{ Summer Thoughts & Quotes }

Summer, in essence, is gone and it was packed with whimsy, struggle and adventure.

Road construction started on the very first day of swimming lessons on the very road we needed to take to get there.  We reached our destination through other dusty byways.  We met a family, made new friends and the young swimmers learned how not to sink in deep water.

Our power went out only once.

My older son discovered fishing and it became his new addiction hobby.

We didn’t go to the State Fair.

We were poor this summer and it was good. We found cheap food and visited the library, where you can always feel rich.

God sent work.  And He sent helpers, like people we know from college that are now employed in an appliance store and they are willing to give you free advice and discounted parts to fix your 10-year-old dryer so you don’t have to hire a handyman.

Gifts like these were real and we were grateful.

A daily summer job meant the boys made their own lunches every night, left in the early morning and sometimes forgot to tell Mama they had plans for the evening.  Dinner sat smoldering and so did Mama’s countenance as we plowed through these and other minor challenges.

We talked, we compared calendars, we conquered.

The growing of adults and the path to maturity doesn’t happen in one, exhilarating swoop. It happens in all the teeny tiny day-to-day ways.

It helps to have the attitude of love and patience toward one another. When I look back over my lifetime, I hope I will see a steady — if sometimes detoured — path of growth, maturity and the stripping away of petty, unimportant expectations of others.

As a parent, I can’t make everyone do right all the time.

But I can, by God’s grace, make it a goal to be a good example and ask forgiveness when I’m not one.

Beyond that, I just need to pray for my growing ones. As God poured patience on me in my young adulthood, so He will with my young adult progeny, who are pilgrims on their own pathway.

A few quotes from Summer 2018:


“I like to smell the runners as they go by.”

– Jonny said it at the August 2018 half-marathon in St. Paul


corn field

“All this corn everywhere….it’s so depressing.”

– Gino said it on a late summer drive through Wisconsin



Hanna, my vegan daughter, said: “Where’s my other tofu?  I know I bought two.”

I said:  “Keep looking – it’s there.  Nobody would snitch that.”


Photo Credits:

Runners:Mārtiņš Zemlickis




{ Dying Muscles}

People who love to exercise (and I’m guessing here) often start the day:

  • Running or Working Out
  • Hydrating
  • Eating protein for growth and power.
I am a Christian.
I’m fueling up and getting ready to exercise —
I’m going to exercise my “dying muscles.”
Today, I’m going to do what is harder than a marathon and more challenging than an Iron Woman race.
By the grace and power of God, I’m planning to die to myself.
This feat requires a morning run in prayer.
It takes Growth Food to give me power.
It takes starting every day reminding myself with the basics: “I am a Christian. This is what Christians do.”
It takes gumption and a whole lot of grace to exercise the dying muscles.
It’s easier to sit, veg, and morph into what is around me.
It requires supernatural strength to:
  • Die to myself and put others first.
  • Train my tongue muscles to obey me.
  • Keep running the Christian race.
  • Press on in my marriage.
  • Shun selfishness.
  • Look around and do unto others.
  • Love, love and love til it hurts.
I’m getting ready to die today to self-wishes and sin-centered choices.
Perhaps –like exercise– it gets easier the more I do it.
It won’t make me famous — only God will know.
Today, I’m going to do what is harder than a marathon and more challenging than an Iron Woman race.
In the grace and power of God, I’m going to exercise my dying muscles.
“I die every day!  What do I gain if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts at Ephesus?  if the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”
Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning…”
I Corinthians 15:31-34
Photo credit:  Bradley Wentzel

{ Miraculous Marathon }

Legs are shaking
I am sick to my butterfly stomach
Thrills speed up my spine
This is it…..here we go
Plod on, breathe, press on
I am cheered on.
Plod on, breathe, press on
Progress marked
Can’t look up
I cannot….do….this
Annoying spectators. Irritating chatter.
I am going to die
Keep going
A l m o s t ….. t h e r e

There she is
My baby girl
It’s over
It was worth it

Word prompt: grit



Sweat and Donuts

Nine days ago, I posted about the upcoming one mile race.

Ta-dah!  It happened last night.

I mentioned that my goals were: to survive the race and keep my bladder intact.

From this standpoint, I was successful.

The background: My husband is the family athlete, but I reluctantly joined the rest of the family in the annual race last year to celebrate being 50 and also because I didn’t have the excuse of a baby to tend anymore.

My time: a wimpy 11 minutes, 3 seconds!!

I think I could have speedwalked more efficiently.

Is there any reason to do it again?

It’s a family event and that is worth something to me.

It feels good to do something beyond my comfort zone and beyond my natural ability.

It’s satisfying to complete something that feels impossible.

Besides all that, a friend rewarded us with amazing donuts on the other side of the finish line.

Is there any reason not to do it again? I have all year to think about that.

~ LisaIMG_20170512_155559

Second Mile

My husband enjoys muscle-twisting, sweat-drenching workouts that produce pain and require protein drinks. Part of his athletic portfolio: running local races with the whole family.  For years, I had the excuse of a baby to tend, so I couldn’t participate.  Eventually, that overdue excuse ran out and I signed up against my better judgment for the annual event.

I did it.

Like childbirth, I couldn’t imagine doing it a second time. But it’s May and the race is on my calendar – again.

(That happened with childbirth, too.)

One year the race organizers approached us. Since we were annual participants all from one family, the local news team hoped to feature us. My husband was out of town and couldn’t make it home for the race that spring. Without him, I didn’t embrace the arrival of a news team here at our home to interview and film our training techniques.

I don’t have training techniques.  My goals: to survive the race and keep my bladder intact.

I’ll let you know how that works out for me.