Five Things That Have Helped Me Get Through This Time

1) Psalms 86:10-11
"For you are great and do wondrous things;
    you alone are God.
 Teach me your way, O Lord,
    that I may walk in your truth;
    give me an undivided heart to revere your name."
3) Beautiful Things by Gungor
All this pain
I wonder if I’ll ever find my way
I wonder if my life could really change at all
All this earth
Could all that is lost ever be found
Could a garden come up from this ground at all

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us
 All around
Hope is springing up from this old ground
Out of chaos life is being found in You

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

You make me new, You are making me new
You make me new, You are making me new

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us
4) When you have that person in your life with whom you have a good conversation with that you really just needed. Someone who will understand, and not undermine the situation, and let you cry--maybe even expect you too--because you both know it's a safe place.
5) The clarity and peace, even including the unknown, that comes with dependence on the Lord after all of the wrestling and storming.


In the Trees


One of the things that I find the most freeing is not caring about what others think. Now, this is tested when you know that other people who are passing are watching you struggle to climb up a tree. I'm just about five inches too short to reach the first branch. So I went and got my roommate's stool. No shame, right?

You may say, "Rachel, I don't know where you are going with this other than the fact that you should  be yourself no matter who is watching." Well, let me pass on some advice that is just some good, solid advice.

Do something that brings you closer to God.

Notice the word "do"?

Action. Movement. Change. To bring about a desired result.

Something that fosters your love for your Savior, your heart for Him.

If that's climbing a tree and having your quiet time there, then so be it. If it's cooking, then cook. If it's taking pictures of people and nature, do it. If it's stretching, then stretch! If it's running, then run and relax. Is it pretending to be able to dance? Then dance! If it's singing praise songs slightly obnoxiously, then go for it. If it's eating, then rejoice in your food!

Do you see that it's almost a bad thing that we don't do what makes us feel alive and closer to Him? Just because of our opinions or others opinions regarding it?

I know these things that our hearts long to do often feel too indulgent to even be on our "to-do" lists.
Does this thought seem familiar?
 "I am wasting my time, I have too many other things to do...." or " I don't have time for this now, it's all too fun to be good anyway....".

We live in a world of multitasking, and our relationship with God cannot be one of those things that we only give a half-focus to.
He deserves more than that, and you know it.

You're only on earth for a little while. Anytime spent getting to know your God (and be known by Him) who reigns in you is not time wasted, however trivial, silly or unneeded you may deem the activity.

I know God rejoices in it.

Time spent with Him is never wasted.


The Leadership of the Lord

Ever feel like you're going about something the wrong way? That was me a few days ago (and the currently part is still debatable). The Lord, in the way that He does, revealed to me who He needed to be in that part of my life. He told me something that I had never

The answer was Leader.

This was similar to some advice I received from a friend the other day. "Pray for the Lord's leadership" sounded kinda funny to me then. But now, it makes sense. If God is not even an option to us, if He's the only thing that matters in our life, then OF COURSE He should be the full out leader, not me doing things and He merely guiding, not just included in my decisions--He should be the ones making them! He should be the One where everything else stems from. I can't do this leading thing on my own.

And I don't want to anymore. I like not having to do that all the time, or at least feeling like I have to. I want to relax and know what it is to be known, and to be lead.

Rewind: Back to Camp--Again

So guys, I guess I should probably inform you when I get to do something really cool. This, this was really cool.

About this time last year I started blogging. It all started when I actually took ahold of the suggestion that I should blog about my transition to college. Now look at where I am! How is the fact that I am where I am today even be POSSIBLE? I can't believe it some days--it just blows me away. Anyway, the BCM has a welcome retreat and last year, I sat in a cave on a chilly fall night and listened to people tell their testimonies and worship together. This year around, I was the one telling my story in the cave, telling the story of hurt and healing and brokenness and what it is to actually experience grace. It's so cool to have God speak through you. I love being able to have that happen, especially to encourage others.

Here's a link to this experience time last year...I debated whether or not to post the link, because it was so long ago...I'm not sure I like who I was back then. It's kinda embarrassing, but not all bad. So I just wrote a disclaimer.....I'm so glad I'm not the same person, but this blog post marks the start of me becoming more attentive to Christ furious pursuit of my heart. (Here's the link: Back to Camp @Sep2013).



He has called me higher, He has called me deeper, and I'll go where He leads me, where He leads me.

All Sons and Daughters



I'm going to start off this post by saying that most of you probably missed the tee tiny bug on the flower. Just saying. He is really small though. And I didn't take this picture. Wish I had.

Anyway, this post is about the truth of resting. Ever since I've been out of school, there has been little rest. I came home for the summer, and that next week I started working and gradually took on more responsibilities as the summer went on, not to mention going out of the country for a week--that may or may not be restful. In my case, it wasn't exactly. Then sophomore year hits and everything is completely different and talk about having a completely different job and so many responsibilities! Then add school work into that. Ever since then, rest has not been present very much.

The thing about rest is that rest doesn't necessarily mean not doing anything--it's more about how you do what you do, instead of how much you do.

I knew this, but when push comes to shove, it tests you. And when the test came, I got confused.
Confused about my priorities, about my passions, about my role. About what to do, where God wanted (wants) me, about where I need to be and who I actually am verses who I am becoming.

And guess what? Nothing drives me crazier than not understanding  the reason why I'm actually confused.

Part of me still doesn't understand why I got so confused so quickly these past weeks, but the other part of me knows exactly why. I took my eyes off the cross. If you want rest, if you want peace, if you want mercy and love and hope, you never take your eyes off the cross, because as soon as you do, you start to notice the things of this world and they look a lot better than they did before. Then, before you can say "Sure I'm still focused", they consumed you.


No questions asked. No second thoughts. No nothing.
Easy as pie.

Then you look up, look around and you year for resting in the unfailing presence of peace again.
The place where

the size of my God puts the rest of my life in context.
This is part of our faith. Being able to make the choice to let go, draw away from the world and draw into God. He is ultimately the one who is my father, my first love, the daily mercy I receive and a waterfall of grace.
Thank you so much Lord for saving my soul and humbling me through your grace, discipline and my circumstances and all of who you are. Keep me and hold me, and give me peace.
John 14:27.


At the Cross and Twenty Hours

So maybe a blog post is long overdue.
But you know what?
It's been a rough week.
Really rough.
Like, hard.

The premise is that I got a job and then worked twenty hours this past week, and as a result have struggled to keep afloat with school work and two other major responsibilities. Just so you know, asking for extensions for deadlines the second week of classes is not the way to go.

This week challenged me like I have never been challenged before. It forced me to begin to apply my faith practically and in non-direct ministry work settings...sharing the gospel looks a lot different in different places. It also made me aware of how much I still depend on me, myself and my abilities, even when faced with a further exploration of my weaknesses. I was so confused for the longest time. How was I supposed to do all that I needed to with no time? Or get enough sleep? How is adding the right amount of sauce or whip cream ministry? What does it look like to fall more in love with Jesus at work when your feet are tired and your hands are cramping and I have homework to do? How do I still minister when I am drained? How do I still love?

Well, I still may not have all of those answers yet.
But I'm figuring it out.

You know why?
Because at the cross He beckons me and draws me gently to my knees, and I become so lost for words, so lost in love that I'm sweetly broken, and have to experience another holy surrender.

God has not only shown me more of Himself, but I have been able to experience Him in a completely new way this week. Again a reminder of daily dependence and the fact that your faith is very much so a daily issue. It's really blown me away at how much He has disciplined me for the sake of His love for me. Read Hebrews 12:3-13. And Romans 8::31-35. And John 14:27. And Philippians 1:21

You know what He spoke into my life the most?

That He is steadfast, that He is humble, that His faithfulness is larger than any mountain.

You know what He said to me?

"My peace I give to you, my peace I leave with you, I do not give to you as the world gives for my love is steadfast and my heart is true, Rachel, I am for you."

 There is no escaping when God grips your heart with this. I am so becoming more completely and irrevocably His, His child, a heir, apart of His love, and it's an amazing adventure, and the fact that He has my heart is the only way I get through my day. My hope for you all is that you are able so experience this no-turning-back power of His greatness and majesty like I have this week. I guess I can't wait to see what's next. Just to follow Him is [my] life.

Steady as They Go--an Adventure in the Lives of Rachel and Kendra

Check out this link to see what my friend Kendra and I have been up too this past summer.....

Click this link to go to K's Blog to see our first vlog together!