Monday, August 4, 2008

Climbing The Peak

Since the day I moved here I have wanted to climb Pagosa Peak. Pagosa Peak is a mountain that is 12,640 ft in elevation and just looks incredible against the skyscape of our fair town. Why would I want to do that? .....ummmmm....because it is a challenge and because I can!!!! LOL.

We sat out one morning about 7 a.m. You have to drive partially up the mountain (um about 10,000 ft or so) to get to the trail head.....and it takes a have to have a 4-wheel drive to get through the "road" and I use that term loosely. Although the forest service has cleared out the fallen trees from this winter, there were still low hanging limbs and curving trees to maneuver through. At one point we had to get out and find a stick to "jack up" a limb so that we could drive under it. It was very slow going about 5 - 10 miles an hour. We finally arrived at the trailhead, parked and began our hike. There were about 12 ladies in our group.

Although this was a hike I really wanted to do, I have to admit I was a little nervous. I knew it would be difficult but just how difficult? We began our trek up and would hike a few minutes and then stop to breathe, hike a few was tough but the scenery was incredible - especially the higher we got.

Finally we broke through to what is called "the saddle"(close to treeline but starting to be more rocky than treed). This part of the journey is where we took a good rest (15 min) because from that point on the elevation was pretty intense. Once we broke treeline (we were above the tops of the trees....) we went up about 800 feet more in elevation in a very short time.

We hiked on and came to the first peak...if you don't know better you think you are, must scramble up this rock trail to the real PEAK and then you are THERE....and you are so THERE!!!! 12,600' up and looking at all the surrounding mountains and valleys and trails and the town......amazing! After many yeehaw's and photo ops, we sat down and ate our lunch. That was a real treat.

When you are above treeline you are a target for lightening should a storm come up. The general rule is to get up on the peak before noon and get down because summer storm showers come almost everyday. God blessed up with an almost cloudless day and we had the opportunity to spend time up there.

Well, it took three hours to go up and 2 1/2 to come down. Coming down was harder than the climb I think. Very hard on the ends of your toes and your knees. My legs were so tired! And then we had to climb over fallen trees on the trail.....yikes.....some of them I just crawled under - my legs just wouldn't lift up!

Finally we were back down and driving back home. Wow - what an incredible experience. Every time I look at the Peak, I think back on having lunch up there....and..... I did it! I hiked the peak and had LUNCH up there! I HAVE BEEN ON THE PEAK!

I think about that in my spiritual life as well. The deep times I have had with God correlate with hiking the peak. The journey was hard.....there were times when all I could do was just breathe-- and keep going.....but the breaking above tree line times with God were amazing- when I gained a new spiritual insight muscle and was able to climb higher and higher with God- it was so incredibly awesome....... and then being able to be in God's arms at the peak of my journey with Kade -it was so incredibly worth the hike with God.

You know, when times get tough I look back on the Peak moments with God and say, "I have been to the Peak with you God and I KNOW I can trust you more than anything in life and it is going to be OKAY!"

Praying for you to "hike the Peak" with God.....
Jaye P

Saturday, August 2, 2008

My friend Pam came to visit me over the 4th of July and what a blast we had! Pam & her daughter got to experience a little bit of hometown America - complete with a parade down main street. The 4th is HUGE in Pagosa. Mainstreet is lined with people....thousands of people. You have to get up and get downtown to get a place to park.....actually...people park their flatbed trailers along the street the night before to assure they get a great place to view the parade. Seriously, there were signs posted downtown that you could not park before 2 a.m. alongside the street.

After the parade we went and had massages. While we were sitting on the veranda of the therapists porch we looked over at Kip's Grill and there were horses tied up at the posts while their owners went in for a bite to was classic!

The next day we went to the Hot Springs..... outdoor hot tubs of varying degrees....and soaked up the healing (but stinky) sulphur water. No don't smell it after a while and it's not THAT bad!

About the grill......I thought I needed a barbecue grill but I did not want the mamba jamba gas ones not being sure that I would grill that much. So I bought an
- okay - cheap charcoal grill to test this whim out. Pam and I were sure we could do this. H., her daughter, sat on the hammock swing and watched. We arranged the charcoals and wet them down with lighter fluid and lit the match......20 seconds nothing.....even though the directions said "do not put lighter fluid on hot coals" ....we did anyway....they weren't even warm....still no Pam soaked the coals in lighter fluid again. I was a little scared about setting ourselves on fire but I dutifully handed her the matches while I held the fire extinguisher because friends always have their friends back....LOL....she lit the match and threw it on the coals..................WHOOSH......this tremendous tongue of fire leapt up through the air! Holy Smokes....would it stay lit? Well, not for long. We continued this procedure until finally we had FIRE and even better....finally....HOT COALS and we grilled our steaks.
While the steaks were cooking, I googled "how to make a hot charcoal fire". I have the instructions and have tested them and the last time I grilled....I could have grilled for hours!!!
Our other adventure involved birds. I have no pictures but I assure you it was a crazy sight. I had birds in my dryer vent and they were driving me CRAZY. I asked Pam to help me get the nest out. My washer and dryer are in my halfbath upstairs. We shut the door and pulled the washer/dryer unit out. I pulled the vent from the wall and this big nest fell out on the floor and three little baby birds that were learning to fly also came flying out. We had birds flying at us and around our heads and we were screaming and batting them away! I am not sure who was most scared but I finally got one bird cornered and caught it with a plastic bag and took it outside and let it go. Now for the other two.

As I let myself back into the bathroom, one little bird escaped. Pam was on it. I was able to usher the second little bird back out the drying vent hole. Now for the last one. Well, it got away from us and we didn't know where it was. While we were eating our lovely grilled steaks, the little bird flew out of the loft and landed behind my freestanding wood stove.....and went under it. There was NO WAY to get it now. We tried several times to get it but could not even see where it was at.....oh well....we will have to sleep with the little birdie in the house.

The next day I left the doors open but the screens shut and went to work. When I came home at lunch, the little bird was back up in the loft, claws in the screen, crying for its mother as she flew at the screen trying to get her baby. I caught the little bird in my hands and took it outside and let it go. The Barbie condo is free of birds.....

At Ms. Jaye's house, as Gilda Radner "Rosana Dana" of Saturday Night Live used to say....."It's always somethin'".....LOL

Friday, August 1, 2008

Somebody Moved My Cheese

Have you read that book "Who Moved My Cheese?". It's a little book about changes in life. Every time our cheese gets moved, either by our choice or because of other people's choices, we make the decision either to change and go with the flow or refuse to change and fight the inevitable changes.

My "cheese" has been moved so many times I can't even find it!. Well, sometimes I have moved my own cheese but lately.....God has moved it in order to "move" me. To catch some of you up - I moved to Texas last June and then moved back to Pagosa Springs in March. I think my time in Texas was truly a time of getting a perspective on where I really wanted to live - to live in Pagosa Springs or live in Texas......coming to Pagosa the first time was a time of refuge and healing. This time it was a deliberate choice to move back.

I did not realize what a new life I had made for myself until I left Pagosa and missed it terribly. So what if everything closes down at 5 pm (retail stuff) or 9 pm (restaurants). So what if we don't have the Starbuck's and shopping saves you money! So what if everybody knows your business before you do.....(small town life).....So what if there aren't any single, "I love Jesus more than life itself" kind of guys here (didn't run across any in Austin either),,,,really too busy for a relationship anyway......I missed the church people in Pagosa that had become like family to me......I missed going into stores and having people know me by name......I missed my beautiful mountain town that had become I packed up my "cheese" and drove back home.

I made that move on faith as I did not have a job waiting for me. Got a job within a week of arriving (pretty amazing) - actually had three job opportunities. The one that I took was not good - the "Devil Wears Prada" thing.....found another job (moved my "cheese" again) and was there exactly one month when my employer called me and said, "Jaye, since you don't have your license (insurance - he hired me knowing that and I DID have my property license and was getting ready to take the auto license test...) you really can't do anything and well, I just can't afford you.....I will pay you through this pay period..." WHAT! I was stunned - so - my cheese just got moved AGAIN and this time I didn't do it......God? What are you doing here?

I came home, cried, got in the Word to get my biblical perspective groove on and wow...... isn't it absolutely amazing the power and strength you draw in when you get in the Word? The Holy Spirit calmed me down and I began to see the losing the job thing in a whole new manner. Actually, God did me a favor......I really didn't like insurance - in fact that morning I had sat down at my desk and thought, "This is so boring." Glad you thought that Jaye because guess what?!!! .....I'm taking you out of it, sister! And God did.

But....what to do? I have a book on my shelf titled, "God Will Find A Way - What To Do When You Don't Know What To Do". Basically, the bottom line is to look up and keep looking up until God starts outlining a plan. I sort of entertained the thought....."You know God, this would be a really good time for that prince of a guy to show up and rescue me......." and God said, "I'm here." Oh. Yeah.

Well, as I spent time in prayer (looking up) I began to see that maybe this was my time to Dream Venti!

What is it that I want to do? What is my passion? Ministry. My heart's desire is to help others learn about Jesus and get to know Him better. I began to pray that whatever career or job God had for me that ministry would be the center and the rest would fall around it. In the meanwhile....

I interviewed for a position at the Hot Springs Resort as a receptionist at the Spa. Could be a pretty fun job.......Then I met with the county Human Services dept. and we discussed a foster home development program......If I wanted a job in that field I would have to find a grant, write the grant, hope we got the grant and then there would be money for the position.....ummmm....just not quite that passionate about the I kept I was laying out at the pool Saturday the thought popped into my head to start an afterschool program here. It is a need and there isn't a program in town like what I began to dream about creating. Hmmmm.....maybe this could work. I could run it out of the church and as the program got bigger maybe, just possibly, I would make enough to do it full-time and I would have ALL DAY everyday to do ministry and just work in the afternoons with afterschoolers......and I began to dream of the ministry opportunities to children and that an awesome possibility or WHAT!!!!

First step was to get an approval from the deacon body to use the church and start this ministry......Sunday there just happened to be a deacon meeting and the idea for the ministry was very well received......first green light!!! Now I am working on getting licensed. But what to do about that m-o-n-e-y thing until school starts (Sept. 2 here)?

Not being sure when I could actually get the program opened due to licensing regs., I took the job at the Hot Springs. The schedule is flexible enough that I could probably work there even after school starts if I need to supplement my income. So once again I am stepping out in faith, hoping I am hearing my Father's voice correctly, and doing this faith thing.

As for money and missing a paycheck or two......well God is faithful just like he promises and all bills are paid. I have picked up an extra job here and there and have made it to the end of the month. And..... I landed a job exactly when I needed to. God is so amazing and incredible!!!!!

I am dreaming VENTI and walking forward in faith that God has a plan for me. I cannot even begin to tell you how the peace of God has enveloped me as I have walked forward everyday not being able to see the ground.....

Life is so incredibly good - even when the cheese gets moved! All because of God, His Son that paid the price for my salvation and the Holy Spirit that lives within me.

God's grace and peace be on all of you today,