I know you all are probably tired of my stories of Half Dome, but I have to tell you, so much happened in those 14 hours! As we were walking on the trail and the terrain got steeper and steeper, I said with a groan, "Why? Why?!" And this lady that was just ahead a few feet, turned around, looked me straight in the eye and said, "Because you can!" I really needed to hear that. Many of my friends tell me that I can make new friends just about anywhere. And this trip was no different. I met one of the neatest people out in the wilderness. Her name was Francis, but we named her Grandma Francis. She told us all about her battle with drugs, her children, her marriage, her weight loss. And the most amazing thing was that she was climbing Half Dome on her own. We ended up walking awhile together and lost contact with her once my friend "Charlie the leg cramp" took over. 4 or 5 hours later we saw her on the trail again and we walked with her all the way back to her camp. She shared with me that she kept repeating the verse, "I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me." Which I thought was amazing, since that is my life verse! Its funny the people you can meet by just going out on a limb - or in my case... going out on a rock!
Monday, June 30, 2008
Thursday, June 26, 2008
It was a total serious matter. I was going straight up - completely vertical for 425 feet - and I wasn't about to lose my focus. Let's just say, I got real familiar and friendly with my REI hiking boots. I was not about to look up and I wasn't even going to attempt looking down. My mind kicked into the "This means business" mode. Holding on tight to the cables, or should I say, clinging to my life on a metal thread, I started to descend the granite rock. My biceps were burning, and if my toes could of clawed into the rock, they would have. Just about the middle of the descent, a man was passing me, coming up the cables. There was a large step that he had to throw his leg up on and then pull himself up. As soon as he pulled his body up off the ground, I heard it! "BBBBLLLLLLLTTT" He freakin farted. Not a little dainty fart, but a "I just ate beans for dinner fart!" In normal circumstances, I would have busted up. But with the fear that had consumed me, I was so afraid to move any other part of my body. As soon as I got down and knew I couldn't fall, I let my head throw itself back and I laughed my butt off! Ain't no mountain high...to fart!
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Hello? Lord? I know it's 3:45am and you haven't yet hung the sun out , but I really need you today. Please keep us safe! Okay, it's 5:45am now, and it's the most you've heard from me in such a small amount of time. But we are ready to begin on this trail - please keep the bears hibernating, the mountain lions busy, and the rattlesnakes hidden far beneath the earth! ....Wow! Lord this is amazing! Thanks for this beauty around me. Sorry that I take things for granted. I am so small in this world, yet my heart is so full of gratitude for my place in this world. Okay, God. What's going on? Why am I getting this cramp in my leg? Oh, I get it now. I will never be mean to my legs again! I don't care if they have cellulite. They have brought me this far. OH MY GOD! (okay so i just yelled your name in vain) But I'm gonna climb THAT! What was I thinking? Please keep my friends safe. ... I can't believe I made it to the top! How am I gonna get down from here. I can feel my heart racing in my ears and I just heard a bird fly within an inch of me. This is not natural! I think I'm gonna freak out or call the REACH helicopter. Please be with me... please be with me.
And then I felt a peace, like no other and I heard..."Rochelle, I got you up this mountain and I will get you down!"
Thank you Lord!
Monday, June 23, 2008
The journey of man cannot be measured until you walk in their shoes. My journey to Half Dome is so hard to put into words, unless you were to walk in my hiking boots. This was not about getting to the top, but about the steps that got me there. I have come full circle and learned so much. I AM STRONG! Physically and mentally. In my fourteen hour trek, I have grown emotionally, physically, and spiritually and all with the help of my friends and my GOD! I could have not done it alone. I was so full of anxiety, expectation, and hope throughout the hike. There were times that I thought that I could not carry on. I was tired, weak, thirsty, and I would turn a corner and the most beautiful waterfalls would mist over me - renewed and refreshed I was able to carry on. And so is life! Through the trials of life, it is so hard to see the blessing, but God provides such renewal in the midst of it all. I am so small in this world, but yet I still matter. I am loved. And I am alive!
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
We all begin our days with a blank page. We are the authors and we determine how the story will go, but sometimes the ending doesn't always end the way we want them to. Tomorrow, I set off to Yosemite and on Friday the long hike to Half Dome. I have so many expectations, fears, and excitements going on - and I can't wait to see how those experiences will fill my blank page. This little entry is also to just let everyone know, how much I love them - my kids, my husband, my friends, my family - just in case the ending is tragic. Just know how much I laughed through life - laughing with people, laughing at myself, and laughing at the big stuff and small stuff in life. Thanks for all your prayers on Friday as I begin a journey filled with newness. I love you guys and can't wait to share my Yosemite Journey.
So you probably think I lead a boring life, since I haven't blogged in awhile. But the truth remains, that I have been so busy that I haven't had a chance to catch my breath. This last weekend Gianna had her dance recital. It started on Thursday, with full hair and makeup, pictures, and then dance rehearsal on Friday. And then the big day on Saturday. It was a whirlwind of craziness. Thank God she hasn't tried out for SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE. I don't think I can handle that yet. As she came out on stage, the tears started rolling. I am such a sap. Although, I think part of the tears was true relief. One thing down, 107,256 things to go! Vicki started laughing with me. She said, "She's not getting hurt! She's dancing for goodness sake!" Leave it to her to put it in perspective. But I think it is a combination of things. I want Gianna to have fun. I want her not to be scared. I want her to do her best. I truly can feel all those things whirl around in my head as she whirls around the stage. I haven't had a moment to post pictures, but definitely will next week. But you can check out her dance on youtube. The address is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NykdxAXbv8. My friend Heather made the video, since her daughter was in the same class as Gianna. It was so touching because Gianna and Natalie have been friends since they were born. So, to watch them do something like this together, was just the icing on the cake. By the way, she wants me to remind everyone -that she is the one in the middle.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Before I had children I wore the black and white glasses called judgement. Everything was black and white to me and I was always had the answer - there were no shades of gray in my eyes. It was so easy to say, "My mom should have... and why didn't she... and she could of, should of, would of." And to be quite frank, it distorted my view of my mother. I got the opportunity to meet with her with brand new specs. I took her on Friday night to see The Temptations. As we drove to the concert, she put on a song that we both loved to listen to when I was younger.. Me and You Against the World by Helen Reddy. I forgot what a beautiful voice my mother had and how she can belt out a tune. I could have listened to her for hours. And we actually welled up in tears together. I forgot the look of happiness and joy in her face, until I saw her bust out in a full on dance as the Temptations sang - her arms above her head, letting all of her worries erase for that one moment in time. I felt myself tuck that look in her face in my memory file - note to self... don't ever forget your mothers look when she is experiencing pure joy. Tuck it close to your heart and relish in it. My intention was just to take her to a concert for her birthday, but I think I am the one that received the gift.
Friday, June 6, 2008
My teenage years were the best time of my life. No worries (except for the occasional final exam), no responsibilities (except to keep my room clean), no bills (except for extra spending money for TACO BELL). I had good friends (still do) and we all had a blast at Youth Group every Sunday night. Our Youth Group Leaders, Gary and Julie, had their hands full with all of us crazy and silly teenagers! Yesterday, Vicki and I attended Gary's memorial service. What a bittersweet moment. It was unlike any other service I have attended. There was such Joy in the room. Memories filled the air - such a sweet sound. Gary was an ordinary man, with an extraordinary love for God, family, and friends. It was so nice to see people there that I haven't seen in years. And an overwhelming feeling came over me - how just one man can bring all these people together. I thought, "When I die, I want a total celebration - with singing and dancing!" Life isn't over just because our bodies our not on this earth anymore. What we planted in peoples hearts will live forever.
P.S to all my girlfriends.... if I die before you... you better play BRICKHOUSE at my funeral!
P.S to all my girlfriends.... if I die before you... you better play BRICKHOUSE at my funeral!
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
I can remember so vividly when my kids were babies. I couldn't wait for the day, they uttered the words, MAMA! It was such an amazing sweet sound to my ears. Just the slightest whisper out of their mouths could make my heart swell. Fast forward eight years, and now ask me how I feel when I hear the word MAMA 50 times in a one minute interval. CRAZY! CRAZY! CRAZY! I feel like there are moments I could just explode. Don't get me wrong - I love my kids dearly but I seriously need some downtime. How am I going to get this time to myself? I was going to send my kids to daycare today and take a mental health day off of work - until I realized how much I truly have to do at work. Well, I guess that defeats my purpose. So, I guess I will have to wait until the middle of June when my friends and I hike Half Dome. I am going to fight off miles of uphill, battle the wilderness with a 10lb backpack, may encounter bears, mountain lions, and rattlesnakes - for what? All to experience true tranquility and peacefulness and to clear the noise I am feeling in my life. And then come back to reality and to appreciate the name Mama from the two sweetest lips that I love to kiss at night.