The Divine Face


I absolutely cannot believe I haven’t written. I have been in and out of scenes that I couldn’t help but note in detail. This past month has been one I’ve known I would share. God has repeatedly looked me straight in the eyes.

Titus is still completely clueless that he’s sick. He still hasn’t gained weight. We still know nothing, but we have clues now, and we’re following trails, and that’s as good as we can do. Who really knows how anything will go, right? In the day-to-dayness of it all, it’s clear that we’ve been given beautiful lives. Titus ruins everything we try to make serious. Not much stays sour around here. I have never heard anything so loud and disruptive as the puppy pile of four boys. They roar and piss and jab and laugh until they can’t breathe, and I can stand back from it once in a while and really see. They get a magazine in the mail addressed to The Haines Boys. I am the mother of The Haines Boys. That’s enough for me.

It’s the long run that tempts us to worry. The what-ifs are killer. We’re forced to live in the now, because any imagined future that is tinged with doubt wears a devil’s mask. Hope in the revelation of Jesus is the only future that faith imagines. I hope to see the face of God.

I love the word REVELATION. I want to break it down, revel in the mystery unfolding here and now. One day we’ll know fully, but this season of coming to know is a precious one even in the midst of brokenness. What’s funny is that for me, coming to know God seems to mean that I know less and less about things that used to spur me into argument. That God, three in One, loves me is something I do not question, not even a hair. His love unfurls the mystery even in the face of death, and the face of death stands at every corner. I ask you: what do you see when you experience the grief that comes through all these trials?

This Christmas has put an eagerness in our bones, an unknowing and a knowing at once. It’s the moan of “How Long?” and an exquisite song of praise.

Other posts that talk about such things are Sarah Bessey’s In Which Advent is for the Ones Who Know Longing and Erika Morrison’s  Tis the Season for Being Naked.

I’m going to continue to process in quieter notebooks until this Holiday season is over. That way I’ll have fodder for consistent writing in the New Year. I’ll have organized some drawers, and I’ll have direction with a new publisher by then. 2014 will be the year I no longer consider myself a stay at home mom. I’ll be a writer by profession. I am saying this like it’s not a big deal to me, but I’ve only waited for it my entire life. When I was little I said I would grow up to be this. I’ll be snookered if I don’t get ready to lay it all out, because no matter how clear my dream has been, I still have no idea how to make it work. I need my ears open and my ego replaced by divinity.

There are things about my personality that I have a hard time showing here, so that tells me that I have a long way to go in my writing. The quiet notebook always shows me that there’s more. I can’t stay there long, though. I’m an introverted extrovert. I need people to feel like my diviner self, so in the meantime of this continued break, come and be with me in the weird internet way we do. I hope we can find ourselves there at the same time.

I hope that when you see my face, even in my utter goofiness, you see a glimpse of Jesus. I hope to look into your life and see a life of revelation.

It’s possible I come back for a little Haines Home Companion, but just in case I don’t, I need to tell you two seemingly surface things:

1.) Lisa Leonard is legit. I’ll remember some very important things from this season every time I unwrap the ornaments she made for my boys. Unwrapping ornaments is a happy walk on a timeline every single time. I suggest marking 2013 with these.


2.) I have a 40% off coupon code for you from DaySpring for some of these gorgeous stockings. They are very well made, linen, and hand-stamped by women being released from poverty in India. I love them, and guess what? I bought some extras so that one day my boys can bring home a wife or at least a new puppy. I’m not even joking. These stockings are from JOYN, and the folks who run JOYN are our dear friends. I don’t have the time now to explain how for real they are in regard to love and surrender. They are utmost examples of how to uphold dignity, so you better believe that I support them.

Use code JOYN40 over at DaySpring any time between now and December 15th!

JOYN stockings

“you have been grieved by various trials so that the tested genuineness of your faith — more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire — may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:6b-7).

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
Women Set Apart
February 23, 2015
The Barbarian’s Heart
February 11, 2015
True Story
September 24, 2014
Begotten: Notes from The Creed
October 15, 2013
The Need to Look In
October 10, 2013
On Losing Place
September 05, 2013


Angie Ryg
Reply December 6, 2013

"...a writer as a profession." I have waited for that as well so I know your excitement and yet I am with you in the contentment of "Being the mother of. .." - that blessing will give you more words to write and more places to add His grace and hope. I look forward to this next season for you. Blessings! XO

Reply December 6, 2013

I love it when God looks me straight in the eye. Some times I can't look back. Right away. I am often slow to come to Him, but when I do there is such depth in those eyes. May you feel that depth in so many ways. Thanks for your follow on twitter! It would seem we enjoy many of the same things; the narrative, the funky, about I go for the gritty north? ;)

    Reply December 6, 2013

    That sounds good! Now we need midwestern rep. Thank you for coming here, Barb!

Lynn Morrissey
Reply December 7, 2013

I remember meeting you in the elevator at the Hyatt in Greenville, your eyes shining like star sapphires, lit from your depths with a knowing, a glowing from God that you would write. You do write. You do write with the light of God, your words fairly flaming with His glory. I hope I am reading between the lines here that you have a book contract. I pray you do. And if I am reading wrong, that's okay too. Because you *are* writing, whether on this seen screen or in those unseen notebooks. Still, how I pray that it will be in a book, too. But bottomline is that you are writing out your heart, Amber, and what greater gift could you give the King this Christmas--that your words would relfect THE WORD back to Him? I've been trying to reach you, but didn't know how. Might you consider please emailing me at May you revel in His revelations this Advent, and may He reveal His will, His joy, His peace, His pleasure to you. Praying for that baby, too, and lifting him up to the One who made and loves him so!

Suzie Lind
Reply December 7, 2013

"Hope in the revelation of Jesus is the only future that faith imagines." Love this so much.

Reply December 7, 2013

Oh my! So many reflections that I recognize in my own heart. It's a time of deep grief and change in my life with the absence of any direction for the future. I know today and the goodness of Christ only.

His goodness in the midst of life-break is sacred, holy and I'm treasuring it with the settled knowing of Mary. I tried to contain some of it in a post yesterday, but your words have broadened my borders of understanding and helped me sink deeper into the simple joy of Today in the middle of heartbreak.
Thank! You!

Diana Trautwein
Reply December 7, 2013

It's always a good day if I see your name in my inbox, Amber. And whenever you find the space - in your day and in your spirit - I'll happily read whatever you put here. Continuing to pray for answers for Titus, but thanking God for your emergence as a w r i t e r as well as a mom and wife. That's always been true, you know. It's just good that you see it and own it.

Alissa Wright Hobgood
Reply December 7, 2013

And I knew you when, miss Amber. So delighted to see you all grown up and being a light. A light for your family and so many others. Don't ever doubt your gift. May God roll the stone away in your life when you are facing hardship. May He, the Almighty Physician, roll young Titus' stone away.
love, Alissa

    Reply December 10, 2013

    Alissa, you just made me cry! Thank you, old friend.

emily wierenga
Reply December 7, 2013

oh my dear Amber, mother of The Haines Boys... so much, here. and i'm praying. i'm praying for you, as you wrestle with the unknown. i am grateful Titus doesn't know he's sick. i ache with you. i'm excited for 2014, because you are such a writer and i'm championing you on. and i'm here, always. far away, but always. love you. e.

Megan at SortaCrunchy
Reply December 9, 2013

I don't even know what to say but I hope you know in your heart how I leap for joy and wipe happy tears for you. I adore you so.

Amy Preston
Reply December 27, 2013

You are a such a gifted writer! When I read your thoughts ... your heart shared with each of us, I always learn and I am always blessed. Your sweet family is and will continue to be in my prayers.

Lisa Cunningham
Reply December 29, 2013

I'm so glad that you're a professional writer now...but you've always been one. It's a career that chooses you, you don't choose it. I can see you have a gift for writing from the heart. God has blessed you with this talent and you must use it to serve Him.

I'll pray for Titus and your whole family. It's hard to wait for news. God is always trying to teach me patience but it's been a challenge for me. It took me 40 years just to learn to give Him the control of my life and to be satisfied with all the blessings He gave me.

The good news is He never gives up on us and will always love us unconditionally, no matter what we do or say. In that realization, we can have JOY. God bless you all!

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