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

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  • Roxanne Kristina

    Bless your sweet, dear soul. God bless you for your ministry.

    Blessings,
    Roxanne

  • Ackerfam

    thank you for your posts-they encourage me so much. I love those trampoline pictures! Thank you for what you do!

  • Judi

    That last picture says it all. Thank you for sharing.

  • Julie

    Wow. Angie, thank you for taking the time to share so vividly. You have an amazing ability to draw tears and muster up complete laughing all in one sentence!

    THANK YOU!!!!!!!!! Be blessed Angie, you are loved, and oh so appreciated. Really.

    Julie
    Sacramento

    PS. Are you still homeschooling? I hope you are enjoying it and if you can… will you post an update on it and encourage me as a fellow homeschooling sister? Thank you!!!!!

  • Jenny

    What a beautiful post!!
    I loved the last picture!! Freedom!!!Flight!!
    Thanks for sharing!
    :)

  • Beth

    This is your best post ever…AMAZING!!!! Thanks so much for sharing…I love that picture…it should one of those encouraging posters that says a phrase at the bottom “Believe” or something.

    Congrats for the courage!

  • 3 Little Monkeys

    Oh Girl you got me good! God has used you to speak to me with that one.
    Thank you.

  • Baby John’s Mom

    Incredible.

  • CC

    Now that?

    Was beautiful.

    I have been so blessed by your blog, your stories, and God’s work through you.

  • Sara

    I had to step away from the computer twice before I had myself together enough to comment.

    You put your own fear aside to encourage your daughter to fly. You gave her wings and she showed her faith. And in her faith she put her fear aside to encourage you to fly. Amazing how God works full circle.

    I was an Ellie when I was little, a worrier, waking with stomach aches and crying over fears that didn’t exist. And life kept handing me hard things, and God kept saying, “See… I’m still holding you.” Now my trials are persistent every day and Ellie’s face is the picture of my heart. I have no fear because I am ransomed, I am held.

    And you, my friend, are a gift.

    (maybe not a gift to chickens, but to mother hens everywhere.) :)

    Blessings on your day…

  • SonReignsRanch

    what an amazing look on her sweet face….

    you are right, sometimes it is best to simply let go, and let God take over…

    as you know I recently miscarried, what I don't know is if you ever received the letter I emailed you shortly after I did….

    and the hurts we have faced this summer being in the middle of a church split and being blamed for it….

    anyhow, thank you again Angie for sharing your life so very transparently for all of us out here. Thank you for your testimony, for your faith, for your sacrifice. for giving yourself to God and allowing Him to use you for His glory.

    here is a copy of that letter from the beginning on September, the very day we found out the baby had died. I had not yet begun to miscarry – there was just the high probability that I would. I almost bled out twice after I did begin to miscarry. I was in the ER twice, the last time with a bp of 77/44. I don't remember much, but they were getting my husbands permission for transfusions. God intervened though, no transfusion and all of a sudden my bp started to finally climb. I hope it is ok that I leave it here.

    thank you.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    A few months back I was led to your blog, and have been so blessed by it. I need to share with you why today. I KNOW God (not the link from another blog) sent me here for today. Today I am carrying a baby that died in my womb- In fact I only found out this morning. I wans't quite 11weeks along, and this isn't my first miscarriage, but it is my first since I became a Christian- which does make it feel horribly different. I know several things however. 1. without reading your blog the last few months I know I would not have the strength to handle this. We do already have 5 beautiful pecious children, somehow it feels like that should make it hurt less- but it doesn't. Other than my husband and my children no one knows the baby won't be arriving in March. 2 That this is only a season and like your beautiful baby God will use this for good in our lives, although at the moment it is very hard to see how.

    I have prayed for you for the last few months but I need to ask you to pray for me over the next few days especially. You see I havn't actually miscarried…yet. I am simply carrying a dead baby inside me. I asked the doctor for the weekend since it didn't seem to matter the choice I chose. I know taking "the pill" is NOT a choice for me- so that leaves us with 2 options- wait until God expels the baby or do a D&C next Wednesday. Maybe the hurt is to fresh, I just don't know what to choose.

    I feel so lost.

    The last few months have been hard on us. We were youth leaders at a local church- we God fired for actually preaching the TRUE Gospel- challenging the kids to get real- We have no church home currently. The Pastor and his wife have hurt our entire family, they have shot the sheep of their flock rather than shepherd them. We are one of more than 10 families of strong Christians that were asked to go.

    We have been meeting with several other families of believers in a home church setting the past few months.
    My husband is an active duty Marine- so off to work he went after the news today. I feel so alone. And the 5 children I mentioned, we have homeschooled since my oldest was 4 (she is 13 now) – she actually handled the entire household this afternoon as I had a good cry and fell asleep for most of the day. Pray that I can continue with homeschooling faithfully and not let this bump in the road, this fiery trial affect my walk in Christ.

    I just recently started a blog. and no -it's not much yet. But you can take a peek at who we are there if you would like to http://sonreignsranch.blogspot.com/

    I do have some questions- but perhaps you can simply read this email for now. Did you shut down on Todd when you lost Audrey? I couldn't even look at my husband Frank as he brought me back from the hospital and I really don't want to talk to him tonight (knowing he will be home soon) I don't know what to do. What starts that healing process?

    I want so badly for that ultrasound from today to be wrong- for a heartbeat to be there, for heat to be on the screen showing any kind of life. I am afraid to do this any way but naturally JUST IN CASE they are wrong….

    forgive me I am rambling. Thanks for taking the time to read this. God Bless you and your family and your ministry.

    Jennifer

  • Trisha

    You know, Angie…I read your blog all the time…I never really post; I think only once or twice. I have followed your story for months! I have to say, I so enjoy your posts…They bring such a smile to my face ( I still think of you as I walk past the “willow sticks” at Target…yes, they still have them…on sale. I say hold out of $10 clearence!)…such a peace to my heart, and such perspective to my ever-so-stubborn mind. I ABSOLUTELY loved these pics of your girls. I so relate to Ellie…I am the BIGGEST worry wart (and it aint goin anywhere anytime soon). This post resonated with me so…The final pic made me well up something fierce! Can you believe it? I mean….wellin’ up!! That beautiful face, with pure, unadulterated freedom and trust! Oh, how I wish to experience such trust!!! Thank you so much for sharing! As a mother of two, I relate so…God bless you all! Now I am off to go dry my sappy eyes..re-read your post…and hit the books (I am in nursing school [yikes..the best place for worry warts] and have a HUGE test in the am). Thank you for the diversion…and thinking of you always!
    Trisha
    San Diego

  • linda

    Once, just once, would you blog a post that does not bring me to tears? I am an Ellie. Bless you.

    Linda Fraught

  • Jessica Latshaw

    Beautiful story, beautiful, heartfelt metaphor…

    And I guess I really am a dancer because my first thought upon seeing Ellie’s pointed feet and straight legs in that final photo was, “ooh, what nice lines she has…”

    And then I saw her face and was reminded of the freedom that God intends for all of us.

    Thank you for writing, it is so inspiring.

  • Kendra White

    just what i needed on this sleepless night:)

  • Ann-marie

    You have no idea how much your words spoke to me tonight. It is a long, loooong story to explain but basically my husband will need to travel on business to China for 8 weeks in early January. Faced with the prospect of staying back home with 2 small children (and no extended family nearby) it seems best that we all travel with him. To some this may sound like the adventure of a lifetime…. however, since it’s the 3rd time in 4 years that a stint in China has come up for our family (each time leaving me sobbing mercilessly at the prospect and ultimately refusing to go) I am struggling to finally submit to what God might be asking of me/us/our family. Not just grudgingly stomping my feet and saying “Ok, FINE. I’ll go if it means we’ll just get this ‘China-thing’ over with.” But to miraculously go with true peace and the right attitude and heart.

    The exact word I have used to describe it to friends is “fear”. Fear of the unknown, fear of being in an uncomfortable place, FEAR of what it “could” lead to if I *gasp* trust God with this one. Wonder if we end up selling all our earthly possessions and never, ever return to my cozy home in America?!? (slight sarcasm here :-)

    So thank you again for being God’s voice of reassurance and comfort to me tonight. I’m going to read it again tomorrow. And the next day….

    Ann-marie
    prague6.blogspot.com

  • Jenny

    Beautiful! That picture really does speak for itself!

  • ~Alicia~

    Oh Angie, I have missed you this week! Every day I’ve come back to check because I needed an Angie fix! (Or maybe that should be a Smith family fix!)

    When I started to read your post I couldn’t believe you had chosen to write about fear, because I have been struggling with that this past week. It is so much work to overcome fear! But if the end result is anything like the expression on Ellie’s face in that last picture, then it sure is worth it!

    Thank you as always for being so real and honest. I will be praying for you to triumph over your fears as I try to overcome my own.

  • Skerry

    Wow!!! I love the picture of Ellie as she takes flight. :)

  • Gayle

    By the way you write you can tell your words come from the heart.

  • jesusfreak1322

    i have never posted a comment but have been an avid reader of your blog since it first began… i am not gifted with words the way you are and it seems that i don’t know what to say. so i will write from a poem that reminds me so clearly about you and your girls:

    You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.

    The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.

    Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;

    For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

    i will continue to read and pray as i have for months!
    GOD BLESS YOU,
    janett

  • Heather

    Precious!

  • kjoy

    You’re right that once we stop to think about it, fear really does rule too much in our lives (my life!) and there is no reason that I should let it keep me bound. Finding the right way to take that leap of faith seems tricky, too, though; I guess it depends on the situation. Thank you so much for sharing. It’s the perfect end of a long night for me.

  • Amanda

    Thank you so much. I have seen myself in you when you talk about your fears and anxiety. And I see myself in your little Ellie, because I was the high-strung, fearful, worried little child. How wonderful for her to let go of it. I wish the same for you, me, and anyone else who is the same way….

  • THAT GIRL

    Your story is precious, and your daughter is a treasure.

    The tears fell when I read your words.

    Reminds me of the promises I hold dear:

    Perfect love drives out fear.
    I am suffering for the Lord.
    His eye is on the sparrow.

    Fear is an exhausting thing, worry can be crippling. But, you have eloquently reminded us that the blood of the Lamb has already fought and won that battle!

    Be strong, take courage, have no fear.

    I feel like The Little Engine that Could so much…

    And, your Ellie… I don’t know how your heart didn’t just burst with love when as you witnessed her taking courage!

  • Jen

    Angie, can I keep you? I’m sure if I brought you home my husband would say yes if I promised to look after you. And even if he said no, I could hide you under my bed and smuggle you apples.

  • Faith

    That face.

    Blink.

    That message.

    Blink.

    I have no words.

  • Still Cross Photography

    This is exactly what I’ve been needing! It’s one thing to read and study the bible but to hear words like these! Thank you for encouraging me to allow God to be in control again!

  • Tracy

    Thank you – beautiful post – you are truly letting Him work through you, and using your hands and heart to bring blessings, insight, and open arms to His amazing grace – You inspire me – Thank you.

  • Amy Waldron

    Angie,

    About 2 months ago I was flipping through the tv channels and I came upon a show titled Kidnapped (or something like that) on Nat Geo channel. Since there was nothing else on I decided to watch it. . .It was about Gracia and Martin. My heart ached for Gracia at the end of the show as she was holding Martin after the gun fight. I couldn’t stop telling everyone the story after I saw that. WOW! How blessed you are to have been able to sit down with her. Thanks for all that you do to further God’s kingdom!

  • Mandi

    I’m so glad you captured that moment with a photo! It’s perfect.

    I could have written parts of this post myself but the words would not be as beautiful as yours. God has so much planned for us that is beyond our comprehension if we are only willing to go there with Him. Thanks, Angie!

  • Lauren & Eddie

    I AM Ellie! Thank you for your encouragement!

  • Kim

    I really don’t have any words…that last picture has me in absolute tears and I thank you for sharing it with us. You are precious, as is your story, which continues to touch the lives of many in more places than I’m sure you realize.

    Blessings,
    Kim

  • Baby be Blessed

    Oh, so sweet Angie! God is so awesome in how He speaks and teaches! May Jesus continue to hold your family in His mighty hands!

  • Jenny

    Angie,
    I’m yet another reader who so rarely comments. My small group is working through Breaking Free, and it’s not what I thought it would be at all, yet it’s exactly what I need. Thank you for giving us a beautiful picture of what freedom is. I love your family and the ministry you have here, and the way God anoints your words. Blessings, sister.

  • queenoftheclick

    Thank for your sweet words Angie.

    I’m off to work and it’s a great way to begin because of what I read.

  • bub

    You have such a gift. Thanks for this post.

  • All Things BD

    What a glorious, glorious picture. Great post.

  • Ruth

    I am crying as I write to you. I have been wrestling with God over something the He has clearly indicated He wants me to do.

    This “thing”, by my earthly vision, has a very large chance of bringing even more hurt to my already wounded heart. It requires sacrifice and patience, and I Don’t Want To Do It!

    Last night I told God that I wanted Him to just let me alone over this one; to please release me.
    Now I read His words in your blog, “You have no idea what you would miss if you let this pass you by.”

    I have written the words down and will carry them with me. Even though I still strongly feel unwilling, I will surrender.

  • Ashlie

    you are truly gifted angie. the gospel is so real. thank you for showing it to us in your lives, in such a precious way. tears are in my eyes!
    in christ alone,
    ashlie (athens, ga)

  • gillian

    I LOVE that Ellie is so honest, what a blessing! “Get behind me satan, I will not listen to you!” Priceless!!! What a sweet girl!

  • JennaBug

    Angie:
    I could tell you my life story and all the ways your blog has inspired me, spurred me on, touched me, reminded me, blessed me, encouraged me…etc. etc. etc. But I think it is enough to say that I completely and fully appreciate your ministry and have passed your words along to many who need them. I feel like I know you. Like, sometimes I think I expect to see you on Sundays! Thank you for your transparency.

  • Sara

    Thank you for sharing your story about fear and jumping. I’ve been following your blog for a while, and have been continually encouraged by your faith and focus in life. I too struggle with fear and am working to jump in my own life. God is certainly using you to speak to me about His faithfulness, and His ability to catch me when I decide to jump. Thank you.

  • Jen

    What a sweet, beautiful girl!! I aspire to be the mom that you are.

  • Crystal

    Angie,
    The last picture took my breathe away and brought tears to my eyes. How wonderful that Ellie released herself to her fear and trusted Him to care for her so that she could experience the joy and freedom that is written on her face. As always, thank you for sharing. Still praying for all of you……..

    Crystal
    Lagrange, Ga
    crystal0911@gmail.com

  • Lauren

    That picture of Ellie just made me cry! What an incredible visual image for your message, so beautiful!

  • Billie

    I literally lost my breath at that last photo. Thank you for who you are and what you do.

  • Brittany

    I’m crying now. You touched me completely in those places that fear the most. I’m one of those people who try to “save” themselves. I try to do everything myself. Like you said, what if He forgets or let’s me fall. Thank you for sharing.

  • Jocelyn

    Thank you for sharing this with me. You have reached out and touched me and as I type this I have tears streaming down my cheeks. I am in a terrbile place right now, so many health issues and my poor body is tired and I live in fear each day as to what is happening to me. the look of joy on your daughter’s face was enlightening and your unwavering Faith is astounding. I only wish I had half the ability to handle my fears as you do! I pray for you and your family and hope that I will understand and accept soon!

  • Aspiemom

    Angie, each time I read what you write, it’s like receiving a gift. Thank you so much for your words and your pictures.

    (I’m not one who lost a baby. I never could get pregnant and had an early hysterectomy. But I still grieved as so many of you.)

  • Kaye

    THANK YOU!!! I needed to hear that. Thank you! Sometimes its so hard to just let God hold us… thank you for reminding us. He is in control. We do have such an amazing GOD!!! Thank you Angie!

    I know the lady you had lunch with, I believe she was kidnapped and kept in my country. I hope you tell her that I have kept her in my prayers when she was going through it. For some weird reason, I feel like asking for her forgiveness for my people. It is very good to know she has forgiven though. Thank you!

  • Valerie

    I love her precious face as she’s up in the air. Such a sweet smile as she’s looking up. God has blessed you so much with the gift of writing and sharing. I am encouraged by you. Thank you for sharing.

  • perilloparodies

    Praise God!! Thank God for His DELIVERANCE from fear!!! “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind…” (2 Timothy 1:7)and thank you for the most wonderful reminder… you have been linked to perilloparodies.blogspot.com Have a wonderful day!

  • Shannon

    The paragraph with Ellie, “Get behind me…” and “I did it again.” That deserves a “Seriously!” Too sweet.

  • Jess :)

    Another beautiful post, Ang. I had the pleasure of hearing Gracia Burnham at a church in Kansas City. She has an amazing story and is such a witness…just like you! Thank you for sharing all of your heartfelt posts.

    Love you,
    Jess :)

  • Melissa

    Angie,

    Once again your words have brought me to tears…..but with a joyful heart at the same time. :-)

    Ellie's picture makes me want to fly……I really believe that this is speaking to me in an area of my life. Thank you!!

    Blessings & prayers,
    Melissa

  • new mom in law

    Seriously, just what I needed to hear today. Thank you for being obedient to God and sharing His word. Thank You.

  • Melissa@MamaMonoblogs

    My goodness! I can’t read this blog without crying from laughing so hard, or crying tears of sorrow or crying tears of joy! All I know is that the second I start reading your words I start crying. God bless you RICHLY for pouring out your life for Him on this blog. You will never quite know how many people you have touched.

  • Halfpint

    Your words never fail to amaze me. This entry touched my heart in a way that you probably wouldn’t expect. When I got to the picture of Ellie jumping for joy, I just started bawling.

    Thank you so much for sharing your life and love for Christ with complete strangers through your blog.

  • secondofwett

    Thank you for the encouragement…that last picture says it all…

  • KK

    Thanks for sharing a wonderful story and great pictures. Your girls are precious! So glad she ‘jumped’, what a feeling of ‘letting go and letting GOD’!
    Praying for your family each and every day, for peace of mind and continued strength and healing.
    Blessings today and always,
    Kaye
    PS Couple those feelings with ‘hot flashes’ and picture that in your mind:) I promise it wouldn’t make a good photo-op:)

  • Tracy and Andy Yates

    Angie,
    God is using you in so many lives! The stories, and thoughts you share touch us all so much! Thank you! This might be my favorite post so far!

  • southernjoy

    Sorry for the deleted comment… I had a typo and it was bothering me :-)

    Thank you, Angie, thank you for this beautiful post that has moved me to tears. I, too, suffer from panic attacks and am held bondage by fear. I needed these exact words today more than you will ever know.

  • The Wade’s

    Thank you Angie for sharing. Your last picture says it all…

  • Krystal

    What a sweet and wonderful post! Thank you for this reminder…that we are forgiven…

    And Ellie’s face is priceless in that last picture!

    Thank you for sharing…
    Krysta

  • Sara

    Angie, dear sweet voice of Jesus Himself, you do it to me every time. You always make me cry. I wish so much that I could do it, I want to do it, but I don’t know how. I want to let go of the fear, the jealousy, the anger, the self that I am so consumed with. My husband and I are infertile (both male and female factor) and I’m having such a hard time with trying to find the purpose of it, the reason Abba chose me to suffer this when it is so against my desires and my will, my control. I stumbled upon your blog months and months ago and He has been working on me through your testimony and your reflections and your gift of insight into what it all means. He’s definitely not finished with this part of me yet because I, myself, am struggling so hard with the lesson, but I want to thank you so much for helping Him speak to me in the earthly ways that are able to reach me. I pray for you often. God bless.

  • Chandra

    Thank you!!

  • The O’Brien’s

    One word for this post…REFRESHING! Thank you :)

  • Genevieve

    May God bless your ministry. If you haven’t already, you need to write a book. Yeah, I think God wants you to write a book, I’m prophetic that way.

  • Pam

    Your posts never cease to amaze me! After having a rough morning at work I checked your blog and you had posted – I was determined to not get a blessing today – just gonna read it and get back to work – as I set here wiping tears from my eyes I cannot help praising God and all He has done for me! The look of rapture on your childs face is undescribable! God is good despite our best efforts somedays to ignore Him! Thanks for your posts!

  • Jeanine

    Thank you for that most wonderful start to my morning. Your words touched my heart and that last picture…I can’t even find words. What a blessing.

  • Anne

    God used your words to encourage me today much more than you know. That final picture – amazing.

  • Tamara

    Amazing, amazing post! That last picture brought tears to my eyes!!!
    You mentioned Gracia. She is a missionary with the same organization I am. New Tribes Mission. I had the great privilage to hear her last spring speak at our “Special Emphasis” here at the Bible Institute. Incredible story!
    Thank you again for being totally real and vunerable. (I SO don’t know how to spell that word!)
    BTW, laughed my HEAD off at “out of the womb” comment! :)

  • mhutsell

    Pointed toes, chin up, eyes closed…yep…freedom. Love it.

  • mkcmom

    I was really missing your entries this last week. I was afraid you were going to stop posting. I just told everyone in my address book about your entry today. I love it! I’m so glad that God will catch me when I fall! He has blessed me and my family abundantly! Thanks for your words from God!

  • nwkinjapan

    Angie,

    I am touched! The image of Ellie is an inspiration.
    Thank you again- you have once again brought tears to my eyes.

  • makemineaquad

    What an incredible shot at the end. You’re right, that one stays with you.

    I’m sure I will think of this post often.

    Thank you.

  • georgia tarheel

    That is amazing, Angie. I agree that the first jump is always the hardest…regardless of what you are jumping into! Way to go Ellie! And what an amazing mom she has to not place her own fears/doubts on to her child. Thank you for sharing and for giving the rest of us a place to share as well.
    I have been in prayer for the number of people who listed abortion as their loss. I agree with you and stand with you in prayer that Satan would not have a hold any longer on the hearts and minds of the women who posted here.

    You are a blessing!

  • lespitts

    you are such a blessing! i am doing breaking free right now and this post adds to the principles taught in it. i really needed to read this about trusting and believing God. thank you.

  • ChippsFamily

    Wow the last picture and your words with it brought me to tears! Thankyou for a great start to my day. :)

  • Grammy

    I was to sing a solo last Sunday for morning worship in my church. I had prayed that God would lead me to the right song and had settled on one. But in His wisdom He gave me another. The song that He gave me was I Claim the Blood. And I do. He gave His precious blood for me and I claim the ransom!

    Thank you for this post. Our God is truly amazing.

    Rosemary

  • jamie in rose cottage

    Beautiful. Thank you.

  • The Fountain’s

    What an amazing post! The trampoline pics are wonderful, the last one says it all! = )

  • Tami

    What an incredible picture! That’s one for the mantel indeed!! Thanks for sharing, Angie. I, too feel like God calls me “higher” sometimes, but out of fear… I stay planted where I know it’s safe. I am praying about these opportunities in my life, and your post really spoke volumes to my heart. God bless your day with those beautiful and spirited girls.

    Love,

    Tami

  • Hi, I’m Amber.

    This is exactly where I’m at. We’re standing on the edge, about to jump and I’m scared silly. It’s so out of my comfort zone. But I keep remembering that God doesn’t call the comfortable, He comforts the called. And I will keep that image of Ellie’s face in my mind. Thank you so much for sharing!

  • Madelyn’s Mommy

    Thank you!

  • Autumn

    What an amazing illustration. In words and in pictures. You are such a gifted person, and I appreciate your honesty. I’ve been “stalking” your blog for a short while now, and the posts have blessed me and encouraged me. Thank you for your “real-ness.” (Is that a word? Propbably not!)

  • Denise

    I can’t put into words what your words do for me. I love reading your stories and can’t wait until my girls (20 months and 4 months) begin my storytelling days. You have such a way with words and God. You take wonderful pictures, what kind of camera do you have? The last picture of Ellie says it all. God is good! Thank you for your words, they make me laugh, cry, hope and pray.

    Denise

  • Julie

    All I can say is thank you…thank you for your continued words to all of us. You have touched my heart and soul beyond words today.

  • lillian08

    You speak to my soul & I can't thank you enough!! Oh, how I needed to read this today too!
    ((hugs))

  • minda312

    Oh how I needed to read this post today. Thank you thank you thank you.

  • Tina:0)

    Oh, what a wonderful God we serve! He knows just how to use one person's story to encourage, reafirm Himself in others!

    I am an "Ellie" & am trying to raise my girls to be more "Kate"- like!

    Thank you for sharing & for using the gift of words that God has so obviously given you!

    Tina:0)
    http://nevaehkaylenewalp.blogspot.com/

  • Liz

    I have missed you !!! And you did it again – moved me so much with your words and gentle spirit. But this post was worth the wait. Thank you again, dear, dear Angie.

  • Destini

    Thanks so much for sharing your heart. It blesses me so to read your words.

    I am reminded daily of how much blessing my children have brought me over the years. It is entirely possible to learn and grow in Christ without chidren, but oh the lessons my children have taught me in regard to my relationship with the Lord!

    It is amazing how he uses children to bring blessing and honor to his name.
    Have a great day!

  • Sarah

    Just when I think your posts can’t get any better, they do.

    I loved this one. It spoke volumes to my heart and soul.

  • Leslie

    Wow!!

    That’s all I can say right now.

  • Catherine

    Beautiful.

  • Sharon

    Angie,
    I have never commented before but followed your journey from the beginning. You inspire me and I pray that if I go through anything as painful as losing a child I will do it with half as much grace and strength as you do.
    Your post about your sweet Ellie makes me think of my first born. He was gripped by fear until about age 11. My husband, his daddy, was adopted at age 8 and had been through many homes and an orhanage. I truly believed a lot of Jordan’s fear was generational. I had started Beth Moore’s “Breaking Free” about the time Jordan was 10 and God used it to set Jordan free. I began to pray ABUNDANT LIFE for him. One thing that broke my heart was how he wanted my faith. I would tell him “I can’t give that to you, you have to learn it for yourself but Jordan you can can choose who’s voice you will listen to…His or Satan’s”. We had scriptures taped above by bed so at night when he woke up he could cry out to God on his own first and then I would join him if he needed me to. He actually would ask me to read things to him from her smaller book “Living Free”. I still have on his bedroom wall, in Chalkboard Paint, “He will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast because he trusts in You!” (he is now 16) Is. 26:3
    One day he said “Mom, God doesn’t speak to me like he does you”. and I told Him he would, it just meant sometimes really having to listen and then we prayed and asked God to speak to him. RIGHT after that I went to my room to spend some time in the word and I opened up to Psalms 16. Beside it I had written Jordan, 4.26.93….almost a year after he born. I read through it and began to cry and ran to his room..’JORDAN, God is speaking to you, he knew when you were 10 months old what you would struggle with and He wants you to know this today!! We had prayed about him being safe at night and God being with him during the night, that our house was safe and I had prayed privately for him that his inheritance would be different than that of his dads.
    All of that to say..he still carries the weight of the world on his shoulders sometimes, he is a deep thinker (and right now is worried about the economy) BUT….he was set free!!!! He became a different child.
    Talking about how different kids are I have four (three bio and one adopted from China six months ago). About 5 years ago our cat had gotten run over, we rushed it to the vet. When they called later and said it had died here were the comments from the back seat: Jordan(anger): “Mom, you let it die!!”
    Madalyn: heart wrenching sobs that went on forever!!
    Kailee: (youngest at the time); “Oh….can we get donuts now?”…LOL!!!
    I am sorry this was so long….Just wanted to share with you and let you know I will be praying for you and Ellie…
    Thanks for always being so vulnerable!!!
    Sharon

  • Amanda:

    Wow.

  • Suzette

    What an amazing post!

  • Erin

    I gasped out loud at that last picture. I’m without words, Angie.

    Thank you for an image that I will never forget, in a time when I am fighting the captor that is fear.

  • Melissa Irwin

    Wow, what peace, calm and beauty she displays in that last photo. Such a perfect story and parallel, Angie. It left me with goosebumps and sweet tears. Thank you again.

  • Kristy

    A loud gasp and tears suddenly jumped out of me. I love her excitement. The things that you wrote remind me so much of my oldest son (he’s 6). He’s the big brother and takes it seriously and he doesn’t like seperation (kindergarten was tramatic) but once in a while he gets brave and loves the experience. Thank you for sharing yet again.

    p.s. I will be seeing you Thursday night in Michigan. Safe travels for all your family.

  • Kris

    Angie!
    Thank you for this beautiful post!

  • Sheri

    This so spoke to my heart as my husband and I have just sold a business we have owned all of our married lives (30 yrs) and are moving to Brazil to be missionaries. Sometimes I feel the fear whelming up in me and then I (try to) quickly run to my Father’s arms where peace can once again reign. I sooo don’t want to miss what God wants to do….

  • HappilyEverAfter

    That just gave me goosebumps… you should blow that picture up and frame. Thank you for sharing.

  • Leslie Watters

    What a sweet story. You have an amazing way of touching lots of people.
    Thank you for your posts!!!

  • A & S

    Thank you so much for each post!!! I love to read your blog because you have a way of revealing God’s love and grace and mercy in all areas. I am going through a terribly difficult time in my life right now, not knowing but still wondering . . why God. What is this trial leading to. And yet you give this post, that reminds me to simply trust. God will hold my hand through this, I simply have to trust in Him and His timing. He knows the plans. . .
    Thank you Angie for your gentle reminders!

  • Tamara B

    Thanks for the encouragement. Just a thought on the thumb sucking (which may be considered abuse these days). About 25 years ago when I was at that stage, my mom would cut the end off a jalapeno pepper and twist it around my thumb. I was so stubborn that I would suck my thumb and cry until I got the jalapeno flavor worn off. Yes, I’m still stubborn like that! Mom’s efforts were in vain until the day that she was cutting carrots and as she cut said “this is what I’m gonna do to you if you don’t quit sucking your thumb” (something along those lines and she wasn’t serious I’m sure) and she cut and the end of the carrot rolled off into the floor. That did it for me. I could suck off the jalapeno taste but couldn’t have my thumb cut off.

    Let me say that my mom is a wonderful woman and wouldn’t have cut off my finger and was never abusive but she apparently said the right thing in that moment. Best wishes with your stubborn child!

  • Kelly

    Oh that was AWESOME!!!!!! I love it and I needed to read this today desperately!

    P.S. I sucked my thumb until I was 12 (mostly in my sleep after the 3rd grade) and I learned to love the bitter tasting stuff. It was worth it to get that thumb. ha ha ha ha! I also wore braces and headgear for 4 years thanks to that delicious thumb. :-)

  • Teske

    I really appreciated your post today – it brought tears to my eyes! I can relate to what you said in many ways.

    I wanted to share a verse with you that I always go to when fealing fearful… “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

    On a different note – I have to tell you that I respect you so much for your thoughts and message to women who have had abortions. I co-lead a ministry for women who’ve experienced child loss, Mommies with Hope, and it is our belief that despite what has been done, we as Christians are called first to Love!

  • Inkling

    Oh how I needed this post about fear and to see the pictures of your sweet Ellie.

    You see, I got brave and signed up for a women’s retreat this coming weekend. I don’t really know more than three women very well at my church, and none of those are going. I got a call that I’m to be riding with three “fun and hip girls”. Let’s just say that I’ve never had much luck with my peers, especially of the fun and hip kind. I feel more comfortable with 70 year olds. I’ve been dreading this weekend and been grumpy that God would stick me with the “fun and hip” crowd for three hours in a car, when He knows I’m already doing Him a favor by going to a retreat that is light years outside of my comfort zone. I’ve been acting like a scared little girl, wishing her mommy would say that a retreat at a Young Life camp is the worst place to even think about going, and give me permission to stay home in my little isolated bubble.

    That last picture spoke to me clearly as if it were God saying, “See, that’s what I want your whole self to look like when I get you away so that I can whisper something really cool in your ear. And you really don’t need to be afraid of the ‘fun and hip’ girls. I’ll be right with you, and you have no idea how ‘fun and hip’ you are yourself.”

    Thank you. I so needed your words and your pictures today, but I didn’t even know it.

  • becca

    Angie, what an awesome post! And the last picture is so wonderful and ends your story so well. Thank you for your words and your ministry.

  • walkingbyfaith

    Your gift of words is amazing.

    However, the final picture of Ellie so free and peaceful touched me far more than anything. What beautiful girls you have. I just wanna hug them all!

  • Erin

    That look of pure joy on Ellie’s face brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for this post. I am a worrier too and I struggle each day to give it to the Lord. I say to myself over and over “My Jesus is the same.” I got that from you. Thank you for that.

  • Jaye

    Thanks Angie for sharing your story, it has been a good reminder of why I also chose to believe and why I walk with determination each and every day towards Christ.

  • amy

    Oh, Angie!
    You gave Ellie beautiful wings! I’m covered in goosebumps.

  • Q’s NEWS

    I love all of your posts so much and I am so encouraged that I have a book of yours to look forward to reading one day.

    Isnt it funny how each child is so different? My Anna (who is now 22) was and still is like Ellie – when she was about 4 I was driving down the street one day and she burst into tears. What is wrong, sweetie, I asked as I couldn’t think of a thing that could have upset her so much. She said, between sobs, I feel sorry for the man that is walking down the street that we just passed! So I asked her if she was worried because he was walking and she said no, I am sad because he is old so that means he will die soon and I feel sorry for him! How sweet is that? She has always been so full of worry. Every time she earned money or received birthday money she would hide it in a different place in her room. I asked her once why she had money all over her room and she promptly told me that if robbers came into our house and they found one hiding place they would think they had it all and quit looking! Too funny!

    Anyway, I wanted to encourage you with your fear issue. I, like you, have suffered from fear and anxiety my entire life. i, like you, was beyond terrified to fly. There came a time when I HAD to fly – Anna was on a traveling cheerleading competition team and they had to fly as a group to their National competition. Well, I could NOT put her on a plane to die by herself. As the trip was drawing near, my older brother, Philip, who is a missionary, told me that God knew the day I was born what day I was going to die. And yes, it could be the day I fly BUT, he said, it won’t matter where you are at that appointed time, when you are supposed to die, then you will die. He said it didn’t matter if I was flying, sleeping, whatever. Somehow that explanation has really freed me – I can now fly without Xanax and I have also flown alone. My brother really put it into perspective for me.

    Sorry this is so long, but I hope that my brother’s statement will somehow ease your fear as it comes up. He also told me once (and this statement has helped me numerous times as well) that God is seldom early, but never late.

    Blessing to you and your beautiful family!

    Susan
    West Virginia

  • hsturner

    Thank you for your wonderful words of wisdom. You read my mail. I’m an Ellie and I sometimes wonder if God has forgotten me but through your post he’s showing me he hasn’t. Thanks for letting God speak through you.

  • Ami

    Such freedom, and such joy! They so often go together – and yet fear holds all of us back from experiencing them as fully as God would have us.

    I posted last week, sharing my story after discovering your blog for the very first time. I’ve since gone back and read the entire blog… my husband thought I was crazy one night when he came home and I was bawling over something you’d written. But, what a blessing! Thank you so much for your opennes, honesty, and ‘real-ness!’ May God continue to bless you and your family.

  • Jennifer P.

    I have an Ellie, her name is Rebecca. :o ) She, too, struggles with fear… or more specifically, she struggles with trust, especially trust in God. I am sympathetic to her struggles, as I, too, was there not too long ago.

    Why do we think that if we are Christians, the Lord will protect us from all hurt? But we do, and when the bad times come, we are at first struck with disbelief that our loving Father would allow this huge hurt. ~Aren’t we? I know I have been hurt by this common fallacy over and over again.

    Rebecca, I am glad to say, is coming out of her fears. ~Not all of them, not completely, but I see amazing progress. It has been just over 2.5 years since her Dad died. She is only 12, but God is still in a relationship with her personally. He leads her, He teaches her, He is in the process of transforming her into the image of Christ.

    I see this, and I am comforted. The God of Heaven is leading and comforting my precious child, just as He does with me. Through His tender mercies, He allows me to see the work He is doing in her heart and in her life. And in this way, I can more clearly see His path of healing for myself.

    We serve such an amazing God. What a gift it is to be loved for ourselves, just where we are; yet also to be loved enough to be continually brought closer to Him through our transformation into His image.

    I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.

    And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

    Rom. 12: 1-2

    thank you for sharing your heart…
    Jennifer

  • Jennifer P.

    PS. That picture of Ellie “flying” is precious. It makes me wonder if letting go that completely would bring me that much joy. :o )

  • Gina

    Thanks….you bring me to tears.
    I know that look….I have seen it on my children’s faces too…. I only wish I had a picture of it like you do. It’s that look that fixes everything and makes the world stop and mom suck in her breath and try not to cry form all the love inside.

    Beautiful post.

  • laceylyn

    perfect perfect post, Ang!! loved it.

  • Stacy

    I just love that picture! To me, it screams freedom…it is for freedom that Christ set you free.

    Thank you for this blog.

  • Nichole

    Thank you so much for this post. I so needed that encouragement today and thank you for reminding me that I have been forgiven and set free.

    You write amazingly well and again – thank you so much!

  • Tamara

    Two things: First, I love the picture of Ellie…it made me tear up in an amazing way! thank you!

    2nd…I didn’t leave a comment on the last post because I have been told FOR A VERY LONG TIME that losing a child to abortion is not something you can put in the same category as miscarriage or through death after birth. I have been told I need to share my story elsewhere so I assumed this was the case across the board.

    I know I am forgiven but boy it took a long time to realize this. It’s been 14 years in January and I won’t ever forget but I do know I am loved…so I just wanted to say thank you for the point you made to allow women who have lost children to abortion to grieve…thank you!

  • ~ Stephanie.

    wow. I’ve been reading your blog for a couple of months now, and I am touched, encouraged and brought to tears (sometimes from laughter!) every time you post. God bless your sweet family.

  • Amber

    I normally don’t comment on your blogs even though I enjoy them so much. I just figure you have so little time, and so many comments to read. But this post really “hit home” to me.
    My number one struggle is with fear. Fear that something bad will happen to my child, to my husband, to me. I am not talking about being a tad bit fearful, I am talking crippling, panic driven fear. If we travel, I see terrible accident scenerios flash through my mind, ect. If Addie gets bitten by ants, I see a second in my mind where Ants are swarming her! Crazy, I know. But, I know that I just need to trust God and let the fears go…but everyday I struggle with this. All of this to say, I was very encouraged by your post…and reminded that it is also a control issue. I need to relequish control to the Lord, who should have it in the first place.

    You have a gift and God is using you! Thank you for letting Him!
    Amber
    Paris, TX

  • Miller Family

    What an amazing story. How brave sweet Ellie was and such a testament to how brave we should be. Thank you for sharing. Once again, your words have brought me tears of joy and love.

  • DSusic

    I just have one thing to say.. Thank you… Your words are always so encouraging. I have to admit I got a little teary eyed reading this and thinking about what am I afraid of. Will God ever leave me? No of course not because the bible says he will never leave me or forsake me, but I have to be honest there are days when i feel so far away. I find myself having thoughts that God can’t possible love me as much as other people around me that seem to have these great Godly talents. But then I read you blog post and it totally brightens my day. Thank you so much for sharing with all of us! You are such a blessing!

    One other thing… I just have to say thank you for loving your children so much! I am not a mom yet, but I can’t wait for the day! Listening to all your stories and hearing the trials, but also all the joys of being a mother makes me look forward to it so much. I just pray that when I do become a mother that I will be just as wrapped up in everyday with my children and teaching them all about Jesus as you are. It was so cute to hear about Ellie in the pantry telling Satan to get behind her. That just shows what an amazing influence you are on your children. Way to go Angie!

  • Rebecca & Sam

    i have heard gracia speak before and she was incredible to hear her story. i read the biography of their year in captivity and got chills! your family stories are a blessing! thanks for sharing and i can’t help but think i want to be like you with my daughter! teachable moments!!

  • Cheri

    Ahhh, head tilted towards the son,wind in her hair and smile on her face…I love it!

  • Susan

    Angie, thank you so much for this post. I worry over everything, and am constantly fearful for my children, but am also afraid (go figure) that my anxieties will be passed down to them. This post was just the encouragement I needed, and I marvel at your (God’s) timing. I will be reading it again, I know.
    There are days when I think that God led me to your blog and He is preparing me for something… some tragedy… and then I think that’s just plain silly, and I am just too much of a worrier. I know we all face hard times, however, and I know your words will be remembered through any new trials that may come my way.
    Thank you.
    Susan

  • Susan

    Oh, I forgot – the thumb sucking! Ugh! I have a very persistent thumb sucker, closing in on 3 years old. Her poor thumb looks awful. If you find something that works for your Kate, please share? :)

  • Alaine (or Lanie)

    I wish I could always trust that God won’t leave me. I know it in my heart but it’s hard to know it in my head sometimes.
    Love your photos as usual!
    Oh..and that bitter thumb stuff…my parents tried that on my brother and I and we quickly realized that it would wash off with toothpaste. :)

    Alaine

  • Honea Household

    Sweet blog. Praise God for saving us.

    How awesome that you got to have lunch with Gracia Burnham. I grew up in the Philippines as a missionary kid. Her story is amazing.

  • Karen and Shane

    priceless photo! What pure joy! I love it!

  • Ordinary Mom

    I am left speechless. Your words move me in such a way I can’t even explain. Thank you and god bless!! The last picture says it all!

  • clkight

    i love the last picture! you know what? you’re right, i’ve been afraid to feel free. i want to completely let go and let god as we’re always taught to say but i’m not quite sure HOW to do that. but oh how i LONG to! i want to feel like ellie looked. my fear is close in ranks to my guilt. guilt that i haven’t mourned enough, that i’m going thru the process too quickly, that not enough people have heard about my loss and therefore have not hugged my neck and said i’m sorry…the guilt of why i need to feel like that?!? ugh! it’s ok to be free, in fact that’s what god wants for us, he paid a mighty high price for our freedom. like i said in my oct. 15 blog, let us not forget that god, the father also knows the loss of a child thru death.

    thank you angie, although we will probably never meet or email each other on a regular basis, i love you and pray for you often!

    xoxo,
    carrie

  • Amy

    Hi Angie-

    It seems as if you really hit it home with a lot of people with this post! I too am one that has been reading for months, come for my Angie/Smith Family fix daily, and rarely comment.

    However, this post really spoke to me. I can’t explain it, but my heart feels it. I find myself experiencing a mixed bag of emotions as I read this post. I was laughing and crying, nearly at the same time!

    That last picture, will forever be with me.

    Thank you for your words, thank you for speaking to my heart.

    Amy

  • Sab

    Wow…
    They say a picture is worth a thousand words… they forgot emotion! That is wonderful. thanks so much for sharing this!
    I am also plagued by fear… I need to learn to step out so I don’t miss out too.
    Now I must dry my tears.

  • Joy

    As a fairly new reader, I am still so amazed by your writing. I end up laughing and crying both in each post. Even though I haven’t experienced much of what you’ve gone through, you write with such transparency that it touches me anyway. Thank you!

  • Lindsay B

    Instant tears crowded my eyelids as I read this while at work! Thank you for sharing the ways you see Jesus in all areas of your life, because he’s there! Such a simple story could be told and it would be cute, a child overcoming her fear to find the joy and excitement in trying something new. But God is using you and these simple examples to point to Himself – He is in the little moments of all our lives, if we’d only stop to listen, to trust, to leap. Thank you for speaking to my heart and for showing a true expression of the JOY we feel when we take a leap of faith.

  • Erin

    Oh Angie,
    You spoke the heart of God here. Thinking of those women living in bondage to their past just broke my heart. I am leading Beth Moore’s Living Beyond Yourself with a group of women from my church. This week we learned about how we hold onto painful sin in our pasts and how it hinders our growth in Jesus. Why is it so much harder for us to forgive ourselves than it is for God to forgive us?
    I ADORE the look of freedom on Ellie’s face. It SO captures the sweetness of my Father’s grace.
    Thank you for diligently praying.
    Love,
    Erin

  • Lewis Family

    amen.

  • Julie

    What a beautiful picture of God’s freedom in grace. That is the most beautiful picture, it will be forever emblazoned in my mind about letting go and being set free.

    I just noticed there is another Julie in CA that homeschools. LOL, this whole time I thought putting Julie in Ca would differentiate us.

    Julie in Visalia,CA

  • Keri

    Beautiful

  • Suzann @ Lavender and Roses

    I love this. I cannot even begin to express how much. I read through the entire story, word by word, taking my time and patiently savoring each moment. Then I saw your daughter’s picture and my eyes welled up with tears and I was covered in goosebumps. I am truly blessed by reading this today. You have touched my spirit in a way that I will be forever thankful.

  • Lisa D :)

    Thanks so much for sharing this story. That last photo of your sweet Ellie says it all — how awesome!
    Go Ellie, GO!

  • zanesmommy

    What an awesome picture of how God’s grace, love, and forgivness makes us feel.

  • Kelly C

    Angie,

    First, God uses your blog to speak to me just when I need it. When He puts the book deal together, it will be a best seller! I’ve printed off some of them and passed them on to my friends who are internetphobics! and will gladly purchase multiple copies of any book you write to pass around as well!
    Now back to the Ellie story- I have to share the experience I had reading it. I logged on to the local christian radio station first so I could hear an update on Fireproof viewing in our area (an awesome movie by the way!) Well from there I went to your blog (paused the beautiful music you have) and started reading. I wasn’t paying too much attention to the music in the background until I got to the picture part. As you began to talk about Ellie, the fear and hesitation I heard, “My heart beats, standing on the edge but my feet have finally left the ledge. Like and acrobat there’s no turning back.”
    AS I scrolled down to the sweet picture of comeplete surrender and with that freedom, I heard, “I’m letting go of the life I planned for me and my dreams losing control of my destiny feels like I’m falling and that what it’s like to believe so I’m letting go.”
    God put your words and pictures into a video for me! How awesome! I had Godbumps and tears both!
    Thank you for sharing!

    PS: Any news of a new Selah CD soon?

  • Susie

    I am pro-choice and I normally have a problem with pro-lifers. Most that I encounter are so judgemental and damning. You state your position in such a loving way, I can’t help but respect you and your beliefs. Perhaps if other pro-life supporters employed some of your faith and love, it won’t feel so awful everytime I read or hear something from them.

  • Jennifer

    Every word you write is a blessing. Thank you…over and over, thank you!

  • lissilulu

    oh my…
    The Lord is working through this fear thing with me this very minute.

    I didnt know I was fearful. If you asked anyone around me they would say I am one of the most courageous women they met….that is what they tell me anyway.
    I do things out of obedience to God not because I am not afraid.
    I am reading Joyce Meyers book *the confident woman* right now and God is using it mightily to show me some things that were hiding in me and binding me without me being aware they are there.

    When I saw your daughters face turned upward with joy and peace and trust all over it and her feet leaping from the canvas it made me weep.

    Lord let me look like that precious girl to you in your sight.

    I am amazed at how the Lord brought your post just at this time.
    Thank you for your tender heart and servants attitude Angie.
    Your dear friend,
    Lori

  • Cindi

    Thank you Angie! I was laughing through the tears. You truly have a way of touching my heart! Bless you! **Cindi**

  • Staci

    Wow. Thank you for sharing things that make me look past myself and into the bigger picture. I can’t wait to buy your book.

  • Martha

    I have goosebumps right now. That picture of her head up, eyes closed, sun in her face…such trust and faith. Every now and then, I feel like I’m no longer young enough to find my true faith. It seems like letting go of fear is getting harder as I get older.

  • gbmom2407

    Thank you SO much for your faithfulness.
    I wanted to tell you that we just started the Mayala Stop on our son’s thumbs also so that he will stop sucking his thumb (dentist orders) as soon as it was dry and i released him he went back to sucking it… thinking it did not work or wasn’t very strong I stuck his other thumb in my mouth… I think my husband is STILL laughing. Let me tell you… it is nasty.
    Thank you for all your stories and for being so open.
    I appreciate you.

  • Melanie

    Beautiful thats all that comes to mind of what you wrote… The pic of Ellie on the trampoline in the air reminds me of the song from “Selah”… “You raise me up!!!” Thank you so much for ministering to me and to others. May the Lord bless you and your family abundantly.

  • traewilder

    What I love most about this blog is the way that I am constantly encouraged to see things in a different light. To see the teachable moments that I so often miss because I am being a sensible mom, or because I am flying through my days just trying to get the inevitable to-do list done. I would have likely told my husband he was crazy for even thinking about putting our children in such a contraption, and then we would have turned away and headed for the safe cotton candy line. I’m missing it all. I know I am. But you are helping me start to become aware of those moments. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  • AmandaHoyt

    Thank you so much for this encouragement.
    Hugs and prayers,
    Amanda

  • Camelia Grace

    My greatest fear?

    Not being perfect.

    I confuse the world’s views about effortless perfection with God’s promise that I am “fearfully and wonderfully made”. “Made in God’s image”, that is.

    Angie, I will forever visualize the elation and freedom in Ellie’s sweet face as I continue to journey toward becoming the woman God created me to be…not the one the world says I must be. I needed the reminder that my fear is unnecessary.

    Thank Ellie for her bravery for me, would you? (“…and a little child shall lead them…” Isaiah 11:6) Let her know her example of bravery made a difference in the life of someone w-a-a-a-a-y in Nebraska. (And thank you to her Mama for reflective parenting and ministering!!!)

    Camie

  • Hall Family in MD

    Now I am crying as I read your post. Thank you, Angie for your honesty and your genuineness – realness that allows me to be encouraged. Thank you! That picture of Ellie is awesome!

  • Tabatha

    Amazing!

  • Jen

    Thanks for this great post Angie… It is just what I needed to hear. I just got home from our Wednesday morning study which I almost didn’t go to. I left last week just crying and telling my husband nobody talked to me, nobody cares that I don’t know anyone. Well I went back today and actually told some of the girls how sad I was and they were so sweet to me. I have a lunch date with someone next Wednesday after the group. :) It is so scary moving to a new place and starting over and I too struggle with fear. So Satan has definately had a few days where he got over on me. Keeping me isolated in this apartment fearing going out.

    I just loved that picture of Ellie in the air. My goodness it definately says it all!!

    Thanks for this great reminder! ~Jen

  • WendyCarole

    Thank you for such a uplifting post.
    The photos were brilliant. Your girls are wonderful and you are so inspiring

  • Russ, Anna and Pepper

    That was unbelievably powerful and touching. You have such a way with words and stories. Your beautiful girls are such warriors, taking after their wonderful parents! Thank you for your encouragement, faith and stories.

  • amberdawn

    Thank you so much for addressing the topic of abortion. I myself had one over 13 years ago. And while God has forgiven me, Satan tries to torture me with this fact at any given moment. But, with God’s truth, I know that I am forgiven and that any other thought I have on the matter, is not from Him. I have since been able to counsel and pray for other women that were considering abortion. I am so grateful that God has turned my mistake into some wonderful opportunities to reach more people for Christ, and to help others to not make the same mistake. I will continue to pray for these women on your blog that Satan will not be able to torment them any longer, and that God will continue to give them the truth to battle him!

    I am so glad that you are able to do so much for other women through your words and from your loss. You will definitely have many, many treasures in heaven!

    Thank you again for being a true and transparent witness for Christ.

  • Amy S

    What a great picture! The sweet absolute freedom of letting go of your life to Jesus!!!

  • Marc and Charity

    Oh Angie, that made my cry. I am bound my fear as well. Seems I’ve always been. I LOVE that last picture, thank you for sharing. God has been dealing with me for about a week over a certain issue and this post was another little nudging toward what I need to do.

    PS-my old college roomate is Ashley who sang for y’all last night. I told her I was beyond jealous that she is even there! :) Blessings to you Angie!

  • Kristin Ross

    My heart screams, “Yes! Yes! YES!” when reading your beautiful post. I often find myself worrying about everything. Every detail that I do not know, or cannot know in advance. Thank you, and Ellie, for reminding me to put on a brave face and all of my trust in our Lord.

  • Addimando Family

    Thanks for the great picture!!! The look on her face is priceless.
    I especially love the line when you write “type” how God whispers 3 sec after you give advice that you have been failing to follow… wow that one really hit home.
    I just love your posts so thanks so much for them.

    Thanks.

  • Amy

    Such a look of pure joy! I have learned to take a few jumps myself lately, thanks to my boys God has blessed me with.

  • megan k

    WoW, beautiful…

    I’ve read Gracia’s book and it’s so powerful and life changing…

  • Candace

    That last picture just made the tears flow. How AWESOME! Love the way you write.

  • petrii

    Joy unspeakable about full of Glory is what that dear child says to me. Thank you for sharing your heart ~~ Ransomed indeed.

    Love,
    Dawn

  • The Porter Family

    Oh my goodness. That last picture of her just says it all. Your post was definitely inspiring. Thank you so much for being such a dear encouragement to me :)

  • Annie

    We had to beg the contraption guy to let our then two year old onto it. They shot him up in the air, HIGH about 50 times, when he got off the guy asked him how it was, he said “kinda boring” I think we’re in for some ho$pital bill$ in the future. I’m still queasy just thinking about it.

  • ladybug732

    On my journey in this subsequent pregnancy after losing my Audrey Ruth, I find fear is constantly waiting in the wings. Or rather, the devil is waiting in the wings ready to put fear into my heart. But God reminded me through the words on a restaurant sign, “fear is not one of the fruits of the Spirit.” And God also told me before I even knew I was pregnant again, “Believe in what you have not seen,” which in my case is a healthy and live baby in my arms. So I’m believing Him and trying to enjoy ever minute of this crazy leap of faith I’m on. My expression might not be quite as gleeful as Ellie’s yet, but I felt such a lightness today as I watched my baby play with his/her nose on the ultrasound. (Audrey liked to play with her ear.) And I know when I hold that sweet and healthy baby in April, I’ll be smiling because I’ll finally see what I believed in. What an amazing work that the Holy Spirit does within us, that we can choose faith over fear, that we can go “from strength to strength.” Bless you, Lord!

    Kathleen

    “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1

  • sjfdmf

    Your posts almost always move me to tears either from laughing out loud or from sadness. As I scrolled down to see that last picture, the tears were streaming down my face. It caught me by surprise as I wondered why this post brought on the tears. I think it is because I could relate so strongly to Ellie and was in awe of her bravery to overcome her fear. What a lesson for me to work on in my own life.
    Thank you so much for every post you write. I always learn something.

    Dee
    Connecticut

  • Darlee

    I love that even in complete abandonment, Ellie keeps her toes pointed…a true ballerina at heart! The look on her face is priceless.

    What an amazingly profound and sweet post Angie. Thank you for including us in your struggle to give way to Him.

    Darlee

  • Amy

    Beautifully written. Beautiful reminder. Thank you.

  • Tonya Gray

    That picture is one that is truly worth “a thousand words”. I hope you enlarge that and make a poster of it! Imagine if she could see her face like that whenever she is overwhelmed by fear, or trampled on by mean spiritedness! Amazing, absolutely amazing!

  • Amy

    I should just know by now to have a box of kleenex by my computer when I read your entries! Your Ellie sounds just like my Bella and some days she alone is the reason I get out of bed in the morning!
    Please pray for me and I for thee…

  • Kim

    That gave me tears and chills. Just beautiful.

  • Katie

    Awww, the last picture!! What you can’t say with words- a picture says. This brought tears to my eyes, this last shot. Thank you!!

  • La Familia Garcia

    wow, what an amazing moment!
    My husband and I have been hearing the Lord call us to missions. For a long time we’ve had many excuses not to go, or to persue it later. We are now, stepping in faith and trusting the the Lord will continue to hold us in his grip as he has always done. I have heard God whisper something similar to us!

  • Darlene

    Oh, Angie. You are so very gifted at sharing what God speaks to your heart.

    Not by coincidence, God began pressing on me that my recent struggles are a result of the strongholds of worry and fear. Although I knew I was a worrier, God made it clear to me that I am captive to it. It is ruling my day.

    Ah, but God wants to rule my day. And He wants me free. I tell you, He spoke this to me just two fragile days ago.

    To read this post today…, well, it is simply the very hand of God working through you and touching me. I am grateful that you are a willing vessel.

    The photo of Ellie is truly priceless.
    Freedom for the captives.

    Now, I must lay the fear down. Every five minutes, if I must…. but I must lay it down.

    Again, thank you.
    Darlene

  • mandy_moo

    I’ve always been an Ellie, too.

    In first grade, I had a mean teacher that yelled a lot. One day I was so set against going to school that I just started sobbing while my mom put my piggy tails in. My mom asked what was wrong and I told her I didn’t want to go to school. When she asked why I said “because my teacher yells a lot!!” My loving, wise mother asked “she yells at you?” And I said “well, not me really, but the other kids.” My mom just could not understand why, if the teacher wasn’t yelling at me, I should hate it so much. But I’ve always been one to feel the pain of others as strongly as though it were my own, it is both a blessing and a curse. I remember with my first miscarriage two years ago I said to my mom that I was glad it was me and not my sister, or any of my brothers’ wives, or any of my husbands’ sisters or sister-in-laws. But I am trying to look for that courage that Ellie showed, the courage to fly. I’m trying to find the joy amidst the sorrow. Like one of the other posts here, I am going through a missed miscarriage–I have not yet passed my baby but my baby stopped growing. Please keep me in your prayers; you will be in mine. Thank you so much for sharing.

  • SixValentes

    I burst into tears when I saw that last picture. That is how I want to live my life. Thank you so much!

  • carriex3

    I love your blog, and am blessed by your honesty. From the blogworld, tagged you are it, refer to my blog
    http://www.creativeandblessed.com
    tell atleast 5 facts people probably don’t know about you.
    carrie

  • Cathy

    Can I just voice what all of us are thinking…can we please have a “Meet Angie Smith” convention????:) You would pack a sporting arena out….and then I could give you the hug I so want to give you!

  • Kara K

    Angie-

    I have been so blessed to have stumbled upon your blog. Your faith is so amazing. You are truly blessed.

    Your Ellie and my Ellie are kindred spirits. My Ellie is such a mother to our twin boys, Nathan and Zachary. From the day they were born, she has looked after them, loved them, prayed for them and taught them. It makes me smile to see all of the motherly love in her 6yo heart.
    Unfortunately, our little worrier is struggling right now. She is having anxiety attacks that are disrupting her sleep. Worrying about grown up things, school things, and imaginary things. We are praying for God’s guidance as we help her to resolve these worries of her heart.
    I pray that one day soon, we see the absolute joy and freedom on our Ellie’s face that we see in your Ellie’s last picture. God’s essence captured in a moment forever…..

  • Cara

    Perfection. That is Ellie, you as a mother, and God as he walks us through.

  • Melissa

    Angie, God has truly gifted you! I am moved and inspired by each post that you share with your readers… and I cry every time! Thank you for sharing your life with the blog world and thank you for being so honest in your posts!This is my first comment and I’m not sure why it has taken me so long to comment but I wanted you to know that you have continually blessed me!

  • Sarah

    Oh Angie, you have no idea how much I needed to hear (read) your post today. I am so bound by fear at times. Next week I have to fly with my children and it has almost been paralyzing at times. It’ so silly I know, but I am also an Ellie, have been forever. Thank you for the reminder (of things that I know, but can’t always keep hold to). What a blessing to me this day. I pray for you and your family. God is using you in a mighty way. Thank you for your faithfulness. I just wish I could once read your blog and not cry! (:

  • Carolyn

    Wow is all I can really say. I feel the same way Ellie did a lot when it comes to relationships with men. Its so hard to leap into a situation where, if history repeats itself, there is a great chance you’ll get hurt. But, will you ever know how it will turn out if you don’t give it a shot? It’s a daily struggle for me. Thank you for the reassuring and vivid description you gave in this post…it really helps me to read it.

  • MapleCottage

    Angie, you have the ability to make me cry, think and be blessed in reading your posts.. thank you!

  • Christy

    What an incredible gift for sharing you have Angie! I thank God for bringing me to your blog months ago. I have been so blessed by your writing.

  • Andrea

    Absolutely amazing (both you and your precious children)! That last picture is priceless:)

  • Leah

    She looks so free in that last picture it brought tears to me. To be so trusting and just let go..

  • Aim

    wow! that is pretty much all I can say with tears in my eyes. thank you for your words and your service! God uses every word and his glory is shown through that. ok so maybe I had a few more words other than wow! ;)

  • Christi

    Goosebumps, I have goosebumps. What you say is so true! I must admit that reading about you meeting Gracia makes me smile. I LOVE that woman, she goes to my church and lives down the street from me, she has helped me so much over the last 3 years since my husband died! What a neat opportunity!
    Thank you for being a blessing!

  • Emily

    Thank you. I often feel afraid to take a plunge. We should all be like Ellie.

  • carli

    That was a great post Angie. The last picture brought tears to my eyes. I have been reading your blog since April; You have ministered to me more than you will ever know. Thank you. I continue to pray God’s peace and blessings for your entire family.
    God bless you!
    Carli

  • Alyssa K. Krebs

    You have such sweet girls! I am just like Ellie. The Mother hen of the four younger kids in my family of six. I am always the one to say “Yes Mommy I did something wrong. Please forgive me.” And the fist to say “Guys this is not a good idea.” I try to keep all of my brothers and sisters out of trouble even if it may mean I get into trouble myself. Though I am more into taking adventures then Ellie probably is, of course I am also 15. I love to hear all of the stories you tell!
    Thanks for sharing!
    Alyssa

  • kinsey

    tears.

  • Catherine

    Your story gave me goose bumps! Thank you for your words of Faith! You have no idea how much your writing lifts others up!

  • Bonnie

    I have been reading your blog for over a year but have never commented, at least, I’m pretty sure I never have. Lots of times I have wanted to but just haven’t had the words. I still don’t have the words today but I’m sitting here, once again reduced to tears and just can’t not comment !! That last photo of your little Ellie ! The freedom ! The abandon ! I want to walk in that again. And I have no reason not to !! Thanks for all that you do, all that you write, the honesty with which you share your life and your thoughts. You are such an inspiration ! I never come visit without going away with something to think about, something to put into action, something for which I am desperately grateful to God for ! Thanks.

  • Sabra

    Thank you…

  • Rebecca

    I wanted to leave a comment on your last post, but I didn’t feel like it was the right time or place.
    My mother wanted to have two children. Before she had me she had two miscarriages. I always think about the fact that if both of these pregnancies had gone to term, I would not be here. God has a plan for me, as he does with all of the other families that posted previously. What a wonderful thought.
    I love your blog, and will continue to enjoy it. It truly is a blessing and God has used you to touch others.

  • Sab

    Sorry I already left a comment, but I’m leaving another one to tell you that I love your blog, and I want to give you a butterfly award!!

  • ju63li

    Thanks Angie, that really spoke to me. I will make a point to listen closer next time I let fear try to take over.

  • PletcherFamily

    I know you get so many comments, but I am a faithful reader of your blog, and I just have to say that your post took my breath away. It is by far my favorite post. That last picture, of your daughter being, well – free. It stopped me. Thank you so much for sharing.

  • embaby81

    WOW !!!!
    Thankyou for sharing this.
    I too need to let go of fear.

    May the Lord bless you and your sweet family.
    Em
    Australia

  • towalkonfertileground

    The timing of your last 2 posts are incredibly aligned to my heart right now.

    My heart knows you by heart. Thank you for your authenticity. Keep reaching out. You are truly annointed.

  • Al’s Girl

    Thank you so much for that imagery – I know it will bless me in my walk. Thank you again for your blog and for your beautiful girls and your openness.

  • Tif

    Angie,
    Now…that post was worth waiting a week for. I’ve been checking daily as I just love to read your post. Each one speaks to me…just when I need it most. We just went through a sermon on Sunday about trust. I felt the Holy Spirit so near to me as I struggled to give up fear. It’s not an easy one to walk away from. I do know I can do it with God’s help. Thanks for your words of encouragement.

  • AJ

    I needed that. Thank you for opening your heart to all of us. So blessed by your love !

  • The Watkins Family

    I love your blog. My husband and I have 4 boys, the youngest had open heart surgery at 8 months old. I had a m/c at 9 weeks with an unexpected pregnancy, I would have been due on Oct 15th and instead of having a baby I am getting divorced. It is a very sad time for me and your blog has really inspired me. Thank you

  • ssbean

    I am a new reader to your blog, and I love it!! Very encouraging. I really liked the line “That God will forget me? That I will fall?” It sounds like Ellie is a lot like I was growing up. Now I’m just a grown version. God really used your words to speak to me and He will continue to speak to me as long as I’m willing to listen about this.

    As for Selah…I’m totally speechless. Several years ago, I was in the hospital, life or death thing, I had emergency surgery to remove my spleen. I had complications after. For almost 2wks straight, I played Selah, and for several days I played “Through it All” constantly. Even my family wanted me to give them permission to put something else in. I couldn’t let it happen, the songs comforted me and lifted my spirits in a very hard time in my life. Please share that with your husband. Selah’s music is such a blessing to my whole family, truly anointed.

  • Jules from "The Roost"

    One of the most powerful things I have read in a long time!

  • anglswngs

    This post spoke to me more than any other and in more ways than one. Saying thank you doesn’t even cut it but I will say it anyway…THANK YOU.
    Debbie
    Annapolis

  • Pam

    Wow….thank you. I’ve never had an abortion. I’ve never been in the position to even have to consider it. But what you said to those who have…wow….so true. Our God is so forgiving and so freeing and for you to give that gift to others simply through your words…you are much admired, and thanked.

  • Lori

    Again…you words are so easy to read and make so much since. I am from Destin and I know that APPERATUS all too well :) !

  • Rachel

    Angie~
    I am continually blessed by your vulnerability, your sweet spirit, and your honesty. You truly bring me and thousands of others to the foot of the cross. What a beauiful description of what is means to be ransomed- the picture truly does say a thousand words! You are such a blessing!

  • Kristi O

    I am sure you hear this all the time… but today…. this part of you blog pierced deep…. “It is entirely possible that something will give way and you will fall, head first into the ache that is this life.” and I know it was the kindness of the Lord, showing me that yes it aches and yes it is painful at times unbearable but He is right there and He is in control. I again learn from your stories God is not surprised.

  • Christine

    Wow! At first when I started reading this…I was chuckling because my oldest daughter went on that very thing and after the first jump she was screaming and crying so we had the guy let her down. I have a picture of that which is what immediately came to mind. But then when I got to the bottom and saw that pictures…I was just brought to tears. That is what it’s like to trust in our Lord. I just got done writing a post about salvation. It took me over a week to get it done because Satan kept messing with me. Anyways…what inspiration. If anyone wants to take that leap of faith and jump into the loving arms of our Lord, stop on by my blog.

    Bless you Angie for sharing your heart!

  • Kate

    Wow…just wow…perfect picture to match just profound yet simple life changing TRUTH…keep on speaking Truth….and it shall set us FREE!!!

    Truly Gracia is a blessing…we worked with New Tribes Mission and knew of her and her families story, what a TREAT for you 2 dear women to meet and chat!!!

  • Beth

    FREEDOM!!

    you took that picture at the PERFECT moment.

  • belovedaimee~

    great post! I cried, of course. :)
    Good for you Ellie. <3

  • Sara

    Amazing story. Thank you..

    And I have to tell you a story about how very dangerous porch swings can be. The weekend before Memorial Day this year, we were at Grandma and Grandpa’s house in southern IL. The boys (ages 12, 11 and 9) and my Abby (age 9) were all in the back yard playing while the adults visited in the kitchen.

    Now, in the back yard is a sand box, a swing set and a tree swing. There is also an A frame with a porch swing on it.

    Abby comes screaming into the house. Not moving quickly, but actually screaming and holding her wrist. *tilts head* What did you do? She jumped out of a swing and landed wrong on her wrist. Umm, honey? You’re supposed to land on your FEET when you jump out of a swing, not your hands.

    Yeah. So upon some coaxing, she admitted that she had jumped, not off of the swing set, not off of the tree swing, but out of the porch swing. Of course, jumping out of a porch swing requires some finesse, apparently finesse that my graceful daughter doesn’t possess.

    She jumped out of the porch swing and landed on her back, with her arm twisted around behind her. On the following Monday, we found out that she fractured her wrist.

    Yes, my daughter fractured her wrist jumping out of a porch swing. So maybe Ellie wasn’t so far off on that one.

  • roscoepc1

    Oh my! I LOVE that picture! What sheer joy and radiance!

    Your girls are so different than mine. Mine grab anyone over the requisite 5 feet tall at a fair to go on the wildest ride possible. They can tell you how many times you can ride the Strawberries in a row before you max out on nausea. And what combo of the Strawberries, Spider, and Scrambler achieve the maximum squealage per child.

    And when they saw that bungee-trampoline thingie at their Daddy’s work picnic? You’d have thought someone opened a giant accessory shop (complete with lots of wildly coloured hair extensions) right in their very own bedrooms! Along with a limit-free accessory credit card…

    Let’s just say we stood in line many, many, many times that day. Many. I’m just saying.

    For the record? Merry-go-rounds make me nauseous.

    I think you should make posters from that picture….

  • Terynn

    IT’s TRUE!!! IT’S TRUE!!!!

    God is **JUST** LIKE THAT!!! HE SEES US JUST LIKE THAT!!!!!

    I KNOW HE DOES, because if I can see my children like I do, how much more is God, the Perfect Parent, able to rejoice over us?

    I LOVE THAT PHOTO!!!

    PS Sorry for the yelling.

    I am just soooo excited. It’s like you’re in my head!!!

  • Beth

    Thank you Angie for sharing your life with us. God is working through you in countless ways. Your story made me smile through my tears. And Ellies precious expression said it all.

  • vaneblu

    I’m crying so hard, I feel like everytime I come in here God is talking to me thru’ you… God Bless you!

    Ps: I love Kate’s pic trying to fly and even more the last one of Ellie

  • mommy2gabby

    You are such an encourager! Thank you for your beautiful posts and your caring and gentle heart. I love coming here and being refreshed.

    Jody

  • JustJess

    Angie,

    Thanks for blessing me by allowing God to use you. Little Ellie’s pointed toes show she is definitely a perfectionist…even if she did let go for a second! What an illustration.
    It’s so wonderful to hear your stories of faith and humanity. I am not a mom yet, but I love your wisdom on motherhood and living your faith. Many blessings!

    Jess

  • jaci

    You are an amazing lady,who helps in so many ways. Thank you for all the posts that bring hope and love. What a beautiful picture we all need to be so free.

  • Tara

    Angie, you are a blessing in my life. You make me laugh out loud and cry at the same time. I needed to hear your message today and I LOVE the beautiful picture of Ellie. Amazing!!

  • Michelle

    Instant tears… wow.. just wow

  • jajbs

    I needed this tonight in a big way. Thank you so much… you will never know how much the Lord uses you to speak into my life. Thanks for being obedient!

    amanda

  • Holly

    One of the best things I have heard or seen. Thank you, Jesus!

    Thank you so much for sharing that.

  • Sharon, Isabella’s Mommy

    I love coming here every day. I feel like I am spending time with one of my most treasured girlfriends. I know you’ve heard it a thousand times, but you are an amazing story teller and a very gifted writer. Your blog, your humor, your story, and your honesty brighten my days. I’m inspired by your straightforwardness in talking about the Lord. It’s always been a weakness of mine, but I’m beginning to overcome it. I’m discovering a boldness I never knew I had. Thank you, dear stranger-friend. Your ministry reaches further than you can even imagine.

  • Jess

    Boy, do I relate. I am so trapped in my fear right now, I don’t know how I’ll ever find it in me to let go again to see what else He has in store for me. But, thank you so much for your encouragement once again. And your example from such a sweet brave little girl.

    God bless.

    ~Jessica

  • Rosie Siebenthal

    chills and tears when i saw that pic of her smiling face up to the heavens. thank you for sharing that angie! a well written entry designed to pierce my heart yet again.

    hugs!

  • Brandi

    I Love…Love…Love…this post! Thank you

  • Mommyto3K’s

    What an uplifting post. Thanks for sharing.

  • Anna

    I’ve questioned ever posting because I’m certain it will just get lost in the hundreds of comments.
    Tonight is different. With tears filling my belly I am so in touch with my little girl- through the beauty of YOUR precious little girl: the openess to experience, the falling in love with what is happening, as it’s happening, the perfectly pointed toes of a dancer (she’s a dancer, Ang, you know that, right?!?!)- and I just got to fall in the sweet arms of Jesus. A free fall I often forget to do but boy, when it happens, I am once again never the same.
    Thank you.

  • Jennifer

    Your amazing! I love your blog and even more your love for the Lord. I am learning so much from you!

    Jennifer

  • Liz

    That final picture was enough to send me over the edge. Don’t worry..it’s happy tears because I love the way you paired that photo w/ the wording. You do that so well, hon! Way to go Ellie….and way to go Jesus!

    (by the way…we can’t ever get my Sarah together w/ your Ellie. Sounds like they have identical personalities!)

  • Tiffany

    I L.O.V.E. her smile of freedom! OMGoooodness! Fear was something that I had to overcome (truth be told STILL have to deal with) but with God, He is so merciful and He helps us along ever so sweetly. Thank you for sharing your story about Ellie.

  • Dawna Lou

    Absolutely beautiful Angie! Thank you for the inspiration to step-out and trust Him. Ellie’s picture is amazing. It looks like it should be on the cover of a book! Thank you for your continued gift of ministry….you’re a sweet blessing to me. Dawna

  • mom 2 many

    That should be your Wordless Wednesday picture!
    That is a BEAUTIFUL picture.

    Blessings,
    Carla

  • Katie

    Just beautifully scripted, Angie. What a ministry you have! Thank you.

    (Oh, and I thought I was the only one whoever used that Go-go-gadget analogy. People usually look at me like I’m crazy…LOVED it.)

  • Sherry

    I’m crying again as I read your post. You never fail to amaze me with the way you share your life with others. When I’m having a hard day, your blog always brings things back into perspective. Thank you for all that you do.

    Bless you and your family,
    Sherry Lockaby

  • Faith Hope Love Mama

    “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
    Phil. 3:12-14

    I also have sins beyond measure that Jesus paid in full on the cross. My blog address comes from this passage. How beautiful these words are to me. May you be blessed also.

  • hberg114

    I love this! Thanks you so much! I am a Nurse on a Women and Childrens floor where I deliver babies. I cannot imagine what you felt because I know what I have felt through others. God gives us stories like yours and people like you to help us have to the courage to go on!
    Hannah

  • Post Tenebras Lux

    *Thank you* for this picture of Ellie. Words can’t express. . . .

  • Kathy

    Reading your posts, I give thanks for you, and I pray for you and your dear family. Thank you for the sharing and ministering that you do.

  • The Greens

    Thank you for your blog. This story so lifted me. When we overcome our fear, He does lift us up, and the joy is more than we could have ever imagined!

  • moxiegirl4ever

    Thank you Angie!

    Ellie is turning her face to the heavens and it appears that she is not even holding on tightly and she is at peace and smiling and enjoying…. what a picture of trust!

    Remember that God has not given us a spirit of fear (so remember where fear comes from-the enemy) that is why it will just appear out of nowhere…what does the end of the verse say? “But of power and love and a sound mind”. That is what God has given us! Praise His name…you can tell that spirit of fear it has to leave in the mighty name of Jesus. And then believe it has left no matter what you are feeling! Satan has lured us with fear into believing that it had to stay because that is all we have ever known. Praising Him in the midst of fear is mighty also. It is sometimes the hardest thing to do…when we are down, scared, sick, sorrowful, etc.

    I thank God for your heart and how He fills it. God has given you a way of sharing your heart and His that moves us towards Him. I enjoy your stories about your girls. They show how you can be humble in your circumstances and it doesn’t mean you are a wimp!

    God’s blessings on you,
    Lianna

  • Life is Good

    What an incredible image. The power and sheer joy is incredible. You are a wonderful story teller and I have been praying for you and your family.

  • Overwhelmed!

    What an absolutely beautiful post! I certainly needed this, as we go through a lot of uncertainty and fear in our fostering as of late.

    Thank you!

  • Preppy Chemist

    Thank you for writing what you do. I needed to hear today that I am ransomed. Thank you.

  • Moore Family

    This was so touching and like all your posts: EXACTLY what I needed to read TODAY, at this moment. I too was a “mother hen” when I was little and even in high school they called me a little mom. I remember in 8th grade, we had a sleep over at Deana’s house (she was the youth director at my church, but was my hero. She spent so much time with young girls from the church and I am who I am today because of her). Anyway, she was like a second mother to us and all the girls called me a “little Deana” because of my motherlyness and I spent 2 hours in the bathroom crying….not realizing it was a true copliment and a good thing! Thank you so much for your posts, you are truly a gift from God to me. I learn so much from you. Bless you and your family. :)

  • rachel

    Beautiful

  • Stacey

    I am an “Ellie” – always have been. I desperately want to be a “Kate” though. It would be so wonderful and freeing to let go and let God.

  • mommaof4wife2r

    so glad u encourage so many with this post…through years in youth ministry, i have counseled many after an abortion…and His grace is soooo sufficient!!!

    thanks for the awesome pics too…love that she is flying…i have one of those too!

  • Our Everchangin’ Clan

    Loved the shots of your sweet princess jumping, that is a great shot along w/ a great message!

  • NicoleC

    That last picture is quite possibly the most inspirational thing I’ve seen in a long time.
    Thank you for sharing all that you share with us.

  • weavermom

    Beautifully said. And I adore Ellie’s face – I’m so glad that she loved it! What a great story!

  • Lauren150772

    Angie,

    I read your blog all the time but this is my first time to leave a comment. The pictures of Ellie on the trampoline brought tears to my eyes. I am guilty of being held captive by fear. I had a miscarriage in 12/2007 after almost 3 years of trying to conceive. I found out that I was pregnant again in May and am now 6 months along with no complications. I just can’t seem to believe that it is real. I have a hard time shopping for her nursery or buying things to prepare for her birth. I have a 3 1/2 year old daughter and I don’t remember feeling this way with her. I just feel so scared all the time. Your story and pictures of Ellie, even if for a minute, made me feel free. Thank you for always being so open and thoughtful with your posts. You touch so many people with your advice, blessings, and kindness.
    Lauren

  • Jenny

    I too am one of those people that seem to be bound by fear….I’m an Ellie. A mother hen. I have pulled over many o’ times to check to make sure my baby is breathing, to adjust car seat straps on my older ones.

    The idea of trying something new, like moving to a new state or teaching a class of adults (or just speaking aloud in a Bible Study class!) freaks me out.

    But you are sooooo right here. We need to ask ourselves, exactly what are we afraid of, what will happen. Then get over it, because you just never know what we will miss out on if we don’t take the chance.

    Gosh, I love that picture. Totally fixing the image though in my brain. I hope that you don’t mind if I super-impose myself in that harness instead of Ellie. I need to see myself like that.

  • jendmississippi

    Oh I love it!! Sheer joy.

    Btw…I have the same Go-go Gadget camera arm. When we went to Disney World for the first time with our children I had to have to largest memory card available. Girl…it can hold over 2000 pics at once and don’t you know it’s always full.

    Thank you for your encouragement today. I am amazed at how often God puts you and your family into my thoughts and prayers throughout the week as a result.

  • Alysa

    Thank you Angie. Your post gave me the chills today.

    By the way, I saw the sticks at Target yesterday (on sale for $25-haha). They made me think of you and smile :)

  • Erin

    I’m a new reader of your blog and find it uplifting and brave. I have not lost a child, but worry for my three-year-old daily. Bless you for your patience and your faith.

    In reading your most recent post, I couldn’t help but remember the Chris Tomlin song, “Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)”. Here are the lyrics, as I remember them…

    My chains are gone,
    I’ve been set free.
    My God, my Savior,
    Has ransomed me.
    And like a flood
    His mercy reigns.
    Unending love, amazing grace.

    We sing this song in our worship services at church, led by our house band, The FishHeadz. It’s always very powerful and moving.

    Thanks for what you do… and who you are.

  • Tirzah

    Ellie is my hero. Seriously. God bless her courageous little heart.

  • 3 Peanuts

    She looks so free…

  • Frugal Fabulous Jen

    Thank you for sharing. Your posts are so powerful. God has given you a gift and a message and it is very powerful.

  • fmattso

    Angie thank you so muchfor the amazing post! Seeing the last picture of Ellie brought tears to my eyes. My stepson also atet he thumb stuff like candy so this is what I finally did to stop him from sucking his thumb. He was very into what the other kids were doing and didn’t want to miss out on anything so every time he put his thumb in his mouth I would say ya know it’s ok for you to suck your thumb but you can only do it sitting on your bed. In a week he wasn’t sucking his thumb anymore and there was no more yelling and crying.He would start to put his thumb in his mouth and then look at it like wait if I do that what am I missing. Maybe that will help.
    God Bless you and your family!
    Faith

  • Krystal

    gorgeous. Ellie is a picture of glory!

  • Tina Vega

    I love that last image. Beautiful post, Angie.

  • Tricia

    What a great post! I have tears in my eyes… I read your blog a lot but have never commented before, but I just had to share my experience with the “thumb sucking stuff”.

    I have twin boys, and one sucked his thumb all the time, we tried everything to get him to stop, nothing worked, so we resorted to the stuff called “thumb”. We put in on his thumb Saturday night at bedtime and he did really well. The next morning we were heading to church and he got upset about something in the back seat, he stuck that thumb in his mouth, sucked really hard, and threw up all over our car, it was even in the back of my hair!!! We also were supposed to keep the nursery at church that morning!

    We pulled over about a block from church and stripped him down to get all the yuck off of him, then went to church so I could run in (with throw up in my hair) and tell someone we could not keep the nursery that day.

    But guess what, he never, ever sucked his thumb again!

    Just had to share!

    Blessings!

  • Cherie

    Unbelievably beautiful imagery. Thank you so much for sharing this amazing post! Tears filled my eyes as I could almost feel the release of fear and joy overflowing within Ellie. What a beautiful picture of her. So encouraging!

  • sara

    You are such a blessing and inspiration to me, a christian, a mom, someone going through day to day challanges. You are refreshing and humble. You share your heart so well and touch mine in the process. Thank you for your encouragement, your wisdom, your humor. May God continue to bless your family abundantely!
    sara

  • Tara H. Lowry

    the last picture is the perfect picture of freedom. Thank you for sharing from your heart and allowing God to use you in ways you’ll never fully understand.

  • Amanda-The Family News!

    Ok that was the sweetest thing I have read!!!!!

  • Kendra

    Thank you Angie, as always…
    Blessings to you.
    kendra

  • dana gwen

    WOW! I want to engrave that last pic of Ellie on my brain…so profound. I want to fly with Jesus like THAT. That is what trust looks like.

    Thank you for your sharing your heart.

  • Sarah

    Angie,

    Thanks for sharing about yourself and Ellie. I have suffered from anxiety since I was young, and now at 25 am going through a difficult patch. I appreciate your sharing SO much as it reminds me that I am not alone going through this and to remember that I Gods child and will be ok.

  • Lesli

    Hi, I stumbled across your blog a few weeks ago and could not stop reading. I have spent many late nights reading your story and have found it very touching. I love this post, it is definitley one of my favorites. I have been telling everyone that I know to read it. You are such an inspiration and I enjoy reading your blog as it always leaves me so encouraged. You are a blessing to many and you and your family have been in my prayers.
    On another topic, My daughter just turned two years old and was diagnosed with JRA (juvenile rheumatoid arthritis) this march. Every day has been a battle since then and we are starting a new medicine tomorrow. Please remember Ayla in your prayers as we continue to fight this terrible disease. Thank you and God bless you. lesli-onedayatatime.blogspot.com

  • Amanda

    Beautiful words again, Angie. I love this. It is so true. God makes good of all things, and when He makes good, it is goooood!

  • Heather

    Angie- I read this yesterday and God really used it to speak to my heart. Ever since, I cannot get that image of your sweet girl out of my head. I am so needing to step out in faith in my life…and I am just afraid of and dreading the jump. Thanks for this and everything. Your love for Jesus makes me love Him more.

  • Tessa

    Angie,

    The first thing I noticed about this post is that Kate is looking more and more like you! I have noticed how Abby and Ellie are spitting images of Todd, but I had no idea who Kate looked like. The picture of her on the swing was so you .. except with brown hair!

    Anyway, I also absolutely loved the picture of Ellie – wow! The look on her face is priceless. She is looking up with the smile of pure victory on her face.

    Victory over fear! Hallejuah!

  • Penny

    Oh Angie! Seeing sweet little Ellie flying in the air with that look of excitement and release on her face brought tears to my eyes. She DID it! We can ALL do IT. Trusting in our sweet Jesu, knowing he will never leave us.

    Thank you for sharing and being there with us….. for us.

  • Nancy

    Every word of that was so beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing and encouraging!

  • beingmolded

    Ellie reminds me a lot of myself. Thank you so much for sharing your life with us.

  • lottfam

    I don’t know that I have ever posted here before, but I have read many of your posts. I wish I had time to read more regularly (although I think I would have to buy stock in Kleenex). You have been such a source of encourangement, and I cannot tell you how much I enjoy your humor and outlook on life (I don’t think I’ll ever forget the Ba, Ba, Ba Chicken story). I know you have been an encouragement to many as I have heard of your blog through a family member and a friend that have both lost children. May God continue to give you the strength and ability to continue this ministry. You and your family are in my prayers.

  • MandieGirl

    Thank you for the beautiful, honest post, Angie. I can relate to Ellie, and I felt peace wash over when I looked at the last photo. :)

  • Kristy

    Oh that picture of her brought me to tears. It is a beautiful picture that captures the feeling of our freedom in Christ perfectly. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Grateful for Grace

    This was beautiful. Touching.

    But honestly, I don’t know how to play it out in the area my fear is winning at in my life.

    See, I don’t want to be in the club you are in and all the other women who have lost children are in. I don’t. I walked up to the door of that club last June and it wrecked me. I was a basketcase. I touched the door handle and thought I was going to die. That I was going to be truly an awful mother.

    My baby almost died. I wrote about it on my blog http://gratefulforgrace.blogspot.com/2008/06/he-spared-my-son.html
    I have not been the same since. I was deep in darkness and fear and death thoughts for most of the summer. God delivered me from that, but I still recall the images… so much can bring it to mind.

    I am convicted by Steven Curtis Chapmans’ response and the way he handled his son accidentally killing his daughter. I was not that way the night it happened. I’m still not sure I would be if it happened again.

    I don’t know how to put on the harness in this area. I don’t know how to release this fear that has taken up residence in me.

    I love the LORD. I trust Him. I know He loves me. I know He will walk with me through anything. I know that He will not ask me to walk through anything that would destroy me.
    In my head.

    My heart is not totally there now.

    Anyway, this is long and you have over 300 comments, so I don’t expect a response. But this is what my heart response was to your post, so I am putting it here.

  • Amy

    Tears are running down my face as I look at the last picture…Complete Freedom, and trust. I have been following you for some time now, and I must tell you how you have touched my life, and encouraged my faith!

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, for being obedient!

    Amy

  • Sam

    it is in teaching our children to let go of our fear that we can let go of our own…. or so I have found

  • $5 Dinner Mom

    You are such a blessing to SOOO many people, as evidenced by all those who reached out for prayer. I would like to give you an award about investing in others and bringing them close. Thanks for blessing so many others and turning your sorrows into a beautiful ministry!
    Erin

  • $5 Dinner Mom

    P.S. It is set to post Saturday morning!
    Erin

  • Cerulean Blue

    oh that would scare the living daylight out of me!

    but ironic that I wrote my blog today on the free will of fear that has held me captive to being alone and my decision/epiphany last night that I have to start living to take the risks that God wants me to take, so I get to the blessings He has for me…

    thanks again for writing!

  • Schultz Family

    My words are so simple, but you have no idea how much I mean it when I say “Thank you!” Your post was written for me…a wife and mother of 4 young children who is dealing with a generational sin of fear, I believe, but by the grace of God, closer everyday to freedom from this fear! It is a journey, but I wouldn’t have it any other way b/c it draws me to Him every second of every day! It was not by chance that I stumbled on your blog today. I love the look on your precious girls face when she finally “reaches the sky” and knows that she’s okay! Now that is freedom…Freedom in Christ! Thank you, Angie!

  • harmonysong

    Thank you for this post! The LORD uses you in so many ways to speak truth into the lives of others! Blessings to you, dear servant of our LORD!

  • Amy’s Blah, Blah, Blogging

    Ah, another post that brought me to tears. I am so thankful for the ransom God gave to me, and the feeling of joy and freedom represented best in that picture of Ellie!

  • Mary

    Well Angie, well said once again. We all feel like it is a privaledge to sit and “talk with you.” Reading through the last post it is clear that the grief some women carried is great and you have given us all a way to help carry their burden.

  • heather

    Your post made me cry in the beginning, as I can completely relate, then again, in gratitude, at the end. The picture brought a fresh wash of tears. THANK YOU. He put this blog in my life at this time for a reason, and I am waiting to see where He brings me next. Thank you for letting our Father use your voice to speak to me.

  • Cindy (and Brian)

    Oh this brought me to tears. What a great photo.

  • Cassie

    Awwwww!! That lil’ girl is sooo cute!!!! Kate

  • stephanie

    Angie,
    Such a sweet story and description of our walk with the Lord. Your writing is so beautiful and is always encouraging. I look foward to your blog all the time. Enjoy your weekend :) im sure a new post will be created because of something in it

  • Stuarts

    Moved to tears…That was amazing. I will read and reread this post many times.

  • Jill

    I just read your blog for the first time from the link my daughter sent me. What an amazing testimony and picture of the complete freedom we can have in Christ but so often let fear stop us from. Thanks for sharing your daughter’s sweet expression of freedom and joy with us! I pray I never forget it.

  • Valerie

    Thank you for reminding me. Recently, we just adopted a 1 year old and I get a little hung up in what might be or fear the unknown in a way that can be paralyzing. Thank you for reminding me that God goes before me and if we had never “jumped” (adopted) we would have missed out. Thank you for your beautiful words.

  • Jennifer Poole

    Thank you so much for this post… I really needed to remember these true words. We are going through a chapter in our lives where we definitely need to take a leap, and it’s pretty scary when you forget Who is holding the reins. That last picture brought tears to my eyes. That’s exactly what we need to do.

  • Donna-Jean

    Gracia Burnham…

    I prayed for that woman and her husband every day of that captivity. I felt as though I knew her.

    When something was frustrating me, when something was bothering me, I’d think “Martin and Gracia Burnham,” and I would be brought up short to rethink my life’s overflow of blessing.

    Once again, you touched my life with your writing. (I cracked up over that ‘I’d rather gnaw my own arm’ comment!!_

  • creative gal

    THANK YOU for your posting and encouragement!

  • The Ellis Family

    Angie, your strength and your leash on life amazes me each and every time I read your snippits of life. Last July my second daughter was born to this world at just 14 ounces. My husband and I have been forced time and again in the last 15 months to turn EVERYTHING over to God – it’s what we should have been doing all along! Your spirit reminds me each day to be thankful for the blessings, big or small! My five year old did that very same bungee trampoline and she also had the same look of freedom on her face! Isn’t God’s grace just beautiful?

    In Friendship, Kelly Ellis

  • Dani

    Hi my dear sweet Angie! I don’t remember if I left a comment already or not but I was just kinda re-reading your post (I do that often)…. I was just thinking how much Ellie and I are alike. I have always been known as the “goody-two-shoes” because I never do anything that is risky. I always went by the rules. I was also the “mother hen” all the time (and still am). I worry somtimes, and also don’t like for other people that I love to get in trouble. Anyway…I was just thinking! I know…most people say that is scary! :) I will talk to you later!!

    Love ya lots,
    Dani

    p.s.- please give Ellie, Abby, and Kate some hugs and kisses for me :)

  • Carolyn

    Between your heart for the Lord and the music on this site, I don’t stand a chance! Another wasted make-up day in joyful tears! I plan to pass this one on to several friends who are struggling with the same fears. Thank you for your honesty, vulnerability and Godly beauty.

  • Peter and Cari

    My heart ached too for the women who left comments about their abortions. Thankyou for your encouragement that there is forgiveness through Christ. I also would mention that there are Christian support groups and programs that help women who have had abortions to find healing and forgiveness. I live in Minneapolis and I know that New Life Family Services (www.nlfs.org) has a group called Conquerors and I assume there are other similar groups around the country.
    God Bless- Cari

  • Chellykin’s

    Powerful message. And I needed every word of it. Thank you.

  • Allison

    Precious Jesus, thank you, thank you, thank you:) That is such a beautiful picture of your Ellie! We are no longer captives and should live our lives like the expression on her face….

    P.S. I am someone who has been captive to fear and still fight it with His help:)

  • Meet the DuRoss’s:

    Thanks for sharing Angie ~ I am doing the “Breaking Free” study by Beth Moore and your blog once again reminded me that we’re no longer captives ~ He has set us free! On a side note, I saw your Toddy last night at the Selah concert in Broadview Hts., OH ~ what amazing worship! Please tell him we were blest.

    In Him,

    Hope

  • Katie Turner

    wow — what a story and thank you for sharing and that picture of her beautiful little face is wonderful. I felt the joy of knowing, yes, leap with faith in Christ and watch what He can do for you and in you! You are an amazing woman and a Godsend!

  • Holly

    That is beautiful! Thank you.

  • Elaine

    Oh Angie, thank you so much for this post.. It touched me to depth of my core.

    Blessings

  • Astraea

    Your words mixed with the freeing look on Ellie’s face just helped me breathe a little easier. There is so much to let go of. Thank you.

  • Mary Lindsey

    tears are in my eyes. Thank you Angie. Freedom… it’s what we’re called to. I forget that too often.

  • noahandlylasmommi

    What an awesome picture. It brought tears to my eyes. Kids can put so many things in perspective for us it is amazing!

  • Sunshine Eyes

    Oh. That last photo. Oh my. At the exact same moment I scrolled down, the blog started singing to me “Bring me joy, bring me peace. Bring the chance to be free. Bring me anything that brings You glory…” I can’t believe I’m now sitting here crying my eyes out. I don’t want to be afraid, I don’t want to be afraid. I want to be free and peaceful and joyful and ultimately bring Glory to God in the Highest! Thanks so much for sharing that precious story… I pray that I can reflect some of the same joy that Ellie is clearly feeling. FREEDOM!

  • Lisa Laree

    Wow. This is one of my favorite posts. Thank you. (where’s my kleenex…?)

  • Soldier in Training

    Thank you for this heartfelt post. My struggle is ongoing when it comes to keeping the fear factor under control. I can’t thank you enough for the encouragement.

  • Sarah-Jane

    that picture is worth a million words. I am so thankful that God allowed you to encourage your little girl to go beyond her fears. The joy on her face was fabulous. I just cried. I think she will be a different little girl because she has a mom who cheers her on in her fears.
    Your children are so blessed to have a momma that loves them so, and can see the spiritual fruit in encouraging a little girl to jump on a trampoline! I’ve been to that village and have to convince my children that it would be no fun at all for other reasons:)

  • Jon and Deana

    I just started following your blog a few weeks ago. I have to tell you, after nearly EVERY post I find myself in tears. Lets just say, God speaks to me through you. What a wonderful gift!

    The picture of your precious Ellie is priceless. The caption that races through my head when I see it is, “PEACE!”

    My life has come to a cross roads in many ways over the last several months and I have been LONGING to have that “peaceful” feeling. You and Ellie have reminded me to…LET GO!!! Even in the troubled times I should rest assured that my Jesus is under control.

    Thank you!

  • Rhea Anne

    Wow.. i know you have so many to read but i had to post. i am a woman that lets fear sometimes get the best of her. I know my God hears my prayers and takes that away. Some days I have to give it back to him over and over but he keeps taking it. praise God.. Thank you for this post. i pictured myself letting go as did Ellie.. She was so free.. Rhea Anne Wyatt

  • Penny

    God is teaching me to not stress about their every move. Just when I think “they are doing good” something happens and the pain pours back. I have to let it go and allow God to heal in His timing!
    Keep trusting and leaning on Him!

  • Cindy

    I’m so glad God led me to your blog. Each time I read it, I take away something I needed. Love this post on freedom–do we truly understand the meaning? I for one will chew on a problem until all of the flavor is gone, and then stick it in my hair. I will try to picture Ellie’s face the next time I am wrapped up in my fears. You bless me! Thanks

  • Brandie

    Well, now my stomach is turning flips and there are tears streaming down my face… at work.

    I am most definitely going through a season where I am battling fear minute by minute and this post has helped me more than you could ever know.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  • Jen

    Girl, you made me cry AGAIN! I love this post. I love the pictures. And I *particularly* love “Get behind me Satan. I will not listen to you.” :) Thank you for sharing. :)

  • eetomost

    I’m late on reading this, but that is the most amazing sweet sweet story,,thank you so much for sharing:)

    Leigh=NC

  • su

    Angie,
    I’ve been out of the country so that’s why I’m so late in commenting but this post is so touching that I really wanted to respond.
    I love the stories about your girls and this one about Ellie is so precious. I’m so proud of you for being able to encourage her in spite of your own reluctance. That is amazing in itself.
    What a good lesson to us to take the risk. To trust the One who is trustworthy. Thank you for sharing and blessing me/us.

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