Day 16 – “HOPE”

Day 16 – “HOPE”

During the month of April, I’m writing 30 Words for 30 Days: Thoughts from Six Feet Away, one topic per day. Find out why here.


Like my daughter, who turns 7 today, I’ll keep this post short and sweet.

Celebrating my daughter Eden will always remind me that there is hope.

You can read more about the details in this post, where I share the backstory.

I’ve been so blessed to be a #girldad, to come home to her hugs and leave for work with her goodbye kisses, to laugh and play and tickle and wrestle and just enjoy life with her.

She makes me proud and I love the way she just attacks the world head-on, with a strength and zeal and love for life and the people she meets.

When I’ve had a tough day, she has a way of warming my heart and reminding me that things are OK.

Happy Birthday, precious one. I love you!

And along those lines, I’m so thankful that even when I’ve lost hope, I serve a God who has enough to spare and graciously pours it out on us.

And in these days of COVID-19 and quarantines and lock downs and masks and uncertainty… we can all use a little hope.

So, if that’s you, and you don’t have an Eden to remind you or fill up your hope jar, maybe this will suffice….

One of my favorite verses in the Bible related to hope comes from the letter written to the church in Rome. It goes like this:

and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

-Romans 5:5

Fresh off of Easter Sunday, one of the most amazing things about Jesus was that even though he would eventually leave this earth, he sent the Holy Spirit to be our comforter.

I love this verse because of the idea that “hope does not disappoint us”. Others maybe might think you’re holding on to false hope, but hope is something that is never wasted.

So, if your world is shaken right now, know that it hasn’t shaken our God. And hope in Him is never placed in vain.

Here’s to Eden. Here’s to you. Here’s to hope.

Day 10 – “GOOD”

Day 10 – “GOOD”

During the month of April, I’m writing 30 Words for 30 Days: Thoughts from Six Feet Away, one topic per day. Find out why here.


Today is Good Friday.

I’ve often wondered about that title.


It was always so confusing to me growing up.

I mean, you’re saying that the day that our Messiah was beaten, ridiculed, flogged, forced to carry his own instrument of torture, crucified and died… that… that was a good… day?

I can think of a lot of days that I would put in the good day category.

My wedding day. The day each of our children were born. Other highlight snapshots throughout my life.

But I don’t think I’d put that day in with all of those.

I know it was just as confusing to Jesus’ followers.

Even though He had told them that it was going to happen numerous times, they just didn’t get it and weren’t prepared for it.


I can’t blame them

Living under the rule of a foreign empire, longing to be delivered and freed, and then putting all of their chips behind one that they believed would restore things to their rightful place.

Only to see him arrested for nothing he did wrong and then ultimately killed.

An innocent man hung on a cross next to criminals.

Like them, I probably would have scattered the night he was arrested as well, afraid of what would happen.

Like Peter, at risk of his own life, I might have denied that I knew him as well.

There was a fear and an uncertainty that filled their first century air.

No one saw this plot twist.

No one knew what to do now that the path they had been on had ended abruptly and they were left staring ahead into the unknown.

They were without hope… and without their Shepherd and leader.


Why we can call it Good

Yet, there was One who knew the way the story was headed.

There was One who understood why it had to happen.

There was a God who knew that a broken world needed a broken body.

A world without hope needed Hope itself.

And it was that God who orchestrated the whole event.

The Bible tells us that “He so loved the world that He sent His only Son…”

He sacrificed what meant most to Him to make a way for us.

We can call it Good Friday because we know, as Paul Harvey so famously says, the rest of the story.


Good for you and me

We’re not so unlike those first century men and women.

Right now, we also are surrounded by fear and uncertainty.

And, like them, we also live in a broken world with pain, disappointment, loss, frustration, loneliness, and despair.

I don’t have to know you to know that you have a story that has had its own share of twists, turns, tragedy and brokenness.

But that is the very reason why he came 2000 years ago.

He came for me. He came for you.

He came to rescue and save, to offer hope and a future, to provide healing and life.

For all.

But to get to Sunday… He had to pass through Friday.

To bring us new life, He had to offer His own.

And He did, willingly.

And that… is good.

30 Words for 30 Days – Intro

30 Words for 30 Days – Intro

So, there’s a lot going on in the world these days.

If you just woke up from hibernation, the last few weeks and months has been a whirlwind of change, uncertainty, and unprecedented measures to fight a new world enemy — COVID-19, the coronavirus.

One day has sort of blurred into the next, not knowing where we are in any given week not to mention what huge announcement might come on that given day.

There have been multiple tug-of-wars going on inside my head: worry vs faith, depression vs hope, wandering vs leading, anger vs understanding.

In the midst of it all, I’ve bounced from one thing to another as I’ve lost a sense of normalcy and routine.

A few days ago, it was announced that the lock-down that we’re in has been extended another 30 days in an effort to combat the virus, save lives and get our country on solid footing again.

Honestly… and maybe you’re like me… before that happened I was thinking “OK, we’ve been at this for several weeks and things have been rough, but we’re almost done.”

And then the extra 30 days order came down and there was a collective sigh at the thought of the long road ahead.

As I struggled with the idea, I was thinking about how to find something to keep me going through all of this.

Something for me, but hopefully something for you as well.

Enter 30 Words for 30 Days: Thoughts from six feet away.

It is my attempt to do something I love (writing) to allow me to get some thoughts out onto a digital page (this blog) and in the process start some conversations, offer some encouragement and hope, and collectively get through this together.

Each day a different one word topic.

Pretty simple. I hope you’ll join me.

It’s one way we can stay connected during this time of isolation.

If you’re ready, you can start here.

An Unexpected Journey – Our Story Of Hope

An Unexpected Journey – Our Story Of Hope

“Who’s the extra place at the table for?” our boys asked

“A new Washburn,” we replied as they all stared back with jaws dropped.

four pairs of shoes

That was a conversation that happened at our dinner table a few years back when we announced that someone new was joining our family.

Little did they know that their world of dirt, Legos, and Nerf swords would soon be invaded by pink, princesses, and braids.

Tough Beginnings

Some people close to us might know that Janette and I had our share of issues when it came to having children.

Before our oldest was born, we dealt with several years of struggle and heartache, infertility and miscarriages.

Like many others who have walked that road, it was a struggle for both of us and a test of our faith.

Many prayers were prayed, asking why, asking God to bless us with a child and to walk with us during that dry time.

In the middle of it, we really didn’t know what the future would hold.

Along Came Baby

Then, like had happened before, we found out Janette was pregnant again.

Of course, given our history, it was hard to really get excited until the pregnancy was farther along.

In the back of our minds there was still a nagging thought that it wouldn’t last.

Would this one end like the others? We weren’t sure. 

But, by God’s mercy, she went full term and we welcomed our firstborn into the world… a boy.

It was a truly amazing experience, especially considering where we were coming from.

One Two Three

Then, as if the fertility floodgates had opened wide, the next three years brought two more boys into our fold.

We found ourselves with three boys in diapers, making quite long days for Janette, trying to keep up with them and their collective craziness.

She did an amazing job, as if she was designed to be a boy mom.

We felt very blessed to not only have one child, but to have three healthy young boys at home.

And yet, after our youngest son was born, we still felt that we weren’t done yet. We had prayed about it and really felt like we were supposed to have at least one more.

But something had changed

I’m not sure what happened, but just as quickly as we had gone from years of drought to years of plenty… the tables turned again.

We began to stare months and months of disappointment in the face. It was so confusing to us.

And yet at the same time, it made me stand even more in awe of our Creator and to respect the miracle of life.

At one point, when we had been married for fifteen years, my wife realized that we had spent half of them dealing with these issues.

Why is it so easy for some to have children and not others? Why did we go from drought to babies to nothing again? I didn’t have any answers.

Signs, signs, everywhere a sign

We continued to feel like God was speaking to us through various signs along the way. From generic things like continuing to receive baby formula coupons several years after our last child to other, crazier signs.

One night, when stopped at a stop sign, I saw three little deer cross the street, one after another. Then, right as I was about to take off, here came another one running across.

Janette had similar experiences, such as people she knew casually telling her things like “You have four kids, right?”

It was those signs that kept it in our minds that maybe God still had something in store for us.

And yet, the years began to tick along with nothing more happening. Were we just imagining things or was this something that God still planned to do? We wanted to trust Him either way.

I’m thankful for the many who prayed with us, for us, and over us during those times. I know that God heard each word

Never doubt

Years had passed. We found ourselves eight years removed from bringing home our youngest son. We had settled into life with our three boys and loved our family dynamics.

It was then that God decided that it was time for that next chapter He had hinted at.

One night Janette took a test. I asked her what it said.

Her response: “You’d better finish off our attic because we’re going to need some more space”

After that long drought, Janette was indeed pregnant again. We had such mixed emotions.

This is what we had felt He was leading us towards over all those years and yet we were pretty comfortable with our family of five. Were we ready for all of that to change?

Well, when God changes things up, He does it big. Not only were we adding a fourth, it would be a girl… our first.

Here comes our princess

And so, five years ago we welcomed our long-promised precious baby girl into a family that didn’t know we were missing her until she arrived.

Now, we can’t imagine life without her spunky little personality, bracelets and necklaces, and beautiful smile.

Our boys, whose jaws dropped when they found out they were getting a sibling, now love playing with her, helping her build lego creations, and teaching her how to properly handle a Nerf sword and a football.

That fourth little deer that had made its way in front of my car all of those years before… has now made its way into my heart.

Now it’s hard to remember life without her. She has so filled our life with joy and is a constant reminder…to never give up.