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Compassion International, Travel, Uncategorized

Come to the Table Tour – On Sale Now!

Thrilled to announce that Come to the Table Tour tickets are officially on sale!
 
Y’all killed our tour pre-sale last week and WE HEARD YOU – so in addition to the General Admission and Early-Entry tickets on sale now, we’ve also added extra VIP tickets in each city but quantities are very limited.
 
We expect some cities will sell out completely, so don’t wait to get your tickets! Buy them now and  join me, Annie F. Downs and Danielle Walker for a ridiculous night of laughter and tears and remembering the goodness of God.
 
We can’t wait to see you! 
Bigmama, Book Recommendation, boomama, Just for Fun, Travel, Uncategorized

Fun Friday {Memoirs}

I just got back from a quick getaway with these sweet girls, and among other things, we talked a LOT about favorite books.

{Jen Hatmaker, Boomama, Vicki Courtney, & Bigmama}

There was universal agreement that I needed to read several I haven’t, so I ordered a few and they came yesterday. With that said, I finished this one in a couple hours.

I don’t remember the last time I was so captivated by a book. It is EXQUISITE. Has anyone else here read it? So good. So, so good. There is a little language in it so don’t let your kiddos read it, but it’s not enough to detract from the AMAZING story.

I believe I am going on a little memoir kick this summer, so if you have any that you recommend, please leave them in the comments!!!

Happy {hot} day to you!!!

A

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

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,
Ang