Amanda Barber

Stories, songs, and thoughts on life.

I am currently accepting voice, piano, and violin students. Learn more or

The Panic Room

04 March 2020

Having an intimate and somewhat dramatic acquaintance with fear as I do, I have noticed a few things about it. First, you cannot suppress it. It doesn’t work to will it away, shove it in the closet, brush it under the rug. At least not forever. There in the dark, it just grows bigger and bursts out again. You have to face fear honestly and walk straight through it to get to joy and peace. That’s the only way. Second, you cannot coddle fear. Then it grows to such monstrous proportions that it controls you. Fear in the driver’s seat is dangerous. It makes you do the stupidest, most irrational things. When you are controlled by fear, you hurt people and ruin things and places in a panicked effort to survive. But fear loves to be in control, and in the wider world outside my mind, fear sells. Worse than that, people who love to be in control keep fear in their weapons arsenal.

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Thanksgiving and a Song

26 November 2019

It felt like a pure gift from God to be pain free, happily absorbed in musical composition, astonished that something so beautiful was coming out of my head. I kept thanking Him over and over again for it, hoping against hope that this gift might go on for a month or two or more...

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Grandma at Halloween

06 November 2019

It occurs to me that I learned how to treat children, in part, from the example of my Grandma Barber. It was her example that taught me not to fear the aging process and the inevitability of death and decay, at least as much as it is possible not to fear these things. I learned that love and kindness are forever and that youth and health are not. Memento mori. I learned many of these things from her--unaware that I was learning anything, and she unaware that her mere existence taught them--at Halloween. A holiday I can't stand.

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Disappointed

17 September 2019

I used to be too ashamed to admit that I was disappointed. I put on a brave face as my twenties passed by without a husband in sight. It seemed desperate to admit I was disappointed. I had Jesus, so being single and childless shouldn’t matter. Then I got married. After a year or two, I told myself that being infertile shouldn’t matter. I had Jesus. There seems to be an unwritten rule in much of Christianity that you ought not voice your disappointments. If you’re disappointed, it means that you are dissatisfied. Christians ought not be dissatisfied, because Christians have Jesus and he is supposed to satisfy you. It’s only recently that I have begun to question that notion. If Jesus were to satisfy us completely, He wouldn’t bother leaving us on earth. We’d be in Heaven right now. Because that is the only location in which I can ever imagine being fully satisfied. At least, that’s how I look at it. Maybe I’m wrong. But I don’t think I am.

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