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Relevant ’10

Just for Fun, Relevant '10

A Book You Should Get!

I am so honored to share this book with you, because I know a lot of you have probably made New Year’s resolutions that have to do with cutting back, budgeting, and all kinds of good stuff. Well, even if you haven’t you are going to want to put this baby in your amazon cart and go. I had the privilege of reading an advance copy and I LOVED it.

Crystal and I met a few years ago at the Relevant conference, but we got to connect a little more on a marriage cruise we were both on (Todd was singing and we had all the kiddos, so it wasn’t real “marriage-focused” for us :)) and I just adored her. She is the sweetest person you will ever meet, and has a heart that will make you want her for a neighbor (I’ve pitched the idea and am currently waiting for her to accept. Ahem…). Above all of that, what I love about Crystal is that she loves the Lord, her family, and the things that will honor God, and she seeks Him so earnestly. While we were out on the deck of the ship one day I asked her a few heart-questions and was so blessed that she answered honestly and we were able to have some really refreshing conversations about the struggle to parent, work, and spend time with the Lord.

And then we walked to another area and heard Kirk Cameron and his wife speak and we were both a little irritated that she is gorgeous.

That last part doesn’t really have to do with her book.

But anyway.

This is a girl who is really, really living it. Paid for her house in cash (Booyah!!!) and walks through the process of how they keep their heads on straight with everything God has brought them. Crystal is a remarkable woman, a blessing to anyone who knows her, and most of all, a woman who makes her Father proud with her obedience. Along those lines, it probably will not surprise you to know that all of the proceeds from the sale of this book will be given to Compassion International, and you can read that story right here!!!

Kudos to you, Crystal, for being a beautiful example of the kind of woman we all strive to be. You are so loved!!!

Go buy the book NOW!!!!!

Here’s a little from Crystal herself…it cuts off at the end bc she gets emotional talking about it:)

It’s amazing and you’ll be so glad you did!!! Love you, Crystal!

Ang

Giveaways, Organization, Relevant '10

31 Days!!!

I am so excited to be able to share something with you all today…it comes from my dear friend Sarah Mae, who many of you know as one of the founders of the Relevant conference. I was blessed to be a part of it last year and got to connect with her, and let me say, she is a TREASURE. She is a fabulous writer, organizer, woman of the Lord…the list goes on.

Her most recent project is this:

First of all, doesn’t that cover just make you want to buy it???? I’m a sucker for a great cover 🙂 Luckily for us, the goodness goes way past the image and walks the readers through a way to move toward a clean home in 31 days. Each day is totally manageable and there are fabulous suggestions all throughout. I am going to be giving away five copies of this book, which can be given as a nook, kindle, or PDF (you can choose! just click on any of those links and they will take you to the correct place to purchase).

Sarah has also added a “more do-able” Martha section to the book which can be found here.

It has consistently been on the Christian Living top 10 on Amazon, and is NUMBER ONE on the home cleaning chart!!! So, go ahead and purchase one (five bucks! that’s a steal!!!) and if you are one of the five who wins, your money will be refunded.

To learn more about the fantasical Sarah Me, click over to her website for this book and spend some time in her (neat) place 🙂

Your comments on this post will be entered in a contest to win one of the five I am giving away, so GO FOR IT!!!!!

Relevant '10, Speaking engagements

Relevant ’10

I’m enjoying the feeling of my own quilt tucked under my legs as a storm rolls into Nashville.

It’s not necessarily the kind of storm that will cause major damage, but it’s enough to shake me up a little.

Little known fact about me: I like to leave the T.V. on the Food Network when there is any kind of scary situation going on in the news because Giada keeps stirring in her beach house and the iron chefs keep chopping. Currently, Bobby Flay is throwing down with an unassuming fellow and none of the smily people know about the storm.

I like the Food Network.

I want to live there. Safe. Happy. Delicious. Unaffected.

I got home today after an amazing weekend in Pennsylvania at the Relevant conference. I must say, it was a breath of fresh air. I get really nervous about speaking but it isn’t like that’s the only part that scares me. I have to fly to get there (FYI, they still make propeller planes. I found that out on Thursday. Good to know). I have to meet people who I am intimidated by because I don’t know why on earth I’m sitting on this side of the table when there is wisdom on that side. I am an introvert who pretends to be an extrovert (unless it’s one on one…that, I love). I always mean one thing and say another and then end up crying in my hotel room alone because I feel like a fool. I don’t go to these kinds of events because I have created an image in my mind of the seventh grade, where everyone is chit-chatting and you feel like they are pointing at you and laughing. I fear I won’t make the cut, and the irony is that people come up to me with their hands shaking and say they are so happy to meet me and all the while I’m thinking, “How can I make my hands stop shaking and write something beautiful for them…”

I am going to write the rest of this post if it kills me (sorry, self talk).

I listened to Crystal Paine speak on Thursday night and I decided about 4 minutes into her talk that she was going to be one of my best friends as soon as I could figure out where to hide my True Religion jeans (pocket placement, need I say more?). She was equal parts charming and convicting, and (confession) I had never been to her blog before. I’m the girl who buys the three ring binder and stuffs it with the baseball card sleeves and for exactly 2 weeks I fill it with coupons for things I will never buy. Then I carry it like a badge of honor as I explain that yes, check-out lady, I would like to purchase 14 neutrogena lip glosses, a tube of snot-flavored toothpaste and the DVD “Cars.” And why is THAT weird?

Coupon FAIL.


I went to her blog tonight and spent quite a bit of time there…she ROCKS my socks off. But you already know that because evidently I’m the only person in the free world who just found out.


Friday was chocked full of Sally Clarkson, who is one of the most incredible ladies you will ever listen to or read. Her book “The Mission of Motherhood: Touching Your Child’s Heart for Eternity” is one of my all-time favorites. She also wrote “Educating the Wholehearted Child,” which was one of the major reasons I chose to homeschool. I can’t speak highly enough of her and to see her in person was to respect her even more…wow.

I spoke Friday night and did not throw up or pass out. Noteworthy.

Saturday I got to spend a little time with Ann Voskamp and needless to say, she is every bit of what you would expect. Beautiful, gracious, elegant in an approachable “Audrey Hepburn” kind of way, but with the kind of laugh where you can see her back teeth (one of my favorite qualities in any person). She looks you in the eye, hugs you like an old friend, and whispers wisdom in the most unexpected moments. My editor Jennifer was with me and said that her favorite moment of the entire weekend was me looking up and realizing Ann was getting in the elevator as Ann saw that I was there. We both screamed and jumped up and down, hugging while the whole thing shook. To put flesh on computer words is such a blessing. And I suppose, kind of dangerous if you are phobic of elevators. Or propellers.

Ann is the kind of lady who loves deep, smiles teeth, and shakes elevators. She shines Jesus, and I know that she won’t like the last paragraph because it might make you look at her…Ann, we don’t. We see Him. Thank you for being brave to make Him famous. A tinge of color looks good in your wardrobe, friend. 🙂

All in all, I think the take-away message was unexpected for many who attended. Instead of learning how to increase stats and focus on being media saavy, we sat as sisters and shared the ways we wish we did it better. Saving money, parenting, walking with the Lord, being a wife, and on and on…

And in the middle of a blogging conference, the keyboard tapping stopped. We sat in the presence of the Lord and what He would have for us. So many wise women, all using their own words and gifts to say the same thing.

Bow low and put the first things first.

Hours after my book signing I sat alone in my hotel room, shaking with sadness as I remembered the tears and the stories. I carried their words with me to the desk, where I wept their sorrow. A lost child, abuse, doubt, fear, shame…and instinctively I reached to my side for the remote control.

I held it still, staring at the blank screen.

Who am I?


I’m not her. Nor her. Nor her, nor her, nor her…

Have you heard it too? Rain soaking the toys left outside, dishes piled high, children with dirty cheeks…it would be so tempting to wish it different.

I realize I have turned the T.V. on, and have already found the safe place, hardly realizing I had moved.

Knives chop. Laughter rolls. The oven opens and the perfect dish makes its way to the judges table.

All is right in the place where all is right. It’s perfect. I’m perfect. I didn’t choke on my words or doubt myself. They have no idea I’m up here crying.

The chefs, I mean. Right?

No. Actually I don’t.


So, here’s what I took from Relevant (and I am indebted to Sarah Mae for allowing me the privilege).

We have each been given a gift to be used to further the Kingdom of God. Your worth isn’t on the spine of a book or the statistics of your blog. You aren’t going to be judged by how many followers you had (As Ann so wonderfully said, “Jesus only had 12 followers…” 🙂 ) or the way you curl your hair. And in this crazy world of blogging, sometimes the most powerful thing we can do is to close the computer. I needed to hear all those words.

It wasn’t a dangerous storm, remember? Just the kind that shakes you up…

This was a weekend spent with women who love well, and I’m better for it.

I will think twice before I click on the T.V. and believe it to be true.

And when you see me, know that I’m not actually that skinny.

They’re just really, really expensive jeans.

🙂

Love and prayer,
Angie