Monday, October 26, 2015

On adventuring

It was one of those picturesque fall afternoons.

The sky was that delightful shade of happy blue.

A slight breeze, the warm sun.

It was the perfect time for an adventure walk.

So, with clip boards in hand, we started out.

They paused every few 100 feet of so to add to their map.  Drawing details to make it just right.

We snaked and wound through the subdivisions.  One leading to another.

Eventually coming to a cul-de-sac.  Having no choice but to turn around.

So we followed the sidewalk, looking for clues on where to turn, consulting the map.

The bright red tree, the creek, the fire hydrant, the house with ten cars (a party!)

Object lesson: some things can be good markers, truths that will stand the test of time and be truth to let you know where to turn (i.e. the creek, the fire hydrant)

And some things will change.  Some things you can't always reply on to be there, or to be the truth.  You can't depend on them to be accurate (i.e. those 10 cars probably won't be there tomorrow).

We have been reminded several times in these last couple weeks the importance of helping our kids find and identify truth.

And just as important: to find and identify lies. and evil. and sin.

It's in our parenting nature to protect.  To keep our children from the hurt and pain and lies that this world throws their way.

But now is when they need to see them (in appropriate doses!). 

Now, when they are still with us.  When we are in the same room, same home, to help them see where the lies are at, and where the Truth really exists.

So, when they are out there making their own map in the world.  Forging their own trail.  They will be able to see the false markers for what they are. 

Be able to call them what they are: Lies, Sin, Evil.

And be able to make the choice to look for the Truth.  And to pursue it.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

It's more than running

Up at 4:45 AM.

Half a cup of coffee and a banana.

Double, then triple check, to make sure all running essentials are accounted for.

6AM parking (on the street - free on Sundays - score!)

6:30 Bagel and Orange Juice, private bathrooms, heated tent - all thanks to the friends and family who helped up raise enough money to be a part of the VIP experience!

7AM stretches and jumps to shake out the jitters

7:30 start.

I've said before how much I enjoy this race in Columbus and all the reasons why I do.

A weekend away for Paul and I, getting back to where we lived when we first were married.

Experiencing Columbus in the fall is the best time to experience Columbus

The whole race is a great symbol of our earthly race, pushing through to the finish.  As an excerpt from 2010, when I ran my first half states:

Training for a big race has quite the correlation of running the race of life spiritually speaking. Both take discipline, perseverance, and remembering how great it will be at the end when we finish! Although the finish line at the race is a far shot from heaven, it definitely has a great feeling when you know you ran the race well, gave all you got, and finished with a smile on your face. And I know the crown of victory I get someday will far outshine the medal hung around my neck this weekend! There were all types of runners (19,000 this year, 2015) coming from all walks of life. But one thing you felt throughout the crowd was runners encouraging others they didn't even know to continue on and reminding them of the finish ahead. How important it is to encourage our fellow Christians to continue on even when everything is aching, and remember the prize at the end!

And now, for the last 3 years, we've been running as Children's Champions, raising money for Nationwide Children's Hospital, one of the top Children's Hospitals in the country who never turns a child away for failure to pay.

As always, we run in memory of Bryer.  The sweet little boy who already ran and finished the ultimate race.

And as always, we run in support of his parents, Justin and Carey, and Bryer's siblings, who walk through life daily with an empty spot in their lives.

And as an added cherry on top of an already inspiring, awesome day: Paul ran a qualifying time for the Boston Marathon. 

As you can see, it so much more than completing a marathon, or half-marathon.  We may have done the running, but the running was done for others, those who may never have a chance to walk this side of heaven.  And all the running was done to God's glory.

He is the one who makes us capable and gives us this opportunity to move our bodies in worship to Him. 

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men. 

Colossians 3:23


Monday, October 12, 2015

Owen the 9-year-old

The baby that made me a mother turned 9 today.

He requested the family favorite of Cabbage, Bacon, and Noodles for supper and an Angel Food Cake for dessert because "it will be easy for you to make, mom."

His cake was topped with various numbers that added up to 9 because I didn't have actual candles...oops.

When asked what he wanted to do for the evening:  "take a walk because I know mom likes to do that and play Mario Kart because I know that's what dad likes."

 Owen, it's a joy to watch how you approach life.  Always asking "how" and "why."  You've got a knack for numbers and can get lost in a 500 page novel for hours. 

Your scripture memory abilities put me to shame. 

You are the big brother to your sisters.  You are always watching out for them.  Sometimes this is helpful...sometimes it is not.  But I know this is born out of your desire to follow the rules and you appreciate when others follow the rules, too.

You've gotten sucked into the world of Mincraft, and although your time on the computer is limited, you could talk Minecraft all day long if my mind could stand it.

Owen, we love the energy you bring this family.  How, thanks to you and your dad, you keep our house from being completely overrun with pink and princess and fairy.

You have a heart for Jesus and we pray that you continue to seek Him as you grow into the man He wants you to become.

Happy 9th year, Owen!  We are so glad you are part of this Suvar party of 5!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

September Lookback


That was the sound of September flying by.

We got into the groove of school. 

And started up some new things:  ballet for the girls, Cub Scouts for Owen, announcing sporting events (soccer and volleyball) for Paul, and me just making sure everyone is fed and where they are supposed to be.

It's put a special kind of pace into life, but so far we're just dipping the toes into things, knowing we want to keep family, not events, first.

Speaking of family, we had opportunities to spend time with both sides of ours.

A Birthday Party/Slumber Party with my family.

A Race-Running/ Camp Fire Weekend with Paul's.

Fall was welcomed with open arms.  The cooler, crisp air.  Deep blue skies.  And hints of colors in the trees.

September was full.  Full and good.

Maddie joined the lost tooth club!  She was so scared and worried about the pain that would happen when her tooth would come out.  But it ended up falling out while she brushed her teeth and she didn't even notice.

My parents with all the grandkids.  I don't think this one made the Christmas Picture cut.

Vanessa Nichole.  So much to love.

A blissful Sunday afternoon in the sun.  Paul working on lesson plans, me reading a book, the kids riding bikes around the drive.

Suvar Campout Weekend:  a few of us ran a local 10K race, the ladies and kids toured an Art Festival, we celebrated birthdays, and enjoyed lots of time around the campfire...

and, oh, yeah, a parachute.  of course.

The first hints of Fall - yea!

And the chalkboard wall makes it's appearance again.  This time with one of my favorite lines from one of my favorite songs (The Cost: Rend Collective).

Friday, October 2, 2015

Seeking to set my mind

It starts as most mornings start around here.

The breathed prayer to start the day.

Up before the sun, a cup of coffee, splash of creamer.

The fixing of breakfast with eyes half closed.

The wrestling of children from under covers, herding them to breakfast.

And as they begin to wake from their stupor, the conversations, the words, start to come.

I wish I could say that all things are pleasant in the morning.

That we hold decent conversation while scooping our oatmeal.  Sometimes we do.

But sometimes we don't.

Someone is looking at someone weird.  Someone's foot is on someone else's chair.  Arguments over who gets the bathroom first.


I know I can't be alone in this.

Those mornings that just have that funk.

I wish I could say I rise above it and keep a calm, controlled demeanor despite the squabbling siblings.


They're pushed, prodded, propelled into the car.  Bookbags, lunches, permission slips.

And then they are dropped off at school.  And I turn from the last peck on the cheek and declarations of "Be brave! Be kind!"

I turn and face the silence of the car.  The silence of shame.

What was the big deal?  What did I feel was so important that I needed to speak in that tone of voice?

In the quiet of my drive, the things that seemed so urgent just 15 minutes before, all seem so trivial now.

Where do I go from here?  How do I reconcile this?  I know that I am a soul, wrestling against my flesh.

And sadly, so often, the flesh wins.

I know this is how I am.  But I also know that I have been called to rise above that.

 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  
Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.  
For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
Colossians 3:1-3 
So what I inadvertently picked up that morning: pride, self-love, trust in self.  I lay it back down at His feet.  A broken person, once again reminded that nothing within me can do good.  I seek to turn my mind to Christ, and what matters to Him.  Setting my mind on things above, not things of this earth.

And as I move through my day it seems to work.  Seems to run a bit smoother.

But it's close to 3PM and my 'training ground' approaches.

Three children.  One mom.  Post-school time of day.  

Another grace-filled chance to set my mind.