~ ~ where some see a hopeless end, others see an endless hope ~ ~

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


those days when you stumble across a song from one of your all-time favorite bands...

and hear it for the first time. . .

It’s Your sovereign grace that gets me through.  The light to my dark.  The living water I need… Thank you for your little reminder today.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Content with the Constant

Our staff talked today about how we, in the past 2 months, have changed more than ever before.  We’ve grown, we’ve stretched, we’ve cut back, we’ve extended… Change that we saw coming and change that took us off our rocker.  Change we were hoping for and change we fought through.

And as a person who ‘goes with the flow’, finds the excitement out of all things new… I realized today how much change really does for a person.  And I appreciate it.  I appreciate the change we as a staff have been through…but most importantly that I, as an individual, have been through.

This season, with all the change, there are times when I can just sit back and be thankful.  Be grateful for the change…. but be amazingly, peacefully content with the constants.

My Constants

a family who loves me.  a family who supports me.  a family who, even though doesn't agree with everything I decide, will encourage me, fight for me, and lay down their life for me until I see it through their eyes… knowing all along, they were right  

birthdays to celebrate those mothers who are a part of those families

new mornings.  which bring new mercies.  which lead to 
new opportunities

autumn skies that paint the world a rich, crisp blue and a pallet of trees, reaching to their arms length to just get a feel of it, warming themselves in the high sun

finding joy in running again

waking up to messages from friends in worlds away, constant reminders I’m not in this alone

cozy beds and warm blankets that steal your motivation each morning


homemade quiche brought to work

singing birds who wait until we start morning prayer, and bring up the chorus and chime in once we begin


memories that remind you of a life well lived and pictures to capture the moments

pumpkin spice coffee…and well.. everything pumpkin

happy people  

little things that happy people get excited about

playful kiddos full of joy, untainted & unintimidated by the world around them, ready to eat them up

words.  words when you need them and words when you don’t think you did

friends who like you enough to let you be a part of their life and friends who love you enough to be a part of yours

“no” people

prayer warriors.  warriors that take up your battle because you’re too tired to fight

loud, boisterous, spontaneous random laughter down the hall

people who say what they think and mean what they say

conversations to explain who we are and sparks that light because of it


pandora.  because when your brain doesn’t want to think on its own, it does it for you:  playing everything at the exact moment you need to hear it


advice givers

grace.  constant, unending, forgiving and renewing grace


a place I get to come to, Monday through Friday and ‘get away’.  A place that most call work, I call sanctuary




a church that responds

conversation that leads to questions.  questions that lead to reflection.  reflection that leads to action and action that leads to


It’s Fall.  A time of change.  
and while it seems like everything in my life is changing this season and I can appreciate it …
 I’m also thankful for the constant, the things that REMAIN

Thursday, October 04, 2012

If These Shoes Could Talk

Less than a week.
In fact, just a short 3 days away.

I remember the day I crossed the finish line at the Country Music 1/2 Marathon in April of 2011.  13.1 miles under my belt, and I felt unfinished.  It was at that moment I knew I wanted more.

The past 5 months of training:  Thoughts I never thought I’d think.  Emotions I never thought I’d feel.  Pain like none other.  And triumph like nothing else.

~ So much time to think.  Time to just relive experiences that have come and gone. It’s become so much more than a race for me. ~

“If These Shoes Could Talk” 

Almost 2 years ago exactly, I sat in the bleachers at a homecoming Gustavus game.  And watched, in agony, as my brother walked onto the field with his team.  

Not dressed.

I can remember the twinge and the prick I felt in my heart.  I remember squeezing my hands so hard they were white and numb.  I remember the huge lump in my throat, and I remember the single, solitary tear that fell. I remember being angry at God that he took him out of the game.  The game he loved.  The game he devoted his life to.

2 years ago, my brother had one of the scariest accidents happen that not only took him out of the game that season, but almost took his life.  After his kidney basically exploded, he was told so many different things that still ring in my head today:

“Had you got hit just one more time in that game, you probably would have just laid down on the field and passed out.  And not woke up.”
“Elliott, with all the blood you’ve lost internally, you’re lucky… to be here.” 
“You might not be able to walk again.”
“You’ll never be able to play football again.”
“You might be able to do light cardio throughout your life, but with only one kidney.”
“You can train with the team, but no weights.”
“Why don’t you dress for the season and we’ll see where you’re at.”

“Elliott, not only are you healthy… you are Healed. Your once, nonexistent kidney, is now 90% back to normal.  Should you ever be reinjured, the doctor or nurse would not be even able to see a previous kidney injury!!!  You have NO restrictions!!! Football, hunting, school, anything!”

With every strength in his muscle, every piece of his heart, and every prayer in his spirit, my brother fought a fight that I don’t think anyone deserves to go through.  What took him out of the game temporarily, only brought him back harder, stronger, and more faithful.

The Lord works in mighty ways.  He performs miracles.  I’ve seen it.

If my shoes could talk right now, they’d say, “Elliott, 2 years ago none of us knew where you’d even be right now.  But through it all, we’ve become closer, stronger, healthier…and definitely more stubborn in our will to win.  This marathon, the pain in my knee with each step I take… all I remember is the pain in my heart watching you walk on out on that field.  And that hurts worse.  But you’ve conquered it.  You’ve fought it.  You’ve won.  And thank you.  You’ve been an inspiration to us all…” 

 If these shoes could talk…

“So, wait.  You’re telling me I have to train for like, 5 months?  In the middle of the summer?  In the south.  Aaand, there’s no way around that?” 

“So, it’s been a couple months, let’s dust these babies off and see how they fit.” 

“4:30am wake up calls don’t get any easier.”

“103 degree summers are hot.  And don’t get any easier.” 

“Plans?  Nope sorry.  Gotta wash my … fuel belt.”

“I’ve never been a runner.  I never wanted to just ‘run’ as a hobby.”

“Shot blocks. Out of shot blocks.  Need my shot blocks.  Squirrel!”

“Vacation?  Well, yeah, I can go. … … But, is there a road to run on?  A trail?  I gotta get a 12 miler in, that’s the only thing.”

“i love us”

“I don’t remember what Friday nights are like.”

“Man, I’m totally wearing a fuel belt to a 5k.  But nobody knows I’m really doing a 20K.  I win."

“I didn’t even know I HAD a muscle there.”

“Ice baths in 100 degree weather hurt just as bad as in 20 degree weather.”

“Sometimes… you just wanna get out there and …run.”

“I’m part of a group that says, ‘HEY! Glad we have a short run this weekend, only 12 miles!’” 

If these shoes could talk…

“I’m doing this for them.  I’m doing this for my girls.  Don’t forget why you’re doing this.”

“Wait.  20 miles.  That’s like… to Owatonna.  The north side of Owatonna.  I just ran, from my house, to Owatonna.” 

“I lose myself.  Out here.  It’s my God time.  No one else.  I’m checked out.  Me and Him?  We talk it out.  … He usually wins.” 

“I’m running 14 miles today because I chose to.  They walk 14 miles a day because they need water.” 

“I just got shot.  I seriously feel like I just got shot.  What WAS that?”

“Take a break?  Rest?  Are you kidding?  The race is 4 weeks away.  Ain’t nobody got time for that”

“8. breathe.  12. breathe.  14.  Mmmm granola pancakes sound good.  15. got to PEE  16.  OW!  18. breathe.  19. Pancakes? HECK NO.  20.  Did that really just happen?  Wait.  Where’s Tinkerbell?”

“Nooo… that booty shakin playlist.  you know.  the one we like to dance to? yeah.  i want that one.”

“We’ve gotten to know each other more this past summer than people I’ve known for years.”

“I don’t want you to stress about it, now you can just run.  Stress free.”

“God, I don’t understand.  I thought you wanted me to run this?  Where ARE you through this pain?  Why does it hurt so bad?  <insert flying Hawk leading my way above the trail>  Oh.  You are here.  Sorry…” 

“I’m proud of you.”

“You’re crazy.” 

“Pain, blood, sweat and tears.  I didn’t train all this summer and get this far to turn back now.  I’m not in it to win it. I’m in it to finish.  Let’s do this.” 

If these shoes could talk…

“I believe in you.”

“We Got This.”