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+