Archives For Us

Spring.

Whitney —  June 22, 2015 — Leave a comment

“Seasons of life” always struck me as a bizarre phrase. How do you know it’s a season, and how do you know when it’s changed? Do you see the metaphorical leaves changing colors? Do you watch the flowers bloom? Do you feel the heat? The cold? And regardless, isn’t it better and less pretentious and less, I don’t know, Biblical to just call them phases?

***

In mid-February, I sent this text message: “I promise you, winter is almost over.” I meant it literally. Technically, spring was a month away, but in Georgia we were in the final couple weeks of legitimate cold, and an obnoxiously-timed ice storm was potentially getting in the way of plans and progress. But more importantly, I meant it symbolically. This phase – this season – of tremendous pain and change and uncertainty was almost over. He was one morning in court away from some stability again. From a simple answer, even if it wasn’t the one he’d counted on for the last seven years. And for maybe the first time, I saw the literal and the symbolic align, and the “season of life” thing made more sense.

***

A couple weeks ago, I was practicing, as I do most mornings. I was in the middle of the standing sequence, which opens each practice, and a thought that had trickled into my brain the night before would not leave me alone. It felt a little like God was (gently) knocking me on the head with it. Over and over. And for the first time, I stopped practicing to open my journal and write:

“I think it’s time to let go. I’m scared of it. Part of me wants to hold on just so I can keep scrolling through moments in my head. But for the time being – for this moment, this new season – I have to release this grip. I have to wish you peace and love and light and growth and let my fingers and shoulders relax in surrender and submission and faith and grace. I want to remember all of it. I still have so many questions. So many loose ends. But I’m setting you free. I’m setting me free, too. I don’t know what will happen. With anything, really. But I’m going to be ok. Spring is almost over.”

And so, as we start summer, as I let go, I think it’s time to talk about spring. Continue Reading…

The beach.

Whitney —  May 6, 2015 — Leave a comment

I didn’t mean to write a post. I expected to write throughout the weekend, but I didn’t…until I sat down at the kitchen table on Sunday evening as the towels and sheets were drying. And then I still didn’t mean to write a post. But the words came, and as always in moments like that, I don’t remember writing most of them. Just…I opened the journal and picked up the pen and there was reality and God and whatever else waiting on me.

These are the kinds of things I’m now scared to publish. But, then again, we could just add that fear to the list. There are only about a dozen in the next couple hundred words. And just like two and a half years ago, I still believe in the truth. In sharing it. Even when it’s hard and the kind of petrifying that makes you believe in ghosts. I still believe in vulnerability and openness and honesty and conversation, even when they lead to hurt and heartbreak. So I’m publishing this and hoping that everyone who reads it finds some peace in their own questions, own waiting, own middle.

“I beg you, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.” — Ranier Maria Rilke

“‘What if I fall?’ Oh but my darling, what if you fly?” — Erin Hanson

***

I came to the beach, and I thought it would be better. Hoped it would, at least. And it has to some extent. But here’s the ugly, bitter, obnoxious truth: there is no magical potion. No new Bible study or book, or old house or beach, or spectacular sunset picture or break from reality is going to eliminate this hurt and uncertainty. The quiet helps. So does the long drive with just Grady sprawled out beside me. The front porch early on a Saturday morning, empty except for me, my mat and my dog. Wine in a solo cup and a walk around the island like a local, stopping only to give directions to lost tourists.

Family feels nice. Grandparents. Cousins. Little ones burying my feet in the sand. And the light and the breeze and the warmth remind me that breathtaking beauty is never that far away, even when the winter feels especially long and bleak.

I finished a book of essays, and I liked it, and there were some snippets of wisdom that spoke to me, the most prominent one being about how brutal the middle can be: when you’re trying to figure out the lesson — the point — and how ultimately fruitless that guessing game is. Continue Reading…

Find your people.

Whitney —  March 17, 2015 — Leave a comment

I cried on Christmas Eve. I was at the 11pm service at the church I grew up in — the one Christmas tradition I love and uphold — and I ugly cried. The truth is I don’t love the holidays. In fact, I kind of hate them. And I swear I’m not usually that cynical, but the holidays come with so much pressure and so many schedules, and frankly, I enjoy the tailgates we plan and the suppers around the fire that we don’t plan so much more than the forced celebrations. But I love Christmas Eve service. And over the years, it has evolved beyond a simple tradition. It’s become a safe place and a touchstone, where I can take a step back and see where I am and what I need and what’s going right or terribly wrong and where I stand mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

When I got to church this past Christmas Eve, I was already a little frazzled, and I spent most of the service holding back tears. Our pastor opened his sermon by asking if anyone remembered what happened on October 14, 1992…the day that Sid slid and the Braves won the National League pennant. And that was a pretty weird opening line because the Braves winning the pennant on October 14, 1992, though I didn’t know the exact date, is my first full memory.

I was in bed with my mom. My dad was downstairs ironing his shirt, as he did every evening. I had fallen asleep — I was 5 — but I woke to Daddy yelling and cheering. I opened my eyes and saw Sid Bream lumbering around the bases with his mustache flaring. Sid slid, the throw from Barry Bonds in left field was slightly off the mark and somehow — somehow — Sid was safe. “He is… SAFE! BRAVES WIN BRAVES WIN BRAVES WIN!” [True story: I just looked up Skip’s call of that play to link here, and it brought tears to my eyes. The Braves really were the fist thing I consciously loved in this world, and it breaks my heart all over again every time I think about them abandoning Atlanta, but that’s a different story for a different day.] And here’s the video, but don’t kid yourself, Skip’s call is the best. I’ll forever be grateful for that base hit, Frankie Cabrera.

And anyway, as soon as Terry started talking about the Braves and Frankie and Sid and Skip, I knew I was supposed to be there. I knew this spot and this sermon and these tears I was struggling so hard to hold in were for me, even if I didn’t understand them. Continue Reading…

Playing in the Park

us —  August 22, 2012 — Leave a comment

A couple weeks ago, our dear friend TJ graciously gave up his Saturday morning to take pictures of us and the girls [tiny, black Pom = Grady, who belongs to Whitney; adorable half-Pit = Autumn, who belongs to Jacklyn] in Piedmont. We wandered around [mostly in our heels] and made funny faces.

Here are some of our favorites. [More to come later.]

Continue Reading…

Hi World!

us —  July 29, 2012 — Leave a comment


This one time we were at Church [It’s a bar.] drinking sangria, recounting old stories and making eyes at the cute bartender. I [Hi, I’m Whitney. Learn more about me in a sec.] ate my Maraschino cherry and lamented it being the only one in the glass.

“There’s another one,” said our third party.

“What? Where?” we both exclaimed.

“Right there.” He pointed to the bottom of the glass.

With straws and teamwork, we began the journey of finding the lost fruit.

Much later, we decided we should exploit that camaraderie and ingenuity in a more tangible space. So we built this blog.