from such great heights

In Particular

Posted in life by chapwoman on July 21, 2011

I think when you wake up to the sound of hot-air balloons right outside your window, you just know. When the Rocky Mountains are beaming for you on your drive to work, and lightning storms start around 3 pm every day, and the majority of the population is out playing in the wilderness…you just know that this place is special. But of all the characteristics which make Colorado a gem, the sunsets are the most glorious part. Every night I wait for them like a child waiting for fireworks. Better than any show on TV, better than any performance I’ve seen live, they just take your breath away. Every night I wait for them.

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the unextravagant christmas

Posted in life by chapwoman on December 25, 2008

i love:

sleeping in til 9, unwrapping presents as a family, reading Matthew & Luke on my bed, delivering hand-made chocolates to the neighbors, rain, the 91 freeway, chit-chatting at cousin Jill’s house, plowing the carbs and spinach dips, getting way too much money from relatives i only see once a year, jumping like a three-year-old during the laker game, food comas, napping in the car on the way home, backing up my files on the handy-dandy (and new) hard drive, chatting with friends via aim.

it’s been a good birthday for Jesus–i’m pretty sure He intended it to be this simple.

oh and, i’d like to experience a white christmas sometime.

so i’m moving to colorado :]

peace on earth,

ps. its days like today i wonder why i haven’t yet been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. i am such a sugar-whore.

at home and homesick

Posted in life by chapwoman on July 12, 2008

being hydrated isn’t always a good thing. sure it’s optimal when 9000 feet above sea level in Estes Park, Colorado, but when you’re home in Anaheim, hydrating yourself just makes the tears fall faster.

i’ve only been home since 4 this afternoon, but i’ve had puffy eyes since before that at the airport in Denver. i’ve realized that nothing makes me feel worse than the feelings that come with saying goodbyes. i hate the feeling of waiting to say goodbye to those I love, i hate the feeling of nostalgia for something i no longer have with me, i hate the feeling of anticipation knowing things will be different once goodbyes are said and done.

today during my flight, I sat in the window seat and jotted down every memory I could think of from summer project while randomly glancing outside only to think of the next thing I could write. three full pages of bullet-pointed memories and quotes from some of my favorite people now sit contently in my notebook so I can read them whenever I feel like and hopefully relive, if only for a moment, some of those memories.

since i’ve been sitting here on my bed with tears dripping down my cheeks, I’ve prayed to God that He’ll provide me with strength to live out some of the things I learned at Lifelines and that He’ll protect those 35 other amazing people I lived with and learned from. I’ve also been wallowing in fear of what the next two months at home could be like with no fellowship with other believers, with no grace and truth environment, with no strength to open up to those who truly love me. that is why I need strength from above because I fear I won’t have any now that I am away from Shayla, from Kaitlin, from Mark.

summer project was definitely the most fun and worthwhile month of my life, so I hope and pray that I’ll be able to live out what I learned and forever keep my 16 other lifeliners in my heart.

C’est la vie,

13.8 thousand above sea-level

Posted in life by chapwoman on July 9, 2008

today was one of the best days of my life.

because I hiked a mountain.  not one of those dinky 9000-foot hills, but Longs Peak, the tallest mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park at 14.3 thousand feet.

my hiking group left at 3 this morning in order to reach the summit by noon, so that was intense in itself.  And I have to say, I was amped in the wee hours of this morning because 1) it would be my first time hiking an actual mountain, 2) it would be my first sunrise hike, and 3) it would be our end-all-be-all endeavor as an entire summer project.

initially I started with the “fast-paced” group, but an hour into the vertical ascent, I was winded.  At 3 mph I was hiking with mostly guys and fit girls so I didn’t have time to snack, drink water, or talk…only gasp for air.  So when we caught up to the “middle-paced” group, my friend Katie & I decided to join them.  For talking’s sake.  And eating’s sake.  Haha.

we reached the tundra-covered tree line at about 4:45 and had the luxury of watching a magnificent sunrise from 11,000 feet.  the sun looked how it does in the Lion King: a vibrant and blurry pink moving freakishly fast above the clouds and peaks in the distance. though my fingertips and nose were almost numb from the cold at the altitude, I wouldn’t have changed my discomfort for that sunrise.  God was practically blowing me a kiss with  the sight.

we continued for another couple hours of straight up-hill climbing–my quads and calves were burning from climbing up and up the endless path of granite.  It felt as if I were climbing a StairMaster for 3 solid miles, so  imagine what my butt and legs feel like now.  After struggling with that uphill climb, we reached an expansive valley of boulders or as I refer to it: “Valley of Doom.”  Seriously, there was not a sight of green to be seen.  The valley wasn’t even generous enough to let a weed break through a rocky crack.  We had to trek through that desert-like valley of boulders in order to reach “the keyhole,” a crest in the mountain which acts as a doorway to the backside of the mountain and path leading to the summit.

On my hands and knees, I climbed up those boulders and would not give into the pain of my quads, of my granite-scraped fingertips, of my aching back carrying 20 lbs of food, water, and clothing.  The struggle was well-worth it though: when I pulled myself over the top of the last boulder in the keyhole, a panoramic view of the entire Rocky Mountain Range in front of clear blue skies lay before my eyes.  I’ve never felt so intimate with nature in my life, seeing God’s perfect and majestic creation in the open atmosphere and right in front of me like that.  It was so gorgeous that I completely forgot about my physical aches and pains and pressed onward toward the summit with my friends Abby and Jessica along with two staff.

Unfortunately, fear of slipping down shear cliffs to my death and anxiety of thunderstorms forming overhead caused us to change our summit plans.  We ended up parking it at 13,800 feet at 9:30 in a notch which allowed us to see both the Rockies and Valley of Doom on either side of us.

While we were reveling in the beauty around us and snacking on our trail mix, I realized how thankful I am to be here on summer project.  I am thankful to have had the outdoor experience with 35 other believers in the most beautiful region of Colorado.  I am thankful to have struggled with Team Legit, to have cried with my ten girls about our scars, to have spent time alone with my God in the wilderness.  It is because of Him that I am even here in the first place–everything I’ve experienced and learned belongs to Him.

Though the five of us didn’t actually summit Longs Peak, we did our best and I am beyond stoked that we even attempted it.  It was definitely a great way to end the outdoorsy-side of summer project because everyone reached the keyhole and 12 people ended up reaching the summit.  God is so amazing as a source of protection and a source of encouragement as we pushed our limits for 12 long miles today.

I’m gonna climb more mountains in this lifetime so I can experience Him like I experienced Him gloriously today.

C’est la vie,

all the heat stays in california

Posted in life by chapwoman on July 7, 2008

so i’m sitting in the main living room of the Long’s Peak Camp sipping hot tea because it’s raining like crazy outside.  and it’s the second week of JULY and about 55 degrees outside.  This is how Colorado does summer.

c’est la vie,