Welcome!

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 discovery and expression through storytelling. Relationships, collaboration, and the sharing of stories are life-giving to me. 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 organize thoughts, explore trends, 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!  

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What Happens When Resolutions Fail

Slow family living. This is the phrase I chose to represent how I wanted 2017 to look. A reminder to spend time cultivating every moment, living with purpose, and taking control over the busyness that wrecks havoc with its unwanted grip. I pictured myself waking up with the littles, pouring a fresh cup of tea, and billowing ourselves into the cushions of our couch for some cuddles and conversation — well as good as conversation can be with a two and four-year-old. We would get tangled up together with our limbs and laughter, and the minutes of the day would tick by without a care. The quality time in the morning would be the fuel for exploration in the afternoon. And as the kids turned on their curiosity and dug for knowledge the remainder of the day, I would spend time deep in my work pouring into writing. As the evening slowly approached, we would find ourselves in the kitchen. Together we would dust off the cookbooks, gather supplies, and experiment without pressure or expectation. We would transform a chore into treasured moments. The evening would welcome daddy home and embrace him into our slow family living equation. Dance parties, tickle monsters, […]

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Adoption Attachment

Growing up, I had preconceived ideas of adoption. One of these ideas originated from the well-known and loved movie, Annie. Annie was an orphan chosen to spend time with a billionaire, Oliver Warbucks, and through her adventure, she ends up finding her forever home. The classic line, “I love you, Daddy Warbucks,” and the strong embrace of father and newly adopted daughter is a moment engrained in my mind and my first, but not last, false impression of adoption. These false ideas continued as I met more adoptive families and followed their journeys. There were smiles, love, laughter, and everything else that points to an easy and rewarding journey to adoption. I had always known that I wanted to be a part of this journey. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of providing for children in need and offering them the love they have always deserved but never experienced? I still feel this…strongly.  However, after our first adoption and now beginning another, I see things through a clearer and sometimes painful lens. Attachment is a word that was never frequently used in my vocabulary but at one point took over my book titles, Google searches, and daily conversations with […]

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From Breakdown To Breakthrough

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. […]

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2017 Easy Planning Guide

I am excited to offer a resource that will help you plan for 2017! Be intentional this coming year and invest in your personal growth. Don’t spend 2017 going through the motions. Be mindful, and welcome the new year with open arms. Accept the freedom found from a fresh start! Click on the link below to download your free 2017 planning resource. 2017 Easy Planner

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The Meaning Of Christmas

Magical. It’s the word that best describes the way I feel during the Christmas season. I’m the girl who never plans her personal life yet has a Christmas checklist prepared and ready come June and a Christmas countdown app on my computer all-year-round. I watch the snow fall like glitter from the sky while the flavors of cocoa and peppermint fill my senses. Wrapped in a cozy blanket, I see my two and four-year old dance to Christmas carols and belt out the words “Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way” as their eyes sparkle with anticipation noticing all the presents underneath the tree. “E-V-E-L-Y-N! That gift’s for me, mama!” “You are right, sweet girl! But what’s the best gift of all this season?” “Baby Jesus!” How right she is. As a child, my parents did a great job including the story of Jesus’ birth during the Christmas season. But as I grew, somewhere along the way, the meaning of Christmas got lost. Sure, I remembered the story of baby Jesus but not in a deep enough way for it to shake and rattle me as it should. Jesus’ birth was a nice “feel-good” story I could recite by […]

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A Gift Guide For Shopping Small

My favorite Christmas gifts growing up all had one thing in common — they were thoughtful. I remember themed Christmases where my mom would know my favorite Disney character or current interest, and she would purchase gifts in line with her given themes. I felt special and known. One of my grandmas was always amazing at remembering what I pointed out months and months before Christmas, and each item would be underneath the tree long after I had forgotten I even made the suggestion. And my other grandma always made sure all of us grandchildren received both something we wanted and needed. Also, I could always count on my aunt to show up on Christmas with a homemade, unique gift for me and my siblings. We could never predict what the gift would be but always loved seeing the time and effort she put into its creation. I would often imagine her planning what she would give us and then picking out the fabrics or other supplies with each of our unique interests in mind. I would sit back at the end of the holiday parties feeling so loved. Not for the number of gifts I received, but for the gifts […]

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Can We Go Too Far With Authenticity?

The other night right before I got into bed to crash after a long day of equally praising and correcting my two littles, a thought came to me that needed to be processed. At the end of each day, my husband and I share our brokenness. We have always been a “what you see is what you get” couple, but this particular evening, I didn’t want to remain in the mess. As my husband was lying there half asleep waiting for the last of the lights to be turned off and the cool fan to be positioned just right so he could sleep with a breeze while I bundled up in my cocoon, I decided to keep him up an extra few minutes. I needed to clear out my heart and head alongside my companion, rather than to battle it alone and lose sleep. I said to him, “Authenticity is one of my highest values. I love seeing people living their lives being free and honoring who they were created to be, but I think there’s a fine line, and what happens when authenticity starts to come before God and we are trapped in the authentic parts of us that […]

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When You Need A Fresh Start…

The holidays are my favorite time of the year. Not just for the quality family time creating traditions and sharing in each other’s joy as we anticipate the magic of Christmas. Not just for the guilt-free pleasure of eating my weight in food or gathering special and meaningful gifts for loved ones. But also because the holiday’s signal an end before an always much needed fresh start. At the end of each year, I spend a good majority of my free time reflecting and planning. When it comes to my day-to-day life, I am the person who never knows what she’s doing tomorrow. “Planner” is never the title used to define me. But when it comes to the BIG PICTURE planning, I can get lost (in a good way). I have high hopes during my big picture dreaming sessions. This week, I was flipping through the pages of my old planner as I was preparing my new one for 2017. Planted at the front of my old planner were goal setting pages that gave me room for dream casting. To be honest, I was afraid to read through my lists. They were written boldly and confidently, and I was afraid of […]

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What I’ve Learned About Purpose

When I was a little girl, I would watch with awe-struck eyes at the people before me who seemed to fit perfectly into the skin of their calling. I was told countless stories of these divine meetings where people were “told” what their purpose was in life and then how all the doors opened for them shortly after the call. While still young, I would wake up each day wondering if today my purpose would be defined. Would I hear a whisper? Would someone introduce me to exactly what my future would hold because they saw something in me I had never recognized? I would feel anxious wondering if I had gone down the wrong path or if I missed my sign. Often I would feel left out wondering where my direct line to my purpose could be found. Singing was my hobby, and I loved Jesus, so I thought I was meant to be a worship leader! But then I also loved children, so I changed my mind into being a music teacher. Shortly after, I subtracted the “music” part because I didn’t like all the theory that played a major role in learning music. I just wanted to sit […]

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How I Battle Against Anxiety

I’ve always been one who wants complete control over my life where decisions are my own to make — good or bad. My poor mother would often challenge my choices growing up, and, like a tug-of-war rope, we would pull from opposite sides until one of us would finally give up. Because my mom is much wiser than I, she would often let go first. Sometimes that would cause me to “win,” but other times, when the decision wasn’t right, it would cause me to fall. After marriage, I was forced to embrace compromise when the decisions effected both my husband and me, but thankfully I married another independent soul, and we have done well working alongside one another while also maintaining our personal identities and dreams. He rarely questions my decisions and vice versa. I’m still in control of my life. But though I’ve maintained independence from the ones I love most, there is one thing that has wrecked me and taken me as hostage more times than I’d like to admit. Most refer to this captor as “anxiety.” No matter how hard I fight, sometimes anxiety becomes my master. It determines my thoughts, my feelings, and my entire […]

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