HerStory: Meet Amy

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I couldn’t be more thankful for any of you. Really, whether I know you personally or not, to have you come along side me at least in virtual friendship by reading my blog is an honor. I hope to introduce oh-so-many of you in the HerStory feature…as many of you who are willing to share!

Today I want you to meet Amy. We met when I lived in Denver and I never quite got to spend enough time with her then. I left when our friendship was newish, but we’ve been able to stay connected across the miles and usually get to touch base when I visit Colorado. I can not think of a more kind-hearted, soft-spoken angel on earth. She is a gem. A women that possesses such an alive heart and soul that it makes me feel like I am experiencing a little piece of what heaven will be like when I’m with her.

Enjoy her story!

In Amy’s Words…

My story in a few sentences: I’m a Midwest girl born and raised in a small town community in Northern Illinois, where life shaped in me a heart for the outdoors through play and a heart for the world (distant lands and people of different cultures) through books and stories. Most of my childhood seems to have been spent outdoors or playing team sports. After high school graduation, my sister and I decided to further our educations in Colorado close to some family in Ft. Collins, where I worked and schooled my way through three years until I finished the process in Greeley at UNC specializing in speech, teaching, and special education. My senior year of college, I made a personal commitment to complete a year in a special service project. I considered my first job after college that service, working at a children’s home as a live-in house “parent,” which gave me a good taste of the unhealthy burnout rate in social service as emotionally, physically, and spiritually I was stripped but gave it a year and a half of my time and heart. At that point in my life I felt I was destined to not marry, but give my life in service in humanitarian work and teaching. Yet, a conversation with my friend David, who had always shown me direct honesty, kindness, and respect over the four years I’d known him, turned my personal expectations around. We then dated for three months and were engaged three months before marrying in Colorado almost five years after we first met. I remember sharing with my now husband when we were seriously talking about marriage that we will need the help of Heaven to live out a good and caring marriage because both of us did not live with the parental examples of what mutual commitment, honesty, kindness looks like. Here, over thirteen years later with three beautiful joys–our children–I still see the truth in that need, but what I understand more today than I did then is God’s joy and readiness to help each time I/we invite Him into our personal weaknesses and our circumstances.

Three words that describe me: sincere, playful, thankful.

The best part of motherhood is: getting to witness and relive, up-close and personal, the carefree, imaginative play of childhood again.

The most challenging part about motherhood is: being careful not to lose myself in the 24/7 serving, caring, giving. Two things I have come to see as essential are making quiet time (daily ideally) to feed my spirit and to feed my soul and welcoming our children into my creativity, my loves, often. When making time for these, my parenting is much more rich, joyful, and satisfying.

My spouse: is a piece of work. he drives me crazy (and has fun at it most of the time) and loves me well like no other. I’d say he started out being my biggest fan, but I have become his biggest fan. I am regularly reminded of what a beautiful man, husband, and father he is, in the midst of our weaknesses and flaws. His humor, playfulness, sound mind, and caring heart keep me grounded. And his commitment, dedication, and follow through at home and for others strengthens our family and inspires me.

In another life, I’d: be an explorer, world traveler, humanitarian, story listener and story teller, peace and love spreader.

I can’t live without my: music. As long as the words resonate with me, I enjoy a wide variety of genres, but a few artists I keep coming back to these days are Fernando Ortega, Olafer Arnolds, Josh Garrels, Nat King Cole, Mindy Smith, Andrew Peterson, and the Caleb Band. Pandora has become my favorite “radio.”

My day job: Since our second was born almost six years ago, I have been able to put my nine years of teaching in the public setting on hold to love, care for, and teach our three. Our oldest is a third grader, our middle is in kindergarten, and our youngest jumps in as much as he can as I home school the little bunch.

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If I could have a free weekend without the kids and an unlimited budget, I’d: get on a few flights and see a few friends that I haven’t seen in too long. One lives in Missoula, Montana, another near Seattle, Washington, and another in Folsom, California. I’d love to soak up their stomping grounds with them as much as possible, but given the weekend restriction, I’d be limited to a huge hug and a visit with each over a meal.

My health philosophy: is welcoming more and more peace and joy into the process of caring for me and my family, as well as educating ourselves and staying close to the way nature provides nourishment and recreation (whole, pure foods and outdoor play).

My vice: Yuck. My cowardly defensive strategy of “playing innocent” has come out too often in my lifetime when I’ve been uncomfortable in a situation.

My friends think I’m: This is hard. I am not sure; so I asked some friends, new and old, to not think too hard, and share a word for me. Genuine, kind, authentic, silly, nice, angelic, near and dear, caring, sweet, deep, and gentle came back. Clearly, some of you were way too generous and this is not a well rounded picture of me, as I have many failings and faults, but their words are what friends do–see and share the good more readily. I, also, love remembering these days, as I know better, that what someone says about another tends to tell more about the giver than the receiver. I have the company of some sweet friends.

Favorite social activity: playing or building something together and hearing people’s stories.

Hobbies: reading, writing, photographing life and our family, hiking, yoga, camping, embroidery, gardening, cooking and baking gluten free.

The theme of my life: Love makes a way.

I’m inspired by: humility, the great outdoors, handcrafted resourceful architecture and textiles, colorfully crafted words, wholesome flavorful food and drink, “the tirelessly inventive nature of light” (as I heard it put recently), real-life redemptive stories, the love of our Creator.

You’d never know that I: bust out singing spontaneously. A phrase might trigger an “oldie,” or I might make up a song on the spot. It’s usually playful, goofy, and with my closest loved ones.

Decorative style: Because I enjoy being outdoors so much, lots of natural light and natural fibers, textures, and elements make me happy. I’m also drawn to simple, clean, resourceful, meaningful, and functional beauty. My ideal is a small home with ingenious use of space, energy efficient, and cozy for when staying indoors is needed, and surrounded with gardens of vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers, some farm animals, and space for visiting, entertaining, and reading, for outdoors is where I’d enjoy being most.

Favorite Bible verse: Currently loving Proverbs 3:3, “Do not let kindness and truth leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.”

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Hope you were encouraged!

Blessings,

Heidi

Comments

  1. Hattie Boegel says:

    I lived in the small northern Illinois town and plied my trade as an educator for about four decades. I watched Amy grow up. In the close safe communities of the Rock River Valley, I watched Amy grow into a beautiful woman. At an early age she showed exemplary courage, character and conscience. Stability came at an early age. I sometimes wondered if she had two extra legs to lend her physical and moral support that most youth her age didn’t possess. I have kept an eye on Amy for the years since she left her small midwestern nest. I was thrilled as I watched her establish a home and family on a serious basis of faith and character. I would not have expected less than what Amy has accomplished in her adult years.

  2. Wow, this is beautiful! Well, of course it is, because it describes my wonderful friend, Amy. I’m honored to be the “Missoula, MT” on the list. In fact, reading that made me tear up a little. I miss you, friend. Let’s see each other soon.