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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.



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! ;)


September 20, 2014

This Gift...

I wrote this post about Ethan being my last babe back in August.
About the ache I feel knowing that he was the last tiny babe to grow in my belly. The ache motherhood is moving on. The ache. If you are a mom, you have likely felt it. 

After much prayer, thoughts of how crazy we must be, and more prayer Paul and I decided we would give growing our family one year of whatever happens. We are happy with three. The ache was still there for one more. After seven years of infertility we did not know what was possible but it was in God's hands. June 2014 was the deadline we talked to God about. It came and went. This post about Ethan being my last was written two months after our timeline was over. Conversations were had, prayers were prayed, tears shed. Obviously God showed us we were done. We were beyond happy with three awesome boys. I still had a small ache but I knew God would fill it with His goodness as He always has. His plans are always, always so much better than mine.

Apparently when I was writing this post, a tiny babe was already growing in my womb. I did not realize at the time amidst the running around after three toddlers, working, volunteering and picking up legos all day. Today I am several weeks into my second trimester with my fourth child. Paul and I are overjoyed. The boys are overjoyed. We are also scared to pieces. Pieces!! Money, jobs, starting all over can be paralyzing. 

What is so funny about God is, He does things inside us when we are too busy to even realize it. We think He has forgotten us. Not God, He is working out something beautiful just for us, always. Beauty innerwoven with gifts of love from our Father all behind the scenes. He is working out good for those who love Him. This pregnancy, this baby is that gift for me. I got pregnant in June. Right at the timeline where God and me agreed we would move on if nothing happened. God likes to make me wait because I am the most impatient person He may have made. Seven years to get married, seven to have my first babies, and now this one over a year later. I am learning. I am growing. 

I am grateful beyond measure for this gift after being given a less than 1% chance of conceiving on our own. This gift of being able to experience life growing in my womb for the last time. This gift of seeing my husband's face when I showed him the pregnancy test. This gift of laughing  and in shock at what we are about to embark upon. This gift of seeing my boys faces when they found out mommy had a baby in her belly. So many little gifts. I will treasure them all. Whatever gift God is working on behind the scenes in your life or you are currently living in, slow down and enjoy each one. He created those gifts just for you. Just for you honey child. Just for you. What beauty, what grace, what joy. 

Honestly with love,
The crazy preggo lady (Rachel)

PSA: I would love a boy or a girl equally- seriously. 
I am due in Feb/March 2015. Anatomy scan is in two weeks. 
Don't judge people based on the size of their family. Every child is a gift. You chose for yourself, I will choose for mine. ;)

Psalm 127:3-5
Don’t you see that children are God’s best gift?
    the fruit of the womb his generous legacy?
Like a warrior’s fistful of arrows
    are the children of a vigorous youth.
Oh, how blessed are you parents,
    with your quivers full of children!
Your enemies don’t stand a chance against you
    you’ll sweep them right off your doorstep.

Excited to have a fistful or arrows, armed with Christ, to send out into the world. I couldn't decide on which pic to post so I picked them all!






September 17, 2014

Good Days vs Bad Days

Today was a good day.
You know, the kind that makes this whole motherhood thing worth it.
The kind that starts to heal over all those tender, open wounds of feeling like a writhing failure as a mother. That you are messing up your kids. That you cannot seem to get it together. The wounds that if left untreated will be poured salt upon day after day after day and only worsen with time.

We moms need these good days to be balms of healing ointment for our souls. To remind us our kids are joys. To look in their sparkling blue eyes and feel that bubbling over, deep love you never knew you could have. We need these good days. 

Sometimes we need to find them amidst the bad ones. 
Sometimes we just need a moment.

You know, those rough days where you had to sleep with a wiggly toddler and only had eyes closed "sleep" that never really made it to real sleep. Where you wake up to screaming and demanding of sustinence at 6am. Where you trip over toys, fight over meals, forget things, drop things, are late to work, where you yell and feel that drop in your soul for it. Where you find a week old banana covered in fruit flies in your couch. Where you give and give and work and pour out more of yourself then you thought you had left and it is still not enough. Those days, when they happen day in and out for weeks and weeks can wear on your very soul. They can make you more irritable. More wounded and in need of healing than ever.



What kind of day did you have? Have you had lately?

I'll admit it. Mine haven't been the greatest lately. I have seen improvements the last few days and today was just a joy.

Let me share my secret. 

I took care of myself.
Gasp.
The horror if a mother caring for herself. 
I honestly haven't done this well in years. Years people. I feel guilt when I do. 

Over the last three days I worked out. I wrote. I read the Bible. I prayed for my children, my husband and myself. I prayed for our future. I spent some real quality time with my dark and handsome husband. I listened to music. I spent over an hour this morning in am empty house (rare people!) doing nothing but eating a few cookies and watching a morning show. I didn't clean. I took a deep breath. Most of all, I did all of these things slowly and without rush. I did them with intention. 

Find something that makes you feel you. Not momma. Painting, writing, photography, reading. Take care of yourself. I was such a better mom today for it. I was more patient, quiet talking, and just happy. They deserve that kind if mom. I deserve it too. I need to slap that mom guilt in the face and just take care of my self. You too. You too!!

Start now. If even only for a moment. Allow Jesus to some in and start glazing over your wounded mothering heart with His balm of peace, love, joy, patience, self control and gentleness. Let Him take care of you then you take care of you. You will become a better momma for it. You will. Go. Now.

Honestly with love,
Rach