#5of30 Run with Patience

Once upon a time, there was a girl who spent a lot of time watching the world through a windshield and not very much time running. In fact, as a retired dairy farmer- she seldom ran at all.

Fortunately for her, she had a friend named Kim who ran and ran and ran. So when Kim offered to help her run a 5k for her #30for30 challenge, she jumped at the chance and started to train.


The cardinals and squirrels shook their heads as they saw her first attempts to run in the lane. As winter gave way to spring time, the red-bud trees and the purple violets and that brand new calf in the nearby pasture didn’t feel very convinced either.

Fortunately she was blessed with a lot of encouraging friends who took the time- randomly- to check in with her efforts. “Been thinking about you, when’s the big run?”

And today it was.

You know how everybody says you need to take a multiple vitamin? Well, somehow I was really ornery about that, until I discovered gummy vitamins. ย I’ve been bragging and bragging to my family the last few weeks, that I’ve been taking vitamins like clockworkย this winter, and I have yet to get sick one time . For me that’s impressive. Not even a cold.

Until Friday. Mr Cold hit me with both barrels, and I began to seriously question my brave ideas.

But today went good.

I’ve discovered a lot of parallels between running and the Christian life. Obviously the writers of the Holy Word had that inspiration long ago, as they penned “I press on towards the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” and “let us run with patience the race that is set before us”. So I press on.


The sun shone brightly on the rambunctious gang of people who gathered to Run/Walk for Young Life. Julia and Emily both kindly joined in the fun. I thought my cold was a problem (really, breathing is overrated) Emily managed to fall down a complete flight of stairs Friday morning- and each step caused her great anguish- but she made it.

And we ran, and walked, over hill and dale and through the woods and back again. There were 7 splatter stations, and we got coated. Hilarious. Especially Kim’s blue goatee…


But now it’s just a memory. Mainly, because the paint powder washed out surprisingly well.

And so, I press on. I don’t know what you’re running through. Maybe you fell down a flight of stairs and have a bunch of sore muscles that nobody know about, or maybe your life has lots of visible splatters that you aren’t sure what to do with… Press on. And I hope that God sends your life encouragers like He has mine…


And Dear Encourager Team: just FYI, I’m really going to need you if I decide to go for a 13.1 Emily? Julia? What do you think? lol



Bonus Pic:

My life according to the comics


#4of30: Silver Lake Bed and Breakfast


It so happens that my cousin turns 30 a few months before I do. So, we surprised her with a night at the local Silver Lake Bed and Breakfast.

The B&B has only been open for business within the past year. Before that she underwent an incredible face-lift. I watched with interest as the original rambling white house turned into a beautiful log home. As the progress continued- I couldn’t wait for the opportunity to see inside! So finally that quest has been accomplished!

This morn, as I was a lady of leisure, I stared at the charming imperfections of the exposed beams above our comfortable king bed. I tried to imagine how they had been hewn from the trees around the building sight not quite 300 years ago. I fast-forwarded a few years and looked out the window and expected to see a Confederate soldier ride up on his horse. (I really had too much time to think-lol) I do wonder how she escaped theย  dreadful Burning in the Valley. I thought about how many storms this old house had weathered, yet remained so beautiful. I wish I could have heard her stories.

The place had a charming amount of antiques here and there.ย  And it was so comfortable. The hosts did an amazing job at making us feel like we were visiting old friends.

And so we celebrate the gift of life and of family and God’s goodness through the years- whether it is 30 or 300. What a blessing!





Dear Colorado

Dear Colorado,

It’s been almost 2 years since I spent any time gazing upon your lovely face. Long enough that I’d actually forgotten how charming you really are. In our case, Absence didn’t make the heart fonder. Absence made the heart forget. I’m sorry. This weekend didn’t take long before I remembered. You are incredible.


Part of what adds to your charm is the diversity- so many unique sights- desert wasteland, snow covered peaks… As we sailed across the Million Dollar Highway- Nate and Kerry pointed out the snow boarder tracks that ran from the top of different peaks down to the tree line, and I wished for the first time in my life that I was a snowboarder. I can not imagine the adrenaline rush of being the alone however many thousand feet above sea level- worshiping our Almighty Creator- sailing down the steep mountainside. But I guess God must want me to be around to worship Him on earth a little longer- because I would probably kill myself in short order. But still. I imagine that you could see practically to the Pacific Coast from those heights. Wow.


Another form of that diversity were the hot springs that popped up here and there. It didn’t hurt the fact that the ones we visited were in “downtown Pagosa Springs” There were 18 pools to choose from ranging in temp from 88*-112*. Each pool was named and  one of the warmest was appropriately called “the Lobster Pot”.  In true spirit of my #30for30 quest, I took the plunge into the snowcapped mountain run off in the river beside the springs, then this ice cube rushed for the nearest hotsprings pool. And- thank you, Jesus- to date, has not contacted pneumonia. ๐Ÿ™‚ It really is incredible to soak in such a huge naturally warm body of water in the 40* outside air. Creation is such a marvel.


Our tour guide did a fantastic job of getting us to enjoy the unique flavor of his home state. I have one complaint. As fast as we scratched things off the “to do” list, we added something new on. NEXT TIME: we will do more than watch the Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge Rail pull out of the station. We will climb Mount Snuffles with her incredible elevation. We will explore that ghost town back behind Silverton… But for now, we will revel in the memories from this time… ๐Ÿ™‚


And next time, Dear Little Debi, think twice before you throw that first snowball. I don’t know who won, but if the photos are any proof… ๐Ÿ˜‰


Box Canyon Falls were another hidden jewel along the way. The roar of the falls echoed between the narrow rock walls and made it feel like at any point the water would break loose and flood the narrow canyon and we would be toast. So beautiful!


But the most beautiful part of CO, is the friendly people that enjoy her beauty daily. Once again the farm tour with the Whitfields was incredible. I can’t wrap my mind around the scale on which they do things. I wonder how many miles that milk tank puts on a day, delivering milk to all 1050 hutches. And the most random discovery is that Mr Whitfield and my mom are both in the Heatwole history, 6th cousins to be exact ๐Ÿ˜‹. Truly it is a small world.


Another blessing was in Geigley form ๐Ÿ™‚ We had a blast exploring the Paradise of four-wheeling when the Geigleys generously let us take their equipment and explore their back 40. Emily said she wasn’t sure when she’s been that happy. The delicious smoked pork supper merits mention as well! Bless y’all!


And the Kennell’s- the main reason for our visit- Thoroughly enjoyed our time with this lively family. Thank you for graciously  welcoming us and making us feel so completely  at home! If  travel brings you through our town- please stop in!

Deborah brought a pinata back from Nicaragua, and I’m not sure who enjoyed it most, the children or the adults. The guys did a good job at keeping it moving, so each of the children got a chance to swing a time or so, before Nate finished it off. ๐Ÿ™‚


Our last day involved travel from Delta to Denver. Scenes along the way included dry barren mountains, and mountains covered with snow and snowboarders. ๐Ÿ™‚ At several places, Interstate 70 ran westbound above eastbound because there was so little room between the river and the mountain. Gorgeous!!!!

And to my dear travel companions- thank you, thank you for making this such an amazing experience! For putting up with close travel quarters without toooo much complaining. For not killing each other. For being some of my favorite people in the world. I love you.

And thank you, Colorado for enamoring us once again and reminding us what an Incredible Maker we serve.

Until next time,


Bonus Pic:

Somehow Father got the backpack that had the humus and carrots. And wouldn’t you know, they pulled him aside. He tried to say “What on earth is that? I had no idea it was there” (thanks to Mother who’d packed his backpack- but that’s not what you tell the security people) so they took the humus, and patted him down thoroughly. He was livid-lol But I will say, I’ve never seen security people that were that kind- maybe it was the new container of humus he was acquiring ๐Ÿ™‚ He also gave Mother a recipe for homemade zucchini humus- if you ever need that… ๐Ÿ™‚



2for30: Cross the Canyon off my mom’s bucket list

Several years ago as I was embarking on a fairly outstanding journey ( read about that here: 10,000 Reasons ), my mom left me with these parting words “Enjoy it for me, I would LOVE to hike the Canyon, but I’ll never get that chance.”

Fast forward about a 1 year- I’m not even sure what brought up it up, but somehow the discussion turned to the Canyon again and  again Mother said “I would LOVE to hike the Canyon, but I’ll never have the chance.” So I said “if you are serious, lets set a date and go hike it.”

Plans kinda evolved and here we are almost a 2 years since that first conversation. Kerry and Emily, my parents and I flew across the US to meet Deborah and her CO friend Nate.

What a time we’ve had, traveling hammer-down 7 of us jammed in a minivan, surviving spring break traffic, 15 degree temps and a snowstorm, and just enjoying being together. We sure miss Julia and Sherman!


The snow was gorgeous and I can’t help but be excited every time I get a chance to travel on historic Route 66.

I thought maybe the snow would enamor us at the Canyon, but it quit several miles before we made it to the rim, but the Canyon didn’t need the snow to be breathtaking, I’d forgotten. Wow.


We hiked the South Kaibab Trail. We took our time and just enjoyed the view and the experience in the clear morning air. As always, I can’t comprehend how huge this place really is. And in typical fashion, we took lots and lots of pics to properly capture the event.

Eventually we made it to Ooh Aah point, which lived up to its name. Wow! Wow! Wow! There was still so much to see, but we made the informed decision to start the trek back up the hill. Slow and steady. We still had many things to cross off the itinerary before the day was  done.


Look closely-you can see people snaking back and forth along the canyon wall on the trail.

Kerry became “Pippi Longstocking the Thing Finder”, and spied a backpack down off the trail a little ways, so Nate the Mountain Goat scrambled down side of the cliff and returned with the treasure. Proper investigation came up with the name and contact info of the backpacks owner, as well as prescription sunglasses and a huge ring of keys- so once we scaled the side, a phone call made the owner’s day- he was ecstatic with the thought of the return of everything. And probably the heroic efforts of our guys, got his son (who had kicked the backpack over the edge) back in his daddy’s will. ๐Ÿ™‚


And so quickly it was over, and we had to take a victory pic. What fun! Family is the best gift ever.

The Grand Canyon brings out a lot of similar emotions as the ocean does. It’s so completely mammoth and mysterious, it’s hard to wrap your mind around. Yet it’s an amazing challenge to try to understand and discover. And to just stand on the edge with hands upraised and worship the God who not only provides for the little squirrel basking in the sun way off in some distant crevasse, but cares about me to the point the hairs of my head are numbered. Wow. With that kind of a Guidance Manager-why would I worry?

Blessings to you, as He provides for you too,


P.S I’m trying to decide if I’m going to let Mother read this quote from John Wesley Powell:

You can not see the Canyon in just one view, as if it were a changeless spectacle from which a curtain might be lifted, but to see it, you have to toil from month to month through its labryniths.

Well, we tried. But sounds like the quest has just begun ๐Ÿ˜‰

Bonus Pics:

Random pics from along the way. The scenery is so fascinating. Father looks at the miles of rocks and says “I could take my track hoe and work all my life and not make an acre of this farmable.” And yet so many people thrive. And horses. So many wild horses.

The Venetian was a resort Deb heard about. It came complete with canals and gondolas and a shopping mall all on the 3rd floor. We wandered around and got rather lost before we piled in the van again and left.