(in)courage, Bigmama, Bloom (in)courage, Everyday life, Jessica Turner, Selah

Random Goodness.

Hello everyone! {AKA, the few who stick around even though I’m the most unpredictable blogger on planet Earth. Thank you.}

I hope your Christmas and New Year’s season was beautiful and that wherever you are you are enjoying the “recovery” period. January is typically a slow month for writers and artists so Todd and I are loving being at home. He’s in the studio this week recording for a new Selah project (YAY!) and I’ve been trying to catch up on the odds and ends of life that remain from the insane Fall we had. There has been a lot of writing and planning for talks I have coming up next month, but a majority of the time I’ve had off has just been spent focused on the kiddos. We had gotten behind in schooling, so we’re playing “catch-up,” which will be the pattern that likely continues until they graduate. It has been something that has really stressed me out in the past but the Lord has given me a peace about it, reminding me that as long as I’m keeping my focus where it should be, the rest will fall into place.

When I say “fall into place,” what I mean is, “their hearts are stronger than their long division skills.”

Any homeschool tips or encouragement from those of you who are farther down the road is always appreciated. Please feel free to share in the comments section so everyone can see them-I get a lot of questions about homeschooling and know any thoughts you have are helpful!

I’ve really needed this time to breathe a little and let the Lord speak to me. There have been some significant developments that have come as a result of it-mostly just revelations about what I need to be doing better and where I need to simply accept the grace that the Lord is offering and be grateful instead of being a control freak. I’m praying He will continue to speak as I write-the book I’m working on is taking more out of me than I anticipated. I chose a topic I was interested in and committed to it before I fully realized that it was an area that God needed to do some work on in me. Oh, pruning…you’re as scary as you are beautiful.

And because I am taking major liberties on the “randomness” of this post (are we calling it that?), let me add a few things I am loving right this moment.

1. The fact that I have a desk at home now. If you follow me on Instagram, you have seen it…I love her so much it’s unhealthy.

2. I have become obsessed with Annie Sloan’s chalk paint. I’ve painted everything in my house that stood still long enough.

3. Speaking of paint, we finally got around to painting our Master Bedroom (we have been wanting to since we moved ย in. A few years ago. Whoops.) I chose a gray color that I will heretofore refer to as “perfection.” As Todd and I sat in the middle of the room last night at 3 a.m. watching it dry, I told him I would like to paint my entire life this color. Oh, you want to know what color it was? I can’t remember….darn. HA! Just kidding. I spent enough time doing research to know that you need a community of friends before you choose the right gray. It’s called “Revere Pewter” by Benjamin Moore. I’ll try to instagram a photo of it if I ever get to making my bed.

4. The book “Sparkly Green Earrings” by Melanie Shankle (aka Bigmama). You really should consider ordering it. Actually you shouldn’t consider anything. Just click right here and make your day happier. I will give you your money back if you don’t love it and laugh/ tear up the entire way through.*

5. The fact that God really is faithful, and He really cares about the details. More on this soon, but it’s just been a joy to watch Him work in ways we could never orchestrate to show us that He’s involved and that He is trustworthy.

6. The music of “All Sons and Daughters.” Lately, my favorite song is “Reason to Sing,” but that changes every half hour.

7. Joining Jess for our 10th book(!!!) for our Bloom book club over at (in)courage. Here’s the announcement of the book we chose! We sure would love for you to join us, and know that even if it’s a topic you’re intimidated by, you are in good company. The best part is doing it together and learning from each other. In answer to your question, no. I don’t have any idea how my hair is 10 feet long. I sure do need an appointment to fix that, since it’s been about 6 months since I did (yikes).

Winter Bloom Book Club Introduction from Bloom (in)courage on Vimeo.


I think that’s all for today, but I’ll be back over soon to say hey. I have been trying to write a post for a few weeks about #5, but it’s been harder than I thought it would be, and I’m working through it. Hopefully I can be an encouragement to you all through it, but it’s been a rough road. No need to worry-all is well. Just processing some parts of my faith walk that I’ve been ignoring and now I feel like the wound is (finally) being stitched up a little.

Love to all of you in the meantime~


*=This statement is a lie, but don’t let that stop you from ordering.

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  • Reply Krista Wilbur January 24, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    As long as you have a website, I will stick around. I was JUST telling someone today who ha never heard of you that they are missing out. Can’t wait to read/hear more about #5 and also, as a gray-walled bedroomer (uh, is that even a word?), I can’t wait to see the color you picked!

  • Reply Kristin Smith January 24, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    Oh Ang how I <3 you…and miss you when you don't blog….and mad I add am feeling a bit resentful that you wont be in St Paul at WOF next year…may just have to travel to one of your cities to hear your wisdom and your hilarious sense of humor! ๐Ÿ™‚ Anywhoo….so glad that you are having some "down time" and excited to see what God does through you with book #3!!

    Hugs, Kristin

  • Reply Lyli Dunbar January 24, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    Thanks for the random goodness. I ordered the Foster book. It arrived yesterday. I read 2 chapters, and I can already tell it is going to “stick to my bones” like a nice pot of stew. Excited about discussing it with other sisters.

  • Reply Amy January 24, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    I painted one room Revere Pewter and loved it so much I painted most of the rest of my house that color. I love it too!
    Wish I had sime homeschool helps for you. My kids are in a funk right now too. I think they wake up every day in January thinking “we are still doing this?” And we’ve been homeschooling nine years. January is just hard!

  • Reply Bethany January 24, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    I’m not a homeschooling Mom but I did take a continuing ed. class recently. It was on Singapore Math. It made me very excited about math and I could see how teaching these concepts would really click with children as you move from add/subtraction to multiplication and division. It just makes so much sense.

    • Reply mrsyellowhat January 24, 2013 at 9:01 pm

      We use Singapore and love it. I also use Miquon as a supplement.

  • Reply Cassandra Louise January 24, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    Sigh, welcome back! So thankful for your words, even though they may be few and far between:)

  • Reply sharon January 24, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    Oh Angie I’ve missed you!!! I will be reading your blog forever no matter how sparse your posts are. I have told you this before but I will say it again, that your words and writing are such a gift to me. I’m looking forward to what #5 is all about and praying the Lord will give you the right words to express how you’re feeling. Blessings to you!

  • Reply mrsyellowhat January 24, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    I just got a sample of Revere Pewter from my good friends at the BM store and was so excited about it! {We’re friends because I had an issue with grays for another part of the house and was under a time constraint to pick one…I have about 15 samples in our garage. I can laugh about it now!} Anyway, it’s a beautiful color and I’m thrilled over it because a good portion of my painting woes were over color choice. Or lack of. Whatever. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Rejoicing with you!

    As for homeschooling, just remember to keep the end goal in sight. What “product” do you want to have at the {magical?} age of 18? Long division, historical dates, etc. will all work themselves out. BEING with your children, shaping their minds to critically think, helping them discern (you know- moving from doing Proverbs 4:23 for them to teaching them how to do it themselves), guiding them in their faith so that they own it themselves, and teaching them how to articulate that faith to others doesn’t just happen. Building familial relationships that are deep and healthy and lasting takes a lot of work, too. Be encouraged. You’re the best mom they’ll ever have.

    Have you read either of these books- they are good reads: Margin and A Life Well Spent.

    Looking forward to hearing you speak next month at dotMom. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Casey January 24, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    Would so love your afterthoughts of your compassion trip!!

  • Reply Karen January 24, 2013 at 11:28 pm

    I wonder if my comment got removed because you thought it was spam? I had recommended Khan Academy for math. I wish it had been around when we homeschooled. It is really a fabulous program. Bill Gates was so impressed that he backed it and there are even school districts that are using it for their curriculum. Totally worth checking in to!

  • Reply Amanda January 25, 2013 at 12:04 am

    I enjoyed your post!!! I’m even more excited that I get to see you at WOF in a few weeks! I can’t wait!

  • Reply Elizabeth Hyndman January 25, 2013 at 11:45 am

    From one who was homeschooled (3rd grade-12th) and survived, let me just encourage you. I think we skipped most of pre-algebra (if my mom didn’t use it, we didn’t learn it), but we have calculators in our phones now. I made it through college just fine (granted, I was an English major) and am now working on a Master’s degree (so far, no one has asked me to do any geometrical proofs). The girls can always learn math later in life, but those spiritual, emotional, physical life-skills are the most important now.

  • Reply Julie January 25, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    Angie, hi there it is good to hear your voice! Homeschooling advice: I think you’re doing an incredible job. Academics can’t be the main reason we keep our munchkins home. We keep them home to model to them a heart that loves and seeks The Lord … Build their character… And of course give them the academic tools they need. We took off from thanksgiving till New Years. I’m pregnant with our fifth, holidays to be celebrated, etc: then we all got the stomach flu! Bam! We have been off all week again! And you know, things are still OK. They’re reading- learning compassion- enjoying discovery channel- and even learned how to use my credit card in petsmart while I sat in the car and watched them from the window. You are doing an amazing job!!!!! Much love. Julie, Sacramento

  • Reply Lori Pfautsch January 25, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    I homeschooled my youngest for 5 years, from 4th through 8th grades. Having no prior experience with it, I was very unsure of myself, but I had some good friends who gave me advice on curriculum, etc. We were part of a one-day-a-week co-op that was very helpful, too. Plus I did a LOT of praying that I didn’t mess this kid up for life! ๐Ÿ˜‰ She is now in college part time taking honors classes and making top grades, along with working full time making more than I ever did per hour! Through homeschooling, our relationship grew so much, and so did her social skills and maturity level. Despite some of the naysayers at the time, I have never regretted homeschooling for a minute! It’s much more important to teach them HOW to study and to enjoy it, rather than memorizing a bunch of “knowledge.” And of course the opportunity to influence our children for God is the most important of all! You’re doing fine. Blessings!

  • Reply Lisa January 25, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    Missed you! Loved your comment “their hearts are stronger then their long divisions skills”. Not a home school mom, but a mom with a son who struggled in school. If I could impart a love for Jesus into my kids I considered it a job well done. Gave lots of grace in the academia department.

  • Reply NHudspeth January 25, 2013 at 11:44 pm

    I love following your pictures on Instagram! I love that you find the time to boogie down & have FUN in life. You really inspire me! God love you!

  • Reply Adriane Christensen January 25, 2013 at 11:54 pm

    I’m not sure about Nashville area but here in Clarksville there are several different centers, many of them faith based, the help provide structure and support for homeschooling families.

    It’s still self paced but the one a friend used would have the kids do two subjects at a time and once they passed testing they would rotate…keeps things interesting but allows some structure. Three of her kids used the center and two have graduated. It was a really great experience for them.

  • Reply BFGOmelissa January 26, 2013 at 10:52 am

    I love the Revere Pewter. A sample of it is on our new bedroom wall right this minute but I still can’t decide. But I know exactly how you feel about that perfect color. We just moved and I’ve painted 3 rooms one stunningly delicious Ben Moore color that truly has eradicated any need I may have had for seasonal depression medication. Ha. It is called “Sea Haze” and it turned my simple little ranch house into a luxurious estate. AND I too have been addicted to chalk paint, but I’m hooked on CeCe Caldwell. I like it even better than Annie and didn’t think that was possible. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Can’t wait to read your next book, or blog post, whichever comes first.

  • Reply Priscilla Saravia January 27, 2013 at 2:10 am

    I get so happy when you post! Your hair is so pretty. I am currently working and wishing everyday that I could homeschool, I’ve got a baby in day care and feeling guilty as can be. My daughter is in Pre-k and I hate it. There are things shes learned that I would’ve never taught her about. You are doing the right thing, showing your little girls Christ ‘s love.

  • Reply Jen January 27, 2013 at 9:42 am

    I sobbed my way through “Reason to Sing” more times than I can count last year. Good song. Good song.

  • Reply WaitingInTheWeeds January 28, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    Another homeschooling mom here de-lurking for a bit. I don’t know how far down the road you are but my twin boys are 5 1/2 and we’ve been doing a curriculum since they were 2. All of my friends assure me that “tantrum Mondays” are normal for mom and kids. One of mine is high-functioning autistic/ sensory-seeking (like ADHD but not) and the other is “sympathetic high-functioning autistic.” I made that last one up but you have twins – you know how the sympathy symptoms go! “The Strong-Willed Child” was definitely written for them. I wouldn’t have it any other way but whew! It’s been tantrum Monday for sure here but I know we’re doing the right thing. No one would stay on top of my boys like we’re able to. No one could love them through the HARD times like we’re able to. I say “we” because I have fibromyalgia and my husband does about half of their schoolwork with them. I can still teach them more curled up on the couch crying into a heating pad than they’d get at school. Even with me in miserable pain more than half of the time, they still get more attention out of me than they’d ever get in school. We live in the Memphis area and the schools are terrible here. So that’s my rambling way of saying you’re doing the right thing and don’t worry if you’re not on “schedule.” It’s been a hard thing to let go of “we have to get this much done today.” I am type A and we use Sonlight so each day is “mapped out” in the curriculum. We have some days where none of that gets done because I’ve got a puking migraine. Today one of my boys decided he was going to kick, punch, scream, bite and head-butt me. Then the other decided he was going to loudly protest everything by saying every awful thing in the book he could think of. So I just let it go. It’s so hard for a type A but God has been teaching me that the last year or so. I have all this stuff I want to do and He throws me a curve ball every time. So I’ve learned to say “so what if we’re not finished with the Kindergarten curriculum by the time schools let out for the summer?” My kids are getting exactly what they need every day and that’s all that matters! The hugs and self-esteem building and praying about everything and learning forgiveness is apparently what God has decided is on the curriculum so we’re just going to go with His curriculum! He has also decided the boys are taking the class “mommy apologizes for a lot of stuff 101.” More rambling I know. Anyway thank you so much for your blog! On another note I send your “I’m horrible with directions and get lost in familiar places all the time” posts to my husband so he’ll know I’m not the only one. Thank GOD my boys have a great sense of direction or I’d probably be lost in East Memphis somewhere. It’s like a time warp there!

  • Reply Kelli Martin Stuart January 28, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    I do not have homeschooling advice for you. I homeschooled my kids for a year, then promptly enrolled them back in school. We had a blast that year. My youngest almost learned to ead and I think they got a little math. But mostly we had fun because the Florida awesomeness was far too much for my scatterbrain to handle.
    Just wanted to stop by and say I’m glad to “see” you here. It’s been a long, long hard month for our family. Many challenges and heartaches and the Lord is stretching and growing and pruning me as He gently whispers, “Wait.” I am not good at waiting. I am impatient. I want a crystal ball so i can see how it’s all going to come together.
    Your words are always uplifting and challenging and I’m grateful for them. I’m glad you all are enjoying some downtime and yay for a new Selah album! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Blessings to you!

  • Reply Erin January 28, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    Hi, Angie, I am also a homeschool mom. I have 6 children, and I think my oldest is the same age as your twins?? (fourth grade?) I struggle with the same insecurities. But, I believe with all my heart that God is using my insecurities to teach me to trust Him more. We only see a tiny microscopic little piece of the puzzle. He sees the big picture. You are the perfect mom for your girls. You were designed by God to be their mommy. I don’t have any great homeschooling advice, and I am not farther down the road in this journey than you are. But I just encourage you to keep your eyes on Him and not look to the left or the right. Rest and trust, sweet friend, God has this.

  • Reply Michelle Taylor January 29, 2013 at 8:39 am

    Thank-you so much for introducing me to All Sons and Daughters! I came home from the hospital after being there for 5 days with my daughter in the PICU from an overdose and their music was a balm to my heart and soul. I am so grateful for the reminder that God has al under His control.

  • Reply Emma Sweat January 29, 2013 at 11:09 am


    Thank you for sharing your dear, honest heart with us. I
    have been reading your book, “I will carry you”, and it has been a
    treasure to me. My sweet baby boy, Ezra, unexpectedly went to be with Jesus on
    dec 2nd, 2012. I was 37 weeks along in a perfect pregnancy when my placenta
    completely tore away from my uterine wall, leaving Ezra with no oxygen supply.
    I found out that he was gone in the midst of intense labor and I went on to
    deliver him. I ended up becoming very sick with all the blood loss and needed
    four blood transfusions. But it allowed us to be in the hospital longer and we
    were able to enjoy two wonderful days with our Ezra. I loved what you said in
    your book about how you knew Audrey wasn’t really there, but a motherโ€™s heart
    just doesn’t know how to stop loving. I felt exactly the same way. My husband
    and I are devastated, but by the grace of our Lord we have been able to cling
    to Him. I have a 22 month old son, Levi, who keeps me going each day. He
    doesn’t understand what has happened and his innocent love and laughter has
    been balm to my broken heart. This is such a hard road to be on right now, but
    we have truly taken joy that this is not the end. We will have heaven with our
    Lord and our precious baby boy. My heart is struggling to believe that each day
    as I plead with God to help me put one foot in front of the other. โ€œmy heart trusts in Him and I am helped.โ€ โ€“psalm 28:6

    After Ezra was born, some dear friends of ours gave us money
    for a trip that we hope can be somewhat of a spiritual retreat for us. I saw on
    your blog that you will be speaking on the Caribbean cruise in march and I am
    so hopeful that we can get enough money together to be able to go. I feel like
    God could bless me so much through that, but we’ll see. We’ll hope. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I love all of the ways you have shared your heart with all
    of us. God has used your words to bring so much peace to my weary soul. Thank
    you Angie. Bless you!

    In Christ,
    Emma Sweat

  • Reply RJ Krier February 1, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    I have never posted a comment before, but I love reading your blog! It is so inspiring when I feel like I’m spiraling out of control with my three little ones (5, 3.5, 2). BUT, I had to let you know…I myself have become addicted to Annie Sloan chalk paint ๐Ÿ™‚ I have repainted, distressed and waxed nearly every piece of our furniture downstairs. My husband keeps asking, “why in the world are you painting all of our furniture blue?!?” I kindly tell him it is not blue. It is PROVENCE.

    -Katie Krier

  • Reply Margaret Feinberg February 4, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    Angie, thanks for the suggestions!

  • Reply Yvonne Reynolds February 5, 2013 at 11:51 pm

    As far as feeling like you are falling behind on the homeschooling, I would say to relax. I graduated my first child last May and still will be homeschooling my daughter for a few more years. When I first started homeschooling, I was really stressed about reproducing ‘school’ at home. After a couple of years, I realized that wasn’t working out very well. God will equip you and your children for the plans He has for them. As for curriculum, if it isn’t working, try something else. And don’t beat yourself up if you need to take a break from the books. There is so much our kids can learn that is not contained in a textbook. Life has so many learning opportunities for our kids. Enjoy the time! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Cathie February 6, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    You could write about anything or nothing an it would be beautifully captivating and just plain lovely! You are gifted!

  • Reply Heather Pedersen February 12, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    I keep hearing about Sparkly Green Earrings. I’ll have to check it out. ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Reply goosh (united kingdom) February 22, 2013 at 11:02 am

    I do find this blog compelling. I keep getting drawn to it time and again. thoughtful and well written, from the heart. Keep up the great work x


  • Reply Laura February 26, 2013 at 10:39 am

    Wow I was so excited when I found your blog! (thank you Layla). I have loved Selah since…well..forever and now I’m in love with your blog and writing! I too have been wearing out my All Sons and Daughters music especially Reason to Sing ever since my hubby brought it home! (he works for David C Cook/Integrity). Thanks for sharing your heart! (through reading your posts I was so happy to finally know why your hubby’s sister stopped singing…I always wondered!). ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply kasey February 26, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    i was so great to meet you this weekend at dotmom! the word you brought to us really hit home and opened my eyes to few areas i need to be seeking God’s help. i was encouraged and blessed by it. and, you made me laugh when you asked angela cottrell to raise your kids. i was thinking the same thing! blessings to you!

  • Reply Amy February 27, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    Hi Angie,
    My sister met you in Dallas a few weeks ago and picked up a copy of Mended for me. (Thanks for signing it!) I have only read two chapters and it is just wonderful. It has already shown me that in all of my brokeness, I can still be whole in Christ. Thanks for your encouragement. I can’t wait to read more.

  • Reply Savannah March 1, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    Dear Mrs. Smith,

    I read ‘Mended’ on loan from a friend in an afternoon. It was that good. My dear friend Alli gave it to me. She and I have been close friends for about 2 years now. I was privileged to witness her wedding, she and her husband had done everything ‘right’. They never had casual relationships with other people, they waited till their wedding day to share their first kiss, they sought counsel from their parents and other godly mentors, they were young, yes, 20 and 18, but they loved the Lord and sought His will. They looked forward with great joy to the little bundles of blessing they prayed the Lord would give them. Then, a year ago now, Alli was talking to her mom (a nurse) about some strange things going on. They discovered she was miscarrying. It was heartbreaking. The baby Alli and her husband had longed for and prayed for, was being taken home already, she didn’t even know the baby was coming until he was already leaving. She shared with me this sorrow, Mother’s Day came and went, I knew the pain in her heart must be strong. I prayed all summer that God would give my dear friend another baby. Then, all to soon, in November, she went through the same trial again. I cried for her. Knowing how much her arms ached to hold her beautiful baby. Twice in one year. But despite these sorrows and sufferings, I have been privileged to watch her and her husband grow in their relationship with the Lord and each other. It’s not been easy. I know there are days that she just morns, and cries out to God. I don’t know exactly how, but her mom found your book ‘Mended’ read it, and passed it on to her. She gave it to me. My trials have not been like hers (and sometimes in light of her sorrows mine seem so trivial) but yet, by reading your book I was impressed by what you were saying about ‘sketching’. We have in our minds how life is ‘supposed’ to look. I never pictured myself living at home, age 20, teaching music and helping homeschool my siblings, but this is where the Lord has me. I need to let go of my mental image, and say ‘Lord, You know better than I! I will trust You in all things, at all times.’ I thank you greatly for the words God gave you to share and your faithfulness to open your life to your readers. I picked up ‘What Women Fear’ from the library this week and this afternoon read half of it already. It’s just as good. I’m going to have to buy your books! ๐Ÿ™‚

    And…. on a lighter note, on the homeschool side- YOU CAN DO IT! Actually, you can’t. That’s why you need the Lord’s strength, but still, keep on keeping on. It’s worth it. Trust me. I am the end result. Home schooled 11 out of 12 years, my mom is now in her 13th year homeschooling and still has 11 years to go! As I’ve grown older I’ve only grown more thankful for my parents decision to teach me at home and teach me about Christ. Thank you again for being such an encouragement!

  • Reply Mallory Devine March 5, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    One of my favorite books to return to is “Evidence Not Seen” by Darlene Deibler Rose– a missionary journey that is just so inspiring and down to earth! Also, just for a quick pick-me-up anytime, “Beyond Our Selves” by Catherine Marshall– good, applicable truths.
    I have not been able to read any of your books yet, but I really look forward to doing so sometime!
    I also, as a home-schooled all-the-way young person, really just want to join these other gals in encouraging you to press on! I look forward to someday teaching my own little ones, even though I know how much my Mom has suffered on behalf of my siblings & I! =D We wouldn’t have the character and opportunities that we have today had it not been{and it is still happening, my parents have seen 6 of their 10 children graduate HS!}for our being home-schooled by loving, though not flawless, christian parents! Praise God that he can equip us for every task set before us– just remember, that when we are weak, He is strong! And our weakness is made perfect in Him!
    Blessings as you journey on!

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