Amy's bookcoverWhen I got into this blogging scene I knew zero about it. Nada. Nothing. So I did what I do, any bone threw at me I wrestled it like it was a gator and we were in a death match.

I met David Rupert in real life and he invited me to join The High Calling (Thanks! and Bone #1). I did and started stalking  researching bloggers. That’s how I met Michelle DeRusha (Spiritual Misfit) and Amy Sullivan and started commenting on their blogs.

Amy  liked something I said (Bone #2) and asked me to write a guest post. She didn’t know it was my very first guest post and I felt so honored. (It also turns out Amy’s close friend Dusty is close friends with my sister Elizabeth talk about a small world!)

What she also didn’t know is that I chose her to be my model and the portal through which I was going to figure this blogging thing out. I went to every place she guest posted and figured out which would be a good fit for me to guest post at as well (Bone #3). At one, Amy commented, “Wow, what a nice surprise to find you here.” That’s one way to look at it.

So when I heard my (unbeknownst-to-her) patron had a book coming out I wanted to let you know because she’s funny, plugged into real life, loves Jesus, and I’m sure drinks Diet Coke. I’ve ordered mine and I don’t care whether you live in America, China, or some other festive land, this book has something to offer you. Amy graciously agreed to chat about her “messy middle” life, (she’s going to be surprised to read this intro and find out “the rest of the story.” Hi Amy!).

Too many people live lives on auto-pilot. The messy middle is about living engaged lives even when it is a bit messy. Where are you tempted to live on auto-pilot?

For me, when I’m overscheduled, I tend to live on auto-pilot. I’ve worked hard to beat down the idea that a full calendar equals a full life. In most situations, a full calendar equals a life, which is just too full.

I am a serious offender of filling-up my days in the name of good, only later to realize I forgot to ask God what He thinks about my manic toiling.

But when we engage, not everything is going to go according to plan. (Cue the laugh track!). Could you share something in your life that hasn’t gone the way you envisioned.

A recent event in my life, which hasn’t gone as planned is publishing a book.

I hoped to write a little book, and then to toss that bad boy into the world with a few online friends encouraging me from somewhere far away. Think Australia or perhaps somewhere in Asia. I certainly didn’t want to ask my actual community to get behind my book.

My online friends would share a small blurb on Facebook about my new release, and then write a nice review, and that would be that.

Instead, I felt as if God wanted me to rally the people who live right next door to me and hold a community event in my hometown. Since my book is on generous living, He wanted me to lead people to a smorgasbord of volunteer opportunities in our community, which by the way, isn’t very close to Australia or Asia.

“This is very uncomfortable,” says the girl who struggled on her wedding day. There are too many eyes on me! I’m making myself so vulnerable! Can’t we just make this a small private affair?

Where did you see God in that situation?

Well, I told God I would certainly be happy to have a community event announcing my book’s release and encouraging people in my community to engage with each other, but I didn’t have a place to do it.

So He provided a free venue.

Then, I told Him thank you and that the venue was a fantastic gesture, but I didn’t have the money to hold a event!

So He provided a big check from a group of friends.

Then I said, God, this is super, really, but remember this is me, Amy, you are talking about, I struggle to plan my kid’s birthday party. Remember the ordeal about me ordering the cake less than an hour before the party? Remember? I don’t have the skills needed to make a big community event happen.

So He provided my own cheering squad who happens to have connections and be talented and know things about decorations and music and creating a popcorn and candy bar.

Therefore, I’m holding an event announcing my book’s release and encouraging the people in my community to get involved with one the many, many local service agencies right here in North Carolina.

I would be lying if I said I’m excited about this event. I am terrified.

What have you been reading recently?

Lately, I have been chewing-up books at lightening speed. Recent faves include the following:

Where’d You Go Bernadette? by Maria Semple

15 Ways to Make Love Impossible by Lori and Steven McClure

Wonder by RJ Palacio

50 Women Every Christian Should Know by Michelle DeRusha

Amy, thanks for chatting, sure, but really thanks for being someone folks are drawn to and unbeknownst portals to blogging and living lives that are about more than stuff.

Check out her book When More Is Not Enough


Surely I”m not alone. What have you done that might highlight some “charming” part of your personality?



Leave A Comment

  1. Amy L Sullivan September 26, 2014 at 6:17 am - Reply

    You are so funny, and Diet Coke? You know it, sister! Your intro is beyond awesome, and yes, a total surprise! So sweet, I’m blushing.

    This is what I think: I think our real-life connection is super funny (Love me some Dusti Austin). I think you are wise and a talented writer, and I am beyond excited to see what your little ‘ol self does with the skills God has given you. I think your online voice probably matches exactly who you are in real-life, and I think I am very grateful for the plug of the book and for you sharing your online space with me.

    Cheers, girl (envision me clicking your glass of Diet Coke!).

    • Avatar photo
      Amy September 30, 2014 at 6:14 am - Reply

      Amy! It’s been a blast to share the space (I did have one older friend — she’s kind of grouchy say she got confused with all of the Amys and couldn’t tell which one I was. Seriously? I’m the one who didn’t write the book! The other one did :). Oh well!) Hope sales are soaring!

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