Friday, November 7, 2014

A Letter

Dear May 30th, 2014 Amy, 

You probably should have left 15 minutes earlier for Colleen's rehearsal dinner. You're going to hit traffic, you're going to be late, and you're going to get yelled at as you pass through an intersection a tad bit too close to a pedestrian. 

You're going to feel awkward walking late into the chapel, with everyone else already lined up by the aisle. You shouldn't though, you didn't miss anything, and nobody cares. I promise. 

Plus, 3 and a half months later, you and your boyfriend will get stuck in LA traffic, and entirely miss the rehearsal for his best friend's wedding. So remember, it could be worse. And say a little prayer thanking God for gracious brides and grooms. 

Oh, I'm sorry. Did you get stuck on the word boyfriend? Yeah, I expected that to get your heart pumping a bit. You read it correctly, you have a boyfriend. That cute boy that you're going to spot across the hotel bar after the rehearsal dinner? The one that you're going to find out is a wedding crasher? You're going to fall in love with him. The next 24 hours are going to be the dreamiest of your life; enjoy it. And here you thought you were only here to celebrate someone else's love. ;)

You're going to wake up on June 1st wondering if everything that happened the night before was too good to be true. Don't worry, it wasn't. You're going to think you texted him first, but a few minutes later you're going to see a snapchat that was sitting in your inbox since before you sent that text. It's going to be a picture of the bench you and Mr. Wonderful spent the wee hours of the morning on exchanging life stories. It's going to have a red heart drawn around it, and from that very moment, you're going to know. It's not too good to be true; this is it. 

The next 5 months are going to be full of wonderful adventures that lead you deeper and deeper in love with this man. But I want to let you in on a little secret, God has a lot of other things going on too. 

You're going to apply for seminary school. Yupp, that thing you dream about in the far-off-distant-dream kind of way. One thing will lead to another, and you'll find yourself staring at a computer screen that describes the perfect program for you. You're going to apply, and you're going to get in. Congratulations!

You're going to have a few freak outs as things become real. You'll cry when you make your first payment, and when it hits your account. And when you do your first homework assignment. And when you write your first essay. 

But you don't cry when you do your first midterm, so boom. Progress.

You're going to find out that your job is changing at precisely the same time that you're starting seminary school. You're going to train for weeks before you make the switch, but you still won't feel prepared. The first two weeks will feel like you're in a foreign country, not understanding a word that is spoken to you. You'll almost cry a few times, and you'll feel yourself doubting your abilities. 

Don't. By week 3, you'll have your confidence back. I promise. 

Oh yeah, one minor thing. You're going to speak at church. On a Sunday. For two services. Sharing your testimony. 

I lied. It's not a minor thing, quite the opposite in fact. It's actually the coolest thing that has ever happened to you. Soak in it. Praise Him for it.

Shortly after, you're going to feel the pull to return to your home church. The timing won't really make sense at first, and you're going to get serious anxiety over "letting people down." A little spoiler alert: it's all going to make sense soon. And you're not letting anyone down. Your "pull" is very much from God, and He will bless you by each and every conversation you have explaining the decision to people. 

May 30th, 2014 Amy, get ready for the best 5 months of your life. As you can see from above, you should probably get yourself some tissues for those stress tears. Don't worry too much about them, though. They're all a part of God teaching you how to handle your stress, instead of letting your stress handle you. 

Get ready for a lot of your dreams to start coming true. Getting to share your testimony? Getting to speak on a Sunday? Getting to start legit studying the Bible? Dreams be coming true left and right, lady.

And get ready for the love story that you have been dreaming of since you were a little girl. It's even better, if you can believe it. 


And to think, we're only 5 months down the road. 

Love Always, 

November 6th, 2014 Amy

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Find The Beauty

I started seminary school this week. 

Or, to more adequately put it, I had about 4 minor freak outs within the last 7 days. I was intimated by the syllabus, cried when I submitted the biggest payment of my life, cried some more once it actually hit my account, got knots in my stomach when I tried understanding things I usually breeze through in Exodus, and pretty much felt all around discouraged, inadequate, unprepared, and just plain scared

You know what, though? Through the fear, and the anxious nerves, and the worried tears, and the uncertainty, there was this undeniable joy. 

Oh you guys, the joy has been so darn thick. 

Because I can one thousand percent say that there is no where I would rather be. There is nothing I would rather be doing, and nothing I would rather my money go towards. 

This life I want to live might not look responsible, or rational, or realistic. But as my dear friend Diana said in a gchat therapy sesh, the Lord never called us to be responsible in a worldly standard. If He had, He wouldn't have praised the woman who broke her alabaster jar full of expensive perfume on His behalf. 

I want to be a woman who gladly gives it all for Jesus. Because there is so much beauty in a life surrendered to the Lord. 

***

You know where else there's a whole lot of beauty? Over on Bouqs.com



The Bouqs Company is a new online floral company that delivers beautiful, vibrant, fresh flowers straight to your door.  



The flowers featured above are called "Desperado," and they're even more gorgeous in real life. 

If you're like me, sometimes it can be tough to get a gift in the mail on time for a special event or birthday. I've always been a fan of sending flowers to show someone I love that I'm thinking of them. 

I've had a variety of experiences with different companies { I won't bash anyone, but once my flowers didn't show up on Mother's Day! :( }, so I know good customer service and good prices when I see them. And though it's not shown in my wardrobe choice above, I also know vibrant colors when I see those! 

The Bouqs Company has it all. Know someone who might need a little extra lovin' right now? Why not send them some flowers to make their day? I know they'll be thrilled to see this on their doorstep.


The above links are affiliate links, meaning that I receive compensation for any referred sales. The above product was provided for review from The Bouqs Company, but all opinions are 100% mine.


Sunday, September 28, 2014

All Things Uganda

When I signed up to go serve in Kisoro, Uganda last year, I can honestly say I had zero clue what that would look like. I didn't know if I would be speaking, building, cleaning, hugging, teaching, playing, or serving in some other way, shape or form. I didn't know who I would be spending the majority of my time with. I had no expectations going in, besides the fact that I wanted to serve God. 



I got there, and the first couple days were a whirl wind. I saw so much. And I saw so many people serving in so many different ways. I saw doctors and nurses treating patients. I saw people helping to pass out medicine, and directing people from one station to the other. I saw people playing with children, sharing the gospel with little eyes and little ears. I saw people sharing the gospel with not-so-little eyes, and not-so-little ears. I saw people teaching on HIV/AIDS, and Malaria. I saw people helping with heavy lifting, and organization. 

My eyes kind of glazed over, to be honest. It was so beautifully overwhelming, and I would silently ask the Lord to show me where He wanted me, and to give me a heart humble enough to obey. 

Guess what. 

He did. 




It was about half way through our third day on the mountain when I felt it, the click of confirmation. We were eating lunch when I asked if they needed any help in sports ministry, and was happily accepted on board. 

There are a handful of highlight moments etched into my mind from this trip, and they all involve those faces up there. Racing along dirt roads, and then being laughed at when I would lose my breath. Chasing the boys through the medical clinics, and having them want to be chased each and every time they spotted me afterwards. Allowing them to help me clean up, and then seeing the radiating joy result from a simple task of rolling up tape. The smiles that came from using the same rolled up tape as a pretend drum during worship.  

I don't think I can ever look at orange tape in the same way, again. 

My absolute favorite moment? Hearing one little boy share the gospel with his friends. There's nothing quite like that, and I couldn't even understand the language. 


I left Africa with a desire to return. But wanna know the truth? I didn't expect to be returning this soon. I had no intentions of signing up for the 2015 trip. 

Until one day, I was driving in my car, and my heart flashed back to those boys. Something inside of me knew, if I had even the slightest chance of seeing them again, I had to take it. 

And then the following day, I decided to check the e3 website, and lo and behold, a Kisoro 2015 trip was listed. 

And that's when I knew I was going. 

Only God knows if I will privileged enough to see those particular boys again, but I know that regardless, He has good things in store. Great things. 

I can't wait to see what those are. 


Many of you have asked how you can get involved. The most direct need right now is financially, I have just over 100 days to raise $3700 more dollars. Is that number daunting to me? You bet. But is it daunting to God? No way. 

You can support financially right here, if you feel led. 

Prayer is another way to partner in this. You can pray for our team, that God would be preparing our hearts and raising the necessary support for this trip. You can pray for those that are in full-time mission over in Kisoro, that they would be blessed and encouraged by witnessing the work God is doing in that city. You can pray that ultimately, His will would be done, and His name would get all the glory.  

Today, I'm thankful for a God who calls us into His story, and for all of the wonderful people like you that He's placed in mine. 

Happy Monday, friends! If you've made it this far, thanks for reading a piece of my heart today. ;)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

She Is Beautiful! {Race Review}

Last year, I developed a slight obsession with races. I ran 5Ks, 10Ks, a 15K, half marathons, a color run, a bubble run, aaand you catch my drift. I just really fell in love with that runner's high that enhances when surrounded by hundreds of other runners. 


There was one race that really stood out from the others, and it wasn't just because of the stunning beach-side course (see above picture). It was because of the entirely contagious positive and encouraging atmosphere.

She Is Beautiful had their 3rd annual Santa Barbara run this past weekend, and as soon as the race was announced, I knew I had to run it again. 

The event did not disappoint, and I think the pictures prove it. 



Shout out to Tabitha, who designed our amazinggg shirts!






My family was in town helping my brother move to Santa Barbara (Reeds are just drawn here), so it was great to have my mom and sister at the finish line. 

Running never fails to make me feel strong, capable, and amazed at what this body can do. I can't help but reflect each race on the fact that not too long ago, I hated running. Like, legit hated it. The thought of a 10K used to intimidate the heck out of me, and now, it's my favorite distance. 

She Is Beautiful takes that "you are strong, capable, and your body can do anything" message and puts it on blast alllll through out the course. There are signs everywhere encouraging you every step of the way. Whether you're doing the 5K or 10K, you're going to cross that finish line feeling accomplished, empowered and inspired, no doubt. 



I already can't wait until next year!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Five On Friday

One -- Thank you guys so much for your love and support on yesterday's announcement. I am constantly blessed by this community, both online and real life community (though they kind of both become real life at some point, huh?)


Two -- I went to a wedding last weekend! {Shocked? Yeah, I know.}


My guy's best friend got married, and let me tell you, nothing tells you more about a man than the friends beside him. Good, quality friends usually stand beside a good, quality man. And both Kris and Stephanie? They are top notch people, and I was honored to be a part of their wedding. 




Not to mention, I thoroughly enjoyed this wedding because a) Frozen was played multiple times. and hand gestures were welcomed/encouraged. and b) there was not a dry eye in the house from the father of the bride speech. and I'm a sap who loves a good cry at a wedding, so there ya go. 

Three -- I signed up for my seminary class! I am so excited to kick that off on September 29th. And guess what I'm studying? The most exciting interesting captivating thrilling cant put it down book of the Bible!!



Try to contain your jealousy. 

But really, I'm thrilled. If I'm going to start studying the Bible, I may as well start with the rich, old testament stuff! Leviticus, bring it on. 

Four -- Speaking of studying the Bible, we're kicking off this Bible study on Monday night. 


Has anyone done it? This will be my third Beth Moore study, and I can't say enough good things about them. My first two were Revelation and Breaking Free, so tooootallly different, but both amazing. Really amazing. 

Can't wait to kick this one off!

Five -- I'm updating to ios8 as we speak. Therefore, I am staring at a screen like this:


I'm really looking forward to sending everyone I know audio text messages. 

And you thought snap chat was good. 

---


Happy Friday, loves! Hope you have a spectacular weekend. 


Thursday, September 18, 2014

I've Got News

I interrupt this unplanned blogging break to share some news. 

Big news, I would say. 

News I've been wanting to share for a while. And am so excited to fill you all in on. 


Yupp, you read that right. I'm going back. 

Back to this:




And back for them:


You can read all about it here. And if you have it on your heart, you can help kick off fundraising. 

But really, I am just beyond thrilled to share this news that's been brewing in my heart for a while now. I'll be heading back to Kisoro, Uganda in January 2015, and I'm truly thankful, and excited to begin #amyinuganda round 2. 



{insert happy dance}