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Monthly Archives: October 2014

Today is the last day of 31 Days. I’ve already published 31 posts in the series, 31 Dreams From The Street. I introduced the series. I interviewed 25 people and shared what they would do with their lives if they didn’t have to worry about money. I spent a day resting and reflecting. I spent three days sharing random observations from the…

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  • Tom BaunsgardNovember 7, 2014 - 4:03 am

    Hi Amy,
    If I didn’t have to worry about money, what would I do with my life?” …. First and foremost… anyone in my family who had a house mortgage would have the mortgage paid off. All of our family members would have the option of a free college education.
    I would love to donate my time, skills and money to Habitat for Humanity. Help develop and build more Senior Citizen Centers and affordable assisted living for the elderly and disabled. For my own personal extravagance, I would spend more time exploring this beautiful country with my wonderful wife Susan in our RV.ReplyCancel

  • Tom BaunsgardNovember 7, 2014 - 4:03 am

    Hi Amy,
    If I didn’t have to worry about money, what would I do with my life?” …. First and foremost… anyone in my family who had a house mortgage would have the mortgage paid off. All of our family members would have the option of a free college education.
    I would love to donate my time, skills and money to Habitat for Humanity. Help develop and build more Senior Citizen Centers and affordable assisted living for the elderly and disabled. For my own personal extravagance, I would spend more time exploring this beautiful country with my wonderful wife Susan in our RV.ReplyCancel

  • Jill TuckerNovember 1, 2014 - 3:50 pm

    Hi Amy! If I didn’t have to worry about money I would probably continue to do what I’m doing: writing and visual artwork. I would also give TONS of money to social justice causes and then travel more. Miss you! Hugs!ReplyCancel

  • TiffanyNovember 1, 2014 - 11:22 am

    If I didn’t have to worry about money and could do whatever I wanted, I would do a lot more traveling. I would travel with my husband to Italy, Japan, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Hawaii, California (and drive route 1 up the whole state). We’d visit all 50 states. We’d build a house on some beautiful property where my family lives in Indiana. And we’d fill it with the kind of things you’d use for hosting others — patio furniture, a fire pit, a game room, a comfy couch, a guest bedroom. We’d invite the youth group over all the time and host our kids’ friends and all our family for fun parties. I would love to give people awesome gifts, including strangers. We have always talked about how fun it would be to do random acts of kindness — big ones — for complete strangers!ReplyCancel

    • AmyNovember 3, 2014 - 10:32 pm

      Tiffany, oooh!!! New Zealand! That would be awesome. My husband says Australia is amazing and he wants to go to Tahiti, too. Love your focus on fitting your home with things for hosting others. How lovely…I bet you’re an amazing hostess! 🙂 Your idea to give awesome gifts and do big random acts of kindness is AWESOME! I would love to do that, too. Many blessings to you, Tiffany. My prayer for you is that you’ll see some of these dreams fulfilled in your lifetime.ReplyCancel

  • Katie WilsonOctober 31, 2014 - 2:12 pm

    If I didn’t have to worry about money, I would help Mom and Dad pay all of the bills and finish the house. I would go on missions trips once I am old enough. I would give lots of money to our church and places like Samaritan’s Purse and Gospel for Asia.

    By a twelve year old girlReplyCancel

    • AmyNovember 1, 2014 - 8:56 am

      Thanks for sharing, Katie! I love your dreams, and I love your giving heart.ReplyCancel

I didn’t plan to write this post. But as I interviewed people for this month’s series, I realized it wasn’t fair to ask so many people to be brave without being brave myself. So mid-way through the month, I decided I would wrap the series with a post titled “My Dreams” and another titled “Your Dreams.” Today, I’m…

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  • Emily RatkosNovember 1, 2014 - 6:54 pm

    It’s so inspiring to hear your hopes and dreams. Thanks for sharing from the heart these past thirty-one days. It’s been a pleasure reading what you had to say.ReplyCancel

    • AmyNovember 3, 2014 - 10:34 pm

      Thank you, Emily. 🙂 So glad you were able to see my heart in this series, and grateful you joined me on the journey. Blessings!ReplyCancel

  • Katie WilsonOctober 31, 2014 - 8:46 am

    What a great way to end the 31 days series! Thanks for sharing your answer to your “question of the month”.ReplyCancel

    • AmyNovember 1, 2014 - 9:01 am

      Thanks for following along, Katie!ReplyCancel

Today’s day 29, which means we’re in the home stretch of 31 Dreams From the Street. (Can I just say a little Hallelujah?!) I’d like to to step back and share some random thoughts and observations I made as we proceeded through the series. No need for delay. Let’s get right to it! Humility I lived in humility this…

It wasn’t nearly as easy to gather interviews for this month’s series as I originally imagined. When I conceived 31 Dreams From the Street, I assumed most people would be all in, that most people would jump at the chance to answer a simple question that allowed them to dream big. But I was wrong. I told you up front that I…

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  • Tom BaunsgardOctober 28, 2014 - 11:36 pm

    Hi Amy, I applaud you for your effort and reaching out to people and ask them that simple question “If you didn’t have to worry about money at all, what would you do with your life?” To reach out and ask questions of total strangers about something as personal as “Money” is way out of the comfort zone of probably 99% or the population. To get positive responses from over 50% of the people you approached is wonderful, Especially in this age of the Internet, Cell phones, Ipads, Banking and Credit card Scams etc., so many people are very guarded about anything they share for fear of being used or exploited, therefore, Trust and Privacy are paramount.
    Even striking up a conversation with a stranger is out of the comfort zone of most people. My wife Susan will be the first to tell you that I am the most outgoing of the two of us and can initiate a conversation without too much angst. I guess it is my curious nature. But I look for for cues and the possibility of having something in common with the other person… even it is as simple as we are waiting in a line together somewhere which is the thing we have in common 🙂 I’m a BIG GUY and I think sometimes people are a bit intimidated by that, but a smile usually breaks the ice.
    Thanks for the Stretch! Reaching out there with your blog captured the very essence of moving beyond your comfort zone. Both the positive responses and the rejections were very interesting.

    TomReplyCancel

  • MonicaOctober 28, 2014 - 6:12 pm

    “But I find it curious that in order to build and restore trust, in order to develop relationship, in order to live our lives fully, in order to make peace with issues from the past and embrace the dreams we have for our future, we have to get a little vulnerable and take a chance on the unknown.”

    This right here is HUGE! If you gained nothing else from this…if none of us gained anything else from this….I hope you, me and others can walk away with those wise words. Thank you Amy! The very fact that you blog and do so publicly qualifies you as a living breathing example of vulnerable & brave!

    I have your #31days from the street to be intriguing, authentic, brave, inspiring and most of all you gave 25 people a voice to share their hearts! What you did, and what you are doing is a gift!ReplyCancel

    • AmyOctober 28, 2014 - 9:47 pm

      I do feel grateful that the series allowed those 25 people to bare a little bit of their hearts and souls, and I hope someone was really encouraged by that. I did feel a connection with several of the people I interviewed, and now I just hope that something about our interactions will spur them on to reach for their dreams, or to live their lives more fully alive. I have learned that good things come from DECIDING to take chances, DECIDING to become a little more vulnerable than my flesh wants to. It is there that I have grown wiser. It is there that I have felt more connected to others. It is there that I have felt more understood by others as well. Thank you for your kind, kind words. I’m SO glad it inspired you and that you found it to be brave. Now I am ready to be done. 🙂ReplyCancel

I came home and cried that night. Cried to my husband for a world that’s cold, a world that’s harsh, a world that isn’t welcoming all the time. Cried because I didn’t want to do this anymore, this 31 Days. Cried because I wanted to quit. Earlier that day, I’d spent a few hours in…

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  • Tom BaunsgardOctober 29, 2014 - 4:16 am

    Dear Amy, The world is full of wonderful people… and then there are some bad ones who take pleasure in attacking and belittling a nice person. It was a direct attack on your way of living , thinking, and believing. But take heart! What you are doing here is an outreach, a witness, that has far more positive effect on this world. I’m praying for you to have peace with this trial and that you know that what you are doing is a witness of what God really wants to see in all of us, that “People Pleasing” way of life. Keep up the wonderful work! God Bless you!ReplyCancel

  • Tom BaunsgardOctober 29, 2014 - 4:15 am

    Dear Amy, The world is full of wonderful people… and then there are some bad ones who take pleasure in attacking and belittling a nice person. It was a direct attack on your way of living , thinking, and believing. But take heart! What you are doing here is an outreach, a witness, that has far more positive effects on this world. I’m praying for you to have peace with this trial and that you know that what you are doing is a witness of what God really wants to see in all of us, that “People Pleasing” way of life. Keep up the wonderful work! God Bless you!ReplyCancel

  • Monica PalmerOctober 28, 2014 - 6:04 pm

    Romans 5 New International Version (NIV)

    Peace and Hope
    5 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we[a] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we[b] boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we[c] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

    6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.ReplyCancel

    • AmyOctober 28, 2014 - 9:42 pm

      Dear Monica, I poured through these words slowly and surely. Thank you for sharing this wisdom and truth. I am wondering about this “suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” Feeling a little overwhelmed by the series as I wrap it…the perseverance definitely sprung forth. I wasn’t about to quit, but honestly, really wanted to. I knew I needed to persevere. And now, I’m hoping the character and hope will spring forth as I move forward, that the purpose of the series will become more and more clear as time passes. Thank you, friend.ReplyCancel

  • Katie WilsonOctober 28, 2014 - 7:51 am

    I am glad that you are not quitting! This has been an interesting and encouraging blog, and I am only twelve! Keep writing!ReplyCancel

    • AmyOctober 28, 2014 - 9:48 pm

      Thank you for your encouragement, Katie!ReplyCancel

  • Gretchen Wendt O'DonnellOctober 28, 2014 - 2:56 am

    Oh, and I’m praying for you too! ReplyCancel

  • Gretchen Wendt O'DonnellOctober 28, 2014 - 2:55 am

    Dearest Amy! It astounds me that people can be so cruel. I’m so sorry you had to go through that. I just prayed for her ’cause clearly she needs it! ReplyCancel

  • Valerie HubelOctober 28, 2014 - 2:24 am

    Wow; how brave of you to continue on with the interview in the midst of trauma like that. Thanks for sharing, I ma sure it brought it all back for you. This series has been good – you have written it so very well.ReplyCancel

  • Carol FemlingOctober 28, 2014 - 12:06 am

    Bless you, my dear daughter! You didn’t even mention these things to us. Like dad says, not everyone will like everything a person writes. You can’t always please everyone and someone will take issue with what you write. Anyway, keep writing! So proud of you! Love you! 🙂
    ReplyCancel

  • Jaimie West BowmanOctober 27, 2014 - 7:54 pm

    Amy, I’m so incredibly sorry that happened to you and there are people out there like that. I applaud you for forging ahead anyway and being brave. That really sounds like a spiritual attack and I’m glad you didn’t let it stop you. I’m so thankful you open your heart up and keep on loving people. This 31 days series has been such a challenge, but you DID it anyway and are almost done!! ReplyCancel

  • Nicole NewfieldOctober 27, 2014 - 5:03 pm

    “To not quitting because of someone else’s belittling”…. Thank you for your honest words. I think we can all relate to this feeling.ReplyCancel

    • AmyOctober 27, 2014 - 9:15 pm

      You’re welcome, Nicole. I’m glad (and sorry) that you related to the post…at least that helps me know I’m not alone in this kind of experience.ReplyCancel

  • EileenOctober 27, 2014 - 4:21 pm
  • Janice S.October 27, 2014 - 2:59 pm

    Oh Amy, wow, this is so hard and so good. Thank you for sharing the experience, even though it is clear that you were deeply scarred by it.
    I love the idea of the series – even while acknowledging I would never have had the guts you had to attempt such a challenge. I can’t wait to read through all your posts up to today.ReplyCancel

    • AmyOctober 27, 2014 - 9:13 pm

      Janice, so grateful you stopped by. To be honest, I’m not sure I would’ve had the courage to take on this series had I known how hard the interviews would be. But I think there’s a reason God led me to it. So I am grateful for what came of it, and that I was able to complete all 31 days. 🙂 Blessings to you.ReplyCancel

  • TiffanyOctober 27, 2014 - 2:49 pm

    What a great post. I’m so sorry that that woman made you feel so small. And I’m so glad that you gave it to God and kept going. You are showing us all what it means to be called by God — that the world won’t understand and probably won’t like us — but we are to go and to do anyway. Thanks for sharing new friend 🙂ReplyCancel

    • AmyOctober 27, 2014 - 9:11 pm

      Thank you for your encouragement, Tiffany! I was just thinking about you when I was out gardening this afternoon, and then came in to see your post. So glad we’re connected here…need to get some time to check out your blog, too!ReplyCancel

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