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Monday, May 21, 2012

Oh, the Places You'll Go

Dear Readers,

Welcome back!

I always thought of life as a long walk.  Some call it a journey.  I pictured a highway out in the desert (no trees and dusty) that just went on forever.  All you had to do was endure...one foot in front of the other.  Then one day when your life was over, that was that.  I'm not sure if I really pictured getting somewhere or if you were just kind of teleported to heaven (a la Area 51?).  The main idea is that I focused on was to endure to the end.  I thought I would be successful as long as I had a sturdy pair of tennis shoes.  I'd be fine and not need anything else.

However, somehow I was switched to the High Adventure Amazon option.  My life has included hiking along uncharted territory (balancing atop a waterfall no less), ziplining through the jungle, avoiding catching diseases, dodging dangerous wildlife, rafting down the river avoiding crocodiles and piranhas looking for a snack, and scything my way through dense foliage.  This is a very active life/ journey.  It is high adventure and very exciting with many "thrills", but they don't come without risks and heartache as well.  It is also much more intense and definitely once in a life-time!  It is hard as heck and some days you just don't look like a babe with sweat pouring off of you, and tears of frustration being emitted, and rope burns on your hands from climbing up a tree for safety.  But you're alive, you've endured one more experience, and that's what matters.

It is not the walk that I had envisioned.  Enduring just won't cut it.  I have found that I need more preparation and protection than just a sturdy pair of tennis shoes.  I have realized that life takes a lot of work along the way.  It's not just a meandering aimless walk, but daily survival.

I am amazed and awed by my life.  It is something that I never would have chosen, but I have learned and grown so much and had many once in a life-time opportunities similar to an Amazon Adventure.  I treasure my experiences...almost all of them (still working on a few), for they have made up MY LIFE.  My opportunity to prepare to meet God (Alma 34:32).  I have become more Godly, but by no means am I ready yet.

Prayer, scripture study, temple attendance, journal writing are all tools that help me through my personal life experiences.  I have needed them more than ever before.  When I thought of my easier "life is highway" life, they weren't as important to me, interestingly enough.  When I started to realize what an active high intensity life I had, I began to cling to them as one would cling to their mosquito netting and machete out in the Amazon as the only chance for survival.  It also sounds cliche, but the scripture "With God all things are possible" (Matt. 19:26) is an easy catch-phrase for me to tell myself as a positive affirmation in hard times.  I also think of the scripture in Philippians about being able to do all things.  It's on a lot of Christian t-shirts and so it's a great reminder as well, because I live in a place where a lot of people wear Christian t-shirts.  "I can do all things through Christ which strengthened me." (Phil. 4:13)

The day is young, I'm off to conquer whatever crazy experience lies out there today...maybe interactions with the tribal chief????  Sounds great.

Off and running,
Lindsay

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