June 27, 2008

lately

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:04 am by Amanda June

lately… i have

  • purchased this album on iTunes and become a big fan of a super talented guy. {plus, since he is based in springfield, maybe i’ll get to see him live sometime!}
  • been LOVING the stormy weather {but hating the humidity between storms}.
  • had more headaches. not sure if it’s the weather or allergies. boo!
  • wanted to do more creative/crafty things but felt selfish if i take the time to do them {rather than working on support raising}.
  • been thinking about what it means to stand and live in an atmosphere of grace {where it’s OK to fail} and felt surprised that i don’t feel like that’s how i live very much.
  • gotten a couple chances to catch up with friends about what life has been like the past several months and been encouraged each time to remember the lord’s faithfulness and how he’s shown that to me.
  • laughed with my heifer-roommate a lot.

ready, set, WEEKEND!

June 22, 2008

threshing

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:58 pm by Amanda June

Grain must be ground to make bread;
so one does not go on threshing it forever. –Isaiah 28:28

“God has made me as bread for His chosen ones, and if it is necessary for me to ‘be ground’ in the teeth of lions in order to feed His children, then blessed be the name of the Lord.” –Ignatius

{thanks for indulging this brief departure. soon i will return triumphantly with joyful dedications to more of the incredible people in my life. in the meantime…love your life.}

amanda june

June 6, 2008

treasure them, part 2

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:57 am by Amanda June

Let me list a few random associations and see if you can figure out the friend they go with:

– The first person in Campus Crusade at Truman who I felt really comfortable with.
– Pancake City.
– Someone who was a huge support for me when I was leading my first small group.
– Home hair-highlighter extraordinaire.
– The only Kirksville townie who’s actually from St. Louis.
– Beautiful bride, beautiful mom-to-be.

Okay, you’re right…it’s Kendra Jo!

Here’s the funny thing. I’m pretty sure Kendra and I met freshman year — not through Crusade, but through her good friend Amber, who was also my roommate’s biology partner and the best friend of my good friend and across-the-hall neighbor James. Got that?

One of my first and clearest memories of hanging out with Kendra is during Christmas break our sophomore year. We had been meaning to hang out for ages, so finally we got together and went to Country Kitchen late one night. I remember feeling so refreshed and so understood and so good as we chatted about our lives and our faith. As someone who felt like an outsider and somehow spiritually inferior to the people around me, it was so refreshing to spend time with someone who was very mature, yet completely down-to-earth. Being with Kendra felt a lot like home.

We have had our ups and downs and times where we didn’t really connect for quite a while — but I’m pretty sure the Lord just wanted us to be tight, because he put a huge passion in both  our hearts, independently of each other, to lead a freshman girls’ small group the fall of our senior year. It was a crazy beautiful adventure, and I am so glad to have shared it with Kendra Jo! We saw the Lord do some wild things and completely answer our prayers in a lot of sweet ways.

The past year I feel like God has drawn us still nearer to one another. We bonded over my getting engaged, and she was a constant encouragement and intercessor for me when I got un-engaged (ha). Her thoughtfulness blows me away. I love beating her at Yahtzee!. And I love how, years after we first connected, and with all the changes in both our lives, I still feel like I can be so laid-back and so me when I’m around her.

Today I get to road-trip it to Springfield with Kendra Jo so that we can spend time with our respective families (and, hooray for car rides, with each other!). I am uber excited to spend 9 hours round trip (plus maybe some time in the S-p-f-d) with one of my closest friends! And I love that she won’t judge me for my small bladder and frequent stops, seeing as how Chase happens to urge her toward the restroom quite often, too.

Kendra, you are an incredible woman, and your openness and ability to make people feel comfortable are so beautiful to me! I’ve seen the Lord gift you and use you in so many different ways. I love serving alongside you and I love just living life with you. You are quality.

Stay tuned for treasure #3 soon :]

June 5, 2008

treasure them

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:00 pm by Amanda June

The other day I was on the phone with my stepmom, and I shared with her about how I spent my Saturday with my friends and how sweet they were to me. She said, “You have got some really great friends. Treasure them. They are rare.”

I know. I do. I really can’t get over it sometimes. This is treasure #1 (of a series not ranked in any particular order): Camilla Beth.

Cammie and I met our freshman year of college in a Bible study. I had just given my life to Jesus a couple months before, and suffice it to say we did not connect. I thought Cammie was super-serious, super-spiritual, and super-weird. She called God “Dad” when she prayed sometimes. (Never mind the fact that the whole praying out loud thing was pretty new to me, anyway.) Cammie saw me as loud, preoccupied with my long-distance then-boyfriend, and shallow.

It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

OK, maybe not quite. The next fall we had a real conversation at a weekend retreat — pretty much the only real connection I had with anyone during that trip — but it wasn’t until a whole year later that we really began to live life alongside each other, realize that we had kindred senses of humor (Cammie had a sense of humor — and it was great — who knew!?), and come to appreciate, and even rely on, one another.

It was a year of growth, of joy, of closer friends than I had had in a long time. It was a year of frustration, confusion, and butterflies…over the same guy. And Cammie was beside me…sometimes awkwardly so! But we made it through.

Somehow, all of our differences now seem not so important or significant at all. The girl I never thought I’d be able to relate to has become one of my very best friends from college. We went to (mystery country) together, all the way around the world. She brought a can of pumpkin so she could make pumpkin bread for me over in (mystery country)! I was so touched by her thoughtfulness.

A year later, I continue to be blown away at the ways Cammie shows me love. Her honesty blesses me more than she knows. But the way she puts effort into showing me I am cared about, in ways that I would understand — that is something special.

Cammie left me a letter to read on May 31 that filled my heart. And as I mentioned, last weekend she called me from across the world (where she is having adventures and serving the Lord and using squatties without me) to check on me and talk to me and love me. I don’t think I would hurt her feelings by saying that these aren’t things Cammie would naturally do. These are the fruit of her efforts to be selfless and bless her friends. And really, I just can’t believe how blessed I am to have her in my life.

Cammie (I know you aren’t reading this and may never, but…), your friendship is a pure and beautiful gift from the Lord. He has used you to challenge me, help refine me, comfort me, and encourage me. I love being a part of your life, rebuking you (ha!), laughing uncontrollably with you, and experiencing his grace through you. Knowing you has changed my life.


stay tuned for treasure #2 tomorrow.

June 3, 2008

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:03 am by Amanda June

Yesterday I was reminded of a few things that gave me a feeling of hope.

– I will not always feel this way. Things will not always be the way they are now… I will not always be dealing with the issues I am dealing with right now. Hallelujah for change, restoration, healing, growth, different circumstances. Although I am in the middle of it right now, I will not always be struggling to figure out how to deal with this. That is so comforting to me!

– I’m not very good with analogies sometimes, especially when the involve animals ;) but I read one yesterday about how God drives things into our lives that make us grow and experience him; that make us love more deeply, experience love more deeply, be whole — and sometimes the storms of life (uh oh, mixing metaphors now) are the chariots.

That’s powerful to me. I believe that he didn’t simply allow heartbreak to happen to me; he somehow ordained it. It’s not just something I need to muddle through; it’s his instrument of grace. That puts a deep gratefulness in my heart for this hard (yet beautiful) season of my life and the ways it’s being used to transform me into a more mature, whole person.

– Lately I’ve been pretty stuck on thinking about how incredible my friends are. On Saturday Kendra and Casey and I road-tripped it to a nearby town to do some shopping. We had so much fun, and as we laughed at ourselves at a gas station (Kendra is pregnant, but usually I had to pee just as much…sorry if that’s TMI), I said something like, “Sometimes I wish I could spend the rest of my life with you guys.” I love my friends.

And Cammie called me from flipping _______ (mystery country in East Asia). To see how I was doing, let me know she’s thinking of me, catch up…it made me cry like a little girl. I felt so treasured and cared about. I felt so loved. And I loved so much.

Even though I may feel like I’m in a little bit of a desert, I also know that I am experiencing a lot of joy and intimacy with the Lord, and I am growing, and I am thankful, and I am becoming addicted to run-on sentences… No seriously. I think I will look back on this time in my life and cherish it as a really difficult, crazy blessed, growth-filled intense period. and that makes me smile.

live with passion!
Amanda June

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