Focus on the Family Trip…

I’m on my way out the door, but I wanted to post a few quick pictures of our trip to Colorado and give you the link to the Podcast interview that we did there. As the others become available, I will post them as well. This one was for a show called “Boundless” and is primarily for singles, so the interview is catered a little to that audience. We had so much fun doing it. Here is a shot of the woman who interviewed us (Candice Watters)..she is precious and she WORKS a scarf.
Me with Laura from String of Pearls
Some sweet Sundays from FOTF Chapel-
Recording an interview-
Me and hubbs- SO honored to be a part of the Sanctity of life week at FOTF. Thank you so much to everyone who thought to include us and made it such a special day.
And a shot of some of the women who made it happen!!!!! Thank you:)
Now onto Denver for a concert…quick Starbucks stop…look at those MOUNTAINS!!!!
On stage with some Sundays at the concert-

And some evidence of the “good hair day:)” You know as moms we only shower so often. To pull out a curling iron really means luxury…here’s me and a sweet Sunday at the concert. Her son sponsored a World Vision child!!!!! Is that the greatest thing ever?
It was a great trip, and SUCH an honor. Click here if you want to listen to the Podcast…we are #54, should be at the top of the page:)
Also, Click here if you want to leave a comment about the interview…
Thank you so much for all your prayers…
Much love, 
Ang

We have so much to catch up on….

WINNERS!!!!!!!

Ok, so here are our book winners…
1.  Dean at 8:32 on 1/28
2. Terra@mggoslings at 7:32 on 1/28
3. Willis71 at 11:19 on 1/28
4. Susan at 1:08 on 1/28
5. Shells at 1:47 on 1/28
6. Anonynous (Leslie in Mantera) at 2:32 on 1/28
7. Lesli at 5:13 on 1/28
8. Anonymous (Karissa) at 6:44 on 1/28
9. Statmom at 7:32 on 1/28
10.Tiffany at 8:25 on 1/28
Congratulations! Just email Katherine Koonce directly and she will send you your signed copy!!! Her email is katherinekoonce@comcast.net.
And if you didn’t win, it’s still a great book and worth the investment. I got an email saying that Christian Book Distributers has is for a little less than Amazon, and I just bet you deal-searchers can find a other great sources. AND, remember you can order directly from her if you are buying 10 or more and then they are only $8.  
Thanks to all who participated…would love to hear your thoughts on the book once you’ve read it:) Have a blessed day…
***
***Quick update….if you came to any of the events last weekend in Colorado and took pics, will you send them to me? I want to put a little something together and I forgot to bring my camera so I hardly have anything….thanks!!!***
I know, I know.
I have been a bad blogger lately:) But we had an absolute BLAST in Colorado (doing Focus On the Family) this weekend, and as soon as I get some pictures from our road manager I will stick ‘em on here. Mostly because I had one good hair day and I want you to see the evidence. It is even possible that I am (gasp!) wearing a) a sweater you haven’t seen 25 times already and b) my True Religion jeans.  A lot of you wrote and asked what style they are….I have had them for years and they don’t seem to say the style…I’m still doing research. I’ll get back to you on it. 
This will quite possibly be the most random post ever, but there are a few announcements I want to make that have nothing to do with each other, so here goes…. 
1. Harper is doing GREAT!!!!! And she is a doll baby. I want to eat her and her flowery hat. Praise GOD for His miracles. I never cease to be amazed at what the body of Christ does for those who are walking wounded among us. I know I speak for Kelly and Scott when I say that it is OVERWHELMING to feel so much genuine love and care from strangers. Such a beautiful gift we have been given in each other…
2. SELAH is doing a benefit concert here in Nashville for the Hope Clinic!!!!! They NEVER sing in Nashville, so if you want to come support a great cause and have a night of worship, please join us on 2/27 at Brentwood Baptist Church. Click here for more info.
3. At least one of the interviews we did at Focus on the Family will be available this Friday, and when I get the link I will post it. It’s a podcast, so you can just listen to it whenever.  
4. I have not forgotten about the Laban Video, I have accidentally deleted most of it. I will spare you the details, but let’s just say it was slightly traumatic.  Luckily the Smith’s postponed their trip by a few weeks so hopefully we can redo our interview. And then I will pass it off to someone smarter than myself and we will be in good shape.
5. I have also NOT forgotten about the Believe bracelets. Mine didn’t wear all that well so I am trying to figure out a better way to do them….but thank you to those of you who have asked to help. I plan to take you up on it once I get my life in a little better order….:)
6. Yes, the blog does have a little bit of a new look. And isn’t Danielle the greatest? She just does this stuff and it turns out gorgeous.  I bet she’s never accidentally deleted a blog before, either….hmm…..Danielle, how are you with IMovie? I may have some interviews to send your way….
7. It has been awhile since I have written one of my more “traditional” posts…it’s because I am working on my book proposal and it is taking an emotional toll on me. It is good therapy, but hard to go back to moments that hurt so much. Please pray for me…I so desperately want to tell her story well.  I think of you all as friends so I feel safe just coming to you as I am, and right now, I need a place to come and rejoice for a little while. Don’t we all?!?!?!
Okay, and the GRAND finale for those of you who stuck with me through the rambling…
A CONTEST!!!!!!!! 
I had lunch with a woman I have mentioned to you in the past…she wrote one of my absolute favorite parenting books called “Parenting the Way that God Parents: Refusing to Recycle Your Parents’ Mistakes.” She also works at the school that I think we may be sending Abby and Ellie to next year (we need to catch up on this too…it doesn’t have anything to do with not LOVING homeschooling…I actually do!!! I am just so madly in love with this school that I feel that sending them would be so good for them…..this is a long story crammed in a random paragraph…more later….).
The author’s name is Katherine Koonce and I had a great time sipping on fruit tea and devouring her words. She is a NEAT lady and I think that all parents should read this book. It is really that good. 
So here’s the deal.
Leave a comment and you will be entered to win one of 10 signed books. 10!!!!!
And it gets better…
Because Katherine has such a giving spirit (and because she loves the idea of this book being done in groups), she is letting me do a little something special.  If you want to buy 10 or more books, she will send them to you personally and will only charge you $8 per book (+ shipping). This is a STEAL, and I really believe that it will impact the way you parent.  I cannot emphasize how important I think it is for us moms to be in groups together, being transparent with each other about our parenting struggles. I have two Bible studies weekly, one that I do at my house with a few other moms and we are discussing dealing with anger in parenting.  It is a safe place to say vulnerable things, and I really believe that satan would love to keep us all in our own homes, believing we are the only ones who struggle.
If you are looking to start a parenting group, this would be a great book to dive into. Mine is tattered and bent and all marked up….and yes, it received many of the coveted “underlined and starred” paragraphs :)
SO, leave me a comment before noon on Thursday (1/29) and you will be entered to win!!! If you are interested in purchasing directly from Katherine (10+), just email her at katherinekoonce@comcast.net. She has 400 copies of the book available at this price, so it’s first come, first served!!!
Thanks for your generosity, Katherine. I know that many will be blessed with your wisdom and insights….
Love to you all, and I promise to have a less scattered post next time!!! 
And hopefully, some pictures of my hair…
BTW, this one is open to anonymous posters as well:)
Angie

Scarves and Prayers

I’m always talking about my friend Pete who pastors Cross Point Church (where I did my Monday night service) and his wife Brandi. They are good friends of ours, and I am so blessed to get to spend 2 mornings a week with Brandi in different “mommy” Bible studies.
I must add that several weeks ago, her hair looked totally different. If you want to know the full story, hop over to her blog, but let’s just say it involved the following:
1. A Christmas Eve church service
2. Those little tiny candles…..
It’s worth reading.
I’m posting this (from her blog) because I thought you all might need a smile on your Monday morning.
As a sidebar, see, they use the bell too! Whitney, I don’t know what is wrong with your dog, but they WORK!!!!! (See you in the morning:))
(Remember to mute the music…I always forget!!!)


Scarf Conversations from Brandi Wilson on Vimeo.

She is so great. Just LOVE her.
And keep praying for Baby Harper…some friends and family have set up a prayer blog for the Stamps’ family… to post, go to www.blogger.com, sign in with the id of prayforharper@yahoo.com, and password of: harperbrown.  Once logged in, feel free to leave your words for the family. 
Have a great and prayer-filled Monday~
Ang

BIGMAMA FOR PRESIDENT!!!!!!!!!!!

The scarf video is up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You need to go and you need to watch.
It may change your life. 
Melanie, I adore you, friend. Thank you for caring about changing the world one scarf at a time.
And Sundays, remember to hop over and thank her for stepping out of her comfort zone to propel us into a new year of cool. I cannot help but love this woman. 
Why, you ask?
Because she is giving fashion tips while a deer head hangs next to her on the wall. 
LOVE. IT.
Ang

The Mourning and the Dancing

I think I may miss posting this on the actual day by a few minutes (update-actually it’s 2 FULL days late and a 3 FULL days of working on it). Many would call them “glitches.” I call them glitches as well, I just call them by his name; satan. I don’t know that I have EVER sensed spiritual warfare as I have in the past few days. The internet would go out EXACTLY when I would try to post, videos would literally disappear, and on and on. In fact I think my computer just bit the dust. (This was just confirmed while Todd talked to an “expert” on the phone just now…please pray I can retrieve the info that was on there…)
Today, when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, Audrey’s death certificate came in the mail. I just sat and cried, but I did not give up because I believe there is a power in this video that will glorify God, and I want you to meet my daughter. He never left my side, hour after painstaking hour, and even when I shared a few “choice words” with him:) 
May He receive the glory from it all…
(original post from 1/7 2009 follows)
Judging by my overflowing inboxes and the notes I received all day, many of you remembered that this is the one year anniversary of the day we received Audrey’s diagnosis.  I didn’t handle it well, to be completely honest. I decided that I wanted to make a video (very ameteur, please don’t let that distract you- I have never done this before) of her, and significant moments of our life together.
I alluded a few days ago to seeing a whole new side of me…this is not that project, by the way:) 
I was up until 3 a.m. last night (4/6-4/7) watching the videos from Audrey’s day with us.
I had never seen them before.
There are two sides to this post.  The first is that I fell completely in love with my daughter all over again because I hadn’t seen her that way since the day she was born. I cried until I couldn’t breathe, and my computer screen was covered in the fingerprints of a mother who wants her daughter back.
The second (as you will see) is that ONLY the Lord Himself could have orchestrated the peace that filled the room the day we had with our girl.
I want to say something really profound here, and to give you life-changing words that you will carry with you, outpouring from a heart that has experienced God’s grace firsthand. Of course, the only way to know that peace is to know Him. Nothing I say can make you believe in His love the way He desires you to. 
As you watch, please know that I am choosing to share this video because I trust you with my daughter. I feel safe with you, and I want you to know that the transparency I am able to display is quite simply because it is not my story to tell.
I just showed up and asked the Master to speak to His servant.
I hope you will too…in many ways.  And if you have questions about Jesus, please e-mail me. I would be honored to talk to you about the One Who really matters.
The One that allows a mother to reveal the darkest day of her life in the hopes that others will seek the great light that is our Lord.
I am humbled, honored, and blessed to introduce you (in a new way) to my fourth daughter, Audrey Caroline. May her life continue to be the beacon it was intended to be, and for the rest of my days, may I humbly serve as her voice in this life.
Thank you, Sundays.  
Now make yourself comfortable for about 11 minutes, and meet the one who captured all of our hearts…I do want to make you aware that when the girls are sitting on the bed with me and a nurse comes to take Audrey’s pulse (approximately 9 minutes into the video), she nods to tell me that we have lost her to this world. You will see me mouth the words, “she’s gone.” The girls never knew that she had just been greeted by the King of Kings. I needed to keep up a strong face for the kids, but I was crushed. I ask them if they know where she really is and then ask what she might be doing. I kind of do a funny dance for them to picture her dancing, but other than that, I don’t make a big deal out of it because I was really worried about their response. I mention all of this so that you can use your judgment in sharing with others who may not be comfortable with the situation.
At the end of the video, you will see us sitting by her casket as a family. Sarah Kate is ripping off the band-aids to signify that she is healed; and praise God, we believe she is.
“For in our suffering, not apart from it, Jesus enters our
 sadness, takes us by the hand, 
pulls us gently up to stand, and invites us to dance.  
We find the way to pray, as the psalmist did,  
“You have turned my mourning into dancing” (Ps 30:11), 
because at the center of our grief
 we can find the grace of God.”

(excerpt from Henri Nouwen’s “Turn My Mourning Into Dancing”)
With more love than I can express,
Angie, 
To watch:
1. mute the blog music on the bottom of the page
2. push play on the movie, and as soon as it begins to play, double click the picture
3. 3 options will appear if you hover in the top right-hand corner. If the picture is taking up the whole page, click the third one “scaling is off.” This is the best clarity to see it in. When “scaling is on”, it is full page but a little blurrier :)

                                    
Sweet Audrey-Girl from angie smith on Vimeo.                      

Audra’s Birthday (January 4th!)

Today is Audra’s Birthday, and I wanted to celebrate her here with you all. As most of you know by now, she was Audrey’s namesake, and we are going into our 13th year of being “BFF’S” (hence the eyebrow issues in some of the earlier photos in the slideshow…)
A little about our friendship. When we met, we were in Buffalo New York (although we had both started college at 2 different schools a few minutes away from each other in Ohio:)).  She was actually my T.A. at Buffalo State even though we were the same year, and the first conversation I recall having with her involved the type of pants she was considering wearing on a date that night. I think we decided on velour? Please, remember the 90′s with me…at that time it was a good, solid choice. He, as I recall, turned out to be a loser. But the pants were, well, rockin’. I think they had stirrups too. Bonus.
Neither one of us were Christians, and we didn’t live our lives like we should have. We were both dating abusive men, and we were searching for ourselves by going out a lot and pretending our real lives didn’t exist. We were immediately soul sisters…we had no idea at that time what God had in store for us.  It is amazing to see where we are now (long story shortened here…).
The year after I was accepted to Vanderbilt University, Audra was also accepted, and moved to Nashville. We were so grateful to be in the same city again, and we sailed through Graduate School (seriously, if you ask either one of us what we remember from that time, we would probably say shopping. I have no idea how we each got our Master’s Degrees, but we did look really cute doing it.)
I decided to start going to Mass at some point in the year before Audra moved here, and felt that the Lord was calling me to Him. When she moved here, she felt the same way, and began attending First Baptist Nashville (without going into too many details about our “prior lives,” this was pretty much a miracle.  She invited me to join in a Bible Study with her (remember the Precious Moments Bible…yes, that was this study…).  I honestly loved it, and I loved all of the women who were a part of it. I am still close to many of them, and I remember that as the time when I began to feel really pursued by the Lord.
One night, on the way to church, I said to Audra, “I just don’t understand this whole ‘getting saved’ thing. I mean, I’ve told God that I love Him and that I want relationship with Him, but I don’t feel like I’ve gotten the sign that means I’ve been accepted or whatever.”
She walked me through it all, and later that night (on January 17th, 2001) I sat in my car, sobbing, and I invited the Lord to be a part of my life.  
She and I have walked through everything from infertility, miscarriage, horrible break-ups, devastating life circumstances, arguments, car accidents, driving mishaps (which led to us literally ending up in the wrong STATE and laughing so hard I almost peed on myself), and everything in between. We have watched each other’s babies be born, and been each other’s maids of honor. I have heard it said that “Friendship is the giving and taking of hurts…” and that has certainly been true for us. 
When I found out that I was going to be in the hospital with the twins for a few months, Audra would come and spend the night with me while Todd was on the road. She brought me books, crossword puzzles and Christmas CD’s, and  would come on her work breaks to share lunch with me.  She would rub my swollen feet and talk to the nurses for me when I didn’t have the strength. She would pray with me, cry with me, laugh with me, and dream with me of the day that all of this would be over.
And then, when we found out about Audrey, she was in her car on the way to my house before I could finish telling her what was wrong. We sobbed as we sat on the couch and for the rest of the pregnancy, she was everything I could have ever asked for. She knew what I was thinking before I said it, and she let me be me. I needed her so much, and she NEVER LET GO.
She was there for the birth of Sarah Kate, and we all bawled our eyes out when she came out so tiny and precious. She was such a sweet baby….I miss those days of rocking and bouncy seats sometimes….OK, a lot of time.
During this time, Audra met Shawn, and they got married. He is AMAZING, and I couldn’t have picked a better husband for her. They have a gorgeous daughter named Amelia (2), and will be expecting their next little girl in a week or so (she is as of yet unnamed, so pray for wisdom!!!) Audra’s blog is listed on my sidebar, so make sure and check out pics of sweet baby Amelia. She is absolutely gorgeous, and there is no mistaking that she looks like her handsome daddy:)
Years later, she would meet her namesake Audrey Caroline. She would study her body, smooth her hair, kiss her as she cried tears of deep longing. She would stand up at Audrey’s memorial and read a letter I wrote to my daughter as tears streamed down her face. She would stand at Audrey’s memorial service with Shawn’s arms around her as if she herself had lost a child. She conceived a baby quickly after that, and her due date is actually somewhere between the 8th and the 11th. 
I’m secretly hoping the baby is born on the 7th so I will have a reason to celebrate on that day when now all I have is a reason to mourn.
I could go on and on, but basically, what I am saying is that I cannot imagine my life without your friendship and love, Audra. I am eternally grateful that God gave us to each other, and that something as simple as velour would lead to a pair of women who spend their lives falling more and more in love with our great Savior. 
How could we have known, so many winters ago, what He would allow us to walk through together?
It has been one of the greatest honors of my life.
Here’s to 70 more…
A+
p.s. Feel free to wish Audra a Happy Birthday in the comments!!!! She’ll get a kick out of that:) And remember as you watch, we met in the 90′s!!!!!! so go easy on the clothing…:)

p.p.s. I have spent about 6 hours trying to make this slideshow look right, it’s much better if you click on “view in highest quality” on the right hand side of the screen on the bottom.

(remember to pause blog music…and if you’re curious, the song that plays with the slideshow is “Never Let Go,” also by the David Crowder Band:) )