Find the Marrow

thoreauOften I wake in the night, and there will be a thought stuck right out front, something that feels new.  Sometimes I wake and feel like my dreams are a mingling with the thoughts of Another. A few weeks ago, I woke, listening, like I had made a decision in my sleep that said: I will begin to enjoy my babies, to hold them while they’re still small. It’s not an earth-shattering thing, only a small moment of clarity, but lives have been changed by small things. My boys are growing at a much faster pace than I’m learning to enjoy them, so I listened close. The following days have been better at our house. They’ve been slower. I’ve stopped to hold them.

In this stage of needing to produce more than I’ve ever produced, I’ve been trying to open my eyes to the main things. If I boil it down, what really matters here? It makes me laugh, really, because the list is pretty short. Things have become simple for me lately. Even a small thing like sitting down to hold my boys has changed my chemistry. I’m becoming better adjusted, all oxytocined-up with mother love, but this means letting other things go.

I’ve also said, by George, the sink may be full, but I’m reading this year. I’m going to read my heart out, because I’ve spent two years now calling any sit-down time a luxury, when actually, if I sit down for 20 minutes to read, I feel engaged and more like a little sunshine has entered in. I am healthier and less stressed, plain and simple. There are some things we need to do to be healthy that have nothing to do with producing more words or deeds or money.

It’s a slow process for me, and it’s still work, working to slow down, but I’m learning to wake up to it and learning how to be intentional.

I’ve been reading Tsh’s book, Notes From a Blue Bike and dog-earing pages and underlining. It’s all Ah-ha, and yes. Phenomenal! Watch this: 

Now get thee to the Amazon and order it up. Leave a comment here with a little bit about how you would like to slow down and enjoy your life more, and five of you will get a copy!

About me


Out in the Wild
September 22, 2015
On Living Out Simplicity (from the long-drive to Alabama)
April 08, 2010
kingdom-first: on love and lust
April 13, 2009


Reply February 5, 2014

Also, please know that Tsh's book isn't actually about shirking your chores. It's just how I'm learning to be slow, to enjoy first things first. Seriously y'all, it's really good.

Reply February 5, 2014

I'm with you on the "hold my boys more" front. I decided last week to tell my 6yr old, with whom my relationship is marked with conflict, everyday until Valentines Day, in writing, what I love about him. He wakes up each morning to a new note. A few days in and our relationship is marked with more peace than strife. I want this more.

Bonnie King
Reply February 5, 2014

This is exactly what I needed to read today. I recently embraced the idea of slowing down and holding my kids. It has been wonderful, but I still struggle with feeling guilt for not attending to other people, "chores," or other obligations that pull at me. I chose "rest" for my one word this year and I feel it gives me permission to do just that: quit running, embrace God's peace, let it be.
Thanks, Amber.

Phyllis Campbell
Reply February 5, 2014

You comments about slowing down and doing the things that make us healthy rang true for me! I needed to be reminded, yet again, to not fall captive to "the tyranny of the urgent". Focusing on slowing down and not missing the stuff that really matters is the key. The stuff that's not important seems to shout at me, while the truly important seems to whisper....

Reply February 5, 2014

Amber, I love reading your hearts words on my screen. It's that small thing that I look forward to in my inbox. Thank you for sharing your soul. God has been calling to me to slow down. It's been so difficult because, well, life seems to demand so much. Homeschooling, working part-time, etc., etc., the things we love are getting lost within the day, and I go to bed with so many regrets, begging God to allow me one more day to get it right. In truth, if I'm honest with myself, what's been happening is that I'VE also become more demanding of those I love. My one word for the year is 'breathe', yet for me, breathing has become so incredibly difficult...

Bethany Bassett
Reply February 5, 2014

This is a tender topic for me, caught every evening on the tenterhooks of wishing I had accomplished more with my day and wishing I had savored it more. I saw this morning that my younger daughter has grown three inches in this school year, and that little fact got me straight in the heart. Time is moving too quickly for me, and I'm clinging to the grace of each and every moment to live it well... even (especially!) if well means soaking every second of it up through my pores.

Reply February 5, 2014

Another snow day for us. I'm ignoring the piles and crumbs and projects screaming NOW in favor of a book by the fire and valentines kid crafts. When did relaxation and enjoyment turn into such work!

Reply February 5, 2014

This really strikes a chord in my heart because although I'm home with my five kids practically 24/7 (homeschooling), too much of the time it feels like "go go go go", constantly rushing to finish one thing so we can move onto the next. I've been contemplating a lot the last week or so, just how to slow down (while still making sure the house doesn't fall down around us). Slowing down enough to sit with babies on my lap and reading to them is one thing that's helping!

Reply February 5, 2014

Thank you for reminding me to pace and not to race. Today I will hold the kids a little longer when they return from school, tell them that their smiles, laughter and even their bickering are missed in the loud silence of my work day, and when we pray tonight I'll tell them how they've blessed my life. The work can wait, but the love can't.

Reply February 5, 2014

"If I boil it down, what really matters here?"
I need to ask myself that question more.

I spend time with the Lord in the mornings because I know I need to, and it's more of something I can just check off my list for how to start the day than it is just sitting in my Father's lap and listening and delighting in Him. My work may be spiritually-focused, but more often than not I miss what God is doing and focus on what I am doing. I want to rest in Him and not find my relationship with Him to be task-oriented.

Sarah Jo
Reply February 5, 2014

Oh, gosh, yes! My worst habit is multi-tasking and failing to fully engage in the moment. Sure, I'd love to play with Brooklyn - while I fold laundry. Or read. Or write a blog post. Or knit. Or... any number of other things that could probably wait.
I just finished reading the chapter on slowing down in One Thousand Gifts - I think I underlined most of it. Now maybe I should memorize it...

Jessica Pelkey
Reply February 5, 2014

"Running to stand still" - this is what I feel like sometimes. Taking a look behind to notice how time is FLYING by. Wanting to be still, to stand still and savor my children - my family. Yet, knowing all the work there is to be done and knowing the moments are so very, very precious all at the same time. Feeling like I'm hanging off a cliff by my smallest finger - too much on the plate with things falling off constantly - and worrying about what is going to fall off next. I think I need to read this book :) Thank you for sharing (always) Amber!!

Reply February 5, 2014

I am reading chronologically through the Bible this year, and those 3 chapters a day seem to have slowed everything else down. It's not Bible study homework, just sitting and reading. It seems to quiet everything.

Emily H
Reply February 5, 2014

Oh, I adore the idea of this book! I've just been reading a travel blog where they talk about going to dinner at their taxi driver's home or befriending the man behind the counter at a restaurant. It makes me grieve our closed-off culture, where hospitality means scrubbing your floors in order to have your friends over for dinner once a year. My idea of simplifying lately is searching myself to see if I can muster up real hospitality, the kind that invites a stranger inside. We shall see!

Reply February 5, 2014

Yes to the holding and slowing down. My boys are loud and wild and enjoy being hugged, touched...I didn't really grow up with that or really even the desire for it. So I'm learning to slow down, keep borders on my own work, so I'm able to know and enjoy them.

Donna C
Reply February 5, 2014

I'm feeling like I'm wasting my time at the moment... my life season is changing, new things are starting to clamor in my mind for my attention, while all the things that have always been in my life are still in my life needing my time and attention. I can't do the things I want to do and I'm feeling pecked to death by ducks!

Lucille Zimmerman
Reply February 5, 2014

Your post today reminds me of the movie we watched last night: About Time.

It was one of those movies that starts our light and romantic, and finishes by making you sob while thinking of the people who've died and the children you've raised. You want to capture every priceless moment and hold on! It's also what I tried to convey in my own book about self care (Renewed:Finding Your Inner Happy in an Overwhelmed World).

Kaitlin Curtice
Reply February 5, 2014

Isn't this a lesson we will forever be learning? How to slow, slow down...can't wait to read her book and yours. :)

Jen @ Martymom's Musings
Reply February 5, 2014

Amber -this is also something I am pursuing and prayer over...I need slow like I need water...I want to drink it in.

looking forward to reading Tsh's book.


Reply February 6, 2014

trying to put down the iphone at night and BE with my kids. Without them having to ask.

Kelley J Leigh
Reply February 7, 2014

Loved this, Amber.
I am also doing the Blue Bike Blog Tour.


Reply February 7, 2014

As I get ready to welcome another baby boy into our home, i'm not sure exactly how i plan to slow down…maybe this book will provide me some insight!!

Reply February 7, 2014

I would love to hear her thoughts on travel. From each of the videos I watch on the topics she covers in the book, it sounds so similar to the family life I dream of and envision for myself when I start one eventually. Traveling as a lifestyle is something I so desire in this season of life that I am in – a young 20-something single woman – but I want to know what that would look like logistically and financially when a husband and children come into the picture. Some people think it is impossible, or they make it a once every year or once every few years thing to travel (especially internationally) with their family.
I am a dreamer but I lack intentionality. I believe I can do both though, I am really looking forward to gleaning some wisdom from Tsh and applying it to the context of my life and relationships

Reply February 8, 2014

Just this morning I made myself pause and snuggle with my 6 year old before we started on the reading-we- had-to-get-through-before-the-toddler-woke-up. That snuggle was probably way more important than the actual reading. So yup - hold them while they are still small...I agree with you!

Reply February 8, 2014

I have been seeking to live a simple and intentional life for several years now, but feel like I have to constantly step back and reassess, to see where I am going astray and to find my way back to the life I want to live. I am looking forward to reading Tsh's new book!

Brini isaacs
Reply February 10, 2014

I too, have even trying to slow down and hug my kids more often...sit on the couch and cuddle, and not worry about what else I could be doing :)

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