July 7, 2015
by Angie Brown
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Morning Devotional

//reflecting in Romans 12:2 this morning. “Do not conform to the patterns of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” Be you bravely. Let the word wash over you and transform you not the world. Fix your attention on God. Don’t adjust to your culture. You will be changed from the inside out. God brings the best out of you. Dwell in his word. Renew your knowledge of him. Desire him. Let his truth speak to us. Let go of your old mindset and be renewed through his right ones. Follow God. Not the world. Read the truth. Spread the truth like a wildfire. Start a fire in my soul. Fuel the flame and watch it grow// #jesusismyrock #romans12:2 #startafireinmysoul #betransformedbytherenewingofyourmind #spreadtheword #jesusandcoffee
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May 17, 2015
by Angie Brown
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Life after Loss

Heartache changes you.

It challenges you to find yourself after you experience a heartache that seems like living again is far beyond our reach.

It teaches you how fragile life really is.

It changes your perspective.

After losing Payton, I struggled with everything that comes along with heartache. Each of us struggle differently but the pain is all the same. A pain unimaginable. A pain that shakes you to the core.

Losing our baby was something I never imagines I would experience. Rushing to the hospital in labor when our baby was due was full of excitement. When the doctors told us she had passed away and there was nothing they could do I was in complete shock. I still had to give birth, recover, and then plan a funeral.

Heartache it changes you.

Through my journey of loss and grief I have changed so much. I went through times of depression, hiding myself at home to avoid the world I had to face. A world with out my child. I journeyed through grief, healing, and hope. My faith was challenged.

Traveling the journey of loss has allowed to me feel the deepest of hurts to comfort others. It has shown me ways to encourage others who experience a loss. It has brought the words to the ones who don’t know what to say. It has brought grace and hope in ways I had never seen.

When you lose something that you love so fiercely it absolutely breaks you. The broken can be mended. The hurt can be healed. The hopeful are not hopeless. I will never forget my daughter. Each and every moment is embedded in my soul. The memories, the pain, the tears, the hope, and even the joy in the midst of the heartache are constant reminders. I am not protected from ever losing again but I am sensitive to how fragile life is.

I can be a voice to others. I can love fiercely love again. I can choose joy.

So many sweet ladies suffer from pregnancy loss. You are not alone.

I rest in hope.

I believe that my baby is in Heaven with Jesus. I can’t wait to hug her one day in Heaven. This is my journey through this fallen world. I am a bereaved mother. I have lost a baby through stillbirth and survived. The journey is not easy but I am thankful for all the pieces along the way. The sun can still shine in this dark world.

 

May 10, 2015
by Angie Brown
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Mother’s Day//Mama’s working together//Choosing Joy

Nine years ago I was excited to celebrate my first Mother’s Day. I remember imagining the day jut two months after our first baby was due to arrive into our world. Although what I imagined what that sweet day would be it was not close to being a “happy” day for me to celebrate. I was grieving the loss of our child. Just two months before mother’s day our baby was supposed to be with us and during delivery our plans were changed. She was born still. Our baby had died during delivery.

Nine years later, through a journey of grief, hope, and choosing joy, I am celebrating Mother’s Day today with two amazing children here and one amazing baby in Heaven. There is still one thing each day or each year when the holidays roll around, birthdays, Mother’s Day, and more mama’s losing babies happens more often than the world knows. Those precious babies lives are not celebrated for their mama’s and families as much as they should be. Although they are not forgotten, us bereaved mamas know the feeling that they are forgotten. I am not angry at others, I know the words are lost and death is hard to deal with but just give those mamas a hug and listen to her stories of her sweet baby.

So mamas who have lost their babies, when you see the commercials, the cards, the flowers, and all the other Mother’s Day ensembles around you, please know you are not forgotten. You are loved. Your baby is not forgotten. Your baby is loved. There is HOPE.

A day to celebrate the mother in your life, may it be an adoptive mom, biological, or mentoring mom. A day to celebrate our children. May those be with us here or in Heaven, adoptive little ones, friends children that you love, nieces or nephews, students you pour yourself into, or the sweet ones that you provide water and food for each month. Cherish it all. Celebrate the moms that have left us too soon. I am so sorry for your loss too. And sweet ones who aren’t able to conceive, I cannot share that pain but I can imagine the hurt you feel as well. I am sorry for the struggle to choose joy through the painful circumstances. Maybe choosing joy isn’t a feeling of happiness but an act of love and hope through our attitudes and choosing to trust without borders.

Being a bereaved mother I relate to loss and grief and I have shared before about the International Bereaved Mother’s Day temporary movement. It is a heart centered attempt at healing the official Mother’s Day. I believe that we can do this and that sometime in the near future there will be no need for this day at all because all true mothers will be recognized, loved, supported and celebrated. 

I also read an article today about Anna Jarvis who was the founder of Mother’s Day celebrating and honoring her mother years ago who was a bereaved a mother herself. Anna didn’t have any children of her own and fought hard for the day to honor those mom’s. Although we don’t hear about her story and the act of love she intended for her mother who had passed away.  The article shared one sentence that struck me hard.

Mother’s Day began with Mothers working TOGETHER.

Here is a piece from the article. In response, Reeves Jarvis started Mothers’ Day Work Clubs. The groups sought to help mothers team up to put a dent in high infant mortality and combat other problems. Their motto reflected that vision: “Mothers work — for Better Mothers, Better Homes, Better Children, Better Men and Women.”

Fast forward to today. We Mothers need to work together though it all. Society focuses so much on comparison and what mom does it better or who woks or doesn’t work. Then we have today to dismiss all the comparison to celebrate Mamas with their families. Let’s celebrate everyday. Not with cards, or gifts, or flowers but with working together as mamas building each other up in our communities. Telling all the mamas around us ” You are rocking this mama thing” Telling the motherless child your mama rocked. Telling the bereaved mama” you are not forgotten, your baby is not forgotten. You are a rocking mama who will be united one day with her sweet sweet baby but until then there is hope and choose joy”

So sweet baby Payton, this mama misses you. You changed my world and made me a better mama. I love you. Because of you I have hope in this crazy world and I choose joy each day.

From one mama to next. Your rocking this mama thing!

{quote was shared by Savage Seeds on instagram}

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March 12, 2015
by Angie Brown
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Fresh Salsa + My Fav Tee

Chips and salsa is seriously like my favorite food ever. I can eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Oh and snacks too. This is my total version of comfort food. Yummy. Crazy. Irresistibly. To Die For. Good.

If you chat with me on Facebook or Instagram you know I love chips ad salsa. I make salsa at least every week or every other week. My husband and my kids love salsa too! It makes a large jar but goes fast in our house.

So today I am sharing my recipe.

3 house tomatoes

1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes

1 medium purple onion

3-4 cloves garlic

1-2 jalapenos, seeded (I use two)

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 tsp lime juice

1/2 cup cilantro

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend your little happy heart away! I use a mix of fresh tomatoes and canned since tomatoes are not always fresh or in season. Blend as smooth or chunky as you want.We like it somewhat smooth with a little chunk since we have picky kiddos.

Dump it in a pretty jar or a bowl and scoop away. Enjoy!!

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Now on to my favvvvvorite shirt right now!! Super soft! Crazy cute! Super sweet and adorable handmade shop on Instagram! Perfect motto ever! Did I mention super cute and soft!! I stalked this shirt for a while and I finally decided to get one a few weeks ago and if I could get away with wearing it every day I seriously would!! SO where can you get this adorable shirt! Just click on the Image of Pickles + Roses!

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March 4, 2015
by Angie Brown
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Unveiled Wife Book Review

Marriage is a mosaic you build with your ­spouse—millions of tiny moments that create your love story.  – Jennifer Smith

I have been following the Unveiled Wife blog for quite some time. I love Jennifer’s daily prayers for our husband and her books. She has such a way of expressing her heart into words and sharing with others. I was so excited when I received an email that I was going to be receiving her newest book The Unveiled Wife to read and do a review.
Since I received the book I have consumed myself in her words with the little time I have with my busy schedule. Each time I picked up her book I was so touched and moved by her transparency and authenticity.
Just a little bit about Jennifer to get to know her and her book.
About Jennifer Smith
Jennifer Smith began UnveiledWife.com, a web-based ministry for wives, in March 2011. She publishes weekly marriage articles including encouragements, devotions, and prayers of the day. She authored The
Unveiled Wife, Wife After God, and 31 Prayers For My Husband. She is passionately devoted to encouraging wives all around the world to develop God-centered marriages. Jennifer and her family reside in Central Oregon.
Social media is a large part of Jennifer’s ministry for Unveiled Wife via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, where she serves a community of over 450,000 wives. Connect with Jennifer on social media @unveiledwife!
A little about the book:
An Open Letter From A Wife
I was thrilled to become a wife and live an extraordinary life with my husband. However, when expectations were left unmet, my dream of happily-ever-after was crushed by reality. Bitterness and anger grew in my heart toward my husband and toward God, and the result left me feeling isolated and lonely. This book trailer is a heart-felt letter I wrote that sums up much of my journey in The Unveiled Wife as a bride being transformed by my experiences in marriage.
My husband and I are celebrating our 10 year anniversary this year. Wow to look back is amazing to see how far we come, how much we have grown, the struggles we faced, our prayers, and our family. We have had many struggles and many blessings along the way. Marriage is hard and I was so disappointed at some of the struggles that we encountered and sometimes I feared if we could face them and have a marriage that made us both happy. I realized though along the way that my marriage is a choice and loving my husband the way he needs to be loved and he loves me is a choice. Facing this and being able to pray over my marriage in this way allowed my heart to understand the unrealistic expectations I was placing on my marriage and my husband. Reflecting our last few years I am so thankful that God has built-in us the foundation that we need to grow and love each other more deeply.
While reading this book I was totally taken back with feelings that I had felt once before, expectations that I had once placed on my marriage, and the struggles that we embraced. I was reminded of how far we have come and how far we can still go. I felt like parts of the story of her past, her feelings, her struggle with feeling worthy, was a story about myself. I didn’t feel alone.
I was inspired to take a look at my marriage and my relationship with God in a new way and to dig deeper. I am so thankful I was able to relate with her struggles and her victories. Sometimes we feel alone and it’s hard to talk to friends around us. I highly encourage reading her book. You may not relate to some of her struggles or you may have faced each one she has. You will be refreshed, encouraged, and the truths that she shares will pierce you heart to dig deeper in your relationship with Christ and your husband.
Where darkness had once overshadowed many of us, the radiant light of Christ exposed the truth that not one of us is truly ever alone.
It was truly an honor to read her book, to follow her bravery that it took to share the utmost deepest parts of her life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being you.
Order your copy today!!
http://shop.unveiledwife.com/products/the-unveiled-wife-embracing-intimacy-with-god-and-your-husband-by-jennifer-smith

February 23, 2015
by Angie Brown
2 Comments

Stirring of my heart

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{Music really speaks to my soul and is a huge part of my faith}

Lately I have been thinking a lot about how distant I have been from sharing my thoughts here. I miss it. I crave it. But I know God has seasons for us to share where we are at and seasons where we sit quietly and try to soak in as much as we can so we don’t miss the big picture. Doing this requires our attention and our full focus. Lots of prayer and quiet time that is really hard to get. Especially being a mom and wife. But God is good and he always provides. These last few months of my quietness I struggled. I struggled hard. Trying to balance the time I needed to spend my time with Jesus yet make it through the day. There were days where I didn’t get any time other than the whispers of my heart and cluster of noise in my mind is what he hears.

He knows our thoughts and prayers even before we tell him.

I’m praying for guidance, lightness, and wisdom. I love how over time my prayers change. My prayers change with each season I am in but I do find myself praying over areas I have prayed years before. God answers our prayers in his time but sometimes our prayers change in ways to grow us each season. That’s where I am at. I have prayed for a long time to change my husband, my marriage, my relationships, my motherhood, but I had to change my prayers to where God is needing to work on ME….so guidance, lightness, and wisdom. That’s where I currently am.

I am an over thinker, people pleaser, and passionate kind of girl. I can cry easy, want to save the world, yet I want to hide in my bed to just think. The news overwhelms me. I love to laugh. A lot. All of this together is the real me. From the big things to the little things. I care deeply.

Ya’ll this world is deep and heavy. It scares me. Especially as a mother. I want to keep my kiddos in the house all the time. I pray for through the darkness in this world Jesus light will shine. And it does. But the world still needs Jesus. We all do. Not to be perfect. We are all sinners. But to experience the amazing Love that Jesus has. To experience the light that he shines down on us. We all need the light. We all need hope. We could get down about the brokenness or we can share the light. I choose to share the light and have hope.

I want to dance to the beat of God’s goodness and grace. I want to soak up Jesus’s love and shout it out to the world so others may be in awe of him too. Although each day won’t always be an upbeat day I can choose to thank him though the burdens I face and the world that’s in our face. I can thank him through it all with hope and light that he gives us. When I dig deep inside and bare my soul I confess that most of my daily sorrow is what I have created to deal with my own comfort and the real struggle of this world I love in and the love of Jesus.

Take this world and give me Jesus.

I feel this stirring in my heart lately to share more, be passionate about his love and share with everyone around me. I want to grow in my relationship with Lord to do his good works. I feel this stirring to be a wife and mother in a way that only Jesus can have the glory. I want to share his love with you. I feel this stirring in my heart to shift the ways I see the world. I want to dance to the sick beat of God’s ever-loving goodness and grace that overflows each and everyday.

 

 

January 27, 2015
by Angie Brown
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Crock Pot Chicken Enchilada Soup

Hey Friends! I promised this recipe weeks ago and I completely forgot with being mom, haha! No seriously with work and illnesses that hit our home it slipped my mind. I am sorry! Here ya go as promised though. Enjoy!

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Crock Pot Chicken Enchilada Soup

2-3 chicken breast

1 can ranch style black beans, undrained

1 can of rotel

1 small can of red enchilada sauce

1 white onion, diced

1 1/2 cups frozen corn

1 tbsp. cumin

2 cups chicken stock

2 cloves garlic, minced

crushed tortilla chips

salsa

Mix all ingredients in the crockpot. I use “better than bouillon chicken stock base” once opened you refrigerate. You mix by the ratio listed with hot water. I heat up the chicken stock and add to the crock pot. Cook on High 6-8 hours or Low 3-4 hours. Once cooked through, shred chicken in crock pot. Ladle into soup bowls, add crushed tortilla chips, salsa, and any other ingredients your heart desires.

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January 25, 2015
by Angie Brown
0 comments

Personalized Art

   Hello Friends!!

I have a treat for you today. April over at Personalized Art has shared some FREE printables with you!! Last year she was encouraged to pick a verse for her boys and use it as prayer for them for the entire year. I love this too! This is the verse she is praying over her sweet boys this year. She created these adorable printables and framed them in their rooms. TODAY she is sharing with us so you can print these too and frame over your sweet babies or in your home. Whatever you would like to do with them. Just download below and enjoy. Please visit her ETSY store too and like her on FACEBOOK. She creates my kiddos birthday invitations each year and the year before she did our Christmas cards. {I totally ran out of time this last Christmas to even think about Christmas cards :(} These are sized as a 4×6 and you can save the individual pictures below or click on the numbered picture and go directly to her Facebook page and contact her for a file.

FREEBIE choices

Look to the Lord 4Look to the Lord 3

Look to the Lord 2Look to the Lord 1

 www.facebook.com/PersonalizedArtbyApril

Personalized Art Etsy Shop

PersonalizedArt3@gmail.com

Hope you have a fabulous Sunday and enjoy these free Printable today!! Give April a shout out!

January 2, 2015
by Angie Brown
0 comments

Hello 2015, Being Quiet

Wow! I still can’t believe it’s a new year already! Happy New Years! I have been reflecting back on my 2014 year and I am just in awe of how my year really lined up with my One Word I focused on. I had chosen Brave last year and we had so many changes that definitely took some bravery.

These are just a few moments in 2014 I had to pray, practice faith, and be brave.

I went back to work after being a stay at home mom for eight years and working mothers day out with my kids.

My kids started the school year at a new school where I am working.

With taking a new job I had to leave my mom’s bible study group since it was weekday mornings.

We left our church home to attend a new church.

I prayed for lots of contentment.

I had major surgery in the summer which required a lot of help. We made it through it and I am feeling great.

another year of healing and hope through grief.

I am so grateful for all that God has blessed our family with last year. He challenged me in so many ways that at the time I really didn’t think I could do it. Looking back I am so proud of overcoming the challenges I faced. Even behind all of the accomplishments there are struggles that we all face and we should all be proud of ourselves. We didn’t give up and we keep praying and giving our all.

I am thankful for GOD always pushing me, being patient with me, loving me, and never leaving my side. Especially when I felt there was no one there.  He has place me in a season of quietness through all the changes that came about. It’s funny looking back how my word was BRAVE. One thing I am absolutely terrified of is public speaking and God has even given me the courage a time or two to speak. Lots of Bravery. Looking at how my year ended and how this year is starting though he has placed lots of stillness and being quiet.

One area of my life and faith that I struggle is letting go of control. I always feel like if I have control I have security. But if I am honest there is no security. It brings anxiety, stress, and I lose focus on God. I am slowly learning that when I let go of being in control I can see my surroundings more from his eyes than my own. Letting God be in control frees me of the stress of what if’s and I can enjoy the moments more. Although I can’t control all the things that come my way each day God reminds me of the things I can control.

Forgiveness

my actions

my attitude

second chances

a choice to love

If you set New Year’s resolutions or goals I hope you reflect back on how far you have come since last year. How much you have overcome and everything you can set you heart too.

I have been thinking of what word I will reflect on in 2015 and the first word that came to my mind was Fierce. I want to love fiercely. I want to be fierce with my intentions. I want to be fierce in giving. I want to be fierce in being quiet and still. But God keeps whispering be quiet.

Pressing forward in 2015 with being quiet.

Being quiet

December 6, 2014
by Angie Brown
0 comments

Failure, Motherhood, and Faith

Failure….

I confess I feel this way sometimes.  I struggle with teaching my kids right from wrong, manners, or am I just plain screwing it all up. I pray daily that God will orchestrate my parenting through his ways not mine and to show me how to love them, instruct them, and guide them through Christ instead of this world. I may struggle but God is my rock and he has caught me every time I have stumbled. I know my kids may fail or stumble but our God is bigger and I know God will teach me how to be the best mother they need, to bring them closer to him, through my accomplishments and mistakes, and through this awesome journey of motherhood.

We live in such a world of chaos that motherhood can often feel just as chaotic in a  messy way in our own little worlds. I know mine does. But as I trust God more in my walk as a mom to these little souls and trust hin him more and more each day, I find it to be less chaotic. Still imperfect but less messy. When I seek our Lord and pray for his guidance and direction on decisions for our family it literally feels like the weight is off my shoulders.

Does this mean my children will not make mistakes? That they will not make choices that I will not be pleased with? Absolutely not. They will stumble and fail and God and myself will be there to love them and help them up. We are imperfect humans needing lots of grace and lots of love. It won’t be always be an easy ride but it will be pretty amazing and I know God is with me and my children every step of the way.

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