About Amy Bretall

Helping people find faith in the everyday.

My Story

I’ve learned the transforming power of faith. Creating and publishing a series of three non-fiction Christian books featuring my cross photography, paired with insights on faith, to encourage others to find faith in the everyday and to grow closer to God, I’ve become an author, creative entrepreneur and speaker. It started with an idea to turn some of my cross photos into greeting cards to help a young girl I met in Cuba. That’s the cool thing about God, he plants seeds to get you started. As you take steps of faith, it grows and evolves into more than you could ever imagine.

A few facts/basics:

  • Born in Macon, Missouri, I grew up in Springfield and live in Kansas City, Missouri.
  • My professional experience/career: Bachelors’ degree in Business from Missouri State University, Masters in HR Management from Webster University. I’ve held senior-level strategic human resources leadership positions for 20+ years in the private, for-profit sector, (LinkedIn).
  • Prior to starting my own business & HR consulting practice, Arbor Grove, LLC in 2014, I was Senior Vice President, HR Director at Arvest Bank, for the Kansas City market.
  • In 2016 I found myself taking photos of crosses while deepening my faith.
  • Although I’m not a theologian nor a biblical scholar, I read my Bible every morning. In 8 years, I’m on my fourth reading, cover-to-cover; a different translation each time (current read: Revised Standard Version-1952, from my father’s Bible). My books are based on biblical principles and what I’ve directly learned by taking steps of faith, following faith and being obedient.
  • Taking steps of faith and using the gifts given to me, my photography artwork has been recognized in multiple venues including a 4-page expansive feature in a statewide publication and two large solo exhibitions as a featured artist. See Media page.

Fun Facts:

  • Motto: The little things in life are big.
  • Favorite activity: Walking outdoors with no ear-buds, no noise in my ears so I can stay attuned to God’s surrounding beauty in sight, sense and sound. Time in nature is one of my favorite forms of worship.
  • My love of rural America, and my artistic perspective of seeing nature’s extravagant beauty in simple objects, originates from time spent on my grandparent’s farm (the place where my photography journey began in August, 2015. The Rural Collection).
  • The first everyday cross photo I took was at my grandparent’s farm. Of course, I didn’t recognize, or “see” it at the time. That’s how good God is, always there, just waiting for us.

How I Found my Faith: Raised Methodist, I grew up going to church every weekend, but that’s not where I found my faith.

As an adult I only occasionally went to church. For many years I had bike religion, in the form of cycling and the pursuit of the road miles, training and amateur racing for 8 years (road and cyclocross). In 2013, I let cycling go; it wasn’t rejuvenating any longer. Then in my early 40’s I found myself in a deep valley from a broken relationship. In the years of uncertainty I focused on what I could control— the time spent in my faith and worked inwardly to develop my personal faith. I prayed.

In early January 2016, the words that bubbled up within me were ” Live, Breathe, Alive.” I didn’t understand what the words meant, but knew I had to find them. A few weeks later I was compelled to take photos of crosses. Another cool thing about God is he gives us nudges to do things before we know the why.

As I kept taking steps of faith to do more with my cross photos I started seeing Everyday Crosses. Over time and because I had so many of them, I knew God was leading me to turn them into a cumulative effort so the experience could be shared with a wider audience and to help others find what I did—the surrounding presence of God and deeper connection in faith. In May of 2020, I told God I would obey and create and publish, In Plain Sight: Faith Is In The Everyday and then I was done. Yes, I sure did say that aloud to him, while using the non-verbal hands brushing together, hands-up, move. But, I wasn’t done. Another idea came which I knowingly accepted, creating, Sights of Faith: The Cross and Clouds. Then my third in the series of photo-based devotionals, In Plain Sight, Volume II: Finding Extraordinary Faith in Ordinary Days, with an added component of our connection to a community faith.

Finding these divine symbols helped develop my faith, step out in faith, and trust in the signs received. Seeing the cross in everyday moments grew my faith and transformed my life into a Christian author, speaker, creative entrepreneur to help people find faith in everyday life — to know, to see, and to follow faith. Through a lens of faith, the ordinary becomes extraordinary.

As Featured in Missouri Life Magazine
Cover: Faith Revealed In Everyday Crosses, March/April 2022 Issue. Contains a 4 page article featuring 11 photos from my first book, In Plain Sight: Faith Is In The Everyday.
Book Interview
In this short video interview, three selected photos and messages from my book are discussed with Rev. Trevor Dancer. This was a fun interview talking about the presence of faith in our everyday. December, 2020.
Faith Interview
Talking about faith in relationships, nature and where we find faith with well-being champion Michelle Robin on her Rhythm and Resilience podcast series. April, 2020.
Solo Exhibition
First Fridays, KC Crossroads Arts District, July 2019, In Plain Sight. This is a great large space to fill and showcased all of my photography collections, including The Everyday Cross collection. Sharing how faith can be seen in the most unexpected places.
Christian Entrepreneurs Interview
Talking with AnneMarie Cross (an interesting coincidence of the interviewers last name and my work with the Cross!) on her Ambitious Entrepreneur podcast about faith-based insights from my entrepreneurial pursuits with my photography of the Cross. August, 2018
The Steeple of Light Gallery
Feature exhibition of my Cross Collection, shown over the season of Lent at the Steeple of Light gallery, Feb-April, 2018.
Cover: Be Encouraged Magazine
Feature article sharing my story of faith, how I got started taking photos of crosses, an enduring 20+ year faith relationship with my Sweet Jean and the inspiration to help a young girl in Cuba. November 1, 2016.

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