Saying I Will

Angie Warren

"Go after your dreams”
“Hustle”
"Dream big"
"Anything is possible"

... sure. But also know that God is just as likely to ask you to give up on your dreams and replace them with His (which might not feel anything like "dreaming big" it might feel more like "dying slowly") in order to love deeply and reflect the heart of Christ to the world around you.

- - - - - - -

My friend Casey shared the above, her heart this summer, with zero knowledge of the doors that God had been opening and closing for our family. She wasn't aware that I'd been mostly off of FB (removed the app from my phone) but happened to pop on one afternoon - her words being the first to hit my eyes. She had no idea of the internal war that was raging within me, that I'd fought against myself for far too long.

Plain and simple, Casey didn't know that the Lord was speaking right to me with what she shared that day.

And finally, after a butterfly effect of circumstances, a combination of a quickly depleting void and my understanding (finally) that all the things I'd been doing/pursuing/attempting weren't filling it - I raised my hands and said...

Enough.

I'm done.

I surrender.

And that evening a door opened that I can only see now as one of those mountain moving moments I'll look back on and likely weep over - as I do often these days. I was reminded that I am needed, that I'm loved, that I'm worthy and that all the things I've worked so hard at, the "dreams" I was chasing, they were done with a desire to fill the hole in my heart that just, hurt, so, much. I wasn't filling it with the right thing. I was told with so much love and absolute grace, that I'm not dead with my mom or dad or brother - that I'm very much alive. And that it's time to live and to love and to allow myself joy.

And I've been working harder at living, and loving, ever since.

The hustle for the dream? It's taken a new direction. Because no matter what your hurt is, your loss, your void - I promise you, if you're not filling it with God, you're not filling it. You're deepening it.

Tomorrow I step back into a role I never imagined I'd see again. Tomorrow I obey what He has called me to, and while it doesn't feel like "dying slowly" - it's a far cry from where I thought I'd be this time last year or 8 months ago. When we surrender, He may ask us to change directions, to swap out the dream. You can fight it - but know that it'll chase you until you say "I will".

And already? That void doesn't feel so empty. In fact, I feel pretty freaking full.

Mrs. Warren is back.

If I never design for the big bucks again or see a bonus check that blows my socks off, I'll know that I followed His calling for my life. That I stopped running. That I learned His dreams are far better than my own.

I'll know that perhaps I gave a student the itch for creating. I'll know that just maybe someone took their new found love for photography or journalism, and made a pretty amazing life of it.

And I'll be so incredibly glad that I said: "I will".

Tomorrow is the beginning of a brand new chapter for us all. Remembering this - God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called.

Mother's Day: a Tribute

MOTHER'S DAY - grief & loss - a tribute (www.angiewarren.com)

Recently I had an opportunity to nominate someone for a Mother's Day giveaway.  The rules stated that this could be a mother you know OR a mother figure - my own mama being gone, my sister came immediately to mind. I wanted to share what I wrote:


I nominate my sister, Sadie.

Though she is not yet a mother herself (her sweet dog Maggie IS very much a part of their family), she has been so many amazing things to me - namely the very best parts of our mother.

Let me explain.

Nearly five years ago we walked beside our mom as she fought cervical cancer. Sadie found the roles reversed as she was the one caring for our sweet mama in her final weeks - private and intimate details I’ll leave out, but the way my sister selflessly poured into a once vibrant and full of life 49-year-old (our mom), left me speechless. She did hard things. She had hard conversations. But she did it with grace. I am in awe of her for that.

February of 2017 we were shocked by the sudden loss of our only brother. Sadie was able to jet set across the country (while extremely sick with the flu) to immediately take action and do the most dreaded of tasks: final arrangements for an amazing 29-year-old, gone far too soon. Those weeks were gut-wrenching. But we stuck together, doing things we never imagined doing because our mama taught us what strength is, what family is, what grace is. I am in awe of her for that.

A short six months later, just weeks after her own wedding, Sadie and I had to make another emergency trip back east. Our dad was very sick and on life support. Twelve hour days in the ICU with our father, fighting with and for him, I relied on my sister for all the best bits of our mom she encompasses. We made a decision we never imagined having to make and walked our dad into Heaven - to meet our mom and brother. When one of us cried, the other was strong. When one of us felt strong, the other was broken. She may be younger than me, but I am in awe of what my sister is and does.

Sadie may not yet be a mother but she is everything I miss and love about our own mother. Her laugh, her thumbs, her gentle spirit, her love of those less fortunate, and her relationship with God. And when the day comes that she IS a mother? I know she will be just as good of one as the mama that raised her.

I nominate my sister, who has taken some of the worst things life can throw at her, all before she was 26 - and is now an advocate for the grieving, a believer in wellness, and an encouragement to so many others.


I'm sooooo thrilled to share that, she won! Congrats Sadie, well deserved. Enjoy those goodies, love you so so much.

It's All Worth It (Monat)

It's All Worth It - Monat - www.angiewarren.com

I’m in Texas this week visiting my sister and reflecting a lot on what this business has meant to me and to our family.

The fact that I’m here - enjoying the first relaxing, non-death related trip in years while working my Monat business and updating my Etsy shop? Super awesome.

I can lead my team from the comfort of my sister’s couch. I can respond to messages and phone calls and be available for my people.

Out of my comfort zone? Uh yes. Yes this was. So far out my husband had to sit me down and have a come to Jesus with me. Reminding me I CAN do anything I put my mind to.

I said “yes” and it’s been a journey. It’s been educational and informative. It’s putting us further on the path to being debt-free by the end of the year. I’ve made so many new amazing friends. I’ve grown as a person. As a leader. I’ve just plain been astounded by the blessings.

You can see this as another direct sales post where someone is making it seem like unicorns and roses - hear me, it’s work. It’s drive. It’s commitment. It takes time. But know this: it’s all so very worth it.

Just takes saying yes. Scared and all. You may not be ready. I wasn’t. And here I am.

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A Day with Monat

DAY.jpg

Today I:

- Went to the store.

- Did school with my three kiddos.

- Cleaned two bathrooms, three bedrooms, lots of floors, and a hallway.

- Switched laundry.

- Fed a lizard and a dog.

- Went to the bank, the store, and Starbucks.

- Watched a movie with my family.

- And had two separate 1:1 meetings with two of my Market Partners - one in Texas, one in Florida.

I did these meetings in my room, with my kids home. I wore sweats for one and jeans for another. We talked about kids and life, husbands and dreams. We talked about this business we said yes to, game planned, and got excited for what’s ahead.

Five months ago I very timidly said I would do this, unsure of what lay ahead. Scared. Nervous. Insecure, honestly.

I continued on during slow weeks and busier ones - I kept at it through the loss of my dad. I kept on, keeping on. And now? I get to do THIS. I get to live this life, at home with my kids, working the hours that I set. And I feel crazy blessed to do so.

I have meetings with my Market Partners turned friends where we can talk about a Monat and not. They share prayer requests with me because they know I’m already praying for them. I can educate and encourage and we can laugh and cry. And, I get paid for it.

Because I said yes.

Just feeling grateful tonight. And gratitude? It changes everything.

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Summer of 69

Angie Warren

I couldn’t tell you why we were out that night, the two of us. I can’t recall where we were headed, but I can tell you the way the air made me feel. It was a sticky sensation, tangible in the way that if I could have, I’d have bottled it up to revisit in coming seasons.

There was a sweetness to the breeze, a perfume blend of residual cook-outs, lilac bushes, and a nearby campfire, and I was filled with the comforts of my childhood. That summertime air was in my lungs and through my hair, it was both a swirl of romance and a breath of stillness.

I was thirteen years old that summer, and my world felt complete. I knew little of what else was out there, I knew not of loss or pain, I knew nothing of the gut-wrenching sting my adult years would bring. What I knew, what surrounded me, was everything good. It was my mother and father, my three siblings. It was middle school friendships and Aqua-net hairspray. What encircled me were the familiarities of being the child of a pastor, a homemaker’s daughter. These were the things I knew to be true, these were the things that became my identity.

His window was down, my dad’s, and his arm shot straight out to his left. I watched from the passenger seat, a smile framed my face as his hand cruised up and down, in a wave-like motion. He liked the air too.

Bryan Adams crooned through the speakers, something about the summer of ’69, and I couldn’t help but sing, “the summer of ’95.” My dad laughed. I laughed and rested my head back on the seat. His arm came in from the summer’s night, one hand on the wheel, one turning the knob, making the volume so loud I couldn’t make out my own voice. Music was his pastime, and I’ll forever hear the melodies of my childhood and smile at the thought of him, of my daddy.

That drive through town would be a memory that, in years to come, would ground me. The slow cruise down Main Street, turning right past the QuickStop, weaving over hills and passing the homes of his own upbringing, that ride would sit within the depths of my heart and remind me of better days. In the years to come, I’d turn the knob of my own volume up, letting Bryan Adams serenade me through some of the more difficult days. That song, like so many others, would act as a salve, taking me back to that summer of ’95, back to a time when all I knew to be true, was true.

I didn’t know what summers were like in ’69, but I knew what the summers were like in the 80s and 90s. They were filled with the sweetness of watermelon dripping down my chin. Summer meant later bedtimes and chasing lightning bugs. They were church camps and roasting marshmallows, summer was fishing and bathing suits. It meant dirt-stained feet and suntan lines.

Summer was driving through the hills of St. Clairsville, Ohio with my daddy. His smile, my braces, our shared love of music. Summer, to me, has always been, the best part of this life.

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A Breath of Fresh Air

Angie Warren

There near the end of the road is a sweet, small, girl. Our trip back to New Rumley Road was far different this time than it normally is, and we felt the absence of those we've lost - but it was a breath of fresh air.

It was family (something I've come to treasure more than ever before), it was laughter (the best kind, you know the kind that hurts your stomach), and it was truly beauty from ashes (I'm currently writing all about it).

It was fast and furious and sad and happy and all the things I needed but didn't realize. Halfway home now and ready to be there, but being gentle with myself too.

The aching of family in Heaven and spread out across the country is a painful one, but I'm grateful. I'm just so grateful.

Thank you, my friends, for your grace with me as I've walked a difficult road the last month or so. I miss so much coming here with my heart, and look forward to doing so again soon.

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