This post is a bit delayed, but over Labor Day weekend Nate and I took a short trip to Boulder, Colorado. I've always wanted to visit Boulder, so we packed up the Subaru and headed west. We had some time to do a little shopping at the Pearl Street Mall, had dinner with a friend in Arvada, and then spent almost all day Sunday hiking near Ward, Colorado. We hiked to Lake Isabelle and then headed up Pawnee Pass. It was about a 9-10 mile hike that got pretty strenuous towards the end. In fact, we got pretty close to the end and then my fear of heights got the best of me. I sat down on the trail while Nate hiked the last switchback to the top and got to see a lake sitting in a crater of the mountains (unfortunately I had the camera). It was a great weekend where we could just spend time together in the beautiful outdoors.


Beginning our journey towards adoption

After a long two years, several doctors appointments, and some serious prayer--Nate and I have decided to begin the adoption process. Our desire to be parents and raise them in a Godly home is so great that if we can't have our own children, then we want to give this to a child who may not have it.

Currently we are in phase one of the process: seeking out local agencies and signing up to attend informational meetings. It seems that most agencies require this before actually applying. So last week we first made contact with the Nebraska Children's Home and were told that the soonest informational meeting was January in Lincoln. After that we were a little disheartened. We were really hoping to get a spot at the September meeting in North Platte, but it was already full--the only thing we could do was add our names to a waiting list. So a few days later, after talking to my aunt and uncle (who adopted two children) who encouraged us to apply to as many agencies as possible, we found three more agencies to contact. We called Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska and were again told that the soonest we could schedule an informational meeting would be this coming spring but that they would send us a packet of information to leaf through. Feeling defeated and a bit hopeless, I prayed. Honestly, I didn't know what else to do...I've grown so tired of the waiting and knew that I couldn't handle it on my own.

At the beginning of this week I made contact with Lutheran Family Services again just to double check on what to do next. After a short conversation with a woman in the Lexington office, we had an informational meeting scheduled for September 14th in North Platte! And yesterday Nate texted me while I was at our Cross Country meet to let me know that we were invited to attend an informational meeting with the Nebraska Children's Home in North Platte on September 16th! God is good. This is truly an answer to our prayers, and I'm excited to see how else God provides for us during this process.

If you're a praying person--please pray that God would give us a sense of peace and comfort and patience as we begin a long period of waiting. Next week we are planning on contacting two agencies to learn more about them; I'm praying for positive experiences with these as well. Thanks for the support as we launch into this page of our lives!


Cross Country

This year I'm trying something new: coaching cross country. I've never coached a sport before, and I am relatively new to running distances. But--when the head coach approached me last May about helping him this year, I was pumped. Since I started teaching two years ago I've wanted to coach a sport but have never had the chance. Though its an added responsibility and busies my schedule even more, I am so thankful for the opportunity.

It's definitely been a humbling experience, I am a natural go-getter and like to be in control. But I don't know much about coaching, running, or coaching running! So here is what I've learned so far:

1. Running takes just as much mental stamina as physical stamina. This is something that I've come to learn from running, but as I've watched kids train over the past several weeks, I am seeing more of how much a mental activity running is--it sounds cliche, but those who think they can't, who are defeated before they begin, will have a hard time finishing a longer run than those who approach it with even a shred of confidence.

2. A little encouragement goes a long way--a simple fist bump after a good workout could be what boosts a kids confidence enough to come back for the next practice.

3. People will work harder when who they're working for, trusts and respects them. The head coach of our team is fantastic--he has worked hard to create a great program here in Ogallala. One thing I noticed right away was that his kids are willing to work for him and typically don't cause problems. As the season has gone on, I've figured out that one of the reasons why the kids are so compliant with him is because he truly trusts and demonstrates respect towards them. He also holds them to high standards--which I think motivates them to work hard.

4. I've learned the importance of giving God your best (the head coach is also a strong Christian who has created a great ministry out of cross country and FCA). This isn't a revolutionary concept. But, as I've heard our coach say over and over again "God only cares that you give Him your best," I've started to examine my own life. There are so many areas where I don't give God my best...often He gets what's leftover at the end of a long day of teaching, coaching, and being a wife.

I know that I still have a lot to learn, but I'm looking forward to it all. We have our first meet tomorrow in Goodland, Kansas--so if you're a praying person, say a few for safe travels, health and strength of our team, and that the kids would run their best.