Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Real Life Stories: Amanda of Mommies Quiet Place

I live in each moment and try
my best to experience
joy in the small things.

TJB: Amanda, thanks for being willing to share your story. Let's jump right in. What does having joy mean to you?

Amanda: Having joy means that not everything has to be going perfect but to find comfort during the moment of struggles.

TJB: So, then, what things actually bring you joy?

Amanda: My faith and friends.

TJB: Tell us about a time or event in your life where you dealt with a mountain that seemed impossible to climb?

Amanda: When our family became homeless, I felt so powerless and hopeless we were living in a camper in a friend’s back yard. That was the hardest year of our lives. I also have multiple medical health issues and so does my daughter. A lot was on my and my hubby's plate. His three kids who would visit us and we had to make the most of our times together, stay strong and keep pushing forward. I have multiple health issues I am also raising a special needs seven year old with multiple health issues.

TJB: That sounds really rough, and like it would be more than stressful to deal with. How did you make it through? 

Amanda: Our faith in God and our friends who we could count on. I also took a lot of photos during that time to document our journey. 

TJB: Did you choose happiness as a way through it?

Amanda: There were moments of happiness but I did not choose happiness all the time. During the time we struggled, many times I wanted to give up. The programs that were suppose to be there-- shelters, section 8, cash assistance-- we didn’t qualify for many of them. Shelters were full, section 8 waiting list was a mile long, cash assistance was a joke. We got food stamps and ssi but had struggled finding a place that would rent to us with our low income. My husband needed to find work, we were homeless because he lost his job.

TJB: What things did you do to bring happiness into your challenges?

Amanda: We did things together that did not cost much. We pulled together and kept going. As long as we were all able to keep pushing forward, I knew we would be ok. I kept focus on the bigger picture, the larger goal, while achieving many small daily goals.

TJB: What did you learn from that experience?

Amanda: I learned not to take things for granted. House, car, you name it, was all gone.  Just clothes on our back and an unreliable van and had to have trust and faith in others. That was very hard for me to learn. We relied on our church members because family was not going to help us. We had to get on our own feet. I had to learn who to trust, who was there for support and who just wanted to gossip.

TJB: How do you choose joy now?

Amanda: Now, I live in each moment and try my best to experience joy in the small things like when my hubby brings home a coffee or chocolate. Many of those I used to just shrug as no big deal but even little lunch dates at coffee shops seem to be more enjoyable. Not many couples can stick together during hard moments like that and we did because the love for one another and our faith kept us strong.

TJB: Thanks so much for sharing that story. That seems like a huge mountain to overcome. I'm really impressed by your determination to stick it out and overcome it. To see more from Amanda, check her out at any of the following places:

Helpful links that Amanda gave me for people struggling with similar situations in her area:
Christian Neighbors
St. Vincent de Paul Ministry

++ If you have any questions or comments for Amanda or me, please share them below.

Join the conversation!

  1. What a great and inspiring story! Thanks for sharing :)

  2. The rough times really show you what you're made of and provide an amazing platform to grow from!

  3. Thank you so much, It has been a huge pleasure working and connecting with you. All the best.

  4. I love that you took photos to document your time. So often we take pictures of the staged, happy moments. I think it's really interesting that you deliberately photographed your family's "mountain". Also really touched by your last comment of a greater appreciation for little things now. Thanks for sharing :) Wishing you and your family all the best!


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