When I Think I Could Do Better


Kingdom Come is my mantra, so I’ve been hard at it like holy work. Empty. Fill. Empty. Pour out. But this weekend, I found it nearly impossible to do while I listed out names for endorsements and made up a plan to sell a possible upcoming book. I really didn’t want to do it, and it has taken me days. Sometimes the Spirit really doesn’t just swoop in with a gust of wind and whisper into you like a funnel. Sometimes you just work because you’ve been told what to do, and I know that laying down the more business-minded parts of a book proposal is hardly sacrifice, but it has had me wondering how much of this Christian walk is doing the thing we don’t want to do. It’s all a laying down, and I’ve found myself back home to a messy house and to the rowdy hollering boys, and oh how I want to stand up and hold it all together and keep it all from breaking.

When I left for the weekend, the boys didn’t take their dirty clothes to the right place and other things were off-kilter. Imagine that with four boys in a house! Seth is very good at everything, but it’s just a different kind of good, so I stomped around about it this morning – as if order were something I’m actually good at keeping. I am so incredibly frustrated that things fall apart, and I’m not talking about how the doorknobs keep falling off. I’m talking about a friend whose family member chose to terminate a pregnancy. I’ve been the girl making that decision, but I want that child held. I am so sad in the weight of that.

Suddenly I realize all my disappointments are deeper, an idea that I could do better, even with how I know my best efforts amount.

In the kitchen floor right now among the pieces of broken uncooked spaghetti noodles is a cut-out donkey colored softly in pink and orange. Last night Ian had told me of it, how Jesus rode a donkey and the people waved their palm leaves because Jesus is the Savior. My Jesus on an ass.

In my readings and among our circle of friends, the topic of confession keeps coming up, so I thought I’d give it a serious whirl this morning. Turns out, my list was much longer than I had anticipated. A counsellor of mine always suggests that every single time we hand something over to God, especially in confession, we ask Him what He is giving us in place of the thing we’ve confessed. This morning my temper flashed hot, so in confession it went deeper to a root of bitterness, planted there by my desire for control. I’m not strong enough to pull it out. I know I can’t, so I asked that He do it. And what, Lord, will you put in place of my anger?

And plain as the sun lighting the room, the answer is


How is it that the least get to be the greatest? How is it? I act like I want it better sometimes, but then what of that baby, gone the same way my first went, and I know she is thrown away somewhere. Right-side Down God, You do not waste. You gave your own Child a belly button, strung Him from a woman and then hung Him up on a pole with foul-mouthed bastards. Low-down, gracious God, you have touched my ear, my thumb, and my big toe with Your own blood.

Kingdom Come.


About me


When We All Speak a Foreign Language
January 20, 2017
What do you taste?
November 08, 2016
Learning to Bend: A Wild in the Hollow Guest Post from Diana Trautwein
September 14, 2015
On Abortion and When You Have Hidden Hollow Places
August 17, 2015
The Myrrh Bearer, the Message Bearer, and Me
July 25, 2015
The Barbarian’s Heart
February 11, 2015
Be the child, then revolution.
June 02, 2014
It is My Passion That You Know This
January 08, 2014
The Woo
September 25, 2013


Kelly Sauer
Reply March 25, 2013

Not just humility. Grace. Grace for pain and loss you can't undo. And love. So. much. love.

Anger is not only a mask for bitterness, friend - it is the wounded heart cornered and helpless and crying out as shame encroaches and you feel for you and for her and for two babies who are in His arms and not merely thrown aside, and oh how absolutely tender He is with the heart broken by its own sin. He loves you today, loves you so deep, even in the places where you hate you, where the anger is directed at you and not really at her who lives now where you lived. Let Him wash you in it. Treasure you as He does today.

    Reply March 25, 2013

    Oh, and I don't feel anger in that toward myself, I don't think. Often, when it's boiled down, my anger is with God.

    But I know He is good. We just have to hear these things again and again, don't we?

    Also, I want to say how very very near to God's heart I feel when I grieve with someone who grieves. It may be my highest honor.

Don Sartain
Reply March 25, 2013

God's funny, sometimes. And by "funny," I mean "flipping confusing."

"God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble."

So, by giving you humility to replace the anger, He's also setting you up to receive more grace.

Kelly @ Love Well
Reply March 26, 2013

I read this yesterday, Amber, and I lacked the words to respond.

I still do, mostly. :)

But I wanted you to know I took this humble seed you offered and I planted it in my heart, and God is doing something with it.

Reply March 26, 2013

For the days when I feel the rickety piece of driftwood, I will recall to your few most recent posts, Amber. For my self-pity and comparison, rusty nails, you are reminding of truths and questions which fill the senses. Thank you for telling: get over yourself already.

You being someone who's farther down the writing life, I thank you for your insight, for how you see.

I am praying for God's will during the midst of proposals and plans, Amber.

Pat Aho
Reply March 26, 2013

This is wracking me and makes me shudder tears. The laying down and the control, the humbleness of owning your own dirty clothes. No words...no words...thank you. Pandora is playing 10,000 Reasons. Be Thou my Vision.

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