Ransomed

Let me start by saying how truly humbled I am that so many of you chose to share your babies with me by commenting on my last post.  I am not all the way through, because I am taking my time and praying for you as I go.  I wish I had a few more hours in the day so that I could contact each one of you and tell you how sorry I am in person.  I hope you will know that even though I am not able to do this, I care.  I am reading your words, and I am grateful for your vulnerability.
I couldn’t help but notice how many women commented or emailed me to tell me that they were mourning the loss of a baby through abortion.  Some were forced, and others were by choice.  I am willing to bet that if you read my blog, you could guess that I am pro-life.  You will also know that, even more important that my stance on any topic, I am pro-God. 
Sisters, hear me on this. If you are one of these women, and you are carrying this burden with you as you travel through life, I want you to know that you are forgiven. Do not let the enemy torture you for one more day.  We all have things that we deeply regret, that we struggle with, that we wish we could do over.  The God I serve does not see me this way.  He sees me as pure and clean…through the blood of Christ. 
Ransomed.  What a beautiful word.
As I type these words, I am thinking about the past week and what God has been teaching me.  I feel like He has been working on me, nudging me forward.  Part of moving forward is always letting go of what has held us back, and it is never less than a battle.  There are days in life where we are forced to come face to face with what it is that binds us, and for me, that is fear.
I am bound by fear.
I have talked about it before, and judging by the response I got, I am not the only woman who struggles with it.  It ebbs and it flows, and sometimes it seems to have disappeared, only to show up when I least expect it.  During the past few months, I have been watching my kids closely, trying to anticipate their reactions to Audrey’s death. Worried about the anxiety that may come to be a part of their lives as well.  I pray over them at night, and I watch their movements, their drawings, their response to strangers, their sleeping patterns, their eating habits…everything.
I want to know how they are processing this loss, and I have really started to notice some things that I am in prayer about.  Kate seems to be acting up more lately (and by “lately,” I mean “upon her exiting my birth canal”) and Abby seems to be making moral decisions that are more rebellious. She wants to test the boundaries.  
Ellie, on the other hand…
Oh, my sweet Ellie.  I see so much of myself in her.
Let me back up a little so you can understand why this post has brought me to tears already.
Ellie is my mother hen (if you read this blog consistently, I promise the pun was unintended). She has tended toward worrying since she could see the world around her.  She wants to know where the war is before she goes to bed (apparently, according to Abby, it is in Kentucky.  I don’t know about that, but it satisfied Ellie). If Kate hits her, she lies and says it didn’t happen because she doesn’t want her to be punished.  She asks if everybody is wearing their seat belts when we get in the car.  She cries when she goes to Sunday School because she doesn’t want to be away from us.  One time, I overheard a bag rustling around in the dark pantry and realized it was candy when I heard a sweet four year old voice saying softly, “Get behind me satan.  I will not listen to you.”  I bought some of that stuff that makes your thumb taste bitter and I told them that they were going to have to stop sucking their thumbs.  Ellie routinely came in from another room and painted her own thumbnail, whispering, “I did it again” and then walked out of the room.
Seriously.
A few months ago, I walked out on the porch and saw her on our porch swing in a car seat.
You know, because porch swings can be dangerous.
Of course, I took a picture.  For those of you who ask about how I get all of these pictures, I will tell you.  I have a Go-Go-Gadget arm with a camera attached.
For the record, I also snapped one of Kate, who was trying to launch herself off the swing while screaming, “FFFFFFLLLLLLYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!”  Also for the record, she eats the thumb stuff like it’s candy.  I am trying to figure out whether her taste buds are stunted or if she is radically defiant.  According to my father, she is what is commonly referred to as “payback.” The truth is, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  She is an amazing kid.  
Back to Ellie.
We went to Destin this summer and visited this neat little shopping place that had all this fun stuff for kids.  My kids don’t really like to do the whole “ride” thing.  They have to be coerced to do anything that requires a few steps away from mommy and daddy, and it most certainly must stay attached to the ground.  Even Kate is not really up for adventure if it involves uncertainty. So when we passed by this huge apparatus that was charging $13 for a giant trampoline ride, I knew we had nothing to worry about.
Todd, on the other hand, decided that they might want to try it.  It was absurdly expensive, but I knew that they would NEVER go for it, so I smiled sweetly and told him it sounded like fun.
Kate? Maybe.  
Abby? Seriously doubt it.  
Ellie? I pictured myself as a flight attendant and decided that was a likelier scenario.  
I handed over the debit card.
Let me describe the “ride” a little further.  It involved a harness and a man who acted as a rocket launcher while sending screaming children a little past Jupiter.  
They waited in the line, and I watched as they got closer and closer.  Abby was up next.  She started to get a worried look on her face and looked at me. 
“It’ll be so fun!!!!” I yelled to the platform.  It didn’t look like fun to me, but I didn’t want her to be scared, so I smiled and gave a thumbs up.
She started jumping and I saw her little face way up in the sky.  I guess I wasn’t completely shocked, but I was surprised.  Ellie watched with a look of horror, and her face was crumpled up in a mess of nerves.  
“I’m scared.”  She looked at me. She was trying to read my face.
I didn’t want to say the first thing that came to mind because it felt weird to say, “Well thank goodness, because that thing looks like a torture chamber and I would rather gnaw off my own arm before I let that psycho launch me in the air.”
The whole arm thing seemed dramatic given the situation, so I opted for response “B.”
“I think it might be fun if you try it, El.  It’s not supposed to be scary, it’s supposed to be fun!!!”
You know how God whispers to you about 3 seconds after you give someone great advice that you yourself have been completely failing to follow?
What is she afraid of? That God will forget her in mid-air? That we will all pack up and leave while she jumps? That she will fall?
That God will forget me? That I will fall?

Last week, I had the pleasure of sharing a meal with an amazing woman named Gracia Burnham.  If her name sounds familiar, it is because she was the American missionary who was taken hostage for a year in the jungle and watched her husband die in the gunfight that saved her life.  They waited for over a year, trudging with her captors, praying for her children back in the States, begging for mercy.  They went through unspeakable hurt for months, waiting for someone to pay for them to be released. They were dirty, mistreated, hurt, humiliated. They were waiting to be ransomed.
If you talk to her about her experience, you will not sense fear, nor will you sense hostility. You will feel an indescribable feeling of forgiveness and peace, and above all, freedom. The kind of freedom that defies fear.
The kind of freedom that knows that ransom is not paid with money.
It was paid with blood.
If you believe in Him tonight, you will know what it feels like to trust completely in the One who holds you high above the discernible ground.  You know that it isn’t always perfect, and it isn’t always easy.  It is entirely possible that something will give way and you will fall, head first into the ache that is this life.
But on the other hand, you’ll never know unless you jump.
Which brings me back to my sweet Ellie.  She did cry a little, but she was determined to give it a try.  They put the buckles on her and she almost reconsidered.  She looked like she was about to back out of it, but before I could scream, “Refund,” I saw a look of determination come across her face.  It is probably not dissimilar to the expression that came across my face, years ago, as I told Him that I would believe.
I could tell you in words what happened next, but it just wouldn’t be the same.
I have seen this image in my mind so many times in the past few months, and I want to share it with you tonight.  I hope it encourages you the way it has me.  
It will forever be engraved in my mind as the moment when God whispered, “You have no idea what you would miss if you let this pass you by…”

Thank you, Jesus.  We are no longer captives…

Blessings to you, friends.  And peace be with you wherever you are tonight…
Angie

October 15

As many of you know, tomorrow (October 15th)  is the National Day of Remembrance for pregnancy and infant loss.  This includes all babies who have died because of miscarriage, stillbirth, SIDS, or any other infant death.
I am blessed to have this blog, to have many people who pray for me and for my family.  I am honored every day at the way complete strangers have made a difference in the way I am processing the loss of my daughter.  I don’t take it for granted.  Not for one moment. Thank you.
In the process, I have met many, many women who have lost their sons and daughters, and I have been praying about ways to make this blog about them as well as Audrey.  Last week, the Lord spoke to me, and I was inspired to do this…
If you have lost a baby (and yes, I consider a miscarriage in ANY week to be the loss of a life) to infant death or miscarriage, I want the honor of praying for you.  But I want others to be able to pray for you as well, the way they have for me.  So, if you are one of those women, will you please leave a comment on this post and tell us your name, the nature of your loss (date, what happened etc), and the child/children’s names so that we can pray for you.

You may post as “anonymous” for this post (I have altered settings to allow this), and you are welcome to leave as much info as you feel comfortable.  If you don’t want to share private information, you are welcome to just say, “I lost a baby” and we will pray for you.  
If you are a reader of this blog, and you want to be one of the “prayer warriors,” please scroll through the comments and be on your knees for all of the families who have lost their little ones.
Here is a quote I found the other day….I hope it speaks to you the way it has me.
Jacob, where do you find the strength to carry on in life?”
“Life is often heavy only because we attempt to carry it,” said Jacob. “But I do find a strength in the ashes.”
“In the ashes?” asked Mr. Gold.
“Yes,” said Jacob, with a confirmation that seemed to have traveled a great distance.
“You see, Mr. Gold, each of us is alone.  Each of us is in the great darkness of our ignorance.  And, each of us is on a journey.
“In the process of our journey, we must bend to build a fire for light, and warmth, and food.
“But when our fingers tear at the ground, hoping to find the coals of another’s fire, what we often find is the ashes.
“And, in those ashes, which will not give us light or warmth, there may be sadness, but there is also testimony.
“Because these ashes tell is that somebody else has been in the night, somebody else has bent to build a fire, and somebody else has carried on.
And that can be enough, sometimes.”
~Noah benShea
I will start.
My name is Angie Smith.  I lost my first child to miscarriage in January of 2002.  I lost my daughter Audrey Caroline shortly after birth on April 7th, 2008 due to conditions that made her incompatible with life….
…and provide for those who grieve in Zion-
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
   instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness
   instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
   instead of a spirit of despair…
Isaiah 61:2-3
Blessings to you, my sisters in sorrow.
Angie

Funny Kid Stories

Okay, so this was a bad idea.  There were WAY too many good ones to just pick 10.  I think you should go back and read them all if you need a smile today.  If your comment is mentioned below, please go to www.jesusneedsnewpr.blogspot.com and leave a comment saying that you were one of the winners from this contest, and Matthew will send you a copy of “Churched.”
By the way, thanks so much for all the fun comments you left about seeing Todd at the debate. I was so happy to see that the focus was on supporting my hubby getting to do something he was excited about and not about the politics.  There are plenty of forums out there where you can get into all kinds of political debates, but this is just not the place.  Thank you so much for recognizing and respecting that.  I do hope that at the end of the day we are all praying for this election and what it will mean for our country. When Todd got home last night, one of the first things he did was to kneel at our bedside (in his Wal-Mart stud-gear) and spend some time in prayer.  He thanked the Lord for the opportunity to be there, prayed for the election, and I’m sure he shared a few things that were only meant for the Lord to hear.  It is awesome that he got to be there, no doubt.  But the most important thing he did was to assume the posture of a man who wants to be in the will of God, and wants to be wise in his decisions.  What a blessing that we can all approach the Lord this way.  
I will post some pictures when Todd gets them back, and he will post his question on here as well.  A bunch of you asked, so I did want to let you know that they gave them those cameras at the end of the debate, because the rules were so strict about bringing them in.
OK, so have a good laugh at these (I sure did!) and have a blessed rest of the day…

stephanie said…
Angie~
Oh my goodness…thank you, thank you for the laughs! I don’t know if my story can compare but it still makes me giggle. When my son was about 2 we were at Wal-Mart one day, and like any other Wal-Mart trip it had to invovle a visit to bathroom. So we go into the ladies room and go into a stall for him to do his business when a lady comes into the stall next to us. My son inevitably can hear her start to pee and he starts singing “everbody got to tee-tee, everybody got to tee-tee”…..Yes this does get better! Then she lets out a toot (as we call them)…my sons eyes get wide, and he sings in a nice LOUD voice,” everybody got to toot-toot, everybody got to toot-toot”. I was literally trying my best not to fall out on the nasty wal-mart bathroom floor laughing!
On another note great job on your speaking event!
Blessings to you.

Crack me up girl you are a riot!

So, for my story – First for the background. We went on a cruise my husband and I many moons ago and they had this big game on the last day were they would say something and you had to run up to the announcer and show him your number and your item and the first five people to get to him were given points and they all added up to the winner at the end – Well long story short – one of the last things they said was a man wearing a woman’s bra and I am just a little bit competitive to say the least – so I whipped mine out my sleeve like we woman can do when we are changing in weird places and my hubby (being even more competitive than me put it on and ran up there in a jiffy – and of course friends were with us and pictures were taken. Well my sweet four year old happened upon these pics one day…

The girls were at my hubby’s office with him one day (did I mention he had just gotten promoted and was running this store at this point). Well they were coloring in one of the rooms and one of the women working there came walking in. The girls whipped around and said to her oh, we thought you were our dad – and she says – oh, does your dad were high heels much (since when she walked up they could clearly hear her shoes on the tile) And my little sweety says – well no, but he wears my moms bras.

Needless to say – he has yet to live that one down and there was a quite a bit explaining to do.

Have I mentioned -we have no secrets in our house! God bless those daddy’s with little girls too.

Kim
I think I missed the deadline, but I’ll share a cute one anyway. I have two girls that are 17 months apart and a boy that is 3 years younger than my second. Point: my son has grown up with one real mom and two older sisters that think they are moms too. When he was beginning to talk (don’t know when that was, b/c,well, he’s my third and I never wrote anything down by then), I was asking him things like, “how old are you?, where’s your nose, etc.” I asked him what his name is and he says, “Nathan.” I asked him what his full name is (expecting a first and last name) and he says, “Nathan Andrew Schmidt That’s a No”. He seriously thought that was his name!! julia.
kookie krums said…
That story had me rolling too!! Mental note, put all the “monthly supplies” up in a very high cabinet!! 

I have a story from my girl . . . When she was about 2 1/2, my husband was out of town for work, and was gone for several weeks. I took Hailey with me to the FedEx office to ship a package, and of course there was a very long line. On the wall were posters of the FedEx men with their package in hand, displaying various slogans. As the line inched forward, my impatient daughter began wandering around. She walked up to one of the posters and said “Mommy, is that my daddy?” I just laughed like “isn’t she the cutest thing?” and said “no darling, of course not.” She walked up to EVERY poster in the place and asked the same question . . . and THEN . . . walked up to the scariest looking man in the line and said “Mommy, is HE my daddy?” Sheer embarassment was all that it was. I tried to explain (very loudly) that Daddy was out of town working but of course would be home soon, but I just know every person in the place thought I was a girl that got around and my poor child didn’t even know her own father!!
julie said…
You are just the highlight of my day!
Ok, so a few years ago, when my little boys were about 2 and 4, I decided to take a shower. First mistake! I put on a movie in my room for them to watch. They were very quiet and unusually good during my shower. When I got out of the shower, I peeked out and asked then what they were doing and they both told me to “SHHH”. I asked why I needed to be quiet and they said that their baby mice were sleeping. I was just pleased that they were happy and continued getting ready. When I was done, we all went out in the living room and started playing. A few minutee later, a lady from church rang the doorbell to drop off some things for the sunday lesson I was teaching for her. We went to the door, always a highlight, to meet her and her little 5 year old boy. My “sweet” little boys then asked the little boy if they wanted to play ‘mouse’ with them. The little boy said yes and off they went. As they were running off, I did hear my 4 year old say to the new boy ‘wait, I will get you one’. So, the church friend and I started talking a little when we were greeted by three boys…all with an opened tampon cupped in their little hand, petting it with the opposite hand. I was speechles and asked what they were doing with ‘those’. My 2 year old then said ‘mommy, you wanna hold mousy. Mommy see mousy tail?” 
The 5 year old had even found a crayon and gave his mouse some eyes! 
jenny~ said…
My cousin, who was 3 at the time, came home from church one Sunday and proudly announced to the family: “I figured out why we drink grape juice at church.” (You know, for communion.) My aunt, ready for a beautifully spiritual answer from her sweet, little blonde daughter, retorts, “Why, honey?” And my cousin, fully convinced that she was now in-the-know, replied “Because Jesus was the King of the Juice!” This is a classic story in my family that we still laugh about 20 years later!
penny said…
hmmmmm… how about this one. After we lost our sweety Mackenzie friends of ours offered us their beach house in St. Pete Florida. We were thrilled to be able to take the kids and get away for awhile. We had a fabulous time and the kids loved it. Right before it was time to come home they were preparing for a hurrican……. sorry can’t remember which one but I did remember to bring all the kids…. anyway, we loaded up the van and headed home. The next week I went to pick up the Logan at Sunday school and his teacher came out in the hall and asked about our vacation. I told her we had a great time and wished we could have stayed. She said “Well, I thought I should tell you when we asked for prayers and praises Logan raised his hand and said “Thanks God for letting us go on vacation it was really fun. I just wish Mom didn’t make us go home when the “hooker came”. I blanched for a moment and then realized what he meant. I told her no hooker but Hurricane….. She still giggles about it.
We were at my cousin’s wedding. Royce (3) was sitting next to my mom. She was seated next to this random man. This man was a biker dude with a long gray beard and a long gray pony tail. There was a prayer said during the ceremony, and the room was dead silent. Royce looked over at this man in the midst of the dead silence and said plain as day, “Are you God??” (!!!) Everyone around him did their best to muffle their belly laughs. The man almost lost it too. This is what God looks like to my sweet 3 yeard old boy. 

And the rest of the service Royce kept saying, “I found God! I found God!” He was so excited! And whenever a prayer would be said, he would start up all over again. “God is over there!”
lauren said…
My husband owns a restaurant and my 2 year-old daughter and I would go in and have lunch every week. After bible study one morning, I invited my friend and her 5 year-old daughter to have lunch with us. After we finished our lunches, my friend and I were visiting when both girls said they needed to use the restroom. Since Breleigh (my daughter) knew where the restroom was, and it was my husband’s restaurant, we let the girls go together and we just kept and eye on the bathroom door. A few minutes later my friend sees the girls walking back to the table. When I turn to look, I see my daugher with her pants and PANTIES down around her ankles. She is shuffling her feet trying to walk back to the table, (which is completely across the dining room!) When Breleigh sees me looking at her she screams at the top of her lungs, “Mom, I went poop and I need a wipe!” I jump up from the table, grab her, and run to the bathroom.

After I get her taken care of, my husband comes up to me and asks what happened. Apparrantly a table complained that a little girl was wandering around the restaurant with her pants down and poop on her bottom. It was so embarrassing.
kris said…
My 3 year old daughter knows me. I have NO time to waste in the morning. So she PROUDLY announced that she had gotten herself ALL READY without help, from anyone! She even talked about putting on her ‘new backpack’ all by herself! Not thinking twice about it, I praised her efforts and scurried along with the rest of the morning’s duties. When we got to church, I noticed that her familiar dress had a slightly different look to it, and then I remembered her little voice “new backpack”… I turned her around to see that her ‘backpack’ was actually a pair of MY UNDERWEAR!!!

:) Angie

What a Day

Final Update. Unbelievable.  He didn’t get to ask his question, but man, Wally-World never looked better.  Highlight of the evening: Abby asking why he was just listening to them and not singing.  She is irritated that he just sat still the whole time instead of performing.  Hard to explain the whole “potential leader of the free world takes precedence” thing.  Anyway I just talked to Toddy and he is on his way home….he said that Obama asked him what he did for a living and when Todd told him the name of the group, he said, “I’m going to look you all up on the internet.” And Todd volunteered to send him some CD’s.  Preach it, baby!!!! So, needless to say, I will have to post the funny kid stories tomorrow when I have gotten some sleep.  Thanks for all of your emails and notes of encouragement.  This served as a great distraction on a hard day….and please, be praying tonight for our country and our future president.  Goodnight!!!!
Update #3 Todd is the second one on the right of the stage, green shirt, bald head. He is next to another baldie…I can’t believe he’s that close (to the candidates, not the baldie)!!!

Update #2 Todd just found out where he will be sitting. Turns out you might actually see him because he is in the FRONT ROW. Yes. I’m serious. He is beside himself. He is all secret-service about it and keeps calling me and talking in code, telling me where he is. I don’t know that he needs to be talking in code, but I think he feels tough on account of his new outfit. He was right in the middle of a sentence and they called everyone into another room and he was like, “Gotta Go.” Click. Unbelievable. So there’s the 4:50 pm update. Also, C-SPAN will be covering the debate a half hour before and a half hour after if you want to tune in. If not, just look for cutie-pie bald man in the front row. Please pray for him to feel calm…he said that they don’t know who will ask their questions until the ACTUAL moment in the debate, where they say (for example), “Todd Smith has a question….” and then they ask it. Can you say AHOY, matey?!?!?!? I’m so glad it’s not me….

Update #1 (I’m sure there will be many today!!! Feel free to tune me out if you get bored:)) Todd just called me from a “break.” He was so excited he could barely speak. Apparently there are about 100 people who are there and he is definitely going to be “on the stage” tonight. Out of the 100,000 calls they made, he was #10, so he thinks that means he will be up there. And also, he just got to shake Tom Brokaw’s hand. I am trying to imagine what that would feel like, only in my version, it’s Brangelina. Anyway.
He might get to ask a question on stage tonight, and he is really pumped. He is going to murder me when he reads this, but bless his heart, he was pacing around our kitchen the other night in his boxers practicing his question over and over at 2 a.m. He is the sweetest thing, and his question is REALLY good (although I am sworn to secrecy because it could affect his chances of asking it). I’ll keep you posted!!!! Go TODD!!!!!!
(original post follows)
First, let me post this for you all from my sweet husband…he sent this email out this morning to friends and family.
“OK, here is the latest.

In case I didn’t tell you all. I got called randomly by The Gallup Poll last week and by the end of the conversation was asked to be a part of the debate tonight at Belmont between Obama and McCain!!

Gallup called again last Wednesday asking for my SS# and telling me where to meet today. They said I would be receiving a packet by Monday the 6th with instructions.

NO packet came yesterday so I thought, “Oh great, I just got duped by some brilliant con artist.” Angie was sweet enough to tell her Bible study last night about it and to pray about it.

Thank you ladies.

Gallup called at 7AM this morning. Apparently Fed Ex wasn’t so Fed Ex. A bunch of people didn’t get their packets, or they found them in their hedges, or on the other side of their lawn!!

All that to say I am in, and thanks to the 24 hour always open time I will be wearing something very fashionable from WALMART because I have not had time to go anywhere else!!
I got there at 2AM last night and kept all the tags on until this morning just in case I really did get duped.

I’m bringing my cell phone, but once I get to the meeting they said I will probably have to shut it off. I will try to update Angie if I can. Many of you had great suggestions for questions. Chad Cates said I should ask them about “CCM music, and who their favorite trio vocal group is in CCM!” Excellent question, but I won’t be asking that one. Allan had suggested, and I might take him up on this, that I write Selahonline on my belly, and than if I get asked a question raise my shirt up like I’m stretching and and show it off like the “Soybomb” guy did when Dylan performed at the Grammy’s!! Okay, very scary thought.

I am so excited and I can’t wait to experience this.

There is no guarantee that I’ll get to be on stage or ask a question, but if you do see me get to ask one, just pray when I talk I won’t turn into Pres. Bush on camera!! “We’re gonna put food on your family.”

take care

todd

I’ll email everyone tonight when I get back home. We meet Tom Brokow this morning and than they will go through and choose from the questions we have pre-written down. I’m allowed to prepare two.”



So, it was FOR REAL!!!!!!! I was scared yesterday that he had gotten his hopes up for nothing. The rumor is that they only invited 150 people by phone (completely random selection!) and Todd was one of them. He went to college at Belmont and is SO excited. He is wearing a green oxford-ish shirt and khaki’s, and he has no hair, so we might be able to spot him tonight at the debate!!!! Just wanted to let you all know. Incidentally, the doorbell rang while I was typing this and “the packet” arrived. I’m sure he will keep it as a souvenir…

I’m so excited for him. Please pray for his day!!!!!

In other news, the contest for “funny kid story” is over, and I will be announcing the winners today, so check back in a little bit. I am really excited to be a part of this particular giveaway because it involves one of my best friends. Remember Jessica? Well, her husband (as you may already know) is an author, and his latest book, “Churched,” released today. It is his first hardback book, and it is HILARIOUS. He gave me an advance copy and I read it in 2 nights:) It chronicles his life growing up in a very conservative church, and let me tell you, the world through Matthew’s eyes is a treat. If you are interested in purchasing it, you can do so here. His blog is jesusneedsnewpr.blogspot.com/. So proud of you Matthew…

And the winners of the contest will all get a signed copy of the book!!!! I still have a few more to read, but I will post them this afternoon.
Finally, there is a sweet woman who I have been corresponding with in the past few months, and today is the day she welcomed her baby boy, Isaac. He lived for about 16 minutes, and is now with the Lord. Please visit her blog if you want to offer support, and please pray for great peace for her today.

For those of you who follow my blog, you may have noticed that today is the sixth month mark of our Audrey’s passing. I am okay (I think?), but really missing her. It is a rainy day here, and somehow I knew it would be. I think we are going to head over to her grave in a little while and sit. Please remember us in your prayers today, and our sweet baby girl. It is hard to believe it has been half a year since she was with us. I want to write more about what I am feeling, but honestly, my spirit just feels tired.

I know there is a lot of information in this post, and it feels a little “all over the place.” I am not editing, and I want you to know I am grateful to have this place to come with my morning coffee and just share a little life, as jumbled as it feels sometimes. Oh, how I need Jesus today.

So, in conclusion…

Pray for the hubby
Buy a great book
Pray for Stacy and Isaac (and the whole family)
Pray for me
Check back for a good laugh later this afternoon when I post the great kid stories people sent

That probably would have been easier….

I will be back in a little while~
Angie

I Survived!

***Update!!!!*** I am laughing so hard that I cannot stop.  I have decided that this needs to be a contest.  I have an exciting prize to give away tomorrow, and I am going to give away 10 of them.  Leave your comment here….I am going to choose my “top 10 funniest kid moments” and announce them tomorrow afternoon…..please leave your comment by 10:00 a.m. tomorrow (10/7). LOVE a giggly Monday. Thanks to everyone who is a part of it:)
I woke up Friday morning and had three panic attacks.  I honestly could not get out of my bed and I kept rocking and saying softly, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus…”  I would start to feel a little better and then the panic would wash over me and I just had to beg Him to settle me again.  One of the ladies who spoke at the conference this weekend was discussing the fact that public speaking is more of a fear than death, and Jerry Seinfeld quipped years ago that “this means that if you are at a funeral, you would rather be in the casket than giving the eulogy.” I thought that was pretty funny.  Well, I didn’t think it was that funny on Friday morning, but I can laugh now because I can feel my legs again.
It was an awesome weekend.  The ladies at Southland did an absolutely fantastic job, and I feel like I have made friends for life.  We have already planned to get together in a few months:) I just felt so accepted, so free to just “be me,” so blessed to be a part of such a great event that honestly, I forgot to be nervous.  I walked in that room and I sensed the presence of the Lord. My spirit just settled and I knew it was all going to be okay. I was thinking of the encouraging emails I received, and the prayers I knew went into that room ahead of me, and it was a beautiful night.  It was a big leap of faith for me, and I want you to know that I am grateful for remembering me while I jumped.  I think God loves to take the things about you that you feel really insecure about and make you walk through them because you get to see the way He shows up. I am glad I was obedient, because I felt the presence of the Lord in a deep, meaningful way.  A way I would not have experienced if I hadn’t gotten out of bed.  Thank you, Lord.
Public speaking is a source of great anxiety for me, and an area that I do not have a lot of pride in.  I don’t feel like I do it very well.  I am insecure.  I told God that on the way to Lexington, and He reminded me of a story that involves me and my pride.  I am going to share it with you here, because I feel like if you have stuck with me this long, you are entitled to a good laugh at my expense.  
Several years ago, we bought a new house.  It is a nice house, and I was a little over-eager to show it off.  We were having company over one evening, and I had spent most of the day throwing clutter into the back of closets, hanging “skinny” pictures in strategic places, and making sure the bed linens were crisp.  I was flittering around the house, one room to the next, preparing my “image.”
Abby and Ellie, sensing my eagerness, decided that they wanted to help me “decorate.” They were 3 at the time, and while their intentions were good, they were really more in the way than they were helpful, so I shuffled them into a little space off of my bedroom that I use as a craft closet and I told them to work on it.  They were so content to have this little space to design, and I needed to fluff things. It sounded like a good plan.
I checked in on them every few minutes, but as it started getting closer to “company” time, I had to go put on my makeup, so I slipped into the bathroom in search of the right lipstick to impress the guests.
I will look like I have it all together tonight, that’s for sure.
They weren’t really close friends, so there was a chance I could pull it off.
And they were going to love my style (and, in turn, love me! Isn’t that the way the world works?)
Ellie comes and stands beside me, trying to get my attention.
“We made it pwetty, momma.”
“Mmm-hmm. I bet you did!” I am nodding like I am listening, but I’m distracted by my own reflection.  
“I can’t wait to see it.” Now for eyeliner. 
“We did the stickers.” Ellie is smiling.  She is really proud of herself.
“Oh, how great! Where’s Abbby?”
“She’s workin’ on it. Wanna see?” 
“Oh, baby, I can’t.  I need to get ready, but thanks so much for your help.” 
“You don’t wanna see it, momma? We were workin’ on it. It’s so pwetty”
“OK, honey, I’ll come see it soon.” I dart into the closet and leave her standing there alone in the bathroom.  I get dressed and brush past her again.
They kept chasing me around the house while I lit candles and vacuumed. They just wanted my attention, but I had a one track mind.  They were so proud of their work and all they wanted was to show it to me, and I was too busy to care. Too wrapped up in myself and my stupid house to listen.  Well, God was about to have the last laugh.
I am taking the guests around the house and showing them the layout, kicking any semblance of normalcy under the bed, telling about this and that and who knows what else.  The girls are dancing one step behind me because they know that the last stop on the grand tour is the master bedroom and I am going to show off their contribution.
I get to the little door and say something like, “And this is what I use as a craft room….” and before I can finish my sentence, I look into the room.
“We did the stickers, momma!!!” They are dancing around and clapping because they are so deliriously excited that they have thought to decorate with stickers, and the stickers are everywhere.
Only, they aren’t “stickers” in the traditional sense.  
They are maxi-pads.
And they are everywhere.
They are hanging from the bookshelf, from the windowsill, from my fabric, from my desk.  It is a maxi-pad party and it is happening.  To me. 
That sticky side is no mess, people, because they are hovering from angles previously unattempted by personal products. 
And I literally start laughing so hard that my children think it is a response to their genius decorating, and they are laughing and pointing and we all just fall on the ground, because really, what else can you do? You have the perfect blouse, the ideal neighbors, the gold record on the wall…..and NONE of it matters.  It is completely negated by the fact that this door just opened and your whole life, your real life, the ugly side of life, just fell out and smacked you on the head.
He had to smack me on the head.
If you have been to my house since the maxi-party of ’05, you will probably notice that I am more laid back with my entertaining style. 
And I am thinking of adding an interior design course for the little ladies. You know I’m not one to miss a learning opportunity…
:)
I hope you got a good laugh out of that one….anyone else have a good “kid-humiliation” story?
Angie

The Room…

I wanted to post these so you all could see the beautiful room you helped us decorate for the Hope Clinic.  The mommy who will be in it had her baby this week, and will certainly be blessed by your generosity….
This first one is Kyla (who did not see my butt), me, and Lauren (who, incidentally, has also never seen my butt).



This last one is Renee (CEO and president of the Hope Clinic) holding up the tile that Kaye made for the house.  
The wreath above the bed is made of cherry blossoms in honor of our Audrey-girl.  I cried when I walked in and saw it all put together…what a sweet blessing you have given.  Thank you to each and every one of you who helped to make this a safe haven, and may the Lord repay you for your generosity…
Also, please pray for me if you think of it on Friday. I have my speaking engagement in Lexington and I am really wanting it to be a great night of fellowship. Please ask the Lord to bless the women who come to meet Him there.
And also pray I don’t pass out and show my pirate panties.
Love and blessings,
Angie