Thursday, December 16, 2010

#86 - CHECK!

Number 86 on my list of 101 things to do in 1,001 days was to obtain all of the needed items for Africa and get it packed. Behold...


One would think that 2 bags isn't really a lot when you're going to be gone for over 2 weeks and have to pack hiking related items such as a sleeping bag and mat, a 60 liter day pack, and various summit day clothes that take up SOOOOOO much room (parka's, rain jacket's, shell pants, etc). Well, that would be correct. It took us two days and a TON of rearranging to get it all into two bags. These are just my two bags. Justin has his own. We're pushing it keeping the big grey bag under 50 pounds (airport regulations). My porter will carry that big red bag for me during the hike and I'll carry my own day pack packed full of stuff. I'm about to have to go through them one more time and do some more rearranging. I need to make a little bit more room which means I need to take out some of my trekking clothes. Be prepared for the fact that when you see pics on this trip, I may very well be wearing the same clothes over and over again.

My firm Christmas party is tonight and I'm on the planning committee for the party so I've been super stressed the past several days trying to get planning for that done while wrapping up my projects with my clients and trying to pack...all at the same time. I was at work until 8:30 last night and when I came home I had to finish the packing since I won't be able to tonight. I didn't go to bed until 1am last night. Thankfully I'm not working today. Well, at least not from the office. I'm going with the other committee members to decorate/set up for the party. Which is good because that won't take me all day and I can still run out and get a few small things I still needed to get.

We leave tomorrow folks!!!! So I guess I can use this post as an official "goodbye 2010". When I come back to blogging, it will be 2011. Don't forget about the IMG website where you can keep track of us during the hike. Click here to go to that site. I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Please say a prayer for us to get there and back safely and also to summit the mountain. I will seriously be pissed if I pay as much as we did to go all the way over there and not summit :) Love you all!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Why I Believe in God

Some of my ever so faithful followers may remember me reading a book several months ago called Confessions of a Prayer Slacker. After reading the book, I embarked on a new prayer journey which involved reading scripture every morning. I started with the Psalms. There are 150 psalms total and this morning I read Psalm 91. Psalm 91 is the reason I believe in God. It is the summed up version of why I feel my life is better spent worshiping Him, rather than living for myself. It is why I choose to follow Him day after day, even if that road isn't the easy one.

Psalm 91:

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”

Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
If you say, “The LORD is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
"Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”

So powerful that I had to share it.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

St. Mark Dancers and IMG Blog

I am incredibly late in posting this, but I am so very proud of our dancers that Jen and I teach on Wednesdays. Several weeks ago, the girls performed the routine we taught them at the Hillside service (our contemporary service). Here's the video of them. These girls only meet on Wednesdays for about 45 minutes so the fact that they were able to remember the routine was amazing. I love all these girls. We are currently rehearsing the routine that four of them are doing for the Christmas Play this Sunday. I'll post that video next week sometime.

Have you looked at my countdown to Africa lately??? Because we're down to single digits! This morning I was driving to work and the thought popped in my head that I'm going to Africa...NEXT WEEKEND. Ok I guess technically I'm going to Amsterdam next weekend and we'll be going to Africa the following Monday, but nonetheless, we're still so incredibly excited. We've got everything together, just haven't packed it yet. We're waiting until next week to pack.

If you are interested in keeping up with us while we're gone read below:

I have to say that because if you're like me, sometimes you skim blogs that are "wordy" instead of reading the full thing. After we leave the Detroit airport on December 17th, there will be pretty much zero communication with us. Justin and I don't want to use our phones in Amsterdam and they more than likely won't be working at all in Africa (at least not in the locations that we'll be in) so communication will be very minimal and only to our families whenever we do have ways to communicate. However, our guides do an interesting blog that keeps everyone up to date with where we're at on our hike and how everyone's doing. By reading this blog, you'll be able to tell when we get to camp each night and if everyone is safe as well as if we summited the mountain successfully (THE DAY WE DO IT). They even post pictures of both the mountain and the safari. To see this blog, **CLICK HERE**. IMG has numerous trips going on all at the same time so you may also see updates on the blog for teams that are climbing other mountains all over the world, but we'll be the only team they are guiding up Kilimanjaro (referred to on the blog as "Kili") at that time, so if you see anything regarding the Kili team, it's us that they're talking about.