Chase Fireflies


Hodgepodge Love

A Letter to my Teenage Daughter.  And our students now.   

You Never Marry the Right Person.  (Though I did:)

I Believe in Tim Tebow.  My Pats crushed him, but that’s never what mattered in the least. 

It’s True.  They’re moving and we’re running – to support this beautiful work & these beautiful friends. 

The Answer to Anxiety.   A song of thanks steadies everything.

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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? 


Pittsburgh Kids of Steel Exercise Program

I’m not sure what I love most about this program:

the goal setting
the exercise
the healthy food challenge
the chance to cross a finish line
The Kids of Steel Program encourages children to run a full marathon in the course of 18 weeks.  Every time the child goes running, the distance is logged on a chart.  The last mile of the 26 takes place at a Kids Fun Run on Marathon weekend. 

Participating children receive a t-shirt, a medal upon crossing the finish line, a certificate, a bag of goodies, and most of all – the confidence that they can attain what seems like an unreachable goal. 

In conjunction with the Kids of Steel Program is the Steel Taste Program.  For this, children taste 60 of 100 healthy foods and mark it off on a checklist.  It’s perfect for picky eaters!  (My kids will do anything for a check on a chart.)  Selah had her first salad tonight with delight!  She was so proud.  (As was her momma.)

If you are local and end up doing this, let me know.  Would love to go on training runs together!


Table Top Wall Lettered Art: My Favorite Christmas Gift

I married a guy who can do it all – I do believe! 

Paul took a tabletop from Ikea ($10), designed my favorite verse, sent it to a print shop to make into vinyl, and applied it himself.  Wow! 

This thing is HUGE!  We have yet to hang it in our enormous wall on our stairway, but it’s going to look great.  I can’t wait to walk down the stairs to see these words every morning. 

What an encouragement!

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Enjoying Life After Christmas and Castle Weekend (Prayer Request)

This week has been lovely….

Not often getting out of my pajamas
Swimming with the kids
Time spent with Paul

Back to running
Laughing over new games
Rearranging our home
Sleeping in

Tomorrow we head away for our annual Castle Retreat. Paul’s been busy planning forever to have teenagers and college students and beyond descend upon a castle for a weekend away.

Would love if you would take a minute to pray for the following:

Students hearts to be receptive and open to God’s leading.
Relationships to be built and centered around Christ.
All of the details to come together.
A safe weekend for everyone.
That God would be honored in our speaker, worship, games, hanging out, prayer room, room assignments, late night talks, meals together, movies, everything. 

I am really anxious to see what God will do.  Happy New Year’s Friends!  Thanks for praying!

Anything I can be in prayer for?  Email me.  Thanks!


The Cards in the Tree (A Christmas Gift Idea)

Every Christmas morning, there are two envelopes hidden somewhere in our tree.  One for Paul and one for me.  But neither are really for us, which is the cool part. 

They are gifts given somewhere around the world, on behalf of the other. 

The hurt is there.  The hunger is there.  The injustice is there. 

But greater is He in us than he who is in the world.

The opportunity is 0urs.  To heal, to feed, to love in His name.  Because He first loved us. 

Maybe the person receiving the envelope is an educator.  Give books on their behalf.  If a pastor, give a Bible.  If a counselor, give aftercare counseling.  If a cook, give food.  Extend their heart and passion around the world. 

So here are some ideas, ya’ll.  Give and love much. 

Gifts of Freedom:  IJM Holiday Gift Catalog

Equip Churches to Seek Justice $25
Urgent Aftercare Package for a Trafficking Survivor  $40
Legal Representation $65 
Bicycle for a Former Slave $72
Transform a Life with a Scholarship $330

Gifts of Compassion:  Compassion International Gift Catalog

Soccer Ball for $13
Art Supplies for $20
Clean Water $25
5 Ducks for $30
Dental Care $38

These two organizations are just ones we have worked with in the past.  I love them and wholeheartedly believe in their work.  But there are countless like them.  If you know of other worthy organizations, I would love to hear of them here.  Thanks!


Love is…. Photo Book (A Christmas Gift Idea)

Love is…

One of my all time favorite photo books we’ve made is this one:

Find favorite family photographs that coincide with the words in 2 Corinthians 13:4-8a and 13.  Put one photograph on each page with one line of coinciding text:

Love is patient

and the rest would follow as such:
Love is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

It does not dishonor others. 
It is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails….

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.
But the greatest of these is love.

It’s simple.  Quick.  The text is awesome.  And the pictures represent LOVE in Action. 

I am ever so grateful for everyone who has loved me (and our entire family) well… Love has been lived before our eyes often.  Friends and family, ya’ll know who you are…  Thank you. 

Because of Jesus,


What I See in You (A Christmas Ornament Idea)

A box of ornaments is a treasure chest of memories. 

The porcelain ballet slippers I got the year I fell in love with ballet.
The Sunday School craft I made when I was 9. 
The Korean tassles from friends and family. 
The wooden Brazilian guitar we bought on a mission trip.

When we decorate our tree, we talk and remember.  They’re not really just ornaments after all.

So I am hoping to start a new tradition this year with the kids.  I want to give them Christmas ornaments that personally


Them to be more like Christ and who He made them to be with their unique gifts, sensitivities, and strengths. 
(Now to think of something beyond baseballs and long strands of Rapunzel hair.)