Relevant ’10

I’m enjoying the feeling of my own quilt tucked under my legs as a storm rolls into Nashville.

It’s not necessarily the kind of storm that will cause major damage, but it’s enough to shake me up a little.

Little known fact about me: I like to leave the T.V. on the Food Network when there is any kind of scary situation going on in the news because Giada keeps stirring in her beach house and the iron chefs keep chopping. Currently, Bobby Flay is throwing down with an unassuming fellow and none of the smily people know about the storm.

I like the Food Network.

I want to live there. Safe. Happy. Delicious. Unaffected.

I got home today after an amazing weekend in Pennsylvania at the Relevant conference. I must say, it was a breath of fresh air. I get really nervous about speaking but it isn’t like that’s the only part that scares me. I have to fly to get there (FYI, they still make propeller planes. I found that out on Thursday. Good to know). I have to meet people who I am intimidated by because I don’t know why on earth I’m sitting on this side of the table when there is wisdom on that side. I am an introvert who pretends to be an extrovert (unless it’s one on one…that, I love). I always mean one thing and say another and then end up crying in my hotel room alone because I feel like a fool. I don’t go to these kinds of events because I have created an image in my mind of the seventh grade, where everyone is chit-chatting and you feel like they are pointing at you and laughing. I fear I won’t make the cut, and the irony is that people come up to me with their hands shaking and say they are so happy to meet me and all the while I’m thinking, “How can I make my hands stop shaking and write something beautiful for them…”

I am going to write the rest of this post if it kills me (sorry, self talk).

I listened to Crystal Paine speak on Thursday night and I decided about 4 minutes into her talk that she was going to be one of my best friends as soon as I could figure out where to hide my True Religion jeans (pocket placement, need I say more?). She was equal parts charming and convicting, and (confession) I had never been to her blog before. I’m the girl who buys the three ring binder and stuffs it with the baseball card sleeves and for exactly 2 weeks I fill it with coupons for things I will never buy. Then I carry it like a badge of honor as I explain that yes, check-out lady, I would like to purchase 14 neutrogena lip glosses, a tube of snot-flavored toothpaste and the DVD “Cars.” And why is THAT weird?

Coupon FAIL.


I went to her blog tonight and spent quite a bit of time there…she ROCKS my socks off. But you already know that because evidently I’m the only person in the free world who just found out.


Friday was chocked full of Sally Clarkson, who is one of the most incredible ladies you will ever listen to or read. Her book “The Mission of Motherhood: Touching Your Child’s Heart for Eternity” is one of my all-time favorites. She also wrote “Educating the Wholehearted Child,” which was one of the major reasons I chose to homeschool. I can’t speak highly enough of her and to see her in person was to respect her even more…wow.

I spoke Friday night and did not throw up or pass out. Noteworthy.

Saturday I got to spend a little time with Ann Voskamp and needless to say, she is every bit of what you would expect. Beautiful, gracious, elegant in an approachable “Audrey Hepburn” kind of way, but with the kind of laugh where you can see her back teeth (one of my favorite qualities in any person). She looks you in the eye, hugs you like an old friend, and whispers wisdom in the most unexpected moments. My editor Jennifer was with me and said that her favorite moment of the entire weekend was me looking up and realizing Ann was getting in the elevator as Ann saw that I was there. We both screamed and jumped up and down, hugging while the whole thing shook. To put flesh on computer words is such a blessing. And I suppose, kind of dangerous if you are phobic of elevators. Or propellers.

Ann is the kind of lady who loves deep, smiles teeth, and shakes elevators. She shines Jesus, and I know that she won’t like the last paragraph because it might make you look at her…Ann, we don’t. We see Him. Thank you for being brave to make Him famous. A tinge of color looks good in your wardrobe, friend. :)

All in all, I think the take-away message was unexpected for many who attended. Instead of learning how to increase stats and focus on being media saavy, we sat as sisters and shared the ways we wish we did it better. Saving money, parenting, walking with the Lord, being a wife, and on and on…

And in the middle of a blogging conference, the keyboard tapping stopped. We sat in the presence of the Lord and what He would have for us. So many wise women, all using their own words and gifts to say the same thing.

Bow low and put the first things first.

Hours after my book signing I sat alone in my hotel room, shaking with sadness as I remembered the tears and the stories. I carried their words with me to the desk, where I wept their sorrow. A lost child, abuse, doubt, fear, shame…and instinctively I reached to my side for the remote control.

I held it still, staring at the blank screen.

Who am I?


I’m not her. Nor her. Nor her, nor her, nor her…

Have you heard it too? Rain soaking the toys left outside, dishes piled high, children with dirty cheeks…it would be so tempting to wish it different.

I realize I have turned the T.V. on, and have already found the safe place, hardly realizing I had moved.

Knives chop. Laughter rolls. The oven opens and the perfect dish makes its way to the judges table.

All is right in the place where all is right. It’s perfect. I’m perfect. I didn’t choke on my words or doubt myself. They have no idea I’m up here crying.

The chefs, I mean. Right?

No. Actually I don’t.


So, here’s what I took from Relevant (and I am indebted to Sarah Mae for allowing me the privilege).

We have each been given a gift to be used to further the Kingdom of God. Your worth isn’t on the spine of a book or the statistics of your blog. You aren’t going to be judged by how many followers you had (As Ann so wonderfully said, “Jesus only had 12 followers…” :) ) or the way you curl your hair. And in this crazy world of blogging, sometimes the most powerful thing we can do is to close the computer. I needed to hear all those words.

It wasn’t a dangerous storm, remember? Just the kind that shakes you up…

This was a weekend spent with women who love well, and I’m better for it.

I will think twice before I click on the T.V. and believe it to be true.

And when you see me, know that I’m not actually that skinny.

They’re just really, really expensive jeans.

:)

Love and prayer,
Angie


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  • Anonymous

    Beautiful, Ang. Just beautiful.

    As I listened to you speak on Friday night…all I could think about was the place I was in when I first started reading your blog. Your words drew me closer and closer to Him day in and day out. Yes, I was drawn to your story and knowing all I could about sweet Audrey…but your words were from Him and He was drawing me closer to Him – - through YOU, sweet sister.

    Thank you.

    Love always,
    Jess :)

    P.S. And on a totally different note…you ARE skinny in person…regardless of your jeans! :)

  • http://www.katesworldbykate.blogspot.com Kate

    Oh Angie, I love you. I just love you.
    Sending you big hugs.
    Kate

  • http://www.melakamin.com Mela Kamin

    You glow – positively glow – a beauty marked with compassion for others and their wounded places. I marveled at how you spoke with such confidence, comedy and conviction … but admired most you praying for others, joining in tears and a deep knowing of loss. Bless you for sharing your story and your gifts with all of us. He is glorified!

  • http://www.mommystories.blogspot.com Corimallott

    Thank you for your vulnerability Angie. Thank you for looking at others and seeing Jesus in them, but also for admitting you could see more in you. We’re all like that. Instead of looking at the faults of others to make yourself feel better, you are always telling us about the beauty of the people who surround you and how they inspire your life. Take heart, there is another out here in this huge world very similar to you. I too could have written these exact same words:

    I am an introvert who pretends to be an extrovert (unless it’s one on one…that, I love). I always mean one thing and say another and then end up crying because I feel like a fool. I have created an image in my mind of the seventh grade, where everyone is chit-chatting and you feel like they are pointing at you and laughing. I fear I won’t make the cut.

    I love how you express yourself thru this medium. I love how you lift up Jesus every. single. time. I can totally see His strength in your (perceived and voiced) weaknesses. Your love for Him makes me love him even more. I just love the Body of Christ. I love how He’s orchestrated us to work together, love one another and thus…see His Image.

  • Melissa Nesdahl

    It sounds absolutely incredible, Angie! I soooo wish it wasn’t the same weekend as Women of Faith was, but I was certainly fed (as I am every year) in incredible ways there. I’m thankful it was such a positive experience…and that you didn’t puke or passout!

  • http://lifewithdandh.blogspot.com Heather

    Thank you for sharing your heart, Angie. :)
    It was wonderful to meet you.
    The Lord brought all of us together and he prepared us to listen to the messages He spoke through all of you. They were inspiring and encouraging!
    Blessings,
    Heather
    P.S. Jumping up and down in an elevator would definitely qualify as dangerous to me. ;)

  • http://hoster777.blogspot.com/ jennifer ross

    Beautiful Angie.

    “Jesus only had 12 followers…” ……. I loved this.

  • http://gfornicoia.blogspot.com/ Gina Lind

    Angie, I LOVE your honesty about your insecurities. I originally started my blog as therapeutic writing during my depression and to hopefully help others who are where I’ve been. I’ve gotten to know some really neat people who can write well and who have encouraged me to be better at loving God, parenting, saving money and more. I’ve caught myself feeling insecure and unworthy. I’ve had to remind myself that if I help just a couple of people, then it’s worth it. Funny though how through blogging, I’ve grown so much more than I’ve probably given.
    I thought about all of you gals at the conference all weekend and hoped it would be a kinship building, praise filled, uplifting weekend. I hope you will share more stories!

  • http://020110.blogspot.com tahnie

    Perfect. Beautiful. Wise. So you.

    Thank you. I will keep sharing my story to who wants to listen. I think it is pretty spectacular. ;)

    http://020110.blogspot.com

  • http://assoonasihavemycoffee.blogspot.com Thatsmymom

    Wow. That was just so good, so beautifully written. Thank you for being so real and sharing what you took away from the weekend! I always wish I could hold onto every detail of things like that. And, for the record, I have heard you speak on the radio and you were absolutely wonderful. Because you aren’t “polished” and “perfect.” It is SO refreshing! Bless you!

  • Joscelyn

    What a great and wonderful post Angie! Thank you for sharing with us what you learned.

  • Anonymous

    Angie,
    With all the wonderful blogs out there that keep me busy..or rather consume my time :P , I humbly confess I had not known your story til Relevant. You share your stories with such profound grace and compassion and that my friend reaches deep deep down into our souls… the moment you asked those who had lost…to all stand…that was hard for me..but I know why you requested that..so that we would all know how NOT alone we are in this crazy painful but glorious world. I’ve had 3 miscarriages and they were all hard…with each pregnancy is the fear ‘this’ one will leave me too. well..those days are gone and I have four gorgeous children and I hope you’ll go next year..I’ll be bringing my oldest daughter, Jessica with me. :) By the way… that video of you and your husband telling the story..is that by any chance available to share with our blogging and facebook friends?

  • Coby

    Wonderful. Absolutely wonderful. You’re so right about just closing the computer, and our worth not being found in or blog, etc., but in Christ! Thank you for being so transparent. Girl, let us believe that you really are that skinny! :-) My Gap Long and Lean jeans do that for me! Outside of those jeans, 3 kids later…well, let’s just not go there!

    Thank you for sharing.

  • http://hikingtowardhome.blogspot.com/ Sharon@HikingTowardHome

    It was an amazing weekend. God confirmed so much. Especially that there are some blogs that I don’t need to be reading… yours does not happen to be one of them.God answered a prayer prayed long ago on the other side of the earth, and He reminded me of it on the way home: to be able to someday meet certain people in real life and thank them for letting God flow through them in the ministries He has them in because of the tremendous blessing and encouragement they have been to me as I hike with Jesus.Thank you for being real and gracious, even to complete strangers.

  • Guest

    Love you, Ang. So happy we could all meet and be changed together.

  • http://www.theinspiredroom.net melissa @ the inspired room

    I’m in introvert who pretends to be an extrovert who also cries because she doesn’t belong in a group as amazing as those women at the conference. But to have been in your presence, each one of those amazing women you write about and that I met at the conference, has changed me and while I still feel so not worthy, I’m going to be better this week because of all of you. Thank you for sharing your deep wounds so that we can grow to be more like Him.

    Much love,
    Melissa

    • http://thepartythatneverquits.blogspot.com Jen

      Me too, me too!! Oh how I resonated with her feelings!!

  • http://rachelmariemartin.blogspot.com Rachel

    Beautiful post highlighting truth.

    Thank you for being real.

    Blessings,

    Rachel

  • http://www.uneviechic.blogspot.com/ KaleeMarie

    Honest moment, I had heard vaguely of your story, but really knew nothing about you, your blog. Nothing. And of course I roomed with Kaira who looked at me like I had apparently gone without technology until this conference. But I heard God speak through you Friday night, stayed up all night reading your book, calling my husband to talk to him, read some more. God most definitely used you and your words to find me in a place I had been hiding. Thank you.Oh, and if you would care to share how you get those curls (I almost didn’t ask) that would be lovely…..I’m a girlie girl who can’t seem to get them right and my husband loves them (well, not yours specifically, oh, you know what I mean)…..

  • http://www.lynnettekraft.com Lynnette Kraft

    Hi Angie. Thanks so much for sharing with us. Your keynote session was my favorite part of the convention. Perhaps it was because you made me laugh (I love laugh and make people laugh). Perhaps it was because I could relate to what you shared. Perhaps I just like your casual style since I’m so casual. Whatever it was, I just want you to know that I enjoyed hearing you. :)

    My friend September and I really enjoyed visiting with Todd too. What a genuinely nice guy. September is very impressed by his sincere heart and I can see why. You two are quite a pair.

    Blessings to you and yours! I’m absolutely sure you are extremely pleased to be home with those girlies! I know I’m so glad to be home with my children.

    Oh and by the way, I got one of those propeller planes this morning on my way out of Harrisburg. I walked by you in the airport while you were going through the gate (almost yelled BYE ANGIE! but decided against it for some reason), and I went and got on a tiny little propeller plane. Fun fun! ha!

    Thanks for sharing.
    Love,
    Lynnette

  • http://ashleighbaker.net Ashleigh Baker

    Sweet Angie,

    It was exactly as you told it… it simply seeped Jesus. His love reigned supreme and His grace rained on our heads.

    The craziest part? I didn’t even expect it.

    And I should have. We all should have.

    But sometimes, I think He just likes to surprise us so we can gaze up at Him in wonder all over again.

    You are a treasure.

    Oceans of love,
    Ashleigh

  • http://julesmpg.blogspot.com Julesmpg

    Sounds wonderful and inspiring. I want great jeans too!

  • Erin

    I loved Relevant and I loved that you were there, too. You were by far one of my favorites. You are so real and transparent.

    At times, some of us more often than others, feel so insufficient, like that 7th grade girl you described. We’re so wounded, yet, we won’t receive from the One who loves us and wants to set us free. I don’t get it. (By the way, I felt like that 7th grade girl on the plane today.) Why won’t we accept His gifts? And how is it that most of us are so wounded? That is so very sad.

    Thank you for all you shared and the many ways in which you inspired..

    Love and prayers,
    Erin
    http://www.homeswheremyheartis.blogspot.com

  • http://thepartythatneverquits.blogspot.com Jen

    You know what? I’m sitting here crying (seriously, it’s ridiculous) in self pity becasue I couldn’t be there, and hug your neck… and Ashleigh’s… and Lisa-Jo’s… and Ann’s… and… and… and… I feel like the kids who got “forgotten” off the birthday list.

    I told you it was ridiculous.

    These conferences make me miss you all SO, SO MUCH my heart aches for it. It’s like my soul knows what it’s missing out on… the very thing it craves.

    *SIGH* I love you so. One day, dearest. One day.

  • Mnewell0293

    Angie, such a pleasure meeting you, sharing with you and of course crying (along side) with you. You are an inspiration, a mentor, an awesome woman of God. Your husband is equally awesome! I love the fact that you are a homeschooling mom, as I am! Prayers to you to continue to ROCK the World! Peace to your hearts and your family!

    Melissa
    http://just-starting-out.blogspot.com/

  • Jdaniel4smom

    This sounds like it was special conference. The take aways were better than learning about blogging.

  • Jen B

    I was gonna say something profound, but I’m stuck all I can think of is- I can’t believe you’ve never been to Crystal’s blog!!! :) I kid. I have been hearing wonderful things about this past weekend. I am jealous. But I’m glad you had a nice time, and was changed cuz of it. :)

  • Mrs Edney

    I actually think the coupon idea is GREAT! You could see them all faster instead of thumbing through each one as you stand with each product! I may just give it a try lol

  • http://itwasbroughtonbylove.blogspot.com Southern Gal

    One day, Lord willing (and I hope He does) I want to attend one of the conferences that you describe here. I feel like such a failure at times (in parenting, homeschooling, extending grace), yet I know God is STILL working on me. He’s guiding me to the place He wants me to be. I can rest easy in that fact. But sometimes I just want to hide my face from everyone. Thanks for being real and sharing your heart…again.

  • http://www.rapometto.blogspot.com Ruth Ann

    I love you, Angie. I just love you.

  • http://marlataviano.com Marla Taviano

    I didn’t know about Crystal either until just this minute, but I’m total Couponing Failure.

    A lot of what you just wrote made me think of a book I read just yesterday called Your Secret Name. The author talks about the names we’re Given (or give ourselves)–Fearful, Left Out, Introvert, Fool… And then tells us how we can discover our Secret Name, the name God has for us that speaks to who he created us to be. Powerful stuff.

    I blogged about it today. http://marlataviano.com

    Love you, girl.

  • Kelley

    I loved what you wrote here: “…You aren’t going to be judged by how many followers you had (As Ann so wonderfully said, “Jesus only had 12 followers…” :) ) or the way you curl your hair. And in this crazy world of blogging, sometimes the most powerful thing we can do is to close the computer.”

    So, so, so true.

    Thank you for being you! : )

  • http://familyof9.blogspot.com Victoria Landis

    WOW, thanks tons for the tip on Crystal Paine.

    Coupons: I learned how to save a lot of time and be more organized by just filing the newspaper insers in an accordion binder by date. Then after you have made out your grocery list you can use the online database at http://www.hotcouponworld.com/forums/coupon.php to find the coupons for the things you were planning to buy.

    I found flipping through the coupons wasted time and caused me to buy a lot of things I wouldn’t have purchased otherwise. This didn’t make me a good steward of my resources.

    There’s a lot more info on using coupons successfully here: http://www.becentsable.net/book/

    • http://www.anordinarymom.com ali @ an ordinary mom

      Now THAT is an excellent idea for handling the coupons more efficiently! So glad I skimmed the comments tonight :-)

  • Shayne

    Dear Angie,

    I love you. The End.

    Shayne

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DUKNSSHNVN7ISUGF65SNIBAVYA Alicia

    I can’t explain it, but I just sit here weeping as I read this. The self doubt, the insecurity, the introvert posing as an extrovert… I can’t tell you how much I relate. Although I think most bloggers can…There is safety behind a computer screen in my yoga pants, messy hair and coffee cup.
    The Relevant conference sounds perfect. I love that Jesus only had 12 followers comment….
    Thank you so much for sharing…

  • http://www.ktslifeisfunny.blogspot.com/ Katie

    “Jesus only had 12 followers…” I love that. I think that as bloggers we (meaning I) can get too caught up in the who’s reading of it all and forget that we started blogging for ourselves. Thanks for stepping on my toes a little, Angie! Sometimes, it’s just what we need!

  • http://www.honeycuttfamily.blogspot.com Jen H.

    Thank you for your honesty (as always), Angie!
    I am so bummed that I missed listening/watching the conference this weekend via “Mom TV”. Do you know if there is any way for me to see it? Sounds like it was AMAZING!
    In Him,
    Jen H. (in CO)

  • Anonymous

    I think you said it so well Angie. Your words are refreshing. And to me you looked like the witty, self-assured speaker up there–absolutely darling.
    I am honored to hear your story. And I met your husband in the elevator and he had a plate piled high of goodies….I did not even know who he was! just said “hi”.
    Thanks for your love, and light shining through, and compassion. That deep compassion. An honor to hear and meet you!

  • Anonymous

    Angie, I am so thankful to have spent this weekend in His presence as He spoke through all of us. What a delight this weekend was…. I thought I would leave ‘educated.’ I never expected to leave CHANGED. Oh, how He spoke to me this weekend!
    Thank you for your willingness to be used, and to share what God is revealing to you, and to share Audrey with us to the Glory of His name and the eternity of others.
    It was a true privilege to meet you, and Todd {wooden head}this weekend. Thank you for being a willing, broken pot in His hand.
    Love,
    Darlene

    • http://www.lynnettekraft.com Lynnette Kraft

      Darlene,
      I love your “wooden head” story. HA! Some bald heads do sort of look like polished wood don’t they?

  • Kristen@momssharpeningmoms

    Your words and actions all radiated Jesus, Angie. You are a girl who isn’t afraid to use a little sarcasm and self-deprecating humor! I am endeared to you forever!

    Thank you for blessing us this weekend with your works and words. You are pure delight

    Love,

    Kristen

  • Joanna

    Fantastic, Angie. Funny that you don’t see yourself as the one so many others are wishing from afar to claim as *friend*. Candid, loving, sassy, and funny. What more could anyone want? You’re awesome– glad the conference was meaningful/potent/sky-shaking for you. Seems a great group of women!
    ~joanna

  • becky

    After all is said and done, wouldn’t you prefer to have true religion genes rather than true religion jeans?

    • Angelac519

      this is great!!! i need to remember this one :) good call, friend :)

  • http://angela.eternaloutlook.com/ Angela

    Sounds like a wonderful weekend! I wish I could have been there…. :-)

  • http://www.spicymagnolia.com Meghan @ Spicy Magnolia

    I’m so thankful for the opportunity to be in PA this weekend. You’re right, it’s not what I was expecting…it was so much more! Oh, that we would be faithful to put into action the things we learned, to be brave, to be different, to give ourselves fully to Jesus. He really used you all as the speakers to be His voice, and I’m so, so grateful to have been in His presence with all of you.

  • Talley

    This was great. I love moneysavingmom. Ya’ll rock. I have prayed for mentors in my life for a long time and God has provided in such a different way than I envisioned.. Keep pressing on toward the goal. To God be the glory!

  • http://www.revisedexpectations.wordpress.com Kriscello

    I’ve never heard of Crystal Paine either! :) You’ve definitely peaked my interest; I’ll have to check her out. I remembered the streaming broadcast of Relevant right at the last minute and got to see most of your talk. It was convicting, encouraging…and it was fun to catch you live! ~K

  • Hannah

    My Mom attended relevant also (www.lifeaboveandbeyond.com). She told me about your blog and how encouraged she was by you. I loved reading your journey. Look forward to keeping up with your blog!

    -Hannah

  • http://whatilearnedfromthewordtoday.blogspot.com Jes

    Dearest Angie…Precious Angie,

    As I feel the Almighty calling me to a place with my blog that scares the living daylights out of me…absolutely scares me to death…He knew that I needed this gentle reminder today.

    Last night as I stood before the women of the Precept study that He’s currently leading through me (did you know that the word says that the one who speaks (speaking gift) is to do so as one who is speaking the very utterances of God…thus, the reason that I hope and pray that He’s the one leading)….

    Anyway….as I stood there looking at the dear group of women who had come, most with their homework done, I sensed from them that they might be discouraged by the number of women who were absent…many of whom have come only once.

    Our group began as 12 or more, and last night we had 6..with me included in that number.

    And I told them, as I leaned as close to their sweet faces as I could, “Ladies…THIS is where the life changes happen. THIS. 6, 8, 10..hungry and passionate to know the God of the Word through the Word of God.

    This. Is. Where. It. Happens.

    And happen it did, as we dug deep into the book of Jonah, discussing how our time with the LORD last week had shown us a story so much more complex and with so many more lessons about the character of our God than just a man being swallowed by a fish.

    Did you know that chapter 1 describes the storm on the sea as a calamity? As steadily increasing in fierceness?

    OK, I’m not gonna teach…I’m just so blown away by His Word every time that I get into it!

    So..what does this have to do with your amazing post?

    As He calls me deeper with my blog, and into my first ever online blog Bible study complete with (YIKES!) YouTube weekly wrap up videos, all I feel is that it’s going to be a dismal failure.

    Yet your post reminds me that the core of my heart is for the MESSAGE of His Word to shine so brightly that His messenger (me) always be hidden anyway. So if I look like a fool, fabulous!

    What I know for certain is that His Word will not.

    What I can be assured of is that peoples’ lives change when they learn how to study the Bible for themselves.

    What I can bank on is that God could care less about my stat counter or about the face that I think my blog is in desperate need of a pretty design, if I ever hope for women to stick around long enough to study His Word together.

    My heart is that women learn to study, and that they learn to teach their children how to study. (Remember us talking about the Precept childrens’ materials at the homeschooling fair? Remember what a crazy nut I was about them?!)

    I want Moms to know that they don’t need to wait until their kids are of reading age to begin teaching them to reason through the Word.

    So, I will do what God has put into my heart. I will fulfill His mission.

    I only pray that He be glorified and that lives be changed for Him, and that the lost might seek Him.

    Thank you for sharing your sweet heart, yet again.

    Thank you for the preaching that you gave my terrified soul!

    If you or your readers would like to register to win a free Precept Bible Study for Jr.High/High Schoolers, I have a giveaway posted on my blog through Thursday of this week.
    http://whatilearnedfromthewordtoday.blogspot.com/2010/10/giveaway-time-register-to-win-by.html

    Angie…I can’t wait to fall before our King with you one day…to meet your sweet Audrey and for you to meet my Stephen.

    I love you for your tender heart,
    Jes

  • Maujun

    Jesus had only 12 followers… I needed that, too. Thank you for being so open and honest. We are all REAL, not perfect. The Lord has to help us remember that often, it seems. I enjoy your blog. :)

  • http://nevergrowupdollguide.blogspot.com beast’sbelle

    Angie, thanks so much for your honesty. I love reading your blog so much; it’s always a blessing to my heart. My thought process is so similar to yours. So many times I just start laughing because I’m so there with you. :) Thanks for letting the Lord use you to bless so many.
    God bless you. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Donielle-At-Naturallyknockedup/100000795349601 Donielle At Naturallyknockedup

    Thank you for coming and sharing with us! Your message was truly convicting and I went through my reader and FB pages today and cleaned them out. :-)

  • http://www.anordinarymom.com ali @ an ordinary mom

    It was soul sweet to hear you speak your story in person. That moment you had the mothers who’ve lost stand and look around, powerful. I was towards the front and had to physically turn around to see the room full of sisters-in-soul-sorrow, knowing full well that they were seeing me too… raw pain and sweet balm rolled into one moment, powerful.

    If Ann introduces you to Tom Cruise, will you promise to post the pictures? ;-)

    • http://thepartythatneverquits.blogspot.com Jen

      Angie will probably make Tom look tall.

  • http://www.joyinthisjourney.com Joy in this Journey

    I will always regret not insisting that you actually sign your ebook on my phone . ;-)

    God spoke through you and all of the women at the conference. Thank you so much for sharing His message to us, for laughing with us, and for being real. I needed to hear what you had to share and I so appreciate you helping us navigate these spaces by sharing what you’ve learned the hard way.

    I prayed for you as you talked with so many women. I receive a handful of emails a month from bereaved moms and know how much I join in their grief and pain. I can’t imagine the weight of so many stories in one short weekend, in one day of email. You are a blessing to so many and I thank God for you.

    Joy, http://www.joyinthisjourney.com

  • http://www.MoneySavingMom.com Crystal Paine

    Meeting you and your husband was one of the absolute highlights of the conference for me. {I know that sounds like such a suck-up, but it’s true!}

    But argh! Why’d you have to step on my toes and make me stop going to a few sites which I’d been frequenting recently? :)

    True confession: I have no idea what True Religion jeans are or how much they cost, but they sound plenty holy to me so I say wear ‘em without guilt. But next time, ask me before you buy a pair and I’ll find them for 50% off for ya, since you’re my new BFF and all. ;)

  • Anonymous

    Dear Angie…
    What blessings Relevanyt brought to many of us that were able to attend.
    I am excited for you… excited to see how the Lord will continue to grow a ministry rooted in sincere love for Him.
    Keep your quilt tucked safe around you,,, be yourself,, and weather out the storms of life with God, your husband and your family.
    Thank you for sharing at Relevant…. the Joy of His strength is evident in your life.
    Blessings to you,
    September

  • http://www.sewmanymamas.com Katie @ Sew Many Mamas

    What a wonderful reminder. I love your sentence, “women who love well.” We all need to spend time with women who love well. I’m trying so hard to be a woman who does just that. And, thankfully, I’m trying to learn from the One who loved best of all!

    I also just have to say- my best friend, a woman who loves well and who loves me well, introduced me to True Religion jeans. Love them, love her for introducing me to them! : )

  • Lizreeves2

    Angie,
    Do you realize that you are all of those things & more for so many of us who follow your blog? I imagine you to be one of those women with a loud, boisterous laugh, one who is an “easy cry-er” (like me!) when your heart is broken or so very full it bursts. I imagine you to be the girlfriend that everyone wants to hang out with…and you do have on great jeans with a perfectly tied scarf. With great sticks in a vase in your entry. :) I imagine your heart for Jesus overflows into every conversation, that your sweet tender spirit affects the way you parent your girls and that you would be honored to sit in the dirt like Job’s friends and cry with a friend who is hurting.

    And despite seeing all of that in you through your blog, it’s not because I see you, but because you point me to HIM again & again that I love ya. All the rest is just a cool perk.

    Remind me–when are you & Todd moving to Texas to be my neighbors? :)

  • http://www.heartchoices.com Debbie

    Angie, I loved reading your thoughts on the Relevant Conference. I had so hoped to be able to attend so the next best thing is to read the blog posts of those who attended. So many mentioned that they loved hearing you speak. And then I read that speaking doesn’t necessarily come easy. But that’s when you depend on the Lord to give you the words to speak to the hearts of the women. I’m sure there are such expectations. I know I worry that people will be disappointed when they meet me or that my hands will shake.

    So keep watching Giada. I love that beach house too and how everything looks so perfect. But I have to add that I also love Ina of the Barefoot Contessa too.

    Glad to read that you got home safely despite the planes.

    blessings and love,
    Debbie

  • Erinlong

    I needed to read this today. Thank you for bringing the focus to Jesus and who we are in Him. Thank you for your transparency. If someone as wonderful as you has insecurities, then I don’t have to feel defeated by mine.

  • http://twitter.com/Titus2Homemaker Rachel Ramey

    I would never have guessed that you aren’t comfortable as a public speaker! (Wondering when you’re going to do a “book signing” for that swimsuit calendar. ;) ) I was blessed by your talk and amazed by your strength. (And amazed that doctors could SEE anything wrong with Audrey – in her photos she is not only beautiful, but she looks just perfect.) Thank you so much for sharing her with us; I’m honored.

  • http://www.myheartsdesireblog.com Amanda

    Angie,
    I hardly ever comment…just read…and this hit me today and I can totally relate to the Food Network idea and “close the computer.” Thank you for these words today!! sometimes I feel weird “praying” about my blog, or for my blog, or anything related to my blog…but your post was a wonderful reminder that ultimately, it’s all about Him. Thank you! Amanda

  • ANDREA

    OH MY GRACIOUS ANGIE..CRYING THE UGLY CRY!

    THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR HEART!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=673111206 Ann Morton Voskamp

    (I just hope I brushed my teeth well enough :) And shaking that elevator with the happiest wonder of meeting? I’m with Jennifer: God is so good! :) I wore my cherry blossom L’Occitane today. Your glorious smile and her memory were so close.

    The scent of Jesus.

    You were that to me this weekend, Angie….

    Soon…)

  • http://oursafehaven.wordpress.com/ stacy

    I’m a firsttime reader coming over from Multi tasking Mama’s blog. It’s been wonderful reading what all of you have been coming back with from the Relevant conference. Can I say that I got chills when I read the line…”Jesus only had 12 followers…?” Wow. Major food for thought.

  • http://forevernevernalways1.blogspot.com Jill

    Angie – it was great to finally have a moment in person with you after praying alongside of you for two years. What you shared today is how I feel at every event or large social gathering. I really don’t like anything to be about me – I love to spend time soaking in one on one conversations. Yet, I do appreciate a large group of women worshipping our Savior too!

    Lexi (our 16 yr old daughter) said she was touched you took a moment to share your heart with me and take a photo. She thinks you radiate Jesus from the inside out. you can meet her at http://www.choosingtowait.blogspot.com She started an organization to help bring water to people in 3rd world countries and stop human trafficking. She makes this mom very proud! She writes about purity, modesty and choosing to wait for her prince hand picked by God!

    I look forward to reading your book with several of our daughters. They watched me crying in the kitchen as I skimmed through several chapters the other day…it was like sitting next to you and hearing your voice speak to me. You are a beautiful writer!

    Wishing you the richest blessings and may God shine His face upon your family!
    Love and hugs,
    Jill
    PS I hate small planes too – had a super scarey flight in one! Swore I would never be on one again :-(

  • http://brandysbrood.blogspot.com Brandy

    I don’t comment very often, but I read … and I just had to offically delurk. Angie you are a beautiful person. Inside and out.

    I got to see you on the Relevant live feed and you had me crying and laughing and crying again. He helped you do a MARVELOUS job.

    I just love this post. Just beautifully said. MANY blessings to you and yours!

  • http://twitter.com/GodsDreamsForMe Jeri Taira

    Tonight’s special – David (hubby) and I are reading blogs together. I love that we laughed and sighed at the same times throughout your post. I love more that we were ministered to together. Thank you Angie. I enjoyed watching the live stream of your life words.

    Jeri

  • Molly

    Angie,

    It was so great to meet you and Todd at Relevant. You blog in an inspiration – but the person behind the blog… even more inspiring!

    Your honesty and realness – so transparent. Refreshing in this world of phoney bolognas :)

    God’s given you a platform and can’t wait to see how He continues to use it thru you to help so many others.

    Looking forward to our paths crossing again next year :)

  • Sarah

    Angie,
    I just had to tell you I saw you on the Lisa Whelchel Creative Correction video! I am sure it was taped a few years ago, but it made me smile to see you and say, “Hey I’ve met her!” BTW I met you in Grand Rapids a year or more ago. You were just pregnant with Charlotte. I am good friends with Kristy Sweet. Thanks for all your encouragement.

  • http://twitter.com/PennyBlessings Mandy Roberson

    Angie, I knew OF your story and have followed your blog from a distance for a while now. I am always so cynical when it comes to the people on the other side of the screen – forever wondering how true and real their stories are… guess that comes from a life of hurt and disappointment. But the very moment I saw and heard you and Todd, in person and where I could look into your eyes, I saw your heart. I felt your pain. I witnessed God’s amazing healing power through the two of you. And I was touched in the deepest part of my soul. Thank you both so very much for being willing to share your story, your strength, with all of us!

    Blessings always,
    Mandy

  • Amanda asweetliferocks

    It is fun to buy yourself something ‘really really expensive’ once in a while. You have a fantastic testimony and a great blog. Thank you!

  • Beth K

    Hello Angie, We are currently walking through incredible sorrow, our sweet baby, Arlena Rose, was born on 10/8/2010 and went home to be with Jesus on 10/22. She was born with a severe congenital heart defect, doctors didn’t expect her to live through the first night, and then at 9 days old, she suffered cardiac arrest, but the “doctors” really God, brought her back and we enjoyed another 5 days with her. My heart is so broken and, at times, feel like I will never make it through. I know God is with us and this was His perfect plan for our precious little baby girl. My husband and I watched you and your husband tell your story on You Tube and the tears were flowing….God used your testimony to minister to our grieving hearts. My niece will be singing Audrey’s song at Arlena’s funeral this Friday 10/29, thank you for writing that song. Thank you for sharing your grief so candidly. I’d love to talk to you some time, although I know you are so busy. God bless you and it looks like the good Lord blessed you with another baby! Praise God for another miracle! In Christ’s Love, Beth and Rich K Boyertown, Pennsylvania

  • http://twitter.com/beautyandbedlam Jen -BeautyandBedlam

    Oh, so many, many things I could say, and want to write, but I don’t have the time except to say, “You are precious.” The Lord used you mightily and it was a blessing to finally hug your sweet neck in person (even though it wasn’t enough time…AT ALL).

    • http://twitter.com/beautyandbedlam Jen -BeautyandBedlam

      And can I just add that I can never ever comment with Disque…so odd. Jess finally gave me the tip last year to sign in with Twitter. :) After..I always type a novel and it gets deleted. hahaha

      http://www.beautyandbedlam.com

  • Linda

    Been thinking a lot about how you write. I really enjoy how you write. Thank you for blogging. Love in Him, Linda

  • Lisastith1222

    I have a prayer request. My friend from college is a Pastor in Cairo, GA. He and his wife were in a car accident on Oct. 8th and their 4 yr old daughter was killed. His wife Rachel is pregnant with twins, and is on bed rest right now. She has started a blog, and it’s heart breaking. Please pray for their comfort and peace as they walk through this dark journey.

    http://rachelsuzking.blogspot.com/2010/10/deafening-silence.html

  • http://lessonsthrulife.com Anne Desmond

    Angie…what a beautiful post. I felt like I was back at the Relevant Conference when I was reading it. It’s funny how we think everyone else has it all together and we are the only one who is scared to death and feel out of place. I kind of wrote about that with my first post about Relevant. I wanted to stop by and say Thank you …Thank you… Thank you… for allowing the Lord to use you with His words when you spoke… The whole conference was exactly what I needed… I went to the conference not knowing one person and looking forward to listening to what God wanted to say to me …..I was blessed with hearing His voice and making many new friends. I pray the Lord will continue to guide and direct your family… you have blessed many.

  • http://girlfriendsgetreal.com Amy Thue

    I am sitting here days after the conference still so full of Him that I am overwhelmed to tears. I went to Relevant to learn a little more, laugh a little bit and take a break from my responsibilities. I came home with Jesus. My heart is overflowing. It truly was amazing. Thank you for your words, you were a part of this experience that helped Him break down a wall that was surrounding my heart.

  • http://www.womenlivingwell-courtney.blogspot.com womenlivingwell

    Girl – you make me laugh! I love your sense of humor! And then you challenge me – thank you for that! I see God working so mightily through you – you are beautiful inside and out!

    I LOVED LOVED LOVED the way you and your husband related to each other when he did the slide show – a true picture of love in marriage – I wished I could capture it and show it to all my readers so they could see a picture of a loving, God centered marriage! Thank you for giving us a glimpse into your world last weekend.

    And one more thing, thank you for having the ladies stand who have faced the loss of a little one. It was SO eye opening to see half of my table stand and half of the room stand! So many are suffering silently – I had no idea – thank you!

    Keep Walking with the King!
    Courtney

  • Emeri

    I get to read your book this Thursday! That is only 4 more sleeps and an eleven hour plane ride away :) We live in Australia but we are coming over to Hawaii to meet up with friends from Viriginia Beach. They are flying half way, we are flying half way and Hawaii here we come!

    I bought your book but the shipping cost to have it sent to Australia was ridiculous. So, I have it sent to my friend who is in Virginia Beach. And she’s bringing it with her to Hawaii on Thursday. I’ve told her I’m reading it first then she can borrow it and share your wisdom.

    Thank you for your inspiring blogging. You do a great job!

  • Joy

    Oh, I just love you already! Thank you for sharing your heart…you blessed mine. I can so relate to your feelings of inadequacy…an introvert masquerading as an extrovert. And the food network escape. God is so faithful to meet us right where we’re at and speak in the exact dialect of our heart…your revelation was just what I needed to hear! You’re lovely…thank you for allowing the Father to bless me, and so many others, through your delightful transparency. Rock on!

  • Debbie

    I’m a latecomer here – a HUGE fan of Sarah Mae, and by extension Relevant. However, because I won 4 tickets to the Extraordinary Women event in Ft Wayne, Indiana, October 8-9, I knew I could not leave my family again for this amazing Relevant conference.

    And yet, I still heard your story. Your husband shared your story with us during one of my FAVORITE parts of the Ewomen Conference – the Selah concert. Being pregnant now, and having lost a baby last November, of course I cried – I like to blame my hormones, but in reality, God’s just given me a soft heart in the past few years. Sweet…

    I saw your name on the list of speakers and then saw “Audrey” and knew it wasn’t a coincidence and now I”m going to be reading your journey. Like you -I like to disappear into things like the Food Network – but women like you who love our Jesus – you’re the kind I want to “hang” with if I’m going to be online…

  • http://www.kristybeckendorf.blogspot.com Kristybeckendorf

    Angie, this was such a beautiful post. I feel a lot like you do – think many of the same thoughts. I bet we all do :)
    Sounds like a wonderful conference – and if I saw Ann anywhere – I might jump up and down and grab hold of her!
    Thanks for sharing such a sensitive post – that many of us can relate to.
    You do have such a sweet heart:)

  • Morgan Alexander

    So many times, your post is something that I need. Thank you so much for sharing your heart!

  • http://somuchshoutingsomuchlaughter.com/ suzannah {ShoutLaughLove}

    angie, thank you so much for sharing your story at relevant. the image of all those women who lost children haunts me (the stat is one in five, but it was at least double that among us.) my heart and prayers are transformed.

  • Shana

    Sooooo……I love EVERYTHING you have written from day one of your blog, but I have a VERY serious question to ask you….

    Which style of the jeans do you wear? I really want to know.

    Seriously.

    :)

  • Juliane Haley

    Beautiful, relevant post. Thank you.

  • http://www.myheartwillrejoice.blogspot.com Bree

    Thank you…sometimes, I think this all we need to say-it is filled with an overwhelming heart and His goodness reflected by your life. Praying for you and your sweet family, our precious Father is oh, so good-always :)