Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Amy Wenzel Workshop

Amy Wenzel, you rock. Thank you for doing such a gracious thing and for prompting us to ask the deeper questions about life and really think about the story we're living. And iheartfaces, thanks for putting this together.

For nearly two weeks, you have haunted me. My life has taken this shift to being viewed by one of those out of control, extreme mirrors that successfully enables you to see every pore you’ve ever had. EVER. I’ve asked those deeper questions, avoided it, thought for hours about what I would say and felt like I absolutely had nothing to say.

So here I am.

The truth is, I’m a mess. And I don’t have it together. At all.
I took 8 years to graduate college.
When I first found out that I was pregnant with my first child, I cried. Hard. And I was certain I would accidentally misplace my child.
I wore sweat pants at least 4 out of 7 days a week for nearly a year. And when I originally constructed that sentence, I wanted to write “running” pants because it sounded more humane.
I one time bumped into the metal ledge of a dry erase board and proceeded to rip my pants in front of 20 camp counselors while performing a skit. (Inspiring moment – I FINISHED the skit while holding my pants together and covering my exposed bum as I watched people on the verge of passing out from laughing so hard)
I told my fellow 5-year old kindergarten classmate that she was going to hell in hopes that I could then tell her about Jesus. I made her cry and I have suspicions that she could be in counseling today. And the sad part is, I’m scared I was motivated because I was afraid God would hate me if I didn’t tell her – not because I wanted her to know how much He loves her.

And yet in my messiness, there are some things that are beautiful and I hope inspiring.
I care. Deeply.
Whenever I go to a Starbucks, a store or even the airport, I try to genuinely ask the person how they are doing. Because it matters. They matter. And because one time, a Subway employee was precious enough to share her painful story through tears while constructing my tuna sub. And surprisingly or not, I have a lot of those stories.
I hug my children. A lot. Sometimes I squeeze them for so long squirming is induced. But I try to daily remind myself that you never know how long you get to hold them and no matter how many poopy diapers I’ve changed or tantrums I’ve endured, sharing life with them is a gift
Financially, we’re in a painful place. And last month when a good friend’s tires needed to be replaced and my husband looked at me and said we should take care of it, I said you’re right. And after we prayed that even while we don’t have much, we’d still give.

So that’s me. Probably not so much a contest winner.
But I’m committed to living a story worth telling. And that means risk and sacrifice and conflict and sacred and beauty, and sticking to the learning and doing what the Author of story showed us makes a good one.
And following dreams.
I have a lot of dreams. (I’m ADD. My mind is like a bouncy ball on steroids) But here’s my main ones: (oh dear, only 30 words left)
My dream: to share stories. To inspire families to love more deeply and laugh even harder by the way I capture their story through my lens. To help husbands and wives let go of the hurts and see each other anew.
To get people motivated to learn other’s stories. To ask questions. To care about the Starbucks employee and the person who doesn’t have access to clean water and cries as they watch their child suffer from dehydration. To help parents fall in love with their kids again and to help their family work to live a better story – one that gives back.
And I’d love to get a camera into the hands of people from different backgrounds and help them give us a real lens into their situation so that we can be moved and maybe find a way to do something.

I’d like to keep going. I’m over the word limit. And I have ten minutes to actually submit this to have a chance. So I’m going to truncate my dreams and leave them vague. But maybe that’s more inspiring… Because the truth is, I’m hoping the most inspiring thing is that I’m just a girl and any of us can live a story worth telling. We just have to choose to fight for it. And live out what the Author tells us makes a good story...

1 comment:

  1. Amy, thanks for sharing your story. It is interesting that we were a part of the same story at a few different points in our lives. I remember doing the same thing you did in kindergarten but in Mrs. Green's 1st grade class at Barksdale. I was being harsh to a Mormon girl in our class and Mrs. Green had to set me aside and tell me that was not kind. Do you remember in Mrs. Vaden's kindergarten class how she took you and I in to the bathroom to give us presents, because she didn't get them for any of the other kids? Maybe somehow we DID think we were better and partially, how can you blame us? Anyways, it is so interesting to see where you are now and it seems like a beautiful place.