Monday, September 2, 2013


I started a couch to 5k program about eight weeks ago.

I'm on week five.

In my defense there has been a good bit of rain around here (like I mentioned in my last post).  I have run in the rain a few times. I've been chased by bats a few times.

I draw the line at lightning. So, I'm on week five.

I had hoped that by now I would love running.  I don't.

I do love that in spite of missing some days, I'm still on the program.

Last week I hit a personal best. That day's running plan looked like this...

3 minute run
2 minute walk
5 minute run
2 1/2 walk
3 minute run
2 1/2 minute walk
5 minute run

Admittedly that doesn't look all that impressive. There are some walking breaks in the mix. But, I fought hard for all that running.

During the last 5 minute run, up hill, with calves screaming, I may have thought bad thoughts about every person who ever encouraged me to run. But, somewhere about 4 minutes into that last run, something changed.

I focused on the fact that I was doing it. Running. Accomplishing a goal.

I ran a total of 16 minutes that day. A personal best. I looked BAD, was soaking wet with sweat, but I had run each run, without stopping.

There is something fun about a personal best. I guess it's just that it's not about anyone else. It's not about what they can or can't do, it's only about pushing myself.

In that last minute of my last run, it didn't really matter that someone went sailing by me running faster, looking better, and breathing easier, it just mattered that I kept going.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Weeds and Rain

Last Thursday morning I had about thirty minutes between dropping the boys off at school and being where I needed to be for the rest of the day. As I pulled back in to the driveway after the morning car line (hummpph), I took a long look at our yard. I am sure the fact that a friend, who has a perfectly beautiful yard, would be dropping Grant off at home after school made me look longer than usual.

The grass is a little long. That's what happens when the mower blade disengages, the weed wacker stops working, and the husband has a new job and limited time to fix them. It's not horrible, but we won't be winning the city beautification award, either.

In the few minutes I had, I decided to try to put in a little effort and do what I could. I went over to the "natural area." That is what we call the shaded half of our front yard where grass doesn't grow, but weeds abound. I started by pulling the tallest weeds from around our hydrangeas. For about 20 minutes, I pulled, piled, and cleaned. It looked good. I had some hope for the rest of the yard. That area looked so much better. I felt a sense of accomplishment.

Then I turned around.

There were still so many weeds, more weeds than I had time for, more weeds than I wanted to deal with, weeds that I, honestly, was now a little more willing to live with because I was hot and sweaty.

I started thinking as I went in to wash up and change clothes.

There has been so much rain this summer. Not typical in our state where drought and no burn warnings are a usual summer occurrence. Some rain is good, but lots of rain make me want to curl up with a good book and hide.  Those same showers that make me want to be a hermit, feed the weeds well.

My life has felt a little rainy lately. No major storms, but rainy. Distractions. Uncertainty. Job changes. Minor irritations. Walking through major storms with friends. A kindergartener going to school leaving my days open, but my heart and mind unsure of what's next.

When I feel overwhelmed by the rain storms of life, my tendency is to hide. Oh, I find things to do, like watch meaningless episodes of The West Wing on Netflix. But, I hunker down and in creep the weeds. The kind of weeds that get tall if I'm not careful. The kind that cause damage and choke out the important things. The kind that can be eliminated with some elbow grease and determination and sometimes a good dose of Round up.  Don't miss that- they can be eliminated one weed at a time.

So, rather than hide, I've started doing some weeding. Evaluating what needs to go, what needs to stay. Some weeds have deep roots. It's messy, a little boring, a little tough, and very necessary.

Do you have any weeds that need tending? Let's do it together.

Monday, August 19, 2013


I've been thinking about truth lately since it is the center of the life group lessons I'm teaching to my 9-12 graders. What is truth? How do we live in it? How do we live the truth and love deeply with out arrogance or harshness?

Teaching a subject to teenagers will make you dive deep.  I try to anticipate their questions and I read and study and think and read and think and think and think.

The most important thing I've learned through my thinking and reading and thinking is we make things too difficult. Now, I don't want to oversimplify, either, because this subject has real things to wrestle with, for sure. If you don't believe "What is truth?" You could read for days. 

But as a believer, I have the Holy Spirit living in me.

When I am presented with an opportunity to lie or speak the truth- I know what to do. When I have the opportunity to choose what's right or what's wrong- I know what to do. 

It's just hard.

I don't want to rock the boat, shake things up, or risk.  I don't always want to love deeply. Sometimes I want to put myself first.

But, I know what I should do. 

When I am walking with Him, really walking, I know. He shows me. He guides me.

But I have to choose it. I have to obey. I have to risk.

It's worth it. He's worth it. 

I believe that. Most of the time.  

God, help my unbelief.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Compassion Advocacy

Though my love for and volunteering with Compassion began several years ago, in July I took the steps to become a Compassion Advocate.  I never thought I could be this excited about a volunteer position. But, I really am!

I look forward to sharing this journey with you!  

Friday, July 5, 2013

Five Minute Friday

Linking up for Five Minute Friday from Lisa-Jo Baker‘s blog.
The rules: write for 5 minutes– no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
Hop over to Lisa's blog to visit other posts that were freely written in just five minutes.

Today's word

Last week I finished reading Corrie Ten Boom's book Tramp for the Lord. 
Concentration camp.
The death of family she dearly loved.
The loss of friends she treasured.
So many hard things, but the only word I can think of to describe this book and her life is beautiful. 

Corrie lived a life of abandon for the God she loved. She listened to the Holy Spirit when He said yes and when He said no. When he said go and when He said stay. She obeyed when He said trust me for all you need. She did, He was faithful.

This book has made me think more than any book in recent history.

In the concentration camp she saw beautiful provision.

With the death of her beloved sister she gained the framework for a beautiful dream that brought many to Christ.

With the willingness to follow the leadership of the Holy Spirit in her life, she saw Him orchestrate a beautiful plan. Hard, but beautiful.

Ugly pain. Beautiful grace.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

This weekend's five...

1. We were able to attend a beautiful outdoor wedding of a young couple who have a heart for God and each other. It was a meaningful ceremony and a fun reception. The weather was perfect. The location was lovely. The bride was gorgeous.

2. Spending some one on one time with our sweet friends who were back from Chicago for the wedding. Whew. I've missed them.

3. This Sunday morning service felt kind of like a family reunion- several families we love were back from different locations. It was nice.

4. A little quiet time at home Sunday afternoon.

5. Chinese food from Zou's.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A show about duck calls?

As a rule, I am not a fan of reality shows.  With the exception of The Apprentice- season 2, which we watched because a college friend was one of the contestants, we've never been hooked on a reality show.  I can't even think of one that has held our interest for more than one episode.

Typically, it's hard for me to believe that there is much that is actually real on reality tv. Is anyone interesting enough, without added drama and some scripting, to be consistently entertaining? Usually, no.

The other night Todd was at a meeting, I had a big pile of laundry to fold, and there was nothing that I really wanted to watch on TV. After about three times through the channels I stopped on a reality show.

Nothing about the show seemed like something I would like. I'm not originally from the South. None of us hunt. I'm not a fan of unruly beards.  But, I've heard the buzz all over facebook and twitter. People talk about it all the time. Several friends have used quotes from the show as their status updates.

So, I left it on. Willie was teaching his daughter to drive. 

I might be hooked.

I mean, there are obviously scripted moments. There are plenty of things that aren't believable, but wow, it's funny.

Todd and I are quoting it already.
Mostly Jase.