Sunday, May 30, 2010

Operation Alaska Move (Day 3 &4)

Thursday was a big day as that was our time to cross the border. There were a couple of details that were making me a little nervous, namely our firearms and Millie. However, things went incredibly smoothly and we crossed with no problem. The border patrol did not even look at our stuff, which was a relief because if they had chosen to go through everything it would have taken us awhile to put it all back again!

After crossing the border we headed north towards Banff. Along the way we discovered a very important stop we had to make:

After some agonizing decisions, we were happily back on our way with fancy German gummies (the fish and frogs), sour cherry coke bottles and hot lips:

(my favorites were the sour cherry coke bottle ... mmmm)

The road continued to take us north. We skirted around Calgary and then stopped in Canmore for supper. After some delicious Chinese and a quick stop at Safeway to replenish some groceries, we crossed into Banff National Park:

We spent the night at the Tunnel Mountain Campgrounds and then headed off again in the morning.
Most of our day was spent driving through Banff and Jasper National Parks, which are connected. It was a grey, cloudy, cool and rainy day, which shrouded the mountains in mystery:

Our pass expired at 4:00 pm and we pulled out of the park at 3:57. We headed west and ended our day in Prince George, BC.

A supper of Pizza Hut and a stop at a coffee shop for wi-fi found us ready for bed so we went on a search for an RV campsite. It was ten o'clock at that point, which meant most offices were closed. We pulled into the first site we found and woke up the caretaker and talked her into giving us a spot. We tucked into our little spot and settled in for the night.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Operation Alaska Move (Days 1 & 2)


Our stuff is boxed up and packed carefully in our Explorer and camper, we have snacks and audio books to last us a week or more and we said good-bye to our little house:

Anchorage here we come!

Our first day on the road took us from the far southeastern corner of Montana to the north central part of the state, where we spent the night with one of Luke's friends from Bible school. Along the way we saw lots of this:

Rain and prairie. 

Occasionally, we would see something a little more diverse rising out of the landscape:

 On Tuesday we ran some errands in Great Falls, picked up some last minute items, including a booster pack so I can keep my laptop charged and we can jump start the vehicle in the middle of nowhere if need be. 

Then, since we don't have a schedule or any deadlines, we decided to head west to Glacier National Park. As we headed out on the road, we started to see the mountains in the far distance:

After arriving at the park, we decided to put our legs to good use and went for a walk. It felt good to stretch out our muscles and we enjoyed seeing the scenery:

After securing a spot at the local KOA:

(can you tell which one is not like the others?)

we decided to head out to find food. That is when we discovered the sad truth that nothing is open this time of the year. 

At least not until Friday.

So, we went back to camp and scrounged through our food and found a rather delicious supper within our stores. Then we settled into our cozy home for the night:

Of course there are many things we have seen and not been able to get pictures of:

 The sound of the woodpecker echoing through a huge valley * The sunlight highlighting the hills 
 The amazing scope of God's Creation that gives the viewer goosebumps * The absolute silence of nature

We're really enjoying our trip! Don't worry - I'll be back with days 3 & 4 soon!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Plan B

I first stumbled across Pete Wilson's blog a year or so ago. I enjoy reading his perspective on life and hearing about his viewpoint of Scripture. Of course I knew he was writing a book and figured that I would try to get my hands on it eventually. Then, one day while I was home working on homework I looked at Twitter and saw that he had linked to a way to get a free copy of his book.

Free? I was in!

After looking at the link I was really in because it led me to BookSneeze, a brainchild of Thomas Nelson Publishers. Basically, if you're a blogger you can get free books to review. Free books = happy Rachel!

So I signed up and waited until noon so I could request Plan B. Of course, because I am not the only person following Pete's blog/Twitter, he crashed the Internet because there were so many of us trying to get the book. Well, an hour and a half later I prevailed and soon enough Plan B made its way to Montana!

This is a book that I savored. I did not sit down and read it from cover to cover in one day. Instead, I pulled out my pink highlighter and slowly went through it, chapter by chapter, day by day.

When reading the stories of Biblical Plan B's, such as Joseph, Job, Abraham and the disciples, I was reminded once again of how much I can't comprehend our God. As C.S. Lewis says, "He is not a tame lion." I can't put God in a box and open it only when I want something to pop out. He is not our puppet and we do not pull the strings. He is in control. End of story.

So, when we come to a situation where things don't seem to be working out, we have choices. We can get mad, yell, scream, cry and block God out. Or, we can yell, scream, and cry out TO God, letting Him into our pain and letting Him guide our steps down the path we might not have chosen. That is when beauty happens. That is when God does a work through us that we could not have imagined. Sure, it would be easier if our Plan A's would have worked out, but our God is not a God that we can give a lesson plan to. It doesn't work that way and Pete's book is a great reminder of that truth.

His writing convicted me of my own prosperity gospel, believing that God is only supporting me in the good times. The Biblical truths put forth in Pete's book are ones that will stand the test of the time, the test of trials and the test of life. We might not do it perfectly, but no matter where we go, or what we do, God is there with us, walking beside us, even when we're on a path we didn't choose. And that is comfort indeed.

If you are going through a situation you didn't ask for, or think you might someday (hint: you will), you need to pick up this book!

*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of Plan B from Thomas Nelson in exchange for my honest review. I was not paid or coerced to say anything I did say*