Tuesday

Latest Brother News

Oddity: Rangers sign Rougned Odor's brother Rougned Odor
No one, it should be noted, is less enamored with his unique moniker than Roogie himself. One afternoon, Double-A Frisco's intrepid play-by-play man Alex Vispoli lightheartedly asked Roogie what his parents call him when he and his brother are back home.
Read more on CBSSports.com

Fricke's Picks Radio: Remembering Big Brother's Sam Andrew
Founded in late 1965 in a San Francisco just at the dawn of its own socio-chemical metamorphosis, Big Brother and the Holding Company – guitarists Sam Andrew and James Gurley, bassist Peter Albin and drummer David Getz (who joined in early '66) …
Read more on RollingStone.com

RIP Brother Paul O'Donnell ~ Taken too Soon
BrotherPaul One of the sweetest, kindest men I have ever known passed away today. I can't imagine that it was his time but God knows these things, not me. Brother Paul was only 55 years old. He was the Superior at the Franciscan Brothers of Peace, …
Read more on National Right to Life News

Brother HL-L2380DW
Even though the Brother HL-L2380DW monochrome laser multifunction printer (MFP) ($ 199.99) can scan and copy, Brother groups it on its website with single-function printers. The company treats it that way because it lacks an automatic document feeder …
Read more on PC Magazine

Open Doors USA Implements NOVAtime SaaS Workforce Management Solution and Opens Payroll Efficiency Doors


Damond Bar, Calif. (PRWEB) February 11, 2015

NOVAtime Technology, Inc. (http://www.novatime.com), together with Pacific Time Systems, announced today that Christian non-profit Open Doors USA has implemented NOVAtime SaaS Workforce Management Solution, the hosted version of NOVAtime’s industry-leading time and attendance solution. With the implementation, the non-profit has gained a 100% web-based system that allows its employees to punch in from any device with a web-browser and its supervisors to more accurately track their team’s accruals and attendance. For payroll administrators, the solution’s powerful report generator has proved invaluable.

Serving Christians in more than 60 countries around the world, California-based Open Doors USA is a non-profit organization that began in 1955 as a mission by its Dutch founder, Brother Andrew, to smuggle bibles to communist Poland. What began with bible distribution has expanded to literacy programs and job training for women, church and home construction, and support for Christian refugees. Open Doors also works with Christian churches and organizations in the Middle East to provide humanitarian supplies to thousands of families each month.

Prior to implementing NOVAtime 4000 SaaS Timekeeping in 2010, the non-profit had been relying on paper timesheets to collect employee time. With the new cloud-based system, Open Doors USA can get an accurate snapshot of its 40-strong labor force, whether employees are at the California headquarters or working from home across the country. Using the system’s employee portal, Employee Web Services (EWS), the non-profit’s employees can access NOVAtime 4000 online not only to punch in and out, but also to submit timesheets, view work schedules, look up accrual balances, submit time-off requests, and more.

Open Doors Staff Accountant Chelsea Collins elaborates on the advantages of the web portal for supervisors, “They use NOVAtime to track accruals and attendance. Supervisors like that with NOVAtime – they can go back and look at trends in attendance.” In addition to allowing supervisors to view summary timesheet information for overall departmental cost and performance evaluation, Supervisor Web Services (SWS) streamlines various time and attendance workflows, including timesheet editing and approval, time off requests, and schedule creation.

NOVAtime 4000’s internal report generator added to the appeal of the system for Open Doors’ payroll administrators. “The report generator is especially useful when we have to pay someone manually, as it allows us to run a report to find out how many hours an employee worked. Based on those hours, we can pay the employee manually,” says Ms. Collins. NOVAtime 4000’s report generator comes with over 100 configurable report templates, including time and attendance, labor costing, accrual tracking, system audit trail, and payroll reports. Reports can be exported in various file formats and published or emailed to selected system users.

Making the move from a paper-based timekeeping system to a leading-edge workforce management software was an important undertaking for the mid-sized non-profit, and the implementation and support services provided by NOVAtime authorized reseller Pacific Time Systems (http://www.pactime.com/) helped ensure that the endeavor was ultimately a success.

Open Doors uses TelePayroll to process their payroll.

About NOVAtime

With corporate offices located in Diamond Bar, California, NOVAtime is the leader in integrating Time & Attendance / Workforce Management systems with a company’s Human Resource and Payroll systems. NOVAtime is known for their scalable and leading-edge software and hardware technology, and many of the best-managed companies in the world have chosen NOVAtime as their preferred Time & Attendance / Workforce Management solution provider. NOVAtime is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner with FrontRunner status. For more information on NOVAtime, please visit http://www.novatime.com or call 877-486-6682.







Chartwell, Winston Churchill's beloved family home near Sevenoaks, marks the

Chartwell, Winston Churchill's beloved family home near Sevenoaks, marks the
On January 30, 1965, 350 million people across Europe watched the final journey of one of the most extraordinary prime ministers Britain has even seen. Statesman, war leader, writer and artist, Winston Churchill has long held an almost reverential …
Read more on Kent Online

Christmas Eve hit-and-run in Pennsville ended life of beloved family member
To the Editor: This letter is written to the driver of the car that killed my dog, Sable, on Christmas Eve on Mahoney Road in Pennsville. This isn't a letter to berate or express how angry I am that you were going too fast on a residential road, or …
Read more on NJ.com

Asheville musicians rally to support beloved West African family
Asheville's music community is coming together to support one of the city's most beloved percussionists in the wake of a tragedy that befell his family in Ivory Coast, West Africa. Adama Dembele moved to Asheville several years ago from Ivory Coast and …
Read more on Mountain Xpress

Karen McCaffrey of McCaffrey Homes Appointed to Board of Trustees of The California Homebuilding Foundation


FRESNO, Calif. (PRWEB) January 12, 2015

Karen McCaffrey, Vice President of McCaffrey Homes, a leading homebuilder based in Fresno, Calif., has been appointed to serve a three-year term on the board of trustees of the California Homebuilding Foundation (CHF).

Founded in 1978, the California Homebuilding Foundation is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization and a nonprofit affiliate of the California Building Industry Association (CBIA).

“As the current Chair of The California Homebuilding Foundation, it is my pleasure to welcome Karen McCaffrey to our board of trustees,” said Michael Cortney.

“A third generation builder,” Cortney added, “Karen brings a unique and proven knowledge of our industry. Her dedication to charitable organizations will bring added value to our scholarship program and her long term understanding of homebuilding will be perfect for our research projects.”

Based in Sacramento, the California Building Industry Association represents thousands of companies across California. Member firms include homebuilders, trade contractors, architects, engineers, designers, suppliers and other industry professionals.

As the non-profit arm of CBIA, the California Homebuilding Foundation is dedicated to strengthening the long-term growth of the building industry. CHF provides networking events, research and statistics, academic assistance, grant-funding and job training for high school students.

The CHF is also the presenter of California’s top home building industry award, the Hall of Fame, which recognizes industry leaders and offers their career examples as an inspiration to others. Karen McCaffrey, and her husband Robert McCaffrey, founders of McCaffrey Homes, were inducted into the CHF Hall of Fame in June 2014.

“I’m proud to serve an organization that invests in the future of the homebuilding industry by helping students, empowering lives, and building futures,” Karen McCaffrey said. “The Foundation serves both members and the public as an educational and informational resource for all things related to homebuilding. CHF makes a difference in our community and across the state. I look forward to assisting that good work.”

An industry and community leader, Karen McCaffrey grew up in the homebuilding industry. Her father, John Bonadelle, was a long-time developer and leading builder in California.

Karen has served on the Board of Trustees for charitable organizations including Valley Children’s Hospital and the Advisory Council of the Craig School of Business at CSU Fresno. She currently serves on the Board of Councilors for the University of Southern California, Andrus School of Gerontology and the Advisory Council of the Gazarian Center of Real Estate at CSU Fresno.

Building in California’s Central San Joaquin Valley for more than 35 years and three generations, McCaffrey Homes has provided homebuyers with the American Dream.

Having constructed more than 8,000 homes, McCaffrey is now building in four communities in the Fresno and Clovis, Calif., area: The Gallery in Fresno, The Heights at Loma Vista, The Gallery in Clovis and The Heights on Copper. The company has begun planning the first Village of Tesoro Viejo, a 1,600 acre master planned community in Madera County, with groundbreaking planned for 2016.

For more information on McCaffrey Homes, please visit http://www.mccaffreyhomes.com. For more information about The California Homebuilding Foundation, please visit http://www.mychf.org/.







Find More Father Press Releases

Celebs Fangirling Over Other Celebs! Find Out Who LOVES Who HERE?!

Celebs Fangirling Over Other Celebs! Find Out Who LOVES Who HERE?!
We all love to fangirl/boy over our own favorite celebrities! But did you know stars have their fellow famous people that they freak out over when they meet them? For instance, when Anna Kendrick met Beyoncé at the Grammys in 2014, and she was …
Read more on PerezHilton.com

Exclusive: Aaron Watson Premieres “That's Why God Loves Cowboys”
The title of the Keith Stegall-produced collection nods at Aaron's journey from major-label artist to independent and his refusal to give up on a dream. The song “That's Why God Loves Cowboys” is one of a few new tracks for Aaron that feel reminiscent …
Read more on Country Weekly

Goat Loves Eating Peanut Butter, We Love Goat (VIDEO)
Stephie is a goat who loves peanut butter. We love goats. We love peanut butter. We love goats loving peanut butter. We love peanut butter-loving goats! Stephie lives at the Manning River Farm Animal Sanctuary, a refuge for abused farm animals in …
Read more on Huffington Post

Inadequate Marriage Education Contributes to Divorce in the U.S. – Says Renowned Marriage Consultant Hellen Chen


Los Angeles CA (PRWEB) December 22, 2014

According to the statistics from the CDC, the marriage rate is 68 per 1000 individuals, whereas the divorce rate is 36. It is commonly said that in the US, 50% of all marriages end up with divorce.

Are Americans not taking their marriage vows seriously — saying “I do” and then saying “I don’t”?

Bestselling author and renowned marriage consultant Hellen Chen believes that most couples do take their marriage vows seriously but inadequate marriage education is to blame for many of them ending up in painful divorces. This hurts not only the two individuals, but the family unit.

“The family is the basic building block of society, and the first step in creating a family is through marriage,” said Chen.

As such, when separation or divorce occurs, it is this family unit that is most disrupted, and it destabilizes society.

“The impact of failed relationships is much more serious than most people want to admit. Failed marriages affect the individuals themselves, the younger generation and ultimately our culture.” Chen said.

The marriage consultant is also responsible for bringing together in marriage many singles, who were previously skeptical about getting married. With the help of the persistent relationship master, many have married and stayed married. Chen has shared some of these real-life stories in her book “The Matchmaker of the Century”, which became a #1 bestseller on Barnes & Noble’s website following its release.

Chen has also written more than 20 books on different topics including marriage, family and individual responsibilities.

“In my travels to many countries and meeting people from all cultures, I see having a lasting relationship is at the top of the wish list of most people. Yet there are very little education aimed at helping men and women to understand how to have lasting relationships,” she said.

According to Chen, the most a young person can hope for in terms of “marriage education” is some advice from well-meaning members of the family, from colleagues, from the internet, or drawing from one’s own experiences.

“It is easy to walk away from our problems rather than face them. If you don’t like your job, quit. If you don’t like your parents, ignore them. If you don’t like your spouse, divorce. I want to challenge people to adopt a different approach to relationships. Instead of saying, “Who cares?” why not say, “What can I learn from the problem and how can I improve myself?”” said Chen.

In her efforts to increase marriage education and help singles and married individuals to experience a deeper love relationship, Chen began a series of workshops in Los Angeles, Taiwan, Singapore and Dubai. The next Love Seminar will be held in Los Angeles on December 27 at the Hilton Hotel.

Chen’s work has been featured in over 200 media publications in 20 countries.

For more info on Hellen’s work and Love Seminars, please visit http://MatchmakerOfTheCentury.com/







Latest Family Values News

Corleone Family Values: The Godfather Part II at 40
Corleone Family Values: The Godfather Part II at 40. Richard Corliss. Dec. 12, 2014. SHARE. Al Pacino In 'The Godfather: Part II'Woody Allen And Mia Farrow In Al Pacino in a scene from the film 'The Godfather: Part II', 1974. Archive Photos / Getty …
Read more on TIME

Friday Fox Follies – Fox Family Values
The dictionary defines “values” as “a person's principles or standards of behavior; one's judgment of what is important in life.” Because “corporations are people, my friend,” companies also have values. Since hitting the cable dial in 1996, Fox “News …
Read more on PoliticusUSA

Carlos Santana: my family values
But, later, after we joined him in San Francisco, the family stayed together. My dad was Mr Charisma. He played violin. I adored him because of the way he carried himself, the way he dressed and smelt. He knew he was magnetic. He had a way of giving …
Read more on The Guardian

Teen Stress in Todays world, an article released by NoBullying today


London, UK (PRWEB) November 24, 2014

Stress is a part of everyday life for teens and youth. The feelings range from average feelings of being tired all the time to feeling overwhelmed and can have devastating long term effects on their mental and physical health. NoBullying examines, in an article released today, the reasons and effects of teen stress.

Tests, papers, extracurricular activities, sports, friends, and family all play a part in how to deal with stress from school. Some factors put teens at risk of stress overload. Family conflicts, bullying, problems with schoolwork, disability, poor living conditions are hard to manage over the long term.

Signs of a stressed teen are a person that develops anxiety and panic attacks every day or several times a week, moodiness, headaches, physical symptoms, drinking, smoking, sadness or depression. This often comes as teens being getting overwhelmed by the circumstances surrounding them. Often they have part time jobs, school pressure about grades and career choices, peer pressure about sex and drugs, hormonal changes, and sometimes bullying by a clique in school and online.

With all the stress parents have to be able to talk with their children and help them find ways to cope better with daily teen stress. Stress can cause health problems both physical and mental so learning ways to cope is important for teens. The issues that stress teens the most are parents, homework, relationships, friends, and siblings.

Many teens tend not to know how to deal with stress at school but find ways to distract themselves from it. A clear sign of teens trying to ignore or play down their stress is the rise of the abbreviation “YOLO” among teens. An acronym for “You Only Live Once”, this is a wave of teens living in the moment and trying hard to ignore all aspects of their present and their futures.

One of the best ways to help teens with stress is to talking to children. Knowing what they are doing and dealing with their problems gives them some place to vent feelings and discuss solutions. It is more than essential for parents to use their own previous experience to tell teens that it all passes and not to let them feel overwhelmed by the stress of daily life.

Ciaran Connolly, Co Founder of NoBullying says “From everyday bullying to college and career choices as well as family issues, today’s teens are going through very stressful times and parents and teachers neglect to address the epidemic of teen stress.”

He added that parents and teachers should make a point to educate the younger generations about the sad outcome of neglecting online safety and photos safety. According to Connolly, it is quite imperative to press for more firm laws condemning all acts of bullying and harassment.

NoBullying.com features many pages dedicated to parents, teens, teachers, health professionals as well as posts related to cyber safety and the latest news about law making concerning curbing Bullying worldwide as well as inspirational Bullying Poems and famous Bullying Quotes.

The website regularly updates its bullying statistics and cyber bullying statistics as it is essential to understand how widespread the bullying epidemic is. It also regularly runs cyber bullying surveys and questionnaires to get recent updated statistics on everything related to cyberbullying.

He also added that anyone suffering from bullying in any form or way can always find advice and help on the NoBullying website – but if anyone is suffering from severe bullying or cyber bullying, the best thing is to talk to someone locally – a parent, teacher or local organization that has been set up to help with specialized councilors to deal with this topic.







Find More Family Friend Poems Press Releases

SON UMUT | Fragman

Senaryosunu Andrew Anastasios ve Andrew Knight’in yazdığı, yönetmenliğini Russell Crowe’un yaptığı, Russell Crowe, Olga Kurylenko, Jai Courtney, Cem Yılmaz ve Yılmaz Erdoğan’ın…
Video Rating: 5 / 5

My mother, a former alcoholic, wants to move in with me

My mother, a former alcoholic, wants to move in with me
The dilemma My mother, who was an alcoholic throughout my childhood, finally sobered up two years ago – at the age of 57. I am thrilled for her and proud she's managed to do it. I am also angry with her. I wonder why she couldn't have sorted herself …
Read more on The Guardian

MY MOTHER THE VETERAN: GIBSON'S MOM IN 1945 NAVY FILM, VISITING
You see the U.S. Navy crew, including a number of nurses (among them my mother), boarding a landing craft and going ashore. There they meet and speak with–after a fashion, no doubt–with the natives living on the atoll. These are polynesians who, in …
Read more on FOX News Radio

My Mother's Stroke
My mother, Milli, is 87 and has been cheerfully planning her exit for years. Living will, executed power of attorney, key to the safe deposit box and the names of the lawyer, doctor and financial planner were sent to me decades ago, along with jolly …
Read more on New York Times

Tuesday

{moving on}

so.
i've been debating for awhile switching over to wordpress.
i thought about transferring all of my content and everything but
when it came down to it, i just wasn't in it. 
turns out,
this blog has been such an awesome place for me and i have documented life and
dream but i'm really just in a new season now and it didn't
make sense to transfer all of to love.

it made more sense to put it to rest.
to close the door on this chapter and start the next one.
so that is what i have done.
this is my last post here.
i will leave the blog here as my own journal and so
you can revisit any posts you want to.
but i have moved on.
if you would like to follow me to my new home,
walk with me on the next phase of my journey,
join me at feathers and hope.

thanks for the past three years here friends.
i hope you stick with me for the next three.

peace,
amy

Monday

{morning glimpses}

 
 
 

 
I'm listening to Indie Holiday radio on Pandora,
wearing some stretchy pants with an oversized long sleeve shirt and
brown crocheted shawl and my hair
is adorned with mini braids.

So far my morning has consisted of coffee,
cheddar jalapeno bagels,
reading books to beautiful young children,
tickling and laughing with a handsome three year old,
an emotional talk about The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
after Layla finished the book and watched the movie on Netflix.
I'm just about to settle in to my cozy rocker with
a second cup of coffee,
a well loved book,
{time for a fiction break after the deep reading I've been up to lately}
and a peace that is overwhelming.

The kids are occupied with books, legos, movie making
and homemade play dough. 

The day is starting off beautifully.
Hope yours is too.

Peace,
amy

Sunday

{now and then}

I am in the middle of a writing project and part of this writing has taken me down the road of my memories, spending hours swimming through the various parts of who I once was.  I have kind of been comparing and contrasting myself the first 15 years of my life with the me the second 15 years, revisiting favorites and realizing that all things come full circle.  I thought it might be fun to share a bit of my favorites from the thens and nows with you.  One of the most important things to remember is that when I was 15 I had not yet been introduced to Christ, in fact I had no faith whatsoever.  So...

::Music::

15. favorites were The Cranberries, Tori Amos, Fiona Apple, Social Distortion, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and Frank Sinatra.

31. favorites are Alela Diane, Mariee Sioux, The Swell Season, Keith Green, The Decemberists, The Civil Wars, Mumford and Sons, Johnny Cash

::Books::

15. favorites were anything by John Irving, John Saul, Shakespeare.  Girl, Interrupted. The Bell Jar. The Catcher in the Rye. 

31. favorites are David Copperfield, anything by Wendell Berry, anything by Madeline l'Engle, anything by Gene Stratton Porter, One Thousand Gifts and new favorite Thrashing About With God.

::Movies::

15. favorites were Swingers, The Lost Boys, Reality Bites, Empire Records, Fried Green Tomatoes

31. favorites are Once, Noelle, Fried Green Tomatoes {I still adore it}, Pride and Prejudice, Defiance

::Television::

15. favorites were Jerry Springer {don't judge}, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, 90210 reruns {I hated the college years so I watched the high school reruns}

31. favorites are Psych, Gilmore Girls {I will never stop loving this show}, Merlin

::Thoughts/hopes/dreams::

15. wanted a boyfriend for more than a week, wanted someone to understand me, pondered life for hours on end, not sure what to believe or think.  Stood with a group of Christian kids in my history class when the teacher asked us to divide into two groups; one that believed a God created the earth and one that believed there was no help from God.  When everyone, who knew I was the furthest thing from a Christian, looked surprised I answered, "I don't care if a God created the world by whatever you guys believe, I just think that for all this to happen, there had to be a God.  Even if He created us through evolution.  It doesn't matter.  I just know this whole world, this universe, couldn't happen without Him."  It would be two years until I became a Christian and understood what creation was, but looking back I am in awe that I had that idea in me.

31. I believe in Christ, that God is love, that love is the only way.  I believe He created us to walk in love and peace, to follow His path and draw near to Him.  I want some land to raise my family, like-minded friends to walk alongside, peace, beauty and slow, intentional days.

::Portraits::

15.
 



31.



I just find the passing of time, the growing of self, so fascinating and so beautiful.  I really believe we are who God made us and those crazy kids we once were need to be welcomed in to who we now are.  Who were you?  Who are you now?  I would love for you to share with me, maybe do your own post and let me know. 

Peace,
amy

{as a side note, when I was 15 I signed my letters like this:
peace, love and harmony,
amy}

Friday

{talking about myself}

hello.
I am going to introduce myself.
again.
see, I have lost a lot of readers lately due to some unpopular posts,
so I'm just going to do this little re-introduction to say,
hey,
this is who I am and if you would like to read my blog and
be my friend you can and
if you don't want to then blessings and so long!
though, I really hope you will stay even if you don't agree with me because
I like those I don't agree with. 
so, here's the quick version...

I love Jesus.
We started hanging out when I was 17.
Before that I had no clue who He was.
I went to Jesus punk rock shows.
I got tattoos.
I married my stalker when I just turned 19 and
had only known him for 4 months.
He had a 6 year old kid.
We started having babies, lots and lots of babies.
My husband became a pastor.
We started church planting.
We quit church planting.
We quit church.
We still love Jesus.
 More than ever.
We have always homeschooled.
Now we unschool.
I write because I suck at talking.
I write because my soul pours out in words.
They pour out in a mixture of poetry and prose and
I can't figure out what I write but it's just what I write.
I don't think I'm all that special.
There is no good reason why you should read my blog.
I think children are equal with adults.
I think they should be treated with the same respect adults are treated with.
I think punishment is counterproductive and wrong.
I strive for peace and gentleness.
I often fall short.
I read because it's a lifeline for me,
needed encouragement, support and thought provoking words.
I ask questions, I challenge things, I don't accept things just because it's the normal thing,
that includes the traditions and beliefs of the American Christian church.
I ponder things, I think what if?, I don't make doctrine out of what should be mystery.
I think we have boxed God in,
we have taken one part of Him and made that our only focus and
He is looking at us saying, "Hey!  You have my big toe, you are studying my big toe,
you think you know every crack, every wrinkle, every hair but you only know like
one tiny part of my toe nail and you think that toe is all there is of me!  There is so much more!
So much more.  I have an entire body and you haven't even begun to look."
My husband cusses like a sailor and I'm okay with it and
I don't think God cares one little bit.
I stopped praying, "Dear God, blah,blah... Amen," for a time and
just started chatting with Him in my words, my tone, my way
throughout my day, whenever I had something to say to Him and
suddenly I knew He heard me.
I think pay it forward Christianity is garbage.
I think the idea of the "now and the not yet" in theology is bogus.
I really like Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.
I love Psych.
I agree that ignorance is bliss and damn it,
I wish I were still ignorant.
I lost a best friend when I stopped attending church.
That sucks.
I have stopped trying to please everyone and so I am finally happy with who I am,
who God created me to be.
I am really strange and think lots of things that people don't agree with and
I'm tired of keeping my mouth shut.  I think sometimes you just have to speak {or write}
and let it be whatever it is.
God has set me on this path and planned this amazing journey for me.
I have a beautiful life.


Thursday

{why I stopped reading your blog}

If you are my friend or a blog reader, I read your blog.  I may not comment all that often but
I do read.  I enjoy my friend's words, photos and the encouragement and/or thought provoking material
that they offer.  I also read a few blogs of people I adore for various reasons, though they don't read mine or know me. 

But,
there are a few blogs,
popular blogs,
that I have stopped reading.

I am not naming names but I am going to tell you why I no longer read your {their} blogs.

You make me feel like crap.

Seriously.  I'm a mama of 7 that homeschools.  My husband works a full time manual labor job and God always provides for us but so often we are just scraping by.  We rent our house in a neighborhood with a hoarder across the street who walks around outside in his underwear all day long.  I dream of living in the woods or having a farm, being able to allow my children the freedom to roam around our property, but that's just not going to happen in any foreseeable future. But you have that.  Your photos sing of the beauty I wish I could give to my children. 

You always have the answer, are always able to bring peace and I am desperate to do so and yet I fail way too often.  I read books and blogs for encouragement but I am no longer able to find that on yours.  The only message I hear on your blog is you are not enough.

I can't travel, can't offer much to others, it takes all of my energy and resources just to pour out peace, grace, love and gentleness to my own children and husband.  And I believe, for this time in my life, that is enough. But when I read your blog I walk away feeling like it isn't.  And I don't want to feel like that anymore.



 
So I no longer read your words or look at your photos.  I know that you encourage many people and I am very glad that they find a kindred soul, a source of peace, in you.  But I don't.  I have my own life to live, my family to care for and my God to draw near to.  I wish the best for you.

Peace,
amy

edited to add: My issues, being made to feel like crap, are not your fault.  I am under no illusion.  It's me, comparing myself, feeling like I don't add up.  That's my issue, not yours.  I don't read your blog anymore but that's not your fault.  It's the fault of my insecurities. 

Wednesday

{our days}




 

 

i wish it were snowing here.
it appears to be snowing everywhere else,
but not here.
never here.

i'm making this cheeseburger soup for dinner tonight and it smells amazing.
out of the 8 of us, i predict that 4 will eat it, 1 will try it and decide not to eat it and
the other three will immediately ask for something else.
that's kind of life in our house.  and it's good.

we watched national treasure today, a family favorite and
now the majority of my kids want to be treasure hunters, they are
searching the outside of my house for clues.

layla wrote up her plan for learning which she entitled,
"basic outline of learning for me for however stinkin' long i want."
it was pretty amazing.  she is completely self-motivated and loves learning
and growing.  she has decided to learn about ww2 and the holocaust and we
have been having some heart wrenching discussions. i asked her if she was
ready to learn about so much evil and pain, and she replied,
"it's a part of this world mama, i have to understand it in order to stand against it."
her wisdom and maturity take my breath away daily.

anyway, just a little peek into my right now.
back to the soup!

peace,
amy

Thursday

{driving away, journeying on}



My last weekend at church I cried,
much different from when I cried the first time I stepped foot through doors I
considered too holy for my dirt caked soul.
That first time was an awakening, a cleansing,
balm for aching child that I was and
He met me there and opened arms and
whispered words of peace and love.
He set my path, my journey
before me, teaching me how to walk and
never, not once, has He left my side.

And then, after years of following suit,
of going through the motions,
and despite my arguing, He told me it was okay to stop.
Despite my desperation and fear,
my lack of knowing where to go and how to move forward,
He told me to relax, be at peace and
trust Him.  He held my hand, whispered words of comfort and
I balked, did I have to be the one?  Did my journey have to
take this route?  Why couldn't I just keep walking alongside
everyone else?  My typical heart's cry,
why am I so different?  I'd been the one to spout gossip,
to "pray" for those who no longer went to church,
to wonder how they could call themselves a Christian when
clearly,
they were so far away that they no longer engaged in
our self-righteous idea of "fellowship."
I had been the one.
And I could hear God's humor in it all,
chuckling as He gave us the green light,
told us the time for our exodus was upon us,
giving us yet another reason to be talked about and shunned.



That day we went to ready our hearts,
knowing it would be the last time,
at least for a very long while.  We stood in worship and laughed at
appropriate {and inappropriate times} during the sermon,
we made small talk during breaks and after church,
declined an invitation to the pastor's house for lunch.
As we drove away, crashing brown ocean at our backs,
I cried.  Tears flowed,
not for sadness but for freedom, not for loss
but for gain.  Time to journey on,
to see what God had in store for us,
to meet Him in our daily moments, to feel His breath and
hear His voice. 



We drove away,
welcoming His Spirit.
"Time to stop quenching Him," I whispered through tears,
"All that time we spent trying to know Him, churches
teaching us not to quench the Spirit.  But what is more
quenching, more stifling, than a box?  And what is more of a box
than an institution?"

We drove away
towards freedom,
embracing the journey He was leading us on.
It's a remarkably beautiful road and
we are still driving.



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