Category Archives: Five Minute Friday

RESTING IN THE TRUTH

She wiped his feet with her hair by J M Hartley

Bowing down with my head on the floor is the place where I feel the cares of this life and the memories of hurtful words spoken by others melt away. As my tears fall onto the feet of Jesus, in His gentle way, He wipes my tears away and tells me the truth, “Amy, you are my beloved one; you are precious and beautiful to Me.”

In those times of solitude, I am filled up and ready to face another day because I know the truth of who I am. I know without a shadow of doubt that I belong to Christ and nothing else matters after realizing He is all I needthat He is my truth and my everything.

I’m linking up for Five Minute Friday where Lisa Jo Baker and other awesome people write for five minutes flat with no self critiquing or no striving for perfection. This week’s prompt is: “Truth.”

I invite you to listen to this heavenly worship song by Kari Jobe.

Five Minute Friday

GOD’S AMAZING GRACE

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As my mom reached out and touched my step-mom’s shoulder, I saw a love I had never seen before. I remember the day like it was yesterday. We were at a family event after my dad had left our home to live with and marry another woman. It was a day when we were all together again after the divorce of my parents. It could have been disastrous and filled with tension and stress. But instead it was a day filled with grace.

The unconditional love of Christ was revealed through my mother’s actions as she showed true kindness and love to the woman who had lured my dad away from her. It was the grace that I saw coming from my mother’s heart that impacted me eternally. These memories are what beckon me daily to live as my mother lives, to live as a woman steeped in grace—loving freely all those who have hurt, used, or mistreated me.

True freedom comes from living in the grace that was given to all mankind when Christ paid the final penalty for every wrong thing we’ve ever done or will do in the future.

Oh, the beauty of God’s amazing grace makes my spirit soar and makes me want to frolic in a field of flowers.

“But continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory, now and forever. Amen.” 2 Peter 3:18 (Good News Translation)

I’m linking up for Five Minute Friday where Lisa Jo Baker and other awesome people write for five minutes flat with no self critiquing or no striving for perfection. This week’s prompt is: “Grace.” Today’s post took me about ten extra minutes.

The photo of me was taken at the sunflower fields in Rutledge, Georgia.

Five Minute Friday

TOGETHER WITH CHRIST

Michael and Amy

It’s a good thing my husband Michael and I said, “Until death do us part” in our covenant to each other and to almighty God on that April day twenty-eight years ago because our love has been tested time and time again.

With a number of job losses and stresses in our lives we have been through seasons when we fought like cats and dogs. All along, there was a genuine love deep in our souls for each other underneath our selfishness. But our disunity seemed to dominate our relationship until we both learned to live a fully surrendered life to Christ.

Now, together with the Lord, we walk hand in hand in unity following our Creator into the destiny He has prepared for us.

“And the two are united into one. Since they are no longer two, but one…”  Mark 10:8 (New Living Translation)

I’m linking up for Five Minute Friday where Lisa Jo Baker and other awesome people write for five minutes flat with no self critiquing or no striving for perfection. This week’s prompt is: “Together”

The photo of my husband and me was captured by my daughter without us knowing she was photographing us.

Five Minute Friday

SAVORING MOTHERHOOD

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My husband started crying first the day we dropped off my daughter Christa at college. The sight of my manly man crying sent me over the edge and the tears began flowing out of my eyes. Before our goodbyes were over, there was a group of us standing there in a puddle of tears while standing in the school’s dining hall.

On the drive home that day, through bittersweet tears, I thought about how nice it would be to turn back time and go back to the days when life was chaotic with the dirty footprints that were tracked all over the carpet and the neighborhood kids gathering at our house to play and the piles of laundry that never seemed to go away completely.

It wasn’t easy, but it was worth all the chaos. Those years of having little whining voices and toys strewn everywhere will be forever etched on my heart as cherished, joyous, glorious memories.

Now my daughter is a college graduate and her brother is a junior in high school. Things are quieter. The laundry is easier to manage. Life is not nearly as hectic. It seems like yesterday those two bundles of joy arrived.  I am grateful that I left the corporate world and poured myself into motherhood. The rewards are greater than any other job on Earth.

To all the mothers of younger children, my words of wisdom would be: Enjoy the laundry. Savor every messy moment. It will all be over in an instant, and you’ll be saying the same thing I am saying today, “How did all those years go by so quickly?”

I’m linking up for Five Minute Friday where Lisa Jo Baker and other awesome people write for five minutes flat with no self critiquing or no striving for perfection. This week’s prompt is: “Laundry.”  Forgive me for going over the time limit again by about ten minutes.

Five Minute Friday

FINDING THE EXTRAORDINARY IN THE ORDINARY

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I walked into my grandmother’s assisted living home soon after her husband of 72 years passed away. It was hard to see her in the shape she was in. My grandmother Mema seemed lost without my grandfather Poppy by her side. I left that day and wept. I wept tears over the sadness I saw in her eyes, over her frailty and her seemingly lost sense of purpose.

In my spirit I knew I needed to trust the Lord and make it my mission to bring joy to her by visiting her as often as I could. So I made it a priority to drive over an hour to visit her each week and encourage her.

Every visit is different, yet so very beautiful. Her mind is fading a bit, but she always knows who I am and she’s happy to see me. Her frail, ninety-three-year-old body is so weak that she can’t stand up without me using every bit of my strength to assist her. She had to start using a wheel chair over the summer.

I’ve visited her twice this week. On Wednesday, I spent about three hours with her. Shortly after leaving the dining hall, I asked her, “Do you want me to push you around outside?” She responded, “Yes!” She acted as though it was the most exciting part of her day. We headed to the exit and I pushed her for what seemed like an hour.

On our walk, we stopped at every flower and looked closely and breathed in the beautiful, sweet smells. We looked closely at the leaves beginning to turn vibrant shades of red. We looked at the magnificent North Georgia Mountains surrounding us. In those moments, it was as though all of Mema’s cares had dissipated. We were breathing in the sweetness of God’s presence togethergrandmother and granddaughternot thinking of the past and not longing for what is to come. We were simply reveling in the beauty God had given us in those moments.

We were at an ordinary place in an ordinary parking lot of the assisted living facility where my grandmother lives. But there was nothing ordinary about these precious moments. They were sacred moments of breathing in the love of Christ and thanking Him for giving me these precious extraordinary days with my last living grandmother.

Jesus has an amazing way of taking what seems like ordinary life events and turning each moment into a spectacular, extraordinary display of His splendor.

“I will meditate on your majestic, glorious splendor and your wonderful miracles.” Psalm 145:5 (New Living Translation)

I’m linking up for Five Minute Friday where Lisa Jo Baker and other awesome people write for five minutes with no self critiquing or no striving for perfection. This week’s prompt is: “Ordinary.” Today, I broke the rules and spent about twenty extra minutes writing this piece. I was weepy and couldn’t seem to stop writing after five minutes.

In the photo, my grandmother is holding her great-great grandchild (my nephew’s son).

Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday: Write

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The words I heard coming out of my grandmother’s mouth were a shock to me. “You’re gonna write a book some day. I really believe God wants you to tell the stories of all He has done in your life.” After the shock wore off, I began to ponder her words. Could it really be true? Could I really be a writer?

Then quite a few years later in 2004, I was taking part in a ministry conference at a church several hours away from home. During that long weekend, a deacon I met at the conference looked at me intently and said, “You’re going to write a book.” I laughed out loud and he looked at me funny. I said, “That’s what my grandmother has been telling me for years.” I left that conference beginning to believe maybe I would write a book someday.

It’s been nine years since the conference and it’s surreal to write about my very first eBook, Prayers of a Mother’s Heart. It’s a book of prayers and a few personal stories written for mothers who are searching for answers for their children’s lives. It’s for mothers who are desperate, and have nowhere else to turn, but to God. The ultimate goal of the book is to point mothers toward Christ and a life of prayer.

There has been a relentless battle in my mind about being a writer. I am choosing to push the doubt and fear away. I finally believe God has called me to do this.

Am I nervous? Totally!

But I am pressing forward and finalizing the details about my eBook to be published on Amazon.com. I’ll be posting about the release date in the weeks ahead.

I’m stepping out in faith to write for Christ.

If you would like to be a part of my ‘Support Team’ and receive a complimentary copy of my eBook once it’s finalized, please contact me by October 15th through e-mail: amy@liveabundantlynow.com. The only thing I’ll ask in return is that you would leave a review on Amazon.com once it’s released.

I’m linking up for Five Minute Friday where Lisa Jo Baker and other awesome people write for five minutes flat with no self critiquing or no striving for perfection. This week’s prompt is: “Write.” I wrote for about ten minutes today.

Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday: True

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They believe in me more than I believe in myself.

They never, ever try to compete with me or try to out do me when I’ve succeeded at something. They are happier about my successes than I am.

They squeal in excitement over my joys in life.

They cry with me over my heartaches and challenges.

They listen carefully when my heart is hurting. They pray for me when the battle is overwhelming. They cheer me on and encourage me to push myself further than I think is possible.

They don’t try to change me, but they do inspire me to be the best I can be. They love me just as I am. They are my true friends—always and forever.

“A friend loves at all times…” Proverbs 17:17 (NIV)

I’m linking up for Five Minute Friday where Lisa Jo Baker and other awesome people write for five minutes flat with no self critiquing or no striving for perfection. This week’s prompt is: “True.”

The photo was downloaded at istockphoto.com

Five Minute Friday


Five Minute Friday: She

Christa Marie 2013

 

From the moment I laid my eyes on her, I was overcome with love. She stole my heart. Her beauty is so much deeper than skin. She is kind. She is compassionate. There is an innocence about her that is breathtaking.

She loves Jesus with all her heart.

She loves people passionately. She gives generously. She has a heart for the poor and the needy. She lives her life in a way that puts others before herself. She loves children. She inspires me with her creativity. She has a heart of gold. The light of Christ shines through her spirit. She is Christa Marie, my firstborn childmy beloved daughter.

“Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.” Psalm 127:3 (NLT)

My daughter Christa was interviewed for a guest post todayCreativity Everywhere

I’m linking up for Five Minute Friday where Lisa Jo Baker and other awesome people write for five minutes flat with no self critiquing or no striving for perfection. This week’s prompt is: “She.”

Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday: Mercy

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On a hot summer day, a week after my thirteenth birthday, I walked into my kitchen and saw my mother weeping. Her Bible was laying open on the table next to her, and in her eyes, I saw brokenness. I could feel the weight in the room. The air was thick with pain. I knew something really bad was happening. Suddenly, it felt as though my world was turned upside down.

My father asked my brother and me to take a ride with him in his car. Within moments of our driving away from our home, Daddy told us, “I’m leaving. I don’t love your mother anymore.” I was in shock. It wasn’t long before the pain began to rise to the surface of my heart.

My mother, who was and still is deeply in love with Christ, displayed His mercy in a way I had never seen before. In the days, and weeks following our devastating news, I watched closely as my mom responded with love and kindness. She spoke loving words about my daddy, saying, “We need to forgive him and pray for him.” She not only forgave him immediately, but she continued to love him in a Christ-like, unconditional love. She promised me that the Lord would redeem everything.

As painful as it was for me to experience such a loss and heartbreak in my childhood, I am grateful for that season in my life. It was during those youthful years that I began learning about the grace and mercy of Christ in a real and tangible way.

Now, thirty-five years later, I thank the Lord daily for His mercy and grace. It’s because of His loving-kindness and never-ending mercy that I can freely live in His love. I can love those who use and mistreat me.

His mercy enables all of us, as His followers, to love purely. His mercy heals broken hearts and makes life incredibly beautiful.

“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” Luke 6:36 (NIV)

I’m linking up for Five Minute Friday where Lisa Jo Baker and other awesome people write for five minutes flat with no self critiquing or no striving for perfection. This week’s prompt is: “Mercy.” Today, I had a hard time finding a good stopping point and wrote for about ten minutes.

The woman in the photo is my hero and amazing mother.

Five Minute Friday

THE STOLEN RED CAR

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I knew something was wrong when I heard my husband’s words over the telephone. “Please don’t get upset with me over what I’m about to tell you,” Michael said with a stressed tone and a sense of urgency in his voice. “My car was just stolen. I ran into the convenience store at a gas station really quickly; when I came back out, my car was gone.” I didn’t get upset with Michael, but my heart sank into my stomach with concern as I listened to his words.

Thoughts went swirling through my mind. Actually the thoughts were more like race cars speeding through my head at ninety miles per hour. What are we going to do? How can this possibly turn out good? That car is necessary for us to make it.

The little red Honda that was taken from us that day had been given to us by a sweet widow in our church. God had laid it on her heart to give it to us during a very trying season for us.  It was about seven years ago that my husband was supporting our family by delivering pizzas  six to seven days a week while I home-schooled our children and worked various side jobs like babysitting and teaching dance to young children.

At the time we were given the car we chose not to have full insurance coverage because we needed to save every little penny we could. We only had liability insurance to cover the damage done to another person’s vehicle. I questioned whether or not that was a wise decision.

After I let the shock sink in, I hurried and picked up Michael in our other vehicle which was a huge station wagon that guzzled gas. As I was driving, I continued to ponder the reality of the situation. How could Michael use our gas-guzzling station wagon to deliver pizza? The cost of the gas would eat up the measly hourly wage he was making. And his tips were almost always barely enough to make a difference for our family.

Later, when Michael and I sat down to talk about our options, we realized we really only had one option. We had to pray and trust God to return our car.

We knew it would take a miracle. I had heard of stories when cars were stolen and later found fully stripped down. I quickly shut those thoughts out of my mind and prayed, “Lord, return to us what has been stolen. We need Your help. With You all things are possible.”

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A sweet friend believed and trusted for the impossible, along with my husband and me. I was ecstatic when a few weeks later Michael received a call from a police officer. His words were sweetness to our souls, “We’ve recovered your car.” The police had found the car abandoned on the side of the road less than an hour from our house.

Amazement rose up in my spirit when we went to retrieve our car from the wrecker service lot. Not only had the car been returned. It had been upgraded. The thief had replaced our cheap hubcaps with alloy wheels.

We celebrated that day. And even though that hard season has been over now for a number of years, I’ll always remember how God used a little red Honda to show us that He truly does restore what the locusts have eaten.

“And I restore or replace for you the years that the locust have eaten…” Joel 2:25 (Amplified Bible)

I’m linking up for Five Minute Friday where Lisa Jo Baker and other awesome people write for five minutes flat with no self critiquing or no striving for perfection. This week’s prompt is: “Red.”  Today, I was typing as fast as I possibly could to be able to finish writing this story. It took me about fifteen minutes.

Five Minute Friday