About the Author

Amber C Haines, author of Wild in the Hollow, has 4 sons, a guitar-playing husband, theRunaMuck, and rare friends. She loves the funky, the narrative, and the dirty South. She finds community among the broken and wants to know your story. Amber is curator with her husband Seth Haines of Mother...

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  1. Sweet Amber, this was such beautiful worship. Your gratitude, your heart of truth…it speaks of love and grace, and your story of friendship and your heart of need.

    Praise God for companionship!

    Rich blessings in your daily in-person living friendships, and also your spirit-filled not-always-in-person ones…every single one that brings you to Him in worship!

  2. You just wrapped life in a neat little package- not because life is neat, but because you took the messy with the beautiful and made it a gift! Wonderful!

    • No one could have told me how blessed I would be by having friends online whom I’ve never met in real life, but my real life friends? They see the ugly, when I can’t make myself invisible – as I can online. They love even then, with that harder test.

  3. Amber, this was just beautiful. You have always had such a gift, a GIFT, with words, and I love that you are writing again. I must say I missed reading your words these last few months, and it was fun to hear the backstory of what was going on in the web-silence. Know that you were missed– your voice is irreplaceable.

    And your family, beautiful.

  4. Four boys, and you SO girl and so much heart – I am so glad for your real life that spills over to us so real in your words. Thank you for sharing. It is an honor for us to gain entrance to your beautiful life.

    • The true honor is that you would read it. My goodness, Kelly, you too, are faraway friend that we love.

      There’s just something about having friends that are interested to hear that makes the stories we share all the more sweet.

  5. Such a great reminder. There are people around us that need our love as much as we need theirs. It is all a matter of where we focus our eyes.

  6. Oh, Amber! It’s so wonderful to read your words again! But I agree: the best writing comes from living.

    No judgment on the lice. We’ve battled it here several times thanks to a county school policy that *allows* students to come to school with critters. It makes me angry and sad all at once, to think of any child whose family cannot afford or will not take care of it. But that’s another convo all together. 🙂

    I’m happy you have friends In Real Life that can love on you, put their hands on you to pray, and to encourage you face to face in pregnancy, labor, and living.

    “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.” Proverbs 17:17

    Or! A friend loves at all times and a sister is born for times of family, pregnancy, childbirth and babyhood. 🙂

  7. Struggling with this right now. Never writing in public again, deleting my FB account, staying home on Sundays because I just. can’t. do the Sunday morning church thing any longer. Pretend to be in community with people I only see on Sundays.

    Wanting here and now to be real and live. Life giving.

    Really, truly, live.

    This America, oh, it was not what I left. Two years later you’d think I’d have a handle on it……not so.

    Thanks for your words. Processing. Processing.

    P.S. I’ll be in your neck of the woods Sunday. Breathing in the Arkansas air.

    • Michelle, we’re out of town this weekend but would love it if we could have had a coffee date.

      I think you mentioned something so true here. There is always such a feeling of not belonging, of being out of place that never really goes away even if you do connect deeply with your community. Africa made Seth most aware of that sense, that community and friendships here are only a metaphor, not a replacement, for God. We’ll be home one day with our true commUNITY.
      Until then, there is still a pang.
      We have struggled so hard and we will again, slowly learning that the purpose is to know God in everything. Honestly I would never have chosen the ways He’s chosen to teach me. It can be so hard.

      Michelle, you don’t have to pretend. I know you know that. There are people that need to share their junk with you, and you’re just the person to enter into community with them. I’m praying and will continue to pray that God leads you to the wounded, that you’ll be the friend that is Jesus to the needy. Your brokenness is exactly what the word needs to see. I know because I’ve seen you and heard your heart.

      • Thank you for your words and prayers.

        I wear my heart on my sleeve, it’s a love/hate relationship. 🙂 And am most comfortable with the broken-needy-messy beautiful souls. This song sums it up-http://youtu.be/1T7i-f2m57k

        When it all boils down….Jesus thinks I’m cool. 🙂

  8. love this – especially the lice fighting super hero 🙂 I live in the beautiful chaos of 4 kids too. Isn’t it funny how sometimes the ministry is in the distractions? How blessed you are to have such friendships.

  9. beyonce took an entire year off from her music career – no writing, no public performances, no interviews – just to travel and enjoy marriage. when she came back to work, she hit it with a vengeance. and her new record makes her previous record sound like kazoo jingles.

    i think your tiny sabbatical and your intentional sponging of life and boys and home added to that leap in voice i mentioned yesterday. i’m gonna collect some evidence from your writings and show you what i mean. also, i’ve never had lice.

  10. Well, I can’t wait to hear what you have to say, and I can’t express to you how much I wish I were Beyonce. AND can you imagine lice? In that beard? That is such a wrong thought.

  11. So beautiful Amber. I too missed your writing this summer, but I understood completely, being momma myself to two boys and two girls. I meant to leave you a note yesterday that the writing since your break has felt like big beautiful bubbles glinting in the sunshine. There is such air and space in your images, and it is such a great reminder to take breaks. Thank you for this!

  12. You’re an inspiration to me…a reminder to take it slow and taste life. I always struggle with wanting to do it all and do it all right now. People say this life with littles passes by all too quickly, but sometimes the days feel just. so. slow. And I wonder when there’ll be time for sleep, for writing, for finishing a project…

    I needed to hear this. Every so often I’m tempted to cut the online ties…maybe one day I will.

  13. Wow. That just made me all gushy! I have so glad you experienced real life, gave birth to a new life and have a brand new online writing life that I get to experience. Simply beautiful. Thank you for your obedience to your season.

  14. Amber this is one of my favorite posts I have EVER read. Ever, really. I laughed outloud at the same time as tears welled up in my eyes-thanks for that. Bless you and all your boys,an adventure I know nothing about in my house full of daughters! Thanks for the glimpse into the other side of the fence!
    xo,
    Sherri Ohler

  15. Oh my stars, I love this, Amber. You stress the importance of relaxing and embracing {short or long} seasons where creativity through one mode must take a back seat so another kind of creativity has room to flourish. L*O*V*E.

    And also? My {then} public-school-teaching-self came down with lice while 37 weeks pregnant with my twin sons! Oh, the horror! At least, I thought so at the time. Man, I’m itchin’ and scratchin’ now just thinkin’ about it!

    I adore you, Amber. Have a wonderful weekend.