Colorado Matters Interview

Hey Friends,

This morning I had the honor of being interviewed by Ryan Warner on Colorado Matters (CPR). You check it out and listen below. And if YOU have been among the first to already finish reading Refocusing My Family, I’d love to hear from you. So drop me a line with your thoughts!


Colorado Author Bounces Back After Life Goes Out of Focus

 

Because Love Makes All the Difference,

Amber Cantorna

Refocusing My Family Book and Speaking Tour Announcement!

Hello Everyone!

It is with great excitement that I finally get to announce to you the official tour dates and locations for the Refocusing My Family book and speaking tour! We are still working on adding a few more, but the official dates and locations are…(drum roll please)…

You can see more of the event details by visiting the Events page.

Books will be available for sale at all these events and supporting your local bookstore is highly encouraged. However, if you just can’t wait, you can pre-order Refocusing My Family on Amazon now!

Here is the short promo video that we’ve created! Don’t forget to share with your friends!

Interview on “The Friendly Athiest” Podcast with Hemant Mehta

Hey Friends!

I had the honor of being interviewed by Hemant Mehta on “The Friendly Athiest” Podcast yesterday. Give it a listen!

The Friendly Athiest Podcast with Amber Cantorna, Author of Refocusing My Family

And keep an eye out for Refocusing My Family tour dates! We will be announcing tour cities and dates very soon!

Because Love Makes All the Difference,
Amber

Choosing to Carry New Life Past Easter Sunday

 

Taboola_Foundation_FeaturedImg1It is now two days after Easter and I suspect most of us spent a good chunk of yesterday recovering from Easter festivities. The Easter bunny may have visited your home or left baskets for your little ones. If you were lucky, he might have even left a basket for you! You most likely attended a church service of some kind or shared a meal with family or friends. But now that Easter is over, what’s next? How do we carry that new “resurrection” life past Easter Sunday?

Leading up to a holiday, it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bussle. Perhaps you’re good with time management and took time to reflect on what the holiday means to you personally, or perhaps like many of us, the craziness of life didn’t allow for you to reflect the way you would’ve liked. I know for me personally, I was so caught up in launching this new non-profit to help LGBT people navigate their coming out process, that it left me little time at all to reflect on what Easter meant to me this year in light of the 5-year anniversary of my own coming out. Fundraising campaigns, 5-year “It Gets Better” videos, website updates, and sending out my manuscript for endorsements all pulled for my attention simultaneously. It was exciting, but it’s also overwhelming and exhausting.

My body reminded me of that this morning when I woke up. I spent a good part of yesterday trying to help my back recover from all I’d put it through this past week. Yet this morning it still struggled to heal. Dealing with chronic pain is far from my desired lot in life. I hate feeling restricted or weak. But after a full week of working like a mad woman, my body was not-so-gently reminding me that I needed to slow down.

“I can’t slow down!” I informed my body quite firmly. “I have endorsement requests still to submit, loads of fundraising still to do, blogs to write, and proofs to read. Don’t you understand that I’m on a deadline? I just need you to function properly.” But my body doesn’t seem to understand deadlines. It only understands stress and the toll that doing too much takes on me physically over time. Therefore I am struggling to keep up while my body screams at me to slow down.

So as I attempt to slow down and reflect today (and yes, share my thoughts with you while I do it-why not kill two birds with one stone?) I contemplate how to carry that new life that is given to me in the gift of Easter past the Sunday celebration.

These are the 3 ways I’ve come up with to keep life in my body and soul moving forward:

I Choose to Believe that it will Get Better

I’ve seen incredible things happen in my life over the last five years since I came out. Yes, I’ve experienced incredible loss, but I’ve also experienced incredible joy and freedom. I choose to believe that I will see many more great things come to pass in the next five years. While chronic pain is not something I ever would have chosen, I have learned a lot about listening to my body and treating it with respect. I choose to be optimistic that my situation will continue to gradually get better over time, while being realistic that I won’t ever be “normal” again and that there will always be things that I have to do differently than other people.

positive-thinking-will-let-you-do-everything-better-than-negative-thinking-willYou may not have chronic pain, but whatever the mountain is in your life, a healthy balance of being positive that it will get better while being realistic in the goals you set, can be the difference for you between success and failure. Your perspective can also give you a life full of joy in the midst of the challenges you face.

 

I Choose to Have Faith

I’ve had many moments in the midst of fighting to make the dream behind Beyond a reality where I’ve had to remind myself that God has brought me this far for a reason. There were many times where the task of writing and reliving my story in order to share it in the form of a book seemed to be more than I could handle. But in those moments when I had to dig deep, I reminded myself that I haven’t come all this way for nothing. There’s a purpose that lies before me to help other LGBT people of faith with their own coming out process. Every roadblock I’ve reached along the way has taught me something and made me a stronger person. So I choose to have faith that “that he who began a good work in me will carry it on to completion.” (Phil. 1:6)New Life

Whatever mountain you’re climbing, remember that you only need the faith of a mustard seed to be able to move it. (Matt. 17:20) Many times faith is the very thing that will carry you from one day to the next as you strive to accomplish your goals. Even the smallest amounts of faith cause new life to spring up in our souls and launch dreams beyond what we ever thought was possible.

I Choose to Rely on God and the Help of Others to do What I Can’t do on My Own

Living with chronic pain makes me very aware of my limits. I hate limits. Launching a non-profit on my own with virtually no financial resources yet to back it also reminds me of my limits and puts both me and my ministry at the mercy of others. If you read my blog last week announcing the launch of Beyond, then you know how much I hate campaigns and fundraising. I hate depending on others that way and I especially hate asking for money. But the one thing that causes me to press on to find the financial means to support this new baby of mine is knowing that the lives of other LGBT people are on the line if I don’t.

So I press onward, climbing a mountain that many days feels overwhelming, but doing so because I believe so strongly in what God is calling me to do with the story he’s entrusted to me. For those of you who have already believed in me and put your money behind this mission, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. We still have a very long way to go in reaching our goal, but as we work together, I chose to rely on God to open the right doors and I choose to believe that people will help in whatever way they can.

imagesToday I may feel weak and weary, but tomorrow I will press on because we are stronger together. Whatever your mountain is, don’t carry it alone. Share your burden with others and together we will reach the top, full of joy in our spirits and fresh life in our souls.

Because Love Makes all the Difference,

Amber

If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to Beyond, please click here. You can also read about the incentives being offered for your donation by clicking this link.

“Mom, Dad, I’m Gay”

Last night, I was honored to hear I was the inspiration for this wonderfully written article by Peter Thurley, entitled “Mom, Day, I’m Gay”. I encourage you to give it a read. It is well done indeed.

“Mom, Dad, I’m Gay” by Peter Thurley

Big things are on the horizon and I covet your prayers as I walk through the process. When things are solidified, I will fill you in on all the details. Until then, stay strong in the faith.

God is good and faithful,

Amber

Focus on the Family Exec Shuns Gay Daughter: She Breaks Her Silence

Wed Pic

I am so honored to have been featured on Benjamin L. Corey’s blog this week and interviewed by him and Matthew Paul Turner for their most recent episode of That God Show. Read the article below:

Focus on the Family Exec Shuns Gay Daughter: She Breaks Her Silence

Or listen to the full interview by clicking this link:

Focus on the Family Exec Shuns Gay Daughter: She Breaks Her Silence-Full Interview

Bronco Beanies and Other Simple Joys

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When my wife and I moved into our home this summer, we quickly had to come up with a new daily route to walk our pup. Walking for her is part of our daily routine so we promptly started roaming the neighborhood. As we tried several different routes and started getting one established, I frequently saw a young Hispanic man, approximately in his early 20’s walking what seems to be several miles. Often, we would pass him twice within our 1.5 mile route. He appeared to be out there for hours doing a slow steady walk with a 2 lb. weight in each hand. He was so quiet at first. Many times, we would pass one another on the sidewalk without even a hello, which was just…awkward. Other times, I would greet him but would only get an halfhearted “Hi” in response. Being new to the area, I’ll admit it wasn’t exactly the best first impression our neighborhood’s friendliness factor.

But then, within a few months time, something shifted. Fall time came and with it, football season. Suddenly this young man lit up like a light bulb inside. Clearly an avid Bronco’s fan, every time I would see him, he would have an enthusiastic comment ready. On the days following a win, I would get an excited, “Did you see the game? We won!” followed by statistics on where next week’s game would be held, who got injured or what his favorite play was. At times I couldn’t understand his broken English, but nonetheless, his excitement rang through loud and clear. Realizing over time that he seemed to have a bit of a intellectual disability, I worried what would happen when the (almost) inevitable moment would come that the Broncos would loose a game. But to my surprise, when that day did come, he simply said, “Oh well. We’ll win next week!” I smiled at his optimism.

Then after Christmas, I saw him proudly sporting a orange and blue set of Bronco mittens and a Bronco beanie. “Hey, I like your beanie!” I encouraged him. To which, he responded with his sweet child-likeness, “Yeah, I got them for Christmas!” Clear excitement was beaming on his face. It was in that moment that I was reminded of the simple joys and pleasures of life. How often in our ADD culture and success-driven society do we get wrapped up in our world of adult responsibility and forget to take time for those simple, quiet moments? So many opportunities for joy are missed merely because we are too busy to stop and acknowledge them. How much richer our lives could become if we would focus more on the “little thankfuls” in our life and less on the stress that comes from to-do lists.

My wife and I try to keep ourselves mindful of this in a practical way by using what we call our Blessings Jar. Each time something happens that feels like a little gift from God or we see an answer to prayer, we write it down, date it and put it in our Blessings Jar. Then, on Thanksgiving morning each year, we open it up and read through them to be reminded of all the times we’ve seen God’s presence evident throughout the year.

I’m saddened to say though, that the jar is often not near as full as I know it could be. So often I get so consumed in the mundane tasks of day to day life that I forget to pause and step away from them in order to notice the little things. But contentment doesn’t come in big, busy moments. When focused on success, we most likely we will always be chasing after the next big thing. Sadly, if that’s the case, no matter how much we achieve, I fear we’ll always come up feeling just a little empty, a little shy of goal and therefore will move on to chase after yet the next thing. Our life quickly then becomes like a merry-go-round, spinning in circles but never actually getting anywhere.

But, if we can find time for quiet moments, if we can find joy in the simple things, if we will take note of those “little thankfuls”, our lives will become so much richer, so much more fulfilling. In the little things of life is where true contentment lies.

Bronco Beanie

And so I take a moment to quiet my soul and breathe this morning, reminding myself to find joy in the simple pleasures…like the beautiful blanket of snow currently keeping my whole family inside today, the comfort of a cup of hot tea next to the fireplace, the joy and contentment my puppies feel just to be near me, and yes, even a matching pair of mittens and a Bronco beanie.