Posts

Shedding the old, Bringing in the new

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Roots I planted some seeds that I hope would grow roots, a long time ago, in the dead of winter. By seeds, I mean, "Intention," "Stability," and "Groundedness." I made goals. I set my gaze, I shifted my weight towards a new direction. Much like in skiing or snowboarding, just turn your head and shoulders, shift your weight in the direction you'd like to go.  In the "dead of winter," I mean, in my depression. In my lowest state, in the weight of my hurt, and in the midst of my gravity of despair. I couldn't stay how I was. I didn't want to.  It has been a journey, a long journey.  A tiring, frustrating journey. A journey of poverty, scarcity, eviction, turbulence and also amazing blessings. These past few chapters have seemed  (nay) been long, but the pages are turning and the chapter is changing. Oh My Freakin' Gosh, it feels so good to be excited. I have a new love. Her name is Vanessa. We have been seeing each other since Febru

Feel-Good Friday

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It's Friday, but as it is for my tradition, it's Feel-Good Friday. Every Friday is Feel-Good Friday no matter what.  And today, I really do feel good. I feel normal, nothing crazy, just normal. Maybe slightly below where'd I'd like to be, but I'll chalk it up to the gray and rainy day. On Monday I start a new job. It's a new job, that has regular full-time hours, daytime hours, with benefits and all the other whatnots with a great local company, a good corporate job. I'm so thrilled, let me tell you why. 8 years ago, August 2020, I left everything to come here with my wife and 2 children. I left full-time ministry in an effort to support my wife, to work on our marriage, and start again. The dream was simple, she'll go back into teaching, I'll stay home with the kids, we'll be broke for a little while but I'll figure something out (I always do) and we'll get by.  Didn't happen like that. I did stay home, so that worked. Every morning

Those Fatherly Times

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I just recently came across this old photo, taken 5 years ago, and I don't what it was exactly, but it overwhelmed me with so much sadness.  I mean, it's not that I don't know, because it wasn't one thing but many things. It's no mystery that I miss my children. We spent this past weekend (July 2-July 5th) together. We had so much fun together and the moment that stood out to me the most was our moments of play. It was my son's 14th birthday (July 3rd). We went big for his birthday. He hadn't been to Kanki (a popular Japanese Steakhouse in town), so we went to Kanki for lunch, then I took him to get his haircut at his favorite barbershop in downtown Durham, then I rented us a hotel room for the night at one of our favorite spots to be together (mainly because it has the rooftop pool). Sophie, my daughter loves being in the water. That's not the main reason, but we all like it for several reasons. 24 hour "Stay n' Plays"

My 30s Sorta Sucked.

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At the end of my 30's, I have learned about myself,  more than ever before, how determined I am. 40 years old. I'm toasting, with all of you, the beginning of a new decade. Here's to all of us beginning a new season of life. Ten years ago, I was 30. The year was 2010. I lived in Midland, MI. I was the Director of Community Outreach at St. John's Episcopal Church and, believe it or not, I was teaching Zumba on the side about 4-5 times/week. I had been married for almost 5 years. My son was close to turning 4, my daughter was 1 year old. Before the church gig, I was on staff with an organization called Young Life as an Area Director. I spent the entirety of my 20's working for Young Life. Without being too long-winded, not that I have to be too overly concerned, because this is, after all, MY blog space to be or not to be as winded as I'd like to be. This space has always been for me. Although I am appreciative of people who take the time the time to read

A Candid Moment

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a candid photo. It's 11:21pm, Monday, Feb. 10th, the year two thousand and 20.  There isn't a day that goes by that I'm not sad. At some point in the day, I'm overwhelmed, overcome by a wave of sadness, every s i n g l e day. It's a pain I have never known before, but that I have come to know very, very well. I know it too well. It accompanies me everywhere I go, in everything I do. It's rooted down deep, but also reaches the surface, just below the surface so that anything at any time can come across it and set it off, like a hidden landmine. There isn't a place where it resides, because it's with me everywhere, all the time. It comes in the oddest of places, there's no rhythm or rhyme. There's no "trigger" to set it off. It's can be sitting, waiting for a bus, sitting at church, enjoying a meal, walking through an art gallery, dancing in a club. It's anything and everything, simply because they're not here, t

Listening to my Discontent

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Oct. 25, 2019 (9:42am) Starbucks @Cameron Village (Raleigh, NC) I'm sitting here, like I usually do, with my coffee, with my pen and with my journal open. I'm on the very last page too. I'm settling in, as I like to say, which to me, is the most important thing. And, the thing about it is, it kinda plays out a little differently each time. Instead of rushing to my table or spot and quickly writing out the things and thoughts that are at the forefront of my mind, I take a moment to pause, take a moment to just sit, look around me, take a deep breath, and I mean like a breathe that I am intentional taking the time to feel. I inhale deeply, feeling my chest inflate slowly like a balloon swelling, feeling the air intake up and through my nostrils, listening to the audible sound of the air intake, and then the audible sound of the release, sensing all the sensations I can on the exhale, feeling my shoulders drop and tension melting, rolling away and down my back, as if

My WHY

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Classic Mirror Selfie April 2019 I have so much going on. So much going on that I never really have time to catch up, catch my breath, get ahead, stop to think about what is best. Hate it or love it (more of the former than the latter), I’m just doing.   I’m doing lots. I am a server and lead bartender at a nice high end, premier retirement community. I teach yoga everywhere, regularly at Lifetime Fitness in North Raleigh, but I counted, and in my first year of being a certified teacher, I have taught at 13 different venues. I’m trying events around essential oils, I have put on workshops. I have started a new, crazy effort with BeautyCounter (more on that to come). Some jobs longer than others, but I held it down, on the regular at a lot of places. At one point, while doing this, I held down two other jobs, with two different catering companies. I still never missed a beat to be there and spend time with my kids. It’s all for them. It’s all about them. Everything I

All a Father Can Do

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On Sept. 9, 2018, I'll be in a courtroom for another, our second, temporary custody hearing (the first was back in April).  My ex-wife, after the first hearing, which the Court ruled, very clearly, "neither party shall permanently remove the minor children from the State of North Carolina, Wake County, for anything other than vacations/trips or temporary travel pending further order of the Court or written consent from the other parent. (This means the minor children shall not be relocated to the State of Virginia or anywhere outside of Wake County, North Carolina without further order of this Court or the written consent of the parties" (May, 14, 2018), decided there was still no need to change her plans to move away with the kids. Sold the house (kept all the money), got married, moved into a summer short-lease rental, and here's the catch, that summer rental's lease ends on Saturday, Sept. 15th.  Let me take a quick moment to pause. I need to reit

My Calm in my Storm (5/23/18)

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Peace I leave with you;  my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you.  Let not your hearts be troubled, neither  let them be afraid (John 14:27 ESV).  First, let me say "Thank you!" for the many of who read this and connect with me as a result. I love you for it. I have received feedback lately that my posts sound angry and giving suspicions that I'm harboring bitter grudges in my heart. Let me say this, clearly, I am not angry nor do I have bitterness in my heart.  Early in 2017, I was in a much different place, not angry, just sad. I was full on anxiety, full of depressed thoughts, I felt lonely and disconnected. Knowing full well that, at some point, I would have to shake it off and forge ahead somehow. Anxiety and Depression never stopped knocking, and I made a commitment then to, one, not answer that door, and two, lean into my discomfort by doing the exact opposite of what depression was telling to do: Connect with others and work on mys

How Did It Get This Bad?

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#RootdownRiseup It was just my birthday (May 1st), and I'm here, once again, wanting to share some reflections. But first, quick bullet points of the major things (for those sort of interested in me but not much more than a paragraph) of what has happened in between today and a year ago: Liz and I were officially divorced at the beginning of the year, 1/25/18 Our separation agreement was finalized in Nov. 2017 I did work at the Angus Barn, but had to had to give that up, because it wasn't a good job for my life situation. I went after my yoga teacher certification through LifePowerYoga . I was super nervous about posting a GoFundMe, but I was convinced to give it a-go and BOOM, y'all help me raise what I needed to raise in the first 24 hours. Not a penny more was raised after that. It was amazing, it was the exact minimum amount I needed to raise to pay for my certification. Thank you, everyone, for your support! I got hired by Lifetime Fitness and I love i