Out on the trail


Part of what I loved about my time at the Abby was the time to think and process feelings alone in the quiet. I didn’t have to worry about checking emails, texts or social media. It was an intense time away that brought me back to when I was training for a half marathon. While I was out on my morning training runs I didn’t have the weight or pressure of life pinging me. I could take my 40 minutes and just me me. I felt like I could breathe. Even on my worst training runs I could escape life even if just for a little while.

In an effort to bring the abby home into my real life, I ran today. I am incredibly out of shape. I am heavy, tired, and weighed down by life, but I ran. I didn’t go far and I was really slow, but I ran. It was cold. It smelled like water and dirt and fall and so, so very good. I am going to do it again…soon. A lot.


I printed out a plan, because you know me, I am a planner. In this season of my life I need structure, a plan, an end game. 12 weeks from beginner to 10k is the plan I choose. By pure happenstance January 1 is just about 12 weeks away. And with that I am registered to run the 10k First Run. I think this is a big step to bringing the Abby to my real life away from the Abby. Yes, it is adding training time to my busy schedule, but it is also taking so much away. Today’s 20 minutes was so good for my soul. I am excited to keep it going. 20 minutes of peace, yes please. Also sore muscles, less flabbiness, and a whole lot of confidence building. Time to get out on the trail.


Taking the Abby home…

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So, what does it look like to take the Abby home? For me it has meant a slower pace to my chaotic life. While this is one of my more busy weeks, with youth programs starting, lots of meetings, and kid extra curricular activities  all in full swing, it is hard to remember to be mindful.

FC865407-355F-4AC7-9954-6629444971E9.JPGToday I went for a walk after morning drop off. Just a way to get some quiet peaceful time before the crazy of my day starts. I have the luxury of being able to ease into my mornings before work. It was so nice to find a little bit of calm before my storm today. Not that my day was stormy, it was just a normal busy Thursday, but the peace and fresh air made me far more productive today once I did get to work. I felt more creative and not so soul tired.

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Over the next month or so I am going to try to make these walks a daily thing. Or if not daily, at least more than a few times a week. I am also going to enforce a pretty strict no email or social media until after my walk. That is one of the things I would really like to bring back to real life, the lack of social media and constant intake of news was extremely refreshing. Maybe by adopting this practice it will become a habit…a very good habit.

My Slow Life Challenge

56019651125__357AA4E1-87C2-4C12-AE58-DC1C3DB0223F.jpegI am not ready to put the spiritual retreat into words just yet. I will say it was an overwhelmingly awe inspiring experience. I am full of gratitude that I was able to go, and was humbled by the whole weekend.

One of the things I am bringing home and adapting is being slow and intentional in life. I am trying to savor the things I am doing (motherhood, work, school, family) and enjoy the chaos of life. I will be saying no more, I will be choosing to do things that really speak to my heart and that are important to my family. I will continue to work and hustle, but instead of saying things like I have to do homework, I will try to shift to I am so grateful I have the opportunity to be in grad school learning and fulfilling a dream. Instead of Oh My Gosh I have so much to do in the evenings, I will shift to I am so blessed to be teaching kids and participating in a handbell choir. Death by meetings, will become I am so incredibly lucky to have such an amazing job where I get to make an impact on the community. I am blessed, and I am going to stop taking things I have the opportunity to do for granted.

In keeping with slow and intentional, I’ve decided that if I don’t have kids with me I should ride my bike and leave my car at home to run errands. Today I went to the library. I am a little wobbly, especially with a basket full of books, but I will get there. I don’t know that I will be able to do grocery trips, but for the every day stuff like running to the library, post office, to grab a gallon of milk and such my bike will be just fine. I may change my mind once it gets really soggy out, but for now it is forcing me to slow down and enjoy life. I am also getting a pretty good workout.

I am challenging myself to be slow in all areas of my life, it is hard to not rush when my list is long, grad school is in full swing, and the kids still need so much. However, being intentional is something I really need in life at the moment. Even if it means not going to every event, not getting straight As, or letting things on my to do list linger longer than I am used to.



Shhh. I am trying to be quiet over here.

Hahaha. You know I am not a quiet gal. I live out loud and run a hundred miles an hour all day every day. I am busy. I care a lot about the kind of mother I am, my job, and how I do in school. I do not really slow down and I have lists. I have a lot of lists. I need to know what plates I am spinning so nothing crashes. Every crazy thing I do has a purpose though. I am very intentional with my time. I listen intently when kids talk, I pay attention to the things around me. I try to be very mindful and enjoy small things.

Switching gears, I am going to leave my family, my house, my laptop, my phone, and all of my work behind for a weekend and be silent. Yes, during the middle of a semester of grad school, I am packing a bag and going away with a few people from church to participate in a silence retreat.

I am simultaneously looking forward to it immensely and very stressed and nervous. On one hand I know bone deep that this is something I absolutely need to do. I very much need to be still. I need to take a little time to be quiet and listen. I want to journal, read my bible, pray, meditate, and just sit with no outside pressure. No spinning plates. I have a stack of books, I have my journaling supplies, I have a tea cup and my coziest comfy clothes.

But then someone mentioned that maybe I need to take a step back from my plan…it was too big…too much still. For like a split second of a moment I thought, yeah, maybe I should leave a few of my books home, maybe I should really leave it all behind and soak in the silence…then I had this internal fight response like don’t you tell me how to do inner peace. I am in charge of my own inner peace. I can do what I want.

Now I am tired. I am overthinking. I am confused, and hurt, and sad. This is not the way Tuesday was supposed to go. I was supposed to be slowing down this week, planning my very intentional time with the Lord, and starting my slow ease into the weekend with love and peace and God in my heart.

I am going to stop for tonight and read. I am going to pray. I am going to try to not let things eat at me into tomorrow because I don’t want this weekend to be about what someone else thinks it should be for me, but I want it to be what God needs it to be for me.


Let’s talk stress

Processed with VSCO with c3 presetI suffer with anxiety. I get heart palpitations, have panic attacks, and even have mini breakdowns every once in a while. It is normal. I am incredibly busy. I am a mom, a wife, a student, and have a job. I get stressed and stress leads to A) UTI’s, B) panic attacks, and or C) days of heart palpitations that effect my whole body and mood.

I am going to talk a little bit about how I handle stress and manage my anxiety. I know everyone is different. I am not a doctor. If you are suffering from any or all of these things don’t take my advice! Go seek the help of someone who knows what they are doing. I am just simply talking about what works for me…most of the time.

I knit. I knit a lot because it helps me find rhythm. The click clack of needles is soothing to my soul. I get to create something and that helps me as well. As ridiculously corny as this sounds, I also like to wear my hand knits because it feels like a warm hug. I like to feel the yarn and know that I have made something beautiful.

I pray. I study. I look for things that have meaning to me in something bigger than myself. It helps me to to think outside of myself. I know some who think this is the most important thing. I know some who don’t. You do you when it comes to faith and spirituality.

I listen to my heartbeat. I bought a stethoscope a long time ago when I first started having heart palpitations. Little did I know that listening to my irregular thudding heart has a way of calming me down…slowly it returns to normal. Most of the time….sometimes it takes days. And before you ask, yes, I have seen a cardiologist, everything is fine. If I have heart palpitations I am supposed to lay down and get my heart rate under control…otherwise it can be painful and bad. I listen to my body and know when things are getting heart beat stressy and take it easy. I promise.

I walk by a river in the woods. I think that is pretty self explanatory. Nature is good.

I hug my husband. I hold his hand. I ask him for help.

Last night I fell asleep downstairs on the futon in my office, this is the case most nights. I stay up late to do homework, Brad goes to bed way early because of his work schedule. I woke up about 45 minutes after going to sleep mid full blown panic attack. I couldn’t breathe, I had tunnel vision, and I had a hard time clearing my head. This happens to me on occasion. I don’t know what caused it. I don’t know why they happen. It is scary. Normally when I am awake and feel a panic attack coming I can cope with it one of the ways I have shared, but when an attack hits me while I am sleeping I can’t preemptively stop it, or make it less. These nocturnal panic attacks are bad. They take a lot out of me. They take me a while to recover from.

Today I am being gentle with myself, I am drinking water, and making sure I eat good food. I did homework and crossed things off my to do list. I will hug my family, pray, and won’t push myself to do extra today. I will knit and talk and hold Brad’s hand. I know I am far from alone. I know I am normal.