Sunday, December 3, 2017


Thirteen can be an unlucky number for some. There are no 13th floors in some skyscrapers. Horror movies are named for the 13th. And, there is even an official term for many people who fear the number thirteen :: Triskaidekaphobia.

But right now, thirteen is a sweet number. Yesterday, I ran 13 miles for St. Jude. It was my 3rd time and maybe my last...we'll see, I said that last time too. The race is so special to me and I love being a small part of fundraising for St. Jude.

I really love running but for some reason long distances never get easy, at least not to me. On long runs, I get in my head about not being fast enough, not training enough...just not being enough.

This year I really wanted Matt to run with me. He has run several half marathons, and I decided, on my own, this would be the coolest way to celebrate our wedding anniversary this year. I told you 13 was a sweet number, and on 12.4.2017 we will have been married 13 years.

So, I had this vision of us running in together-- 13 miles for 13 years. Too cute right?!

Unfortunately, I didn't listen to what Matt wanted, which was not to run 13 miles. You see he doesn't love long distance running. But, he signed up anyway because he loves me, even though I ignored him.

In the end, he didn't train and he really didn't want to get hurt or be miserable by making himself run.

What he did instead was grab his bike and followed me all around Memphis to cheer me on. He took my sleeves when it got hot, gave me GU packs when I was depleted, supplied fresh headphones when batteries died and told me I looked strong when I felt very, very weak. He was there for 13.

Yesterday, I was given a great anniversary gift. I was shown for 13 miles I am enough for him and he is enough for me. We can do what we love individually and magically it can be for each other.

I don't have to write a perfect day in my head, because we already have all the imperfections that we love about each other, that make us our own version of perfect. Making it thirteen years is about showing up... when you're sad, hurt, angry, lonely or're still there. Some days are like mile 12,  you feel done, you haven't trained for this and you want to retreat, but then you look up and he's there with water and look good, and you make it to 13.

Happy Anniversary love. Thank you for showing up, and for bringing headphones.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Yield and Trust

This year has sucked. I mean adulting is hard for everyone right? But this year has sucked. It feels sacrilegious to admit that out loud which is why it has taken me a year. I have a beautiful little girl. I have an amazing husband. and I have a wonderful job. What do I have to complain about?!?!? My life is great.

In the past I have known when I am anxious and depressed the canned solution is to count my blessings. Gratitude is the antithesis of despair. And I have desperately clung to that. I have reminded myself of God's goodness and grace at every turn. And yet, life is tragic and sometimes things are just sad. 

In August 2016 I was finally pregnant. After 6 years of trying and waiting I was with child. For seven weeks, only one known to me, I carried a sweet little life. But on August 21st in the wee hours of the morning that life left me. 

It is sad. It hurts. I wanted that baby. I had prayed for that baby. 

Shortly after that our sweet family lost our cousin Gray, and I had two close friends lose parents. 

It is sad. It hurts. Death stings.

In February personal hurt struck again. A very private sadness hit our lives that we were in no control over.

It is sad. It hurts. I wanted more for my friends, I wanted more for my church.

Since then I have again experienced significant loss in a mentor and friend. 

Meanwhile life was hard all on it's own. Work has ups and downs. Kids try your heart and your patience. And homes never stay in one piece for long (thanks tree limbs).

What can we do with this. 

Well, I have walked several avenues..I have tried seeking comfort. This entails eating a lot of bad food and watching a lot of bad tv to dull the pain. I have tried being in control, this looks like intense house cleaning sessions, hard workouts and unrelenting standards for myself and those around me. I have tried pride, being the best at work, the best at home...the happiest, the funniest. And I have tried anger, sulking, venting and good ol' pity partying.

I can say comfort, control, power and anger have not satisfied. No idol can soothe me. 

So, after a school year of surviving, I am ready to turn the page. I want to thrive. And so I do the work. I go to counseling (don't get me started on how much I believe EVERY adult needs this), I journal (as you are witnessing, sorry for the TMI), I pay attention to my health, trying not to obsess, but maintain. And I confide, again TMI, but seriously we have to say some of these things out loud! 

Miscarriage, death, deception, manipulation and disappointment exist in this broken world. If we are going to power through we have to admit to others "I am human and this hurts can you walk with me in this pain?"

Another coping mechanism has come in the form of study. I have to remind myself of truth, even when it doesn't feel true. God is good. God is faithful. God is in control. 

This has led me to my latest "shocking" (for some) choice.  I got a tattoo. Yep. I permanently changed my body. This is shocking if you know me well. I have always been anti tattoo. Not really for others just for me. I never "got it." Why would you permanently scar your body? What could be important enough you would tattoo it on your skin forever? Then I lived this year. And sometimes words are big enough you need to remember them forever. You may think I'm crazy (mom) and that's okay. But these words made sense to me, and I wanted them to be part of me. And now they are.

"Self is the opaque veil that hides the Face of God from us. It can be removed only in spiritual experience, never by mere instruction. As well try to instruct leprosy out of our system. There must be a work of God in destruction before we are free. We must invite the cross to do its deadly work within us. We must bring our self-sins to the cross for judgment. We must prepare ourselves for an ordeal of suffering in some measure like that through which our Saviour passed when He suffered under Pontius Pilate. Let us remember: when we talk of the rending of the veil we are speaking in a figure, and the thought of it is poetical, almost pleasant; but in actuality there is nothing pleasant about it. In human experience that veil is made of living spiritual tissue; it is composed of the sentient, quivering stuff of which our whole beings consist, and to touch it is to touch us where we feel pain. To tear it away is to injure us, to hurt us and make us bleed. To say otherwise is to make the cross no cross and death no death at all. It is never fun to die. To rip through the dear and tender stuff of which life is made can never be anything but deeply painful. Yet that is what the cross did to Jesus and it is what the cross would do to every man to set him free. Let us beware of tinkering with our inner life in hope ourselves to rend the veil. God must do everything for us. Our part is to yield and trust. We must confess, forsake, repudiate the self-life, and then reckon it crucified. But we must be careful to distinguish lazy "acceptance" from the real work of God. We must insist upon the work being done." 
from "The Pursuit of God" by A. W. (Aiden Wilson) Tozer

Take heart friends! And if you need a tattoo ...I'll go with you.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Spring Cleaning

When we are coming out of winter, I always get a sense of too much. I've been eating too much, wearing too much and my house is full of too much stuff! It all just "snow balls" during those hibernation months.

At the first sign of sun I shed coats and scarves, which in turn reminds me to shed pounds, and with the windows open and the sun streaming in, I take an extra look at all the STUFF everywhere in my house.

This year I was especially eager when it came to getting rid of the clutter because during our hibernation I read a life changing book. LIFE CHANGING BOOK Y'ALL! Have you seen it?

I mean, the words "life-changing" are in the title! This is not your ordinary "organize your sock drawer" kind of book. It is more about why we have too much stuff and how we can change the way we think about letting things go. It really addressed my problem of "what if?" What if I need it? What if I lose 20 lbs and fit into it again? What if that style comes back? What if, What if, What if?!?!?

Let me officially highly recommend this book to you. Within a day of starting it 5 garbage bags of just clothing, of just mine, left my house. Another 2 bags of Wesley's old toys followed shortly after and three tubs of her old clothes also left our humble abode that week. That is a lot of clutter that is no longer in my way! And the book claims, once you try it you will never go back to your cluttery ways.....

And then, this weekend when the weather was finally nice enough to spend more than two minutes in my attic, it happened. ....Matt and I showed no mercy. I wish I could show you a before picture, but I was 1. too embarrassed and 2. the pics wouldn't do it justice, because all of the crap that lurked in every square inch of that space. What I do have is pictures of some of what left that day.

Boxes on boxes, bags on bags. It had to go. This does not include the trash we threw out, this is just the goodwill donation. Dude. It was cathartic. Will I need the elephant lamp we let go of? Possibly. Will I miss some of Wesley's tiny baby things? Most definitely. But were they giving me any joy in my attic, or improving my life on a day to day basis? Not at all.

This is the key. I thought shoving things away didn't hurt, saving something for a rainy day can't bother you, but it does. This is Marie's point. IT'S NOT ABOUT THE STUFF! It's about the mind set. If your life is packed physically, you feel it mentally. No one will ever see my clean, sparse attic or clean, drastically reduced closet of clothes.....but when I need something from the attic or the closet, I can now easily go find it and this frees me. You see, the stuff that clutters our houses, steals our time.

Your space shouldn't just be organized, it should be downsized. It's not about shoving it out of sight, it's about knowing where everything you own is. You can only do this when you own less, or at the very least only own what you love and what you need. With less things in our house, there is automatically less to clean up, it is just a positive, physical fact. It has made "cleaning up" very easy.

I feel like I could go on and on, but I won't. There is so much more to it and I have miles to go to be a true student of Marie's. But the small changes we've made so far have had such a positive effect, that I know I want to continue. In the meantime, every time I pick something up in my house I ask myself "Does that bring you joy?" "Do I need it?"and if so, "Does it have a specific place to go?" The answers have to be all yes. And it has made a big difference. 

Happy Purging! Happy Spring!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Back to the Future

Have you heard of timehop? Of course you have, I'm late to the train.  If by some chance you are later than me, I'll explain. timehop is an app that pulls data from all your social media accounts and everyday it sends you a little recap of your life on this day. I love timehop. Love it.

I mean how stinkin' fun is it to see the progression every morning. It's like a picture growth chart right on my tiny magic box every day. 

But then of course I start to wonder. Is it good or am I obsessed? I mean is it normal to know/remember every detail of your life.

Have you ben watching Black Mirror? It's a British show about the negative effects of technology on our lives. It is very dark and very extreme. At first when you watch an episode it feels absurd, they've obviously distorted technology so much and made it into something awful, we would never let that happen. Would we?

In one episode, set in the not so distant future, everyone has memory implants. It's a tiny chip, called a grain, that holds everything in your life, every moment. Everything you do and say and see is there to review and relive. I won't spoil it for you, but needless to say this power has a costly effect on the people's relationships and emotional health. It was ridiculous to watch, but are we far from that.

Throwback Thursday, timehop, facebook archives....our last 8-10 years are all "backed up" for reviewing and reliving. Is that a good thing?

Well, I believe yes and no. Again, I LOVE timehop. I love pouring over every fat-cheeked picture of my girl from 3 years ago. I love that it reminds me to soak up time with her because it is most definitely flying by. 

But, we are getting to a point where we hold on to too much information. We have access to too many memories, many of which aren't even our own. 

The moral of my story, and my sermon to myself is, be selfish with your memories. Enjoy your life and your family and your friends. But guard your extra space, your heart and your emotions against being pulled into the constant flood of digital noise. 

Again, preaching to myself. I struggle so much with this.

My goal- Stop spending your extra time reading everyone else's memories and make some of your own.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Somebody's Watching Me

Privacy is a hot topic these days. Especially the lack of it. It seems the world is getting smaller and more transparent by the second, which seems to be scary, but I'm not sure of a few things:
One, do I care. B. Did we do this to ourselves. And, finally what could I do if it did matter to me.

First, do I care. Well my short answer is no. So far "those people" buying/stealing my data haven't seemed to affect me. I don't feel exposed. I haven't been falsely accused of anything. And I have never been overly harassed. But, after some consideration and research, it turns out I kinda do mind. I mean, it is awkward to think someone out there has read all of my emails {although it must be super boring for them} And it isn't healthy to believe, or God forbid know, that nothing in your life is private. And if you pan out to the global view, real evil can take place when people hide in the shadows with secrets to tell. But......

....... didn't we do this to ourselves? Come on y'all, like for real, isn't it our fault that everyone knows everything about us. For heaven's sake I have blog! With my name in the title! I ain't shy. And, no one forced me to join facebook, or get a Kroger card. Since I willingly tell people where I go on vacation, I have to accept the government may know that I support the Florida Travel Bureau. And because I like saving money on gas purchases, someone out there knows I buy cuties, coconut water and sister schubert sausage wrap rolls every week {I know those things don't go together, judge away}.

So if all of this is so....what can we do if we do care. Well, I guess there are some common sense fixes. I could delete social media and any app that GPS tracks me. I could stop using bonus cards that track my purchases. And if you were really worried you could go up a level of security and "encrypt our firewall" {I only know what one word in that phrase means, you can guess which one} or get special cell phone plan that couldn't be monitored. But the truth is I'm not going to do any of those things. And one day I may regret that decision.

Do you think we will? Does this scare you? Or could you care less?

For more info, and for what got me thinking about all of this you can listen to this weeks TED talk radio hour here. It's called Keeping Secrets. And, although I'm sure this is assumed, it's a way more intelligent argument.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Essentials: Getting Oily

I'm sure you are all already aware of the new health craze called "essential oils." It didn't take much for me to get interested, we all know I'm a bit susceptible to marketing. But for reals, a lot of close friends really seemed to be benefitting from these expensive little bottles, and I was curious.

I jumped in by purchasing a starter kit. It included 11 "everyday oils" and a diffuser. Oils range in price from about $12 to over $100 per bottle {depending on the oil and how hard it is to "harvest"}, and diffusers {which pumped the healthy oils into your air} are between $75-$200. So grabbing this kit for $150 seemed like a good deal. And if it didn't work, it was just a really expensive air freshener.

So,  I got my kit and started slathering on the oil right away, whatever they said they were for, I tried it. Bruise? Lavender promptly applied. Ollie had a flea, let me get the purification. My friend had sinus congestion? Ravinsara to the rescue. I won't bore you by breaking down all the oils I use or how, that's what pinterest is for, but as you can tell, I'm addicted. LIKE LOVE THEM!

I've had my kit since October, and the Washburn's have been to the dr. exactly 0 times. ZERO. Of course now that I out that in print, we will all get sick. No really, every time the slightest thing comes up, I grab my oils. Wesley had a fever and a cough last week, oiled her up for 24 hours {thieves, peppermint}, fever and cough gone. Matt had a migraine, oiled him up  {peppermint, deep relief}...bye bye headache. I suffer with hormonal guessed it, oils to the rescue {lavender, tea tree, frankincense} and I'm really seeing a change in my skin finally! And just let someone whisper they can't fall asleep....lalalalalala lavender.

So here's my true life, no bull assessment. Oils make me super happy, and I will use them everyday for all kinds of things. But, oils should not replace healthy, modern medicine for the big stuff, although I will argue keeping the little stuff in check helps keep the big stuff away.

So, I promise {Matt}, I won't choose lavender over stitches if my kid busts her head open {again} BUT...if oils keep me from running to chemical-laden quick fixes everyday AND keeps us out of germ ridden dr. offices for little illnesses, then I'll keep the oil flowing. And if Wee does ever need stitches again, I'll probably be rubbing Joy on her wrist.  Judge away. Or ask away.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

A Human Voice Underneath

Once there was a time when I would write all the funny, meaningful, and down right weird things that happened in my life. And then came social networking. Facebook, twitter and instagram replaced storytelling with constant status updates and filtered photos of our precious life and I used my time to look at those updates constantly. These are not inherently bad things. Social technology has made some feel more connected over the years, and I believe I will continue to use it, but I don't know if I feel more connected lately, or just more aware, and I don't think those things are equal.

As I look back {thanks timehop, yes I see the irony} and I read blog posts of wonderful memories about wonderful people I see how real stories, that require more than 140 characters, really connect me to my memories. So, even if this is a journal just for me, I'm back.

photo cred: Well Worn Co.