the great climb

Feb 29, 2008

This past weekend we went Rock Climbing at AZ on the Rocks to celebrate our great friend, Chris Lindblade's birthday. Nick, Alan's brother, joined us as well because he was in town. It proved to be a ton of fun!

Now I couldn't help but think of a few "life lessons" throughout our time at the rock gym. (what did you expect? I'm always thinking about random stuff) Specifically one of the things that I noticed were the colored tape routes throughout the gym. Each color gradually guiding you to the top of the wall. Although you certainly did not have to take only one color route, it was a sure way to meet your goal of climbing to the top.

Practically speaking, you can think of reaching the top of the climbing wall as a specific goal in your life - or even your life in general. How incredible is it to think that in essence, the great Creator of this universe has chosen, before time began, a colored route for your life. He knows everything about me. He knows "when I sit and when I rise." Ps 139:2. And as it reads in Jeremiah 29:11,"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" Although this passage may be up for theological debate, the basic lesson behind it is most certainly true - God is our sovereign guide.

So with that understanding, I keep climbing this wall called "life" - just one step at a time, following this great path laid out before me. Lord, guide us to the top with passion & endurance!
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a difference in human experience

Feb 22, 2008

I recently started attending a group fitness class at my gym - 24 Lift - an intense 60-minute lifting class. I love it for multiple reasons. But mostly because the instructor, together with the loud music make for a more intense environment where I challenge myself more greatly than if I was doing it on my own in the gym.
Just last night I was at the gym, waiting for the class to get started, when two hearing impaired ladies came into the room to also join in on the class. I couldn't help but observe the instructor as she tried to communicate with them. She mentioned that although she didn't know sign language, she would help them as best as she could - which is exactly what she did. I have to give her props - throughout the entire class she made it look as if she has always instructed deaf attendee's. They followed along just as well as any of us and in the end had the same outcome - they got their heart rates up, worked every muscle in their bodies and were glowing with sweat :) I left pondering this whole experience.
I had to think about what that class would have been like without the ability to hear anything. There honestly wasn't a second that went by that the sounds of the class didn't affect my actions. The music determines the pace at which we exercise - the sound of the instructor’s voice encouraged us to continue pushing although we wanted to give up. My ability to hear during those 60 minutes, to me seemed essential. However, obviously that wasn't the case for these two women. The reasons why they came - I could never tell you - but I do know that because of their attendance I left encouraged by their lives.
Wikipedia (a great online resource) mentioned something about deafness that I thought was very true to this whole situation - "...consider deafness to be a difference in human experience, rather than a disability." Amen to that!
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a library's best kept secret

Feb 15, 2008

Alan and I visit our local public library on a bi-weekly basis and have found it to be a great resource. However, recently I came across a great article in the AZ Republic highlighting some other perks to having a library card. In short the article highlights that the Phoenix Metro Library system provides their card holders free access to growing numbers of costly subscription-only Internet databases. Now some of you may think this really isn't all that exciting - but hear me out. Just by having a library card I can access websites such as Rosetta Stone (where I can learn a foreign language), Consumer Reports (normally at $26/ year subscription) or various medical sites for any medical concerns one may have. And that's just hitting the tip of the iceberg!! And the best part is that it's FREE!!! You have to check it out - even if you don't live in the Phoenix area, your public library may have a similar program.

The full article can be found at:
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Feb 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day! Our best to you on this holiday that celebrates "love." As The Beatles, arguably the most noteworthy musicians of all time sung, "All you need is love." In light of this celebration I started to think about this great command, to love. Sounds great, right? And easy?

Let's be honest with ourselves- loving people, whether your family, friends or neighbors is not all that easy. Love often is a choice. I know this is certainly true for me. Although I would never hesitate to tell a loved one "I love you," when life gets tough (which it does a lot), acting in love is more difficult. Regardless of how hard it might to be love, it is a command of us by the Creator of this Universe. When the Pharisee's asked Jesus in Matthew 22:36-39"which is the great commandment in the Law," He replied with "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind...You shall love your neighbor as yourself."

Nevertheless, what an incredible gift God has given us - to love Him and to love each other. That's something to celebrate. Although it may be more difficult than the movies make it look to love - this one thing is true - "We love because He first loved us." (1 Jn 4:19)
Thanks be to God!
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Feb 11, 2008

We're Back! What an incredible time our trip to Cancun proved to be! We only wish we were still there.

We spent most of our time relaxing poolside, overlooking the ocean and reading. I know, we have a rough life :) Our resort, The Royal Cancun, was unbelievable. And the food was just to die for. We ate all sorts of sea food, along with quail, eel, lobster, lamb, etc. My mouth is getting watery just thinking of all of the great food we had all week long.

We were also able to travel to Tulum, a Mayan Ruin area. What incredible history we learned of as we took this 1/2 day tour of the ruins.

For those of you interested in seeing more of our photos go to:
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Feb 1, 2008

So we're off to Cancun on Saturday! We can't wait to relax by the beautiful ocean. That means no blogging for at least a week. We'll tell you about our travels when we return.
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Upon moving to Phoenix I was quickly introduced to my new best friend - Starbucks! Not only Starbucks - but the Drive-Thru at Starbucks. At that time my work required me to start my days at 6 am - so I quickly fell in love with the Starbucks down the street that opened at 5 am. It was love at first sight! :)

So for the past 3 years I've been frequenting the Starbucks drive-thru at least once a week. Although this may sound fairly bad - I usually even look forward to my visits to Starbucks the day before I go! I know - tisk, tisk, tisk!

Now my beverage of choice changes probably 2-3x a year - but I was just introduced to my newest favorite Starbucks beverage just last week - a Triple Shot, Skinny, Extra Hot Grande White Chocolate Mocha. Although I love this drink - and will probably be addicted to it for the next few months - I have to admit that I'm a bit ashamed that I've entered into the world of what I call the "High Maintenance Starbucks consumer." A couple years back I remember being behind a woman that when ordering her drink spew out about 10 seperate adjectives to describe that one drink. At that time I vowed to never be "that kind of Starbucks customer." But as you can see, I've become my own worst nightmare!!! I just can't believe it. Nor can I really believe I'm blogging about it for the whole world to see. (thanks for the suggestion Jess!)

Regardless, here's a Friday morning toast to the wordwide addiction - Starbucks!

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