31 August 2006


I don't know what it is - a virus of some sort, perhaps. Whatever it is, it strikes at the same time each year. Every August, I know it's coming. Invariably, the day arrives when I just don't feel like watering my flowers anymore... or worse, pulling weeds.

May, June, July - I am diligent. I am inspired. I water those flowers come rain or shine. I'm out there at least every other day. Then, seemingly overnight, this 15-minutes of regular daily maintenance becomes excruciating. The departure from my daily grind is suddenly too much to bear. My flowers pay the price.

Some flowers power through and still look pretty good after a week of 90 degree sun and no water, while others... well, they don't look so good.

I don't have a good excuse, really. Chalk this up to plain old negligence (I'm sensing a theme here).

And this...
This is the thorn in my side - the bane of my existence and potential as a domestic flower and garden specialist. I'm not sure WHAT this was or what it was supposed to be before we moved in, but today it is an eyesore - affectionately known in our home as "the heap." We have tried (to absolutely NO avail) to eradicate this mess and wipe the slate clean... to begin again.

Starvation. Dehydration. Poison. We've tried it all. Every few weeks we've fought the good fight trying to beat this thing down. Yet hours after pulling the last and most stubborn weeds, more green little monsters emerge from the heap to squash our dream (ok, my dream) of a colorful flower garden and a new beginning (not that I would water it anyway).

I'm discouraged. Will I end another summer with pots full of dead flowers overshadowed by a disastrous heap of dream-killing weeds? I certainly hope not.

I AM trying. Well, I was trying. OK... I'll give it another try. This needn't be the end. If given the chance, my flowers have the potential to keep their heads held high for at least another month or two before the air turns cool and the leaves begin to fall. I must give them that chance!

As for the heap... talk to me next spring.

an abi train of thought

45 days until the Denver Marathon. I sent in my registration yesterday night. Today, there is no turning back. I had some funny thoughts while I was watering my dying flowers this morning. They went a little something like this:

"Wow, these flowers look horrible... Maybe I'll do a little weeding this weekend... This weekend... I have my 19-mile run this weekend... I'm so glad I got it together and registered for the race before the price went up... $85... wait, $85?!?!... I can't believe I PAID $85 to run 26 miles... "

17 August 2006

secrets revealed

Behind this door lie secrets.
Deep, dark... DIRTY secrets.

(imagine, if you will, the dramatic theme song from
"2001: A Space Odyssey," and insert here)

bah.......... Bah.......... BAH.......... BAH, BUM

bum, bum, bum, bum, bum, bum, bum, bum...

bah.......... Bah.......... BAH.......... BAH, BUM

bum, bum, bum, bum, bum, bum, bum, bum...

... you get the point.

"What's down here?" guests in our home often wonder as they notice the mysterious door they've never seen opened.

"Oh this? It's nothing..." I have often responded, "but, look over here..."

Like any web of lies it began small. It was harmless, really.

The basement. It was the fate of the items with "destination to be determined" when we moved into our home two years ago. These were the boxes that came out of storage in California - the little things we weren't quite sure what to do with. The innocuous decision not to make a decision wasn't a big deal... at first. Paul and I mutually agreed that we would never have one of those basements.

As we unpacked boxes, filled drawers, decorated walls and arranged furniture, the empty packages, the unknowns, the untouchables... they all made there way down to the basement.

Meanwhile, the harmless little pile of nothings grew... and grew... and grew...

Soon, anything and everything - the "don't-want-to-deal-with-it" stuff, the "oh-I-might-need-this-for-later" stuff, the "once-we-have-more-room-for-it" stuff - oh yes, all of it found its way down to the basement.

It's gotten to the point that I don't even go down to the basement. I just open the door, stand at the top of the stairs and throw the "oh-I'll-just-put-it-in-the-basement" stuff down the steps. Then, I turn around, shut the door and go on living a lie.

As ashamed as I am to admit it, our little pile of sweet nothings has turned into this... cue suspenseful horror film track

They say the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. Well, I HAVE A PROBLEM!!! MY BASEMENT IS A DISASTER. It's dirty, It's disorganized, it has creepy-crawlies all over the place and it has become an ominous mess that has spiraled out of control. I NEED HELP!!!

Ah, that feels better already.

It is important for you to know that we've decided to put a stop to the lies. We are implementing a 4-step program with high hopes of triumph (Lord, help us).

Step One: the piles - keep, sell, donate, toss.
Step Two: the garage sale (oh my)
Step Three: the shelves, the storage bins...
Step Four: the recovery

It's going to be a long road. There may be casualties.

Keep us in your prayers.

16 August 2006

His response

You are beautiful.

I formed you. Your very foundations were part of My plan. I breathed life into you. I created you. I delight in you. You are beautiful.

As a child – unsure and insecure, you were beautiful.

As you have grown and learned, as you change and transform, you are beautiful.

In your laughter and your tears, you are beautiful.

As you run and dance and write and sing – as you create, you are beautiful. As you nurture, care, listen and love, you are beautiful. As you use your gifts for My glory, you are beautiful.

You are a radiant bride – passionate, fragrant, lovely and free - simply adorned, extravagantly loved. Glowing… captivating. You are beautiful.

As you invited Me to walk with you through labor, you were beautiful. As I held your hand through every contraction, you were beautiful. As you rested on and trusted in Me through the pain and the unknown, you were stunningly beautiful. As you delivered My children and became a mother, you were absolutely beautiful.

Covered in spit-up surrounded by dishes and laundry, disheveled and smelling like cleaning products, you are beautiful. As you serve your husband and your children and Me, you are beautiful. Today, even though you don’t have it together and your house is a pit, you are beautiful.

As you strive and seek and search for more, you are beautiful. As you aspire for significance and for meaning, you are beautiful. As you dream and hope and persevere, you are beautiful. With that said, please understand that your beauty is nothing to be attained. It simply is. You are. From your foundations, you are beautiful. You are lovely. You are loved. You are Mine.

You are most beautiful in your humility and vulnerability. Your brokenness and willingness is alluring. I am captivated when you are naked, unveiled and unashamed.

You are beautiful. You are beautiful. You are beautiful.

14 August 2006


This past weekend I ran (okay, jogged) in the Georgetown to Idaho Springs Half Marathon. Big surprise... I didn't win this race either. In fact, as shocking as you may find it, I didn't even come close!!

When I rolled over at 4 on Saturday morning, to see what that @#%* noise coming from my dresser was (my alarm clock), it took EVERYTHING in me to get out of bed. On less than four hours of sleep, with a knee on which I could barely walk only two days prior, with the prospect of driving the hour to Idaho Springs alone and then the reality of running another 2+ hours solo, I guess you could say I was a little less than eager to run this race.

But I did.

My Father was faithful and met me once again; I actually enjoyed myself. I soaked in the picturesque views and breathed in piercingly clean mountain air all morning. I made a friend (a fellow Westminster runner) with whom I chatted and ran miles 5 through 9. My family - my biggest fans - beamed and cheered me on as I approached the end of the race, and if you look closely,
you will notice that I not only finished, but I did so with a smile on my face.

Never have the words of the Apostle Paul been more true for me - on every front - than now.

" Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. [Brothers and Sisters], I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."
- Phil 3:12-14.

I've reached the split. 13.1 miles to go.