Whelp


I ended up sticking really good to that resolution about posting twice a month, didn’t I? It shouldn’t surprise you that I also haven’t been doing very well with my writing schedule, either. The dream job offer I got ended up being, well….. even better than I had prepared myself for! But with that has come a larger amount of responsibilities, and a lot of emotional and physical energy being expended on not only building my new family, but also in learning the ropes to take over an entire ministry department, running events, learning, etc.

I was ecstatic when I found myself writing again for the first time in a while at a large conference that I was chaperoning at. One of the kids wanted to read some of my pieces, so I showed her some of my personal devotionals. We had a long discussion about creativity and faith… long story short, it rekindled in my heart the realization of why I write, and Who I ultimately write because of and for.

In the next couple of months I would like to share with you all some of my favorite pieces from the things that I haven’t shared quite yet. I’ve had less and less time to submit to formal journals, and though I haven’t given up on that path in any way shape or form, I would still like to be able to share myself in a way that might not take as much time as I get myself back into the swing of writing and sharing.

 

I would ask for your prayers as I continue to work towards my vocation, and try to balance all of the different facets of myself at this critical time in my life!

And feel free to let me know how your 2017 has been going in the comments- hopefully it won’t be as long of a wait between posts from now on.

 

Happy New Year: 2016 Resolutions


Another year, another list of resolutions. I didn’t make many solid resolutions in the midst of wedding planning, and I think that threw me for a bit of a loop. I did end up marrying my best friend, so that remained on track. I ended up gaining 10 pounds back before the wedding, but still fit in to my dress. I kept good with the blogging until the weather turned cold and I most certainly did not keep up with my submission schedule. Or my writing-new-material schedule. A lot of random things got thrown into the gears- buying a new house, home remodeling/upkeep, getting a dream job offer, transistioning out of my current nanny family, getting married, the holidays, family members getting married, taking up a new hobby (LARP)… hopefully next year can be a little less exciting on the social side so that I can focus on writing. I really miss it- and my soul feels the strain of not having written as much as I would like.

So this year’s resolutions:

  1. Get those last ten pounds back off.
  2. Get serious about the posting schedule. Twice a month, no less.
  3. Remember to log reading in Goodreads.
  4. Choose a new writing schedule that fits with the new job and stick with it.
  5. Work hard at being a good wife.

Wish me luck! What are your resolutions?

Merry Christmas!


This is my first Christmas as a married woman, and I don’t know about you but my weekend is filled with family gatherings and preparing for all of the huge new steps we are making in the New Year. I pray that you are also surrounded by those you love today, and that the Peace of the Christ Child may sustain you today and throughout the whole of 2017. (Goodness knows, some of us really need it!).

Away for the Weekend


This weekend I will be away at a marriage prep retreat through my church with my fiance, and so am taking the time off from the blog to prepare. I would also like to use this space to ask for prayers for my fiance and me as we enter in to this period of serious discernment leading up to the wedding at the end of the year. We could use all of your well-wishes and support!

New Tattoo: Gerard Manley Hopkins


On the first of this month, I ended up getting my fifth tattoo. It’s a quote from a Gerard Manley Hopkins poem (my first poetry tattoo!), called “As Kingfishers Catch Fire”. The poem itself is about vocation- about that place where our deepest desires meet the deep need of the world.

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For me, this is a huge reminder to have on myself. I placed it close to my heart because it is something that I need to be reminded of every day- that I am what I do, and what I say and what I feel- not what others have done to me, or what evil they have brought into my life, or what other people think or say about me. I am also what I do, meaning that I have a duty to be active in living out my vocation in the world. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, and no one will know the good in my heart, the passion in my heart, the God in my heart, if I do not make a conscious choice to do so, every day. And for that I came- not for the purpose of being successful, or being the most holy, or saving every person I meet or even being happy. I came to ‘do’ that which is ‘me’- to be the Self that God made to the best of my ability. He only made one me, and I’m not going to waste His gift by being someone else.

So in honor of all that, here is the poem in it’s entirety: (I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!)

As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame;
As tumbled over rim in roundy wells
Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell’s
Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name;
Each mortal thing does one thing and the same:
Deals out that being indoors each one dwells;
Selves — goes itself; myself it speaks and spells,
Crying Whát I dó is me: for that I came.

 

I say móre: the just man justices;
Keeps grace: thát keeps all his goings graces;
Acts in God’s eye what in God’s eye he is —
Chríst — for Christ plays in ten thousand places,
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
To the Father through the features of men’s faces.

 

Slipping off the Grid


When I knew I was going to commit to getting back into my blog writing this week, I hadn’t realized just how much I had neglected ‘The Amber of the Moment’. It’s been since the end of January- two whole months have gone by without a single post. I must sound like a bit of a broken record because I get into this cycle of posting-religiously to posting-never to promising-to-post and back again. But that’s life. Sometimes my writing gets stale, and I need to take a break. Sometimes real-life things get in the way and I get laser focused on them and can’t really see the big picture of all the things I’m letting fall by the wayside.

These past couple of months have been a huge buckling-down for me. My fiance and I managed to buy our very first house, closing on it on Valentine’s Day weekend 8d40d063-c389-40f3-9254-4e2c1d0ce052after a whole bunch of hoopla (almost losing the house, switching lenders, stuff with concessions, just a mess). I have an issue with houses that are asylum-white, so the next couple weekends were spent, every day, just painting the house. And then came the housewarming party. And the weekend of de-stressing afterward from so much work in so little time. And then Easter.

Now the house still isn’t fully painted (got two bathrooms, spare rooms and a laundry room to go), and a bunch of home improvement projects are piling up on to the list. And now that we’ve finished the push with setting up the house, we’ve got to settle down on getting a lot of our marriage prep stuff finished (meeting the photographer, beginning our mentoring sessions, meeting with clergy to begin paperwork, etc.) So I can’t promise that I won’t find myself distracted by life anymore.

I think I’m finally coming to terms with that. That I can plan all I want, but that doesn’t mean that I’m going to be capable of following through. And that’s okay. Life can get in the way and it should because it’s important. I want to always be able to say ‘alright, now that I’ve finished this task I can be a real writer and keep a real schedule like the big names do’. And there is a point where I can’t just give up on these kinds of tasks because in the long run it is important to me. You all are important to me. Writing is important to me.

But I don’t need to beat myself up when things get a little jumbled up. When I slip off the track. All I can do is shrug and try to do better next time, knowing that ‘better’ is always just doing my best and attempting to discern between real-life challenges and recurring excuses not to do what needs to be done. It’ll be a life journey, for sure. Thank you for sticking through it with me.

Any big changes for you lately, readers?

Happy New Year: 2016 Resolutions


I’m actually pretty proud of how this year went. It might not have been a banner year for publishing or submitting (only one poem for an entire year, really?), it was a good year for personal growth and moving forward with my life. I was able to stick to my resolution of posting more, and I ended up losing forty pounds since the beginning of my weight loss journey. I didn’t beat my Goodreads goal this year- with more things going on in my life, I wasn’t even able to match the amount of poetry and religious books that I read last year. I am happy to note that I am under contract for a house, so I will end up getting my own place this next year (fingers crossed). A mixed bag of what resolutions I was able to keep, exceed and outright failed, but I think I came out with a net positive for the year.

So for this next year:

  1. Marry my best friend
  2. Submit at least one work per month for publishing
  3. Set aside a day each week for writing/editing poetry. No other writing work allowed.
  4. Keep doing good with blogging.
  5. Maintain my weight for the wedding.

How did you do with your resolutions in 2015? What are your new ones this year?

Merry Christmas!


Today I’m going to a screening of the new Star Wars with the fiance, and then this week begins my week-long vacation from work for the holidays. I’m going to enjoy this little breath of fresh air, and I hope that you and yours are able to sit back and enjoy each other this holiday season as well. I’ll see you again in 2016, fresh with new New Year’s resolutions for myself. Merry Christmas!

Been Adulting Pretty Hard Lately


So it might seem like I’ve been a little AWOL lately. Even this week, I’m posting on a seemingly arbitrary Tuesday instead of my customary Sunday. I am genuinely sorry that I have fallen short of my own expectations, especially so close to the end of the year as we are.

However, I do have a pretty awesome excuse: I’m now engaged! My significant other ended up surprising me on Halloween weekend with a carved pumpkin and a live band (we got engaged dressed as Fred and Daphne from Scooby Doo, of all things).

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Of course, once the excitement settles, what is left is the realization that we suddenly have a ton of things to do: engagement photos (finishing up round two of those this weekend), house showings (fiance wants us to be able to give each other a home for Christmas), scheduling time to figure out when we can reserve my home parish for the ceremony, scheduling marriage prep and so on and so forth ad infinitem. It’s a lot of fun, it’s a lot of being equally stressed and equally thankful for even the opportunity to be so stressed about such wonderful things, but it is very time-consuming.

We are starting to get into a good rhythm, however, so I should be able to get back on track with most of my social media. I’ve been keeping up with my writing work well enough, at least, so never fear. I’ll keep myself as much on track with my social media as well.

Prayers and good thoughts are very welcome at this time!

The Charity of Joy


This past weekend my significant other, dance partner, little sister and her friend went to the 2015 Denver Zombie Crawl. We put a lot of thought into our costumes this year  (Nightmare Before Christmas) and headed downtown to walk around and play some games. 

We ended up not getting to participate in almost any activities because people wanted pictures of our costumes. We almost lost our table for dinner because people kept wanting pictures. By the end of the day my whole face hurt from smiling, and my nerves were nearly shot from having so many people hug me or put their arm around me. Sounds like a wash of a day, right?

But it wasn’t, and for one simple reason: Joy. The joy on the face of the girl who threw her arms around my knees and told me how excited she was to see my character. On the faces of men and women my age revelling in a childhood favorite. A parents excitement in being able to bring their kid back a picture of characters from a favorite family movie. 

I was surprised how popular our costumes were, and the Crawl may not have been what I expected, but I was grateful for the opportunity to bring joy to as many Crawl goers as I could. We talk a lot about charity of money, or charity of time in soup kitchens or church functions, but I think that this too was important: donating time to bring joy to others, regardless of background or means or age, in what little way I am capable of. It was a moment of great grace- I can’t wait to do it again. 

What joy can you bring to others in a small way this week?