I’m a Dad!

3 Feb
Keziah Grace Williams

Keziah Grace Williams

Whoa. I’m a dad. This little gem is my daughter.

My beautiful wife labored for 29 hours to bring her into the world at 5:34a on January 9th.  She weighed 7lbs,12oz and was 20.5″ long and captured our hearts from her first cry.

She’s already taught us so much. The biggest thing she has taught me is what love really is. I love this little girl. The weirdest part about that for me is that she literally can’t do anything beside eat, poop, cry, sleep, and provide us with a tax credit.  She’s pretty impractical at the moment. BUT I would and feel like I could move mountains for her.

We’re loved. She’s also taught us about how awesome our friends and family are. We’ve gotten countless cards, letters, remarkable support from our bosses and co-workers, meals, a gajillion and a half likes of her pictures on Facebook. People have made us feel so loved. Our church took care of us so well that we only bought a total of like $40 in groceries in January.

Being a dad is pretty great. Especially when you have a partner like Kim. She’s already such a great mom and its so fun to watch her be a mom. It’s also great to become even closer to her as we share these roles together. I’ve tremendously grateful that between diaper changes and feedings and forgetting if we fed the dog or where exactly we put those keys –again, that we’ve been able to truly appreciate each other.

The name. Keziah (we’re choosing to pronounce it Ka-Sigh-Ah. It means Cassia (like the tree we get cinnamon from). So many people ask where we got it.  I have a “thing” for names that have Zs in them. Kim has always liked Keziah, and the story of Job has always been compelling to me. This is where the name appears in the Book of Job:

12 The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys. 13 And he also had seven sons and three daughters. 14 The first daughter he named Jemimah, the second Keziah and the third Keren-Happuch. 15 Nowhere in all the land were there found women as beautiful as Job’s daughters, and their father granted them an inheritance along with their brothers.

Thank you everyone for all your love!

Photo taken by Melissa at Willow Grove Photography in Indianapolis.



Back at It After Being Sick

2 Jul

Today I got back on the running wagon after being sick last week.  I had a day of fever and muscle aches which lead to an ear infection, which was very painful. The antibiotics for the ear infection wipe me out, too.

I edited about 1,007 details out of that last paragraph that you didn’t want to know. That being said, I didn’t jump straight into my scheduled runs. Today, I elected to do a one-off, which is a workout designed to replace a scheduled workout. My current plan includes 3 of them. Today’s was a pretty basic workout that allows me to accomplish a real workout while still re-acclimating my body to the demands of running.

July2Intervals“20 Min Steady/Slow”It’s pretty straight forward:

(5 min warm up)

  • 1 minute at “steady pace”
  • 1.5 mintues “slow”
  • Repeat steady and slow intervals 7 times.

It’s important to listen to your body and feel free to take time off if you are sick, or if you are pushing the physical limits of fatigue. In my case, I had a VERY busy week at work which involved being on my feet for 5-6 hours daily the week before I got sick. I probably should have opted for a short run on those days, but went ahead with my normal training.

Either way, when your body demands that you rest, its time to rest.

And when its time to resume training, #keeprunning!

I’d like to hear from you — when do you know it is time to dial it back a notch or take a break?

How do you get back in the game after illness or fatigue?

New Route and New Breath

21 May

Yesterday, I discovered a new route. From roughly where I live to Monument Circle and back is 4 miles. That is pretty sweet for a couple of reasons:

  • Downtown Indy and Fountain Square are awesome places
  • I have a new go-t0 4 mile run route
  • I upped by distance to 4 miles yesterday and still feel great (woo progress!)

4 Mile Route

Since my goal for the next couple of weeks is simply to run 4 times for 20min or more, I am really ok with the slower pace I put up yesterday (~11:30). Right now I am really concentrating on good form, enjoying running, and building slowly. Yesterday, I decided to concentrate on breathing technique.

If you are like me the first thing you think when you hear “breathing technique” is, “Dude, I’ve been breathing my whole life — I think I have it covered.” And, we have a point about that — breathing should be a natural thing.  However, a few months ago I read an article in Runners World about breathing and decided that I need to test out a breathing pattern and technique. I have decided to start with the 4:3 pattern and stick with it for a few weeks.

The way the 4:3 pattern works is that you breath in for 4 steps and out for 3. It can be tough to breath in for 4 whole steps, but I noticed less of an energy drop towards the end of my run yesterday. Having a consistent breathe helps you relax and focus. The most important part for me is that having an odd-counted breathing rhythm makes me alternate foot strikes, so I’m not pounding one leg more than the other so much. We naturally put more pressure on the leg we exhale on, and the ideal situation is to split those strikes up as to avoid injuring either leg.

A 4:3 breathing pattern is a bit ambitious. Like I said, it is hard to truly breathe in for 4 steps. I’ll stick with it for a few weeks and adjust to a 3:2 if I need to. What I know for sure is that I am going to keep it odd.

Any good tips on breathing out there? What pattern or cadence works for you?

Group Run Keeps Spirits High

19 May

One of the best ways to stay motivated to run is to run with other people at least some of the time. Yesterday, Kim and I ran with our friends Scott and Haley Russell. We completed 2.35 miles in a little over 24 minutes, mostly on the Cultural Trail. This was a great way to finish out this week’s training and has got me feeling really good about running.

Benefits of Group Runs:

Fun! Group runs are meant to be fun! This is not the time to work on speed, set a new PR, or really compete at all. Yesterday, we had a three year old and our dog in tow!

Learning! Since the pace should be comfortable enough for everyone to converse, this is a great time to learn. For example, I was able to learn about some new technologies that Scott had recently found to help measure ROI of marketing investments and generate reports that are meaningful to each department of his company. My wife and Haley caught up on family life.  Its just a really good way to get to know your friends even better!!

Feel better about eating big! The pizza we ordered on the run (yes, we stopped the parade long enough to run inside and order a pizza) showed up as we were cooling down. Its ok to eat some deep dish, meat filled goodness every now and then, but it sure tastes better after running. Heck, we even took a break from post-dinner porch sitting to grab some local froyo!!

Sharing Tips! A common injury came up yesterday as we were preparing to run. I had no idea before, but evidently, over-tightening your shoes can lead to numbness in your legs!

Challenges of Group Runs:

Pace. Its hard to find a running partner, let alone a herd of them that match your pace and distance preferences perfectly.  In order to make a group run work, you have to feel people who you feel comfortable enough with to let them know if the pace won’t work for you. If any individual is there for any other reason that to have fun, chances are the whole group will feel it.

Logistics / Awareness. Its one thing to run on your own, but its quite another to parade around with a flock.  Most days, I prefer to fly solo and tend to take reasonable risks. However, what is reasonable for me by myself is not always group appropriate.  Waiting on the “Walk” light to cross a busy street is a reasonable thing to do when you have a group. After all, Frogger is a great game with your own body is one thing, but that’s not quite on the “OK” list of things to do with someone else’s small child. Be sure and choose a route that everyone will feel comfortable with as well.

Thank you to Team Russell and Kim for a great evening! You guys made the group run fun!


Back at It, Back Ok (I hope)

16 May

After tweaking my back last week, today I was able to get out and run!

I had planned on resuming my marathon training on Monday, but I’ve had some pretty intense tightness in my left leg behind my knee/upper calf area and some mild discomfort left over from my back, so I listened to my body and waited a few more days to hop on the marathon train.

I took it easy and enjoyed my neighborhood, logging 1.84 miles in around 22 minutes. It felt really good to be back on the street. I spent some extended time stretching right after and will us the foam roller before bed.

I’ve learned a few tips about muscular injuries:

  1. Ignoring them does not help them go away.
  2. Epsom salt soaks actually help.
  3. Prescription Ibuprofen can cause stomach aches that end up being worse than the pain you take it for. I’ve quit taking the 800mg pills and opted for the CVS brand gelcap instead. It is much easier on my stomach and I can taper the dosage, which seems to be much easier on my muscles than stopping altogether.
  4. Stretch everything. It’s all related, and a long stretching session seems to relax my mood as well.
  5. Movement is good, as long as you don’t go crazy. Especially with a back muscle it can seem like the best thing to sit or lay down, but its best to keep some blood flowing without furthering the injury.

This week: 1 run so far. Normal goal is 4 @ 20min or longer, adjusting this week to treat injury.

Also, I discovered Vine this week, so follow me there!!

No Run Today–Mental Training Day

9 May
Yesterday, I told you my grand plan to run a full marathon this September.
Then, I tweaked back at work while finishing up a catering order. So, even though it is PERFECT outside for running (just finished storming and is bright out), I’m trying to rest my back and help calm the spasms. I’ll use today to share about how I started running and blab a little bit about the mental aspects of running.

In 2011, I started running. I had run for the sake of other sports or very inconsistently before, but would NEVER have considered myself a “runner” before then. I had hit the high score on the scale that January (around 280), and needed to make some lifestyle changes.

I enlisted a couple of my best friends, Ryan and Adam, to help me run. Well, I asked Ryan to help and then Adam wanted to but I pushed him away because I’m a jerk. Eventually, Adam would be re-enlisted after I gained some confidence.  Which is what Ryan helped me with the most.

Ryan and I went out several times to run. The first few were pretty brutal. I would be very excited for about a half mile, and then my head would hurt. Or my sides. Or my feet. Or…or….or. Mostly Ryan would ignore me and keep going, which was the right thing to do because it really pissed me off AND it minimized my ability to complain. The reality of the first few runs/walks/whines was that it hurt. Mostly, it was because I wasn’t used to it.

My mind yelled, “THIS ISN’T YOU, YOU CAN’T DO THIS!” And things like:

you’re wasting your time, you’ll always be fat, you weren’t made to run, just forget about it, look at the parts of you that keep moving even when you stop running, people can see how big you are, IT HURTS, you should just find your chair and nap, you don’t deserve to feel good about yourself, it won’t change anything….

One run, I nearly ran the whole time without stopping. Go me!! Along with my perfectionist side saying “Listen to the ALMOST, think about the ALMOST. Almost. ALMost. ALMOST…..” I hate that word.

The next time, I had run the whole time and was pretty content with that until about .10 miles from home. At that point, Ryan told me to sprint and “drain my tank”.  My tank was already pretty drained, so I pretended not to hear. Then he yelled, “Come on, sprint through that stop sign, quit holding back.” My mind still protested with the usual BS of “I can’t, I won’t, I’m not _____”, my body certainly was not itching for any more punishment, but something in my spirit broke a little that day.  My heels went high behind me, my mouth gasped for air, my face probably looked like I was having a bowel movement, and my arms flailed wildly until the stop sign was safely behind me.

After my gut and butt stopped shaking and my lungs gulped a few fresh breaths, I raised my head. I must have gave Ryan a pretty intense look because he asked me what it meant. It felt like I had been flying (like in the really cool dreams we’ve all had, but more real). I had just had fun while running!!!

We stretched and went inside to half-watch American Ninja Warrior or WWE or whatever was on. As we were talking, Ryan gave me a new sound bite to play. “You don’t realize what you are capable of. You get stuck in thinking about it. You can do so much more than you think you can.”

That day I learned that to improve meant that I was going to have to find a new story to tell about myself. Sure, I was fat and lazy and took poor care of myself, but story I needed to tell didn’t end there. The new story needed to acknowledge those things as descriptive and not prescriptive. The belief that what is is what will always be is a lie. We can chance. I need to say “Yes, those things are true, but I’m moving in a new direction.”

Shortly after this, I set a goal to run a half marathon. Each week or so, I added an extra mile to my long run: 4 miles, 5 miles, etc. After 5 miles, everything I ran became “the longest I’d ever run” and I got to celebrate each new accomplishment.

That’s what I love about running. People can run with you, but they can’t run for you. Every step is your accomplishment that no one else can claim as their own and no one can take away from you.

Thank you to Ryan, Adam, Kim, and the countless others who have given me a better story about my life to tell and live.

What story do you tell about yourself that needs to be retold by a good friend? Give yourself the grace of not having to be perfect so you can go after something new and better! Maybe its time to see if you can get that “I’m flying” feeling back!

For as he thinks within himself, so he is. Prov 23:7



Marathon Here We Come!

8 May

I’ve officially registered for my first full marathon. On September 28th, 2013 I will run 26.2 miles in my hometown of Columbus, IN at the first ever Mill Race Marathon. If all goes as planned, I will be joined by my beautiful wife, Kimberly.

We are also planning on running the Monumental Half Marathon here in Indianapolis during the first weekend in November.

She said “Yes!”.


The Monumental is a special race for us because it was my first (and so far only) half marathon

AND because I proposed to Kim after we crossed the finish line together on November 5, 2011.

I’ve decided to blog my training and preparation experiences as a way to motivate myself and others. Please follow my story, send me comments, kick my butt, and say hi when you see us running.

Here is the plan:

Now through June 10th:

Run 4 times each week (M,W,F,Sat). Doesn’t matter the distance, just be running for 20min or more.

June 8 – Sept 28:

Follow the (free!) Runkeeper Beginning Marathon – To Finish Plan.


  • Monday: Great early morning 2 miler with the whole family (Peyton, our dog joined us).
  • Wed: Scheduled the run for the afternoon, but tweaked my back at work, doctor says, “Don’t lift anything heavier than 10 pounds or run for 5 days.”


  • Fri: Out

Looks like it will be Monday until I’m back in my Brooks. Looks like I’ll really get started in training after some rest.

Poetry I am proud of.

26 Jun

I did not write this.  One of my students did (originally posted here). She is great. I am proud and grateful to know her.

Time passes,

people change,

and feelings never stay the same.

Life goes on,

friendships die,

and there isn’t always someone to hold you when you cry.

In this life,

there are few,

that will love,

you for you.

Broken hearts,

can’t be fixed,

so stop trying,

all the tricks.

This is life,

dark and dull,

without a Savior,

to light your soul.

He won’t take,

away the pain,

but He will teach,

how a joyful life you may attain.

People hate,

friends lie,

but this is no justification,

for wanting to die.

If you can’t tell,

when love is true,

look to God above,

He is showing you.

His arms are outstretched,

to show you something new,

to give you something,

that alone you cannot do.

He wants to give you joy,

He wants to give you peace,

He wants to give you love,

in the midst of everything.

He cannot lie,

He cannot die,

and He can change,

you and I.

Dark will turn to light,

broken hearts will be renewed,

and the things we used to know,

will no longer be true.

He will teach you how to separate,

fact from fiction,

love from addiction.

He will help you stay strong,

through all the pain,

and through every rain.

This world isn’t perfect,

we shouldn’t even try,

because no matter what we did,

it would still be one big lie.

But now that I have Jesus,

I see a whole new light,

I am no longer blind,

I have a new set of eyes.

I’m smiling through the pain,

I’m dancing in the rain,

this is the life,

He has helped me to attain.

I choose not to lie,

I cannot die,

and now I want to share with you,

the love and joy i can call mine.

I am His follower,

He is my light,

and I’m going to show everyone,

just how bright I can shine!

On Being a Pacifist (part 2)

1 Jun

This is a continuation of a previous post. Please see that post for my function definition of pacifism.

An important part of how I have landed on being a pacifist involves my struggle with my identity and my country. Let me explain.

In the summer of 2007, I had an experience that continues to challenge me.  As a summer missionary, I spent close to four months crossing the Southern border of the United States while living principally in a small community on the outskirts of Juarez, Mexico.  As one can imagine, an extended amount of time in this infamous city would be nothing short of an education for a kid who was born and raised in the 11th safest city in these United States.

That summer, a line on a map and a fence guarded by guns served as reminders of the two worlds which I inhabited seemingly simultaneously.  6 days a week I slept on the dusty concrete floor of a church in the desert. 1 night a week I slept in an air conditioned room in the El Paso Econolodge.  6 days a week water was scarce, contaminated, and delivered by trucks. 1 day a week, water was taken for granted, showers were abundant, and wouldn’t make me sick.  6 days a week I prayed with my new friends for “daily bread”. 1 day a week the churches thanked God for His blessings.   One side of the fence afforded grass and football stadiums while the other had a concrete soccer slab with no nets.With friends in Juarez

The border, for the first time, became not solely a symbol of protection but much less. It was reduced to a hassle.  Going one way, I had to be sure to be carrying less than a certain amount of new merchandise per person in order to avoid taxes.  Going the other, I needed a passport, no plants, a consistent story, and sometimes a good deal of patience (they once X-rayed the entire bus!).   As I met more and more friends, my conception of what it meant to live on the border changed.  No one wanted to give up a life with their family, abandon their spouses, get a free pass, or even to cross the border if they could avoid it.  The majority of the people I met simply wanted to be able to earn a living wage, to be able to share life meaningfully with the people they cared about, and to leave your family better off than how you found it.  They knew the same thing I knew — the likelihood of accomplishing that goal was very diminished greatly because of the side of the fence they were born on.  From this I learned sympathy, but that barely begins to describe what I learned.

In our first week at our ministry site, we were invited to the home of a family in the community for a cookout.  It was here that I got my first taste of authentic Mexican cooking and hospitality alike. We enjoyed getting to know them.  I was fed a steak. So were my three other team members.  The family did not eat steak.  They simply wanted to give us the best they had and didn’t want to be noticed for it.  It would be weeks before I realized the sacrifice that family made to feed me well. They had been out of work for a while and medical problems jeopardized their future.  They had given without expectation. These people are the salt of the Earth, so why do they not get running water like I have?

I then met more and more of the community and church members.  We shared in the things of the Lord.  Pastor spoke of the calling the Lord has placed on his life and how the Lord had provided for close to 20 years every single need that his family and the church and Christian school had needed.  Several time during that summer we would pray for a specific need to be met, and it would be just in time.  One time, Pastor needed to drive into the city for a meeting and had no gas.  That morning a team member handed him a letter from her family in Puerto Rico with the exact amount for the trip. This was common.  It was as if I was watching the bush burn in front of my eyes and not be consumed.  I began to grasp the power of faith the size of mustard seed, even in the arid arrangements in which we lived.

This began the unraveling of my identity as an American Christian.  Granted, I am today still an American and also still a Christian.  But I must say that I find much more of my identity of in Christ than in being an American.  I’m not against America, but I consider myself a citizen of this nation by happenstance rather than choice.  It was then when I first began to be able to separate national progress, prosperity, and defense from the true call of God on my life.  I have one true, eternal, political allegiance and it is to the King who now rules and will one day rule entirely and before our own eyes.  Our kingdoms, constitutions, and policies will one day come to an end either in the course of human events or in that twinkling of an eye, so I do not consider it foolish to be a man who attempts at giving my allegiance to Christ the King and to make my primary interest in life to teach other about his Kingdom of grace and truth.

Christ holds my allegiance. Dismantling my identity and security as a citizen of the United Stated was simply another step in my path towards pacifism.  It is not so much the disgust at some of the specific injustices of US domestic and foreign policy and history that lead me to this point (although admittedly they DO exist).  It is the greater truth and beauty that Christ is already Lord of all and that his first and greatest command to love must take precedence.  My spiritual reorientation to Christ will have to be another post.

Grace and peace,


Baby You Can Buy My Car: 2008 VW Rabbit

11 May

Sweeeet Ride, Great Price. I’m selling to be able to faster accomplish a major life goal (become debt free!). I love this car, but I want to get SalleMae off my back…

For sale is my 2 door 2008 Volkswagen Rabbit.  Asking $13,000 OBO.

  • 21MPG City / 29 MPG Highway
  • 170 horsepower w/ 6 speed Automatic Transmission w/ Tipronic function (you can control shifting).
  • Heated mirrors
  • CD/mp3 player (for your mixed tapes road trip jams cd)
  • Aux sound hookup for mp3 player
  • Vented glove box (can blow AC into box)…not sure why, but would be good for insulin? eggs??
  • Cruise Control
  • One touch power windows (looks cool in the drive through)
  • Infrared night light (so you don’t dilate your pupils on stake-outs)
  • (2) Switchblade key fobs (easily the coolest key on the market)
  • (1) Valet Key (all ballas gotz 2 have one)
  • (2) Aux power sockets
  • (3) Cupholders (You know she’ll ask)
  • Back seats fold forward (at least 5 bodies)
  • Car Seat Anchors

As of this posting there are 33,728 miles on the car. The car is clean and in great shape. The paint is in good shape. There are a few minor dings and scuffs, but overall the car looks great. The windshield does have a “rainbow” scratch on the driver’s side from wiper.

The front tires are new (less than 3000 miles) and rear tires are at about 50%. Full size spare also about 50%.

Blue Book Value Link

Email is checked frequently or you can call or text 812.Three 74. Eight 154

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