Monday, September 27, 2010

Flatrock 25K (Female Version!)

Flatrock was fun!

We drove our CR-V to the Elk City Lake campground near Independence, KS on Friday night. Adam told me that Independence, KS is close to the Ozarks. The densely packed deciduous trees, hills and river valleys were certainly good clues that the vast prairie lands that we had driven through en route from Wichita were coming to an end!

We slept in the CR-V under a clear sky with the tail gate open to provide room for our feet to stick out over the edge and woke up early Saturday morning to run!

The Flatrock trail was beautiful (follows the Elk City Lake and River) and reminded me of many trails that I have hiked back home in New York - rocky, hilly, twisting and, well, kind of hard! I did 15.5 miles (25K) which was fun and I enjoyed almost the whole run. The only part that I didn't enjoy so much was at the end when my stomach started acting strange. Oh, and it is also horribly painful to see a beautiful view and not stop to admire the handiwork of creation. I almost had to apologize to the vistas and promise in my spirit to return one day to give them proper homage.

I should say that "run" is a little bit of a tricky word to use in the context of the Flatrock trail. Yeah, you can kind of do something that looks like running...but most times, unless "running" is something that involves all four appendages, and not just two, "running" may better be replaced with words like "scrambling" or "stumbling" or "falling"!

I was back in time (3:51) to cheer for my professional athlete husband (who did double my distance) when he came across the finish line smiling! (See his report below.)

Flatrock 50K (4 down, 6 to go to the Hall of Pain!)

Saturday was the annual Flatrock 50K. This year was my 4th edition consecutively. This was my first trail race ever and first ultra ever in September of 07. This remains one of my absolute favorite races. It's also really, really hard!

I ran my best time yet on the course of 6 hours and 40 minutes. I finished the first half in just under 3 hours so the second half I really slowed a lot - though it didn't feel like it. I also bit it hard, triping on, of course, a sharp flat rock. Luckily, I landed in a mostly soft spot and on my water bottle. Except today (Monday), I noticed a nice thigh bruise from the fall.

I have trained really hard this summer, mostly city streets and paved trails in Wichita, for the hundred milers coming up (Heartland and Run for Missions) and I realized yet again at Flatrock that I haven't trained enough for technical trails (I don't think I've run on a trail since Free State!) and I really love running on trails so I want to try to incorporate more of that into my routine, especially this fall and winter.

Flatrock is the best and my favorite 50K. I can't wait to do it again and again every year! Only 6 years more and I will be inducted in the Flatrock Hall of Pain (10 consecutive 50K finishes). Doesn't that sound like fun?

Flatrock 2009 (and in it links to 08 and 07):

Friday, September 24, 2010

Quotes of the Day

"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, 'I will try again tomorrow.'" -- Writer Mary Anne Radmacher

"When Jesus calls you to follow him, he isn't asking you to become a nice person and to do your best at helping others. He didn't die so you could feel good about the things you've screwed-up or so you could carry a sentimental hope of being re-united beyond the grave with the people you love but who have died. His call is a command for you to comprehensively and absolutely walk away from the way you do life now so you can follow him down an exclusive path through the narrow gate that leads to the kingdom of heaven." – Jon Walker, Costly Grace: A Contemporary View of Bonhoeffer's The Cost of Discipleship (Leafwood, 2010)

Ten Missional Prayers for the Church Today

Dr. James Emery White (from

1. That pastors would see other churches in their immediate vicinity as a co-laborer, not as the competition.

2. That members of churches would see themselves as ministers and missionaries, dying to themselves for the sake of the cause, as opposed to consumers who care most about whether they are fed, ministered to, or served themselves.

3. That parachurch organizations would be parachurch organizations - meaning serving alongside the church while giving the local church the pre-eminence it deserves - and allowing the partnership to reach its full redemptive potential in light of the biblical mandate.

4. That church planters would commit to being a) sent by a church; b) called by a community; and c) eager to go where no one has gone. Instead of a) sending themselves; b) going to where they simply desire to live; and c) remaining blind to the reality that they'll be the 11th McDonalds in a row of ten existing ones.

5. That all seminaries would remember that they exist to serve the church, and that they would serve the church to such a degree that their students would be more on fire to serve and build the local church after they have graduated than before they entered.

6. That those committed to discipleship, and rightly so, would quit pitting it against evangelism as if any emphasis on "reaching out" somehow takes away from "building up", creating a false dichotomy that doesn't exist biblically.

7. That older generations would quit worrying about whether they are being catered to sufficiently, and would become more interested in whether they are passing the baton on to the next generation that is so desperate and hungry for mentoring.

8. That the false dichotomy between a concern for personal or sexual morality, and social justice, would evaporate. Instead, that we would see that being salt and light applies to both concerns: being as concerned for a culture of divorce as much as we are for the AIDS pandemic in Africa.

9. That the pendulum between whether to share the gospel or engage in social ministry would also disappear. That we would see them not as an either-or, but a both-and; we are to give a cup of water and the bread of life, feeding both stomach and soul.

10. That we would understand that lost people are not the enemy, but instead the objects of the Father's heart - and thus, they should be the objects of ours. That we would join the Father as He sets out to find His lost sheep, search for His lost coin, and look desperately down the road for His prodigal son.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Speed of Cultural Change

“I recently heard a well-known evangelical leader make the statement, "With the rapid rate of cultural change taking place, the rate of change for an organization has to be compared to the surrounding culture and not to itself." The point he was making is that often when assessing change, the local church looks at its own history rather than its surrounding community and context. When looking inward, a congregation may feel like they have made significant changes, but when the church looks around, more often than not, the speed of cultural change is the hare and the church is the tortoise.” (New Dean from APU)

Friday, September 17, 2010

In Word or In Ourselves?

"We are all thieves, we are all thieves. We have taken the scriptures in words, and know nothing of them in ourselves." - Margaret Fell, at her conversion

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Aunt Linda spent the last week with us in Wichita! She's a good helper and she is fun-spirited!

She got her nails painted!

Linda was so proud of Adam, for doing so well at his race on Saturday, that she bought him a cake!

"Congratulations Adam! Second Place!"


Kansas State Fair

The Dutchess County Fair has always marked the close of the summer for me - I couldn't make it back to New York for the fair, but I was able to go with Adam to the Kansas State Fair and it kind of felt like home! We even got to see Chris Young and Rodney Atkins perform in concert!

Patriots Run (Olathe, KS)

Linda came with us on our two and 1/2 hour road trip to Olathe!

Adam ran the whole time - 9 hours and 11 minutes! (It was a 9/11 commemorative run.) He only sat down once for about 60 seconds! The course was exactly a 1 mile loop and we wore timing chips that counted our laps.

I ran a half-marathon in 2:31 which was my longest continuous run yet!

But then, after a big lunch and nap, I decided to start walking again! I walked 9 miles and then ran another five for a total of 27 miles!

Adam officially got second place, running 53 miles in 9 hours and 8 minutes! He nearly tied for first place. The first place guy also ran 53 miles but finished in 9 hours and 6 minutes. So close!

At the finish line - 27 for me, 53 for Adam!

Maybe just a little tired, but worth it! This was truly an outstanding accomplishment! He beat his best 50 mile time by an hour and twenty minutes!

Oh, and this was so cool! I met a girl who went to George Fox all the way out here in Kansas! Angie (and her great neighbor, Therese) were my inspiration to finish 27 miles!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Dream Big 5K

Adam and I ran our first married 5K today called Dream Big. I kept telling Adam that I married such a professional husband! He got a 5K personal best of 19:29, which placed him second in his age division (25-29)! I had fun, as well, on the course and placed eighth (out of twelve!) in my age division and beat one of my goals which was to run sub-ten-minute miles! The weather was beautiful and we both went back out on the course for some extra miles - another round, in my case, and a third round in Adam's! For race results click here.

Complete Set of Wedding Pictures Now Available

Thanks so much to Lumena Photography!

Go to:

Click on: Adam and Sarah

Password: farm

Thanksgiving and Reflection

September 2010

Dear Friends,

As this summer draws to a close, we write to you with hearts of gratefulness for the blessing of your friendship, especially throughout this past season. In one summer, we planned our wedding, celebrated our marriage in New York, drove across the country back home to Kansas, settled into our new apartment and started establishing a pattern of life together! This has been a time filled with excitement and change, and we are left honored by the stabilizing and comforting gift of your friendship in the midst of planning and transitioning.

Our wedding was such a gift of grace to us. The weather reports had been predicting thunderstorms for the longest time, but as we approached the hour of the wedding, the rain clouds started to pass and the skies opened up, presenting a small picture of the outpouring of beauty and blessing that we received from God on the day of our wedding. So many little pictures from our wedding day are still happily affixed in our memory – the white tent filled with friends and family staked out beside the red horse barn, the draft horses and the carriage slowly travelling down Bentley Lane, our vows and our solemn and joyful commitment to walk this journey of life together, the opportunity to sing in unison to our good God, the prayer of blessing for our cows and our chickens, the opportunity to greet and laugh with so many special friends and family who gathered to celebrate with us (including the tremendous gift of twenty eight of Adam’s friends and family from Kansas), the blue sky above and the white dinner tables dispersed across the farmhouse lawn, the good country cooking, the messages from friends and family and the Angell sibling rendition of “So Long, Farewell.” Yes, these, and so many memories besides, continue to bring us joy as we reflect on our wedding day.

We spent a restful week in the Adirondack Mountains following the wedding. We canoed to the mainland everyday from our little campsite at Norway Island and enjoyed hiking Mounts Ampersand and Marcy, biking and running by the lakeside. Our island was a perfect retreat. Surrounded by the lapping waves of Saranac Lake and the breeze of fresh mountain air, it was a little haven of rest in the midst of a busy summer. At the end of the week, our honeymoon continued with a car trip that took us from the eastern seaboard right to the heartland of America.

We were warmly welcomed to Wichita, KS by about twenty or more friends who helped us unpack and move our belongings to our new home: a cozy apartment in the Riverside district. Our cupboards were packed with food, the gift of our Crossroads church family (known in Kansas as a “pounding”), and our living room was stacked with boxes of gifts from friends and family across the country! What an overwhelming blessing! We just want to say thank you in so many ways for blessing us with your generosity and the many practical and very helpful gifts!

Our Wichita reception in August was a great day of celebration for those in Kansas who were not able to make it to the wedding in New York. We were again amazed by how people came from all over Kansas, Oklahoma and even Mexico to join us for a fun afternoon of cake, punch and fun conversation. Another approximately 150 people attended the gathering hosted by Adam’s friends, family, and church!

We are now settling into the rhythm of everyday life. Adam is continuing to serve on staff with Evangelical Friends Church Mid-America and Crossroads Friends Church. He has also started teaching a class at Barclay College on the side. Sarah is teaching science full-time at Northeast Magnet High School and is encouraged by the school culture and the helpfulness of her co-workers.

We continue to be grateful for your prayers that our married life would teach us to be faithful and loving disciples of Jesus Christ. In his writings, Henri Nouwen identifies three distinctive that characterized the life of Christ – solitude, community and ministry. Nouwen guides, challenges and encourages the disciple of Christ to pursue the same pattern of life. Solitude, explained Nouwen, is taking the time to hear our God tell us daily that we are His beloved. Community (including our life together in marriage) involves the act of constant forgiveness, the act of allowing someone close to us to not have to be God to us. Ministry occurs, Nouwen says, when we compassionately lead other people who are bent toward resentment to a place of gratitude. Please pray that even in our ordinary everyday lives together, we can faithfully pursue meaningful solitude, forgiving community and effective ministry.

With thankfulness,
Sarah Monaghan (For the two of us!)

Friday, September 3, 2010

When We Have Found Our Vocation

"A man knows when he has found his vocation when he stops thinking about how to live and begins to live. Thus if one is called to be a solitary, he will stop wondering how he is to live and start living peacefully only when he is in solitude. But, if one is not called to a solitary life, the more he is alone the more he will worry about living and forget to live. When we are not living up to our true vocation, thought deadens our life, or gives in to life so that our life drowns out our thinking and stifles the voice of conscience. When we find our vocation - thought and life are one. "

--Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude

Thursday, September 2, 2010

And In the End...There Is Love

I love this song from Andrew Peterson, "After The Last Tear Falls".

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Lake Wabaunsee in The Flint Hills

We were so thankful for the opportunity that friends provided us to visit their home in the Flint Hills this past weekend and spend some time restoring and writing thank-you notes!