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Light Up the Dark

 

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Beginning with his debut as the quirky and lovable character, Mork from Ork, on the hit TV series Mork and Mindy, I was always a fan of Robin Williams. His quick-witted humor and explosive energy-filled antics brought laughter from deep within, you know, the kind that just seems to make the problems of the world a little less intense.

The bible says in Proverbs 17:22, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” Maybe that is why I enjoy laughter so much…I need the medicine!

I have always loved being goofy and making others laugh as well. It just makes life seem a little better. And let’s face it, there is already enough darkness in the world, and I don’t want to add to that.

But it’s not all about jokes and deep roaring laughter.

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend”. (Melody Beattie)

Finding real joy in life involves sharing an appreciation and thankfulness for life itself, and binding hearts together in that light and hope.

I think Mr. Williams knew that somewhere deep in his heart. I think it is what drove him so hard and filled him with a passion to make people laugh. Regardless of the pain and struggles he endured, he wanted to make the world a brighter place.

Sometimes all it takes is a smile or kind word or gesture to put a smile in someone’s heart. And it is definitely worth the effort.

What have you done today to put a smile on someone’s face and light up the dark?

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Please feel free to share any tips or suggestions you have!

God bless, and have a smiley weekend! – Amber

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Coming Back to Life

When My Heart Stopped

It’s been almost 3 years since I last posted anything here. I don’t know if anyone is still following this blog, but if there is, I just wanted to explain my absence, and share my story.

On February 6, 2016, my 13 year old son, Christian, passed away in a tragic accident, and life as I knew it ended. My heart was still beating and my lungs still took in breath, but my mind went numb and my soul seemed to leave me. I was no longer alive.

I saw a post on a grief support group that said, “I died that day too, but they forgot to bury me”.  I thought, “how true”.

The “me I was” no longer exists, because that “me” had hopes and dreams for a future, one that included Christian in every aspect, a future that will never be. And so, that life ended.

A long time ago I said that my words were seldom polished or rehearsed, that I didn’t follow any fancy writing style, but that my writing came from the heart. But when your heart is shredded into tiny particles, words and thoughts don’t make any sense. Neither does life. So, I stopped posting. I did some journaling from time to time, but it was full of darkness and pain, not the kind of words to encourage hope and faith. I was dead inside.

CPR for My Soul

I woke up each morning and did whatever needed doing that day, but it was like watching someone else through a misty veil living a life that didn’t make any sense.

The next winter my Dad passed away and I slipped even further into the empty darkness. In just a few short years I had lost so many family members, I was beginning to feel like Job from the bible. And I kept begging God to take me too, but He didn’t.

About a month after my Dad passed, my pastor’s Dad also passed away unexpectedly. Being a pastor, he upheld a face of dignity and faith, and on the surface he showed great strength. But when I looked into his eyes one evening shortly after his Dad’s funeral, there was a reflection of pain that I knew all too well. When Christian died my pastor had said he couldn’t even imagine what I was feeling. But that evening as we talked about his Dad, I knew he now understood, and a connection was made.

I felt compelled to try to offer a sense of comforting, but I had none to give. Or at least so I thought. My pastor is a man I have always looked up to and felt a deep respect and admiration for (and still do). So when he told me that evening that he felt inspired and hopeful because of the strength and faith I had shown, I felt a little awkward and insecure. But I listened, and we exchanged a few memories and stories.

Later, I saw 2 memes on Facebook that I knew I had to share with him. One said, “Someone had to go into the fire in order for Nebuchadnezzar to see God” and the second said, “God uses broken people like you and me to fix broken people like you and me”.

I understand now that every one of us goes through all kinds of struggles, trials, and pain throughout our lives. But we have a choice in how we react to it. We can allow it to consume and destroy us, or, we can allow it to be used to help someone else, even if only to listen and try to understand on some level.

Many times in the past few years I’ve asked God what He wants me to do. I don’t know how I got the idea that He would speak to me in a loud booming voice and give me step-by-step instructions on what to do (probably too much Hollywood and not enough Holy Bible), but that is not how He answered.

I kept finding myself coming to these bible verses, and it finally occurred to me that these are God’s instructions for me:

“And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31 KJV)

“Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.” (Proverbs 16:3 KJV)

Coming Back to Life

I have been broken by my grief and there are many pieces of my heart that are gone now. But it has opened my eyes to others that are hurting, and it has stirred compassion in a heart that I thought was dead. That spark of compassion led me back to writing, to share hope and encouragement in any way I can.

I know I will never be the same person I used to be. But in my heart and in my writing, I am coming back to life. It will not be easy, but the journeys that make good stories and testimonies never are.

My goal here is to make connections in sharing our journeys, to lift each other up with stories and prayers, to share hope and smiles where they are needed most.

Since I have forgotten practically everything about the functions on how to run this site, I appreciate your patience as I get reacquainted with the workings. I plan to begin posting a couple times a week and look forward to your feedback. As always, please feel free to share, leave any comments, questions, prayer requests, etc. I welcome the interaction!

God bless!

– Amber Lea

 

 

 

 

A Little Winter Humor

I did not write this, but after living in Alaska for over 25 years, it gives a humorously accurate depiction of what it can be like living here in the winter. For all the folks dealing with harsh winter weather…

snow plow

December 8: 6:00 PM.
It started to snow. The first snow of the season and the wife and I sat for hours by the window watching the huge soft flakes drift down from heaven. It looked like a Grandma Moses print. So romantic, we felt like newlyweds again. I love snow!

December 9:
We woke to a beautiful blanket of crystal-white snow covering every inch of the landscape. What a fantastic sight! Can there be a more lovely place in the whole world? Moving here was the best idea I’ve ever had. Shoveled for the first time in years and felt like a boy again. I did both our driveway and the sidewalks. This afternoon the snow plow came along and covered up the sidewalks and closed in the driveway, so I got to shovel again. What a perfect life.

December 12:
The sun has melted all our lovely snow. Such a disappointment. My neighbor tells me not to worry; we’ll definitely have a white Christmas. No snow on Christmas would be awful! Bob says we’ll have so much by the end of winter that I’ll never want to see snow again. I don’t think that’s possible. Bob is such a nice man. I’m glad he’s our neighbor.

December 14:
Snow, lovely snow! We had 8″ last night. The temperature dropped to -20. The cold makes everything sparkle so. The wind took my breath away, but I warmed up by shoveling the driveway and sidewalks. This is the life! The snowplow came back this afternoon and buried everything again. I didn’t realize I would have to do quite this much shoveling, but I’ll certainly get back in shape this way. I wish I wouldn’t huff and puff so.

December 15:
20 inches forecast. Sold my van and bought a 4×4 Explorer. Bought snow tires for the wife’s car and two extra shovels. Stocked the freezer. The wife wants a wood stove in case the electricity goes out. I think that’s silly. We aren’t in Alaska, after all.

December 16:
Ice storm this morning. Fell on my butt on the ice in the driveway putting down salt. Hurt like heck. The wife laughed for an hour, which I think was very cruel.

December 17:
Still way below freezing. Roads are too icy to go anywhere. Electricity was off for five hours. I had to pile the blankets on to stay warm. Nothing to do but stare at the wife and try not to irritate her. Guess I should’ve bought a wood stove, but I won’t admit it to her. I hate it when she’s right. I can’t believe I’m freezing to death in my own living room.

December 20:
Electricity’s back on, but we had another 14″ of the stuff last night. More shoveling. Took all day. Snowplow came by twice. Tried to find a neighbor kid to shovel, but they said they’re too busy playing hockey. I think they’re lying. Called the only hardware store around to see about buying a snow blower and they’re out. Might have another shipment in March. I think they’re lying. Bob says I have to shovel or the city will have it done and bill me. I think he’s lying.

December 22:
Bob was right about a white Christmas because 13 more inches of the white stuff fell today, and it’s so cold it probably won’t melt till August. Took me 45 minutes to get all dressed up to go out to shovel and then I had to pee. By the time I got undressed, peed, and dressed again, I was too tired to shovel. Tried to hire Bob, who has a plow on his truck for the rest of the winter, but he says he’s too busy. I think he’s is lying.

December 23:
Only 2″ of snow today. And it warmed up to 0. The wife wanted me to decorate the front of the house this morning. What is she … nuts??? Why didn’t she tell me to do that a month ago? She says she did, but I think she’s lying.

December 24:
Snow packed so hard by snowplow, I broke the shovel. Thought I was having a heart attack. If I ever catch that guy who drives that snowplow, I’ll drag him through the snow by his hair. I know he hides around the corner and waits for me to finish shoveling and then he comes down the street at a 100 miles an hour and throws snow all over where I’ve just been! Tonight the wife wanted me to sing Christmas carols with her and open our presents, but I was busy watching for the snowplow.

December 25:
Merry Christmas. 20 more inches of the slop tonight. Snowed in. The idea of shoveling makes my blood boil. I hate the snow! Then the snowplow driver came by asking for a donation and I hit him over the head with my shovel. The wife says I have a bad attitude. I think she’s an idiot. If I have to watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” one more time, I’m going to kill her.
December 26:
Still snowed in. Why did I ever move here? It was all HER idea. She’s really getting on my nerves.

December 27: Temperature dropped to -30 and the pipes froze.

December 28: Warmed up to above -20. Still snowed in. SHE is driving me crazy!!!

December 29:
10 more inches. Bob says I have to shovel the roof or it could cave in. That’s the silliest thing I ever heard. How dumb does he think I am?

December 30:
Roof caved in. The snow plow driver is suing me for a million dollars for the bump on his head. The wife went home to her mother. Another 9″ predicted.
December 31:
Set fire to what’s left of the house. No more shoveling.

January 8:
I feel so good! I just love those little white pills they keep giving me. Why am I tied to the bed?  (Author unknown)

Well, I hope everyone is enjoying a great start to the New Year, and staying safe and warm! We don’t have much snow here at the moment, but my driveway and yard are like an ice skating rink, so it’s time to put the ice cleats on and get some more firewood.

Have a great day, and God bless! – Amber Lea

 

Merry Christmas!

May the peace and hope of Christmas live in your heart everyday. Merry Christmas!

Faith, Hope & Miracles

I know everyone is quite busy this time of year. I have a long list of “to do’s” myself. But I wanted to take a moment to share a quick message, and a prayer.

I’ve been thinking a lot about Christmas and the real Spirit behind it. Yesterday we were asked, “What gift would you give to God”? It is His birthday being celebrated after all. But from everything I have learned over all these years, I know that the one gift He desires most of all, is my heart.

Sometimes my mind becomes very distracted with the details and demands of everyday life, and I lose my focus on what really matters…God, my family and friends, and doing what I can to be a blessing to others.

So I want to take this time to tell all of you…you are the gifts that I treasure most in this world…

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When Time Stood Still

Faith, Hope & Miracles

(A letter to my son, Christian)

It was Saturday, November 13, 2010. A typical winter’s day in Alaska, with a beautiful fresh snow blanketing the ground. What started out as a normal day quickly turned into the most horrific day of my life…the day I held your head in my hands and watched you die, helpless to do anything but pray.

Many times I had heard the phrase, “cry out to God”, but on that day, I literally screamed to Him, begging Him to save my baby. There are no human words to describe what I felt, but it seemed as if time had just suddenly stopped. It was as if I was in another world, watching, and waiting.

I don’t know why it occurred to me, or how it happened, but I was suddenly and utterly filled with an indescribable faith, somehow trusting and knowing that God was at…

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Happy NaNoWriMo!

Time-to-Write-banner

It’s that time of year again. Time to get those fingers limbered up, pencils sharpened, and all of our writing tools in order. I hope you have your brain muscles ready to start creating your paintings with words!

I’ve been really busy setting up a new website that is all about reading and writing. And I’ve created a interactive project open to everyone. This project is set up to create a novel, with guidance for the writers by the audience. If you or someone you know is interested in participating as a reader or writer, just follow this link: amberlealeggette.com

Membership is free, and is required to join the forum where the writing work will be drafted. Readers may participate with reviews and suggestions in the comment section of the homepage. Make sure to sign up for the weekly newsletter to receive important updates and news.

And as always, please share!

Happy Writing! – Amber Lea

Jason’s Gift

Inspired by recent discussions regarding passion and purpose. Sometimes gifts come from the most unexpected places.

Faith, Hope & Miracles

Being a creative minded person for as long as I can remember, I have always felt a fondness for art. I find a beauty in paintings, songs, crafts and literature, that I could not explain for the longest time. But recently I began to discover some things about myself that has given me a new understanding of my life. Art in its various forms stirs emotions within me, and creates a connection between myself and the artist.

My journey into writing began a little over 13 years ago, when my son, Jason, died. On the outside, I put on the mask of strength, trying to show that I was okay. I did this for two reasons. The first being that I was 8 months pregnant and everyone around me was concerned that the stress would cause me to have a miscarriage. So I tried to relieve their concerns, not wanting…

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