Articles for November 2010



Years ago I had a college assignment in which I was asked to describe my relationship with my parents. (Psychology professors love that kinda stuff!) One question in particular was “How would your father describe you?” So I asked him.

My Daddy thinks I’m effervescent. In particular he described me as being not unlike the sprinklers in the produce section which periodically freshen their surroundings. (My Dad is a writer.) Now here’s the deal. I may or may not be effervescent. I may or may not freshen my surroundings and my friends with my presence. I may simply emit small bubbles of gas – another less flattering definition of the same word. But that doesn’t really even matter.

What matters is that I have the kind of Dad who thinks I’m swell! I have never for a single moment of my existence doubted the love of my Daddy. Let me tell you folks. That’s a big deal. That changes who a person is. It increases confidence. It allows trust. Daddy taught me what a loving Father is all about. He also taught me about my heavenly Father. Quite a legacy.

 I work with kids (and grown ups) everyday who don’t have that gift. Somedays I let myself get down about that. But on good days I remember that because I have the unconditional, overwhelmingly positive love of my mom and dad, I am more well equipped to freshen the lives of those kiddos than I might be otherwise. I can share that same kind of love with them because I have experienced that love.

That, my friends, is something to be thankful for.

Peace, Love, and Daddy,


As You Have Capacity

A few weeks back, a group of BFC gals left early on a Sunday morning for a road trip to OK City. We drove 4 hours one way for an 8 hour nutrition seminar and drove 4 hours back. It was a long day, but it was well worth our time. We spent the day with Dallas Hartwig and Melissa Urban of Whole 9 Life. Dallas and Melissa are two of the most beautiful people on the planet. Seriously. And also two of the most passionate folks there are about eating to benefit your body – and your being.

Melissa used the phrase “as you have capacity” several times during the presentation. That phrase resonated within me that day and has stayed with me ever since. For me it was yet another reminder that eating well is a process. Each time I dedicate myself to a sustained period of eating super squeaky clean, I find that I have a bit more capacity to allow the process to unfold.

We are on the last leg (Get it? Turkey leg?) of our lean turkey challenge. Phillip and I have had capacity during this challenge to purchase grass fed meats. What a difference that has made. I also had the capacity (because I’m completely spoiled by Superman’s grocery shopping and cooking) to take my breakfast and lunch to work virtually every day. I’ve cooked much more than I am accustomed to, and have made several new recipes. It’s been a good time. I feel like I have a pretty good grasp on this healthy/Paleo/clean eating thing. I can totally do this!

But what about my training? I become a bit discouraged from time to time about how long it seems to take to notice improvement. I struggle with my concept of what I “should” be able to do. I compare myself with the others in my workout group. (As a side note, that is a really BAD strategy! Perhaps even the topic for a whole nother post.) And then the discouragement grows and begins to seep into more than just my opinion of me as a crossfitter, but me as a person.  Seriously?!

It’s definitely time for a reframe. What is it that I’ve learned in my nutrition journey that I could apply to my crossfit adventure? Might it be ok to wod for the pleasure of it? What about disconnecting results (times and weights and rounds) from the process – or at least from the judgment of the outcome of the process? Do I discount what I can do based on what I do not currently have the capacity to do? That could be quite discouraging. Trust me.

Thankfully, I do have capacity to change how I am thinking about and experiencing this process. We all have that capacity. Learning to use it is the trick.

So here is my reframe, borrowed in part from something I’ve read along the way.

CrossFit for the pleasure of it, and you won’t have difficulty with motivation. Enjoy eating clean, for deprivation leads to excess. And be glad for your body despite its imperfections, because it has many more exceptional qualities, one of which is it can string 8 double unders. (and counting)

Peace, Love and Capacity,




Where would we be without Hope? Our family has a personal connection to that word…Hope. It’s much more to us than just a word or a concept. It’s a piece of our family.

We lost our Hope, Jaclyn Hope Mercer, on March 15, 1991. She was stillborn at full term. She was a beauty. And our hearts were broken. My Dad, Jaclyn’s Poppy, wrote about the brief time we were given to love on her with these words, “We did have unparalleled blessing from that fleeting moment – the blessing of holding our beloved Jaclyn Hope. Each of us, silently, privately… even desparately… longed for her to open her eyes. All of our senses cried out that this serene little girl was only sleeping, and if she would just wake up, everything would be all right. But it was not to be. And when the time came … as the time had to come… that she was taken from our arms, we ached more deeply inside than we imagined possible. “Just another minute,” we pleaded. “Just another hour…Just another day… please, Just a lifetime.” Surely the strength of our very will could return her to us. But no. It could not be.”

How did our hope survive the loss of our Hope? In the early days, a breath at a time. My Mom stayed with us for a few days after her birth/death. I remember – even almost 20 years later – the distinct feeling that as long as Mom was here breathing with me, I could be reminded to breathe in and breathe out. Our family and our friends supported us and loved us through that dark time. So many have been respectful and kind enough to remember her birthday for many years, and to honor us with their words of encouragement. For that I am deeply and humbly grateful.

Alone we would not have survived.

But together we have thrived!

So we were honored and privileged this weekend to take part in an event for Hope.  For where would any of us be without Hope?

Peace, Love and Hope,


Look you in the eyes

Tonight’s wod sucked. I couldn’t breathe. I finished feeling dizzy and nauseous. Ick. Before it even ended I was beating myself up for not being stronger and faster and fitter and… perfecter!

I have struggled for what feels like a lifetime with a desire to be perfect. I know, I know, that’s completely irrational. I’m just being honest here. My fundamental evangelical heritage taught me, “Be ye perfect as Christ is perfect.” Thank God – literally, I now am beginning to understand that the only perfection there ever was , is or will be is Christ himself. and the ONLY way God will ever see me as perfect is through the lense of  His Grace.

What does that have to do with tonight’s wod? Hang with me.

As we caught our breath and our equilibrium, Chris could sense our need to debrief. – or maybe he just refused to let me leave looking that bad! Either way, we had a chance to talk. He told us to go home and look in the mirror – and to look ourselves in the eyes.

Busted! I don’t spend much time looking myself in the eyes. I do spend time in front of the mirror. Usually I’m focused on flaws. I see new wrinkles. I see old stretch marks. I see imperfection. I focus on what is wrong. I look for, and find flaw after flaw. Why? It is my choice, after all. Why not look myself in the eyes – with eyes of grace – and like what I see?

I do have a great smile. 🙂

“My grace is sufficent for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

Peace, Love, and Grace,