Grateful(a Christmas Prayer)

Dear Lord,

I come to you tonight with a message of thanksgiving– a heartfelt, hopeful prayer; sent up to express to You  a few key things:

First off: Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the enigmatic, beauty-filled, and a bit chaotic life we are so blessed to live. From You all blessings flow, and to You and You alone goes all the thanks. Please remind us when we forget, sometimes the greatest things may be learned from the most difficult of circumstances. Americans are surely no strangers to adversity, and as it’s lessons that chisel into us our character are not always welcome, something can surely be learned.

Secondly: Please, please show the way out of hatred for so many Americans as well as those around the world. Lord, we cannot turn on a T.V or our IPADs without a daily terrorist attack, random violence, or horrific act of outright hatred for other humankind. Peace on Earth, is of course, a notion that seems to be as unreachable as it is undefinable. We do not ask for such certain terms, but a steady movement towards love and acceptance that builds, like a snowball rolling down the hill always gathering speed. You know best what is in the hearts of men. Daily deposits of kindness, humility and acceptance would benefit many.

Lastly- and this one is pretty simple. We just want you to know: We know you- your followers- and we are on fire with your love. Spreading that love is what we do, every day. For, we are so fortunate to know that the greatest gift that we can give our friends and family as we celebrate Your birth is the opportunity for them to know your love in their own lives.

In the precious name of Jesus Christ we pray,

Amen

Praying

I am not unlike all of you- over the course of the last month or so, I have been subjected via social and other types of media, to some of the harshest, meanest, most hateful news, opinions and messages about Law Enforcement, as well as our country. I have needed much time to process my thoughts. I have cried, spoken to God, watched clips of events that just rock me to the core of my being. I entitled this “Praying”, because honestly, this is what I do, aloud or silently, throughout each day.

This is not an essay on judgement– I am not an Officer, a Judge, or the Lord. I will not be the one who has the final say. I do not believe that expressing my political opinions fit well with the mission and message of positivity that I seek to offer through my page. In all honesty, my heart has been broken for our country for a long while now– in order for there to exist so much discord, hurt, and separation, it has taken more than just the last few months.

I am happy to know that I am a pretty good judge of character– and I have met many characters, good and bad, throughout my life. The advice to never judge a book by its cover is such a fundamentally great mantra to carry with one’s self. I have walked a mile in many different pairs of shoes. Known poverty, and also had enough. Enough about me though, what I want to say is this:(and it is really so basic)– To come back together as a Country, the “melting pot” that we are of cultures, religions, and nationalities unlike any other in the word, we must seek to see the good in others. Don’t judge one race because of the actions of one person, or three or twenty. Please don’t judge all Officers of the Law because of the action(s) or mistakes — admitted or not, remember WE are not the final judge of anyone! We have a justice system in this country that was devised 240 years ago, although amended  through the decades, by wise and dedicated men who believed with all their hearts– enough to die– that we would be the greatest Country in the World. We ARE. I truly believe too many people do not have the ability or have not been taught the empathy to try to understand where someone comes from, what they have seen and experienced, and how this has crafted them into who they are. Empathy is taught- no one is born knowing how to relate to others, our parents are given the job along with so many others- to teach us morality, reverence, and hopefully, a peaceful attitude towards others.

Of course I know that this is not the case with everyone. I will be a Social Worker in just a few more semesters. Believe you me, I have listened to some personal stories that made me question whether I truly had the heart for my chosen field. Stories during which tears unexpectedly sprung into my eyes– and words failed me.

The idea of embracing who we are as a country, as a WHOLE people reminds me of words from our Pastor, Kenny Mulligan. He and I agree on many things– he is one of the most outstanding people I have ever met. One is this: Our country needs God. We need Jesus. Truly, we believe that the church is the hope of the world. It is not a “bible thumping”, drag you to church on Sunday, memorize your scriptures-type of message. It is basic, easy to understand, but can be so difficult to practice. Jesus teaches us LOVE– Love so abundant that he was willing to die so that we would not suffer the fires of Hell. Jesus teaches us FORGIVENESS. ( I know– that is a big one!) It is the Christian way to forgive. Let it go, release yourself from the agony of a grudge or a feeling of guilt, and release those around you as well. We are all human beings, we are all so very different, yet; we are all given diverse, wonderful, and unique gifts that we are to share with the world. We need to come together as a Nation, as a people, as human beings. Judge not, for you shall be judged.

The wisest people, those who actually “have” the most, ( and I do not mean possessions) can sit down and talk with anyone of any walk of life, and feel comfortable and at ease. THIS is the nation that I dream of for my children and their children. Please pray for those who have lost love ones because of wrongly displaced hatred, and reach out to your neighbor, someone in need, a lost soul and begin to help to sew back together the fabric of our nation. This is my prayer today– and every day. God Bless us all and the Officers who walk the beat everyday to protect our lives and livelihoods.

~Amy 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Photofilm memory

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Ok, so I have already broken my unspoken rule #1- my posts are usually, frequently, essentially centered around one word. Today is like a misbehaving child in a movie theater, grabbing an up elevator on  the 5th floor when you were headed down. It has felt like a misplaced Thursday that should have been a Saturday all day. Just that not so subtle feeling that something is off…. I needed a touch base with a dear friend and everything seemed to be more in focus. I had been meaning to reach out for weeks. Great chat!  ❤

I suppose I should have started my blog quite a long time ago, because with my pseudo-photographic memory– hence the title ( for the lack of the scientific word for the way my brain is wired…;) )- It is quite possible that moments of meaning to me are passing so quickly that I will never get a chance to jot a few lines about all of them.

Perhaps that is WHY I have a “photofilm memory”, and have learned to not mind so much that I remember ALL the details of an interaction with a friend, last night’s Final Jeopardy question, or everyone’s birthday- not to mention my two best friends’ growing-up childhood phone numbers. 🙂

I suppose it all starts with your first child- the camera comes out and never seems to be far from your fingertips. Pictures are scrap-booked, placed in albums, and in today’s day and age, posted on social media platforms for everyone to see. I know folks who don’t ever seem to have any experiences without a complete photographic documentation. (My Photographer friends are exempt from that comment, as well, they are Photographers.)

I often have had the notion in recent years that I was possibly missing out on something by not having each milestone and special moment processed through Kodak in order to fully enjoy and retain every detail. That seems to be the misconceived notion, however in my case, I have found myself enjoying myself much more, being more present in the moment with my wonderful family, and not having any regrets at the lack of photos. Don’t get me wrong– I ADORE photographs, and our dear friend and “Sister” Chels Hover photographs our family portraits nearly every passing season, and I would not have it any other way. But…. some things are just meant to be experienced. Felt, seen and fully enjoyed with the ever growing members of our families who really won’t be small forever, as well as the friends who have become family.

Writing this blog over the last few months has opened my eyes to  a lot of things and allowed me new experiences in commune with other artists that I would have forever missed if not for taking this leap.

Today may have been off, but things are looking bright again- we anxiously await the April showers to bring on the May flowers and the scents of Spring to arrive in the air. Lesson for the day: Make your feelings known. Reach out and be honest and humble.

Amy 🙂

“Humble and Kind” Tim McGraw- Take a listen 🙂

Blessings

mylovesOur Loves 🙂

Good afternoon friends!

Sometimes inspiration strikes us at the most irregular times- such as when a busy Mom (Me!) is contentedly preparing portions of a Thanksgiving meal we will share with our family in just a few hours.

Then it hits- Wow! Why is that an inopportune time? Isn’t that the point of this holiday? It certainly isn’t to get your (insert name of favorite running shoes) on and eat quickly so that you may hit the stores to shop. I am so against that idea and practice- but alas, that is for another post! I subscribe to the notion that when you feel the desire to put your inner most thoughts onto the page, there is no undesired time. The bells are going off in your head for a reason! Don’t just listen to them chime– write and let the inspiration flow!

I had the most humbling experience this morning during a almost daily conversation with my dear friend, Tom Slatin, (which I have come to cherish so much- warning Tom- I am like the burdock of friends, always there and nearly impossible to remove!) 😉 He stated how impressed he was with how articulate I am. I contribute that to being very well-read and studying not only the English language, but French and others throughout my years. I don’t enjoy writing as much as when it is a challenge to find that “just right” word. Thank you Tom, for stating you believe it to be a sign of high intelligence. I aspire to reach your level  I will never stop learning, for as Eleanor Roosevelt said: Education should only end with death.

I thank the highest of powers for all of the blessings my family have been gifted over the past year. Even the failures, pain, and sacrifice have taught us to be stronger, more resilient, and to appreciate all that the Lord has given us.

Please enjoy this time with your families and remember: Our troops who are stationed abroad or in harm’s way and cannot be home with their families, those who are less fortunate- and if you are reading this- it most likely does not mean you. No offense. Take a step back today and look at the BIG picture. We are so blessed to live in this ever-evolving and beautiful world. I send my love to all of my readers and friends. May you hear this message and heed my advice. Be safe and hold tight to those you love. Tomorrow is not promised.

Amy 🙂

Photo credit: Bea Photography 2015. Owner: Chelsea Hover

 

Touched

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Today has been a wonderful day for our family and I don’t mean anything in particular. When you have been through all of the ups and downs that our family has, you definitely learn to savor the small things in life. My husband is my rock, and whenever I manage to get myself really worked up over something-  ( ME? NEVER! 😉 He manages to pull me back from the brink and has been known to say: “Don’t sweat the small stuff, and it is all small stuff.” Mind you, I have no idea if I am committing a copyright infringement with that manta, but it is one from his arsenal, and it most often works for me. \

Life really IS, I feel, meant to be savored- each moment like a new flavor of ice cream. However, as we all know, that is not always easy, possible, or even desired by some. For us, it is the ONLY way that we have gotten this far in our marriage and as a family. We cheer the LOUDEST when our child scores a goal in a game (throat hoarse kind of loud), we throw our hands up on rollercoasters, run in the rain- jumping in puddles, and smile when we feel like crying, because after all, we are not in control of what is to come. I was delighted to be a part of a special tribute to a couple who have done so much to enrich our church family, and it got me thinking: we really need to not just savor the moments in our lives. We need to show our gratitude to the people, too, without whom these memories would not be possible. I truly subscribe to the notion that the more good you put out into the world, the more comes back to you. I don’t quantify it, such as three-fold, or however. I just feel that if you are smiling at cashiers, stooping down to help someone pick up the contents of their spilled purse, or giving to your church- you are paying it forward and in turn you will feel the love come through to you in another way, at another time.

We all need each other, and I know so many richly talented people, that I cannot help but feel enormously blessed. I love walking out of the doors of our wonderful church in the morning with a sense that 1) I witnessed greatness and learned so many new things and 2) That I cannot WAIT until next Sunday to gather again with my friends and family there. In closing, I wish everyone a great week! Be generous with your kindnesses- you never know when that love will be given back to you.

~Amy

Photo credit: A.L.Findore 2014 ( One of the most beautiful pre-sunrise skies ever!)