Monthly Archives: October 2010

23 or 24

I’m in week six of couch to 5k and a strange turn of events actually has me running less than my highest-ever-without-stopping (that I know of) last week of 20 minutes.  However useful for training purposes, my 18 combined minutes of running plus 16 minutes of walking were not sufficient for completing a loop.  I’m a novice at judging timing and distance so I often end up walking quite a bit at the end.  Which is fine if it’s in the morning on a weekend or early on a weekday afternoon, but on a night when dinner still needs to happen (among other things, some of which are currently being pushed off in favor of updating the blog), you don’t want to finish your run 2 miles away from home.


So tonight in my naivety I ended up at the wrong juncture…I’d turned West instead of East in Somerset (a neat neighborhood in north Ames that has a bunch of apartments and townhomes that resemble each other; I can’t imagine describing directions to people if I lived there) and was way out of the way.  So I added some more running to my run to shorten the time.


And you know what?


I was fine.  I was tired, but not dead.  God is using this running to teach me about limits.  I’ve said it before, but even in listening to the podcast in my earbuds, I am happy to run a limited amount and stop.  Tonight I realized the weakness of the mind (and the strength of the body).  It’s a sweet lesson in the midst of a kind of overwhelming 2-3 weeks coming up.  Overwhelming at work, yes, and at “home” (which is coincidentally changing at the living space and church level).  Like any human I detest dislike change, but I understand that it is necessary and the uncertainty that it involves will not remain uncertain forever (I might even find that I like the arrangement there!!).


And so to some QT and a long, full rest of the week.  Happy Monday night!

Ode to Anniversary Blend

Someone who actually knows about coffee may be able to contest the quality of Starbucks’ Anniversary Blend, but I’ve just brewed a pot of it for my dad and I to drink and it’s unbelievable.

I ran the second installment of Couch to 5K’s week 5 this morning and found a delightful bike path over by Ames High.  I guess it’s the known path to the pool over on thirteenth, but I hadn’t seen it, and the view of the meadow (or whatever that field with scruffy grass and plants is called) was gorgeous.

Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For he says,

“In a favorable time I listened to you,
and in a day of salvation I have helped you.”
Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. We put no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love; by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true;
(2 Corinthians 6:1-8 ESV)

Reading through both letters to the Corinthians I am hearing God’s voice speak to me about endurance and the limits I establish in persevering.  I think as I run with a prescribed system I am realizing how frivolous my limits are…if I were to go out with just an iPod or my watch, I’d probably tell myself “yep, done” by about 6 minutes…maybe 10.  As long as I’m  not keeping track of the distance or the time but waiting to hear the “ok, now you’re ready for your brisk walk,” or “keep going, you’re doing great” I am less inclined to think about the “I can’t go any farther”.

So if I’m so easily persuaded to listen to a voice in my earbuds, why should listening to the Spirit be any different?  I mean, in daily life I catch myself saying or thinking things like, “it’s too hard to love ____” or “haven’t I gone far enough?” when I should really trust that in this process of being transformed into the image of Christ He’s not going to toss me into a marathon I’m not ready for:

[18] And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
(2 Corinthians 3:18 ESV)

The sermon at Cornerstone last night was another homerun.  It didn’t hurt that the worship set had a lot of running references (God is good at using redundancy in teaching me things).  I think the texts on loving others have been especially timely, even with the endurance.  Hearing about the context of 1 John 2:15-17’s “world” not being nations or creation but the things which we turn to besides God (and in place of God for people who are lovers of the world).  One of my favorite points that Paul Sabino made was that as Christians we go ahead and blow it (hence, sinners), but our lives are not characterized by the “world” or its cravings.

He also defined love as a steady devotion of your will.  It’s essentially a choice.

Kind of like my choice to keep running or stop.  A steady devotion (okay…my affection for running isn’t really love at this point, so substitute another word of commitment for “devotion”) despite the hard work, the pain [the funny looks I get from people who drive by].  So as I’m training to run a theoretical 5K (pretty sure it’s going to snow before then, and then I’m kinda done until spring), I am also training to love others well.  Not just some, either.

Let me close with the lyrics of Anthem’s “Carried Away”, which makes me think of David and his heart for God:

My heart is stirred by a noble theme
As I recite my verses for the king
At this my heart pounds
And leaps from its place
I’m getting carried away,
carried away in your arms

In your majesty, ride forth victoriously

King of Kings
You’re the author of the universe
You gave yourself away so all can see
Your love unending

One great story, all in compassing.

Have a great weekend!

from the desk of…

I remember the first conversation I had about having a desk in my room.  We’d just gone to an open house in or near Madison (this was eons ago) that had desks built into the matching kids’ bedrooms.  For some reason we weren’t going to move into the house, but the desks had my sister and I captivated.  In the car on the way home I remember talking about desks and being told there was one I could have in my room (and one for my sister too).

I imagined it to be just like the house’s built-in desks with nice big drawers and smooth, white, 1990s finish.  It ended up being a desk my grandfather had put together back in the day that was in the middle of a refinishing effort (suspended for  a number of years).  I loved it, though.  I sat down and wrote stories and organized my drawer (it only had one) and it was magic.  My sister and I, through the years continued to love our desks, playing library and banker and other desk-occupations, filling out credit card applications (not actually trying to get cards, but loving the act of filling out forms on a desk, writing tiny letters and numbers in tiny boxes).

Moving into my school desk had similar charm, as it was still full of supplies and knick-knacks from the previous teacher.  But it wasn’t magic, like that first one.

Yesterday I was asked if I’d like a bigger desk (apparently my school desk is small).  I said I’d look, and when I did I found a nearly new large desk with drawers that hold hanging file folders (mine does not) on BOTH sides, not just one.  It also isn’t caved in with peeling fake wood strips on the side.  And the kicker:


supplies. inside.


A teacher retired at the end of last school year and left some supplies in the desk which I love (and have already spent some of my budget on…but hopefully the plethora will last even longer and save more funds for future supplies!).  There is a roll of magnet tape (THE BEST INVENTION EVER), student awards, wet-erase markers (sadly I believe I have one of the last overhead projectors in the school, so I still need and use these pens), pins, binder clips.  You name it.


As I’m preparing to move to I-town in three weeks, I have the potential to make some more free discoveries and tough decisions in our basement…but it’s a good feeling.

Peace out, home slices!  It’s off to do some weekendy stuff!

suh-weet [potato…garlic…radishes!]

Our connection group had a service project today and it was really an awesome time.  Besides the obvious advantages of fellowship-based work (i.e. conversation galore), we got to use our hands and muscles on a community farm north of Ames that is super cool.  I thought it was particularly fun to talk with the two volunteers who spend a lot of time there (even living on the farm) who led us in our activities for the day.


My task was using a hoe to incorporate cover crop into harvested/cleared soil.  When it rains, the rye and oats we scattered and mixed into the soil will germinate and keep the soil where it is for the winter/spring.  Yay!


In this day and age, and in my ignorance, I am awestruck at the feat of farming.  It was a really worshipful experience, knowing that God not only invented these vegetables (although harvest is over, every variety of plant was kicking out a couple last fruits…we found some carrots, sweet potatoes, and even a watermelon), but He equipped humans with the skills and minds to make the most of farming practices.  When I consider how much I don’t know about this world and what’s under human dominion, I am even more humbled by the amount of knowledge I lack in comparison to God’s infinite wisdom.


When it was time to go, they gifted us with garlic (!), sweet potatoes (I didn’t take any…wasn’t sure what I would do with them, and everyone else was pretty excited…granted, I know they’re super healthy and delicious!), and radishes for my dad.  I pulled the radishes out of the ground, folks.  That’s hard core for this girl…I’ve seen dirty radishes at farmer’s markets before, but I’ve never seen them poking out of the dirt.  Suh-weet!


When I got home, besides being tired from my handiwork with the hoe, I didn’t feel too good.  Finally, 2.5 hours later I’m doing a bit better…but yeesh.  It makes me think a lot longer and harder about what I will do (and what time is potentially lost) if I’m sick for a day of school…there are programs to prepare for, make-up tests to give, musical fun to be had!


In other news, I got to sub in the PK room at church this morning.  I love it.  I love the kiddos.  I love my kiddos at school too.  I am a kid person…but perhaps moreso a people person, and kids are most assuredly people with valuable lessons to teach.


I’m looking to move to Indianola the first weekend of November.  What a bittersweet date; sweet because it’s certainty, it’s gained time in my days (well, I can choose to spend 2 hours thinking and listening to sermons, but I can write things down at the same time).  Bitter because I love living at home and I love my church.  I again reiterate that I know God is good, good, good to me and that He is in Indianola and will provide in community and fellowship as He has for me in Ames.  Sure, it’ll be a different bunch of people and a different setting, but the Kingdom expands and extends beyond my small perception.


Much love, and here’s to a happy week!

Never before

I’m not going to attempt to shock you with information that I, not a runner, now love running, but in case you’ve ever thought running was an ideal concept with impractical realities (like PAIN), you might check out Couch 2 5K, found here (and my favorite, as a podcast series on iTunes):

I’m nowhere near a 5K (and I’m not even sure I’ll sign up for one when I do get there), but the gradual build up of sustained running, as well as permission to slow down to a walking pace has helped me to get past some feelings of self-consciousness that I’ve had in past running “sprees”.

The weather here is just right for it…for now.  I figure I’ve got another month and some to keep working on this before I’m confined to a building (but I don’t have a treadmill or anticipate joining a club to have access to a treadmill, so I might just end up starting over in the springtime).

And can I say that going to bed at 9:00 does wonders for morning productivity?  By 6:00 a.m. I’ve already had 9 hours of sleep and I’m ready and rarin’ to go!

Peace to you,