Monday, November 22, 2010


So, I finally did it. :) A dream of mine came true on the 14th of this month and I willingly jumped out of a plane. Let me just say that it was the most awesome experience ever and I loved every minute of it! It was totally worth the money and I would do it again in a heartbeat. :-)
There was a group of 8 of us going, 1 from Rolla and the other 7 of us from Columbia. Our jump was scheduled for 10:30 in Vandalia, IL (3 hours away) and so we all met at one of the fire stations at 6:20. Yeah, early morning. I ended up with only 3 hours of sleep that night, but still managed to be excited and happy even at 6 in the morning. Can't say the same for the other guys though.... :) They looked as if someone had died and this was the worst day of their life. Those of you who know me, know that I can get very excited about things and so just imagine me with a bunch of sour, grumpy guys and it paints a perfect picture of our group. Oh, and did I mention they were drinking coffee? Apparently, it doesn't work that early for them... I thought it was rather hilarious as I am so not like that. How can you be grumpy when you're about to do the coolest thing ever?! They couldn't understand how I could be so cheerful that early in the morning... :-) They did start to cheer up some during the drive and by the time we arrived in IL everyone was pretty excited. We were about 30 minutes early and ended up filling out a bunch of paperwork stating we wouldn't sue if we died or were injured. You pretty much felt like you had just signed your life away once you were done.

Watching the training video... Don't they look excited?! ;-)
Ok, so the video was actually pretty hilarious and we laughed a lot at it. Don't think it was supposed to be, but it made us all rather nervous about the statements they were making about the spare chutes and how they are only checked once every 6 months, and how dangerous skydiving can be, etc. :)

Peter and Paul were the first from our group to go. I wanted to be first but we didn't really get a choice as it was our instructors who paired us up.

Brett and Nathan made up group 2

YES, it's my turn...finally! :-)

In our yellow banana suits. =) They really weren't that comfortable either...and once you had your harness on, you really felt pretty stiff. :)

Instructions on how not to die.... I tried to pay close attention. ;-)

Almost ready! =) I was so excited that I'm pretty sure I had a huge grin on my face the entire time. :)

This guy was awesome and gave me a wonderful, first-time skydiving experience. :)

LET'S DO THIS! That was my quote for the day... :)

Walking to the plane.
I had thought for sure that during our short ride to 13,000 ft I would be getting nervous and probably freaking out... But I was rather surprised when I wasn't at all nervous and just couldn't wait to actually jump. :) I really had a hard time not just going crazy with extreme excitement. I don't think I have ever been that excited to do something. :)

And we made it! =)
I really wish I could've had the video or photography for my jump as it would be awesome to have the pictures, but I wasn't wanting to pay an extra 100 bucks for it.
There was about 8 of us (not including the pilot) who were crammed into this tiny little plane... there really was no extra space. And once we were at 13,000 ft we started to lose people. I was the last one out of the plane (besides the guy attached to me), and when it was our turn we moved to the edge and on his signal we rolled out of the plane... very much like rolling out of bed, except you keep falling. :) We then had 60 seconds of free fall... during that time my face felt like it was completely frozen and the pressure really got to my head and I thought it was going to explode it hurt so bad (that's not supposed to happen, but with me, everything's different). It was pretty awesome (even with the freezing face and exploding head), and you never had the sensation of losing your stomach. And then you have a big jerk and your chute comes out (thankfully, ours didn't malfunction ;-). Not sure how long the rest of it lasted, but it was pretty awesome as I was able to steer the parachute and we had a great landing that was so soft....felt better than when you jump off a couch to the floor. :-)

Yay! My certificate that states I successfully completed my first tandem jump. It's pretty awesome. =)

So, that was my awesome skydiving experience.... and maybe I'll do it again someday. =)

Monday, November 8, 2010

"For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away."

What if your life were to end right now. All the plans you made- the future you thought you should­ have.. It's over. I have a friend who asked me questions similar to these and it has had me thinking of what death meant to me, what I was like before I was saved, and if I were really ready for my life to be over with now.

Looking back over the years from when I was young, death never seemed to really matter that much to me and I assumed I would go to heaven. And then gradually, I came to the realization that if I did die I wasn't going to heaven. This bothered me... I didn't want to go to hell. Hell is like a nightmare that you can't get rid of and why would anyone want to go there? I remember having dreams of dying and how it scared me so much. “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)

I didn't realize it at the time, but God had started working in my heart all those years and was slowly opening my eyes to my sinful nature and showing my utter dependence on Him. “He drew me, and I followed”..­

It wasn't something that happened in a day; it took a few years of God drawing me towards Him, and time spent searching the Scriptures for answers. Until one day, it was made clear to me and I knew without a doubt that I was forgiven and I would one day be with my Savior in eternity. I always think of Christian in Pilgrims Progress and how he gave three leaps of joy when his burden fell from his back. I think we all feel like that when we realize our sins are forgiven and our name is written in the Book of Life. We never again have to be afraid of death.

I am forever grateful for the mercy He showed by dying on the cross for me. I can say with complete happiness that death does not at all frighten me and I look forward to the day that I can be forever in His presence. “When I stand before the throne dressed in beauty not my own; when I see Thee as Thou art, love thee with unsinning heart; then, Lord, shall I fully know – not till then – how much I owe.”

So, after all that's said, what about the things that I really want to do before I die. For me, I would love to go to Africa, tour Europe, have a family, etc...this list could seriously go on forever... But what if I die and that doesn't happen? Why wouldn't God allow me to have those moments? All I can really say to that is, we don't know why God does the things he does, but He knows us better than we do ourselves and He never makes a mistake. His will is always best even if we can't see it at the time. David Brainerd had a quote that I love about one day seeing the Bible and it's mystery's laid open. What a joy we have to look forward to that one day!

I encourage those of you who are afraid of dying to read your Bible - search the scriptures and pray. You will never find the answers you're looking for by waiting to see what happens and hoping your life doesn't end soon.

Someone once told me that we don't really need God when we're young. “You don't need God in your life until you're old.” When you pass by an big accident on the highway what is one of the things that runs through your head? I usually am amazed how quickly it can all be over... some of those people never got a second chance. Or take the 19 year old kid who was hit by a semi.... Months later he has fluid building up in his brain and will probably never be normal again. He didn't know when he woke up that morning that his life was going to take a drastic turn.

You can not go through life assuming that you'll have a few moments before you die to (as some people call it) “get right with God” so you can go to heaven. Life is over so quickly and you can't ignore it forever. It is going to come face to face with you one day and will you be ready for it?

* Be all you can for Christ. *