Thursday, April 22, 2010

Have you ever exercised in the woods? I have.

I went for another hike again this evening after work. I'm so motivated to get outside because there are so many places to explore here! While walking the trails tonight I saw a sign that would lead me to Skull Cave. That sounded interesting so I changed my course and took a little detour through the woods. The whole time I was walking I was thinking how much more amazing the hike would be if I had an exploring buddy! Adventure is out there! (A penny to whoever knows what movie that's from!)

So I found Skull Cave but couldn't go in it because it was fenced off. You can see the cave in the pictures above. However, after reading the sign about it, I decided I didn't want to go in it! Who wants to see if those Indian bones are still in there? Not me.

After leaving Skull Cave, I continued back over the cliff to the Grand Hotel and through the woods on that side of the island. There, I found a Vita Course. I'd never heard of a Vita Course, nor do I remember seeing the sign for this one before today, although I'm sure it must have been there. I had planned on just walking to the Post Office to check my mail and then go back to my apartment to make dinner, but when I read about the Vita Course, I changed my plan again. I started to follow the course and it was so fun! The picture above explains what the course is, but I'll tell you anyways. This Vita Course was a series of 10 signs placed along a 1/2 mile path through the woods. These paths twisted and turned and some of the signs were a little hard to spot. I had a hard time finding sign 6 and I almost quit. But luckily I found it and could continue on. When you walked or ran the path and came to the sign, you followed the directions and did the exercise on it. Examples were pull-ups on a nearby bar, sit ups, push-ups, toe touches, etc. It was really fun and a neat way to add a little more exercise into my walk. I completed all 10 tasks and finished my hike with a walk along the boardwalk by the water. Simply heavenly.

While I was walking, I prayed like I usually do on my hikes, and started worshiping and praising God about His awesome Creation. Every time I see the water or go out on the cliffs and overlook all the trees and the downtown area and the water, I can't help but thank God for this beautiful sight. So today I started thinking about the idea that God makes all things new. When one tree dies, God allows a new one to grow. When the sun sets at night, God makes it rise again in the morning. He's done the same with me. When I was trapped in sin, God cleansed me and made me new again. I am so thankful to have a God who loves me so much that he is willing to wash me clean so that I can be a new creation. Nothing I do is ever the final word with God. He is always there to make me pure again.

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has gone, the new has come!" 2 Corinthians 5:17

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Things you should know (that I found out the hard way) when biking around the island:

Picture 1: Mackinac Bridge
Picture 2: Gorgeous scenic bike trail around the island
Picture 3: Absolutely nothing but beautiful water
Picture 4: I find these signs funny because they say "No Speeding". Now what exactly is considered speeding on a bicycle? And how does one determine if they are speeding?

I went for a bike ride today. I finally made it the whole way around the island. Took me a little less than an hour with picture stops (see above pictures). Beautiful scenery let me just tell you. And an educational ride as well. Let me enlighten you to a few of my "discoverings" while on this 8 mile ride:

1. Your rear end will start hurting about 2 miles into the 8 mile trek even if you have a cushy bike seat.

2. Watch out for random large snakes in the middle of the road. This happened to me. It made me want to throw up on the spot. I HATE snakes.

3. No matter how cold you think it is outside, always wear one less layer than you think you'll need. Biking up those hills makes you really sweaty and hot.

4. Even if it is cold out, bring water. While you will survive without it, it might be a nice thing to have. I didn't bring any.

5. No matter which way you go around the island, you're going to have to go uphill at some point.

This morning before my bike ride I went to the Mackinac Island Bible Church. Over the winter, the church meets in the Pastor's house, so this is where we met today. I really like Pastor Ken and his wife. His two teenage sons played guitars for worship in the living room. A group of about 20 people were gathered there today and they had to keep adding more chairs, which was such a blessing! In 2 weeks, they will move back to their normal worship spot at the Mission Point Resort theater. I want to try out all the churches on the island, but I really liked this one, so this might be my "home church" here on the island. We shall see! For now it's back to work tomorrow.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Here I Am!

Picture 1: Mom, Shira, Vicki, and I at the Seabiscuit
Picture 2: The Grand Hotel
Picture 3: My mom and I at the porch of the Grand Hotel
Picture 4: Awesome view of Little Stone Congregational Church from a peep hole at the Fort.
Picture 5: My store, Nephews, under the Main Street Inn and Suites
Picture 6: Amazing view from Arch Rock

Well it's day 4 here on the Island and I am LOVING it! A lot has happened since I stepped off that boat, so let me fill you in.

My mom and her friends, Shira and Vicki, and I drove up to St. Ignace, Michigan on Monday. It was an amazing trip. 7 hours have never flown by so fast. We even had to drive over the Mackinac Bridge (which was a little scary, I must admit). For those of you who don't know why this should scare me, it's a suspension bridge that spans 5 miles from shore to shore. Since we got there so fast, we caught the 2:00pm ferry and were on our way to the island. The first views were incredible and took me back 12 years to when I saw it the first time. I'd forgotten just how impressive it is when you see it for the first time.

When we got on the island, Kate, the girl I'm working for at Nephew's was there to meet me with carts. While my mom and her friends went to check in at their hotel, Kate took me and my things to my apartment. I live in a place called the Millennium. It's nice employee housing on the main street but down a ways from the hustle and bustle of the "downtown". Right now I have a 2 bedroom apartment all to myself! (So anyone who wants to come fill the other room, be my guest!) A Jamaican girl named Kadeen is supposed to be coming to fill that open spot in the next couple weeks, and in June or July, another girl named Anna is going to be living here, too. So at some point there will be 3 of us living here. The apartment is pretty spacious so that's awesome. I'm getting new carpet installed tomorrow (I hope). They've been working on it for 2 days while I've been at work, so hopefully the 3rd day's the charm.

While my mom and her friends were here, we ate at a couple different restaurants, of which Seabiscuit was our favorite. Mom, Shira, and Vicki made friends with the owner and got him to open up his restaurant a day early just for them so they could eat there (or so he said haha). In between eating, we walked and walked and walked over this whole island. Well, not the whole thing, but it certainly feels like it. We walked a lot. Things we did include: walking up to Arch Rock which is where some of you got the text message with the amazing lake-view, walking around the Grand Hotel at least 4 times and finally on the 4th time getting up on the porch and not paying the admission that everyone else will pay in the summer to do the exact same thing since the hotel is still closed, sneaking around the back of Fort Mackinac and going into the fort, again, without paying the admission that people will pay this summer because right now it's closed (who knew my mom was such a rule-breaker?). And we did more walking and walking and walking.

On Wednesday morning, mom, Shira, and Vicki left on the 8:15am ferry. That was hard, but no one cried, so that was good. It helped a lot that I started work that day, too.

I go in to work at 8:30am until 5:00pm. Right now, we've just been cleaning the shelves and sorting and pricing new clothes. I'm enjoying it but I think I'll enjoy it more once the cleaning is done and we can start putting up displays.

After work today I went for a walk. It was about 65 degrees today when I got out so I didn't even need to wear a coat. What a blessing! I tell you, the views of the water are breath-taking. Seriously just another reminder of how awesome God is and how creative he has been with his creation.

I also got my P.O. box set up, so please please please send me mail! Or give me a call or text or facebook message. I'd love to hear how everything is going back home with you or where ever you are. My address is:
Jenna Yabsley
P.O. Box 235
Mackinac Island, MI 49757-0235

Things you can pray for:
1. To meet new friends my age that I can spend my free time with.
2. The girls at the store that we can build solid relationships and we can share Jesus together.
3. That I won't get lonely being away from home and family and friends for such a long time.
4. That my relationship with Christ would grow all the more because of this experience on the Island.

How can I pray for you? Let me know anytime, I'd love to pray for you.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Leaving Town

Well, here I go. I'm leaving tomorrow morning for Mackinac Island. I can't believe it! It's come so fast. I think I'm ready thanks to my great packing buddies Laura and Andy. It's been a crazy busy week with Ashley and Ashley visiting, a surprise going away party with Suz, Laura, Jon, Andrea, Ashley and Amanda, seeing Craig for a brief moment in time, Kristin's bachelorette party in Chicago, finishing up working at the library and the church...and the list goes on. I think I've done everything I need to do before I make the big move.

My hopes for the trip tomorrow (and things you can be praying for): 1. That we won't miss our 4:15pm ferry to the island. That's the toughest thing about moving there is that I have to base all my travel times on ferry schedules. 2. That it won't be too cold up there for too long. 3. That all driving and traveling goes well and smoothly.

It's gonna be fine. And by this time tomorrow I'll be sleeping in my new bed on Mackinac Island.