To My Gal Pal…

A note to my gal pal… Thank you.

To my gal pal who had lunch with me today, thank you.  To the one that sent me that great text message yesterday, making me feel so on point with my job — thank you.

To the one who had lunch with me yesterday… and listened and related to ME thank you.

To the gal pal who told me to go to the doctor (for weeks now…) to get treatment for my sinus infection, thank you.

To the gal pal that called to see if wanted coffee this morning… thank you.  Of course, I did, but the pain in my ears was just too much!

To the gal pal that sent me an email earlier this week, to honor a commitment and to touch base… thank you, and while I am at it, I’m sorry, I think, no, I know, I was rough and bitchy.

To the gal pals working with me on the Legends Dinner, thank you, just knowing you’re on the team makes one more step easier to take!

To the gal pal… that I still consider my very best friend, more than thirty years later, and though we’re not as connected as we were as teenage girls (and I wish we were), thank you and can we have dinner soon???  I miss your friendship, perhaps the most.

To the gal pal I mentor.  Thank you for letting me be a part of YOUR life, it is truly a beautiful gift to be able to be with you, to watch you become the sort of woman anyone would love to have in her


I have these gal pals, and literally there are hundreds of YOU, thank you all, you all have space in my heart and have done so much to help me to be the kind of person that deserves your friendship.  You see at lunch today, I really realized, how often we have spilled milk situations in our lives, the ones that no matter how much you wish you could put it back together, you just can’t. But… what I CAN do, is to remember to lean on you, my gal pals… to pull me through.

And to my gal pal… the one that said, “Liz be gentle with yourself…” thank you, those words have carried me often over the past few weeks.


Posted in Life, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Average Joes… or are they?

I’ve been doing some work on myself.  It started in earnest after my trust fall earlier this year. And it’s part of my OLW — GraceGrace includes giving myself permission and space to be selfish and do things for me that help me.  Sounds simple right?  Yet, I am alarmed by just how many of us really don’t practice this art.

I’ve been going to MY “Average Joe’s.”  If you’ve seen Dodgeball then you are no doubt aware of the monstrosity that is Globogym — run by appearance driven and seriously shallow White Goodman (played by Ben Stiller) and of course there is Average Joes, run by the affable Peter La Fleur (played by Vince Vaughn).

I train at Easton.  Easton is an MMA/BJJ/Kickboxing gym here in Denver, CO.  When I started, I was seriously apprehensive.  These guys are martial artists.  They eat nails for breakfast and they can drop me to the floor with a stare. And… that’s just the men that train there.  Don’t get me started on the kids and women that train there.

I was afraid.

Afraid of the stares and the judgement, the hushed conversations wondering why someone like ME is somewhere like there. I was afraid of simply not being fit enough to participate. On ANY level.


None of that is true. Well… except the nail eating and the ability to drop me to the floor with a stare.

What I found is a community of people who are all walking their walk, fighting their fight, and being a constant support to the other “average joes” training at Easton.   And nothing like the experiences I’ve had at other gyms (and I won’t name them here….)  These people all of them, from coaches to members are among the nicest I’ve met.

So cheers… Peter, Jeff, George, Gwen, Garin, Sean, Tyler…. thank you for being anything but Average Joes!


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

On Disappointment…

There are things in the world, well, that you can just count on.  The sun will likely rise tomorrow, you’ll pay taxes, you’ll have a million amazing moments in your life, and, you’ll face disappointment.

I’ve recently ended a relationship.

It was a volunteer opportunity and it along the way has provided me with many beautiful things. I was given the space to learn more about myself, people around me and perhaps the human condition in general.  It also taught me the world is an imperfect place. Of course, I know this to be true.  That said, when disappointment happens where AND when you don’t expect it… there is a stronger than usual sting associated with it.MLK disappointment

It’s not the dull “oh this again” type of pain you feel when that one person let you down again.  The pain you’re familiar with because you’ve felt it before and it’s likely you’ll feel it again.  No this pain is different.  It’s a sting and pain that cuts to the core and you’re just certain you’ll never hurt as much ever again.


I am having a tough tough time with this break-up.  I overall believe in the mission, I love  most of the humans I’ve been connected with. I think, that’s why it just hurts so much. It was just the sort of sucker punch I never expected.

More truth.

My heart will heal, and my disappointment while painful will dissipate and ache less in the coming days.  And I have learned another set of valuable life lessons to carry with me as I travel my road.  I will choose to continue to support causes and missions I believe in, knowing there can be or is risk involved.  Disappointment can and may strike at anytime, and I am strong in heart, convicted in faith and committed to NOT letting disappointment change me in ways that don’t represent the person I know myself to be.

How about seeing life’s disappointments as God’s appointments and as being according to His purposes? Take the psalmist’s advice and “Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved” (Psalm 55:20). If you insist on carrying around your own burdens and disappointments, it will be a heavy load indeed and you’ll have to carry around with you the weight of the world and that’s going to be difficult since we were never created to carry such loads. This is exactly why Jesus commands us all to “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matt 11:28-30).

Thank you to Jack Wellman from Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane, KS and  for the reminder.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Fe Anniversary…

Six years.  Today, Eric and I have been married for 2,191 and 1/2 days.  Six years. 52,596 hours.  3,155,760 minutes and that all boils down to 189,345,600 seconds. When you think of it in terms of years or days it seems almost not worth noting.  We spend more time pursuing elementary and high school education.sandy-at-wedding

On a more micro level, getting down to seconds, it changes and becomes so much larger than you’d think. One Hundred Eighty-Nine Million Three Hundred Forty-Five Thousand, Six Hundred seconds.  It’s a mouthful.

We’re spending this weekend in Danville, Illinois, home of Dick and Jerry Van Dyke, Gene Hackman, and my sister and her family.  Her son Nick is graduating this weekend and we’re here to help celebrate his amazing accomplishment.

Much like our 189,345,600 seconds, this long weekend isn’t perfect.  I’ve managed to come down with some allergic or summer cold malady, and there is plenty of on-the-fly changes to suit just about anyone.

But — it’s like that with marriage too.  We have good days and not so good days.  We have bad days and worse days.  And of course we have those magical days that really leave us aware of just how blessed our lives are.  And they are.

So cheers to Eric… and to me as we celebrate our Iron Anniversary, and like iron that is wrought into beautiful fences and works of art — so to is our marriage….

#forageon #wroughton #sixmoreyears #mykeeper

The Virtues, in despair, quit the earth; and the depravity of man becomes universal and complete. Hard steel succeeded then.

— Ovid, Metamorphoses, Book I, Iron age, line 160 ff
Iron when mixed with impurity becomes stronger… a marriage mixed with time… becomes stronger.
Posted in Life, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Everyone…has ONE.

Getting up at 5:20 in the morning is getting easier. 

Kickboxing — done.  I am waiting for my 9:00 a.m. so thought I’d take a quick minute to share an observation from the gym today.  While getting ready for work, I caught some of a conversation from a couple of friends…

It went something like this… “George was really able to help me with some breathing exercises and just reminding me to not be so hard on myself…” And that’s where I stopped. Dead. In. Tracks.  And realized…. Everyone has ONE. For much longer than I’ve realized, I thought alone on the isle of Liz lived the mean girl.  And surely, she is so exclusively mine. Imagined myself alone in the wallow of insecurity, not being good enough, smart enough, lovable enough. Today I learned it’s not just me. chaos

If I am being honest, I’ll tell you I found this, in some way, comforting and filled me with a sense of relief.  It’s not just me who has this perpetual incessant chatter in the head, filling me with things that are just not helpful.  I also found myself a little disappointed.  How can I find comfort in knowing that another woman out there — maybe a million other women, are having and sharing this same struggle?

Our get ready for work preparations continued, realizing some of us have the mean girl desperately needing to be put in to check, and maybe some of us have an inner mean girl just waiting to help us — set boundaries, say NO, put us FIRST, be unapologetic about who we are and where we fit in the world.  I watched one of my classmates this morning and could see in her, the very same things I see in me — and so casually I mentioned… YOU look lovely, try, though I know it’s hard, not to obsess about how your dress fits, what your hair looks like — if a full face of cosmetics if overwhelming, try just a dab of gloss or simply own your beautiful face, just as you are!

The work on the internal chatter continues… and while we’re talking about the internal chatter… have you ever noticed that it just doesn’t SHUT UP? — Courtesy of my book… and thanks Peter.  The inner voice keeps going, simply to be heard — some crazy notion that some crazy voice talking to you — in your head has the need to be heard, but not the right.  Turn it off!

Tomorrow we start again.  6:30. Sharp.

Quiet the mind… slow the chatter, turn down the volume and do YOU!33-verses-about-fear-and-anxiety-5-640x640

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Grace…In Honesty.

There is opportunity for incredible grace…in honesty. Let me share with you a recent experience I was able to share with a group of extraordinary humans.

SA10I volunteer with Colorado Youth at Risk, a non-profit here in Colorado mission minded pair young people with mentors in a grander mission to help them reach for what is possible in their lives.  I am a Group Leader in this beautiful community we call Steps Ahead 10.  In other words, I mentor mentors and help with coaching to mentors and young people working together, building relationships. Each “community” starts our year long journey with a weekend excursion to AU in Buena Vista, Colorado.  Often, it’s a first “trip” to the mountains, or “trip” of any sort for the young people we serve.

We spend a great deal of time in a course room, learning tools we can use in our SA10 community, and hopefully take with us in to our lives.  I can share more of that later.

We also spend some time outdoors doing a “ropes course.”  This course includes a Freedom Fall in to the arms of your small group as well as many other height challenging, obstacles — all designed to take us one step beyond where the comfort level lives.

Friday night — we learned and used a tool we call “emptying the cup.” Just as it sounds, it’s kind of like word vomit — just emptying the what’s bothering you to a group of people who aren’t here to judge, we’re HERE to HEAR.  Enter grace. I shared with my small group this year is my third year of doing the Launch Course, and that I had successfully finished two of the three never having done the freedom fall.  I have this tremendous mean girl, you know the one that lives inside your head, tells you that you’re probably too fat to do this thing — what if they drop you?  You can’t look at yourself in the mirror because how — just how did you end up THIS WAY? It felt good to let go of my dirty little secret that is the freedom fall.

On Saturday morning we started our ropes course…with… yep… the Freedom Fall.  Each of my respective mentors and young people hopped up on to the back end of the truck we perched from — faced their fear, what was necessary to let go of to get where we want to go… took some coaching and Trust Fallfell in to the arms of our community ready to catch them, support them, and as we put it… “have your back.”

And so we were done with that element.  Or so I thought.  Peter, one of my mentors called me out.  It was my turn.  Me. ME.  Now mind you, I think I narc’d on myself for some desire to finally let go and do this thing… but there it is looking me dead in the eye.  Me and the mean girl.   What if they drop me? What if I am too fat?  What if I just can’t do this?

What if…..?

So the mean girl and I had a conversation.  I am tired of whatever self shaming I have going on for what my body looks like today.  I am tired of avoiding a mirror, because I don’t like what I see.  I am on a journey to reclaim my health, my confidence, knowing that I am good enough just as I am today — and the possibility I have in tomorrow. And so I gave the command…

Me:  “Team Ready?”

Them: “Ready Team!”

Me: “Liz Falling.”

Them: “Fall on Liz.”

And nothing… 

Okay… reset and try again.

Me: “Team Ready?”

Them:  “Ready Team!”

Me: “Liz Falling”

Them:  “Fall on Liz!”

And back I went.

And…They caught me. And… then they lifted me… up above their heads.  And… I didn’t fall, they didn’t drop me.  Liz Freedom FallAnd when I was lowered, all I had was tears, lots of them.  There aren’t words I can find for the gratitude I felt, for these people, these, the ones who said they’d have my back.  And. DID. I’m grateful for the grace, I could show to the mean girl, and the scared girl, and the sometimes not so strong girl, and for the girl who was strong enough, to let them all exist and still come out on top.

#SA10 #WierdosRock

Posted in Life, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Grace… and the Mean Girl.

Grace… and the mean girl.  She’s back. Meaner than ever, she’s managed to keep me in tears nearly all freaking day.

The art of self-kindness is hard.  Really really hard.  Today is no exception.  I’ve been working on trying to be kinder to myself, to give myself more grace, to give those around me more grace and it’s been tough.  mean girl poster

Often, I don’t or won’t ask for help, simply because if something is going to fail or mess up, I’d rather it be on me, than me allowing someone else in to my groove and creating even the chance of something going amiss. Professionally, personally, it just shows up.  I struggle with my weight, I’ll make NO bones about it, and this morning, it was called out by the inner mean girl occupying way too much real estate in my head. She’s downright mean about where I am with my weight. “Why can’t I just fix it? Just stop this, don’t do that — do more of this.” So. Much. Noise.  My all out defiance to ask for help also bit me professionally this week.  It. Just. Sucks. I’m sitting in the same space as the mean girl and today she’s winning. Overwhelmed, I don’t know where to start — what’s the first step? Presuming I take the first… do I know where the second is? What the second is? I paralyze myself.  There is zero grace in a self-imposed paralytic state.

Rock bottom, however, is the place many Christians try desperately to avoid. It’s the antithesis of the American Dream. Ironically, however, everyone who lives long enough knows suffering, or rock bottom, is inevitable. Everyone eventually meets that one situation beyond their control or capability. In this moment, you find the answer to the most important question of your life, “Will you try harder or look higher?”

Suffering isn’t failure. It can be a gift, an opportunity to see God’s grace, maybe for the first time. Suffering takes away our control, along with our talents, good works, and fool-proof plans. But it’s here, with nothing left, that we might just be desperate enough to seek God.

I was asked this weekend what I do? How do I stop the mean girl from rearing her head and opening her mouth? Rarely, do I catch her before the words escape, in fact, most often, I catch her after the damage is done, so is the case today. So again, let’s chalk one up to the mean girl, she’s won another battle, for a moment. The war rages on.

Posted in Life, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment