Amy Hughes (Ann Arbor, Michigan)

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"Sometimes I try to create peace in my life from the outside in. Like, I know things are chaotic and I can’t see them changing anytime soon with young kids, so I cling to a silly hope that a clean house, or a good photo on Instagram, or a cute outfit on my daughter will trick myself, and others into thinking I have it all together as a mom.

It’s not that there’s anything inherently wrong with those things, but they’re empty in terms of bringing about peace. I’m learning that peace has to come from the inside out. From time with God. Being present with my family. Being real with my friends and admitting that I don’t have it all together.

I read something that struck me in a devotional the other day: ‘There was a danger of pride everywhere and no escaping it. And in [this area] I thought I could do the most good. So, that is where the fight and the monster would happen’ (John Piper). I am a lover of beauty and I do find so much joy in making order out of chaos, or taking photos, or writing something meaningful. I want to use it for good, but it doesn’t always turn out that way. So this, for me, is where the fight and the monster will happen. Maybe right now this is the arena where I do battle with myself and wrestle to see the beauty in my everyday life without leaning on that to be my source of peace.

I guess I just want you to know that it is a fight. And that I am so thankful for each friend and sister who calls me out and calls me back to the ‘life that is truly life’."

-Amy Hughes (Ann Arbor, MI)

"Command those who are blessed in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in that which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God… so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.” (1 Tim 6:17, 19)