To be Loved

My little niece Averi is six months old. I’ve had fun playing photographer for her as a newborn and at her 6 month session. And each time as we giggle and dress her up and ooh and ah over how beautiful she is, I think of how blessed this little girl is.

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Born into a family with aunts and uncles and parents who love her deeply. Born with endless opportunities and a faith community around her that will support her and help her grow. She will never have to be alone. 

And then I think about so many children that I’ve met around the world. Children that before they reach the age of five have watched their parents die horrible deaths, known the pain of starvation, experienced the whip at the hands of their masters and watched as the world around them seemed to want to swallow them up.

vulnerable childrenThese children aren’t starting with the incredible privilege of love that my niece is. But that reality should not paralyze us. That should compel us with every fiber of our being to change that story for more children.

I write this as someone who spends every day working on behalf of vulnerable children around the world. And I write this as an aunt, who sees the plight of children just as worthy as my niece Averi and knows that it isn’t right. But its deeper than all of that too. I loved how Together 4 Adoption’s blog wrote this:

We should be energized for the same reasons we are humbled. Because caring for others is primarily the ministry of Jesus, through union with him we participate in what he does. This guarantees effectiveness! What we do for the fatherless matters—really matters—eternally. Even when we are “off our game,” Jesus takes our five loaves and two fish (Matthew 14:19) and multiplies them exponentially. When we engage in caring for orphans in Jesus’ name, it’s never just us, or even primarily us: it’s Jesus! If anything will mobilize us as Christians for long-term missional engagement, it will be a deeper understanding and appreciation of our union with Christ. It really is just that simple. (Read more here.)

This Sunday is Orphan Sunday, and I’d encourage you to do something special to remember those vulnerable children. Pray. Connect with an organization that’s actively working to change the lives of vulnerable children around the world. Look into foster care in your area. Talk to an adoptive family… Collectively we can make a difference – for the vulnerable children who deserve to know what family is.

Step by Step,
Amber - signature

Our Wedding

On September 20, 2015 we walked toward each other and made vows for the rest of our lives. We promised to love each other more every day and to pursue a life beyond ourselves together. You can listen to our wedding service here.

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woodlandsThanks to Patch 36 Photography for the wonderful pictures to remember this by. You can view more on facebook here.

Our wedding was perfect. It was a beautiful time with family and friends that we will always cherish. But I read a quote today that made me look towards something even better. It is simply this: “I want a marriage more beautiful than my wedding.” 

No matter how perfect the day, our vows that day are just the start of a marriage we pray will draw others to Christ. And that is the point of moments like this.

Step by Step,

Amber - signature

An Invitation for Life

“I get the invitation every morning when I wake up to actually live a life of complete engagement, a life of whimsy, a life where love does. It’s ushered in by the sunrise, the sound of a bird, or the smell of coffee drifting lazily from the kitchen. It’s the invitation to actually live, to fully participate in this amazing life for one more day.” – Bob Goff, Love Does

everyday life

Real character shines through when you get past the flashy extraordinary days and step into the ORDINARY of life. There are days that feel extraordinarily fulfilling to me. There are days when I catch a bigger picture – and find myself swept away in this grand picture God is letting me see.

But there are far more days where I have to make a choice to live the day well. I don’t want to miss the power of those simple, ordinary days.

Goff said it well again when he writes, “I’ve never read in Genesis that God created “typical” and called it good. Instead, I think men who were bored made up typical and called it, if not good, at least acceptable. People who follow Jesus, though, are no longer typical – God is constantly inviting them into a life that moves away from typical. Even if they have normal jobs, live in normal houses, and drive normal cars, they’re just not the same anymore.” 

Living on purpose with passion is more often a choice than something we fall into.

Living with joy is the product of a life lived well, one lived in action, one lived in faith.

Living like this is something I want to do.


Far Better

This is long overdue here – and explains a lot of my silence on the blog over the last couple of months… I’ve had a lot of things changing lately leading up to this incredible new life chapter. 

I couldn’t be more privileged and excited to be getting married to this guy. Nick and AmberThere are many things I could say, but today, I just feel like I should leave it with the words of CS Lewis… “There are far better things ahead than the things we leave behind.” 


Really Living

I wonder, at the end of my life, will someone say of me that I had reached my death by really, truly living?

Because we will you know. We will reach the end of our lives and fade away in death. And I wonder if people will believe and know that I really lived well – that I gave everything I had in this life to make it more beautiful and full for those who know me… I’m reading a book right now with some great questions to ask:

“How fast can we run? How deeply can we laugh? Can we ever give more than we receive? How much gratitude can we show? How many of the least of these can we touch along the way? How many seeds will we get into the ground before we ourselves are planted?” – Death by Living, N.D. Wilson

photo source: Found on

photo source: Found on

With questions like these, how can we care about missing suitcases on a trip or flat tires when we’re in a rush or plugged sewer lines that take a week to fix (yeah, that happened)? How could we ever think that our lives were so consumed by these small and insignificant happenings?


Life. Like my tiny new niece, Averi Sue, who I will pray over and watch grow and invest time and energy and lots of sore knees as I crawl around with her on the floor… I will watch her as her whole life unfolds – and I think that sense of awe and wonder makes life more precious. More finite. More amazing…


I want to run to the end of this life with everything I’ve got. I want to be spent for the Father, for the Kingdom that He’s allowing me to be a part of. And I want to invest deeply in the life of little Averi, of those God continually places in front of me. For at the end, I want people to truly say that I died by really living.


From Where Does your Strength Come?

When you’re on the edge of the cliff, where do find the courage to leap?

When you reach the top of the mountain and you see a journey you’ve survived and the breathtaking view at the top, who do you praise? 

Path taken

When world falls apart where do you land?

When you’re stumbling and struggling to take even one more step forward, where do you find the energy to walk on? 

You don’t really know the answers to these things until you’re staring them in the face. They come in the throws of it, as you’re hiking the mountain and you’re feeling every painful step up. If you’re a believer, I hope those questions all point you back to God. I hope you have seen that and felt that in your life. I hope you find that the inner strength that pushes you forward comes from the Spirit at work inside of you, often in the mundane everyday when we’re faithfully ploughing forward with hope and great expectations.

Path in Haiti

I’m seeing that with a bit of awe in my life right now as I watch some big things in life made somehow holy and peaceful – because there’s been a lot of the everyday time poured into it. I’m seeing it with a great sense of wonder in the life of a friend who is facing one of the toughest times of her life with a grace and peacefulness that is undeniably not of herself.

The ups and downs of life can’t just be avoided. But how we respond in the middle of them can be beautifully transformed. And it can, I think, be redemptive to many others too.

Ambiguous posts are often a little hard to follow, but I think what I’m trying to say here is just… “Carry on, Warrior.” Carry on in the everyday times with God, in the building up and diving deep and searching and committing a life to God. Because when we do it – and continually do it well – that foundation is there when we need it most. And the answers to those questions will flow off our lips with pure focus – “God.”


Steps of Faith to Another City

I love Hebrews 11. It feels the greatest pep talk for Christianity I can imagine, and simultaneously the greatest paradox of our faith because it’s also the worst pep talk ever. The whole chapter recounts unmet promises, tragic separations and loneliness and persecution.

Sounds terrible, right? Not really. Because at the same time, there’s a beautiful story that is weaving in each man and woman’s life. Faith – this great and mysterious element to Christianity is something they are ultimately rewarded for. In fact, it says simply “the world was not worthy of them.”

photo source:

photo source:

“All these people where still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country – a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.” 

I love this. Like as believers in Christ, we live with a tangible knowledge that we are just passing through. This is NOT it. Burlap to Cashmere sums it up well in this song (which also happens to be one of my all-time favourites):

I think one of the things I love about this message is that it remains the same whether things are good or bad in life. In high times – when life is full and rich – there’s this promise of purpose and something greater. And when things are really low and hard and we’re weary in the trenches – that same promise helps us cling to a life after this one… and reminds us that “God is not ashamed to be called our God, for he has prepared a city for us.”

I take great comfort in this chapter, and it spurs me forward. No matter what physical country we find ourselves in, no matter what emotional state we are in, if we cling to the faith in a God that is bigger and doing something bigger than ourselves, we can have great hope.

What a powerful thing that is.


PS – Check out the new page on my site called “Quotes” for some ongoing inspirational snippets!