December 6, 2014
by Angie Brown
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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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October 21, 2014
by Angie Brown
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Do not let comparison steal your joy.

I posted this two years ago and stumbled across it this morning…..I have come along way but still need the reminder in this world.

How many hours yet days have you wasted comparing yourself to others? I can ask you this because…honestly…I have done this. This used to be one of my biggest joy thief’s, as I like to call them. Our minds are so filled with comparison that it steals us of our joy. Why? I can’t speak for others but I can share with you mine. Maybe you have felt this way.

Unworthy. Unloved. Worry. Fear. Shy….my list goes on.

This was detrimental to my self-worth but I was paralyzed trying to be someone else only to keep losing myself. Maybe I should dress differently. Change my hair. What if I could speak up like her. What if I could be more outgoing as her. If only I could be as happy as her. As happy as she looked. or appeared to be. I wish I could have it all together with my kids like she does.

I didn’t realize I had this problem with comparison {not judgement} for a long time. I love people. My love for others though was a hard thing to deal with internally. In quiet times alone. Just myself and my thoughts. When I realized this was a problem I knew I had to change myself in order to be pleasing to God. God wanted me to shine through my heart. Not my image or status. I had to be different then the world around me. I had to change myself for God’s glory.

“Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

Psalm 37:4

So what are the desires of my heart? To love and be loved. By God. To have a Kingdom heart. For God. Attracts People with my Faith to God. Strength and Courage. For God for Others.

This was a struggle to unveil my hearts desires. I had to choose each day with God’s strength and grace to not compare myself to others. If I continued to do this I would not be honoring God. I desired a kingdom heart to glorify him and be more like Jesus. I needed to be confident in who God made me to be to share my Kingdom heart.

Be confident. Be courageous. Fall in love with God who desires you. God says you are lovely. I am lovely. I am worth it to God. I am his beloved daughter and so are you.

I am free of comparison because God enables me to.

If you are comparing yourself to others and you feel your self-worth sink a little more. Remember God loves you and it is no mistake the Masterpiece that you truly are in God’s eyes. He created you for his Glory. Do not let comparison steal your joy today. If so, how will you be able to shine in this dark world?

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October 6, 2014
by Angie Brown
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Thoughts

This weekend was pretty much a blur. Horrible illness that took over my son and I which left us in bed for a long time. It wasn’t pretty my friends. I’ll save you the details. It was our four day weekend and we had to cancel all plans. Today was looking up! The rain cleared this morning and we had a lot of errands to catch up on before school and work tomorrow. Plus don’t forget memory scripture, spelling words, and oh yeah clean the germs house this morning (most was done yesterday). So after our 7th stop today and my little main squeeze getting his braces on we were headed home. I was exhausted and my kids had yet to have a meltdown so you know what that means…it was coming.

I was leaving a parking lot me their was terrible blind spots from both directions. I saw a truck to my right and was able to stop but when I started to turn left I saw an SUV coming that turned in. We weren’t even close to coming in a wreck I basically just made her feel that I took her right away. I knew this because of the face she made at me and made sure I could see. I was very sorry. I was heartbroken. Not because it hurt my feelings like I deserve to be treated like anything special but because in the moment these tiny words echoed. Do you do this to others? Ugh I wanted to sink. I am guilty of giving that look like seriously you just did that. Regardless of why or what it’s no free pass to behave that way.

Then I was reminded I don’t know what anyone else is going through. She didn’t know how my weekend went. She didn’t know my to do list after being so sick and having to get all this done. She didn’t know that I was giggling with my kids in the car and thanking God for them after leaving the cement art visiting my other daughter. I don’t know what others are going through. What I do know is Jesus didn’t die on the cross to watch us treat others this way, we teach our kids how to act, how to treat others, and how to be responsible, yet we throw our hands up and make faces to the next adult in the car that may have done something unintentionally wrong. Whatever it may be.

I am sorry to her today. I am sorry I added that frustration to her to behave like that. I am not sorry for the circumstance to be reminded of Jesus and his love on the cross.

Be mindful. Be gentle. Be humble. Be authentic. Be kind. It just takes a spark to start a fire.

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September 28, 2014
by Angie Brown
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Women of Faith Weekend

So lately I have been on here less. My laptop crashed and I just haven’t had time to get a new one. Everytime I try to use my husband’s laptop or even my ipad to post, something crazy happens and my edits get deleted or I can’t log in. Satan likes to make things a lot harder for you when your really wanting to do something. So thank you for sticking around. I love to write and with working full time, soccer, homework, church, school, awanas, and just being a mom that area for me is absent. I pray that God will help me find some balance.

Last weekend a group of amazing girls went to Women of Faith together. It was a weekend filled with fun, faith, fellowship, worship, music, and lots of laughter! It was a weekend of refreshment from survival to revival, which was the theme hosted by Women of Faith. I am sure a lot of our seasons, especially being  a mom, feele like survival. We heard some great speakers, authors, musicians, stories, and more. My favorite part is the worship music. It just speaks to my soul in a way I am moved so heavily in the Lord’s presence. I was able to hear one of my favorite singers, Matthew West. I love his music. I relate to a lot of his songs and the stories that he writes about.

God has me in a season where I am currently not in a group setting for a women’s bible study. The last few years I have been deeply involved in women’s bible studies that this season I am in, I sometimes feel alone, lost, and unstructured. However, God has been evermore present in showimg me ways I can praise him in the ordinary moments of my ordninary days. Being a mom, it’s tough to find alone time to study the word. He has reminded me that it’s about him and not about where I am, who I am with, or what I am doing, as long as I am praising him, seeking him, trusting him, and pursuing him. That’s all that matters.  Here are a few pictures of our weekend and a picture I found on Pinterest that paints a portrait for me in my current season. No matter where you are God just wants you to pursue him, Women of Faith or not, it’s your love story between you and God. HE loves you far more than you can even imagine. You are loved.

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September 9, 2014
by Angie Brown
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New Beginnings

We have had lots of new beginnings this past month. I went back to work full time at an elementary school after being a stay at home mom the last eight years. I have subbed at school and volunteered my time at my children’s school the last two years. I have volunteered the last five years in our women’s ministry on Wednesday mornings while my sweet babies were in the childcare nursery or starting school. Starting the new job I had to end that sweet season my life.

With the new job at a new school my children also started a new school this year. We have had some challenging times and bumps in the road. We cycled through new emotions of a new school, new friends, new surroundings, plus the getting back to school schedule. We still have a few challenges emotionally with my sweet daughter who would rather be home with me everyday but we are feeling at home and embracing our new world.

With all of these new beginnings I am still adjusting and I haven’t been able  to spend any quality time on my blog. I absolutely love sharing my heart and writing. I know that these changes were all the work of God and his timing. He has this plan for me that I cannot see but always for his goodness and glory.

I wish I could write more tonight and just share share and share but I always pray before I write that I am sharing what God absolutely wants me to share. So I waned to stop by and share a little hello of whats going on my world and a few pictures lately!!

When God gives you a new beginning, it starts with an ending. Be thankful for closed doors. They often guide us to the right one.

 

August 6, 2014
by Angie Brown
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Life after Loss

This week my heart is has been heavy yet joyful. I have been sad yet so happy full of laughter in my soul. I have shed tears yet smiled so big. I have remembered and I have grieved. I am still mourning and I am still healing. As my children are getting ready to go back to school and start another year in their little childhood in this journey of life, I am always reminded of the possibility I once had to go through the all the little stages of life with our first child. She would have been eight years old and starting 3rd grade. It’s hard to believe yet sometimes it’s so fresh.

Losing Payton shattered my heart and my soul and the only thing I could cling to was Jesus. Those first few months I felt I like I was just a glimpse in this world losing sight on the goodness still around me. I wanted to hide and bury myself in my grief so afraid to heal and be joyful for anything in this life. Honestly, a smile or a sweet laugh felt like I was forgetting her. Through my journey of grief I was able to smile and laugh again with out feeling guilty.

I have a necklace that say “the heart remembers” , along with “PCC” engraved for all three of my children on another tag. The”P” is a reminder of my sweet little one who was so brief in this world. My child who I wouldn’t get to walk to their class for the first day, share mommy and me dates, read stories with or hear the belly laughs. She had such a small life yet so much meaning. I never imagined I would be going to the hospital in labor ready to see her to her being stillborn and to only go home with out her.

This heartache of mine though, it changed my perspective on life. It changed my life forever.

I always heard time will heal everything. I don’t know if time will ever truly heal my loss and take that sadness away. Life after loss for me is more like this. The days of crying and mourning are farther in between. I am not healed. I am joyful. Life is a beautiful gift. God has blessed me with the sweet children that I am able to be with. It doesn’t replace her but I am living for them as well. They give me hope. I still long  for my sweet daughter and wonder what she would look like. But I long more to be in the arms of Jesus with her in Heaven. My children always ask about her. Why did she die? How old is she? They see her pictures in our home. I smile when I stop and get a glimpse of those pictures. I still get down the little purple box that our nurse made for us at the hospital filled with pictures, baby bracelets, sweet cards, and that lock of her. I still get her clothes and baby blanket down she was wrapped in when I held her and breathe in the little scents left. Just to smell her one more time. Those are the little things I long for in Heaven.

I’ve come so far and grown so deeply. I have grown in my pain and my heartache. I have grown in my love for others and especially mamas who have lost a baby. I have grown in joy and laughter. I have grown in my faith and my trust in God’s goodness and purpose for her life and mine. I have been able to heal so much with my sweet kids.

Her short life had a long filled purpose. Though my soul was broken, her purpose was far greater than my sorrow. As each days goes by all the broken pieces are being carefully mended together. Expanding my heart for a sense of humility I was not aware of before. A loss that I had not noticed so carefully before. I have gained a heart and sensitivity for other mamas.

Life after loss is raw and fresh yet hopeful and a sweet breath of fresh air. I cling to the memories and the thought of spending eternity with all three of my children. I have a beautiful life and I am a momma to three beautiful babies. When I look into the eyes of my precious babies I am moved. Life is a gift and I don’t want to take it for granted. Although it broke my heart to lose one of my babies, I rejoice that she is in Heaven. God chose her for me and me for her. I am her forever mama and she is forever mine.

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July 31, 2014
by Angie Brown
5 Comments

Thrive Moms and {Giveaway}

Hello lovelies!

I hope you are having a fabulous week! Today I wanted to share about Thrive Moms. If you haven’t heard of them you will love them. If you have then you know why I love them. They are moms and wives just like you and me encouraging us daily. They motto Empowering Imperfect Moms with His Perfect Grace. Don’t you love that!! I am most definitely an imperfect mom needing his perfect grace daily.

Thrive Moms

who we are

Thrive is a ministry for moms to encourage and inspire you to do more than just survive motherhood. We believe God wants us to THRIVE and walk confidently in who He calls us to be as mothers.

I love everything they share about motherhood, health, and being You in the eyes of Christ! When I am praying for direction in a step the Lord seems to be leading me to and I am always comforted and encouraged when I read the blog posts Thrive Moms shares. They also have Thrive Local groups for moms to get together and just walk this journey together building each other up. Check it out to see if there is a local group near you.

I just love what Thrive Moms stands for and I love the passion they share as believers and moms. I purchased on of the Thrive Moms tumbler cups and today and I want to share that with you! Enter below and one lucky reader will win this super cute cup! If you can’t wait and want to order one today you can right here!

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How often do you go an entire day without even remembering to take a sip of water?  As moms we are so focused on making sure our little people are taken care of and getting a healthy, balanced diet. But what about YOU, mama?

This beautiful 20oz tumbler will make drinking water fun again! To go along with our “Healthy Body, Strong Spirit” campaign to focus on your health, this cup is a perfect reminder to take care of YOU! Learn more about the Health Body + Strong Spirit campaign here.

All proceeds from this cup help support the ministry of Thrive! We appreciate you keeping us going and allowing up to encourage and support you in your motherhood journey!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

July 28, 2014
by Angie Brown
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What makes you happy and Weekend Recap

What makes you happy? I have been thinking about this question for a while. Of course, my family, friends, the communities that we are involved in, family time, last-minute road trips, yummy food and cupcakes, and a good hair day, right. Lot of things make me happy and make me smile. This summer we have been home a lot more than usual. Having surgery and being home bound for weeks, we have been in the house a lot! Especially in this hot Texas weather! With that though comes lots of what can I do? I’m bored! I’m hungry! and Mom! he/she’s being mean to me. I know you have heard a few of those!

This past week I have been frustrated, cried, and prayed over my kids to just be kinder, sweeter, and more loving to each other. They have been in a rut of telling on each other, not sharing, and saying it’s not fair. One night this past week I asked my children what makes you happy? I expected some of their answers like their friends, toys, belongings especially being 6 and 7, but hearing their first response family, friends, my husband and I, and their sister in heaven brought tears to my ears. I was moved that through all the little fights this week their hearts were flooding with what I have prayed for.  Although this was validation of our family values and what I hope for they are still little sinners and they woke up the next day having their little disagreements. I didn’t stress as much this time. We did have a talk about how blessed we are. Our cozy home, our toys and clothes, the food we can eat, the reliable cars,our friendships, families, communities we are involved in, blogging, bible studies, and so much more!

That night while I was finally having a little quiet time and reading my devotional I felt so grateful for my family and the things I had shared with my kiddos. I was even grateful for the little disagreements they had, the frustration I had, and the prayers I prayed. I was grateful. I decided to finally make a list a of what makes me happy and I could think was this answer.

Being grateful makes me happy.

I am grateful for my little family and the time we have together.

I am grateful and that makes me happy.

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Love this little shop on Etsy. Check out Aimee Weaver Designs and get this grateful print.

Be Grateful Watercolor Print 8x10

July 25, 2014
by Angie Brown
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Roasted Red Pepper Polenta Pizza

Last night I posted this picture of what was the start of our dinner. I was making Polenta Pizza with Roasted Red Peppers.

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1 package of Polenta from the grocery store

1 cup of your favorite spaghetti sauce or pizza sauce ( I love spicy marinara)

1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella or sliced mozzarella cheese

24 slices pepperoni (2 per polenta circle)

1 red bell pepper roasted and sliced

Pre-heat oven to 400*

Roast your red bell pepper for about 15-20 minutes. Let cool on a plate and then peel away skin and discard seeds. Slice into pieces.

Cut Polenta into a 1/4 – 1/2″ circle. I am able to get 12 slices out of one package of polenta. Place them in a 9×13 dish. Spoon a tablespoon sauce over the polenta. Layer with pepperoni, red peppers, and cheese and little more sauce if needed.

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Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes until sauce is hot and cheese is bubbly.

Serve with a yummy salad!

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July 22, 2014
by Angie Brown
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Family Time

Last week my husband was away on a business trip for six days. Our kiddos really missed having daddy home especially at home to tuck them into bed. My son especially had a hard time sleeping and needless to say so did I. We tried to have the best week that we could and even with a few mishaps our long was week was soon replaced with happy little ones of daddy returning home. We waited up late watching a movie. When they heard the garage open their eyes lit up so big and squealed with excitement!

We spent our whole weekend as a family together eating yummy snacks, going to lunch, shopping, groceries, fellowship with friends, and the movies. We took the kids to see Planes Fire & Rescue in 3D. We loved the movie! My son loved it being that his dad is a firefighter too and has been waiting for it to come out!

Here’s just a few pictures of our week/end.

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I am four weeks post op from my surgery at the beginning of summer. I am doing absolutely amazing and I continue to get better each day. I am able to lift 20-30 pounds now and turn my neck from shoulder to shoulder. I am so thankful for my doctor and all the nurses. Most importantly I am pain free and not having anymore nerve damage.

This week we are cleaning and getting things cleaned out of the house and organized. what are you doing this week? We are staying in as much as possible it’s so hot here in Texas!

I came across this image on Pinterest and I love them!! I have been thinking a lot lately about there being so many beautiful reasons to be happy each and every day. Even the tough ones.

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I have also been catching up on reading other blogs that I adore such as Kendall over at Songbirds and Buttons!