Amanda considers her roles as disciple, love.story.teller, wife of a Fire Captain, and mother of two girls as the greatest privileges of her life. She lives outside the limits of a small Texas town and loves the heat of summer, Texas country music, southern hospitality, and tex-mex. Best described as an extroverted introvert, she had to learn to wear God’s armor over the heart on her sleeve.
Top five favorite books:
- Jane Eyre, The Glass Castle, The Hiding Place, The Nightingale, 1776
Top five favorite movies:
- Tombstone, Braveheart, Castaway, Something’s Gotta Give, Little Women
Top five favorite cities to visit:
- New York City, San Diego, Boston, Seaside, San Antonio
Amanda’s greatest passion is to turn the gap between the churched and unchurched into an overlap through open, loving conversation.
A little bit about how she ended up here…
The first time I found myself in ministry, I attended ReEngage to fight for our marriage as my husband and I both had failed marriages in our past. I fully intended to take advantage of free childcare and what I considered free marriage counseling while I sifted out the Jesus-stuff. Scripture did not pertain to me. And yet, God changed my life through the faithful people who showed up every week to teach us the gospel. He not only resurrected our marriage, but He also saved me, brought Phil back to the faith, and completely transformed the heart of our home and family.
As soon as I gave my life to Christ (though I didn’t know what it was called when I threw my hands up and told God to take over), I felt an urge to write children’s books. My girl were both preschool aged, I had given up my former career as a model/actress, and had no personal goals for myself. But this deep passion for stories, art, and children’s literacy seemed to fire up out of nowhere and could not stay quiet. Looking back, I clearly saw my affinity for teaching, writing, and storytelling as a child but I never noticed the flame in me long enough to stoke it.
In 2012, I started a blog and wrote children’s picture book reviews, trying to find an audience of my own, but only my mom, two friends, and a few hecklers read it. One night, I took a risk and wrote about what God had been doing in my marriage. That one post went from the usual 50 views to over 70,000 in a week.
Stunned and scared to death that God might want me to do the hard stuff- to write about the real and raw parts of our life that He continuously rearranged and resurrected instead of picture book reviews- I started to explore how to become a writer and wondered if I was cut out for it.
I slowly grew in my writing and overcame a fear of lack because I did not complete college. By attending conferences, workshops, and retreats, I found my voice and worked on my craft. And after laying the foundation of my faith while spending four years serving married couples in ReEngage, and maturing my faith within the Bible Study Fellowship community, my home church hired me to write stories of transformation and inspiration. Soon after, my husband and I started a Life Group with close friends of ours.
My job as a storyteller at church led to another opportunity to write stories, devotionals, social media content, and Bible study intro/back copy for an incredible ministry dedicated to Bible translation, Love God Greatly. Three months after I transitioned into my new job, I also accepted a volunteer position as the Event, Production, and Volunteer Coordinator of our women’s ministry events. In the three years I led there, we hosted thousands of women for quarterly evenings of dinner, fellowship, prayer, worship, and powerful teachings. And our 100% volunteer team served over 1,500 women in our community at the annual Unveiled Swap.
Phil and I are still honored to give our marriage testimony when asked, but we simplified our ministry commitments and took a sabbatical this January in order to reset and prepare for the Love Letters Podcast that launched June 1st. We pray it serves you well!