Chase Fireflies


Komen Pittsburgh Race for the Cure

I never thought I’d be running in my first 5K at 35.  It makes me giggle.  I’m by no means a runner.  I’ve got an awkward stride.  My arms do weird stuff.  And I’m not dainty when I huff.  

Plus I’m slow as all get-up. 

But I love it.  It’s much harder than I thought it would be and yet so much more rewarding.  My legs feel less likely to collapse all the time.  And something in me is more resolved, determined, resolute.  It’s been good.

With it being my first race, I’m pursuing realistic goals:

To break 30 minutes (my best so far is 31:40)
To have fun
To raise money for a cure

Proceeds from the race fund education, screening and treatment programs for local women affected by breast cancer and also go to support the national search for a cure.

I’m running for many women affected by this diagnosis, but close to my heart are two. 

I’m running in memory of Carol and in honor of Gail.  And of course, their daughters, friends, and family members that have been rocked by this illness. 

If you would like to support me in this run, please donate online here.  I’m hoping to raise $100, but anything would be incredible.

 Thanks, friends.

With much love,


Another Story Told

He was a scrappy little guy.  Hair disheveled, quick with his fists, faster with that mouth of his.  Teachers branded him grades before he ran into my class.  I always hated those heads-ups.  Give the kid a fighting chance. 

So I practiced a little rebellion of my own with cards in his desk, over the top soccer game cheering, prayer, and dreaded gerbil care.   For the record, our class gerbils (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego) never died while in his care.  That doesn’t say much for me.  

I want to tell you that he changed throughout the course of that year, because that would make for a good story.  But he didn’t all that much.  He still used those fists of his and that tongue.  And he also threw in some gasoline with lighter fluid for good measure.  You should have seen his eyes that night in the burn unit.  Seared with pain, they seared right through me.   I couldn’t fight the tears.

I loved that little kid.  Still do, wherever he is.  It wasn’t a love based on performance or merit or anything earned.  He might have passed with D’s and he got in more trouble than I knew what to do with.  He drove me berserk, but I loved him. 

Someday we’ll meet in the cereal aisle in Wal-Mart and laugh about the snake he lost in our reading nook.  I’ll hear about his dreams for the future and we’ll remember his grandma with great love.  I always told her that God would do great things in his life.  I look forward to that day. 

Maybe it was crazy to champion one child so much, but I don’t think so.  If we ever lose sight of what God can do for one person, we lose sight of everything.  And the truth is, I saw myself in my student’s fights, his tousled hair, his reckless decisions.  I’ve scarred myself and others, more than anyone cares to know.  I’ve scarred my Jesus.

I love that Jesus still has nail marks in His hands, cause every scar tells a story.  His is incredible, though slightly absurd.  I still don’t understand.  There’s no act of love like it.  Innocent Splendor paid my debt.  His death purchased my freedom.   I am alive and running today because of this incomparable love.  It has made me whole. 

Everyone has a story written on their hearts, spoken in the fabric of their days.  Christ’s story tells my story.  My story is a part of my student’s story.  His story will write another’s.  And the pages continue to be written, turned, and read. 

I want to learn how to write a good story.  To listen better, notice more, craft the words, honor the voices behind the text, point to God.  There are stories to be told, but I’m at a loss for the elements. 

Tonight was the first time I’ve ever heard of the She Speaks Conference in Lysa TerKeurst’s blog.  In reading about it, I knew it was something that I wanted to pursue.  It provides effective training for speakers, writers, and women’s ministry leaders.  You’ll have to check out their website for more information.  This blog post is an attempt to win the Cecil Murphy Scholarship, which would allow me to attend the Conference for free. 

Winning it would mean a whole lot.  And plenty more stories told.


A Little This, A Little That

I’ve been running a lot lately, which is making my knees feel older than death.  It also makes me want to hurl when I’m done.  But after that, the feeling is delightful.  All I want to do is sing and skip and twirl for the rest of the day.  The kiddos love when Mommy runs!  I’m officially registered (YIPES!) for the KOMEN Race for the Cure on Mother’s Day.  If anyone wants to join me, please come along.  I have no idea what I’m doing, but I’m thrilled to be healthy and running towards something that matters.  (And since it’s at 8:00 in the morning, you can still make church!  Not sure about a shower though:)

I’m going to France.  What?!?   I can hardly believe it myself.  In three weeks, my mom and I will be flying to Paris to visit my brother Dan, who is currently teaching there.  Though it will be awful to leave the kids and Paul, I am thrilled to be a part of his life there.  My brother means the world to me.  I am so proud of him for pursuing his dreams and for living the life that he’s imagined.  He’s gutsy, fun, compassionate.  And he values people.  I think that’s my favorite Dan quality.

Our bathroom sink is in our dining room and there’s a hole in the wall.  Paul took it upon himself to start a bathroom remodeling project while I was at work on Saturday.  Did I mention that I love this guy?  The only thing is that in taking out the toilet paper holder, the wall behind it kinda caved in.  The previous owners had drilled holes in the pipes, so there has been a slow and steady leak all this time.  I guess things are never as easy as they appear:)  Truth is, I could care less about the hole.  I’m just excited to paint!

I am the whitest individual my dermatologist has seen lately.  Go, me!  Many of you know my affinity for the sun… and the problems that it has caused.  I am the spokesman for baseball hats and Neutrogena 70.  Yep, they make 70 and I use it.  Every 3-6 months I head to the office and they take biopsy after biopsy, with possible surgeries (they’re small) to follow.  Yesterday was the first day (in at least 3 years!) where they didn’t find anything suspicious at all.  Yeah!  Soooo thankful for good health, a good doctor, and a husband who helps me track changes.

Our sponsor child, Roberto, has graduated from Compassion!  We are so proud of him!  We got a keepsake booklet mailed to us the other day, with letters and thank you’s and photographs of him and his family.  Can’t believe it’s been 9 years…. I’m kind of sad about it, but am thankful that he made it through.  He was always telling us that school wasn’t really his thing… but he did it!  Hooray!

That’s it for now.  In other words, Adden just woke up from his nap. 

Anything you’ve been up to lately?

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A Love for Kenya

ashley kenya

Remember 19?  Her name is Ashley.  She’s one of our students living on the other side of the world.

Months ago, we met over coffee.  She told me her story from college to Kenya.   Here is an excerpt from our time together:

(I listened) To a heart that loves Jesus. In one hand she holds a ticket for Africa; in the other those words of life. And she’s going to change the world. It’s in her giddy rambles and the excitement in her eyes. She’s fearless and alive and in love. In love with the One who has redeemed our fall. 

Well, she’s there now, teaching preschool.  Loving children.  Learning Swahili.  Gaping over zebras and hippos.  And relying on God.  Can’t wait to hear more from one of the most sensitive hearts I know.  This girl is incredible and such a riot.  Love her!

Till then, Compassion Bloggers have headed to Kenya.  They’ve got a bunch of incredible, compelling posts here.  Check them out if you get the chance.  And please take a moment to pray for Ashley also. 

Thanks and much love!


Bulbs in the Ground, Runny Noses and All

It’s not often that I get to hold my little guy in my arms anymore. Unless, of course, he’s hurling.  Or maybe drooling on my shoulder from his car nap.  Or reading, of course. 

I miss holding him. Paul puts him to bed most nights.  And he likes routine.  So we don’t mess with a good thing.  I spend time with Selah, he spends time with Adden.  And they both fall asleep chasing fireflies and pretty pink princessy ponies. 

Tonight had a different look though.  Paul had youth group and was going to be home late.  So I got to do the Mommy deal with both.  Showers, books, prayer, and songs.  I carry a lot of goodies in my arsenal of bedtime routines, mostly because I don’t wield an Ipod.  And, well, because I’m not Paul.  Adden LOVES his Dad.

Adden requests two songs when I put him to bed.  Hurry, Hurry, Drive that Firetruck and Amazing Grace.   It’s been a while since I’ve sang these to him.  Always when he was a baby, but maybe months since.  He tilts his head back, curls those legs up, and wraps his arms in mine.   I sing the songs and he listens.  This is how it goes.  I adore these times.

So I get to Amazing Grace and out of nowhere comes this little voice.   Every word, matching mine.  Every note, just the same.  Every verse.   I didn’t know he knew the words.  He’s always in Zimbabwe right before bed.  It struck me that he had been paying attention all along. 

There’s something to be said for surprising signs of life, unexpected places of growth.  Like the bulb buried under the frozen ground, shooting signs of life up in the spring.  Like the trees barren in winter robbed of everything glorious, but very much alive in those roots and branches.  Like the Little Man, who had been listening all this time.  Hearing, absorbing, reflecting.  Then singing.

I have to continue to remind myself – in seasons like this one – that what I see isn’t all there is.  It’s more than laundry, dishes, and dinner.  It’s more than the kids fighting over a toy that neither of them care about.  It’s more than not having time for a shower myself.

We’ve got bulbs in the ground here.  Bulbs with runny noses, spilling paint on the floor, who just want to dance and play and be known and loved.  This is the hardest job I’ve ever had in my life – this Mommy one.  It’s self-less and tiring and not always fun.  I am that hard ground.  And those bulbs, well – they unearth a lot of junk in me – but they also can make me beautiful. 

In time.  With hard work.   Coupled with patience that can’t be my own.  And of course, singing. There’s always a song to be sung.  Sometimes, on a good night, they’ll even sing along.