Introduce yourself as if we were on a coffee date! Tell us about yourself. Would you be drinking coffee or tea?
I would definitely grab a cup of coffee and say, Hey! I’m Amy! I was born and raised in Memphis, TN and now live in a tiny town near there with my husband Stephen and my youngest child, Mac, who is 13. I have three kids and they are all 7 years apart in age! My daughter, Sarah, is 20 and a junior at University of Memphis. My oldest child is my son, Taylor. He is 27 and married to a gorgeous wife, Gabriella, and they have two of the cutest little boys you’ve ever seen. (Bentley and Jensen). They call me Gigi ☺ (If we were on an actual coffee date, at this point, I would act like a typical proud grandmother and show you the latest photo I have of them on my phone!) Also, I have been VERY blessed to be a stay at home mom for nearly 14 years now and am able to spend a lot of my time studying God’s Word. I love sharing what I learn from it and I even try to help others by teaching practical ways to study Scripture and apply it.
When did you start following Jesus?
I accepted Jesus as my Savior at my little Baptist church when I was about 8 years old, but I feel that I didn’t really start walking that out until about 15 years ago.
What is your definition of a Well-Watered Woman?
Hmmm…in my mind, a well-watered woman is a woman who knows Jesus Christ very personally because she deeply loves and trusts in Him AND prioritizes time with Him daily. A well-watered woman stands firm in her faith and in her convictions because she has no greater aim than living a life that pleases the Lord. She is known for her graciousness, strength, steadfastness, and wisdom. She is someone that others think of– and can count on– when they need godly advice or fervent prayer because she has a reputation for consistently displaying Christ-like character. All of these things are true of the well-watered woman because she puts Christ first in her life. She ABIDES in Him.
How do you give Jesus the first moments of your day?
Every single day when I wake up, I take about 20-30 minutes—before everyone else wakes up– to meet with Him in prayer and in His Word. I believe it is so important to honor Him with my very first thoughts and words…before I even talk to my family or get on social media or turn on the news. So what I do is I praise Him before I do anything else. I write it down at the top of my journal page. Then I make 4 lists. I do what some might call a “brain dump” where I jot down all the thoughts I woke up with that are cluttering my head. This could be things I am anxious about or even just “to do” list items I’m afraid I might forget. I get them down on paper and out of my head so that they won’t distract me from my time in prayer. Next, I write down a few things I am grateful for. Then I confess any sin on my heart that I need to bring to the Lord as I don’t want anything hindering my prayers or my fellowship with the Lord. Finally, I make a list of people or circumstances on my mind that I need to intercede for. When I have made these lists, I go back to the top of my notebook page and literally pray over every single thing I wrote down. When my prayer time is over, I read from a daily devotional Bible called “Every Day with Jesus Daily Bible”. Each day’s reading has a selection from the Old Testament, the New Testament, a passage from Psalms and one from Proverbs.
What sort of spiritual season do you find yourself in now? What verses are you clinging to in this season?
Oh wow. I haven’t really talked about this much except with close friends, but I don’t mind sharing that I am in a bit of a season of overwhelm due to spreading myself a bit too thin. I am definitely learning that as hard as it is, it’s better to say no to some really good things, good opportunities, in order to make and maintain space in my schedule for the BEST things—the things in my life that God would have me tend to first. You know what I mean? Those things that no one but me can do—love and help my husband as his wife, be available and attentive to my children as their mom, and faithfully keep my home clean, orderly and comfortable for the people who live there! Those are the relationships and the responsibilities that God has entrusted to me in which I feel I should first and foremost be His image-bearer.
While I am grateful and blessed to receive invitations from people to partner with them in ministry in various ways, I understand more and more clearly why I should have given marriage, family, and home the bigger priority in my life years ago. I almost feel like I need sort of a “time out” to step back for a just a bit to regroup and better align my priorities with the Lord’s. I mean, when women are singing my praises online but my family is frustrated because they are having trouble finding things like clean clothes or something to eat…uh…something is wrong with that picture.
I honestly feel like I didn’t really follow God’s order of things after I got married. I got excited about opportunities at church and put ministry to others before ministry to my family and now I am seeing some of the consequences. I’m definitely in a season where God is kind of backing me up and showing me I need to lay a proper foundation at home before moving forward in ministry outside of my home.
A verse of Scripture I am clinging to these days is…
John 17:21 (because I struggle with the sin of complaining). Specifically, I have a problem with telling others all about how someone offended me. It’s GOSSIP, really! Complaining is almost too nice of a word for it. So one day I asked God to direct me to Scripture that would speak to me about this area in which I struggle. I wanted His perspective. Well He led me to John 17. In this passage, Jesus is praying for future believers. He says, “that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” So here’s what I learned from that. These were some of Jesus’ final words before He went to the cross. That tells me that unity was and is very important to Him.
Gossip hinders unity. So why would I want to do that? This verse tells me that unity within the body of believers matters because ultimately, it bears witness to the true identity of Jesus as the Son of God. Powerful! So I think of Jesus’ prayer often when I am tempted to sin with my mouth.
What intentional daily habits help you remain rooted deeply in the Word of God? // Or What practices and routines help you remain rooted deeply in the Word of God?
Well, I already mentioned my daily Bible reading each morning, but I don’t stop there. I never want to limit my time with the Lord to a 15-30 minute window early in the day. So what I do is, I sort of stretch my “quiet time” out all throughout the day. I pray, and journal, and read Scripture in the morning. And while I am doing my housework and running errands, I turn off the tv and the radio and instead listen to a podcast that points me to God and teaches me how to live in obedience to Him. Sometimes I listen to Scripture via the You Version app on my phone. I talk to God all day. I thank Him for all the good stuff as it happens and when something not so good happens, I go to Him and ask for His perspective. When I take a break for lunch, I work on a Bible study lesson. At bedtime, I reflect on my day and confess sin that’s on my heart and I also add to my gratitude journal. Bottom line, I stay in near constant conversation with the Lord. I ask Him a lot of questions about Scripture I am studying and I ask Him to encourage me every day in His Word.
Who is a “well-watered mentor” or example in your life, and how has she helped you become a well-watered women?
The first person that comes to mind is Mary Ann Ruff, the Women’s Ministry Director at my church. She taught me how to lead and love women and how to pray for them and with them and how to wait on the Lord. She has been a wonderful example of not rushing into anything—no matter how great the idea might be– but seeking the Lord first and waiting for His direction.
What books are you currently reading or have you recently read and would recommend to our community?
Ironically, the last three books I read share a common theme—basically, they are about the importance of the believer living out their faith! First is Lisa Whittle’s “Put Your Warrior Boots On: Walking Jesus Strong Once and for All”. Honestly, as I read it, it felt to me like your best friend gently but firmly reminding you why it matters deeply that you WALK OUT what you believe and not grow weary or live in fear of doing so. My favorite part of her book was the chapter that discussed what she called the “ministry of sameness”. It’s about living in such a way that others know they can depend on you. They always know where to find you when they need truth preached to them and they know your message never changes. It consistently points them to God. The next book I read and loved was Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth’s “Adorned”. That entire book was about just a few verses in Titus chapter 2. She went into great detail about how we all have roles within the body of Christ and what that looks like for each of us—men, women, old, and young. She discussed the responsibility of older women to mentor younger woman and the responsibility of younger women to humble themselves and listen to the older women. And so much more. She also discussed how crucial it is that we live out our faith to the watching world. She even went so far as to say that it’s not our journals full of notes that will change the world but getting those notes INTO our lives. So convicting and powerful. Last, I read “Uncommon: Pursuing a Life of Passion and Purpose” by my friend Carey Scott. The message of Carey’s book was very similar to the other two I just mentioned, but, “Uncommon” laid out very practical ways we can apply God’s Word in every area of our lives! I had the opportunity to write an endorsement for her book and in it I mentioned that her book is one of the few I own that I know I will be referring back to again and again.
If you could tell every woman on this blog one piece of wisdom what would it be?
Be in the Word every single day. Make it a real priority. The world is getting darker and truth is getting more and more distorted. It’s hard to find. It’s hard to know. But the Bible will always tell you what is true—about yourself and others and about God and His character. Cling to it. Seek to understand and apply it. Ask God for help when you struggle to understand and He will. Don’t for a minute underestimate the power and the importance of daily Bible meditation + prayer. Don’t let anything keep you from it.
Where do you find your identity, and how is it different than where you may have placed your identity in the past?
I find my identity in who God says I am in His Word and in what Jesus did for me on the cross.
In the past, I found my identity in the approval of others—especially men. If men found me attractive, if they turned their head to look my way, then I believed that made me valuable. Sad, I know!
And that reminds me of a major turning point in my walk with the Lord.
Just a few months after marrying my husband, I worried I had made a mistake. I prayed and told God I wanted to leave. (The thing was, I had been married previously, and walked out of that marriage!) This was the first time in my life I really sensed God speaking to me. I clearly felt Him say “Amy, you cannot continue this cycle. No man on this earth can be your Savior. Commit yourself to Me and to this marriage and watch what I will do”. And I did and I am glad. That conversation with the Lord—and being willing to submit to Him–most definitely changed the path of my life for the better.