Tag Archives: Running


kids playing in the snow

One of my grandparents took this picture. I found it when I was sorting through some of their old slides.

I didn’t make any New Year’s resolutions in 2014 because God was teaching me about grace, and that meant not getting caught up in my own brand of legalism. But that grace got twisted and turned into laziness.

I’ve been convicted over and over again about how undisciplined my lifestyle has become. So 2015 is going to be a year of goals rather than rules:

  1. Run an entire 5k. I’m considering a race that takes place Memorial Day weekend.
  2. Write and publish 52 blog posts. One a week feels pretty doable. (One post down!)
  3. Read through the Bible in a year. I’m going to try this plan from YouVersion.

Do you make New Year’s resolutions or set goals each year?

27 Lessons in 27 Years

globe babyToday I turn 27. Actually, in three minutes from the time I’m writing this. Honestly, I’m feeling old. My sister turns 21 in November, my baby brother is graduating high school next year, and I’ve been married for (almost) five years. This is the first year I’ve actually been grateful when people say, “You’re 27? No way!” And I finally understand why turning 30 is a big deal. I’m not there yet, but I totally get it.

When I was trying to figure out what my “birthday post” should be, I decided it would be fun to share some of the lessons I’ve learned along the way. Some are happy, some are sad, and some are a little funny, but they’ve all been a part of “becoming me” in a significant way.

  1. If someone is trying to annoy you, ignore them. They’ll eventually get bored and go away. (I can thank my little sister for teaching me this one.)
  2. Churches don’t have to be full of hypocrites.
  3. Leadership doesn’t have to be loud. Sometimes quiet leadership is more effective.
  4. God is trustworthy. Always.
  5. It’s okay to ask for help.
  6. Relationships don’t work when each person only gives 50%. Each person must give 100%, so when one person can’t give their all, the other person can pick up the slack.
  7. God cares about the little things, too.
  8. Stories (real or imagined) change lives.
  9. Babies aren’t so scary after all.
  10. Adults don’t have it all figured out. Life is an experiment.
  11. We’re all different, and that’s a good thing.
  12. When you have a favorite thrift store, second-hand shopping is awesome.
  13. Budgets don’t prohibit you from spending money, they give you permission to spend it wisely.
  14. You can learn a lot from other generations. Everyone has something different to offer.
  15. Teaching four-year-olds about Jesus is SO FUN.
  16. Humility often means not seeking credit and taking blame.
  17. Regular dental appointments are important. You do NOT want to get a root canal.
  18. No matter how much you hate exercise, it will make you feel better. (If my husband asks, I did not admit this.)
  19. Divorce sucks. And it will affect your kids—no matter how old or young they are.
  20. Food doesn’t make you happy, it just makes you fat.
  21. You don’t have to have all the answers to be a good friend. Just be there.
  22. (Usually) good writing should go unnoticed. It should flow in such a way that the reader doesn’t even think about the act of reading, they just do it.
  23. What you want to do is not necessarily what you’re called to do.
  24. Working at a church is hard.
  25. There’s no such thing as a normal family.
  26. Minnesota isn’t so bad.
  27. Having a husband who’s your best friend makes life a lot more fun.

So there you have it. Obviously I’ve learned more than 27 things in my lifetime. At least, I hope it’s obvious…

Failure (and Hope)


New Year’s has always been one of my favorite holidays. Growing up, we’d get together with family and the men would watch some dumb action movie while the rest of us played games. At 11:50 we’d all crowd around the TV to watch Dick Clark count down to midnight. When the ball dropped, the adults would kiss, the kids would drink sparkling grape juice, and I would sit there thinking about all the exciting possibilities.

Now that I’ve grown up and moved away, my traditions have changed. My goal-oriented self has come to love crafting resolutions and making them happen.

I did that last year. I set 10 resolutions. But I failed. Miserably. That doesn’t usually happen. Of the ten goals I set for myself, I achieved two of them—and only kinda.

I did “run” a 5k. When I made that goal, it was implied that I would run the whole thing. My 5k was on November 29, and I did not run the whole thing. I did want to do it in 45 minutes, and with my sister running faster just ahead of me, I managed to do it in 42:16. Not too bad.


And I did read a lot of books. My goal was 24, and I think I ended up somewhere around 22.5. Not what I was shooting for, but pretty darn close. And the three “classics” I wanted to read? I started Les Miserables and read about 30 pages. I never even picked up the other two.

I’m just going to pretend the other goals didn’t exist, okay? It was that bad. (If you must know what they were, go back and read last year’s post.)

But it’s a new year, right? I’m going to try again. This time I’m setting fewer goals (three!) and I’m going to make them a little more challenging. Want to know what they are?

Check back in a few days :)

Running Update


On Friday, November 29, we’re kicking off the holiday season by running our first 5K!

Jonathan and I are headed to Michigan to spend Thanksgiving with my family, which means we’ll be there for the annual 5K and holiday parade. I remember watching the race before the parade every year, but I never ever thought I’d run it it. But now I’m registered and committed. Jonathan and probably my sister are doing it with me.

Running starts at 6:00 p.m., and it’s gonna be chilly (but I still hope it snows). I spent part of my day looking for just the right gear to keep me warm while I run. Now I just have to figure out what cutesy, Christmasy thing I’m going to “decorate” myself with for the race. I’ve seen people run dressed as presents, complete with cardboard boxes—I won’t be doing that. Maybe I’ll crochet some snowflakes? Any ideas?


Running inspiration courtesy of slowisthenewfast.com.

Hope for Dinner

Just a little update for you—our church has raised nearly $100,000 (I think we’ll hit it soon, even though we stopped our official fundraising over a month ago!) to send meals to Burmese refugees living in Thailand. Some of the meals have already been sent.

This is why we ran 100 miles this summer . . .

If you didn’t get a chance to donate and would like to, visit hopefordinner.org.


North Shore Love

Jonathan and I have spent quite a bit of time on the North Shore during our marriage. Our first two summer vacations were spent there, and we’ve gone up almost every year in March. This was our first time going somewhere other than Duluth, though. I found an amazing deal for two nights at Cove Point Lodge in Beaver Bay, which is about an hour north of Duluth. It was a perfect few days away in the middle of a week off.


Like I mentioned last week, it was a little cool and a lot foggy (even if you can’t tell from these pictures), but it was the perfect way to get away from busyness and spend some time being . . . quiet. Our room had a lovely view of the lake (all the rooms do), and when it wasn’t raining, we spent a decent amount of time exploring the point.


cove-point cove-view Jonathan-rocks looking-at-lake-superior lake-superior2 superior-rocks

On Thursday, we celebrated four years of marriage.


We did spend some time in Duluth at Park Point, Va Bene (our favorite restaurant there), and Pickwick. And on Friday morning, we drove to Tettegouche State Park to see the falls. The map said it was only a .7 mi hike to get to the falls, but it failed to mention all the ups and downs and the really muddy trail.


baptism-river baptism-river2 bridge waterfall daisy

I learned the hard way that I shouldn’t hike in my running shoes. Excuse me for not wanting my knees to ache afterward. I was able to clean them up a bit, but they’ll never be quite the same.


But it was worth it . . .




100 Miles

I finished all 100 miles of my Run for the Border goal this morning! And as I write this, Jonathan is working on his last 5k. I did a lot more running than biking and walking this week because all I could think about was how small a physical sacrifice on my part is compared to what the refugees have to experience on a daily basis.

Unfortunately, we’ve only raised $255 of our $500 goal, but that’s still 2,150 meals for the refugees! It’s not too late to donate, though. So if you can help, please visit our donation page. It would only take 25 people (technically, only 24.5) donating $10 each for us to be able to provide 5000 meals.


The 11 people from our church who are running 100 meals in four days are almost there—they’ve got another 18 miles to go tomorrow morning.

In case you missed it, read more about what we’re doing here.

How Will You Use Your Freedom?


This year, on the Fourth of July, while everyone else was celebrating, I was thinking about the Karen people.

The country Myanmar (formerly Burma) is torn by the world’s longest civil war—it started in 1948. The government is doing whatever it takes to wipe out many ethnic groups, primarily the Karen.

On July 11–14, our church is hosting something called “Run for the Border” to raise money and awareness for the refugees who have fled their homes because of the war. About 10 people are running 100 miles in four days, with about 30 people joining them for shorter distances on day three, and several groups who committed to set a mileage goal to run/walk/bike between Memorial Day and July 14.

The idea is to make a physical sacrifice while also raising money and awareness. The money will be used to send food to the refugees living on the border between Myanmar and Thailand. They can focus on rebuilding their lives if they don’t have to worry about where their next meal is coming from. The funds we raise aren’t actually paying for the food (Feed My Starving Children is doing that), but it will cover shipping. Ten cents is enough to ship one meal.

Jonathan and I decided to ask our small group to participate. Four of us are, and we’ve committed to raise $500 and log a total of 425 miles over the seven-week period.

To be honest, I decided to do it mostly because I wanted something to force me to be active—I needed a goal if I was going to get in shape. And I’ve spent a lot of hours working on promotion and registration details because our department is responsible for the whole thing. It felt like just another church event. Just another thing we’re doing. Just another big production coming up fast with not a lot of time to plan. Just another reason to be stressed out.

But then I watched this video and everything changed. (If you have the time, please watch this 40-minute video and do something with what you learn. Be warned that it is graphic at times.)

I couldn’t believe how awful some of the stories were—women tortured, raped, and killed in ways I can’t bring myself to put in print; doctors and nurses killed for caring for those the government had injured; and people with missing limbs because they stumbled across land mines when they returned to find loved ones in villages the government had torched. And I know there are more, even worse things happening.

So this year, while my country was celebrating our Independence, I couldn’t help but think about the people of Burma. My freedom seems unfair when I think about what they experience on a daily basis.

In the video, a colonel of the Karen army says, “Fighting enemies in the forest is not going to win the war. We need like other support. Media support and also publicity overseas . . . especially in America. I think that the moment we can move the population, then the government can also do something . . .  the government will not do anything unless the American people support.” So that’s what I’m doing. I’m taking advantage of the freedom I have to fight for freedom in Burma. Please join me and do the same.

If you can help provide meals and hope for the people of Burma, visit our donation page. Help us meet our goal of providing 5000 meals.

Lately I’m . . .

run-for-the-borderRunning for the border—No, not Mexico. Or Canada . . . Back in May, I set a goal to run/walk/bike 100 miles between Memorial Day and July 14 in order to raise money for meals for Burmese refugees living on the border between Myanmar (formerly Burma) and Thailand. So far, I’ve completed about 84 miles. Jonathan is also doing 100 miles, but he’s running all of his. My next post will have more details about why we’re participating in Run for the Border.

GrizzlyLearning to be intentional—God has really been challenging me to be intentional in my living, meaning I shouldn’t just be going through the motions without thinking. I have a limited amount of time and I need to use it wisely. (This picture has nothing to do with being intentional—it’s a grizzly we saw at the Minnesota Zoo on Memorial Day. I love bears.)

warren-dunesClimbing a sand dune—Jonathan and I made a trip to Ohio and Michigan in May to attend a friend’s wedding and visit my family. On our way home, we stopped at Warren Dunes State Park in Sawyer, Michigan. I got ambitious and wanted to climb a sand dune. They’re a lot steeper than they look.

family-timeCelebrating with family—We’ve been spending a lot of time with Jonathan’s family over the last few months between birthdays and Father’s Day and visits from out-of-town siblings. In case you’re wondering, the last picture is Simeon trying to retrieve a frisbee from the roof.

Storm-damageSurviving a storm—Almost two weeks ago, we were driving through downtown Minneapolis when we got hit by what Jonathan said was the worst storm he’s ever seen, short of a hurricane. We drove through half a foot of water, drove under a downed power line, parked next to a tree that had already fallen to protect our car from damage, and survived without electricity or hot water for 24 hours (lots of people had to wait several days–we were lucky!). Things are back to normal now, minus a few trees . . .

Lately I’m . . .

Hewitt Wedding


Celebrating new marriages. In the space of a month (which started on March 16), we have four weddings—one on March 16th, one on March 23rd, and two the first weekend in April. And then there’s another one coming up in May.

Last year I told Jonathan our friends needed to get married because I love weddings—I didn’t intend for them all to get married at the same time! But just the same, I’m thrilled to get to celebrate with them.

Congratulations Mr. & Mrs. Otu, Mr. & Mrs. Hewitt, (almost) Mr. & Mrs. Hanson, (almost) Mr. & Mrs. Miller, and (almost) Mr. & Mrs. Breon! May you have many years of marriage that draw you closer to God and closer to each other.




Going to the gym three times a week. About a month ago, Jonathan and I joined a real gym­­—you know, the kind that has different machines for different muscle groups, more than one treadmill, and a hot tub that actually works? We got a great deal. And having to go somewhere outside of our building (even if it is only two minutes away) has ended up being really motivating for me. So here’s to getting healthier and keeping those new year’s resolutions!




Crocheting. I’ve been going to town on all sorts of projects this winter—scarves, garlands, hats . . . I love starting with nothing and ending with something practical and pretty. I need to branch out and try some new patterns, though. Maybe a bag or a cardigan?




Ready for spring. If you know me or have followed my blog for awhile, you probably know I love snow. But now that March is on the way out, I’m done with the cold temperatures and ice and snow piles so high you can’t see that other car coming. I’m ready for leaves and flowers and warm rain and green things. As much as I love winter, spring really is my favorite season. Bring on the trees!




Making space for quiet time during the day. I don’t like quiet. I remember loving it when I was in school, but I think things changed when I started struggling with panic and anxiety. The quiet offered too many opportunities to let my mind wander, and it often wandered to things that caused problems. So I stopped allowing that time. Any time I had quiet, I’d fill it with music or television. Even if it was while I was doing something else like reading or journaling. But I came to realize that the lack of quiet was hindering my creativity—and my prayer life. So I have a no radio rule during my morning commute to work. Twenty whole minutes to pray, brainstorm blog ideas, and think through anything else that might be on my mind. Though I’d still rather have the radio on, the quiet is making a difference in the way I think.