The sun was still low in the sky when I went on my first run here this morning. I found a beautiful park with lots of running trails. We are in Colorado visiting my son and we’re beyond happy to be here.

We hiked the Flatirons yesterday. My son was a great guide…..excited for us to experience it. He forgets that we’re not as brave as he is. He likes to go off trail and scale rocks and jump from one rock to another. I watch him and wonder and then I’m brave.

This is a place he shines. The outdoors….a new place……rugged and risky.


..the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you.   Number 6:25


In response to the Weekly Photo Challenge Shine.


Small Town

During the summer a friend and I took an overnight trip to Nashville. It was long overdue. We needed the time spent talking and laughing and moving slowly through wherever we were.

We stopped in a few small towns on our way to Nashville. One of them was here in Elkmont, Alabama. My friend was very excited about me seeing this place called Belle Chèvre. She treated me to lunch and it was splendid.

I just couldn’t get over this quaint little town. It isn’t too far from my own small town but it had a different feel.

The day we were there the town was hosting its annual tractor parade. An old gentleman we met at one of the small town shops beamed with pride as he told us about the festivities that surrounded the event. 

We saw part of the parade of tractors as we drove on country roads to get back to the interstate. There were big green tractors, old red ones, shiny black and brown ones. We even saw a yellow tractor. They were in no rush to get where they were going.

I felt at home in that small town with my friend and goat cheese and tractors.

In response to the Weekly Photo Challenge Local.




“Educated in a small town
Taught the fear of Jesus in a small town
Used to daydream in that small town
Another boring romantic, that’s me

No I cannot forget where it is that I came from
I cannot forget the people who love me
Yeah, I can be myself here in this small town
And people let me be just what I want to be.”

Small Town by John Mellencamp



Part of the enjoyment of something is the anticipation of it. Like a birthday or Christmas or a vacation.

I’ve noticed that younger ones burst with anticipation over the simplest things and aren’t shy about expressing it. An expected package can cause excited watching for days and days with my kids. And the excitement over Christmas or our annual family vacation starts months in advance.

With this anticipation comes joy and laughter and a readiness for the thing that is being eagerly awaited. img_3103_srgb

And then the day before the day comes……..Christmas Eve…….or the day before we leave on vacation……and the kids are so excited that it’s almost as good as the day.

And finally the day has come and the hearts of the ones who have joyfully anticipated it are enlarged and ready to take it all in. Then they delight in every moment and treasure it forever.

That’s how the good kind of memories are made.




After my awful run last Saturday I was truly discouraged. Instead of staying in that gloomy state I went back out there on Monday and ran my longest distance to date.

And I felt great!

The problem on Saturday was that I was trying to run at a faster pace. I was trying to push myself at a pace that my body couldn’t handle. It made all the difference on Monday when I ran at my regular pace. I just ran. One foot in front of the other…….my pace at my best.


Photo from

I make the same mistake with my schedule. Some weeknights are filled with meetings and appointments and classes. Those happen and are needed, but I’ve learned that I need open spaces in my calendar. I need evenings at home with no plan, no agenda…..just time at home with my family.

When I crowd my calendar with too much I become stressed out, irritable, overtired and if I go that way for too long, eventually I’ll become non-productive. I rush around from one place to the next without noticing the people around me. Missing opportunities.

NOT living like it matters.

I function best at a certain pace.

Not her pace. Not his pace. But my pace.

When I try to do life at a faster pace, I don’t take the time to say hello to the stranger behind me at Target. I won’t ask the single young mom at church if she needs help getting her three pre-schoolers to the car. I’ll ignore the waiter’s small talk. And my family’s needs are the first to go unmet.

I’ll get the task done. The meetings and appointments behind me. Items checked off the list. But my creativity is stifled. Compassion is eclipsed by drivenness. And my relationships suffer.

There are fast paced seasons. We all have those. But we can’t keep the fast pace for long. It’s not good for me or you or the people around us.

So I am learning to go at my pace. Even better……God’s pace.

Because my pace matters. Yours does too.

Live like it matters.

We’ve finally figured it out. Our lives get in step with God and all others by letting him set the pace, not by proudly or anxiously trying to run the parade.     Romans 3:28 (MSG)


Still Running

I ran in the Worldwide WordPress 5K yesterday. I wish I could say it was a great run.

But it wasn’t. I planned to run 5 1/2 miles but I cut the run short because I felt terrible. My legs hurt. I couldn’t get my breathing right. And my arms even hurt at one point. It was my worst feeling run to date. But I got the 3.1 miles in.

fullsizerender-7Since last year a lot of good things have happened with my running. I run regularly and longer distances and at a faster pace. I ran an 8K in May. I finished a Spartan Race in August and I will run my first 10K in October.

Most importantly I will run tomorrow and I will run my planned 5 1/2 miles. Even if hurts.

Because I want to get better at this.









Photo by Ty Griffith

We all know what it’s like to look for something. Sometimes the thing we’re looking for is lost. We had it….but lost it……so we search for it. Like keys or a receipt or your wallet.

Those things aren’t lost really. We just forget where we put them.

Sometimes the thing we’re looking for isn’t a thing at all. It’s a feeling. Or answers. Or a memory. Or truth.

I’ve heard of people trying to find themselves. I think they mean they’re trying to figure out who they are and where they fit into this big world and maybe they’re trying to make sense of it all.

We’ve all searched. We all have a sense of longing……..for something we can’t quite name.

So we travel the world and see all there is to see.

We seek adventure and hike the highest peaks and explore deep waters and jump out of airplanes.

We get the PhD from the best university.

We build a career that lets us make plenty of money so we can drive the best cars and dine at the finest restaurants and have an extra house at the beach.

We buy the trendiest outfits, dye our hair, get implants and tattoos, have our stomachs stapled and noses reshaped.

We marry that guy or that girl and when it doesn’t work out we move on to the next one that is supposed to make us happy.

When those things don’t work we self-medicate to numb the ache.

Different thrill. New place. Bigger house. More stuff.

But the search continues because none of those things, not one of them, eases the ache inside.

The longing remains.

C.S. Lewis said, “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord….  Jeremiah 29:11-14a  (NIV)

In response to the Weekly Photo Challenge Quest.





See it Through

In the mid 1990s I watched my dad learn a whole new way of doing his work. The company he worked for did what most companies did at that time and upgraded the way of doing things to computers and software and transmitting data through the Internet. He’d always used his mechanical pencils, triangular ruler, other items I never knew the names of and his calculator to get the numbers. And he was good at it too. Dad was just fine with his old school ways of estimating.  img_4352

But the bulky computer came anyway. It sat on a hand-built shelf atop Dad’s drafting table. He built the shelf after he accepted the new way.

But it took a while. A long while.

This computer stuff and the email and the downloading files and working out the glitches frustrated my dad. A lot. He thought he was too old to learn the new ways. He thought about quitting. He wanted to give up.

But he didn’t. He stuck with it even when he couldn’t see how it would ever work. And he had that job until the day he died. That job enabled him to work from his home office for years while he cared for Mom. The frustrating technology and new way of doing things that Dad resisted so much at first was the exact blessing he needed later.

Dad stayed the course. He persevered. He stuck it out.

My parents were “see it through” kind of people.

My dad beat his addiction to alcohol. That doesn’t happen if you give up.

Mom stayed with Dad through a lot of painful years of marriage. Fifty-one years don’t happen unless you see it through.

Thank God I have some of that grit too.

Have you hit hard times? Don’t know how you’re going to make it through another day?

Want to give up, give in or quit the whole thing?

See it through my weary friend!  See it through!


“But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.”      Hebrews 10:39  NIV