True Grit

Chanel in Desert

We have made it to Arizona. Our start in Long Beach was beautiful and we enjoyed the cool breeze from the Pacific Ocean as we pedaled the bike paths along the coast. However, as soon as we turned inland the cool breeze stopped. In fact, the word ‘cool’ is never used in reference to weather anymore. We went from the rainy, 40-50 degree Northwest climate directly to the 80-100+ degree Southwest. We missed spring altogether. Unless you count those two days in Redding, California on our way down here that was in the seventies.

We have learned three things worth noting, so far. One, 100 degree temperature with 15 percent humidity is not as unbearable as it sounds. Two, we can all be ‘early morning people’ if it means we can finish most of our riding before it hits 100 degrees. And three, Chanel, our youngest rider, has some true grit.

Chanel has stuck with us mile-for-mile all the way to Arizona. That’s pretty impressive considering in 2008 she rode very little and spent most of her time in a support role with Aunt Jeanne. It is even more impressive when you realize that when asked she will tell you, “I don’t like to ride. I don’t like my bike. And I never said I wanted to pedal this much.” But she does pedal this much. That is true grit.

Ask her what she wants to do out here and she will quickly say, “I want to tell people about Jesus and show them what He can do to change your life.” You see, this past winter she became a Christian. I know many of you would have assumed she already was a Christian. After all, she loves going to church, her dad is an evangelist sharing Christ around the world, she has believed in God and Jesus ever since she can remember. How can she not have been a Christian?

According to Chanel, “Everybody assumed I was a Christian because my Dad and Mom are Christians. And because we go out and do all these ministry missions. And because they always see me in church. But none of that makes me a Christian. I was just following my parents following Jesus. I realized I needed to follow Jesus because of my decision. This winter I asked Him into my heart and committed my life to following Him. Just between Jesus and me.”  Now that is really true grit.

Anyway, back to Chanel’s riding. If you are wondering what she is experiencing from the seat of her bike, here is poem she recently wrote for school. The assignment wanted a sensory poem about their upcoming summer. For those of us that didn’t know what a sensory poem was, it has to illustrate the five senses.

Summer on the road
by Chanel Mortimer

summer is always fun
in many ways
from camping
to swimming
feeling the cool
water on your
hot skin
tasting sweet
powdered sugar
sticking to you
your backside gets sore
from riding on a bike
for six hours straight
the warm summer
wind blowing your
hair from your face
the smell of
freshly cut grass
and cows grazing
surrounds you
overwhelms you
and just when
you think it can’t
get better than this
you taste the cold
ice cream on your tongue
reminding you why
you like summer best


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2 Responses to True Grit

  1. Aunt Jeanne says:

    Soooo good to hear from our favorite bikers!! It sounds like you are all becoming
    early risers during this Southern Journey! Congratulations to all on the miles you’ve
    pedaled so far; we are very proud of you! And we so enjoyed Chanel’s poem; it was
    VERY SENSORY. I hope you take some pictures of that powdered sugar sticking
    to your skin!! Thanks for sharing your commitment to follow Jesus with us Chell-
    Bell; we are very happy for you. God’s great gifts of Joy, Peace & Love are with us
    always when we follow Him. We pray that all of you feel His protection as you
    continue on your journey to glorify Him.
    We love you bunches,
    Aunt Jeanne & Uncle Don

  2. Chantele says:

    I’m so PROUD of you Sweet Pea. I love you =D

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