Friday, February 25, 2011

Handy Man, Honey Do

I stumbled upon a revelation as I was fuming about the ever-growing honey-do list, and the lack of time, energy, finances, and initiative that is needed to slim down that list.

To be perfectly honest, I was trying to figure out a way to NAG  talk to my husband about how imperative it was that the things on that list get taken care of (sooner rather than later, Mister!).  

I'm an analyzer and word-picture-painter.  I think about how I'm going to present my side of the argument before there's even an argument.  So, I started "painting" before I planned my attack called him.

I was sure this was going to be the thing that helped my husband see just how important his role as our handy-man was... the way I saw it- it was so right on- we'd have that list cut in half by the weekend.

This is what I had planned on saying to him:

"If it's broken, having a bunch of tools isn't going to be enough to fix it.

First- we gotta make sure we have THE RIGHT tools.
Secondly- we gotta KNOW HOW to use the tools.
Finally- we gotta take the INITIATIVE to use the tools.

So? Since I don't know what tools to use, or how to use them, 
I need YOU to be the one to fix what's broken!"

And then God was like "You're right,  Amber....." 

And He sure wasn't referring to the honey-do list or my oh-so-clever way of trying to convince my husband to be our handy-man.  

He was referring to how BROKEN I am, and how I have GOT to let Him be my handy-man since HE is the one that knows exactly where I'm broken and how to fix me.

He used my prideful high-and-mighty attitude to speak something profound into me. 

I don't deserve His goodness.  
I still cannot understand why He chooses to talk to me.  
But good-golly, I'm so glad He does.


I had this "thorn" in my flesh.

It was relentless; a constant struggle that refused to go away.

I prayed and prayed and PRAYED, yet it remained.

In my prayer, at first, I simply begged God to remove the "thorn".

He didn't.  And I was mad.  I was irritated.  I was like, "What's the deal, Lord?! Can you not hear me? I'm begging you to help me out, and you're refusing to take this from me?!?"

And then I started praying about the situation that brought the "thorn" into my life.  Not because I wanted to, but because I was desperate to find a new avenue that may help ME be rid of it.

I prayed each and every time the thorny-thoughts entered my head, despite my desire to give in to the thorn.  I prayed for any person that might be involved.  I prayed for other people that may have similar thorns.  I rebuked the devil and all but doused myself in Holy water in my desperation to have that thorn be gone forever.

I prayed specifically that I wouldn't give in and let the thorn be a part of my life.

This lasted for almost 2 years.

And then, one day,  I got to see a little glimpse of why God chose to leave that thorn in my flesh.

I saw a small-bite-of-fruit from those prayers I had been praying.  I saw eyes opened, and I saw revelation.
To put it simply- I thought I was just praying for myself, but it turns out- God chose to leave that thorn there so that I would PRAY MY GUTS OUT about the situation.  He used my prayer for a greater purpose.  He used that thorn for a bigger picture.

Is the thorn completely removed?  
Not completely.  But, I see it's purpose.  And that's HUGE.

The "thorn" has allowed me to gain a new empathy for those that struggle with these things.  It's given me a heart for situations that I typically would NOT have understood.

I'm able to show compassion instead of judgement...

I've learned this:
Sometimes we have thorns- and if we are careful not to give into them, they can be used to teach us how to be more like a Christian and less like religious-goody-two-shoe fools.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

New Discovery

My husband left his Facebook open.

I have to admit that my curiosity gets the best of me when he does this.  I can't help but to dig into his News Feed and do a bit of  "people watching" via Social Media.  

This chick friend he has posted a link to a website about "writing" and I was like "oh-my-gosh" that's so cool- I gotta check that out.

And I did. And I'm excited.  Because I found THIS GUY!!!!
(in case you're not a link clicker- check out his site at

He's awesome.  He's talented.  He's SO-IN-MY-HEAD and I don't even know him.

This tells me something I thought I already knew.

Writer's (or so I'd like to think I will be one day)- have a certain drive that cannot be put into neutral.

We. Must. Write.
As he short-and-sweet put it on one of his post, it's not out of obligation that we write, it's out of need.

I feel like this discovery was a total God-Send.  It's like God was pointing me in a purposeful direction to find this writer-dude so that I could realize that "It's Not Just Me".


This dude is not just a writer; he's a marketer. He's a dreamer. He's a creator.  He's.... Well?
Read his "about me".

I'm frazzled.  I'm elated.  I'm..... what? I don't know.  SOMETHING.

He's written book reviews. And has opinions that he's not afraid to share. And he uses his talents and his abilities to Do-What-He-Loves-To-Do.

I seem like a crazed pop culture stalker, but I'm not.  (Really.)

I'm just a little bit freaking out.  I have zero near the talent this dude seems to have.  I don't know how he got started, but I do know that accidents and coincidence are merely words in a dictionary and do not apply to this life that I am living.  God uses all sorts of creative methods to speak to us, and He just totally blew me away by speaking to me through Jeff Goins. (whoever he is).

I don't have to hone in on JUST ONE interest or passion.  I have many passions:

Marketing. (love it!) Writing (need it!) Music (thank GOD for it)

I don't know where I'm going from here.  I just know that God just put down another smooth-stepping-stone in my path for me to stand on.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


I've been sick.
For like.... EVER.

I get better and then I'm not better. And it's annoying.  And I'm annoyed.  Because I wanna scream "WOULD'YA MAKE UP YOUR  MIND ALREADY!!!" to my body.  But my body won't answer me.

And we're totally poor and can't afford to see a doctor.
Well? I could afford to see a doc if I didn't need extensive testing done- which I do. Cause all the junk that's happening is ODD and apparently I need to get my spit analyzed and my blood and my pee, and EVERYthing.

Today I've been laying around.  Same way I was laying around last month.  And the month before that. And blah blah.  It's like a mean trick.  I think I've averaged 2 weeks out of 4 weeks feeling healthy.

For MONTHS now.

I'm ready to either freakin' DIE or get better.


But I'm not bitter about it or anything.

Monday, February 14, 2011


I can't help but prefer a little bit of sappy with my music lately.  Extreme-More Than Words- kind-of-sappy.
Ok.  So typically, sappy-ness annoys me.  I think I'm less romantical than your average woman.  I don't get woo'd by the standard stuff.  I like real-ness.  I like open-ness.  I can usually see straight through CRAP, and most of the time- sappy-ness is crap.  Most of the time.  Not all the time.  Sometimes it's sweet.

That band, Maroon 5.

Great artists'.  But.... good golly, oh-so-sappy.  I gotta admit- I wouldn't know who this band was if a friend hadn't said something about them being "awesome".  I Youtube'd like I always do when I don't know who somebody is.

 Not a Maroon 5 fan.... just putting it out there.  Can't get past the lyrics.

I think it might also be cause the lead singer looks like wife-beater or something?
 IT's mainly 'cause the lyrics are TORTUROUS, though.  I'm wondering if dude may only be able to sing about his tormented heart.   If I could-  I would like to say to the guy "GET OVER IT MAROON 5.  Put your heart back together and sing about 'not-sad-stuff'.


Same Maroon 5 *fan* friend did a Facebook post about Bruno Mars. I Youtube'd him, too- cause I HAD NO CLUE who this dude was.

And I can't decide if I totally like him because I'm into Sappy-ness lately- or if it's cause I like him.

I don't know what popular song he does "now" - but the one I found that made me listen TWICE was this one:

Oh sooooo SAPPY!!!!!  

But I like it.  A LOT.  It's a serious chick song.

The End


Glancing at my reflection in the French Doors leading out to our back patio, and even in the darkness I'm noticing the dark circles under my eyes.  Eye Baggage.

And I suppose that's not all the baggage I'm toting around.

Stress has loaded itself onto my back, demanding that I ignore my (obvious) need for sleep.  

We've got a few ridiculous annoyances backing us up into a corner- but those are "deal-able" (I guess?)

More frustrating and eye baggage creating- something that's not as deal-able.  Me.

So? In the past several months- I've had obvious and crazed health issues.
Gallbladder put me out of commission and in the E.R.
Bladder- not the galling one- the other one- put me in an ambulance and the E.R. and thousands of (more) dollars in debt.

Most recently- my "female" issues have been obscenely painful and harsh.
On the couch. Doubled over. Somebody-give-me-some-MORPHINE- harsh.

The other day I noticed some odd symptoms that were more intense than normal.
We're talking nausea, and all that jazz.

I take a pregger test in the morning, and it said "Positive".
The next test says "faintly positive"
And then the next says "totally negative".

And then a few days after- I get my period.

What.. Is. GOING. On?!?!?!

I dunno.  It's crazy.  I'm confused.

No human being should be in THIS much pain.  It's MORE than pain.  It's crazy discomfort emotional harshness mixed in with HOLYcrap this so freaking HURTS.

I hate it.  It bums me out.  And DANG IT.  I'm so stupid sick of being sick.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Little of This- Little of That

Little of this-little of that

(from 11-12-08)
Random insomnia. 
No clue how to cure it; because it's not typical.
Once I get to bed, I'm a sound sleeper.  I sleep great, actually.

Problem is: I can't go to bed.

Oh, I'm certainly tired.  Exhausted, even.  Can barely hold my eyes open. 
Sometimes, I'm so tired that my eyebrows actually ache! Seriously.....That tired.

I always have one more chore to do,
One more dish to load,  or dryer to empty, shirt to hang, crumb to sweep....
One more walk around the house to ensure all of the heaters are safely away from curtains or toys, and that all the doors are locked and .......

More nights than not, I greet my husband in our sanctuary of snooze hours after he's gone to snore-town.

And more nights than not, I'm lucky to get 4 or 5 hours of wondrous sleep.  

Then, my reverse insomnia comes into play.
 I hate and despise REALLY don't like my alarm clock.  Waking up in the morning is my least favorite activity, even if on the rare occasion I get a full 8 or 9 hours of snoozin.

 I  prolong the morning routine with several pounds on the 9 minute button until finally I convince myself that it's not possible to get our children clothed, fed, and out the door in only 30 minutes.

I crawl out of bed, walk downstairs with a baby on my hip, a toddler in one hand, and a little girl chattering like one of those little white bouncy puppies you always see in the toy store.  You know.  The ones that do flips and yap yap yap in their high pitched yappy voices.  So cute, so sweet, but sometimes, the off button needs to be pressed.

And I find oatmeal or cheerios or some sort of 3 minute breakfast food that I know will sustain them until lunch time, and I somehow manage to get it in a bowl and on the table, with orange juice even.
And then....
My coffee.  In my cup. Complete with real deal half and half.  

I take a few sips and work my way around our house trying to get back packs and diaper bags organized, and water bottles and snacks bagged.  All the while saying "no, we don't play with our food.. watch your cup, you don't want to spill it.  hey now! quit hitting your sister.   ... the cheerios don't go on the floor, you need to eat them." 

I take a few more sips of cold-ish coffee and retire the half full cup to the sink, thinking "ah, man! i really wanted to drink all of that"

Then off we go.  
And home we come.  
And my evening starts all over again until it's 1:30 in the A.M and I'm convincing myself to post this pointless blog because I can't possibly get any less than 4 hours of sleep if I want to function at all tomorrow.

Upside Down

from 12-08-08

At Walmart in the pharmacy area, there are a few chairs to sit in, one of those chairs being a "try me" massage chair and a blood pressure machine.

Today, there are two young siblings, one boy and one girl sitting in the area.

As I walk away from getting my prescription I hear the girl say "ok, fine, I'll go try this thing out" as she walks to the blood pressure machine.

And the boy hollars with envy "Wait!!! I'll trade ya...." as he jumps up from the massage chair.


To be a kid again and prefer to have my blood pressure checked instead of a massage!

BLINK 12/15/08

From December 15, 2008- back in the day when I blogged on Myspace.


I passed through some pictures from just a few years ago.  And I kept thinking to myself, "Why didn't I savor these moments".

Yet, here I am, in THIS moment, consumed by every day life.  Consumed. Incapable of savoring anything.

I think about the baby days from Kyla, just 5 years ago, and I can primarily remember the challenges we were facing that made being a new parent so much harder.
We were trying to decide on a career, because we agreed that being home with our daughter was the best thing for her, which led to living in a home with too much baggage attached to it, (to say the least), and an unbelievable financial struggle.

I remember little things, but I can't remember peace or excitement. I can't remember having the time of my life just because I was playing with my first born daughter.

And I remember being pregnant with Zoe, and in the midst of that, needing to find a new home, and moving into our first purchased home, while continuing to deal with  baggage .  I remember facing struggles the second we came home from the hospital, literally, as we walked into our door we had to deal with conflict and stress.  I remember so little about those first few months.

And here I am now, though able to remember the infancy of my third born child, because it was just a short year ago, but also realizing I've missed the toddler and little girl ages that Kyla and ZOe are in due to a vast amount of... you guessed it... stress. 

I've been consumed.  Desperate to have peace in our home, to get harmony in this teeny tiny house.  From the disorganization to the clutter, atop the screaming drama associated with a 3 year old and a 5 year old cat fight, to the spats with my spouse and the never ending to do list.

I want to enjoy my babies.

I want to savor this short period of time that I have to watch my children grow.

I want to get giddy when my Kyla reads me a book, and when my Zoe does something goofy, even if it involves permanent markers and a freshly painted wall. 
I want to rock  baby Leah just because......I want to hold her and crawl around on the floor with her just so I can hear her little "I'm crawling as fast as I can so you'll chase me" squeal.

And though I realize that there are savored moments I have to cling to, I'm sad because those moments are too few.

Why-i can't I be still, and silent, and enjoy this life?  I do not understand why I seem to consistently feel a knot in my gut due to an extreme amount of unnecessary stress.  My thoughts are filled with "if only he would do his part" "if only they would obey me & quit peeling the paint off of the wall" "if only I could get this house clean and organized"  "if only i ...... if only they..... if only, if only, if ONLY"

Some people are just cool, passive, let it all roll of your shoulder folks, and I wish my daughters had a low stress easy going mama.

 There are too many times I feel at the end of my rope, 
with my fingernails just slightly grasping a tiny thread 
on the very end 
(of that rope).....

I don't know how to get to easy, it may not exist

I'm willing to settle for less stress, less chaos.

And even being willing to SETTLE for that, I still have no clue how to get there; and honestly, that freakin SUCKS!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

In Case You Were Wondering

How can I contain it?!  I've not been THIS excited for so long.  I'm amazed and humbled and overwhelmed with "WHOO HOOO!!!!!" and I want to just blurt it all out and share it right-this-very-moment.

Instead of blabbering, I'm going to lay out the pieces of this awesomeness.

Finding the corners first and turning each one over to show the top side, and then I'll piece together a small portion of a small picture inside one small speck.

Last night (February 01, 2011) I was able to get a glimpse of the complexity and the perfection of the unique "jigsaw puzzle" that God purposefully created for me.  I am so amazed by what He chose to reveal to me.

Here are a few pieces that fit together to make one perfectly gorgeous picture:

My husband is an avid collector of coats.  He has too many.  It annoys me.

His defense is this:
 "Well? I need a work coat for the winter but sometimes it's not as cold, so I need a lighter coat, too.  Sometimes I need to layer... sometimes it's raining... so I need a lighter coat and a waterproof jacket.
Well? This coat is for church.  This one is casual.....
NO! Don't get rid of that coat- it's my working-on-the-car coat... I know it's stained and gross and has a gaping hole in it- but- okay fine, you're right.... I'll just use my other coat for the working on the car coat, and I'll look for a new one to replace the other one and..... "

Seriously.  He's like a girl.
(A studly, manly, masculine, mans-man girl....)

We are also super thrifty- (read: poor) so most of these coats come from  our thrift shops.

Last year, my husband forked out a whopping $10 on the purchase of  not one, but TWO (like NEW) Burton coats.  

I wasn't as annoyed.
(Ok fine- I was freaked out excited. Between the two coats, their worth was over $600.)

These are awesome coats; we'd have never been able to afford them retail, outlet, or even on ebay!!
He gave one to his brother-in-law, and kept the other for himself.

It's because he has SO many coats, however,  that our closet and our coat racks are full!!
I'm the clutter-police 'round these parts......  and my husband breaks the law daily.

He tossed the Burton onto the banister on his way inside the door this day; and  HE LEFT IT THERE?!

Annoyance upon annoyance.

A few months ago I was at a gas station and locked my keys in the car.  Sadly- I had also planned on being at my daughter's class party 30 minutes after I slammed the door shut (literally) on those plans..... and my keys.

Minutes before locking my keys in my car,  I had confirmed my presence and willingness to help in the classroom with her teacher.  I didn't have a way to contact the teacher to let her know I wouldn't be there.  I visualized another strike going on my "She's a Flake" chart.

(Murphy's Law... aka Amber's Law).

I hate making plans.  It seems as if I'm always breaking them.  I feel like a fruit-cake; and know that there isn't a person on the planet that should put stock in depending on me to show up on time, at the right place, with the right things, for the right event.

Something seems to happen ALL the time.  "If it can go wrong, it usually does" when I try to put a plan in stone.

I was annoyed.  And irritated.  (With myself).
My brother (who "happened") to be working at the restaraunt above the convenient store came to my rescue donning a hugenormous screw driver and a coat hanger.

He tried and tried and tried to get that coat hanger to push down on my door locks; but he wasn't able to.  My sister came to my rescue and drove me to my house so that I could (search frantically) find my spare key. Which I did, but certainly not in time to get to school.

And I was annoyed about it.  And irritated that I had to cancel yet again on plans that I had made

Since I've had my van, the thingy that holds up the hood (you know what I'm talking about? The metal rod thingy?)- anyway- that thingy has been detached from my van.  You have to red-neck it and prop the hood up on it, never knowing if the rod is going to slip and cause the hood to fall on top of your head- killing you instantly!!!_ just cause you wanted to be smart and check your oil.

I've been so irritated with that stupid-rod-thingy; wondering why I always had to have red-neck things go wrong with my car.

Why!? Why can't the rod-thingy be attached like it's s'pose to?
Why does my van suddenly want to be leaking water from underneath the carpet?
Why does the van door handle get stuck if you try to open it from the inside, causing me to have to pry it open with a quarter, or a knife, or (if  and when) those don't work I have to pound on it with the side of my fist to get the handle button thing to pop out!!  One time I had to pick my kids up late for school because nothing worked, and with out the handle button popped out- the van door wouldn't close.  Sigh.
Why can't I have a spare tire like a normal person. Instead of having to drive on my spare tire because the other tire's rim got bent when I hit a pothole, and we can't afford a new rim?!?!
Why do I have 3 different tire brands on my car, causing the van to scare-the-poodle out of me when I drive in the rain?
I don't know why.... but after last night- I kind of got a glimpse.

These are the things that I complain and whine about.
This is my heart condition. Bratty.  Whiney. Unthankful.

Last night changed a lot of that.
Next blog I'm going to piece together this (whiney) puzzle, and explain why it is that I feel a new hope toward being changed forever.

I am truly thankful for a redneck car, and a husband that leaves his coat on the banister, I'm thankful that my keys got locked in my car, and that I'm a flakey flake that seems to fall under Murphy's Law more often than I'd ever choose to.

In case you were wondering: