Now ever since my rheumatologist told me I couldn’t really get back into running or anything that would significantly affect my joints’ capacity to handle mechanical stress, the world of hiking seemed to be more appealing as I felt my leg muscles grow softer and softer each day.  I have gotten concerned that my soft tissues would eventually lose their tone and not be strong enough to support my joints. This was especially encouraged by my physical therapist after she helped me manage my cervical spine problems. So Sam and I started to go on short day hikes with elevation (as advised by my PT), and then we eventually progressed to longer hikes. I have had difficulty in making this a habit because of the cold (yes, I still haven’t gotten used to it), but Sam has helped me bundle up more effectively and of course the scenery is a reward that makes me look forward to it every time. Ever since we moved here, we have hiked a total of around 14 trails, some more often than the others, some didn’t actually have a trail like that time we hiked across the frozen Mendenhall Lake toward the Ice Caves last winter. I’d like to list them all down– makes me feel like I’ve actually accomplished something. 🙂

East Glacier Trail

West Glacier Trail to Mt. Mcginnis

Spaulding Meadows/ Auke Nu Trail

Lena Loop Trail

Herbert Glacier Trail

Airport Dike Trail

Mendenhall River Trail

False Outer Point/ Bluff Trail

Sandy Beach

Peterson Lake Trail

Salmon Creek Trail

Perseverance Trail

Granite Creek Trail

EagleCrest Trail

Ice Caves Hike

Not bad for first-timers, right?

Here’s Sam, calculating how many more miles before we reach the ridge.


What if you told God you would do anything… and He took you up on it?

I just came across this question in one of the devotionals that was forwarded to me by a friend and it hit me hard, so hard that I suddenly remembered everything I uttered to God in prayer at a specific time of need—What if you told God you would do anything….and He took you up on it?

Alaska wasn’t exactly what we planned. We initially didn’t want to leave the Philippines as Sam and I had other plans but it seemed as though God was leading us away and towards the US, and so we started praying for a job for him. While waiting for papers to be filed and higher decisions to be made, during those times of uncertainty, I now recall specifically praying this way— “Lord, if the US is really our destination, please bless my husband with a job, even if I don’t know what I’m going to do there, even if I’m going to have to quit being a doctor for now, even if I would have to wait for my next step. Please don’t have Sam wait too long, please bless him and make him succeed, make him fulfilled, I CAN WAIT for my turn.” And there you have it. That was when I told God I could do it, that I could wait— for a time when I would be a doctor to patients again; for that bundle of joy; for complete healing from my rheumatoid arthritis and endometriosis; for fulfillment of goals; for my turn.    

And guess what, He took me up on it. I told Him I could wait, but the truth is, I can’t. Who likes to wait, anyway? In this day and age, nobody does. But then, I really don’t have a choice, do I? So I wait, begrudgingly. And then Sam steps in— it is not a question of “if” you wait, rather it is “how” you wait. Boy did that hit me right in the heart, and the head. And then I realized, I’ve been waiting for at least 3 years now, I can wait after all, just not with the right attitude. Waiting without grumbling and throwing tantrums is easier said than done, at least for me. And this just had to change. 

Believe me, I didn’t expect the waiting to be this long (and hard), I don’t even know what I’m waiting for anymore. But then again, there’s this whole list of people from the Bible who have waited for years before they successfully fulfilled what God called them to do, and their waiting period wasn’t easy either. Bad decisions were made in between, and there was a lot of kicking and screaming and pouting and tantrums too, (well not exactly that way because that’s more me, but yes, the waiting struggle WAS real for them too) and some of them didn’t even have it all figured out until the last minute! One could never really appreciate how comforting it is to know these stories, until you actually experience what these men and women of the Bible went through. I am saying this to remind and encourage myself and maybe some of you out there that waiting on God has never been easy for anyone. It’s especially harder when you remember that you were the one who told Him you could wait in the first place. It reminds me of being in front of the counter at KFC in the Philippines, ordering a chicken meal, and then being asked, “Ma’am, we ran out of fried chicken, are you willing to wait 20 minutes for the next batch?” And even if I’m not sure my stomach could, I go ahead and answer, “Sure.” Although God didn’t ask me if I could wait, I actually told Him I could even before He could ask. Sure, waiting is hard. But I know that it’s during the wait that God molds us to be ready for what He has in store. It may not be what we had in mind, but it will be the best for us, for sure. And so, I will choose to look at this waiting period as a blessing. I will wait, not begrudgingly, but hopefully, expectantly. The process may not come easy, I may slip back into the kicking and screaming stage, but I will try and remind myself everyday that this is an answer to my prayer after all. And it is for this and a lot of other answered prayers that I will be grateful.

Psalm 27:13-14   

“I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living! Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!”

Isaiah 40:31   

“but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”