Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Blogtember- Sept 1

The Blogtember challenge looks like it is going to be super fun! 
Just hope I am up for the challenge! 

The basic gist is every day in the month of September there is a writing prompt. I will do my best to write each day and complete the writing prompt given. 

The first day is basically just an introduction of myself...which should be easy enough. 

We are in need of a new family picture--this was taken almost a year ago!

My name is Rachel and I am 7 years married to Hubs (aka Michael). 
We have 2 littles-- Little E and Baby G 
except that E isn't all the little anymore and G-man isn't a baby! 

We are followers of Christ who pursue lives that are intentional and passionate for God's 
glory not our own.
Hubs is currently a pastor and looking to church plant/revitalize a church somewhere in the Appalachian region of the United States. You can learn a little more about that story here

I love...

my rescuer--Jesus.

my family.



building relationships with women.



dark chocolate.

long evenings with good friends.





active living--running, kayaking, volleyball.


painting furniture.


That gives you a little glimpse of the woman behind this little internet space. Throughout the month, I'm sure you'll learn more! 

Brave Love Blog
go here to read more from other participating bloggers.


Thursday, August 27, 2015


The other day I fulfilled a dream.
I checked an item off my bucket list. 

It wasn't huge.
It wasn't horrifying. 
It wasn't difficult.

But it was brave. 

I donated 8 inches of my hair.

As I sat in the stylist's chart listening to the scissors slice through my thick ponytail, I thought about the first time I went "short" with my hair. It wasn't drastic like this time. It was gradual. I'd go a little shorter each time until I was brave enough to finally go "short". The first time I went "short" was after Little E was born. 

I thought about the fact that I had made another change after E was born. I finally got up the nerve to get my nosed pierced.

(let me just say, that nose ring is gone now due to regulations during student teaching, 
but man I miss it!)

A nose ring and short haircut within just a couple months of becoming a mother. 

Was this coincidence? 
I don't believe so.
I believe everything is ordained by our sovereign Lord.

Was the change simply because I wanted something different? 
Was it because I wanted to feel "normal" again after having my first baby and everything feeling so strange and out of whack? 

Or was it that I was finally brave enough to do what I wanted without fear of what others would think? 

Had motherhood made me brave? 
There is this sense that after having birthed a child --a real, live, little human-- that you can do anything. 
An empowerment. 

The stylist snipped the last bit of that ponytail off as I jokingly asked if it was too late to change my mind. And the thought occurred to me that it wasn't motherhood, necessarily, that has made me brave but the changes that have occurred in my heart over those years. 

Christ has matured me, taught me, and emboldened me in ways I never knew I needed...and up until this point I didn't know it had occurred. 

Motherhood didn't make me brave. 
Motherhood was a means that Christ used to make me brave. 

Christ has given me confidence in who I am in him.
He has given courage in both big and small areas of life. 

He has made me brave. 

How is he making you brave -- even when you don't feel brave?

Speaking of BRAVE...Have you heard this song? 


Friday, July 3, 2015

two years and gracious gifts

This handsome baby-man made his grand debut 2 years ago! 

I'm going to go ahead and warn you that I might be totally cliche for a minute

How in the world did 2 years go by so quickly? 

While I know I wasn't "pregnant just yesterday",  it can feel that way at times.  Like these days just blend right into one another and time gets lost until a milestone wakes you from the stupor of the daily grind and causes you to realize that life--time--is passing all too quickly for your liking. 

And here's the thing-- I don't want to miss a single moment. But you know how it goes. In the daily mess, the mundane living we get frustrated and wish it away. But then it hits us, just how much time has gone by and how we really don't want it to go away. And then the daily mess and the mundane set in again. Its a cycle. And while at times I hate it (especially the moments I miss out of my own selfishness), I am thankful for it. The cycle of being made jerked awake to the reality of your world is a gracious gift from the Creator. He gives us eyes to see truth in His timing. Milestones, birthdays, anniversaries--they are all markers to make us stop and recognize his daily graces because he "knows our frame" and knows that we won't be seeing on this beauty in the daily living.

So on this day, I am pausing to see God's gracious gifts in the life of Gideon. 

Love that can only exist between a mother and her son...
I didn't know what that was like until he was born.

Love of a father and his son...
and the beauty of watching that unfold

A male to carry on our family name since Hubs is the only 
male left with our last name!

Bright blue eyes...

Cute little smiles...

Goofy play time...
and lots of belly laughs! 

Gideon, your laugh is awesome. Everyone comments on how contagious and real it is.
When you find something funny, you fully enjoy it! Its one of the things I love most about you.

Sweet snuggles....

even now at 2 years old you sometimes allow this Momma to snuggle you to sleep. 
I savor those times of breathing in your scent and feeling your little body curled into mine.

Cuteness overload!...

Your love for chocolate and all things sweet...

especially marshmallows. 


Curiosity and your ability to fall asleep anywhere...

These days gave us some laughs :)

Laid back personality and desire for everything to be a hat! 

Like I said, you're creative...

Check out your smiles...
You are so happy, so full, and so free! 
I love watching you enjoy life! 

I didn't know how much of a gift baseball was until you! 
You love it! And It brings me joy to watch you love it, enjoy it, and play it. 

You're growing into who you are and who God made you to be. 

Little man, my prayer is that you will become a warrior for truth and that you will live and dream fully and freely as God made you to. 
I know your life won't be perfect and your little heart will be wounded, but I pray you embrace Christ so that he can heal your wounds and make you free to live as His son--fully free through his redeeming grace.

And I am going to live these days and enjoy the grace gift of watching you grow...and we are going to enjoy these days together! 

I love you, Gideon. 




Friday, June 12, 2015

Longing for Paris

You can probably tell from other posts that I have written, that I enjoy reading. At this point in my life there isn't always a whole lot of time for it, but I still enjoy it. I enjoy fiction every once in a while to escape from the reality of life for a sliver of time and get caught up in another world, adventure, or life of another person. However, I am currently loving books that challenge me or encourage me. 
What would you call the genre? Christian non-fiction? 

I'm not talking "self help" book, but books that challenge me through Scripture and the lives of other shared honestly. 

A few of my favorites (that I've read more than once) are:

The Nesting Place by Myquellin Smith

One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp

And most recently (as in, I finished it yesterday)

Longing for Paris  by Sarah Mae

This book was very timely for me as Hubs and I have been talking a lot about our dreams, desires, and what makes us come alive. How do those things fit into our lives right now? How can we live out our dreams and do those desires in our hearts really matter? Where did they come from? Do we just jet off to the biggest city we can think of because that's where we feel alive? What about REAL life? 

And the thing is, sometimes  most of the time, I wonder if we are the only ones who struggle with the tension of reality and our dreams. 

This book has shown me that we aren't the only ones...at least Sarah Mae also wrestled through that. So maybe its just me and her! 

Sarah Mae walks us through her journey of bringing the beauty of Paris into her own life in Pennsylvania. How she got out of a "funk" that was hindering her life. She draws so much truth from Scripture and points us to God--the creator of our dreams. 

It is beautifully written, easy to read, and extremely inspiring. 

She gives 33 Search-Your-Heart-Questions at the end of the book that have challenged me deeply. 

Sarah Mae took thoughts and feelings that I couldn't warp my mind around and put words to them. Many times I felt I was reading my own heart written out in black and white. 

I'm one of those people who finds a good thing and thinks everyone needs to have it to. That's exactly how I feel about this book. No matter your age or season of life, this book will challenge and inspire you to live out your dreams as you live the life God puts right in front of you. 

Sarah Mae is giving away 2 copies of the book on her blog today! Head over there for your chance to win!

*The book doesn't release until August, but you can preorder it NOW using the link above!*


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Though she be but little...

Life is an interesting thing. 
We go through our daily routine without hardly blinking an eye. Day in, day out, eat, sleep, work, play. Rarely do we pause to really see our days. I'm not condemning anyone, just stating the fact. That is how our world works. 

But then there are those days that stop us in our tracks and make us see how far we've come from where we began. These days also make us see how quickly our days go by. 
Birthdays are like this for me. Its a day where I look back over the last year and look forward to the new one to come. But with my kids' birthdays, I look further than just the last year. I tend to look back at their entire life...because their lives have changed mine from the very beginning. 

Today is one of those days. 
It is my daughter's 4th birthday! 

Looking back through pictures of her short life, it makes me realize that the saying is so true:

The days are long, but the years are short.

It doesn't seem like 4 years ago that this tiny peanut entered our lives! 

It seems like it was just a year ago...or maybe even last month? 

See what I mean about life? 
Its so strange how something can seem so close but really it has been a while since it happened. 

I think in parenthood--motherhood--this is only exemplified.
We, mommas, spend our days changing diapers, keeping little people fed and clothed, snuggling them when they are sick, training them, disciplining them, teaching them everything they need to know about life, making mistakes, having fun, and falling into bed each night worn out...waking up only to do the same thing again. 

At times it can feel like we are reliving each day over and over...then we stop and look at life only to realize we aren't changing diapers any more, and our tiny daughter can now put her own clothes on without our help. 

The tiny baby girl who changed life and made me momma is no longer a baby....though she still is quite tiny. She is an amazing young girl with a vibrant free spirit, huge imagination and serious passion for living life!

She's unfazed by the thoughts and opinions of others...she's just living the life God has made for her.

And its beautiful.

She wants to marry Lowly Worm and be an artist or a "sewing girl like you, momma"

She dances during worship every. Sunday. while singing at the top of her lungs.
And doesn't care who is watching.

She builds rocket ships and boats out of cardboard boxes and wicker baskets.

She dresses up, twirls, and pretends she is a princess because the truth is

she is.

She is beautiful.
She is unique.
She is joyful. 
She is treasured.

She is strong willed.
She is compassionate. 
She is loving.
She is hilarious. 

And while Shakespeare didn't know Eliyah, I think he would say this about her as well...

She is tiny in physical nature, but so fierce in spirit. 
Ready to take on anything...and I pray, change her world.

She's already changed mine--4 years ago at a mere 5 pounds 8 ounces. 

Happy 4th Birthday sweet girl! 
You are more loved than you can ever imagine. 

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