My High Flying Adventure

Since I was 16 years old I have wanted to go skydiving.  Whenever this would come up people would chuckle. Why?  Because I am incredibly scared of heights.  Try to get me on a ladder, forget it!  But for some reason, for years this has been a dream.

Last week was my 2 year anniversary of my greatest adventure so far.  My anniversary of God creating within me a spirit of adventure and joy and peace.  For most of my life I was filled with anxiety and worry and fear.  Over the past year God has been challenging those very things and replacing them with strength, courage and delight. Some of you may remember that last year I took a Trapeze class because God told me to.  God wanted to teach me that although I may be afraid at moments, those fears should not dictate what I do and do not do in my life.

Well do to this growth and new found love of adventure I snatched up a Groupon to go skydiving and this past Saturday I went on my own and did it. Skydiving was the most amazing experience I have had thus far in my life.  There was no fear but only joy and extreme delight.  We jumped at 2 miles above the earth.  The air was rushing past as we free fell from the plane and my only thought was how awe-filled those very moments were.  The rush of the air.  The beauty of the earth below me and the ability to experience such delight was beyond comprehension.

I giggled and giggled and giggled some more.

And then when the parachute was opened and we were gliding through the air – to be able to take in the beauty of creation.  From Cape Cod all the way to Boston with all the trees, lakes, houses and streams in between was breathtaking.

I wish that I could aptly explain what those moments did to me.  It freed me.  It refreshed me.  It energized me.  And it hooked me.

NEVER again will I let fear hold me back.  Why?  Because if I had let fear stop me from sky diving I would have allowed the enemy to steal the joy and delight that I felt.  He would have stolen a part of my identity.  But, in trusting God and facing my fear, I was released and empowered and refreshed.

I haven’t felt this at peace in a while and I can’t help but wonder if it has something to do with another aspect of who I was created to be, being released.  Sitting here and remembering not just the experience but what God was breathing into me in those moments brings me to tears.  Tears of joy and delight and love.  To know that God created those types of moments for each of us at creation when He said, “it is good.”  Oh how that breathes refreshing straight into my soul.

If you have a dream that seems impossible due to fear, insecurity or lies spoken to you – don’t let that stop you.  Choose the truth of God and be released to be who you are.

And, if you want to skydive?  Do it.  Run, don’t walk and experience something that only God could have created.  Oh, and if you want… feel free to pay for me to jump again ;)

Until next time… enjoy these pictures!













Now go, make adventures of your own! <3


Catch Hands

For the past year God has been teaching me about fear.  I have lived the majority of my life up until this point living under some sort of fear and allowing that fear to make my decisions for me.  As a child this meant that I wouldn’t let anyone throw me around or twirl me about.  I hate heights and roller coasters.  As the years went on it meant not trying out for different things because I was scared I would fail.  It meant shying away from singing in front of people because what if I couldn’t sing… this was actually reinforced when a boy in 8th grade told me I couldn’t sing. Before moving to New Hampshire the Lord began by asking me if I would trust Him in moving out here.  I could have arrived and hated living here, could have hated my job and could have failed miserably.  I had never been to New Hampshire and I wasn’t exactly sure what I was getting myself into.  But God asked me to trust Him so I moved.  And ever since that moment He has been asking me to take charge of my fear.  I have realized that fear will always be apart of my life but what matters is not allowing the fear to dictate my life.  Choosing to take control of my fear really means choosing to trust God where He has brought me and in the situations that He places me.

One of God’s challenges to me with fear led to an adventure that I went on almost a month ago.  On Groupon there was a deal for a TSNY Trapeze class at Beantown (Reading, MA).  When I originally saw the Groupon I thought, “Ha! I would never do that!  I’m scared to death of heights!”  Right after that thought crossed my mind, God told me (in my interpretations of Him,) “Well then, my dear Kaitlin, you must do it!”  So… I bought the Groupon and for a good 4+ months held onto the paper.  But about two months ago I decided that I was just going to take the plunge and schedule a class.  So I did and this is that story…..

I hate heights.  I mean they terrify me.  I hate standing ladders for that reason.  And getting off said ladders…. don’t get me started.  So when I bought the Groupon I knew that it was going to test me but I thought after the initial time it would wear off being scary and maybe I would fall in love.  So I got up on a Saturday morning, spent the morning bumming around the house and then set off for Reading, MA which is about an hour from my house.

149242_10200331727007552_333145686_n Continue reading “Catch Hands”

My Adventures in the Shire

“The only question in life is whether or not you are going to answer a hearty “YES!” to your adventure.” Joseph Campbell

I am a rather unlikely adventurer.  I am not a risk taker.  I like to plan.  I like safety and predictability.  Or at least that is the identity that I clung to for so long.  BEFORE.  When I didn’t know who I was and I was uncertain of the person that I knew me to be.

Then Jesus came along.  Not literally…. Jesus didn’t “walk” into my life one day.  It was more that Jesus snuck into my heart.  I heard about Him, learned about Him and witnessed what He was about until there was nothing else to do but surrender it all to Him.  That in itself was the first step into adventure.  I gave over control, I gave over choices… I gave over my life.  And He was there; in my heart and in my life.

That was almost 10 years ago.  Feels like yesterday and forever all at once.  And step by step the Lord has been teaching me to TRUST Him, to KNOW who I am IN HIM and to ENJOY every adventure that He brings me to.  He has taught me to let go, move forward and go with the flow.

And somewhere along my journey this is what I have figured out: Life is an adventure. Kind of like the adventure that Bilbo Baggins’ find himself on in “The Hobbit.” Often unexpected and sometimes dangerous.  Sometimes that adventure hits some unexpected bumps… money runs out, people leave us, we come up against a dragon, etc.  But that doesn’t mean that the adventure is bad or a failure… instead it means that you have to be intentional to realize the beauty of the adventure in those moments.  And you have to stick it out to make it through.

I’m thankful that my current adventure(s), my Adventures in the Shire, seems to be one with less bad than good.  Every day I wake up and I can’t believe that this is my life.  I can’t believe that I get to live on the East Coast, work in the district office and meet new, wonderful people.  I can’t believe that there are so many leaders so willing to pour into my life.  I can’t believe that I have met some of the wonderful people that I have met and fallen in love with in the past 2 months.  I just can’t believe that THIS is what God has brought me to…. but I am so very thankful for it!!

Life is an adventure.  That isn’t a decision, it just is.  The decision is how you are going to face it.  Are you going to run away and hide; take the safe and boring route? Or…. are you going to jump up, grab hold and swing wild and free into the action?

Before God opened my eyes to the journey that is life I would have classified myself as safe, a planner, someone who didn’t like plans to be changed.  But I’ve changed.  My classification has changed.  Or maybe… I have learned who I truly amI am a full throttle, all in, might as well try it sort of girl. And so in the 2 months that I have lived in New Hampshire these have been my adventures:

  • Traveling cross country to move!! Eeekk!!
  • Went to Boston (and absolutely fell in love!)
  • Starting not just 1 but 2 new jobs… part of my internship! :)
  • Went to my first official New England Clambake!
  • Had lobster for the first time… or at least first time that I remember and first time eating it on my own!!
  • Run my first ever 5k (THE COLOR RUN)…. I only really ran 2ks but…. I still finished!!!!
  • I went to youth camp for the first time.  I know “gasp, shock, horror!” that it was my “first” but oh well! and I LOVED it!!
  • Met SO MANY new and wonderful people!
  • And I have started driving all over New Hampshire and Massachussets exploring!
  • and so much more…..

So you see… God wants to take you on an adventure.  His plans are better than your plans.  His adventures are beyond your wildest dreams.  What you have to do is sit back, let go and say “YES!” to Him.

What areas of your life is God challenging you to let go, to sit back and to trust Him?  What adventures is He itching to take you on?  I challenge you… to face each day expecting there to be an adventure.  Look at your life and realize the adventure and then… Thank God for it!!

Risky Business

Yesterday I went on adventure.  Now this might not seem like a huge deal, but I lead a boring life.  My friends like to joke that I’m a grandma – mind you I am a 22 year old, college senior.  But I go to bed between 10 and 11 every night, I loom knitt and my car is an Oldsmobile.  You get the picture.  Well my life, at times can be and seem rather boring.  I get up, go to school, go to work, come home and cook dinner, do homework and then go to bed.  There are a couple of alterations that happen to my schedule throughout the week but I think you understand my point… my life can get boring.

Well a few weeks ago through some circumstances I found a certificate to IFLY in my hands and I had to decide whether I was going to give it away to someone or if I would experience it for myself.  I decided to make an adventure out of it and so I called and booked my flight.

Now you may be wondering what IFLY is; IFLY is an indoor skydiving experience where you get the experience of flying without the heights or having to deal with a plane.  I had never heard of anything like it until this past Fall a friend told me about it and I looked it up.  There are a couple of different locations across the US where you can experience IFLY: Seattle, Hollywood, San Francisco, Orlando and Utah.

Okay well back to the adventure… I schedule my flight for 10:00 at night so that my roomie could come with me – it ended up being a roommate date adventure!  And boy was it an adventure from the ride there to the flight through the ride back home!

The Ride There:

Well anyone who knows me well knows that I don’t especially relish driving at night in LA especially when I’ve never driven where I’m going.  At night I have to work 10 times as hard to drive because of the contrast between the dark and the car lights.  My depth perception during the day can be a problem but at night, oy vey!  Well, of course since we were driving right into LA to Hollywood there was traffice and crazy drivers everywhere… then my GPS tells us to get off the Freeway into what seems the middle of nowhere.

Kortni voiced the question we both are thinking: are we going the right way?  We have no idea, neither one of us has ever driven to Universal Studios so we just keep driving.  After a while we begin to recognize our surroundings and then we see the sign: “Universal Studios straight ahead.”  We had almost made it.  We continue to follow the signs, pull up to the entrance for Universal Studios Citywalk and pull into Vallet Parking – that’s right! Vallet Parking! hehe I bet my dirty Oldsmobile was the best car they had ever parked ;)  I handed my keys over and we walked into Citywalk.

Univesal Studios Citywalk:

Once we got to Citywalk and I was signed in at IFLY my roomie and I had our second adventure of the night.  We explored Citywalk!  We browsed in shops but mostly the adventure was people watching.  If anyone can explain why there are so many girls in short dresses and high heals at the beginning of a theme park please feel free to let me know because when I go, I put on my walking shoes!  The best moment of our Citywalk adventure was that we witnessed two teenagers begin walking incredibly close behind two complete strangers and begin dancing and then abrutly walk away.  The best part was no one else saw!! Those two are destined for greatness.

And then we got back to IFLY right in time for me to have my “class,” suit up and then fly!  As with any skydiving experience, your time at IFLY begins with a class.  Which is actually just a 5 minute video introducing you to the hand signals your instructor will use during your flight.  Then we got suited up!  I thought it was mildly amusing that the instructor had to “size” everyone up and pick out what flight suit and helmet would fit us.  We put our suits on, our ear plugs in, googles and then helmet on and we were ready to go!

During my adventure I made some friends.  Nancy, a chatty fellow flyer.  Matt, my funny instructor.  and Henry…Harold….Harvey?, a “professional” flyer who hit on me the WHOLE time I was there (is it bad that I completely forgot his name within 2 minutes of meeting him?! woops!).

We then went out to fly!  I am not sure that I will be able to explain with words how amazing it was to feel like you are flying.  I was a little nervous as I waited for my turn and watched my fellow flyers.  For one thing, Matt literally had to man handle some of the flyers – to control how you were flying and where you were at in the wind he would hold onto your arm and your thigh.  Let’s just say I was never a cheerleader or a wrestler for a lot of reasons, but one of the biggest was that I have never wanted to be man handled.  The second thing that I was nervous about was that I would look like an idiot, that I wouldn’t be able to control my body and thus my flight.

Since I’m talking about looking like an idiot: Kortni and I had been watching the flyers a little bit before I went into my class and we wondered if anyone ever peed while flying.  Not sure why we thought that but we did.  So right before we get ready to go in, Kortni decides to tell Matt, who we had been joking with, to be careful because I would most likely pee.  We then told him about our wonderment about if anyone ever peed while flying and how we had decided that if it happened they could just say “Oops, we’ve got a wet one!” and then they could gracefully “throw” them out of the tunnel…. Matt told us afterwards that he was hoping I would pee so he could do that because it would have been funny.  Sadly (for him) I definitely did not pee while flying!

As soon as I was in the wind tunnel both those thoughts disappeared.  All I could think about was how amazing it felt to have air flowing past you, holding your weight up in the air… and then Matt grabbed me and up we went!  We went up and dropped down, up and dropped down!  I spun around and around as we went up and down!  I couldn’t help it but I giggled in delight!  I couldn’t close my mouth for more than two seconds as wave upon wave of pure delight erupted out of me!  I laughed, screamed and couldn’t get enough!  My fellow flyers told me that they could hear my laughter the most above the sound of the wind.

 “Hey Look! I’m flying!”

Above is a picture of me flying with Matt my instructor making funny faces behind me!  If I could encourage everyone I know to go and try it I would.  It was something that I could do every day and never get bored!

The Ride Home:

On the ride home we laughed about the people we had met, the guys who hit on me, my instructor who was a really cool guy as well as having an amazing job.  She gave me a hard time about getting hit on and then told me about the guys who had creeped on her as she waited and then watched me.  We talked about the people we had seen as well as met.  Right before getting into the our car we had seen a guy and a girl getting out of a car at the vallet parking.  The girl had tried to wear what seemed to be a longer shirt as a dress without leggings but the shirt definitely was not long enough it wasn’t working so well for her.  After getting into the car Kortni told me how she saw the girls whole backside as she was getting into the car – talk about a wardrobe malfunction!  We laughed uncontrollably the whole way home!  We talked about our adventure, our lives and so much more!

I realized something after my adventure and that is that we are made for more than the mundane and ordinary.  That we are called to experience life and life abundantly in Jesus and part of that means enjoying that life that He has given to us!  Sometimes I hide behind my gramma persona because it’s safe – but it can also be boring.  Learning to truly live is risky, it means putting yourself out there and experiencing the new and unknown.  But, if last night taught me anything it was that often putting yourself out there to experience the unknown is worth it because there is nothing that will compare.

I am now convinced that I am called to adventure.  Bilbo Baggins in “The Hobbit” experienced adventure and then he wasn’t satisfied to live his life in the Shire.  Well the same can be said of me, I have experienced adventure and through that life and I will not be satisfied with anything lessThe world is my oyster, Adventure awaits and I am ready!

What will my next adventure be?

Maybe I will actually go Skydiving? I might try to Rock Climb? Maybe check out some Laughing Yoga?  Whatever my next adventure is I sure am excited for this life that God has called me to live and to enjoy!

Ask God what adventure He has for you – then go out and do it!  Really start to live life!

Outside the box…

I like boxes.  Both literal and figurative boxes.  Big or little, tall or short, colorful or bland.  I am fascinated by boxes, they draw me in no matter where I am and I’m not really sure why.

I guess that’s partly why I’m not all that surprised that I often find myself living life from the inside of a box. I’m what some would call goody-two-shoes; I’m straight-laced, a rule follower, prim and proper and some might even call me a prude.  Whatever you choose to call me I like to color within the lines, drive the speed limit (well I did before moving to Cali).  I like things to be black and white, yes or no, right or wrong.  I’m not a rebel without a cause and I really don’t like to rock the boat

I tend to be boring, even sometimes to myself.

I live in a box of my own making.  I give myself rules and guidelines to live by: You must succeed in school and at work.  You must be the best person you can be in your relationships with your friends.  You must keep your emotions in check and you must never fall apart.  You must be sensible and reliable.  Don’t push your wants, desires and even your love on others.  Do not, above all, become too much for the people you care about. 

These rules and guidelines soon become fears that hold me back.  I don’t know how to dance and therefore I shy away from putting myself out there and learning how to dance.  I don’t want to scare my family so I don’t do anything that could get me hurt.  Skydiving? Out of the picture!  Sing in front of people? Oh no!  I’m going to fail miserably, so why even try

The funny thing is that I wasn’t always like this.  In elementary school I didn’t care as much what people thought about me, it was important but I didn’t live constantly inside of a box that I had created.  I used to sing loudly, even if it was off key, dance freely to the rhythm in my own head and laugh heartily when no one else was laughing. 

At 17 I went to the lake with a friend’s family, a boy that I liked if you must know (isn’t it always?).  At this point I was living in my box almost daily but for that moment in time a boy allowed me to step out of my box and just live.  I’m not saying that it was the smartest thing I’ve ever done but… I ended up jumping off a bridge 50 feet into crystal clear freezing water.  For those few minutes I was living outside my comfort zone, outside of my box and I trusted that the world wasn’t going to fall apart and I wasn’t going to die.  It didn’t and I didn’t either. 

But what has happened since?  I have allowed my box to become ever stronger and more comfortable.  I’ve decorated the outside and the inside so that no one can tell it’s actually a prison of my own making.

No more!  I’ve decided to slowly but surely come outside of my box.  To stretch, to grow and to learn what it means to truly live. 

How?  Simply by taking it one day at a time, not allowing myself or the world to put “expectations” on who I am or what I’m going to do; to challenge myself to do the uncomfortable.  I’m going to learn how to dance the salsa.  I’m going to someday skydive(!).  I’m going to go out and have fun.  Travel to places I have never been and do things that I have never done.  Experience more and live fuller.

I know that I will always have a box and that’s okay.  It’s a place for me to retreat, to analyze, to think and to plan.  It’s a starting point that will keep me balanced and focused.  But it will no longer be my prison.  I’m going to live and experience all that God has created and is calling me to be.  I allowed my fears and expectations to walk hand in hand for way to long; I’m going to grab a hold of my life now and find out what more is out there.

“Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.  For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”  2 Timothy 1:6-7

Living life outside the box…not allowing the fears to take hold but understanding instead that God gives me power, love and a sound mind that is so much more than anything I could experience inside my box. 

Outside the box….what does that look like to you?

Bucket List :)

Recently I’ve started thinking about all the things that I want to do in and with my life and I realized that I have never actually wrote them down.  So I figured I would write them down for all to see and hopefully there will be progress :)  They aren’t in any particular order but here are 50 plus things I want to do before I die, enjoy!

  1. Go Skydiving (even though I have a fear of heights)
  2. Go to Canada (I lived at the most 6 hrs away from Canada for most of my life and have still never gone)
  3. Go on vacation to somewhere tropical
  4. Go on a cruise
  5. Marry a strong, caring, silly, motivated man of God who goes after what he wants in life :)
  6. Be involved in a flash mob
  7. Work with Foster families
  8. Graduate with my Bachelors Degree
  9. DONE

  10. Go on a road trip across the United States
  11. DONE

  12. Learn to budget well( save more money than I spend)
  13. Own a house, specifically a semi large barn style house with enough bedrooms for kids and visitors, a large enough yard that a (pretend) wedding could be held, with large trees for a tire swing and a hammock, with a front porch for summer nights and maybe including a reddish door, light yellow paint and a white picket fence… but really I’m not picky ;)
  14.  write notes of encouragement to friends at least once a week
  15. Read one “fun” book a month even during school
  16. Learn one new thing a day, be it small or large
  17. Take a risk at least once a month (starting Summer ’11)
  18. Do something new once a month (starting Summer ’11)
  19. Never say no to a new opportunity just because it scares me
  20. Take a vacation without any concrete plans
  21. Write a book
  22. Visit: Prague, Switzerland, Netherlands, Germany, France, Tunisia, etc. as well as go back to Spain and Morocco.
  23. Watch both the sunset and sunrise at a beach with someone special
  24. Have biological, foster and adopted kids
  25. Own a moped (closest thing to a motorcycle that I’m willing to drive myself)
  26. Learn how to mountain bike
  27. Get a dog for myself… train it commands myself
  28. Own a/start a book exchange/library/store
  29. Fly in a hot air balloon
  30. Go on a blind date at least once
  31. Take a dance class (June 2011)
  32. Go snorkeling
  33. Fall in love, be in love and stay in love (get married and celebrate 50+ years of marriage)
  34. Change the world for at least one person
  35. Sleep under the stars
  36. Be a public speaker
  37. Be a pastor no matter my job title
  38. DOING

  39. See Fireflies
  40. DONE

  41. Go ice skating on a real frozen lake/pond
  42. Travel around the US:  Visit WA DC, San Francisco (the Golden Gate Bridge and travel in a cable car), travel all over the East Coast; Cape Cod, Boston, etc. Go to Florida, the Grand Canyon and Yosemite National Park.  Visit NY again and see the Statue of Liberty.
  43. Go to a Broadway play (multiple times hopefully :])
  44. DONE

  45. Be surprised by the people I love and learn to be okay with it
  46. Ride a horse on the beach
  47. Get married outside; on the beach or on a hill in a field
  48. Plant a willow tree and watch it grow
  49. Have a large garden
  50. Mentor and encourage those I mentor to mentor others
  51. Learn more/teach my children Spanish
  52. Relearn how to play the piano, brush up on my guitar skills and sing in public
  53. DOING

  54. Live my life with purpose and passion
  55. Live where I can see/watch the stars
  56. Take time every day to come into God’s presence; listening to Him and spending quality time with Him.
  57. Go to the top of the Seattle Space Needle
  58. Travel by train
  59. Learn how to scuba dive
  60. Go to a concert (Dierks Bently at the Anaheim Angels game)
  61. Meet a true legend: To Be Decided
  62. Go skinny dipping
  63. Buy a car, specifically a truck
  64. Go shooting
  65. Take a Canopy Tour
  66. Sew one whole outfit for myself as well as sew for my kids
  67. Join the Toastmasters
  68. Learn to create boundaries and say no without feeling guilty; be kind without getting walked all over
  69. Sleep in a castle
  70. Become more organized
  71. Learn how to live with less
  72. Become more technologically savvy (oy vey!)
  73. Be the best of who I can be for myself and for others
  74. Always tell people the impact they have had on me
  75. Have a New Year’s Eve Kiss

I’m sure that there will end up being more than this but… since I didn’t even think I would get to 30 I think I’ll stop here for now… and start to work on these! :)

What’s on your bucket list?

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