Monday, December 13, 2010

Amy: The Story Behind Our Journey

Amy Sullivan.

If you don't know her, you simply must.  Her story will inspire you to dig deeper, to think broader, to live fuller lives.

And by full, you can bet I don't mean the over-indulgent, materialistic, stuffed definitions of full.  My prayer, as you read these graceful words, that you might pause, at the end to answer this question:

What is His?

Here's Amy:


Only two days after Christmas 2009 and my family wanted to spend a little cash. As if the typical holiday gifting wasn’t enough, we were determined to investigate all the after Christmas sales. Gift cards and cash filled our pockets, and although something seemed wrong about our endless spending, we weren’t actually using our money, we were simply spending money we received as gifts.

A new North Face jacket—check. A new set of Polly Pockets—check. More Christmas candy—check. A new baseball hat—check.

Walking past an artsy store we noticed a framed picture of the word “FAMILY”. This was different than anything we had seen before because each letter of the word “FAMILY” was a photograph of a real-life object representing the letter. The “F” a sideways view of a stoplight. The “A” an arch in a building. The “M” an iron curve of a bicycle rack. Inside the artsy store, a big box of photo letters sat inviting us to spell out anything we wanted. Great idea. Again, something we must have.

My husband and I brainstormed words that represented us. We wanted something original, something we could hang up. Something beyond the normal “Live, Laugh, Love” theme, but what?
           
“Ours” my husband suggested.

“Ours” I whispered back. Perfect.

Of course “Ours” fit us. Our house. Our cars. Our clothes. Our vacations. Our church. Our kids. Our desires and our endless list of wants.

Not long after, I framed the pictures, I stood admiring them, and I heard God whispering to me, Yes, all of this is yours, and that is a problem. What is mine?

His? I paused, convicted.

Nothing was His.

Standing in my room, staring at those framed letters, I knew my life had to change.

After two months of obsessing and praying, I created a blogger account. Then in May of 2010, I created a post. This anti-techy, anti-cell phone, anti-Facebook girl threw myself into cyberspace and began documenting my ideas, my family’s attempts, and my prayers regarding growing GIVING hearts.

And even better than just writing about giving, our family started living differently.

Prior journey towards GIVING GRACIOUSLY, I didn’t notice the needs around me. Now, not only do I see needs, but I’m physically unable to sit and do nothing about them. I can rattle off cool organizations, groups, and people who are inspiring change (The Affero Project, Delicate Fortress Creations, Compassion, and Craft Hope), and I am thrilled to join with them and be a part of change.

I’m not the only one replacing my once entitled attitude.

My husband is different.
“I’m exploring life outside my bubble of comfort, and it’s pushing me to get involved.”

My daughter is different.
“I’m learning just because you give doesn’t mean you have to give everything you have. You just have to give something.”

Our family is different.
No, we haven’t been transformed into sweet, loving, and generous people, but we are thankful and we are changing, and best of all, we have realized life isn’t about what is OURS, but it’s about what is HIS.

To read more of Amy's writings and and/or follow her blog, please visit by clicking HERE.

18 comments :

  1. Jen, Jen, Jen,
    Thanks for letting me hang out with you at this amazing place. Love your heart, your writing, and the community you have created here!

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  2. This is beautiful. I have been keeping up with Amy's beautiful journey of gracious living for awhile, and she is an inspiration!
    I plan to visit here more often too!

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  3. so inspiring, makes me want to 'change', it's contagious, and I am so glad....thanks Amy!

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  4. I love this Amy!!! It's fun to think that we started our blogs that are for the deeper (I had my family picture-sy one for a couple of years) in the same month! And you found mine early and then we re-connected through beautiful Jen's!!

    I love hearing this story...I love that you are walking ahead in this path that takes courage to be different and real with it...basically, I love you!

    And, of course, you too Jen! You are some of the best things God has done through writing and sharing that writing again...

    Blessings ladies:):):)

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  5. Encouraging and uplifting that we really can step outside of our own lives and live to serve God.

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  6. I adore Amy! This post is so inspirational. I love how in the midst of all the "noise" in the world, Amy heard the whisper of God. She is the pebble in the pond of Blogland and is helping open hearts all over!

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  7. Well, think I've just found another "blogging buddy." How inspiring and something that most of needed to read and apply to our lives. Thanks for sharing Amy with us today. Happy Week!

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  8. wow, amy. powerful whispers bring forth life, don't they? you are a beautiful woman after God's heart, sister friend.

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  9. Love this! I've been pondering such things lately... You know Little Drummer Boy and all, what exactly do I have to give.

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  10. I love this Amy, you have such an interesting testimony. I've been pondering this concept of what is Gods all weekend as my 2 year old shrieks "mine"! How often we do this with what God has given us.

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  11. Ah, sweet friend. Has it really been less than a year? You rock. And I love the relevation of "What's His?"

    Beautiful.

    Natalie at Mommy on Fire
    http://www.mommyonfire.com

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  12. oh my goodness...yes. it certainly is all His, isn't it. [how easy it is to forget!] thanks for sharing!

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  13. I love your story, Amy -- you are having a powerful impact on people through your family's initiative and your writing! All that for an anti-tech girl -- way to go!

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  14. Thanks for the inspiring post Amy. I need to start thinking in the same terms here...

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  15. It seems like so long ago that you started this journey, but it was only last Christmas that you showed me those pictures, unframed, at a Starbucks in TN. You have come such a long way, my friend, and I am proud of you!

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  16. Hi Amy! I'm glad I stopped by here to finish your story. What an inspiring excerpt from your REAL life. You encourage us in the unseen that God does see. That's for SURE! ;)

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  17. Amy - I'm on a similar journey, though maybe behind you a few (thousand) steps. Thank you for sharing your story!

    -Kim

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  18. Jen, we have such nice friends in common! I love reading Amy's story; I love her heart. What a blessing!

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