What Gets Done in the Undone

No matter how big your house is, I’m assuming that all mothers can come down with the feeling that the roof’s caving in. Our apartment is 1,100 square feet, which is plenty of room, but we are a lot of big people who play big and fight big and talk big. Our words can pour out of rooms like the rubble from an explosion. We echo within our walls, fill the crannies.

Sometimes my vision blurs and the ceiling seems to inch lower. I hear tiny cracks forming. I wince and mentally duck for cover. That’s when I consider grabbing the bag of chips and running for the lock on the bathroom door.

Last night, after dinner and a day struggling to semi-civilize my boys, I did the usual Mamawork until I sat completely still on the floor of my new laundry room with a few loads of clothes and my heart beating in my ankles – the somewhat pleasing, high kind of exhaustion. I could hear Seth reading to them, then they sang Every Move I Make, their favorite, before praying.

I left the cold pot of beans on the stove all night long, and it’s not because I forgot to wash the pot. I left it on purpose and walked to the couch, and Seth played his guitar in an upright chair with a notebook and pen in front of him. He loves through music.

He was my David. The ceiling inched its way back up. The quiet settled back into the soul bones.

He comes to the couch, and he puts his hands on me, and we watch television. We didn’t talk about a single thing.

I went to bed thinking about how I used to cry that we didn’t talk enough – usually when I had PMS, which didn’t make the tears untrue. I’m sure I’ll do it again one day. But last night, we simply sat together, and I knew he loved me. The heavy of the day was palpable. He’s an attorney. I’m a mother of 4 boys (or, 3 1/2).

This morning I take inventory. Their beds are crumpled and already filled with hero guys and drippings from sippy cups. They do their puppy piling, loud laughing, roll-playing. One of them pretends to be Bear Grylls and threatens to eat nasty raw animals if he can find some. One of them pretends he’s climbed to the top of a mountain (bunk beds) and gives a great victory holler as he looks down at the view below.

We’ve done the most growing in this small space, the little becoming more. We can all experience the loaves and the fish, the mountain in the mustard seed, and the voice of God in the silence.

I am learning to find Christ-Esteem in the things I choose to leave undone and in the words I choose not to say.

Consider what it means to have Christ-Esteem.

About me


Dear Seth: A Marriage Letter on Your Sobriety and What it Looks Like to Come Clean
October 27, 2015
Marriage Letters: On New Seasons
April 06, 2015
Absence Makes the Heart Grow: A Marriage Letter
March 02, 2015
Marriage Letters: What You Call Holy
February 02, 2015
On Healing and Wholeness: a Resolution and a Marriage Letter
January 26, 2015
A Fifteen Year Anniversary: a story of my body
November 13, 2014
Marriage Letters: How We Co-labor
May 05, 2014
Marriage Letters: Once Upon a Time
February 03, 2014
Concrete Words: An Abstraction on the Rock
January 28, 2013


Reply April 20, 2011

I just wanted to let you know that I just recently found this cute little blog and I am in love! With the blog that is. :)
Your blog really makes my day and anytime I see that little (1) next to your blog name in my Google Reader, I get excited!
Thank you for being a light in my life with every post you write!

    Reply April 20, 2011

    I remember when I first found her and fell in love too! She has such an amazing talent with words that at times I get lost in her memories, as if they were my own.
    BTW, Amber, I am so glad that I was trying to find Jack Kerouac stuff one day, many moons ago...it led me here to a long lost sister in Christ I didn't even know I was missing and needed so badly. =D

      Reply April 20, 2011

      If you're looking up Jack Kerouac, then you must be my long lost sister.

      Sometimes it's sharing here and your reading and our feeling sisterhood that actually shows me the light. Until then, I tend to word it out in the dark.

Southern Gal
Reply April 20, 2011

...the words I choose not to say. Yes, especially true for me.

    Reply April 20, 2011

    Southern Gal, I wish I were good at this myself. I can write about it, but doing it consistently is another thing entirely.

Reply April 20, 2011

was just sitting in couch silence last night loving the unsaid.
thanks for sharing, friend!

    Reply April 20, 2011

    Thank you for your awesomeness, AbbyLeigh.

Reply April 20, 2011

I so needed this today. Thank you, thank you and thank you.

    Reply April 20, 2011

    Well, Aimee, I guess I needed it, too. Seth is probably reading this and scratching his head. "What was it you didn't say?"

sara @ it's good to be queen
Reply April 20, 2011

i love "the words i choose not to say." i worked hard at that this morning. and Jesus helped me and it was a relief. i want to do more of that...choosing to hold my tongue and turn away wrath. thanks for the camaraderie i feel on this sweet blog of yours. you are a blessing.

    Reply April 20, 2011

    Oh girl, I never see you that you don't encourage me.

    Turning away wrath is the next level isn't it?

Danelle Townsend
Reply April 20, 2011

The final words of this post. . finding your Christ Esteem (which I love that term too by the way) in what is undone. . the words unsaid. Amen! And another Amen! I pray that I can find Christ Esteem in the undone rather than allow my self talk to tell me that it must all get done.
I like to check my little boxes.
It's a bad habit.
I pray He will show me when and how to let it be.

    Reply April 20, 2011

    We have a preacher friend who did a few sermons on Christ-esteem, and I can't seem to listen to every bit of it, but even the phrase "Christ-Esteem" has had my head spinning. I decided to write about it every time I can, so maybe I can work it out.

    How do we not find esteem in others? In Christ alone?

Jessica Y
Reply April 20, 2011

OOOOH HONEY..... We are too , "big people who play big and fight big and talk big", I think we love big too.

    Reply April 20, 2011

    Jessica, you're right. We love big, too.

Reply April 20, 2011

oh. for me. this was for me.

Reply April 20, 2011

"the words I choose not to say"...I need to make some different choices.

Seth (Your Husband)
Reply April 20, 2011

But... just to be clear...

We do talk, right? I mean, I think we communicate well. Or am I just being a dude?

I like it when you write, lady. It's a privilege to be married to you.

    Reply April 20, 2011

    Why yes, we talk. We talk a lot. Problem is that we could never talk enough if I were getting all my esteem from you. I enjoy you way too much as it stands.

Reply April 20, 2011

Beautifully written...i love your heart!

Reply April 20, 2011

Amber, I don't have a blog myself so everytime I see therunamuck on my facebook I get so excited!!! No matter what I am doing I rush over to your blog to read what you have to say:) I hope you are doing well with your pregnancy.

Sara Sophia
Reply April 21, 2011

I love you Amber.

All the facets and bits.

I am mentally rubbing your tummy in a totally non-weird way.



Reply April 21, 2011

Thanks, Amber. Christ esteem! I have much to ponder.

laura@life overseas
Reply April 21, 2011


Not to sound too "groupie"ish, but if you wrote a book, I would totally buy it. And I would buy a copy for my friends for Christmas presents. And I would download the Kindle version of it, too.

Just sayin.

Love your words. Love the way you paint real-life--
Even the title of this post spoke volumes to my heart today.

Megan at SortaCrunchy
Reply April 26, 2011

I know this is nearly a week old (and this makes me very, very tardy in Internet Time), but I just wanted to say yeah. Totally. Christ-esteeming the things undone. Medicine to my soul today.

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