Welcome! I’m Amanda Foust, a professional writer and certified life coach. I’m so glad you’re here! At Downs Ups & Teacups, I combine my writing and coaching professions — cultivating self-discovery through the use of storytelling. Relationships, collaboration, and the sharing of stories are life-giving. The tears cried, bubbling laughter, and genuine connection that occurs around the teacup is treasured. Life isn’t always glamorous, so it’s important to talk about the hard things–the downs– alongside the celebrations–the ups. Downs, Ups, & Teacups is a creative place to empower and encourage. Please engage and participate on this page! My hope is for this to be a community where we grow together and a place that provides a positive environment to come and stay awhile. You are welcome here!
Let’s face it, Google is a mom’s best friend. A long time ago, mothers used to gather together to give their best advice, wipe away each other’s salty, postpartum tears, and literally “carry the load” for one another. But the way society is now, mother’s are often kept in daily isolation with only one reliable friend to turn to for the comforting (or not so comforting) answers they need: Google. I often seriously wonder what moms of the past did without the black and white search box leading to answers ranging between: “Calm down. Everything’s fine!” to “You probably only have a couple of hours to live. Good luck!” Since moms can relate to the intense need for Google and would most likely be wildly embarrassed if someone hacked their search results, let’s get real and talk about what moms are searching during the different phases of motherhood: 1. Is the epidural needle or natural labor worse? Honestly, trying to weigh the pain of labor is a never-ending, anxiety-driven question. Moms frantically type in all of their questions about pain, reword and rephrase the question, and hope SOMETHING will pop up that says it’s really no big deal and everyone […]
I lay with an aching in my heart. My thoughts are let loose like a swarm of bees when the hive is rustled just right. When thoughts escape, chaos follows. Fear cripples me, and it’s hard to breathe. No, there’s no reason behind the anxiety — there often isn’t — but my response is the same…I cry out to God. The phone rings and the details on the other line boil over into uncertainty. Leaning against the wall as it holds me up, I pray against my fears and try to find comfort in the Lord. Recently, I’ve been reflecting on my response to fear. Yes, I sought out God’s help, but how often do my conversations with the Lord stem from negative experiences? Each of my interactions with the Savior of the world centers around desperation instead of devotion — despair instead of delight. Though God does show up during those times, He also deserves more from me than to be a last resort — pushed back until my mind needs his strength and my body needs His power. The mountain mover, storm calmer, grace giver, and almighty healer deserves my devotion and delight in all circumstances. So what now? I’m […]
I come from an extremely tight-knit family. Have you ever seen a show called Parenthood? Yeah, it’s kind of like that. And I love it! Growing up, we always had dinner together, went to each other’s activities, and celebrated every milestone with genuine support and encouragement. We still do, although dinner has turned into one night a week now that we are grown and out of the house. Though always close, I grew up feeling different. Like as much as I wanted to fit into the family, I just didn’t — or so it seemed. When the women in my family wanted to shop and accessorize their outfits, I wanted to sit and have deep conversations. While my family members talked about the recent football or basketball stats of their favorite teams, I barely knew what team played what sport. While my parents and siblings laid out on the beach for each family vacation, I wanted to either learn more about the locals or travel somewhere different each year. I could go on about the differences, but you get the point. In my mind, I saw a uniformed tribe of people, and I was the one running around the outside of the […]
My son emits joy everywhere he goes. He is often referred to as “the little old man” because of his mature and carefree demeanor at just two years old. (It doesn’t hurt that his wardrobe consists of sweaters and corduroys). But the biggest thing that sets my son apart is that his goal each day is to make those around him laugh, and he’s great at it! Sure, every kid is funny, but most are not intentional and have no idea the things they do or say makes us laugh on the inside. No, Liam is different. His comedic facial expressions and dramatic hand gestures are all a ploy to give everyone in the room amusement. The other night as I was laying in his bed with him about to say our prayers, I had just closed my eyes and felt a tickle on my nose followed by a little giggle. My eyes shot open, and I saw my goofy-grinned boy was holding one of his troll dolls and using its hair to tickle my face to break up our serious moment. He laughed and laughed! When guests were over last week, he ran up to each person and gave them […]
This past year felt like an ongoing breakdown. As I said in my When You Need A Fresh Start post, nothing particularly bad happened, but due to some health issues at the time, my mind was like a battlefield. My value of authenticity led me to write posts about bits and pieces of my breakdown such as the loneliness and anxiety I wrestled with, but there are many feelings that went on that I haven’t yet been given the words to explain. Fear, doubts, inadequacy, abandonment, and more plagued me. As a result, I took my inner light and hid it for awhile because I was afraid to claim power and worth while I felt defeated and alone. Truth became distorted and my mind controlled more of me than my heart. My heart knew the truth about my value and purpose, but my head told myself I wasn’t enough. So instead of sorting myself out, I chose distraction as my “drug” of choice (naturally). While most give themselves time to wallow in their mess a bit so they can navigate their way to the exit, I ran around in my own mess diverting my attention from one debris to another and ignoring the big picture. […]