livelovegodobe

Earlier this year I won an EPIC trip to Machu Picchu through this contest. People always say “I didn’t think people really won these things”. Well…they do!!!! I’m a witness. Enter to win a trip to Egypt, Turkey, or Morocco!! You gotta be in it to win it!!! ENTER HERE: http://www.tourradar.com/color-infusion?hash=K7UEJRg5z6PKbSKZ&utm_source=Contest+Referrals&utm_medium=Social&utm_campaign=Color+Infusion+Facebook #wedontsitoncouches #livelovegodobe #fearisstupid #tourradar #travel

About two years ago I hd a whole season of “come to Jesus” moments. I guess I could call it my personal Damascus Road experience. In the span of a few months I experienced some drastic changes in my spiritual life. A lot of painful growth and pruning happened all at the same time. I found myself frequently overwhelmed with having to balance my new normal (new thinking and living and communicating) and re-introduce myself to the people who were already in my life. I had to give grace when I was in desperate need of it and had to be supportive when I felt like the Earth was about to crack open and swallow me whole. One thing that saved my life was meditating on the lessons of Byron Katie and Joyce Meyer. I realized that I was the source of my own pain and confusion. I allowed my emotions to rule me. I didn’t see things for what they really were. I allowed my imagination to run wild and it would sometimes drag me to paranoia and insecurity. It wasn’t until I got control of my thoughts and turned my heart completely towards the things of God (instead of my flesh and ego) that I realized that the mind truly is a battlefield. I understood what it meant to pray without ceasing. I had to train myself to interrupt negative thoughts and replace them with prayers or mantras or scriptures. I had to be consistent with that practice. I had to pray so much and so hard and I was so grateful when I found myself on the other side of my struggle. I felt my freedom when God said, “You already are who you are supposed to be. Let me love you for who you are. You be okay with that.” And I finally saw my life for what it was supposed to be and started living it without apologies. I had allowed illusions to distract me from reality. Vain imaginations clouded the truth. I prayed for deliverance from those distractions and I continue to pray to maintain what I have received. I hope my testimony will encourage somebody to seek truth and to not be bound by emotions and opinions that aren’t of God. Seek beauty and you’ll find God. Shalom. #ilive #inspired #livelovegodobe #brickdust

…so this is a victory. I stopped attempting handstands because I would kick up and come right back down. Today I just decided to try…and I held it…and held it…again and again and again. HA! I really need to work on my wrist strength but that’ll be easy. I’m pretty proud of my self. Teeheehee #handstandholds #handstandseveryday #wedontsitoncouches #livelovegodobe #fearisstupid #crossfit #yoga #beastmode Thanks to @brickdustdiva for the photo and coaching. (at CrossFit Empirical)

Philadelphia's Magic Garden

Strolling along South Street in Philadelphia you are sure to notice walls of colorful and reflective mosaics. On the block between 10th and 11th streets you’ll come to the home of Philadelphia’s Magic Garden, a maze of mosaics created by visual artist Isaiah Zagar. You’ll see everything from colored glass bottles to old wheels,…

View On WordPress

instagram

Today’s #tbt is dedicated to the story of Easter. Last year I visited the Gardens of the Way of the Cross in Montreal. I was so struck by the beauty and the story told through these sculptures and I shared the journey on my blog. Here’s a little snippet of the pice. For the full video and story visit wedontsitoncouches.com (direct link in bio). Happy Easter weekend folks! #wedontsitoncouches #livelovegodobe #fearisstupid #Easter (at Montreal, QC)

instagram

#fbf to about a year ago when my job FORCED me to spend two months in Hawai'i. HA! Needless to say, that’s a globetrotter’s dream. Check out an experience I was able to capture on film off the coast of The Big Island. It’s a bit shaky due to the rocking of the boat and some major water damage to my camera. I’m just happy to be able to have the footage and share it! Enjoy! Direct link in bio!! #wedontsitoncouches #livelovegodobe #fearisstupid #hawaii #bigisland #wheretheskykissesthesea (at Big Island, Hawaii)

I’d been climbing for about 30 minutes when I heard the sound. Up until that moment there had been nothing but the sound of silent work; feet on stone steps and solid breathing…and then a song broke through the silence. A cluster of birds began to sing, cutting through the dim light of daybreak with their sweet voices. They were cheering me on, encouraging me. Surely this was God’s way of strengthening me, urging me forward toward my goal. And it worked.
We were told that the hike up to Machu Picchu would take 45 minutes to an hour. I had no idea how long it was going to take me, but I was determined to see what everyone else on the hike was determined to see: Machu Picchu in the early morning, covered in mist and fog, and absent of the thousands of tourists that travel through that space in a day. This was the last day of my 5-day journey along the Salkantay Trail to Machu Picchu. I was tired and it was cold and dark, but rising at 4am to hike up when the gates opened at 5 was more appealing to me than taking the bus up. I’d come all this way and I was determined to push myself ’til the very end.

I, along with a few members of my group, left our hostel at 4:20 to take the 25 minute walk to the first set of gates. We knew the gates opened at 5am and when we arrived at 4:45, there were about 20 people already queued up. As we waited, I could sense a certain energy that I can’t quite put a name on. The crowd grew. And the energy, almost a primal angst, grew. We were all there to take this hike as quickly as possible and be the among the first to see one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. There was one guard who stood in the doorway of a small wooden structure, pacing slowly, holding the key to the gate. The entire scene was quite comical at close to 5am. It was as if he knew that he could taunt us with his power.

The time came and the guard finally opened the gate and, with his co-worker, checked each visitors passport and permit into the area…and we began. Across the old bridge, along a dark path that led to stone steps, some hidden by dirt and covered by jungle, the group of about 100 started. The excited energy created a buzz that soon faded into nothing more than deep silence, footsteps and solid breathing. I turned back and saw only little white dots of flashlights guiding the way. Up and up and up we went, crossing over and neglecting the smooth road that zigged and zagged up the mountain, to get to the rugged, stone steps that led straight up the mountain. Deep darkness turned into misty day-break and the outlines of the mountains became ever-visible against the sky in the midst of the rising and falling mist. Surreal and enchanting and majestic all at once. And then my singing birds broke their silence, urging me onward. After ascending for about 45 minutes, I reached the top and one final gate of entrance where the growing crowd waited to have permits stamped before entering. Once we were allowed to enter, we were on our own to explore the grounds with our trek guide. But first, I enjoyed my first look at this ancient wonder, shrouded in morning mist, the peaks of Quechuan mountains and ruins darting behind the moving clouds…and prepared myself for one more hike up Montaña Machu Picchu.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Montaña Machu Picchu is an optional climb which towers at 3,082 meters (about 652 meters over Machu Picchu). The ascent offers several stopping points with amazing views of Machu Picchu, Huayna Picchu and the surrounding mountains. The best view, of course, is at the top (although some stop short of the top, satisfied with the view they’re greeted with), 360 degrees of the ruins and mountains below. It is nothing short of awe-inducing and breathtaking. But with four days of maneuvering the Salkantay trek already behind me, another 90 minutes up a mountain was offering a pretty strong challenge.
I entered the gate and presented my passport and hiking permit and started up, slowly. The wide stone steps offered an easy path to begin with, but I definitely wondered if I wanted to continue. The thought of another 90 minute ascension was tugging at me and I thought, several times, about just going back, resting my legs, and taking more pictures of the ruins I’d already seen. But being who I am, there was no way I was going to travel all that way and not finish strong. I stopped, I said a prayer and asked for strength, I asked for endurance, I asked to be carried, and I kept it moving. At points, the path was wide and covered with trees. At other points, the steps were very narrow and steep, open to the sun and the edge of the mountain with drop-offs that would stop many dead in their tracks. But I kept it moving. I took my time, I stopped along the way to enjoy the view, to rest my legs, to say another prayer, and kept pushing ahead. And I’m so thankful that I did. The view and the satisfaction at the top, which I reached exactly 90 minutes after I started, were worth it all. There was a narrow path leading to a covered hut with benches, and further to the very edge, the apex of the mountain. There were people laying and enjoying the sun, sitting, chatting, snacking, basking in the beauty of the mountains and their accomplishment…and I did the same.

External image
External image
External image
External image
External image
External image
External image
External image
External image

What amazing views! 90 minutes up…43 minutes down…and worth every last second. I’m so thankful to have had the opportunity to see this piece of ancient history from such a majestic point of view. I’m thankful for it all. The bee that hovered by my head, interrupting my breathy rest with its incessant buzz until I pressed forward, the bright orange and black butterfly that moved gently on the wind over the spectacular view half way up the mountain, the firefly with electric blue wings that blew past me urging me onward, the other hikers making their way up and down offering sincere encouragement, and the knowledge that I conquered. I’m thankful for it all.

 

Rise to Machu Picchu I’d been climbing for about 30 minutes when I heard the sound. Up until that moment there had been nothing but the sound of silent work; feet on stone steps and solid breathing…and then a song broke through the silence.

Im a little late for #tbt but who’s really keeping track? This is Papohaku Beach, also known as 3-mile beach on the tiny island of Moloka'i. The beach is completely deserted, the sand showing evidence of a solo morning jogger. It stays deserted due to the fact that the surf is very rough and the shoreline is full of jagged drop offs. There are warnings posted about swimming at your own risk. But it’s pristine and beautiful…and I had it all to myself. The overwhelming beauty of Hawai'i sparked the idea for wedontsitoncouches.com and I had only just begun to dream of what it would become. Almost a year later, my little travel site has become a burning passion of mine; to share, to encourage, to inspire, to break chains, to confront fears, these are the goals. My little engine that could…there’s so much more to come. More adventures, more stories, more, more, more. God is good. He gives us passions, desires, and abilities and equips us to make those things happen. And I’m grateful. #wedontsitoncouches #livelovegodobe #fearisstupid #hawaii #molokai #papohaku (at wedontsitoncouches.com)

…the moment when what you’ve always known on an intellectual level smacks you in the face. This year I was blessed with ideas and opportunities that forced me to make hard changes. The things that bothered me became so unbearable that I had to make changes. Those changes weren’t easy, and I’m still making them, but they have proven to be worth it. One thing I know for sure: the way I end this year and enter the next will be amazing. My peace: intact. My purpose: renewed. My circle: effective. And I thank God for it all. #wedontsitoncouches #livelovegodobe #fearisstupid (at wedontsitoncouches.com)