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prayer request

Family, prayer request

My Kate, Your Advice.

I have hesitated to write this. In fact I have started it and then stopped about five times. It’s hard to ask for help when you feel like you are putting yourself in a position where you could be scrutinized, and I know too well how that goes down.

So. I’m appealing to you all as my sisters and I’m asking that you show respect to me and to anyone who comments here. I know that some of this could trigger a debate, which is not what I want (in fact, I welcome your respectful opinions but will feel completely comfortable deleting anything I don’t think fits within the “loving advice” approach). Can we just show people that we can have civilized conversations as Christians without being ugly to each other?

Okay, with that said, here’s the deal.

I had a great conversation with Kate’s teacher (she goes one day to a tutorial program) and it confirmed what I have known to be true for a long while. She has a really hard time concentrating and it has gotten to the point where she’s super frustrated all the time (and we are too) because she cannot stay on track. It’s more than that, though, and it’s really, really hard. All that to say, we have a doctor’s appt tomorrow to have an ADD evaluation, and I’m pretty certain that she will be diagnosed with it. My question is this:

For all of you with kids like my Kate, what has worked for you? Have you had experience with medication that you would feel comfortable passing along? I want to do what is best for her and while I absolutely trust my pediatrician, I would love to hear from other mommas who are in this boat.

I’m kind of an emotional wreck right now over this. Can I get some sisters to speak wisdom to me in love about all of this? Anything you can contribute is so appreciated. Oh mercy, I’m crying. It’s hard being a mommy sometimes.

Thank you in advance. I can’t tell you how much your advice (and prayers…please, prayers…) mean to me.

With love,

Angie

prayer request, Uncategorized

Baros

Man, it’s been a crummy week.

Lots of traveling, lots of stuff with the kiddos, friends…life. It has been a good reminder of the fact that even when things start to feel upside-down, there’s still something we can do for each other in the hard seasons.

Years ago, when people rallied around me during my pregnancy with Audrey, I realized that one of the most amazing gifts I received was the love of people who only knew me through the common bond of Christ, and those women offered a part of themselves for me. Many of you emailed me letting me know that you had specifically asked the Lord to allow you to carry a part of my burden. Wow.

I’m sitting in a Starbucks writing this, and I’m tempted to burst into tears because I remember that time so well. I know without a shadow of a doubt that the Lord honored your requests, and as a result my burden was lighter. To this day I have an image of the way He may have distributed that hurt to those who were willing, and the most beautiful part of it all is that He received all the glory for your faithfulness.

In my quiet time today, the Lord led me to a few scriptures and as always, a little bit of deeper study led to insight that blessed me beyond measure. Sometimes when you’re reading the Bible, you see things that seem contradictory. As I read Galatians 6:2 today, it seemed pretty clear that this “sharing of burdens” was important. It says:

“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

Okay. Got it.

But then, right below it in Gal 6:5, it says this:

“For each one of you should carry his own load.”

Interesting. So what gives?

Before I say anything else, let me say this. The Bible is not supposed to be intimidating. It’s not supposed to make you afraid to dig further down, or to seem like an academic, far-away, untouchable instruction manual. It’s a love story, and you are a part of it.

If you see commentaries on the Bible, or anything fancy that talks about the Greek or Hebrew words, or anything like that, just know this: God never intended the Bible to feel “over your head.” He wants you to invest youself and take the time to understand things, but He never wants you to be intimidated by the Word. Rather, He wants you to be empowered.

Anyway, where was I? Oh, yes. Galatians. And why does it say that we are to share burdens and then say that we are all supposed to carry our own loads? Which is it?

Here’s what I discovered.

In verse 2, the Greek word used for “burdens” is “baros.”

Don’t wander off because I said Greek!!! Come on back! Just think of it this way. The Old Testament was written in Hebrew, and the New Testament in Greek. So when you say “the Greek word,” you are really just saying, “in the original language.”

Okay? You back. Good.

And how in the world did I ever figure out the Greek word?

Because I speak it fluently. As well as Hebrew, French, and at least three African dialects.

Well, either that or I have access to the Google.

I love this website, and this Bible in particular for this kind of study.

Sooooo, baros. Hello new friend.

Baros means “heaviness, weight, burden, trouble.”

Now onto verse 5. Using the same methods, I find (in about 2 seconds) that the word used in this passage for “load” is different. This word (in Greek…hello fancypants) is “phortion.” It lists the word “burden” in it’s definition, but upon reading a little you will see that it is different than the one mentioned earlier. Innnnnnteresting.

Here’s what I found:

The word “photon” does not connote any weight; it is simply to indicate that something is being carried. It’s the same word used in the passage that says, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Mt. 11:30). It’s what we are called to carry, and essentially it means that we are going to stand before God one day and have to give an account for our lives, and that is not something that someone else can carry for us. (via W.E. Vine)

Greek and Hebrew aren’t scary, but that is. Because it’s the kind of conviction that motivates us to seek Him and make our lives a beautiful offering.

The former (baros) is the weight of this world-the pain that comes from living in a fallen world with fallen people. And it connotes weight. I know, because I feel that weight every day and so do you. There is a major difference between the two, and while we can’t shoulder the burden of someone’s life choices in light of eternity, we can shoulder the burden put on our friends here on earth. And I really believe that it’s more than a suggestion.

Isn’t that cool? I know this isn’t really a “pretty” post, but the purpose is to get you motivated to dig into your Bibles, and also to ask for you to pick up some weight for some sisters in Christ.

I love that this is a safe community where we can bring our burdens and allow the Lord to distribute them. Feel free to use the comment section as an altar and lay down anything we can pray about, even if it isn’t detailed.

We will be honored to share the load.

With so much love,

Angie

Ellie, prayer request

A Prayer Please

I am on my way to the pediatricians office after Ellie pointed out that a bump on her head has been bothering her. It feels like bone (it’s at the base of her skull, about the size of a large marble) but is very worrisome because I have never felt it before and she has been complaining for months about dizzy spells etc. I know that more than likely it is nothing but my stomach is upside-down right now. Please pray that everything is okay. Appt is at 12:50 and I will let you all know what the doctor says.

Thank you,
Ang

Kelsey, prayer request, Travel, Women of Faith

In Between

We had an awesome time on our cruise, despite the fact that I did not get to meet Kirk Cameron. The weather was unbelievable, and it was definitely one of those, “Umm, really? This is work?” kind of weeks, where we were just so grateful to all be together and enjoying the sunshine.

I did have a little breakdown on the first night because I realized that the last cruise we were on was almost exactly three years ago (same month) when I was pregnant with Audrey. We had her diagnosis and were trying to enjoy it but were so distracted and devastated by reality. There had been a point on that cruise where I was going to grab something to eat and I slipped on something slick and wiped out, landing (almost) full force on my tummy while I jerked my knees out just in time to catch me. The worst part was that everybody just stared at me and nobody helped me up. When I finally did get up I was bawling crying and ran to find Todd and all of our friends and I was bruised up for days. I hadn’t really even remembered it until I walked through a similar area on this boat and all of a sudden I felt sick to my stomach. It’s amazing how the mind works, and I have so many of those stored places in my mind that I don’t access until I’m in the moment and it just falls right on me. That seems to be the hardest part of the grief journey right now-just the unexpected times when something occurs to you or a memory comes back and you just weren’t mentally prepared to cope.

This was totally going to be a happy post! Sorry about that :) But it is, unfortunately, reality…

Overall the trip was really fun. I was going to post some pictures but who are we kidding? Not my strong suit…so, if you’re curious and want to see some great photos, click HERE to go to Kelsey’s facebook album and see how everyone looks so grown up!!! Seriously, Charlotte even has little chic-let teeth :) She has finally decided she would like to begin sitting up and making motions in the direction of crawling. I’m telling you, this kid is one in a million. So laid back and easy-going and her smile is absolutely infectious. I am so madly in love I cannot even tell you…

In other news, I spoke at my first official Women of Faith event a few weeks ago (not an arena event, but the one where all the group leaders meet up…about 2500 women) and despite the fact that I was honest-to-goodness terrified out of my mind, I got through it. The women were so incredibly gracious, and even though I feel like I did kind of a choppy and unpolished job, I’m letting myself relax a little because I don’t think I will ever be super put-together on the platform and I’m trying to embrace that :) At least people feel like they can relate to me, right?? Anyway, it was great to be with the WOF team and to really see their vision for the events. I love, love, love what they do and I can tell you from behind the scenes, these are INCREDIBLE women who I really look up to and enjoy being with. I was expecting to love it, but it’s so much more than I had anticipated.

If you are going to be at one of the events that I’m speaking at, I would love to know! It may not be possible but I keep thinking it would be so cool to have a little breakfast or something where we could all meet and share coffee…feel free to shoot me an email and I will start putting together a little list just in case :) It would be so neat to put flesh on you all instead of just reading your words :)

And, because I genuinely think of this as a safe place where I can come and share my heart, I want to ask for your prayer. Those of you who have read this from the beginning know that all of this other stuff was never on the agenda for my life :) I sincerely feel that my choices are in line with God’s will for my life, and I have gotten much better at saying no when I need to, BUT…

It’s a lot! And as much as I love WOF and all the opportunities the Lord has given through Audrey, I remain a wife and mom first and foremost. I am going to be really transparent in the hopes that I won’t receive judgment for saying this, because in all honesty, I think more people need to share this kind of stuff. I have NOT done a perfect job of keeping my priorities in check. I struggle with being a people-pleaser and there have been times when I have let this affect my decisions, and in that, I have failed to put my husband and children first. That does not mean I don’t think I should be speaking or writing or any of that, but rather that I am trying to be a good steward of my highest calling above all else.

I guess as I started writing this I thought about the fact that sometimes we don’t want to admit we haven’t done a great job, or that we need help (for example, Kelsey comes twice a week for several hours to help around the house and let me go write when I need to. She can pinch hit with teaching, laundry, or whatever is pressing, and I am so grateful to have her help! I don’t do it alone!!!), but I think I would be doing you a disservice if I painted the picture that everything was simple and easy and I never felt like I had screwed up. Because I have, and I will continue to, but I am trusting that the Lord knows my heart and my deepest intentions, and that He will guide me as I go.

To that end, I am asking the Sundays to pray for me in this season. Please pray specifically that I will know what God’s will is for me, and that I will not overstep His grid for my life. Please pray for my marriage, my kids, and my own heart as I discern the ins and outs of my ministry. I know I don’t have to share any of this, and I’m not trying to justify myself or my decisions. Quite frankly, I feel that I need and desire the accountability and support of many of you who have walked with me. At the risk of it sounding like I haven’t figured it all out, let me say it this way.

I haven’t figured it all out.

:)

One of the ways the Lord has spoken to me is that if there is ever something I am invited to speak at, I am going to plan to bring one of my kids with me. I have talked to the girls about this being a “special date” with mommy, and Todd and I are saving miles to make it feasible. Right this second in my life I feel like God has said there are pretty serious boundaries as far as what makes sense for my family (as far as the amount of time I’m gone, which is pretty much never more than one night unless I have the fam with me). In fact, tomorrow night will be the first night I have ever slept in a hotel room by myself…:)

I did ask Ellie to come with me but she said she was really wanting to play with her cousins instead and could she possibly go next time instead? Sweet girl. Don’t tell her but I’m kind of sad about it.

Anyway, this is jumbled and ugly but I’m praying that the Lord will speak through it anyway, and that you will know how humbled (genuinely, profoundly humbled) I am to be able to share my story, but also that I want to do it in the way that honors God the most. That means I get smaller, not bigger. That means my marriage and family life thrive. That means I keep my focus where it needs to be and not where it doesn’t. It means I confess to you that I don’t always get it right, and ask that you join me in praying as I go.

I hope some of this makes sense, and if it doesn’t, just click on the link and look at all the cute pictures.

But don’t expect to see Kirk.

:)

All my love and gratitude,
Ang