On a Regular Day: the Terrible and the Fantastic

unnamed-4  It is not early enough in this little green house. The road out front already growls. My washing machine spins, and I’m late to put on the mucks to let the chickens out. Even still, I sit on my morning bed with my coffee because I have decided to write instead of crawl in a cave to hide from the world since my book will be in stores very soon. I want you to read it, but I’m not sure I want to hear what anybody thinks about it. The simple way to put is this: I’m scared, but that doesn’t overshadow what’s going on here. Who can get in a cave at a time like this? My real life isn’t in the land of what others think. My real life is a vibrant, whirling dervish of regular and beautiful things. My real life and the future of my children is a much more terrifying thing to ponder.

We now have two snakes, 8 chickens, 2 dogs, and a guinea pig named Kevin. As you can see, I’ve not written here in a while. It was supposed to be the calm before the storm, and I would write about that calm right now, all except I’m still waiting for it. We went to the market and fell in love with Tippa, a poodle-terrier mix with curly black hair. We already have a Lucy, who is a tiny, blonde poodle mix. I don’t know what to say. It’s my fault. Then when we adopted her from the shelter, they had a guinea pig, and it’s the biggest, most hilarious critter with a mohawk I’ve ever seen. I had to bring him home, too.unnamed-3

Titus is almost four years old, so all I can figure is this is about the time I’d be wanting another little Haines boy. Instead of a new baby, we took up chickens, a wild-haired dog, and a guinea pig that makes alien noises. What’s crazier is how I’ve never been happier. I was made to talk to things that don’t know English. You should see my beautiful chickens! Pretty girls, I coo. I was made to pull weeds from my garden. Talk about praise and worship! When beans actually grew on the bush and the blossoms wilted into actual squash, I told hallelujah to the trees! I was made for this season, and I don’t want to miss it. I see myself spin around the plant shop picking out flowers like a smiling Julie Andrews on hills alive with music.

Every night now I rock Titus to sleep. Finally with my last baby, I have nailed attachment parenting. I’ve had to grow into all this. My oldest will be in middle school in the fall. I won’t be in a cave. I’ll be watching it all blow by, and I will celebrate as I can.

A friend recently told me I had better enjoy this part of the book process, so I’m going to try. I won’t shy back about it, but I do intend to be regular, and when I write regular, please read REGLER. That’s how I say it.

As it turns out, regler is rather fantastic. Terrible and fantastic.


On Thursday, we got the call that Grandma Haines took a little nap and went to be with Jesus. She was 95. She kept saying, “Well, Amber, I don’t know why the Lord keeps letting me live.” Her friends have been gone for years, her husband for 7 years.

When I heard, I burst out laughing! It was the strangest response. I cried, too, but mostly I laughed like one who had walked up on a surprise party. It’s outrageous. On a regular day, she took a regular nap, and then the thing she talked about for nearly a century happened. Her simple faith and all her simple prayers led to this. She got to see her Jesus, and I believe it with all my heart.

Our day is coming, friends. Who are any of us to pretend we are more than what we are? Who am I to complicate this terrible and fantastic life with so many thoughts about myself that I miss how grand are the regular things?

Now the light in the room has shifted. The hard yellow sun bounced on the wood grain closet doors earlier. Now it softens toward the pecan trees out back. Time to put on my black dress and make my boys wear button-up shirts. I’ll speak at the funeral today, and Seth will share poem.

Grandma Haines made me tuna fish sandwiches for lunch almost every day. She gave me fresh-water pearls, her silver, and all my china. When Grandpa wanted, he’d say, “Mama? I’m ready for my salad now.” She would get up and chop that celery. Such a very regular vegetable.



PS: Wild in the Hollow is available for pre-order, and I’m supposed to tell y’all that!

About me


A Community Companion: on learning love
October 27, 2010
April 06, 2010
Perspectives: A Sermon From the Mount, Part 3
March 17, 2010
Perspectives: A Sermon from the Mount, Part 2
March 02, 2010
on the shadow and a confession: a love story
February 03, 2010
on the wild and the house trailer
January 08, 2010
just this day, a Rock Home Companion
November 09, 2009
On the Arkansas Travelers
October 13, 2009
on the Mother of God
October 02, 2009


Kristen Strong
Reply June 23, 2015

"Regler is rather fantastic." Indeed it is.

Adore this and you and oh, I preordered your book a long long time ago. Can't wait. xoxo

Reply June 23, 2015

Dear Amber,

This is just wonderful writing - real, honest, funny, poetic, genuine. I loved this post. I love that the last sentences were about celery, and that you're learning about real love by perhaps the only way possible (the long way round) and getting your hands dirty in the backyard.

Thank you for sharing your writing today!

Reply June 23, 2015

Terrible and fantastic. Yes, that's it. I don't know how to hold it all at the same time and can't find my own words. My journal sounds like a baby playing duet with her lower lip and newly found voice. I wonder if I've lost my mind or maybe found it. Thank you for reflecting that it's gonna to be ok no matter.

Kelly S
Reply June 23, 2015

The outside of the cave is a scary, beautiful place. You describe it's wonder in such a way that the regler becomes inviting. Looking forward to the book!

Reply June 23, 2015

Gah - how the Lord undoes me with your words! Praying for you all and can. not. wait. to read your words in book form! (#Squee... and #BringOntheWaterproofMascara!)

Reply June 24, 2015

Indeed. Regular, everyday life is fantastic.

I look forward to seeing your book.

Reply June 24, 2015

Found your blog from another I read. Loved this post so I pre-ordered your book. I wish you much success.

Diana Trautwein
Reply June 24, 2015

Lordy, lordy, this is wonderful to read. Sigh. Blessings to you in this perfect time, Amber. Rock that baby, and get ready to fly with the book stuff.

    Reply June 26, 2015

    <3 Dang, I love you, Diana. One day, we'll meet.

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