Tag Archives: faith

changes for the blog

I haven’t posted to my blog for a while, and this has been for good reason. I’ve been rethinking this site and its purposes, and I have decided to change its course. I’m starting with a blank page.

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This year, I decided to turn my love of writing into more than just a hobby. I have taken classes on grammar, design, media, and editing, and as a result, I’m more excited about blogging than ever. As I have grown as a writer, I realized that I want a more focused blog.

My blog has always been a personal blog, and it will continue to be. Personal blogs can be great, and they can have various degrees of focus. Through my years of experience, I’ve learned that when writing a personal blog, it is often best to choose some specific topics to write about, rather than just writing about whatever comes to mind. This gives a blog focus and purpose.

Focused blogs reach a more specific audience. They attract readers who are interested in the topic of the blog, and this keeps readers coming back. Having a focused blog can also help its writer to have some direction in picking topics. This is great, since picking a topic for a post can be one of the most difficult parts of actually writing a post.

When considering new topics for a blog, I thought that I should pick one or two things that are a part of my every day life and that are personal, but not too personal, to me. After thinking about this for a bit, it became obvious to me. The new topics for my blog are…

the arts and mental health.

These topics include things like:

  • What it means to be an artist (of music, visual arts, writing, and more)
  • Exploring what it looks like to practice the arts
  • Maintaining practice through seasons of mental health struggles
  • Self-care strategies
  • Blogging
  • How media and technology are related to mental health
  • How to promote yourself as an artist
  • How faith is related to being an artist
  • How faith is related to mental health
  • How the arts can help you through mental health struggles
  • What it means to grow as an artist
  • And MORE

As I have grown as an artist, I find that my mental health and my creation of art are closely related. Since I am a musician, writer, and visual artist, this has overlap with many areas of my life.

I’m really excited for this change. These topics are near and dear to my heart, and I can’t wait to see what is to come for this site.

If you are interested, please follow and share with friends who are also interested in these topics.

See you again soon,

Amberly

Puppy Love

If you know me in real life, there’s about a 99% chance that I’ve told you about my dog, because I almost never shut up about him and I share a lot of pictures of him.

His name is Auggie, and he’s truly one of my best friends.IMG_5391

We’ve had Auggie for about five years. In most ways, he’s just like every other dog. However, though he is an ordinary dog, he’s been an extraordinary part of my life. As I sat with his head on my lap last night, I thought about all of the ways that God has used this little guy in my life, and I just couldn’t help but be a bit overwhelmed.

Someone once said to me that it’s impossible for my dog to really love me, because he doesn’t have a soul. While I agree that dogs most likely don’t have souls, I do believe that they are capable of love, even if it is not love in the same way that God or humans love.

God has certainly used Auggie to show me that I am loved. If I tried to count the ways that God has shown me love in the past several years, I’d certainly fail to count them all; there are too many ways. While many of these may even be unrecognizable to me right now, Auggie has been an undeniable source of love in my life. My relationship with Auggie is a simple one, but a truly meaningful one. I’ve faced a lot of challenge and change in these years (new friendships, lost friendships, breakups, sicknesses, moving out, a slew of bad decisions, and more,) but nothing has ever changed that Auggie is happy to see me whenever I come home.

Some of my relationships with friends have grown weaker or were left behind as I faced these challenges and grew, but Auggie has treated me the same, with companionship and a care that almost seems human, through it all. In many ways, his love resembles unconditional love. He doesn’t care about the unwise decisions that I have made in the past; he doesn’t even know about them. He only knows that there are some times when I’m hurting and I just want him near.

Sometimes he’s a pain, and sometimes he’s needy, but he doesn’t ask for much. He’s content with not much more than attention, food, water, snuggles, playtime, walks, and love. These things don’t seem like much when I consider how much satisfaction my family receives in calling him ours.

He’s six years old, but to me, he still feels like just a puppy. I’ve had five years to get used to him, but I’m still hardly any less excited about seeing him than I was on the day that we picked him up. Even when he’s being difficult, I can’t help but love him and be proud to have him as my own. I often show him off to others, and say, “Look at him! He’s amazing! I love him so much!” As I thought about this kind of love that I have for him last night, I thought that maybe God looks down on me with the same kind of love.

Sometimes I’m a pain, and sometimes I’m needy, and I ask for an awful lot… but God tells me in His word that He loves me in spite of all these things; that He sings over me and that He is proud to call me His daughter. He’s excited about me every single day, even though he’s had every day of mine written in His book since before I came to be. He’s had a lot of time to get used to me, but He’s still crazy about me. He loves me enough to give me each new day, to give me new mercies every morning, and to provide me with simple joys like beautiful weather, music, and Auggie in my life.

He knows about every one of my mistakes, and all of the times that I have failed Him, but He looks past these because of the sacrifice that He has made in Jesus. Though my earthly relationships come and go, He’s always there, and He’s always excited to hear from me.

Some things in life seem so simple, like owning a small dog. However, even within these things, God shows us love. Sometimes you need to look up close to see God’s loving care woven throughout every detail of life, but it’s there. He’s present, He’s close, and His fingerprint is everywhere.

In what simple ways has God shown you love in your life?

Yours truly,

Amberly

 

Stories

This world is full of stories. Every person has a million little stories. And for each person all of those little stories add up into one big story: their life story. And these life stories add up into an even larger story: human history. Some stories are marked with happiness, and some with sadness. There are stories of great joy and stories of great pain, of gains and loss, of life and death. Short stories and long stories. There are highs and lows. Rising action and falling action. A climax and a resolution.

These stories make us who we are. They build our characters and they shape the ways in which we look at this world.

For me, there’s one story in particular which changes and shapes my life every single day. It’s the story of a God who formed this world and all of its people out of the love that He is. It’s about a people who turned away from that same God and broke His heart. And then a man steps into its plot, and this man changes the whole thing by bringing love and grace and hope to these people. His name was and is Jesus. He was both fully man and fully God, and He paid the price to draw the people back to their God.

With nails in His hands and feet, and a crown of thorns on His head, He displayed a love that gives every person the chance to find and turn back to the true source of life. He laid down his life for these people whom He called His friends. And then, defeating the power of death once and for all, He rose again. Every person who encounters this true person of Jesus is shown a love beyond compare. It’s a love so powerful that it changed the big story of this world, and it’s a love powerful enough to change every person’s own story.

All of that being said, I’m choosing to write about my own stories. I’m choosing to share about the love that gives me hope every day, in both pain and in joy. I hope my stories will encourage you and bring light into this dark world, and I hope that they show you the person of Jesus.