Monthly Archives: November 2012

The Power Of A Praying Wife

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Almost a year ago, I met a lady named Shontell on Instagram. Long story short, we hit it off and have become rather great friends over the course of these past few months. We text. We email. We share our devotions. We are basically twins if the truth be told. We have so much in common it’s scary. But like a good scary. We’ve even questioned if we were separated at birth. Anyway, Shontell and some of her friends have started reading the book called The Power of A Praying Wife and I couldn’t let my soul-sister read it without me. She told me there were a few other girls in the group that were single that had decided to read it so I said, “Sure. Why not.” 

All day today, I’ve been curious about this book so I got on the Google and did a little research. Basically what I found blew my mind. I found an excerpt from chapter one and let me just say, I’m hooked. What stuck out immediately was this:Your heart must be clean before God in order for you to see good results. That’s why praying for a husband must begin by praying for his wife–AKA-you!! It’s impossible to truly give yourself in prayer for your husband without first examining your own heart. 

Those are some powerful words. I do pray for my future mate. BUT, I find myself praying that God is preparing him and that God is getting him ready for me and for our family we’ll have one day. While those are all great things to ask of God, I have remember that I, too, am in need of preparation. How can I expect my future husband to be a Godly man if I’m not striving every single day to be a Godly woman!! I have to examine my own heart first. Talk about a swift kick to the butt! That’s a hard pill to swallow because let’s be real, when we begin to examine our hearts and when we ask God to reveal the things in our life that aren’t right…..well, He does just that. And then it’s up to us to begin making those changes, allowing the preparation to begin. I want to be ready when God decides to drop that special someone in to my life. I don’t want to miss out because I’m not taking time to be aware of the most important thing in my life, and that’s being (first and foremost) in love with God, allowing Him to work on me, and then letting Him work things out in His timing. 

I’m excited to read this book with Shontell and the other ladies and I’m anxious to see what things God will do in my own heart. Who knows….the possibilities are endless. 

Good Night, Ya’ll. ~Rach

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Happy Turkey

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Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. I love the traditions that have stayed alive in my family and I love that today, both of my brothers and their wives were able to here. It’s been several years since we were all together on Thanksgiving. I love that at my house we have the mentality that “when you’re here, you’re family.” I got to spend this day with some of my favorite people, including my gramma Dodie and her sister, the Williams, and a good friend, Tony.

We started lunch off with each one of saying one thing we are thankful for, and from young to old, we all agreed that family and close friends are one of the main things we are thankful for. As I look back over this past year, there’s just no way around it-my family has been the  most incredible, supportive, forgiving, understanding group of people in my life. I can’t even begin to count the ways in which they have shown me they’ve had my back and their love for me has been so evident. I can honestly say I’m one lucky girl to have been born in to a family that isn’t afraid to love and to show love.

Thinking back over the past year, it’s clear that each and every thing I’ve walked through has helped steer me in the direction that I’ve needed. I just said this the other day, but it’s so true: hindsight is 20/20 and even when I haven’t understood the things I’ve walked through in the moment, I can look back and see that everything has worked out just like it was supposed to. I’ve been given more chances than I deserve and for that, I am most grateful. As I sat at lunch today and looked around at all the people I was able to share this day with, I can say that each one of them have played a rather large role in loving me through this year of learning, of growing, and of becoming a better me. I am truly blessed beyond measure.

I’m thankful for all the blessings in my life! And has Isaac says, “Happy Turkey!!”

Gobble Till Ya Wobble! Rach

Oh. Okay. I Get It Now.

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I don’t always understand life. Actually, I rarely get it. But I do often look back over events in my life and see how things lined up, how things played out, and a lot of times, that’s when life makes sense. Hindsight is 20/20, right? In the moment, I may not see the light at the end of the tunnel, I feel overwhelmed with school, with work, with endless projects and countless practicum hours. And there have been a lot I moments in this semester when I thought I’m probably not cut out to be a teacher. Then yesterday afternoon, a parent came to me and said, “My kids love you. They come home every day saying how much they adore you because you hug them. You give them high fives. You listen when they tell you that they love you. And they KNOW you love them.” And it’s in that moment that I can look back and see all the steps I’ve taken to get here have been worth it. But the main lesson it taught me was this: teaching goes so far beyond the book, beyond the curriculum, beyond the lecture. When your kids know you love them and that you truly care about their well-being, they trust you. They don’t want to let you down. And this flows in to the classroom. They want to learn. They want to give you their best. I read something last night that I hope I can always live by, not just in my classroom, but in all aspects of life: “When another person makes you suffer, it’s because he suffers deeply within himself and his suffering is spilling over. He doesn’t need punishment; he needs help.” One thing I’ve begun to learn is that there are a lot of hurting kids. A lot of kids that are dealing with issues that their fragile minds and hearts shouldn’t have to. And I’m so quickly reminded that this is why I chose to be a teacher. Not just so I could teach my students to recognize the sun’s annual pattern cluster, or how the sun changes positions between seasons, or how to collect data in a science journal. No, there’s more to it than that. I’ve been given an opportunity to show kids that they are loved, they can achieve their goals, and that I will do everything in my power to see to it that they are successful. That’s why I chose to be a teacher.
Have a great weekend, y’all!
~Rach

Guilty As Charged

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It’s 35* outside. I have a warm robe wrapped around me (thanks to my sis-in-law). I’m eating an apple, because you know what they say…an apple a day…and I’m thinking I could get used to being a stay-at-home mom. Except I don’t have kids. I do have a dog. That has to count for something. He needs a bath. He needs his teeth brushed. He needs a haircut. He needs to be fed. I deserve “Mom of the Year.”

Uh hum. Anyway. Do you remember the story in the bible where the elders of the church and the Pharisees brought the adulteress woman to Jesus and they were all like, “Hey, we caught this woman red-handed committing adultery. Back in the day, Moses said in the Law that we should stone her. What do you think?” I love what Jesus did next. See, they were trying to trick Jesus into telling them to stone her, to do away with her. But instead, he simply bent down and began to write in the dirt. They kept badgering him and bothering him to answer them so he straightened up, looked them in the eyes, and said, “The sinless one among you, go first. Throw the stone. The one without sin, you throw it.” Let me pause for a minute. I love this part. I can just see it all going down in my mind. Jesus is all cool as a cucumber and these religious men are acting a fool, trying to get Jesus to “give them the go-ahead to stone this adulteress lady.” But Jesus, being the most gracious, forgiving Man to ever walk the earth and heaven, just looks at them and basically tells them, “Sure, go ahead. Stone her. BUT here’s the catch: only those that are sinless can throw any stones.” I bet she was standing there, her heart pounding in her chest, thinking what the heck is about to go down right now?!?!?!?! The verses go on to say that the elders and the Pharisees began to leave, one by one because, SHOCKER, none of them were sinless. So there stood Jesus and this “horrible, worthless, no good, adulteress” woman. And guess what? Jesus didn’t start condemning her. He didn’t say, “Listen hear lady, you’re real lucky I didn’t have you stoned to death. Cause I coulda done it.” Nope. He looked at her and said, “Did anyone condemn you?” And she replied that no one had condemned her. And this is my favorite part, Jesus looked at her and said, “Neither do I. Now, go on your way and don’t sin.” Holy cow. I have goose bumps just typing this. None of us are sinless. Not a single one of us. But Jesus still offers his forgiveness and His grace EVERY SINGLE DAY. Think about that. In Romans 8 it says that there isn’t any condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus. Talk about humbling. How quick am I to judge people? Or even judge myself from time to time, thinking that I’m not worthy of God’s grace. And the truth is, I’m really not worthy. But His grace is extended freely and mercifully. I think a lot of times, we feel like our sin is just too much. How could we possibly pray or ask God to work in our lives or even forgive us because of the sin in our heart?!?! But Jesus didn’t come to condemn. He came to restore us and to take away our guilt. And because that forgiveness has been shown to us, it’s our duty, our responsibility as christians, to show that same forgiveness and love to EVERYONE around us. Not just to the people sitting in the chair next to us at church who we think is a christian without sin. Not just to the person who is nice to us. Not just to the coworkers we like. To EVERYONE. Jesus wasn’t picky when he died on the cross for our sin and showed us the ultimate example of grace. So we can’t be picky either. We are all guilty as charged, we are all full of imperfections, but I interrupt this broadcast with important news: there’s a God full of grace and mercy with arms wide open willing to take that guilt away. And boy, am I glad.

Much Love, Rach

Heavy Heart

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Death is no respecter of age. It’s no respecter of gender, of race, of time. Death is inevitable, it can not be avoided. There isn’t a single person on this earth that will escape death. But knowing this does not make death any easier to accept.

My class has been pretty fortunate in not having lost many friends. In 2008, we lost Tyler Casey in the May 8 Tornado. He died doing what he was passionate about. He was a firefighter and risked his life, ultimately losing it, to help others reach safety. I remember walking in to his funeral and seeing old classmates, boys that had turned in to men, crying and mourning the loss of a great friend. This weekend, we lost another great person. While I was never personally very close to J.D. Jones, I know that he was loved by every person that came in contact with him. Other than keeping up with his rodeoing and pictures on Facebook, I hadn’t talked to J.D. since school. Still, my heart is so heavy for those that held J.D. so close to their hearts and for his precious little boy that lost his daddy this weekend. I can’t imagine losing my brothers or having to explain to my nephew that daddy wasn’t coming home. I can’t imagine the pain that J.D.’s family is feeling this morning and the hurt that they will feel when there’s an empty seat at the dinner table for Thanksgiving Supper. This morning, I woke knowing that my brothers, my mom and dad, my grandmother, my nephew, my sisters-in-law,  and my closest friends are all alive and well. And I thought of how I so often take for granted the sound of their voice, the sound of my nephew’s laughter, the way it feels to be wrapped up in their hugs. Losing my aunt in April reminded me of how important it is to hold the ones I love close and to TELL them how much I love them.

This weekend, the world lost an incredible person, a great father, and a man that was an outstanding friend to so many people. My thoughts and prayers go out to every person that is hurting this morning over the loss of J.D. Jones. May the peace of God fill their hearts and their homes today and in the days to come.

~Rach

It Is The Soldier…

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It is the soldier, not the reporter, Who has given us freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, Who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the organizer, Who has given us the freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier, Who salutes the flag, Who serves beneath the flag, And whose coffin is draped by the flag, Who allows the protestor to burn the flag.

 

Today I am so proud to be an American and to live in a country that offers so many freedoms. Freedom of speech, of press, of religion, freedom to be whoever and whatever we want to be. I love this country. I can’t listen to our National Anthem without crying, whether it’s being sung by a celebrity at a football game or an auditorium full of elementary students at a Veteran’s Day Assembly. I love our United States of America.

This summer I visited my cousins in DC and we spent a few days doing all the touristy things. We went to a National’s baseball game, we ate at the local dives that are famous for their crab legs, and we of course spent a day touring downtown DC and Arlington. I have to say that being at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was the most incredible experience I’ve had in a long time. I stood there, unable to choke back tears, as I watched the changing of the guard and as I stood there crying, I thought of all the men and women who never came home from war, of all the families that have lost a loved one who were fighting to defend the freedoms that we enjoy every single day and so often take for granted. I stood there, with tears flowing down my cheeks, completely overwhelmed at the thought of how blessed I am to have had two grandfathers that were part of the brave men who were called soldiers and how lucky I am that my best friend, Barry Albious, has always made it home from his deployments. I thought of the sacrifice my uncle Raymond made while in Vietnam. He lost both of his legs while fighting for our country but I’ve never in my life heard him complain about that sacrifice he made for his family and his friends. These men are different than most, these men are brave, these men are my heroes.

To remember is to honor. That’s what today is all about. It’s a day to be mindful of the ones that have gone before us, the ones that have made the ultimate sacrifice so that we can live freely. No one forces these great men and women to fight for our freedom, they go willingly. They serve knowing that today could be their last. They leave family and friends at home, knowing that when they leave it could be the last time they kiss them goodbye. And they do it with a heart that isn’t limited to race, gender, or age. They fight for us all. This is the land of the free because of the brave! To all the brave men and women who have served and continue to serve, thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

ImageThis is my uncle Raymond in Vietnam

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One of my best and dearest friends, Barry Albious. I’m so thankful he’s always made it home. My life wouldn’t be the same without him in it. Thank you for all you do for this great country. I love you.

God Bless the Soldier! ~Rach

October In A Nutshell

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Did October happen? Was it on the calendar? Where was I while October did its thing? Apparently I was in a coma for 31 days because I barely remember a thing about the tenth month. Had it not been for me stumbling upon the following photos, I may have never had any memory of events that occurred. Basically what I’m trying to say is, October flew by.

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I guess at some point, I ran the Breathe Hope 5k….

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……and a 15k in the Tulsa Run….I guess that explains the creaking noise in my hips every time I take a step.

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I got a new sister-in-law. Isn’t she pretty?!?! Good job, Nathan!

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I realized how proud I am to be the sister of these two men. It makes me happy to stand back and see who they’ve become.

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This little dude was the ring bearer for my brother’s wedding. I’d ask if you’ve ever seen anything cuter but I already know the answer…..No.

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I had another birthday. Mom and I went to War Eagle to celebrate and I ate this turkey leg. I know what you’re thinking. How’d I get so classy….I come by it naturally, my friends.

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Paige and I made these pretty little thangs for our Sunday Funday dessert and I may or may not have licked my glass clean. *burp*

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Paige and I also made these bad boys. And they were delish. I only ate three this year. That’s a lie. Forgive me. I know not what I do.

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I met LJ Jenkins. I can die a happy woman now. Sigh…..

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I saw this sunset and was reminded that I’ll never live anywhere but the country.

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I got bangs again. It’s a love/hate relationship with these bangs of mine. Today, bobby pins won the battle and the bangs were tucked quietly away.

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Isaac found the perfect holder for his Halloween candy….uncle Nathan’s pocket. The kid is genius.

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My favorite trick-or-treaters came to see me!!

So I guess October really did happen after all. And apparently it was a lot of fun, too, according to the photo evidence anyway!! And now it’s November 6th, almost a quarter of the way through the month and I have no idea how I got here. Thanksgiving will be here before I know it. It’s true what they say: time does fly faster and faster the older you get.
Goodnight friends! ~Rach