3 Reflections on the Life of Amy Carmichael

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Big J and I finished listening to Amy Carmichael the other day and I am still blown away by her life. Little D listens too but he can’t offer any input yet. 😉

Amy Carmichael was an Irish girl living in Belfast, Ireland in the late 1800’s. She was a spirited young lady and got herself into trouble one night after concocting the idea to stay up after curfew.

There was a comet traveling through the sky that night and she didn’t want to miss it. It turns out her teachers and principal didn’t want to miss it either so she and her roommates got caught.

She was a typical person, living life for herself, when there came a pivotal moment that would thrust her into living her life fully for God.

3 reflections on the life of Amy Carmichael

She was walking home from church one day and she saw a homeless woman struggling to walk in the snow. Her and her siblings went over to help her but she was embarrassed about it. But during the time helping the homeless woman, she heard a voice say “Gold and silver. Hay and stubble.” She knew this was a passage from the bible talking about how our works here on earth will be tested with fire in the end.

In that instant she wasn’t embarrassed anymore. She held her head high and was proud to be able to help the woman.

She went home after that and looked up the verse in the bible. She found the words she had heard in 1 Corinthians 3:13. …”each ones work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.” She decided from that moment on she would do what God had called her to do regardless of what other people thought.

Her life from there lead her to England, China, Japan and finally India. Amy helped about 140 men, women and Indian children find refuge in her home in India. Most of whom she helped were little Indian girls. Little girls were brought to her instead of being offered to the gods to become temple prostitutes.

She died peacefully in her sleep at age 83 and was buried in the family cemetery called God’s garden. She had no head stone just a bird bath placed over where she was laid and the word “Amma” inscribed on it. The Indian word for mother.

These are some of the things I came away with after listening to her story…

Not all Christians are on the same path you are.

This one is kind of hard for me to grasp. If Christians are at the same place at the same time they should be doing to same work, right? This is wishful thinking on my part.  I also feel this was Amy’s thinking as well because she was confused by other Christians not wanting to do work for God. There would be a need and the groups of Christians that Amy was with would just shrug their shoulders when they couldn’t think of anyone to help those in need.

God can only do His work through me if I allow Him to. He can only use as much of me as I give Him. And when He is calling me to do His work and I can’t get upset or frustrated that He isn’t making others around me to do the same work.

Just like He doesn’t force me to do His bidding I can’t force others to do His work. I don’t know what God is teaching you, unless you tell me, so I can’t expect us to be doing the same work.

God will provide

I know this seems ridiculous to point out or even talk about but I feel we need to remind ourselves of this. God. Will. Provide. And miraculously.

If God has a work for you to do then He will make it happen. Against all odds. I was reminded of the verse in James that says, “You do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.” (James 4:3 NKJV)

How many times have I asked God for something because it was just something I wanted? How many times do I ask for something that has nothing to do with the work that He is calling me to do?

Again, I can’t speak for everyone, but I can see what prayers God answers and which ones he doesn’t manifested in the lives of those who pray to Him.

When Amy asked God for something that would help take care of others, God provided. Amy wanted to build a building for the factory girls where she lived. She had been meeting with them at her church but the congregation began to complain to the pastor that the lowlifes were meeting in their church. When the pastor wouldn’t listen, annoyed congregants started complaining to Amy. So Amy began to ask God for money for a building for them to meet in instead of her church.

Amy trusted God to provide and He did. God provided the money and the land for the building. God provided in many other ways exactly what Amy needed because it was to help bring others to Him.

Lastly, her life is one I want to emulate

We have examples in the bible of great men and women of faith but I think I have fallen prey to the idea that that was then and this is now. That God somehow changed how He works just because we, as a society, have changed. But I am reminded through the example of Amy and other Christians in the more recent years that God still works in dramatic ways if we let Him. And maybe in some more subtle ways than we realize but that’s for another post.

Obviously, Jesus is our perfect example of the faith that we should have but I also take encouragement in the lives of other believers examples as well.

Amy Carmichael was a single woman all of her life because she cared more about serving God than finding a husband. How I wish I had listened, really listened, when I was single and wanting to be married so badly. I wondered how many opportunities I missed because all I cared about was looking for “the one”.

She also cared more about serving God than what anyone else thought. How much time do I waste thinking about what others are thinking about me or how they are treating me when I could be throwing myself into God’s work. What could I be accomplishing for Him?

I have several more audio books of the books, “Christians Heroes: Then & Now” and I can’t wait to hear their stories of how God worked in their lives. I want to live the kinds of lives that these believers did and I gladly call them my Heroes. I am excited to listen to what heroic things that God called them to do. And I pray that I am up for the same challenge.

Thanks for reading and I hope you look more into the life of Amy Carmichael for yourself!

Who has been really inspiring to you? Tell me in the comments below!

 

Why Don’t I Have Any Peace?

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I find myself being an angry mom far more often than I’d like to admit. Being able to find peace during my day seems like something that can only be achieved if I am by myself, in some pretty outdoor place, listening to some soul soothing music. Like this…

peace angry mom thebeamingbrunette.com

If only we could sit on a dock looking out over a glorious view for the rest of our lives but responsibilities call us back to real life.

I have really been trying to work on my anger, especially when my children frustrate me. I can manage to be kind in almost every other situation but when my kids push the right button so many times, I lose it. Continue reading

“I am n” by The Voice of the Martyrs

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When was the last time you thought about the persecuted church? I admit it was not always at the forefront of my mind. Not at least until recently that is.

After reading “I am ‘n'” put out by The voice of the martyrs, the persecuted believers are very much on my mind these days.

Some of you may recall that Islamic extremists placed the symbol “n”, which is pronounced “noon” which stands for the Arabic word for Nazarene on all of the houses and businesses that had Christians living there. And after Jeremy Courtney drew the symbol on his hand and posted the picture on his twitter account to bring awareness about what ISIS was doing, Christians around the world took notice. Continue reading

A Letter for Moms After Mother’s day.

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It’s the day after Mother’s day and things have gone back to normal for the most part. We resume business as usual and most everyone forgets the day before how moms were celebrated.

If I could sit and talk to you the day after Mother’s day what would you tell me? Would you say that it was one of the best you’ve had or was it hard because you didn’t actually get to celebrate for one reason or another?

Since I can not be with you, I wanted to write you a letter in the hopes that you will be touched and remember that someone is still thinking about you the day after Mother’s day.

This letter is for the mom who…

Continue reading

3 Secrets to a More Confident Life!

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I wanted to bare my soul a little in this post and share some insecurities that I struggle with and some things I have learned to help me overcome them. These things I have learned through experience and from others along the way. I am not fishing for compliments to stroke my ego. I am writing this in the hopes that it can help someone conquer their insecurities.

I am a super sensitive person. I pick up on vibes from people very easily which is a good and bad thing. The good side is that it helps me be more sensitive to people’s needs and to be compassionate when someone is hurting or struggling. The bad side is that if I pick up on a negative or unfriendly vibe it can bring up all kinds of insecurities in me.

What did they mean by that? Why did they say it like that? Why did they interrupt me when I was speaking? Do they really want to hear what I have to say?

I feel that moms can be super critical of others and themselves. We judge one another’s diaper choice, choice of stroller, choice of lotion, to bottle or breastfeed, to go to public school or to home school, organic vs. non-organic. The list goes on. We forget that these are preferences and not the absolute, only way to rear a child. On top of that we judge ourselves for not looking like a victoria secret model a month after having a baby. Momma, let’s get real for a moment while I divulge the inner workings of my mommy brain.

The other day I was at Target in the checkout line and my older son asks for some tic tacs. I tell him that we have cookies that he made with my mom at home so it’s no to the tic tacs. I was totally unprepared for the crying that ensued. He screamed at the top of his lungs that he needed those. I stood wide-eyed and shocked that he was acting this way in public. How did I react?

Did I…

A: Yell at him to stop yelling.

B: Look around to see if others were seeing if I was trying to kill him.

C: Become embarrassed at the thought of others judging my parenting.

D: Give him what he wanted to make him stop screaming.

E: None of the above.

If you answered E, you are correct.

I remembered what I had heard from many other parents that your child is not trying to embarrass you (at least at this age) they are merely expressing some very strong feelings. Appropriate for the situation or not, expressing strong feelings none the less.

I took a deep breath, walked over to the shopping cart, gave him a hug and said, “I’m sorry that you are sad that you can’t have the tics tacs but the answer is still no.” Then I went back to putting my items on the belt to check out. He didn’t stop crying until after I was finished but I think I could have made things a lot worse had I become angry with him.

I would like to say that I handle every single situation like that but that wouldn’t be honest. It is easy to get frustrated on only a few hours sleep. And then trying to meet the daily demands that we put on ourselves is exhausting. But these next steps help foster the kind of parenting that will be gentle but firm.

#1 Remember Whose You Are.

sky-1084433_640 confidence, confident

When you remember that you are a child of God you don’t have to look around to see what others are doing. You don’t need to measure yourself against anyone’s else standards because they don’t matter. You won’t need to look around for others approval.

It reminds me of a great children’s book by Max Lucado called “You are Special” about a wooden wemmick named Punchinello. He lives in a town with other wemmicks and they judge each other by giving gold stars or gray dots. Awesome, beautiful, amazing wemmicks get gold stars and lame, mediocre and awful wemmicks get gray dots. Punchinello, no matter how hard he tries, only gets gray dots and feels bad about himself for having them.

He meets a wemmick named Lucia and she doesn’t have any dots or stars! She tells him that the secret lies with the Woodcarver Himself. So Punchinello decides to visit the Woodcarver, Eli. When Punchinello come to His workshop the Woodcarver notices that he has many dots. Punchinello tries to justify himself but the Eli says,

“I don’t care what the other wemmicks think. All that matters is what I think, and I think you are pretty special. The gray dots only stick if you let them.”

At the end of their conversation, Eli tells Punchinello to come and visit Him every day. As Punchinello is leaving Eli says “Remember, you are special because I made you and I don’t make mistakes.” Punchinello says to himself “I think He really means it.” And a gray dot  falls to the floor.

I have to remind myself quite often that people’s negative thoughts, words, actions only stick if I let them. My Heavenly Father doesn’t think that way about me. David wrote Psalm 139:17 saying “How precious also are Your thoughts towards me, O God! How great is the sum of them!”

#2 It’s Not About You

luggage-compartment-1977186_640 baggage, problems

When we remember that other people’s problems are not about us it is much easier to let them go. I was trying to park at an event the other day and went the wrong way. One of the workers acted like any smart person would have known better when they were telling me that I went the wrong way. At first I was embarrassed by my mistake but then quickly thought to myself “I can’t let someone else’s rude behavior ruin the rest of the event for me.” So I gave it to God and let it go.

Many times we pick up the negative baggage that others give us because we think how could they treat me like that?  We are not meant to carry that around. From the book of 1 Peter 5:7, Peter says that we should give all of our cares (including negativity from others) to God because he cares for us.

The next time someone is rude or harsh towards you remember that it is coming from a place of insecurity or hurt. One of my favorite quotes, and I am not sure who said it, is

“Hurt people, hurt people.”

Again it goes back to step #1. We are children of God and shouldn’t let others dictate our feelings or how we act in any given situation.

#3 Pray For Them

beach-1868772_640 prayer, praying

This might be the hardest thing for me to remember to do. I want to be upset because I have a right to be, don’t I? But when I look at the life of Christ I can see he has a different way of handling things. He prayed while on the cross, “Father, Forgive them. For they do not know what they do.” Luke 23:34. If Jesus could pray for those who had crucified him and forgive them, then I could certainly pray for the person that just cut me off in traffic, talked behind my back or for rude comments made to my face.

The bible also says to bless those who curse you and pray for those who spitefully use you, Luke 6:28. I’ll admit that the first thing that comes to my mind is not praying for someone who has just been rude or hurt me but I want Christ to be so much in my thoughts that I begin to start thinking that way. Which means that I won’t end up thinking about how they hurt me and again focusing on myself. Instead, I will be looking at the real issue. That the one trying to hurt me, knowingly or unknowingly, is the one who needs my prayers most.

What are some things that you do to help you be a more confident mom? I’d love to hear from you!

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