Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Tonight, the Rockefeller Christmas Tree was lighted up in New York City and broadcasted around the world. I watched this spectacle for the first time tonight while I was at my friends house. We watched many different performances from Josh Groban, Jessica Simpson, to Susan Boyle. Some sang new Christmas songs, but most sang the glorious old songs you find in the hymnal. And my friend asked a question....
"How do these people not listen to the words they are singing?"

And she's right. In a world/culture that encourages religious tolerance, we still have "secular" celebrations filled with the unashamed message of the gospel and glorifying Christ in the public places. Traditional songs such as "O Holy Night", "Away in the Manger", "Silent Night", etc. aren't talking about presents, reindeer and Santa. They loudly proclaim that Christ is born as Savior to the world, a world filled with sin, yet so loved that God would send His son to die. If only people would begin to listen to the words they are singing.....

O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, the night when Christ was born;

These words have the power to change lives, but only if we listen.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Clean or unclean?

If anything says that I need to be more intentional in life, NOTHING screams more loudly than my laundry basket.
It is not uncommon for me to do a load of laundry, stick it in the dryer and leave it there. Eventually the load ends up on top of the machine and in the morning I pick through the pile to get what i need for that day. Never gets folded, never gets put away....pathetic I know.
Today was the proverbial "last straw". I had a long overdue load on top of the dryer that i knew was clean...but i couldn't remember if I had washed the stuff that was in the baskets. I mean it was bad...almost all my clothes were in baskets or on the floor in my room. I couldn't take it any longer, so i decided to do laundry as soon as i got home from work. Thank goodness my boss let me go early today for the holiday! I'm on load number two with one more load to go before the night is up!

I've been thinking this week....yeah it's great that i've been wearing the covering and started this blog and stuff but, I haven't really done much else to fulfill the purpose of this "exercise". I keep pushing off the changes that i need to make to live an intentional way. Here is the standard definition of "intentional"


done with intention or on purpose; intended: an intentional insult.
of or pertaining to intention or purpose.
I like to slack.....sometimes i get distracted and don't finish projects(my brother is still waiting on a "hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil" sock monkey figure)....i hate doing the dishes alone.....
I do things without purpose- like checking facebook every five minutes when i'm bored and should be finishing projects, or going shopping when i don't really have the money....
So the next step for me is this....
Creating Routines-Not Ruts
1. Laundry days
    Props to my mum for this, she has her laundry days on Monday and Friday. And since i'm usually free on those nights they are going to be my laundry nights too.
2. Shopping days
    I have an awful habit of going shopping the day I get paid. I know that's not particullarly bad, but i do it way to often. Mostly it's an excuse to get out of town, but I usually don't NEED to go. I'm still thinking about how this will work, but i'm going to put a limit on how often I have these "excursions" per month, and they cannot be the same day as payday.
3. Budget!
    Let's just say I need one.
4. Quiet Times
    I say quiet times for lack of a better term. I guess you could say "focus time with Jesus". I don't do well with morning devos, or evening ones for that matter. Either one usually ends up with sleeping. This, in my opinion, is incredibly sad. I love Jesus, and I want to spend quality time with Him. But for too long i've given in to the lie that i'm too busy, too tired, or I don't feel like it.
As mentioned in other posts, I've been incredibly interested in church liturgy. I even considered purchasing a copy of the Book of Common Prayer ( but then i realized i probly wouldn't have a clue how to use it.)
Somehow, a group of writers new about my dilema and wrote a new book just for me!
Ok, not everything about that statement is true, but there is a book coming out that i will be purchasing this weeked! It's called Common Prayer- A liturgy for ordinary radicals. (by Shane Claiborne and others). I'm super excited, and intend on using it to help me get back into "focus time with Jesus" :)

None of these are hard and fast rules, more like guard rails to keep me on the road. I like this other definition of "intentional" as it pertains to Metaphysics

c. pointing beyond itself, as consciousness or a sign.
That's what I want my life to be..........

Friday, November 19, 2010

So are you converting?

"So are you converting to Mennonite?"
"What's up with the hat?"
"Love the hat!"
"silence....try not to stare...."
silence......I'm staring.................................................................

All comments (or my guess at what people are thinking) from this week. Ah yes, i took the plunge and started wearing my homemade coverings (kapps).

Day 1, Sunday evening.
When I am not busy on Sunday evenings I like to attend services at the local Episcopal church. I did not grow up Episcopal, rather as a mostly Assemblies of God child (my older brother is more of the denominational mutt). All the same, I love the idea and practice of liturgy. So after a facebook conversation with my brother, i decided to wear my kapp to the Episcopal church. It was a big step, and the closer i got to my front door and the outside world the more nervous I got. I beat feet out to my truck, and drove to the church and got out of the truck.....
Me- I can't believe I'm doing this
        This is a little more embarrassing that i thought it would be.......maybe i should rethink this......oh gosh                I just want to get into the church......ugh, i am so embarassed!
Thought sent from God-  "many people have suffered much more than humilliation for much less"
Me-.............. um, oh gosh..........ok...thanks...puts this into a better perspective.....

Day 2, Monday at work

I car pooled to work with my housemate and neighbor/coworker. Although I know he saw plain-as-day what i was wearing, DC didn't say a word. This was unusual for him, for he will jump at any chance to tease or provoke. (his wife says he only teases the people he likes...i think that is the dumbest excuse ever) Turns out he was chicken. The first comments were made at luch. I was in the kitchen with two other people and one turns to me and askes "so are you converting to Mennonite?"
I set my lunch on the table and sat down to eat. P is a nice guy who has a huge family and probably lives as close to the "Plain" lifestyle without actually being plain. "Amy, I have to ask you about your hat there." And I knew he was seriously interested. So i explained, and he knew where i was coming from. And that's when DC decided it was now ok to tease. :P

And the rest of the week went about as normal.
You know there was one thing I didn't think through when I started this little project.....everyone noticed when i started wearing my covering...but they are especially going to notice when I'm not wearing it! Talk about accountability!

For those interested, below are pictures of my homemade coverings. I made up the pattern and they are more Amish style than Mennonite...but I like them :)

                                              Side view of the muslin everyday/work covering

                                                                            back view

                                                        side view of organza "church" covering

                                                                        back view
Mazel tov!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Mein Kapp

This could get a bit sticky.....

As stated in my last post, God and I have had an on-going discussion on living with intention. My biggest question is "what does that exactly mean"
God- "well lots of things...but lets focus on what it means to you"
Me- "mmk.........................................not letting my laundry pile up, actually doing the dishes and not leaving them for my housemate, being present in conversations, less time on facebo....
God- "Mennonites...."
Me- "Pardon??"
God- "Oh, just a thought........."
Me- "ookay....what specifically?"
God- "Coverings."
Me- "oh......like......"a woman should always have her head covered when she prays/prophesies thing" ?"
God- "meh...more like......"Amy needs to actually stick to this living simply/living intentionally and knowing her(I created you after all) she needs something tangible to have any hope of this sticking in her brain..."
Me- "wow...thanks for not holding back..."
God-"Don't mention it....I'll be here for infinity..."

I found a video on youtube of Rob Bell explaining a bit about the Jewish culture and the Bible. In Numbers, God says to sew four tassels onto the corners of your cloak.
"You will have these tassels to look at and so you will remember all the commands of the Lord, that you may obey them and not prostitute yourselves by going after the lusts of your own hearts and eyes" Numbers 15:39
So essentially the Israelites wore these prayer shawls with four tassels every day of their lives, as a reminder of the commands of God. God knew that some people (like me) can hear Him speak, but if they don't have something that they can touch or tangibly wrap their head around- they just won't get it.
So what does this have to do with Mennonites and coverings? Read on my friend..

Although I didn't grow up Mennonite, their faith/culture is deffinatly part of my heritage. I would say that the more I research and read about them, the more I'm starting to identify with their beliefs. So I really shouldn't have been suprised when God brought up the thing about coverings...
So, instead of buying a covering, I took to my craft room, rummaged through the fabric box, grabbed some plain muslin, made a pattern and sewed up my own. I later made one of Organza, which is a more traditional fabric.(I'll try posting pictures)
Me- "wow..they turned out really good...and I don't look half-bad with them on either"
God- "So when are you actually gonna wear them outside of your bedroom?"
Me- "well..................................."
God- "faith without works..remember?"
Me- "well, the muslin one will be great for work, although people will probly ask about it..... and the organza one will be for church...although I really don't want it to be a distraction to anyone....after the holidays maybe...."
God- "mmmhhm...that's what i thought..."

We might be working on this for awhile......

Thursday, November 11, 2010

New Years Comes Early

As I enter the local mall (aka Walmart) I can't help but notice the large red and gold decorated tree just past the bakery. And although it's not yet Thanksgiving, and most people are rolling their eyes at the sight of the trees... I can't help but realize that Christmas is fast approaching. This prompted me to pose a question to my brother- "if it's to early for Christmas, is it to early for New Years Resolutions?"

While the answer remains in uncertainty, the question has started and, at the same time, confirmed an inner dialouge between me and God. We've talked for quite some time of my busy(sometimes insane) schedule of full-time work, worship team, youth leader, friend- and needing simplicity. And nothing could speak louder about my need to be intentional in my life than the load of clean laundry that's been sitting on the top of the dryer for two weeks, unfolded too. So...God and I have been talking...but as we know- "faith without deeds is dead."(James 2:26) And this is where the blog comes in.
For the at least the next year, I will be trying/learning/failing misserably/etc. to live simply and intentionally. This includes but is not limited to
1. sticking to a budget
2. doing things with a purpose, not out of boredom
3. becoming less of a consumer
4. cooking more, eating out less (i'll hopefully be posting recepies)
5. creating routines-not ruts

 And you the reader get to join me through this blog! Consider it my early New Years Resolution. Mazel tov!