Revolution: A Blessing Over My Own Book


In the Haines house, we listen to Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie, Neil Young, and Simon & Garfunkle. I can sing you every word of the Greatest Hits albums of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and The Doors. Add to that, I’m a child of the 90s, so I’m riddled with lyrics from Nirvana, Jane’s Addiction, and Tupac Shakur. Not only am I a time borrower, but I am also a strong sympathizer with those who long for a better way, even if I disagree about the way. I love a revolutionary, the beautiful Bob Marleys of the world.

The men in my bloodline, before my young daddy, were much older fathers, and so I am only 5 generations down the line from Andrew Carothers, born in 1739, a man who fought and was wounded in the Battle of King’s Mountain in the Revolutionary War. My great-grandfather knew very old men who fought red coats. Oral tradition is as strong as war-memory for my line. This is part of what bore in me a strong sense of belonging to another time (another planet, sometimes), and it has also bore a tension pulled like bobbing thread between Revolution and Rebellion.

Picture my high school self here, not caught dead dressing like any other one person on the planet. I rode in beat-up VWs. I rolled my own joints. I questioned The Man before I ever knew who the man was. It’s silly to say out loud now, because I was a child, but this is my history. We were in the South, where people own their land and guard it with guns. I was in the time on the cusp of crystal meth and a people who by god made their own way to destruction. I’m aware of rebellion. I know how easy it is for the revolutionary to sink her teeth deep into rebellion.

However, the fear of being associated among the rebellious doesn’t stop me from questioning everything. Those who accept the Poet’s mantel, we miserably flawed ones, we cannot be who we are until we shirk the fear. When I see masses walking one way, I assume I should walk opposite or at least stand back a little, and we would all do well to question anything that promises us glory, kingdom, or power.

I’m not sure if it’s the suave thing to talk about or not, but my book proposal was made available to publishers this week, and the book I am writing is important to me. I will write it, regardless, but I found myself praying a few nights ago that it be not a beloved book if its beloved-ness were meant to tidy me or make my britches too small.  I prayed that my books would be as good and true as any honest writer could make them. I prayed that when the character tangles with desire, I would write it. When she tangles with the God who makes her limp, I will let her mouth whisper the words of holy tongue. I prayed I would never not miss home, that my homesickness would make me worse and worse of a machine-molded Christian. I prayed to be wild.

I want you to buy my books, and I want to be successful, but at the same time, I know what fame does, and I want to rage against it. It has created some of the loneliest people I’ve known. It can take good folks with dirt under their nails and turn them away from the little things and into big airbrushed consumable goods.

Too, in the Christian community, we’ve all watched fame remove the humanity from leaders and make us forget that just as many pastors, missionaries, authors, and counselors are as fraught with diseased souls as in the rest of our world. The public life looks so beautiful, and writing books and standing at podiums splays a person out wide. Things can get so pretty, so pinteresty, and then when the Christian turns out to be just as morally corruptible as the rest of the world, we get confused and mad at God. All along, though, the Christians were the cutters, adulterers, and the gluttonous proud. All along, I have been among the sick ones. I know good and well that I am among the ones who need a doctor.

I’m struggling to do it, but I am starting a business here with my words, and I hope to get good at the business. I do hope to one day have the spine of my book lined up next to the words of other flawed saints. I do hope to never so shroud myself in religion that buying me equals buying Jesus. I don’t want to be bought, and I won’t have any Jesus for sell. I don’t think gospel works that way at all and neither does good business.

Only I hope to walk with Him. I hope to not know the difference between grace and truth. I hope to be accused of putting one over the other.

Bless my words to act as balm, my mouth to speak the language of peace. Bless me as the meek. On the ground level, in the bend of the knees and the head to the floor, bless the body.

I am clay and not for mass production. I am clay for hands. I am clay for revolution.

About me


What’s Up: New Year and a New Plan
January 13, 2017
An Uncooked Story
January 10, 2016
Celebrating Wild in the Hollow
August 04, 2015
Do it.
January 21, 2014
Begotten: Notes from The Creed
October 15, 2013
The Woo
September 25, 2013
On the Establishment
March 22, 2013
When Your Writing Doesn’t Fit: Kingdom Come
February 27, 2013
A Haines Home Companion: Alter
February 22, 2013


Dedra Herod
Reply October 23, 2013

Every time... You make me want to suit up for battle with you... Every stinkin' time.

Shelly Miller
Reply October 23, 2013

Whoa! This makes me want to stop everything and get on my knees. Thank you for saying this Amber. I couldn't agree more.

Reply October 23, 2013

agreeing with your prayer
use her as You will, Lord

Kris Camealy
Reply October 23, 2013

Amber, this is simply stunning. Praying with you, and believing that God has a place for your book, and your words--amazing! XO

Lynn Morrissey
Reply October 23, 2013

Amber, your heart is right before the Lord--transparent, humble, obedient. If you write for Him and write what He tells you to write, He'll take your words where they need to go. Chrisitan author and speaker, Anne Ortlund, once told me to "plant your book on the backside of the desert for Him alone." It seemed like odd advice, in this world of book promotion and fame, and in a world where you obviously want others to read what you've written. But over the years, I've learned that she was right. When you do it for *Him,* He'll take care of the rest. I'm praying for your book to be published, to blossom, and for its sweet fragrance to spread to the hearts whom He chooses to read it and be touched by its message.

Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect
Reply October 23, 2013

Outstanding. I bookmarked this to save your words. Someday I may need them, and I want to remember.

This, though. "We cannot be who we are until we shirk the fear." This I need to savor today and every day.

kelli woodford
Reply October 23, 2013

I read this earlier, then walked away and changed diapers and wiped countertops and picked up legos. Now I'm back, not to offer any astounding insight, but to say that these words:

"Only I hope to walk with Him. I hope to not know the difference between grace and truth."

They're giving me a lot to chew on today. Thanks for turning your soul and your prayers inside out here before us all. I'm better for reading.

Bethany Bassett
Reply October 23, 2013

Every word of this has my heart loping alongside wagging its head in agreement. I am so grateful to be seeing this process unfold real-time, real-told. Thank you. And know that your unwritten book is already much beloved; I can't wait to hold it in my hands.

Melissa @ The Inspired Room
Reply October 23, 2013

Beautifully said. Can't wait for your book :-).

Karen@Karen's Korner
Reply October 23, 2013

Wow...I loved reading your post. I too am a huge fan of Simon and Garfunkel, et al. I was a child of the 60's/70's. When I read this I felt as if I needed to pray. I want to be on the list to review your book when it finally comes out.

Diana Trautwein
Reply October 23, 2013

As always, spot on, Amber. Thanks for these words and the strong conviction behind them.

Reply October 23, 2013

Gracious. Yes.

Reply October 23, 2013

I'm not a rebel. Not to anyone watching, anyway. Outside, I walk the way of other or at least, I smile and fade in. But inside, I'm a knot. I'm questioning everything, everyone. I'm a skeptic in my soul. And it is so hard to know when the skeptic becomes the cynic, and when the skeptic is truly seeing. I can't buy Jesus. I just can't. I hope I never sell Him, either. This line, so much this line: "I do hope to never so shroud myself in religion that buying me equals buying Jesus." THank you for your beautiful, core of it all, words.

Leigh Kramer
Reply October 23, 2013

See? This is why I will never stop telling you how much you teach me. You are clay, my friend, and you are being molded into something more beautiful daily. Which is saying something.

Reply October 23, 2013

poet warrior, holy wrestle.

i'm not sure if i read your words or they read me. doesn't really matter which, but the way you string them together makes me want to sidle up to God and give him my pen.

so far, i hold tighter than i mean to....

one of my favorite things you've ever written.

Tara Owens
Reply October 23, 2013

Oh, Amber.

Oh. Oh. Oh.

This is so beautiful and true and calls me out in so many ways. It is my prayer for what I write, too, but I've never been able to say it like that. So often I'm too caught up in sounding pretty and making it comfortable and creating a business.

I'm going to print these words out, because they need paper. They cry out for incarnation, and I will thumb them and repent and cry.

Thank you.

Holy words.


Reply October 23, 2013

Amber, one of the things I love most about your writing is your humble confidence in offering it up, letting yourself be seen. You seem to not hold back, letting the glory of you not be hidden. And it is powerful and so, so beautiful and encouraging. Thank you.

Reply October 23, 2013

Your words are so encouraging, humble, real, and honest.

And I'm praying along side you -- I'm so thankful that you aren't shying away from the gifts He's given you.

You encourage the heck out of me.

Kelly @ Love Well
Reply October 23, 2013

Well. If that isn't a benediction, I don't know what is.

Lord, let it be.

Sarah Bessey
Reply October 23, 2013

Amen. Not much else to say but that I get it and we're in it together and I love you so much.

Debi Schuhow
Reply October 23, 2013

Boy, do we think alike! ! But you wrote it better. :)

Debi Schuhow
Reply October 23, 2013

Wow, do we think alike! But, you wrote it better. :)

Reply October 24, 2013

So powerful! A battle cry of freedom.

"I hope to not know the difference between grace and truth. I hope to be accused of putting one over the other. "

Reply October 24, 2013

"Be still and know that I am."

When it seems like the losing is going to be the battle, it'll be a lifeline to draw you back. God has graced you with this, so it is time to go and make it with him at your back I reckon. Think of the blessing and not the war. Keep on keepin' on.

Caroline Starr Rose
Reply October 25, 2013

All best on your proposal! I'm heading out on submission soon, too. :)

Reply October 25, 2013

WoW - you have a true gift for words that are soft and piercing. I look forward to reading more of you book - very necessary for today!


Heidi McCahan
Reply October 26, 2013

Wow. You are a gifted wrangler of words. May you continue to be a blessing to many. Wishing you well on your journey and looking forward to reading more.

Tanya Marlow
Reply October 29, 2013

I'm late here, but so glad I stopped by for this molten wisdom. Amen, friend, amen. Praying for your book on this next part of its journey.

Tanya Marlow
Reply October 29, 2013

I'm late here, but amen, and thank you.

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