Thursday, August 18, 2011

a story worth telling

I love words. It's a love that began early and one that is rooted deep. no matter what I do, I always come back to my love for words. I'm a writer. and I hesitate to say that because I'm not sure that what I write is worth anything to anyone but me, but I'm working on figuring out who I am and I think writing plays a significant role in my story.

I've been reading this book. It's called To Be Told by Dan Allender. I've read Allender before and loved him. He speaks my heart language. but this book is different than any others I've read. It's a book about story. It's about reading your story, tracing themes that God has woven through your life, literally writing your story on paper, telling your story, allowing others to join in and edit your story, and joining God in writing the rest of your story. That being said, there is so much that I want to share about this book but I have a LOT of processing to do before I can even think about it myself, much less share it. and let's be honest, I have a lot of writing to do!

I read some of it tonight and I only have one chapter left but I have already started going back to the beginning and slowly going through each chapter, processing the ideas and attempting to write parts of my own story on paper. It's hard and substantially painful to put the words on paper. Something about putting it on paper makes it more real and forces me to acknowledge and feel the things I felt. "There is something about seeing your hurts and struggles in black and white that focuses the heart rather than allowing it to turn and flee. We are more naked and needy before words that we write than perhaps anywhere else." (p.129) but I'm still the only one who reads my journal. The real work comes when I share it with someone else. It's gonna be a long time before that can even begin to happen. Hopefully God will give me the courage to do that one day.

there are so many quotes that I could share on here but this is one that really struck me tonight:

"He builds burdens in us through our own experience of being orphaned, exiled, and widowed. And then he uses those losses to deepen our war with him which, of course, he wins again and again as we surrender to his goodness. In turn, he sends us to live out our burdens with those who need us but who, in the long run, end up bringing us more that we could ever offer them." (p.177)

more to come..

Sunday, July 3, 2011

the day when I will finally be free

I don’t know how to follow you without losing my way
Jesus come and take me by the hand
I don’t know how to trust that you will do the things you say
Spirit teach me how to understand
That your love can heal the wreckage of my soul
The beauty of your light shining in me
I don’t know when you’ll take me home to paradise with you
The day when I will finally be free
Oh the day when you come back for me

-JJ Heller

this song puts words to how my heart feels right now.
I'm weary and desperate for Jesus to heal what feels like wreckage in my soul.
and I am waiting, waiting, waiting for freedom.
I don't know how to trust and rest in Jesus yet I want to so badly.
and I'm longing for home in the face-to-face presence of Jesus,
more than ever aware that here will never be enough.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

and so we walk...

I probably shouldn't write this right now due to a severe night shift hangover but I feel like writing and don't have the energy to get up and get my journal from my room. wow, I'm lazy.

Anyways, life is good. The past 2 months have been rough to say the very least but God is good and I feel like I'm surfacing on the other side a little wiser with a little more humility and an ever-increasing awareness of my lack of control and God's faithful keeping of my heart. There's this line from a JJ Heller song that plays in my head.."There is no place I can go where you don't already know how to reach right down and pull me out"...a truth that is sweet but hard to believe when you feel like the darkness is engulfing every tiny glimmer of hope. Circumstances suck sometimes and suffering is real but so is God. and He's more faithful and more constant and committed to giving life and pushing back the darkness and bringing freedom and joy in the midst of this fallen world. and I really do believe that even on the hard days. And God is still on His throne. And so we walk..

I'm not gonna lie, I'm weary. My heart feels like it's been soaked through, stepped on, tossed around, and wrung out. but God is making me new. and He makes beautiful things out of messes. and his ideas are much better than mine. every time.

how do people live in this world without knowing Jesus? I just don't get it..

Saturday, March 26, 2011

this book.

I've been wanting to blog about this book I just read and am now re-reading for a long time but it's one of those things in life that is so big, so beautiful, so profound, so transformational that words just won't even begin to capture how God is using it to change my heart. He's using it to love me.

The book, One Thousand Gifts is written by a woman named Ann who is a farmer's wife, home-schooling mom to 6 children, and a lover of Jesus who is honest about the brokenness and loss that comes with living life and following Jesus. She is also a poet and her words paint pictures and capture beauty and mess in a way that very few do. The book is her story of thankfulness. A friend dared her to make a list of 1,000 gifts, 1,000 things she's thankful for and she had no idea how God would use the things on that list to convince her of His love.

so, I'm gonna start with a quote and I'm sure there will be many more thoughts to come--

"I, too, had read it often, the oft-quoted verse: 'And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Eph 5:20). And I, too, would nod and say straight-faced, "I'm thankful for everything." But in this counting gifts, to one thousand, more, I discover that slapping a sloppy brush of thanksgiving over everything in my life leaves me deeply thankful for very few things in my life. A lifetime of sermons on "thanks in all things" and the shelves sagging with books on these things and I testify: life-changing gratitude does not fasten to a life unless nailed through with one very specific nail at a time." p. 40

yeah, just go ahead and buy the book. it's worth it.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

a timely poem

a friend sent me this today. if only she knew how much I needed to read it.

Light Shining out of Darkness
God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never-failing skill,
He treasures up His bright designs,
And works His sovereign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take,
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy, and shall break
In blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.

Blind unbelief is sure to err,
And scan His work in vain:
God is His own interpreter,
And he will make it plain.

William Cowper
(1731 - 1800 Hertfordshire, England)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

a big deal

Why am I awake right now? cause I'm still thinking. I'm thinking about how amazing it is that God loves me and that He knows exactly what I need to hear and when I need to hear it and how to get it to my stubborn ears and through my thick skull and eventually to my hard heart. I'm so thankful for my church. I was telling a friend tonight that Trinity Park is the first church I've ever been a part of where I feel like I can just rest and worship. I'm not worried about whether or not the music will be good or whether or not the words coming out of the pastor's mouth will be true or only half true or whether or not I'll leave feeling full or empty. My church feeds my soul. and I'm so humbled and grateful to be a part of something that is so steeped in the gospel and covered in prayer and Christ exalting. not to mention that I have never felt so loved and like I belong. and that is a very big deal.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

there is so much I want to say. but tonight, I'm intrigued by silence.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

feeling creative

I might as well come clean and admit that I'm intimidated by my own blog. ok, maybe I'm intimidated by my own expectations for my own blog. More often than not, I find myself in a mental wrestling match with the finger that controls the mouse on my laptop, which usually ends with a tv show on hulu and the defeating admission that I'm not "feeling" creative today. Maybe I'll blog tomorrow.

I want to be an artist. I want to create beauty. and I want this blog to be an outlet, a canvas where words come together to tell a story. my story. I have a long way to go but I think I might be finally beginning to start to believe a tiny bit that my story might be worth being told. I don't think that beginning tiny bit of maybe is quite enough to launch me into the freedom that it will take for me to really be honest on these pages but here's hoping that God is doing something grand.

this week I've loved the lyrics to this amazing hymn. someone that I love a lot suggested that the chorus might be my theme song this season.

Jesus I am resting, resting
In the Joy of what Thou art;
I am finding out the greatness
Of Thy loving heart.

Thou hast bid me gaze upon Thee,
And Thy beauty fills my soul,
For by Thy transforming power
Thou hast made me whole.

Jesus, I am resting, resting
In the joy of what Thou art;
I am finding out the greatness
Of Thy loving heart.

O how great Thy loving kindness.
Vaster, broader than the sea!
O how marvelous Thy goodness,
Lavished all on me!
Yes, I rest in Thee, Beloved,
Know Thy certainty of promise,
And have made it mine.

Simply trusting Thee, Lord Jesus,
I behold Thee as Thou art,
And Thy love, so pure, so changeless,
Satisfies my heart;
Satisfies its deepest longings,
Meets supplies its every need,
Compasseth me round with blessings;
Thine is love indeed!

Ever lift Thy face upon me,
As I work and wait for Thee;
Resting 'neath Thy smile, Lord Jesus,
Earth's dark shadows flee.
Brightness of my Father's glory,
Sunshine of my Father's face,
Keep me ever trusting, resting;
Fill me with Thy grace.

Oh, how I long to discover the greatness of my Savior's loving heart.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Romans 8:1

Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

don't beat yourself up. there's no condemnation. only forgiveness.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

is it worth it?

I almost made it out of the hospital this morning without having to feel. I spent the dreaded night shift with 2 of my favorite people, with fairly easy (and cute) patients, with few moments of "night shift despair" and then we ran into her. On our way out we noticed the mom of a sweet little 6-year-old boy we've been taking care of just sobbing on the phone in front of the elevators. We didn't recognize her at first because she had her head in her hands and her long hair covered her tear-stricken face. but her zebra print danskos gave her away. when she looked up, our hearts sank and we knew immediately that the news wasn't good. She looked panicked, terrified, devastated, angry, wounded, and worried, her eyes begging for answers. Answers that may never come. Stage 4 glioblastoma. Today it sounds so foreign but the name will shape their days for months to come. 4 days ago, he was "normal". 4 days ago he started limping. 4 days ago, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. yesterday, they named it. it's ugly, really ugly, but it's not something we haven't seen before, we can fight it. but the fight is almost as ugly as the tumor itself. why? my 2 friends sat with this mom and uttered words of strength to her as she cried. they reminded her that she's stronger than she thinks she is. they assured her the answers would come. they hugged her. they saw her and loved her. just like Jesus saw the woman at the well, and the widow who had lost her son, and the centurion whose daughter was dying. They didn't discount her pain, but they gently spoke strength and hope and power into her helplessness. What a beautiful picture of compassion.

We don't know the answers. That's the hardest part. There are SO many questions and so few answers. but it's days like these that I wonder how people make it through these kinds of things without Jesus. I know I couldn't do my job without his hope, his strength, his love. not even for a second. Sometimes I wonder how long I can take it..

There's a long road ahead of them, with detours we can't expect or predict. Today is day one of many days of sadness, fear, and fighting. Today is day one of a little boy fighting for his life. and I just have a feeling this one's gonna win.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Whatever you've done, wherever you've been, whatever you will do, God loves you. He always has and you can't change that. Sometimes that little thing seems like everything and it seems like we just can't get away from it and we have no idea what to do with our shame so we run away and we hide under the covers and we keep hiding. we don't know where to go or what to do. but in Romans 8 it says that there's nothing we can ever do to separate us from the love of God in Jesus. Nothing. so may you stop hiding under the covers, may you let God pull the covers back, may you embrace Him, may your whole life become a response to the truth that you have always been loved, you are loved, and you always will be loved. and may you know, may you know deep in your soul that there's nothing you could ever do to make Him love you any less. there's nothing you could ever do to make God love you less. Nothing.

-rob bell in "Lump"

Monday, January 17, 2011

one-way love

God’s grace to you dismantles the beliefs that give disgrace life. Grace re-creates what violence destroyed. One-way love is the change agent you need. Grace transforms and heals; and healing comes by hearing God’s statements to you, not speaking your own statements to yourself.

Someone told me once, "Amy, stop trying to be your own therapist"..stop trying to analyze and explain and justify to yourself, instead just listen to what God has to say to you. that's where healing comes from.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

weddings galore

on the first day of the year, my precious friend Rebecca married one of the sweetest men of God I've ever met. It was pure joy to hand her to him knowing that he will love her so well. She wore her mom's wedding dress and veil, originally worn in 1978! and she was strikingly beautiful. We had so much fun together, rejoicing over what God has done in the past 8 years that we've known each other and getting excited about what He has still to come! and I took some pictures :)