I Am Not Super Woman

Hello there!
Sorry I have been MIA for so long. Believe me it’s not for lack of wanting to right, because I have plenty to say.
*A disclaimer before you start reading: I’m real and I say what I feel. If you don’t like that feel free to discontinue reading*

Here are just a few reasons I’ve been absent:
Planning my wedding, finally getting married, the honeymoon, being a wife, moving churches, becoming youth pastors, moving to a new town, nannying full time, photography picking up, and taking on extra tasks at our church…you could say it’s all a bit much. But it’s fun (most of the time) and I’m trying to embrace this season of life and do every task or job I have to the best of my abilities. And as you can see that doesn’t leave much time for writing anymore let alone time for me to even stop and hear myself think. Please understand I didn’t say of any of this to brag or make it sound like my life is so much harder than yours or that no one is as busy as me or to get anyone to feel sorry for me. I have a reason, promise.

As a human being that busy, and especially as a young woman I am bound to have a few breakdowns here and there or maybe even some pity parties…Or my favorite…are you ready for this? Sometimes I let my emotions get the better of me. I know, crazy right?
BUT with the jobs that I have people often times put up on this pedestal, a pedestal that I hate actually. Or they have this idea in their head of what they think I should be, how I should act, expect me to never get angry or upset, and definitely to always keep my emotions in check. So any form of humanism that I think I’m allowed to have is out the window in their eyes. They tell me to be myself, yet the second I do I get told that I was wrong…..how ironic.

People look up to me, I get it. Trust me I do. I’m not going to go all Miley Cyrus on everyone, at least I don’t plan to.
But people putting me up on a pedestal is dangerous. For them and for me. Young girls look up to me, friends who are dating are looking up to me and my marriage, people tell me I just seem to have it all together, that I’m perfect…and on and on. But the truth is I don’t have it all together and I’m not perfect. Not even close. I’m Human just like everyone else. I have flaws (many actually), I mess up, I say things I shouldn’t, I get pimples on my face (like all the stinking time), sometimes I don’t wash my hair for three days (don’t judge me), my marriage is sometimes a really hot mess, sometimes my life is a hot mess that I don’t know how to even try to keep up with, sometimes I don’t vacuum for two weeks, I don’t have time to even clean my house when I want to anymore, I always feel like a horrible friend because of how busy I am…and so on. Hopefully you get the point by now.

Interestingly enough I was told the other day that people were trying to imitate me and my relationships, my marriage, and what I have. STOP doing that. I beg you.
What works for one person or one specific couple doesn’t mean it works for everyone. It’s dangerous to try and mimic people’s lives like that. You don’t see what goes on when no one is around and what I actually go through on a daily basis, or the issues my husband and I face. It’s even worse than most couples because we are in ministry. Yes, it is great and even encouraged to have spiritually influences you look up to and seek wise council from, we do that for many people, but you have to draw the line somewhere. Don’t try and be someone else. And definitely don’t try to be me. Be yourself and know who you are in Christ.

I have real struggles, I have real life that I have to try juggle that sometimes seems impossible, sometimes more so than the average person, and sometimes I just act human about circumstances because I’m not super woman. I can’t be, I won’t ever feel bad for that. I can’t. Putting me up on a pedestal automatically sets me up for failure, because I am human and I will disappoint or let someone down at some point in my life or do something someone doesn’t like whether I mean to or not.

I’m not a rockstar and I don’t have it all together. I’m flattered people look up to me, and I do my best to be a good, God fearing woman for people to look up to. But I can’t be something I’m not. And I am not super woman. You don’t have to try and be either. Despite what many people say, I believe it’s okay to be human sometimes. God sees me and knows me and my heart. That’s what matters.

Be the best you that you can be and be happy with that.

1 Samuel 16:7
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

Ephesians 2:10 ESV
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Pretend less, read more

Love this.

The History Woman's Blog

nerd-glassesSince being a nerd has become cool I don’t like it any more. Big glasses are no longer the indicator of a visual impairment caused by too much reading, and pasty skin is less likely caused by long hours spent in libraries, archives or labs. It’s more likely the result of an overpriced holiday in Finland and cleverly applied make-up.

It is now socially acceptable, even hip, to be seen sitting by yourself in a murky café reading Camus. It is even more so if you’re wearing a baggy jumper you found in a charity shop, while frantically scribbling notes into your Moleskin notebook or are indeed staring into your MacBook. Not even questionable personal hygiene or unkempt hair are a safe indicator that the person next to you is a borderline genius.

On the other hand, real nerds are now heading to the gym to fight the pen pusher’s…

View original post 350 more words

What is a Leader?

I feel that often times people have a misunderstanding of what it means to be a leader. Sorry I lied, I don’t feel it at all. I know it to be 100% true. I’ve seen it in my friends and acquaintances. It makes me sad…because they have the potential to go so far, but the method they have etched in their heads is completely off point.

I know I know. That probably seems a little harsh. But I say it only because I truly care about them and want to see them reach their full potential and see them become everything God has called them to be. And I don’t say any of this to sound like a “know it all” or that I have all of the answers, because I don’t and I never will. But If I could help just one person by sharing what I’ve experienced…then I’m doing my job right. Steven (my fiancé) and I have been serving since we were born and I guess you could say are both “natural born” leaders. (And yes, that does make the relationship challenging at times.)

I got engaged on NYE this year and little did I know what this year had in store for me and my fiancé. And let me tell it’s been an absolutely amazing whirlwind, fairytale, nightmare, stress filled, “I feel like I need a vacation every week” type of ride. But I love it and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

When we got engaged I was already prepared…and had my date picked like the very next day. Of course it had change a few times up until last month, but we finally locked one in. Almost two months into our engagement my fiancé was worried that the date I picked wouldn’t work out due to financial things and so I told him to just not even talk about that because it was going to work out and that he will just have to trust it.

He started applying for some jobs to try and help us get on our feet a little better and to able to prepare for this new life of ours. And let me tell you, they were all really great paying jobs. Naturally I was excited (hello shopping spree!) because one of these new awesome paying jobs would mean that we would be very comfortable in our “newlywed” life.

I was dead set on us getting married in October of this year (which we are) and I just knew that was our month. So I just praying that if God was really for our marriage started this new life together that he would just provide what we need and that we would fully trust Him no matter what happened.

A few weeks went by and we didn’t hear anything from those jobs and all We could do was continue to pray and trust. And the next I prayed I got really specific. I said “Listen God, I’ve waited 4 years for this man to ask me to marry him and he finally did…and now what? I don’t want to wait another thousand year to get married! If you are for this and what you’ve laid on my heart is from you…please please give us something for a new job by March 1st.” I’ve ways heard people say “be careful what your pray for!”…little did I know we were getting something much different than what we expected.

Next thing I know, on Feb 28th, we had an interview at church in a other town close by for a Youth Pastor position. “A what position? Youth Pastors? But we’re still babies!” is basically some of what was going through my head. Needless to say I asked God and he delivered. Was it the really good paying job that Steven applied for? Not at all. At least not in the cash money sense of it.

We took a few month to pray, fast, and really think about things (even though we knew our answer from the first interview we had with the pastor). And we officially took the job last month.

We never in a million years expected to be where we are. Yes we always saw ourselves serving in a church, and probably having some type of leadership role, because that’s the type of people we are. We love to serve. But that was way way off in the distance. We were comfortable being helpers on the youth staff we were a part of before we took this job and that’s where we saw ourselves. But God had other plans. Crazy and kind of illogical plans. But if God was logical that kind of take away from the awesomeness of him.

Now Steven and I are youth pastors. Like legit YP’s not just helping out at a youth ministry. And while we already felt like we knew a lot about leadership and serving, this is a whole other ball game that’s been crazy in it’s self. It’s been stressful, exhausting, draining, dirty, messy, challenging…and this is only the beginning. And while it’s taught us more about ourselves it’s also taught us these things:

The qualities of a leader shouldn’t be those of pride, arrogance and acting better than others, going around with a holier than though attitude….etc. Instead a leader should be humble in everything they do, have a teachable spirit, taking constructive criticism well, learning from those you lead and those who lead you, never thinking you are better than or above anyone else, willing to serve others at all times no matter the cost, being there for those who look up to you, doing the dirty work that no one wants to do…

There’s a vast difference between truly being called to something and liking the idea of that something you’ve been “called” to. We see that a lot with people who are “leaders”. They like the idea and the title more than actually doing the work within the title. Being a leader in whatever you do is so much more than the title you have. It’s hard work, and you have to be willing to do the hard work. Being a pastor or a pastors “wife” or any type of leader is so much more work than someone who’s not (and I mean any kind of leader) could even begin to imagine. It’s not glamorous most of the time. It’s hard, it’s messy, and it’s exhausting. But if you listen to Gods voice above you’re own and you are staying In his will and going where he’s called you to be, he makes it so so worth it.

Being a leader is a lot of responsibility, but it’s also one of the most rewarding things in the world. Not for the self gratification, people knowing your name, or for purposes of promoting ourselves. We aren’t into all that. But we love because of the way God is using is to help make a difference in these students lives. And I’m so grateful for this opportunity and I pray that it never becomes about Steven and I no matter where we go, but that God will always be at the center of every single thing we do.

Titus 1:7-14 ESV
“For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it. For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party. They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach.”

I know it probably seemed like I was all over the place, but I’m hoping this helped someone if they were struggling with their calling, trusting God, or having the wrong idea of what a leader is.

P.S.
incase you were wondering we are getting married in October and we have been so so blessed. It’s always better to follow Gods voice over your own :).

Have a great weekend!
– A

New Year. New Beginnings?

Hope everyone has had a great 2014 so far!
I am making a few change to my blog since I found some free time, plus it really just needed an update.
This blog started out as my friend and I working together writting about our life, friendship, adventures, God, and everything in between. I will be writing by myself now and having guest writers here and there. While I still plan on covering a lot of those things I will also be sharing personal stories, other articles, book finds, answering questions,..etc. I will be adding some contact info so you guys can email me with any questions you may have, things you want me to answer on the blog, need a listening ear/advice..or whatever really. The name of the blog will remain the same seeing as how I am still traveling and taking life day by day. I never know where I’ll end up so I always try and I have a suit case near by so I can pack and go.

My prayer is that through this blog I’ll be able to help at least, 1 person. I don’t care how many followers I get, how many people know what my blog is called, or know my name. If I can’t help at least one person then there’s no point in even writing. After all, I’m not here to bring glory or fame to myself, but to my Father who truly deserves it.

I have my phone on me pretty much 24/7 and added the email adress listed above to my phone so I can get back to everyone as soon as possible. Thank you for following/reading. Stay tuned for whats to come! – Amber

Advent- What this time of year is really all about.

If you’re like me, you know how it feels getting caught up in the business of what people consider “Christmas” these days.
It’s a sad reality we all need to face. The fact that we think Christmas is more about material things rather than waiting on the arrival of our Savior is sad and pretty disappointing.

So I’m attaching a link to one of my favorite Magazine’s blog posts about Advent. We need to get back to the root of why we celebrate this season in the first place.
http://www.relevantmagazine.com/current/making-advent-real

Does your life get in your way?

Sometimes I think life is beautiful… other times I think it just gets in my way. Between nannying, photography, and being a youth leader at my church, I barely have time for anything it feels like. And sometimes my one on one time with God fits Into that “anything” category.
(And the older I get, the busier I get. I never believed it when I was young, but I will be the first to tell how true it is and that adults are wiser than we ever gave them credit for.)

Truth of the matter is, I love my one on one time with God, but life gets in my way and I get tired. When I get tired I get lazy. When I get lazy I don’t read my bible as often as I (personally) know I need to, I don’t get on my knees and pray (instead I do that thing where I “pray” while I’m laying in bed….and we all know how long that lasts before we fall asleep. Not only do I not “have time” for God…I barely have time for myself or my friends.

If you are like me and have a busy life… I encourage you to step back and make sure you aren’t spreading yourself too thin or missing out on the things that really matter in the end. Unfortunately for me I can’t quit my job. Photography is a passion of mine. And serving at my church is important to me. So learning how to balance all of that on top of maintaining ALL of my relationships has been challenging. Did I mention I have a boyfriend to keep up with and I’m going back to college soon? I’m hoping an 8th and 9th day will be added to the week by then. Relationships are so important. Healthy relationships. Find your balance. Don’t become the lazy Christian or the “I’m too busy” Christian that hasn’t figured out how to make time for anything.

I’m only 20 and often times feel like I’m 40 because of the business of my life. You don’t want to be that. Pray for God to help you learn how to balance everything and that sometimes it IS OKAY to say no. We don’t have to try and do,say, or be everything to everyone and even to ourselves. What good are to ourselvers or anyone else if we first and formost don;t make time for God?

Letting Go.

For some time now, I have been in two specific relationships that I feel fit this topic. One is from a friend (almost turned into a crush) and the other a “best friend”…. don’t kid yourself. We all have them.

One I haven’t talked to in over a year and the “best friend” almost year. For the longest time I was so hung up on trying to push my self and make these relationships work… and then one day I realized something. Relationships CAN NOT be one sided. Ever. It’s unhealthy and not worth your time. Obviously, I still really care about these people and I would do anything for them should they ever come to me (I’m a softy I know), but there’s no “friendship” there anymore. I just quit. And anyone who knows me will tell you I don’t give up on my relationships with people very easily. I’m a fighter. The good kind. And I love being a friend. I try hard to be the best friend that I can be. Even to people who probably don’t deserve it (I figure if God can love me and bless me when I don’t deserve it, then I should try and be more like Him).

Sunday I realized I needed to let go. They aren’t my friends anymore for a reason. A reason that isn’t my fault. God knew who needed to be in my life and when. Since realizing that I couldn’t be happier and I am content and happy with who God has placed in my life. When we trust Him, even on things that may seem little like these, everything works out for the better :).

“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.”

Change… How do we handle it?

Whoa… haven’t had the chance to write on a looong time. So this feels a little weird.

 

Lots of changes have been happening over the past few months… three vacations, new job offers, accidentally over drawing my bank account, losing loved ones, friends and family moving away, not knowing where God is taking me, and so many other crazy ”everything has to happen at once” type of things. God certainly has a sense of humor. Not sure if I always love it… but you get my point. He works in funny ways.

 

Through all of this change it would be easy, maybe, for me to get discouraged or to worry. But normally don’t… I can’t. Why? Because I know that no matter what God will be there for me and guide me where I need to be. No one else can help me make decisions, guide me, or give me wisdom on what I need to be doing. And He always the perfect timing for my life whether I think it’s perfect or not. Whenever I just let go of the worry or the anxiousness and give to Him, everything tends feels perfect no matter what challenges or obstacles I’m facing. For instance…
I have been a little stressed out with everything going on for the past few months just trying to figure things out. I was praying for a little tiny escape, something just to clear my head. Well then, out of nowhere my bosses asked me to go on vacation (TO THE BEACH) with them. Couldn’t have been better timing. God knew I needed a little break, because He knew I wold be facing everything that I am. And while I still have to deal with it to a point I now have a new perspective on these things because I gave it to God and He allowed me the chance to really take a step back and just relax and focus. No no one else would have known everything that was going on in my mind or know how I was truly with everything, because I can’t talk to people the way I talk to God. He listened to me and knew just what I needed for that short moment. And that for me just happen to come in the form a 5 day beach vaca.

 

I am so thankful for everything in my life. It’s not perfect and it never will be, but I am thankful and blessed to serve a God who loves me despite that fact.

I’m ready for all the change that’s coming my way and I am ready to do whatever it is God asks of me. When we look to God and give Him our troubles…. He can give us a peace that surpasses all understanding. All we have to do is rest in it. That is how I love learned to handle change. Rest in His peace. Be still and know that He is God. 🙂