time up there working this next week as i have a huge project for work. that would be awesome.

Just love being in Colorado.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I love running in Colorado. My lungs burn a bit worse these last 2 weeks than they did 2 months ago. But that's what happens when you're deprived of the oxygen you're used to. It's so beautiful to run here. And it's nice that the humidity doesn't leave me drenched. It's great to be running again.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


A home.

we don't ask for much:

a room for a home office for me (and preferably a different room for landon's office...but we're willing to consider a compromise). i just don't want my office to be right-smack-dab in the middle of our living area anymore. it's difficult enough to create boundaries with this working from home thing.
fireplace would be nice.
dishwasher PLEASE
enough room in the basement/garage to secure some holds for a bouldering cave.
enough green for our sanity and for our sweet duvi-boy.
and maybe enough room for one of these...

Monday, June 15, 2009

Pooks' first 14er

after finishing a year of missionary work with Youth For Christ, Preston and LeeAnn came home to the States 5 months pregnant and ready for their debriefing. We had so much fun with them while they were in town. Of course, Pooks and Landon committed themselves to as much adventure as possible as they took our canoe down the Platte River twice and then hiked this massive 14er after only 3 hours of sleep. LeeAnn and i decided that when our husbands get together they revert back to those days when they were 13 trying to see how big of jumps they can handle. We were just relieved they didn't ride their bikes off of any waterfalls this time. However, LeeAnn and i did intercept them on the Platte River during a tornado warning just after they saved 2 teenage boys with a deflated raft. hm... Anyways, it was awesome to get to spend time with Pooks and LeeAnn! we've missed them a lot and living so far away, we know we won't really get to see them too often in the future. But next time we see them they'll have that little boy in tow! We can't wait!

Meeting JP and Anna to unpack our stuff in Utah

We drove to meet JP and Anna in Utah. It was wonderful to see them and their boys. Every time i see my nieces and nephews I am just dumbfounded at how much they've grown. I've been so lucky to see all my nieces and nephews but 2 this summer and even though we just saw them in May for Haley and Joel's wedding, these kids have grown considerably! We really appreciated Justin and Anna making the long drive with their little boys from Durango to Ogden to help us get our stuff into a storage shed. We were so fortunate to get to stay at Anna's uncle's beautiful home in the Huntsville valley beneath Snow Basin. We were able to drive around for a few days and find out where we do and don't want to live. We will continue to search for places online and schedule another trip out there where we will meet with a realtor and hopefully find our new home.

saying goodbye to Cindi and Illinois

Florida with the McBrayers

sorry these are so overdue. Landon just got my computer hooked up to the internet at my folks' house last night so i'm catching up on lots of stuff.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


photo by virtually_supine

i've noticed lately how beautiful is the voice of nature. wow.

the first few days we spent here in Colorado i couldn't believe how quiet everything was. It was amazing to sit outside and not hear a train, plane, or busy road always droning somewhere among the open air. so "quiet".

and just these last few days i've found myself listening to the great noise that nature is. instead of silence, i hear the birds, the bees, water dripping from the leaves, or wind rushing through the trees. just this morning i sat outside for about 20 minutes and listened to a thunderstorm blow through Littleton. i watched the trees being swooned in the wind and reveled in the booming thunder in the distance.

oh, isn't it so beautiful - the voice of nature?

Monday, June 8, 2009

Colorado is beautiful.

Of course it is.

I don't even remember what my last post was about or when it was written, so i'm not sure what to write today. Sorry i've been so out of touch, oh devoted readers - friends and family. Landon and i have been incredibly blessed to be with family these last few (extremely busy)weeks. Between our time in GA/FL and then moving to Utah where Justin and Anna and their boys met us there to help us unload our stuff in a storage unit, to spending time with my family in Littleton, and seeing Preston and LeeAnn this last weekend as they do missionary de-briefing at YFC headquarters after their year in New Zealand. Wow, we are so blessed.

Though, we have been without cell service during most of this time and internet. So i am sorry we have been so out of touch. From now until August we will be in Littleton with my family where i am going to work my booty off at ACSI and we will officially be in touch again. Dad, Landon and Janelle set up my computer in my parent's basement. So right now i am surrounded by high piles of papers and a jam-packed e-inbox. welcome back. i'm grateful that my job allows things like visiting family and relocating across the country, but sometimes it is stressful to have my personal life cluttered and surrounded amidst work. but then again, right now i'm sipping on a wonderful latte, taking a few minutes to post a new blog, and have the laundry running. you can't do that from a cubicle farm.

we were in Utah for 2 days last week unpacking and looking for a place to live. it was beautiful and just being surrounded by mountains and realizing that they would become MY mountains and that i get to live among them for the next season of my life actually brought tears to my eyes. i'm on a mission to reclaim myself. amidst 2 jobs, sleepless nights, and flatlands i somehow morphed into this cynical and sad person. the Colorado rockies, family, friends, and sunshine have already been healing me deep. i'm grateful for the potential to grow into a better person - i'm claiming a better attitude and i'm setting some boundaries. God is always at work in my life, i know this.

Monday, June 1, 2009

We're here! MMMMMM colorado is wonderful! everytime i look toward the foothills i seriously have to catch my breath. Being in my hometown is nourishment to my heart. I love my family and i love colorado and i feel so overwhelmed to get to enjoy both right now.

We arrived in Littleton around midnight Saturday night after a 16 hour drive from Illinois. We each drove our own cars - packed to the brim with ess. It took us 2 days to pack the contents of our little yellow house into a ABF semi truck. ABF will be driving our truck across the country and over the Rocky Mountains and Wasatch mountains into Salt Lake City. I am grateful that we will not be doing that ourselves. We will leave tomorrow morning for our 8 hour drive through the beautiful Colorado mountains to meet our truck at a storage facility parking lot to unpack our stuff and store it for the next 2 months while we work and play in CO and try to find a place to live these next 2 - 5 years in Salt Lake City.

I've spent this morning working with ACSI. We were planning on going rock climbing this afternoon/evening but it has been raining all day. We will see. More updates later.