Category Archives: Sunday Meditations

A Blog Writer’s Mid-Life Crisis…and finding a way through

A month ago I was ready to throw in the towel. Maybe it was time to quit the blog life. What do I have left to write about anyway? Posting the smallest detail about the kids is like trying to gain clearance for a special ops mission (mom, stop blogging about my underwear). And if I don’t have underwear, tell me – WHAT DO I HAVE?

Fine. I guess I see their point.

In addition, I’ve been so bummed out about the world of late that life was just too depressing to write about.

The books I’ve read this month are too sad.

Two years ago today I was on a cruise ship in the Bahamas.

This year? No cruise ship. A poor state of mind.

Do you feel this way in March?

Also, I’m thinking about my web presence. I’m having a book published. JUNE 12TH!!! You can pre-order now 🙂 Am I now supposed to have a more serious presence? An official amymakechnie website? Who cares about my cream puffs? sniff.

I fell into the trap, an all-too familiar trap for me, in the form of you have nothing worthwhile to say in your little blog. 

Post ideas would come. I didn’t write them down. The longer I went without writing, the more paralyzed I felt (get a grip, Amy, it’s only been a month.) Still.

I hadn’t given up writing altogether. No, I’ve been poring that creative energy into my latest novel. It’s been a bit torturous, probably my hardest project to date; very emotional (more to come on that…!)

Well. I guess you could say I was looking for a sign. And don’t I know it: we see the things we are looking for. I was looking for a reason.

Today a woman, Marci, whom I admire immensely, showed a class full of women a picture from a post I wrote last summer. I posted a picture of a dead butterfly that I thought was beautiful, even though the butterfly had recently met its demise. I wrote: I found this butterfly today. It was dead but looked ready to launch…there’s a lesson in there somewhere…

Really, I was thinking about the next spiritual journey of this butterfly’s soul. But Marci saw it in a different way. She said that this picture and my caption – I kid you not! – changed her life. She spoke about the girls that we teach. We might think they have it all together, like this shiny, beautiful, colorful butterfly. But inside they might be hurting or even feel dead. She said our girls need us to really know them, to watch for them, to lift them up. They need us to love them, to help them launch.

I sat there thinking, this is my sign. there is more to write. 

Two lessons for me: when the universe calls on us to act (“the universe,” “the muse,” our “conscience,” “God” – call it what you might) we should act. My medium is writing. I feel compelled to do so. What you feel called to do, you should – that is your great gift to the world in whatever big or small sphere you operate in.

The other lesson is this: when we are moved by another, we should acknowledge the art or action and what it means to us. So, thank you, Marci and Danielle(!) for telling me that the picture I took of a dead butterfly with a caption meant something to you. That means something to me.

And so I had to write.

The End.

Happy Monday to you!


Sunday Meditations: we were moving mountains…

Originally sung by Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston, I’m partial to this version.

My favorite line:

We were moving mountains
Long before we knew we could

Bias might also be the fact that Cope is singing. You can find her around 2:45 and 2:54 and 3:01 and 3:04 (I may have watched this a few times) on the far right with the black and grey striped shirt.

You know, just singing about miracles on the Salt Lake flats.

How about those beatboxers? Sweeeet.

Enjoy 🙂


On a Monday. Want to be happier? Try this!

In college, my five roommates and I called ourselves, “The Snapper Squad.” (Yes, we were very cheesy…but don’t ya just love cheese?)

On our Snapper Squad wall we covered it with reams of paper. Across the top we wrote “The Snapper Squad’s Happy List” (or something like that. Gretchen Rubin, eat your heart out 🙂 I should have written THAT happiness book!)

Anyway, the whole wall was covered with lists of what made us happy. Just writing the list made us happy. And every girl, boy, and RA who wandered into our apartment had a comment about our wall. It was a huge conversation starter, and every time I passed in and out of our apartment, I would glance at it…and college Amy was happy (in-between all the boy drama.)

I didn’t know it then, but years later, science would back up the Snapper Squad’s happiness experiment.

Being grateful and expressing gratitude makes us happier.

My niece, Hailey, and I taught a lesson to our young women at church on Sunday. The topic was “Why is it important to be grateful?” Isn’t it interesting that God has often commanded us to be happy? (Think of the parable of the lepers…)

Doctrine & Covenants 59:21 And in nothing doth man aoffend God, or against none is his bwrath ckindled, save those who dconfess not his hand in all things, and eobey not his commandments.

Sometimes, when we feel our lives are a train wreck we don’t feel we have much to be grateful for.

But remember Job? Even after he lost everything, he said: “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return…the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”

I think God wants us to be happy. And if that’s true, than perhaps we shouldn’t think of commandments as restrictions, rather, as opportunities for greater happiness.

Even if you don’t care a lick about what scriptures say about gratitude, let us go back to science. Science says we are happier when we are grateful. Try it.

Hailey showed this video:

For a phenomenal talk from one of my spiritual heroes, listen to this one.Wow.

Tonight, with a nod to the Snapper Squad, the #makechniemafia hung a long piece of paper on the wall so we can have our own happy list.

“We sometimes think that being grateful is what we do after our problems are solved, but how terribly shortsighted that is. How much of life do we miss by waiting to see the rainbow before thanking God that there is rain?”

-Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Happy Monday. Hope you’re feeling grateful because then I bet you’re feeling happy 🙂



Weekly Encouragement: There Will Be an Answer, Let it Be

“Paul McCartney’s mother was a profound and calming influence in his life.

She passed away when he was only 14 years old.

Years later, in one of his darkest hours, she appeared to him in a dream. Offering wisdom only a mother could give, she said, ‘Paul…let it be.'”

And Paul wrote that famous song.

In the past few weeks I’ve repeated these words to myself, countless times. When we just don’t have the answers, it’s good to remember that someday…There Will Be an Answer, Let it Be.

And I love this Beatles cover by Gentri.

Happy Monday!


Sunday Meditations: Why I Love Mary


Mary was named National Geographic’s Most Powerful Woman of 2015, and while I don’t “worship” her the way some religions do, I revere her. I always imagine the type of young girl she must have been, to be chosen to raise the most extraordinary man and influence the world has ever known.

Sometimes I feel very inconsequential, like I’m never doing enough, that I’m not “living up to my potential,” the message “CHANGE THE WORLD OR YOU’RE NOTHING” constantly being thrust at us. It’s exhausting.

During the bustle and hustle of Christmas time, I’m so happy to pause and think of Mary. Quiet and serene, holding a small baby wrapped in swaddling clothes, in a dirty barn in a field under the stars. Or maybe she was loud and boisterous and had a wicked sense of humor. I don’t know. But she’s sitting in the barn wrapped in pure love with some cows, her Joseph, and their beloved baby. She’s thinking nothing of social media likes or platform or being important. She’s just loving her baby. This scene is pure peace. I want to sit under the stars with her and just hold my babies, hearing nothing but the cattle lowing…

A few years ago I realized that the greatest thing I would probably ever do in this life was raise good children. What a wonderful way to change the world.


Sunday Meditations: Lift

What if your neighbor asked you to take twenty minutes one night to help him? Would you?

But what if he asked you every night following? With no end in sight?

Would you be willing to do it?

“The more we serve our fellow men in appropriate ways, the more substance there is to our souls. We become more substantive as we serve others. Indeed, its easier to find ourselves because there’s so much more of us to find.”

-D. Todd Christofferson



Sunday Meditations: of small miracles atop wood chips

Last tuesday, Paige came to me with her sad “I’m in the dentist chair” face. It looks like this:


She wasn’t actually at the dentist. She was sad because she had lost my fitness watch, specifically, the small seaglass disc to this cool new fitness & sleep contraption I loaned to her, called the misfit shine.

“I was at recess and I looked down and it was gone!”

Brynne was behind her, pushing her to confess.

“I said so many prayers in the bathroom that I would find it!” Paige wailed. She shook her head sadly.

“Are you mad?” Brynne pressed.

They were both so earnest I couldn’t be mad…but was a little “dentist chair expression” myself.

Four days passed without the disc being found. It was a goner.

Yesterday was cold and raining buckets. Paige and I stood in the rain for hours watching Brynne’s soccer tournament. Famished, freezing, and tired, we took a break and trudged up to Jake’s, the only gas station in town to see what kind of warm snack we could scrounge up enough pennies for.

I sprung for the hot chocolate with milk and once again we trudged back to the field, our faces down as we watched our step, umbrellas over our head.

We decided to take a short-cut to the field, crossing the playground covered with wood chips. Instead of walking around the playground like usually do, we hopped over over a small wooden fence, across the basketball court, and past the swings.

Walking, walking, rain pouring, sipping hot chocolate, walking.

When all of a sudden, there, right in front of my red rain boots was a small seaglass disc.

It sat atop the wood chips right in front of the swings on the playground where Paige had lost it four days ago.

Four days ago, where it was kicked around by hundreds and hundreds of children. Four days ago where not one school child saw a small seaglass disc on the ground and said, “what the heck is this? I think I’ll chuck it in the woods…or put it in my pocket…or put it in the trash…or give it to a teacher.” No, none of those things happened.

I gasped when I saw it and literally stopped in my tracks. Of all the paths we could have taken, this was the path?

“Paige,” I whispered. “Look!”

The sad “dentist face expression” was nowhere to be found as she snatched it up quickly and screamed, “OH MY GOSH!”

“Paige,” I said, “that is a miracle.”

She smiled. “I prayed so many times. It’s like that song I sing in the bathroom…”

It’s a primary church song she sings twice when she’s washing her hands in the bathroom for fear of contracting ebola. or diabetes.

She started to sing:

Heavenly Father, are you really there? And do you hear and answer every child’s prayer…

I looked down at her.

She looked up at me.

“Some people think Heavenly Father doesn’t answer prayers, but he does!” she said.

She then shrugged, “but I already knew that.”

photo (1)


Sunday Meditations: A Thorough Scrubbing

This week my friend wrote to me saying, “I am going through a thorough scrubbing right now – mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically.”

He’s been stressed with work, volunteer responsibilities, and physically exhausted from years without quality sleep. All week I pondered the phrase, ” a thorough scrubbing.”

I read this note again the morning my husband and I jetted off to NYC last weekend. We left early as we had to make a stop by our church to quickly do some volunteer cleaning.

Usually, we make our children come with us as we think it’s an important assignment to clean up your own church, to empty trash, clean windows, and whine about the amount of dirt in the entry way. This is how we make a church OUR church. Due to the NYC child-less trip, they had to stay home and didn’t get to clean the church this time 🙂

It was very quiet as my husband entered the building on an early Saturday morning. We opened the janitor’s closet and I reached for the vacuum, my most favorite chore in life. I use a vacuum called The Pig because it has a long hose attached to a canister that follows behind me like a pet pig. (peculiar people, aren’t we?)

I headed to the chapel, where immediately, the air shifted. It was even more quiet than the quiet halls. The chapel is a sacred place, a room I never allow my children to run through, yell, or pinch…I like it.

The Pig and I started on the stand, stopping to straighten hymn books and place tissue boxes in order.

I moved down to the aisles and vacuumed in-between each pew. It was tight and required The Pig to maneuver expertly.

It’s always eye-opening to see what we leave behind in our chapel.

Cracker Crumbs

Goldfish remnants

Tiny bits of white paper

Sacrament and announcement bulletins

Tiny, folded up wrappers

The occasional toy

I thought of my friend’s note again, of his “thorough scrubbing.”

The visible and microscopic messes were sucked up; it doesn’t take much time, and it was extremely satisfying. It wasn’t even all that “thorough,” but it felt good to be clean again.

Then I unplugged The Pig and glanced back at our chapel. It was still perfectly still and quiet, but this time the room was smiling at me, no longer sullied by dirt, grime, and other people’s crumbs. We left soon after, happy a congregation would enter a place of worship that was at least tidy and visibly clean.

We got in our car, took South 93, and headed to NYC. I thought about what a thorough scrubbing is.

If our body is a temple (which it is) and made in the image of God, what are we putting in it? How do we fill our minds? Are we taking care of our greatest creation? Are we diligent about what’s coming into our bodies, mind, and home – whether that’s from television, internet, or sugar cereal? Are we learning, examining, trying?

I vowed to do better, occasionally administering a thorough scrubbing of every part of my life – physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually.

Perhaps a soul without scrubbing is like a church without The Pig.

Metaphorically speaking 🙂


Sunday Meditations: when life is most definitely not fair

We often feel bogged down with the weight of sadness in the world.

Life wasn’t fair when we were children and it’s not fair now. Hate is strong. Planes crash into buildings. Friends struggle to have babies.

I live in America. That baby in Africa will die before age 1. How is that fair?

It’s not. Forget fair.

My friend Eric has ALS. It’s so unfair. And I can’t stand it.

And of course I’m going to have to stand it.

Anne Frank.

Ugo Betti.

Corrie Ten Boom.

Emilie Parker’s mother and father.

This short list of names say something about how some people respond when life is most definitely not fair.

They see something beyond the right now.

Does faith emerge because of tragedy? Or in spite of?

To have faith is to “hope for things which are not seen, which are true” (see Book of Mormon, Alma 32:21 and Hebrews 11:1). Each day you act upon things you hope for, even before you see the end result. This is similar to faith.

“faith is believing what you know, and knowing what you believe.”

Ugo Betti, a writer and POW wrote:

“To believe in God is to know that all the rules will be fair, and there will be wonderful surprises.”

It keeps me going.


I invite people of all different faiths, beliefs, ages, and walks of life to share their own Sunday Meditations in the form of short stories, thoughts, quotes, and inspiration. If interested, send me an email at amym (at) proctornet (dot) com. Thank you! And if you never want to miss a post, well then you best subscribe RIGHT HERE.




Sunday Meditations: Happy Father’s Day

I love my Father. I see him everywhere.

I love my Dad. He’s one of the good guys. In a white shirt and tie.

I love Arthur. He’s one of the good guys. In a kitchen apron, making bread.

I love my boy, Nellie Mak. He’s one of the good guys. With duct tape.

I love Superman. Because who doesn’t?

I love our doggy, Tenny. He’s a good doggy.

I love my brothers. And brothers-in-law. Each one of them. They’re good fathers and men. And could have their own fashion face-off.

I love the good men who show my son what being a good man is all about. Who do the right thing. And help my husband laugh and cook bacon.

And I’m lucky that seventeen years ago (zowie!) my husband walked into a college apartment and it was love at first sight even though it took him a few months for him to realize that. He works so hard for us, can cook like a master chef, and loves his children something fierce. He deserves a back scratch, don’t you think?

He’s one of the good guys. And I love him.

To all the good guys: Happy Father’s Day!