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Adventures with God, pt. 3

11 Jun Spiritual Formation | Comments Off on Adventures with God, pt. 3
Adventures with God, pt. 3

Editor’s Note: Today we hear part three of Deb Turnow’s series “Adventures with God.” Deb’s been challenging us to think about what we’re doing with our one wild and crazy life. What have we been willing to say, “Yes” to? To read part one of this series, click here. To read part two, click here.

“But I learned that there’s a certain character that can be built from embarrassing yourself endlessly. If you can sit happy with embarrassment, there’s not much else that can really get to ya.” – Christian Bale

In part one of this series, I shared some truly unbelievable adventures I’ve had the fortune of experiencing in this one wild life. Here’s a quick recap:

  1. I once team-drove a semi across the US, non-stop.
  2. I once rode a bull in a rodeo.
  3. I once fell out of a bus bathroom into the laps of some surprised Romanians.

Today, I’d like to share about #3. Yes, I did fall out of a bus bathroom onto some surprised Romanians… in Brazil.

Some years ago, two friends and myself went to Brazil to scout out a location to run a six week English immersion program. We landed in Rio de Janeiro and needed to take bus to a more remote location. The bus ride was about 6 hours. Now if you have never taken a bus in South America, they can really be very nice.   Several times in Argentina I took the overnight bus that actually has reclining seats so you can sleep. Our bus in Brazil was not an overnighter but it did have a nice bathroom.


Probably about half way through out trip, nature called. Now I have had the pleasure of using some very unusual bathrooms in my time.   Many years ago, there was the bathroom in our host home in Romania where I could not, for the life of me, figure out how to flush the toilet (it was a chain that hung from the ceiling). There were the bathrooms in India that consisted of a hole in the floor – and even one on a train in which the hole in the floor kept moving (some people refused to use the train bathroom but my thinking was – when will I ever have the chance to do this again?). And I even had an unusual bathroom experience on the top of a mountain in Mendoza, Argentina – it was a very small one- person bathroom that sat behind a little concession stand. As I was using the facilities, the whole building began to shake. I thought it was a delivery truck outside but then realized it was an earthquake. Really? Now? I sent up a quick prayer because I did not want to die, in a bathroom, on a mountain in Argentina. And I didn’t – I lived to go through another memorable bathroom experience – in Brazil.

The road to our destination was hilly and winding. I had just finished (I do apologize for those of you who may be visiting this blog for the first time and are thinking – what in the world??). I stood up, got myself back together, if you know what I mean, and just then the bus took a hard right and I went left, losing my balance. I broke right through the door, flying into the seats across from the bathroom door, almost into the laps of some very amused Brazilians. I regained my balance, stood up and apologized in English (my Portuguese is pretty non-existent) while they continued to laugh.

Sometimes there is no need for language – I was embarrassed, they found it funny and we somehow bonded over it. Even though I know my face was several shades of red, I would not trade that experience for anything.

I do not consider myself a brave person. I have had to talk myself into doing some things that may come easy for others. But as I think back over my life, I can see that I have taken advantage of some amazing opportunities to do some incredible things that have provided me with some awesome memories not to mention some great fodder for a blog post now and then. Within the last two years, I left a job that I loved to start a non-profit. For me, it is an exercise in living on the edge. It doesn’t always feel safe. It may even fail. But it has totally been worth the risk.

Think of some of those things that you passed up doing that you now regret. Think of some of those things you’ve done that seemed impossible to you but you did them because you were willing to risk and you knew that God was inviting you to live on the edge.

You have this one wild and precious life – live it to the fullest. Risk.

Grace and peace,


Deb Turnow
Executive Director at Kavanna House
Deb Turnow is the Executive Director of Kavanna House, a spiritual formation center in York, Pa. Prior to that role, she was the Director of Spiritual Direction at Living Word Community Church in York. She has a Bachelor Degree in Psychology from York College in Pennsylvania and a M.A. in Spiritual Formation and Leadership from Spring Arbor University. She is also a graduate of the Spiritual Guidance Program at Shalem Institute. She is currently studying at San Francisco Theological Seminary. She is a certified spiritual director and also provides supervision for spiritual directors. She and her husband Jeff, live in York, PA.