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. I love number 8 & 9: ‘I like your kind of pretty the most’ and ‘don’t make excuses for the good work God has done in you.’ We all need to believe this for ourselves and our friends. I think this week I’m gonna work on liking my own kind of pretty, this can be particularly hard at the moment with my post pregnancy body, especially next to my super gorgeous, slim friends! But, you know what, I’m still pretty, I’m now just kind of mommy-pretty and I need to embrace it.

  2. Amber,
    Thank you for a beautiful, get to the heart of it post! I can work on loving the times that I fail because they make me realize, more fully, how much I need to rely on God (apart from Him I can do nothing). As I get older (post 50) I am becoming more and more comfortable in my skin (#8). Thanks for the smile 🙂
    Blessings,
    Bev

  3. YES….to digging deep in to the pasta and cream sauce and eating a whole cookie? maybe go for broke and eat 2? 🙂

    I do believe “age” helps with the list….at least it is so in my life. I am realizing that life is too short to worry about the little things. I want eternity to be my lens. Colossians 3:1-4

  4. I really appreciate this. Though I struggle with most of this. I struggle with people as much as I struggle with me. The walls are tall and as long as it took to get them that high – it’s taking even longer to lower them. Someday I hope to have my own version of the (in)courage group.
    Thank you for sharing

    • Thanks for being so honest Tracy. I needed this post as well as to know that there are others trying to dismantle the walls and build bridges.

      • Tracy & Jayme, right there with you sisters! Friendship, truly trusting and loving people, has been a struggle for me for as long as I can remember. Perhaps it is because I have had trouble truly loving myself. I too dream of having a group of friends like the (in)courage group! God bless us all!

        • Tracy, Jayme, and Amber,

          That is exactly why I wrote this post. I’m 34, and being around my girlfriends last weekend was just so eye opening. It’s so much easier to trust women who have come to be okay with themselves. All my girlfriends are working hard to better themselves, but at the same time, the grace they had for themselves really bled into how they treated me.

          It was just so cool.

  5. I am walking into a new/but very much not place today, and I needed to hear these. I am taking away from this. I am to be myself today. Thank You for sharing!

  6. As I began to slip into a train of negative thoughts about myself this morning, I made myself stop and remember so many things that I have to be thankful for and started counting my blessings and soon I was smiling and feeling my heart lift out of those negative thoughts. I think that would count as a way I take care of myself or love myself better.

  7. That whole bit about feeling more confident after you’ve been around those girlfriends . . .I feel that way when I get to hang out in person with my online friends I talk to daily. Most of which I’ve met through blogging. I’m so thankful for them and for the way they instill courage in me to love myself. So glad you had that weekend. And I get to meet the beautiful Kelly Sauer who took that photo on your blog on Monday. So excited!

  8. What a wonderful insight. As I anticipate a weekend retreat with some of my most favorite women, I thank you for reminders that focus on openess and honesty. I, too, struggle with trust and I pray that in my determination to create opportunities for all of us to draw closer, that I will keep these in mind. I particularly appreciate “just say THANK YOU” and the reminder to REST.
    That’s what a retreat is…withdrawal from the everyday hassle and hussle. Let us all find rest in some big or small way, so that we can release the crazy and make room for Peace.

  9. Beautiful post, Amber

    As I get older, (post 50) I’m getting better at this. I don’t know why I judge my own looks so harshly when I would never do that to another human being! It’s so nice to know Gd sees all of us through a different lens.

  10. “I like your kind of pretty the most.” I’m learning this in friendship, and it is a very good thing. And also, no one ever has to ask me to “eat the whole cookie” twice:)

  11. The tears started rolling silently down my cheeks by the time I hit #3 and are continuing as I type. Thank you for this. And for the shining hope into places of brokenness and grieving the losses of unraveled friendships. Hope for new friendships. Hope that floats in my heart and can help me with #10.

    Really, thank you.

  12. Love this! I finally learned to love the skin I’m in! After seeing little brown spots appearing. No more tans for this girl. I’m fair-skinned, and I love it! Maybe I will have a few less brown spots appear over time now. Thanks, sweet girl!

  13. I can love myself better by embracing my tears and emotions, instead of trying to stuff and hide them from me and everyone else. I love real, genuine, emotionally rich girlfriends – so I need to be real too. It’s how people relate to me…by seeing into my heart.

    • Jen, I’ve been traveling so I haven’t been able to comment until now, but when I read this I shook my head YES! I am done with apologizing for being tender hearted, you know? It helps me to focus more on loving others when I ‘m not so consumed with how others see me and my teariness. The real me is a weepy me. And also the real me is terribly goofy. Funny and teary, I am.

  14. To me this lovely photo tells a wonderful story – I’m thankful for that.
    It’s true that we can only be good for others if we’re good to (& with) ourselves…. I learned that a long time ago and I’m feeling so much better since – and it’s also true that not everybody can appreciate this point.
    I wish you luck with the ‘making work it’ of your project. You’ll find that you have more strength when you eat the whole cookie 🙂
    Big hugs to all of you shining, happy women
    Kiki xoxoxoxo

    • I have to say that not eating 6 cookies is what I actually need to be working on to love myself better, but you know, I had to give a shout out to those who aren’t like me. 🙂

      Thanks for coming here, Kiki!

  15. I love this post too. I have started feeling better about myself with age as well….but still working on my “inner-self”. I do wish I had the blessing of having such women in my life. I don’t know if it is from moving or the jobs I have held but having girlfriends in my life is not something I have enjoyed much of. Having retired over the past few year that is increasing though and I am truly treasuring each moment I can.

    Thanks for the post!

  16. I learned one just yesterday. I got tired and cranky online and made a comment to someone. It was not mean or nasty but it was not me and I was afraid I may have hurt her feelings. So I went back and sent her a message to say I was sorry. Privately. Then I thought oh sure HIDE. So I went back to the group and apologized where everyone could see it. I let them know that I was wrong and sorry. It was hard to do but boy I felt better. 🙂
    Love the post honey!
    Love, Patty

  17. Amber,

    You hit the nail on the head with this post! It is often times hard for women to love themselves. I find it hard at times to look in a mirror and appreciate what is there. I see a plain-Jane looking person with nothing special. Let one person compliment me and I’m in Heaven.

    We, as women, need to appreciate what God has given us. He made us all beautifully in His image and we should cherish that thought!

  18. It just struck me (for the first time??) that sometimes we treat friends the way we treat our husbands–with an expectation they can read our minds or at least intuitively know how/why we’re hurting; or how/why they hurt us.

    “Do something to shake me….”

    Yes, I’m sure that’s a new thought. I suppose it shouldn’t be, but it is.

    xo