$12.99

*update at end of post*

 

In my defense, I only ran in to grab a pair of clearance pajamas for Charlotte.

But the entire store (GYMBOREE!) was $12.99 and under so I got a little distracted. I was alone for the afternoon and before I knew it I was knee-deep in outfits that involved plastic fruit.

Judge me not, friends.

They had matching hair gear.

So anyway, I was there for a little while and there was a kind woman (read: the type who would gauge your eyes out if you reached for the last pineapple tankini in a 5T) next to me trying to do some shopping (warfare) in the sale section.

Unfortunately for her two children, this meant she was unavailable for much more than “Sit still before I MAKE you sit still,” and “What is your DEAL?” (Yes. Actual quotes.)

I considered asking how she was going to make them sit still when she didn’t know where they were hiding and also, what parenting book suggested the sage advice regarding usage of the word “deal” in the context of public discipline techniques.

I didn’t ask either, mostly because I was afraid of her.

Sadly, the children were not.

I’m just saying if your children aren’t at least a little afraid when you are yelling at full throttle, you might want to invest in a new bag of tricks.

At one point the older one (maybe 6?) ran under my legs and almost knocked me over. I made some solid eye contact with him and he smirked at me. SMIRKED! I am not a fan of the smirk.

His mom must have seen it happen but she didn’t say a word. He wandered to the front of the store and I watched as he walked out of the store and right out of eyesight. I was about to try and get her attention when he stuck his face in the corner of the display window. The sales lady told his mom he had run away. She was less than pleased, as evidenced by her shouting, “Don’t make me put this stuff down!” Yeah, awesome. That should definitely take care of things. Kids HATE it when you set stuff down.

He wandered back in and she told him to try on a pair of shorts. Due to the fact that there is no dressing room at Gymboree, she asked him to walk toward the back of the store, slip off his pants and try them on. Shockingly, he went unattended to the back, took his little jeans off, and proceeded to come back to the front in nothing but his teeny-tiny tighty-whities.

He walked up to his sister (who was about 5), turned around and pulled his underwear up into his buttcrack and started screaming, “Look at it! Look at my hiney-hoo!!! Hahahahahahaha!!!!!!!”

She looked at him and snapped, “No, Michael. NO!”

Finally, their interaction got momma’s attention. She dropped the flamingo capri pants (hello, business!) and whipped around to face them. The sales lady and I exchanged quick glances, grateful that the little sideshow was finally over.

I promise you that what I am about to say actually happened.

She bent down, scanned right over bootylicious, and looked her daughter dead in the eye.

“Nicole. NICOLE. We say NO thank you.” She shook her head, turned back to her loot, and didn’t say another thing.

The woman behind the register was standing frozen in time with nothing but a stack of $1.99 accessories and ruffle socks to hide her shock.

I was paralyzed. The kid just kept laughing this evil little laugh while the girl walked toward the back to watch whatever was playing on the T.V. She slumped over in a tiny plastic chair while smirktastic continued his nude streak.

I am a woman who appreciates justice, and also a woman who (while I certainly have MANY, MANY less than stellar moments) at least strives to pay attention to what is happening with my kids before I snap at one them. And it takes a WHOLE lot to get me to threaten setting down a good bargain.

This is an extreme example, but it smacked me upside the head because I was so frustrated with this woman for completely neglecting her kids that I was beside myself for the rest of my Gymboree experience. She, on the other hand, couldn’t care less, and as she dug through her Dave Ramsey envelopes, emptying hundreds of dollars from each of the carefully labeled envelopes (you know, like groceries, electric bill, and YMCA fees) I noticed something interesting.

She hadn’t bought the pair of shorts for her son.

In fact, she hadn’t bought a single thing for him.

I watched as she handed the bags, one after another to her daughter while telling her how pretty she was going to look.

And it hit me.

I do that.

Not to this level, certainly, but I do it.

I slack on my parenting and I try to love my kids in ways that are convenient, superficial, and as useless as a fruity skort-set with no matching headband.

That might be a little dramatic, but it’s true. I go away for a night for work and I have to bring them each back a special treat. It’s pitiful, actually. I have been convicted of the way I try and “make up” for my perceived weakness as a mom before, but for some reason it clicked as I watched them walk out of the store.

Am I loving them well? Really, really well? Because I’m running out of time and there isn’t anything the new Fall line can do about it, no matter how many leaves are hand-stitched on the front (It’s 11 for the record. ELEVEN! Wait, where was I?)

I’m being really transparent with you all here, and it’s something that really troubles me. Apparently my insecurities aren’t that closely guarded because the Mother’s Day card Abby made me said this:

“Mommy I wunt you to no that you are the best mommy in the world. Even tho you don’t thing so, u relly are.”

Ouch.

I mean about the grammar, not the sentiment. But yeah, that was a dagger too.

I’m relatively sure I’m not going to walk my daughters down the aisle and whisper, “Did I make you cute enough during your life, hon? What about the IPod? Were you happy about the pink even though I promised you green? And our house…I mean, you didn’t feel cramped in there with your sisters, did you? Mmmkay, love. Now go change the world!”

I want to be emptied of everything I had to give them.

I want to feel like I gave them more than matching dresses and surface-level manners.

I want them to go on to do more with their lives than show their butts to people.

That last part came out wrong. It kind of ruined the emotional vibe I was tapping into, but I have a feeling some of you are still with me.

I’m praying tonight for all of my fellow mommies as we navigate the waters of child-rearing. Lord, help us to soak them up, squeeze out every good thing they have to share with the world, and let them remember more than the time we tackled another mom to get to a froggie raincoat.

Did I mention it was $12.99?!?!?!

Judge me not, friends.

Judge me not.

Sigh.

*If you read this and felt sympathetic for this frantic mom, you aren’t alone. We have ALL been the mom trying to do the best we can…this was about someone I felt was symbolic of a culture that sometimes places more emphasis on what our kids are wearing than what they are feeling. Please don’t think I would ever bash a fellow mommy who was having a rough time…I have been there WAY too many times to do that!!!! I think that a majority of you understood that, but I just wanted to make a point of it so that nobody would feel like it was a personal attack…honestly, I saw this as a prime example of my faults and wanted to share my own insecurities. I just wanted to clarify!!!


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  • http://twitter.com/QueenofDfamily Amy Dixon

    My 5 year old is a firecracker. A FIRECRACKER. And I try, I really try, but I saw her in that little boy. And I don’t think it’s me. I have raised 3 other children just FINE. They obey. They are nice. They behave in public. 

    And really? $12.99? FABULOUS! 

  • Blondemomblog

    Love this post. Here’s to all of us loving our children really, really well. This mommy gig is the toughest (and most incredibly awesome) thing ever!

  • http://julesmpg.blogspot.com Julesmpg

    Ang, you made me spit on my super expensive new phone ( judge not). I cannot stop laughing about the naughty boy.

    We all feel inadequate as mother’s, by God’s grace alone will we survive. Trying to fix my eyes on him as I train up my kids. I know your doing the same..

    When our kids were little and bad in the store, we would make them put their nose on the wall out front. It worked.

  • Anonymous

    Ohmyword Angie!!! I was just having a similar type moment with my middle teenager. I have been awful at parenting with him right now because….well, it’s just been hard and so what in the sam heck do I do? I buy him some stupid junk after I laid into him about his behavior. WHAT IN THE WORLD? I say this because I know I need to keep digging, keep talking, keep loving, keep praying and not just lose it when he is shutting down on me and then go buy him junk!

    Sweet mercy it’s hard doing this, but with each time I mess up I sincerely ask God to show me a new way because there will be that next time. Oh, Jesus….help me to see and flood me with patience, and give me super natural insight when I’m lost as a goon.

    Rambling, but I thank you for this post. I adore your heart.
    It’s just hard.

    • Katy Reitz

      Oh boy, I hear ya!  I have an 11.5 year old boy and something is changing because his mouth is trying to get a little crazy on me.  I used soap in the mouth as a toddler and I won’t be afraid to use it on him as a tween.  What’s up with that word, I was a never a tween, I was a preteen! 

      Anyway, I need to be flooded with patience and super natural insights!!!!  

      • Nicole Rodriguez

        I’m right there with y’all!  My oldest will be 12 next month – if he makes it… ;)   Holy cow this age is HARD!!!  Now I know what  to look forward to with my younger boys – ages 4 and 19 mos…EEEK!  I posted on facebook just this am – Jesus grant me patience!  Today is the last day of school – and it’s going to be a looooong summer!  Angie’s post was perfect!  The humor and the lesson…loved it all!

  • http://www.adventuresinbabywearing.com/ Stephanie Precourt

    Oh my. I was not sure where this story was going to go! But I can so relate in many ways, too. Why do we do this? Yes, sigh.

    Steph

  • Annie

    *sigh* so beautifully written & real! You are not alone, my friend. So many of us mamas feel the exact same way! God has pressed so deeply in to my heart to start investing in the eternal & not the things that will one day pass away. It doesn’t mean gifts or fruit flare clothes are bad, it just means that our goal, our daily drive should be to invest their little hearts in to the truth of who Jesus is to us. To blast praise & worship music & dance crazy with them, to do devotions with them, & to show them how blessed they are in a heartbroken word…I believe if we can teach them to love Jesus with all their heart, soul, mind & strength & love others like Him by loving them like Him, then the rest will somehow fall in to place! God is so good & so gracious to us moms :)

  • 4given

    Sort of reminds me of the time my niece had her 3-4 yr old daughter at the grocery. She turned to find the little one’s shorts clear down around her ankles – right in the middle of the deli! When asked what she was doing, “I’ve got a wedgie, Mommy!” Aren’t they just the most precious little things?? LOL!!!

  • Laurhamm

    I am so laughing    Made my night for sure.   I was a Gymboree sale shopper for years -  got some good deals.  Also made me sad to think of respect and obedience those kids have.  I’d be showing my age if I said more…….:0)

  • Sharon

    Angie you continue to always bring me back to your blog time and time again (and I’m aways checking every day for a new post!) because of your realness (is that a word??) and transparency! I adore you so much! I’m not a Mom so I cannot relate on every level of this post but I sure do love your heart so much!
    Oh and this line right here…….”She bent down, scanned right over bootylicious”…….. I laughed out loud and couldn’t stop laughing for SO long. You are SO good at writing and telling a story…just one other reason why you are so adorable :)

    Blessings to you!

    Sharon :)

  • Erin

    I was so there today! Made your story that much better! $12.99 was too good not to pass up! Great post, makes me think of how much I was really loving on my daughter today….thank you! Did you see the pink ruffled tutus…love! :+)

  • Cori Chase

    Wow!  I really needed to read this tonight. I am struggling so much as a mother right now. More often than not, I feel like I’m failing them.

    Thanks for sharing this!

    • Trentoleslie

      like isn’t the right word they need an agree button.  Definitely AGREE

    • Trentoleslie

      like isn’t the right word they need an agree button.  Definitely AGREE

  • http://rebuildingabrokenheart.blogspot.com/ Nika M.

    The mental image of that entire scenario has me rolling in laughter. 

  • http://www.faithpasseddown.com Kelly @ Faith Passed Down

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who gets smirked at when trying to stare down naughty children in the store. :)

    In all seriousness, thanks for the transparency and the heart that you have for your girls, particularly in wanting to leave a legacy bigger than just cute clothes and ice cream. From the things you share, I think you’re doing that!

  • Coby

    Can I get an “amen” and “hallelujah” for thrift store finds at 50% off?  That’s fifty cents for new pajamas for my kids!!!  However…

    As my boys often say to me as they hug my legs, “Mommy, I just want you.” 

    • Coby

      Just to add, so often I struggle to set aside my own agenda and the things I think are so important and just BE with my kids, doing what they’re doing, entering their little world.  So often I feel like I have to put on song and dance routine – complete with jazz hands – in order to capture their hearts.  Really, I just have to be their mommy – teach, train, love, nurture, discipline, accept.

      Thanks for your transparency.

  • http://twitter.com/KrisiRae KrisiRae

    This is what I needed tonight, Angie! And my 7 year old daughter!Your ‘conversation’ with her on her wedding day moved me to tears, fearing that is what I am creating!
    I absolutely needed this.Thank you and God bless you!

  • Kavitha

    Thank you for this post… i often think about the things you have written. What really should be our focus as Godly parents? SO many times i catch myself parenting with my own agenda! I love it when you write posts like this…in fact i really miss updates/ posts about your children. 

  • Ksvanbuskirk

    Wow! Great reminders & thoughts! Hilarious too! You’re so gifted! Thank you for your transparency!

  • Christi

    This provided me a good laugh this morning as well as thought provoking.  Thank you for sharing.

  • Evagassa

    It is funny how things I have been praying for are often answered through your blog.  Just want to say thank you.  God bless you

  • http://www.thegrovewcog.blogspot.com Jennifer

    What a beautiful tribute! Than kyou so much for sharing!

  • http://www.thegrovewcog.blogspot.com Jennifer

    What a beautiful tribute! Than kyou so much for sharing!

  • ashlee

    I have to share that as I was reading this, I unknowingly was neglecting my 2 year old son. I though he was playing with his back pack and books.  He was not!  He was in the pantry and helped himself to a blue lollipop that was probably party of a cheer-leading goody bag from one of his older sisters:)  Now my dilemma is should I take it away because he did not ask and that is not a nourishing breakfast or let him have it because I clearly slacked on my job.

  • klelliott18

    Shortly after my third baby was diagnosed in the womb with complex heart defects, I remember being with a group of friends and they were complaining about not having matching hairbows for the bishops their girls were wearing. I wanted to say some ugly things, but I let it go. Well, atleast I kept my mouth shut. My world had stopped spinning, and at that very moment I realized no one else’s had. It was a very lonely moment, but I also realized I was being enlightened in a way they had not yet. 

    On a different note: I found my 19-month-old playing in the potty on two separate occasions last week. That is stellar parenting right there.

    • 6kentsnonethericher

      I was right where you were too.  My firstborn was diagnosed with unknown genetic issues halfway through the pregnancy and I quite seriously overheard another preggo mom say that her greatest concern was that her children would be good looking.  That startles me to this day.

  • http://www.agratefulpeople.com Daniellasummers

    I read this post last night and went to bed thinking about it then woke up at 5am thinking about it some more.  I think it’s because it hit close to home.  I’m THAT Gymboree mother.  Before I say anything else I want to let you know that I’ve treasured every word you write because it’s transparent, raw, real, honest, inspiring, challenging.  The words in this post included. I’ve adored you like no other Sunday since day one (don’t let my lack of commenting on your posts fool you).  I hope I can share something with you that won’t discourage you, because I don’t mean it that way in the least bit.

    I’m that Gymboree mom.  Not the one in Nashville, but somewhere else in America.  To be exact, in Oahu, HI.  Back in November we got stationed here and upon our arrival we learned that the airlines lost our luggage.  The kids had nothing to wear.  My husband had to check in to training right away (because the Military doesn’t understand jet lag or any other excuses) so I was left to find the local mall in our rented mini van with a 3 year old and 15 month old in tow because I didn’t know anyone on the island just yet to ask for babysitting help.  Of course I got lost and got pulled over for being on the cell phone while trying to get directions.  After what felt like an episode of Amazing Race with my children (and the rest of the world) acting as opposite team contestants I found my way to Gymboree. I turned into that woman you write about here. My children aren’t old enough to know how to moon the west wing of the mall, but they sure know how to throw epic tantrums, especially when they see mommy trying to do something, making her look like a three legged circus woman.  I snapped at my usual incredibly well behaved 3 year old Charlie Faith and said “WHat is your deal?!…I just need one minute!!!…Momma’s almost done!  YOu stop it right now!…Quit acting out!!!”  Every mother’s viper-like eyes were on me.  There was lots of smirking, staring and shaking of the head going on, starting with the cashier and ending with the mother who had the luxury of shopping without her children.  I walked out bursting out in tears and declared it the worst day of my life. It was a true Jonas day.  My kids have never acted like such minions and I never felt more incompetent as a mother.  For crying out loud they wouldn’t even respond to my “What is your deal!?!” Shocking.

    I vowed that day to never put myself in such a situation because as Ann Voskamp likes to say, “Little souls are at stake.” and none of it is worth it, even if they end up wearing nothing but a clean diaper and dirty shirt.  Shoot, MY soul is at stake.   I sturggle with that because I want to be selfish and say “Put up with it, we need food so you HAVE to stay in the grocery cart. I’m sorry I don’t have Grama to be here to watch you so I can get groceries.  I’m sorry we can’t afford a sitter and have to put you through this. The world doesn’t always revolve around you and your nap times.” 

    Ang, I’m not snapping at you, I’m just venting.  I don’t know the cicumstances of THAT woman in Nashville but for some reason I keep thinking that she probably didn’t even know her son mooned his sister and was acting like such a little terror.  There is nothing more hurtful than to be judged as a mother, especially by another mother, because it’s the hardest work of a human being.  (I’m pointing a huge finger at myself here…I’ve TOTALLY judged before.  The Lord took care of it later and humbled me in the most embarassing of ways.)  I’m not taking her side in any way because I WASN”T there to see it all happen, but, what sometimes SEEMS isn’t necessarily what it is.

    Anyway, sorry for the novella.  I just wanted to give you my experience, share with you what I’ve gotten from your post and THANK YOU for reminding me what truly (without an e!)  matters when it comes to building lasting relationships with our children.  Much love to you :-)   I hope you still like me after this.

    daniella summers.

  • daniella summers

    I read this post last night and went to bed thinking about it then woke up at 5am thinking about it some more.  I think it’s because it hit close to home.  I’m THAT Gymboree mother.  Before I say anything else I want to let you know that I’ve treasured every word you write because it’s transparent, raw, real, honest, inspiring, challenging.  The words in this post included. I’ve adored you like no other Sunday since day one (don’t let my lack of commenting on your posts fool you).  I hope I can share something with you that won’t discourage you, because I don’t mean it that way in the least bit.
     
    I’m that Gymboree mom.  Not the one in Nashville, but somewhere else in America.  To be exact, in Oahu, HI.  Back in November we got stationed here and upon our arrival we learned that the airlines lost our luggage.  The kids had nothing to wear.  My husband had to check in to training right away (because the Military doesn’t understand jet lag or any other excuses) so I was left to find the local mall in our rented mini van with a 3 year old and 15 month old in tow because I didn’t know anyone on the island just yet to ask for babysitting help.  Of course I got lost and got pulled over for being on the cell phone while trying to get directions.  After what felt like an episode of Amazing Race with my children (and the rest of the world) acting as opposite team contestants I found my way to Gymboree. I turned into that woman you write about here. My children aren’t old enough to know how to moon the west wing of the mall, but they sure know how to throw epic tantrums, especially when they see mommy trying to do something, making her look like a three legged circus woman.  I snapped at my usual incredibly well behaved 3 year old Charlie Faith and said “WHat is your deal?!…I just need one minute!!!…Momma’s almost done!  YOu stop it right now!…Quit acting out!!!”  Every mother’s viper-like eyes were on me.  There was lots of smirking, staring and shaking of the head going on, starting with the cashier and ending with the mother who had the luxury of shopping without her children.  I walked out bursting out in tears and declared it the worst day of my life. It was a true Jonas day.  My kids have never acted like such minions and I never felt more incompetent as a mother.  For crying out loud they wouldn’t even respond to my “What is your deal!?!” Shocking.
     
    I vowed that day to never put myself in such a situation because as Ann Voskamp likes to say, “Little souls are at stake.” and none of it is worth it, even if they end up wearing nothing but a clean diaper and dirty shirt.  Shoot, MY soul is at stake.   I sturggle with that because I want to be selfish and say “Put up with it, we need food so you HAVE to stay in the grocery cart. I’m sorry I don’t have Grama to be here to watch you so I can get groceries.  I’m sorry we can’t afford a sitter and have to put you through this. The world doesn’t always revolve around you and your nap times.” 
     
    Ang, I’m not snapping at you, I’m just venting.  I don’t know the cicumstances of THAT woman in Nashville but for some reason I keep thinking that she probably didn’t even know her son mooned his sister and was acting like such a little terror.  There is nothing more hurtful than to be judged as a mother, especially by another mother, because it’s the hardest work of a human being.  (I’m pointing a huge finger at myself here…I’ve TOTALLY judged before.  The Lord took care of it later and humbled me in the most embarassing of ways.)  I’m not taking her side in any way because I WASN”T there to see it all happen, but, what sometimes SEEMS isn’t necessarily what it is.
     
    Anyway, sorry for the novella.  I just wanted to give you my experience, share with you what I’ve gotten from your post and THANK YOU for reminding me what truly (without an e!)  matters when it comes to building lasting relationships with our children.  Much love to you :-)   I hope you still like me after this.
     

    • Katy Reitz

      I too have had humbling experiences as a young mother.  Now with boys 11 & 8, I’m less quick to judge the young Moms who have taken their children on shopping trips.  I am always willing to take a baby or toddler and rock them or play with them so the Mom can have a break, either at church or for a friend.  I know that I would have welcomed that idea as a young mom if someone had done it for me!  

      Bless your heart Daniella!  

      • daniella summers

        Thank you, Katy!  Your comment meant to me more than you know. 

        • Katy Reitz

          Daniella,
          I remember being in the trenches of baby and toddlerhood.  My prayer has been that those memories stay fresh in my mind so I will still be able to relate to the young mothers when I am older (which is now).  I came out of the trenches barely hanging on but I made it with God & Beth Moore’s teachings!  

          Stay strong!  Stay consistent! 

          Bless you!
          Katy

    • angelac519

      girl. i hear you…but i know you (and your gorgeous hair) well enough to know that you wouldn’t have acted like this woman. honest to goodness, she was downright abusive. i think there’s a difference between the moment where you are snapping at your kids and you feel like everyone is staring at you (been there MANY times, including today as a matter of fact. heck. i live there.) and being so consumed with your daughter’s hairbows that you couldn’t care less about the fact that you’re spending your grocery money on designer clothes. the kid was acting up because his mom was ignoring him in favor of something that would make her look good, and i suspect it wasn’t a fluke incident. i think there is a difference between you trying to just get something done and a woman wearing $400 chanel sunglasses while she barks at her kids….i probably should have done a better job sketching her out in my post, because i think you would have seen a whole lot less of yourself in the example :)

      i wouldn’t have responded except that i adore you and really wanted to clarify that this was NOT a poke at moms trying to get by or just having a moment…it was a statement which was based on what i see as a society that values fancy clothes over relationship sometimes.

      i hate that i might have hurt you, because it wasn’t my intention at all. well, unless you were blowing $1800 on matching clothes out of boredom….:)

      i hope this makes it to you…please forgive me!
      angie

      • daniella summers

        No way sister girlfriend, you are incapable of hurting my feelings.  Of course I had a hundred ways I wanted to edit my comment after posting it…but didn’t…because I was busy parenting and nauseous over the toilet.  That’s right, here comes number 3. (Maybe that explains my sensitivity).  This post has so many facets, and from reading other comments it’s fascinating how every woman and mother took something different from it.  This is blogging at its best; being challenged as a reader and examine your intentions and actions. 

         I love what Beth Moore said on Twitter the other day “I was just about to tweet that a little humily goes  a long way then I realized I was going to feel a tad proud saying it.  God is on to us like that.”  Story of my life.  Just when I think I’m not judging, I totally am. And I think part of that showed through my comment, even though I didn’t mean it that way.    You have no idea how much I appreciate you responding to my comment, even though I didn’t expect it. Thank you.

         I realize a bit better the woman you’re were talking about and I totally still agree with you and the point you were trying to make.  I’m learning to do that everyday with my kids.  Just something about the frantic, selfish, silly mother triggered something in me that made me think of my own experience at Gymboree and how I was judged.  I wasn’t ONE BIT implying that you judged that woman.  Please, PLEASE know that!!!!  I’ve never personally met you but I can bet my life on the fact that you could never be like that.  You’ve walked too hard of a road to be in the habit of  being all smug and superior to other mothers (and if any of your readers hinted to that, I’m so sorry.  Please don’t let their comments discourage you from writing blog posts such as this).  This story simply triggered a memory.  A memory that contributed to my biggest insecurity, which is my role as a mother.

        You said nothing wrong or hurtful. PROMISE!!!  Keep writing like this.  It’s refreshing.  It’s challenging.  It’s real.  I prefer it over the alternative.  Love you, Sister! 

  • daniella summers

    Uhm, have no clue why my comment appeard twice.  Sorry!  Couldn’t figure out how to erase it.

  • http://www.theshupevillezoo.com Otherwiseknownasmom

    Thank you for honesty!  I think too often we all get caught up in the little things and not the little people.  I pray daily God will let me look past the dirty face, mismatched clothes, dust bunnies in the corners or dirty prints on the windows to see the faces that look at me with unconditional love and trust.  May I never lose focus on the things that are truly ETERNALLY important!
    Thanks again for sharing on a subject many of us do not like to admit we struggle with.

  • Heathercrossjordan

    Dear Angie,

    This blog entry spoke to me so much differently than most of yours do.  I absolutely adore your blog and it has inspired me more than you will ever know.  I have 2 children (6 & 4) and one on the way.  Even though I always (always!) love what you have to say, and even though I know you don’t intend this for your readers in any way, I have often come away from reading your blog feeling like a lame mom because I don’t do as much (not a fraction as much!) as you do outside your house.  You write books, you go to so many conventions, you sell houses, you give talks… and I know this list could go on.  But for the first time after reading one of your blog entries, I actually felt good about myself as a mother.  You see, I think the reason I have felt like a lame mom in the past after reading some of your amazing entries about all the wonderful things you do, is not from a doubt in my mothering, but from the lack of my focus outside of mothering.  I am a somewhat obsessive mother (in a good way, if that’s possible) who pours every ounce of my being out for my children.  As a result, I have not figured out how in the world great moms like you find the time to do all you do and still pour themselves out for their children.  Something clicked after I read this entry and it was that… “You can’t”.  I can’t do it all, and neither can anyone else.  No matter how hard they try to make it seem like they can.  It is much easier to snap a few pictures of your children doing something really cool that you’re helping them with (I”m not speaking of you specifically… I’m generalizing here) and to make it seem like that is the “norm” for you as a mother, when in reality it may not ever happen again because you have no time for it from all the “extras” outside the house and away from the children.  I devote my life to my children– at least at this point in my life.  I had the best time with friends in college, and time for friends and lots of activities outside my house will come again.  But as you said, these moments with our children are so fleeting and precious and you can not get them back.  That’s not to say that I spend no time with friends or have any fun of my own.  I go out with friends once or twice a month and that is enough for now.  I spend 90% of my time these precious few years with my children, and as a result, they listen when I ask them nicely to do something because I put in the gruelling time of actually putting down my pile of clothes when they don’t listen.  When they ask for a treat, unless they have done something in which they truly deserve it, I don’t feel the least bit guilty saying “no” because I know I have spent the entire morning reading to them and that was their treat.  It has never crossed my mind to bring them home a treat when I am away from them, because I am so rarely away.  They would wonder what they did to deserve the treat!  You are so amazing in what you do outside the house, and your love for your children shines through so clearly in your blog.  There are just so many problems in this world that I feel strongly could be make better simply if a mom or dad would pay more attention to their children.  My heart goes out to those children of the mother you describe at Gymboree.  Why do some people even have children?  What in the world were they expecting??  Goodness knows we all have bad mothering days.  But I wish moms knew the difference they could make in this world if they would pay attention, cuddle, read, teach, laugh, play & spend TIME with and follow through with disciplining their children.  And when they do so, how much more enjoyable and rewarding motherhood really is.  Thanks for the post and your beautiful transparency, as always.   

    • heaven11

      sooooo well said!!!! and you are absolutely on the money!!! and the next time you walk away feeling like anything less than encouraged, you need to shoot me an email and i’ll send you a “real-time, not blog-approved” snapshot of what my life looks like moment to moment :) ha!!!

      i had a crisis moment the other day about my cooking. im with my children ALL the time (in fact, i think our nanny wants me to leave more often, but i love having an extra pair of hands!!). i mean, i don’t even send them to school!!! i was feeling so guilty about the silly green beans and todd reminded me that i fed them in many ways other than green beans :) but we ALL have areas we wish we could improve on…i actually got a very rude comment on a recent post because i never blog about my parenting anymore…i was like, “that’s because im busy doing it!!!!”

      loved reading this and hearing your heart…thank you so much for sharing!!!
      ang

    • Lantz Kelsey

      It’s wonderful to hear that there are still moms who have the means to stay home full-time with their kids. It is lacking in our society, however I would be careful with how we make that judgement…it simply is not an option for some people. I would also like to say, knowing Angie personally…I hope someday I am half the mom she is. She, along with her husband (which is really out of the norm in our society) spend more time with their kids than any parent I know. Yes they may be gone for a night or two every once in awhile, or heck..they may even go out on a date but when they are home they are fully there with their girls. They even homeschool which gives them even more individual time with each child. It may seem, from reading that they do a lot. But it’s a huge thing to be called to share your personal story of pain and hurt with the world…not many moms would be willing to be that vulnerable. Plus their girls are learning so much at such a young age about being obedient to God’s calling through the example their parents are setting. It truly is a beautiful picture of a close knit family. If we are going to judge moms on how much “extra” stuff they do…then we should not read blogs, go to women’s conferences, send our kids to school where moms are teachers, take our kids to the dr where moms work as nurses, receptionists and doctors…because that is supporting mothers not being home with their kids. I truly hope that you aren’t directly judging or accusing Angie of not spending time with her kids because that would be so far from the truth. You must be very blessed to have perfectly obedient children because my own mom stayed home with me and my brothers and we knew exactly what was expected and what consequences would be and that never stopped me from being a stubborn, strong-willed child. Every case is different and I know Angie would support me when I say that my heart goes out to moms who are obviously having a rough day and their kids aren’t making it easier in public (been there) but there is something to be learned from those situations, where parenting is clearly an added factor in the behavior issues. Over-all there was a great lesson to be learned in this story and some good laughs and hey..every mom could use some good laughter at the end of the day.

      • http://www.audreycaroline.blogspot.com angelac519

        now im doing the really ugly cry…you know the one because you’ve seen it LOTS.

        thank you, friend. love you much.

      • Selah Inhisimage

        I’m just going to add my two cents to Kelsey…

        I too have spent time in the Smith house and on the road with Todd and Angie and can honestly say that they do more than most parents I  know to ensure that their kids know they are loved.  In fact, I have a nickname for Todd “Dad-Gung-Ho”. You see, when we come home from a long weekend of touring, and have gotten only a few hours of sleep a night, we’re exhausted and hungry and emotionally drained from ministry, I retreat to the guest room for my much need nap or “me time” and Todd becomes Dad Gung Ho.  I awake from my nap to hear laundry churning in the washer; see groceries freshly purchased in the fridge; Todd is nowhere to be found.. is he napping too? No, he’s just outside homeschooling the children or done a crazy brave thing and taken all of them to Lowe’s to get a light bulb.  Seriously, he’s such an amazing dad. 

        And don’t get me started on Angie, who has a babysitter come over, and then still stays and hangs with the babysitter and the kids because she hates to leave; or utilizes that baby sitter time to have a one on one date with a kid so that they feel important to her as individuals; or announces, “I have 150 unread emails” then promptly closes the computer because she’s been invited to make art outside with the girls. 

        Flawed? Yes. Perfect? No.

        AMAZING? Absolutely!!! 

        As a woman who is actively trying to start a family while still planning to tour and pursue the calling on my life in ministry, I can say that the Smith family is the picture of my future.  They have shown me that I can do what God created me to do; traveling and touring, and still be a great parent.  I was raised by a stay at home mom who was always there, but didn’t necessarily love me well.  They may not always be at home, but they love their kids well.  They take a Christ centered approach to loving and parenting their kids and I can only pray that when Jake and I finally have one of our own, we’re half the parents they are.

        Thank you Todd and Angie.
        amy

        • http://www.audreycaroline.blogspot.com angelac519

          amy, i PROMISE you todd and i are both crying in our family room after just reading this. im speechless. i will never be able to tell you how much this meant to me (or to todd). honestly, i can’t even begin to express what it means to have someone who knows your ugliness say things like this…all we ever want to be as moms is the best we can be, and one day i promise that (knowing what i do about you) i will be returning the compliment.

          all our love,
          a & t

      • Elizabeth

        perhaps I am misreading Heathercrossjordan, but it seems that she was referencing the mother in Gymboree, NOT Angie.  That she (Heather) felt better about her mothering because the story of the mom in Gymboree showed her that all she (Heather) does for her children is making an difference and sometimes is actually “working”. I don’t know Angie or Heather, yet it reads as though she supports Angie and all she does, and hearing this story of the mom struggling made her more comfortable in her parenting.
        This is all presumptuous, yet I wanted you to see it could have a different light!

  • Jennifer A

    Angie, I may not be a mom, but this cracked me up! As a daughter to a woman who worried many times *I’m sure of this, even though she never said she did* about her “mothering”,  I’m sure you are doing a wonderful job!

  • Monique Zackery

    This is a great post!!!

  • Nicklisa28

    This is EXACTLY what God has been dealing with me about.  I am a mom of four and my oldest is soon to turn 9.  NINE!!  Why am I hyperventilating??  Because I realized that half of his time with us is over.  HALF!  I can’t begin to get my mind around it.  I suddenly felt like I’ve been taking care of babies and planning all the things I want to instill and do with them, but while I am planning, time is ticking….way too fast. 

  • tonya.kidd

    I’m a mother of three little (rambunctious and constantly battling) boys. This entry both convicted AND encouraged me. Thank you.

  • Sarah Mae

    You had me laughing and crying (well, mainly laughing). SO good, such wisdom…especially about wanting them to do more with their lives than show their butts to people. Yes, and amen. :)

  • Kris

    This was amazing. Wow. So many good bits in here. I laughed out loud and then I clammed up and choked on that lump that formed unexpectedly in my throat. Thank you for this. So, so good.

  • Anonymous

    I have to confess that I haven’t read your blog for awhile…and this post made me wonder why in the world that is the case!!  Thanks for the lessons and laughter, all rolled into one!

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

    Oh, I despise the smirk.  I probably would have just left the store…$12.99 or not.  Have I mentioned I don’t deal well with conflict?  ha.

  • http://jimenez-whirlwind.blogspot.com/ Celia

    Ugh…why is it always those experiences when we are watching other parents that bring us full circle back to our own parenting??? Lately, I have really been asking the Lord to show me and teach me ways to “love” my kids the way they need to be loved. So good to read this post at such a time as this!

  • Jen

    I wonder how edifying this is for the mom who was in store. Even though you brought this around to your own mistakes in mothering. If I see you in a store and I will turn around and run, even if I wasn’t having a bad day with my kids!

    • http://www.audreycaroline.blogspot.com angelac519

      i hate that you missed the heart of this post…my description of her paled in comparison to her abusive behavior and rudeness. it was really out of control, and i sincerely doubt that anything you would be doing with your kids should cause you to get this reaction out of me. but yes, if you are hitting your children and spewing obscenities at them in public, i think you should run from me bc it isn’t okay.

      i am considering sharing this on my blog because maybe i didn’t explain it well. would this help?

      • Roomthreeseventeen

        It doesn’t sound like the mom was being abusive, just BUSY. Not everyone has the money to stay home with their kids and parent them ALL day long. Some moms work three jobs, and have babysitters who cancel at the last second. 

        • 6kentsnonethericher

          Oh just give it a rest.

          • Roomthreeseventeen

            I’m just saying that it’s out of context to assume that ignoring children when they are misbehaving is child abuse. 

          • Moonstars11

            The mom in this post may have just been busy or she may have been totally out of line. I think it’s safe to say since no one was there except Angie, that we can’t really know what was going on except to take Angie’s word for it. I personally saw her point but sometimes it is hard when you are reading a post and not getting the tone of the poster. I really hope that because you felt compelled to write to Angie, that you weren’t taking a stab at her because of where God has placed her in her life. Sure we can’t all be stay at home parents but that doesn’t mean that you should be totally out of line to another person because they can. I will never be able to stay at home with my children but I would never say something like what you originally said to her about having money to stay home (if that is in fact what you were implying since I can’t tell from the tone). I am sure Angie would allow it all to be taken away if she could have Audrey back. Anyways, I think it all needs to be put into perspective at all times and that we should always extend as much grace to the next person as we would want extended to us. Also I always try and remember that the person I am responding to is a human being just like myself even if they are behind a computer and what I write to them would only be what I would say in person to someone. With all that said, I just want you to know that if you are that mom with 3 jobs and a babysitter that cancels on you, that I will pray that God gives you some rest and a few extra minutes in each day to be able to do the things you want and need to do. =-)  

          • Roomthreeseventeen

            Yeah, but we don’t know the whole story. The boy in question could have been special needs, could have behavior problems, etc. Nobody should write judgmental posts about other people.

          • http://www.audreycaroline.blogspot.com angelac519

            Wow…I’m so sad that after my current post this conversation is happening in favor of something so much more important. Please do know, however, that if I see you at a children’s shop yelling obscenities at your kids and physically taking out your anger on them, i will gave the same issue with you. It was abusive, but my point wasnt that, because I don’t abuse my kids and the heart of my post was my flaws, not hers. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that (based on the $400 sunglasses she was wearing in addition to a few other statements she made) that she isn’t struggling with affording a sitter for the day. I certainly think that is a different issue than what you are experiencing….I just wanted you to know, and I am praying for you as I type…blessings to you and your family…

          • Roomthreeseventeen

            Angie, thank you for your response. If you thought she was really abusing her kids, you should have done something about it.

            And no offense, but I think part of the reasons that Christians have a bad name in this country is that responses like “I am praying for you.” It’s condescending. I’ve read the Bible. It was written by dozens of men thousands of years ago (if you need some literature suggestions that prove this, try reading “Who Wrote the Bible?”) I don’t need people praying for me in the name of a book of fiction. But thanks anyway.

          • http://www.audreycaroline.blogspot.com angelac519

            I felt really bad that it sounded like you were saying you were having a rough day with your kids…I apologize. I re-read it and i may have misunderstood. It wasn’t a flippant comment (although I totally agree with the fact that many people just say that more as a closing line than truly meaning the were praying) If you would give me the chance, I would love to talk to you personally…not to condemn or criticize, but maybe to share a little more about me. It might surprise you, and at the very least, show you that we are more alike than you might think :) please accept my apology if I offended you…I meant it as a sincere attempt to help in the only way I could think of not knowing you personally, and it sickens me to think I have sounded condescending…will you accept my apology?

          • Roomthreeseventeen

            It’s totally cool.

            You can reach me at roomthreeseventeen at gmail.com

          • Moonstars11

            I just read your response to Angie and I really want to apologize to you also for saying what I did about praying for you! I sometimes even hate saying that to people because of how it can come across but please know that I thought it just sounded like you were hurting and I really didn’t know how to come across without seeming like I was being rude. But please know that when I tell someone I will pray for them I really mean it with my whole heart but I realize I could have been rude in saying so. I do think though once you get to know Angie, you will see she is a real and has a real heart for people.

          • Cbcommunications

            If you so strongly disagree with Angie’s obvious core beliefs, then why continue to read her blog?  Now you just look like someone desperate to stir the pot and lose all crediblility.

          • Moonstars11

            Angie, I didn’t even read your current new post until you said something. Thank you so much for your heart! You are a wonderful true example of Christ. I hope that you don’t think that because this conversation was going on that I or even we were ignoring what your current new post is about. It’s heartbreaking and life changing to see those things. It gives me a daily reminder about not whinning when things are not going my way or I don’t have this or that or my house that has been on the market for 2 1/2 years hasn’t sold and I could go on and on and on. Thank you once again for humbling us all. Ps: I still can’t watch the news about the flooding, tornadoes, etc without breaking down and crying for those people. Which in turn turns into sobbing prayers to God to be with those people. So I should have known better before reading your new post at work. Thank you thank you thank you for making these things known to us. Blessings to you Angie.

          • Moonstars11

            Angie, I would also like to apologize to you! I am sorry I think I may have been the one that had you confused by what I was saying. I love your blog and your posts but I don’t have the best way with words when it comes to typing them out. I would much rather be face to face with someone or even talk to them on the phone then try and explain or speak to someone over the internet. This is why I only lurk and not comment! I should have done the same today obviously and for that I am truly sorry that I started this whole thing. =-(

          • Moonstars11

            That is exactly what I was saying. We weren’t there. We don’t know and to be judgmental back is just like the pot calling the kettle black. It’s unfortunate that tone can never be figured out on the interenet because it would save a lot of people from possibly being offended, ticked off, etc etc. I know I have more then I care to admit gotten ticked off at my own husband for something he has text me in the most purest form and then has been completly blind sided when I tell him I am mad. This is why I sometimes think our teenagers today need to put the cell phones down and talk  people to person. ;-) I completly understand what you were saying though and I do believe Angie understands what people are saying but maybe telling her in a way that doesn’t seem judgmental back would have been a better road to take. I hope that you hear my heart on this because I don’t want to seem like I am attacking you but just pointing out that we all can be a little more aware of how we are speaking to others  before we jump on a band wagon and make someone else feel horrible before they have had a chance to say I’m sorry. In their eyes that person may have not meant it in the way we percieved it and in turn by saying hurtful things back, it doesn’t help to sovle anything but just a bunch of tears. Thank you for at least listening to what I had to say. May you have a blessed day! =-)  

          • Moonstars11

            and that should say person to person not people to person…hehe! oh brother!! =-)

          • Cbcommunications

            take your own advice…..your post was dripping with judgement, “Not everyone has the money to stay home with their kids and parent them ALL day long.”  You sounded little jealous too.

          • Cbcommunications

            take your own advice…..your post was dripping with judgement, “Not everyone has the money to stay home with their kids and parent them ALL day long.”  You sounded little jealous too.

    • Jen

      If she was being abusive to her children and you didn’t step in to say anything,yet you saved it so that it would make a great blog then I still believe you are in error.

      • http://www.audreycaroline.blogspot.com angelac519

        for clarification (bc im hoping im wrong), are you asking if i watched a child be abused and allowed it so that i could have a great blog post? jen, im trying to be as kind as i can be…but wow. that’s a little out of line, don’t you think?

        • Jen

          I was commenting to your reply to my post. Again, I don’t believe this post is edifiing to you or to the mother you decribed. It seemed to me that what this woman could have used was someone that would have loved her like Jesus does with compassion,mercy, and someone who understands grace to see her like he does. I am not saying her behavior was appropriate by any means, however the way in which you sarcastically pick apart even the way she paid for her merchandise (and her children) seemed well ……smug. I have followed your blog for many years and have been in agreement with you in many areas and have prayed for you. However I don’t agree that this was an appropriate way to share your message. Being a silent observer and then blogging about it……what should one think? There were quite a few heavy judgements made about this woman in your observation, who was obviously broken in some way, an missed opportunity to share Christ’s love. Please prayerfully consider this……

          • http://www.audreycaroline.blogspot.com angelac519

            i can see there isn’t much i’m going to to be able to say to help you hear my heart in posting this. it isn’t gossip. im not calling someone out by name or bashing. im using one example of an unnamed woman in a store to describe a fault in myself. im so sad i feel like i have to write these explanations. goodness gracious.

    • 6kentsnonethericher

      I hope it would be completely convicting if she should chance to read it.  There is a place, for being put in our place.  Life can’t be all ‘edifying’.

    • Kim

      Run, Forrest, run. The last thing she needs is negative comments. If you don’t appreciate or understand where she was coming from in that post (and seriously, I think a 5th grader could figure it out), perhaps you should back up and read her posts beginning 3 years ago- that way you will know her heart, and you will know this woman would be nice to a serial killer.  Was that a dramatic example? Definitely…but hopefully you’ll get my point because running away from Angie Smith sounds pretty dramatic as well….. what you said just wasn’t necessary.

  • Linda Richards

    I adore you as a person and even though we’ve never met I feel like I know you from reading your blog.  I am so happy to see you writing more on the blog. I totally get the point of your post and love the points you make about our intentions. I do feel compelled to comment on defense of the woman in the store. I have a son with severe behavior problems and have been judged many times in public by other mothers who clearly haven’t walked in my shoes.  Loving and praying (and spending thousands of dollars on “experts” to help guide with purpose) while constantly being reminded that my child isn’t “normal” to society’s standards is exhausting and it’s impossible to be on top of your game all the time.  Sometimes you just want a moment to enjoy a good sale.  I may not approve of how this particular mother parented her children or spends her grocery money in the half hour of her life you witnessed but my heart goes out to what she represents. 

    Having said all of that, I thoroughly enjoyed the story and the lesson learned.

    • http://www.audreycaroline.blogspot.com angelac519

      linda, i hate that this is what you heard from a story about a mom who was clearly abusive and out of line with her children. i doubt that if you are spending this time and money on your son, you would be spewing obscenities and hitting your child. this wasn’t a post about a child who has a caring mother like you. i have written an update (although it saddens me that i felt like i had to) to clarify that im not bashing moms who care. we all have “off” moments. it was abundantly clear that this wasn’t a moment…it was a mom who was out of control and i don’t feel sorry for anyone but the kids. i don’t think this sounds like you at all…at least i hope not!!!

      • Betty

        honestly this post strikes me as gossipy and judgmental.  you use someone’s failing to eventually point back to yours.  there has to be a better way.

        • http://www.audreycaroline.blogspot.com angelac519

          im sorry you feel that way. it was a post about a woman who (to me) was an example of some of the poor choices we all make as mothers. i wasn’t being gossipy or judgmental…she is an unnamed woman who i watched for long enough to get a pretty good view of my OWN issues. if you see more than that, i apologize. it wasn’t my intention.

          • Betty

            i forgive you.  thanks for being thoughtful and prayerful.  i think if god has given you a green light about this whole big mess, than i should, too.

            would you accept my apology?

            ~ betty

          • http://www.audreycaroline.blogspot.com angelac519

            absolutely!!! thanks so much for writing…i have been so sad that i upset people. i really appreciate it :)

      • Linda Richards

        Angie, you are too sweet.  :) I would never have commented if I thought your post would bring out so much controversy because I certainly would not have wanted to contribute to that.  It is horrific to imagine any mother hitting and yelling profanities at their child. I truly did get the message you were intending to portray and found it very entertaining as well. 

  • http://kristawilbur.wordpress.com Krista Wilbur

    First of all. I don’t even have kids and that sale made me a little bit hyperventilateish. (No, that’s not a word, and yeah, I’m leaving it!) I have friends whose kids I love to spoil, and that sale + seven
    children seven and under to buy for = Krista’s wallet very happy when it
    comes to summer birthdays and Christmas! And second of all,  although I’m not a mom, I do have a sister who is young enough to be my child (I turned 28 two months ago; she turned seven about four months ago) and sometimes I find myself loving her the wrong way… I love to buy her things (not because I’m trying to buy her love but because I just love to spoil her!) and pick up treats and then we snuggle on the couch and watch tv while I read a book or work on my computer or sit in the kitchen when she plays. I am spending the weekend with her and I will be putting the computer down while she’s awake, reading only when she doesn’t want my attention, and I will be spending a whole lot of time with the Play Doh and constructing homes out of wayward cardboard boxes for her Build-A-Bears and maybe letting her kick my butt when we place Speed Slice on the Wii.

    And for the record, without trying to come across as judgmental myself, I totally understand the shock you felt toward that mother. I worked in retail throughout my college career, and my heart has been alternatively explosive and broken over how some parents treat their kids. There is a vast, vast, gigantic difference between a mother who is slightly frazzled because there’s a good sale and a mom who is utterly, completely ambivalent to or ignorant of her children. It’s all about priorities, and it’s clear when mothers (or fathers) have the wrong ones when it comes to their kids. I’m so often shocked by how parents deal with their kids in stores, and it makes me even more sad because if that is how they deal with their children in public, I cannot even imagine how they react in the privacy of their own home.

    I would hate to see you disable comments because of these a few people who misunderstood the intent of your post! I have found this to be a great community, and you have ministered to me personally over the years I have read your blog. You probably don’t remember this, but three years ago I was just graduating college and in a rough spot with some stuff going on in my life, and we had a short email correspondence that really encouraged me (and was one of the seeds that was planted in me that grew into me going back to church again in September), and then you started Bloom and writing over at (in)courage and it was really an encouragement to me, as is insight the rest of the Sundays provide when they can comment! So that’s a long-winded way of me saying I hope we can still comment, or at least comment with moderation, but if you turn the option off entirely, I’ll certainly understand!

    • http://www.audreycaroline.blogspot.com angelac519

      krista!!!!! i totally remember you…thank you for the sweet words. i think it’s just been a long day :) im so, so happy to hear that you are doing well….if you have a minute will you shoot me an email with some more updates?!?!?! im so happy for you :)

  • http://twitter.com/shakinbacon1 claire

    hi. so i don’t blog, i’m more of a lurker. also, i’m not a mom. but i’m a daughter, i might as well be the daughter to that little girl in gymboree. let me tell you the difference between that mother and you: you care so much about your children(i think you said you have all girls?) that you admit faults, desire change, and experience growth in front of them. you are a wonderful mother, and i don’t even know you.  your daughters will remember the care and deep thought you put into their relationship with you, they’ll forget the froggie raincoat – but they won’t forget you. i grew out of the clothes my mother bought me in her attempt to show me love, your daughters won’t grow out of your love.

    • http://www.audreycaroline.blogspot.com angelac519

      so sweet…thank you!

  • http://loveandjesus.blogspot.com FaithHopeLoveAndJesus

    Amazing post. Amazing.

  • http://twitter.com/KathyJcrew Kathy

    Angie you know your heart. I myself understood the point you were making.

    Ladies this wasn’t you in the store. If it was you, email Angie and begin some restoration/forgiveness process. Otherwise, please look beyond and see the {well made} point.

    Love to all. For real.

    And some parts of this story could be me too. My boys are some serious booty shakers. ;o)

    Good thoughts.

  • http://profiles.google.com/jenna1993 Jenna Hemphill

    I’m not a mom, however, as a babysitter and care taker of children, I have been here before too. It’s so funny how we get caught up in the moment and realize that we’re in the wrong spot that we’re supposed to be. And then of course, we may not realize it but sometimes we gain favorites. Thank you for this post and coming across this issue! I really appreciate it!

  • em

    it’s nice to see you writing, and not just promoting things..even though some may not agree with certain aspects of this, thank you for being vulnerable in the areas God is teaching you.. That never returns void.

    • http://www.audreycaroline.blogspot.com angelac519

      it feels good to write. i know i have obligations to share the details of events im involved in etc, but i was excited to do something more personal :) thanks for your comment…
      ang

  • Tora

    Hi Angie! I read on twitter that you’re having a tough blog night, so I thought I’d tell you that even though I’m not a Christian, this blog has inspired me to learn more about God and see where that leads me :) Thank you for that!

    • http://www.audreycaroline.blogspot.com angelac519

      wow. WOW. i just got over those discouraging comments. you are every single reason i do this…i can’t even express my gratitude for taking the time to write that…thank you.

  • http://twitter.com/TaraRenae TaraRenae

    Angie, Thank you for always being so transparent and real. I think this post hit home for a lot of us who sometimes substitute material things for love when we are tired, mess up, or feel guilty about not doing something we should have done. The negative comments are most likely from people who may be feeling guilty about their own faults that were revealed in your convicting and humorous post. We’ve also all been in that moment where we feel like another mom is being way WAY too harsh and even downright abusive to their kids and missing the main point of what they were trying to get across– Look at me! LOVE ME! So, Fear Not, sweet Angie. Your simple and yet profound truths change and convict the world to become a better place.. a place I’d much rather live in if more people followed your example– Christ’s example. I know I am a better person from having read your posts and constantly put myself in check with the example of a wonderful Christ-filled mom we have the absolute pleasure of learning from. A Beth Moore-type example, actually. Nothing but love and gratitude for your transparencies, dear Ang!

  • http://thepartythatneverquits.blogspot.com Jen

    For those who don’t know, have a son with autism, and two with learning difficulties. And three others that feed off them. Totally been there. I’ve hissed at my kids. I’ve grabbed arms and (tried to) made them sit. The stares are awful. I’ve left stores in tears.

    But I think that’s where I differ from this lady. if my kids are acting up that badly in a store I leave. Without question. It doesn’t matter what I’m there for, and especially so if I’m just in looking at out of budget sales. No matter how good they are.

    Thanks, Ange, for showing me a mirror to my own ugliness towards my children that I just don’t sometimes see through my frustration and, admittedly, selfish behaviour. God has been working on me in this department, and I honestly think this is just another way that He is gently opening my eyes to the way I am, or as the case may be, not shepherding and showing love to my children

  • http://www.sonshinensmiles.com Kristi

    Great story, Angie.  I too, saw your Tweets about your post and wanted to come check it out.   I’m learning that there are always lessons to learn as a parent, as a Christian, as a human being.   While they may manifest themselves in different ways, we all have our weaknesses as parents,  ALL OF US!   The thing is – where your story separates itself from those decent moms out there like most of us who just have the ‘epic fail’ types of days (and proceed to beat ourselves up over them), is the fact that there truly are just plain ol’  BAD parents out there too.  The difference is – the bad parents usually don’t know they’re bad parents.  Usually because they’re either too self-absorbed to notice, and/or perhaps don’t know better because they were modeled bad examples by their own parents/family.   And it doesn’t do much good to say anything to them because they’ll just get defensive and tell you to mind your own business.  (Which is funny conisdering you’re in PUBLIC and, well… public behavior effects…well…the PUBLIC, and therefore is no longer a private matter.  So much for the proverbial “village”, huh?)  Thanks for sharing and being candid and honest, while also trying to spare the ‘other mom’ a full-on blasting that it sounds like she really deserved.    

  • Linda

    My oldest just came in for the night (she’s 20 so I grin and bear it) so I was catching up on my twitter and emails and saw your updates there. I’m sorry you had negative feedback on this especially if it was hurtful or hateful. I just wanted to share my simple philosophy on raising my kids. And even at 20 and 17 the jury is still out on how I did. First – I am honest with them. Not the there is no Tooth fairy kind of honest. The mom is human and sometimes I say things or do things that I am not proud of and I need His forgiveness and yours. (I know the English major in you is itching to edit this :) just hang with me). If I have snapped at them or done something wrong I admit it. I apologize and ask forgiveness. Secondly – when people tell me how great my kids are :D I always say I just try not to screw them up more than He can fix. That’s really flippant but my point is to my friends and my kids is exactly what you do with your kids. He is the foundation of their lives. I grew up in a non churched home. Not saying that we have bibles open and hymn singing going on in mine now but my children have always known they have two parents that adore them but even better – they have a heavenly Father that loves them more than we could even begin to imagine. That is a precious gift. Whatever criticisms you got in the comments (I’m not going to read them because I know they’ll probably just make me mad) just remember He gave you those beautiful girls to raise. He knows your faults. He knows your heart. And he knows how much you love. Give yourself a break. Just keep loving them and loving Him. (sorry I rambled! Going back to bed now)

  • Danielle

    A friend of mine sent me the link to this post and I’m so glad she did. I’ve been a mom for only 5 months and I can so relate to your sentiments already! Oddly I’m encouraged, not discouraged by the fact that your kids are older and you still struggle with the insecurity of not giving enough or doing it “right.” I know that sounds weird, but it encourages me to know that it’s something other mothers continue to struggle with. 
    I got sucked into reading the comments–tried to resist, but didn’t do a good job. I don’t know how many times before I became a mother I saw and could recognize signs of a good mother having a tough day vs. a mother whose parenting could clearly use some help. Some may scoff at that statement because I wasn’t a mother at the time and even now have very limited experience on the subject, but the bottom line is that we (we meaning all humans who have had any sort of interaction with other humans on a regular basis for even a short amount of time) recognize the difference between good intentioned mistakes and outright neglect or indifference. I think that point was proven in the letter from your daughter. Seems to me she wanted to let you know that you were awesome in her eyes even if you did sometimes make mistakes. She recognized that even in spite of those mistakes you were loving her and trying to do what’s best for her. 
    I don’t know how many times I’ve encouraged a friend who has expressed some of these same concerns to me. I usually tell her that people who are legitimately crazy don’t sit around and wonder, “Am I crazy?” Likewise, if a mother is reflecting on her parenting choices and honestly noticing places where she could do better I highly doubt that she’s a bad parent. Does that make sense? 
    Thanks for posting this. I’m glad my friend sent it to me as a way to encourage me. It totally worked! 

  • http://kregerhouse.blogspot.com Rikki

    Totally wasn’t going to comment but then I “hear” you are getting hurtful comments so I march over to show support.  I think that the point is not the mom that you saw, the point is that we become aware of the mom we are.  I know this made me think because motherhood is my #1 insecurity.  Thanks for posting it!

  • Joyce

     I myself am a stay at home mom of a 14 yr old daughter and 13 year old son. My life has revolved around these 2 angels, time with my girlfriends has suffered, alone time with my precious husband was very little, $12.99 sales at Gymboree and clearance racks were a blessing. Hi…my name is Joyce and I also have had that melt down moment with children 18 months apart. We all have had that moment and witnessed
    the moment by other mothers…and for someone to say they haven’t would be a lie. Being a stay at  home mom does not make for perfect children. They will mess up, they will have “moments” of their own that cause us to scream and yell, we will feel like we have royally screwed up as parents and ruined our kids, wondered if we “hovered” over them too much, etc. We need to support each other as mothers instead of tearing each other down….we belong to a sisterhood and as sisters we have to stick together

  • Nina

    I have tears in my eyes because I can so relate. God help me to be the mommy You created me to be. 

  • Jean Metcalf

    Love this!!  Your post made me laugh and cry.  Oh that all of us moms with all of our inadequacies and insecurities would get up each day and make it the best that we can. 

    • http://tousey.wordpress.com Jenn

      Jean, big shocker that we were typing at the same time! 

  • http://tousey.wordpress.com Jenn

    Angie, I just love your blog and your insights. I totally hear the ladies who disagree with your posting here, but sometimes a real-life example is called for both to teach us and to get a little laugh. I get that we as bloggers (like how I just put myself in the same category as you?) need to step lightly on some issues so that we don’t hurt people, but at the same time I get really tired of having to clarify my every sentence so that someone doesn’t get their feathers ruffled. I did a post recently about ladies over-sharing their pregnancy progress on facebook and the overwhelming majority of my readers loved it and totally agreed. I had one college friend who thought for sure I was making fun of her and she and her friend let me have it. It was a learning experience. But I left the post up after I apologized to her and convinced her that I in no way intended to hurt her.

    I think you example here is one of those everywoman examples. At some time or another we moms have all been you in the store, and we have been that other mom. 

    I also think that anyone who has been following along with your blog knows that you are a compassionate woman who cares deeply for others. We know that the reason you have this platform is because Audrey’s story touched so many of us so deeply. We also know that you would give back the blog, the website, the books and the speaking engagements in a heartbeat and go back to “just” being Todd Smith’s wife and “just” a stay-at-home mama if it meant that you had Audrey with you. 

    Love you girl!

    • http://www.audreycaroline.blogspot.com angelac519

      wow…so sweet. thank you for the way you said that. that part about the “stay at home mom” brought tears to my eyes…so, SO true. thank you friend.

  • 6kentsnonethericher

    Love to you Angie!  I was concerned when I saw your hurting heart on Twitter so I came over to read what was going on.  I read your post yesterday and didn’t comment at the time, but I thought it was completely hilarious and honestly, glad to see that someone else can put  in (such funny) words things I experience when I’m out and about too.  I know it’s hard to deal with criticism and even though it’s only been a few, out of dozens of encouraging comments, the bad ones are still the ones you remember, aren’t they?!  I pray that the Lord comforts your heart and takes away the sting. :-)

  • http://drgnfly1010.wordpress.com/ Bethany Ellis

    I don’t visit your blog often, but I did your struggle on Twitter and got curious. To be honest, I was shocked that there is such a stir over this simple thing :) . I whole-heartedly agree with you. I think the woman was out of line, and there’s no way to know for sure what she was doing or feeling that day, but I think God many times uses situtations like these to reveal something in us. And clearly, He did that for you, as well as many others who read this post. Thank you for being real and honest.

  • Scott

    As a guy, I enjoy reading your posts and listening to Selah.  Now I do blame my wife for getting me hooked on your blog too.  I’m sorry for the personal attack.  I tend to think that these people are either being convicted by what you have written; they are that abusive bad mother;  or they completely miss your heart and writings and feel by tearing your down they will feel better. 

    I hope you bask in God’s love and know that you are reaching people and making a difference.
    Thank you for sharing!

  • Deborah Mouzon

    I love you Angie Smith!  I love your honesty and openness and how willing you are to bare your soul with complete strangers!  You have ministered to my heart for more than a year while I have read your posts, and I have grown in my own relationship with Jesus as a result.  

    Now, I am a grandma, and I only wish I had friends with insight like yours when I was a young mommy.  Can’t wait for the NEW book!!!!!  Hurry September (?) !Deborah Mouzon

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  • Marebear67

    I enjoyed reading this blog and there have been times I have seen Moms and out of control kids and there are times I was the Mom with an out of control kid :) !  Hopefully not to that extent as I will leave the store if my kids are not behaving.   I think all of us Moms can say we have been there. Yet, I took no offense at all to your post.  It was real, it was honest and thought provoking. There will always be someone who misunderstands or judges you for a post. They leave their hurtful comments and accuse you of being judgmental yet their own reaction to your post IS judgmental.  There is a way to disagree with what you wrote but expressed in love not judgment.  Don’t let it get you down and focus on all the positive comments only!!!

  • Anonymous

    Having only read 2 posts of what appears to be over 3 years of blog and having not (read: refusing to) read the negative comments, here is a stranger’s thoughts: It’s so darn easy for those of us who don’t know you up close and personal to assign motive to a blog post. It’s so darn easy for those of us who commit the same sin to FORGET that just because it’s not posted publicly for the world to see that it’s somehow not a sin. A sin that’s worthy of an apology to whom we’ve offended and worthy of GRACE that we all are in desperate need of.

  • Diana

    Love the story and the heart felt words from a mommy to other moms!   I think most of us felt what you were saying.  You put yourself out there with an honest heart.   Thank you for putting yourself out there!!  I hate the circumstances that brought you to us in the blog world, but am so thankful that you are here!  I am waiting for direction in my own life now.  I know that losing 4 babies has changed the path for my life in so many ways. I am encouraged that there might be a specific plan that God has for me in helping others too.  Reading about you and sweet Audrey helped me to realize that… finally!!! Remember that for those few that didn’t “get it”… there are many who did.  We know the sweetness of your heart!

  • http://getalonghome.com/ GAHCindy

    This is what set people off? I don’t see it. I mean, yeah, you probably could have been a little more vague and not told the story quite so well. That way the mom wouldn’t have looked nearly as bad. Still, there’s a redeeming point, which I’m sure most people didn’t actually get down to reading before they jumped all over you. Just a hint from a blogger who’s been there: Find a way to put the redeeming point first so no one scrolls right past the good to castigate you for the bad. ;-)

  • Diana

    Love the story and the heart felt words from a mommy to other moms!   I think most of us felt what you were saying.  You put yourself out there with an honest heart.   Thank you for putting yourself out there!!  I hate the circumstances that brought you to us in the blog world, but am so thankful that you are here!  I am waiting for direction in my own life now.  I know that losing 4 babies has changed the path for my life in so many ways. I am encouraged that there might be a specific plan that God has for me in helping others too.  Reading about you and sweet Audrey helped me to realize that… finally!!! Remember that for those few that didn’t “get it”… there are many who did.  We know the sweetness of your heart!

  • http://www.througheverystorm.com Cathy

    I can totally relate to this post. I’m a single mom by choice. I chose to be a foster mom, and now an adoptive mom even though I’m single and I work a full time job. My kids are in daycare for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week and I hate it. I hate that I can’t stay home with them and homeschool them.  After two years, I still leave the daycare in tears because I just want to be home with them, but that is not an option right now. I could easily say that I just won’t be a foster mom because all kids deserve a mom and a dad and the opportunity to be home with their mother.  I could have chosen not to adopt my son after he had been in my home for the first year of his life. But I would rather have died than give him up and if my daughter becomes available for adoption I will make the same choice.  The sad truth is that being in my home, with me, and in daycare is a thousand times better than where they were before. 

    There are so many times that I deal with the self-imposed guilt by loving them the wrong way.  Thank you for putting this out there for us to see. I’m sorry you have to deal with so many negative comments but I’m so glad you’re willing to be real and transparent so that God can use your testimony. Pete Wilson had this quote on his blog the other day: “More suffering comes into the world by people taking offense than by people intending to give offense.”   This is so true! Those who are offended by what you said are choosing to be offended. Please don’t let their criticism keep you from doing what you do so well!

    Love you!
    Cathy

    • Krista

      Cathy, it’s so encouraging to read this post from you because I am single at 28, and I’m not sure if that will ever change, but when I look at kids in foster care my heart just breaks for all of those kids who need love and a home. I’ve actually read of two single girls becoming foster parents (one on a blog I read and now you), and it encourages me so much… Because I feel like God is calling me to do that, regardless of whether I’m single or not, and I’ve met a lot of opposition with people telling me that they need a mom and a dad. But I’ve been in foster care. I know that I just needed someone who wasn’t a social worker to love me. So God bless you and thank you for sharing! <3

      • Paigebrumley

        Krista!! Do it! My cousin and her best friend are both single foster moms and love it. It’s hard but oh the rewards!

        We just received word yesterday that our two fosters will be ours to adopt and we are over the moon happy. These babies need love and if not you then who?

        • Russanna

          Ladies, as someone who is a foster parent (I am married though), I want to encourage you to please pursue foster parenting! Although a two parent home might be ideal, keep in mind that a loving, God-following single parent home is better than a child having to live in abuse and neglect. It may not seem to be the perfect situation, but God does not need the perfect situation to give a child the right home. Our little boy came to us from a single parent foster home. The foster parent had to move out of state, but she had done a great job and he loved living with her. He has had a hard transition because he misses his previous foster mother. I really hope you will pursue this and for Cathy – keep in mind that even though your kids are in daycare, they are still coming home to a safe loving environment and that is what counts!

        • Krista

          I have goosebumps reading this comment! How exciting for you!

      • http://www.througheverystorm.com Cathy

        Krista, It’s definitely hard and there will always be opposition, but it really is worth it.  These kids really do need some one who loves them and God can use you to show them His love.  I say dive in and do it! I know other single foster parents who would say the same! If you ever need support, encouragement, or just someone to vent to, you can find me at my blog (just click on my name). My e-mail is there. 

  • klelliott18

    I’ve read the update and here I am responding again. Guilty.

    BUT, I have something to add: just because we all do it doesn’t make it okay. And just because that mom did it a little more blatantly doesn’t mean I haven’t done the same thing quietly so nobody would see. I remember crying to my husband after a hard day a few years ago when I was ugly to my precious son. He told me that everyone does it. It hit me that while that may be true, that does NOT make it okay! 

    Can I sympathize with that mother? ABSOLUTELY. (More than I would care to admit.) But that in no way makes what she did okay. 

    Make sure you see The Nester’s post today, as well.

    • http://thepartythatneverquits.blogspot.com Jen

      just because that mom did it a little more blatantly doesn’t mean I haven’t done the same thing quietly so nobody would see.

      THIS.

      And I will honestly and shamefully admit that I have said things - ugly things - to my children in what should be the sanctuary of their home that I would never dare dream of saying in public. Again, this is something the Lord and I are working on (thank you for writng things that I needed to hear!)

      The thing that struck me in this story that Ange has so well recounted, is that deep down, the mother knows. And she’s trying to make it up to her daughter, and herself, the only way she knows how. With stuff. I’m not even going to suggest she needs Jesus, because I do know Him, and I fail every bessed day. But I did pray that like me, Jesus will take her heart in hand, and mould it into what is required to love and grow these bessings of children into the Kingdom.

  • Lauren

    Thank you for being real, honest, and transparent. I always need reminders to simply BE there as a mom. I can get so distracted with things at home, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if I finished the laundry, but rather, did I invest well into my daughter? I hate that people can’t simply read this for what it is and instead are trying to make you out to be someone that you aren’t. Your writing is such a gift, and the Lord is using you to help so many women, please don’t let these negative comments get you down! 

    Lauren (Lindsey Wheeler’s sister) 

  • Kim

    I say, you are AMAZING. You do NOT need to explain yourself to ANYONE (but God, of course… but He already knows your heart).  And,  if I keep seeing people writing rude comments to you, it might just make me sit down and draw you a piece of my own personal artwork. ….. and I can only draw stick figures.  ;-)  

  • http://www.dietcokeontherawks.blogspot.com robin

    I read this post and about 45 of the comments last night (since then quite a few more have shown up, but I don’t have time to read them all). 

    But what I found really neat, in spite of the fact that a handful of people didn’t get the full illustration of the picture you tried to paint of the girl, is that a LOT of mom’s went to defend the lady, because we ALL feel that guilt of not doing a good job. We all worry that because we weren’t paying attention to our kids they are going to be scarred later. Or because we snapped and yelled, we REALLY hurt their feelings (I did this just last night). We all feel that guilt and that shame and want the acceptance of other mom’s in our failures. Not sure where I’m really going with this, other than the comment section proved that we ALL fail as moms (and humans), we feel guilty about it, and we are connected in that way. And I loved your post. Now I’m off to read your follow-up post… :-)

  • Mallory

    God knows your heart and I get the picture you were painting. Stay strong and on your path and let no one change that!

  • Jamie Wheeler

    Angie, I really don’t know where to begin with this.  As a matter of fact, I’ve already deleted three beginning sentences.  :-)   I am one of your silent stalkers.  My sister and I talk about you as if you are truly our “down the road friend” and our husbands tease us about it all the time.  “Oh yeah, your friend, Angie…whom you’ve never actually met.”  :-)   Our dad is completely technologically illiterate so he can’t grasp the idea of a blog.  The poor man just rolls his eyes in confusion when we talk about our friend Angie from Tennessee.  Anyway, I just need to tell you that for every person that chooses to take offense from your post, there are hundreds of others who are better moms because of it.  I will admit that as I read it, I literally laughed out loud…at least in the beginning.  By the end I was feeling like quite a loser of a mother.  It wasn’t because I felt you were casting judgment, it was because of my own personal conviction.  I’ve been that mother in Gymboree, except I can fake it really well.  My kiddos are so hyper.  I’m not kidding, they just bounce off the walls from the minute they wake up until the minute they go to sleep.  Before I became a stay-at-home mom, I was a special education teacher; my focus was on kids with behavior problems.  Imagine that!  I knew that MY kids would never behave “that way” because I would pull out all of the tricks in my bag and work my magic and they’d be angels.  Ha!  I was so naive.  Back to my reason for posting…I have been that mom, but I’m only that mom at home.  In public, I say all of the “right things” to my kids.  “Please make safe choices.  Please say kind words to your sister.  Please stay by Mommy so I can keep you safe.  Please, please, please.”  When we’re at home they get the “real me” and I have to say it isn’t always pretty.  When we all finally fall into bed at night, and yes, that sometimes means we’re all in MY bed, because even though I always said I would never allow that unhealthy habit in our home, sometimes, it’s just easier not to fight it.  Anyway, when I finally have a chance to lay in bed at night, I think about the day and all of the things that I should have said differently, all of the problems that might have been avoided if I had responded differently, and I think of those little lives whose world truly revolves around me and I tell myself that tomorrow is going to be different.  Sometimes it is, and sometimes it isn’t.  My point is, your post convicted me.  As soon as I read it I sent my sister a message, “Did you see Angie’s $12.99 post?  It’s so funny…and sad.”  Her response was, “I would pay big money to be a fly on Angie’s wall.  She is amazing.”  My next text to her was, “Sadly, Zane (my 4-year-old) could have been the butt-crack boy saying hiney-hooo.”  That is not an exaggeration.  One day he said to my husband’s mom, “Grandma, I love your bottom.”  He just says stuff like that for no reason at all, other than to get a rise out of people, and it works every time.  It drives me CRAZY.   

    Anyway, I see I’ve really gone off on a tangent here.  Goodness.  I really just wanted to write you this note to encourage you and to thank you.  I needed to hear what you said.  I admire you so much, if you only knew how many times I’ve thought, “I wish I could be like Angie.”  It is your humility that makes me admire you the most.  You are so talented in so many areas, and yet you can be real enough to admit your shortcomings.  I need to read those things…the good and the bad  because it helps me put things into perspective (even Angie isn’t perfect), and it convicts me because I know I’m not the super mom that I wish I could be, and I know specifically what needs to change.

    On a lighter note…running into you at the mall would be one of the highlights of my life!  :-)   My sister and I are really hoping to attend the Women of Faith conference that you are speaking at in Rochester, NY.  We’ll be the dorky ones in the front row with smiles permanently plastered on our faces.  Trust me, you won’t be able to miss us.   :-)

    I love you, Angie.  You may not be a friend that I can reach out and touch, but you really are a friend.  You have touched my life in so many ways.  I am a better person because of your influence.  Please keep posting. 

    • http://www.audreycaroline.blogspot.com angelac519

      if you DARE come to WOF and don’t introduce yourself, i will never forgive you. deal?!?! :)

      • Jamie Wheeler

        Oh, that is definitely a deal!!!   :-)

    • Kim

      OH yeah, I’m the sister! You know how you flip out about Beth Moore? You are our Beth Moore.  We actually got to sing (make fools of ourselves)…see if I had that strike a line through to word ability like you, I would strike “got to sing” out. ;-)   anyhow… we got to go on stage with Selah and after we introduced ourselves, we BLURTED out WE LOVE ANGIE!!!!! He said he’d be sure to tell you that after the concert. ;-) And then he told Elmira, NY about “Sundays”.  I went to another Selah concert when my daughter was 4 days old…. ask Todd about it, he might remember us!

      We’ll be the dorky ones with the signs that say “Angie’s sisters from another mother!” HA!!

      Clearly my sister is the better writer…. but I’m using the excuse that I just got home from my son’s t-ball game and I’m pretty wired. ;-)  

      Want a perfect example as to why our husbands think we’re whack jobs? Apparently I”m smiling as I’m writing this because he asked me who I was talking to. I told him what I was doing and he said, “You guys think you’re really important, don’t you?!”     Men. They just.don’t.get.it.   ;-) Some friendships can be totally one sided. LOL

  • http://mommiediaries.blogspot.com Aly Allen

    ang, i’m so sorry for all these comments!?! what a day you must be having. i haven’t read your newest post yet, because i wanted to come see what all the fuss was about over here… i read this last night and got such a kick out of it. i didn’t see it as “gossip” at all. you haven’t uploaded a photo of the woman or called her out by name. in all honesty you could have made up the story or embellished it even more than what really happened, but that shouldn’t have mattered one bit! isn’t this what pastors and speakers and writers do all.the.time? even us normal people do this– we take anecdotal experiences to illustrate human nature and [as you've pointed out many times] the flaws that we too often see in ourselves… i know it’s probably impossible, but maybe you can imagine all the people who laughed through this post and nodded their heads as they resonated with it, but just didn’t comment [like me, last night]. the negative stuff just stares us in the face, especially when it feels like [and is] a personal attack! but there are so many more of us who were blessed just a little more last night by reading what you had to share with us. thank you, and don’t stop. your transparency and willingness to let us in to your real life [even the yucky stuff] is refreshing, and it’s so necessary nowadays.

    also, if it’s any encouragement, i’ve been so inspired reading the comments from your real life friends about what great parents you and your husband are. truly, i can only imagine what a blessed bunch of kids you are raising. that you do all you do for the Kingdom and still make sure to include them in it all. He gives the grace for the calling doesn’t He? 

    off to read the newest post :)

    -aly

  • Patriciakdovalle

    Keep on keepin’ on, girl! 

    The judgmental comments below calling you judgmental just crack me up!  Hello Pots! 

    I hear your heart, Angie. Don’t be discouraged, even Jesus had critics. :o )

    P.S. I’m pregnant!  First!  10 weeks along.  Prayers would be wonderful!

  • Sheilarather

    Angie, my heart is broken for you. I cried when  I read perspective and how you were crying and the response of your sweet babies. I am so sorry! I want you to know how much your blog means to me. There have been so many times in my life in the last few years that I have had some really rough patches, I won`t go on and on about it, but your blog have been sp uplifting to me and has brought me out of some icky places. I particularly remember the balloon blog about Caroline. I sat at my computer and balled and just was reminded about the goodness of God and that He is always there. I still tell people about that:) I can`t even imagine how hard it must be to put yourself out there and get responses like some of these. But please know that what you are doing here is reaching so many and is such an amazing ministry. I am always praying for you and your sweet , amazing family.   

    • Sheilarather

      ok, I meant Charlotte:) thinking of a different little one. A lot sleepy at the moment:)lol!!!!

  • C Meeks

    I’m terribly upset that anyone would mistake a simple post from you as bashing another mommy. I’ve read your blog for a few months now…every post of it, I’ve cried countless tears over Audrey’s story…both on the blog and in your first book, I’ve even cried listening to the song you were for her. I know you would NEVER write or say something intentionally to hurt another being. You seem to be a very compassionate person who cares deeply for her kids and wants to be the best Mommy you can be. That’s clear in the words you speak. Its also very clear that you love the Lord with your whole heart. you are SUCH an inspiration to me. Thank you for being transparent on this blog and pouring your heart out in a God filled way.

  • http://www.itcouldabeenworse.blogspot.com Bellasaid32

    Angie, we know your heart. We know your intention with this post. Those who don’t “get it” don’t know you at all, and haven’t spent any time walking down the paths you take us on with your words.

    You are an amazing mother, and you make us all better mothers by your example, by admitting your faults, and helping us all to take a look at ourselves.

    Love to the moon,
    Bella

  • Shari Courter

    First of all, I personally LOVED the post.  I took it in the manner it was intended, got a laugh out of it because we’ve all been there, and appreciated the lesson at the end.  So thank you!  Secondly, I feel your pain.  I’m a fellow blogger who has been misunderstood on more occasions than I can count.  One of my posts was titled “How Sanctus Real almost ruined our weekend”.  It was all about their song Lead Me…and the subsequent fight with my husband when we listened to it together.  lol  I brought it around to MY short comings as a wife, but apparently people felt the need to jump to the defense of Sanctus Real!  I finally had to add a disclaimer to the bottom declaring my support for Sanctus Real and asking people to halt with the hate mail.  (That I deleted :)   I’ve come to the conclusion that some people simply LOVE to be offended.  I guess I should be happy that I’m meeting their need ;)

  • Shayne

    The thing I came away with reading this post a couple of days ago was this: “surface manners.”

    I’m the mother of an 18-year-old girl and a 16-year-old boy.  I can’t tell you how many compliments I’ve received on their manners or how many times I’ve been told they’re “such good kids.”

    Here’s the thing though; my daughter, as I mentioned, is 18.  She just graduated from high school.  She also just recently told me she is pregnant.

    (Hello there, devastation.  My, what an amazing shade of black my world has become since you arrived.)

    I post this to say…I thought that because my kids knew how to “behave” in public and say “please” and “thank-you” that I was doing a great job as a mom.  However my heart is shattered because I can see now what may be lurking UNDER the surface.  I’m quite frightened.

    I totally got the point of your post.  Love your kids well, Angie.  And love doesn’t mean giving them what they want all the time.  Love sometimes means being courageous enough to brave temper and anger so that your children receive what is BEST.  Not what is convenient.

    • Abby

      Now you have the chance to continue to be a great mom to your daughter!  She needs your love and support more than ever!  I say this as a 28 year old mom to a daughter who was born when I was 18, along with 2 younger brothers now (4 years and 6 mos.), and my husband (yes, my highschool sweetheart) and I will celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary next week.  The love and support we receive from our families is priceless!  I don’t know what your daughter’s situation is, but the devestation can certainly be turned into countless blessings!

  • JennyM

    Angie- Thank you for saying things I need to hear. I have been struggling with “getting stuff done” in the house and work and playing with the kids and teaching them the things I want them to know. I am going to get off the computer and go play right now!

    P.S. Just got my Seeds CD in the mail. Love it! 

  • Anonymous

    I know I’m a little “late” on reading this post and commenting, but because I have actually spent time with you…and KNOW you and your heart…I want to share this:
     
    From the very beginning of this blog, Ang has done nothing but share her heart and her LOVE for the Lord with all of us. She has been transparent and walked us down her “road” in life during the most difficult of times. No one forced her to, but she felt the Lord leading and walking beside her…so she chose to minister. Can I just say a big “AMEN” to that, because her words are what brought me back on the path with Jesus. I was just in a place in my life where I still believed in God and considered myself a Christian, but wasn’t as close to Him as I wanted to be. I had gotten a little side-tracked…
     
    Anyway, I will never forget the day I began reading her blog. It was just shortly after she and Todd had been given Audrey’s diagnosis and I would sit at my computer and just sob and sob. **Yes, Ang, the total UGLY cry!! ;) I mean, it was BAD!!** However, I didn’t really know this person other than through reading her words, but I sure was becoming “attached” quite quickly. Each and every post became my latest opportunity to share Audrey with others. I could not stop sharing about this precious little baby that hadn’t even been born yet…or her amazing mom, dad, and sisters. I would cry as I would tell people about them. I LOVED this family like they were my own ~ and we had never even met. My prayers become constant. My alone time with God became a staple in my day. I wept for people, who I now consider my dear FRIENDS, without truly “knowing” them and felt completely BLESSED to be able to do that.

    In short (and trust me, I could go on and on), Angie and Todd are two of the most incredible, Jesus loving and serving people I have ever had the privilege to know. They love their girls to pieces and would do anything for them…all while making sure they are brought up in a home where Christ is the CENTER of everything. And not only do they love their girls, but they love OTHERS as well. In fact, if you are ever at a Selah concert or event where Ang is speaking…I encourage you to just “observe” how they each genuinely care about others and listen to their stories like they have known these people all of their lives. It’s truly incredible!

    For me, I know that I am beyond BLESSED to call Angie FRIEND and Sister in Christ! :)

    Ang, thank you for always sharing your heart, being real, and just being YOU!

    Love you, sweet one!

    XOXO

  • Sara @ Embracing Destiny

    This made me laugh and cry at the same time!  As a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom, I spend pretty much 24/7 with my kids.  Yet, if my heart isn’t in the game and I don’t make those hours quality that counts, I’m not doing my job.  We all get tired, we all get frustrated, we all reach the end of the day with an empty tank sometimes, but I take this motherhood commission from God seriously.  It’s a blessing, a privilege, and at this season of my life, it’s my reason for being.

    What I got from your “shopping lady” example was a case of children crying for attention in a different way.  Everybody has a bad day and kids act up, but this seems to go a little beyond that.  Kids who want attention in any way they can get it (even negatively) are probably not experiencing the kind of parenting that you and I are talking about and attempting to live out.  This is not a judgment on anyone, but an observation of life in a fallen world.  I’ll pray for them that they find the love and grace of Jesus.  There, but for the grace of God, go I.  If I do anything right in my daily parenting, it’s through the strength of Christ and no credit of my own.

    Have you read any of Sally Clarkson’s books on motherhood?  If not, I highly recommend them!

    By the way, I haven’t read any of the other comments here so I apologize if I’ve repeated anything already said. 

    • Sara @ Embracing Destiny

      After re-reading my comment, I sure hope it doesn’t come across as smug or snooty.  What I meant to say is that we all have our weaknesses and our failures and from my own personal experience, I can’t imagine trying to manage motherhood without a relationship with Jesus!

      When I say I’ll pray for them, I genuinely mean it, too!

  • Rheamae

    Sweet Angie-I am a better woman, mom, wife and daughter because of you.  You inspire me to be a better Christ-centered person.  THANK YOU!!!  I am so sad for the hurt others bring you but I know you will use it for good. Keep it up-you have a way of speaking to my heart :)

  • megan

    You have a beautiful gift with words and it saddens me that people brought sadness to you for not understanding your heart.  You are right, we’ve all been THAT mom at times…what makes the difference is realizing it and praying to God for forgiveness/guidance/wisdom as we raise our children to love Him!
    Bless you for sharing your insights, wisdom, and kind heart with us other moms!

  • Connie L Amato-Mahle

    Dearest Angie,
     
    I understand your heart and your intention in this.  It takes moments such as this one to recognize our own shortcomings in other people.  (It is definitely twice as loud when we recognize all of us have made similar poor choices at one moment or another.)

    Love & Friendship,
    Connie

  • CC

    Angie, I am SO with you!!! I LOVED this post! It really spoke to me as a parent!!! Love love LOVE your posts!!

  • Kellydesigns

    So sorry you were criticized and hurt for a really enlightening post.

    People are crazy, seriously. Anyone who missed the resounding point to this message is just not getting it and is probably lashing out from a place of recognition of themselves.

    Prying God speaks to each and every mother who glimpesd her own moments of weakness, whatever they may be, in this post.

    You have a precious and tender heart, thank you for your willingness to write and encourage.

  • Hollyo1

    Thank you for sharing.  I am a reader and a fan and I am thankful for your sweet thoughts and stories. 

  • Kumar Niru

    Thanks for this post Angie.  I was once kicked out of a meetup group for being ‘too judgemental’ on other mothers because I posted about being disappointed that an event got cancelled after the start time. I was 25 weeks pregnant and had already gotten myself and my two year old there.  blech.  Anyway.
    I just totally know how you feel.  I read these parenting books and sites, but sometimes (ok most of the time) totally feel like I don’t know what I’m doing.  Is it just me or are kids behavior magnified in public?  It’s a totally un-ideal situation, I mean they are bored and we are distracted by other things.  I hate to feel like I need to leave the store or get a babysitter to go shopping.  Kids do need to learn some patience.  I admit though at times my son is running around the store and all I can do is try and control the chaos.  Not sure what the right answer is.

  • skmartin

    I don’t get to read your blog nearly as often as I would like, but everytime I do get to read it, the things you say just totally hit home with me. Thanks for just being so real and posting things that are just ‘everyday,’ yet you put a twist on them to really make your readers think. May God richly bless you and your family.

  • Laura

    great post! i get it!

  • Kristen

    so, totally random.  i used ‘hiney-hoo’ in a sentence on my fb post and someone commented that  i was their favorite person because i would use that word.  i totally gave you credit for posting it first.  ever since this post, i have used this word incessantly to refer to my children’s posteriors (which, apparently, i refer to quite often), and it sends them into the giggles.  so, the other day, i went out on a limb and said, ‘for reals?’  my 11 year old rolled her eyes and said, ‘please, mom, you’re not a teenager.’  my 7 year old agreed, ‘yeah, mom, you are 37.  that’s practically dead.’  awe.some.  so for now, we are sticking with ‘hiney-hoo’ because you just can’t win them all….

  • http://j-me-beth.blogspot.com/ Jamie

    Angie, I have no idea if you actually read ALL of your comments but in case you do…

    I have followed your blog for awhile now, even read your book.  I have cried with you, laughed with you, and walked with you in your journey. 

    You have encouraged me in more ways than I can count and have been a living example of Christ’s love and hope and perservance.  I don’t know how else to say how I feel other than, I love you.  The kind of love that only Christ can give for a complete stranger!  It is a wonderous thing, the love that comes from believers, from being unified in one cause–to bring glory to His name, no matter where we are. 

    That was my sentiment before.  Now, I have a 4 month old daughter and I’m afraid of you.  I know that sounds insane. 

    I was taught all my life to make sure that no one is my world.  I knew that the day I married my husband did not mean my life would become a whirlwind of love and seperation from the rest of the world.  I wouldn’t let myself do that because I knew he couldn’t fulfill my needs, only God could.

    I was never taught how to not make your child your world.  And ever since the day I found out I was pregnant, I have feared the loss of her. 

    As she gets older, that fear intensifies.  She is my world, the person I want to spend every moment with.  I would spend all my money on her (and at Gymboree, it would go way too fast!  I am a habital headband-er!) and do anything for her.  I pray every night before we go to sleep that God would keep her alive and breathe a sigh of relief every morning when I wake to see her still breathing. 

    I don’t know what I would do without her.  I would hope I could do what you have done but I don’t know how you have done it. 

    I am going to Women of Faith tomorrow in Indy and have been looking forward to hearing you speak ever since I heard you were.  But today, I’m scared.  I’m scared of your story and hearing that sometimes, we just need to give up ourselves and the people we love the most to the Lord of all creation.  But how do you LIVE after that. 

    I’m afraid that when I let God have my fears that that means He will test my faith. 

    I love you, but I’m scared of you. 

    But at the same time, I want to thank you. 

    You’ve pushed me, pulled me, and forced me to grow up in every way possible. 

    Thank you, Angie. 

    I look forward to and dread seeing you tomorrow. 

  • http://j-me-beth.blogspot.com/ Jamie

    Angie, I have no idea if you actually read ALL of your comments but in case you do…

    I have followed your blog for awhile now, even read your book.  I have cried with you, laughed with you, and walked with you in your journey. 

    You have encouraged me in more ways than I can count and have been a living example of Christ’s love and hope and perservance.  I don’t know how else to say how I feel other than, I love you.  The kind of love that only Christ can give for a complete stranger!  It is a wonderous thing, the love that comes from believers, from being unified in one cause–to bring glory to His name, no matter where we are. 

    That was my sentiment before.  Now, I have a 4 month old daughter and I’m afraid of you.  I know that sounds insane. 

    I was taught all my life to make sure that no one is my world.  I knew that the day I married my husband did not mean my life would become a whirlwind of love and seperation from the rest of the world.  I wouldn’t let myself do that because I knew he couldn’t fulfill my needs, only God could.

    I was never taught how to not make your child your world.  And ever since the day I found out I was pregnant, I have feared the loss of her. 

    As she gets older, that fear intensifies.  She is my world, the person I want to spend every moment with.  I would spend all my money on her (and at Gymboree, it would go way too fast!  I am a habital headband-er!) and do anything for her.  I pray every night before we go to sleep that God would keep her alive and breathe a sigh of relief every morning when I wake to see her still breathing. 

    I don’t know what I would do without her.  I would hope I could do what you have done but I don’t know how you have done it. 

    I am going to Women of Faith tomorrow in Indy and have been looking forward to hearing you speak ever since I heard you were.  But today, I’m scared.  I’m scared of your story and hearing that sometimes, we just need to give up ourselves and the people we love the most to the Lord of all creation.  But how do you LIVE after that. 

    I’m afraid that when I let God have my fears that that means He will test my faith. 

    I love you, but I’m scared of you. 

    But at the same time, I want to thank you. 

    You’ve pushed me, pulled me, and forced me to grow up in every way possible. 

    Thank you, Angie. 

    I look forward to and dread seeing you tomorrow.