Thursday, March 27, 2014


The following is a piece I wrote to enter in a writing competition.  I didn't win, but I sure had a great time writing it!

“Wabi-sabi, wabi-sabi,” I chanted to myself as I stepped into the shower.  It had been three days since I had been able to bathe, and the water wasn’t hot enough to cleanse me of the build-up of germs and grime.  I tried turning the faucet so the temperature would rise, but apparently it was as hot as it would get that morning.
It was sometime around five, an hour, pre-motherhood, I used to consider the middle of the night.  I chided myself for the jealousy I harbored for my still-sleeping husband.  Once again, I spoke aloud the words “wabi-sabi.”  Reminding myself of the Japanese art form that embraces imperfection helped me relax amidst the streaky bathroom mirror and the toothpaste gobs left in the sink.  I tried ignoring the dirty clothes on the floor, some of them, shamefully, were left there from the weekend.  Even more appalling, some of them belonged to me. 
I sighed deeply.  Optimistic by nature, it was unusual for me to feel this defeated before sunrise.  I tried remembering all the great mommy blogs I had read recently.  They were writings that focused on clever quips similar to, “Please excuse the mess. We are busy making memories.”   I negotiated with myself that no judgment would fall if my house was not perfect.  I am, after all, a mother of two young children, and a babysitter of eight regulars.  As if tending to ten children wasn’t enough, I am responsible for encouraging my husband, supporting my friends, serving my church, and reaching out to my community. Did I mention I’m also trying to lose one hundred pounds and launch a writing career?  To-do lists ran through my mind and my heart’s rhythm picked up pace.
“Wabi-sabi.” I found it necessary to speak the phrase out loud.  My panicked thoughts were taking over my mind, so with that soothing verbal reminder, images of the famous Japanese artwork, asymmetrical gardens and cracked pottery popped into my head.  What had my life become?  Was I so overwhelmed, overscheduled, and exhausted that I was now counting on cracked pots to offer me solace? 

All at once, I burst into teary laughter.  The not-hot-enough water filled up my mouth.  I swished the water around for a second, and when I spit it out, I sent my bad attitude with it.  Against all odds, I would make it through this day.  I would step over toys, scrape toothpaste off the sink with the nail of my pointer finger, maybe even do a load of laundry.  Armed with the hope of wabi-sabi, I would remember this crazy life, even with its many imperfections, truly is beautiful.  

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Bye-Bye Facebook

I never anticipated saying goodbye to Facebook for Lent.  It took me by surprise, and it was a last minute decision, made quickly and with passion.  Had I thought about it, I would have probably not done it.
Originally, I had planned on juicing for Lent.  However, day one cost me approximately $18.00 in produce.  Just for me.  And, since my entire month grocery budget is $140.00 (give or take) and that feeds my entire family, I quickly realized that it was not financially feasible.
I sat down at the desk and prayed, "Please, God, show me what would draw me closer to you."  As I was praying that prayer, I typed in the letter "F" in the address bar on my browswer.  Trusty old popped up and my heart was pricked instantly.  I knew what I had to give up for Lent...Facebook.
I feel that I really do use Facebook in a wonderful way.  I pray about who I can encourage, I do not complain too often, and I try to share the truths and humor that I come across in life.  I try to make Facebook a happy place.  I look at it as a ministry tool.
But, the fact is, many people do not share my passion for Facebook being a joyful part of life.  And, within a couple days, I noticed  that I was feeling free of the burden that Facebook complaints and drama were continuing to pile on my sensitive soul.  I was lighter.  I was less worried, and anxiety levels had dropped significantly.
My day also seemed to have a few more hours.  I remember saying, "I'll just hop on for a minute" and watching that minute turn into thirty.
I will be returning to Facebook after Resurrection Sunday...but I think that Facebook has lost some of its power over me.  I look forward to emailing with friends, posting uplifting status messages, and praying for people who seem to need it....but I also look forward to limiting my Facebook time, not re-installing it on my phone or my Kindle (who needs 24/7 access to FB?  NOT ME!) and setting a timer while I'm on, so I don't get sucked in for too long.
I'm thankful that God called me away from Facebook for this season.  I do miss it, but I love the freedom I'm experiencing more!

ONE ADDITIONAL THOUGHT:  I have logged in to Facebook to check my emails and to check in with a couple groups that I need to communicate with regularly.  So, I'm occasionally still on, just not daily, and when I'm on, its for a very specific reason. :)

Saturday, March 22, 2014


I promised you I would be back!
Here I am.
Today, I am going to tell you all about my FitBit Flex.  For those of you who are wondering what a FitBit is, it's basically a fancy pedometer.  It automatically stores your information on the computer for you, helps you compete with friends, and even tracks your sleep quality on certain models.
First off, you should know that there has been a voluntary recall on FitBit Force's.  This is not the same model I have, nor have I experienced any rashes on my arms from my Flex.
Secondly, you should know, that in my opinion, I think that FitBits are pricey.  To buy a Flex new, it would have cost approximately $100.00.  To me, that is a huge investment.  So, I began scouring Craiglist-like listings on Facebook.  Finally, I found a woman who did not like wearing it on the same hand as her watch, and wanted to sell hers.  I bought it for $50.00.  I still considered that to be a big investment, but I will say it's already paid for itself!
The very first day I had it, I walked 5,000 steps.  I did not put it on until nearly 3:00 pm but it motivated me to get stepping!
The goal is to have your weekly average steps over 10,000.  Right now, I'm hovering right near seven thousand. I have a ways to go.  But, I can't imagine what my average was before I slapped my FitBit band around my wrist.
I have already noticed a trend.  The nicer it is outside, the higher my steps!  I've taken to some creative methods of trying to increase my steps total on the dismal days.  I march while brushing my teeth, washing my hands, cooking dinner and standing in conversation.  I walk around the house while I fold laundry.  I set my timer and do five minute sprints.  All these little changes make me more active.
I like being active.  I really do.
And I'm really thankful I have this little tool to remind me of that. Because, since I've been in a funk lately, I need reminders.
To prove my point, a quick antidote:
Last night, I had a rough night.  I ended up taking some Melatonin and some anxiety medicine.  Today, I'm sort of dragging from an "emotional hangover."  I'll admit, I've pretty much laid around all day.  Until about forty minutes ago, when I looked at my wrist, and my Flex dots blinked to show me that I hadn't even completely 20% of today's goal.
I'm so competitive, especially with myself, that I was not okay.  That was enough motivation to get me out of bed, into the shower, dressed, and functioning.
You can check out all the models at  I'm not endorsing the product or anything.  I'm just a fan of what it is doing in my own life, especially in a time when I need some extra motivation.
So, if you are kind of in an end-of-winter-is-spring-ever-arriving-funk, maybe you would benefit from checking out a new tool!
For me, it's been a life changer, even if it's really small changes.

Friday, March 21, 2014

A Blogger in Hiding

Here I am, crawling back, after six weeks of hiding from my blog.
I began my avoidance after a terrible discovery.  I call the discovery "it."
I continued dodging the blog-o-sphere because of anger, shame, frustrations and sometimes just pure depression.
Blogging then took a back seat to schedule overload, birthday parties, winter blues, other writing projects, and daily life.
But basically, I haven't written here, because, simply put, I did't want "it" to get out.

I'm still not ready to tell you what "it" is, so you'll have to wait for another blog post about that.

But, it's a Friday night.  I'm not really into watching Turbo with my family, and truth be told, I miss my blogging buddies.  Instead of talking about "it" I think I'll give you a run down of all the other new things in my life.  The following list is a summary of all the exciting things going on.  Okay, so maybe it's just a list of ten random things that seem important to me right now.  Either way, most of the items mentioned below will eventually get their own blog post.

1.  I bought a fitbit.  It rocks.   It really keeps me moving and motivated to be more active.
2.  I got my hair cut.  It also rocks.  This is the first time I've LOVED a haircut on the first day.   I can't stop touching it.
3.  I think I'm a Reese's Pieces addict.  I wish I was kidding.
4.  My daughter, Lydia just turned five last week.  And she's been saying the cutest things.  Which of course, I will blog extensively about.
5.  While Micah hasn't had his birthday yet, he also, has been saying hilarious things.  I will be compiling a post all about him too!
6.  I cleaned my car.  Like, seriously cleaned it. Trust me, this is blog worthy.
7.  I'm off Facebook for Lent.  This is worthy of about seventeen blogs.  Life is both awesome and weird without Facebook.  (However, I will still link this on FB since most of my readers end up here from there!)
8.  I've discovered that I LOVE juicing.
9.  My husband and I have been trying to actually go out on dates.  That's been pretty much amazing.
10.  I've rode 145 miles on my bike in 2014.  I'm actually behind schedule on that goal.  And according to my fitbit I've walked over 90 miles in a month!

So, I know this was not a poetic post, or anything deep...but I at least admitted that there's an "it."  And maybe I'll get brave enough to write about "it" soon.  And I'm excited that I have lots of topics to write about in the next week or so!  Here's to a new season...spring!  And here's to a fresh excitement about all the parts of me that need to get better.