Amy Matthews on How Faith and Volunteerism Impacted Her Career

The popular TV personality recounts the experience of working with Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter for Habitat for Humanity.

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Guideposts Video: Inspiring True Stories


Hi Guideposts, hi everyone. My name is Amy Matthews, and I am a contractor, a remodeler, a designer and I have been teaching home improvement on home improvement television for over 15 years.

I got into this crazy world in home improvement television in kind of a sideways way. I was actually trained as an opera singer and in theater and played the violin all my life and was working in New York City within the theater industry and came back to Minnesota, my home town, for a short visit and while I was there, there was an audition for a host of a new DIY Network television show.

I ended up booking the gig and loved teaching home improvement. Loved the entire industry and world of home improvement TV and decided to get my contractor license and just go all the way with it.

When I was about 14 years old, my church youth group used to travel across the country doing mission trips during the summer and they would usually be a couple weeks long and we would stay in a location for a week and we would do all kinds of home improvement and so from that experience, for me the most important takeaway was how important home is. Home safety, home health. And it wasn’t about the throw pillows when I was young. I learned that having a safe space is fundamental to people’s livelihood.

One of the first projects that I worked with Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter on was in Los Angeles where I was hosting a special for DIY Network on the big L.A. build that Habitat For Humanity was doing. And it was considered a blitz build, which means multiple houses are going up in a week.

The Carters have inspired me so many different ways within my own life and my work in construction. Number one, just seeing them through so many ages doing projects. They are hands on. Looking over and seeing the former president cutting siding materials and hammering it up when he’s in this late eighties. Knowing that they travel around the world because they know the importance of safe and affordable housing.

So I think just seeing people take their faith and put it into action is absolutely inspiring to me. I think that my faith has helped me in many different ways through all the things that I’ve done in life, all parts of my career. And I think the most, the most prevalent thing would be the idea of living in the present moment. If depression is connected to living in the past, in something you can’t change, and anxiety is living in the future and having fear, living in fear, Then I think faith helps keep me based in the present, in the moment, living with gratitude. Seeing everything as an opportunity.

When we go through things in life I always feel like turning that adversity into advocacy is the best thing that we can do, both for our own healing and for the rest of the world. If you can translate that, transition that into helping someone else and easing suffering, which is kind of what I think is the base reason we’re all here is to somehow alleviate other people’s suffering, then that is that faith in action in keeping me in the moment. So living with gratitude is easy to do that way.














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