Friday, December 28, 2012


Today on the church calendar is the fourth day of Christmas, dedicated to the Holy Innocents, the children of Bethlehem ordered to be killed by Herod when he learned that the Magi from the East had slipped the net and returned home without giving him the address of the potential usurper of his earthly throne: the King of kings and the Lord of lords, the infant, Jesus.

“Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah:
“A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.”  ~Matthew 2:17-18

Saturday, September 22, 2012

My Heart Has Grown Ten Sizes

It was a dark and stormy night.

No, really— it was!

Tuesday had been so stormy all afternoon and evening that we had flood advisories, wind advisories, and tornado watches all through the area.  The local cross country meets were even postponed— so you know it was bad.  Perfect day to hunker down and stay home.  We settled down to watch a movie at home, hoping the power wouldn't go out, casting occasional glances out the windows at the sideways driving rain.  As the movie came to the end and the rain began to lessen, I got a text from Bekah, "Do contractions feel like period cramps?"

Monday, September 10, 2012

Am I Better Off Than I Was Four Years Ago?

This question is getting a lot of play right now as the election season heats up to full boil and the opposing parties are making their respective arguments for their candidates.  Am I better off now than I was four years ago?  I suppose the answer hangs on the definition of our standards of measurement.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

It's Just a Little Bug Bite!

I've trained all spring and summer for a fall marathon.  Getting up at 6am every morning to get my run in early, sometimes even 5:30; sometimes 5— on Saturdays!  I've monitored my diet, gone to bed early, and foregone other activities in order to keep my training routine.  An "evening out with friends" was redefined to mean going to the track for speed and tempo workouts with like-minded lunatics— I mean, other runners seeking to improve their pace, strength, and speed.  I chose the Steamtown Marathon, in early October, and the Bird-in-Hand Half-Marathon as a really fun training run, next week.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

The Appalachian Trail, Maine, August 2012

A little more than a year ago Erin joined Venture Crew 241.  As Venturing is not very widely recognized, allow me to explain.  Everyone has heard of the Boy Scouts.  Everyone knows that the Boy Scouts do Neat Stuff, such as hiking, camping, and tying knots.  (There's a whole lot more to what they do, but these are the activities about which everyone knows)  Venture Crew is a co-ed branch of Scouting, for young people ages 14 to 21, who also like to do Neat Stuff.  Isaac's Scout Troop has a Venture Crew associated with it; this Crew has a "backpacking" focus; and when Erin learned about this Crew she was immediately hooked.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Summer Adventures

Our summer was unusual in that, for the most part, we only had one child at home!  For a brief time in April everyone was home - even Nathaniel, on leave from Afghanistan.  We had a houseful again, with the activities, special meals, and memories made that accompany each of our reunions.  Shortly thereafter, however, our family dispersed and we had a flurry of activity before settling down to a mostly quiet, and brief, summer.

Summer Run-Down

This has been a rather hectic, unstructured, running- literally- in every direction, sort of Summer.  I will not attempt to re-construct the entire past several months now, but merely share the highlights.  I may even miss some of those.  Here's one aspect of my summer...

Last spring when I resumed my running I must have felt awfully good about it.  In a flush of optimistic confidence I registered for not one, but two fall races.  While one of those races was a repeat of last year's half-marathon, the second race was a full marathon.  (Yeah, like I said, I must have been feeling pretty good...)  Training with any regularity was difficult during the school year- and especially last May when we ended up in a hurry-scurry of events and commitments that had us all over the map, from Hyde Park, NY to southwestern Virginia, (another story entirely).

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

I'm Going to be a Grandmother

"Mom, I'm pregnant".

One phone call on a Saturday in January, and a mother learns that her child living away from home for the first time while attending school is living the very life that she hoped she wouldn't, is making choices which are breaking her heart, and that she will become a grandmother sooner than she had dreamed.

That phone call was made in 1986, and the child was me.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Not Yet Arrived

Jim and I recently celebrated our 26th wedding anniversary.  Twenty-six years.  Just writing that causes me to pause. 

I’ve now been married for longer than I was unmarried.  More years of my life have been spent as a wife than spent as a child and young woman.  I’ve known my husband for more years than the years during which I did not know him.  For that matter, I’ve been a mother for longer than I was not a mother.  No matter how I look at it, this thought staggers me. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Leaving the Driving to Him

When I was little, we would occasionally take day-trips or be out at a friend’s home, requiring a late-night return to our own house.  As we drove home in the dark I would often fall asleep in the car.  Though I was sleeping, I was aware enough of the movement of the car, coming to a gradual stop at a traffic light or intersection, gently pulling away from the stop, the sound of the turn signal, abnormally loud in the quiet of the night.  I knew that, without watching his every move, my Dad was carefully piloting our family through the dark streets and we would eventually pull into the driveway where he would stop the car, turn the key, and we’d be home.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Adventures in Lancaster City

Yesterday was one of those days when I'd just rather stay curled on the couch.  Not only because of the misty-moisty-grey-dreary weather outside; I simply didn't feel well.  Nothing unusual, mind you, just more severe than monthly usual with an aching back and crampy belly.  It was a day tailor-made for staying on said couch, curled up under a blanket, with a supply of chocolate and hot tea standing by and a good chick-flick to watch; say, Henry V or The Italian Job, (okay, I actually despise most chick flicks).

But the comfort of my couch was not in the plan.  Nope, Erin had two appointments to keep, one nearby, and one with her sister in Lancaster.  This would be an adventure.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Lousy, Sluggish, and Yet, Encouraging...

I've had a sluggish week.  I mean, really sluggish.  The weather may have been mostly sunny and dry, but it's been cold and oftentimes windy.  By cold, I mean it's been in the single digits 30s and 40s.  I've had time and opportunities to get outdoors for a run on most days, but have procrastinated, mis-timed my activities, or, honestly, straight-up wimped out.   And then there's been the food.  A women's retreat over the weekend, a day on my own to "eat whatever I want", and the leftover goodies from the retreat have afforded too many opportunities for too many treats.

Are you hearing the whining, the justification, and the excuses?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Homeschool Moms' Retreat

This is my first year actually being part of the Homeschool co-op where Erin and Isaac take Science and Writing.  Last year I helped out a bit, but didn't really participate with the rest of the Moms in anything.  I now have the privilege of participating and developing friendships with some of the amazing women who have given themselves to educating their children.  One benefit to this was the annual Moms' Retreat this weekend.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Goal For This Year

This is not a New Year's Resolution.  Neither is this a whim.  I've carefully considered this since last year and have weighed the cost and I believe that I can reach this goal.

This year I will run a marathon.

A full 26.2 miles.

Friday, February 03, 2012


Last night our Ladies' Bible study finished the book of Philippians.  That is, we finished the last lesson in our study book on Paul's letter to the Philippians, but I don't believe I will ever be "finished" with Philippians.  The themes of joy through the hard realities of this life are needful and will be welcome reminders for many a trial yet to come.  Learning to be content regardless of the circumstances in which I find myself, trusting the sufficiency of Christ who strengthens me, giving sacrificially, and knowing that my God will supply my every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus are timeless treasures indeed.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Count It All Loss

Our women's Bible study has been moving through the book of Philippians at, frankly, a faster clip than I'd like.  These are some of the pages in my Bible that are underlined and note-scribbled, without ever having heard a sermon series on the whole book.  Many sermons reference passages in Philippians, and many studies cross-reference to it, and many, many times the lessons found there have been a balm to my soul.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Middle Ages Wisdom for Parenting Today

Since we are studying the Early Middle Ages I thought I'd expand my reading in order to better teach the kids as we progress through the centuries.  I'm therefore reading Thomas Cahill's Mysteries of the Middle Ages.  While I don't agree entirely with his interpretation of the motives behind some of the early Christian leaders of the Church, I do find his tracing of the actual history to be fascinating.

Friday, January 20, 2012


I've written and re-written this post over and over again, usually in my head while I'm driving, out for a run, or otherwise engaged away from the keyboard.  When I do finally sit down in front of my computer, the screen stares back at me just as blankly as I stare at it.  While away from the desk my ideas grow and grow, but sitting here I doubt.  I'll therefore keep this brief, and over the next few days try to set down in smaller bites that which is stirring in my heart.