Monday, April 29

i want to crawl over the wall,
and see what God has planned
for me and my children. i've lived
long enough to know His grace
will be sufficient. however.

i think i know why the orthopedist
talked jan and me into having both
feet fixed at the same time. one foot
is so painful that most people
would never go back a second time.
they are finally feeling better. i
know you all prayed. thank you.

spending night with brandt, jasmine and colben.
this little doll-baby
grandson is definitely in his 2's!!!
he climbs out of his baby bed, over
and over. i sang to him. told him
stories. kissed his beautiful face...but the last "nighty-night"
was at 11:15 p.m. and i heard his
sweet voice at 6 a.m. this morning.
i'm very tired.

the bumps of life.
the curve balls that knock us
off our feet; that shock us and
spin us around and leave us gasping for breath.

"in times like these, we need a times like these, we need
an Anchor. be very very
sure..your anchor holds, and
grips the solid Rock."

colben and ann


Sunday, April 28

"mom!! guess what? good
news. the air force is going to
completely pay for our move to harrisburg.
every penny!"

"i mean...if i get in. and i already
cancelled out marshall islands.
in faith."

his test is may 6.
he will know that day if the job
is his. brandt's and jasmine's
concept of Jesus is taking on
new dimensions. God doesn't
just care about the whole world
in mass...but He is creating miracles just for them, too.

please keep praying.

taylor, who graduated in december,
is looking..
praying...for a job in the film
area. a local church? clips from
mission trips. he needs to see
Jesus, too. as do brock and

today is the Sabbath.
today, we lay our regular
routines down....and seek more
of Jesus. i'm so far from where i
want to be in my spiritual
journey. but....

let's be kind to ourselves.
knowing God's grace covers a
multitude of sin.

well, join the club.
tomorrow, Jesus will lead
us, more and more, to wholeness.
He promises that if we become
less...and let Him be more...a healthier sense of self will become
alive in us. let's go for it.

i love you all.

Thursday, April 25

old jock semple.
much younger boston
marathoners might be
totally unfamiliar with him.
but you mustn't be. in many
respects, jock WAS the
marathon. he was with the first
ones to run the course. who
included heart-break hill...
as an extra challenge.

heart-break begins at mile 19,
through mile 24. right as you
approach the "wall". when you
want to die, you have 5 miles
of mountains to conquer first.

jock had a strong, scottish brogue.
"there's nothing to it really, ann.
you just put one foot in front of
the other." smile.

when jock loved you,
he loved you. i originally met
him through my friend, patti
catalano. she was the second,
fastest, female runner in the world.
jock was 65-70...and was the
trainer for the boston bruins. he
took patti and me into the sacred
territory of that space he had...
and rubbed through our sore
muscles and injuries.

more than anything,
i wanted jock to know Jesus.
sitting in the narrow, deep, hot-tub,
i would sing my little songs
to jock. telling him, over and over,
that Jesus lived and was real. and
cared for him.

i was sitting at my desk in idaho
falls, idaho, when my phone rang.
a man who had read my running
book called to tell me jock semple
was in the hospital, dying. this
friend found the hospital jock
was in, and i i reminded
jock that i couldn't face heaven
without him being there, too.

through streaming tears,
i prayed the sinner's prayer
with jock...and told him i would
meet him in Heaven. to this very
moment, i believe jock will be
at the gate when i step into
Heaven. i will always treasure him
as one of my very favorite people

run the Race,
and bring everyone
you can with you. the
yearning souls, longing
to be free. in Jesus.

jock semple and ann

Wednesday, April 24

'"do not despise this small
beginning for the Lord smiles
to see the work begin..."zechariah

this was an epiphany.
i found the verse while/in
earnestly seeking God.
four young children.
a very difficult marriage.
i cried out to Jesus .
hungry. thirsty.
more of Jesus.
more. oh, more.

set against the massive
backdrop of life.
earnestly seeking God.
"this small beginning..."

never try to start BIG.
even Jesus was born under
the stars. a make-shift cradle.

"the King of glory shall come in."
"the King of glory shall come in ."

come, Jesus, come
yes, Jesus, we need You.

Sunday, April 21

"if you've gotten anything at all
out of following Christ,
if His love has made any difference
in your life, if being in a community of
the Spirit means anything to you,
if you have a heart, if you care....then do me a favor:
agree with each other, love each other,
be deep-spirited friends."

"don't be obsessed with getting your own advantage. forget
yourselves long enough to lend
a helping hand..."

"Jesus....didn't claim special privileges.
instead, He lived a selfless, obedient life...and died
a selfless, obedient death...the
worst kind....a crucifixion."
Philippians 2 The Message

so many of my thoughts
continue around boston. and
the heroic stories of people helping
each other. of this 19yr .old
younger brother who has been
captured. i long for Jesus to
come to him. redemption reigns
for ALL. even terrorists and
murderers. and then, the wrenching
sorrows of the three who died. the
broken loved ones and friends.

every day, we get up. pull together...and out the door.
it just..usually..never occurs to
us that it could be our last time
to brush our teeth. to speak love
to our children. that we might
not walk back through the front
door, again. ever. God's designated time on
earth is over for us.

fellow warriors,
may we be faithful to
the end. may we give our
best today. may we express
love to each other, and our
lonely, broken world.

yes, Lord, yes.
yes, Lord, yes.

Saturday, April 20

"may i let my eyes look straight ahead, and fix my gaze straight before me.
may i watch my step. stick to the path..and be safe.
may i not turn to the right or left
but keep my foot from evil."
proverbs 4:25-27

it is so easy for me to turn
my head for a second...and
miss out on the best. to see
an inviting magazine, and grab it
before my Bible. to hear the
noise around me instead of
being quiet. still. listening for
the voice of God. to listen to
my children's struggles, and
forget that there is no real gain
in their lives without pain. that Jesus can only create
substance in us through hardship.

people would give me standing
ovations...and be all caught up
in my successes. i would remind
them that no matter how good their
adulation felt, it was wrong.

that pain and loss and insecurity
and failure were the things that
put substance in my life. made
me compassionate. taught me
kindness and humility. no! not
fame, but the exact opposite.

on this Saturday,
keep your heart focused.
let your ashes teach you that
the rising sun is coming.
and keep your focus straight
ahead. we are in this Race
together. there is a cost.
i am running with you,
and Jesus is our Song.
loving each of you.. so!!

Wednesday, April 17

"in a race,
everyone runs but only one
person gets first prize. so run
your race to win.
to win the contest,
you must deny yourselves
many things that would keep
you from doing your best.
an athlete goes to all this trouble
just to win a blue ribbon or
a silver cup,
but we do it for a heavenly reward
that never disappears.
so i run straight to the goal
with purpose in every step."
1 corinthians 9:24-26

just returned from my prayer
group. the entire theme is
thanksgiving. because it is:
1. spiritual.
2. draws our hearts to God.
3. a gift we can give Jesus. He loves
4. Jesus was always thanking God.
5. thanksgiving builds our faith.
6. we can't have bitter hearts and
thankful hearts at the same time.
7. thankful hearts are contagious.

AND...thankfulness changes
our circumstances.

run and be thankful.
knowing the combination
sends us soaring toward the
heavens. right into the victorious
and loving arms of our overcoming,
victorious Savior of the world.

thank you
for thinking of me through
the boston marathon tragedy.
your thoughts have so comforted
me. i became a runner in boston
so i could sing little songs about
Jesus as i ran. and change my
neighborhood. one person at a
time. all for Jesus.

Tuesday, April 16

after having run,
and qualified for
three boston marathons,
the most elite marathon in
the world other than the olympics,
i am shocked and saddened
by the bombings yesterday.

i've been there.
worn through many new balance
shoes on this historic, 26.2 mile
course. the blood of my unrelenting
spirit, that carried me through pre-qualifying
marations, is rubbed
into the asphalt and cement along
with thousands of others.

the 5-miles of hills (mountains),
starting at mile 19, have bullied
all of us who refused to give in and
walk them.

a Race of races.
damaged and scarred
and never to be thought of
quite the same....again.
but beloved. every runner's dream.
the Boston marathon.

may we all pray for the
wounded...and those who've
lost life or limbs.....BUT NEVER
FORGET the ONLY Race in life
that REALLY counts.....

our eternal journey
to the Celestial City where
Jesus is waiting for each of us.
with open arms. the choirs
singing. our loved ones waiting.

where we can finally lay all our
burdens down. our weeping and
sorrows no more. the final battle

"it will be worth it all..
when we see Jesus.
our trials will seem so small
when we see CHRIST!"

i grieve with all who grieve.
this was my turf. my home.
may the banners still wave.
until our final call. to the Race
in the skies.

1981 boston marathon mile 23

Sunday, April 14

thank you so
for ALL your prayers for
brandt. you can't possibly
know HOW much courage
and strength you are pouring
into us.

brandt and jasmine and colben
drove over yesterday. flushed
and shining and quietly captured
by the reality that a miracle was
passing their way. there is a
guide study book for the test.
and jas is going to help brandt

i will let all of you know date
of test, and maybe you'll join
us in prayer. the clean waters
of unmerited grace are raining
down on us.

Jesus gave us a kiss on the
cheek when one of the interviewers
called. telling brandt they were
really impressed with the phone

"remember, brandt and jasmine,
miracles happen...not because
of who we are. they are ALL about
Who God is!"

"there is power..power..
wonder-working power
in the Blood of the Lamb...
power, power..wonder-working
power in the precious Blood
of the Lamb." (old hymn)

we all need miracles.
our families. our friends.
shave away all doubts.
sew hope into the seams of
our fears. let's watch and wait
and see the glory of God.

Friday, April 12

so many of you praying
for brandt's job in harrisburg.
an amazing friend has offered
to cover his airfare for test.
Jesus keeps making  a way.
i believe.  i believe.

believe in the God 
of the universe.  in His vast
grace and power to orchestrate
events and make paths in the
desert. through the dry  and
thirsty sands of our souls.

may i not indulge in even
one doubt. not even in something
that hints of shadowing thoughts.
not one.  God is making a
way where there seemed to
be no way.  pools of water in
the shimmering heat and dryness
of seeming impossibility.

it's called grace.
undeserved favor by a
Holy God.

where is your dry land?
the areas where God seems
so silent?  where the impossible
seems to reign?

well, God can do what He does
best:  MIRACLES!  don't let the
enemy sweep your boat of life
and hope down the river of
seeming hopelessness.

oh, my little family needs 
more miracles and answers..
but today, my eyes are on
brandt's miracle.  if Jesus
can do this, He can do

for you.
for me. for
undeserved grace.

and He shall lead us.
Jesus Himself.
and we shall not be
overcome. we shall not
be overcome.

Thursday, April 11

"fresh as
the morning.
as sure as the sunrise .."
lamentations 3

my youngest son, brandt, has
been in the air force six years.
a firefighter. married to jasmine,
my beautiful daughter-in-law.
and colben. you know. my doll-baby grandson.
brandt is done may 1.
desperate to get a job lined up. to
take good care of his family.

a sold-out firefighter. the passion
rides deep in brandt's subconscious.
like me as a runner.
brandt has paid his dues.
nothing has seemed to open.
it is one of the toughest careers
to get into. so, he was in the
hiring process to be a firefighter
in the marshall islsnds. australia.

jasmine, ann, brandt, colben
contract a year. with a month's
vacation. jasmine would move to
pittsburgh by family. i was heartsick.
it might pay a lot of money, but would he have his little
family when he got home?

Easter Sunday they were here ...
along with taylor. i could not
be subdued in my concerns...
and tears running everywhere.

brandt had seen, on a website, a
position for a firefighter in harrisburg, pa...
he had all the
qualifications required. was at the
top at beale air force base. he
was shaking with excitement so
jasmine filled out the application.
faxed it in, but realized that 1600
others had applied. he didn't believe he had a chance.
some would have their emt's. something
he hadn't had a chance to earn yet.
colben...maybe gets his daddy
every night in harrisburg instead
of skyping from australia.  please
pray with us.

a text message.
"mom, please call."
brandt was notified of a phone interview today.
not for marshall islands, but harrisburg, pa.!!!!
last night, i pulled boots over sore
feet and went to prayer class. get
the prayers praying, and i did.

interviewed by three. the firechief
and two others. brandt didn't
want to get his hopes up. still seemed impossible,

i want them to meet him, eye to eye.
tall and clear-eyed and well-mannered and respectful.                      
brandt is a prize. the sweetest and finest.                                          
in top ten finalists out of 1600-plus                                                    

it would be one of the greatest
miracles of my life if he gets the job.
seemingly impossible? that's
what miracles are made of. stuff
ONLY Jesus can do. and i will never
get over it. brandt seeing for himself that God really cares about
"fresh as the morning..
as sure as the sunrise..."
this is what Jesus is for us.

Tuesday, April 9

here we sit.
jan and i.
in dr. leon's
office. the orthopedic
specialist who did the
surgery on our feet.

two of jan's toes aren't
doing what they are supposed
to do. and my feet are being
x-rayed. slow healing...but
starting to detox on pain meds
next week. i am so grateful
for all your prayers.

bible study fellowship tonight.
trying to talk jan into
going home with me.
i get lonely, and i love
being with my sister.

i want to see the milk
and honey, instead of
all the giants and walls
in life. remember when
moses sent 12 men to
scope out the promised
land? ten were so alarmed
by the obstacles they saw
that they wanted to return
to egypt.

there were caleb and joshua.
they saw land flowing with
milk and honey. promise
and bright tomorrows.
caleb was 85 years old,
but was confident he could
fight the giants.

"Lord, may we trust Your
promises. Your truths.
strip us of our fears and
worry and doubts. i love
You, Jesus. i'm running with
You. please bless my fellow
warriors. may we run and
win. may fear be gone!!"

Sunday, April 7

i have spent hours on
the phone today. all my
children are in crisis.
one way or another.

when the phone rings,
and i see it is one of my sons,
the door to the world slams shut.
i become instantly stilled.
quiet and alert and absorbed in
every word.

if it is just to say,
"i love you, mom.."
or a bigger chunk of life
that they share with me....
and need to talk about...
and we cover everything! well,
an appointment is missed.
or my car is pulled off the
road so i can listen and be

God is challenging every one
of my children in difficult areas
right now. just as He is doing
with me. and i don't know four
brothers as connected to each
other as mine are. and if ever
a mother loved her children...and
i know you do...well i am that
mother, too.

oh, yes, my feet hurt.
but when my children do,
then every bone aches.
and tears run out my eyes and
fingers, and down my soul.

so, tonight,
i crawl into the warm, safe,
loving lap of God. and lay
my weary heart against His
chest. i understand a broken
world because i am broken.
and tomorrow, in church, every
pew will be filled with broken

is the Light of
the world.

"tell fearful souls,
'courage! take heart!
God is here, on His way,
to put things right
and redress all wrongs.
He's on His way. He'll save
you.'" isaiah 35 the Message

stay in the Race.
run the Course. my
children..and yours..need us!
i love you.

Friday, April 5

just returned from 12-step meeting.
our theme has been forgiveness.
perfect for Holy Week and since.

i reminded my sisters in recovery
that as my feet begin to heal,
i will begin my detox program
off pain pills. it always takes so
much courage to come back
and face this issue in my life.
to not lie to myself. to choose
the easier path of just slipping by.

please pray for me as i soon
start this process. my feet are
still so painful...but just in the
last two days, i've noticed
some relief. wow! what a
journey this has been. and it
won't be complete until my
dependence on medication is
removed. as you are washing
dishes, or driving children to
school, and you think of me,
send up a prayer.

thinking of addiction,
i'm reminded of how much
it steals from our lives. the
greatest of which is freedom.
no one can know how sweet
freedom tastes unless you have
been enslaved. may that
never happen to me again.

so difficult for me not to
worry as a mother. i've changed
subjects now. a mother's love
is something to behold. maybe
we can just say that with addiction
(and everyone has some form of
one) or parenting, we must trust
in Jesus...and in Him alone.

"lead me to the Rock
that is higher than i."

Wednesday, April 3

"glory, glory hallelujah.
glory, glory hallelujah.
glory, glory hallelujah...
His Truth is marching

we just must believe this.
even when there is a bad report
about our cancer.  or our
children are lost. or finances
are drying up.  or work creates
bare minimum money to survive.
or someone we thought really
cared about
us, hurts us.

"is there anyone who can
explain  God?  anyone smart
enough to tell Him what to do?
anyone who has done Him such
a huge favor that God has to ask
his advice?"

"everything comes from Him.
everything happens through Him.
everything ends up in Him.
always glory!  always praise!
yes. yes. yes."  
romans 11, the Message

may we each
stack our weary burdens
at the Cross...and leave them
there.  with truth marching  on.
i join you in this glorious, difficult
pursuit.  always, with love.

Monday, April 1

Easter sunday came early
for me.  in fact, before sunrise.
midnight sharp, we were treated
to a brilliant lightening storm.
wild, ragged thunder...

followed by a lit sky.
silver-white.  the backdrop
for the  massive trees and
beautiful  foliage here in the
country. God's announcement
of  "it is finished."

matthew 28:2-7
"mary came to keep vigil.
shafts of lightening blazed from
Him. His garments shivered snow-white..."

"He is risen from the dead.
His countenance was like
lightening and He was white as 
snow. HE IS RISEN! "  the Message

rain was coming down in
sheets. taylor had driven in
to spend Easter with me. he
was running out the front door
with phone/camera  in hand.
my film-degreed son, capturing
the awe and very Presence
of Resurrection.

taylor and i had been invited
to dinner at the aubrey mcganns'
for lunch..and brandt and jasmine
and baby colben, with cousin netta,
were invited here at four for
dinner with us.

my feet in boots.
swollen and painful.
brandt saying he will
probably contract as firefighter
in marsall islands.  australia.
all my children in transition on
some level.

i wept.
yet let go.
children must be
free to go with their dreams.
times for mothers to relinquish.
and dwell in quiet places of
prayer with God.

but Jesus lives.  reigns.
forgiveness across every board
in our lives.  the entire reason
for the Cross.  for what we must be.

am posting a few pics of today.
my face wet with tears, and
colben cheering me.  kissing me .
blessings to all. because of the
Cross, there is deliverance for all.
even me! 

                        Easter Blessings

            taylor, colben, brandt, ann

                         ann, colben

                       ann, colben

       taylor with colben on lap, brandt, ann