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  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~

A

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

Lisa’s Show!

If you have read my blog for any length of time, you know how much I love Lisa Leonard.

On the (in)courage beach retreat last month, I got to spend some one on one time with her and I decided I loved her even more. She gave me some brilliant insights into some life stuff I’m dealing with, and her calm, balanced approach to life helped me breathe deeper. I think you’ll see what I mean when you watch this video.

A production company has approached their family about doing a reality show, and this is the trailer for it. As we watched, Todd said, “Okay. I totally get why you love her so much…she is amazing. They all are…”

Seriously, this show will be such a blessing, and I think there’s a message in it for all of us.

Treat yourself to a few minutes with Lisa and the Leonard family…and prepare to fall in love with the whole bunch :)

xoxo
A

Come Hang Out with Us!!!!

I know I have mentioned this before, but I wanted to give one last appeal to those of you who live near Nashville. We are having our (in)RL meet up THIS SATURDAY from 5:00-8:00 p.m. Originally, I had a speaking engagement and thought I was going to have to miss it, but it got canceled and now I’m going to be able to attend. YAY!!!!! I am co-hosting with the fabulous Jessica Turner and the amazing Annie Downs, and you do not want to miss the fun. It isn’t too late to come!!! Just sign up here and we’ll see you there.

There are lots of prizes and giveaways thanks to Dayspring and my publisher B&H (you’ll NEVER guess what they are giving everyone who comes…hmmm…could it be….books?!?!?)

We know there are quite a few more people coming than are registered on this page, so if you are planning on it, could you kindly sign up so we have an official headcount? We want to make sure we have plenty of stuff to spoil you with :) Invite your friends, your neighbors, whoever! The more the merrier :) Just let us know how many you are bringing and then come enjoy the fun.

In addition to snacking, laughing, and giving out loot, we are going to be watching some amazing videos from (in)courage, and you will not want to miss what God has been up to over there. You can click over to see more info on this first-time event, but the gist is it is going to be an amazing night and I really hope you can come!!! These are happening all over the place, so make sure and look up your city here if you want to be a part of it:)

Can’t wait!!!

Love to all,

Ang

In(RL)

Thank you, Angela, for passing the invisible blog-tour baton!

This past year has shaped my idea of community more than any other.

I don’t really even know how to put it into words, but I was lacking something and I didn’t realize it until I got a taste. I have lots of friends, and lots of good friends. But I don’t know that I would have said I really had a community. For me, community means we are acting as a unit, and that means the good and the not-so-good. It means a friend who buys you a reamer and puts it in your mailbox.

By the way, a reamer is a wooden tool that helps you get juice out of a lemon. And apparently people have heard of this tool. I was not in that category. But thanks to Jenny Acuff, I am the proud owner of a reamer. I love it.

 And I didn’t realize I wanted it.

Heather Whittaker loves me deep and wide. She packs her car up at a moment’s notice for adventures. Even when I don’t tell her where we’re going. And then we laugh our heads off and don’t remember exactly how her cell phone ended up in coke.

 And I didn’t realize I wasn’t laughing enough.

Jessica sends cards. For every holiday celebrated in the modern world. And when I mention casually in a five minute conversation that my heart is heavy over something, she remembers. Really remembers. Calls me to check in. Calls me again and again because she knows (and now Heather and Jenny know. Darn. Secret’s out:)) that I don’t answer my phone when I check out mentally. But I need to.

 I didn’t realize I needed to answer.

I have a Bible study every Wednesday morning, and I love these girls more than I can say. They all have stories. We all cry and laugh and talk and pray and when our car doors close and we drive away, I’m praying for them. I’m thanking God for them. I’m joyful because I’m not alone.

I guess I didn’t realize I was alone.

But I was.

And I don’t ever want to be alone again.

I want to be known. To be loved and appreciated. To be gifted that which I didn’t know I wanted, to be laughing out loud from the deep part of me that hides, to be challenged to do the thing I think makes me weak. And to be in community.

It’s simple, but it’s life-giving. Life-altering. And the most beautiful gift from a Father who longs for sisters to close car doors and drive away loving each other.

Here’s the great news. You don’t need a car, a Bible study group, or any of the other things mentioned here to be a part of community. I am so, so overjoyed to share this video clip with you in the hopes that you will want to join us for a special experience. It’s called (in)RL, and it is brought to you courtesy of some of my favorite community-lovers…the folks at (in)courage. Will you take a few minutes and see if this is something the Lord would use to bless you in your walk?

 


Great, isn’t it???

So now for the details.

Click here for the registration page.

And here for the meetup page.

And here for answers to any questions you might have.

And now it’s my turn to pass the baton. Check in over here tomorrow to hear some more about (in)RL from our friend Heather Genman Wilson. Can’t wait to see you all there!!!!

See you at the beach house!!!!

 

On inCourage…Seven Sacred Pauses

I have been reading a book that I want to recommend to all of you. It’s called Seven Sacred Pauses: Living Mindfully Through the Hours of the Day, and the idea of it is that we should take these seven opportunities during the day to pause, reflect, and pray. I have just started implementing it in my own life and it is a beautiful thing to see the way the Lord uses this time to help me refocus and breathe.

I’m excited to share what I’m learning about the importance of pausing throughout the day over on inCourage today. You can read the rest of the post here & join the conversation.

Choosing Joy

First of all, if you homeschool you really should take some time and read through the comments on my last post. It is a PHENOMENAL wealth of helpful information and I am still making my way to a bunch of the links. I’m actually really surprised that there were so many curriculum suggestions that I hadn’t even heard of…so fun.

Just wanted to pop in tonight and say a quick hello. I’m in the middle of a busy week doing some book promo and getting ready to head to the dotmom conference this weekend. If any of you are going, please make sure and say hey. Would love to connect in real life:)

***

Along those lines, I really want to ask for your prayer for my friend Sara. I have never had the privilege of meeting her in person but she was a HUGE help with Bloom and has remained someone that I have loved chatting with online and getting to know a little through email and twitter. As many of you know, she has been confined to her house for several years because of disease, but recently she has taken a turn for the worse. Hospice has been with her for a few days and they anticipate that very soon she will be with the Lord. Jess gets updates a few times a day from Sara’s sister and it is devastating to hear what everyone is going through. Sara and Jess have become close friends and Jess got to go to Sara’s house with Elias and Adeline and I can hardly look at the pictures because they are so recent and it breaks my heart that she’s leaving this life.

Sara’s father passed away suddenly last year and she told Jess to tell me that she was going to find Audrey and introduce her to her dad because he loves kids. Oh, the tears of those words. I can barely even process what that feels like.

I know what Scripture says and I believe that it’s true. Better is one day in His courts…

But tonight I am aching for Sara’s family and all of those who she has blessed with her beautiful, selfless, Christ-centered life. She has chosen joy even in the worst of days and her example will be with us long past her breath. There are so many negative things about being online, and so many “downsides.” But the truth is, the other side is amazing. Sara has been in community with my dear (in)courage sisters and has “attended” my church alongside us through Crosspoint’s online services. It has been real relationship and it has been an honor to be a part of.

I’m reminded tonight of the power of a willing servant to impact a watching world.

If you would like to read more about Sara, please click over to her site. It is being updated by her family members and close friends. Also, Jess has been doing updates as well so check over there as well.

And please pray for everyone involved…and that the weight of glory would replace the burden of grief as we anticipate her homecoming.

We love you, Sara.

May we choose joy at every opportunity and display the heart of Jesus as beautifully as you have.

With deepest affection and many tears~

A

A Little Announcement…

Exciting news about my book “What Women Fear” has just been announced!

Click here to find out more about it…we would love to have you join us! So honored and also so excited to share this with you all in a more intimate way.

Blessings and love,
A

Bloom Announcement!

So, do you recognize the gal sitting between me and Jess? It’s time for our new book club announcement!!!! Hop over here to watch and hear more about it :)

~Ang

(in)courage!

Hello friends!!!!! Well Todd and I head out bright and early (note…bright. and EARLY) for Des Moines and I am still trying to figure out a way to meet all of my blog friends there. I have your emails in a folder and if I can pull anything together I will send out a message!!!! In the meantime, please pray for me. You would think that it would get easier but I am seriously sick to my stomach with nerves. Trying to remind myself to breathe!!!

I also neglected to blog about this post I did for (in)courage and I want to send you over there in case you didn’t read it. It’s so funny how you write something because it’s working in your world and then you feel like other people got something out of it. Sometimes I think, “Well that’s silly. They are going to think I am so lame for even posting this…” and usually those are the ones that get the most feedback. I love that. We are all trying to figure it out, aren’t we?!?! This one has really affected my interactions and daily life…I hope it speaks to you as well.

And I have a new post up today (You will NEVER guess what it’s about. Because I am not at all consistent in my search to simplify…) and the comments are super helpful. One of the things mentioned as a resource is this book, which has become one of my new favorites. Honestly, there are a billion books that look just like this in the bookstore and I probably would have just thought it was another pretty book, but it is so much more. You will LOVE it, and you will love Tsh’s take on simplifying life. She is an amazing lady and is doing incredible things for the kingdom of God. I can’t recommend it highly enough! I noticed how many people referenced it over there so I wanted to share it with you here. So. So. Good. I have a stack of notes from reading it…thank you, Tsh. Your gifting and your heart are both out of this world.

OK, friends! I have another post rattling around in my head from an experience I had yesterday. It involves homeschooling, my friend Heather, and some of the best people-watching moments this side of the Mississippi. I will try to get to that soon….and yes, I have pictures. Well, not of all of it. That’s a good thing.

Love to everyone! See you soon :)

Go on and do one better!!!!!!!

Ang

I’m over at (in)courage today, writing about a lesson learned in the dark.

Would love to hear from you over there…click here to read :)

Ang