grace in stillness.

Back In(dia).

Here I am, from snow to sand, watching the the colors of the evening sun sink into the depths of the Arabian Sea.

I’ve claimed a spot here on the rocks, by the edge of the water, that is my very own. This is where I come to get lost in the evening sky as I listen to the crashing of the waves against the edge of the earth and send the sun to wake my friends and family on the other side of the globe.

The ocean is anything but still. It is always moving, always roaring, forever crashing against the rocks that create a barrier between us. Yet, under it all, in the depths of the water, there is complete quiet, tranquility and stillness.

Sometimes I’ll go to the pool near my house in the middle of the afternoon, just for that kind of stillness. India can be a very busy, loud and chaotic place–but the moment I dive into that deep, blue water, I am completely submerged–in silence.

I’ll swim from one end of the pool to the other in one breath–just for the quiet. The water surrounds my body and I can feel the weight of the entire pool pushing against me. It feels more like an embrace than a heaviness. I’m surrounded by silence. An escape into stillness.

The Lord will fight for you..
you need only to be still.
Exodus 14:14

This verse, that word, has been on my mind a lot over the past few months as I wonder and think over what is next in my life after my year-long commitment to work in India is complete (at the end of April..whoah).

There is a strong amount of trust that comes with complete stillness. Life (without fail) brings one worry after another–whether that be your current job, your future job, the career you wish you had, your children, your lack of children.. your spouse, your boyfriend, girlfriend or boss.. sudden sickness, hope for healing, depression or loneliness.. not feeling good enough, financial problems, anxiety and stress. Chaos.

This simple verse has encouraged me to stop fighting to stay above water, but to allow myself to sink.

To sink right into the depths of His love and understanding. Into His stillness.
His mercy.
His grace.
His ability.

Now, this “sinking” doesn’t mean you do nothing. You work hard, you do your best, and you get up each day and ask God how you can serve, love and live better than you did the day before.

Sinking into stillness means you set your mind, your anxiety and your worries at ease–because He has you.

Fully surrendering my life and heart to Him was the greatest decision I’ve ever made. I love the Lord so much. Each day of my life I want to know just how I can become a little bit more like Him. A little bit more like–love.

Becoming like Him means I can’t allow myself to be anxious about the things I would normally be worried about.

I’ve learned that (oh boy, have I learned that) this year, while living in India.

For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to quit my job, pack up all my things and volunteer to work for an organization for a year without any stable income. Cool, Amy.


But it was.

It was, because God asked me to–and saying yes to what He asks you to do is the absolute greatest place to be, no matter how much money you’re bringing in each month.

God is my provider. My sustainer. My breath and my nourishment. I can be still in chaos because of the trust I have in His faithfulness.

If you haven’t experienced the love of God in this way, I hope and pray that you will. If I could pray or wish anything for you–it would not be for your health, your family or that your business would prosper (though all of those things are good)..

What I would pray for, more than anything in the world, is that you would fall so madly in love with the One that created you.

That you would know Him.
That you would know His love in the deepest way.
That you would sense His Spirit all around you–so much, that it would change everything about you. Your attitude, your heart–your view of life.
That you wouldn’t be able to wake up even one day without being with Him. Reading his Word, just to know him better. To be closer to Him.
I hope and pray that you would understand (as no man ever really can – Ephesians 3:17-19), just how much. He. loves. you.

That’s where the stillness is.
In His love.

That’s why, when there is chaos all around, we’re amazed how some can walk through the most difficult circumstances in their lives with joy, peace and no sign of worry or anxiety. How?

Stillness. Rest. Trust.

It’s a beautiful thing, really. The most beautiful to me.

I admire people like that. It’s as if a storm were all around them, and they’re standing in the midst of it, eyes closed–a slight smile on their face–knowing they will be just fine. They walk through difficult circumstances, with every reason to be anxious, afraid or worried.. but, they’re not. There is a grace, a calm–a trust.


A beautiful, undeniable, stillness.

I pray you would find yourself in that place today. A place where you trust that He has good things for you (Romans 8:28) and wonderful plans for your life (Jeremiah 29:11), knowing that he loves you–and there is nothing that you can do to change that.


So, dive deep into His love today. Let go of your worry, your anxiety and fear. Today is the day that you (we) decide to trust, to laugh often and to choose to enjoy every. single. moment.

Today is the day that you get to decide to be:: still.

Love always,
pumpkin pie

Gratitude & Pumpkin Pie.

//after 6 months of living in India.
It’s hard to believe it’s the middle of November here.  With consistent 80-90 degree weather, it feels like summer is never-ending.  I’m reminded that cooler temperatures do exist as I scroll through social media and envy those who are happily wearing thick sweaters and scarves–teasing those on the other side of the world with that delightful red cup (likely filled with some flavour of magical pumpkin spice).
Flavour.  Colour.  My auto-correct won’t allow me to type those words the American way.  We’re influenced by the British here, so it’s their way.  For now.
I can’t really complain that summer is never-ending.  I’m writing this as I dangle my feet into a beautiful pool of water, surrounded by palm trees.  Life is good.
I’m enjoying India.  Every day.  There is always something new to see, try, taste..  That reminds me.  Thanksgiving is coming up this week, and I keep informing my team of the importance (i.e. mashed potatoes, gravy, turkey, my grandmother’s famous stuffing, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, chocolate pie, that orange salad my aunt makes… *sigh*).  I’ve decided I’m going to make a pumpkin pie from scratch in India this Thursday to celebrate.  I’ll let you know how it goes. *feeling hopeful*
Thanksgiving also reminds me of what it is actually meant to :: gratitude.
I’m not sure I can portray with words the way my heart has come to know gratitude this year.
I quit my job, packed up my belongings, and moved to India with whatever I could fit into two (quite large) suitcases.  I have less now than I have ever had before, and somehow I feel as though I lack nothing.  Every month, I have to trust that God is going to provide for every need that I have.
And every month–He does.
He provides through people.  I am so grateful for the people that are in my life.  For the friends and family that support me and welcome me home to America each time I visit (for the food–thank you for the food).  For new friends (and family) that I have met in India that carefully watch over me–every single step.  Most especially, for the children I work with here, that daily remind me that I. am. incredibly. blessed.
I believe blessing does not come from wealth, or power or prestige–but straight from the hand of the God who leads you into the unknown.
It is there (somewhere like a desert, like where the Israelites wandered around for 40 years desert–not dessert. I wish) that you actually come to know the faithfulness of our God.
So, with that being said–this is my Thanksgiving.
I’m thankful for:  faithfulness, mercy, grace and love.  I’m thankful for family, great friends, food and laughter.  I’m thankful for coffee, good books, and for warm (& warmer) weather.  I’m thankful for the way the Mavs are playing and for the snow that I will see when I am home for Christmas.
Thankful for this year–thankful for you.
Love always,
PS:  Please pray for the pie I’ll be making on Thursday.  Amen.
2 months in india - Amy Noelck

two months in India..

Hot, beautiful, spicy, humid, and colorful.

I moved to India this year, to work alongside an organization called ElevateX.  ElevateX was created to help individuals, communities and companies grow.  Through music, sports, health and leadership we get to help and encourage others become all they desire to be, no matter where they are coming from.  Whether they are attending one of the most prestigious schools in India, or growing up in a small, beautiful fishing village; whether they have a supportive, wealthy family–or if they have lost their biological parents and have found new family at Aswasa Bahavan.  We believe that all are equally worthy of having someone walk beside them on their journey to support their hopes, desires and dreams.

I’ve only been in India for two months and feel like I have grown so much already.  I knew this would be a life-changing experience for me… It has been, and continues to be each day.

Watching others experience the joy of being wanted, encouraged, and loved—is the greatest feeling in the world.  I hope to spend every day of the rest of my life experiencing that with others.  Thankful for organizations like ElevateX and for the people I have met here.  What a joy it is to wake up each day and be involved in work like this.

This will be a great year.

Cheers to India. A beautiful, colorful nation and people.
Thank you for an incredible two months.
Here’s to more to come.


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Photos really do speak louder than words, so I have nothing more to say.
Love always,

The Theory of Everything

I’m writing this blog very late in the evening, 12:26pm to be exact (but I just can’t sleep because of what I want to write).  I would say that I am a night owl, but that would be a lie because I am a morning person, through and through.  I started yawning at 7:30pm when I went to see a movie with one of my friends tonight.  I specifically remember yawning because I recall her scolding me saying, “This was your idea—don’t fall asleep”.

I couldn’t have fallen asleep.  It was the best movie I’ve ever watched.

**side note:  I’m an exaggerator.  But I mean everything that I exaggerate at the moment that I exaggerate it.  Carrying on… 

“The Theory of Everything” 

Beautiful, beautiful movie.  I mean, beautiful.  I wept from scene one to the closing credits.

In fact—you should go to your iTunes or Spotify (right now) and click on the Johann Johannson’s Motion Picture Soundtrack because it will really set the mood for what I am about to write.

Got it playing?  Lovely, right??  I know..

Now, you’ll need to read the remainder of this blog with an English (British) accent.  Mostly because everything just sounds better with an English accent (especially when it is in the voice of Felicity Jones—who is surely my designated #wcw for the next several weeks.  WCW means:  “Woman Crush Wednesday”, Mom – FYI – for your information).  

I’m up late pondering the power of love.  I love, love.  I loved the love that they portrayed in that movie.  Not the typical chick-flick, superficial, surface-deep kind of love.  But the real, unwavering, honest to goodness faithful no-matter-what kind.

I drove home, heart full, thankful for a love like this:

2 Timothy 2:11-13   “If we die with him, we will also live with him.  If we endure hardship, we will reign with him.  If we deny him, he will deny us.  If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful for he cannot deny who he is.” 

That last line in that verse always gets me.  You almost expect for it to end by saying, “If we are unfaithful, well of course he won’t have to hold up to his end of the bargain because you broke your promise, you crazy.”

But it doesn’t say that.  Not at all.  He can’t be anything but faithful because that is who. he. is.  He is love.  You can’t be anything but love when you are indeed, love itself (1 John 4:7-8).

I want to be love too.  Obviously, the incredibly flawed, always messing up and picking up the pieces version—but I really want to try to be as much like love as I can be.

My Grandpa Harald was the greatest at loving people.  He passed away a few weeks ago and I miss him a lot.  He was the type of man that lit up every room he was in.  Charming, charismatic, lovable.  He made every person he talked to feel like they were the most important person in the world.  He would always say, “I don’t know any strangers—a stranger is just a friend that I haven’t met yet”.

He wanted my brother-in-law to read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 at his funeral..

“Love is patient and kind.  Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.  It does not demand its own way.  It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.  It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.  Love never gives up.  Never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” 

He would always insist that he wasn’t very good at loving the way the verse instructs us to—but at 97 years old, he was still working at it (doing very well in my opinion) every single day.

There is always something in that verse that we can work on.  None of us will ever perfectly love—but I suppose that is what makes God’s love so incredibly wonderful after all.  It’s unachievable, yet freely given.  What a mystery.

His love is the kind that has inspired me to move my life to the other side of the world (in less than two weeks) just for the opportunity to look into the eyes of someone that has never experienced that kind of love before and for the hope to share it with them.

Someone told me the other day that they were proud of me for “putting my life on hold for a year” in working for a humanitarian organization overseas.  I was humbled, and understood what they were meaning in the kindest way, but it made me think..

I don’t want to put my life on “hold”.  Nothing is stopping or slowing down.  I don’t want to think that at the end of this year, I’ll give myself a pat on the back for doing a “good deed” and then come back to everything as normal.  I want my “every day” to be lived out in loving and serving others to the best of my ability—no matter what job, city or zip code that may lead me to.

I think, as followers of the God who calls himself LOVE, we should exemplify “love” better than anyone else in the world.  I wonder if that’s why my Grandfather tried to live out that 1 Corinthians verse.. because I believe he understood the power of love and lived it out better than he ever gave himself credit for.

I hope I (we) will do the same.