See Beyond the Nose

I took this photo, and I can’t believe it. When we left the hospital, we hit the ground running. Last weekend, I made it to a beach house full of humblest women, coming as I always do with reservations, concerns about my fit problem. I also don’t know how to stop running, how to curl my feet up on the couch and just laugh and nod, see beyond my own nose. All the hugging settled, dinner was served, and I sat safely in the corner with my paper plate. I let the hum of laughter lift me out of myself and into their lives.

When I laid eyes on the ocean, I exhaled a gray smoke, and it blew away. I stopped running. My shoulders dropped 4 inches.

That night I went on a walk with a big sister. We talked of orphans and gaped our jaws at the stars. Have you seen them lately, the millions? How terribly small you are. We desperately need to know our littleness.

This weekend I’m away again for a sort of impromptu writer’s retreat where we’re actually going to write, and it’s the strangest thing. I can’t explain how it all happened, because I don’t even know. The timing of the book ideas inside me and the women in my life who are feeding me heaping spoons of encouragement and practical advice, it doesn’t make sense how it all came together except to say that it’s just time, and God is making it so. I’m not sure how I’ll write a book, but I’m going to. There. I’ve said it.

It’s impossible to be obedient when we can’t see beyond ourselves. Our callings/giftings are not about us. The vase is about the bouquet.

Titus is eating like a champ, and it has been slow, but I think we’re crossing the hump. It takes a long time to adjust after a long hospital stay, and our eyes are different now. We’re very on-guard with Titus’ little life, but right now he seems as healthy as he can be. I took his feeding tube out, and his cheeks are rounding out.

Did I tell you he is walking everywhere, his tiny body thrusted chest first, arms up, smile stretched across always?

Also, please oh please oh please have mercy on my switchiness. I made the painful switch on Facebook so I can keep up with you as a person. It was so hard to speak like theRunaMuck there. I like speaking as Amber, you know? It’s embarrassing to ask, but would you mind following me there?

Now I’m just plain ol’ Amber C Haines.

Once upon a time, I wrote for Deeper Story. Do you remember that? And then I quietly quit. I couldn’t hang then, and who knows if I can now either, but I’m writing again under my husband, Seth Haines, at A Deeper Church with an outstanding list of contributors. I’m shocked actually at the names, people who will stretch me in the maturity way. The church is what I really love, talking about who the church is, remembering why the church is. I’m excited. Follow Deeper Church on Facebook, too? Maybe we can find some healing together, come out on the other side looking a little more like Jesus. Pray for that, too.

About me


Reply September 14, 2012

1 - You know already that I'm thrilled to hear you're writing a book. But I'll say it again: I'm THRILLED to hear you're writing a book.

2 - We continue to pray for Titus here, and celebrate this good news.

3 - I love the way you stargaze. John 3:30.

4 - I already like you ... and the Deeper Church. :)

Caroline Starr Rose
Reply September 14, 2012

I know how hard it is to have a little one in the hospital. So glad yours is home, safe and healthy.

Jessica Y
Reply September 14, 2012

Yes, "coming as I always do with reservations, concerns about my fit problem." Always.
On my night stand, a short little read by Tim Keller. Based on 1 Corinthians 3:21-4:7. The FREEDOM of self forgetfulness. .....stop connecting every experience and every conversation with ourselves...

    Reply September 14, 2012

    YES!!!!!! Right on, Jess, that's totally it.

Shelly Miller
Reply September 14, 2012

Ditto to everything Jennifer already said and I hope you have a wonderful weekend where words flow out of you like water and His presence lays over you like a blanket. Can't wait to read your words, every time.

Kelly @ Love Well
Reply September 14, 2012

Somehow, standing under the stars, next to the ocean, I feel small in the best way. Like a child held by her father.

There are so many blessings. The whole earth is filled with his glory.

I'm going to look for it this weekend.

Reply September 14, 2012

I, too, am thrilled that you are writing a book Amber. I am too, and I haven't even a smidgen of your talent and gift. I'll be praying for you as you pour your heart out into words. I am so overjoyed to see how well Titus is doing. Thanks to a Father who loves with such abundant love.

Jen Erwin
Reply September 14, 2012

Yay for Titus! Yay for you, Amber. You go do it.

Katie Blackburn
Reply September 14, 2012

"It’s impossible to be obedient when we can’t see beyond ourselves. Our callings/giftings are not about us. The vase is about the bouquet." So beautiful. Love this whole entry, thank you for being a writer.

Diana Trautwein
Reply September 14, 2012

Beyond the nose. Yeah, that about says it. Thanks for the update on your cutie-pie boy and YES for the commitment, out loud, to a BOOK. So glad your voice will be there at DSC - the church is my love, too. So I imagine I'll sneak some of that in over at that other channel where I'm blown away to be included. An actual writing weekend - how lovely that sounds. I'll be at Laity and I love it there, but I don't know how much actual writing will happen. Time will tell....

Reply September 14, 2012

beautiful! So many wonderful slivers of good news.

But really, you're writing a book!? eeeek! I literally cannot wait to buy it, you're words are addictive!

Reply September 16, 2012

So small below stars... and the stars showing the way by being so small.
Before Him, that is all there is.
And the vase is being about the bouquet.

To you, how you know that.

Katie @
Reply September 16, 2012

I love the comment Jessica Y had about self forgetfulness. Great way to word that!

Reply September 16, 2012

I can hardly wait to read your book.

Reply September 17, 2012

Thank you for these word prompts. They are a gift. I wrote mine this morning. On my anniversary.

I am so excited for your news and will follow what you write for The Deeper Church..

This book of yours.....well I share in your joy, sister and will be first in line to buy my copy.
You bless.

Reply September 20, 2012

So very, very, VERY happy to hear about your Titus! It is the best thing when those little cheeks start filling out :)
Also, yay about the book!

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