Thursday, June 26, 2008

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

just do it

Oh my glorious field of blue, how I've missed you! I don't even know how to begin. You know I adhere to that crazy belief: if I don't have anything nice (read: perfect, thought-provoking, profound, insightful, clever) to say, I'd rather say nothing at all. Hence the recent silence on this blog!

It's hard to get back to this. But this phrase has been my mantra today: JUST DO IT.

So here I am, doing it. Just do it, girl, quit making excuses. You know you need to make that phone call, schedule that appointment, say that prayer, talk to that friend, clean that bathroom, run that mile (OK, walk it if you have to),try that new hairstyle, WRITE THAT BLOG!

Do it, do it, do it.

OK. Feeling a bit overwhelmed these days? Of course, as always, but committed to the dual task of getting the job done while seeking excellence, not perfection. Truth be told, I crossed quite a few items off the to-do list today. Let's talk about one that's new to me: running that mile.

I've been walking daily for the last few months, and today I decided it was time to pick up the pace. I actually made the decision a few days ago, after walking several miles and feeling quite fit and self-satisfied. Walking is getting so easy, I thought. How much harder can it be to run?

It's harder. A lot harder.

When I say I've never run in my life, I'm not exaggerating. I have truly never, EVER, "gone for a run." I was an unathletic child, one who preferred books to playground games. When the other 'tweens were signing up for summer baseball and cheerleading, I was writing poetry. In highschool I was forced to get active by a stern, masculine-looking phys-ed instructor. I had planned to spend the semester whiling away blissful hours in a creative writing class, but that course was full. Phys-ed was my destiny, and I was astonished to discover that sports could actually be fun. We played badminton and tennis, basketball and field hockey, and swam hundreds of laps. But when that semester ended, and no personal trainer appeared to take my new favorite teacher's place, I sat back down and picked up my pen and opened my books once more.

I didn't give exercising much of a thought until my mid-thirties, when I decided it was time to get moving. There's so much to share here; body image issues, weight loss battles, baby fat gained and lost, gained and lost. For now I'll just say that I discovered the joy of moving my body and feeling strong.

I've been craving that strength lately, bigtime. So I've begun to walk again, and today, to run.

For the first time in my life, I rode my bike to a track near my home, bent to retie my shoelaces, and started to run. Many things prevented me from trying this sooner. Will people laugh? Will I hurt myself? My knees might give out. That foot might not be ready for this. I might fall, or wet my pants!

Many thoughts went through my mind this morning, but chiefly this one: Oh dear Lord, why is it so hard to breathe? Running is harder than walking. Yup.

So I ran, and not far, but I ran. Then I walked, and I ran some more. And tomorrow, I just might do it again.

Because once I was able to catch my breath, and realize that even if someone was laughing I didn't care, I began to feel strong. I was proud of myself. Because I was doing it.

I've done lots of things in my life, but I tend to focus on my failures instead of my successes. As I ran this morning, feeling powerful because I was doing something foreign and uncomfortable, I thought about the many other things I've done in my life. (I think I'll list a few here just to make myself feel good.) I've given life to seven children. One is already waiting for me in Heaven, one is married off to a wonderful young man, and another will soon be a wife as well. My four boys are kind and funny. My marriage is solid.

I've written and published a book, earned a college degree, performed in community theatre, and home-educated my children. I've built many friendships, and kept strong ties with my family. I have done some silly things and taken some odd risks, but that's good. I've been laughed at more than once. A few years ago I put in my name for consideration for a city council position (admittedly, something I knew nothing about and was unqualified for, but why not, right?) Upon hearing this, a gal I know burst out laughing. (Right to my face, can you imagine? Didn't even have the courtesy to laugh at me behind my back!) She thought it was hysterical, but I did get two votes from council members, the most of any candidate. So there!

So I've done lots of cool stuff, tried some challenging things, set some goals and met them. I really should feel proud and content, but of course, like most people, I don't. I remember the laughing friend, not the two votes. I think of the articles declined for publication, not the book that's in print. I contemplate the lost opportunities instead of the ones I've embraced.

How ridiculous. Today I went for a run. And I just might go again tomorrow.

What are you thinking about doing? Feeling scared, inadequate, uncertain?

You're not the only one. Try it anyway.

Just do it.

"...and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us." Hebrews 12:1

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

everyday faith

I recently had the honor of doing a radio interview with Shari Guilfoile on her program "Everyday Faith." It airs tomorrow at 8:00 AM and 2:30 PM on 1090 AM, WCAR in Detroit. You can listen then (on air or online at or at her website, Just click here.

It is always so exciting to share Celeste's story, and to remind people of her message: God has created each of us with a unique purpose. We have a mission! We have a responsiblity to use our gifts and talents.

Ask yourself this question right now. What is God asking of me? How does He want me to use my abilities to bring His Kingdom to others?

Celeste lived for four months, and God used her to accomplish amazing things. Come on, I know YOU have lived longer than that! What does he want to do with YOUR life?

Isn't that exciting to think about?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

joey's journey

For the past several months, I've had the distinct pleasure of working with a Catholic writer from California as he brought his second novel to print. Joey's Journey, just released from Bezalel Books, is the second story in a trilogy. It tells of one man's path to the papacy -- in this case, the first American to be elevated to the chair of Peter.

Editing a book is quite an endeavor. I have done lots of proofreading and editing over the years (most recently another Bezalel book, the charming story for young people entitled Hiding the Stranger in Hickory Valley by Joan L. Kelly.) But this book was quite lengthy, and, as its author readily admitted, it needed quite a bit of work.

I was, to be honest, a bit intimidated by the project. Would I be able to assist the author see his work come to fruition? Could I help him with the technical aspects of the work while keeping the story truly his?

The author, Brad Thomas, made my work a joy. His humility, willingness to work diligently, and strong faith made the many hours we put into the book worthwhile.

The end result is a novel that I'm sure will touch many with its message: God can do amazing things with our lives. (Even bring an American to the papacy!)

Joey's Journey by Brad Thomas is available now at or