thoughts | brokenness & the american dream

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brokenness.
i’ve been thinking about that word a lot lately.
especially with what has been unraveling in Ferguson, MO.
i’m a broken person.
i lie, cheat, steal, gossip, lust, sin, and take low blows.
i think i’m righteous.
i think i’m good.
i put myself higher than others – when i’m humbled to find i’m lower than most. 
i look at this country, america, and am reminded of Martin Luther King, Jr’s i have a dream speech. there are parts of his speech that are quoted over, and over again, mostly to drive home a point. i’ve found that the first sentence in his speech is almost always overlooked:
“I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.”
let’s pull three words from that sentence, happy, freedom, nation. 
overlooking everything this country has done in the last twenty years do those three things ring true?
are we happy?
are we really free?
are we a joined, connected, family nation?
i beg to say no. 
no we are not.
it pains me, ruins me, that race is still an issue within this country.
within families.
within churches.
within hearts.
God does not see race.
hispanic, black, white, asian…we are all beautiful – individually created with unique characters God crafted. 
and yet we war.
we war because it is comfortable.
easy.
the ‘just’ thing to do. 
we war because we see it as getting our point across.
we, as a nation, tear down laws and expect no consequences. 
we focus on the latest technological advancement and when we can get our hands on it; instead of focusing on the child who lost their life from violence. 
we zoom in on the injustice of one.
and overlook the sexually enslaved within our own cities.
we are focused on the best.
and hand out the worst.
i love Martin Luther King Jr’s words.
they bring truth.
and pain.
and shed light on one truth:
we, all of us, all races, all people, are God’s children. 
and we must join together.
to bring our country back to unity.
to break free of the lies we have been forced to believe.
to shut off the media and what it feeds us to see, and instead to look to our neighbor and partner with them to carry their struggle.
when i walk the streets and see men and women of any race i don’t feel hatred.
no, i see brothers and sisters who need someone.
someone to listen.
someone to help carry a burden.
someone to invest in them.
to tell them they are loved, worthy, of use.
we’ve bought into the lie that this is the best we can be.
i won’t buy into it any longer.
and not that my words matter, or that they will reach those rioting in ferguson, but i just want to tell you that your hurt is not meant to be carried alone. 
stop burning.
stop neglecting.
stop causing pain and havoc and chaos.
instead, lean on each other.
build each other up.
encourage.
rebuild.
offer hope, and grace, and love, and mercy.
to all.
we are not always in control of the outcomes we have been handed, but we are in control of how we react. 
our reaction says a lot about the character of our hearts.
if i could sit down with those hurting i would let them cry.
i would let them yell.
i would see the pain in their eyes and my heart would break.
i would gather them in my arms and hold them tight.
and then i would tell them they are loved.
they are cherished.
they are beautiful and there is an outlet for their pain.
there is hope.
there is always hope. 
“We cannot walk alone.
And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.
We cannot turn back.”
“Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends. And so even though we face the difficulties of today, and tomorrow, i still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.”
the american dream.
the beauty of it.
it requires hard work.
sacrifice.
effort.
banding together with others.
it can not be bought.
unfortunately my generation, and the ones to come after me believe it can.
we believe we are entitled to a good life.
to a wealthy life.
to a life with no pain.
no sacrifice.
no struggle.
and that is the lie we have believed.
and it’s brought us to our knees as a country.
those three words earlier: happy, freedom, nation.
they don’t ring true because we don’t work for them to ring true.
brokenness.
it’s all around us.
suffocating.
drowning us.
and we believe the whisper that it is all we will know.
don’t believe it.
don’t walk alone.
instead, turn off your screens and find the hand of your neighbor.
hold on tight and listen.
help them with their burden as they help you with yours.
work hard.
love deeply.
and seek justice with grace and mercy.
then maybe, just maybe that beautiful start of Martin Luther King Jr’s speech will ring true again one day…
“I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.”
we can build a new history for a nation.
forge a new path.
a path that bleeds with mercy and grace.
preparing for a future where injustice isn’t met with leveling a town.
but with a nation helping each other to heal from brokenness on all ends.

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frankly friday | heavy heart – full mouth.

frankly…

my heart is heavy and my mouth is full.

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brokenness does that to a person.
listen, i get it, it’s christmas time and the season is bright, and things are going to be alright.
but that isn’t me being really honest.
today marks 9 years that my mother passed.
nine. years. 
i’ve posted about the start of that morning before – and it really isn’t something i want to get into right now…but i will say that today – i miss my mom.

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but that isn’t the only reason i’m broken today – no it most certainly is not the only reason.
my heart is heavy and my mouth is full.
and if we look into the depths of our souls we all see something:
sin runs deep.
really deep.
a few months ago i shed some light on this subject.
& i was received with a resounding: you are not alone amy – you are not alone.
man do i need to hear that again today.

this world gets nasty quick.
it gets dirty, grimy, and just down right filthy.
it also breeds temptation that tastes all too delicious.
we get used to the scandal – to the drawl – we get pulled to the bed that is our tempter.
is that a little spicy, well yes, but it is also the truth.
sin is delicious.
disgusting, makes you sick, and spreads like cancer, but also delicious.
because we keep going back for more.

man, sin runs deep

i think far too often i ask the Lord for forgiveness but forget that there is still work that i need to do.
does God forgive me – a thousands times yes.
He continues to forgive me.
yet i still say yes to satans lies – and fall into the traps of his temptation.
because i want to.
if i didn’t want to – i wouldn’t.
hmm…
…that’s like a kick in the face.
i choose the sin – the sin didn’t choose me.
so when i feel convicted – guilty – run down and empty without God…
…and i go to Him for fulfillment, forgiveness, mercy and grace…i’m restored.
but that is never the end of the road.

what is the point of redemption and restoration if you’re not willing to change?
am i willing to change? 
i would hope so.
yes – yes i would say i am willing to change.
am i willing to give up those delicious temptations? 
this is where it gets tricky.

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i think this is where it gets tricky for everyone in general – but especially for Christians who have walked with Jesus for more than a few seasons.
we know Jesus. we are saved. we trust in our salvation. and we get complacent.
we see the “little sins” (no such thing) as no big deals – and well the “bigger sins” (sin is sin) as something to just avoid talking about so we can relish in it. or if we’re in a good season of our walk with God we seek out accountability to get rid of it.
so the slippery slope begins.
we love Jesus.
we crave the sin.
we love following God’s Word.
we crave feeling desired & the temptation gives us that.

man, sin runs deep.

so i’m here to tell y’all confess that i’m a sinner.
i mess up.
i struggle – struggle like you wouldn’t believe.
i make mistakes all the time – and not little mistakes but big ones that will have consequences.
i’m not perfect.
i judge.
i curse.
i say things behind others back.
i fall into the trap of lust.
i enjoy really bad comedy.
i – mess – up.

but God loves me.
i have no idea why He does.
but He loves me – without limits, unconditionally, immeasurably.
when i’m a broken mess on the floor – He gets on His knees before me and collects me.

He restores me.
moves me.
changes me.
directs me.
instructs me.
disciplines me.
man – He loves me. 

remember how i said my heart is heavy and my mouth is full?
…its true, they are.
my heart is heavy with sin – with distrust, greed, lust, and bitterness. it is also heavy with joy, love, compassion, salvation, and truth.
my mouth is full of lies, spite, malice, and fear. it is also full of encouragement, blessings, prayers, and restoration.

it’s all about allowing God to work through my mess and get me back on solid ground. 
dear Lord i want to be back on solid ground.

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if you’ve had a post this week that was rather frank – link up below. 

also if you missed the fiction posted yesterday – give it a read.

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Frankly Friday…v10

Wow. Have i really been doing this for 10 weeks?
Du-ang that’s commitment right? 🙂

 What is Frankly Friday? 

Let’s define Frankly shall we…

frankly |ˈfra ng klē|adverbin an open, honest, and direct manner
. . .
I want this to be a way for all of us to be open, raw, and transparent with not only each other…but with ourselves. I think we put a lot of stock into the “fear” of what others may think of us…into the “fear” of really putting what’s on your heart out there in case someone decides to tear you down.
I’m over the fear & you should be too.
So let’s write…whether it’s about a situation you’re struggling through, a victory you’ve made, a memory that you can’t let go of…anything as long as it’s honest.

. . .


here. 
This is where my head is at right now. 
Lately it seems that everything from my past is just clicking into place to be left behind.
Well Amy, it is the past after-all, so shouldn’t it have already been left behind?
Yes, you smart one you, it should have been—but it hasn’t.
There are MANY areas of my past that i need to leave behind: fears, struggles, memories, etc.
However, as i hinted at in my last Frankly Friday, the time has come for me to burry burn my past relationships. It’s time for me to wholly except that for what they were, they were great and incredible opportunities to meet some amazing people and to have my life forever change; to expand my knowledge of what love was and how you show love.
They were beautiful…for what they were.
Key word here: were.
I’ve talked about how it is hard for me to let go of my past, how i borderline enjoy reliving in it.
I will not do that any more when it comes to my past relationships.
This is a conclusion i’ve been coming to for a while and it clicked with me about a month or two ago. Since that moment, i’ve been doing my best to re-direct my thinking, to remember the positive but also to keep things into perspective.
Perspective is everything, isn’t it?


here.
So here’s to letting go and moving forward. 
Such a simple thing to say, yet one of the hardest things for a human heart to do.
Can i get an Amen? ha.
So, speaking of letting go and moving forward…it is starting this weekend.
I’m getting together with some girlfriends to have a bonfire.
Bonfire? What the heck does that have to do with moving forward?
Oh, i’ll tell you dear un-scorned friend.
🙂
We’re going to break in my fire pit  that i built {and i will post about next week} and throw a burning party. A burning party, what is that? Oh, you know its a time to make some smores, burn your fears, your angers, your bitterness, oh and of course the ex-boyfriend things. Meh, it’s just time for them to go.
Why hold onto any letters when i know what they say?
My friend Beverly made a beautiful point the other day:
Girl, get rid of it…it’s just paper, just ink, only images…you’ll remember what you need to remember. 
Amen, couldn’t have said it better myself.
So, with this fire i will be burning away the part of myself that refuses to let go.
I WILL become a woman who learns from her past but does not dwell on it.
 Dwelling on something that you can no longer change leads to being chained to it.
I want freedom, not bondage.


here. 
Time to burn baby.
. . .

{Feel free to check out some past Frankly Fridays}
v1 | v2 | v3 | v4 | v5 | v6 | v7 | v8 | v9 
As always please link up so i can read your stories: 

Frankly Friday…v4

Happy Friday! 
I can’t believe this is the 4th Frankly Friday! When did a month go by?! 

What is Frankly Friday? 

Let’s define Frankly shall we…

frankly |ˈfra ng klē|adverbin an open, honest, and direct manner
. . .
I want this to be a way for all of us to be open, raw, and transparent with not only each other…but with ourselves. I think we put a lot of stock into the “fear” of what others may think of us…into the “fear” of really putting what’s on your heart out there in case someone decides to tear you down.
I’m over the fear & you should be too.
So let’s write…whether it’s about a situation you’re struggling through, a victory you’ve made, a memory that you can’t let go of…anything as long as it’s honest.

. . .

Last night i was talking with my dear friend Beverly about Passion. 

We were discussing her passions and what the Lord could potentially be leading her to do in the next year. It was a fantastic heart-felt conversation that i was so blessed to be a part of. 
It also got me thinking…what am i passionate about?
Now hold on, i’m not talking about what i like or enjoy but what i’m truly and utterly passionate about.
I had to stop and look up the definition of passion so i knew what i was about to get my mind into
Passion |ˈpa sh ən|
*Strong, barely controllable emotion.
*An intense desire or enthusiasm for something. 

here.
. . .
So there i sat, after Beverly left, thinking through the events, memories, and moments in my life where i realized where i found my passion, and what cultivated it. This was a hard process.
I believe there are so many things i think “should” be passionate about…but that aren’t necessarily the first thing i think of. I should be passionate about _________.
As i kept thinking of different situations and feeling like well that is something that should have evoked passion within me i realized something, my passion is bigger than most things society tells me i should be passionate about.
. . .
I’m passionate about broken hearts. 
Sounds weird right?
Maybe it is…maybe it is exactly what i should be passionate about.
Every memory that ties into my passion relates to someone with a broken heart.
Why?
Because when we’re broken we are in need of healing. 
When our soul is shattered there is only ONE answer to pull us back together.
Jesus. | Hope.
I find myself completely whole sitting with teenagers and hearing their broken hearts.
I find joy in offering them hope and light in a world that is so full of darkness and despair.
I am completely and utterly satisfied to build relationships with students and help them through their drama, through their rough or fantastic home lives, during a crisis, and in lifting praise to God for a fantastic day. I am passionate about helping God heal brokenness.
When i saw this quote on pinterest…it resonated so deep within me that tears stung my eyes:


here.
Be a lamp or a lifeboat or a ladder.
illuminate, rescue, serve. 
In my life i want to be either a lamp, lifeboat, or ladder to people.
I want to show them that there is a beautiful illuminating light in a world that is so full of darkness and depression. I want to offer them hope, rescue, and a way out of whatever life is currently drowning them with. I want to serve others and direct them to the saving knowledge of Jesus.
As cliche Christian as this may sound…i want people to know Jesus.
. . .
What is breaking your heart? 
What is currently causing you to drown?
What is keeping you from a vibrant and freeing relationship with the one who gave you breathe?
. . .
Hi, 
my name is Amy
& i’m passionate about the broken hearted.
. . .
What about you; what are you passionate about?
Spill.
. . .
Frankly Friday
v1 | v2 | v3 


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