The Importance of Being Well-Fed

I had to whip out my camera at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and capture this life truth:

Importance of being well fed

Amen! I know I’m less aggressive when well-fed.

This sign reminded me of one of my first posts entitled I don’t do all that well with tired. 

I learned about HALT-B in some class. You can easily tick it off on your fingers:

  • Hungry
  • Angry
  • Lonely
  • Tried
  • or Bored

HALT-B stands for things that can lead us to make poor choices. Poor choices can lead to sin and distance and shame and regret. While none of us are at our best when we are hungry-angry-lonely-tired-or-bored, some of them will be easier to roll with than others. When I’m lonely, yeah I’m lonely but I’m not as likely to do something that I will later regret and potentially have to confess. When I’m hungry I can get a bit testy; but the granddaddy of them all is when I’ve had a long day and all I want to do is go to bed. I am not at my most lovely late at night. To say I’m not a night person would be, um, a colossal understatement. Continue reading here …

What helps you be more like a brown bear and less like a grizzle bear?

Small Announcement

Hello Friends,

Before I started The Messy Middle, the only public writing I did was monthly (actually every 6 weeks) newsletter to prayer and financial supporters. I remember during my first year in China a second year teacher saying, “Oh, you’re so lucky you’re in your first year, you still have things to say.” Well, I never ran out and those 18 years of writing newsletters launched me as a writer. The Messy Middle started in 2011 and two of the cardinal rules of blogging sounded reasonable, so I followed them:

1. Develop your voice (aka, sound like yourself).

2. Post consistently and with what rhythm worked for you. I landed on three times a week.

I started guest posting (OK, I started submitting posts like mad and getting rejected almost as fast as I wrote), but a few ideas landed in the right hands and slowly I went from thinking Facebook was stupid and commenting was gimmicky to seeing how new forms of communication connected people and provided forums for learning from each other.

I was hooked.

And then I was anchored. Knowing I was leaving China and job I’d had for most of my adult life, The Messy Middle turned out to be a secret door to another room in the house called “Amy’s Life.” Though almost everything was changing, I could ride the waves of life because I wasn’t alone.

The Messy Middle is no longer the only place I write. Velvet Ashes and the Book Club, Self Talk The Gospel, and China Source are the perfect combination of writing outlets for my interests: cross-cultural living, books, Jesus, and China.  If I could find Broncos Fans Forever (See you in heaven!), truly my cup runeth over. But The Messy Middle is my online home, it’s where all of these pieces fit together and I love us.

Right now I am feeling pulled in one too many directions. This is mostly self-inflicted :) and due to a project I told myself, “Amy, either you do it in 2015 or you shut up about it.” And so I”m doing it. I’m going to share more in Beyond the Surface (new name for the newsletter). One thing I really cannot stand about our modern era is this false sense of urgency created so people think they might miss out. I’m not saying this to be cryptic or markety, I’m just not comfortable with it being on the web. Almost all of you are subscribed, so don’t worry about missing it.

In light of the project, I’m going to cut back to one decent post a week and one post about a sign I’ve seen that’s caught my eye. I’ve missed my sign obsession :). For reals, who can’t use some donkey meat sauce in their lives?

CQ and vision tour 2012 106

I think a good six weeks should do it. And I know I’m about the only person on the planet who has to schedule around Mother’s Day, but I’m not kidding, the two weeks leading up to Mother’s Day in the U.S. are cray, cray for me. Wonderful and I never know what opportunities will be there for me, but full.

So, lest you got lost in this walk down memory lane, bottom line is this:

1. I’m most at home here in our little community and know I’ve built trust with you. If I say I need to cut back, I know you’ll be supportive, so thanks in advance.

2. I love doing life with you.

3. I’m cutting back for about six weeks and will be posting twice a week (one being a picture of a thought provoking sign).

4. I’ve been reading good books — oh, and can’t wait to see McFarland. Good grief, see what I mean about being comfortable. But you know I love sports movies, so you have my thoughts on McFarland to look forward to. If you haven’t seen the trailer, watch now and then tell me you don’t want to see it. It’s so inspiring it made me think about running and wish I liked it. That’s real inspiration!

From smack dab in the messy middle of life,


Two Videos You Must Watch Right Now! {You’re Welcome}

It’s spring break in our neck of the woods. Though I don’t have spring break in the ways I did as a student and teacher, it’s part of my annual biological clock :)! Welcome to spring break of The Messy Middle and two commercials I’ve seen recently that I feel compelled to share with everyone I know because […]

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Settling Your Shaken-Up Soul

Shaken up river water

If you haven’t heard, Velvet Ashes is offering a free retreat for women serving cross-culturally. You can read about it here and sign up here.  The following was written for Self Talk The Gospel as a part of a series on Spiritual Disciplines.  :: Though I don’t remember many specifics from Invitation to Solitude and Silence: Experiencing God’s […]

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Life vs Life ala mode

Life ala mode

Pi Day has one last small gift for us and this one is a gem. As promised, on Thursday I taught the regular visiting scholars from China about Pi Day in our English conversation class. We started by going over to pie phrases or sayings: As American as apple pie. Pie in the sky. As simple as pie. Pie […]

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Pi-Ku, We do love you!

Today we move from being pi observers to pi participants :) Yes, yes, it’s cool to see all that can be done with pi musically, in cartoon, and with jokes. But doesn’t it just leave you wanting to join in?! Today is your day! Jump in with a pi-ku of your own. Pi-ku is a take-off on haiku, but instead of having the syllable […]

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These Jokes Will Tickle Your Pi Bone

Q: What do you get if you divide the circumference of a jack-o-lantern by its diameter? A: Pumpkin pi. You saw that one coming, didn’t you? How about these: Q: What do you get when you take a bovine and divide its circumference by its diameter? A: Cow pi. Q: What do you get when […]

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Oh pi, you are a witty one


Showing our different personalities and interests yesterday, Mom read me a limerick (she’s the poetry queen and getting ready for April and poetry month). I countered by singing for oh, the 400th time “Pi pi mathematical pi.” Now, on to the fun of the day … witty cartoons! I kind of went nuts and found […]

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Let them hear π! {My 3 favorite π songs}

Y’all, I know I can be a tisch over the top at times. But there are things that are worth getting THAT excited about. And  π is one of them. Several years ago I was looking for an illustration for the the amazingness of God as seen in unexpected places and was reacquainted with π. It’s been […]

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Ultimate π — Do you feel the EXCITEMENT building?

Woot, woot! It’s that time of year again! π Day is every March 14th (3.14, get it?! Love it!?). But this year, this is year is the Ultimate π Day! Why, you might ask? Pi is 3.141592… making this year 3.14.15! I know, I know, throughout history many have lived, but will not have the joy of living […]

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