counting in Tuesdays

It seems like every 7 days begin and end on a Tuesday.

Much in the same way it feels like my life has to stop and restart every Tuesday.

No day has been the same but Tuesdays in particular are not my favorite. It is as if they hold a particular vice grip on my heart allowing my soul to only experience the shell of being rather than truly living life.

Today we are on the 9th Tuesday if you count the worst day, which I do.

I wonder if there will come a time when I don’t count Tuesdays anymore and they will fade into the shade of every other day.

The in and out of life where our highs and lows seem more in the middle and our blacks and whites seem more grey.

I want to recall the previous Tuesday. Or the previous Sunday or Saturday or Thursday afternoon but I can’t just yet as hard as I may try.

For now, the Tuesday is a haunting; re-breaking my heart into tiny crumbles each seven day cycle.

I long for the Tuesday before.

And I press on to the Tuesday to come.

10 Questions for the Thanksgiving Table

This story from TED has flown around Facebook this week and it was perfect for a blog post. I love StoryCorps and regularly cry every Friday morning as Dave Isay and his crew produce a lovely story of family, love, change, forgiveness, and/or compassion. What a perfect way to reflect for this Thanksgiving day.

What are you grateful for?

I am so grateful for community. For friendships that have carried the weight of my pain these last five weeks. A community built of family, friends, neighbors, and strangers that have provided comfort, support, love, prayers, food, gifts to lift my spirits, and patience as I navigate this new road.

What are you proudest of?

I am proud that I have been willing to take the road less traveled at various points in my life so far. That the control freak who was afraid of change has lived in six states, driven across country four times, completed an Ironman, and learned to eat the occasional mushroom. Every place I’ve been has allowed me to come into the presence of amazing humans, art, nature, animals, and my footprints have been left in a lot of fox holes.

What’s been the happiest moment of your life so far?

Finishing Ironman. Not just because it was a lot of training and I was glad it was over but because it was the metaphor for my life’s journey. Through it I healed, became stronger, and met the love of my life.

What’s been the hardest moment of your life, and how did you get through it?

It’s right now. I’m getting through it with prayer, coffee, and the amazing community I mentioned above.

What are the most important lessons you’ve learned in life?

Life is a gift. I don’t say that in a hallmark way. I say it because the time spent on earth is fleeting and we have a unique opportunity to “suck the marrow of life.”

Change is also a gift. It makes us feel alive and constantly allows us to improve.

Love should be given out like water and oxygen. We can’t survive without giving AND receiving it.

How would you describe yourself as a child? Were you happy?

I was a PITA! My strong willed self was a challenge to all adults in my path; I’m sorry! But yes, I was happy. I have amazing parents who afforded me so many incredible experiences as a child. I also learned to fail and get up again, after a bowl of Breyers mint chocolate chip, of course.

Who has been kindest to you?

Angela and Maralyn may duke it out for the world’s most compassionate and giving souls. (I hope this doesn’t hurt the feelings of my other amazing friends and family.)

How do you want to be remembered?

As someone who loved God, family, and wanted to make the world a kinder place for children and all living things.

If your great great grandchildren could listen to this years from now: is there any wisdom you’d want to pass on to them? What would you want them to know?

See my life lessons above. Oh, and Micah 6:8

If you could honor one person in your life — living or dead — by listening to their story, who would that be, what would you ask them and why?

Mom, who is quite living! I would want to know where she developed her amazing sense of forgiveness. I hope that I am a reflection of the love and patience and forgiveness that she has bestowed on me for 36 years. I want to know her source.

Happy Thanksgiving, Friends.




My life has been a whirlwind in the two weeks since my beloved was called home to the Lord. My heart is broken to a depth I don’t fully understand. Yet, my heart is also full because of the intertwining communities that have come together to celebrate Kenny’s life, support our families, offer gifts, prayers, food, hugs, and tears. How do I even begin to say thank you? There are not enough words.

I believe the community you belong to is the community you help build. As a super-introvert, I feel like I have been blessed to ride the coattails of Ken’s amazing ability to build community. His laughter, his generosity, his gift for conversation, his sparkling smile, his compassion, his encouraging words and actions, these are what brought people into Ken’s community and I have been so honored to join him as his plus1/partner in crime.

In the deepest of our sorrows, our true friendships emerge. Our communities draw us together. We cling to these words of encouragement, grace, and strength in a way that we didn’t know was possible. We see friends old and new, acquaintances, and strangers come from the woodwork of our communities to lift us up when we can no longer stand. And these communities seek no reward, they seek no gain–they simply give. This sense of community has humbled me to my core.

I have often repeated the words grace, patience, gratitude, and plain old, thank you in the last two weeks as if I don’t have a thesaurus big enough to express myself. So I will go on with these words and live to honor the man that has built such an incredible set of communities for our Thomuto Team.

Peace to you and may the souls of the eternal departed rest in peace and rise in glory.

what i’m reading this week.

No reflections today; my mind is too full. Here’s why…


War in the Middle East.

The New Yorker/Humans of New York

The New York Times-The Mountain of Uncertainty in Iraq

The Atlantic-Desperate Iraqi’s Flee ISIS

The New York Times-In Gaza, the Pattern of Conflict (infographic)


St. Louis.

Rage Against the Minivan-Racial Bias, Police Brutality

Sarah Bessey-In Which I Tell you about #Ferguson

Huffington Post-What White People Can Do About the Killing of Black Men in America

On Being-To Be White and Reckon with the Death of Michael Brown

Osheta Moore, Shalom in the City-I Raise My Hands

Rachel Held Evans-Pay Attention, #Ferguson Resources


The Border Crisis.

The New Republic-Let the Kids Stay

The Atlantic-An Immigrant Mother Dreams for Her Daughter


Robin Williams, Suicide, Depression.

Andrew Solomon/The New Yorker-Suicide, A Crime of Loneliness

Mother Adrien Dawson-Holy Living, Holy Dying and…unholy dying

The New Republic-Robin Williams’ Death is a Wake Up Call for Mental Illness

USA TODAY-Olaf remembers Genie.


Hope and Humor.

Jason Evans-The Risky Path

Momastery-Give Me Gratitude or Give Me Debt

Jen Hatmaker-Worst End of Summer Mom, Ever…A Sequel

Kid President-Retirement Party


That’s enough reading for your weekend right? Pray for Peace. Work for Justice. God have Mercy.





who is the gatekeeper?

I have had a long history of insecurity in my thoughts on immigration. My views on the issue have not always matched my otherwise liberal views on many other social issues. I have often been closed-minded and ego-centric. I have been more aligned with conservatives. (Not crazies, just more homeland centered thinking types.) Who gets to be the gatekeeper to our nation of immigrants? Who decides who gets in and who doesn’t? The course of American history is fraught with struggle over our borders and ports. This is not a new issue. Check out these resources for history on immigration in America:


Immigration Policy Center

Library of Congress (ahem, great teaching resource.)

I don’t see this current crisis as a political issue. I don’t see this as an immigration issue. I know this causes crazy financial hurdles for our country. But I don’t know how I (we?) can look at the faces of children who have risked their lives for safety and say, “go back.” For me, this is a humanitarian issue. These are not immigrants, undocumented, or aliens; these are humans. And for me, a person who claims to be a follower of Jesus, this is one of the moments where I can shy away or I can follow the message of the Savior.

And when it comes to kids, I don’t mess around. Kids are not and should not be responsible for caring for themselves. Kids, who put their lives into someone else’s hands to escape violence, poverty, trafficking, and death are not just seeking a better life; they are seeking LIFE.

I have read a lot of amazing responses to these in the last few weeks, these wise souls speak better words than I so I offer them to you, with grateful thanks.

Broderick Greer: Jesus is Undocumented.


Gay Clark Jennings: Christians worship a child who fled violence in his home country.

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori: Crisis of Unaccompanied Children on the Border

Bishop Mariann: Why are so many children leaving Central America?

Jim Wallis: The Moral Failure of Immigration Reform

Mother Jones: Children Migrants Surge

NY Times: The Border Crisis

And this one…from a guy named Jesus…

“I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these, you did for me” (Matthew 25.40).

Praying for wisdom. Praying for our leaders. Praying for peace and working for justice.




live to fight another day

During yesterday’s 14 miler, it started as a tightness, then pain around 6 miles. It proceeded to deepen in pain, soreness and crampy feeling until my gait started to be effected around mile 8. My upper left leg was a mess. A lot went through my head; “what is this new pain?”, “will this going away?”, “what is causing this?” None of which I had immediate answers for except 2; no, this pain was getting worse.

“But I’m the coach”, said my brain. I’m part of a team helping this crew to the finish. “But you know your body.”, said experience. I needed to stop. I needed to stop running. Stop moving. Get ice.

I consulted the coaching team, all agreed I would stop and call Sherpa Fiancé and head home. This was the wise choice. It was also heart-breaking as the new coach on the team-wanting to be a role model.

Then came the realization that this was a form of role modeling. Sometimes you have to stop, and as Sherpa Fiancé channeling Phil Liggett says, “live to fight another day.” Experienced runners know when pushing through is just going to cause more hurt. I could have hammered our the last 2.4 miles but at what expense? Six months is a long training cycle and cutting short one 14 miler doesn’t mean that I won’t have the chops for 3-20’s. It means that on this day, on this run, I needed to stop. Two cups of coffee, a protein laden breakfast, an ice bath, compression, 3 Advil, and a nap later, things seemed a little better. A walk today and maybe a run tomorrow, we’ll see.

This PLB coach (thanks Jeff!) will be back in stride ASAP. And hopefully set an example of “it’s ok to say uncle” when the body needs it.

the ice bath



so many names, only one matters.




Labels. Names. Some good. Some bad. Some easy to shake off. Some scarred onto the heart. There was a time when I let the labels others gave me sew into my soul and define me. I always took on the negative labels and allowed them to permeate my self-confidence, worth, and belief. No matter what positive labels people placed upon me, the negative would always win out. Sucker punched by names, some of which many of us face and some of which are not FCC compatible.

Even with a life firmly rooted in faith, the names can still seep into my mind and allow myself to spiral down the rabbit hole of pain and doubt. But they shouldn’t. I am first and foremost, Sarah, a princess, the daughter of a King. If this is who I am first and I daily am graced with new mercies, why would any other name matter? It only matters if I let it. If I let the world break past my faithful assurance, I am prone to hurt, prone to take on the labels that come from the world and come from myself.


As we learn from Ruth, Naomi, in her hurt and exhaustion, gives herself the name Mara. She has seen her life go from Pleasant to Bitter. In the pain of losing her husband and sons, she returns to her birthplace a broken woman. Through the great plan of God and through her daughter-in-law Ruth, she is restored. Ruth too is restored by her humble faith and becomes the mother in the lineage of Christ. They are restored. They are redeemed. The only names they need are beloved.

When we allow the world to enter our hearts and minds and give us any label other than those given to us by God, we are contributing to our own downfall. We can break away from these names, these labels. We can write the Word on our hearts and surround ourselves with the message that we are loved beyond measure. We are Fearfully and Wonderfully Made. We are restored. We are worthy. We are ALL daughters of the King. This is the best label of all.