Inspiration can come from so many places. Sometimes it’s driven out of necessity. You lose a job and all of a sudden you’re inspired to apply for your dream job on the off-chance of WHAT-IF? Or you see a kind act and it inspires you to pass it on and so you find yourself filling your shopping cart with non-perishable items to donate to a food pantry. Inspiration is a driving force that causes our world to be a better place.
For me, my inspiration to start Amy Marie Events came from a few different reasons. Changing life situations, my husband of almost fifteen years and I were separated. For the first time in my life, I was living on my own with three beautiful daughters whom I was almost solely responsible for providing for. I was at a crux in my life that I NEVER anticipated and yet I found myself there. I married just after my sophomore year of college, had every aspiration to be in full-time ministry within a local church but I fell in love and my dreams of anything outside of being a wife and a mom disappeared. I married a man headed for ministry within the local church and I would be his helpmate. I knew I had gifts and abilities that would assist him and almost like second-nature, I found myself always in the middle of planning the events within the church. From children’s ministry to youth ministry, parties, outreach events, you name it and I wanted to be a part. I have always loved celebrations, times in life that bring people together. Even as a young girl, I remember wanting to plan my sibling's birthday parties and friend get-togethers. Now mind you, I am an extrovert through and through and love to be with others. It inspires my very soul to live joyfully around others.
So, when I faced this changing point in my life my best friend encouraged me to chase my dreams, to pursue what seemed unattainable, and to just TRY! I truly had no idea what I was doing, and honestly, most days still don’t! Ask my assistant, Laura, she can attest to this!! But I did that, I just tried. I researched how to start a business, I had my sister help me design a logo and a website, I created a vision statement, our core values, and in many ways, I used everything that I had learned from being a part of multiple church plants to create AME. I knew if nothing else, that I did know how to start a church and I would love and sacrifice for my little business just like I had so passionately loved and started the little church I helped to begin.
Looking back over my life, I see that every experience, every trial, every loss, and every triumph has shaped my life and my self into the very woman that I am today. My life has made me compassionate, loving, forgiving and understanding. Life is hard! We sometimes make decisions that hurt and sometimes we make decisions that ultimately change the course of our life in ways we NEVER would have imagined. For me today, I am thankful for the life that I have lived and am living. And while I can look back and have regrets, and wish that I could have a do-over on quite a few things, there is simply not a day that goes by that I am not in awe of the life I live. Not a day that I am overwhelmed by the goodness and love of Jesus, that he has freely poured out to me that I am so undeserving of…I cannot believe that I have the honor and privilege of being the owner of my little company, Amy Marie Events.
So, as I keep planning, dreaming and bringing other’s dreams to life, I will create and design with a thankfulness that I am where I am.
Here I am…I’m showing up. I’m showing up to write! To say that writing is an easy thing for me is such a lie, in fact, it’s one of the hardest things to do in my life. But believe it or not, it’s not finding the words to say, I always have a thousand thoughts swirling through my mind at any given moment. The difficulty lies in the act of literally writing down the words. I remember when I was younger words just flowed freely, I have close to fifty journals filled with my thoughts that I have written over my teenage and young adult life. Most of what I have written are insignificant thoughts that will never matter in the grand scheme of life, no one will probably ever read them, and truth be told, I don’t want them to be read. But now, as an adult, I often feel a fear that overcomes my soul when I start to write. As I was driving into the office this morning I was thinking about this fear, and I know the root of it lies in the fear of people; what will they think if they hear my thoughts, will they judge my improper grammar, will they judge my actions, my past experiences, my current life choices, the way I choose to use my time, my insights. The fear can be crippling at times.
So, when my assistant and I began working on the design of the new Amy Marie Events website and we toyed around with the idea of having a blog, I thought, NO WAY!! There is no way that I will be responsible for writing a blog. But as I started to research other event planners' blogs I saw beautiful weddings, couples, and simple descriptions of those weddings, and said, “Awww, I can do that!” So, I scoured my portfolio looking for the perfect first entry for my blog only to continue to feel this nagging within my soul that kept saying, “Write what inspires you, write your story as a wife, a momma, a business owner…it’s time to live transparently.” This thought has had me on lockdown mentally for a few days now, but I knew the due date for my submission was approaching and it was time to just write.
Why do I tell you all of this, well, I want to be honest. As a writer, Lysa Terkeurst writes in her book Uninvited, “Honesty isn’t trying to hurt me. It’s trying to heal me.” I want truth to set me free, I want truth to set us free, every person who reads my words, I want them to find freedom, joy, peace, comfort, understanding, love, and acceptance in the words I write. I truly have no idea what this looks like, I don’t have a strategic plan of where I’m going or what I will write, only a purpose. So, as you read, bear with me, understand that I am not perfect, my grammar is not the greatest, my thoughts can sometimes be wrong and may not align with yours, but I will always seek to love in every word and every response I give.
Here’s to many more posts and the courage to continue to write!!