Chase Fireflies


How it All Started (Marathon Relay 2012) Part I

It all started.  And I am embarrassed to say it went this way. 

No part of me wanted to run this year.  I was scared to aggravate a knee injury.  I didn’t want to organize anything.  I had so little compassion, drive, or care.  There was deadness in me. 

But there were friends who said we were running, like it wasn’t an option (ahem – Michelle).  And there were students who asked if we were, pleadingly.  And there was this dream.

And I am a practical kinda girl, hesitant to believe in weird stuff like dreams.  And I don’t dream much, but when I do – I am usually some covert military officer on a submarine fighting the North Koreans and feeding my children macaroni and cheese.  Suffice to say, I don’t really put much stock in dreams. 

But there was this other dream.  And in the dream there were children.  Laughing, like my own;  giggling because they looked beautiful.  They were wearing white and they laughed and laughed.  They were so happy.  And then this door opened and their expressions changed.  It was dark beyond the door. 

In my heart I knew I had to do something.  But I was paralyzed with shock and terror and I couldn’t speak up.  And noone heard me because I never raised my voice.  And before I knew it, the children were gone.  

And with them went the laughter. 

I woke up in tears to silence.  Their silence and mine.  I couldn’t hear them laughing.  It was dark outside.  I couldn’t hear my own voice doing anything about it.  We shared the silence of those who had died. 

God met me that early morning in this black of night.  In the death, He brought life again and He covered my shame.  He has always covered my every shame. 

There are these words of God that I love in Psalm 34:15.  “Those who look to Him are radiant;  their faces are never covered with shame.”  I can think of so many who fit this description.  I see their faces now as I type and I am better for having known each of these sisters, brothers, parents, friends. 

But there are children, for whom this radiance is being withheld.  It is my prayer that these children would also one day be able to look to God. 

That they would be rescued from a present darkness, that they would be found by the One who heals, that the radiance of childhood would return, and that they would receive ALL freedom from the shame that others have imposed.   

UNICEF estimates that there are over 2 million children trafficked into this darkness.  Would you pray with me for their rescue, healing, and care?  That these children who look to Him will be radiant;  that their faces will no longer be covered with shame. 

This is how 2012’s run started – Part I of the story that God is writing.  My team of five registered for our relay in the Pittsburgh Marathon two days after the dream.  And within two months, fifteen other runners had registered as well. 

Wait till I tell you about Part II.  (It’s about this girl who jumps off cliffs and sprints towards life and who is very much a hero to me and I am proud to call her my friend:) 

Till then, please check out this page to learn more about our run. 

Thank you friends.  Because of Jesus,

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Tuesday’s Riches


Come with this day.  The waking up alive to coffee and a giggling child.  There is overcoming fear in the pool today and it  is no small victory.  The tears are huddled in the eyes but the torrents are not. 

Running a couple of miles without pain – just the joy of one step after another and worshipping in sweat and tears around a track. 

Hearing a good prognosis; my mom’s laughter; a child’s questions.  Getting a haircut for the one who giggles and looking in the mirror thinking BEAUTIFUL.  A fluffernutter in the park. 

Feeding animals, so gently, palm out flat.  Sliding into laughter in what shouldn’t be spring air yet.  Celebrating with rainbow sherbet. 

Studying and learning, reading and growing.  How do we solve the problems and sound out the words.  Cleaning and taking care of what has been gifted to us from a Gracious Hand.  Folding warm clothes out of the drier. 

An NBA basketball game starring a 4 year old in a worn Celtics jersey and mesh shorts right there in our living room. 

There is so much beauty in Tuesday for the taking.  He has gifted us with glory here.   

May we I have eyes to see it all, respond with joy, and lift up the dripping child – the ice cream – the biopsy reports – the clean towel – to the One who deserves every praise.


About Living and Dying

The dermatologist says that she has no choice but to biopsy three suspect areas.  And I have laid down on that table before, with the white roll of paper underneath.  And the incisions become routine over the years.  Waking up to the morning sun and living and dying. 

This life is about living and dying.

And I would be lying to you if I told you I wasn’t afraid on that table, with needles and scalpels around.  I cannot leave the surgical room yet.  I get dressed and I sit there in the chair and breathe.  Living and dying, living and dying. 

This life is about living and dying. 

For a moment so brief , I hate melanoma.  I do not like having to be afraid of what this skin is harboring.  I am full of fear and anger and remorse and shame.  And I am afraid for my husband and kids and family.  Living and dying, living and dying. 

This life is about living and dying.

But how can I live without death being a part of me?  And is it the Melanoma that will kill me?  Or gripping fear itself?  Or maybe living as if what my eyes can see is all there really is?  There is much cancer to be removed from this body and you know what?   It doesn’t look like Melanoma at all. 

All that is lethal needs cut out so that life goes on with the living.

And how can I die without having had lived?  To know the freedom of Christ.  To live arms wide opened, head held back, a steadfast gaze on the One who loved my soul.  To have loved and to know tears and to have fought hard and to have fallen hard and to have crossed the finish line and to be present and to stare at fears and win. 

This life is about living and dying.  And just for the record, I intend to live and die each day.  God has been so good to me. 

I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.  -John 12:24

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Hodgepodge Love


“An authentic life is the most personal form of worship.”  -Sarah Ban Breathnach

There are no real accomplishments apart from relationship:  Ann Voskamp 

“I don’t want to know about trafficking, but I do know about it and as a Christian, I feel like I have to respond to that” :  The New Christian Abolition Movement

Stare up at the sky and let yourself be:  Making the Most of Creative Time

Paul is going to LOVE these:  Frosted Cookie Cups

Life giving Words:  Why I Tell My Girls They are Beautiful Often…

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IJM Global Prayer Gathering


Anyone interested in attending this?  I am on the wait list and am really hoping to make it off.  We have heard incredible things about this conference.  It’s a weekend of worship, prayer, and stories of redemption and rescue.

IJM field staff will be sharing about God’s intervention on the frontlines of this fight against trafficking.  In addition, urgent international challenges and needs will be addressed.  If you are the slightest bit interested, please email me and get your name on their wait list right away.  Thanks, friends.

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What Love Looked Like

This Valentine’s Day, love looked like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in lunchboxes and cheering in the stands for a certain 6 foot red headed coach and the team that he loves.  Love was being together; on the bleachers, with a court in the middle of us, in the loudest gym. 

Love looked like Amoxicillin, boxes of tissues, curled up under fleece blankets, an all night allergic reaction, and a call to Children’s. Love looked like a hand to hold because two are better than one. 

Love looked like the Word taking on richer meaning.   Becoming flesh and bones and sensitive beating heart and beautiful scarred hands.  Love is always God walking through our every darkness and making it as bright as day. 

Love looked like life in Him.  Dwelling with Him, seeing glory where I wasn’t looking.  Those are the best kinds of glory sightings, after all.   

I think this may rank up there as one of my  favorite Valentine’s Days, when all is said and done.  Or maybe, just the most unique:) 


Gratitude beginnings


Her paper pale skin tells me that something is wrong.  But those clouded eyes;  they plead without words to make all things well again. 

And so it is all too easy.  A routine call and a ten minute drive to the doctor.  A sparce waiting room, a brief exam, a simple diagnosis. 

We stand waiting at that pharmacy and we look at shelf after shelf of meds.  And tears come to my eyes and I wipe them away and away.  Because this is America and look at all of our medicine.  And I could have chosen to have never gotten out of my car to get what my little girl needs. 

Gratitude finds me here.  Mostly, because stories like this have been told.  And yet if I’m really listening, gratitude should not be where their story ends.  Shame on me if my own personal gratitude becomes the last word spoken. 

Frederick Buechner said that compassion is the sometimes fatal capacity for feeling what it is like to live inside somebody else’s skin. It’s the knowledge that there can never really be any peace and joy for me until there is peace and joy finally for you too.

So the question becomes, how do I live today to promote that peace? 
Oh God, help us me not to be blind to the needs of others.  Forgive me and make me altogether different.  Altogether, much more like You.

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Margin: My Word for 2012

Are you someone who selects a word for the year to live by? 

This year, my word is margin.   I am a scamperer, you know, often running from one thing to the next;  hyper and distracted.  It is an often mined failure that affects my most prized relationships.  This year, I intend to leave room for playing, with pant legs rolled up, in the sand.

I will leave margin for myself to take care of that which God has given me.  Making space for long runs and spinach salads and observing changes in my skin and painting my toenails and breathing in and breathing out and God’s Spirit to move as He wills.

I will leave margin for family.  For laughing and upside down nights and pick up basketball games and long chapter books and dates.  For swimming with my girl and tossing a touchdown pass to my boy.  For time spent together and love letters written.  For not being in a rush. 

And I will leave margin for my Jesus, the only restorer of my broken soul.  Who walks with me in beauty.  Who speaks in my silence.  Who shows me what true riches is. 

Blessed are the single-hearted, for they shall enjoy much peace.
If you refuse to be hurried and pressed, if you stay your soul on God,
nothing can keep you from that clearness of spirit which is life and peace.
In that stillness you will know what His will is.
Amy Carmichael

(Praying and hoping and leaving margin towards this very end.) 

Much Love,

PS  Do you have a word for this year? 

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The Storybook Bible for Kids

There has been a lot of buzz about this children’s Bible.  And it is all credible. 

We love this telling of the story of God!  Selah cannot get enough of this Bible, which is awesome.  We will read multiple chapters at a time and she will beg to read more. 

Tonight the Storybook Bible won out over Barbie Mermaid Adventure – now that is saying something!  It makes me smile:)  The kids have both asked so many questions.  This book has prompted them. 

It is age-appropriate and beautifully narrated.  Every chapter points to our need for a Redeemer.  It explains tough concepts and allows children to think.  I would highly recommend this Bible for family devotions, for Christian school teachers or Sunday School teachers, for grandparents, etc. 

As a mom, I couldn’t love it more!