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I wait for bedtime for so many reasons.
To rest, sit down, to breathe but most importantly to meet with Jesus and reflect, refresh and restore my soul.
Sweatpants and honesty required.
Come sit with me momma.



January 20, 2015

Wise Women Build

It was 1am and I was getting up to pee, again.
This is what women who are nine months pregnant do all-night-long.
My Bible was sitting in the bassinet by my bed and "proverbs 14" popped in my head. 
I thought, sure. I'll read it real quick.
I read it...
The wise women builds her house,
But with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.
Needless to say, I couldn't get it out of my mind.

Immediately, I had a vision of building Lincoln logs.
As you build the house, you need to be slow, patient, intentional and have endurance. Those logs can be testy. A steady hand is required. It is way too easy to knock down the whole house and have to start again. 
It's the same with motherhood.
I believe God put this verse in the female tense for a specific reason.

As mommas, we set the tone for the attitude in our house.
Notice it? You are crabby and yelling, they are too.
You are quiet, happy and patient, they tend to be too.
You throw a fit, they react.
They model what they see. They become what they see.

A wise woman builds her house.
She builds it.
It takes kind words when you feel like yelling.
It takes patience when you are already 15 minutes late for school.
It takes faith when you feel like you are not getting through to them.
It takes endurance when you have been working all day and dinner isn't made.
It takes snuggles and kisses when you have a to do list haunting you.
It takes purpose when you'd rather let them watch television but the Bible needs opened.
It takes encouragement when they were teased at school or feel left out.
It takes sweat, it takes tears, it takes a builders plan from the Master Jesus.
Building a house, a home, a swelling heart takes guts. Guts. You have it momma. You do.
You can build your house, log by log, along with your kids hearts every single day.
A house that's warm, comfy, and a soft place to fall.
BUT
With her own hands a foolish one tears hers down.
Her own hands. 
Ouch. Guilty.
Too many times I have knocked down that Lincoln log house for no good reason.
It's too easy isn't it?
To yell. To hurry them. To let the noise take over. To let the whining push you over the edge.
And boom.
You make a sudden move in frustration and it all comes falling down.
All that purpose, love, and intention we have been building comes crashing down. 

Crash.

Foolish. I let myself, my temper, those little annoyances take over some days. I do.
Foolishness.
I'm not teaching or modeling to them how to deal with life when I react this way. I am teaching them to tear down their houses too.

Tell you what I'm gonna do momma. 
I'm gonna print this verse out and put it on my kitchen window sill.
In the center if my home, my heart.
As an ever present, ever beautiful reminder.
A wise woman BUILDS
A foolish one tears hers down with her own hands
With her own hands.

I don't want to start over. I want to keep building. Every day. Moment by moment making that choice.
Only by Gods grace, Gods leading, Gods ever present, brilliant love. 

Now I don't care if you are working on siding or drywall or if you have no foundation or building plan. 
Start today. Begin to build up your home. Set the tone, the model for your children and husband. Start the builders legacy. Start the blue print for a grace filled, loving home. 
Don't let foolishness take over. When you feel it creeping up- breathe in deep, real deep and say this verse over and over. And then one more time. I'll be joining you, glancing at my kitchen window sill likely the same time as you. 
Let's go momma, let's go build our house today. 

Honestly with love,
Rachel



December 22, 2014

Consumed

Ever feel like everything is coming at you all at once? 
Like you need an umbrella to protect yourself from all the things falling down on you?
All the demands. All the to do lists. 
All the pouring out when you are empty. The weariness.

Staying up until 2 am finishing wrapping and addressing Christmas cards that should have been mailed weeks ago. Baking and shopping and Christmas traditions you feel you just hafta do. You feel empty. Weary. You feel you are missing the spirit of it all.

Year end reviews at work, preparing for the coming years sales goals and marketing plans. Stressed out clients yelling. Grocery store runs for that one item. Pregnancy exhaustion. Sick kids. Juggling the babysitters calendar between you and your husband. Vacation days are gone. Who is going where for what holiday. Baking. Cooking. Cleaning. A single digit bank account.

I'm consumed. 
Consumed by it all. 
Working every moment. 
My brain is filled up with it all.

At 12:30pm Tuesday my out of office will be turned on for five days of glory. Five
I'll walk in the door to my sweet, chunky cheeked toddlers and drop all my bags. I will finally get eye to eye with them. Take in this Christmas joy with them. Let down my burdens for a few days and breathe in deeply these people, these gifts, these feelings of love and grace and glory. This Emmanuel, God with us, who is everything I long to be and everything I need. Deeply I'll breathe. Deeply. 

Momma, I implore you to turn your out of office on with me.
Set a time and date
Put down your burdens. 
Let go of some demands.
Pinterest will not be at my house this year. 
Every cookie need not to be baked. Just a few simple gifts is enough. 
The world will keep spinning if you don't send out cards this year.
Hide in the shadow of His wings for a few precious days. 
From the demands, from the worry, from the never ending junk. Hide. Live with Him and drink Him in, all His glorious gifts this Christmas. Let Him love on you. Rescue you. Strengthen you. May He give you new eyes, invigorated spirit, fresh love for your family. Let Him consume you. Not the stuff. Him. Let hiding under his wings be His gift to you this Christmas. Snuggle up to Him. Hide. Refresh. Rest. Restore. 


Honestly with love,
Rach

Pslam 17:8
Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.

Isaiah 32:2
Each will be like a hiding place from the wind, a shelter from the storm, like streams of water in a dry place, like the shade of a great rock in a weary land.

Pslam 36:7
How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings.




November 19, 2014

Struggle

Sitting in a waiting room I never thought I would today. The fluorescent light above me was flickering, my heart was racing and I was hoping I'd see no one I knew. There was a chill in the room. All three boys were with me, granola bars in hand. Sitting quietly on chairs, dangling their feet, I think they could feel the slightly oppresive weight in the room too. It was quiet. All I could think was how much I hated to be in this room, in this place in life, in these thoughts I thought. Get me out of here.

We all go through struggles in life, don't we? 
Times of uncertainty. Places you'd never thought you would end up. 
Fear of the future. Worries of how you will make it though the day without shedding tears. 
Sitting in waiting rooms with thoughts racing through your head asking God why He has you here. Why am I here? I don't belong here. What are you doing God? 

Me too friend. Me too. Today was one of those days.

So how do we move on from these sort of cold waiting rooms? 
Cold waiting rooms with so many doors? So many doors you can't see past?

Continue to wait for the Lord in that uncomfortable place. He is there too.
Continue to look for the joys, the blessings, the way out. Continue to praise Him amidst the storm. Let Him whisper to you here. The waiting, the chill in the room, the unknowing are all disciplines to strengthen, encourage faith, and muster perseverance.
 
Where I am now, although uncomfortable and difficult, allows me to commiserate with other mommas here too. I can relate. I can hug. I've got stories. I can hopefully be a story of someone who made it through this place and am on the other side to cheer someone else on. I'm not embarassed to say I don't have it all together. I go through struggle sometimes. Honestly, there is always some sort of struggle going on be it a small one or what seems like a mountainous one. This terrain makes us stronger doesn't it? What a boring life otherwise.

I used to hate this verse. It made me internally roll my eyes quite honestly.
Today however, I know it to be oh so very true. I know my past struggles have given me grit, determination and shaped my heart, soul, and emotions in just a certain way. A certain way for God to use me exactly how He has planned. 
Here is what James 1 says, 
   "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

So tonight as we sit in these cold waiting rooms, waiting to see what the door we will be called to is, we know struggle shapes us. Grows us. Molds us. Beautifies us. Refines us. Cleanses us. Matures us.

Whatever door God has for us to open, it is just for us. Designed artistically with love and beauty for our hearts to be transformed by it. Sometimes it's a scenically beautiful view with a paved path, others it's is cold, lonely, embarrassing or hurtful place we want out of. Either place, God covers it all with His grace and beautifies it even more.

I leave you momma friend with this. This to bring you a little hope in this cold waiting room we both sit struggling in tonight. We sit together, you and me, hand in hand. You are not alone. He has been sitting here with us this whole time. This whole time. Working it all out for our good. 

This verse has guided me along while I am waiting thus far. This is a long one, but please read it. Every single time I see birds flying by it reminds me of Gods deep, astounding care and love for every detail of my life. That though I don't like this place, He has a way out should I trust him. That He is waiting here right beside us. 

Matthew 6:26-34

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.


Honestly with love,

Rach




October 26, 2014

His


This is my last day as a 32 year old.
You know, one of those days of reflection, like what the heck have I done with my life? Where am I going? Does what I do matter?

You know one of those deep, theological moments you have while standing in a hot, steamy shower ten minutes after you are truly done soaping up. Just deep breathing and not wanting to get out while hot water rolls down your back. Sigh.

So before I worked up the guts to get out, the thought came to me...

Before I was Jude, Levi and Ethan's momma.
Before I was a writer.
Before I was an insurance lady.
Before I was a pastors wife.
Before I was Paul's wife.
Before I was my parents daughter.
I was His.
His.

I was His first. Before anything else.
He created me. He knew me before I was conceived. He thought of me, His daughter and He loved me there. Just as I was. Before I ever did anything at all. He held me in His hands and smiled down on me with eyes filled with love. Being His was enough.

You see, I may feel like I am no one of significance without the title of mother, wife, or daughter, etc.
I may feel like I need to add another title, some deed or worthy act to my resume to matter. I don't.
I'm enough simply because I am His.

You are His. First.

Before you are wife, momma, employee. You are His.
May that fact be a centering, sobering moment for you like it was for me.
Nothing I do on this earth matters without my head knowing it's all centered around the truth that I am His. Everything I do is because of Him. Sure I want to be more, do more, grow and change into the soul God desires for me to become. Every day I strive to be more. But the centering, recurring, sobering theme you and I need to keep running back to is:

You are His.
His daughter, His joy, His creation, His masterpiece, His overwhelming reason for loving and being and giving Himself up. His. 

All those other things, titles, relationships or jobs you have are just icing on the cake. They are not who you are. They don't define you. He does. 

So when I feel the pressure of hiding under the title of someone else's somebody, of my job, of my insecurity-- I must remember the center of who I truly am all goes back to where I started. Jesus. And that my friend, is enough.

Honestly with love,
Rach


13-16 Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
    you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
    Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
    I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
    you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
    how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
    all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
    before I’d even lived one day. Psalm 139





To say I am grateful is an understatement for the unmerited goodness I have in my life. I am thankful for where I have been and trust the future God has for me is brilliant and bright and wonderous. Now if I could just get my kids to sleep so I can eat some birthday cake in my sweats! ;)