Saturday, May 26, 2012

Tuscaloosa Week 1

It has been an interesting couple of weeks. I was sad to leave the State Parks in Tennessee, but excited to move on to the next project of working with Habitat for Humanity Tuscaloosa. It was very exciting to be able to finish the projects that we started at Cummins Falls State Park. We were able to finish the trail all the way down to the water, as well as building three small kiosks and one large one. I was very excited and relieved that we were able to finish all the work. It is always satisfying to finish a job and not need to leave before it is finished. The last week that we were there was the best and most stressful (for me at least). The stressful part was building the kiosks, I was the person responsible for making sure that it was correct and finished in time. Unfortunately, I made some mistakes concerning the measurements and we needed to mount the roof on the large kiosk twice because the support posts were not lining up with the rafters. The best part of the week was the weekend right before we left, it was packed full of fun activities. Swimming at Cummins Falls, caving, white water rafting, visiting an aquarium and seeing a 3D Imax movie, hanging out around a campfire, in general, just having a good time together.

Transition week was a long week, I was ready to be in Tuscaloosa and instead we were in training and meetings all week. The best part of transition week was being able to see other people.

This week was our first week in Tuscaloosa. We started off the week with a blitz build, basically a house was built in 5 days. It was a fun first week, we got to work along side volunteers from the Tuscaloosa fire departments. I have been having a great time doing construction work again, the only downside is the heat and humidity here in Alabama.

I am really looking forward to the rest of the time we have here in Alabama. :)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

A "Good" Person?

Over the past couple of months, as people have been discovering my plans for the rest of the year, I have been called a “good” person.

What does it mean to be a good person?  Does it mean that you never do anything wrong or is it just that what you do isn’t as “bad” as what everyone else does?  People keep telling me that I am a good person, but what exactly do they mean by that?  Is it because I am different in the way that I go about living my live?  Is it because I have a different set of standards than most people?  What is so amazing and inspiring about being a “good person”?  How do you even know what a good person is?

Do I define myself as a “good person”?  No way!!  I know that I am not a good person at all.  Sure, I may live my life differently than most people think of as normal, but that doesn’t make me a good person.  I still struggle with the same things that everyone else does, I still make bad decisions, I still mess up royally.  Am I better than anyone else?  No, I am just as “bad” as everyone else.

So, if I am no better than anyone else, what makes me different?  Is it the way that I grew up?  Is it the circumstances that I have been in?  Is it just a part of who I am?  No, it is a choice that I made and continue to make everyday. It is a choice that I can only make through the power of God in me, if left to my own choice, I would choose to do bad. It is a life-changing choice, something that impacts every area of my life.  

I have made and continue to make the choice to have a personal relationship with God.  How I love Him, how much He loves me, how He takes care of me and teaches me what I need to know.  I choose each day to love, trust and obey Him.  Does that make me a “good” person?  No, on the inside I am still a “bad” person, even though it might look like I am a “good” person on the outside, the difference is because of God and what He has done for me, He counts me as "good" in His eyes.

To me, trusting God is not just something that I do on Sundays, it is not a religion for me, it is a main part of my life.  To me, God is not just someone that is watching from somewhere what is going on here, but someone that really and truly cares about what happens to me each day.  I know that I am a bad person, I have done and continue to do bad things everyday.  But I also know that God sent His only son to take the penalty of what I have done that is wrong.  I owe God my life, and I am trying to give it to Him each day.  He is the reason that I live my life differently.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Fun Pictures

This is the Ranger house that we stayed at in Tennessee

Dave, Max and I working on the kiosk

The crew while caving.

At the aquarium

The waterfall at the cave entrance

In the shark cage at the aquarium

Cellus on a ledge about 15 feet above the rest of us.  I also climbed that  ledge.

Cummins Falls State Park

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Round 1 second to last week!

This past week has been very busy and fun!  We went swimming in front of a waterfall on Thursday, spelunking on Friday, to an Aquarium and IMAX on Saturday and whitewater rafting today.  Lots of pictures were taken, just too late to try to post them tonight, hopefully next week I will be able to post them.  Work is starting to wrap up, we are almost finished with the making the trail at Cummins Falls State Park, as well as finishing up small projects at Fall Creek Falls State Park.  Right now my big project is copying and building some new kiosks for the trails at Cummins.  The deadline for the park opening is coming up fast, so there is plenty of last minute work and stress for the rangers at the new park.  I am very glad that we have been working here in Tennessee, I have had a blast here!  Also looking forward to the next project!  Not looking forward to working in the heat of the south though.