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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Lessons Learned

Now that I have been home from the trip for about six weeks, I am starting to see a few ways this trip has changed me. I am still deeply treasuring the people and community of this trip. I think that community is something lots of people long for and I had the chance this summer to be a part of something special. I miss it! I like when people ask me about the trip because I get to remember some of the sweet moments from this summer. I have a few pictures in scenery that pop into my head almost instantly, as well. And if the opportunity presented itself, I would leave to rejoin the group almost immediately, especially if that downhill into Denver is included!

But the reality is that I have to get back to work and continue to become the woman I am called to be. This summer we had so little in someways. No TV, limited computer access and limited (at times) entertainment options. I miss that simplicity. I would gladly trade my TV "friends" for real ones. I am changed because I spent a summer with an amazing group of people who cared about serving others and love adventure.
 I have been thinking that may I should have waited until I was older to have adventures like this so that I wouldn't be ruined for the mundane...
 However, I think this trip has done that, in more ways than one.  I have been reminded through this trip how important serving others is, and that faith is more than knowledge but deeds, as well. Its not about doing good because we are earning something we deserve; its about saying thanks for getting something we don't. And because of this I have been reminded of some of the things God has placed on my heart as ways to serve Him. So for now, I have to make some sacrifices and get some experience, so that in the long run I will have the freedom to go and do whatever He calls me to do. I am excited to see what that ends up looking like! 

I don't know if I would have been brave enough to take this step of faith, if I hadn't had this journey. So that the mundane could be cast aside and the power of God revealed more and more. To be honest I am a little scared about what that could mean but if serving others and amazing community are even a little part of it, I am in! 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qYAc4mNe8Q&feature=related

Monday, August 15, 2011

Home

This morning was the first in nine weeks where I didn't get ready to ride my bike, work on a house or complete an adventure with my FCBA family. Its weird to have already spent more time on the computer and watching TV in the last twenty-four hours than I have for the last nine weeks. Its strange to be home, alone, with no cause for random shouting, no one to tease or be teased by (at least till my parents get home) and no reason to get on my bike other if I want a workout. Its kind of sad to know that the FCBA 2011 family has gone their separate ways for now and that is will be awhile before I will get to enjoy such amazing community again. This trip and the time I spent with everyone was a different experience than what I have at home. Sure I have family and friends who are wonderful and so much fun to be around but it isn't the same. So I must take time to adjust to being here at home, just like I did to being with my FCBA family.

I am not sure what adventures are to come because of this cross country adventure I have just had. I am also not sure yet how this trip has changed me but I know that I am changed. The trip was hard at times, there were days I didn't want to get back on my bike or sleep on the floor; and times I wanted to just have a moment to myself somewhere familiar. But now that I am home I am starting to realize how special this summer was. Its rare to have a chance to put "real life" on hold and just enjoy being...being with others, serving and living simply, slowly. And not to mention seeing so much of the country. I will write more about that as I have a chance to pray and process this trip.

Before the trip I wrote out ten expectations  I had for the trip. That seems so long ago but I will respond to them in Blue below. 

1. I am going to have an amazing time and make lots of new friends. True, so many good stories and so many amazing people that I cried when it was time to come home. I will miss them dearly.
2. I will use my "granny gear" at least once...True, definitely used in crossing the Cascades and Rockies!
3. At some point I will wish I didn't have to ride anymore but will be really glad I did. True, there were a few days I wished to never see my bike again. There were days I felt like I could no longer sit on my seat or pedal but usually I made it. And it wasn't long after getting off the bike for the day I realized I could ride again. I didn't ride the whole distance four days, twice because I hitchhiked for various reasons, once because I was sick and once because my IT ban was so sore I could barely peddle. And I missed five ride days, once because I was sick, once because I was sore and three because I got hit by a car. But I wish I could have ridden every mile.
4. I will meet and serve some amazing families at our build days. True the build days in Craig, CO, Bloomington, IL and Manassas, VA were my favorite! We met so many amazing people along that way!!!
5. I will have the first ten verses of Ephesians memorized. Trueish, I had a little competition with one of the other riders and I won a smoothie because I did have the verses memorized. However, I didn't keep up on repeating them so I have forgotten a them a little. But not for long...
6. I will have lots of great conversations and hopefully a farkle tournament. Half true, so many great conversations and wonderful friendships developed over this trip. There was however, no farkle tournament but a few games played.
7. I will return to Pittsburgh after this trip and not move from the area. Not sure yet. I will remain in Pittsburgh at least until my brother Steve's wedding in October and then I am not sure, maybe I will stay and maybe I won't...
8. I will eat more spaghetti than any other time in my life. False, I am not sure, we had several meal of lasagna, pulled pork and hamburgers. I don't think I got tired of eating anything.  I did eat more peanut butter per day than ever before and I still love it!
9. I will have at few encounters with animals. False, I saw some animals but other than a super friendly lab, no animal "encountered" me. 
10. That God is going to bless my socks off more than I can imagine and He will receive all the glory! True and to what extent is still being determined. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Washington, D.C. or Bust

I hadn't realized how long it has been since I have blogged but its been awhile. I haven't had much computer access and things have been a little busy. We are currently in Cumberland, MD with two ride days left. This adventure comes to a close on Sunday :( and I don't think I am quite ready to go home yet.

These last ten days have been pretty exciting. We had two work days, three 95 mile+ days, and traversed 4 states. Apparently, Ohio is the best of them but I am not sure that is true... I also had the chance to see some of my friends who live along the route which was a lot of fun. I am getting sad realizing that this adventure has almost come to an end. I love the group of riders that has shared this adventure with me. I think these are some of the most amazing and quirky people I have ever met. I am going to miss them and its going to be weird to return to "real" life.

This last week had been pretty trying because on Tuesday's ride while entering Wheeling, WV I was hit by a car. I am fine just a little bruised and disappointed. The driver cut me off to make a right turn, taking out the front of my bike, knocking me to the ground. They didn't stop but other drivers did. Thankfully, no one else was hurt and I walked away.This accident has not allowed me to ride my bike the last few days and I may only get to ride into D.C. depending on how sore I continue to be. I am super disappointed by this but thankfully that the crash was not worse. And my bike made it through just fine!

I am wondering how God is at work in all of this and how He will use this accident, this trip and the relationships developed on this adventure for His glory both now and in the future. I have been super blessed by this trip and getting to meet some of the coolest people who I would have normally never had the opportunity to meet. So I am thinking there will be much processing post FCBA 2011 to discern what is next for me. So while this adventure is almost coming to an end; the good news is another adventure is waiting!

More details, pictures and updates to come when I return to Pittsburgh. Thanks for your support and prayers!

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Land of Lincoln

This weeks adventures find us in Illinois! I have now seen most of my share of corn and soybeans but I know there is more to come! Last Saturday we had a building project and it was really amazing. Its amazing what helping hands and some supplies can do in a day. In just a day the family we worked with had new windows, a front porch with new steps, lots of painted trim, and a new front door. There is still much to be done but we were able to bring a family much closer to having a house they could call a home. I had such a good time painting with the family's youngest son. Its was heart warming to watch him become so proud of his own work on him home. It seems simple (because it is) to help for day but it got me thinking about how often at home I might miss helping because I am too busy. One thing about this trip is that it slows life down so much that I can start see places and spaces in my life that need adjusting or refocusing.

I have also been getting  some good time to think. I was so engaged in a conversation with myself the other day I thought I missed a turn, when there was none. I have decided at least for the time being to return to  Pittsburgh to work and getting involved in some ministry opportunites for a time. I am curious to see how this trip will impact the future but for now, I am focused on finishing. We have two weeks left and I can't believe how fast it has gone. I am really going to miss this, well that is everything but smelling as badly as I do after rides...I am so thankful for this adventure and I look forward to coming to a better understanding of how God is using it in my life for His glory!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

M-I-S-S-O-U-R-I!!!

This week we said goodbye to Kansas with a celebration, build and rest day in Kansas City, MO. And that is were the spoiling began. We had lots of free meals and even got to go to a Royals game for free! Yesterday, the spoiling continued as we had a trolley ride and free ice cream in Carrollton, MO! Yes, they brought out the town trolley to drive us! It was quite a warm welcome into what is supposedly "the most American town." Today we arrived in Moberly, MO, which could be our "swankiest" stop yet. We are staying in a youth center with pool tables, cafe and computers with internet!!! And that is how I am writing to you right now! I am pretty excited about this.

I have never been to Missouri before but if its like this all over the state, maybe I should move here? (not really) This weekend we had a build day in Kansas City and we work along side the Chiefs tight-ends, Jake, Tony and Leonard, who is the trips honorary chair. I love build days because they refocus me on why I am riding. Its not just about the cycling but about helping the families recieve simple decent homes. We have been doing several presentations recently too and we are getting closer to our $500,000 goal! This adventure is pretty exciting, especially since 4 build days remain!

Please keep praying for us as we start to wind down this adventure. The heat and humidity will be a factor as we continue east. But also keep praying that God would continue to use us and teach us about how this trip would be used in our lives for His glory. When this adventure is over another will begin...but let's not talk about that right now...

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Kansas its almost time to say Goodbye...

I am not surprised that Dorothy instantly recognized that she was no longer in Kansas when she entered OZ. Not only was it all in color but it must have been much cooler too. Its been pretty hot here in Kansas this week. We have been waking up very early so we can be on the road by sunrise. Although, I feel a little short on sleep at times, I have seen some gorgeous sunrises this week! I am finding that Kansas has been a pleasant surprise.

I expected it to be flat and a whole lot of nothing until Kansas City. We have certainly had our share of nothing but there have been really nice rolling hills at times and some really cute small towns to ride through. I also expected this week to be the one where I was mental exhausted and ready to go home. And I am happy to report that is not the case at all. I am continuing to enjoy this trip and my fellow riders more and more! Sure there are times when I need some alone time but I am starting feel more like I don't want the trip to end. "Real life" starts then...

I am also finding a rhythm to the trip which is starting to allow for some good processing. Two big questions for me loom: 1. How has this trip changed me? 2. What am I going to do about it?

But while those questions remained unanswered, I am gearing up for a build day this weekend! And my first visit to Kansas City! I am so thankful that God provided a way for me to come on this adventure! I am praying that he receives all the glory, honor and praise. Thank you for your support and check out Facebook  for pictures!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Kansas, Hot Hot Hot!!!

I can't believe that this trip is half over...yesterday we arrived in Hill City, KS marking the end of segment 5. We have four weeks and five building days remaining. I am surprised often how fast and slow this trip seems to go simultaneously. It seems like we have been traveling for a long time (in a good way) since the first week in Washington seems like it was quite sometime ago. And yet here we are already more than half way through. I am wondering how to slow the progression of this trip down. I am not ready to make some of the decisions that await me at home about being a "real adult." Because I am not sure I am any closer to figuring things out for my future. I am really glad I still have four weeks and maybe some ideas.

My future is becoming one of my most extensive prayer and thought times while on the bike. But I am finding myself in good company as many of us work to figure out our next steps and what God might have in store. I have been working on memorizing Ephesians with one of my fellow riders and it has cause me to consider further how the Word of God impacts our lives on a daily basis. In talking with others, I find it fascinating how we each have developed an understanding of God and how it impacts each persons life differently. I am wondering still how I am and will be changed by this ride. I came on this adventure wanting to serve because I have been given so much I didn't deserve through Christ by the grace of God; I wondering how I am doing with that. I hope that in this trip God is glorified. Even as we cross Kansas.

There have been really hot days here in Kansas and we can expect that all this week as we journey across the state this week. Please pray that the heat does not impact us much. I am realizing how much I enjoyed the varying scenery of the previous weeks before we got here. Although, I have a new appreciation for corn fields and going to the bathroom outside...enough said until next time.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Colorado!!!

Ahh it has been nice to visit the great state of Colorado! I will be sad to leave and enter Kansas for I am getting a little weary of riding my bike. I am having a tremendous time with my fellow riders and I am really excited for our upcoming building days but some days I don't want to ride my bike. It didn't help that we had two days off recently, one day in Denver and one in Colorado Springs and I had a lot of fun and got to sleep in!!! That makes motivation to get on the bike a little low...however after about 1800 miles, I am not that surprised about it. I will soon be more eager to ride again, especially when we start picking up some tailwinds!

I am not sure what else to share at this point. I was thinking the other day that I have met most of my expectations for the trip already! I am super curious to see how these next few weeks go and all that I have left to learn. I am wondering what God is up to and how this adventure will affect me in my "real life." This trip is seemingly outside of time and space of my "real life" but it is an experience that I hope will change me. I am not sure if I am different or if I am the same with some different things to think about...I guess only time will tell. Stay tuned for what I may discover...I think these miles in Kansas might allow me to think and ponder what God might have in store, for the present and the future...

Sorry this blog is a little flat...I am not sure what to write and I am a little sleepy. But I think a good night sleep in Limon, CO will do me a world of good!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Utah

As I write this, I am sitting in a library in Craig, CO. I am really excited because our second build day is tomorrow. That means two things, 1. we get to help a family get into a simple decent home and 2. it is a day off the bicycle. Harley and I are getting along pretty good but my legs could use a little rest. We have ridden about 280 miles after our stop in Salt Lake City. And we have about 280 more to go until we reach Denver on Sunday.

I am sad that in Denver we will lose some of the riders who have been with us since the beginning. I have felt like we are all a family these last four weeks and I will be sad to see them go. I also am having trouble believing how fast this trip is going. Although the pace of life is much slower the days seem to go so fast at times.

I really enjoyed our day off in Salt Lake, I slept in and ate a giant hamburger and smoothie. I am not sure what else the city had to offer but I left feeling satisfied. Maybe I will visit again someday...

I have had a chance to start reflecting some on this experience and I am realizing now that this trip is more about about mental and spiritual than physical. Sure my body hurts here and there but I can make it. We have ridden enough for me to know that I can ride any distance even if it takes a long time. However, as the miles tick by sometimes its hard to stay focused. To remember what and who I am riding for and how God could use me. I had a nice stretch by myself today and I was enjoying praying for my friends and family. Please let me know if there is anything I can be praying for. I am also praying about how God can use me on this trip and what He might like to do afterwards (although I hardly think about that with five and a half weeks left).

I had something else I wanted to write but I can't remember right now, so that will have to wait. Please keep praying for us and the adventure we are on! Thanks and happy late 4th of July!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Windy Idaho

These last few days on the bike have been really windy. Today, the wind was gusting at about 25 miles/hr. It is hard to keep going when the wind is blowing that hard. It feels like you are pedaling three times as hard and going so slow that progress is not being made. However, it is and eventually we get to where we are headed!!!

Yesterday the wind was almost spirit breaking, it took us nearly 2 1/2 hours to go 15 miles...but today as we arrived in Utah the winds relented. Hopefully, our ride into Salt Lake will be a little less windy. I would prefer hilly to wind!

I have started to think about what I am learning on this trip and I haven't come up with much yet. But I will say I am having a wonderful time! Its hard to process when there are so many amazing people to get to know. And I think its safe to say I like to talk. :-)

Last Sunday we had adventures in Yellowstone National Park. It was nice to have a day off and see such beautiful scenery. We rented cars and drove through the park and I got to drive one of the cars. It was so strange to drive after almost three weeks of riding or being driven. It was nice though and I "survived" the day driving four men around. We had a great time and the women driver jokes were kept to a minimum. But the best part of the day was laughing as a group and seeing the scenery. We learned the "proper" way to take a group photo and that hot springs are indeed hot...some of the perks of traveling with guys.

Well, one more ride day until we have a day off in Salt Lake! It will be nice to rest and explore a city I have never been to! I will update again soon. Please pray for tailwinds! Thank you all for your support!

Check out the Fuller Center Bike Adventure facebook page for some awesome pictures and updates http://www.facebook.com/BikeAdventure and the Official team blog http://www.fullercenter.org/blogs/bikeadventure

Friday, June 24, 2011

Ennis, MT.

Not a bad view, this picture doesn't do it justice.
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Montana Week Part 2

When I last wrote, I told my tale of adventure Monday during the ride. However, Monday would turn out to be more exciting than expected and not in a good way. Ben, a member of the team, fell off his bike on the way back from the showers. He was not wearing his helmet and his injury hit us all hard. It reminded me of my banana peal fall and how my helmet saved my life in that situation. As I am writing this now, Ben is doing alright. He is scheduled for surgery to repair a bone in his face. He fractured his skull and his cheek bone. I am happy to report that in time he will be healed and back on the bike. I am still hopeful that he will join us later in the ride.

The rest of this week has unfolded rather uneventfully. I didn't ride yesterday due to some sort of illness, that was sinus related and I felt pretty tired. However, I have recovered and I was back on the bike today. It was nice to ride a full day and I am disappointed that I missed some great downhills, yesterday. However, I made up for it today and hit 44.6 mph on our last decent into the little town of Ennis, MT.

This week has been going by so quickly and I am starting to think this summer is going to fly by. I am hoping that at some point I will stop having such a good time long enough to process some of what I am seeing and all that I am learning from my fellow riders as I get to know them. I am curious still to see how God will use me and change me and the others throughout this trip. We are headed to West Yellowstone tomorrow with a "rest" day on Sunday before we begin our next week into Salt Lake.

I am really enjoying seeing new parts of the country. I know I am not in Pittsburgh any more because everywhere I see snow-capped mountains. God must have had a great time when he designed this country! Stay tuned for more updates, including the progression on tan-lines!!! Thanks for joining me on this adventure and please keep praying for us!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Montana Week Part 1

Ahh the much awaitedy story of Monday, sorry it has taken me so long but this week has not been going as planned. But that will be in part two.

So Monday began with me not feeling so well but I began the ride anyway. At mile 6 my front tire was flat, after the tube was changed we continued on. At mile 10 it was flat again. This time we found a rock or something stuck in my tire. With no cell signal a new tire was not to be found. So a fellow rider helped by putting a dollar inside my tire so we could make it to the rest stop. It worked alright but using an emergency pump only provides so much pressure on a weak tire.

The sweeps (riders who ride in the back to make sure everyone gets to our destination) and I continued on. We were hopeful of making it to the rest stop. All the stood between us was Lookout Mountain. It wasn't a bad climb but the downhill was a little scary. The road surface was terrible and my tire was pretty flat. As we continued down the hill, I though we were going to make it with no flats to the stop. However, Heather, my fellow riders back tire blew so loud I heard it 150ft in front of her. Heather's tire had a huge hold in it, her rim was chipped and her tube naturally flat. At this point after changing two previous flats we were confident in our tire changing skills, so we let our van pass, so we could change the tire and make it the last eight miles to our stop. However, after 45 minutes we could not get Heather's tire back on the rim. It was about 12:30, 3+hours from starting and we has made it 17 miles into our 66 mile ride. It was not going well.
At this point, we knew we needed to meet with our group and we couldn't leave each other. We decided we needed to hitch a ride.
Jessica, flagged down Jim, who was pulling a truck behind his truck. He agreed to take us the last eight miles. We were a little apprehesive but we piled into the truck with Jim. After starting to drive he began to slow and pull into the rest stop, to be honest I was nervous, I was worried we wouldn't make it to meet our group.
Jim had to go to the bathroom and turned off the truck leaving the keys in the truck. We decided we probably wouldn't die at this point. Although when he returned to the truck it wouldn't start. I nearly panicked but Jim's friends gave him a jump and after what seemed like an eternity we were on the road again and arrive safetly with our group. After a van ride to the next stop and a new tire for both Heather and I had new tires and we completed the last segment of the ride. We rode 35 miles instead of the 66 we were to ride. The day did not go as planned but we would't have met Jim and his friends or had such a grand adventure! More on the rest of the week later.
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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Week One.

I can't believe the first week is winding down already. We are in Wallace, ID, just ten miles from Kellogg, where we did our first building project today. After riding over 400 miles this week drywalling was a nice change of pace. It was also amazing to work on a home which helps a family have a simple decent place to live; which is the whole reason we are riding.

After this first week I can feel myself starting to recognize that somedays on the bike will be a struggle both physically and mentally, that when I am tired my patience could run low for my fellow riders and also the opposite as well.

I am wondering how God is being glorified by all of this, by what I do and say. A trip like this really reveals a lot about yourself and others. I am not sure what I will see yet, but if it humbles me and reminds me of God's grace and mercy for a sinner like me I will find it a success.

Thank you everyone for your support. Please keep praying for me and the team. Our adventure is really just beginning and we have so much to learn and do. I am really excited for this week as we ride though Montana and visit West Yellowstone next weekend. Hopefully we don't have any scary interactions with animals...

One last thing before I say good night from the potato state, I did say I would send postcards to my donors throughout this trip as a thank you. However, now that I see how are evenings are and my energy level after these long rides, I think I will wait and send out a letter of thanks after this adventure. Please forgive me and I hope you understand. Thank you all so much for your support!
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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Century...

Today we road 100 miles. It was hard but we saw some of the most beautiful countryside, everything from rolling farm fields to canyons. It was amazing! Eastern Washington has quite the variety of landscape.

I realize today that I actually was starting to discover a few things about this trip and cycling.
1. I forgot how tired I get riding for long distances and the silly things I say when I am tired.
2. I have had some amazing dreams trying to process all that I see in the day.
3. Certain "areas" get sore after being on the bike for three hours plus.
4. The people I am riding with are awesome!
5. God was super creative when creating the land! The amount of times I have said "wow" is getting ridiculous.

More on what I might be learning later, but for now wait on that (sleep) and pray for us. Thanks!
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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

More from day 3

On the other side on Stevens Pass.
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Cycling Day 3

We all made it up Stevens Pass! Its goreous country here!
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Monday, June 13, 2011

Skykomish

The scenery here is gorgeous!!! I passed many breath taking views today while dodging rain drops. It was a great ride today despite the rain. I am a little nervous for me and our group because tomorrow we have a 4000ft climb up Steven's Pass. However, I am really looking forward to the sense of accomplishment we will all feel at the end of the day tomorrow!

I am having a great time and loving the cycling, the Iscenery and the people. I am hoping that once we get into a bit more of a route I will have the opportunity to talk more deeply with others about who they are and what they think and maybe even read the books I brought with me.

I realized today that this trip will challenge me and change me in ways I can't imagine yet. I am hoping I realize that I am being taught along the way instead of having to process everything at the end. I am not recognizing how tired I am and that the risk of rambling has begun. So good night, I let you know how the climbing goes tomorrow!
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Sunday, June 12, 2011

En Route to Monroe, WA

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First Ride Day!!!

Today we leave Seattle and head for Monroe, WA! I am really looking forward to starting the ride and our official send off picnic!!!

Seattle has been really fun. This is going to be an awesome summer! I am enjoying getting to know my,fellow riders and my time here in Washington state. Its a little surreal knowing that we will start riding today and not really stop too much until we get to Washington, D.C. I can't really comprehend what adventure is in store. However, I am confident it going to be good.

Short story: last night while searching the city for REI we asked for directions, the guy helping us asked if we were geocashing...we responded with "no we are actually lost..." haha.

See you in Monroe!
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Friday, June 10, 2011

Its Almost Time...

I am about to meet up with the team in Seattle and I thought it might be fun for me to write down a few expectations so at the end of the trip I can see how it compared. Top 10 as of right now in no particular order.

1. I am going to have an amazing time and make lots of new friends.
2. I will use my "granny gear" at least once...
3. At some point I will wish I didn't have to ride anymore but will be really glad I did.
4. I will meet and serve some amazing families at our build days.
5. I will have the first ten verses of Ephesians memorized.
6. I will have lots of great conversations and hopefully a farkle tourament.
7. I will return to Pittsburgh after this trip and not move from the area.
8. I will eat more spagetti than any other time in my life.
9. I will have at few encounters with animals.
10. That God is going to bless my socks off more than I can imagine and He will recieve all the glory!

Well, it will be fun to see how this trip unfolds! I have been keeping inshape for the trip these last few days by playing on the Wii with my cousin. I am ready!!!

Thanks for all your support and joining me on this adventure! We need a new van so hopefully God will provide and we will stay on schedule. Check out my previous link to read the Fuller Center Blog too.
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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Flight Plans and Fanny-packs!

I have made it to Seattle for my pre-adventure adventure. I am spending a few days with my Aunt and Uncle in Acme, WA. I am looking forward to a little country riding and if its not too far I might ride to Canada! And make this an international tour...

I am really excited to meet with the group Friday! So I will really get to updates then. But I must add that today while people watching at the airport I saw one of the finest fanny-packs I have seen in a long time! Haha... I love people watching!

Praise God for safe travel and this adventure, to Him be all the glory!
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Sunday, June 5, 2011

Packing!!!

Over the last few days, I have been saying good-bye to my friends and family as the day of my departure draws near. So far the reality of me being gone for 9 weeks has not set in. I have felt like I would see everyone again next week and then for a brief moment I remember I won't.

The reality of this trip is something I am struggling to grasp. I have started packing and I am mostly done. I leave on Tuesday and the adventure begins Friday! But I can't say that I realize all that is about to happen but I think I will figure it out soon enough.

I am really looking forward to sharing this trip with you through this blog. I will try my best to give you an idea of all we are doing, how I am processing everything and how you can best pray for us (most important part)as often as I can. Please feel free to contact me to say "Hi", what's going on in your life and how I can be praying for you. I figure we will average between 5-7 hours on the bike a day so I will have time to pray for you as well as enjoy the scenery and my fellow riders! I will have my phone which has access to email and Facebook. I will also be blogging from my phone so I apologize now for spelling and grammar errors. I love to write but I am a terrible speller. (sometimes)

Well I am both excited and nervous for this adventure to begin!!! Stay tuned and see you in August with some amazing tan-lines!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Two Weeks!!!

The reality of this trip is becoming more and more real! I am really looking forward to this adventure and all that I will learn along the way. I am so excited to meet my fellow riders http://www.fullercenter.org/bikeadventure/meettheriders I know a few of them already but I will certainly know everyone better by the end of this summer!

I am also starting to look forward to the building projects. A few weekends ago, I helped at a local camp as they get ready for this year's camping season. It was fun to get a little dirty helping and I am continually amazed to see how God uses these "small" things for His great glory. We cleaned out a new building and moved decking so that this summer some kids might get to enjoy camp and be introduced to Christ. I don't know if there is anything better than that! I am hoping the same for those we serve this summer!

And I have also started to wonder what God will teach me? How will I be changed by this trip? How will God use me? I was thinking the other day when I got caught in the hail and rain during a training ride, how far I had come as a cyclist. Just two years ago a ride like that would have been nearly impossible for me to finish. I would have been afraid and unsure of my skill while riding through puddles and on wet road lines. While I think I still have plenty of room to grow as a cyclist but I was struck by my confidence on the bike. I knew I would be alright even though I was very wet. I guess its not every day that I get to see some progress that I have made. I think I see it in others much sooner than myself. Its got me wondering what kind of progress I will make this summer in becoming the woman God has called me to be?

I guess I will find out soon enough! And at the end of the summer I will be able to say, "Look at what God had done!"

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

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Tan-Line Update, Couresty of Road ID.

With 29 days left before the trip, training is in full swing. I had a great ride today and got some sun as well. I am so excited for this ride and everything that God has planned for how He will use me and how He will use this trip!

Thank you all for your support and prayers! Hopefully as my tan-lines become worse, it would reflect the work God is doing in me. To Him be the glory and my those we serve this summer receive the goal of this ride a simple decent place to live!
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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

5 weeks!

5 weeks from today I will fly to Seattle, WA. I have to opportunity to spend time with my aunt and uncle before the ride begins. Its exciting because I will get some training rides in a different part of the country than the trip will take me. I will also get a chance to consider some post FCBA opportunities.

But part of me can't believe that the trip is starting so soon. And its beginning means that some other things are coming to an end. I will graduate from school and officially have my Masters in Counseling. I will leave my internship and fellow interns after a year together. I will leave my home, family and friends for the summer. I am excited but it comes with just a twinge of bittersweetness, especially since I don't know what the future holds.

However, I anticipate this summer to be one that will leave me forever changed. How I am not sure, but I will start to have a better idea in just about 5 weeks. I can hardly fathom what I am about to do but after seeing how God has provided thus far, I can only rest in His arms trusting that He has this all planned somehow...

Stay tuned the fun is just getting started!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Good-bye Makeup, Hello Tanlines!

And so it begins! Its training time for this trip. Although it has snowed both times I have ridden outside so far, after my ride, the time to train has come.With fundraising going so well (almost $4000 raised!!!) it has made the reality of the trip more attainable. While I still can't really wrap my head around what we are about to do. I do know the reality of training.

I love cycling but each year at the beginning of the season there are pains and adjustments to make for life back on the bike. However, those slowly fade away as the miles increase and my tanlines become darker. I have been encouraged to keep track of those tanlines through the summer and share their progress with you, which I will do. I don't know if there are worse tans than cycling ones that cause interesting spectacles when where non-riding clothes.

I guess that is part of the trip. And I am realizing more and more how excited I am to share this adventure with you! Training makes it real, where before it was more like an idea to ride my bike cross country. Just like the trip to Americus gave me perspective on who we are riding for. Being on the bike gives me perspective that 80 miles a day will not be a walk in the park.

I have felt like this trip is special in whatever God is doing in my life and I don't know why. As I train, I am becoming more and more convinced that whatever He is doing at the end of all this I will have nothing to boast about. I will just be able to say, "look at what God had done!"


Let me know if you want to come and train with me, hill climbing starts next week! Thanks Everyone for sharing in this adventure with me. Here's to amazing tanlines!!!

Friday, April 1, 2011

When all the extra is stripped away, this is why I am riding. (serving)

 1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Ephesians 2:1-10 (emphasis mine)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

One Family, One House, One Mile, At a Time.

I just returned from a visit to Georgia that was both refreshing and challenging. I was got to enjoy the comforts of life and see the devastation of poverty. The final stop on the trip was to the Fuller Center for Housing host of the Fuller Center Bike Adventure. While visiting, I had the opportunity to help at one of the work sites helping the family in this blog post. http://www.fullercenter.org/faithbuilders/short-line-people The Fuller Center is renovating a trailer for this family. While I was working I felt like I got some perspective for the Bike ride. The house I stood in and the family I met are just one example of those the ride seeks to help. Its not just about raising money but also about speaking out about the need to end poverty housing in the U.S. and abroad.

While in Americus, I also had the opportunity to visit the HFH Global Discovery Village. This village gives life-size examples of homes those in the world's poorest neighborhoods live in as well as some of the houses being built in their place.  I was struck by these homes and reminded of my times in both Honduras and Thailand, where I saw housing just like this picture. Could you imagine living with your how family in one room with one bed and one pot to cook with? I can only image chaos...

As I toured and talked with friends, we could see how problems in housing are interconnect with so many others, like clean water, human trafficking, disease, mental and physical abuse and spiritual poverty. The problems of the world could become overwhelming and its easy to pretend like it doesn't exist. So (we) I am left with two choices, isolate myself from poverty and trouble (which is sometimes easier) or do something.


I know that raising $3,600 is just a drop in the bucket but every drop counts. I know that cleaning and papering the shelves in a kitchen doesn't change the world for many but it does for one family. The amount of need around us locally and internationally is staggering. That is why FCBA is a great example of bringing the solution into workable pieces: One Family, One House, One Mile at a time.
  
Its not about doing good because we are earning something we deserve; its about saying thanks for getting something we don't.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Preparing for Adventure!

I find it hard to believe that FCBA is just three months away!! It seems like time is passing quickly and the reality of the trip is only just starting to become real. In two weeks, I am going to have the opportunity to visit the Fuller Center.  I have to opportunity to travel nearly for free with a friend (another blessing God has provided when it comes to FCBA)

My visit will allow me to see headquarters and meet many of those who are working to eliminate poverty housing. I am excited about this because I think it will help me put faces to those working to support this ministry and the Bike Adventure itself.
The Fuller Center has an interesting history, and stands as an example of what God can do with us when our hearts are broken by the things that break His. http://www.fullercenter.org/history
http://www.fullercenter.org/fact-sheet


I am continually humbled by the support I am receiving to be a part of this adventure and the work of the Fuller Center. And as the trip draws closer, I am wondering how God will use me to serve other this summer through this trip. I am not really sure how to prepare. I know I need to train on my bike but that is only one part of this trip. What about the speaking, the building and those I meet along the way? How do I prepare for that?

Honestly, I am not sure yet, but I am confident that God is at work in me through Christ and is preparing me. I also think a visit to the Fuller Center won't hurt in helping me get some more perspective into this ministry and the role I am called to in it. And maybe this would be a good time to read Millard and Linda Fuller's biography called The House that Love Built.

Thank you everyone who is a part of this adventure!!!
Its not about doing good because we are earning something we deserve; its about saying thanks for getting something we don't.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Sovereignty and Seeds

This is the link to my other blog: http://mabelsmarinate.blogspot.com/

My most resent post there has some implications for the bike trip. Is it my work or God's? 

Monday, January 31, 2011

The Fun-draising

It's be awhile since I have raised money for a cause I care about or an opportunity worth sacrificing for. Its not something I tend to get excited about because asking people for help is always humbling and usually in opposition to "you can do this on your own" mentality that is prevalent in our society. But the truth is, I can't do it on my own. This ride is about helping families get into decent housing so they can have a safe place to call home. If I consider how great this need is both domestically and internationally, I instantly become overwhelmed by the need for resources both physical and financial. However, if I consider that I could help one family, while it may seem a drop in the bucket of the greater problem, its still a drop and a more manageable one.

It is humbling for me to realize that I can't even help one family without help from others, and it is even more humbling to watch my friends and family come along side me to help meet this goal. I put in my contribution and believing that God is both calling me on this trip and to serve others. I have been made tearful and grateful when I see how others are contributing. Its seems partially because of the cause I am riding for but more likely that it is a belief in me and the calling God has placed on me. And anytime one person says to another, "what you're doing matters." it is a beautiful thing and evidence of the work of God. I have nothing to boast about other than that God would have mercy through Christ on a lowly sinner, like me. And then lead me to serve others while doing something I love. And also provide support and encouragement from others to reach this goal, so that there might be one less family without a place to call home. Only God would do that because if it were up to me, I wouldn't have to ask for help. But then I would miss out on being humbled in a way only fundraising seems to do and we would miss sharing this adventure together!

Thank you everyone for your prayers and support!!! I hope that Jesus blesses your socks off too!!!

http://www.fullercenter.org/civicrm/contribute/pcp/info?reset=1&id=94

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Change of Heart

When I first signed up for this trip I was and still am really excited about the cycling. We will get to ride though the country and see breath-taking views and have a once in a lifetime type adventure. There are few things in my life that I love more than cycling and the challenge of the riding on this trip is something I am eager to tackle. I have been so cycling focused at times that I could easily lose sight of what this trip is really about. People.

As I have read the other riders' profiles and worked on my segment of the trip, I have started to see that cycling is really secondary to all that we will do as a group. Sure, I could ride all over the country and have a wonderful time but those sights and experiences are so much sweeter when shared with others. I almost find myself looking forward to meeting the other people and the build days that I am forgetting (sort of) that we will ride our bikes each day.


I can tell that God has been at work in my heart. Changing my focus from myself to others. I really love cycling but I love people more and getting both together is what will really make this trip an adventure. I think that some of this realization has come about because recently I have become more acquainted with my sin and how much of a jerk I can be. And then I have been completely humbled to look at my ugliness and recognize the grace and mercy God has extended to me through Christ, which I do not deserve. This receiving of things undeserved makes me want to serve, not of obligation but of gratitude.

So this summer is now about serving others first and cycling second. Not the other way around, although I am sure there will be times I need to be reminded of this, for I can be forgetful when I lose sight of what Christ has done for me.

Meet the other riders who will share in this adventure with me: http://www.fullercenter.org/bikeadventure/meettheriders