But… I Can’t Do that…Can I?

Month’s ago someone Tweets “What is your favorite running song?”


There really is such a thing?

I mean unless there is a song called running makes me vomit, I just didn’t see the point.

Being as he was training for a triathalon I’m thinking he was serious. So replied.

“C is for cookie” by cookie monster.

Radio silence ensued and my serious running tweet-pal never asked that question again. That or he deleted me from his follow me list. Who knows.

I wasn’t always so flip about running. I actually used to like it, until I shattered my ankle. The dr’s fixed it, and I could run again, but now my ankle is in need of a brace to help me walk straight. Marathons are out. At least that is what I keep telling myself.

Only, I keep reading about people almost 20 years older than I placing third in this triathlon or that person running in that race. I even read a book about a guy who was running marathons and climbing mountains with his daughter when he was my age.

I’ve done the whole conversation with God – in my true to mask joke form “you know God at my age and my shape, I could achieve neither the race nor the spandex.” That is just too big of a step for me. KWIM?

So what happens? God apparently agreed with me and so he sent me Heather.

Heather – from church – our C-Fit instructor runs her very first 5K and places third for her age this past Saturday. I saw that and thought, I can run a 5K. I mean it’s only 3.10 miles. I just have no idea how to train for that. I’d have to train, trust me. My favorite song really is C is for cookie.

My next thought was after reading all my friends post about the Tulsa Run and other such marathons, is saying I’m gonna try for a 5k the total of weenie ville? Maybe, but it is a start. And to help me because I know nothing about running, I found the From Couch to 5K training information.

So… to David who climbs mountains, Reed who always ran past my door every day, Melissa who trained for a half marathon last year, Heather who tried a 5k and did it, and my other triathlon friends, I’m gonna do it.

And I’m going to try not to feel like a wheenie about it.

EDITED JULY 9, 2010 — The verdict is in… I cannot run, my leg won’t tolerate it.  I can, however, swim and cycle. Those will be the areas I can pursue. I tried. And I’ve learned my limitations. yes, I will some day need a brace. That is reality and not defeat. And I’m learning how to be okay with that.

Sacred Beauty

beauty1A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.  ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe




It is my fourth trip to Nashville, Tennessee, in almost as many months. Three I’ve driven and only once did I fly.  There is something sacred about the drive.  The scenery takes on new shapes while my car travels from the lowlands of Oklahoma through the Ozarks. Following a now known route, we find our way to the Cumberland mountains. My car climbs the summits and explores the valleys. The drive feels more like a pilgramage to me than a trip. It is as if I am following some small distant voice, searching not for greener pastures but rather a closer view of the face of God. Beauty was calling me, and I wanted to find her.

I am at home in the mountains. My grandfather once had a cabin in the foothills of the Andirondacks. Being in the mountains, any mountain brings me back to those days. In the mountains, my soul finds rest, my spirit soars, I am surrounded by beauty and I am reminded of God.

The trip to Round Cove to spend time with Randy and Chris Elrod was an anniversary gift to my husband. To say that the last twelve months have been busy is an understatement. We needed time to get away.

Randy and Chris graciously opened their hearts, their spirits and their time to us for 48 hours. They offered insight, fellowship, prayers, and encouragement. The cove itself offers everything that this female heart desires; Adventure, Romance (Relationship), and beauty to unveil. 

There is one piece of the story I don’t have a picture for. Jeff, Randy, Nordeck and I traveled to the Cave at Round Cove. I’m not sure how many feet under the ground this cave is, I just know that traveling to it takes work. It’s rugged, and it’s dark. It is not for the faint of heart.

Randy and Nordeck led the way and I traveled behind Jeff. We stepped over rocks, and pieces of wood and even though I was directly behind him the minute his lamp left my feet I was surrounded in darkness and couldn’t find my footing. I was struck by that and remembered the psalms – Thy word is a lamp unto my feet. Without God’s word and his marking my steps, I have trouble finding my footing.

Even more breathtaking was the beauty that was hidden under those layers of rock. The cave was spectacular. And even though I was unsure of my footing and spent my time in the cave sitting in a chair, I could not help but be taken in by it was giving to me in return for my attention. I was willing to put the effort into traveling down passed the rocks and branches and the earth opened up and returned beauty in payment.

 Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.  ~John Muir

Our Beautiful View
Our Beautiful View


Daily Bread - Bounty from the garden (Photo Credit: Randy Elrod)
Daily Bread - Bounty from the garden (Photo Credit: Randy Elrod)


A place to play (Jeff playing his new song for us) l-r: Randy, Nordeck, and Jeff.
A place to play (Jeff playing his new song for us) l-r: Randy, Nordeck, and Jeff.
A place to pray
A place to pray

Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful, for beauty is God’s handwriting — a wayside sacrament. Welcome it in every fair face, in every fair sky, in every flower, and thank God for it as a cup of blessing. – Ralph Waldo Emerson



Every herd needs a black sheep ad she is so sweet.
Every herd needs a black sheep and she is so sweet.


rocky 150We also had the joy of gathering eggs each morning. The chicken’s did not seem to mind, but the rooster sure did. Jeff had to hold him back with a stick while I gathered the eggs.  





Bread before dinner
Every meal was a sacred communion


A New Creation
A New Creation

I find this last picture fitting –

The glasses say Kalien - Beauty Calling
The glasses say Kalein – Beauty Calling

As wonderful as the time away was and as the mountains are, I am reminded not only of God’s provision, His love and His Grace, I am also reminded of the heart that He placed inside of me. I cannot see in my surroundings, or other people, those things that do not already exist in myself.  I bring with me what I find in any place whether it be beauty, turmoil, or relationship and joy.

I carry the heart of Eve. The lightness of soul and spirit. Joy in the simple things, peace in fellowship. It is the truth of who we are (His Beloved) and what are created to be.

So, the only question is, do we answer the call?

RIP Michael Jackson

I don’ t care what you think about his life. His choices or anything else. I grew up with the Jackson 5 playing on my radio. I went to college dancing to Michael’s songs and lovin every minute of it. Michael Jackson is to Pop Music what Elvis Presley was to Rock and Roll. He was an entertainer through and through.


This video clip is by far my favorite song of his..

Be the change, look at the Man in the Mirror

Of Whine and Roses

“When you do tell your story, don’t sound like the victim. If you do, you’ll sound like you’re whining. Just be truthful in telling your story and aim to discover that slice of humanity that others can relate to.” David Pierce, author of “Don’t Let Me Go.”

Ever pick up a case of the whines without realizing it? I do that and I don’t mean to. I hate it when I catch myself doing it too. When sharing facts, I can forget the good pieces that came of whatever situation it was. Case in point. I went through an incredible season of sifting that has brought amazing fruit and yet these places in my heart are still tender, still mending, and giving voice to them, hurts a little and it comes out all wrong. I caught myself doing that a lot last week at the Cove and man did that ever frustrate me.

I learned so much in that season several years ago. I learned about letting go, about not having to be the Christ for everyone I meet, about boundaries, fear, idols, and about trusting God. Mostly, I learned how to play for an audience of One. Those are wonderful gifts to share. When I remember to share them that is. The problem is, I don’t always remember.

I know that I am not the first person in the world to feel forsaken or to feel like I’ve been handed over to Satan on a silver platter – as if to say, “Here, she won’t listen to me so you have a go at her.” I’m inspired by authors who are willing to tell the truth. Men like Philip Yancey who seem to bleed when they write. In a good way. Me? Sometimes I bleed, sometimes I vomit. Mostly, I stuff.

That paints a lovely picture, doesn’t it? Instead of the cute Irish Chia Pet, I’m that baby on the commercials buying stock and spitting up all at the same time. Ewww.

So how do I find that balance that David talks about? Talking with people I trust. Learning how to say I know there is something in here that can help someone else, please help me find the right words.

4852_90879174043_821739043_1848473_4212151_nbMy husband caught a great quote of mine last week. The ice storm of 2007 destroyed all of our trees and instead of shade we now have sunshine and I planted flowers. Was it a lot of work? Oh yes. Clearing out dead trees and building beds IS hard work and yet- out of the storm came sunshine, and new life and a new creaton and that is a good thing.

Father’s Day Dinner

I’ll be honest. I have not cooked for a few months now. Life has been  hectic and I’ve simply taken the cheaters route of filling the fridge up with wraps and various simple to create sundries and have told my family to “have at it.” And then we went to The Cove. Wow, was I ever inspired by Randy’s cooking. He stepped us through every process and the whole living foods he used to create his dishes were timeless. I loved every minute of it. So, having been inspired by some of the best food I’ve ever eaten at the Cove, I decided to cook my own Italian Dinner for Father’s Day. Granted, I don’t have a pasta turner thingie like he had, (yet) the results were still spectacular.

2009 405 We started off with a simple salad made of roasted pine nuts, chopped red and green peppers, red lettuce, celery, fresh basil, fresh mint, shredded carrots, and grape tomatoes.






2009 404Our main course is my own creation – Manicotti stuffed with diced chicken, spinach, italian parsley, dried oregano and Feta cheese. I place the stuffed shells on a bed of diced tomatoes and cover it with alfredo sauce and parm cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour and 15 minutes.





2009 408

And to compliment the meal, we enjoyed a La Crema Chardonney recommended by our friends at The Cove. For dessert I offered strawberry shortcake.


Ah yes – to be cooking again is a glorious thing.






Happy Father’s Day ya’ll.

Where Nobody knows your name.

Simplicity, Room for the Holy Spirit
Simplicity, Room for the Holy Spirit

Do you remember the opening song for that old TV show “Cheers?”

“Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name.”  la da de da..

Well, we needed time to unplug and go where no one really knew our name. We needed time to meet new faces, and new people and see new sights. We needed an adventure without drama. Ever been there?

I plan on writing more about our adventures with Randy and Chris Elrod at later times – along with everything else I’ve promised. But I did want to just write some thoughts for today.  I caught myself telling Jeff this weekend that I do not understand the past 12 months. I don’t understand the serendipity of God’s Grace. The doors that are opening.  All of it. and I used the phrase, “I’m no body. Why is He (being God) doing this?”

Jeff’s great response was to tell me the first thing I need to do is stop thinking I’m nobody, and start believing that God sees me as somebody. I’m feeling guilty for the Grace. Odd, really.

Do I really struggle with that? Still? Apparently so.

The past seven years, while we worked on dreaming of a church, dreaming of ministry, dreaming of our second life – the life we have post corporate careers and post children has been full of adventure and mixed emotions. I’ve had a lot of healing to do.

It’s just occurred to me really, that I am ending a seven year cycle. One that began on cloud nine with a new church, a new job working in a church, a new “ministry” and a cycle that ended (for me) at the Cove. These seven years have brought me an entire roller coaster of emotions, events, and dreams. I’ve hit every peak I thought possible and more valleys than imaginable. And I find myself sitting again on the precipice of change; wiser and more discerning and still excited.

I find myself searching for words to describe what it’s like to be somewhere where nobody really knows my name with the only two people who did (that being Jeff and God) and feeling known in ways I can’t yet explain.

I mean this post as a dialog really. But I’m at a loss how to start it. So I’ll simply ask this have you ever thought you were nobody and found out that you were the world to at least somebody?

An Awesome Day

I gave birth – via C-Cection – to a wonderful 7 lb 1 oz baby boy on June 10, 1993. Dillon’s lungs were not fully developed and he was what they call a “blue baby” and he was rushed to the EOPC at St Francis Hospital, where he spent 14 days before they let me take him home.

My grandfather also died that day and Dillon’s middle name, “Raymond” is in his honor.

Dillon’s first night was a rough one and the doctors were not sure he would make it. It was that night that I surrendered my life back to Christ, and offered God a trade – my life for his. Some call that a selfish prayer, but I don’t. It was in that moment that I really understood why Christ offered his life as a ransom for many. It was in that moment that I knew what it was like to be willing to lay down my life for another.

Dillon turns 16 today – he and his brother are the absolute light of my life. The song with this photo montage’ was written by Dillon and his father in about 2004 and recorded at the Lutheran Church of Our Savior, Tulsa, in 2004.

This song was written while Dillon’s epilepsy was still active. He’d had a rough day of multiple seizures and was hospitalized for observation. After he got home, Jeff heard him singing this song around the house. Jeff put music to it, and they sang it at church for Easter.


Copywrite: Dillon O’Hara – song may not be reprinted or performed without express written permission of author.

Cliff Diving in Oklahoma, Lessons on Letting Go

CCA Conference-14My son Charlie jumped off a cliff last month while in Belize, answering the age old question  “If your friends all jumped off a cliff would you do it too?”

Apparently the correct answer is “YES Mom, I would. “

Cliff jumping was his moment of facing his fears (heights) and even though it goes against every motherhood protective instinct I have, I’m proud of him.

Charlie faces two more cliffs when he gets home; High School graduation and delivering his Valedictorian speach. My son faces his fears valiantly. I could not be more proud.

He will go on to jump off more cliffs in life – college, dating, working, marriage, etc.. and I know that God will be with him and it’s okay  even if my heart doesn’t want to let him go.

As  this season of “Charlie’s Mom” closes a little for me, I know that I have my own cliffs to face. Letting him go is just one of them. I also have a 16 year old at home who wants to be let go of as well. Dillon is learning how to drive and wants all of the freedoms that come with that.  

With Dillon’s epilepsy, I’ve had a hard time letting him go. When it comes to him, I’m more of a helicopter Mom than anything else. As time presses forward, I know that I need to learn how to step back more and let him try his wings, lest I cripple him before I let him go. He and I are both standing on the edge of that cliff, looking at the river below – there will come a day, too quickly for me, where jumping will be necessary and not optional.

In letting go, I’m learning how to try my own wings. I jumped off my own cliff this week. I drove to Nashville, went to the Christian Comedy Association Conference and did a three minute stand up set during open mic in front of some of the biggest names in Christian Comedy today.

I wanted to throw up.

But I didn’t.

The trick to surviving cliff jumping – is to not do it alone.  Charlie’s friends were all waiting for him in that River and in that graduation hall – they cheered him on. They bandaged eachother’s nicks and scrapes up afterwards as well.

My friends and I are facing empty nests together – we aren’t alone on that cliff. And as for comedy, I’ve been staring at that cliff for several years now. This year, I jumped and in doing that, I found new friends waiting in the river.

What cliffs are you facing today?