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Friday, December 30, 2011


Today I'm thankful...

I'm thankful for the sound of laughter
and the smell of rain
I'm thankful for the sweet taste of chocolate.
and warm coffee in the morning
I am thankful for the things that most take for granted.
The warmth of a bed and the beauty of touch
I am thankful for family, for friends,
and for the beautiful life I've been given.
I am thankful for the small things..
Small things are the biggest of all

Lately, it seems that I have been inudated with complaints. Everyone around me is cursing. F this. F that. It is getting old very fast.
I have a six year old cousin that lives in a nursing home because she is paralyzed and yet people are still cursing about frivolous things.
Get over it people!
Count your blessings! Be grateful that for the breath in your lungs. Don't dwell on what you don't have.
Thank God for what you do.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

One of those amazing moments where you are forced to say...Only God can do that

One day I was driving in my car and I asked Jesus..."dear Lord, how am I doing? Are you proud of me, I asked? Are you disappointed? Please let me know.

The next Sunday I was at church...We have the kind of church services where anything goes. During the middle of the sermon my pastor looks at me and says, "Rachelle, Jesus wants me to tell you something. He says that he's proud of you. Tears welled up in my eyes because I knew, at that moment, that God hears me. I know He is there, but I know we sometimes wonder if He hears us.

My pastor also spoke about my writing. He has never read anything I wrote, but he told me that my writing was going to be anointed.
A few weeks later, I find myself writing as if a new breath of life has breathed into my spirit. A lady emailed me and told me how my writing has been helping her. She told me that my writing was anointed.

If that's not God then I don't know what is....

I never shared this with anyone but I thought it was just one of those amazing things. This isn't the first time something like this has happened. It happens quite often, actually.
I'm not bragging that God was proud of me....I simply want people to know that He hears us...

He hears YOU.
Now, make Him proud.
He loves YOU.

Thank you, God...all that is good in me comes from you and you alone. Even writing.
Let Him lavish His love upon you.

The LORD is the everlasting God,
   the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
   and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
   and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
   and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the LORD
   will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
   they will run and not grow weary,
   they will walk and not be faint.

The key to joy

yesterday, I got out of bed and I could hear Jesus silently urging me.."rachelle, get down on your knees and seek me. I only need ten minutes of your time."

I was groggy. My first thought was....I don't have time. I need to get ready for work. I will talk to you on my way to work and throughout the day.....

But I decided to listen to His still, sweet and beautiful voice.

I'm glad I did. Lately, I have been attacked by the enemy in vicious ways. I can feel a heaviness upon me. The enemy has been coming against my body.

This may sound strange to some, but I have often experienced spiritual warfare in a tangible way. I can feel the physical prescence of demonic forces. But through it all, God has shown me so many things and I have learned not to fear.


I got down on my knees and I prayed.
I obeyed despite what I was feeling. I listened to His voice.
All I can say is that those ten minutes, not only sustained me...they completely revived me.
Obedience to God is uncomparable.
yesterday made me realize..even though God has shown me this many times before...that I am powerless...
Sometimes I pray for people...I pray for my family..I pray for lost friends...coworkers...people I've met over the years...I pray for my children....Somedays, I envision these grandiose plans that will alter lives for the better.....
But, on days like yesterday, I realized that I am completely powerless to truly change anything.
On my own, I am helpless against the powers of darkenss.
I am unable to save anyone.
But yesterday, I once again realized that ten minutes of submission to God's more powerful than a lifetime of anything else.

Yesterday, those ten minutes saved me. I believe that God wants more than ten minutes of our time. But, often we get stuck in these mind numbing routines. We think we are holy and righteous do gooders..but we still aren't giving God what He asks. I could've ignored God and prayed when the time fit my schedule a little better. But I chose to obey Him and it has made a world of difference.

After my prayers, I began to sing a song to Him...and I could feel a very real heaviness lift. Lately, I have been fought in major ways....but, by submititing to the wishes of God...resisting the devil... I could feel the very light of God piercing through the darkness....

I could sit here all night and tell you of the wonderous things that God has shown me. I could try and try with everything that I am...tell you that God is real and that He loves you.....but if you seek Him and listen to that still, small voice on your own....then you will see it all for yourself.

Words can't describe  God.  He is pure light. He is a magnificent, radiating, Spirit of power and love...that that cuts through the darkness.

Obedience to God is the key to joy.

Monday, December 19, 2011

coping with infidelity, part II

Infidelity has a way of playing tricks on the mind.   It has a way of humbling.
It is fertile ground for the enemy, and I can see how many can be complety broken when it rears its ugly head...

First, one begins to wonder..."how many other lies have I been told?"
Then comes the worry and the fear.
How many other women that I didn't know about?
Then comes the gut wrenching disection of time. You begin to look at the past and wonder...was he cheating on me during our anniversary? 

For me, one of the most humbling question that I was forced to ask myself: Did, during the course of our marriage, he infect me with a disease?

Adultery is ugly. It is humiliating. It is gross.
Last week I had a test administered. I wanted to find out if I had an ugly nasty disease. A disease that I'm too afraid to even mention.  The unmentionable disease.
I had no reason to think I had anything. But that is what adultery does. It causes one to question.

The test came back fine..
But during the course of the waiting, my stomach hurt.
I felt a gut wrenching pain that made me realize that I had always taken my health for granted.
I cried out to God to spare me.
I wept for the people who are facing disease.  I wept for people with cancer. I wept for people with Aids. I wept for children orphaned by Aids.
I wept for people suffering from disease.

I vowed to do what I could to help them because for the first time in my life, I completely understood thier vulnerability.

As a Christian, I understand that death is not the end of life. God has shown me more of Heaven than most people realize. He has become the reality. Sometimes, I tell myself that I am not afraid of Death..

But when faced with the possibility of disease, I suddenly became afraid. Deathly afraid.
perhaps not of dying..but of the unknown.
I feared my own blood.
It was humbling to say the least.

When I found out the test was fine, I felt as if a weight was lifted from my shoulders.
But what if?
What if the test results had been different?
Could I still go on, confident, assured? 
I am humbled.

I was forced to look back at the course of my life and look at the mistakes I have made. I took a cold, hard look at my past and remembered all of the times that I played russian roulette with my body.

Why do we do that? We weren't made for sin.
I look back at my past and I cringe.
But I take immense comfort in the assurance that I have been forgiven.

I felt anger for the fact that someone could have put my life in jeopardy by potentially exposing me to disease. Adultery is not love.  Love always protects.

The other day I stepped on a thorn.  I was walking barefoot through my grandfather's kitchen. It must have been from a rose leftover from my grandmother's funeral.

There is so much meaning in a simple thorn.
So much.

These past few weeks, I have felt the thorns of my situation....

I drove through the desert a few months ago. I noticed how life thrived, even in the most dire circumstances. Beauty grew amonst the thorns. Flowers bloomed, often solitary, in the desert.
Amidst the cacti, and the thorns...every now and then, there would be a single, solitary flower, blossoming and blooming in the desert.

A symbol of how there is beauty in ashes.  There is life where chaos abounds.
I think about Eden. That beautiful garden, a perfect existence. And then I think about our sin and how it brings forth the thorns.
Some people think that God is not good. But I have come to know Him and I know that He is....
He loved us so much that He gave us a choice. He gave us a choice to live our lives in thorns or to become the single, solitary flower that gives hope and love to others.

I want to be the flower.

Does anyone know how I found out that my husband was cheating?
The story speaks volumes.

I prayed.
I got off the phone with my husband one night. I could sense that something was wrong. Deeply and dreadfully wrong. So I prayed. God, show me. I am tired of worrying, Lord. I just want to know. Will you please show me? Dear God, I am  tired of living in the shadow of lies, please just show me.

That night, I felt a very real tempation to drive by his house...( we have lived apart but were trying to work things out. He assured me that he was faithful.)

That still small voice bid me not to go. So I didn't.
The next morning when I awoke, I had a very gut wrenching feeling that something was definitely wrong.  I felt like I needed to go to his house. I knew he wasn't at home so I decided to go over. It was a feeling. A very strong feeling.

When I got there, there was a woman sitting on his couch. I introduced myself and asked her what was going on. She told me and then we parted ways. She was angry and felt victimized also. She had been lied to, as well.

I learned from speaking with her that she didn't have a car. If I had followed my instincts and not listened to God,  I would have driven by his house and been none the wiser.  I would have pilfered my time in worry and questioning.

There really is no beauty in that story. Except for the fact that God hears our prayers. God is faithful to answer. I asked Him to show me and He answered. For that, I am grateful.

Adultery is a nasty, ugly business...It is thorns..
But, through my Christian walk, I have learned that beauty can grow even despite the fact that people are hurt.
God loves sinners.
He hates sin, but even now...I am forced to put away my anger and recognize that God loves and does not judge my husband.
God does not condemn us. God gives us a choice.
As humans, we condemn ourselves by our actions.
We condemn ourselves by our lack of action.
The beauty is in the choice.

We can choose to love our Father. We can choose to take care of our families. We can choose to love even when it is hard. Or, we can walk our own path. The wide path, that feels right, but leads to Death.
We can walk as a flower, brightening the lives of those around us...basking in the very light of God..
Or we can choose to be a thorn, piercing people with our lies, our deception, our greed.

This post isn't meant to judge my husband. We aren't meant to judge. This blog is an outlet to show the things that God is teaching me. Every day is a learning experience. 
Put down your stones. We are all guilty in some way, shape, or form. Self righteousness is as dangerous as adultery.
Maybe even more so..because it is disguised as good. It wears a mask, whereas adultery is the bold flaunting of a weakness.

I'm sad for families these days. If we look at the moral makeup of our country, we get a very real picture of a desperate and hurting society. Not too many people seem to be getting it right.  Many of us give up at the drop of a hat. many quit when "our" needs aren't met or we are left unfilled. Too many people quit too easily and the result is broken people and fatherless children.

But then there are those who diligently work and work and love anyways.
I know a girl who recently confided in me about her marital situation.
She told me that her husband cheated on her. She had endured so much. They have several kids together.
She told me how she  had thought of ending the marriage, but she looked at her children...and she chose to fight. She fought. She became a warrior and she took her marriage back. She loved when it was hard. She gave her husband a stay or to leave...she was firm. she was courageous. she let go of anger and fear and hatred and she loved. Today, they are thriving. They are a happily married couple serving God together.

I admire this woman.

My thing is...I feel as if I have fought for well over a year.
I told my husband what needed to be done to save our marriage. He turned his head. He walked away.
He made the choice...
It's all about the choice.

Some people cast stones of condemnation at those who have divorced. Put them down. Love the broken and hurting people that you are called to love.


One more thing about adultery:
It causes one to question his worth.....
I was reading a blog today by my favorite blogger, Stephanie Cherry..
and I read a post that left me in tears.

The message was so simple, and yet so beautiful and powerful. She spoke of how she had watched a Veggie Tale movie with her young daughter. There was a character called a snoodle..
Everyone laughed at the snoodle. People ridiculed. They drew mean pictures of what they thought the snoodle looked like.
But the snoodle went to a quiet place and called upon God.
God answered the snoodle. He showed the snoodle a picture of how He saw him.  He held up a picture of a beautiful and courageous person to the little snoodle.
I cried when I read that story. I felt like that ugly little snoodle who only needed God to remind her how beautiful she was..

The other day at church was amazing. Complete strangers told me things about my life and situation that only God could have known.  One of the things they told me was that there was someone in my life that made me feel like a snoodle, (yes, I'm paraphrasing there) but that God saw me as something different.

They reminded me that we are called to be doers of His Word and not hearers only. One thing I have found is that it can be tempting to fall into the trap of self misery and pity. This week I have suffered from severe vertigo. Rooms have been spinning. I've been nauseous. I have felt beaten down. I have felt like I want to go in a corner and just die.I have wondered, "what is wrong with me?" What is physically wrong with me?

The strangers in church told me that I am called to live a victorious life. They also confirmed something that God had already shown me. So, I will trust Him. I will walk with Him. And He will get me through this. All of it. The death. The infidelity. The vertigo. The fear.  I give it all. I could choose to fester in it....but I won't

Jesus, it's yours. I love you and I thank you for showing me, even now, that I am still beautiful to you.

7 Days of Heaven, Day 5

It's been a little over a week since my family and I traveled to a small town east of Shreveport, Louisiana.

In the tiny town of Minden lives a precious six year old girl. Her name is Kadence. She is my cousin.

She was born with spina bifida. As a young child, Kadence thrived despite her disease. She could move around on her own. She was a happy, thriving child. A few years ago, Kadence was in a car accident. She completely lost the use of her legs. She had to relearn how to use her arms. Now, she is confined to a wheelchair in a nursing home/rehabilitaion center hours away from her family.

I had never met Kadence before last week. But as a family, we were determined to change that. And what I have found is that Kadence is a girl worth knowing.

As we walked into her room, we introduced ourselves. "Hello, Kadence. We are your cousins. We came to visit you."
 But I don't have any cousins, she replied.  

Yes, you do honey. We are here.

We had a wonderful visit. We painted her nails, had a tea party, laughed. Kadence brushed Olivia's hair. Kadence talked about Rapunzel and said that she wanted Rapunzel hair. She brushed her hair and asked us if we could see it growing.
We brought her some wonderful Christmas gifts, but the nursing home director said that there would'n't be much room for them. She said Kadence already had too many gifts from volunteers.

As I walked around the nursing home, I became humbled. So many rooms were filled with children.
Yes, you heard me correctly.
Little children.

They were severely disabled and many were mentally handicapped.  There was a young blonde girl who was in the room next to Kadence. I went in to tell her hello. I held her hand for a moment and just told her how sweet she was.

I asked the nursing home director about her. She was standing next to the door. She told me that she had been in the facility since she was a little baby.  She was eight. There was another girl in the room, as well. She appeared to be severely handicapped. She had just turned 15.

Cade and I began walking around visiting with each of these forgotten children. My heart broke as I saw them living out their days without a mother or father around.According to the nursing home director, volunteers are the only source of love that these children have.

After we left the nursing home, we drove thru the town of Nachitoches to see the Christmas lights. We didn't know what to expect.
AS it turned out, we ended up in traffic for over an hour. The lights were beautiful, however.
After we saw the lights, we were hungry so we stopped at Little Ceasars. They got our pizzas wrong and they didn't have any drinks, so we went to McDonalds.
As were waiting in a very long line at McDonalds, I began to complain.
 Immediately, I realized what I had done.

There are children that cannot use their legs. Children that mete out their days in nursing homes. And I am complaining that my ice cream is taking too long. Immediately, I became humbled as I realized that there are children out there that may have never even tried ice cream.

What a humbling day. Take time today to count your blessings. Things could always be worse.
Take time today to pray for a child in a nursing home. Or an orphanage.
Take time to spend with Jesus. Cease to complain.

AS I saw each of those children, I imagined what they would look like in heaven.
They were all running. They were laughing and playing. They were free from their restraints. I know that God loves those children. They are His. They are not forgotten.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

"screw em' over"

First of all, pardon the slang. This is a post about workplace mentality. I'll be using workplace slang. Hope I don't offend anyone.

For the past few weeks, it seems that certain shifts on my job have been slacking on thier duties.
The result has been that other shifts, including mine, have been picking up the slack.
We work hard. We often find ourselves doing physical labor, sometimes for extended periods of time.
It's hard enough carrying our own weight. Carrying everyone else's burden can sometimes be too much.

Today, as I ventured into work...I became angry. It seems that the previous shift neglected some of thier duties, even after having an easy night.

At work, many of the guys have adopted an attitude..."Screw em over."

The mentality being that , if a shift puts it to ya, stick em right back.

Screw em over.

Today, I was tempted to fall into that mode. Justice, right?
We want fairness in this life.

But then I remembered a verse.."Overcome every evil with good."
I decided to use my anger and frustration to confront the issue. I wrote a message to my coworkers telling them of my angst with thier work performance. I apologized for the times that I had been slack and said I would try to do better.

We don't have to "screw em over"
Jesus reminded me to overcome evil with good. Justice doesn't  always come in this life...but it will most certainly come in the next.

We aren't to concern ourselves with justice. We are simply called to love..even those who stick it to us....

I really hope this post encourages people to work harder. Or at least do the work assigned to them.
Everything we do affects someone in some way.

I don't want to stand before Jesus some day and have Him ask me why I saw fit to "Screw em over."
I want Him to say...Well done, you did the hard thing. You loved when it was hard. You overcame evil with good. I am proud of you..

Any self proclaiming Christian should strive for the same.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Terribly Interesting: Learning to Love

Terribly Interesting: Learning to Love: I read this the other day on Jasmine Baucham's blog . She was addressing a friend's loss of someone she loved, but I thought it was good fod...

Terribly Interesting: God Sees You

Terribly Interesting: God Sees You: I received this from a friend:"Yesterday while a woman I work with named Marilyn was driving home, she had a very heavy heart about a situat...

Terribly Interesting: The Hole In Our Gospel by Richard Stearns

Terribly Interesting: The Hole In Our Gospel by Richard Stearns: Richard Stearns was called by God to make a life changing decision. In 1998 he left his position as CEO of Lenox and accepted the positio...

Terribly Interesting: We Think It'll Make Us Happy-It Just Makes Us Fat

Terribly Interesting: We Think It'll Make Us Happy-It Just Makes Us Fat: Over the past few years I started wondering if we were fooling ourselves with all of the good works we do in church. This is going to soun...

Terribly Interesting: Do We Hate Our Children?

Terribly Interesting: Do We Hate Our Children?: I was reading in Joshua today about serving the Lord and no other gods. As I read in chapter 24 about how God punishes those who align them...

Terribly Interesting: Space to Breathe

Terribly Interesting: Space to Breathe: Have you ever been in a place where you just wished you were like John the disciple? I have. I most envy that when he had a question or need...

Terribly Interesting: We Traffic Ourselves

Terribly Interesting: We Traffic Ourselves: I have been reading quite a bit about sex trafficking lately. I have even been doing it on purpose. This is a really weird thing for me to d...

Roots: Death

Roots: Death: Tonight, I decided to write a poem about Death. I'm sure it will never be a great literary work, but I hope that it can bring someone peace....

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Polhamus Family: Family

The Polhamus Family: Family: They say, “Birds of a feather flock together.” Is that family? It’s family in kind perhaps, but not in spirit. It’s family out of ne...

Dear Strangers from all over the globe

I just wanted to remind you how special and beautiful you are in God's eyes.
I wanted to remind you that you have a very unique purpose.
I write this blog because I have seen many things that leave no question in my mind that God is real.
I have experienced Him...I pray that you will seek Him...get rid of the things that hold you down..
Experience life..
I've gone thru a lot. Infidelity. Dealing with death...I talk about those things on my blog...I hope that you will take the time to read thru the amazing things that God has shown me...
but if not...then simply just remember how special you are.
You are beautiful, stranger :)
My prayer today is for you.

Roots: Coping with infidelity

Roots: Coping with infidelity: this past week has been one of the most humbling and humiliating weeks that I have experienced in a very long time. I feel as if I have bee...

Monday, December 5, 2011

Roots: To the fatherless

Roots: To the fatherless: Today was a “less than typical” day. I was driving to work and I saw a young man and woman sitting on the side on the interstate. I was st...

My big and beautiful bucket list

Lately I have been thinking about death. I recently read a book called "If God is Good" by Randy Alcorn. The book provides insight and biblical answers to the question of suffering.
One thing that was said is that we all have the same disease - Mortality.
One day, we all will die.

For a few days this week, I felt horrendous. I am so much better now, but for a few days I truly felt beaten down by life. I needed to be reminded that I have a purpose. I needed to remember that there are places that I haven't yet ventured, like Spain. I needed to dream.

Above all else, I want God's will for my life. I have learned that the very breath of Christianity, the core is the spirit of sacrifice. I am learning to take comfort in life's small pleasures. I am learning the deep meaning of hugs. I am learning the beauty of prayer. I have learned to appreciate the sound of laughter, because true laughter....genuine and pure laughter isn't something that you hear much these days.

I want my life to have meaning. I've learned that God gives our lives meaning. I have come to know Him. I am learning His depth, His beauty...and the beauty of our individual purposes.

Yes, reader, you have a purpose. It probably doesn't involve watching television programs or checking facebook every hour. But we are all human.  I am guilty.
If we lived out our true God given purpose, the world would look different.
Love would flow naturally.  We would embrace life.  We would appreciate beauty in the mundane. We would cease to complain. We would teach one another. Learn from one another. Embrace and love one another in the purest and deepest form imaginable. If we truly followed the divine will of the Father, this life would look very much like Heaven.

Let's make big and beautiful bucket lists.  Let's live.  Let's surrender our lives to God and watch great things unfold.  Let's find beauty in one another and find peace at the foot of the Cross.


1. Learn a new language - Spanish? Italian? still deciding....

2. I think it would be beautiful to learn to crochet and then knit hats to donate to infants and children...My sis in law knits hats :)

3. Learn to play the guitar - and then go sing and play at hospitals and nursing homes

4. Make snow angels with the boys

5. Ride a scooter through the Italian countryside

6. I'm praying that God would show me the Northern Lights one day

7. Write a book about the wonders of God, the things that He has shown me, the greatness of His love, and the myriad experiences I've had that leave no question in my mind that He is real. And then give the book away for FREE to one thousand people.

8. Make another cd, this time with the songs that He has given me...songs of hope

9. Make everyone around me feel like a first class citizen in a world that treats you like coach.

10. visit an orphanage, volunteer

11. hot air ballooning

12. reach out to the homeless and get involved in prison ministry

13. drink coffee at a Parisian cafe...with a view of the Eifel Tower

14. enjoy the ocean with my children

15. take a mission trip to a very poverty stricken area. It would make me that much more greatful for the comforts of home.  I would like to write about the experience to share with others so that we all remember to truly count our blessings daily

16. Have a foot washing...There is a story in the Bible where a prostitute washes the feet of Jesus. It was a very intimate act that expressed her love and respect for Him. One day, I asked Jesus, "Lord, can I wash your feet?  He told me that by washing the feet of others, I wash His feet.  We wash the feet of others with kindess and with deliberate acts of love. Some churches, however, have had actual foot washings. It sounds silly almost, but I have heard that it is a very powerful experience.  One day, I washed the feet of my ten year old boy. He began to cry and tell me how much he loved me and that he didn't want me to go to work the next day. We all need those deliberate acts of love. We all need touch. We need to have our feet washed now and then. I want to  have a foot washing. I want to wash someone's feet.

17. Take my family, mom, dad, sis, bro, kids, on a very nice vacation

18. watch as many meteor showers as I possibly can...with hot chocolate, of course.

19. speak about my experiences in public forums

20. get involved, life, love, laugh...this day could be the last...

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Strong people

tonight I got my strength back.  I began thinking of how sometimes we simply need to stand up for ourselves. We need to recognize that we aren't doormats. We can respect ourselves and clothe ourselves with grace and dignity.
Strength doesn't come in the form of brawls or nasty revenge plots. It comes in the form of speaking up, having a voice...having something to say and making words count.

As I reflect on need for strength...I want to highlight a list of strong people...people who have braved the odds and created a name for themselves...not through thier wealth, but simply by standing for something and exemplifying strength in the midst of adversity. They showed persistence, faith, and bravery despite thier circumstances. Their names are remembered. Their legacies are powerful.
rosa parks
1. Rosa Parks ....Rosa, through her strength and determination, provided a voice to her entire race. If she hadn't stood up for herself, history may have been written differently. Rosa, you deserved that seat!

Rosa Parks (1913-2005) ­ By refusing to give up her seat on a city bus to a white man in 1955 Montgomery, Alabama, this hardworking seamstress set off a thirteen month bus boycott and a long chain of civil rights protests. The result was the national attention of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and a  Supreme Court ruling outlawing segregation on buses.

bethany hamilton
 2. Bethany Hamilton....Bethany's story inspired the movie, Soul Surfer....Her arm was bitten off by a shark. She got back in the water to the disbelief of many and inspired thousands of people, including people with disabilies. She is a surfing legend. Her faith in Christ never wavered. Her story showed that anything is possible with determination and a positive attitude.

anne frank

3. Anne Frank...Her diary, written during the time of the slaughter of millions of Jews in Nazi Germany, touched millions of lives.  Her heroism shined through her writing. Even though her world fell apart, Anne's light shined in the darkness.
How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.
Anne Frank

I don't think of all the misery but of the beauty that still remains.
Anne Frank

mildred cable

4. Mildred Cable - Mildred Cable was a Christian missionary who, around the turn of the century, spread the gospel throughout China. She braved bandits, harsh winters, and other extreme conditions to spread her faith. She is known for venturing to unknown places, like the Gobi Desert, to deliver a message of hope to the lost.

mother teresa

5. Mother Teresa - Mother Teresa was a small woman with a giant heart. She exemplified the great love of Christ by caring for the suffering. She visited families in the slums of India. She nursed wounds. She took care of children. She started various missions and dedicated her entire life to serving Christ. She is an icon of the Catholic religion, but she provided a model of love for every denomination. In 1979, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

george muller

6. George Muller - George Mueller is a man whose life shows the power of prayer. He is responsible for housing hundreds of orphans in England. He never petitioned for money, but prayed for God to supply the needs of his orphanages. There were days when food was scare, but just as it would run out...God would send someone to deliver bread or necessities. His service and faith provided a chance to destitute children who would have otherwise never had a chance.
helen keller

7. Helen Keller- Helen was born without blind and deaf. She persisted in the desire for learning and despite her disabilies graduated from college. She won numerous awards and became an advocate for the disabled.

8. Stephanie Cherry - Several months ago, I stumbled across a blog. The writing of Stephanie Cherry has helped me in numerous ways.  Her faith and obedience has been an inspiration to me in more ways than one. She and her husband left thier comfortable home in the suburbs to move to a neighborhood ravaged by addiction. They have opened up thier home to the lost and the hurting and to those in ministry who simply need a place to rest. Despite enduring much hardship, she keeps moving forward with a beautiful and inspiring outlook on life.  Her blog address is

9. Connie LeBleu BristerMy mom- My mom is an amazing woman who works tirelessly to take care of her family. She personifies hard work and dedication. Like my grandmother, she is an inspiration and I am thankful to have her in my life.

10. Melonie Nunez Brister - My sister-in-law has endured much tragedy. Her dad was killed in a horrible accident and her mother was recently brutally murdered. Despite Mel's immense pain, her light still shines as a beacon of hope to those around her. Her mother's killer is still on the loose. Her story was recently featured on America's Most Wanted. If you can, go to the website and search the name Joe Constance. He is still at large and a family is still suffering.

11. any woman, weak or strong, or any man who has the courage to speak, with dignity and grace, what she believes regardless of what others think...To me, that is strength...
 (there are so many others that examples of strength that I encounter every day. My sister. Several of my friends, family, in laws....the beauty of strength is that God provides it to us when we need it most. He is a refuge for the weary. "come all who are burdened and I will give you rest."
Sometimes resting is strength in itself.


Strong Women Quotes

Always be a first-rate version of yourself,
instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.
- Judy Garland

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.
- Helen Keller

When you get the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance.
- Lee Ann Womack

Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass...
It's about learning how to dance in the rain.
- Vivian Greene

One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar.
- Helen Keller

With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.
- Eleanor Roosevelt

Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.
- Marianne Williamson

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
- Eleanor Roosevelt

As we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence actually liberates others.
- Marianne Williamson

Self-pity is our worst enemy and if we yield to it, we can never do anything wise in this world.
- Helen Keller

As we light a path for others, we naturally light our own way.
- Mary Anne Radmacher

Never allow a person to tell you No who doesn't have the power to say Yes.
- Eleanor Roosevelt

A woman is like a tea bag - you can't tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.
- Eleanor Roosevelt

Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn't.
- Erica Jong

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Coping with infidelity

this past week has been one of the most humbling and humiliating weeks that I have experienced in a very long time.
I feel as if I have been crushed by betrayal.
This week, I have been seized by fear. Fear has taken the strongest parts of me and held me like a vice.
Fear of the future. Fear of the past. Fear.
Fear of women that I have have never seen. Fear of the ones I have.

One night I had a dream. I tried to make myself beautiful. I painted my face.... I was wearing a very pretty dress....   But still, no one wanted me....
I refuse to listen to the lies that I'm not good enough. If a man wants shallow things, then he will have a shallow life.....all I can do is try ..with all of my wash my hands of the pain, forgive, and go on with a new strength and a new determination.

This week, the shallow parts of me have wanted to cause pain. The shallow parts of me have even lashed out at people who didn't deserve it....
our hurt never gives us an excuse to cause someone else pain.  Never.
There is a shallow part of me that wants my husband to pay. That wants justice! But there is this very real, Jesus centered part of me that only wants to see him finally come to the Cross and to turn away from the damaging life he leads.

This week I have felt sick to my stomach. I have felt a hollow in my gut that my husband used to fill.
I was trying to be friends with him. We would talk on the phone everyday...sometimes for an hour...
and now, even that is gone.

I hope that I can take all of the hurt that I feel and reach out to someone else that desperately needs it...
our pain should never be wasted.... we can use it to make ourselves stronger by strengthening the hurting people around us...

The other day I was at starbucks and I accidentally backed into a car. I waited for the lady to come outside. She kept thanking me for not running off.  I thought it was sad that running off has become the norm.   I saw a Jesus fish on her car.. I know that having fish on our cars doesn't necessarily mean we are living as we are called to live....but those fish give me hope that there are still decent people left in this corrupt world.
I told her that  I liked her fish. I told her that I was sorry for hitting her car and I told her that I was going thru some things. She told me some of her story and we hugged. We hugged each other tightly, and, at that moment, we were two a great big sea of people...that just needed each other.
She called me her Christmas angel, but I think that she was mine.
Love still reedems us.

When we are hurt, it's hard not to cast our stones. I have cast my own stones this week. I have actually hit a few people on the head with my stones...
but, tonight...I just want to put them down.... My arms are too heavy...and a broken heart can only be free when it learns to let go of the stones....

The other day..I was walking thru the garden center...and I saw all of this beautiful life springing up around me....I thought that much of heaven is going to look like a garden...colorful and maybe there will be water globes too. And hopefully some wind chimes. I find them soothing.


In all of my  hurt and desperation, I found myself scrolling thru the personal ads hoping to find someone to talk to, simply to take my mind off of the hurt that I am experiencing.
But then I remberered what God showed me months ago  - NO man can ever fulfill me like He can.
I don't want to fall into the arms of a man as a vulnerable, helpless creature...
I want to be strong..brave, fearless..I need to love and forgive those who have hurt me. I need to realize that I can be happy on my own.
We should all come to a place where we aren't afraid to be happy with just ourselves. 
We were created in the image of a loving God.... I pray that we can all learn to love and forgive ourselves in such a way that we don't feel the need to fill our lives with people who hurt us and cause us severe emotional damage.
God wants us drama free. It took me a long while to realize that.
Our sins stir up strife and create drama and life isn't meant to be lived that way.
I'm not saying that we should all divorce our spouses and end our relationships....I'm simply saying that we need to find a place of rest at the foot of the Cross...
Seek Him for guidance and counsel, but if there is some severe drama...just get away in order to seek Him...

For all those that are going thru a hard time in your relationships, remember that you are beautiful. You are worth so much. You are loved by a man who died to know you. You don't have to let your situation define you. You are called to rise above it..not cater to the fleshly part of you that longs for revenge...
You are better than that.  Walk away if you need to, but if you walk...let the light of the cross guide your very footsteps..otherwise, you will walk blindly towards danger. Let the cross lead back to love....
God's what ..reedems us.
without it, we are lost and sometimes disgusting creatures.....
we need God's love

Friday, November 25, 2011

Terribly Interesting: Is that Grizzly Adams?

Terribly Interesting: Is that Grizzly Adams?: This Blog is Updated each Tuesday. I once thought Christianity was about being an advocate for "Christian" things. I signed up for all the...

Thoughts on Black Friday

I'm not quite sure what to think of Black Friday.
On the one hand, I think it's great that people can save money. Things are expensive these days. Times are tough, end of story...

But on the other hand, I hear stories of immense greed related to Black Friday. Today I read a facebook post about a retail worker that had to help an elderly lady in a wheelchair from a stampede of greed. Fights break out every year. All I can think is: Are people really willing to sell thier souls in order to save a few dollars on a flat screen?

Is this what we've become?
Haven't we recognized that the best things in life aren't things?  Why does that seem so complicated to some?
What's even sadder is the fact that Black Friday is associated with Christmas.
Many are missing the point of Christmas entirely.   I can't help but wonder how many "Christians" are pushing and shoving in the chaotic madness. Haven't we yet learned that Christmas is about humility.
IT was no accident that Christ was born in a manger. That was a message on how we are to live. Humbly. Not focused on greed and the gimmees, but remembering to treat others with dignity and respect.

7 Days of Heaven, Day 4, and going through the storm part 2

This month has been very difficult. My stomach has been in knots for the past few days.
The other night, I was sorting through my mail. I noticed a bevy of credit card offers, bills, and promotions.  I sadly observed that there was no personal mail. I felt like I could've used a good old-fashioned hand written letter.
So I began to think of what I could do for Day 4 of my 7 Days in Heaven series. I pondered on how we all need deliberate acts of love.  So I took out a pen and paper and wrote a hand written letter to a complete stranger. I mentioned that no matter what we are going through, everything is going to be ok. I told them how beautiful and special they are, and how they have a very unique purpose. I am going to find a random name in the phone book and mail it to them with no return address.

I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't completely heartbroken. But I know that sometimes our hearts break so that they can be put together in a new and better way.

I spoke with my husband last night. We cried together on the phone. I am thankful that I can move past the anger. I am thankful that I can still love him. I still want him to thrive.

I have still chosen to move on with my life. I have to.
But I pray that others can forgive also.
It's easy to cast our stones at bad behaviour.  But I've walked down the aisle of bad behaviour. I've been there. I've done many things that I deeply regret. Many things were done out of complete brokeness. Some were down out of selfishness. And some were just downright wicked.

Even now, I am forced to examine my own heart. Dear God, is there anything in me that is wicked?
I can't help but a small amount of blame on myself for the way that things turned out.

Last month, something beautiful transpired. I was looking at my ten year old son, Cade. Jesus spoke to me and said, "Rachelle, wash his feet."
So I did. I said, "Cade, this is going to sound silly, but do you mind if I wash your feet?"

There is a story in the Bible.. a prostitute washed the feet of Jesus. It was a very deliberate act of love. She took his feet in her hands. She rubbed them with oil, and dried them with her hair. One day I asked Jesus, "Lord, how can I wash your feet?" He told me that by washing the feet of others, I would wash His feet.  So I have tried to wash the feet of others ever since. We wash each others feet with acts of kindness and deliberate acts of love.

After I washed Cade's feet, he started to cry. I could see that something inside his little ten year old heart, broke.  He began to tell me that he didn't want me to go to work the next day. I think I cried too.

Even in my marriage, I wonder....What if we had washed each others feet every day? What if?
What if I had washed his feet despite all of the pain that I endured?
Would things have turned out differently if we washed each others feet?  If we had both taken the time for deliberate acts of love? Of course, things would have turned out differently.

Deliberate acts of love redeem us. Deliberate acts of love break down walls.
If anyone could learn anything from my heartbreak,
learn to forgive
Husbands wash the feet of your wife. Wives wash the feet of your husbands.
Mothers. Fathers. Wash the feet of your children. Children, wash your parent's feet.

we only have a short time on earth. Lets try to get it right. Take time to wash the feet of others and wash the feet of Christ.

even despite the immense pain that I feel, one day, I am going to see David and I am going to ask him if I can wash his feet. He is broken and I still love him.

Even though I feel I have to move on, I am still going to wash his feet.

In my letter to the random stranger I wrote, "even though we are hurt, love relentlessly anyway."
Love redeems. Love has face that looks like Christ.
What would the world look like is we loved relentlessly?
The world would look like heaven.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A cry to the Father

Have you ever cried out to God...Why me?
When is it my turn, Lord? When will I get my day in the sun?

 I have, and this is what He told me.... "Rachelle, Do not lament over the things that are lost, instead rejoice in the beauty around you.  The time is now.  Today is our day. We just have to recognize the beauty around us...forget about what is lost...and rejoice. Even when the clouds loom, the sun is still there.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

7 Days of Heaven, Day 3

I almost abandoned this post tonight. I wasn't in the mood. A lot has happened throughout the course of this day.

It seems that every day I try to tell someone how beautiful and special they are in the eyes of God. Tonight, after I learned of infidelity in my marriage, many people told those same words to me.

Though the words were encouraging, it seemed that I was falling so fast that everything seemed hollow. Nothing seemed to matter. I guess nothing really does matter when it feels like your guts are being ripped from your very core.

Tonight, I could feel the enemy. I could hear his lies. Rachelle, you're not good enough. Rachelle, you could have done more. Rachelle, you aren't worth the truth. Rachelle, you will fall into a depression and this time you won't come out of it.
There was a point tonight when I listened to the lies in such a way that I could literally see myself helpless.

Today, I listened to the lies and I brought no heaven to this earth....

My brother in law and sister are in from North Carolina. Tonight, Eric pulled out his guitar and he began to sing. He sang an old hymn called, We've got the Power.

As he was singing, it was as if I could feel Jesus right there. I could feel this bright bright hope. As Eric was singing, I could see my grandma dancing on a distant shore. And then, I knew that everything was going to be o.k.

Tonight, I didn't bring heaven to earth, but my sister and her husband did. And so I want to thank them.
When we praise the name of Jesus we bring a little bit of Heaven to this dark earth. When we raise our voices to the most High, something bright and brilliant shines through. He is glorified and a little bit of Heaven falls back down...

This week I had it all planned out. I knew exactly what I was going to do for my 7 days in Heaven blog. But things didn't quite turn out like I expected.  And from that I learned a valuable lesson.
Don't we plan out our lives..We think we know how the story will end....But the truth is that we can't control the characters in our own stories.
No matter how hard we try, we can't control what happens to us and we can't put people in a jar and make them love us.
But I am learning that though life is unpredictable, our God is firm and steadfast. He is there regardless of our circumstance. The winds may blow around us..the storm may rage...but He is still there.  He never promises us that things will be easy. Contraire.... He tells us that the path is hard. He tells us the road is narrow. He bids us not to quit and lay face down in the mud when people push our faces in the dirt. He bids us to go anyway.
So tonight, I resolve to go.
To not let this affect me in such a way that I am willing to let it interfere with my walk. I will be at the finish line. I will walk the narrow path. I am an overcomer through Christ who strengthens me.

Give me your hand let's agree together
that all of our enemies will crumble at our feet
for whatever we bind on earth shall be bound in heaven
at the name of Jesus, Satan has to flee

We've got the power in the name of Jesus
We've got the power in the name of the Lord
Though Satan rages we cannot be defeated
We've got the power in the name of the Lord..

Tonight, please say a prayer for the Farque family. Mr. CJ went to be with Jesus. He was an amazing man and a beloved member of my church. God Bless you Mr. CJ. Give gran a kiss for me.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Sunday in the South: How to stop hearing from God

Sunday in the South: How to stop hearing from God: ( . . . and burn completely out) Henry Blackaby in Experiencing God says that God is still speaking in this day and age through t...

7 Days of Heaven, Day 2

Day 2

Sharing Ice Cream with coworkers....

Sometimes, we bring heaven on earth with the small things.  It's important to be thoughtful or mindful of those around us. We don't have to be rich to bless others.  The small things count too.
I think that consideration is an attitude for which we should strive. So tonight, I bought some ice cream to share with my coworkers.

I went to Jamaica several months ago. On my cruise, I noticed a lot of people pushing and shoving to get on elevators. Everyone seemed in a rush and unmindful of one another. Everyone was in a hurry to get somewhere that no one had time to look or consider the person standing beside them.

Someone paid me a compliment while I was there. There was a Jamaican man who was a tour guide. He told me that I was different. He told me that I had a peace about me.  During the course of the trip and nearly every day since, I try to remember the verse..."He is who is last shall be first, and he who is first shall be last."

Sometimes, in our busy, busy lives...rushing is almost second nature. Sometimes we feel like we have so much to accomplish...but sometimes we only need to simply sit back, and be mindful of those around us. As Christians, we are called to set our eyes on the things above, and not on the things below. We are to store up our treasures in Heaven. And that means being considerate. Putting others first. Not feeling that our needs are so important that we are willing to shove everyone else aside in haste.

Sharing is love. And you don't have to be rich to share. You just have to do it.  One of His greatest commandments is to love others as we love ourself. That means sharing. It's not a commandment that we can ignore. It should define us. 
I try to practice it. Sometimes I wonder, if I were cold, could I give away my jacket to the person sitting beside me. If I were hungry and there were only a morsel of food, could I give it away to make sure that someone else found the nourishment they needed?

I read something the other day that struck me. This life is a test. Sometimes the people that are put in our path are a part of that test. Not only the difficult people that we are called to love. But also, the needy people.  I read that failing to act is as much a sin as anything else.  If you see a neighbor with no coat or a very real need, and you can meet that need, but choose to look the other way, it's wrong. It is failing to love in the capacity that we are called to love.

I used to think that loving others was a weakkness. After all, I had been hurt so many times. But I have since learned that loving others, especially those who have hurt you, is a strength. It is a divine strength bestowed upon us by a loving God.  It is one of the fruits of the Spirit.

Tonight, I messed up.

My feelings were hurt over something. I tried to address the issue. The other person raised thier voice. I snapped and said things that shouldn't have been said.
What is sad  is that words are something that we can never get back.
I told the person I was sorry. I apologized to God.  Our faults and failures make us realize how human we are and how much we need a loving God. Our faults and failures make us appreciate His Grace that much more.
I've come to learn that I'm not perfect, but I have also come to learn that it is best to humble oneself and apologize when we do wrong. To repent and pray that the next time another situation rolls around that we will have the grace to handle it differently.

This life is a test. And I want to pass. I want you to pass. Learn to share. Practice it. Find love at the foot of the Cross and let if flow naturally.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Seven Days of Heaven

every day we should strive to bring a little bit of Heaven to earth..
How do we do it?

By taking up our cross, humbling ourselves, and showing the love of God those around us.

For the next seven days, I am going to strive to bring a little bit of heaven to earth..
actually, every day for the rest of my life, I am going to strive.
The world needs the love of a loving God.
The world needs to see Him.

So many people are hurting, struggling, and suffering. Carrying the cross means reaching out in ways that make us uncomfortable. We need to be challenged. We need to learn what it means to love someone more than ourselves. We need to set the example.

I pray that my life can be lived by example. I have learned that walk isn't the easiest, but it is, by far the most rewarding.

Join me, for seven days of Heaven...

Day One

Today, I was cruising thru the supermarket picking up dinner for work.  As I was checking out, I noticed a much older man waiting in line behind me. I noticed that he had some religious candles. I remarked on how pretty they were.

He began telling me that his brother was in prison and that he burned one candle a week for his brother. He said it helped him keep track on how long his brother was gone. 
I have always wanted to buy the groceries of the person behind me, and tell them how much Jesus loves today, I bought the man's candles. I didn't plan on it. I just wanted to do it.
Today was one of those days that I relish. One of those days where the love of Christ flows naturally.
Today was one of those days when all cares and worries were left at the foot of the cross.
When we leave our cares at His cross, our hearts and minds become free and His love can flow from us with ease, grace, and fluidity.
Our love shouldn't be forced. It should come natural.
He began to tell me how he was disabled, divorced, and how his mother had died a year ago.
He then began to open up to me about church.
He told me that he was Catholic and felt bad because he hadn't made it to church in a long time. He said that he needed confession and communion.
I told him that God can meet him on his knees, all he has to do is seek Him.
I told him that I often pray and confess my sins to God and take communion by myself.
I know that a lot of people may not agree with that, but that's ok.
I'm sure it doesn't matter to God what church we attend as long as we seek His face and call upon His name.

I became sad because I could see a man missing out on God because of guilt.
Guilt because he couldn't fulfill his religious duties due to a disability.
But we serve a God of forgiveness. He is faithful and just to forgive our sins. All we have to do is ask.

We talked for a few more the end of the conversation, the man was smiling.
Today, I made a stranger smile and I hopefully encouraged him to seek God.
To me, that is bringing a little bit of heaven to earth.

Side note:
I saw a gingerbread house in the supermarket. Surely, there will be gingerbread houses in Heaven.

Today, I was scrolling through my favorite blog, Terribly Interesting, and I saw this quote. I thought it fit the situation.

You don't need to go to church every time the door opens or fulfill the rituals of your religion. You just need to go to the cross." - Anne Graham Lotz
Don't let guilt keep you from missing out on God! Go to the Cross!


Is there anything keeping you from Him?
even now, I feel as if I am close to Him, but not even nearly as close as I should be or as I want to be.
Every day we should strive and seek more.
I try to examine my life daily.
What needs to go? Am I giving enough? Am I doing enough? Am I putting all of my trust in Him?
Am I leading anyone in the wrong direction? Or am I exemplifying Him through love?
I find myself continually asking these questions.
There are days when I condemn myself. Rachelle, you aren't doing enough. Rachelle, you should be doing this. or doing that.
Am I fully listening to His voice?
He says the path is narrow..
How narrow is the path I'm walking?
Am  I leading by His example or am I giving lip service?

I ask this a lot, but I think we should all be asking them...
Usually, even when I feel like a failure, I can still feel Him loving me. I can feel His presence and it makes me want to go even more, try even harder, give even more.
The entire purpose of this blog...isn't to condemn religions, but to let people know that God is there for each of us. He loves us all.Sometimes, we feel like we have to go to the moon and back...but sometimes, we only need to go to the Cross.

Sometimes I get overwhelmed.  Too many people have too many different ideas about which way is the right way. But He says that He knows us by the love that we have for one another.
His greatest commandments are to love God with everything within us...and to love one another, even as He loved us...such that we would be willing to lay down our life as He laid down His very own..
Are we loving each other in that capacity?
If not, we should strive for that.
We should strive even to love those who have hurt us the most. Because sometimes they are the ones that need it the most.
If we aren't showing that kind of love, do we even belong to Him?

All I know is that..when I go to the Cross...I continually find His love...and when I find that love...It becomes natural for me to share it with others...
even with those who have hurt me the most.

The answer lies in the journey to the Cross. And the journey begins on bended knees, with a humble heart.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Tonight, I decided to write a poem about Death. I'm sure it will never be a great literary work, but I hope that it can bring someone peace. In this life, we are to spread our light in as many ways as we can.
Because this life is not all there is.

When we die, we will be judged according to our works..the things we did for Christ. Let's leave legacies of love. Every act of love causes our Light to grow. He told us not to hide our lights under a lampstand, but to shine so that a dying world could have hope.

When  Andy died, I lost hope. But I didn't understand or know Christ. He is my hope. My perspective on death changed as I grew in Christ.

Here's my poem....

Before I knew Christ,
Death was the dark hand of loss, whose slimy bony fingers
stole away moments.
She was a hand born of ashes that loomed.
Her hands moved like shadows in dark skies, rising like a hurricane towards peaceful shores.
She threatened to blow away colors.
- a hurricane that built up walls inside of people, and with puckered, withered lips, blew away turquoise.

The world became a spider, fuzzy,
but not warm, 
weaving webs of black and white.
Intricate patterns that my brain could not comprehend,
threading veils across my eyes so that I walked in a maze of black.
Thick and dusty carpet draped about my face.
Suffocating and choking, she rendered me asthmatic.
There were days when I lost my breath. 
Klonopin became air, like breathing through a respirator where the clouds are tainted.

I sat at gravesides, pretending that the dead could speak.
We were prisoners and Death was our wall of glass. It was an unbreakable glass. But I would have broken it, if it could've been broken.
I longed to be heard. But I learned that ash has no ears. The dead have no hands for lifting. No voice for breathing fresh air of color into hollow spaces.

I searched for meaning in drops of rain. And played old songs hundreds of times...songs where you came to life...
but then died again in the silence.
I imagined you could see me, and I became the entertainer.

I became reckless. Feral. Haunted, longing to taste where you were. Longing to put heaven onto my tongue to taste if you were there. But I had no understanding of Heaven. Then, all I knew was darkness.

But as time passed....I grew in Christ...and

Death grew dim. She shrunk like the fat grape of a poisoned wine. Her effect was still potent, but her ability to render helpless, gone.  Her veil floats like gossamer, thin and insignificant...upon another stream.

But I have placed my boat in a different sort of water. A water that lives and flows and does not drown.

As I grew closer to Christ, I understood Heaven and knew that life does not end. The cord to earth has been lost, but our entire lives are lived so that we can weave our way to eternity.
We are all meant to be architects, building towards something greater than ourselves.
If Christ remains in us, then we build toward infinity.
And if He is not, then Death gains her grip and her poison flows towards rivers of rot.

We hold needles of light. We are meant to create, weave love and kindness throughout each others lives.

I can see you laughing and kicking up sand. Your toes are in the water. I can see the Light that lived in you, casting a glow about your face. Your face is young now. You are perfect..
but, to me, you always were.

I can see the Light that lived with you. It is a Light that cannot die.
A soul that lived in His Light cannot die.
I can see that now..
that is the difference.

In death we are not prisoners...only through Death, are we ever really free.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Riding the roller coaster

So where do I begin? This past week has been very emotional. I feel as if I am riding the roller coaster of life once again. One minute I'm smiling and embracing life. The next moment I am in tears. I guess that is part of my way of dealing with death.

There is a part of me that feels very reassured and peaceful. I can feel God behind everything that has happened recently. I can feel His healing Hand even when I am crying my eyes out. Even now, my tears aren't even tears of despair. They are tears of loss. I will miss gran deeply. I loved her so much.

It seems that this week I have focused heavily on my "situation." My "situation" is less than perfect.  There are days when I find myself calling out to God, "This isn't the way things are supposed to be." "Things are meant to be different." There are days when I crave "normalcy."
But then again, what is normal? Especially, these days. The beauty of this life is that Christ can take something that doesn't even look "normal" and turn it around so that is virtually unrecognizeable.

And Once again, I come to the conclusion that....Even though my situation isn't perfect...MY GOD still is...

I have food. I am warm. I have much to be thankful for...

Yesterday, I was running some errands and it seemed that I encountered so many rude people. I noticed people darting in line in front of me at the checkout counter and I almost let it  get to me. 
I noticed people pulling out in front of me...and just plain rude behavior. Yesterday, I felt like I should be exempt from it all...because of the things that I am facing.

There is a verse in the Bible that I remembered about how people's wickedness will be so abundant in the last days that the love of many will grow cold.

Yesterday, I had to hold my tongue a few times and all I could say was, "Jesus, please never let my love grow cold. Never. 
I know that there will always be rude, mean, and inconsiderate people...but never ever ever let my love grow cold

For the one hundred people that would walk all over me, there is still the one out there that needs to see the love of Jesus.
sometimes, people are rude because they too have been walked on one too many times.
This life is a test. Never let another person's "rudeness" keep you from seeking God.

As I was driving home I remembered a prayer that I once saw. I went with a friend to adoration at her church. My best friend had just died. I thought the words of the prayer were beautiful and I recalled them yesterday as I was driving home after a long day.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
It's one of those prayers that remind us, once again, that no matter what we are facing...
the walk still isn't about us. No matter how much we seek love, our ultimate purpose is not to seek it, but to give it...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Mission Projects

In between grueling hours of shift work and motherhood....I have been trying to do small mission projects. I once thought that mission projects were complicated endeavors which involved going overseas or to faraway places. But I have come to learn that our backyard is a mission field.
Everyone around us is in need of a little of our Light.

Here are a few ways that I have been sharing mine....

Olivia with Bears

I ordered boucoups of these little bears. Each one has a t shirt with a personalized message. A man at work came to speak about being a burn victim so I decided that it would be nice to bring some of my bears to the children's pediatric burn center in Baton Rouge. That is actually a project in the works that I hope to accomplish with my friends Mandy and Shandy. But so far, I've given away over 40 bears.
Some have gone to Harbour House, a local shelter for abused, neglected, and troubled children in Lake Charles. Some have also found a home at Buckner's home for Children in Beaumont.

This bear just wanted to relax on my big, fluffy, red papasan chair...

Oh, the life of a bear...

In addition to taking the bears to the Pediatric Burn Center at Baton Rouge General,
we will also be taking some children's books that I bought from Books A Million

Several Christian themed children's books

I have also been shopping and participating in Operation Christmas Child through Samaritan's Purse.
I read an article about a young Russian girl who saw the love of Jesus through her gift. She spoke of how she was very excited to receive a toothbrush. It made me realize how much we take for granted! I had a lot of fun picking out goodies for the kids.

Here's some toys and necessities for a young girl

some fun stuff for teenage girl...tshirt,toiletries, watch, journal, writing materials, candy, etc...

My mom wrapping shoeboxes

We picked up boxes from church and brought them to the drop off site

We also put together some boys items but I didn't capture it on photo...

Another project I'm working on involves baby booties. One day a family member that I hardly know gave me a pair of hand made crocheted baby booties. As I was putting them on my feet, I had the sensation of feeling loved. It was a wonderful feeling and I wanted to recapture it, put in a bottle, and release it to others..

I ordered over lots and lots of hand made crocheted booties from various sellers on ebay. I give them out to new mothers, along with a Bible and letter of encouragement.

Lately, I have been delivering them to a place called ABC Pregnancy Resource Center. Many mothers go there for pregnancy testing. I spoke with the ladies that work there and they say that many of the mother's that find out that they are pregnant opt for abortions. They said that baby booties have a powerful impact on expecting mothers because they remind them that their babies have feet.

Is there anything sweeter than baby booties? This pair came in hot pink!

IF you happen to be an expecting mother and are reading this blog, message me...and I will happily send you a pair...

Another project that I'm working on involves the homeless. To me, one of the worst things in the world is to be  cold.  I equate cold with misery. I once read a story about a woman who delivered over a thousand blankets to the homeless in her area. She sought them out. She knew them by name. Her name is Kris Briggman and her story appeared in the national news. She is a local hero. I admire her deeply for her efforts and I decided to carry on a small part of her legacy of love... But I'm not helping the homeless for her...I'm helping them because Jesus asks us to do it in His Word..and I love Him...

So I am putting together care packages to be sent to Abraham's tent. My Uncle Ray and I purchased blankets. I also bought socks, hats, and I have been arduously filling out personalized Christmas cards. I wonder how often the homeless get Christmas cards? Probably not very often. I pray they can see Jesus.
Uncle Ray ordered 24 of these fleece blankets.

Thank you, Uncle Ray :)

more blankets that I bought from Wal Mart
socks for warm feet

I thought this would make a pretty card

One of the personalized messages I wrote 

I'm also going to add a Bible to my care package. I bought several Bibles and I've also had a few people donate Bibles. Thank you Uncle Ray and Mrs. Stacy

There is no greater gift than the Word of God

oops, i forgot to buy colors

One day my friend Mandy  and I were talking.  We both have hearts for children. One time she told me that she bought coloring books for underprivledged children.  She inspired me. So I bought some, as well. We are going to spread the love of Christ with kids. I got some coloring books and I'm going to write little messages of love and encouragement throughout.      These are just a few projects I have going on...Blogger doesn't want to cooperate with me so I will have to do a part 2....