a love story: on getting lost

For back stories, pull up my mixed tape: love songs.


I want to have a party. I haven’t worn a tank top or listened to non-Christian music in over a year, and now we don’t work for a church, and my bra straps are showing. I found those blue jeans with a hole in the knee, and I’ve mailed invitations for my own birthday. 

We have a house now – a love shack with paneled walls and thirty year old shag carpet. I want it decorated with candles in every room. I want fold up chairs and tables and so many people we can’t move.

I want enough grapes dangling from a pretty tray to feed forty people, and I want games in the back. I want to get lost in conversation. I want to think about theology and listen to Jimi Hendrix while I put on my makeup. 

I tried, but I am not a youth minister’s wife, and he’s going to be a lawyer now. He wants to be right and have buying power, and I want to be a poet.

I want to sit in class and get lost with the lost. I want to commune with storytellers and picture painters, the brave artist souls to love me like I’ve never tried on church or looked like church or sounded like it. 

The sick need company. Whatever disease the church has, the members are going to catch. Seth will sit in the front room. I will sit in the back.

Come to my party

August 10 from 4:00 to midnight.

We’ll have cokes, food, and power-lust,

pride, bitterness, and cake.

We’ll play horseshoes and be self-preserved.

No gifts please.

A common enemy is gift enough. 

About me


When There’s a Lion in Your Yard
November 18, 2016
What do you taste?
November 08, 2016
Dear Seth: A Marriage Letter on Your Sobriety and What it Looks Like to Come Clean
October 27, 2015
When The Church Doesn’t Fit Or Fix You: a Wild in the Hollow Guest Post from Christie Purifoy
October 12, 2015
The Hurt and the Healing: A Wild in the Hollow Guest Post by Bonnie King
September 30, 2015
Will They Stay if You Change?
September 28, 2015
Wild in the Hollow Book Club Video: Chapters 1 and 2
September 14, 2015
A Mud Stories Podcast on Sex, Shame, Unforgiveness, and the Church
August 06, 2015
Church couldn’t help me with it anymore.
August 03, 2015


Reply February 24, 2009

Please know that there is so much more to this story.

Reply February 24, 2009

An occasional struggle, yet.

Megan @ Hold it UP to the Light
Reply February 24, 2009

Can't wait to hear the rest of the story...I love your stories (it's like seeing into your soul). Thank you for being so transparent, friend!

Reply February 24, 2009

Amber - what IS the story? This post is wonderful and painful and echoes a LOT of what I've been through, and I have a feeling about what is behind it. Would you be willing to drop an email to tell me more?

Kelly’s last blog post..my thousand words (or two cents... whichever...)

Reply February 24, 2009

Have you ever read The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis? There's a part in it where the devil who is trying to steal a man's soul away from God is advised to encourage a budding friendship with a set of sophisticated, interesting, and amoral people. Every interaction with them leaves the man feeling smug and superior to the people he's meeting in church, and that's the devil's goal--to make the man think he doesn't need fellowship with such boring people. That he can somehow keep one foot in each world: worship at church but socialize with people who disdain religion.

It's a difficult line to walk, this being "in the world but not of it." I can't wait to hear more of your story.

edie wadsworth
Reply February 24, 2009

Oh my....your writing.....it's so.....fresh, raw, vulnerable. I love your posts and how they provoke thoughts and feelings from my own life, even though it's clearly your story!
Love to ya!

edie wadsworth’s last blog post..The Season of Lent and learning from my Father.........

Reply February 24, 2009

How you speak to me when I need it most. I walked around a Napa Valley wine auction with my wine glass and reporter's notebook all weekend, rubbing elbows and kissing the cheeks of all the star winemakers. It's amazing how smug you can be with purple teeth. And how silly. Sometimes I feel closer than ever to God out here on my own. And other times, I feel I've drifted so far that I'm now being carried by the wrong tide. And then I God's voice - and it's often through you.

brooke’s last blog post..Finger Food: News, Note, Nibbles and Sips

Reply February 24, 2009

Amber, reading you is just like talking to you. You are beautiful, touching, raw and powerful.
Can't wait to read more.

rachel-asouthernfairytale’s last blog post..Keep Believing

Secret Agent Mama
Reply February 24, 2009

I am thankful for Blissdom, for alerting me to the beauty of you and your blog.

the domestic fringe
Reply February 24, 2009

Ok, this isn't enough...I want it all. The entire story. I think I need to hear this one.


Reply February 24, 2009

Do we have to wait till next Tuesday for more??

Stacey’s last blog post..Happies

Reply February 24, 2009

There is sooo much more, friends. I can't wait to read it either.

Seth’s last blog post..MLP Bites Back

Reply February 25, 2009

Thanks for your writing - it's always refreshing to find a blog with some depth behind it. It's good to ask the tough questions...

steadymom’s last blog post..should i be feeling insecure?

Ann Voskamp @ Holy Experience
Reply February 25, 2009

You are poet.

Achingly, hauntingly so...

(And is your birthday August 10?
Mine too! ~smile~)

Ann Voskamp @ Holy Experience’s last blog post..Ash Wednesday: Cleaning Dust

Reply February 25, 2009

No way do I share a birthday with Ann Voskamp. Birthdays are going to twice as good from now on.

Reply February 25, 2009

My kingdom to write with such fragility and passion; transparency and shroud.

Remember when you wrote you could write "I love you" after everyone of my posts? Ditto.


Robin ~ PENSIEVE’s last blog post..Build a Poem, Build a Bear!

Reply February 25, 2009

If you would just burn tha-dam-thang, you wouldn't have to worry about any straps hanging out -- ha ha! Maybe we'll get on over to that there party. Thanks for the IN-vite.

Janna @ RAINBOWDULL’s last blog post..Have you shacked up yet?

Reply February 25, 2009

Your writing reminds me much of myself about 10 or 11 years ago. I've lost my creative edge, my ability to show rather than tell. Thank you for inspiring and for being transparent.

Minnesotamom’s last blog post..41 Degrees! Woo hooooooooo!

Reply February 25, 2009

the church is beautiful. i echo excitement for your story.


Reply February 25, 2009

Hamster, the church IS beautiful. I'm so glad you think so, too. The more I ponder this story, the more I love the church. This just happens to be a particularly blinded season of our marriage.

I don't know how I'm going to tell all the rest. I'm nervous.

Reply February 26, 2009

"We'll play horseshoes and be self-preserved."

Mmmm, mmmm, mmmm. Yep.

More, please . . . when you are ready.

Reply October 10, 2009

Oh, I can't wait to read more (and I'm kinda excited its already been written and I don't have to wait!)

Reply May 9, 2010

I get lost, too. In fact as I write, I'm lost in a whirlwind of thoughts and ideas about life, church, who I am, who I want to be and so much more. It can be overwhelming.
I've lost my creativity to so many distractions in my life--a failed marriage, a confusing, soul-searching time that is leading me back to my original call to sing, speak and write.
Life can be scary, uncertain and downright difficult. It takes so much faith to overcome, but no matter where we find ourselves, God is always there with open arms to rescue us from harm.

Reply June 11, 2015

I love your voice. I found your website yesterday evening, and can hardly stop reading. Your story is hard, but beautiful, and your telling speaks to my poet's heart. Thank you for writing. It leads me to get back to it.

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