"I got to thinking one day about all those women on the Titanic who passed up dessert at dinner that fateful night in an effort to 'cut back.' From then on, I've tried to be a little more flexible."
(Erma Bombeck)

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Here’s the story of my life: I began as a zygote in Anacortes, Washington and quickly grew into a larger group of amorphous cells which eventually resulted in the human being who graduated from Anacortes High School. Oops, too much detail.

Fast forward: I married a unique individual who is the perfect "yin" to my "yang." We began courting by going on motorcycle dates and I realized I'd found a guy who liked to talk as much as I did! We married in 1981 and moved to San Antonio, Texas one week after the wedding. My husband says that moving to Texas was the last time I ever did anything impulsively (I’m a quick learner).

In 1985, we returned to our old stompin’ grounds in Washington state and now live on 7 acres overlooking Big Lake (yes, that's the name . . . original, don't you think?).

We have a daughter who is truly a hybrid of the two of us. Kind of like Mother Teresa with a chainsaw.

We also have a German Shepherd who is sweet and smart (not to mention slightly destructive), but a big part of our family. You dog lovers will know what I mean.

We were married for nine years before we had our daughter. She is now 21 years old and the blessing of our lives. Some people wonder why we waited so long to have kids. I can't really answer that except to say that we were foolish and let life get in the way. If we had it to do over again, we would have started sooner, as we didn't know what we were missing. Alas, hindsight is always 100%!

Unfortunately, we discovered a couple of years after our daughter's birth that we were unable to have more children (it's called "secondary infertility"), so we never knew whether her birth was an incredible fluke or if something went wrong after her arrival. Of course, I've always believed that her arrival was God's perfect plan. We grieved the loss of our dream for more children, but were more grateful than ever for the miracle of our daughter's place in our family.

I've had a lot of interesting jobs in my work life, including a stint with the Seattle Seahawks and a memorable tour of duty as a flight attendant. It wasn't until my 40s that I realized how much I loved the visual arts and became a graphic designer.

Then, in July of 2008, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and this blog was born. It started simply as a way to keep my friends and family informed about my progress and treatment. A funny thing happened on the way to the oncology ward: I discovered that writing was incredibly therapeutic and that some folks even benefited from reading about my experiences. So I kept writing.

After finishing cancer treatment in 2009, I realized that I wanted my life to be more about relationships and less about sitting at a computer. So I went back to school and obtained my Career & Technical Education teaching certificate in order to teach visual communications to high school students. A year later, I was hired for my first teaching job. Unfortunately, after a year of teaching, my job was eliminated due to state budget cuts caused by the suffering economy.

They say that "necessity is the mother of invention" and I guess it's true: unemployment brought on depression . . . depression brought on the realization that I had to take my life back . . . and my business Bella Vita Creative was born. You can read the About page for more about that side of my life.

I am also a fairly recent convert to the Orthodox Christian Church after being an evangelical Protestant for 50 years--you could say that my life has been full of paradigm shifts the last few years. Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks?

I've named this blog "Running The Race" because I believe that, as the Bible indicates, our lives are a race of sorts (yes, sometimes it seems like nothing but a 'rat race').

My prayer is that God will enable me to run the race to the finish and not give up or throw in the towel. The race is not a sprint, but a marathon of endurance.

Here's the Scripture verse in Hebrews 12:1-3:

"Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses*, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."

* The "cloud of witnesses" includes not only the Old Testament saints, but also the saints and martyrs of the Lord in all ages. If they made it, so can we. :~)