7 Quick Takes: Pitches, Pictures and a Birthday

This week on 7 Quick Takes (hosted by Jennifer Fulwiler), I’m asking for your support.  It’s a big weekend for me: I’m celebrating my 25th birthday and I’m running in a marathon relay on behalf of my favorite service organization, PULSE.  Read on & hear (see?) all about it.


The Pittsburgh Urban Leadership Service Organization (or PULSE for short) is the volunteer service organization that was my home for the year after I graduated college.  I cannot speak enthusiastically enough about what a wonderful organization it is.

Founded by a Mennonite pastor in the early 90s, PULSE’s mission is to cultivate a community of young servant leaders to transform Pittsburgh.  What does that mean?  It means bringing a group of recent college graduates into a struggling urban community and putting them into a house together to form a community that lives, prays and plays together.  It means pairing each young person with a different nonprofit organization, based not just on the needs of the Pittsburgh nonprofit community, but also on the specific interests and abilities of the individual PULSErs.  It means weekly sessions of personal & professional development and city exploration.  It means cultural funds given to participants for personal projects, classes or tickets to performances, because art is a service to the community.

Read all about PULSE on their website.  It is such a fantastic organization for so many reasons.  Know any college students?  Send them to PULSE!



For me specifically, PULSE means 7 wonderful women that I lived with for a year.  Between them, they taught me how to cook using spices, how to knit, how to resolve conflicts, how to train for distance running and how to play guitar.  They are immensely talented, loving people.  When I need someone to pray for me, they are the first I turn to.  Moving away from them & the city of Pittsburgh was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.

the most recent picture of the 8 of us

the most recent picture of the 8 of us

I take any excuse to go back.  Hence, the marathon!



The Pittsburgh Marathon is on Sunday.  Several current and former PULSErs are running in its various events in order to raise money.   I’m running a 6.1 mile leg in a relay with four others.  Will you sponsor me in my running?

To donate to me, or to one of my fellow PULSErs who are running even more impressive distances, please check out the PULSE marathon page.  My donation page is right here.  If you can even spare $5, it would be so helpful to PULSE’s mission of leading through service and spreading peace through relationships, hard work and art.

Think of it as a birthday present for me.


I meant to post a photo yesterday so that I could link up with Cari for Clan Donaldson’s Theme Thursday.  This week’s theme is “Play” and I was considering either the sort of picture I’m actually posting here, or taking a picture from my dad’s softball game.  I ended up keeping score instead, since the team was a few guys down.  My dad plays softball in a men’s over 50 church league.  The main reason I bring this up is that the team he plays for call themselves the Relics, and I think that’s just about the best team name they could have come up with.


So here’s the real picture a day late for Theme Thursday.  Since race preparation is pretty much what I do these days for play, I figured my running shoes would make a great image.  It does feel like playing, now that I’m not desperately straining for breath and now that the weather is pleasant and the flowers are out.  It’s especially nice now to plop down in my backyard after a run.

running shoes in spring


Also, when did neon become a part of absolutely every athletic item for women?  This would be a problem if I didn’t like bright colors so much.


One last photo from my evening in Detroit last weekend.  Our tri-parish young adult group went in for a Tigers game.  Thanks to my friend Michael who snapped this picture of me downtown.

Detroit City