A Birthday Giveaway for YOU


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Today is the first day of my 36th year, and I woke up full to the brim. My heart beats with a glisten. It beats like a song. I told my body to listen up. I said, “Wake up, Body. Get up; you’re 36 today.” But then the body had a neck cramp and remembered how much salt she ate yesterday, swollen fingers. She remembered the creaky knees and wiped mascara from her cheeks as she unfurled herself. Unfurling these days isn’t like before, not so much like a flower or a beautiful cloth snapped over a table. Even in the frame that stretches beneath my skin, I feel I must slow down. I need to take this leg by leg, bend by bend.

I think about my back, the rolling bones that bend me to cradle Titus, the unfortunate curl toward the computer so I could write Wild in the Hollow, the caddywompus sway inside my hips. Add 36 more years to this, and I’ll be 72. Maybe I am entering the years to be conscious of my bones, to slow down and consider what’s happening inside me – while it’s happening – instead of living in great knee jerks and course-correcting only after I half break.20374443216_c6c3f51666_z

One day I will want to read about this. I’ll be glad I slowed down to look at the bones of it. At the end of my 35th year, I published a book, and many of my friends gathered to celebrate with me. Erika and Austin travelled from Connecticut to surprise me, and my little sister drove an entire day from Alabama. I grew wings and flew across the room. I heave-cried at the door. I didn’t expect to see most of the faces there.

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We met in Dickson Street Theatre, the church meeting place now of Christ Community, but it used to be a bar. It’s gorgeous with a hint of trashy – totally my kind of place, except Jesus made that day be 120 degrees outside. You could see the air conditioner blow a string, but you couldn’t feel it. We were southern, fan-waving hot, drenched and hugging because we gave up.

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I will remember my generous friends. I will remember seeing Sarah and Minah walking in such radiant light and grace that it took my breath away. I will remember Mike sweating bullets and staying anyway. I’ll remember that Corrie makes every room she touches something beautiful. I’ll remember how my church family and then brothers and sisters from at least 6 different churches came together. I’ll remember my friends who don’t believe what I believe, but they came anyway and were fully present.

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We got to have story time, and we even sang together at the end. Story time and singing. Next time we’ll dance, but besides that, the whole world goes round with story time and singing. I’m overwhelmed. I have been given much, and so from me, much will be required. I know this.

I’m still learning how to be generous. I’m still receiving more than I could ever dream of giving.

Even for today, Dayspring had the idea to give eleven of you a copy of my book, Wild in the Hollow, as well as this beautiful Village Artisan set from Northern India!

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What a gift! I have found myself feeling awfully grateful for this tiny lot who reads here. I’m more and more grateful to offer you something special. It’s a grace to me, especially in light of how you encourage me in this space.

To win Wild in the Hollow and the beautiful jewelry:

1) I would love for you to follow Dayspring on Facebook. They are such good people and local to me here in Northwest Arkansas.

2) Leave a comment on my facebook page and tell me the thing you want to stop right now and remember. When you’re twice your age, what do you hope to remember about today?

I’m so excited see 11 of you win this. I’ll announce the winners this coming Saturday, the 15th. See you there!

 

amberhaines
About me

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9 Comments

Donna C
Reply August 10, 2015

Happy birthday Amber! I love that you have been so blessed and honoured by your friends and loved ones - my heart is glad for you.

Courtney L
Reply August 10, 2015

Happy Birthday, Amber!! Thank you for sharing your special day with us, and for hosting this sweet giveaway with Dayspring!! I'll be buying a copy of your book tomorrow at Barnes & Noble!! Can't wait to read it!

Lauren
Reply August 11, 2015

Amber: Happy Birthday (a day late!)! You had me tearing up at this post! What a beautiful picture of the body of Christ rejoicing in life and achievements and what God is doing through His people. May your 36th year be full of deeper wonder in Christ.

Christian Wright
Reply August 11, 2015

Happy Birthday Amber! (a day late..very busy day at work yesterday) 36? Ahhhh your a baby! LOL I will turn 46 next month! WHAT??? Your book came right at the exact perfect time! I learned about you through one of my devotions I receive daily. Wow..what a kindred spirit mess of a girl that loves Jesus that I identified with in you. Then I became completely obsessed and bought the kindle version of your book as soon as I got home from work as soon as it was available. I have told everyone about you and even had my mama looking you up. Thank you for being the real deal! Thank you for sharing your life with us, broken and blessed parts alike! You are truly and encourager and inspiration for us church girls that live a real life with our heads all over the place at times. I can't wait to one day meet you and hug your neck and tell you how much your story and blog inspires me daily! It may not be until we meet in heaven...but I'll be looking for ya! You and your precious family are in my prayers!

Jenn
Reply August 11, 2015

I read your book and couldn't put it down! I must say I cant wait to be 72!!! A yard full of grandkids running around while I sit on the front porch with my love. Old, crunchy (my daughters word for wrinkly) and silver. Hoping to have attained Godly wisdom and discernment from all the years of seeking God's face. I have detoxed social media so I couldn't share my dreams there. xoxo..

Brandee Shafer
Reply August 11, 2015

Amber, I'm so happy for you for so many reasons! I can't wait to read your book; maybe I'll win a copy! I liked Dayspring and will comment on your facebook page. May God continue to bless and keep. So much love to you. xxoo

Katherine
Reply August 14, 2015

Happy Birthday and congratulations on the book! I'd love to remember the smell of my youngest baby's head right after a bath, and how she snuggles into my neck when she's sleepy.

Shirley Corwin
Reply August 16, 2015

I just finished reading Wild in the Hollow. It touched me in a most remarkable way. I identified with lots of it. God Bless you...
Shirley Corwin

jamie
Reply August 21, 2015

I like the way you write about
the stars & dark dirt roads.
I was a wild child too.
Still am sometimes.
Love your book.

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