Lost and Found

It’s a shame when I look back and realize that the last time I wrote on this blog was January. SERIOUSLY?  Ive slipped and let it go and I’m not overly thrilled about that. Although in my defense in the time between then and now I’ve trained, traveled, had our last baby graduate high school, had parties, had visitors, hiked mountains, packed and sold a house, unpacked, packed and sold a house again.  It’s been a roller coaster that seems to have an operator that allows you to keep riding even when you’re waving like a maniac to get off!

The last time we visited I was still steeping over the “patience” thing and thinking it was pretty….amusing that my word for the year was PATIENCE, because quite frankly that word is rarely used the vocabulary of my life.

Let me tell you what, God knew exactly what he was doing laying that word down on my heart.

When May rolled around and race season started to heat up, I flew to Pittsburgh (the city of my birth) to run the Pittsburgh Marathon with my cousin. It was one of the best I’ve done, from start to finish. I had the most incredible time visiting with my family. I just soaked in the love of it all. Imagine, crazy cousins and aunts laughing hysterically over nights of wine, dinners, painting and ball games.  I also ate some AMAZING food (HELLO Primanti’s) -Ok, I have to side bar here for a second about Primanti Brothers…can I just get a shout out for those sandwiches? I mean, the genius behind a sandwich with grilled meat, coleslaw with italian dressing,  and FRENCH FRIES (yes, on the sandwich) is mind blowing!! Ok, lets stop the drooling and get back on track. The race went excellent, but MAN, was it hilly!! It was a great celebration to do with my cousin, who had decided to get back into running after taking some time off while raising her babies. We ended up doing the 5K the day before (Saturday) and the marathon on Sunday to get our extra Runner of Steel medals! Who doesn’t love that extra bling?

In June I had the inaugural Ironman Coeur d’Alene 70.3. How could I not race the half-Ironman in my own city? It was an amazing day! Being on a hometown race course with so many people and friends was truly incredible. The race brought out seasoned racers, and newbie’s looking for that next challenge. It was motivating and encouraging being out there. I think every time I looked up, there was a friendly face. It was such a fun day and I learned that I really REALLY love that half-Ironman distance.

After Ironman, I went into a waiting period. I guess this was my season starting with patience. I went into a waiting period for the month that had consumed my entire mind and calendar for the year…. August! August was the month I was going to set out to through-hike the John Muir Trail (JMT) in the Sierra Nevada’s of California. A journey that would take roughly 3 weeks and was 230-miles long.

Although I really only had a few weeks to wait after IM until I left for CA, it seemed like an eternity. I spent the time with family and friends, who asked a million questions. I studied blogs and websites about the trail. I made trial runs with my gear (I’ll post a gear list later) I doubted my ability on some days. I wondered if I could really do some of the things required of me out there in the wild. Could I make the distance daily? Could I survive almost a month on nothing but dehydrated meals? Could I deal with the cold? The altitude? The heat? The animals? Could I seriously NOT shave my legs for 3 weeks? And mostly, could I honestly not shower for that long? And HOW could I possibly carry a WAG bag (waste alleviation and gelling bag) with my waste for the entire time after coming off of Mt Whitney? Thankfully, we ended up hiking in the opposite direction and this was unnecessary, praise God! Although, having to carry a cat-hole trowel and find a decent enough place to dig a hole and “do my business” wasn’t a piece of cake for me either. ALL of this was going to be a learning experience as this was my longest through hike. AND it was going to stretch my patience in ways I couldn’t imagine.

Have you ever felt like you’ve been in a place where you’ve lost and found yourself? Where every fiber of your being seems to dismantle, peel away and come completely undone only to have the most beautiful restoration happen? To unravel to be delivered? This…this is my John Muir journey. It’s amazing that God had to get me alone and into the wild to do that type of work on me. That Ive allowed myself to get so busy at times, too busy, to sit and pay attention. That I had to be so far removed from my normal day to day life, and SO challenged, crying an agony a few days, to hear His still small voice. That he had to take me off the grid, in the middle of nowhere in the wilderness to find me. He’s always been there. He’s never left me. BUT I’ve allowed the business and the clamor of life to pull me off track. It was as beautiful as it was brutal and a journey of losing myself to find His love at an even deeper level than I could ever imagine.





Can you believe we are half way through the first month of the year? Did you make resolutions? Are you hanging in?

I have been quiet. Life has been quiet and delightful. The extraordinary, chaos of having imagesour house full of kids over the holidays has died. The bustling of shopping, the parties, and entertaining through the New Year is gone. The snow continues to fall and its quiet. That placid, calmness that is carried in after a new year begins is incredible! Winter season.

This is always my regroup-reassemble-organize-tea-time-book-reading time of year. It’s cozy and delicious.

In these moments of quiet is when I hear God. It’s when work happens. It’s when closeness arrives.

I’m still riveted by my word for the year: patience. I often find myself fidgety, and saying “OK, let’s get going on this, and see what it all means.” Then I am gently reminded to be quiet. Wait. Lean in and be patient.

0e7f937cb212216ba9409e26c270df10As days creep on and God peels back layers of me like an onion, its literally captivating me to see what is and what will be revealed. What wisdom is he going to drop on me? To know him better? To live more profoundly through him? What needs resuscitated in me? In the life of my husband and I? In our family? How will he use me this year?

Our last child is a senior this year. Knowing this is plaguing me. It’s gone so fast. Too fast! We have loved the dickens out of our kids and have had the MOST-WONDERFUL time raising then, goofing off with them, laughing with them, having grand adventures with them, traveling with them and living this life-journey with them. We love them with such fierceness. Our best things ever in life have been our kids. So now….we are in this pivotal, transition. We both know it is going to be a time of patience and change and growth and modification and revision. As well as resurrection.  The best-friend couple coming back into a place of being “just a couple” again. Older. Smarter. More in love, with decades of growth and passion and zeal under our belts. Already the hubs and I are both sorta going..”HUH?” We’ve talked about this time coming for a while and now it’s almost here. We are excited and thrilled to be transitioning into this next phase of life. It’s bittersweet though. No more “crazy” of a houseful of kids, but onto the “crazy” of just being a couple again. Very thrilling!! A whole new season. A whole new circus ride!images-1


Another thing going on in the Fun-House  is race season prep. I’ve also had great patience regarding this. I’ve been reading over training plans, meal plans, rest plans….you name it. In some ways I’ve had to be patient, coming off of a recent running injury and a less than stellar year health wise. All that is behind me now, and I’m starting to round out the season. I talked with a sweet friend of mine yesterday and told her I have a whole new approach this year. I’m not racing frenetically. Not getting pulled into races randomly. Not falling into any type of pressure. The season is well planned out. Allowing me for some incredible training and race time with family and friends, but not enough to consume me. It’s all about having a lot of fun! (It always is) and balance. I’m being kinder to my body and kinder to my soul. Eating better and DRINKING better (as in H2O, which I am admittedly horrible about.) Turns out, the camel approach…not always the best for our human bodies. I will get to do some fun traveling to Pittsburgh, PA (GO STEELERS!) back to my place of birth to run and ruckus with my cuzzies and see A LOT of family and to California (HOLLA being able to race a 70.3 in my hometown!!) and end it all with a most-epic adventure in August! The icing on the cake!! Honestly!  THE ICING!

It’s not a busy schedule by any sense of the word. But a fun-butt-kicking-laugh-alot-and-train-with-good-friends-season! It already feels good!

It’s a Joy-Filled season all authored by the One who knows and loves my soul in the most furious of ways. Who knew exactly what kind of year I needed!7efb6abf00184733b6b41d1a0db1fc6d

One Word

And so it is. Just like that. My word.

I sat early morning; everyone sleeping in my overflowing household of kids and friends and dogs and joy and gladness. I was in prayer. I have been on my knees, Bible open for days, waiting on my word. I cracked open my latest Bible study and starting working, all the while listening, waiting. And there it was bold and final. Pressed on my heart. Resolute, as to not be missed. Undaunted. In my quietness, God whispered. I closed my eyes and gave out a sweet, “thank you” and then giggles, followed by a prayer of, “are you sure?” As if He doesn’t know exactly what he’s doing.


Patience? Unknown


This certainly could NOT be the word that was meant for me. I am a lot of things, but patient is probably not something that would get the vote when describing me. I can have patience, but it is not in my nature. I am quick-witted, fiery and passionate. I love fiercely and without boundary. I am a hard worker, driven, determined. I am intelligent and a complete goofball…but NEVER have I been much for patience. It’s always full steam ahead…. I’m not too great at sitting on my hands.

Image-1Patience! I wrote it down.

This past year I would say my patience has been put to the test. The things I love to do were sidelined due to injuries, illness and lack of preparation. Needless to say THIS did not make me happy. But I know God has a bigger picture in store. A much better plan than the smallness of this past year, that’s being held in my mind. All that aside, there is something He’s working on.

It’s just like Him to get my attention. To plant this seed in my heart to watch grow. Just like him to derail MY plans for HIS. This is where he does his best work. Creates his masterpieces in us.

I looked up a few verses regarding patience and this is what I found: (trust me there are TONS)

~Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Col 3:12

~But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness faithfulness. Gal 5:22

~The end of a matter is better than its beginning; likewise, patience is better than pride. Ecc 7:8

~with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love Eph 4:2

~Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him Ps 37:7

~We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy. Col 1:11

The verses go on. I sat for 2 hours reading, writing and meditating on His Words!images

We live in a world of instant gratification. Patience for anything is hard. I sat and thought about the times I have showed patience, or was forced to have patience. Waiting for my first love, waiting to marry my hubs (we dated a long time) waiting for our children to be born, waiting on a move to Coeur d’Alene, waiting on a vacation, waiting on a visit from our sweet, kids, waiting on a girlfriend date…all of those things reap the sweetest rewards. Plenty of times I have been hasty, quick to respond, making sudden, abrupt, changes or decisions without a lot of thought. Without a lot of consideration and without seeking Him in my decisions. That has often created a lot of conflict in more ways than one. It’s caused hardship, guilt, blame, tension, friction and often remorse. It’s no wonder there are the quotes “patience is a virtue” and “buyers remorse.”

FullSizeRender copy 2I know that God has a sense of humor. I know this because he has given me this word. In all honesty, this is where he intends to grow me. In my deepest places and the innermost workings of my being, I know this. It fills me with so much hope and excitement to see how this will unfold. How this will change my life. How this will glorify him. What boundaries will be broken within me? What new and glorious treasures will unfold from this? I already know for certain, anything I think or could even imagine will be so profoundly out done.

Have you tried this?  Have you found your One Word for the year?

Interestingly enough my sweet husband’s word for the year: PREPARE