Help Me Get This Thing Done

photo 2.40.21 PM Hello friends,

I always get a little bummed after Christmas is over. Thankfully our family has other events to look forward to---Margaret's birthday tomorrow, New Year's and my birthday next week, and in January, our trip to Florida with my mother and siblings, where I will run my first marathon, the Disney Marathon. I'll be running with my brother Matthew. Costumes still pending...

Because of my crazy schedule as a pastor, writer, and parent, my training has been pretty solitary. I haven't joined a training program or done any group runs, though I've been thankful for those friends who've run with me on occasion (thank you Jessica and Linda!) and offered great advice (especially Roy and Christine!). But as I get into the home stretch, I need you guys with me.

The first way you can help is by building the mother of all running playlists. You know how I love the playlists! Disney is sure to keep us entertained, but I'd appreciate some tunes for those long stretches between parks... or in case the PA system gets stuck on "It's a Small World." In the comments, suggest your favorite kick-butt-and-take-names song. One song per person please, and it needs to be available via iTunes.

The second (and more serious) way to help is through a donation. The Disney marathon supports the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. This is meaningful to me since my first race was a 5K with my friends Leslie Klingensmith and her sister Erin Klingensmith Duffy. Erin's daughter began treatment for leukemia just a few months after that race. She is doing well now, and I will celebrate little Embree as I run on January 12.

But when I signed up for this race, I knew I wanted to run for a cause of my own choosing too. But which one? I overthought it for a long time, but when the answer finally clicked, I knew it was the right one and in some ways an obvious one.

Eleven years ago my father died of a heart attack. I began running in part to take better care of myself and my heart, and I did so in his memory. In the three years I've been running, Dad has been with me on the trail. I also think a lot about my seminary friend David Knauert, who died of a heart attack a few years ago.

So it's fitting that as I run my first marathon, I do so in support of the American Heart Association.

Please help me reach my goal of $1000 with a donation today. Your tax-deductible gift will make a difference in the lives of many. It is faster and easier than ever to support the fight against heart disease and stroke - America's No. 1 and No. 4 causes of death. You can make your donation online by visiting my page.

Any amount helps. I am grateful for your support!


Image is of my waterlogged feet after my 20 mile run on Monday.