symbolic "last post" of 2010

here we are, the last day of the year. i feel like this year and mostly december was filled with things i was meant to do or wanted to do and did not make time to do them. blogging was one of them. i had a wonderful year, filled with many good memories and goals met, but things went so quickly that being intentional was difficult. i am going to spend 2011 being more intentional - in everything - and hopefully you can notice that change in my life. so here's to the year twenty.ten and all God has done!

posts i meant to have in december: "jane is 18months old" "Christmas time" and "jane's first ski trip" so here are a few pictures to hold you over until i get back to being intentional with this blog

my "big girl" posing by the fireplace

family photo at the Christmas eve service
jane and i both received a new pair of toms shoes for Christmas. i love them. hers are a size too big still but i can't wait for them to fit better (they fall off a lot now) thanks grandma and grandpa massie!
jane and her dad on jane's first ski day at 18 months old! we borrowed skis from the foggs and off she went. she really enjoyed being pushed fast by dad
big jane on the skis. i'm sure the boots were way too big but she only needs to stand up so they served their purpose.

one of my readings from "december of proverbs 2010" was this: "Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him." proverbs 30.5

happy birthday!

i like to think of Christmas as Jesus' birthday because it reminds me to "give" a gift to Him as i do for others on Christmas and their birthdays. i think this started in high school youth group with terry m as my youth pastor. he encouraged us to think of something only we can give over or give up to Jesus and start doing that on Christmas.

some years have been more intentional than others; to be honest, i totally forgot about it this year until about two days ago. i think about what in my life could be better for God or change and work that into a "gift." last year, - i have forgotten. perhaps i wrote it down somewhere but the memory is meshed with my new year's resolutions so i can't keep them straight. i'll have to look back in my journal or blog to figure it out.

this year, i am giving Jesus more of my time each day. for the past three weeks i have made a list on sunday or monday of all the things i need to accomplish that week or appointments - even the fun type. sadly, i have left off "time in prayer or Bible reading" i am still reading proverbs for december but i am two days behind. i need to have quality time just praying and sharing my life with God and right now i am terrible in that area. so i am going to physically write it on my list and make a better habit of reading my Bible and sharing with others what i am learning. hopefully by doing that, it will transfer into my life through a better attitude about everything, more thoughts about God that i share with jane, and an overall better amy. hopefully you can keep me to it, in a kind way.

Merry Christmas!

november, done

i finished all my snippets for november month of thankfulness. though i will not be writing a snippet every single day any more i do want to continue the thankful attitude and positive thinking. being thankful and actually thinking about it and telling others about what i am thankful for has helped my attitude and outlook on who i am and what i am doing with my life. it is so easy to get discouraged, especially when it's just me and little jane most days (a lot of time to be with my thoughts) but i can't let that happen because that's not the person God wants me to be. so if you find yourself discouraged during these cold winter months, i encourage you to reflect on how blessed you are and how great our God is!

it's a BOY!

i went for my 16 week (4 month) checkup and ultrasound today and we found out baby #2 is a boy! pete is very excited; i am too but i was just fine with another girl. baby looks healthy and weighs about 6oz measuring at what a 17 week baby would be (i'm 16.5 wks pregnant so right on track.) i waited until now to tell the internet i was pregnant - mostly to see if i had the will power to do so, it was easier than i thought - but i am glad i finally did. so much of my everyday life obviously deals with pregnancy and sometimes it's nice to share that with others who know how it feels. i am giving this pregnancy to God's control everyday. it is so easy to let my sinful nature and satan take over my thoughts and convince me something bad will happen. i trust God and know that whatever happens, good or not, He is sovereign and will sustain me.

beautiful gift

our wonderful friend kris has painted a portrait of little jane. it came from a picture my mom took at church a few months ago. jane was about 14 months old, i'll have to check for sure. the picture is gorgeous and looks so much like jane, complete with big cheeks. kris is a gifted artist and will be entering the painting in a few "contest" type events. someday, jane will be able to have the painting and remember a time that she herself cannot remember but her precious "baby self" will always be there, in the painting. thanks so much to you kris!

november thankfulness

a few of my friends are participating in a facebook challenge to update their status daily in november with something they are thankful for. it is a lead up to thanksgiving and the purpose is to help you focus on what you are thankful for and not "other" things. while i understand we are to be thankful all the time every day of every year, it is nice to get "back on track" much like we do with new year's resolutions. so instead of facebook, i will be putting my daily thankfulness on my blog in the "snippets" section - right column at the top, if you've never seen it before.

i hope you can find encouragement from it as i know i will. maybe it will remind you of what you are blessed with and thankful for. lately, many of my friends seem to be discouraged or struggling with seeing God's plan and purpose in everything and taking it all in stride. i know i can get like that too and i will be praying this month that the hardships we face (whether real or imagined) can be faced with God's strength and not our own.

i have been thinking a lot lately about James 4. it talks about not loving the world because that makes us enemies to God and the perspective we should use when looking at our life. specifically verses 14-15:

"yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that."' esv.

discovery time at our local library

i take jane to discovery time most monday mornings. it's a story time our library does for ages 5 and under (basically if they aren't in school they are welcome.) the "teacher" reads a few stories, the kids "listen." jane just watches other kids and roams around a bit. overall she is well behaved and i think it's good for her to socialize with a variety of kids - even the not well behaved type. at the end of the stories (before we color or do a craft) there is a good bye song and bubbles! jane likes this part because she loves bubbles. i took a video last week of little jane playing with the big kids, enjoy.

interesting quote from my reading today

"un-deify the american family, and say boldly that our children are not our cause; they are given to us to train for a cause. they are given to us for a short season so that we can train them for the great causes of truth and mercy and justice in a prejudiced, pain-filled, and perishing world." - john piper

comments? i'm pretty sure i agree with that statement but there are times when i feel like my baby is my only cause and i get all wrapped up in it. i hope this will help me to keep my life balanced and remember to train her for a purpose and not just keep her safe, which sometimes is hard to do.

endings are for gratitude, beginnings are for faith

this is a short essay by john piper from his book "life as a vapor." i have been reading it everyday as a devotional and i have to tell you it has really challenged my life. i have read this little book before, but this time i am learning so much about myself and who God is and who i am in God. i was challenged greatly by today's reading and i want to share it with you - at least parts of it.

"the embrace may be only with the heart, or it may be with the arms, depending on proximity and the degree of the emotion. but in either case gratitude embraces a person with glad affections for past goodwill aimed at helping us; and faith embraces a person with glad affections for future promises aimed at helping us.
since every moment is the beginning of the rest of your life, and every moment is the end of the past, every moment should be governed by the glad affections of both gratitude and faith.
of course this is only possibly if you see the world a certain way. if you see it the way biologist richard dawkins claims to see it, you will not experience your moments this way. dawkins sees the world as a naturalist, that is, without God: (insert quote by dawkins that is rather long about our existence being merely to selfishly survive. from "the selfish gene")
if you see the world that way, there are no persons to embrace, but only biological machines; no personal affections to feel, but only genetic programming; no goodwill in the past and no promises for the future, but only ruthless, blind, genetic 'selfishness,' that is, mindless survival of superior might.
but if you see the world in the way gustav oehler (german lutheran professor of old testament at tubingen, 1812-1872) sees it, you will experience your moments differently. (insert quote by oehler basically stating that all through the Bible, it teaches that God is sovereign over everything. from "theology of the old testament")
in this view of things, looking back is looking on the past providence of God: 'as for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good' (genesis 50:20). and looking forward is looking on the future providence of God: 'the heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps' (proverbs 16:9). 'are not two sparrows sold for a penny? and not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father' (matthew 10:29). 'surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life' (psalm 23:6).
if you see the world in this biblical way --- and if you stand inside that biblical world as your humbly-accepted world --- then every moment will be a point of gratitude toward the past and faith toward the future. the practical implications of this are great. for example, gratitude is one of the humblest affections; and faith is one of the boldest. just think what kind of people we would be in the next year for the cause of Christ if we were continually humbled by our backward look of gratitude and continually emboldened by our forward look of faith! no, don't just think about it. pursue it --- with all your mind and all your heart."

the prayer that follows the essay: "gracious Father, grant me a lowly spirit of gratitude. make me feel the preciousness of past grace. give me an honest memory of mercy. forgive me for the pride of unremembered gifts and callous thanklessness. waken faith in my wavering soul and give me strong confidence in your solid promises. where past and future meet make me humble and bold. in Jesus' name and for His sake, amen." - life is a vapor, p 48-51

vedauwoo 2010

"vedauwooo-oooh" sing it like the "yahoo" commercials and that is the theme song i decided on for our trip. a group of twenty or so people ventured from utah and colorado to camp, hike, eat, and fellowship in God's beautiful creation of vedauwoo wyoming. we had a great time despite the wind and cold. it was jane's first camping trip and she had a great time playing in the dirt and hanging out with the dogs and grandparents. i am so glad the trip worked out and i look forward to future camping trips with our friends and family. the following are pictures to document our adventures, hope you enjoy:

we were fortunate enough to be able to stay in the gompert's tent-trailer. it has a propane heater that came in handy at night!
pete loves it there, ever since his parents brought him here as a little boy - he reverted back to that stage a little bit this trip.
sisters! what what!
this was a gnarly dead tree at the top of the rocks. it grew twisted and i was fascinated by it

looking out at the top of our hike saturday morning
mat, he climbed up this giant rock then through a hole onto an even bigger rock. most of us did not follow him but he was excited anyway
picture from the bottom. we went to the area on the right of the picture, just above the trees. mat and pete went to the round boulder sticking out in the middle of the picture, just down from the very top.
lunch in the sun - not surprisingly, i got sunburned that day on my face and neck. it turned from cold and cloudy to sunny real quick
giving kellie what she wants, a good rub down

my cute camper. she was super stylin' for camping but it's all we had. the coat is at the dry cleaners right now.
sunset saturday. the tree had a fantastic shadow on the rocks
good morning! jane slept great the second night. pack'n'play in trailer was a success
self portraits of me and pete always turn out with pete partially in the picture. i still like it
our last hike on sunday led us to the top of the world and this cool meadow that sarah decided to snooze upon.

the end of our trip. this is a view of our campground from "the top of the world" which was the coolest hike we did the entire trip. thanks all for making it a great trip

matthew 11.28

come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.

jane has skills - river dance skills

my parent's watched jane today while sarah and i volunteered for "the stand to cure ms." when we returned we found a very excited and hyper jane jumping in the jumper. she was totally showing off, allyse - gerald's sister - was with us too so jane might have been showing off for her. anyway, this is one of the funniest videos we have of jane. she is such a little kid now!

july 30, 1990

july 30th has come and gone this year and i didn't even notice until now. i am almost finished with my study of the book of esther (as done by beth moore) and the last chapters are about the jews remembering what they had been through and celebrating it every year. so that is why i was reminded of july 30th, starting in 1990. here's the story:

the characters: a 6 year old girl, a 10 year old girl, and a 30something sunday school teacher.

the scene: night church (sunday evening), basement of a lions club building that doubles as a church. the carpet is red and orange with some sort of design throughout. there are approximately 3 pillars running down the center of the large room and kid's chairs set up on the left side of the room in rows.

this is how the story goes: a little girl - let's call her amy - was sitting in children's church on a summer sunday evening. she sang some fun songs and the teacher - let's call her melody - read them a story. the story was about a little boy and little girl who were out in the country with some sheep (the story is pretty fuzzy right here) and they were talking about lost sheep and how we as people are like sheep and we are lost from our shepherd who is God. if we don't accept Christ's gift of salvation we won't be with Jesus when we die and we will be separated from Him in hell, forever. perhaps they also sang a song about sheep - "all we like sheep, have gone astray, all we like sheep have turned our own way. all we like sheep must trust and obey and follow Him, follow Him, follow Him....." (can't really remember) this got amy thinking, "i want to be with God forever" somehow amy got from that thought to talking with her cousin, let's call her corie, about being with Jesus. now corie was maybe 10 years old but she knew what to do so she took amy away from the group so they could talk - this part is very vivid, right corner of the room, furthest from the stairs. anyway, amy asked corie to help her pray if she wasn't sure what to say. after that amy went outside to play and does not remember telling her parents right away or anything else from that night but she knew she was part of God's family and would live with Him forever when she died and that was a good thing to know!

so that little story is my story - i was either 5 or 6. the details i remember and have thought were true for 20 years now was that i was 5 years old when i accepted Christ and it was july 30, 1990. but, i looked it up and it would have been a monday if it was the 30th so maybe it was the 29th 1990 but that would make me 6 and i remember being 5 so maybe it was july 30, 1989 which was a sunday so, i don't know. we'll go with 89 but it's not like a five year old keeps a journal... "tonight i accept Jesus into my heart".... so for the sake of this post we'll stick with 1990.

i want to remember that day every year because that was a major turning point in my life. even though i was so small, it turned me toward God and ever since i have been growing in knowledge of Him and my actions have been guided by the Holy Spirit. how cool, that for most of my life i have had the Holy Spirit alive in me, working out His will for my life!

so, i thought i would share that memorable piece of information because i wanted to remind you of that day you realized who God really is. i hope you will celebrate with me too.

grandma, nanna, mimi, nona, kiki's birthday

july 24th is my mom's birthday and we celebrated all weekend. i have decided that i like jane calling our moms just plain grandma but my mom is not sure about that, thus the post title with various names we have heard of for kids to refer to their grandmas. feel free to leave your opinion in the comments. anyway, here's what we did...

jane is playing in the water feature at my parent's house for my mom's birthday party. i got to see some of my parent's friends that i hadn't seen in a while and they got to know jane a bit better.
the next day we went to the ogden farmers market and my grandma came too. jane liked to play with great-grandma in the grass while we rested after lunch. this picture she is proud of herself for tackling great-grandma while maintaining control of the camera she likes so much.

learning to walk with great grandma's help. my grandma mentioned that it had been "eons" since she had just laid down on the grass and rested. i'm glad she got to relax a bit with us. while we were there she made sure she bought some local corn because "the kind they sold near her house in farmington was from california and didn't taste that great." we also ate lunch at gandolfo's which thrilled my grandma because they have sandwiches named, "little italy" and others like it which makes them a friend of my grandma for sure. it was a good time.

lastly, we went to a bridal shower for julie and it was during jane's nap time but i wanted julie to meet jane. jane did very well, considering, and she really liked hanging out with grandma and grandma's purse full of toys.

trip to the doctor

we check in
you like the pens
the nurse calls your name, "jane?"
we walk down the hall
sit in the chair
she comments on your big cheeks
ariel is her name
weight - then wait
the dr. comes in
her german accent is nice
she too comments on the "cheeks you still have"
she questions
and pokes
and smiles at you
"very healthy baby, see you in 3 months!"
the dreaded shots come in
i tell myself it's for your good
the deed is done
you don't cry long
out the door we go
to return another day
hopefully not too soon.

- poem i wrote for jane's one year checkup 07.11.10

who will you be?

a student friend recently reminded me of a person i used to be. i looked back on my blog when i first began - apr. 2006 - and realized that i had more drive, passion, and attention for Christ then which is somewhat lacking in my life now. i am reading a few books, one that deals with our children's perception of our walk with God and it really got me thinking... it will do me no good to read those books if i am not also filling my life with God and His word so it may overflow to others in my life. i now decide to really strive after God so that i may love Him more but also so jane will see my life and desire what i have because of who i am in Christ! if you see me in the near future, ask me about what i'm experiencing with God and hopefully i will have an answer for you.

how about you, what person do you want to be so that others will desire what you have? go out and be that person. ps. 63.3

pictures i've doctored a bit

june has come and is almost gone. i have been busy the past few weeks and blogging really took a back seat. my goal is to post once a week from now on. this post is a few pictures i edited with an app on my phone. i don't do this for every picture but it is really nice sometimes because it makes me look like a better photographer. enjoy...

i want that

i found this link on facebook today. it is about multitasking and our media addiction, which i have but not to the extreme of the main guy in the article. his job deals with computers and he is constantly surrounded by media all day. you should read it, it is convicting. i did take the "tests" on focus and switching tasks and did very well, a good boost for ego. i di need less media throughout my day and i don't even have t.v.

then pete sent me this link of the new iphone4 announced today. so cool! i wish i had one, and i have the 3Gs. so really, it is so amazing. video calls, new organizational tools (we all know how i love that) anyway, watch the video and you will want one too.

so, moral of the post, i need to focus on God first and always before i go buying other things to distract me from Him.

the end

too much talking on the phone?

today i realized that i may talk on the phone too much. probably my baby is just an observant little girl but it made me stop and think. this is what happened...

normally, i don't let jane play with my iphone. one, it costs a lot and i want to keep it nice. two, i don't want her to be one of "those" babies that is obsessed with phones. well, she is. anyway, i was showing her a picture of herself on the phone and she was being very well behaved so i flipped through and showed her the album. she caught on quickly and took the phone to touch the screen and flip through on her own (it was very cute.) next thing she does is hold the phone right next to her ear! it was so cute and funny. i didn't go get the other camera (not sure why) so i don't have proof. but i let her hold onto the phone and she did it again about 30 seconds later. she seemed to be listening for someone to talk to her. who taught her this? probably me. but i am impressed that she learns things just by watching. it makes a momma proud.

so, the time came for us to move on and put the phone away... bad idea. she threw the biggest fit of her life so far. it was screaming, and i mean screaming. she threw herself on the floor. and the crying went on for about 2 minutes! i tried distraction, talking to her, even her baby doll didn't comfort her. finally i took her outside and she calmed down. i am telling you, sin nature is strong in this child. one surprise for me, being a new parent, is that discipline starts sooner than i thought.

moral of the story, jane is not ready for phone responsibilities. she goes all crazy like gollum on lord of the rings, not cute!

signs that point to me getting older

okay, i am now 26 years old. i know that to some of you who read this that seems young and you may long to be 26 again. to some of you, 26 is only a few years removed from where you are now and you are much wiser, i'm sure, because of it. and to some of you, dear readers whoever you are, you are younger and can't really imagine being 26. i was like you, not long ago (even at 25.) so let me start by clarifying that i am not complaining about getting older, i quite enjoy it. i am just starting to notice little things that i just realized happened many years ago. here is my list:

~ i have now been married SIX years! yes, i know, i was married when i was "young" for most standards of marriage; but it seems like six years is starting to lean toward no longer being newlyweds and being, just, married.
~ the students that i taught my first year of teaching are graduating this week! i taught them when they were in 9th grade geography. and oh, what a crazy class they were. luckily they have changed a lot since then, they have matured into young adults (almost) who are good at what they want to be good at. and i am happy to say, a few have given their lives to Christ in the past few years!
~ one of the cheerleaders that i coached at chs when she was a junior is now the coach! yikes. this is the one that got me thinking about being older because my girl band friend, allie, made cheerleader this year and her coach was my cheerleader in 06 and 07. which means she has been graduated from high school for 3 years already and may graduate college next year.
~ my little baby jane is almost one year. this does not make me feel old, necessarily, but it made me realize that time is moving quickly and i need to be better at documenting the moments and live my life completely.
those are a few of the things that hit me recently and i know practically every year i will have some moments like these. i hope i can always love the age i am and become a better person every year because of, or in spite of, my experiences. thank you Jesus for the people You have put in my life to help me see the good things You provide and the memories i have. amen.

february and march books

i have been slacking off in most areas of life lately. i pretty much feel behind the game, all the time. house work, dinners, laundry, Bible reading, prayer, gym time, blogging, and my monthly reading. i am going to make some radical changes in my life so i can get back on track. first i thought i would catch up on some blog updates.

february book:

for february i read a book called "culture shift" by al mohler. it was a smaller book comprised of short essays/sermons he had written and crammed into a book. most of them deal with hot topics in american culture such as education issues, abortion, gay rights, politics in general - which is why it's titled culture shift. i think it is meant to jog your brain so that the reader can make decisions on what they really believe. i liked the book because it filled some of my academic void and gave me insight into what the rest of christian society could be if we thought about things in a Biblical way and not based on what is "moral" or "hip" right now.

march book:
in march i read a book titled, "why we're not emergent: by two guys that should be" by kevin deyoung and ted kluck. it was a great book for me to read at that time. i think utah is a bit behind the rest of the nation in this area (but aren't we always a few years behind) which is probably a good thing. the book gives a basic overview on what the emergent culture and movement is and it also gives Biblical reasons on why some of their ideas and doctrines (or lack of) are not in line with the Bible. i thought it was very well written and did not in any way "bash" the leaders or emergent culture but gave a carefully thought out basis of why we should be discerning when it comes to new ideas and teachings on what it means to be Christ-like. i am not doing a good job of explaining it so i think you should read it for yourself. i am possibly going to bump a few books off my year list in order to put more books by them on the list. a few are, "why we love the church" which is sort of a follow up book. and the other is "just do something" by kevin deyoung which is about finding God's will in your life without waiting for some mystical sign from God as to what His will is.

so there you have it. two more books down - 9 to go! can you believe there are only 8 months left in 2010. yikes, i need to get to reading (yes, my april book is not quite finished - and it's may already)

rough week

last week was quite the week. mostly all the action and drama was centered around jane, and not in a good way. it all started monday morning when i forgot to close the baby gate at the top of the stairs and jane fell all the way down! i was so scared and grateful because she didn't get hurt except for a tiny bump on her head. we went to the dr. anyway and she was given the all clear.

the next night, pete got sick with some sort of stomach bug. he was up all night, and jane woke up in the middle of the night too. turns out she was probably not feeling well that night either because wednesday morning she threw up her food most of the morning. it was so sad. so pete stayed home from work, and jane was pretty happy most of the time - unless she was throwing up, which happened about 4 times that day. thursday wasn't too bad for jane, she did have some messy diapers, but seemed okay. thursday night was when i got sick. i really think that God allowed me to stay healthy while jane was at her sickest so i could take care of her. well, i was sick all night and jane woke up for 2 hours that night with an explosive diaper that pete took care of. friday i was sick all morning but felt better by afternoon. we took jane to the dr. to make sure she was on the right track to recovery and pete came home from work so i didn't have to drive there by myself (probably wouldn't have been safe.)

anyway, we all survived and i pray that this illness doesn't come visiting for a very long time, or ever again. i learned that jane doesn't like pedialite (neither do i, it's gross) and that it is very sad when your baby is sick and you can't help them feel better. we both took care of each other and jane when we were sick, but it was still terrible. last thought, i feel bad for the dog too because we hardly even talked to her or pet her the whole week.

bare feet (super long post, let's call it an essay. skip to the end at least)

today began as everyday begins, barefoot. today was different than every other day because i also left the house barefoot. i am usually barefoot when i am in my house, especially in the morning. i wake up, get jane ready, then eat breakfast and get myself ready. today i purposefully left shoes out of the process. the goal, to understand a bit of what it is like to live even one day without "owning" shoes. i enjoy being barefoot, or at least wearing flip flops when it is nice outside; but this was different. i don't enjoy walking in parking lots barefoot. i enjoy being at a park with the sun shining while we slack line or play ultimate frisbee in bare feet. when we leave the park, we put our shoes on. the purpose of my experience today was to raise awareness for children who have no choice but to live without shoes. this helped me see how difficult, especially in a "western" culture, it can be to not have shoes. let me recap my day for you...

as i said, i woke up barefoot. that's easy. the hard part came when i was getting ready and had to leave the house. i put jane in her car seat, grabbed my things and walked out the door. i had flip flops in my hand, in case of emergency, but not on my feet. the cement walkway was cold, it was 8:30 in the morning. 35 degrees outside. there are mud clumps on my front porch from stomping off our shoes before entering the house. there are little seed type things left over from the bird feeder that sits in the tree above the porch, and i was hoping that there wasn't anything gross like bird poop or something. all of this i saw with my eyes as i tried carefully not to step on it.

when i arrived at the garage i stepped on little gravel pieces left from when the snow on our cars melted off during the winter. i put jane in the car and off we went. the subaru is quite uncomfortable to drive without shoes. the brake and clutch pedals are designed to be cool/hip and functional so they are metal plates with little rubber nubs to keep your foot from slipping off. the nubs don't feel so great on my feet. i drove to jen's studio to look at photos of jane she took the week before. when i made the appointment i had forgotten that i wouldn't be wearing shoes that day. if it had been someone other than a friend, i would have rescheduled.

i got out of the car and stepped onto the cold asphalt in the parking lot. luckily i parked right in front of her building so i didn't have to go far. jane and i went into the building, and i immediately felt bad for getting her clean floors dirty - which she cleaned because i told her i would be coming in bare feet. anyway, when i was leaving i felt as if i had left my shoes somewhere. like i took them off to get comfortable or like you do when entering someone's home. but, turns out, i didn't. so outside into the cold i went.

i stopped at a drive thru coffee shop to pick up a mocha and thought about entering a coffee shop today. i think most of the places i visit would ask people to wear shoes for health code reasons (though i have seen a few people at grounds without shoes - and people stare at them for sure.) on to my next appointment.

yoga class. i try to attend the 10 o'clock class at gold's gym every thursday. i love yoga once a week it keeps me stretched out and helps me get stronger. lucky for me it was thursday and "one day without shoes" because i wouldn't have been able to workout otherwise. can you imagine a person on the elliptical machine in bare feet? there are signs near the weight area stating that street type clothes are not appropriate and proper footwear must be worn. anyway, lets backtrack a bit... before yoga class started. i had to get from my car to the building.

normally i park on the second level and walk up to the third level to get to the gym. there are less cars on the second level of the parking garage, and i sometimes feed jane before or after so i need some privacy. just the thought of walking in the stairwells (that sometimes smell like pee) made me shiver a bit. so i looked for the closest stall and parked. i was about 200 feet from the door. i thought once i was inside it would be fine, because i was going to yoga class after all. i saw approximately two people on the way inside, and both looked straight at my feet. i'm sure they thought, "what is that girl doing? doesn't she know it is cold and this parking lot is gross?" well, yes i do know that, but i'm thinking, "i should just tell them why i'm not wearing shoes, then it will be okay." but that might defeat the purpose of understanding what people go through without shoes. i'm sure they get weird stares all the time.

so, poor people without shoes don't have gym memberships but that is not the point. the point is to go without shoes and try to live life as you normally would. i entered the gym and a guy was taking away the mat for cleaning so i couldn't wipe my feet off. the hallway leading into the gym was wet because he had just mopped it! i felt so bad getting my dirty feet on his clean floor but i felt even worse that whatever he used to clean the floor was now on my bare feet! okay, i walked right in and checked in then dropped jane off at the nursery. no one said anything to me about my feet, but they sure looked. then, it happened, i had the urge to go to the bathroom. "oh no!" you are probably thinking, well i was too. i thought, "maybe i can just hold it until i get home." or "why didn't i use the bathroom at jen's studio?" but i knew i couldn't enjoy yoga class or maybe even make it through it, so off i went. i thought, "i see people in their bathing suits using the bathroom barefoot" like that was supposed to comfort me. i think it is gross every time i see them, how could they not bring flip flops or something? well, i did it, and it was pretty gross but i lived. i walked to my yoga class even more uncomfortable than before.

once i was safely in the doors of the room, i felt normal again. in yoga, you don't wear shoes! so everyone was like me. except my feet were much dirtier than theirs. so yoga was over and i went back to the locker room to change into normal clothes. once again i felt like telling everyone, "hey, i'm barefoot because of one day without shoes to raise awareness for children who live without shoes!" but i didn't and a few people watched as i left with different clothes on, but still no shoes.

i picked jane up from the nursery and didn't change her diaper (even though she needed it) because i would have had to go in their kid bathroom with no shoes - no thanks. i walked out of the nursery, down the hallway (which was now dry) and out into the parking lot. once again, two people gave me some good stares, but i didn't say anything. i put jane in her car seat and hopped in, i was safe inside the car.

i could have gone a few places today i'm sure, but not in bare feet. so i went home. when i arrived i once again felt the little pebbles in the garage and watched for bird poop on the porch. then jane and i were safely in our house. i wiped my feet on the rug and proceeded up the stairs. i put jane in her room, carseat and all. i then took a quick photo of my gross feet

and washed them in the sink. they were clean again and boy did that feel good.

i fed jane and put her in her crib for a nap and checked the facebook. TOMS shoes had a few posts about how their day without shoes was going. supposedly around the country, there are rally type events in bare feet of course. so there are some pictures from california where the company is located with hundreds of people standing there without shoes. i thought, "of course it's easy to go without shoes when you are on venice beach with hundreds of other people who understand why you are doing what you are doing." i made some sarcastic remarks, to myself of course. well, and you because i'm going to repeat them here, "i would be barefoot if i were at a beach too" or "i wonder if their bare feet were too hot in the sand?" but then i realized they probably drove their cars barefoot like i did and walked in a parking lot like i did. so it was still different than our everyday lives.

the rest of the day i was home. i blogged, ate lunch, did the dishes, played with jane, laundry. things like that. what i didn't do was go for a walk outside in the nice weather. play ball with bella because she sometimes loses it and i have to walk in the field to get it for her. i didn't help pete with the fence because i didn't want to get hurt or step in the mud. i didn't wear socks or slippers and my feet have been a little cold all day.

i am thankful for my shoes and i have realized that life is hard without them. i know that people need food and shelter, but clothing - especially shoes, is very important to functioning in society. if children in rural africa don't have shoes they can still play outside and help their parents plant crops. but they can't go to school because most schools have a rule that kids must wear shoes for safety - i know schools here do. if they don't go to school, how will they break the cycle of poverty? being barefoot in less fortunate areas also means that diseases can inflict you simply for not wearing shoes. there are parasites that get in through kids' feet and can debilitate them for life. in ethiopia there is a strange volcanic soil that wears at your feet and causes painful sores on the skin. it doesn't affect people with shoes.

so i want to give shoes to those who don't have them. i am not going to buy a million pairs of TOMS shoes, which is kind of what the event is set up for..."see how much it sucks to go without shoes. now buy some toms shoes and we'll give a pair for every pair you buy!" i get the marketing ploy, but i can't afford it. instead i called the ogden rescue mission and they give vouchers for people to be able to get what they need from their thrift stores for free. so i am collecting shoes (yes, pete that means you) for those who need them. they suggested that tennis shoes and work boots are the best along with kids shoes, but i don't have a lot of those. i want to collect them for the rest of april and drop them off maybe the last week of april or little by little as i get them. bring any shoes you want to donate to church or drop them off at my house or even my parents house, whatever works. if you want to skip the middle man, drop them off at the bargain store on riverdale and 40th and they'll take care of it.

wow, i don't know if you made it through the whole thing but thanks for reading my thoughts. i am definitely wearing shoes tomorrow! thank you Jesus for providing me with more than i need.

life: given to me

i have started my 26th year of life. this year seems different and better already. i have been confronted lately with the fact that God gives me each day to live and it is His to grant to me, i don't deserve it! i appreciate each new day and year even more when i realize that God is in control. i am willing to give Him control of my life, but sometimes i don't. i want this 26th year to be different in that way. i want to grow in my knowledge and relationship with Christ, i want to take each moment from God as a blessing and share what He has done for me with others.

as a "radical" change, i was going to change the name of my blog to: "life, given to me" but then i realized that the title i already have is still very much my desire: to be the way i was made. so i will keep it and hopefully become more of the way i was made in 2010.

~ insert cute picture for those of you who "can't" read long posts without some pictures to distract you...

jane, march 2010

anyway, i am excited for a few things this year, mostly for warmer weather. i drove by the huntsville park today and wanted to let jane ride in the swings, but it was raining and there is still snow at the park. i remember in 2004, when pete and i got married, it snowed at the end of april, two weeks before the wedding, and we freaked out a bit thinking that we would be shoveling snow off the grass, at a park, on may 15th! good thing we didn't have to. i think that park is one of the best around and i hope my friends and family can drive an extra ten minutes to enjoy it with us this summer. it has a great kid park, adults too if needed. it has picnic tables, a sand volley ball court and plenty of space for ultimate frisbee or bbqs.

picture distraction:
may 15, 2004

i am also looking forward to the fourth of july this year. we live so close now that i could get up for the 5k in the morning, go home and get ready before the parade (and get jane ready), watch the parade, go home for lunch and jane's nap, and bbq later that evening with friends so they don't have to make two trips up and down the canyon. i wonder how the fire works will look from my house? - it is more fun to watch them at the park anyway, more dangerous too.

so, those are a few things i am looking forward to in my 26th year, what are you looking forward to this year?

one day without shoes

i received a pair of toms shoes for christmas and i really like them. i keep checking their site just to browse the shoes and hope to get another pair sometime. the reason i like them is because they are a business like many other businesses, but they are very vocal about their humanitarian efforts. i know they are not a Christian organization but they are nevertheless doing good things. kids need shoes and every year TOMS hosts a day without shoes to raise awareness of what it would be like to live without shoes. the day is april 8th which is a thursday and i encourage you to go all, part, or even five minutes without shoes. i am thinking about "hosting" a walk that day, but not sure. would that be something you would be interested in, even if it was mostly just people we know? leave a comment and let me know if you are going without shoes that day. click on the post title for more info.
  • In some developing nations, children must walk for miles to school, clean water and to seek medical help.
  • Cuts and sores on feet can lead to serious infection.
  • Often, children cannot attend school barefoot.
  • In Ethiopia, approximately one million people are suffering from Podoconiosis, a debilitating and disfiguring disease caused by walking barefoot in volcanic soil.
  • Podoconiosis is 100% preventable with basic foot hygiene and wearing shoes.

"For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, 'You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.'"
deuteronomy 15.11 esv

eat or drink?

lately i have been cooking dinner four nights a week (sometimes friday too.) it has been good to be consistent and i am learning a lot more about cooking and enjoying it a bit more too. the recipes i have been using are more "complex" than what i cooked even last year. so the other night pete says, "i think i want something normal to eat for dinner soon" that was quickly followed by, "but thank you for making dinner all the time." anyway, he just wanted some spaghetti with meat sauce. so tonight i made noodles (not spaghetti, we were out) and sauce with meat and parmesan cheese. it was pretty good and it only took about 20 minutes so it was nice.

pete and i also decided that we need to eat better. if i go to the gym everyday but eat crappy the rest of the time then my efforts will be in vain and pete feels like crap when he eats crap. so we made new "rules." we are starting out small. 1. make healthy choices most of the time 2. one sweet type thing a day - we eat a lot of sugar i think. so those are the rules and that got me thinking of what i eat that is sweet. usually i will have about one or two candy bar treats a week (i buy them on my weekly grocery trip, not good.) but the rest of the time i drink my sugar. either in soda, usually on weekends, or fancy coffee drinks. so i have limited myself to one soda and one coffee latte type drink a week - also to use skim and sugar free when i can. hopefully that will help in my quest to lose 5 more pounds by june and help us set good examples once jane starts eating the same food as us.

so my question for you, do you eat or drink your calories when you indulge?

blogging is boring right now

i don't like to write lately so while you are waiting for a real post from me, you can have a cute picture of my jane

to my pops

happy birthday dad!

i pray that your day will be so enjoyable. i am thankful for all you have done for me and i love you so much. mugga, mugga

your baby girl, amy

january books

as some of you know, i decided to read at least one book a month for the year twenty-ten. well, january is ending and i actually read 4 books! yep, pete and i don't have tv to watch all night anymore. instead, we surf the internet a lot and i read almost every night. it helped that the books i read were part of a series i had started in high school, and i wanted to find out what happened next so i kept reading. "one more chapter" i would say, and five chapters later i would finally go to bed. are you wondering what these books are that i couldn't stop reading? well, you won't be surprised that i like them, but i have to tell you that i am aware of their "corniness" and possible theological issues or speculations.

i read the end of the left behind series! that's right, the books that tell of the events of end times, after the rapture. the series starts with the rapture happening and follows a few key characters through their salvation and life through the tribulation, armageddon, and yes, even the millennial kingdom. i read: the remnant, armageddon, the glorious appearing, and the kingdom, all written by tim lahaye and jerry b. jenkins. there are three books in the series that i haven't read and probably won't. they wrote 3 books that supposedly happened before the rapture - prequels. and i decided that they wouldn't be worth it to read, i was satisfied with how it ended and didn't need any more.

okay, each month i am going to tell you a bit of what i learned from my readings. so this month was fiction, but i learned some things about myself and my Maker.

i enjoy reading this series because it always makes me wonder what i would do if someone were going to kill me for my faith in Jesus, and it makes me grateful that i most likely will not have to endure the terrible wrath of God during the tribulation. the last two books were during the time of Christ's appearing and the millennial kingdom when He reigns on earth and satan is bound. the writing made God's majesty come to life for me. i have had a pretty good view of who God is and how we should respect and revere Him, but this combined the reverence we should have toward Him and His unending love toward us.

i won't tell you examples from the books, but just reading it made me want to have a faith like the believers in the books. they knew God could and would do anything that brought Him glory and protected those who loved Him. they believed in Christ no matter what, even when the enemy was certain he would win.

this Jesus in the books came down from heaven and the scripture of revelations was "explained" in such a way that i want Jesus to come right now so i can experience Him talking to me and being ever-present at the same time.

i want His enemies to know that they will miss out and suffer for eternity if they don't accept that Christ is LORD over everything and wants to shower His love on us and receive our worship.

the most important things i learned were: i want to pray more to my King as if i know that He will respond back. i want to have a greater faith and obedience to Him. i also want to share my faith more to my believing friends and non-believing friends. i don't want the rapture to come and have them wondering what happened and why didn't amy try to warn me (whether they listen to God is their own decision) but i will pray more fervently for the unsaved because of these books.

thank you for reading the whole thing if you did. let me know if you have read these books and what you thought of them.

ephesians 3.14-21

a post for a post, post

i feel like i should post something, merely because i have this blog. it is not that i don't think about blogging all the time (i plan what i will say in my head before i write it down) but i don't make time for it as much anymore. i also have a lot of videos i want to share but for some reason (either i am not getting it, or blogger is very slow) it takes forever for a video to download so i end up giving up and not posting anything. i have a very short video i would like to share: i call it the bunny hop. have a great day

30, half of 60 and double 15

today is pete's birthday. he was born in 1980 which was "before my time." we are four years apart which is not that much to us now, but we realize how much can happen in four years when we are listening to songs on the radio and he says, "oh, this is a good song. i listened to it all the time in jr. high." well, jr. high for him was age 9 for me and i didn't even know what that song was until many years later. all that to say, i don't know what it feels like to turn 30, but i know that pete is doing a great job at it.

pete has done a lot in 30 years and i could list it all here (which i'm sure he wouldn't want me to) but the most important thing he has done is commit his life to living for the Lord. Pete has accepted Christ's sacrifice on the cross as payment for our sins and is living a joy filled life awaiting the return of our King. That is the legacy pete will leave for jane and others. A life devoted to Jesus and His glory.

Happy Birthday Pete, may you have many more and thank you for your great example!

"For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen." Ephesians 3.14-21 - esv, my prayer for us

praying for you

one of my goals this year is to become better at praying. it seems that i don't take enough time to pray and when i do it is so rehearsed sounding that i think God doesn't want to hear that kind of prayer. so to help jumpstart my "prayer life" as we say, i am praying for those i know. i decided to start with people at church. i have been praying for the families and people in the church directory. it is a little old now, but i think a lot of people are in there and i will try to remember those who are not. so far (it is jan. 5 already) i have prayed from a - g. so if your last name starts with any of those letters then i have prayed for you. i really like it so far and i have been writing my prayers in a journal so my thoughts don't wander too much.

a Bible passage that is going to help me this year is philippians 4.4-9: taken from the message-
Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you're on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute! Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.

Blessings on your day

that's what i meant

every year i make "new years resolutions." i usually have about 5-10 and this year is no different. often times, they are things i meant to do, not things i actually accomplish. i mean to do it, but i usually can't keep it up. for 2009 i knew i would not be able to "keep" many resolutions so i strove for two - to workout about three times a week and to read the Bible all the way through in one year. i did pretty well on the working-out, and have lost all my "baby weight!" woohoo. i also finished the whole Bible. pete and i read the same schedule and we finished on time, dec. 31st. i am glad i did it, and we decided that we would read the whole thing about every seven years (that's how often the israelites had to). my favorite old testament book is probably genesis, joshua, or ruth. i enjoy the stories. i have a least favorite which is ezekiel - it was hard for me to comprehend, and it was long. new testament favorite is probably acts or philippians and new testament least favorite might be philemon only because it is more personal and hard for me to apply to myself.

so, for 2010, i have 5 categories of resolutions with a few goals each. i would like it if you could keep me accountable to them or at least some of them. if you don't care about my goals for twenty -ten then do not read on...

here we go:

1. family
- continue using e-mealz (i cook at least 3 times a week now)
- teach jane as much as i can in this stage of her life (shouldn't be too difficult since i am with her all day)
- focus on being the best wife i can be (which is also related to being spiritually close to God)

2. physical
- workout (at the gym or otherwise) 3 or more times a week
- eat less sweets (so if you see me eating lots of cookies at church, don't let me)

3. Bible and prayer
- for my "devos, quiet time, God time" what-have-you i am going to study the passage that corresponds to the sermon that week. we started 1 corinthians at church this sunday and we will study it in Bible study on wednesdays so i will hopefully understand it well by the time i am finished.
- pray for a different person/family/topic each day. i'm hoping that will help get my "prayer life" on track.

4. mental/professional
- i want to read 12 books this year, one a month is the goal. so send me some ideas because i need about 8 or 9 more. all varieties of genres are okay. i have a fiction book and Christian "self-help". i would like a parenting/discipline book, maybe a classic, and anything else that is not too long.
- i am still working on this one, but i want to write/finish writing a professional article and submit it for publication.

5. personal/fun and friends
- practice guitar more often and challenge myself to learn more
- get out of my comfort zone and talk to more people at church besides just friends and connect more with friends i don't see often enough

there you have it, and a happy new year to you!