Tuesday, December 15, 2015

For Bella

Last weekend Steve and I went to Memphis. I have a good friend that lives there, and I got to visit with her for several days. Steve came up for the weekend and ran the St. Jude Childrens Hospital Marathon. We're going back next year so I can run. If I can get my knee well enough to run. Certainly going to give it my best effort.

We took the medal and the bib and put it in a shadow box and gave it to her, along with the goodie string bag and a hoodie I got at the expo. There is something about knowing and loving a patient at the hospital that made this hit closer to home. If you think about it, would you pray for Bella? She is currently undergoing Chemo.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

He came for me

As Christmas gets closer, I am surrounded by all the things of the season. Christmas programs, Christmas parties, Christmas sermons at church. I am enjoying it more this year than I have in many years.

I don't have any "have tos". I get to participate in what I want to participate in, and I find myself being more involved and loving it. Funny how that works, when I get to decide exactly what I want to do, no one making me or following other's expectations, I do more.

Today, I'm reminded that Jesus came for me. I could say Jesus came for you, or Jesus came for us, and both would be true. But today I need to believe Jesus came for me. ME. How powerful and special that is, that I am enough for Jesus. That he came for me. Broken, imperfect, flawed, and yet, he loves me. Enough to become human and come to earth. Enough to leave a perfect, sinless home, for me.

When I think about heaven and what he left for me, I think of a place with no pain. And that takes on new meaning when you live with chronic pain. Mine is minor, it's my knee. After knee surgery I have chronic pain. Not constant, but at some point every day, I will feel pain in my knee. I can't imagine how people with real issues deal.

And sinless, wow. What would it be like to live without guilt? Shame? Some day, I'll know. I'm looking forward to that. But until then, I love the idea that he came for me.

Monday, December 7, 2015

That's life

Today I got to work at 7:03 a.m. At 7:05 I was in my bosses office. I took Thursday and Friday off and while I was away from work one of my projects blew up. It was a booger of a day.

I went to the gym, because I really need to work out.I've been very disciplined with food, so I need to make sure I get my work outs in. I didn't take my rings off, and bruised my finger under my ring lifting a dumbbell.

I came home and put soup in the chicken tortilla soup in the crock pot and now my hands smell like onions.

My favorite player got voted off of Survivor.

And I sit here and think of how good my life is. How good God is. How good he has been to me. Even on a day when I'm tired, things don't really go my way, I have much to be thankful for.

As I head off to bed, I know I'm going to need to spend some time in prayer tomorrow, because I need God's hand. Whether he fixes the issue or calms me, I'm going to need him.

I am going to be intentional for the next 3 weeks to remember to celebrate this time of year. To not get caught up in busyness. To enjoy the music, all the Christmas trimmings, and reflect on the reason we celebrate.

Friday, December 4, 2015

A new chapter in life - part 2

This one, this woman child of man that is all light and laughter and fun. Gifted with wit and charm and a beautiful smile. The ability to laugh at herself, to find humor in most everything. Thoughtful and kind and good. Mouthy and sarcastic and strong willed. Opinionated and stubborn.

Whitney & Polo, Thanksgiving 2015

Whitney has let me know of her plans to move out by summer 2016. I get it, it's time, she's almost 20. It still pulls at momma's heart, but she's ready. And I think I am too.

Steve and I have a lot of life left in us, and it we are looking forward to all that the future holds.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

A new chapter in life

I'm not there yet, not an empty nester, but I'm so close.

Two and a half weeks ago, Nate scheduled and appointment with me for coffee. And to talk. Some things that he had in his life were finally all worked out, and he has some freedom he didn't have previously.

He told me that he wasn't officially engaged, but he and his girl Lily, are going to get married, and he wants to be where she is so he will be getting an apartment in the town she goes to school and moving there after the first of the year. He will finish up college there as well. His credits from Juco will all transfer, it's in state, so he's in a good place.

I watched him move away once before, and it tore my heart out. This time, I'm excited for him. All that life holds. He is a strong courageous good man. So far from perfect, but willing to own his flaws, his mistakes, and work hard to make them right. I've watched him for the last two and half years do the hard things, and I'm one proud momma. I'm still really gonna miss him.

Nate & Lily, Thanksgiving 2015

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Do not dwell on the past

Isaiah 43:18-19 "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland."

I have made a conscious decision to not dwell on the past. There is just so much of it. When I dwell on it, continue to be in it, I can't fully embrace what God has for me now. I'm not living in my present, working for my future, enjoying life right where I am.

This includes Spiritual matters, physical abilities, and relationships.

I'm being intentional about it. When negativity springs up about past, I give it right over to God. 2 Corinthians 10:5 says "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."

I have had to stop multiple times beating myself up because in the 6 months before knee surgery in 2012 and the year after, I couldn't exercise like I used to. Even now, I'm limited. I can't run like I used to. But I sure can eat like I always did. I have not been kind to myself. As I struggle to get back in shape and learn to eat entirely different, I continue to remind myself that was the past. I am not there now, never will be again, so figure out to be better today. What will work, what won't, and embrace the new thing that God is doing.

I have two very close familial relationships that were brought to the edge of destruction in 2011. Two of the three people I love most in this world.

They have been mended everywhere but in my head. Satan uses one of them over and over to keep me down. This last month was rough, again, 4.5 years later. I got with God on what was still holding up my healing, and followed his lead. I know what to do. Doing it however, is another story.

The future is not without it's difficulty, it's not without it's challenges, and that's with what I can see on the horizon.

One thing from the past I WILL NOT be letting go of, is the memory of God's faithfulness. The deep waters. The impenetrable darkness. The deliverance. The answered prayers. I intend to keep these as close as possible to me.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

I should count sheep

I can't sleep. This is why.

Did I blow the candles out?

There's supposed to be severe weather this weekend.

OMG, did I pay the house insurance?

What date does Nate's rental textbook have to be returned by to avoid being charged for it?

Where is the text book?

What was that noise, is Belle running wild at night through the house?

Nate's up. Crap, he will have eaten everything in the house by tomorrow morning.

What did Steve say I forgot at the grocery store? What was it...oh yes, toothpaste. I have extra. We'll get by.

Did I move the clothes from the washer to the dryer?

I ordered Belle a new collar over a month ago. Wonder why it hasn't come in yet. It's only $8.00, but it does have her name and phone number on it.

What do I get Amelia for graduation?

Did I pay the insurance?

Dang, why don't these Ibuprofen PM take effect faster? Is that effect or affect?

Thursday, May 14, 2015

You are not a quitter

I had a tough couple days this week. Low energy, lack of sleep. It impacted my working out.

I was at the gym yesterday, and per my request, Marquis has been giving me speedwork to do. He had me get on a treadmill and walk at an incline carrying weights.

This is tough, but definitely doable. 5 minutes. And 2 minutes in I began saying to myself, "you are not a quitter. You are not a quitter. YOU. ARE. NOT. A. QUITTER!. You do the hard stuff. Don't quit. You are not a quitter."

I said this over and over and over to myself, for 3 minutes. I didn't realize I passed the 5 minute mark until Marquis came over and turned off the treadmill and took my weights from me.

Today, I realized that is so much like Jesus. We have a tough road in front. Uphill, carrying a heavy load. And we have to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Just telling ourself to keep pushing on. Saying, "you are not a quitter", and believing it. And then, Jesus takes the load, levels the path, and and says, "good job, Pats".

Usually I work out with Sheila and Steve close, Marquis is close, but Sheila wasn't there and Steve and I both at that point were doing a solo workout. Usually I have a lot of encouragement. But that long 5 minutes, I was all by myself, or so it felt. And it was a good reminder that even when I feel alone, I'm not.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Grandma's Hands

"You have grandma's hands", Whitney tells me as she is watching me fix dinner.

I look at my hands, hands that are ordinary. No distinguishing characteristics. Ordinary.

They show some years.

They look like my mom's.

And that is okay.

My children think my mom is awesome. I agree with them.

And if my mom is awesome, and anything about me makes them think of my mom, I can accept that.

Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 7, 2015


While Steve and I were in Chicago, we did one of my favorite things to do on vacation. We went to church. I love to find a church in a city I'm not familiar with and worship with strangers yet family.

We went to Willow Creek. It is a great church. I've heard of it, but didn't know much about it. I was not disappointed.

It was their 3 week Celebration of Hope. Think typical missions conference on steroids. There were organizations there with booths set up in the lobby that support world missions. Rain boots for students in Cambodia. Seeds for countries everywhere. Water for countries that don't have access to clean water. The list is about 30 long.

They did this. Gave out these bowls to everyone in attendance.

They were hand made, treated, and painted in Guatemala.

They asked everyone to eat a meal (or two or more) from this bowl over the next three weeks. Not to over fill it, and after you were done not to eat seconds. Just to be hungry and think about the people that that is all they get to eat. (I realize there are people in this country that live like this as well). I was going to clear my counter before I took the picture, but the irony of the cookie jar half full of Chips Ahoy cookies, the bananas that will most likely turn brown and be baked in oatmeal and the two different jugs of protein powder because Steve likes chocolate and I like vanilla next to these small bowls was not lost on me. And you can barely see the bowl of granola bars that my family doesn't like cause they are generic, that we feed to the dog and the neighbors dog instead of dog treats.

I've only used mine one time, and it holds a small amount of food. I was hungry before I went to bed.

I was touched by this. The service, the thought that went in to this, and the fact that they hired people in Guatemala and paid them to make these bowls. I was challenged to try and meet needs in my world. To continue with World Vision, and other areas I'm involved in, but to take every opportunity to help where I can. Big or small, individual or organization, to be a blessing because I am so blessed. We are not wealthy, but we have enough. Enough to live, enough to give.

I also got to hear Bob Goff preach. If you don't know who he is, you have missed out. He is the author of the book "Love Does" and is a phenomenal speaker, humanitarian, and individual.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Live every moment

For the second time in my life I have a very real "live every moment" person in my life.

The first one is my sister in law. She had a younger sister that passed away shortly after her 18th birthday. Becky was very special, she had a degenerative muscle condition. She was blind and physically and mentally challenged. On my nephews first birthday Michelle told me she would always make a huge deal out of her kids birthdays. Her sister had one birthday before she got sick, and was never whole again.

Michelle and my brother Kelly, November 2014
Cameron is 26 (and expecting his first baby) and I have remembered this my whole life. I like to celebrate people, but I have started recently taking it to an even greater level.

The second was on our vacation to Chicago a couple weeks ago. Steve had run a 100 mile race in Texas and another runner had been at the same race and friended him on facebook. I'm kind of iffy on Steve being friends with people he (I) don't know on facebook, (and that is my issue) but other ultra runners in other towns typically don't bother me. When we were planning our trip to Chicago, Steve contacted Alfredo and asked to run a long run through Chicago while we were there. Unfortunately, Alfredo was diagnosed with ALS in January. He went from running 75 miles in October, had to drop when his muscles gave out and he literally couldn't control them to keep running, to a cane to a walker and barely able to maneuver in his own home.

We spent an evening with him. Steve sat with him on the couch and they talked running. And Alfredo misses running. He spends a couple hours a day in meditation, and when he meditates, he goes to the trails and the mountains in his head. He said this helps him get through every day.

I don't like to be morbid and worry about the future. But on the other side of that, I don't think it's a bad idea to live every moment, enjoy every moment, celebrate every moment.

I'm making a bigger deal of birthdays. I'm making a point of making the people in my life know they are appreciated and special.

And I will enjoy every step I get to run. Every painful step of a marathon. Every painful minute of a track workout with my crazy trainer.

Love hard. Enjoy everything as much as possible.

Monday, April 13, 2015

What is that?

I made chicken enchiladas this weekend. Kept tasting my sauce. It tasted funny. I could not figure out what was wrong, I didn't do anything different. Baked them, ate them, they were really good.

The next day I looked closely at my bag of tortilla chips "with a hint of lime". Tasted one, that was the funny taste.

Must be more careful in the grocery store.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Am I Alone?

I have noticed this quite often lately. It seems to be reaching epidemic proportions.

Christians don't call sin what it is anymore. Or maybe be I'm being too generous with the word Christian.

Why don't we want to call it sin? And why do we look for ways to rationalize what the Bible says and it say "That's not what God meant".

I choose to believe that if God's Word says something is sin, then it is. And if I'm doing it, it's still sin and I should confess and turn from it.

Recently I was in a conversation where a Christian disagreed with a pastor's stance against a sin, attacked him via email, called him judgmental and other not so nice words, because he called it like the Bible says it is.

I do believe we are called to love our fellow humans. Love our neighbors. I have been thinking quite a lot about the story of the Good Samaritan. Samaritans hated Jews, Jews hated Samaritans. Luke 10:25-37

25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[a]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]”

28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

I intend to try this. Love God with all my heart and soul and strength and mind. When I think about loving this hard, I'm certainly not there yet. And love my neighbor as myself. I can improve that too. And my neighbor includes the sinner, the judgmental, and the preacher that preaches against the sin.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Does that make me crazy?

I got a new couch. It's beautiful. (Anything would be after having the same one for ten years beat down by 5 teenagers and all their friends). But it really is. And it's comfortable.

I have this terrible dilemma. I got a new mattress before I got the couch. The mattress is so awesome. SO AWESOME. I've yet to nap on the couch. And this is bothering me a little. How can you know if you got the right couch if you have never napped on it? Nate has, and he says it's good. Whitney has slept the whole night on it, and she agrees.

I reserve the right to nap my own decision.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

30 hours

30 hours ago I left my house. Went to Kansas City with Steve. Ate at Oklahoma Joe's Bar B Que, one of Anthony Bourdain's 13 places to eat before you die, very delicious.

From there to the Rend Collective, Tenth Avenue North and Chris Tomlin concert. One of the best worship events I've been too.

After the concert was over we drove to Springfield, Mo, stayed the night in a hotel. Searched for donut shops for breakfast and found St. George's Donut Shop where I ate the best twist donut of my life. It would make Patsy's Top 13 places to eat before you die. (I'll work on the other 12).

We then headed to the other side of Branson to the Mark Twain National Forest on Table Rock Lake to see my friend Rebecca. We spent the day with her and her husband and two kids in Branson, after seeing the new home they are building on the lake. We plan to spend more time back there in July. It was a beautiful home in a beautiful location.

After a 5 hour drive home, I understand all the viral videos of road trips, if I had video'd Steve and I singing along to Mike F.M.'s everything 80's weekend radio...well, you all would laugh till you peed.

I still know all the words to Cameo's "Word Up", and Bon Jovi's "Bad Medicine" and Steve belted out Chicago's "Look Away". We enjoyed Milli Vanilli and Flock of Seagulls.

I had to google "Talk, Talk" because I had never heard that one.

I am glad we got to go visit lifelong friends and attend the concert, but I'm so happy to be home tonight.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The same kind of different as me

For the last 8 months at work I have sat by myself. In a building that makes jet airliner assemblies, in the office area that has over 160 cubicles, there were 16 of us. I had a row, 10 cubes, all to myself. That may sound lonely, but it was not. It was quiet, it was semi-private and I got a lot done.

This week, two of my co-workers moved aisles to consolidate us all to the same area. They now sit one directly facing me in the next desk and one across, facing me catty wampas. I love both these women. It struck me yesterday how different we are.

One is my daughter Kari's age. They went to middle school together. One is 30.

One is in grad school with a cute boyfriend
One is married with 3 little ones, ages 9 months to 8 years old
One travels and goes out of the country several times a year
One can't stay overnight in a hotel because the little one turns in tasmanian devil
One knows all the latest dance moves, is in wedding parties every weekend, and is current with pop culture
One knows all the latest Taylor Swift songs and disney radio, is in school holiday parties and is current with cartoons
Both are liberal, democrats, live and let live people.

And then, there is me

I have the husband, but my kids are grown.
I travel, not as much as the youngster, but way more than the 30 year old
I know all the 80's music, my generation; all the 90's and 2000's, because of my kids; I go to grown up parties, Chris Tomlin concerts, Fleetwood Mac concerts and Professional Bull Riding, whenever I want to.
Daughter of a baptist minister

On the surface, you would never put us together as friends. But we are.

We all have our own attitudes, our own struggles, our differences of opinion, but we definitely find a way to make the work day more fun.

I find myself more and more as I get older celebrating our differences. Not just accepting them, not tolerating them, but appreciating them. Wanting them. Loving the uniqueness in God's creation.

We're all different. We're all special, wonderful, unique, originals. And in that, we all find our sameness.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

In my corner

Here's a few things I've been up to in the last couple months:

Still training with Marquis. Love this guy more all the time.
Celebrating my birthday with Marquis (and Steve, Harpreet and Sheila)

10 mile Turkey Trot 2014. This was my 7th year running the Turkey. The gang - Sheila, Steve, Emily, Whitney, Harpreet & Marquis

With my friend Katrina at the Steve 50 2015

Celebrating Leesa's birthday.

And I turned 7 years worth of race tee shirts that either don't fit right, wrong size, or we have duplicates into this tee shirt.
I am quite pleased with how it turned out.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Investing in what matters

Recently Steve and I have started making things we are invited to a priority. And not just invitations of people we know well, but even the facebook invites to birthday parties and work invites to hang out.

I watched a show on television the other day where everyone at work hung out together and were friends. I like my co-workers. But I've always kept a professional distance. Which I think is okay, but on the flip side, I really love a couple of them.

Last weekend Steve hosted the fourth Steve 50 event. This year, he actually had his first 50 mile finisher besides himself. Several of his ultra running friends came out this year, friends from work, and friends that share our trainer. We had 65 participants on one level or another. And one of my co-workers and his wife came out and another co-worker's husband ran.

As I look at the places my life intersects with other people, I am making a conscious effort to invest more in relationships. I have several really good friends that I see on a regular basis, and it makes it easy to keep my distance. However, I don't believe that is the way I'm supposed to be living my life.

I have a lot to give to those I love and a lot to learn and experience and everyone I come in contact can teach me something, can be a benefit to my life. (Even those I don't want to).

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Not all who wander are lost

ALL that is GOLD does not GLITter,
Not ALL those who WANder are LOST;
The OLD that is STRONG does not WITHer,
Deep ROOTS are not REACHED by the FROST.
From the ASHes a FIRE shall be WOken,
A LIGHT from the SHAdows shall SPRING;
ReNEWED shall be BLADE that was BROken,
The CROWNless aGAIN shall be KING

After my post earlier this week about wandering, I'm going to just stay with the same topic.

I have a necklace with this phrase. I love it. I also love this poem by J.R. Tolkien.

Most of my life I have lived letting life happen to me. I know that. It's part of my make up. I never planned on having kids, I didn't plan on not having kids. I got what I got. And I got really good. I always wanted to be a wife and mother, but never made plans for it. I dated, A LOT, but I couldn't figure out how all my friends had met "the one" and I was dating 4 guys at once and didn't want to be exclusive with any of them.

Until it happened. Until I met the guy that I didn't want to leave in the evening. That I wanted to see every morning. That I looked forward to the phone ringing. Even now I love to see that text from him in my phone, the email at work, and seeing him in the evening after work is the highlight of my day.

Even in my career I have just followed where it led. I have a great job. I have done well, and yet, I didn't set out for it. I do like what I do, and I'm good at it.

I've been up and down health wise the last two years. Not anything serious, but stuff that kept me from a work out plan that I want. H pylori. Twice. Knee surgery. Plantar fasciitis. Vertigo.

I'm done letting life happen and knock me down. There are ways to work around these set backs and I'm going to do it.

This year, I ran several races, and had a great time. But I didn't run any as well as I would have liked. January 1, 2014 I struggled through a 5K at the YMCA. June I struggled through a 10k at El Dorado Lake. October I struggled through a marathon at Niagara Falls. In November I KILLED a ten mile race. That's what I want to do every time.

I have spent some time laying out a workout/running plan in great detail. I have a healthy eating plan lined up.

I have a new Bible and a reading plan.

I continue to wander, I continue to let life happen. But where I need to take control, I will. I will wander with a purpose.

Proverbs 16:3 says "Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established."

They say that you should share your goals. It will make it easier to stay with.

I don't know if I have any readers left after all the time I've taken off, and I'm okay with that. I will, however, put this out there so it keeps me honest.

Monday, March 16, 2015

A Wandering Heart

The last year I have felt like a wanderer more than any other time in my Christian life. Having been a Christian pretty much my entire life, I have a lot of years to compare this to.

This is different than feeling far from God. I haven't felt distant from God, just like I had no direction. Deuteronomy 31:6 "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

I find great comfort that even when I feel like I'm wandering, God hasn't forsaken me or left me. I wasn't looking for God, or his presence in my life, it was their.

But I still feel like there is more that I should be doing, seeing, I'm not really sure. Or maybe I was just pretty full of myself for a lot of years. I am a work in progress, I definitely have much growing and learning yet to do. Maybe the wandering is what I should be feeling.

I'm going to "enjoy the journey" and keep wandering along, doing my best to follow God.