My Small Town of Shelbyville

There is something about the town of Shelbyville that has simply captured my heart. These people, this time, the place....as unglamorous as my summer is here, I still love having this deep sense of feeling here, the feeling of a place like home. It's so great to have this to come back to, even though WKU is for sure my home right now. All of this is such a far cry from everything else I've ever experienced, with moving being such a part of my life before God decided to really shake up my world.

So, this whole post is a tribute to my town that I call home, and my church that I love so deeply.




When asked to tell about your experience working at Christ Community, where do I even begin (how do you describe anything associated with CCC anyway?)? I can tell you this though: being an intern at Christ Community means a lot to me—it’s a new way for me to serve the church that I love and an exploratory way to look at what ministry could be as a future calling/career path.

Like many things at CCC, my job as an intern began unstructured and about as clear as mud. This lack of super defined tasks and schedule was really a challenge for list-making, two-weeks-ahead planning me. Not to mention that I went out of the country to Honduras for a week in the middle of my first month working.

And I thought this summer was going to be easy.

God had different plans. From all of these challenges, God has made a new norm for me out of the storm—He’s drawn me out onto the water into a deeper, more intimate relationship with Him. I can’t thank Him enough for the challenges He’s helped me through.

As the weeks of working continued on, I began to learn even more about time management, handling money and scheduling (which I have to say, I’m still not any good at). I also had the opportunity to learn more about Shelbyville—from being able to go into Sixth and Main and work, talking about mission trips to a lady in the UPS store, and going in the coolest paint store I’ve ever been in (I went in there only a few time and already this one guy knows what I’m back for before I say anything--that’s Shelbyville for you).

Ever since I moved here, God has been working on my heart full-time. From having a many difficulties with the move here, God has taken my heart and transformed it into one that loves and sees the beauty of Shelbyville—just like what He sees. CCC has helped me see just how much God LOVES the church, how it really is His bride, and how we are to take care of her and grow her until He returns.  

With school about to start back, my consistent time here is starting to reach the last stretch of its journey. I will miss going to church, hanging out with the youth, seeing you all, driving on Main Street, and even going to the Walmart.  However, I am called back to WKU for this year to go and support another church while I’m there, lead people in prayer and simply be a light to the other students I meet, especially the freshman. I can already feel that God is preparing events and times and moments and places to show His glory and move with prayer like never before on WKU’s campus.

Thank you so much CCC, for your investment in me and my spiritual growth—you all are life-changers, it’s as simple as that.
“Yet whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ. MORE than that, I regard EVERYTHING as loss compared to the surpassing value of KNOWING Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may GAIN Christ and be FOUND in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes through the law, but one that comes through faith in CHRIST, the righteousness from God based on FAITH. I want to KNOW Christ and the POWER of his resurrection and the SHARING of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead.”
Philippians 3:7



My New Addiction




So Many Questions

"I think a lot of us need to forget about God's will for our life. It's not about where I'll be, God cares more about what our response to His Spirit's leading today, in this moment, than what we intend to do next year."
Francis Chan
Recently I was talking with a friend about the subject of comparing our summers, and she mentioned that she ended up having more questions than answers. I know something that I 've been convicted of is laying out this elaborate detailed plan about something God obviously wants for me, but worrying and trying to organize all of the details my way and on my time. This is not something that works, even if God's wanting me to do something. It's all or nothing with God. His way or no way at all.

What I've realized from all of this, and my whole summer, is that I am asking all of the wrong questions.

Where will I be then?

What's gonna be my next job?

What are my gifts?

Can I even go into that?

What's this?

What the heck is that?

Well Rachel, you must remember....

It's not about me.

It's not about then.

It's not about the details that must be in place a certain way.

I can't live there and still walk with the Spirit here.

Don't I know that Jesus is more than that?

All these questions that I have, wonder about and don't know the answers to.....they force me to rethink the way I think. What I stand for, and how I do things. Who I'm becoming, and if my actions reflect if the truth is really what I believe. 





Catching It Before

Today has been one of those days that start out hard. Real hard. Waking up with a bad attitude (how does that even happen? It's not like you even have done anything yet!), a crazy schedule change starting almost before you get out of bed, knowing that you probably won't get that much done today (so many times that is what we measure our days by--not by how we walked closer to the Lord), bad drivers and a trying a new kind of frappe that's not as good as what I usually get (that's shallow, I know, but it's the little things after the big things that drive me nuts).

Should I skip my quiet time or communication with the Lord  just because I can't/don't want to focus? No.
Just because I have a sour heart, and think that it won't really benefit me because of that? No.
Just because I get convinced that I often have an impenetrable frazzled-ness/anger/frustration that nothing can breach? No.

Are we not told that our Lord melts the hearts of stones? Shouldn't His love and grace overwhelm us like nothing else?

Just like David did in 1 Samuel, we have to keep coming back to Him even when we feel like this--bad, sinful and stressed. This is an opportunity to see how we react when times are like this--where does our faith really stand? Are we asking the right questions? Can we not just whisper "Jesus"?

What happens when we do?

"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his mercies are new every morning."
Lamentations 3:22


What I Learned While Camping Far Far Away: I Am Clay

So, as these new pictures allow you to see what I've been up to, I do have to write about what went through my head surrounding all of those captured moments. First of all, lets say playing a prank on the intern by saying "No, this youth is not in the car, isn't she in yours?" was NOT the best idea. At all. If I didn't like the people that played the prank on me so much, I would still not be talking to them. It is something to say that it really tests the relationship, and once it's through the "fire" (aka OHNO OHMIGOSH IVE LEFT HER AND GOT TO GO ALL THE WAY BACK TO GET HER--and will probably get fired in the process!!!! Then, a received text: "Of course she's in our car", so me: *glares at people suspiciously thinking that everyone is now lying to her* and begins to mutter under her breath and doesn't talk to these people unless she has to for the rest of the day) you can see how good of a relationship you [we] actually have.

Anyway, after we get past these little things that stress me out before we even get to the campsite, where my learning begins is with the fact that as the CCC intern, I was heading a lot of this trip, planning and organizing people and things. This position that I'm in continues to teach me that ministry can take on many different shapes and forms and looks so   different--on purpose. I mean, if all ministry was that same, we'd only reach the same people instead of all the different ones, the ones where we need others to help us connect with. Plus, we wouldn't be using all of our different gifts to serve the church and moving like the many dissimilar parts of the body.

Being in this position makes me think about my future in ministry--because that's where I'm headed--and honestly, I've been worrying a lot about it lately. Not in the fact that I may be held to different standards or anything, but rather if I can do it or not. Am I "good enough" to be here in this position? How come it's not that easy to me? Am I meant to work with youth?  What if I can't speak like that? What if I can't handle this?  It's in times like these that I have to remind myself that ministry has NOTHING to DO with ME other than how I SURRENDER myself and my soul to my First Love.  Your glory God is what our hearts long for, to be overcome by your presence...but still the voice is still in my head: you won't be able to do this. And yet, maybe it's truth--just not in the way you would think. "Doing this" may included "its gotta be more like falling in love than something to believe in" or "more like loosing my heart than giving my allegiance". Not really the fact that it "depends on me".

...it was love that made me a believer....it was falling in love with Jesus brought the change in me...

Worries aside, something else to address is the fact that I've changed lately. This was going to be a whole other post, but this weekend spending time with my kiddos as I call them, really cemented what I've noticed. The way I speak, the way I write. It's just different. I think it's just more of me. Me, becoming myself. This will continue to change as I grown into/become myself more. This has been the theme of what God has been teaching me through my quiet times lately--how to find security that doesn't fade away (just f.y.i. that's in Him).  That isn't dependent on your circumstances or physical appearance. Try to combat these lies with biblical verses, passages and prayer (Lamentations 3:22, 1 Corinthians 3:7, Psalms 62:5-6 ).

There are still many things in my not-so-far-away future that will probably come crashing down on me in the form of stress and swirling confusion that will threaten my developing, experimental depositing of myself in someone else [who I know will never fail, it's just me having to let go]. But me-reduction is something that I have learned to rejoice in because of the outcome. I was reminded of this by the passage in Jeremiah 18:1-6.

"The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Arise, and go down to the potter's house, and there I will let you hear my words.”  So I went down to the potter's house, and there he was working at his wheel.  And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter's hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do.
 Then the word of the Lord came to me:  O house of Israel [Rachel], can I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the Lord. Behold, like the clay in the potter's hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel [Rachel]."
I am the clay, and oh, how I love being molded! It hurts and it chips and it stretches, but the bruises along the way are nothing compared to a transformed heart.
Your hands are ready to transform
Yet I am still caught up in this swelling storm
When will I listen
When will I hear
When will I see
To stop this violent fear
You begin to whisper
You began to speak
When my attention is yours
When my heart is at peace
When I finally desire more
You capture my heart 
You tell me that those hands of yours
have already transformed

Hope you all enjoy all of these pictures.


YOUTH Camping Weekend!