September 10…Life Changing Moment.

Q: Describe a distinct moment when your life took a turn…{i have 2}

It was really hot for the middle of July – like really hot.
Mom was at work, my brother and cousin Jade were at the neighborhood pool behind my house. I was sitting in the lazy boy recliner with the tv on eating a big ol’ bowl of ice cream…something I was not supposed to be doing. I heart the front door open – crap mom is home early – I stashed my bowl beside the recliner where it couldn’t be seen, I really didn’t want a lecture. I heard two sets of heels, my mom walked into the den followed by my aunt darlene. “Amy, where are Bo & Jade?” …uhhh down at the pool? i answered. “Go get them please”. I thought i was in more trouble than just sneaking ice cream. what have I done now? I thought as I walked down to the pool.
I got Bo & Jade to come back up to the house – they kept asking me what was happening…I didn’t know, I couldn’t answer. When we got back to the house, Aunt Darlene held jades hand and pulled her to the living room – mom took me and Bo back to her & my fathers room. At this point my parents had been separated for a small season – trying to work some things out together while needing some space to do it, it was a complicated situation. Mom sat down on her bed and put her head in her hands, she took a few deep breathes. I remember her sitting up straighter – looking back now I could only imagine her trying to gain some courage and strengthen her spine to deliver the news. We sat in front of her, Indian style, and just looked at each other. What was going on? Mom took our hands in hers and said “You know I love you…you know Jesus loves you…and you know your daddy loved you…” I was only 13 at the time but I was old enough to pick up on that one small letter…that ‘d’ that changed a word from present to past tense.
She said loved not love.
“Your daddy has gone to be with Jesus – he is in Jesus’ arms.” I remember Bo busted out in to tears; at 9 years old not fully understanding what that meant, but knowing enough to know that Jesus is in Heaven…and that is where Dad must be too now. I sat there for a minute just looking at my mom – stunned, not fully understanding…not really wanting to understand. Does this mean I’m fatherless? Where is my dad? He just wanted to see me a few days ago…but I wanted to hang out with my girlfriends.
The tears came slowly.
I was 13 years old – less than a month from starting high school – and I was now without a father.
Mom had been sick for over 6 months now.
I hated cancer – leukemia.
The summer and fall had consisted of hospital visits, phone calls, and a brief season where she was home for two weeks. I was living with my aunt & uncle some days/weeks and others I was living at home – too anxiety ridden to be away from what was comfortable to me, what was my normal. My grandmother (mom’s mom) stayed with my mom every. single. day while she was in the hospital and my grandfather stayed with me most nights (some other family members/friends stayed other nights). Some nights I remember going to sleep to the sound of an empty house…hearing my own heart beat…wondering what was next. The night before I was at youth group. We prayed for my mom. All of my friends and youth leaders surrounded me, laying their hands on me, prayed for me, my family, my mother. At one point my friend Niki said, “God, if Mrs. Donna is meant to be with you…then that’s ok, she can go be with you.” I remember being furious with Niki, how could she say that…that was like wishing my mom to die. My friend Andrew prayed something similar…I was still angry.
That night I was laying in bed, my next door neighbor aunt Gayle was staying with me that night (my brother had been living with my aunt and uncle), and I prayed to God. I finally understood what He had been pressing on my heart. You see, I was down to one parent – my mom – she was in the hospital for my 16th birthday, promising a “blowout 17th” for the next year. She still heckled me to clean my room…and do dishes, and learn how to cook something other than mac and cheese from a box. She still talked to me about Jesus and asked how school was going – how was I doing with my grades – all while she was confined to a hospital bed.
At this point mom had been in a coma in the ICU for about a month…I hadn’t seen her. I had the choice, but my family warned me that she didn’t look like herself. She had put on a lot of water weight (my mom was a petit 5’3 115lb woman), her eyes had gone from brown to blue, she had lost her hair a long time ago…my mother wasn’t herself. So I didn’t go, I didn’t want to see her like that at age 16.
As I was thinking about all of that, I whispered some words to Jesus.
Jesus…I’m ok if you take my mom.
I don’t want her to be in pain anymore, if she will be better with you in Heaven – then I’m ok with it, I won’t like it, I’ll miss her….I really want her to stay with me and Bo…but I’ll be ok.
I fell asleep.
Hands were on my shoulders, my body was slowly being shaken awake, “Amy, wake up”.
My eyelids peeled open, my bedside table lamp was on.
My grandmother was sitting at my side. As my eyes adjusted I looked around my room – Aunt Darlene, Aunt Diane, Aunt Debbie, grandma…my Aunt Darlenes eyes gave it away; she had the same eyes when she walked in with my mother to tell me my father had passed away. My grandmother opened her mouth, “Amy, your mother went to be with Jesus, she is in Jesus’ arms…” I remember becoming fascinated with the popcorn ceiling in my room. “Mom, do you think she heard us?” …one of my aunts said.  “I’m an orphan?” I said out-loud. They all started crying – I started crying. Where is Bo? does he know yet? They told me he was at my aunts house – still sleeping – it was 3am and they were trying to let him sleep some more but they wanted me to know, to wake up. I went out into the den where my grandfather was sobbing, my aunt gayle and uncle dave were crying, my moms boyfriend was there in pieces. I remember going back to my room, sitting on my bed, and being silent for a long time – thinking I’m only 16, what do I do now? I remember 530am rolling around and my friend Ashlee calling to see if was running late or on time since I was her and kaylees ride to school. I told her I wasn’t going – she asked why – because my mom died. She started crying – asking if I wanted her to come over, no, not right now…but thank you. They came over later as did many other friends and family. I won’t go into detail today about when we told my brother later that morning – but that was almost as hard as hearing I was parentless.

Tragedy happens.
Joy happens.
You learn from both.
I’ve learned from both.
I miss my parents – every. single. day.
Some days are easier than others – some days harder than others.
I find solace in the fact that God knows more than I do.
His plans are greater than my own.
And glory was brought to Him through their passings…people heard the Gospel through their lives.
Jesus was preached.
I’m sure people were saved – or put on the road to salvation.
I’ve trusted in God through all of this – I will continue to trust in Him.

Joining jenni today for her blogtember challenge.

New Years Eve | Life Changes

let’s do this. 
. . .
I mentioned on Friday that i’m not making resolutions this year…i’m making life changes.
In my opinion resolutions can be forgotten or discarded easily, but making a change holds more weight & forces you to actively pursue a better life.
I’ve made a list this year full of changes, hopes, and activities that i plan on pursuing.
I may add more as time continues, but for now here is what i’ve come up with.
. . .

Play hop scotch.
Go to the gun range more often.
Cook more!
Go Kayaking.
Learn how to use my 50mm lens.
Be Happy.
Look into going back to school.
Move more!
Play in the rain.
Have a big game of capture the flag.
Start writing my story.
Take a few day trips out of town.
Go to a conference.
Get my passport.
Love others more.
Study God’s Word.
Participate in a color run.
Paint More.
Go to a few concerts.
. . .
What about you?
What changes do you want to see happen in 2013?
Happy New Years Eve everyone!

Frankly Friday…v18

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.

. . .


I can not believe that 2012 is almost over. 

It seems like only yesterday i was making a list of things i was going to accomplish in 2012 and i was going to stick with it and actually do something this year. Meh. 

Here is the funny thing about resolutions: most people never accomplish them. Why is that? 

Why do we make these lists with things we would like to do or not do and then complete them for maybe a month before realizing “hey this is too hard, or too complicated, or too much work, and i quit”. 

The truth is: i don’t want to be a quitter. 

I was raised to not quit, you stick it out and suck it up and make it through what ever obstacle comes your way and if you need help–you ask for it. 

Yet when it comes to actually being consistent in bettering myself…i fall short. 

Why is that? 

I’ve been thinking about this for a while now and have come up with a few reasons excuses i use to get out of this whole but i made a resolution thing. 

1. Fear. 

Pretty simple right? You make a list of things you want to change, do better, accomplish, go see, listen more of, do less of, etc that it is simply overwhelming at points. I fear that i won’t be able to accomplish what i’ve set out to do, i fear that i’ll disappoint myself and others, i fear…i fear…i fear.

Fear has been captain of my ship for far too long. 

I no longer want to fear failing or disappointing others (or myself). 

I no longer desire to measure out my successes against anything but what God has in store for me. 

I also know that while this is easy to say it can be an absolute JOB to accomplish. 

So while i may not conquer fear every day in 2013 I vow to make it less of a foundation within my life.

2. I’m too busy. 
Really? Am i REALLY too busy? 
For example one of my 2012 resolutions was to get in the Word daily, and i failed miserably
It all boiled down to me thinking i was too busy or too tired or too _____ to spend even 20 minutes a day studying God’s Word. Was i really too busy? No, i wasn’t. Yes, some days i was over-run with things to get accomplished and by the time my head hit the pillow i was out like a light. I understand that life can get in the way of the things that mean the most to us…but i’ve also learned: we allow it. 
I find myself sitting here wondering, have i’ve backed myself into this nice little comfortable corner because i don’t want to change…which brings me to:
3. Do i really want to change? 
Do i really want to change my daily habits? 
Am i enjoying this comfortable corner that i’ve made? Am i complacent with not doing much of anything different? Hmm…if i’m honest, probably. I look at my life now, age 24, and realize how i add very little new into my life; which isn’t how i want to live my life in the slightest. I want to try new things and challenge myself to grow into a well-rounded individual. I want to live life.
So do i really want to change?
Yes. I do.
It will require effort and A LOT of motivation and kicks in the toosh.

. . .
So ladies & gentlemen i plan to make a list and share it January 1, 2013 of some things i will do my best to accomplish in 2013. Will they be resolutions? No. They will be aspects of change that i will weave into my daily life…no more resolutions, more living.
. . .
Would you like to read some of the past Frankly Fridays? Give it a go…
v1 | v2 | v3 | v4 | v5 | v6 | v7 | v8 | v9 | v10 | v11 | v12 | v13 | v14 | v15 | v16 | v17
. . .
If you were Frank this Friday don’t forget to link up!

15 DC | Looking Ahead.

Life of LoveWhat are you most looking forward to in the next six months? . . .Well let’s see that means August, September, October, December, January, & February. Wow, in six months it’s going to be February 2013?!?! When the crap did that happen??Oy’vey{it was just pointed out to me that i skipped november…yes, this should tell you how tired i am…and that i don’t always proof read my posts…or it should tell you that i’m just incompetent, ha! }I guess i’m looking forward to change.  
pinned here. If you know me at all, you probably just halted in your tracks and got slapped by the reality of my words. Let me explain, normally i am one that despises change. I don’t like it, it makes me nervous, i like structure and habits…i like organization. Change has always come with negative connotations in my life and so i’ve never really appreciated or understood the “good side” of change. I’m coming to realize that when change happens it doesn’t mean that your life has to be flipped upside down. Change could mean painting a room, cutting your hair,  or re-doing your schedule. None of those things are bad or even slightly terrifying, yet i never really equated them to change. I’ve always tied change to death, moving, broken hearts, etc. Dramatic right? Yes, i’m known to take things to the extreme. I’m learning to appreciate the small changes. Continual progress on my home, deepening friendships, going on vacations, starting a new year, having a more positive outlook, all of these things are tied to the beautiful side of change. I feel that i’m on the edge of a cliff and a huge amount of change is going to be heading my way here soon. I’m not sure what that means, or in what areas (hey it could mean some celebrity decides to give me oodles of money to re-do my home. Ha, a girl can dream) but i know i need to embrace this season and welcome it. I need to put my full trust in the Lord and know that i will not be given anything that He has not equipped me to handle, i’m not going to be thrown into the fire without knowing how to put it out.

 pinned here.The truth is i’ve been afraid for a long time. Afraid of what will happen next, of which rug will be pulled out from under me, afraid of myself. I’m tired of being afraid. Aren’t you?What are you fearful of? What have you not changed because you’re worried of the outcome? What risk have you left undone because you’re not sure if it’s worth the sacrifice? I’m not going to embrace fear any longer. I will not allow it to be my comfort zone. .  .  .So yes, i will embrace these next six months and actually look forward to whatever the Lord decides to bless me with. Whether that blessing causes me to be in continual praise for His glory, or the blessing causes me to dig deeper and seek Him out in a time of struggle. .   .   .Blessings are blessings people, it doesn’t matter if they are good or bad; it just means we don’t always understand the context of the blessing. .   .   .What about you? What are you most looking forward to in the next 6 months? 

15DC | Never Change

Life of LoveSleep.That’s on the forefront of my mind just begging to be done. I didn’t fall asleep until around midnight last night and was up early, whoops. Also, my thighs are killing me. We were meeting for our Strength Training Session with Team in Training at the park last night. Two male trainers led us through some killer moves where i had grass, dirt, sweat, and yuck all over me after the hour and a half. I think i did at least 150 squats of some sort. Yikes, needless to say that movement of standing up/sitting down reminds me of how weak my legs are. Can i say something on record…how awkward/uncomfortable is it to be doing hip thrusts (you know where you’re laying on your back and working your glutes) in running shorts in front of a bunch of other people, in a public park…awkward. I literally held my shorts up so these guys weren’t getting a free show. Yikes.. . .Onto the challenge. What is one thing that you would never change about yourself? hmmm…. . .If i start with my personality i would say: my straight-forwardness, my desire to constantly grow (in my relationship with the Lord, in friends, in family, in knowledge, etc), and my compassion towards people. Physically: Hmm…i would say my curly hair and my smile. The beauty about curly hair is i can roll out of bed, spray it with a little somethin’ somethin’ and then i’m good to go, or i could straighten it 🙂 

Remember how i said i ruin pictures…another prime example.I mean what was i doing? Other than trying to look schmexy for the camera and utterly failing? 🙂 . . .Did i mention i’m tired? Yes, yes i did.