About the Author

Angie is the proud wife of Todd Smith of Selah, and the blessed mommy to Abby, Ellie, Kate, Charlotte, and Audrey Caroline, who passed away the day she was born, April 7th, 2008. Angie was inspired to write Audrey's story, and began the blog www.audreycaroline.blogspot.com in honor of her. You...

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  1. Angie,
    Your post was a balm (and an out loud chuckle) to my frenzied soul! I am not only trying to prepare for Christmas, but also for my wedding in January. Last night I reached the end of my mental rope and I collapsed into a sobbing lump. I fell, exhausted, into bed and now your post. Oh how I needed to hear that Jesus can see past me when I can’t…that He is right here in the middle of the chaos and that I need to fix my eyes upon Him. He is the Peace in this chaotic parade of my life. I know this…but I SO needed the reminder this morning. With much gratitude…
    Blessings,
    Bev

  2. As I was reading the post just got better and more real with each sentence! How I can relate to all of it!! And how I needed to hear THIS today ~ in the middle of so much hustle and bustle.

    I will try to make sure they see HIM ~ not a mom always worried about the mess and the after math of a mess ~ thanks!

  3. Beautiful post. Pertinent truth. I was crying my eyes out by the end!
    Thank you for being transparent and for having a heart willing to listen to His still small voice. He rejoices over you!

  4. Thanks for your courage to speak up and remind the world we need not jump on their bandwagon. My heart hurts for those who so struggle with trying to make His birthday into what it is not! So many struggle with poverty and loneliness and the continual bombardment is painful. My sons and I are not participating in the material non-Christ like view of His birthday. My prayer is for those who have to open their hearts, dinner tables, and front door to those who have not! Happy Birthday and I appreciate His gift to us everyday!

  5. O pick up the little Christ Child and kiss HIS cheeks. You’ve made me cry cos it’s all about the little Christ Child in the manger and in the mess of it all, like ours, like there was no room at the inn, we have our eternity forever and ever. Amen.

    Good post.

    A crying one.

  6. What a delight-filled share.
    Yes, I felt the angst, the exhaustion, the verge of panic……..
    and I saw the wonder, the glee, the thrill of “using everything you’ve got” to Celebrate Christmas….and it sounds like the children did EXACTLY that. They used everything they could find, to declare as vibrantly as possible: We Celebrate the Season, we celebrate YOU…..and we know YOU are present, thru every calendar season……….and most importantly, in all the seasons our hearts travel as well.

    They WILL remember, forever, that you shared in their delight.
    And one day, they will look back with Adult eyes, and wonder how you pulled it off….and then you’ll be able to share your personal, quiet moment, with the Christ child.

    Merry Christmas Mama.
    Bless you “extra much”

  7. Beautiful! Thank you for sharing Angie. I love it when you share your real life through word pictures because then I don’t feel so alone.

    Blessings,
    Linda

  8. So sweet Angie. You and your beautiful children have touched my heart today! They really know the meaning of giving. They must have been so pleased to give you that surprise, so full of Christs love. What a wonderful Mom you are..they get it.
    The pictures were pure joy!
    Merry Christmas!

  9. Yep im done with it. My our lives will never be a rockwell painting and im so okay with it. Esp since we are africans lol. I tried for years to make my family fit in the proverbial traditional cinderella slipper. Mommy why doesnt our family look like theirs, mommy why dont we do this or that…well, The slipper broke bc it doesnt fit and thats perfectly okay God
    With God so long as we honor Him. My family will no longer suffer from my bitterness as i compare my life and family with everyone elses is it perfect HARDLY but its real and i choose to be happy today. In the real world

  10. Beautiful Post Angie. Comment to Alli, thank you for sharing, it struck a note with me. I compare myself with others not confident in who God create me to be or my family. Chritmas Blessings to all

  11. Such a good Momma and such a memory your children will have. 🙂 If we were perfect (unattainable) and/or normal we would be oh so boring LOL!
    Love, Patty

  12. I loved reading your honesty . I am strugling financially this Christmas ie I only have £24 to last me till christmas.
    Luckily I had done most of my shopping ages ago anyway what I am trying to say is that by tve grace of God I have enough presents for all that need one . I regifted some from my birthday that were just not me
    Praise God that he knows where we are.

  13. Angie,
    You post today was so real but as you reach my age you wonder if opening everything to the kids is really worth. On Christmas afternoon the kids were usual playing with the boxes ad the toys were under the bed. I have found that Christmas is fun and so warm but we need to put more of Christ in the celebration. Share Christmas with your children and enjoy the day and the dog is cute. We put red satin balls in a green bowl and set it down low and our dog has not bothered it at all.
    Love,
    Becky

  14. Thank you for you testimony to the chaotic lives we have, but the true joy is spending it with our savior. We needed to remember to focus on our Lord!!

  15. Thanks for sharing this, Angie. You had me laughing and crying as I read. My Christmas looks quite different than yours – I don’t have children to decorate the mantel with Easter bunnies and the dog with a tree skirt – I don’t even have a dog – but I do identify with being paralyzed by expectation and forgetful of expectancy. And not just in Advent. I LOVE the grace that can (and does) meet us through a baby Jesus lying on the floor and in a myriad of other ways, right in the middle of our very real and messy lives.

  16. “Climb up to the mess of your days, a life that feels scattered and out of order, with more than you think you can fix, and find Me right in the middle of it all.”
    Totally needed to hear that today.
    Thank you!

  17. Christmas… What mess in my house half packed, half lacking organization. Without a car and waiting for things to happen accelerate my anxiety. I am holding tight in God’s promises and reading my favorite blogs to get some hope. January, perhaps February will be completely different. I hope. Thanks for such sincerity.

  18. Angie, I did need this today. Since my (step)son is about to spend the next two weeks at his mom’s and we won’t be celebrating Christmas until new years I’ve thought about skipping the whole decorating thing. I want so badly to do all the things my friends are to make this time about the real reason for the season but I haven’t been. The truth is that it is about Jesus and he is here. He is always here. Thanks for helping me to remember.

  19. Oh goodness! I can SO relate to this post…to your emotions when facing the mess and the madness of the holidays. I’ve been there. Truthfully, I still struggle with it…the idea in my head of the perfect Christmas with my family. But now as my kids are older and leaving home…and if they’re able, they all leave home…I intentionally find time to be in the moment with them when they are here. To love them well. To look to Christ above all else…and to show HIM above all else.

    I wish I could say I did this every time…all the time…but I don’t.

    But I want to.

    Thank you so much for sharing today…for not only keeping it real, but for the encouragement you give in this post. 🙂

  20. This morning I realized I’d lost the trail to my heart. It’s been covered up by the lists and expectations of this month. Thanks for helping me dig it out!

  21. Oh Angie. Right there with you girl! This sounds Soooo familiar. Ironically, I also have a daughter named Abby. And we have a couple of Christmas ornaments that she decided to color on (one is a Barbie bride doll-yes, a “Hallmark collectible.”) She is now 20 and wants nothing to do with Christmas decorating, which makes me wonder what I missed in all those years or what I did wrong. I really enjoyed your post – thanks for sharing. And enjoy those little helpers…see their joy before it’s gone.

  22. My phrase is: “Martha Stewart doesn’t live here”. We don’t do Norman Rockwell either. We usually go over to my in-laws and have a little meal and open up gifts there.

    Try to make good memories for your children, but don’t ever forget the true meaning of Christmas. It isn’t about all the gifts and glitter and worldly stuff–it’s about the birth of a Savior. I find it amazing that children can cut right to the chase and find the real meaning behind seasons. They don’t have any expectations.

    My favorite song this year is “It’s Called Christmas with a Capital C” by Big Fish. It states it quite simply that “You can call it what you want, but It’s still Christmas..about the birth Christ and you can’t take that away.”