Amber C Haines
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...

(in)side DaySpring: things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
(in)side DaySpring:
things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
Recent Posts

Reader Interactions


  1. Beginners Mind! Really wonderful post. I just finished listening to a podcast from Rolph Potts. He speaks about how travel enables us to be kids again. To put on the “white belt”.

    There’s such power in starting fresh and new. Learning slowly each step of the process.

    I tried yoga with my sister a few months ago. It was a white belt moment for me. I tumbled and stretched and winced. But there was a freedom in not having high expectations.

    And what a wonderful example for your son! Great stuff.

  2. Amber,
    Thank you for an upbeat reminder that we are never too old to learn new tricks 🙂 There is beauty in starting in the beginning of something new and moving through the slow process to maturity. Our faith is like that and I am always reminded that in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven we must become like little children. We must be willing to be led and shepherded. My daughter teaches yoga in addition to middle school dance. I’ve tried learning the moves…and for this 50+ something gal…it isn’t pretty lol but it’s always fun to start at the beginning 🙂

  3. LOVED THIS, Amber. Several good lessons here for all of us. It also brought to mind Paul’s words, “”I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” 1 Corinthians 9:27 (ESV) Well done!

  4. Amber, Thank for your timely message. For me it was a reminder of how important disciplines of all kinds are and how gracious God is when we get to start over and relearn again life lessons we took for granted through laziness or neglect. It’s humbling when we fall, but your analogy of the white belt gives me hope to keep on. I’m still in the game but just at the back of the class. My focus is on “The Master”, Jesus Christ. Today I’m looking for my white belt.

    • CjW, I love this comment. Thank you. I think we’re in a sweet spot, because humility is undeniable. What do we have to offer as we are just in the beginning? We have nothing to offer except what He gives us. We can easily know our position. This is the position I feel the most loved, too. Right now I feel like a beloved child, and I think that’s how my boys feel, too.

  5. This was awesome…! …and I have to confess that I hate being told what to do too…! Beautiful beautiful take on this. Thanks Amber! Have a fabulous Friday! ♥

  6. What a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing! Perhaps me and daughter will step out in faith and take a class together. She has always been interested in doing something like this! 🙂

    • Shari, even if it’s not karate, I think you should do it! I have another child who is not so interested in karate, and my eyes are peeled for something we can enjoy together. It really has added joy to our home.

  7. In all due respect to you as a sister in Christ, I must disagree for a number of reasons. But the one that to me was the most serious was this: Your young son had a conviction about something that to him, was wrong. God’s Word tells us that “If you do anything you believe is not right, you are sinning.” (Rom 14:23 NLT) Then he was “convinced” that HE was wrong in the conviction.

    If the research is done on the origins, roots, and spiritual powers involved with martial arts, there can be little reconciliation with the whole of God’s Word and His principles for life and godliness. The results of being involved in many eastern practices with their anti-God of the Bible underpinnings is not usually immediate or obvious, but rather subtle. However, eventually there is a dear cost.

    I could go into much more detail but will let each person choose to seek the Lord and do the research if they so desire…I am probably going to be in the minority with the above information, but as James 4:17 states: “it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.” I was compelled to write.

    Blessings and love in the Lord Jesus to all

    • Thank you for your response, Deeb. I know my son. He is learning the beauty of authority by way of love, and he also aims to be in the military as an adult. His conviction is not actually as he was saying. I know my shepherd, and I know His voice. I am not afraid. I have much more to say on this as well, but this is merely a post and not the whole of my parenting philosophy or the proper relational ground for such accusations.

      By all means, if any reader here is convicted to not eat meat sacrificed to idols, please do not do that. For me, it’s just meat. I hope I haven’t caused anyone to stumble. Go as the LORD leads, sister. Trust that His word is active in my life.

  8. I just love this! I don’t have boys, only girls, but I’m always seeking activities that we can do together. I think it does something powerful in their spirits to realize that their all-knowing (at least to them) Mom does not, in fact, know how to do everything. It gives me a chance to model what it looks like to take instruction. (And I really don’t like being told what to do, either)

  9. Thank you for this. I am SO not good at slow! I’m making an effort to live more intentionally, though. Sometimes I get it right, sometimes I, well, don’t. Thank goodness for each day being new. And I love that you got out and took karate with your boys. Go, mom!

  10. Oh Amber. I love this so much. So much to say, but really Just one question. Could I come do karate with you? 🙂

  11. Amber! Gah! I love this so much!!!! It’s absolutely beautiful!

    I am patient but, there are times when I want that microwave process. Jesus never lets me have that. I, too, am learning to love the slow process. I think those are the heart changes that last. I am so excited about this journey! Looking forward to hearing all of the God stories.

    I love your heart sister! Btw, I miss you!!!

  12. Dear Amber,
    This was my all time favourite post of yours. You had me in stitches. So many wonderful expressions, but most of all, I love how you are mommy to your boys. Fine indeed!
    Wishing you (and all readers) a great weekend,

  13. Your writing is so rich and layered, that I had to come back and read it a second time tonight. I love the way you love. Thanks for taking us along for the ride.

    Hi-YAH! <—- #karatesoundeffect

  14. Yup, love me some Amber words. Also, I read the whole thing in your voice now so it adds a layer to the whole experience. I know the word is active in your life, I hear it in the way you stand tall and also in the way you bend low. Keep preaching.

  15. Love this post. So beautiful the way you interacted with your boys…and I love the lessons God taught you in the ordinary things. That’s how He teaches me.

    Thank you so much for sharing this today.

  16. OK that one made me cry. Really good tears. Amen. It made me love our shephard more and it made me love my babies more. And maybe the lady in white too 😉

  17. There is such freedom in being humble enough to be transparent about our lives! Jesus is our great teacher, brother and friend! He took on skin and became a human with all our limitations and foibles, so He could be our High Priest! Loved your analogy! Keep up the good work!

  18. Amber,

    I want microwave responses to prayer and most everything in life. God doesn’t work that way! He gives us the slow process. He wants us to understand the reasons and lean more into Him during our trials!

    BTW: I just loved the story! Love your writing too!!

    Blessings 🙂

  19. What a wonderful instructor you have, to take the time to talk with your son, and not be angry with him but travel with him, and you, on your family’s journey.

  20. Excellent story! Our eldest (classically autistic) was the first to sign up for Taekwondo. Then his younger sister (mild ASD) then her twin brother (asperger’s and severe ADHD). Finally me – battling MS and having lost a fair bit of lower body sensation and some mobility. Five years later – eldest is 3rd Degree Black Belt, the rest of us are 2nd Degree. Life changing! We’re a very conventional, homeschooling, Christian family. We do get a few ‘what about the violence?’ questions friends. Your story explains it perfectly. Thank you.