From Bleak Blvd to Cotton Candy Lane…via Grace Avenue

My family decided to be spontaneous this past weekend. Hmm…decided to be spontaneous. That sounds kind of like an oxymoron. But that’s what chronic planners do; they plan to be spontaneous. 😉

Late last week we decided to hop in the car this weekend and drive up to watch D.C. United play the New York Red Bulls in soccer. The game was being played at RFK Stadium in our Nation’s Capital.

My son and husband love playing and watching soccer together. We will soon be moving to an area of the country that does not have any major league soccer teams nearby.  The four-hour drive to Washington, DC was our best opportunity for our son to experience a game live and in person.

Fireworks in the sky before game
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Teams Walking Onto Field

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Cotton Candy for dinner

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Content guys riding the metro back to the hotel. 

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The NY Red Bulls ended up winning the game 2-0.  D.C. United might not have scored, but my son and hubby scored some free commemorative scarves!


I loved our little getaway to DC. Yet, I have a hard time visiting the area without unpleasant memories briefly rising to the surface. Some of the bleakest years of my life were the ones I spent in DC. The Eileen life then was very different from the Eileen life now.

When we stepped onto the crowded “standing room only” metro, I thought….this used to be my life five days a week.

When I watched the intoxicated young man board the metro and make a complete fool out of himself, I thought…that used to be my life too.

When I listened to the man and woman screaming words like  F*** you! and “What, did your wife come back?!” at 6:30 in the morning outside my hotel room door, I thought…the lies, the deception, the ugly fighting wordsthat used to be my life.


I love my life today.  I love the wide open spaces. I love the deep breaths of grace. I love that I can have fun and experience true joy and laughter without the need of alcohol. I love the relationship I have with my husband. I love that we can argue and disagree without feeling the need to sling sick cutting words at one another.  I love that even after ten years of marriage he has never once given me a reason not to trust him.  His words and his actions speak love and respect.

I am grateful for memories that remind me of just how big God is…memories that remind me of all the beauty He can paint with our life… even if we’ve spilled a big bottle of ugly all over the canvas.

13 thoughts on “From Bleak Blvd to Cotton Candy Lane…via Grace Avenue

  1. Tracy

    Yes love this! Thankful for memories that remind us how big God is and that with Him we can overcome and move forward. We randomly up and went to Colorado this weekend. We had to drive through a city where I had lived before too. Same thing happened to me! i was flooded with memories of my “ugliness”…How precious is the grace and forgiveness of our God!

    1. Carol Peterson

      Our God can sure make miracles happen in our lives. And then feed us cotton candy every once in a while just to remind us that life is such a sweet treat! Great post; great photos!

  2. David Rupert

    Eileen, those ‘forgotten years’ never really are forgotten. I’m trying to embrace them without actually love them. I too have memories that just wish werent there — but they are. So I acknowledge them, give praise for where I am today, and give God great glory

    1. Eileen Post author

      Great approach, David. There’s a phrase I learned in recovery “keeping it green” For me, acknowledging the past and all that God has done in my life keeps things in the right perspective. I need Him. I don’t ever want to lose sight of that truth.

  3. Laurie Wallin (@mylivingpower)

    Eileen, that’s some brave writing, and such a gift for all of us. Thank you. Sounds like a wonderful weekend of fun, with some God-shaped subtle healing running underneath. Love how He does that in each of us! So glad you had a fun, premeditated, spontaneous weekend :).


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