Friday, May 17
Wednesday, April 24
When I saw the hand-addressed letter in the mailbox, I knew instantly what is was. I didn't even wait to get back in house to read it. I stood right there at the mailbox and cried my heart out as I read the words. A friend of ours, a former cross country runner, will be spending the summer in Daytona with Campus Outreach. His letter spoke of his God, a very BIG God, who rearranged basic training for him to be able to go for the eight weeks over the summer. Instantly, I remembered those days. Praying prayers with confidence. Expecting BIG things. Watching God move mountains time and time again. Watching lives change right before your eyes. I wouldn't trade those days, those lessons, those life experiences for ANYTHING. And beach project? My first summer there was God's protection for me, for sure. I spent that summer growing in my faith and being challenged in my beliefs while, back home, my parent's marriage unraveled. God had started the process of stripping everything away from me, and he gave me the resources, the body of Christ, to help me through it. I left for my second summer in Daytona three months after my dad left
us me. I had so much hurt, so many tears, so much angst to work through, and time and time again, my very BIG God met me right where I was. That summer was so very hard, but so very unbelievable. I am still amazed at how God held me together and kept me plugging forward.
And the tears? Definitely because I am in awe of what God is doing in Thad's life, but more so because the reality of where I am hit me like a brick. My God has become so very, very small. I am clinging to his truths, but doubtful that He's going to pull through. I know he is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. Yet, I don't wait in expectation for my God to part the Red Sea. I look at how logistically it is impossible. I am scared to ask God for big things for fear that he won't provide, for fear that I am not worth enough to Him to matter. I know these things are absolutely not true, but yet, I allow my heart to hold onto them. Idols. Expecting mediocre has become the norm. I so easily forget that God's word says:
Written by amy at 12:25 PM
Tuesday, April 23
It was at some point during the winter of my freshman year of college when my friend Catherine lost her bracelet. Actually, Catherine was more than a friend; she was busy pouring her life into mine, day after day. She met with me in the dorm for a bible study once a week and hung out with me on a daily basis. To say that I loved her would be a huge understatement, and my roommate felt the same way.
On her way across campus one night, the latch on her bracelet came undone, and when she reached our room, Catherine noticed it was gone. She was so sad, and a brief search began. We retraced her steps with no luck whatsoever. We hung out a bit, and she headed home for the night, still sad about her loss. As my roommate and I got ready for bed, we talked about Catherine and how much that bracelet meant to her. We decided that we would head back out and look again. We walked across that campus so many times, so many different ways. We looked everywhere. We prayed that God would let us find it, and after an hour or so, we spotted the glimmer on the ground. We found it!! We were so excited to have Catherine's bracelet, and so happy to be able to return to her what was lost. Catherine even went so far as to compare our joy (and hers!) to that of the parable of the lost sheep. That saving one lost sheep would be so joyful to our God.
I have thought about that bracelet a lot over the last few days because I have misplaced a bracelet that means a lot to me. A friend gave it to me recently, and I smile every single time I look at it. It reminds me that I am loved, and truthfully, I have such a hard time remembering that some days. I know that the bracelet must be in my house somewhere, but I just haven't been able to put my hands on it. And unlike my college days, I don't have several hours in a row to invest in searching it out. I am resigned to searching while I can and waiting hopefully for it to appear. It hasn't appeared yet.
But just pondering it all, I have spent a lot of time thinking about what it really means to love and invest in someone. My bracelet represents that to me, just as the search for Catherine's bracelet represented that for her. So often lately, I have retreated back into myself because life just seems easier that way. But the truth is that life in this world is never really easier alone--we were created to relate to others, to interact with each other, to encourage each other, to push each other forward.
The years have marched by quite quickly; I am much older. But I am still searching for a bracelet. And I still have a few friends who will not let me retreat too far inward, whose love will not let me disappear as I am apt to do. I am so grateful for that--for a weekly time set aside to share our hearts, to celebrate life's ups and downs, to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. It is something that some people miss out on entirely--sometimes because they aren't even aware community like this exists, and sometimes because they choose to miss out. Either way, I am super-grateful that I have a few women in my life that won't let me opt out and love me with a love that will not let go. I am so grateful to get the chance to invest in others and be invested in, despite my own mess and my own sin. God really is good regardless of how we feel or how it seems.
Written by amy at 1:11 PM
Monday, April 1
Written by amy at 3:32 PM
Saturday, March 30
Tuesday, March 12
And, the growing up part. These four girls have been friends since they were three/four years old. They spent the night together on Saturday and went to church together on Sunday. Maggie had the very best time with them, and it makes my heart so happy that Maggie is only eleven years old, yet has life-long friends. And aren't they so grown up?? It makes me want to go back and find a picture of them when they were small!
Written by amy at 8:37 AM
Thursday, March 7
Last Saturday, Mamaw Sedlacek passed away. She had been very sick over the last few months, and the kiddos were very fortunate to have a little time to spend with her.
They live five minutes from us. Over the last few years, up until her illness, my children saw her every Friday. She came and sat in the living room and hung out with us. She had tea parties and fashion shows and story readings. She smiled and laughed and really, really knew my kiddos. I am so grateful for homeschooling and the opportunity it provided for such a great relationship with her.
Yesterday, we said goodbye to her, and the kiddos were complete rock stars. Bentley cried a good bit, but being my tender hearted one, I am not surprised. We talked about leaving strong legacies--knowing what is important (time and people) and what is not important at all (money and things). She gave us the gift of her time every week. She never missed a dance function or a birthday and never failed to ask about school or dance or swimming or life in general. She always made me feel like the best mom in the entire world. She was that supportive and that proud of us as a family. She will be missed terribly by us all, but she gave us the very best she could. She gave us herself.
My big kiddos were slightly disappointed at her funeral--the pastor told stories of her life, but did not include very many thoughts about her most recent years, mostly funny antidotes and things from before their time. Maggie pointed out, that perhaps, her most recent years were her very best years because she had time to invest in people and love people well. I did not know her at all until fifteen years ago, but I would certainly have to agree with my daughter. She did a fabulous job at life these last fifteen years, and her legacy is a strong one. We finished off our time yesterday by telling our own stories. Each kiddo has a plethora, and isn't that what living is all about?
Written by amy at 10:11 AM
Last night, I spent some time looking back over the blog, and I am sad that I have failed to document the last year well. So much of our life is documented through the years, and I am completely sad that the last year has so few details. I am going to try to get back into it, but we shall see. I really do miss it!
Written by amy at 9:14 AM