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Well, Here We Are

I've tried to sit down and write this post about three times.  Every time I make it about a solid paragraph in and I scrap it to start over.  The first pass was already going to be really long winded and detailed.  The second was a little better, but opened the door for about a million rabbit trails to take. I think I've settled on the following for both time and posterity; back to a stream of consciousness brain dump... at least you know you're getting the freshest content. :) Ash was a gentle (most of the time :) ), compassionate heartbeat.  She had this unwavering focus to point others to Jesus.  She loved deeply  and had this ability to meet anyone where they were and pull them in.  She knew me better than anyone and (even in spite of that :) ), she loved me.  She was a tender-hearted mother that loved her girls more than most anything else.  She was passionate for caring for children (summers in other countries working in orphanages, working preschool ministry, her car
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'Tis The Season

'Tis the season.  The back end of the holidays is probably one of the weirdest seasons thus far.  I've found myself wanting to retreat in my own mind.  I had a lot of time over the past few weeks to myself.  My girls were in Texas for the entirety of their Christmas break.  I spent a week out in Texas with them, but I bookended either side of Christmas with some time to myself back in Alabama.  I had made tentative plans to travel and 'get-away' but the reality is... when that time came I didn't want to do any of that.  The thought of traveling and getting away was so appealing until it was time to pull the trigger.  So, when the time came (along with my lack of planning the logistics ahead of time), I defaulted to what was comfortable and routine.  I spent that time at home or in a coffee shop.  It was uneventful, moderately restful and definitely provided opportunities for my brain to run in overdrive.   I often use the analogy of a snowball rolling down a hill wh


Mobility is a term often used to indicate the ability to move or rather the relative ease associated with moving.  A lack of it would mean that something is resistant to motion.  Think of the Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz before he got the oil can and loosened up his joints.  I spent the better part of the Summer months being immobilized.  I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing, especially given all that I was trying to process at the time.  With Ash passing away in May, those first three months were a chaotic storm of trying to figure out my head from a hole in the ground.  As time has continued forward, I've had to navigate a lot of new things.  A lot of firsts.  A lot of 'how-to' moments as a single parent.  There have been so many moments I wish I could've had my bride by my side to ask what she thought.  But... here I am...  negotiating the days solo.  I, like everyone else, definitely have good and bad days.  I found myself being more easily frustrat

Sailing with Cheap Wood

The day started at 10° today.  Frigid.  Being one to love 'fun' experiences, I stepped outside for a minute.  It was absolutely one of the coldest environments I've been in in recent memories.  A free session of cryotherapy.  In all seriousness though, it was a moment of feeling.  A genuine moment to feel pain, thrill and a spur of questioning 'why am I doing this?'.  I both enjoyed the moment and, yet, at the same time couldn't wait to get back inside. Why start with a story about what I did this morning?  Simply put, I'm finding that it's a good analogy for life right now.  I go from moments of just doing the same old, same old to seeking an abrupt change/desire to do something exhilarating.  Am I successful at finding those things? No, not especially; but the desire is present all the same.  I've been told a hundred times (reading back through parts of this and this is definitely hyperbole, it's more like twenty) that I need to use this Christ

On Love and Grief

First things first: I want to take a minute to talk about how God has been so faithful (as if He could be anything less than this, but perhaps in His graciousness He is allowing me to see it) to carry my weary head/heart through these past six and a half months.  Really, I genuinely cannot fathom how it is anything other than Him physically picking up my head to move me (and the girls) forward.  I wish it was easy to draw a graph in this blog because I could tell a story of my weakness and God's merciful strength with a graph right now.  Collectively, we are loved more than we know, blessed beyond what we deserve and even still what He is doing for our good is a testament to His ever increasing Glory.  As Winter is beginning to show signs of approaching, so too have my moods/emotions/attitudes started to grow colder and crave more solitude.  I think I would be content to hibernate and just emerge months later to pick up where I left off.  Yet, that's not how life works.  In the

Gratitude and Grief

So, I sat down to write a post because today is a milestone moment... at least I thought it would be.   Turns out it's just another day without my bride.  Six months. Six, long and thick months.  Let me set the stage before I keep writing on...  In a short summary of the past six months, I'd describe them this way: Month 1 - A whirlwind of a month that can only be described as 'Chaos made manifest'.  I honestly don't remember much of this month.  Aside from the final moments with Ash and a majority of the paperwork/funeral itself, I couldn't tell you anything else that happened during this period. Month 2 - A bit of a rinse and repeat of Month 2, except this is when reality started to hit a little more.  External help began to curtail, the phone calls and texts diminished and it was full on Summer.  There was no established routine and my kids has variable schedules.  Loneliness started to peek its head in the door at times, but it was often drowned out by the o

Through a New Lens

Working through this season is proving to be more challenging than I thought it would be. With no real understanding of what this life would look like once Ashley died, I can safely say I underestimated my emotional resiliency. My writing (read as: therapy) instances are increasing.  In the chaos of the day-to-day operations, it's becoming my primary outlet to think, process and then expunge from inside of my head.  There are fewer opportunities to gather together with others.  There are even fewer opportunities to break away for solitude/retreat. Structuring my thoughts on paper (or the computer)  is starting to feel like a normal activity again.  So, in the absence of anyone to decompress with... writing more frequently will be the foreseeable mode of release. Suffering/Grief/Pain/Sadness... whatever you want to label it as, it's exhausting. It creates a weariness that I'd rather not hold on to. Maybe it's the season change or reality continuing to set in, but these p