The Scenes I’ll Remember Long From Now


I had a little bit of green hair, but it was just a clip-on to make sure I liked it, and I do. I took it to the beach, and I had to confess it to those girls. Ocean air makes me tell secrets. I said, “Oh, it’s not real, just a clippy.” And then at some point I think I put it in a book and lost it.

I told other secrets on this walk. When I made it back home, our community co-leader said, “you know that most people don’t get to do stuff like that, right? Go off and be with friends?” And I said, “I know I know. I don’t expect it to work out this way again. For such a time as this.”

I think I met them there to pick up some armor I’m going to be needing soon.

This is Jessica and Emily. Emily has a little braid, and I was showing it off, but all you can see are my teeth.

This photo makes me want to cry. It’s braggadocios to post a photo of oneself with Ann, and here I am doing it anyway because it may be one of my favorite things, like if I had a new photo of my siblings. We had smiled with our teeth in the wind until they were dry.

This is how the sun went down, not shy of glory.

Seth picked me up from my flight, and we drove straight to our community. Our babies walk inside our circle. We give them bites. When we pray, we put our hands on each other. We tell our stories. I have never had enough of these people, my real-life people.

With Isaac and Jude in school, I can now spend time with my youngest two boys. I took them to the park, and Titus ran around like crazy. Ian never stopped talking. He has no clue that anyone else would have anything to say, and also, he really doesn’t talk; he hollers everything that comes out of his mouth. This is my most recent giggle/struggle.

Titus may be back on the feeding tube soon, but I just can’t tell because of how slow this process of getting him to grow is. One day he’ll lose, and the next day he’ll gain. I keep saying, “maybe by tomorrow he’ll be better.” Keep praying.

Then I met up with some girls at the lake, and I have so much processing to do from that weekend. I was quiet in my bones there, didn’t fret about a single relationship. I felt loved and not sandpapered or the need to have more attention. I’m a girl. That makes the weekend miraculous.

Sarah Bessey wrote so beautifully about how we all jumped in the lake, and I’m saving my writing. I knew in the moment I would write it out, and I’m holding it burning in my chest for a bit. I love not telling about it from my eyes yet. Read Sarah’s gorgeous version here.

I know this month has been one of the most precious times of my entire life. I know I’ll tap back to these scenes again and again. I grew up down a dirt road. That may seem random to you that I would mention such a thing. But it’s not.

If you’ve made it down this far into the post, I want to tell you that some of you who read here are really really my friends. I know we would have the same sort of weekends together had we the chance to meet in real life. I don’t often get to respond to comments, and I’ve just now been able to sort out my wordpress profile to where it actually lets me write on other blogs, but I need you to hear me. Thank you for encouraging me.

Back at the kids and my upside-down house, I thought to myself yesterday that I can’t do it, how we mothers do. But you encourage me, and I guess I’m the sort that needs it. Just thank you.

Also see JJ’s post: A Happy Camper and Lisa Leonard’s post: Time with The Girls and Fried Okra’s Girls Weekend
amberhaines
About me

26 Comments

AllisonO of O My Family
Reply September 21, 2012

What a blessing these trips were to you. What a blessing you were to them. xoxo

Jessica Y
Reply September 21, 2012

I am sooooo bawling.
First... sigh. Ocean air makes me let it all out too. Sand in the toe... horizons....somethin...
That picture of you and Ann. You should be braggadocious . Really.
I love how you are so clued in to the providence of God in giving you that time away to refuel. Beautiful.

I grew up down a long dirt road, too.
We would so be friends, pouring wine in mason jars.....

Love you .

Sarah Bessey
Reply September 21, 2012

I miss you so much. That photo of us in the water at sunset.... no words.

the Blah Blah Blahger
Reply September 21, 2012

"I felt loved and not sandpapered or the need to have more attention. I’m a girl. That makes the weekend miraculous." AMEN

So so so glad that we got to spend some time together talking. I can't wait to do it again! : )

XO!

Joy @ Joy in this Journey
Reply September 21, 2012

HOLY AWE at the sunset photos you posted. So beautiful. And so very thankful to have some real time with you. XOXOXOXO.

LoraLynn
Reply September 21, 2012

Loved being part of your weekend. Love you.

Fiona
Reply September 21, 2012

Soooooo pleased you got those times away - to fill your soul with good girl time. It really does matter. Still praying for Titus. Hindsight will be a wonderful thing, one day.

Heather M in AL
Reply September 21, 2012

I am all North Alabama red clay and blubbering messes, an imploding marriage and the weight of doing it all on my own with littles for so, so long. Though I rarely comment, I read your words because they make me feel...less lonely in my faith and circumstances. They give me hope to endure and even as you recount your own pain, I hear the promise of joy. Most days, I need that. Thank you.

Tanya Marlow
Reply September 21, 2012

Glad to be an encourager and a new friend :-)

And oh! These photos were so full of joy! Looking forward to hearing the stories through your eyes too.

Alonso Drake
Reply September 21, 2012

Every thing is beautiful but the natural beauty is better than others. Thanks for excellent photos.

Megan (FriedOkra)
Reply September 21, 2012

It was over-the-top magical. You are beautiful and nothing less than I've always imagined. I don't think any of believes we can do it, but I do believe that in the end we will have done it anyway, so I suppose we should just borrow confidence from tomorrow and wear it now.

The dry teeth made me giggle.

Jessica
Reply September 21, 2012

I have to admit I was a bit jealous seeing you all gather in beautiful sisterhood. And when you talk about your community, it makes me long for my own.

We moved this summer, a bit more south and country (and I love the freshness of it all), but still trying to put down roots and I think I'm finally realizing how lonely I am. And now that I've blubbered in your comments, I'll go make dinner. :)

Southern Gal
Reply September 21, 2012

The sunsets are so beautiful. And I love your smile.

Amanda Medlin
Reply September 21, 2012

Amber, I first have to say that you have a BEAUTIFUL smile! And second, I am so happy for the friendships that God has blessed you with and I pray that He will help me to cultivate that same kind of community in my own life.

Karen Huber
Reply September 22, 2012

Beautiful words to describe beautiful friends...they bring back good memories to me of times shared with girlfriends and hope for more of these times in the future. Glad Titus is doing well. Still praying....

Kim
Reply September 22, 2012

So glad for you all to be together in that "breathing the same air" way. Those times to gather cost: there is kid coverage, days away from my classes and money - four teenagers leave me little and even the looks I get from others whose lives cannot or will not bear the budgeting of such. But, I can better fare fasting a meal forever than pressing away such sustenance should it be offered me.
Yes, holy things happen over the dishes, at the stove and packing lunches. They do, everyday, they do. But, something altogether other occurs in those seemingly stolen, how else could we ever afford them, moments when we slip away to one another who know us or long to.
The older I get, the more my story, the one I tell my children and yours of God's goodness, is less about happenings: to me, for me, through me...I have forgotten nearly all of those stories which I used to tell. Now the story is a string of pearls of moments purposefully gathered with those whose names and faces I love. All the miracles, rescues and provisions fade in my memory. But, those connections in His grace mark my soul indelibly.

Loved Sarah's words about your time together, I will wait patiently for yours.

HopefulLeigh
Reply September 22, 2012

I love you and miss you and can't wait to see you again. You encourage me in so many ways, Amber. Simply from being you.

Kelly @ Love Well
Reply September 22, 2012

Holy ground.

I just love you so much, Amber. I'm secretly glad you are holding those story coals near to your heart a while. May they keep you warm and be fanned into a blaze we all see.

Shelly Miller
Reply September 22, 2012

I read this on my phone laying in bed and I want to thank you for the way you invite us into your life with genuine authenticity. I'm so glad you had those times away because I know how much they feed my soul when I get that chance too. I got a comment from Ann yesterday so I think your picture is just lovely, glad you shared it.

Diana Trautwein
Reply September 22, 2012

I am so grateful that you're out here in this ether-net stuff and I'm grateful with you for these recent gifts of IRL time with this rich mix of women. Praying for Titus - and for you - as you keep trying to figure out how to help him grow. He is so beautiful, Amber, and he looks healthy and happy. Sigh. You know I'll read anything you put out here and rejoice every time I do. Love to you and all those gorgeous male people who live in your rock house.

Breanne
Reply September 22, 2012

I've read your words for a little while now, always reading and not saying anything. But all this, what you wrote about, made me want to open the gate and not just look through the fence. I'm a recently transplanted prairie to East Coast Canadian with two little girls...different from you yet the words you write are so familiar.

Thank-you for being real. And? I love the pictures, all of them. So beautiful.

Ann Kroeker
Reply September 22, 2012

I'm so glad to hear how God filled you up, strengthened you, loved you through those girlfriends.

He is so good. I see it here, in these photos; I hear it here, in these words.

Lori Harris
Reply September 22, 2012

Tears rolls off of my face this afternoon. We have just recently moved across the country, back to the place that grew me, and I am starving for the community that I left behind. It has been almost a year here, in this new-old place but relationships are messy and they take time and my heart can't stand the wait. Thank you for sharing your upside down life with me each week.

Ann
Reply September 23, 2012

The moment I met your mama and sister? I felt it and I told them and I know: it is like a sibling, it's true, and I blushed when they laughed. And I feel younger to everyone's wiser and when you knelt with the bowl and the water, why did everything spill?

I still have blisters on my fingertips from that green pluming mulch and when I type, I feel the work and how the dirt under the nails is better than keys under the fingers. Pray for dirt. I never want to leave this living on dirt roads. You know why I mention this and it matters and it's not random but the essence.

Kin.

Annie
Reply September 23, 2012

Amber, I read this in the kitchen this morning, with my cup of coffee in the quiet, and it reminded me how grateful I am for your poetry words and your plain and simple words. Reading here is a gift that lingers long. The whispers of the beauty of community jumping into mulch and jumping into lakes and the truth of the hard and the redeemed and the whispers of the not-yet-but-still-hoped-for... thank you for sharing it.

deals
Reply May 22, 2015

Sports glasses need to be sturdy and robust, and undoubtedly should be UV rays prophylactic.
You can't acquire eyeglasses at under twenty dollars because you must spend shipping
regarding orders under ninetynine bucks.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *