Loss

Beauty Surrounds Me

Beauty Surrounds Me

In the small

In the quiet

In the large

In the loud

Sweet

Loving

Cherished

God ordained mysteries

God ordained
meetings

Love and loss

Tragic and Triumphant

God’s beauty surrounds me in all and everything.

 I must take the time to stop and enjoy this life I have been given by the Creator.

Don’t waste this life.

butterfly4

Photo Credit:

P. J. Di Benedetto

Keep Walking

PicsArt_1385001700342

Photo Credit:

P. J. Di Benedetto

When we learned to walk as a baby, it was tough at times. We often fell down, cried or even through a fit, but over time we still learned to walk.

Our parents would offer us help and encouragement, but even that couldn’t teach us how to walk. Walking just basically required us “doing” the work to learn the process. One step at a time. Then one day we were walking more than a few step at a time and before long we were running with other children. Walking isn’t something we knew when we were born, but through trial and error, we eventually learned the steps to becoming more independent.

Now, when we think about the Christian walk. It is basically the same process. We don’t have any clue how to face the struggles life hands us, but over time we learn to use our faith even in the deepest pits of life. No life is a bowl of cherries. We all face hardships, difficulties and pain in this life;whether of our own doing or someone else’s. Life can hand us pain unimaginable at times. I know in my own life, I can certainly attest to that.

As a child I never knew how much pain I was carrying around because it seemed normal. Yet, over time the shoving the pain down began to manifest itself in the way of anxiety, fear, and eventually agoraphobia. This certainly was not the life I dreamed of as a child. Life became unbearable, yet I saw no way out. The roller coaster only intensified after the murder/suicide of my grandparents.

I am giving you that example because I can certainly relate to trials, pain and tragedies, yet over time I had to learn that my life wasn’t going to change unless I changed.

Changed my thoughts

Changed how I let the past control me

Changed relationships and the power they held

Began to trust and believe in myself

I can never change the pain of the past, the loss of loved ones to horrible tragedies, but I have learned that I must

Keep Walking

Even when it is hard

Even when the path is unclear

Even when the naysayers are loud

Even when the end seems so far away

Nothing in life is easy and usually the sweetest accomplishments are the hardest fought.

Praying for you today to feel God’s love and His peace. He has a wonderful plan for you. Love to each of you.

I am having a new website designed, so in a few weeks I will have a new landing. Hope you will check back often to see the new site.

Linking Up:

Essential Thing Devotions

My Freshly Brewed Life

Choose to Believe

Choose to Believe

We all have choices to make each day.

Choices to believe

or not to believe

Choices whether to love or hate

Forgive or hold onto to unforgiveness

Grow or remain stagnant

Live or Die

Believe in God

or

Deny God

For me, many of these are easier than others. One that will never change will be to BELIEVE IN GOD. I have faced 3 suicides, a murder, abuse, neglect, car wrecks, anxiety, fear, agoraphobia, loss of jobs, friendships, as well as other tragedies, but through it all I have never stopped believing in God. My faith has been shaken but no denying God has stepped in more than once to protect, guide, and love me through it all.

Believe in God

Even when it is hard

Even when you want to give up

Lean into HIM

Praying for you today. Lean into HIM and HIS love for you. It is unconditional and full of peace if you trust HIM and HIS plan. HIS plan will always be best. Life happens but nothing is out of HIS control.

CHOOSE TO BELIEVE

Linking up with:

Simply Beth

My Daily Walk in His Grace

To Know Me

To know me, you would have to know me on many different levels.

For years I hid behind a wall that was so tall no one could get close. I hid behind a mask as well, pretending that all was well while on many levels, my life was a chaotic mess.

What do you look like behind the walls and masks?

Do you like yourself?

Do you enjoy being alone with yourself or do you always need others around?

Do you feel happy with your life or are you just pretending everything is okay?

Do you believe you are living a life full of purpose or just going through the motions?

I could say for many years; probably most of my life I could say I didn’t like myself, didn’t want to be alone and certainly was only going through the motions.

Life had dealt me a hand of many trials, tragedies and pain that I seemed to be unable to overcome.

Pain so deep that I often just wanted to crawl in a hole and die.

Hurt2

Pain so deep that no one could understand.

Loss so painful…

Too much to handle, yet my life continued on no matter how desperately I often wished it would end.

Can you relate at all?

Life can be tough just in everyday life. But my life has been anything but normal.

Tragedy has followed my family in so many ways. Too painful to even describe on many levels because the reality is just so disturbing. Disturbing  images of loss of loved ones to suicides and murder are just too damaging to even describe, yet that is what I have had to live with in my own mind for over 20 years.

Yet, God has allowed me to overcome much of my painful past. He has done a tremendous work in my heart and mind over the last two years.  Freedom is possible.

I will never allow the enemy to speak to me of the past and try to control my present. The past will never be forgotten but the past is over. Today is all I am guaranteed. Tomorrow is not promised and the past cannot be changed, so why continue to live there.

Would you mind if I prayed for you?

Lord, I come to you asking you to allow freedom to come to the reader. Help them to find peace and freedom through Your Word and  to feel Your love in the situations they are facing. Help us to allow the walls and masks to be laid aside while we seek to find our true selves. Life can be a battle but the battle is ultimately won by Your Word and by the power of the blood. Evil has no power in our lives. Help us to know ourselves and to believe in ourselves. We deserve the best and often the best is misplaced in the battles of life but YOU have overcome the world by sending YOUR son Jesus Christ to live in our hearts. We believe and want the best, which also means we want to KNOW YOU and KNOW OURSELVES. Thank YOU, Lord for all YOU have done in my own life and for the continued peace. God, grant it to everyone reading this today.

God’s Beautiful Plan

God's Beautiful Plan

Photo Courtesy of P.J. Di Bendetto
Text Added by Angie Webb

Our Christian faith is under fire today in this nation.

Our nation cannot find a common ground that will protect the citizens of America. We are living in a nation where the government is playing games, trying to control others and demanding their way. Childish games that are causing the American people to lose money, services and necessary help because of the child like actions of our national leaders.

Even in this trying time, we have to remember that our God is always in control, even when others are constantly wanting to strip away our God given rights as believers, we can stand strong in our convictions knowing that God has a beautiful plan even when we don’t understand.

Trust Believe Stand

My own personal life has had many tragedies, struggles, hurt, loss as well as everyday life challenges, but I look back and can now say that much of what I have faced in this life has been for my benefit even when I could not see the plan.

I would never wish the suicides/murder/abuse/loss/anxiety/fear/agoraphobia on my worst enemy, but when God allowed those struggles and pain to enter into my life, He must have had a plan for it all.

I recently told my friend, P.J. that if the only reason I went through such pain and struggle was to help one other person, then it has all been worth it.

On this side of heaven I may never understand the true PLAN, but when I reach the end of my life I hope to be able to say ” EVEN WHEN I DIDN’T UNDERSTAND, I STILL BELIEVED AND TRUSTED. ”

How about you?

Can you trust even when you don’t understand?
Can you see the positives even in the midst of the negatives?
Can you look at your past and see the redemptive work God has done in your life even in the midst of a mess?
Can you see God’s Beautiful Plan?

Today, I want to offer you hope. We may not understand the path our nation is currently on, but God is still in control. Our nation was founded on the Word of God and God still has the ultimate say in the final chapter. We have to continue to pray and seek God’s face and ask for our nation to be humbled.

We may face more heartache and pain before all is revealed, but we must STAND. God has the final say and He is in control of the plan.

Praying for you today. Be blessed and know that you are loved by a God who knows you by name.

She is Free

sheryl and angie

 

July 30th, 2013, My Aunt Sheryl Epperson passed from her earthly home to the home with her heavenly Father. She is free from the pain of cancer that ravished her body from bones, muscles, organs and eventually brain. She suffered horribly and I am glad that I have the memories of our time together the last few times I visited.

Please pray for our family, but most importantly for my mom who will be so lost without her sister.

Today, my Aunt Sheryl got to see her passed husband as well as her parents who she hasn’t seen in years. Reunited once again.

Today will be difficult for many who loved Sheryl, but most importantly please remember her family of two daughters, and three grandchildren.

The Journey

mikeandangie3

Mike and I will be celebrating our 30 year wedding anniversary in a few months. It is amazing when I think about how many years we have been together, because often times it seems like it was just yesterday that we began our lives together.

Where does the time go?

I look back and still remember the dress that I wore when we went to the Justice of the Peace to get married. I can describe the shirt and pants that Mike wore as well. Crazy..

It seems unreal to think about the reality that our oldest son is now 29 years old, married and has three children of his own.

Our youngest son is about to be 23 years old, lives on his own and making a life for himself.

I am thankful for the memories I have as their mother; both good and bad. Life as a mother is not easy.

I can remember the days of our youngest playing with his Thomas the Trains all day and night long. That little boy was so obsessed with his Thomas toys. In fact, today he can still name the trains and describes scenes from the television show and movies he loved to watch.

I can remember the days of our oldest playing Little Dribblers and playing with his dog Princess and Temptation. He was not much of a kid that liked to be inside the house, so more than not, he was outside with friends or riding his bike.

Even though there are certain aspects of life as a wife, mother and daughter, I would not trade my life as Mike’s wife, W and C’s mother or my life as Inetha’s granddaughter or D&S’s daughter. Life wasn’t always easy in any of those relationships and at times, still very painful, but God is still in control.

I have not understood everything that has happened, but are we suppose to really ever understood everything on this side of heaven?

I don’t believe so…

I wish I could have an answer from the Lord as to why?

My life as a child was so painful, stressful and anxiety filled.
My grandmother was murdered
My brother in law chose to take his own life
My in-laws chose to give up on life after the loss of their oldest son.
My family is so dysfunctional
My family is so dysfunctional
My family is so dysfunctional

Do you see a theme?/?
Ha.
We live in a fallen world that will let us down, cause us pain and lead us to question everything…Even our God.

If we are honest, we all have questions that have gone unanswered and we get upset because we want to understand…

God is the only one who will ever know the reasons behind what has happened…

Everything that happens is for our benefit; even loss. even pain.. even hurt… even dysfunction… we all live in this fallen world, even with God we are more than conquerors.

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.Romans 8:37

Praise God.. Nothing is lost in this life.

Even after 30 years of marriage to my husband, we have faced more than many others marriages survive going through. Yet, we have stood together, holding hands, as well as fighting through many battles, even at times fighting with each other, yet we never gave up. We kept putting one foot in front of the other, all the while standing on the Word of God that He would turn things around..

From humble beginnings at the ages of 16 and 18 years old, to a life 30 years later;

I STAND IN AWE…

I AM THANKFUL TO MY GOD FOR HIS CONTINUED GUIDANCE, LOVE, PROVISION AND HEALING..

I AM NOT DONE IN THIS LIFE AND I CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR RESTORATION IN OTHER AREAS OF MY LIFE AS WELL.

I want to offer you hope..
God is not done with you yet. Even if you think you have fallen away too far, done horrible things, reached the bottom…
No..
God is an author and finisher of what He has called us to do in this life. Nothing is lost. Nothing is wasted. Don’t give up..

Pray
Seek God
Love deeply
Forgive but have boundaries
Believe in Yourself
Believe the Word

Lord, help us to not forget where we have come from but Lord, help us to continue to seek the path YOU have set before us.

Each person’s path is different so don’t compare your walk with someone else’s. Stay connected to the power source: GOD…

Lay down the past because nothing can be changed, but don’t ever forget the lessons you learned from the past. It will help you or maybe you will have the opportunity to share your story with someone else that is struggling.

Believe What You See

0267cb91cedd496767b1af86f63c3444

I know that there is a quote that goes something like,

” When people show you who they are: believe them..”

I have certainly learned that lesson today as well as many other times in life..

Of course, we want to believe the best about those we are in contact with daily; whether through our jobs, families or friends, but are we really suppose to let our guard down in every situation.

I know I have found myself to be:

too trusting

too needy

too scared

too lost

to stand up for myself, the truth and what I needed out of the relationships I have

but that was the OLD ANGIE..

I will not tolerate dishonesty, untruths, half-truths, kissing up to others so there is not any confrontation… on and on.

Today, we live in a world that is so lost as to what the true body of Christ should look like, act like and demand from others in an effort to better our world; we often just look the other way and don’t stand up for the TRUTH..

Truth always prevails. and that is certainly what I am counting on in my own life and the situations I am facing with those I am in contact with on a daily basis as well as those strained relationships that are in desperate need of restoration, repair and forgiveness as well as new roads to be paved for a better relationship.

As Christians I think we often believe that means we stand by and watch life continue to beat us up..

No, we are called to speak the truth, stand on the truth and demand the truth from others.. God doesn’t want wimpy Christians but He also doesn’t want Christians that look the other way because it is easier than standing up for the truth and for what is right.

I ask you today to think about situations you find yourself in on a daily basis or even a weekly basis..

What do you see in others?

Truth
Honesty
Morals
Ethics
Compassion
Empathy
Hard Working
Caring
Dependable

Are we not called to be those things in our own lives, so why would we accept any less from our friends, family and employees or employers?

I am just in a place in my own life that it must change…

I am on a different path than many others but that doesn’t mean I am any better or worse than someone else, but it does mean that I have a right to expect better from those I choose to have in my life.

I will not tolerate:
Dishonesty
Neglect
Two-faced
Backbiting
Drama filled
Evil Words Spoken
Negative
Rejection
Abuse
ANYMORE

Mother’s Day

On this Mother’s Day, I am thinking about my grandma, Neenie. She has been gone from this earthly world for 17 years and each day that goes by it seems as though I am losing more and more of the memories I had with her as well as her voice. I so wish today more than any other day, that I could just hear her speak to me one more time.

NEENIE

Loss is not easy but in my life, loss has been such a normal exsistence that often I don’t think I would know what normal is if I had it in my own life.

I have never had a mother figure in my life other than Neenie that truly loved me unconditionally and totally for the person I was. My parents were not that for me and definetly not that for my children, so basically everyone looked to Neenie for the love we so desperately wanted. It saddens me to think that there are so many women in this world today that feel exactly like I do today.

I wish that my mother and father had loved me unconditionally and for the person I was made to be from God, but that has never been part of my story.

I believe that is why I have wanted to have good relationships with my own children, and have struggled with that as well. This will be the second Mother’s Day that I have not seen our oldest son or even received a Mother’s Day card.

This breaks my heart because when you are 18 years old and become a mother all the while facing all of the obstacles that come with that, I truly believe that I deserve a small amount of respect and love from my son even for that small gesture. Yet, it doesn’t seem like that will ever be a part of my story again. In reality, I have not had a relationship with him since 2009 when he began his new life… We have been the outsiders looking in from day one and no matter how much we have tried to be a part of his life and the lives of our grandchildrens, we have never been allowed to have the same access as others in their lives.. In 2009 my husband and I both had a talk with him and told him that we had to be ALL IN OR ALL OUT and not be treated like step-grandparents. Well, here it is 4 years later and nothing has changed. We still have been excluded from most everything of importance; memories we cannot get back….

As of today, I truly believe that my son knows the truth and knows our heart as well as the heart of his brother. I can’t change what has happened, but yet I also know that nothing will change because we have had it happen over and over again. HURT RUNS DEEP… LOSS OF MANY JOYOUS TIMES BECAUSE THERE IS ONLY CERTAIN ONES THAT GET TO BE INVOLVED. THIS IS NOT JEALOUSY…IT IS RIGHT AND WRONG..

I love my son and my grandchildren, even my only biological grandchild that doesn’t even know her grandparents(Mike and I) at the age of 17 months old. SAD for her as well as us.. We are awesome grandparents who would do anything for them and have loved our oldest grandson like he was our own from day one…. Never a thought of any other way to be… We love from our hearts and will always love them..

But we are not going to be stepped on or walked on any longer. We have feelings.. We cannot get back baby showers that we weren’t invited to. We cannot get back memories from wedding planning we weren’t asked to be a part of ( no family issues until HER dad tried to take the one thing we had been asked to do from us).. We can’t get back being able to be a part of the first doctor appointment for our only biological grandchild. We can’t get back our youngest son’s college graduation and birthday being ignored by all his other family. We can’t get back the fact that we weren’t invited to hubby’s mother’s surprise birthday party.. We can’t get back that we have missed all of our oldest grandsons school programs except one when he was 3 or 4… We can’t get back that we don’t get school pictures, family pictures or even a baby announcemnt of our granddaughter…

We can’t get back the law enforcement connections that hubby lost trying to help said DIL…

Hubby can’t get back connections he lost when son quit job he had helped get him with no notice to employer..

We will never get past the feelings of rejection and being used..

We can’t get back the times we have spent helping them and then being told we need to be put in our place..

We can’t get back the time we were all invited to their home and then hubby and I were jumped on all the while her parents were sitting there being told nothing..

NOPE..
Won’t do that again.

We have had the same conversation with them over and over.. Nothing changes other than we once again step back in so we can see our grandkids and son, then to only be hurt again… NOPE.. NADA… NOT DOING..

family at christmas

This is a picture of the last Christmas we saw our son and grandsons. This was the year before our granddaughter was born. Don’t we look happy. I was so happy to be there with them, even though I was horribly anxious.

This was a tough place for me to be in because of my anxiety and agoraphobia, yet I did it for my grandsons and son… I wanted to make memories with them, yet nothing we do will ever be enough.

I will always miss my oldest son, but I have chosen to make my life better and positive… One day the past will have to be addressed and responsibility will have to be taken… I know that hubby and I have apoligized so many times and yet we once again get treated the same way… We step back.. Drop out.. Stay disconnected so there are no issues, yet it never seems to be enough.. We are still to blame…

Truth: According to Dictionary.com
An undisputable fact,
the quality of being true, genuine, actual, or factual
a proven or verified principle or statement

The truth always proves true…

Today; This Mother’s Day, I will spend with Chance and Mike.. We will have a great day together.. Good food and good company..

I love you Wade, Corbin, Brysin and Adisin(even though I don’t know you) and wish you all the love in the world. Nothing but the best for you all. We pray for you all each day and miss you terribly. God knows our hearts and always has…

To all the mother’s that have lost connection with your children; I pray for you today. The heartache runs deep and the pain never ends. This is a child that God chose to give to you and yet now the world seems to be totally against the relationship ever working. I don’t know what issues you may be facing in your own relationship strain, but I do know that God ultimately has all the power when we ask HIM and pray for HIS guidance. God does not ask us to be beaten, abused, hurt, treated unkindly so we can have this said relationship. God wants the best for HIS children and sometimes that means having boundaries.

As parents, especially mother’s, we often take the weight of the world on our shoulders.. God wants us to give HIM our concerns..

You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because He trusts in You.. Isaiah 26:3

Have a Happy Mother’s Day… God Bless You.

LET GO

scrabble free

” YOUR FINGERS MIGHT BE CRAMPED FROM DRAGGING YOUR PAST WITH YOU, BUT LOOSEN YOUR GRIP AND GIVE YOUR BAGGAGE, ONCE AND FOR ALL, TO THE ONE WHO KNOWS YOU AND CHERISHES YOU. ” source unknown

Over this last 10 months, my life has been a journey of many new beginnings as well as endings in some areas.

I am not one who likes change… (Control Freak)

Yet, God has allowed me to walk into new in so many areas of my life, that a year ago I would not even have ventured out of my comfort zone to set out to accomplish.

I have always enjoyed writing and wrote a printed newsletter for about 4 years that I mailed out to friends, family and other ministries, yet about 2 years ago, I stepped out and began blogging about my journey with fear, anxiety and agoraphobia.(older blog is at joyfuljourneynewsletter.blogspot.com)

I then slowly ventured out and took small, baby steps as well, in telling my story of growing up in a abusive, fear based, controlled, neglected home as a child. None of this process has been easy at all because when I hit PUBLISH, it is all laid out bare for others to see and read for themsleves. I am not in their mind to see how they perceive my words or what they think of me after they read my words, yet I have decided I must give up worrying about what others think of me and tell MY STORY and allow others to tell their stories.
( I will have a guest blogger in a few weeks that will share her story)

We all fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) and I know that as a child of very intimidating, controlling, angry parents, I have a tendency to struggle with people pleasing. Thankfully, much of that problem has been alievated by God’s help and His strength, but at times, I still wish EVERYONE liked me and EVERYONE wanted to be my friend. But that just isn’t reality. I may not be everyone’s cup of tea and I am okay with that now. Before it would have drove me absolutely crazy trying to figure out how to be like so and so or write like so and so..

All I can be is ME: ANGIE WEBB, a child of God first and foremost. A wife, a mom, a grandmother.

I can’t base my worth on what others think or feel about me. My worth does not depend on anyone but Jesus Christ and He says I am valuable, beautiful and worthy because He died on the cross so that I may have an abundant life, full of God’s blessings.

Over this last 10 months I have stepped out of my comfort zone by doing the following:

1. Went on our first family vacation in about 8 or more years due to my anxiety. We traveled about 12 hours away and had an awesome time seeing family; most important was my 96 year old grandmother, Johnnie.

2. I began a new job after leaving my job of 7 years. I first began subsitute teaching, which I didn’t think I would like because of going to a new building to teach, which often would cause me some anxiety. But I have really enjoyed this time of learning and growing.

3. I began and cordinated an online group for others that struggle with anxiety, agoraphobia or fear. We meet online through a FB group. If you are interested in joining, let me know.

4. I have begun driving more and more alone, even in areas that I am uncomfortable driving.

5. I have recently received a new job working in a clothing store and have had another job interview that would require me to work for Hallmark as a merchandiser two times a month. This would not interefere with my permanent job, but would be a great opportunity for this greeting card addict.

6. I have recently began teaching myself to acrylic paint. My grandmother that was murdered in 1996 was an awesome oil painter, but I never learned any techniques etc from her, so most of what I have done has been self taught. I am not that great yet, but I keep plugging along and trying to improve.

7. I have had the opportunity to meet some great authors/artists/bloggers through my writing and through Facebook. Many of these relationships have turned into some great friendships outside of Facebook. ( some here)

Check out:
http://www.onlyabreath.com
http://www.danaarcuri.com
http://www.make1break1.blogspot.com
These are a few of my friends blogs/websites.

8. I am currently working on my memoir, “When Your Home Becomes Your Prison: Out of Fear, Anxiety and Agoraphobia.”

I am not mentioning any of the above to pat myself on the back or to draw attention to myself in any form or fashion. The reason I mention those items is to allow you to see that God can bring new into our lives if we LET THE PAST GO..

Easy to say; I know.. I have been there. I have been in a place where I physically and mentally did not think I could go one more day of carrying the pain and hurt of my past anymore.. Yet, once again I would get up in the morning and reach down to pick all of the junk up again. At night, I would try to lay it down so I could sleep, yet most often, I would lay awake trying to figure out why I was such a failure and why everyone else seemed to have their lives all together, when mine was such a mess. One day, about 10 months ago, I decided to let it GO…


I can’t change anything that has happened from the day in 1965 when I was born to today, but I can choose to make the second half of my life better than the first half
. I am almost 50 years old and I certainly do not want to give the enemy anymore of my life.. I have so much more to accomplish and so much more love to enjoy…

Today I want to offer you a short statement to think about:

What do you gain in continuing to carry around the baggage of your past?

I believed I was doing the noble thing by carrying all of that junk around. Yet, the noble act came when I laid it down at the foot of the cross. It takes a bigger person to realize that the past is just that: The past.. Nothing can change what has happened, but the future is a blank canvas waiting for God to splash His plan and purpose upon.

Friend, today I hope you can find the courage to let it go. That doesn’t mean we don’t learn any lessons from the past or offer others wisdom we have gained from the journey we have been walking, but it does mean to realize that now is the day to be FREE.

Father, today I want to offer those reading this post the hope that the past can be left behind us. We only have to reach out to you and connect our hearts with you. You, Lord will carry the pain and junk from the past. We no longer have to carry that baggage with us. You have a bright future for us that only can be accomplished when we LET GO… Today, we are asking you to give us the strength and courage to move forward with YOU and to allow YOU to paint on the canvas of our lives in the way you so desire. We are open to new beginnings and new endings as well. Today is the day for a bright, new future.