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Decorating/ HEALTH/ HOME/ Spiritual

My Summer Wicker Hanging Chair for Prayer

wicker summer prayer chair

One of the best things that happened to me this summer is the gift of a wicker hanging swing chair. We keep it in our backyard and it has quickly become one of my favorite spots, to sit slow and spend some quiet time in prayer.

I have to admit, I find myself a bit surprised that our backyard has now become one of my favorite spots, because for a very long time it was one of my least favorite areas of our home, that is, until I had an attitude change.

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Emotional Health/ Simplifying/ Spiritual

A Glimpse of My Morning Routine and How I Lack Nothing

Oh, how I have come to love the early morning and the sights, sounds and routine it brings. Sideways sun shining through trees creating haze.

I marvel at sunrays filtered through limbs extending faded light lines all the way to the ground.

It stops me mid-jog. It is amazing to see something that is usually invisible and only felt, not seen. I take a few pictures, trying to capture the fleeting visible…I zero in.

I am more in tune in the morning, at least once I am verticle for a few.

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Cancer Journey/ HEALTH/ Spiritual

7 Years Surviving Cancer | A Slow, Steady, Apprehensive Dance of Celebration

7 years.

Thank you, Lord, for 7 years.

 

I feel overwhelmed when I think of all the life lived in 7 years.

So much growth. Many growing pains.

 

You are faithful through it all, by my side, guiding, whispering, present.

You know my thoughts… how I find it confusing to know how to feel about 7 years.

 

So many feelings. I’ve seen my marriage, friendships, and precious girls grow.

An unspeakable gift!

 

I know I’ve gained wisdom, my time with you has not returned void. {Isaiah 55:11}

Yet…I feel less resilient than in my younger years.

 

Life lived can take its toll.

 

I’ve seen much beauty and I’ve seen much pain. I see how often it comes in a pair and does a horrific beautiful dance.

The ashes Lord, the beautiful ashes. I hold tight to your promise of trade. {Isaiah 61:3}

 

Maybe my perceived lack of resilience is evidence and subconscious acknowledgment of my weakness and need for you? For when I am weak, I am strong. {2 Corinthians 12:9-11}

 

Stories swirl when thinking of 7 years. Some stories sting–the beautiful painful.

Luisa.

Ty & Terri

Paul.

You know their names, and there are more.

 

Pieces of my heart, some here, some taken, when I think of them a physical ache comes. Holes in my heart.

These holes really are a longing for you, {Psalm 63:1} for answers, for wholeness– for Heaven. {2 Corinthians 5:2}

 

We long for Heaven, yet, we long to live.

We want years. A God-given desire.

We want Life. {Psalm 84:2}

That is why you gave yours. {John 3:16}

 

7 years is so close to 10.

I’ve never thought beyond the 10…not really.

When told “a 50/50 chance of being alive in 10 years” the apprehension comes and seems to grow when I think of how quickly that number is coming.

 

I can’t make much sense of it, this curious vague apprehension.

 

Is it the knowledge that days are numbered?

If so, this is a good thing, for all of ours are. {Job 14:5}

 

Life is but a breath. A vapor. {James 4:14}

 

Is it that I let quickly pass the glorious thoughts of weddings and grandchildren and wrinkles and gray hair?

Oh the magnificent thought of growing old with my Love and Lovelies! I hold it loosely.

 

My Teagan just turned 18, a legal adult in some states. She blows out candles and I am in awe that I get to see the day, a prayer of mine answered. I watch her fall in what could be love and I recognize weddings are not too far away. Could I really have the privilege?

 

I am cautious in my longings, keeping them in check all these 7 years.

 

I’ve practiced a “come what may” lifestyle, hands open. A learned trust.

So why the apprehension and hesitation if I’m so schooled in trust?

 

I know You are good {Psalm 136:1}

I know you are trustworthy. {Psalm 33:4}

 

Trust with all your heart

 

I also have known and seen suffering and pain, how at any moment the other shoe can drop and along with it hopes and dreams. My human-ness comes and I feel frustrated that celebration can so easily come with a vague “what-if?”

 

I know you know. You are acquainted with grief and familiar with suffering. {Isaiah 53:3}

 

You whisper reminders of your apprehension of the cross, your moments spent in that garden. {Matthew 26:39} I focus my wandering thoughts. I find all the answers I need. It is enough, more than enough.

 

Your arms opened wide spread on a tree carved for me. You’ve got it all and hold it all, the whole of the world right in your hand.

 

I look closer and find myself. My life. My story. My moments.

Closer still and I see my hairs numbered {Luke 12:7} and your thoughts of me so vast it outweighs the all of the grains of sand! {Psalm 139:17,18} You see me. Fully known, fully loved.

 

It frees the apprehension. I breathe easy and feel a lightness, my thoughts once again free to dance, and you along with them, dancing over me, {Zephaniah 3:17} all the while holding me right there in your palm.

 

My joy slows and settles. I lay my head on the shoulder of Father God – just you and me, we dance.

I exhale release the past 7 years, all of it.

The joy. The pain.

 

I release the 10-year mark.

I release the years of life beyond, Lord-willing.

 

Help me to keep releasing the unknown whole. {Proverbs 3:5-6}

Remind me to let go because I am held, then help me to keep dancing, a dance only with and for You.

 

Thank you, Lord, for 7 years.


WE DANCE – Staffany Gretzinger

“You steady me, slow and sweet, we sway–take the lead and I will follow”

“Finally ready now, to close my eyes and just believe that you won’t lead me where you don’t go”

“We dance, just you and me.”

“It’s nice to know, I’m not alone, I’ve found my home here in your arms.”

 

 

HEALTH/ Spiritual

Morning Coffee Mug Scripture Habit on my Instagram InstaStory

Morning Coffee Mug Scripture Habit

I have a morning coffee mug Scripture habit that has been well received by my Instagram followers, and that makes me very happy! It is so fun to share something that is such a meaningful part of my mornings in an easy way. I put a verse or inspiration on an image of my coffee mug then simply share that image on my Instagram Story.

 

Coffee and Scripture God Time with the Bible App

Purposeful, slow living is important to me. One of the very first things I do each day to make #slowliving a reality is to have what I call “God Time.” I sit with a mug of coffee, a blanket, my phone and my journal. I’m usually cuddled up in a corner of our couch or in a comfy chair we have in our bedroom. Lately, I have been sitting outside in our backyard, no blanket needed!

I use my apps on my phone to spend time with God, the main apps being YouVersion Bible App & IF App. When I read anything that really sticks or speaks to me, I quickly copy and paste it into my Notes in a folder labeled “God Time” and each note separated by the date, starting a new note for each new day. I then pull anything I want to share from that Note.  Most days I end the time with prayer. If I have extra time, I will take some time to journal, too.

 

Habits Take Time

This quiet time is something I truly look forward to each day, but this was not always the case. I remember when my teens were young, I yearned for the desire and discipline to spend time daily time with my Creator, but I was tired and often distracted. I asked God to help me with this and over the years time with him has grown into a sweet, necessary habit.

Habits take time and purposeful, repetitive action to build. It has helped that my ‘littles’ are grown, that I have become more of a morning person, and life challenges over the years have revealed my deep need for God. These are all things that make spending time with him easier, plus he is a good Father and will always answer a prayer of his child that is asked according to his will.

 

What is Instagram Stories?

Instagram Stories or “InstaStory”  is a newish feature on Instagram that lets you share little snippets of your day, without worrying about overposting. As you share multiple photos and videos, they appear together in a slideshow format which becomes your story. You can get creative with it by adding text and using drawing tools. I keep mine fairly simple, but I do love the text tool! The photos and videos disappear 24 hours after bring posted, which keeps clutter to a minimum.

You can see stories from those you follow in a bar at the top of your Instagram feed. When there is something new to see, their profile photo will have a colorful ring around it. Just tap on this ringed profile photo to watch someone’s story.

It is easy to view at your own pace. Tap to go back or forward or swipe to go to the next person’s story. I love that you can hold your finger on the screen to pause someone’s story, which is very handy when reading text.

 

FOLLOW ME ON INSTAGRAM 

USERNAME: @amy_newnostalgia

(psst..you can only view InstaStories on the mobil app)

 

Morning Coffee Mug Scripture Sharing on Instastories

It is fun to start each days Instagram Story with a fresh new picture of my morning coffee mug. My followers have commented that they love seeing where each day begins on my story by the familiar mug photo, and are inspired by the words I share. I’m not surprised by that, as God’s word promises to “never return void.” {Isaiah 55:11} When I share scripture, I share his words, not mine.

 

How To Easily Share Regular Inspiration on Social Media

If you desire to share regular inspiration on social media, find a time where you regularly do something every day and fit it into that time. I have a mug of coffee every day, so this was the perfect fit for me.  There are so many habits we automatically do every day– eating breakfast, brushing teeth, putting on makeup, sitting in the driver’s seat of your car–any of these times could be a time where you pause a minute and build the habit of sharing inspiration on social media. We all know social media could use a bit of positive inspiration!

With Instagram, photos are live on the Instastory for 24 hours, then disappear. I have my settings to where it will automatically save the photos I share to my camera roll, so I have gathered some of my favorites Coffee Mug Scriptures to share with you today!

 

Another version of this verse says “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” What a cool promise, and one that has come true in my life. When I clear the time and space to come close to God and his message, he responds and his words become real to me and give me life.

When someone loves and adores you, it is not too hard to do what they desire. I pray often that God would reveal to me just how much he loves me. His love for his children is so immense and perfect that our human minds just can’t wrap around it! Yet, I’ve had many glimpses and boy is it beautifully overwhelming! When we are truly and fully loved by someone, we trust them to want the best for us. Obedience out of this knowledge is so sweet.

This is not an easy verse, especially when you are wronged and it just isn’t fair. I love the reminder of how many times Christ has forgiven me. Over and over and over. Who am I to withhold forgiveness from another? Yet, I do. Even when I think I am a forgiving person, God will show me where I am holding an offense or one will come my way and I will have a choice to make. Lord, help me to choose to forgive!

This is ultimately what I am doing each morning. Seeking his face. He tells us to, and I just know he smiles when we do!

Ya’ll. This verse can be hard for me. I have an anxiety disorder so perfect peace is something I don’t take for granted. I HAVE experienced it so often in my life. A supernatural peace from God. Having to fight my default of anxiety and choose to trust and believe has been a fight for me, but God has met me in that and shown me it is worth it. There is nothing like his peace.

Well. This one. James 1 has always been a favorite chapter of the Bible for me. I memorized it when I was young and it always stuck with me. Man it is hard to wrap my human mind around being thankful for test & trials to the point of considering them a gift. I HAVE seen how hardships cause me to lean in and show me my need for a Savior. I have seen God’s faithfulness in every single hardship. The gift is more of him. The gift is sharing in suffering, with him and with others.

This reminder that God has overcome the world, that there is the hope of Heaven, that this is not all there is, that we are made for more than this earth and it’s difficulties–yes! That we can be unshakable, assured and deeply at peace if we trust him. Yes!

Above all else is love. It holds all the things.

Another verse on trust. He is trustworthy. He is good. He knows the future. He knows our stories. He sees it all and holds it all. His timing is perfect.


Do you have any #slowliving routines?

What is something you do every day that you could fit sharing some positive inspiration on social media? Is this even something that interests you?

Want to see fresh Coffee Mug Scripture and inspiration? Follow me on Instagram @amy_newnostalgia.

 

 

Counting Gifts/ FAMILY/ Leaving A Legacy/ Spiritual

Top 11 Posts From My Heart In 2016

TOP-FROM-MY-HEART

From My Heart Posts In 2016

What do I mean by “from my heart?” These are posts that go deeper than a recipe post or a DIY post.

These posts are my favorite to write, and also some of the most well received by all of you, which makes this heart of mine so touched and happy. It is clear I often write from my heart when hardship hits, as there are posts on suffering, anxiety, grief & tragedy. But, I also capture meaningful life moments in posts on amazing family memories, this wonderful life I get to live, and my Todd.

Amy from New Nostalgia |Top Posts From The Heart

Saturday Morning Musings

Oh my. I must write more posts like this–the ones where I just sit across from you all with a warm cuppa and just chat about life. It is therapeutic, and you are all so dear to just allow me to share. It also captures the fleeting seasons of life, as this post was written just last summer, but life rhythms have already changed so drastically. Time for another Saturday Morning Musing!

Read more here.

 

Amy New Nostalgia Family |Top Posts From The Heart

A Family Update

Posts like these are so fun to look back on. I’ve talked about how this blog is my recipe binder, my memory keeper, my cancer journal & a place to connect with such a great and caring community.  It has certainly become something very special to me and my family over the years. It is especially comforting as a 2-time cancer survivor that my words and our memories are in a place where my 3 girls could easily access them and know the things I think about and am passionate about. This post captures the personality of my teens in this season of life. I don’t write as often about my girls now that they are teens.  It is a delicate thing, letting their stories be THEIR stories & not over-sharing. But once in a while…

Read more here.

 

Relief From Severe Anxiety |Amy from New Nostalgia Top Posts From The Heart

How To Find Relief From Severe Anxiety

Whoa. Reading this post about a year after writing it was…whoa. It brought back many memories of struggle. It reminds me how far I’ve come and how many prayers have been answered.

Read more here.

 

Top Posts From The Heart at New Nostalgia

I Am A Sinner If Its Not One Thing Its Another

This is the post where I write raw all my feelings of shame and failure as a Mom and wife, and then LYSA TERKUERST, one of my all-time fav writers and amazing woman of God, comments on it. She told me that the post was powerfully and beautifully written, with a few more sentences of wisdom that made my year. Yeah, that was a pretty amazing. Take a peek at her comment in the post!

Read more here.

 

Alison Rush Art |From The Heart New Nostalgia

Enter Into Others Suffering

This post is about my beautiful friend and amazing artist, Alison Rush. I want you all to know her. I will be going to her home in just about an hour and wish you all could come with me to meet her. She is pure joy.

Read more here.

 

Severe Anxiety Symptoms |Top Posts From The Heart

Severe Anxiety Symptoms

As I reread these posts on anxiety, I feel like they just might be some of the most important ones I have written. As much as I wish anxiety was not part of my story, reading comments and remembering the emails I get in response make it worth it. Sharing a bit of my very personal journal and journey has brought so many of you to share yours with me, too, and that makes it all worth it. I received an email from a teenage reader on Christmas night that shared her own anxiety story and thanked me for this post. Yes, it is worth it.

Words from my journal, here.

 

On Grief |Amy from New Nostalgia |Top Posts From The Heart

When Grief Hits

“… I also found myself in a pool of sadness, swimming in grief. Anxiety and depression can often go hand in hand. I am acquainted with anxiety, but never of that severity & had not experienced it accompanied with depression. Deep sadness was a new experience for me. Together anxiety and depression are a brutal duet that brought my life music & happiness to a halt. It was survival time. I was a survivor learning what survival really meant…”

Read more here

 

Help in Suffering Amy from New Nostalgia |Top Posts From The Heart

Help In Suffering

So often a song will spur a writing. That is what happened in this post. It is a cry out to God of help and thanks and praise.

Read more here.

 

Love Wins | Amy from New Nostalgia |Top Posts From The Heart

To Be a Part of Love Winning

I wrote this in response to the Orlando shooting and tell of the time my own sister was caught in a deadly mall shooting.

“I want to feel others pain. I want to have ears to hear and eyes to see and a heart that cares enough to stop for a moment and just listen and absorb, to mourn with and feel with. I want to enter into pain with others because this is what love does…Evil creates pain. Love enters into the pain. Love wins.”

Read more here.

 

FORCED REST | Top Posts From The Heart |Amy New Nostalgia

Forced Rest

I write about a hero of mine. I just saw this precious man yesterday and life has not gotten any easier for him or his family since writing this post early last year. They take it day by day not knowing what each day will bring. Yes, he is my hero, and so is his sweet family.

Read more here.

 

My Love |Amy from New Nostalgia |Top Posts From The Heart

Let Me Tell You About My Todd

Last but not least, my personal favorite post from 2016 because it is about my very favorite guy. How fun that you all liked it too!

Read it here.

 


Well, I have had all the feels reading back over these 11 posts from my heart. THANK YOU for reading and allowing me to share. You all are so dear to me and so very very gentle with my heart.

Emotional Health/ FAMILY/ HEALTH/ Spiritual

Help in Suffering

Help in Suffering

“God, I look to you, Your where my help comes from.”

God I Look to You, Bethel Music

 

I listen to this song and it takes me back as often songs do.

A slight ache starts in my inmost being and I remember that time of desperation.

I listened to this song and my soul cried desperately to you.

 

 

You came.

You were there.

You saw.

You hid me under the shadow of your gentle wings. I was covered, hand-held. Never alone.

 

You held and helped me in my suffering.

 

God you reign and so does your timing.

I cried out for you to take it away.

Your timing was not what I desired, but I held on because I was held.

 

I trusted you and you showed me that you are safe,

you’re worthy of my belief,

your plans better and bigger than mine.

 

God I looked to you.

You were and are where my help comes from.

You gave me wisdom and showed me what to do

 

You led me right to  Psalms and to

the right book

the right therapist,

the right medical doctor

and the right medication.

 

lift-eyes-to-hills

 

You made my path straight

You brought healing in your time.

You lifted me out of the muck and mire and set my feet firm.

 

Lord, I still need you.

When I cannot stand, help me fall on you.

When I stumble catch me, turn my eyes and face to you.

Help me to keep looking up at you.

 

I will love you all my days.

You have become so very real to me, especially in the trials this life brings.

 

You have not left me alone.

Forever all my days, I will praise you!

 


The time of suffering I mentioned above was when I was in the thick of anxiety. If you are in a season of suffering, hold on! Look to God. He promises to never leave or forsake His children. He is with you and will get your through.

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