Monday, December 19, 2011

Work, life and moving

Ok... I have started and stopped this post for months now.
Woow, am I so missing this space.
I have been in a really really interesting season of busy, and have not had the time or the head space to be creative in my writing and sharing here.
I have been reading all my sweet friends' posts, just not having the mental capasitiy to comment and formulate a rousing thought.. lol!

Have missed you, my friends.

Here is what I have been working on.... and hope to hit the publish button to this morning.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

 Kmarie and I were chatting a bit over email and she asked for an update on work, moving, how I am holding up... so I thought if she wants to know, then maybe there are others that do to.

so here is a kind of update post for anybody that is curious :)
You all are so dear and precious to me...the fact that Kmarie even asked, and Cat emails me checking on me in my silent times is overwhelmingly amazing to me.
Thank you, my friends.
Your friendship has been some of the most real and tender that I have ever known.
Wish we could all meet up for a coffee one day and meet face to face.. I think that would be one amazing coffee date!

I am still working at my son's school 30 hours a week.... as an aide to two special needs kindergartner's as well as helping in the SPED Resource room...
I also have another position at the school as the assistant to the whole SPED Dept.
And that in a nut shell is alot of "honey do" stuff.. ha!

I have been working since August..so I am heading into my 4th month.

Overall, it's going good. At the beginning of the year, as you might remember, I had a lot of hashing out going on. It's been messy and not so pretty.. tons of crying and just choosing to move forward most days.

I have continued to practice living in the today, embracing "what is" for this season in my families lives, surrendering to that space of "what is" has been one the hardest challenges I have ever faced. It's still something I have to be purposeful about. Just simply because, for me, I have found that is where Grace lives. Grace lives in me just taking it one moment at a time, not projecting into the future, and not dwelling on what was. Grace is here in this moment.
And that is the messy part for me.
Talking about it is something I just avoid because it is still hard, and the desire to be more home based and more involved in my girl's school is still there. I feel like it is just always right there under the surface...just barely asleep at times.
For example, I had been doing pretty good living in all of this until this past weekend. It was CRAZY full of family events and going to our old church for a friend's baptism, and then to a social after.... a bunch of "catching up" and talking about all that has been going on.
I find I don't WANT to talk about it.. I would rather just keep moving forward, share with friends that have actually cared about us along this journey..but even that I don't want to do a lot... because now after all this blabbing about everything, I feel all stirred up again.
Ugh.
Soooo... hashing has commenced AGAIN.

So that is my work sitch... being in Grace tho, I have seen how this job is good for right now.
It scratches the desire for spontaneity... I have alot of freedom in my job...alot of trust.. I move around alot on campus and can actually leave and go home for lunch on the days that I need the quiet and the break from work. I have alot of say over my schedule, and can leave and go get sick kids if I have to. There are some really great and big plus', and for that I am so grateful.

I still very much desire to be self employed again. I used to have my own cleaning business, and brought in decent money with that. But this time around, knowing my heart just a little bit more, I have decided to say yes to photography. I am freaked out of my head at times about it..but I have to stop fearing it, and step towards it if I am going to make the way for myself to be more home based, you know?

I have to say that once I said, "Yes" to photography inside my heart, WOOSH, it was like someone sent a note out to anybody that would hear that! No joke... THAT has been the craziness on top of craziness. I immediately had people approaching me to photograph their events, their school basketball team, their families, their children, their beautiful momma baby bellies, their wedding!!
I completely booked up October, November AND December!
Just had my very last photog session last weekend, and this girl is taking the rest of the year off!
I have been completley doing this whole photography thing SCARED out of my head.
But the more I have done it, the more joy is welling up inside me.
The more I relax into the gifting that is in me, the less scared I am.
My pattern has been to get really really nervous and cranky until I step into the session with my client..and then it's like I am stepping into some kind of dance... the experience is exhilerating! Euphoric really!
Something happens, and it's the most incredible experience ever! Creativitiy flows, and I am capturing hearts and moments in time.
It's so wonderful :)

I have been behind on my photography blog posts for clients and have begun to catch up since Saturday...but what's so wild, and you will see in the picture, is the variety.
It's like God was just waiting for me to be ready and say yes, and He brought all types of different photography opportunities my way. Literally not just families, but all kinds!
Wild!
Like He was saying, " Try this on. Do you like it? And this.. taste this... How's that? Is that for you?"

Unbelievable really!

I am utterly exhileratingly exhausted, and so so full in my heart :)

Another area that I am seriously considering becoming a certified life coach. This is a new area that I am researching right now... more to come on that in the future...but something I am looking into. My sis and I were having a deep conversation about new areas we are both stepping towards, and she blurts out, "I think you should look into becoming a life coach." and then just shared why she thinks this would be something that might be for me. " Hmm.." I thought.. maybe.
It's amazing how sometimes other people can see us more clearly then we can see ourselves.
So I am just looking into it...nothing for sure yet, but I am definitely investigating.

As for the move to Colorado, we have set our date to June 2012!
I just sent in my kid's school registration into a school in Colorado that we fell in love with while interviewing schools earlier this month.
We have also started to downsize, declutter and pack.. Nothing like seeing boxes here and there to get you excited about moving! It's becoming more real everyday.. and that is SO amazing!
I can't wait! The kids are excited.. my hub and I are so excited!
Wish it was hear already..but again that wouldnt' be living in the today now would it.. gah!

Honestly there is a lot of trust happening. Trusting that as we step towards this, things will begin to come as we move forward. It seems to be the pattern and what God has shown us these past few years.
Stepping away from the church to be our soul source of provision was a really big step for us.
We have totally relied on our TRUE source of Life and Provision, and it's been freaky and wonderful.
Moving to Colorado is what is in our hearts, and so we are just going to step towards it, and see what happens.
I do believe their is a rythym of the Universe... not a formula, but some sort of rythym.
And it goes something like this.
When you step towards the dreams and desires of your heart, in doing that you are really stepping INTO the stream of Life and letting it bring you to those dreams and desires.
Is there stuff to do and fears to work through, OH YEAH!
But there is peace in it, and no strife.
And I truely believe that the doors that need to open, will fling wide open.
And the people you need to meet will come into your path.
And the little signs...turn left, go straight, check here, try this, will begin to appear.

I have heard this little Truth in so many different ways...from different voices.

"When you do what you love, God conspires on your behalf, and it become effortless.
But...when you're on the wrong path, life chases you out of it, and back to the right path."

~ Jillian Michaels


I am finding this to be true.

That is what my life has been lately. Stepping towards things that are in my heart. And I am thankful for the hard spaces, like my job that I go to everyday, that have made me uncomfortable enough to look at different things, and dig deep and ask the hard questions of myself...to hear the whispers of my heart, and step towards those whispers of dreams and desires.

I want to share this with you today, I have more in me..but have to get this day started.
So I am going to hit publish, because I HAVE GOT TO POST THIS! lol!

Much love...

Your friend and blog lurker ;)

Amy xoxo

Oh and to see some of the photography I have been shooting lately, you can visit my other blog here...

http://joy-of-my-heart.blogspot.com/

I have SO much to do as far as getting my business off the ground. But starting this Wednesday, the winter break starts, and I will have 2 weeks to do that.
Hoping to write more as well :)







Monday, October 24, 2011

Quietness.

Freedom.
Fullness.
Alive.
Present.
Here.
Creativity.

I long for each one so intensely. So enormously.
The longing is so much that the loss of disconnecting from all that isn't present and here in front of me in a real sense (media, texting, computer, etc...) is so much smaller then the longing for freedom, fullness, aliveness, being present, and creativity

I have been crying out for these things...they aren't things really.. what would they be called.
Spaces? Places inside?

Literally crying out from deep places and waiting for the answer to come.
What must I do? Be? Go?

The answer that arose from inside me is one that has come before.... quiet.

"Amy, turn off all the noise and be quiet. What you seek will come."

We recently returned from a trip to our beloved and soon to be home state of Colorado.
It was gorgeous...fall had come and kissed the leaves...so much so that the color was so vibrant it almost hurt my eyes. It was so beautiful.
Tho it was a busy trip with many many appointments...as well as traveling with 3 awesomely active kiddles.. ha! It was exhausting, but absolutely exhilarating.

The weather, the beauty of the mountains, the slower pace that fills the air..... sigh...just what this heart needed.
But upon my return back home, I couldn't shake that something had shifted inside...and this incredible longing began to ache and resonate from within.

Longing for no longer settling for anything other then the best life that is offered to me in this moment. Longing to hear my heart more clearly. Longing to stop missing out on my life. Longing for choosing what is best, not what is good or good enough.
Longing to sit at the table that is set for me, instead of sitting on the ground waiting for scraps to fall to the ground.

So, I have stepped into this place of quietness.
And it has washed over me, and within my heart has settled a peace and a contentment that I have never known.
I so hope for it to stay...to make it's home forever in my heart.

It's been so much more then I thought it would be. My pace has slowed. Emotions have come in waves... alot of tears have washed over me.
It's been so good.

A couple days ago, I lay in my bed...I had just had a big, unloading, decompressing cry...
and in the stillness I heard,

"See it's in this place of quietness that all you have been asking Me to show you will come."

And more peace came and flooded me.

Just wanted to share with you, Cat..Rachel..Kmarie..all my bloggy friends that I don't know yet by name, where I have been and what has been going on with me.
I have missed each of you so much.
One of my greatest concerns in my blog writing absence is that you think I have flaked out and left you.
I know that has happened to me with other blog friends I have met, and it made me really sad.
I don't want you to feel that I have left you, and that I don't think about you in the silence of my being offline more.

I honestly don't know what I am going to do as far as blogging goes.
There is a new enjoyment of simply living my life, enjoying the moments and the truths that are coming without feeling this great push to share it all...does that make sense?
It feels so good to just have it as my own.

Another area that I think is changing in me is my "value meter".
For so long I believed the lie that I had no value.
So I would go on the hunt for it. Like a beggar holding a sign,
"Will be all you want me to be if you just show me that I have value. Do I have value?"
Starved and thirsty for it.. desperate. I searched high and low for it...everwhere and in everything.

In pleasing people, to being who they wanted me to be so they would like me therefore giving me value, to finding value from comments and mentions from people on Facebook or on my blog, to knowing important people or being a part of the "special and important" crowd.
It's a insatiable beast that lie.

And the TRUTH that is seeping into all the cracks of my being is that I am valuable because I am me.. and I am my Creators. He adores me, and I am valuable because I am His.
The Truth that I am worthy of all that is good and true just because.
The Truth that I get to live from my heart and I get to follow it because that is where God resides in me and where He leads.
The Truth that I get to have a choice in all of this. (There's another area that I felt completely powerless and raped of...the lie that I had no choice.)
The Truth that I don't have to read about other people's lives and adventures, but that I get to LIVE my own!


All of these areas, my gosh.. this process started years ago, but I am finally just now starting to believe it!!

I am coming awake from a very long slumber.
An awakening to a life that I have stayed purposefully asleep to because it wasn't my own. I lived it for everybody else, for the church, for my parents, for all the female stereotypes of what a good Christian woman is... I have never lived for me.
So, tho I still have sleep in my eyes, and I am rubbing it away.... Half awake and still half sleepy...I don't want to run the risk of not following the leading of my heart and falling asleep again.
I have used food, computer, and busyness to stay asleep and numb to life and all feelings.
I want to be fully awake.
I am catching glimpses, and my heart jumps within from the beauty of what I am seeing.
Amy living life fully alive and fully awake is a glorious sight!


I can feel my heart reassessing all these areas that I once found value in, that I once kept myself asleep with.
Stepping towards each area and asking it, " Why? Why are you here?"
"Is this a place that you used to draw value from or is it a life flowing place for Amy's heart?"


Consciously, I just feel I have stepped back from a lot of these areas, and these are the heart rumblings that come up in me.
It's just all so interesting.

I have all your posts saved in my Google Reader, and I have read as I can while I am here at work.
You are dear, and I love each of you... if you ever want to talk, please email me!
That's the best place for me to hear from friends.

I don't know how this is all going to look or turn out, but I just wanted to share.


Choosing quietness today....
Amy

Friday, September 16, 2011

Vulnerable IS Beautiful :)

Reposting... fixed my little linky!

Such a sweet and simple reminder to not be afraid of my vulnerability...but be reminded that it is indeed so beautiful :)

Vulnerable IS Beautiful :)

Vulnerable Is Beautiful from Rachael Maddox on Vimeo.




by Rachael Maddox

I am so grateful for the sprinkled reminders that God sends my way.. hope this brings you life and beauty too.

Amy

P.S.... please always feel free to share, quote, forward anything that is shared here! We all need each other so much!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Who am I?

Who am I?

Am I a body or do I live in a body?

Do my thoughts rule me or do I rule my thoughts?






Wednesday, September 14, 2011

You think you can choose God like you choose a pair of shoes?

Have to share a post from a friend... yeesh. this is good! Resonates like CRAZY inside me!

You think you can choose God like you choose a pair of shoes? 


How many Gods are there?
- Well, uh, there is only one God.
- So, isn’t that a silly question to ask?
- No, not at all. There are thousands of religions and each one claims to represent the real God. So which one is the real one?
- Do you have a mother?
- Of course I have a mother. Isn’t that a silly question to ask?
- No, not really. There are millions of mothers out there. How do you know which one is your real mother?
So the little man is playing tough. I had to stop and think. Where is the catch? Ok. Let’s play along and see where this goes.
- My mother is my mother because she made me.
- So, how come you don’t know who your father is?

I had this strange feeling that I was about to get a higher understanding of something that had eluded me so many times before. I stood there, my wheels spinning at hyper speed.
- You think you can choose God like you choose a pair of shoes? …
You choose the right one and you go straight to heaven, you choose the wrong one and you go straight to hell? …
There is no choosing. Nobody has God. No religion, no country, no race, no man has God. God has all of us, the Christians, the Buddhists, the Muslims, the Hindus and even the ones that don’t believe in God at all. We don’t make God, God made us.
We don’t choose God, God chose us.

Well, I had to admit. That was something I never considered.
There is no choice. God is my father and I couldn’t change that even if I wanted to. It is what it is and that’s all it is.

A question still remained.
So I asked:
- So how does one relate to God?
- How do you relate to your mother?
- I love her more than anything in this world.
- Well if that’s good enough for your mother I believe it’s good enough for your father too.
- You don’t understand. It is not that simple… What should one think of God and how… how do you believe in God?
- It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter what you believe about God or if you believe in God.
What matters is what God believes about you.  
The question is not do you believe in God. The question is, does God believe in you?


I had no idea, no clue, no answer. I felt like a piƱata after a Mexican birthday party.
My head hurt, my heart ached. I stood up and stumbled my way back home.
This little guy had just shattered my whole belief system in 5 minutes.
I had to get some rest.

I recouped really fast and went back to my new found teacher armed with even more questions, battling over every argument, from philosophy to politics.
He was a hard cookie to break.
Many times I would find him meditating and out of respect I would sit down beside him and pretend that I was meditating too, although I would just sit there with my eyes closed waiting for him to start talking.

One of those days sitting there “meditating” I let my mind wander and in a flash of lightning I had the revelation of God.
It was such a shock that my whole body reacted and I believe I groaned so loudly that I woke him up. I stood still as a stone, looking at him, tears rolling down my face. He smiled at me and I knew he knew. I smiled back and he knew that I knew.

After a life time of searching, after crossing an ocean and thousands of miles, finally I found God. Not in a church, not in a bible but right here in my heart. He was always there, all I had to do was say:
- Hi God!

From The Thirst for Spirituality – Part IX

One more quote.... goosebumps and tears roll down my cheeks.. I know you will resonate with this too, my sweet freedom friends..

"I Have Learned So much from God
That I can no longer Call Myself

A Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim, a Buddhist, a Jew.
...
The Truth has shared so much of Itself
With me

That I can no longer call myself
A man, a woman, an angel,
Or even a pure Soul.

Love has
Befriended [Me] so completely
It has turned to ash
And freed
Me

Of every concept and image
my mind has ever known."


~ Hafiz 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Suffering, trust and surrender

Some thoughts on the topic of surrender, trust and suffering.


The longer I walk in this season and time of stretching and hardship, I see over and over again the importance of living in a space of trust and surrender. 
The picture that comes to mind is my hands held out, and completely open. 
Not grasping or holding tight to anything.. 
And, not fallen down to my sides against my body in hopelessness and despair..
But simply open wide and extended out.
Ready to receive what gift is in the today, and ready to let go of what needs to be let go of.
Just open.


I have started to research the word suffering, not the suffering of abuse or grief. 
The suffering I am talking about is the suffering that is self induced.
I am starting to see this kind of suffering largely as a simple thought patterns in the mind. 
My own expectations of what my situation should be, and not just "being" in the sitation as it is.
Because really, when I look at my day, and all that happens in it, it just is what it is. 
And when I begin to suffer is when I begin to wrestle with what I felt my day SHOULD have been like. 


And as soon as I begin to wrestle with what I felt it SHOULD have been like, and loath it and hate it and wish for something else, and long for THAT over there, and not just embrace what is, I begin to suffer. 
Suffer in the way of lack of peace and joy, in frustration, worry, fear, rage, anger, discouragement, despair and hopelessness... 
I begin to suffer internally because of my not accepting what is.


Think on that for a minute.
I suffer and bring on all kinds of negative things because I don't accept this moment for WHAT IT IS.


Acceptance doesn't mean I don't DO anything about it. Because obviously if I can, I think that would be the right action to take. Acceptance doesn't mean lying down and taking it and being passive. 
No, that's not what I mean.. Acceptance of what is, is simply not striving against it. 
I can be at peace with what is, and make changes, right?
Peace seems to be found in that space... accepting what simpy is.
I find myself saying alot, " Well, it just is what it is." And it's true.
I don't have to get upset, I can just move forward from what is, and make the changes that need to be made OR make the changes in myself to adjust to what is, if I am in a situation that I can't change.


I heard it once said about stress in our life... that stress means one of two things.
A. I need to take action and change my circumstance  
OR 
B. I need to make changes in myself and adjust my expectations of my circumstance.


And when I think of suffering, and not excepting what is, I see hands that have closed tightly shut... it's when I call something MINE, and I hold tight to that.
My expectations! My way! My dissappointment of what I want!
Mine mine mine!


Suffering comes along and is such a great reminder, don't you think??
It reminds me that I have closed my hands and clinched then tight.... suffering becomes a tool for me to once again let go, and simply accept what is. 
Open my tightly clinched hands once again to trust and to surrender.


Just some thoughts on the matter... I would really love to here yours!


Monday's are always hard days for me... Sunday's I can feel dread of the week to come, and I stand a bit bewildered and confused today about my " what is" situation. 
I cried hard for a long time last night thinking of my "what is". 
It seems to be becoming my Sunday ritual. oy.
It is suffering... is it self induced or is it simply the pain and ache of being shoved into a job that I am not designed for?
I don't know.
But I do know one thing...the crying and pain is causing me to look at it, and ask the 2 questions..
What can I do about my situation? 
And
What can I adjust in myself?


Love and freedom to you.. 
Amy

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Life and a update of sorts :)

My goodness, lovies... I feel as if I should update and have had so much in my heart to share, but the flip side is I feel it would all be upside down and inside out.

I have started so many posts, and I re-read them and they make no sense at all.

My sis and I were talking yesterday, and she was giggling at my responses lately of where I am in life and this whole journey... she said, " You say interesting ALOT."
We lol'd because I have to honestly say, I am completely befuddled. Interesting is such a great adjective for me... :)

Anywho, this season has been so incredibly interesting. Interestlingly hard. Full of twists and turns and curves in the road.

I keep on having a reoccurring dream about babies and nursing babies.
My first few dreams were me nursing other people's babies...
Then the last one was about me nursing my own adopted baby.

I haven't always been a person that believes dreams are significant, at least my dreams.
Normally I don't remember my dreams, but recently having these same dreams over and over has caught my attention.
I brought these dreams to God and talked to Him about them.. especially right after I had the last one, and a couple things came up in my spirit.

1. That my hubby and I have been in a incredible season of transition. Neither here nor there. We are in the in between space. Not where we were, but not where we want to be either.

And by using the word transition, the meaning that it has really come to be more and more is like a women in labor...THAT kind of transition. Tho we are at a in between space in our journey, it is that...but the intensity of emotions and pain and yearning truly is that of having a baby.

I was sharing with my hub what transition feels like... it is that space of pain and your bodies yearning to have your baby that is so intense, I remember thinking to myself, " I think I am actually going to lose my mind."
Tho I didn't because just a minute later the pain turned into pressure and wanting to push.

He looked at me, and laughed... he most definitely feels this way too about this season.

So transition came up in my spirit.

2. The second thing that I felt was that this new season we have been so desperately longing for FEELS like having a baby to my feminine heart. I just think that is so interesting. I heard it said once by Stasi Eldredge that as women, we are life givers and even tho we might be finished having babies... that doesn't mean we stop giving birth to new life.
I have to say that is SUCH a truth for women, don't you think?
So being closer and closer to this next season for me feels like giving birth to something new.. new life.

Those were the couple of little insights that I had about my crazy baby nursing dreams.. ha!
Because in all honesty, I don't want to have another baby. I feel so content with our little family... my three little lovies.

I am going to share with you, if you can bare with me here... I don't want my post to get too long, but I want to share what this season has been and what we are desiring so greatly.

Way before my hub and I were let go from our home church nearly 4 years ago... we began feeling restless. But not restless in that we weren't grateful or content with where we were...restless in a deeper place.
We had both been a big part of our home church... my hub had been there for over 20 years, and I had married from my dad's church right into my hub's church. We loved the people there, lead worship together, we were on staff and the income was pretty nice too. They took really good care of us. So there was no really big reason to want to ever leave, you know?

The restlessness wouldn't subside... no matter how much we rebuked it, shoved it down, ignored it.. it wouldn't leave. Right around the same time, we began thinking of moving to another state. We have both lived in Arizona for most of our lives... me my whole life, and him 3/4 of his life. Really longing for nature and 4 seasons... something smaller and slower paced... cleaner air and cooler temperatures. I had always thought I would like to live in Colorado one day... a friend lived there when I was a teenager, and it was just a place I had heard great things about.
I remember the night we were discussing it, He was in the kitchen and I was on the computer... and I just blurted out... " How about Colorado?"
And ever since the desire has grown in our hearts.

We have since visited a handful of times, and LOVE it there. About 3 years ago, my hub and I actually took a job out there... closer to the Denver area. BUT, the closer we got to our moving date, the more uneasy I became. I had concerns about the area we were moving to, when we had visited there I had concerns about the church we were being hired to minister at... the pastor's wife had some really big issues... I couldn't shake the anxiety. I was also really concerned about our son. Our son has special needs... he is Josiah.. so full of life, creativity and love...but he has some processing issues and learning disabilities because of them...as well as speech and language. He has had SO much help here... I can't even tell you how wonderful that has been... and in the area we were moving to, I couldn't find the programs he needed.

Anywho, long story short we ended up NOT going. It broke our hearts, but it was a relief as well. Josiah was the reason we stayed in AZ. His teacher and I had a heart to heart about him.. she had really big concerns about him. So we stayed. And staying was the most incredible choice we could have made. Our son has since been exposed to some incredible therapies, as well as is thriving in school. He is almost 10 now, and has some solid time under his belt. His teacher wants to integrate him into the general ed classroom, and feels he is ready for it. This was a turning point for us. We had been living and healing and learning, and waiting and waiting and waiting.

Pushing desire to the side, hoping but not dwelling on what we don't have...but dwelling on what we do have. My hub has been self employed and hopping from what would provide for our family. He has done construction until the work ran out, and then began driving as a medical courier.

I of course got myself a job and am working at my son's school as a SPED Teachers Aide and also doing some clerical and assistant work for the SPED... just 3 doors down from my Josiah. (he thinks that pretty special, and so do I.) Aaaand the whole job thing for me is a whole 'nother post! ha! I will do that another time.. it's been interesting to say the least. There's that word again.. lol!

It's been quite the road, you guys.. quite the road. We had to file bankruptcy after my hub lost his job at the church. We lost our house, but listen to this... we have lived in our house now for 2 years mortgage FREE!!  My hub has said it from the beginning that he felt God was going to enable us to stay here until we moved to Colorado.. and I cannot tell you how crazy it is that we are still there. If we had to move, there would have been NO way we could have paid a mortgage payment. Not even with me working at the school. I don't know what we would have done. We are still in our house and by next May it will have been 3 yrs with no mortgage payment. We have learned to live on so little... our way of living has simplified incredibly. I am grateful for so many treasures along this journey, and would still walk this out if given the chance for a do over. It's been really hard, but it's been priceless as well.

Treasures like my hub and I shedding religion. Knowing God and peace in a totally different place and depth. Truths that I would have never sought out had I never been moved from our cushy job 4 years prior. Really really getting to know who I really am, my spirit, my essence... the real Amy. Not the obligated, layers upon layers of roles, hurt, guilt, religion Amy anymore. But Amy the Free. Amy the Fearless. Amy.. Papa's girl... Papa's songbird. I wouldn't have ever known all of this had I not left that space.

Now, here we are. We have set a date to move to Colorado, May 2012. Right after the kids are finished with school, we are out of here. It feels so right, and it feels so scary.
So many things could happen between now and then.
Our finances are so small and so tight... thankyou God there is always provision for the bills and for food on the table...but I really yearn for abundance...not so I can have stuff, because stuff doesn't make you happy...just enough so that we can meet the needs of our children, get their teeth and our teeth cleaned, have shoes and clothes when we need them, that kind of stuff...just the essentials..and also so we can give. We do give, but I would love to give more.
We have been trying to save, and have so far to go.
We have no insurance, so any ER visit or sickness could take that little nest egg in a flash.
The bank is starting to move forward on foreclosing our house.
My husband has some teeth stuff that could happen any time.. his wisdom teeth are moving and could really cost a lot of money if we have to have the removed.
And some other things.. but all these little shoes around us that could drop at any minute.

The unknowns... they are the worst fears.

So what do I do?
I cry.
I have began practicing stillness like nobodies business.
I have hunkered down and am determined to LIVE in today and in the NOW.
I speak Truth constantly to myself... this is my life, not in another state...not in another job... THIS. HERE. NOW. This is my life.. Today is my life. I want to live it, and embrace and grab with all gusto and take the peace and grace that is in TODAY!
I read books that breathe life into me.
I listen to music that breathes life and comfort to me.
I have been unplugging alot more because the voice seem so loud to me in this space of the journey.
I also talk alot with my hub.. I talk to my sister.. and we can share and cry and encourage each other.
I seek out Truth.
I started a gratitude journal.
I have been really trying to become very intentional at gratitude...at finding blessing in each day.
I play with my kids... and hug and kiss them more... because Mommy needs it, and they love it. :)


That is how I am living.

Last week was an especially hard week. Cat, sweet Cat emailed me just when I needed it.
I was a complete mess.
Working has been hard for me. Being away from home and struggling with not being closer to my girl's school has been hard for me. My job has been hard for me. I cry every Sunday night and Monday morning.
My hub is a glass half empty, but trying to be a half full kind of guy, and he gets really down. Keeping my chin up and the energy in my home up for our kids is so important to me. I want to love on him on his down days, and that pulls from me. I am exhausted alot of days, and even tho he doesn't know it, it takes alot of inner strength to muster up back rubs and connection time with him. It's my joy to offer that, but most days it's really hard. I know every wife and partner can understand that. Sometimes it just flows, and other times..eh, not so much! Ha!

But where I find strength and peace is remembering that I can step into this moment, and breathe...and close my eyes, and be filled with grace. There is always grace for right now. And that is how I make it through all this uncertainty and all the fears that are shouting at me from the sidelines. So I keep moving forward...not shutting myself and the dreams and desires that are in me, but now living too far in advance either.

sigh.

I am so grateful for Truth.
For love.
For grace.
For the peace that is here now.

If you have reached the end of this post...thankyou for taking the time to read this. I am sorry if it doesn't make sense... I feel like I don't really make a lot of sense these days... lots of "interesting" and things that happen, I just step back and go, " wow.. hmmm.."
But thankyou thankyou thankyou.

Loves and so much gratitude for my bloggy friends...

Amy
















Friday, September 2, 2011

Sometimes.

Sometimes I don't want to catch anybody up.
Sometimes I just want to be known.
Sometimes I just want to not be judged, but simply loved where I am at.
Sometimes relationships and all that my mind thinks they entail are so hard for me.
Sometimes I long for connection in the most intense and deep way, but am deathly afraid of it at the same time.
Sometimes I just want to be quiet and completely immerse myself in things that are real and authentic.
Sometimes media can absolutely overwhelm me and make me cry.
Sometimes I have to go away and not be a part of the chaos of technology and be with me and those that I love.
Sometimes I get so sick and tired of obligations that intertwine themselves in everything.
Sometimes I wish I could shut up the voices in my head that constantly chatter about things that are not important.
Sometimes I wish I could just know what the next 3 steps are in front of me instead of just darkness.
Sometimes trust and surrender is all I have in front of me.
Sometimes I think way too much about what people think of me, then what I think of me.
Sometimes I think way too much about people in general.
Sometimes I wish I could get to the place where I just didn't give a care, and stay there in that place forever.
Sometimes life is hard.
Sometimes seasons of winter can feel eternal, even tho I know they are not.

And sometimes the sun comes up and kisses my face... it reminds me of things to come.

<3+

Monday, August 22, 2011

:)

First off, I am SORRY for being so much away these days... just in a really interesting space these days... will share more, but have just felt really peaceful and quiet about alot these days.

There is just no huge hurry, like there used to be, to spout off some of my life's "ah ha" moments.
Not that I don't want to share, but just that it feels so good to have it be mine... my treasure.
Sometimes I feel like when I go spouting off new revelations or new roads to friends, I seem to somehow lose it...or it feels not so close to me anymore.

I have also started back at work, and it's been such an adjustment.
Trying to find time to share, and be present has been so interesting.

So please please forgive me if I have gotten behind on all my bloggy friends blog posts or have read but not commented.
Please know that's it's just me walking this season out, and time is so precious that I have been choosing my dear ones over the computer lately.

Was thinking of my beautiful friends when I saw this a couple days ago... this song spoke to my heart on so many levels, it's not even funny!

Wanted to share :)

Loves to you.. Amy




Here are the lyrics to this sweet song...
Blessings

We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things

'Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
As long as we have faith to believe

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not our home

What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise



Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Thankyou.. and practicing stillness

Good Morning, lovlies!

I just wanted to say a great big thankyou for your love and thoughtful responses to my work post and to the letter from God post....

I am so completely honored each time anybody stops by and actually takes the time to share a piece of their heart here....

Wanted to tell you I start work today... after my post a couple weeks ago, I started to work on a few things in my life.
Areas that I know I need to cultivate more just simply because I want the life that they bring.

I have started to practice taking some purposeful and intentional time to be still.
Just taking time to hang with God, and just be.
No Bible reading.. no talking.. just hanging with Him, and being present.
I guess some would call this meditation... but I just call it my Papa time.
The word meditation still creeps me out.. ha!
But I am starting to see the power of living IN the today.. how just taking time to breath and say His name for 5..maybe 10 minutes before the start of the day.

It has really brought me so much life and refreshing to do this.
Me and my lil' cup o' love (coffee) :)

Yesterday that is where that letter came from.

Not the actual stillness time, but in my day, I could so feel and hear His heart towards me..
Just resonating as I loved on my son, and readyed myself for going back to work.
Just knowing that all I have, and need is sufficient for today.
I don't have to worry about anything else....just knowing that He is with me, that I am enough, and that grace is here, always with me... in this moment.

So, today is the day... and I have to tell you I am excited to see what this day brings...

Just a wanted to share a bit more, and say thankyou!

Love and freedom and grace and stillness to you today....


Amy





Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Letters from Papa {Gifts}


Dear Amy,

Any gift I give you is for you. If you choose to share it, it is up to you.
But always remember it's firstly for you and your heart to enjoy.

Religion will pry it out of your hands, and demand your gift of you.
Religion will tell you that you HAVE to give your gift to them and to NOT give your gift is displeasing to Me.
Religion will obligate you and it will use you.
It will wrap your gift around you and tie it to your value and your worth.
Religion will keep you trapped inside a box with a ceiling, and tell you your gift is only good inside their box.
It will use shame, and the fear of Me to keep you locked inside their box.

This is not the Way of Love.

These are lies.

This is NOT My heart.

You are loved because You are mine.
You have value and worth because You are mine.
You are the daughter of Yaweh... the One True God.
Nothing you ever do or gift given is tied to that.
Nothing you ever do or gift given can change that.
It just is.
Period.

Be free to enjoy My gift to you, but never believe the lies of religion.
You sharing your gift out of your heart is NOT a pre-requisite of My love or of your value.
It's your gift to share.
I love you for you.


There is a treasure of joy I have hidden inside of the sharing, and that too is designed to bring life to your heart.
But the sharing has to come from the overflow of your enjoyment of this gift...the overflow of your heart.
It cannot be demanded or guilt'ed or fear'ed out of you.
Should you choose to share this gift, let it come from the pure enjoyment of it.

It was freely given to you with all My love.... so you freely love it, enjoy it, and be filled by it.

It's My love gift to you.

Share it if you want, but remember it is My gift to you first.
Enjoy!

Crazy in love with you,
Papa

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

What do I want to be when I grow up?

My new question these days is, What do I want to be when I grow up?

This is a bit of a personal post.... I am struggling a bit... if you have time, I would so love some feedback. oy.

Ok, so here goes.

Living in authentic me more and more and hearing my heart now, it's quite the question to ponder.

Before getting married and having kids, I started working really early in life. I have always wanted to have extra money... at 8 years old I worked a paper route, then worked as a carry out in a grocery story, then went to retail and worked at a clothing store, and then my last job I worked as a pharmacy technician for about 15 years.

My real desire tho was to one day find my life partner and become a mommy.

But even after my hub and I made the decision for me to be at home with our three lovies, I still found ways to generate extra income for us.
I have:
Cleaned houses and businesses
Sold tons of stuff on Ebay
Lead worship for all kinds of different events..retreats, conferences, etc...
Vocal stuff for different studio recordings.
Done a couple of photography gigs.

Just here and there stuff, but my honey had been the sole bread winner, and what I would bring in would be extra for clothes, vacation, date nights, etc...

But things have changed in the past few years.

A bit of background from our last few years:
My hub is not making the same money that he had once made.
He lost his job about 3 years ago, and now he needs my help even more. Being that he isn't on staff at a church anymore, and he is taking time away to heal and ask himself the same question that I am, finances are pretty tight.
Being in the ministry was his career. He made really good money doing it.
So now that we are in this season of taking time away from doing ministry and church staff stuff...maybe for forever...maybe not.

After he lost his job at the church, we stayed a float for about 6 months, but eventually had to file bankruptcy because of the drastic drop in income after my hub lost his job.
A crazy HUGE miracle has happened with that in that we have had the crazy privilege of living in our home for the past 2 years mortgage free.
Still no word from the bank, and we are keeping as quiet as can be so as to not draw attention..lol!

Anywho, all of that to say the momma has to go back to work.
So I have been asking myself what the heck do I want to do with my life.

What. Do. I. Want. To. Do.

Last year I had the idea of becoming a teacher's aide.
Figured it would be a great schedule with my kiddles in school...work while they are in school and be off when they are off.
Great idea, I thought! :)

So, I tootled off and got my certification, and applied everywhere I could.
I ended up landing a job at my son's school.
Began in the lunchroom, and eventually a job position opened up in the special ed dept.
Then I began working as a assistant to everybody in the special ed dept, until finally a teachers aide position opened in the resource room.

What's really fun, is that I got to try on 3 jobs in the span of 5 months.

Number one job.... Lunchroom monitor.
Setting up the lunchroom, wiping down tables, mopping floors, opening up packages and drinks for little hands.

My rating after working that for 5 months... not something I enjoyed altogether.
Loved the sweet faces I got to see everyday and love on.
Hated the messes and manual labor.
Dreaded going after a bit.

Number 2 job.... Special Education Clerk and Assistant
Description: go to girl for appointments to be set up between parents, reg ed teachers, and specialists. answering phones; making copies; organizing files; computer processing and typing

My rating after working that for 4 months.... not something I enjoy AT all.
Very little people interaction...staring at a computer for hours...feast or famine work load.
Realized how much I am NOT a secretary type personality.
Positive was that I enjoyed the quiet space after working in job number 3... I will tell you more about that in a sec.

Number 3 job... Teachers Aide to Special Education Resource Room
Description: aiding the SPED teacher, teaching my own groups of children, following curriculum everyday, making more copies, more computer time, planning lessons

My rating after working that for 2 months.... " I feel like I am homeschooling my children again."
Gack!!
Ugh!!
Sigh.
I feel like I am going backwards... I had stepped away from teaching my own children because of major burn out...and now I am teaching AGAIN, except other people's children with intense needs.

3 jobs that I have decided are not for me.

Some observations about myself, and please tell me if I am being outrageous here...
I struggle intensely with having the same schedule everyday.
The clocking in and out...monday to friday and doing the same thing everyday, I feel sucks my soul right out of me.
I don't like teaching.
I am not gifted in teaching.
I am not a person that loves to be around other people's children all the time.
I find that I have a certain amount of "kid space", and when I worked at the school I felt I used it all up at the school, and when I got home, I didn't have any for my own kids.
I MADE myself have it, but it wasn't flowing at all.
I don't like making copies, setting up appointments or paper pushing AT ALL.
I have figured out that these are not jobs for authentic me.
I am wondering if I have a more artistic soul?
I feel very boxed in again.
ugh.

sigh.

I start back up at my clerk job and teachers aide job in 1 week.
I am dreading it....and am crying alot... I have to get myself pulled together here.

I am thankful for the provision, but I am dreading it, and have been asking God to help me with my perspective...that I would feel His grace in this next year of working.
I know that I can't do these jobs for forever without serious harm to my heart.
I know the amount of melt downs that will begin to happen.
I know I will be a not happy person, and eating will be harder and harder to stay away from.
I will long to numb my unhappiness.
The coping skills that I have shed, I know will be longing to be put back into motion.
The feelings I had, right after we started summer break were the same same feelings of overwhelmed, unhappy, melting down constantly, very overspent Amy that I wrote about in this post.

Back to what I want do to when I grow up...
I did have an " ah ha " moment the other day... after trying these jobs on, I have been asking myself what my desires are... What do I really really want to do? What do I really LOVE to do?

I have come to realize that I love having my home as a launching pad... the freedom to clean a house here and there, to do a photo shoot here and there, to post auctions on ebay, etc... basically to work from home.
I like the flexibility of being self employed... of having the option to go out and work in different places, with control over my schedule.
My heart is to be here for my kids, to volunteer, to be a part of their schools and lives as much as I can while I have them.
My girls go to a different school then my son...so my son gets to see me alot, but the involvement this year in their school is going to change alot because of my work schedule.
It's 30 hours a week, and when they are all in school.

My hub and I were talking and I shared these little peaks into my heart with him.
He shared with me that he hates that I am working so much outside the home, and misses me at home.
We went on to talk about music again....wondering if that is where we will end up.
I don't know.
We are actually going to be moving next year to a new state that we have dreamed of moving to for forever! So my thoughts are that I am thinking of working towards being self employed after we move from AZ.
That this year I work on really understanding photography more, or becoming more confident in the areas that I lack in as a photographer.
It honestly brings me a lot of hope to think like that... to see that this job, this year is temporary.
Because, in all honesty, I would rather clean houses, do photography here and there, post on ebay, etc... then go and work at the school.

On one hand, I am so grateful to have been able to try on these different jobs.
Like Julia Roberts in the movie, Runaway Bride, I am figuring out how I like my eggs ;)
I have tried them, tasted them and I don't like my eggs this way.

On the other hand, I want to be realistic and practical here too.
My family needs extra income from me right now. My hope and prayer is that in this next year, my hub will have a clearer direction as to what he wants to do when he grows up, and will have the confidence to step towards that area as well.
And I will work, and I will work the jobs in front of me to bring that income in.
I will hunker down, and I will do it.
But there is something inside me that so longs to do what I am created to do.
To use my giftings, and to work in the environment that I was made for.

I have been thinking on this, and going back to the school this year has put a HUGE flame under me to really find out what those areas are.
I am also realizing that I am going to have to be reaaaally purposeful to fill my heart and be creative. To choose those things that create life in me while I am in this kind of transitional space of working the school job this year.

So, I guess my question is to you...

Have you been here?

How did you work through all the voices to hear your heart in this whole arena of work?

Thankyou for any of your thoughts...

hugs. Amy

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Fantasizing about life.

{Precursor warning.. this is raw, transparent and really a glimpse into one of the deepest parts of me. If you are sensitive to things of a sexual nature, please don't read anymore.
I am not afraid, as this is me and my story... just want to be sensitive to my readers that might struggle with a really raw conversation.}

I have a favorite time that my little brain loves to fantasize... nap time.

I don't get to nap very often, but when I do, it seems like my mind likes to go to new worlds and far away places when I do.

So today, being a nappy kinda day, it was another opportunity for my little brain to go down fantasy road again... I don't mind so much as long as eventually I fall asleep.


I feel more like 2 people these days..

Amy... the authentic, whole and spirit of me.

&

May....the me that, oh I don't know.. the me that is walking this journey out and falls, and struggles. Maybe this is my ego. My mind. This part of me feels like a little girl at times.


Today as I tried to nap, and here we go, thinking on all sorts of things..

Amy steps in, and asks May what she is feeling... why is she feeling empty to touch and kindness.

Realizing May doesn't NEED to actually go down that road into naughty fantasy land today... because May is really a happily, sexually satisfied women. Amy sees that May is struggling with something alot deeper then this fantasy.

What is it?

Why are you feeling empty?

What are you feeling?

Amy waits...

Sleep begins to come, and a thought bubbles up....
" I don't feel alive. I want to feel alive, and I don't feel alive."

Amy realizes this is the answer to her question.... ah ha.... it unfolds more....

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Obedience or good judgement?? {A parenting post }

Being outside the shame of religion, I find my parenting is changing...

Read this thought this morning, and wanted to share it with my freedom friends...

Excerpt from Playful Parenting....

Obedience or good judgement??

“Instead of trying to get children to be obedient, I recommend that we strive for them to have good judgment.

Obedience lasts only as long as we are in the room with them. It does not help a child know what to do in a brand-new situation.

I think every parent has had this experience:

Children do something so wild that we never thought of making a rule about it. We usually punish them anyways, because they ‘should have known better.’ But we can’t expect them to have a flexible intelligence to figure out what is right or wrong in a new situation if we have taught them to obey only by enforcing rules. Our world is so complex that children need to have intelligence and good judgment, not just rules.

The goal of most punishment is obedience. Good judgment, on the other hand, comes from talking with children, brainstorming about how they might handle different situations, and discussing moral dilemmas. We have to be on the same wavelength with our children before we can have these types of conversations, so connect first. Connecting with children after they’ve done something wrong, listening to how they feel about it, and telling them calmly how we feel, all do much more to instill good judgment than punishment does.

Children develop into thoughtful, considerate, honest, and kind adults because of love and affection, because of high moral standards, and because of a close relationship with someone who models those values. I have never seen anyone punished into being good. Bribes don’t work either. Promises, threats, rewards, and punishments have been called “the most primitive way of dealing with human beings.” Since humans can think and reason, and because close connections are so important to us, it makes more sense to use loving and talking as the basis for our discipline. “

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Love and Justice

O my goodness... I LOVED this...



Love and Justice

I’m not sure how many times I’ve heard people say things like “Well, yes, God is love, but God is also just…”

It’s almost like they are afraid that if people believed that God really loved them fully, that they would take advantage of that and immediately run out to go on a sex and murder spree or something. It’s almost like they believe that love is only this shallow, timid fondness that is easily conquerable and trampled over. They say it kind of like a person saying, “well, yes she is pretty, but she is smart too..”

They say this in an attempt to communicate, “I don’t want you to misunderstand me here and think that God is ONLY loving…because then you will probably not be afraid of him and just go out and do whatever you want to.”

I think that this view demonstrates a shallow and inappropriate understanding of both love and justice.

Love can be ferocious.

I love my wife and my baby girl, Amelie, and if anyone would try to do something to hurt those girls, I would ferociously try to protect them. If Amelie tries to stick her fingers in an electric socket, I would be ferocious in making sure that she didn’t. If I needed to, I would yell, or slap her hand away or do anything I needed to do to make sure she didn’t get her fingers in there.

Love IS just.

If my neighbor is being unjustly accused of something by the law, and I don’t step up and seek for his justice, then I do not love my neighbor. If that woman can not feed her children, and the people around her love her, what do they do? They seek justice for her. They help her provide for her children. This is just. This is loving. They go hand in hand. Justice is about setting things to right, and love always seeks justice for those who need it.

It is for these reasons that I believe that God is ONLY loving.

“Loving” doesn’t mean weak or passive. Love is strong. Love builds what he needs to build and destroys what he needs to destroy for the sake of his beloved. Love is passion. Love is justice. Love is wrath. Love is kindness. God IS love.

Perfect love casts out fear. This is because love is better than fear. Fear gets you to obey the speed limit if you suspect that there may be police around, but love for the passengers in your car makes you drive carefully. Fear can get you to obey rules, but it cannot transform your heart. Religion that is based in fear says things like “well, yes God is love, but….”

No. God is love. Period.

Written by Michael Gungor...

http://www.gungormusic.com/blog/?p=134

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Gender of God??

http://www.crystalstmarielewis.com/2011/07/on-gender-of-god.html

Music of my Heart... song love

This is such a cheesy song.. lol! But it's really beautiful.. the words...

Just reminds of Love coming down and unveling the eyes of my heart to His heart, and then my own.

My hub and I are musicians and vocalists, so we get asked to perform and do music for all sorts of events. We have a wedding coming up and this couple asked us to sing this song...
I had never heard of it!
It's beautiful :)


"You taught me to run
You taught me to fly
Helped me to free the me inside
Help me hear the music of my heart
Help me hear the music of my heart
You've opened my eyes
You've opened the door
To something I've never known before
And your love...
(love)
Is the music of my heart.. (music of my heart)"




"Music Of My Heart"

You'll never know
What you've done for me
What your faith in me
Has done for my soul...

You'll never know
The gift you've given me..
I'll carry it with me (yeah...yeah...)

Through the days ahead
I think of days before
You made me hope for something better (yes you did)
And made me reach for something more

You taught me to run
You taught me to fly
Helped me to free the me inside
Help me hear the music of my heart
Help me hear the music of my heart
You've opened my eyes
You've opened the door
To something I've never known before
And your love...
(love)
Is the music of my heart.. (music of my heart)

You were the one
Always on my side (always on my side)
Always standing by (always standing by)
Seeing me through

You were the song that always made me sing
I'm singing this for you (singing this for you baby)

Everywhere I go
I think of where I've been (think of where I've been)
And of the one who knew me better
Than anyone ever will again

You taught me to run
You taught me to fly
Helped me to free the me inside
Help me hear the music of my heart
Help me hear the music of my heart
You've opened my eyes
You've opened the door (you opened the door)
To something I've never known before...
And your love...(your love)
Is the music of my heart

What you taught me
Only your love could ever teach me
You got through when no one could reach me
Ohh...ohh...ohh

Cause you always saw in me
All the best that I could be
It was you who set me free...

You taught me to run
You taught me to fly
Helped me to free the me inside (me inside)
Help me hear the music of my heart
Help me hear the music of my heart

You taught me to run
You taught me to fly
Helped me to free the me inside (me inside)
Help me hear the music of my heart (music of my heart)
Help me hear the music of my heart
You've opened my eyes
You've opened the door (opened the door)
To something I've never known before (never, never, felt before)
And your love...
Is the music of my heart..

Music of my heart
Music of my heart
Is the music of my heart...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Love

Have been reading some different posts from friends today... scriptures on the topic of love.

Alot of "Jesus says" scriptures...

So while we are on the topic of "love and loving others" another scripture that comes to mind is,

" Love your neighbor as yourself."

Now if you would, just stay with me here... how in the heck am I supposed to love anybody, if I don't love myself?

How am I supposed to know how to love if I hate myself?

How am I supposed to love when all I know of myself is loathing, self hatred, and cynicism?

Or even more, how am I supposed to love if I have no idea what that word means?

What if my definition of love is to make you love me and find value in me because I don't love myself?

Is that love?

Or what if all I know is a demented and twisted form of love that was shown to me growing up?

Is that love?

We have to be so careful of what we put on people because what makes total sense to you, will become big time bondage to another person.

I have heard those words from the pulpit so many time...

" Just love. Just love, you selfish people. Just get over yourselves and LOVE!!!"

But there is a question screaming from every person's heart, " But how?"

"How do I love? I want to love, but how?"

They don't KNOW how..

And you can't fake it, and you can't force it.

You fake or force love on someone and they will smell it from a mile away. That isn't love. That's some weird distorted version of love.

You know it in your heart of hearts when someone has mouthed the words, " I love you." and they don't mean it.

You just know it's not true.

Love has to be SHOWN.

Love has to be experienced FIRST before it can be given.

And once experienced over and over again, until it's deep in you, and you are completely convinced that you are indeed loved, THEN and only then can you show it.

Because when you are convinced that you are indeed LOVED and LOVABLE, then you can start loving yourself because Love has shown you that you are indeed so valuable, and so worthy of belonging and of connection to God and others.

And quite honestly, most people have no clue what that word means. No clue.

Learning what love is, is a life process... for most people it doesn't come over night.

It really comes in a personal "ah ha" moment revelation of God meeting YOU, in your day to day, and Him showing you He loves you, in this day, and in your life, right where you are.

No performance. No stirring it up. Just you and God.

My own life example is,that after years and years of sin management and making my self good enough to please God, I reached my wits end. I had dug myself into a whole so deep I couldn't crawl out of it. And this God of Love, He met me in that place. He actually met me in my deepest pit of despair.

There I was, lying in my own filth and addictions and hopelessness, He was with me.

He spoke directly to my heart with the kindest tone I had ever heard and said,

" I love you, Amy. Yeah, I know about all the sin, all the coping, all the survival skills.. I know about it all... I can handle that. I love you, Amy... not what you do, or what great talent you have.. I could care less about all of that stuff when it comes to your heart. I love you. I am not going anywere...we are going to start climbing out of this place."

And for me, that was the beginning journey to learning what REAL love is, And God de-programing my mind and heart of the false definitions I called love, and He has put in HIS definition of love.

And this God of love that I am learning of, and catching glimpses of, is NOTHING like that God of my religion.

Nothing!

This is what I have learned about God's love.

Love has no agenda.

Love doesn't TAKE from you, it asks.

Love is truth to every single lie you have believed about yourself and your worth.

Love creates freedom.

Love is grace.

Love sees the YOU that you were destined to be, and it calls that out of you constantly.

Love believes in you.

Love trusts you.

Love isn't selfish.

Love isn't insecure.

Love lays down it's life for another even when we would say the other doesn't deserve it...

Love sees the authentic you.

Love celebrates every baby step you make.

Love is Life and it creates LIFE in those dead areas in me.

Love is kind and gentle, not harsh and mean.

Love waits and love is patient.

THAT is my God. That is my truth.

So when Jesus said, " Love your neighbor as yourself."

When Jesus said, " This is the command I leave you, love one another as I have loved you."

This is the love I am learning of... this is love I can let overflow onto my fellow man.. this is love that my God models and is the example of everyday of my life... He shows me by His example, so that I can know what it looks like, tastes like and feels like in the deepest parts of me.

"Love one another as I HAVE LOVED YOU."

Thursday, July 7, 2011

These are your people :)

What is love?

The definition that I have learned is:

I love you as long as you make me feel ok, and you abide by my rules of what normal is and what I deem is ok, then I will love you.
But should you change, well.. the whole deal is off.
I will withdraw my love until you get back in line.

That is how I learned love.
Those might not have been the words spoken about the definition of love, but they sure were the actions.

I am learning different tho.
Love isn't about how you can make me feel better about myself, it's you and I embracing each other's hearts as is.
Love doesn't make you change so that I can feel better about me.

I am so grateful for these defining moments... I have known for so long that I didn't know love, but I am starting to see it more and more.
I have asked God so many times lately to show me, to bring it to my attention...
And the one definition is that love isn't selfish.

This post by Christine was powerful... it was really powerful.
I have it bookmarked and have read it so many times today.

This definition of love was so good....

"The people who are your people love you because of you and they wouldn’t have it any other way. They embrace your dark places – they allow them to be what they are – they even celebrate them. – They don’t see your changing as a threat – they welcome it as an opportunity for growth. They give you space for your heart and mind to expand.

These are your people."


<3 <3 <3

Amy

Friday, July 1, 2011

New directions with food....



Hi loves..

I posted over on my Choosing Freedom blog...not one that I have talked about, but it's a very real area for me... the area of food.

If you are at all curious or interesting... just click here to read more!

Oh.. and I saw this today... made me smile :)


Love the... " You were created limitless." part :)

hugs and loves...

Amy

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Got a bit annoyed at myself last night...

I ran into a neighbor friend at the pool... we were coming in and she was coming out.

Anywho, her little daughter and mine have played together a few times. They really really get along so wonderful... I love that part!

Her little daughter has stepped up a notch and wants to have a sleep over....

(enter me...screaming on the inside.. NOOOOOO!!!)

I hate sleep overs.
Don't like my kids away from me.
Have sexual abuse stuff in my past, and know plenty more that have too...and alot of the abuse happened under the cover of night.

I can count on one hand the people I feel safe with my kids having a sleep over. But even that, I would rather them have a play date and come home and sleep under my roof.

Ok, back to the story..

The little girl is talking and talking about wanting a sleep over, her mom is all smiles... it's a great idea to her... I am tongue tied.

What?

Yes... I have an opportunity to say, " Oh, I am sorry, we don't do sleep overs.. but a play date would be fun!"

Nope.. I am so afraid of hurting this mom's feelings, and this little girl's feelings that I say a whole bunch of nothing... but I do smile, and I act awkard.

THAT is my annoyance.

Why why why do I have to make everybody happy and comfortable all the time?
Why is it a problem to just be me, and say where I stand on things?


Ugh.

So I called

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Quote love...

“Live in a space of letting go.” –Oprah

Monday, June 27, 2011

Great great article..

I have met some of the most amazing bloggy friends through you, and I thought I would start to share some of the posts that I read each week with you.

Posts that speak to my heart like this post from my bloggy friend, Elizabeth....

It's so so good!

I think she nailed it right on the head.

Elizabeth is pretty edgy... and like all of us, I don't always agree with her view point, but man sometimes she really nails it.. and this is one of those posts.

I used to get so offended when people talked about "the church"...but now I understand what they are talking about... they are not talking about the people, they are talking about "religion". The mindset that the church is stuck in...the people mean well and are good hearted, the mindset...eh, not so much!

Religion is toxic to freedom and to living our true authentic life.

I felt this article was well thought out, and very pro-humanity.

Hope you enjoy it.

I Really Only Have One Problem With The Christian Religion… The Rest Is Seriously No Big Deal....by Elizabeth


Happy Monday to you.... xoxo

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Words

I was folding laundry this morning and listening to this.

Rob had different people come up from all different walks of life, and had one person read this to the other.

One man was unemployed and had been looking for a job for a long time.

Another man was terminally ill and in need of a liver transplant within the next year or he is going to die.

Another was a young teen in high school.

Another was a man in his 50's.

And they read this personalized version of 1 John 2v12-14 over each other.

"(Insert person's name),
Your sins have been sent away.
You know God.
You are strong.
The Word of God lives in you, and you will overcome the evil one."


I listened and each time....it would slam against my heart.

Slam.
Slam.
Slam.

And all of a sudden, in the midst of folding my mount of laundry, I started sobbing.

Why?

I could hear my name in there every single time they read that scripture over each other.
The words spoke of my weariness... of my wondering if I am ok with God...
The words spoke to my insecurities..the ones of today, and the ones of tomorrow.

The part that kept slamming into me was....

Amy,
You know God.
You are strong.
The Word of God lives IN you (Jesus), and you WILL overcome the evil one.

Then again....

You know God.
You are strong.
The Word of God lives IN you, and you WILL overcome the evil one.

Truth.
Encouragement.
How God really really sees me...sees you.

I realized it had been a really long time since someone had spoken words of life over me.

I can't describe how completely refreshing and washing these words were to my soul.

Yes, Amy, you know Me.
Yes, Amy, you are so strong because even in your weakness, I am strong IN you.
Yes, Amy, I AM in you, and you are a conqueror!

sigh. I take in a deep breath just writing about it.

Words are so powerful.

That kind of truth and encouragement is so huge to my heart... I know it has to be to others.

Rob says in this sermon,
"The Word needs flesh.
The Word initially became flesh and blood...but at the heart of this story... the Word NEEDS flesh."


At first I wasn't sure what I thought about that, but as it sank in, I get it.
We need to speak truth to each other and lift each other up.
I don't know about you...but I can't remember the last time someone said something kind like that to me.
The important people in my life tend to be critical, judgmental and gossipy.
I don't want them to know about my life.
So I reeeeally tend to keep those relationships pretty surface, and alot about them to deflect going deep in my life stuff.
Don't want that negative stuff..Nope. No thanks.

My hub is my encourager these days...and right now he is walking through so much right now, and needs a lot from me these days.
It's an intense season he is in...we are in...and the road gets really hard.

I was challenged while listening this morning of my own critical words and my own judgemental attitudes.
God help me to see the Truth in each person and their situation....even when I don't understand and have insight into a person's life...help me to speak kindness and encouragement.
Because in all honesty, we are all doing the best we know how, aren't we?
Choosing and making life choices, considering our loved one, our husband and children...doing the best we can with what we have.
That is the truth.

Most people are not going around making life choices to annoy me or to annoy you. lol!
I hear that in my heart alot.. " Uh, Amy... it's not about you all the time."... hello!

As I listened to these precious folks that Rob called up, and they spoke these words over each other, such life it brought to MY heart just listening in.

So today, I was thinking about you, my friends.... and I want to say this to you today.

My friend,

Your sins have been sent away.
You know God.
You are strong.
The Word of God lives in you, and you will overcome the evil one."

Life and much love to you.

Amy