Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Never thought I'd be the one....

Two months ago, if you had told me that I'd be "that person" sitting in McDonalds with a Frappe and a computer, enthusiastically typing away, I never would have believed you.

Yet, here I sit.

I have decided that typing blog posts on my phone is totally not worth it, because of the number of typos, so alas, you must wait until I have opportunities such as this one to take advantage of free Wi-Fi. Thankfully, today's night local (aka, Walmart) is a 1 minute walk from McD's.

I also never thought I'd be ok with seeing roadkill so close and personal.  Like, 1 foot away.

And yet I am.

I never thought I would wash dishes with water from a spigot 2 feet off the ground.
That I'd drain pasta in a parking lot.
That I would drive an RV before I drove a 8-seater van.
Be ok with popping blisters.
Eat the same lunch 5 days in a row.
Beg for money at Masses.
Accept cookies from people I've never met.
Go to Walmart at 2:30 in the morning.
Sleep overnight in a Walmart parking lot.
Shop at Walmart multiple times a day, 4 days in a row.

(are we seeing a Walmart trend here?  We are of the opinion that Walmart should sponsor Crossroads.  We go there enough!)

We are a walking advertisement (haha, no pun intended) for Walmart, iPhone, and Chrysler.  Except now we have a Dodge van, so that doesn't really work anymore.

Basically, Crossroads has made me go sooo far outside my comfort zone!  On this journey, I have done oodles of things that I never would have done before.  And honestly, I needed to break out of my box.

Consider the box broken.

PS- say a prayer for us- only 1 month left!
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Sunday, July 8, 2012

Letters to "The Noturnals"

Friends. It's been too long. I apologize for being absent from this blog for so long, but we haven't had Internet in a while :)

Tonight, I want to share with you a note that I wrote for day shift. (day shift is known as the Noturnals, as opposed to the Nocturnals of night shift. Clever? I think yes.) At the end of each shift, someone writes a note that is then read at the beginning of the next shift. I don't know if the other walks do this, but we've done it fairly consistently since the beginning. They range from deep to fun...Stephanie read this one and told me to put it on my blog. And so I am. Voila:

Dear Day Shift,

I’m guessing that most, if not all of you have experienced this, but I tend to make lots of comparisons while I’m walking. Comparisons that I don’t think I would “normally” make if I weren’t walking across the country. So bear with me for a minute.

We walk for miles on end, up and down hills. Often times, we don’t see the van while we’re walking, but other times, we see it the entire time. Still other times, it comes and goes in and out of view. We strain forward, battling through the elements, through unkind words and sore feet. Our muscles ache, yet still we walk. And in the end, we reach the van and enjoy a well-deserved rest.

Isn’t this so much like our journey towards Heaven? Our life goes on, and we reach towards God. Sometimes, we see glimpses of Him in our lives; we see Him in other people, and we see His hand at work. But it’s rare that we can see Him for a really long time. Sometimes we see an expression of His love shortly, then we lose it. Or we reach towards Him and He seems just out of reach. And yet, we keep trying, because we know that even when we can’t see Him, He is there. There are people who oppose us, who try to get in the way of our faith journey. We’ll go through a time when it’s just so easy to believe in God, like walking downhill, then next thing we know, we’re questioning everything. It’s hard, but we continue forward, we push onward, we journey towards our everlasting reward. Sometimes we don’t know why we continue on. It’s difficult, this journey.

As we continue on our pilgrimage, both towards DC, but more importantly, towards Heaven, let’s remember that it’s only through the support of others that we will get there. We all say every weekend that “we’re all volunteers, and we rely on the generosity of others to make it across the country”. Well, we’re all sinners, and we rely on the support and prayers of our brothers and sisters in Christ to make it to Heaven.

We’re moving past the halfway point of our walk, and it’s easier to get frustrated with each other now that we know each other better. We’re getting beaten down, both in our battle against the world and in our own personal battles. I think we’ve done a good job of this so far, but let’s make it a point to continue to build each other up. To not be afraid to ask for help and prayers.

I love you all as brothers and sisters, and please know that each and every one of you is in my prayers each time I walk.

In Christ,
Allison and Night Shift
Please keep us in your prayers. That's what helps us do this!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Dropping like ... Stanley

This post requires a pre-explanation: Who is Stanley?
I will give you some hints.  Stanley likes flies.  He is green.  He lives in a pot.  Night Shift loves him.
Stanley is a Venus Fly Trap.
Don’t ask why we scoured Lowes’, Walmart’s, and Hy-Vee’s galore to find him.  All you need to know is that when we (Mario, Stephanie, Josh, and I) found him, we were quite elated:
But Stanley wasn’t happy living in an RV.  He quickly began drooping and no amount of sustenance, whether it be flies or cereal, would make him happy again.  So Stanley resided in our (non-working) sink, looking sad in a half-filled cup of water.  And just 10 minutes ago, Stephanie buried him in the trashcan.  He came quickly, and died almost as quickly.  And this, my friends, is the situation I'm in.  My health came back, and went away very quickly.
Monday night, I cried for the first time while on Crossroads.
I think anyone in my situation would have.
Let me back up a minute.  I was put on day shift again after 2 weeks on night.  Monday, it was super hot.  Like, 100.  I was prepared, though: I bought a hat, I had sunglasses, sunscreen, and plenty of water.  I started by first shift of the week walking with Grace.  She and I walked for a mile, then I had to get back in the van because my calves were killing me.  I had had 3 charlie horses the night before, so I thought that’s what it was.  After another 10 miles of others walking, Grace and I headed out again.  I had gone 2 before I started getting heat exhaustion symptoms.  At 3.5 I got back into the van, thinking that water and protein would make me feel all better and I could walk again later.  Well, faintness turned into spacey-ness turned into an escalating pounding headache, and I could feel my blood sugar crashing.  Nothing that I did helped.
Meanwhile, Amanda’s blood sugar was crashing too, so she couldn’t walk or drive, therefore John had to drive the whole way.  Peter is gone for the week, so Josh is doing most of the walking on night shift because Mario is injured.  Kirstin's ankle is hurting.  Michael, the guy who's with us for the week, also hurt his ankle.  It ended up that Grace did the majority of the walking (like, 21 out of 30 miles).  We got our 30 for the day, but just barely.
When I got back to the RV, I called Mom and after talking to her I realized that my body just can’t do day shift anymore.  I was crying, Mom was crying, Amanda and Grace were crying; we were overall just a huge mess.  I came in the RV where John and Josh were and (with tears streaming down my face) I told them “I just can’t do day shift anymore”.  Thankfully, they had foreseen this happening (as I had.  I had just been in denial…) and had put me on day shift just as a trial.  They were understanding (thanks, guys!) and promptly moved me to night.  I drank some water, told my family what was going on, and went to bed.
*sigh*  This isn’t how I was envisioning the rest of my Crossroads journey.  I figured I’d be the healthy one who could be put on any shift.  Not the girl who has to ask special consideration.  I hate having people worry, and I hate not being able to do what everyone else does.  I just really have to remember that God does know what he’s doing.  He knows that I will do just as much good on night shift as I would have on day shift.  That I can pray as much and do just as many sacrifices on night.  There is a reason.
So I am permanently on night shift.  And I’m ok with that.  As I said to my family, that just means that I’ll have more time to call people!!
I’m gonna make some changes to my blog right now, and the next couple times I have internet.  My plan is to take away my graphic design page (because I never use it), change my book shift page, and add a pictures page with highlight photos from my trip.  (And I'm pretty sure this is gonna break a cardinal rule of blogging by telling you this, but) I'm gong to do a couple blogs in advance to be posted automatically for you guys.  With pictures and captions and such.  Enjoy, in advance!
Please, please, please keep us in your prayers.  Even though our RV is air conditioned, it’s still sweltering in here, and I can’t even imagine what day shift is going through at the moment.  Pray for our health, our safety, and God’s will in every aspect of this walk.