Remember To Look Up

I wrote a while back about the busy culture in life (see Busy Is Not An Honor Badge) Since then, life has continued to be full. Full of teenage milestones like driving, sweet sixteen parties, and high school graduation. Full of ministry opportunities including another class, new events, running a half marathon to raise money for clean water, and reaching children and families in new ways. It’s also been a season of deep hurt and new beginnings.

I have been intentional about looking up from the busy to make sure I’m present in the moments.

Over the past few months I’ve also been out on the trails hiking and running. It’s sort of my therapy time. Time to process all the junk in my head. Time to talk with God. Time to empty out my hurts and disappointments so He can fill me with His joy.

A few weeks ago I was hiking up a mountain trail with a friend. Conversations had lead my head to recall a frustrating situation. I was lost in my thoughts and could feel my anger rising. I kept my head down on the steep section of trail, deep in thought, one foot in front of the other, focused on the step right in front of me. I stepped over the logs that went across the trail just as I had done earlier in the path. I trudged forward, completely in my own angry little world.

Then my friend’s voice behind me gently said, “Hey. Where ya goin’?”  I looked up from my tormented path to realize I wasn’t on the path at all. I was so frustrated and wrapped up in my own thoughts I didn’t even realize I was off the trail. I looked back, completely bewildered, to very clearly see the switchback to the left. Clearly. The path was clearly there. In my oblivion I had clearly missed it. Clearly.

How many times in life do we keep our heads down, focused on our own private world, and fail to recognize what is happening around us? The trail was clearly there and I so clearly missed it. How many times have I tried to do things my own way and completely missed the path that was marked out for me from the beginning??

My other recent trail experience had me on a wide path I run on along the lake. All. The. Time. The past few months I’ve been running on it at least three times a week. On this day it was rainy and miserable out but I was getting in my 9 miles with my team. Again, my head was full, I was in my own space, in my own world. But something caught my eye.

I thought I saw some animals by the waterfront. The closer I got I realized they were coyotes. I stopped above them on the trail. Maybe they were dogs. Nope. Coyotes. Another runner was coming up the wet trail and I motioned to him to see the coyotes too. Coyotes shouldn’t be on our trail! He pulled out his earbuds as he sort of kept running and said, “Oh no, they’re fake. They’re out there to scare the birds away. They’ve been there a long time.”




I can’t even begin to describe how that one moment made my head spin. It was like I caught my breath and had a huge chiropractic adjustment on my soul. In that one moment things I knew no longer made sense and things I didn’t know just did.

How could I have been running this trail and missed this? They were so clearly right there. And now that I see them, how did I not recognize them as fake. Not real. False. How have I been moving through life so focused on things that don’t have value, that aren’t real, that have been false?

How many times have I missed the true work of God around me? 

I may not ever know the answer to that question. Maybe He was giving me blinders at times to keep me focused on the path He had ahead of me. Maybe not.

I know that right now He’s reminding me to look up. Look up to Him and trust Him. Look forward on the path and see Him looking back at me. Look up and see all that He’s placing around me. Look up and keep moving forward in the direction He’s leading me. Look up and appreciate that one moment on the trail and how it’s continuing to change my path forward. Look up and appreciate the laughter, smiles, joy, and adventure of this life.


“For I know the plans I have for you…when you seek me with all your heart.”

Jeremiah 29:11-13



This is the WHY

This is the WHY. Why I run, why I’m raising money for Covenant Kids Congo and Team World Vision. Why I think we can make a difference. Why I’m asking you to join me.

Watch the video then click the link if you want to learn more or if you’re ready to join me.  Team World Vision – Nancy Thompson


A Full Breath Moment

I love these moments. A full breath of air and sensing everything around you. Deeply. Completely. Have you ever had one? That small slice of a moment when you are so completely happy and satisfied, letting go of all the negative and drinking in the air deeply, feeling so so alive right at the top of the breath? I let go, exhaling slowly with a huge smile and a little giggle to myself as the air escapes. Knowing full well that I’ll draw in another deep breath and enjoy this space, this time, this moment, for myself.

I have lived with anxiety. Forever. Sometimes small and nagging. A few times crushing in so badly I can’t even breathe. I hate it. I work hard to ignore it. To overcome it.

I’ve also thought deeply for a long time about what a full measure of life looks like. What it might feel like. To feel free and happy and satisfied. I’m here. In this moment. And right now, that’s enough.

There’s a small space in Ephesians 3 that has long stuck with me. It’s the space that tickled in my brain causing me to ponder the full measure. In the prayer for the Ephesians it speaks of grasping how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ. To know this love that surpasses knowledge. That you can’t fully explain or comprehend. But you know. You sense. You feel. A moment that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. The full measure.

How do I know what the full measure is? If I hold out a measuring cup, how full? If I hold out my cupped hands, how full? If I place my life in my cupped hands, what matters? What needs to fall away? What remains? What fills my cup and brings me joy?


That’s where I want to live.

Joy in the full measure.

I have hit the reset button on my attitude, my life, so many times. Not to completely reinvent myself. But to empty my hands. To reset my intentions and attitudes. To look for more. To claim more of life. To experience more of life. To find joy in life. To let go of old thoughts, patterns of behavior, ingrained beliefs, and even people.

Things that no longer serve me.

That no longer bring me joy.

I’ve been here several times. In these full breath moments.

Here’s what does it for me. Here’s what fills me to that full measure, full breath moment:
Feeling the fear and anxiety, but doing something new anyway. Pushing myself. Getting to the other side and knowing that I am completely capable. Living through an experie
nce outside of the normal. Feeling a complete sense of satisfaction that I didn’t just survive. I wasn’t drug down. I wasn’t overcome. I stood tall. I pushed. I made a way.

Not in my own power. In His.

And on this other side I feel such a deep sense of gratitude and satisfaction. I wasn’t waiting on someone else to do this for me. To carry me. To fix me. To complete me. I don’t need fixing, I am already completely complete. I can find my own way.

I am His. I am drinking deeply of His grace. Of the joy in life. Of this kairos moment. Not a
moment on a watch or measurable by time. But the fullness of God so incredibly close to the fullness He has created in me.

A full measure, full breath moment.

I know this moment can’t sustain forever. There are peaks and valleys FullSizeRender 5in life. If there weren’t, why would we need to reach for His hand? But in today I will remain here.

There is always more to do. More calling. More required of me. And that will take care of itself in tomorrow. So right now I continue to release the burdens, sense the satisfaction, and trust in His infinite abundance with joyful expectation. And I stand tall with my hands and heart wide open, embracing this full breath moment.