for my upcoming thirtieth birthday

grandpa's clock stI can feel it coming – the clocks click round and round, and we like to think that because they’ve been wound or batteried, they won’t come to their final halt, our whisk into unmeasured time.

I can feel it inside me, August rolling in like a glamorous wave before another and another and another.

I hold it tight, the small clock key winding and the little boy shoes that give blisters. I hold it tight with blue jeans and wrinkle creams.  I hold my memory like a cleaning rag to my nose, and I write it down, each ugly, every moan in death, in love. I don’t want to lose it,

but my skin wants to un-tent me, flapping how it is.

But what do I have to lose in getting older, life careening me ahead like a machete in a thicket?

Because when it lifts from me, or rather I from it – when I burst out my tent into blinkless light – I’ll be a newborn kid and free to smell how really good is the heaven bread, so fragrant and familiar, so home and close that I can feel the heat.  I’ll drink tall cups of the whole milk.

And then, in my hands, I will hold tightly to nothing.

Then, I will be the one all lapped up, held,

as yes I am held tightly even now, and yes, there is nothing I control even now,

and that is what freedom is: even now – realizing my hands empty. His holding. Faith in a lavish future sight.

Tweet with me? I’m Amberrunsamuck.

About me


When We All Speak a Foreign Language
January 20, 2017
What do you taste?
November 08, 2016
If Love is the Only Goal
January 04, 2016
Wild in the Hollow Book Club: an Introductory video
August 28, 2015
How Right Living Was My Brokenness: a guest post from Kelly Smith
August 11, 2015
Marriage Letters: On Home
July 06, 2015
Women Set Apart
February 23, 2015
The Barbarian’s Heart
February 11, 2015
True Story
September 24, 2014


Reply August 6, 2009

i posted in a similar vein yesterday, although I can't write like you, thankfully, or what would I read to take my breathe away for the day.

Megan @ Hold it Up to the Light
Reply August 6, 2009

my thirties have been my best years. dive in!

Reply August 6, 2009

Your words about emerging as a newborn when you accept that the aging is happening is so true. There's something new about not having to try so hard.

Cassandra Frear
Reply August 6, 2009

Growing older is hard.

I think that's because we weren't created for a fallen world where people age. That's why it feels like loss.

The loss is real.

But God is good. In Him we have life, that life which is the light of men and is eternal and is a song in our long night here on the beautiful and restless earth we have been given.

Reply August 6, 2009

I look forward to my thirties because of all you have taught me about life and children and the Lord and love. I look forward to the day I can look back and know what you know.

Reply August 6, 2009


First, I must say you indeed know your way around the English language. Incredible thoughts well-presented.
As someone who is well on the north side of 30, it's easy to get caught in a groove of lamenting one's inaction or current plight and start - or continue - a pity party.
But looking as you have at the big picture, we have to remember that if we have indeed turned over lives over to Christ, we're not the only ones with a stake in the outcome.


Reply August 6, 2009

"I’ll be a newborn kid and free to smell how really good is the heaven bread, so fragrant and familiar, so home and close that I can feel the heat. I’ll drink tall cups of the whole milk.
And then, in my hands, I will hold tightly to nothing."

Heaven has never sounded sweeter.
(Caed told me yesterday that in heaven, I can sleep in as late as I want, and he will stay up as late as he wants, and there will be donuts for breakfast every day. I just love that boy.)

Reply August 6, 2009

Though very different, I loved the similarities in what we wrote today:

I mentioned a machete.
Mine was prose but felt poetic (to me).
I painted scent with words (as did you).

Of course, this is on a whole 'nother playin' field, but sweet one, I feel every word and I celebrate this "place" with you.


Oooo! And favorite line? Two of them, actually:
"but my skin wants to un-tent me, flapping how it is."
"Faith in a lavish future sight."

Jane Anne
Reply August 6, 2009

Beautiful post and quite timely. Today I celebrated 36. Just moments ago I told my husband I felt old. Aging is such a roller coaster journey. Most of the time I refuse to think I am old. (After all, you're not old when you are in your 30's!) But, when I am tired, I feel much older than I am. I loved your words. This made me smile: I'll drink tall cups of the whole milk.

Reply August 7, 2009

Poetry in prose, as if I am watching a slow and beautiful dance into life that is becoming, not gradually ending. Such hope...

Reply August 7, 2009

i have not read this post yet. but i will. and happy anniversary of life soon. that is great. 30 years and 30 more times 3.

latonya and i were just oooing and ahhhing and "that's so cute"ing about that pic of you and seth up there. y'all look good together. no wonder your kids is all pretty.

that's all i wanted to say.

Lora Lynn
Reply August 7, 2009

So, I have nothing deep to add other than that, I'm right there with ya, sister. 30 is happening for me this month, too, and I'm not sure whether to throw a big party or crawl in my bed and never come out. I'll keep you posted.

    Reply August 7, 2009

    I'm a bit of a weirdo. I've always wanted to be a grandma. I want to be older, because old people seem to know a lot more. I did not, however, plan on actually looking older or feeling older. I gained an immediate Welcome-to-Thirty 5 lbs! All's well that ends well, though, huh?

Reply August 7, 2009

Amber, I am here from Ann's blog. I have enjoyed getting to know you just a little bit. runs through your fingers like water. I blinked and somehow my children are grown and there are seven precious grandchildren. I look at grown sons with children of their own and wonder how it all happened so quickly. Cherish the moments and enjoy every season. Each comes with its special blessings - and sorrows, but all from the hand of a loving Father.
I love this season of life, but I haven't found a way to avoid those wrinkles!

Reply August 7, 2009

i think i've got the same blister making shoes.

Reply August 8, 2009

i can't believe you are just turning 30 (perspective is everything, isn't it?! :). you write with the maturity of a much older person! 30 is wonderful, as is 40 and hopefully, 50, too. so happy birthday, girl.
ps: that's a wonderful picture of you two.

Reply August 8, 2009

Again you have left me speechless! The gift God has given you shall continue to unfold, growing richer, deeper and sweeter.

I passed 50 three years ago, and yet.. I've had no fear for He is with me every moment.

Heather of the EO
Reply August 8, 2009

Happy Birthday (soon)! This was beautiful, I felt it. Me too.

Reply August 8, 2009

Maybe I'll come back to read this in January and feel better. Or maybe I'll cling to my insecurities and try, in vain, to set back the clock. You'll have to let me know how it is once you get to the other side...

L.L. Barkat
Reply August 8, 2009

I liked this phrase...

"my skin wants to un-tent me"

So you are a poet... I like that too.

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