I've Moved!

This little blog has moved over to the official AHeartSurrendered.com! Check it out; can't wait to see you there.

Monday, August 27, 2012

blemishes or marks of love?

Today I am going to share something a bit unconventional- I may even seem a little off my nut but please, just bear with me...

  The other day as I was vacuuming and mopping our engineered hardwood floors, I allowed a small sigh to escape my lips and a few grumbling thoughts loose in my mind.  I was looking at the terrible scratches on the floor beneath our dining room table.  We had tried so hard to take as many precautions against such scratches when we first put the flooring down.  We were diligent to put "sliders" on the feet of every piece of furniture- but unfortunately, as we came to find out, even "sliders" can allow a certain extent of scratches.
  I was beginning to feel ashamed and maybe even a little bitter-  Why can't we just have normal looking floors? "People" are going to judge me on these floors- thinking that I don't take care of them because they are so scratched up! (Anyone who knows me knows that I am generally what you would call a "neat freak"- therefore, if there is ever any implication of neglect I am usually horrified...)
  
As my mop glided over the blemished wood the Lord took my thoughts captive- and He dawned a revelation on me.  

"Amy, how did those floors get so scratched up?"

  It wasn't because we didn't take the necessary precautions against the scratches (sliders) or had not

Friday, August 24, 2012

"every hour i need You..."

"Teach my song to rise to You
when temptation comes my way..."

  I believe it was a few months ago my family and I were gathered about in the living room, Daddy with guitar in hand, singing some worship songs together.  Violet, age 3, sat sweetly on Momma's lap and sang along until there was a break between songs...
 "Can I do my heart song?"  she queried,  twisting her hands together in front of her mouth with slight embarrassment from all the attention that was coming her way.  The corners of Daddy's mouth turned up in a  grin, "Sure, sweetie- go ahead."  She proceeded to jump out of Momma's lap and present her "heart song".  This presentation consisted of dramatic and aesthetic hand motions and dance moves, all of *original* choreography.  The dance was so good in fact, that some of us began to join her, looking to her to show us the next "move" in her "heart song".  Yes, that's an evening that we still talk and laugh about- I tried to describe it to my friends at church the following Sunday as I was laughing hysterically- but they didn't get it.  Hmm... maybe you should have been there.
  
  My point in bringing up this story is that I loved what she called her dance her "heart song".  I have now lovingly adopted this title to describe

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Looking Back at the 2012 Lamplighter Guild {part seven}

 As type A as I am, not wanting to have an oddly numbered series (seven?), I feel that it may be time to draw this one to a close.  I am looking forward to sharing more insights from the Guild with you all- but if I were to continue to publish it all- and in order- I'm not sure I would ever get back to "normal" posting!

I would like to wrap it up by telling you a bit about the last day.

The night before had seen us playing a rather heated, hilarious, and shall we say late game of Mao with Kathy Buchanan and Todd Busteed.  What a memory for the last night...
As I drifted off to sleep anticipation of the mixed emotions of wanting to go home, yet not wanting the fellowship or the blessed teaching to end.

 I woke up at 5am when my alarm on my phone went off.  Devotions were at 6:15am but if you wanted coffee you have to get down there sometime around 6.  My morning routine would take a bit of time to get ready, shower, makeup, hair...etc. But I sleepily picked up the phone, used my thumb to swipe the screen and turn off the alarm, and closed my eyes.  I'm just going to rest for a second. Ha.
(Just keep in mind: this was the last day!  All of the students were exhausted from the events of the week....)

Next thing I know, I opened my eyes and looked at the phone in horror: 6:05am. 
Panic.
There went my morning routine.
Blessedly, I had showered later in the previous day after swimming, and my makeup looked alright, so I jumped out of bed, slipped into my clothes for the day, and woke up my roommate as I was running out the door.  I didn't want to miss the very last day of devotions!!!

  There were two options on Thursday, to watch the making of (and perhaps act in) a short audio drama, or to practice/be in a play directed by Cathy Sara.  Being that my family would like to do skits and plays together, I figured it was probably the best use of my time to do the play... We had four hours to learn the script on Thursday then perform on Friday.  Believe it or not it went well!  I was a bit awkward...  I guess that's what happens when you've never acted before-but it was alright... :-)

Anyway, after the play in the Parlor, we all headed over to the Conference Center for the very last session.  
Romantically, it started to rain...  remember how I said that when I got there is was pouring rain?  Here it was, the day that we were supposed to be leaving, and again the rain came down.  Those of us that had been in Kathy Buchanan's class marveled at the sheer poetry.  Mrs. Buchanan had explained to use that usually in a story, when you want to get into the heart of a character, when you want to come to know them more intimately and get to their soul, you bring in a scene of darkness or rain- and it seems to open up the dialogue, to soften the mood and invoke a feeling of intimacy with the character.  At the beginning of the week, our hearts were opening up to God- we were willing and ready to learn what He had prepared for us that week.  Now, on the last day, our hearts were hurting a bit that the week had to end, but again soft and open to whatever God had next in store for us.

  That morning was such a treat!  All of the students were gathered together and were able to view/listen to some of the work that had been done over the week.  I was ecstatic as I watched and listened- everyone did such a fabulous job!

There were two "Film and Documentary" Electives... here are the videos that they made over the week:


Did you look for me?  :-D
Actually, believe it or not- most of the classes that were filmed in the first video I was in- I was literally just a few feet to the right or to the left of the camera view...  you do see me for one split second in the first one- but my hand is in front of my face.  (I was supposed to "be struck by lightening"-cut me some slack!)

We also got to hear the audio drama that they made the day before: Actor with an Attitude (or Felicity's Toupee)  They did such an amazing job (remember- FOUR HOURS to write the script, audition, record voices, add sound effects, compose music, etc. etc. etc) it made up my mind to definitely do the audio drama if I were to ever attend the Guild again!

I am so grateful for the opportunity that I had to attend the Guild- it was such a blessing to not only myself, for my own personal walk, and furthering of my talents, but I pray that I will be able to bless others around me with what I have learned.  I have already said to a friend at church how I have to get the notes from Kathy Buchanan's class for her!  

It was a growing experience for my in more ways than one... Let's just say, when I got home from this trip, my friends could barely believe some of the things that I did.

"You played Ultimate Frisbee- barefoot???"
"You went swimming in a lake???"

Thank you for reading, my dear friends!
I hope that you were encouraged and entertained as well as having gotten a little taste of my memorable week...

Be warned though, I do have some photos and such that I may be posting soon :-)

If you want more information on the Lamplighter Guild click here or feel free to email me with any questions!
aheartsurrendered(at)gmail(dot)com

Monday, August 20, 2012

an anniversary

Today I am taking a quick break from my "chronicle" of my trip to the Guild and have a very special congratulation to extend.

Today is my mom and dad's 22nd wedding anniversary!

Yes, on August 20th, 1990, two eighteen-year-olds- fresh graduates from high school- took the plunge and got married.  Everybody thought that it was a huge mistake- it would never last.  Two high-schoolers?  He, the star of every high school play- the boy with the golden voice. She, the timid behind-the-scenes girl.  What were they thinking?

They weren't.  
God was.

Since that fateful day, twenty-two years later

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Looking Back at the 2012 Lamplighter Guild {part six}

  One of the classes that I attended (I think there must have been smoke rising from my notebook as I furiously attempted to write down all of the amazing thoughts that were coming to mind) that blew me away and caused me to afterwards bound to my room so that I could call my dad and tell him about it was the Theology on the Book of Ruth with Pastor Colin Smith.

  I signed up for this elective expecting some good teaching- but as I sat in that third row, second seat on the left, notebook and fuchsia pen in hand,  I experienced awesome preaching.

 We had two hours to go through the book of Ruth- beginning to end.  (Maybe that's why my pen was smoking...)  Pastor Smith divided it up into four "Acts" and proceeded to point out the lessons, themes, character qualities and changes- he showed us what a true literary masterpiece this tiny book of the Bible is!

  I am not going to make a full dissertation on the talk (though I have enough notes that I probably could) but

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Looking Back at the 2012 Lamplighter Guild {part five}

  The rest of the week was a blur of excitement, inspiration, and opportunity.

Morning devotions...
We usually split up into small groups for a more intimate setting, but one day Mr. Hamby thought that we should to up to "Eagle Point" impromptu all together.  So off we went- climbing rocky "steps" avoiding a couple of "cliffs" as we went.  
I was totally unprepared.  I had brought my dslr camera and my Bible in my purse- making it extra heavy, was wearing a rugged denim skirt, which- due to my excellent height- dragged delightfully on the ground, silver flip-flops, and coffee in one hand.  I felt like I was balancing the

Friday, August 10, 2012

Looking Back at the 2012 Lamplighter Guild {part four}

The remainder of Monday's Dramatic Arts classes were made up of Cathy Sara's "Voice and Stage Acting" and John Campbell's "Music Composition".

  Cathy Sara's enthusiasm and energy were contagious- her heart just seemed to be filled to the top with a love for the Lord.  Her desire to glorify Him with her skills and abilities through sharing them with others shone through as she coached and encouraged us- whether we were "wading through raging rapids" or "crossing a sandy desert", or any of the other wonderful scenarios that she had us in!
  One of the first exercises that she gave us was when we each had a copy of Isaiah 61.  We each had our own line according to our place in succession.  After we had read it through once, sitting around in a circle, she had us get up and walk around while we said our lines.  She then adjured us, her voice rang out in the

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Looking Back at the 2012 Lamplighter Guild {part three}

  The next day (Monday) all of the students in the Dramatic Arts were able to go to all of the available classes for that track so that we might be able to see which ones we would like to pursue further after having a bit of experience in them.
  
  My group, rotation group #1, started out by going to Todd Busteed's "Sound Design" class.  At the beginning of the class, Mr. Busteed had each of us introduce ourselves, name our hometown and the most common sound that we would hear in it.  I inwardly snickered.  As some of the students mentioned church bells I was thinking- suburbs = motorcycles?  I would have loved to say, "The waves on the beach- clapping down on the sand, seagulls circling above, children laughing and squealing with delight..." ah, so romantic... but unfortunately I'm too legalistic for that.  Come on, would you really hear that above the cars zooming by on US1?  For anyone else who was in this class with me that may be reading this:  I can be poetic- just way too honest. :-)  I ended up mentioning common sounds in my household- it's home, right?
  One thing that really stuck out to me in Mr. Busteed's class was this: don't wait around for someone to "discover" you.  Don't be waiting for the "right opportunity" to arise in which you can

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Looking Back at the 2012 Lamplighter Guild {part two}

  On Sunday afternoon I arrived at Mohonk.  Since it was pouring rain I wasn't really able to see much on the way over but it sure did make what I could see so dreamily romantic!  Everything was blanketed with a soft mist- a mild fog that wrapped around the trees and flowed down the hills and mountains.  The sky looked dark- the mood was reflectively melancholy. Looking back, those of us in Kathy Buchanan's script writing class can see the sheer poetry that God was writing into our lives during that first hour or so in New York... (more about that later.)

  After I had checked in with Mohonk, I went over to the conference center to check in with the Lamplighter Guild- to get my registration packet, name tag, etc.  During this time I was being greeted warmly by acquaintances from the conference back in May as well as being introduced to many new people- I was already having amazing conversations and I hadn't even been checked in for much more than an hour!

  The presence of brotherhood was thick- the common bond of Christ was so strong.  The love that Jesus said that they will know us by was ever present and electrifying the atmosphere.  It was such an amazing first impression!

  Because I was a scholarship recipient, I was asked to write a blog post

Monday, August 6, 2012

Looking Back at the 2012 Lamplighter Guild {part one}

  So, I finally have the time- and a bit of the brain- to write about my experience at the 2012 Lamplighter Guild.

Unfortunately, if I were to write it all into one post, I fear that I would lose you all after a while.  That's why I have decided to break it up a bit... ;-)

Wow... ok, where to start, where to start...

Well, first of all I suppose that I must explain a bit of the "before"...

First of all I must say, God truly seemed to have His hand on this trip.  You all saw my posts from before the Guild- how I was trying to scrape to get enough money for tuition?  Well, my graduation party just so happened to be a day or so before the funds were due- my dear friends and family were extremely generous with me and the Lord provided more than enough for my tuition.

But after the tuition was taken care of, next came the traveling...  how to get there?

  I had not flown since I was about 4 or 5 and my only option to get to the Guild was if I was to fly by myself.  At first the thought totally freaked me out.  Me, having not ridden on a plane for the past 14 years go by myself- go through security and all that creepy stuff- fly all the way

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Book Review: Lady of Blossholme

The Lady of Blossholme is a tale of intrigue and suspense- set in the medieval time of King Henry VIII.  It is the story of a young woman who gets caught in the most unfortunate circumstances and how she must rely on her faith and trust in God that He will carry her through.

 The greedy Spanish abbot, Clement Maldon, is proving himself to be made of such evil that he will do anything to gain the funds to overthrow the throne of King Henry VIII.  When he tries to stake false claims on the lands of Sir John Foterell, he commits his first of many acts that wreak havoc on the knight's poor family.

  Sir John is mysteriously killed after refusing to allow the abbot to take possession of the lands, paving the way for the terror awaiting his daughter, Cicely, and her newly wedded husband.  After a siege on the residence of Cicely and Christopher Harflete, the two are torn apart and thought to one another as dead.  Cicely and her nurse are taken and forced as captives into the convent of Blossholme while Christopher is wounded and sent to Spain.

  All seems lost to the poor family- the only thing that keeps Cicely going is

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

in my weakness

I will get to posting about the Guild- I really will!  This has just been something that has weighed so heavily on my heart that I feel I must share it- and share it now.  It should also be able to throw some light on last week so that you may understand my prolonged absence...


(As you read this, keep in mind that I had just returned from New York the prior Friday!) 


  On Tuesday afternoon I got a phone call from my mom, "Apparently Grandpa is in the ER... we're on our way to the hospital... they don't really know what happened but he just started feeling faint..."  My brain was on the verge of melting-  I didn't know what to do with myself as I was feeling a crazed sense of irony...  Are you serious??? was all my mind could conjure up that would constitute a full thought.
  At the moment that I had taken the phone call I was in a hotel an hour away from my home babysitting four children from our church whose father had gotten into a terrible car accident a full 24 hours prior.  During those 24 hours my family had been split into all different directions- my parents had rushed the wife to the hospital to be with her husband and my sister to their house to babysit the kids.  The kids were now in a hotel room because it made the nursing baby more accessible for feedings and I was watching them in place of my sister.

  I was so tired.  I felt so weak, so drained.  I wanted to go home!  I wanted my mom and dad back- I wanted my sisters- I wanted to tell everybody stories from the Guild....  I wanted to sleep.  I felt weak- so pathetically weak that I'm not sure