I’m documenting this.

My husband and daughter being sick this past week MAY have been the best thing that could have happened.

Yes. You heard me right.

And, you’re probably thinking one of two things right now:

  1. I’m intrigued, because she actually can’t mean what she just said… or
  2. She is officially the worst mother and wife in the world

Although I will readily confess that I am indeed a flawed human being and I make mistakes (often), I truly HOPE I’m not the world’s worst mother or wife. So, please, keep reading! Be intrigued!

Yes, my husband and daughter being sick this past week may have very well been the best thing that could have happened. Because of it, I feel like an entirely different person.

I know. It sounds oh, so dramatic. And, if you don’t know me well or don’t fully have me figured out quite yet, then go ahead and get used to that feeling. Indeed, I, on various occasions have been labeled “dramatic.” I prefer to think of myself as a “creative, deep feeler with a spice for life” but, call it what you want.

I’ll just take a minute to thank them both (my husband and sweet daughter) in advance to for sacrificing their wellness for a hot minute to help me jump on the speeding train that has been circling my life for Y-E-A-R-S. That’s right. There’s been a train, on a well-oiled track, flying by me every single day for as long as I can remember. Every so often I hear it as it whizzes past. Occasionally I’ll see it for a moment. And every now and then, I’ve even grabbed onto the back rail of the final car and held tight with white knuckles in a crazy state of fear.

But, on this particular occasion, the week of my husband and daughter’s sicknesses, I grabbed tight, got on and climbed in. Because I knew in order to survive this week and not become zombie monster mom, I had to do something that filled me up. In order to take care of my people well, I had to put myself in a good place first. So, I’m in the train. I’m learning all about it and I’m taking my time discovering its nuances and character.

I’ll stop there before I KILL the already not-incredible metaphor to say…

THE TRAIN IS WRITING.

I’ve fearfully tried to make it happen, then readily convinced myself it’s “not the right season of life.” But, the more I live in that place, the more miserable I become. And the more I observe others around me, the more I realize life is less about sitting back and watching amazing things happen, as it is going AFTER, even chasing, the very things you desire.

I was reading this morning in Colossians and the words were coming alive to me in new and incredible ways. I am a student in so many ways. I learn best from a book with highlighter or pen in hand and journal nearby. Maybe even a few sticky-notes. And the theme I was observing was the idea of BEING FILLED UP in order to “live a life worthy of the Lord.” I don’t know about you, but living a life worthy of the very embodiment of perfection, kind of makes my eyes bug out and my stomach drop to the pit of my toes- if there even is such a thing. Is there?

And yet, a quick re-read and yep, there it is, TRUTH. It is possible.

“…We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in EVERY WAY.” Colossians 1:9-10

Oh my gosh guys. This is crazy GOOD news! We can actually PLEASE the Lord in E-V-E-R-Y way. And guess what? It comes from 0% of our efforts. It actually comes from Him. He fills us up so we can please Him. That is what I want. Yes, please. It’s good stuff. Keep reading and you’ll find phrases like, “stored up for you in Heaven,” “being strengthened with all power,” and “has qualified you,” to name a few. The news gets even better. It is already finished. The filling up, the qualifying, the strengthening… It’s done. Totally done.

I may know (head) that this is true. But, do I feel (heart) that it is? So, it left me begging the question, “What is my part?” And I think the answer is actually quite simple.

Get. On. The. Freaking. Train.

Chase your joy.

You know what makes your heart sing. You were created that way for a REASON. Chase it and get it.

Or maybe you don’t know what makes your heart sing. Chase that and find out! It is out there people. Of that, I am 100% certain.

So, like I said earlier, I am a completely different person. Dramatic, yes. But, so true. Because guess what? I am nicer to my kids this week. I am gentler with my husband (at least I think… you can ask him). I am more honest and authentic with my friends. I am more willing to have intentional conversations- even if they are difficult. The world looks a little brighter. The mundane doesn’t bother me. The piles of laundry have somehow made me smile because (although they may be a tad neglected), I know they are that way because I chose well. I chose what makes my heart sing. I’m on the train and I’m learning. In my free time, I chose me first. I chose what makes my heart sing and everything else followed, a bit easier than it had before. And that’s in the midst of an out-of-commission husband and a quite sick little 9 year old. Imagine what chasing joy will look like on a good day?!?!?!

I have heard this most of my adult life, but I think I fear ruled supreme, disabling me from making the best choices. Does my blog look perfect? No. Do I have a load of followers? No. Are all my Instagram posts the most thought-provoking, clearly penned from a “writer’s perspective”? Not in the least. Do I know anything about algorithms and how to drive traffic to my blog. Not yet. But, I’m on the train. And I’m not hanging on for dear life from the outside caboose. I’m actually inside, working my way around, learning.

One day, this may look like sitting down to write. The next, it may look like reading through my wordpress tutorial to begin to better understand and optimize my site. Another, I may do nothing in regard to chasing the joy… and that’s OKAY too. But, it’s in my mind. I’m already thinking about the next time. And that next time, may look like listening to the podcast I (by chance) happened across that is designed specifically for writers. Even if it’s re-listening to the same episode for the fourth, fifth, sixth time. Something new sinks in EVERY SINGLE time.

So, my questions to you are these…

WHAT FILLS YOU UP?

WHAT IS YOUR TRAIN?

WHAT BRINGS YOU JOY?

And, are you doing it? Are you chasing it? Are you taking a step in the right direction? Have you jumped on?

Whatever it is for you. Find it, do it! Do it from the top of your head to the pit of your toes (if there is such a thing).

In the meantime, let these pics bring you as much (JOY!!!!) as they are me. I am finally sorting through our family photos from 6 months ago to decide which ones to hang around the house.

That’s right. Six months ago. That’s over one-fifth of my youngest daughter’s life! You’re not the only one. You never are. One thing at a time dear ones, one thing at a time.

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With Much Love,
Amanda

  1. Melinda says:

    Amanda, you are an AMAZING writer! I’m so glad you’re riding YOUR train. Your words have given me more confidence to keep riding mine. Thank you. 🙂 And PLEASE, keep blogging, I’ll be reading. 🙂

  2. Bryndon Preston says:

    What a phenomenal writer you are!!! I went into more detail in my FB post, but I’m so glad to know you. Susan and I both love the incredible person that you are. I can’t wait till your next post 🙂

  3. Jana Alexis says:

    So glad you’re writing again! ….Perfect timing because I feel like I’m in the same boat. The last two days I took some time away for me (which I never do)…and ended up writing 4 posts last night. They build up in my head/heart but rarely do I give myself the time to give them life. Thank you for the timely encouragement! Let’s check in on each other to keep writing! 🙂

  4. 33Forest says:

    I must say it was hard to find your site in google.
    You write awesome articles but you should rank
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