Saturday, December 10, 2011

A New Take on a Lifetime of Birthdays

Compassion International has published one of my posts about what I've learned from my Compassion children. Click here to read it.


Friday, November 18, 2011

Don't Run Alone

I've started running the last few years. Actually, I run for about 6 months and then take the next 6 months off. It isn't intentional. Running is just hard and as spring turns into summer it gets so hot that I lose my motivation for it. Then we get into fall and winter. Why start again if it is just going to get to cold too venture outside?

This year has been different. In June I joined a women's running group and this kept me motivated. To add to that, I decided to sign up for a half marathon -- 13.1 miles. I played with the idea in the winter and spring -- rationalizing that it would give me something to seriously train for.

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Friday, October 21, 2011

When We Want To Be Like Them

Growing up, our street looped in a half mile block. In the summer, we played with the other kids on our street. But once school started, there was a clear division between the Catholics and the Protestants. Ninety percent of the neighborhood went to Catholic school. The rest attended public school.

I wished I could go with the bigger crowd of kids. There was an allure to the huge groups of kids walking together in their matching uniforms, a cohesive group that the rest of us could never quite pull off. I wanted to be like them.

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Monday, September 5, 2011

I Need a GPS Every Day

On July 4th, I ran my community's 5 mile Park to Park race. I am not particularly fast and though I wasn't at the end, I found myself in a no man's land between those so much faster than I was and those slower. I had never run this race and I got a bit disoriented at the end. I looped around up a hill instead of going straight and ended up running an extra third of a mile.

My immediate reaction was, "I give up!" It took me a few moments to regroup and head to the finish line. Though frustrated that I had missed the route and that it meant my time would be slower, not finishing would be worse.

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Friday, July 8, 2011

Missing Pieces

Earlier this summer, I came across a deal for a wooden Adirondack chair. It needed to be treated and put together, but I thought I could manage that, even though I am not particularly handy. I spent a Saturday morning staining and on Sunday I began the assembly process. The one glitch was the missing piece in the back of the chair.

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Thursday, June 23, 2011


I like my air conditioner in the summer and my heavy down comforter in the winter. I like my clothes clean, a shower every morning, and knowing that if I'm hungry there is always food available. I like to be comfortable. I like to be satisfied.
But lately I've been thinking that there is a danger to being comfortable: to being too satisfied. That sense of comfort, that sense of satisfaction whispers to us to be content--that this is all there is.

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Monday, May 30, 2011

Living Out the Lottery

Though it has been numerous years, I confess, once or twice I've given in to playing the lottery. Typically, it is when it reaches some astronomical number and every one at work chips into buy a few tickets. While I know it is essentially throwing that money away, it is tempting to think of what I might do with that money -- both the good and some of the luxuries I might enjoy.

But, I know I really would be a fool if I bought a ticket and then started living like I had the money in hand already.

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Never Said Goodbye

Loose ends drive me bonkers. Anyone at work can tell you, I'm constantly running around tying up the loose ends. If my loose ends are securely anchored, I'll worry about yours. But the loose ends I can least tolerate are the relational ones. If I don't get relational closure, I obsess. Being a pessimist, my issue is always what it is about me that made you leave.

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Friday, March 18, 2011

Bravery and Bridges

Have you ever said, "I could never do _______?" Maybe it is speak in front of a large crowd. Maybe it is run a mile, let alone a marathon. Maybe it is write a book or learn to dance.

Or have you ever looked at someone else's circumstances with cancer or a drug addicted child or a marital affair and said, "I could never handle that."

With either scenario, we look at the impossibilities. We see all the reasons why we could never pack up and do missions work in Africa. We see reasons why we could never handle a special needs child.We are (at least I am) plagued by impossibility.

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Friday, February 11, 2011

Finding My Awe

I have lost my awe. I have lost the moments that take my breath away when the only true response is an "Oh!"

It would be easy to pass that off with the fact that I don't live somewhere that routinely takes my breath away. I am in a town with street lights. The snow is gray with accumulated dirt. I see the stars only through roof tops. There are no mountains or ocean beaches in the heart of Illinois.

But it seems like there should be something that takes my breath away.

Maybe there is.

A year or so ago, I started knitting again.

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Friday, January 14, 2011

With Bells On

A while back I invested in some trinkets. One is gold and silver. The other is black and white. They have dangles and make faint jingling sounds. The best part about them is that they are lovingly inscribed -- name and phone number.

However, my cats are less than thrilled with said trinkets -- especially since they went around their necks. Yes, I've had my cats for a while but they've never worn collars. My rationale has been that they are indoor cats so they really didn't need them. Still, there was that one time Mali darted out on the deck.

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Monday, January 3, 2011

Torture By Chopsticks

I started knitting again this past spring. I had done it some in college and a few baby blankets here adn there, but now I started tackling sweaters and such. Still I stayed clear of socks and hats and gloves amd gloves and such. For those items, you need the infamous double pointed needles. With yarn on 3 needles and using a 4th, I think it looks a bit like some kind of acupuncture torture.

But I knit a cranberry cowl. I really wanted mittens to go with it. I confess to checking the store first to see if I could purchase some. No luck. I decided to try knitting mittens. But how would that become a mitten?

Like so many other things, I get lost in the moment and forget to trust the one who sees the beginning and end, who knows where I am and how to tell me to get where I am going. I need to dive in and trust.

Surprisingly, it has gone quite well. My mittens are almost done. I'm starting the thumbs tonight!


Saturday, January 1, 2011

I Don't Like Resolutions, But . . . .

I'm not much for New Year's Resolutions, however, I am fond of this older song by Carolyn Arends. I've put the words below for you. What if we did live our lives like every day was New Year's day instead of like our problems and failures defined us? I confess to believe in a God of second chances (and third and fourth), but what if I lived that way? It really might start a revolution if I extended grace to myself and those around me.

New Year's Day

I buy a lot of diaries
Fill them full of good intentions
Each and every New Year's Eve
I make myself a list
All the things I'm gonna change
Until January 2nd
So this this time I am making one more list

This will be my resolution
Every day is new year's day
This could start a revolution
Every day is new year's day

I believe it's possible
I believe in new beginnings
I believe in Christmas day
And Easter morning to0
I believe it's doable
Because I believe in second chances
Just the way I believe in you

This will be my resolution
Every day is new year's day
This could start a revolution
Every day is new year's day
One more chance to start all over
One more chance to change and grow
One more chance to grab a hold of faith
And never let it go

This will be my resolution
Every day is new year's day
This could start a revolution
Every day is new year's day

Here's to living this year like I belong to the God of second chances.