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Charlotte, Everyday life, Faith, Family, growing up

Mirror and Sky

I didn’t use to be so worried  about wrinkles. Which made sense because I didn’t have any. I think for a very long time I was actually convinced that I would be the one person in the history of time who would grow old without ever having to buy wrinkle cream.

A few months ago I was getting ready in the bathroom and Ellie walked in and said something funny. I laughed and then gasped at my reflection in the mirror. Were those…? I mean, surely not. I’ve worked out all the details. No gray hair, no wrinkles, no belly fat, no stretch marks. And I accepted the latter two as payment for my babies. But the Lord and I had not come to any definitive conclusions about the rest of it.

Imagine my surprise a few days later when I found not one, but three gray hairs.

Clearly, it was time for intervention (and by “intervention” I mean “shopping).

I headed to Sephora because they are like a therapist but with more lipstick choices. I found a woman who seemed to have made the same pact with God about aging but apparently had better moisturizer than I did. She walked me to the back of the store and introduced me to an eye cream that smelled like dead fish. I wanted to embrace the dead fish because once my teenage skin came back it would seem like a small price to pay. I bought the fish stuff, along with a few other “must-haves” for the rewind process. I’m not going to say I didn’t give it a fair shot, but approximately 45 minutes after I put it on, I still saw some wrinkles and I gave a monologue that would have made Solomon seem optimistic in Ecclesiastes.

Stupid wrinkles. They’re just around my eyes a little and mostly when I smile. Actually, I’m not even 100% sure they are wrinkles. They might just be my face.


They smell like fish now.

My thought process for a few days went something like this:

“I’m old. I’m practically on the doorstep of death. I need to deal with it.”

“Who cares what I look like? I mean, the Lord doesn’t look at the face. He looks at the heart.”

“Well that’s good. But unfortunately, everyone else looks at your face and yours is old and freaky looking. And I would be much more concerned about your arm fat than your wrinkles. You can give up smiling forever but your arms are going to have to move.”

“I’m so vain. I need to get over it.”

And on and on. And then on a little more because why not go for broke, you know?

I know I’m not the only one who has been through this, and I also know that it’s inevitable. But I guess I never realized I was going to be included.

Truth be told, I don’t think it’s even about face lines or gray hairs.

I just don’t want things to be moving quite so fast.

I meant to take a picture of Charlotte’s tiny little baby feet hanging off the rocking chair the other day and I took at least 15 photos, bemoaning the way the angle was making them look so big. I scrolled through a couple and looked up at her again, and in an instant I realized they were wholly representing what existed. Her feet are chubby and delicious, and I kiss them every single day. And somewhere in the kissing and the shoes and the towel drying them after bath time, I missed the part where they changed.

The camera doesn’t lie, and neither does the mirror.

My heart says, “It will never change,”  but the reflections tell me otherwise.

I sat in the moonlight all alone that night and whispered to Him, “Why?”

Why do you let me love things as they are only to tell me they won’t stay?

And as the blushing bride, ever well-intentioned, I realized my mistake as soon as the words left my mouth.

All this dark night, and you sit in the moonlight asking why.

I’ve been holding it all too tightly. Shoving feet in tiny shoes and scrutinizing the way the hours are robbing me of what was beautiful. I missed the way He lit up the night for me.

His moon.

His love.

His painting of my hair and ticking of the clock.

His spectacular plan that I’m so tempted to forget in favor of wrinkle cream and doubt. I get the sense that I’ve been treading water for a long time, asking Him to give me something that feels better.

I spend more time looking for my reflection in a mirror, rather than in the night sky. I want to drink deep of the landscape He has blessed me with. Not from behind a camera, trying to clip and edit until it matches my heart, but as a woman who can see the stars spilled out and believe Him.

There is beauty in the believing, isn’t there?

It’s a warm summer day today, and I have a feeling my backyard will be full of noises and patches of light tonight.

And as it often does, the wind will pick up the swings and move them back and forth while I cry out for them to be still. Tonight I will watch them and I will smile.

And instead of worrying about the swings, I will thank Him for the wind.

Constantly moving.

Always nudging us toward our home with Him.

Jesus, You make it all unbearable beautiful when we dare to look. Thank you for the mercy that sets us all free to love you in return…You are Everything.

And also, Jesus?

I don’t want to smell like fish anymore.


Charlotte, Family, Jenn

Remember the Question About Charlotte?

First off, I am so glad I asked for help with the blog stuff because you all are brilliant and there were about ten million ideas I am going to incorporated that I hadn’t thought of…thank you!!!!
In other news, awhile ago I posted asking who you all thought Charlotte looked like and then I forgot to post *MY* opinion :) A sweet reader sent me an email asking if she had missed it and I remembered I hadn’t scanned in my *evidence* :)
Since she was born, most people say she is a Smith and I do see a lot of Todd in her. BUT, we were at my sister’s house for her son Tuck’s birthday a few months ago and I saw a picture of her hanging on the wall from when she was a baby. I don’t have a copy of that particular photo but I dug through a stack of others and I pulled out a couple…
What do you all think? Do you see it???? (That is, if you can look past the rug… Mom, dad? My eyes are burning.)
I love my sis Jenn…if you follow me on Twitter you know where to go get a good cup of coffee and meet her when you are in town :) 

Seriously, even her mannerisms are like Jenn’s. Hopefully she gets her artistic talent!!!!
On a side note, I found some other photos I need to scan in…in my next book I talk a lot about some hard times in my childhood and I came across a few images that I think will convince you I was a scary, scary looking seventh grader. YOWSA. 
I will be telling you all more about the book soon…I am so excited about it, and I can’t wait to share more!!! I want to wait until I have cover comps though, because I happen to heart the cover :)
And no, it does not involve a school photo of me…
love to all!
Charlotte, Kelsey

Sweet Charlotte Girl…

You have my sweet nanny Kelsey to thank for these…is Charlotte not the most delicious baby? I can’t get enough of her sweet face and chunky little legs. So grateful to be her mommy :) 
I am tempted to ask you who you think she looks like BEFORE I post some baby pictures to support my case…thoughts?

I love this girl :)

Charlotte, prayer request, Travel, What Women Fear

Life as Usual

***Edited to add that I am praying for each and every one of you who have left requests, and I also wanted to thank those of you {many of you!!!} who recommended the angelcare movement detector. Todd and I went to Babies R Us today and it’s charging up….what a great idea!!!! THIS is why I love being a blogger…welcome to the place where mommies put their heads and hearts together!!! thank you! xoxo***

Hello all!

We just got home from Toronto yesterday (we did 100 Huntley Street and they are the nicest people ever). If you decide to brave the interview, just know that my hair is psycho and I nod maniacally throughout. Watching yourself on video is even worse than hearing your voice on an answering machine. Most of the time I never watch or listen to anything I’ve done for this reason, but I always pray God will use it to speak to other people despite me and my bizarro hair.

It was the last trip for awhile and I feel like I can exhale just a little bit. It was only one night away but i still cried in the hotel room:( I seem to be doing that a lot lately.

And unfortunately for my waistline, room service almost always accompanies crying. Reason number 2 I don’t watch my interviews.

So anyway, I’m so glad to be home. I have a Bible study on Wednesdays with other moms and I just love the women who are in the group. The kids also have a great time because there are several homeschoolers and they all come so it’s a blast. They just do spelling bees and geometry while braiding each other’s hair. Actually they trade animal bracelets and based on what I saw today, my little Kate is a sly shark. She is a stinking riot. The other day the girls were talking about their tithes and Abby decided she was going to give 20% so that Jesus could have 10 and God could have 10. Then Ellie said she was going to do the same but maybe give another 10% because she didn’t want the Holy Spirit to feel left out. At that point Kate (money clenched in fists) replied thoughtfully, “Well, I think I will give God just my hugs and kisses” and proceeded to hold onto her cash. She did eventually give it back to the Jesus jar but I’m not sure she got the whole “joy of stewardship” thing.

I haven’t talked about Charlotte recently on here…so sorry! I need to download some pictures as well so you can see how she’s growing. Honest to goodness she is the sweetest baby you could ever imagine. She just loves to be with you and will lay her little head down on anyone’s shoulder and snuggle in. She smiles all the time and she has this calm, gentle, loving personality that makes her so hard to put down. I feel like she’s really different from the other girls at her age because she is just so content all the time. I’m glad I got a super easy one as my fourth!!! I’m so grateful for every bit of her I get to enjoy, but I’m sure that others who have lost a child would agree that there’s a bittersweet feeling that comes along with seeing her grow and wondering what the other child would have been like. The girls have been talking a lot about Audrey lately and I think they sense it too.

On a related note, I’ve been struggling with a lot of fear related to Charlotte. I was sharing with my sister in law the other night about how Charlotte has started flipping over to sleep on her stomach and for awhile I would go in every half hour and put her back on her back. Again. And again. And again. I could feel myself starting to panic whenever I walked into the room, my mind telling me that she might not be breathing anymore. Finally, after I had done this more times than I can say, I felt the Lord stop me midway over to her and say gently, “Angie. How long will you do this?”

So instead of turning her over I sat on the floor and prayed. And prayed. And prayed.

And then I closed the door behind me and took Him at His word. I know that God is good, and that He doesn’t go off duty and let things just fall apart. He has a plan for Charlotte, and whatever that plan is will not be enhanced by me obsessing over every single thing I think I can do to control her safety. It’s appropriate to be cautious and responsible, but I can’t let myself believe that it’s up to me…but that is so hard.

So, there’s a prayer request if you don’t mind :)

I have a few more announcements coming up (no, I’m not pregnant :)) and when the time is right I will be so excited to share with you…but you can rest assured that as wonderful as they are, there are most certainly (GULP) prayer requests that will go along with them!!! Let’s just say God has a sense of humor, and when I tell Him I’m too scared to do something, He finds a way to drop me right in the center of the fear. I know that’s where He is, so I’m jumping, but it is a scary feeling…especially with my hair being uncooperative. It just makes it all harder, you know?

Incidentally, I despise secrets (I actually got ticked at Todd when he planned a surprise party for me the first year we were married. Hasn’t happened since.) so I will definitely fill you all in soon!!! In the meantime, will you also ask the Lord to give me peace?

I have a feeling that some of the stress is coming from the work I’m doing on my next book-it’s bringing up some difficult memories but I hope there will be great fruit in the end. Right now it kind of feels like squashed bananas and rotten apples :)

I know I have said absolutely nothing of value in this post, but I really just wanted to say hello. As always, please feel free to share any prayer requests you have in the comments and know that you will be prayed over. I honestly can’t tell you how much it means to me when I ask you all a question and then I get to read all the great suggestions and thoughts…it makes this feel like a community and I love that :)

With love and gratitude,