Friday, December 09, 2016

Friday Fellowship - Amanda Jones

Today my guest is a sweet friend I met through blogging many years ago! Amanda Jones is a pastor's wive, a mom of three, a tea enthusiast, a church planter, an Aggie, and so much more.  Her mom is someone you may have possibly heard of ......Beth Moore.  I think I found her blog, Baby Bangs, almost 10 years ago through her mom some how and I stuck around because she was just a kind, normal mom of one sweet little baby boy.  I liked reading about her life and her circle of friends.  Some where along the way, we started talking back and forth and then her daughter Annabeth was born about a month after Harper.  

We met in person when I was pregnant with Hollis.  And then we have had several other times since that we have gotten to be together but one of the best was when we travelled to Ecuador together with Compassion.  

We were roommates on that trip and we also showed up with matching bug repellent Jungle clothes! 

I will probably never get over the fact that I got to ride on a boat down the Amazon river and spend time in Ecuador with Amanda (and Boo Mama, Big Mama and Ann Voskamp!) 

Amanda and her husband planted a church five years ago in Houston called Bayou City Fellowship and it has flourished under their leadership! Amanda is one of the kindest people I have ever met and such a loyal friend.  She is a fierce protector of justice and has such a compassion for all people.  

Amanda went through a hard season of several failed adoptions and one year ago was blessed with her third baby - sweet Willa Rose.  And we have joked that we may arrange a marriage between Willa Rose and Will Holden.  It would be perfect! 

I know you will love hearing from Amanda!!! 

(I should add that she sent me this interview a couple of months ago and I'm just now getting to share it! )

1.  What is your favorite Food?
The only food on the earth I love more than breakfast tacos is my mom's chicken and dumplings. 

2.  What is your very favorite piece of clothing right now? (FASHION)
Today is supposedly the first day of fall but it’s still hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk. So the thing I’m really dreaming about wearing is my tall brown boots. I hope my husband doesn’t find me sitting on the couch and petting them like a cat. I’m almost to that point. 

3.  Tell us about your Family?
I've been married to Curtis Jones for 14 years. I fell in love with him because he was funny, he loved Jesus, and he reminded me of Val Kilmer in The Saint. We have a son named Jackson who is in fifth grade, a daughter named Annabeth who is in second grade, and a baby girl named Willa who will be one year old in October. I am very close with my parents and younger sister, Melissa. We are spread out across the Greater Houston area and love getting together at Mom’s house once or twice a week. 

4.  Tell us something that a Friend has done for you that you can't forget.  

A bunch of our friends helped us plant a church here in Houston. They believed with us, prayed with us, worked incredibly hard, and opened their arms to the people of our city. We will never be able to thank them enough for taking that journey with us. Our church just had its fifth birthday and I have been thinking a lot about those amazing friends. 

5.  What's something you have learned recently in your Faith journey?  And/or share your favorite scripture right now and why or your favorite Bible Study or book you have read recently.  

School is back in session and I have been thankful for that fresh start. I didn't thrive spiritually during the summer because I wasn't consistent about getting up before my kids and reading my Bible. I’m two weeks in to my mom's brand new Bible study. It's called Entrusted and it's a study of 2 Timothy. I think it's going to be really encouraging to me as a pastor's wife and I am excited to learn more.

6.  What is your biggest Fear?

Oh man, I battle so many fears. The one I’ve had the longest is the fear of tornados. When the sky gets that weird look I get a horrible stomach ache and I start looking for a shelter. Well, that’s not true because I probably identified the ideal hiding spot before the storm even formed. (We don’t have basements here because of the soil composition.) If I’m outside and it starts getting dark and windy, my fight or flight instinct kicks in and I RUN. If you’re with me and you don’t keep up, I will leave your butt behind!  

7.  What are some of your Favorite things right now?

-There’s an app called Chatbooks that automatically sends me picture books of my Instagrams every time I have 60 new photos. This has erased all the guilt I’ve felt for not printing my pictures. They are $8 per book. 

-My baby girl has an amazing sleep sound machine called the Dohm by Marpac. I loved hers so much that I bought one for my room, too. It makes the best noise and it doesn’t rattle like fans do over time. 

-I have a hideous, yellow, rubbery, hooded rain coat that my husband bought me at a hardware store 10 years ago. I call it my shrimping jacket. It’s seriously what fishermen on boats wear. We’ve had a really rainy year in Houston and I’ve worn it more times than I can count. My hair takes forever to do, so it’s worth it to me to look ridiculous in that yellow jacket if my hair can stay totally dry. 

8.  What has been your biggest Failure?

How about my most recent big failure? I had wanted to be the perfect pastor’s wife but I managed to fail on the first day when my imperfect self walked through the front doors of the church.

Hebrews 12:14-15 says, “Make every effort to live in peace with 
everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” 

We have had some exquisitely painful and complicated situations in our ministry that I didn’t handle with grace. I became angry, held a grudge, and was increasingly offended by anything and everything. My heart was ugly and hard. 

I regret that I allowed a very bitter root to grow in my soul. It did cause trouble with some of my brothers and sisters at church. I was very humbled and sad when God showed me my sin. The only silver lining is that I got a fresh realization of His forgiveness and mercy. For that I am thankful. 

9.  What do you do for Fun?

I love to see a good movie with my husband. I love to go shopping with my mom and my sister. I love to sit on my parents’ back porch with my family all in a line of rocking chairs. I love to take my son on a date to eat shrimp. I love to watch Annabeth dance. I love to see my big kids play with the baby.

10.  Tell me about what animals you have? (Furry things)

We have a golden retriever named Sailor. Willa likes to bang her high chair tray so that her food bounces off and makes the dog come running. 

11.  What is your favorite FILM? (movie) 

My favorite film I’ve seen recently is called Florence Foster Jenkins. Meryl Streep plays a New York City socialite who donated a ton of money to the arts. She loved singing and performed often but didn’t know she was a terrible singer. This movie was totally unique, hilarious and heartwarming. It was also based on a true story. 

12.  What is one Fact we might not know about you?

True confession: I’m a dance mom. Eeeeeeek! Did that make you think of the dance moms on TV who get in cat fights and act like two-year-olds? No! Nightmare!  Maybe it’s better to say dance mother. No, that sounds weird. Let’s not call it anything. 

My husband and I were both athletes, so we were watching for Annabeth to pick up a basketball or a volleyball. But she loved to dance from the time she could walk and was always performing for us. We found a wonderful studio near our house that has a very positive atmosphere. The director cares about the age-appropriateness of the music and costumes, which is really important to me. We have found a neat village of girls and moms that we both love. Several of the families come to our church now, which is really fun. However, I still have no idea what any of the dance steps are called. Annabeth said something about a buffalo the other day and I was just at a loss for words. 

Thank you Amanda for sharing with us! I feel so fortunate to call you friend!

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