Author: Amanda Foust

Blooming In The Spring

With the change in season, I have been in the mood to explore. We moved to this home in the dead of winter last year with a new little one who demanded much time and focus. But this year, I know where to look for the first signs of spring. I knew I loved our home from the start, but this season always opens my heart to loving our home even more. Our previous home had no landscape or trees. Our time outside was limited and there wasn’t much beauty around us. Now, we have a beautiful birch tree stretching its long limbs over the roof of our house and a willow tree’s thin branches hovering over our backyard. There are bushes aligning the sides, and, alongside them, I see little stems poking through the brown, wet dirt reaching to the sun eagerly waiting to bloom. I have been anticipating what these tiny plants will turn into. I know they are rooted, taking in nourishment, and intent on becoming what they are meant to be. But what does that look like? Did they know what life was like beyond the darkness, or did they just keep growing in hopes what lied ahead served them well? Either way, they couldn’t help but grow and move in that direction. I believe my curiosity has peaked around these little ones because how...

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A Secret…

Secrets are delicate but intense all at once. We hold them like a fragile ornament we cannot squeeze too tight. Yet some secrets can fiercely consume us. They can be like fire, spreading further, wrecking more in its wake when we don’t confess their power out loud. There are times when a secret comes to the surface on its own, like an ignored shadow that followed behind me now projecting itself clearly on a wall. We don’t plan this, and we may not have even known this secret existed, so we reel the shadow back in while we explore it alone. This weekend, I came face to face with my shadow—a secret I had so deeply hidden I wasn’t aware it had taken over every crevice of my being. The way I thought, what I did during the day, and my interactions with others all were a reflection of this secret. I had discovered my self-worth depended on approval from others. This realization came to me during a few rare moments of quiet time. I was sitting reflecting on instances I had taken personally and sorting through the effects. Coming from someone who had convinced herself God alone was her identity, this was a secret that was hard to swallow. All the situations where I had let others define me started playing in my head like a movie reel....

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Finding Joy Again

Today, I came alive. Just days before, I was living in what felt like a soulless human frame. I experienced movement, conversation, and basic survival, but my mind and heart were missing. I remember the days before when I only woke up for my family. My love for them was my motivation that carried me through another hour. Despite this love, all I could manage to do most days was hold back tears and go through the motions. I’m not sure where these intense feelings came from, but they have consumed me since the birth of my son. I know my emotions are not from lack of love or adoration. They are from the enemy. Today, I feel freedom from the darkness. Yesterday morning my life coach called me. The topic I chose to explore was JOY. We tossed around the subject until she asked, “What does joy feel like?” I began to cry. I curled up in the corner of my bed with my knees pulled up against my chest and the phone buried in my neck. “I don’t remember,” I said. I was confronted with the realization that I couldn’t remember the last time I felt such a necessary and fulfilling emotion. This discovery made me realize I can’t live another day without trying to discover joy again. I have a new challenge and purpose to take...

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A Mindful 2016

Many of you have probably spent time the week leading up to New Years and the week after setting goals for yourself and a vision for a fresh start. We plan our New Years resolutions with eagerness. We bask in the ease of a new beginning. But the times that I find most difficult are the few weeks following the first of the year. The end of January heading into February, I often feel discouraged. I haven’t stuck to my diet plans, gone to the gym, read my Bible, developed my business etc. I start to feel down on...

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The Church’s Design

At the beginning of this year, my husband and I began our long and dreaded hunt for a new church. Okay, maybe that is too harsh; it is, after all, church we are talking about. But let me give you some background to our journey so you understand … I grew up in the same small-town church all my life, where the church was a second home to those who attended. I shared life with these people. They were kind, loyal, and always offered great fellowship. They were family. After I got married and moved away, my husband and I had the amazing opportunity to be involved in a church plant. We developed, stumbled, grew, and repeated that process over and over in an amazing God-directed roller coaster ride. We enjoyed great relationships and experienced much learning. Then, kids were thrown into the mix and everything became a bit tricky. The meeting time didn’t align with our early nights. And most of what we did for the church plant was hands-on service; with two new kids, we had to focus on serving within our own family for a while. Off we went to find a new church home, and, as you can see, our next church had a lot to live up to! We walked into church after church, sitting through services and spending our drives home going through...

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