Tuesday

Pets Add Life Offers Care Tips in Celebration of National Kids and Pets Day April 26


Greenwich, CT (PRWEB) April 15, 2014

Celebrating National Kids and Pets Day April 26 in support of the bond between pets and children, Pets Add Life (PAL), a campaign celebrating the joys and benefits of responsible pet ownership, is sharing a few quick care and handling tips to consider when introducing kids to new furry pals.


    Gentle Hands – Teaching kids to be gentle is a huge contributor to the relationship they can have with a pet. Take the time to demonstrate the proper way to interact with animals, which is calmly (no loud noises) and with non-threatening hands, such as a low, closed fist or open palm for the animal to sniff and become familiar with. Kids should never tug on pets and should avoid their ears, eyes, and mouth when petting and playing.

    Approach With Caution – Whether kids are meeting a new pet at home or at a friend’s or neighbor’s house, it’s important to emphasize personal space and permission. Remind kids to stand at a safe distance and not crowd the animal with their faces or fingers, as new pets can often be scared and timid. Kids should also ask the owner for permission to pet an animal before approaching them.

    Calm Demeanor – Explain to kids that animals don’t share in excitement the way humans do, and that loud noises or quick movements can startle them, which can provoke an ill response such as biting or shying away. Animals can feel more at ease when humans act gentle, doting, and attentive, rather than surrounded by jumping and shouting.

    Warning Signs – Adults have an easier time judging when an animal simply isn’t comfortable. But when a small child can’t wait to pet or play with their new companion, they might be oblivious to warning signs. Most pets will approach an open palm with friendly curiosity, giving the ‘ok’ to be handled. If an animal turns their head, walks away, puts their ears back, cowers, hides their tail between their legs or shows teeth, it’s crucial for children to know that playtime is a no-no.

    Proper Care – Pets can serve as major stepping-stones in teaching children responsibilities. When welcoming a new pet to the family, encourage children to help care for them by feeding them daily; keeping bowls filled with fresh, clean water; grooming pets; cleaning up after them regularly; and providing pets with ample play.

Further promoting the bond between pets and children, Pets Add Life is pleased to host its Annual Children’s Poetry Contest, encouraging children in grades third through eighth to write and submit creative poems surrounding the joys and benefits pets have on their lives for a chance at winning top prizes. One winner is selected in each grade level and the 7th Annual Children’s Poetry Contest will return September 1, 2014. For more information, visit http://petsaddlife.org/childrens-poetry-contest.

Founded by The American Pet Products Association (APPA), the non-profit PAL campaign is designed to help people celebrate the joys and benefits of responsible pet ownership and encourage increased pet adoption.

For more information on the PAL campaign, visit PetsAddLife.org or contact Brooke Gersich at 775-322-4022 or Brooke(at)theimpetusagency(dot)com.

-###-

The American Pet Products Association (APPA) is the leading not-for-profit trade association serving the interests of the pet products industry since 1958. APPA membership includes more than 1,000 pet product manufacturers, their representatives, importers and livestock suppliers representing both large corporations and growing business enterprises. APPA’s mission is to promote, develop and advance pet ownership and the pet product industry and to provide the services necessary to help its members prosper. Visit http://www.americanpetproducts.org for more information.

MEDIA CONTACT: Brooke Gersich

The Impetus Agency | 775.322.4022

brooke(at)theimpetusagency(dot)com







The Doctor Is in: 4 Simple Steps to Spiritual Wellness


Janesville, WI (PRWEB) April 07, 2014

Practicing physician Ronald Ragotzy is here to shatter the illusion: spirituality and science can coexist in perfect harmony.

Analytical from a young age, Ragotzy struggled with traditional methods of understanding the Bible. This led him down the path to discovery: human knowledge helps us understand the complexities of life; faith is what comforts us when we interact with these often harsh complexities.

“Raising Abel,” Ragotzy’s guide to understanding how faith and wisdom can work together to bring peace into our lives, will help anyone struggling with their own faith to achieve spiritual wellness.

Based on Ragotzy’s analysis of Genesis 1-11 in the Bible, “Raising Abel” outlines 1)the premise, 2)the problem, 3)the prescription and 4)the practice for understanding and reaching new peaks in our spiritual development.

Ragotzy’s goal with his new book is that readers will recognize that in order to live life to the fullest, we must use wisdom to navigate through life and faith to rest when life overwhelms us.

“Faith and science were meant to work together right from the beginning, but science was never meant to make us happy,” Ragotzy said. “People yearn to have peace, comfort and rest in their lives and they can’t find it on their own.”

Raising Abel: The Life of Faith by Ronald Ragotzy

Hardcover, $ 30.99 Paperback, $ 13.99 e-Book, $ 3.99

ISBN: 978-1-4697-5318-8

Available at amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com and bookstore.balboapress.com.

About the author

Ronald Ragotzy earned his M.D. from Wayne State University in Detroit and has been a practicing physician for 29 years. Ragotzy resides in Janesville, Wisc., in a 1920’s, Tudor style, stucco cottage with a city park in his front yard and a forest preserve in his back yard. In his free time, he visits and kayaks with family and friends, or travels to see his only son, Declan, at Carroll University.







Kevin Sorbo and Amy Grant Star in “The Secret Handshake”

Nashville, Tennessee (PRWEB) March 18, 2014

Kevin Sorbo stars with Amy Grant in the Howie Klausner-scripted indie feature, The Secret Handshake. The film is in production in Nashville and is directed by Klausner and produced by Timothy D. Brown and James Spies.

Sorbo portrays Roy, a father trying to raise three girls in the suburbs that are beginning to attract the attention of troublemaking neighborhood boys. “This is a hilarious script about boys learning how to be men, from men who never learned themselves,” says Sorbo. “Looks like my experience as a parent is about to pay off.”

“We’re all really excited to have Kevin on board as the lead for The Secret Handshake,” says Brown. “He’s got the comedic delivery and dramatic chops essential to this challenging role and when he was equally receptive to the material, we knew we hit a home run.”

Grant stars as the mother of one of the troubled boys. “I’ve always pictured Amy in this role and her performance is absolutely stunning,” says Klausner, writer of Space Cowboys and Soul Surfer. He describes the film as “A story of men and boys on a journey from suburbia to the deep dark woods, and back again – with adventure, laughter and maybe a even a tear or two.”

Grant has sold over 30 million albums worldwide. Sorbo is best known for portraying Hercules in the TV series Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and in film, Meet the Spartans and Soul Surfer.

Website: thesecrethandshakemovie.com

Twitter: @TSHMovieinfo

IMDb: The Secret Handshake (2014)







He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not! How to Tell If Your Boyfriend Loves You

It can get really tiring sometimes when you are not too sure about what is going on inside your boyfriend’s mind. You are perpetually going round in circles asking the same question over and over again: how to tell if your boyfriend loves you or not? Ask any woman and she would agree that most men are difficult to read. Even if you have been with him for sometime, you are never too sure whether he feels the same way about you as you do about him. Actually, men take longer than expected to open up and come upfront with their feelings. If you are also spending endless hours guessing about his innermost feelings, here are some insights and cues to know more about his mind which can enlighten you more about how to tell if your boyfriend loves you.

The amount of time that your boyfriend is spending with you could be a good indicator in learning how to tell if your boyfriend loves you. When in love, a man gets desperate to see the woman he loves and spend as much time with her as possible. These could be intimate moments, taking a walk or cooking a homely meal together. No matter what activity you do together, if you find that your boyfriend is really making efforts to spend as much time with you as possible, you should get a clear signal that he is in love with you and not worry too much about the question of how to tell if your boyfriend loves you

On the other hand be wary of the number and frequency of excuses he gives you as to why he can not be with you. Repetition of such instances where he somehow refuses to keep an appointment is a clear signal that his mind is busy with someone or something else. You need to be alert about such signals when learning how to tell if your boyfriend loves you.

Remember a man in love simply cannot stay without being with the woman he loves. In this case, obviously, he does not love you as much you love him.

To understand how to tell if your boyfriend loves you, keep a close watch on the conversations you have with him. Is he full of himself or spends most of the time soaking in every possible detail about you and your life? A man in love never seems to get tired of asking questions about the woman he loves. Even the most insignificant details about your life seem to be important to him. The best part about this is that a man even remembers every detail about you which you might have forgotten! However, if he is busy only relating details about himself and his life, you know that love is still far away, as far as he is concerned. He is more in love with his own image than he is with yours. This can give you an important cue while you are trying to assess how to tell if your boyfriend loves you.

Whether you are still together and trying to deal with infidelity or you are already seperated and want to save your relationship or marriage… the next step is absolutely crucial! Don’t make the mistake of saying or doing something that will kill your chances of getting back together with your partner. Find out what you need to do to give your relationship or marriage a second chance and emotionally reconnect with your partner again.

When A Man Loves Episode 12: Jae Hee Can't Resist Kissing Mi Do During a Tearful Goodbye

When A Man Loves Episode 12 Kiss Scene Watch the full Episode FREE: http://bit.ly/1222bHV Subscribe to DramaFever: http://bit.ly/10TNEL1 Jae Hee decides to l…
Video Rating: 3 / 5

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Edwin Watts Golf and Golfweek Announce Renewed Partnership of Popular Nationwide Amateur Golf Tour

Fort Walton Beach, FL (PRWEB) February 26, 2014

On the heels of Worldwide Golf’s recent acquisition of Edwin Watts Golf Shops, the company announced a partnership extension with Golfweek, whereby the specialty retailer will serve as the official presenting sponsor of the popular Golfweek Amateur Tour, presented by Edwin Watts Golf.

The agreement extends a beneficial partnership between two major golf industry entities that serves to not only support the overall growth of the tour, but also the amateur game nationwide. In 2013, over 4,500 amateur golfers participated in the Golfweek Amateur Tour, Presented by Edwin Watts Golf, which included 700 tournaments across 29 states.

As part of the 2014 partnership, Golfweek and Edwin Watts Golf will cross-promote the tour locally within retail stores, regionally in collaboration with respective tour directors and nationally across Golfweek’s assets as well as via Worldwide Golf’s extensive consumer network. Additionally, Edwin Watts Golf will connect directly with Golfweek Amateur Tour members throughout the year at various tournaments, including the National Tour Championship, and the Edwin Watts Golf 2-Man Challenge, both of which will be held October 17-19, 2014 in Hilton Head, S.C. During this exciting season-finishing event in 2014, Edwin Watts Golf will have a major on-site presence, which will include game improvement clinics, equipment demos and special offers for all competitors. The 2013 National Championship, the largest in tour history, brought more than 800 amateur golfers to Hilton Head, S.C this past October.

“Over the last 20 seasons, Dennis McCormac, Tour President has worked tirelessly to create a turnkey amateur tour model that has grown into an expansive network of more than 4,500 golfers competing in more than 700 nationwide tournaments,” said Golfweek Publisher Jereme Day. “Edwin Watts Golf proved to be a valued partner in 2013 and I anticipate more opportunities for growth in 2014 and beyond with the integration of Worldwide Golf’s portfolio of brands.”

With Edwin Watts Golf now a member of the Worldwide Golf Shops family, future plans will include opportunities for growth in new markets via integration of Worldwide Golf Shops’ portfolio of brands, including Roger Dunn Golf Shops, Van’s Golf Shops, The Golf Mart and Golfers’ Warehouse.

“As a specialty retailer, we have an obligation to do our part to help grow the game,” said Al Morris, President Worldwide Golf. “The Golfweek Amateur Tour Presented by Edwin Watts Golf provides amateur golfers with an opportunity to enjoy the game in a fun and competitive environment, and it allows our brand to truly connect with golfers at a grassroots level.”

Amateur golfers participating on the tour will receive a breadth of benefits, highlighted by the opportunity to win Edwin Watts Golf gift cards in several markets. Additionally, Worldwide Golf will immediately enhance the overall customer experience at Edwin Watts Golf by offering their exclusive 90-day, 100% satisfaction guarantee both in-store and online at http://www.edwinwattsgolf.com. This return policy is simply the best in the industry and allows the customer to actually use their purchase for up to 90 days and then return it for full store credit if not completely satisfied.

To learn more about the Golfweek Amateur Tour presented by Edwin Watts Golf, visit: http://www.amateurgolftour.net/index.htm.

About Golfweek

Founded in 1975, Golfweek is the most authentic, authoritative and independent voice in golf. Serving enthusiasts who are truly passionate about the game of golf, the Golfweek brand includes Golfweek magazine, Golfweek.com, Golfweek OnDemand, Golfweek Mobile, Golfweek Custom Media, The Golf Wire, The Apparel Wire, The Tour Van and TurfNet.com. Golfweek is part of Turnstile Media Group, which specializes in developing diverse media platforms that engage and strengthen the communities they serve. Founded in 1990 and headquartered in Orlando, Fla., Turnstile Media Group is also the parent of Professional Artist, Community Media Holdings, The Seminole Voice, The Winter Park/Maitland Observer and Turnstile Connect.

About Edwin Watts Golf Shops                                                                                                                        

Edwin Watts Golf Shops, LLC, now a Worldwide Golf Shops company, headquartered in Fort Walton Beach, Florida is one of the world’s premier specialty golf retailers. The company operates as an integrated, multi-channel retailer, offering the freshest assortment of brand name golf equipment, apparel, and accessories through its 50 domestic Retail Locations, eCommerce Internet site (http://www.edwinwattsgolf.com), Telephone/Catalog/Direct Mail sales (1.800.344.8874) and Digital Catalog (http://www.edwinwattsgolf.com/catalogs). Edwin Watts Golf touts a team of highly experienced and knowledgeable sales associates who can assist customers of all skill levels with lessons, performance fitting, special orders and repair services. The combination of the highest level of customer service, 90 Day, 100% Satisfaction Guarantee and reputation as the most trusted retailer in golf for over 45 years has earned the organization the right to be known as America’s Golf Club.

###







Find More Family Values Press Releases

'How I Met Your Mother's' final table read is a tear-jerker

'How I Met Your Mother's' final table read is a tear-jerker
himym-cast-final-table-read.JPG The producers of "How I Met Your Mother" chose Valentine's Day, of all days, to stage the first reading of the series finale script. Judging by what cast members and the creators shared on social media afterward, there …
Read more on Zap2it.com (blog)

Documents: Man charged in shooting of mother and daughter had threatened to
A man who was charged with shooting a 15-year-old girl and her mother outside of their Romeoville home this week had threatened to rape and kidnap the girl last year and was ordered by a judge to stay away from them, according to court documents.
Read more on Chicago Tribune

Richard Childress clears the air with Dale Earnhardt's mother over No. 3
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Team owner Richard Childress talked to Dale Earnhardt's mother Friday and feels he has her support to have his grandson racing Earnhardt's famous No. 3 in the Sprint Cup Series. Childress is bringing back the No. 3 to Cup racing …
Read more on SportingNews.com

Car finance experts Car Loan 4U comments on the new Nissan Qashqai


Macclesfield, Cheshire (PRWEB UK) 17 January 2014

Japanese car manufacturer Nissan has launched its new Qashqai crossover model for 2014, which comes with three engines to choose from, the 1.2-litre petrol and 1.5 and 1.6-litre turbo diesels.

The Qashqai was an extremely popular model amongst UK car buyers last year, with nearly 50,000 sold during 2013, and was also recently named Car of the Year 2014 by What Car?

There are four trim levels available with the new model – Visia, Acenta, Acenta Premium and the top specification Tekna – with prices starting from £17,595.

The standard equipment on every model includes air conditioning, Bluetooth phone connection, cruise control and engine stop-start.

Car Loan 4U Director Ryan Dignan comments:

“The Nissan Qashqai is one of the most popular cars in the UK and I’m sure the latest model for the start of 2014 will see it continue to be a bestseller in the crossover market.

“I think everyone who was impressed with the model last year will continue to love the new version, which keeps its familiar quality while adding plenty of impressive new touches.

“The new model also seems well stocked with safety features, including front collision avoidance, lane departure warning and traffic sign recognition, as well as advanced technology in the shape of self-parking.”

Motorists looking to get their hands on a new or used car might want to consider their car finance solutions and as leading car finance providers, Car Loan 4U can help provide expert advice.

Car Loan 4U offers a wide range of car finance deals regardless of the customer’s history or circumstances to give a fast decision on loan applications for new or used cars, which can be underwritten and approved in minutes.







Find More Loves Press Releases

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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