Monday, November 26, 2007

Blog Title

I just changed my blog title from "Journal Keeping" to "A Heart Assessment." It just seems to better state my purpose. I must confess that I was tempted to steal a title from a blogger I've come to love. It is Surviving Motherhood or Irritable Mother. I was drawn to her just because of her title.
Titles are funny though because it's just a title.
What I do in this space though is not really keeping a journal as much as it evaluating where I am. What are my motives? This is all a Heart Assessment. So, I don't know if I messed anything up by making that change, but I just had to do it.

Today, I had to question where my heart was. The first free moment that I had from the kiddos (meaning they were quiet in front of the T.V), I wanted to kill time doing stupid stuff instead of fill my time with reading the Word. It wasn't the first thing I did this morning and I try to keep a rule in my head to "get in the Word before the world!" That means for me to not even turn my computer on until that time has been spent with the Lord.

So, after reading in 1 Corinthians I can face the day because I have something new from God's Word to chew on! Today I am thinking about the transformation that will happen in our bodies when "Death is swallowed up in victory."

1 Corinthians 15:58 "So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless."

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Introducing My Mother

My Mother is now a "blogger!" I'm thrilled to have her as a part of this world. I just wanted to introduce her to ya'll ( i live in Oklahoma, so I can say that :)
I really believe that I am who I am today because God has used her life to shape me in many ways. Half of what I say is probably something she taught me anyway. It is so much fun for her to be my mother, my mentor and my friend! Allow me to introduce you to her!!!!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

How do you respond?

I’m a seat back recliner. It’s what I do on airplanes. The moment the rush of speed begins on the runway, I push the silver button and relax. Today’s flight couldn’t have been more frustrating in that respect. At the gate, the (ahem) rather large woman sitting behind me knocks on my seat as if it were a door. Ignoring it, she finally taps me on the shoulder to tell me (not ask me) to put my seat forward….which I didn’t think I had reclined quite yet. Because of my confused look, she then explains to me that I put it forward by pushing the silver button. I push it.
Right at take off I recline, but only half way and then fall fast asleep. Waking up to soda pops cracking open all around me I hear the commotion once again. Because I was asleep, she has now started her plea with the gentlemen next to me. “I can’t get my tray down with her seat reclined! It won’t fit!” I push the button and sit perpendicular once again. Then I notice that the tray has nothing to do with the seat being reclined or not. Nope. That’s not the issue. I’m suffering because of her size.
Because I didn’t say anything on the flight I just needed a safe place to share my frustration!

Now I sit at Chicago O’Hare with many delayed flights due to the fog. Watching everyone’s frustrated faces has made me realize that I like how I responded to this lady. I didn’t give her dirty looks or roll my eyes. I didn’t have an “attitude” about me. I may have thought quite a few negative things within me, but I did not let them out. It shows me that I have the gift of the Holy Spirit living within me. I have sin in there too! That’s why I think such terrible things. But, I do believe that I am not acting on my sin nature, but rather the fruits that the Spirit gives. Gal. 5: 13-26 is a great passage that talks about the inner turmoil. I sense it and recognize it all the time. I’m not perfect. I never will be (this side of heaven.) But, I have a choice. We as Christians have a choice to show the Spirit living in us or live out the sin nature we were born with. What then would be the difference between us and non-believers? Showing the Spirit, GOD living within in such moments could truly be opportunities for people to see Something other than the wrong way to respond!

As I head back home at the closing of this conference I am eager to hug and kiss my children! I am thrilled that what comes next is Thanksgiving! I do have so much to be thankful for.

I met a woman at this conference that I fell in love with in a very short time. I’ll call her Joy. Joy is going through some of the most difficult trials that I can imagine as a wife and mother. The death of her youngest daughter and the process of a divorce with an unfaithful man stuck in sin. With two teenage daughters witnessing the carnage all around, she remains STRONG in the Lord. That’s really Who I fell in love with. It was Christ living within her. On a much larger scale than how I responded to the “lady” behind me. I see how Joy is responding to the platforms God is using in her life to show Himself. If anyone is reading this, please pray for her and her two daughters. God knows exactly who they are even with this pretend name that I’ve used.

Learning to live a spirit-filled life,
Rachel <><

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Gone for a week

My husband and mother are the greatest!!! They have allowed me to come to the Youth Specialties convention in Atlanta to volunteer for their NYWC for a week. It's been so great to have such a different environment!

Here's how I started out my thoughts on my way out of town!!!
A (kind of) break for 8 days!!!

I’m so excited to be at an airport right now. I feel as if I could do all the waiting in the world because it is such a break from my “norm.” I am headed to Atlanta where I will be volunteering for Youth Specialties’ National Youth Workers Convention.

When I am away from my children, I don’t typically view anything else as work. I mean, I am going to “work” but in reality, I get to have a place where I get to hang out with my two sisters and some amazing, fun, great people. On top of that, it’s like an extended family gathering in that we are all there for one purpose. We all love the Lord and are in some way doing His work. It looks similar to a lot of those youth pastors. It looks similar to a lot of those on YS Staff and it may look similar to a lot of the volunteers. But, we are all children of God that bring hearts ready to worship and receive what He has for us in different ways.

When I am in airports or on a plane, I feel so small and God feels so big. I hear the multi languages spoken in our nation’s capital and realize that my little world that I live in is just that…. A little world. When we are ascending over terrain that you can’t see from the ground and take a new view of people’s homes and their lives and traffic filled highways, God is LARGE. He knows my itinerary. He knows my destination. He knows my heart. He also knows the person’s heart sitting next to me. He also knows that guy and that girl and that whole road full of cars and all those neighborhoods and it doesn’t just stop at the water’s edge.
Man, get me out of the house and I’m like a child being exposed to such things for the first time!!! It’s exciting to realize just how huge He is and it’s humbling to know that My Life itinerary is in His hands. Oh, how I take great comfort in that!!!!

I’ve been reading Donald Miller’s, “Searching For God Know’s What” during my travels today and he has been talking a great deal about sizing people up or comparing them. Great thing for me to be reminded of line after line as I’m around so many different people!!! Who am I to think anything special of myself? I am nothing. Christ in me is everything.

I will be posting on the flip side of this event, right before Thanksgiving!!

Thursday, November 8, 2007


There is this scene in the movie, Evan Almighty, where Morgan Freeman, who plays the character of God, is giving advice (if you will) to someone. He says that if someone prays and asks for courage that God gives the person an opportunity to be courageous rather than giving courage. In the same way that someone asks for them to be closer to their family, God doesn't give warm fuzzy feelings, but rather opportunities for the family to be closer.
As I've thought about my struggle through motherhood and grown in my understanding of it, I've realized that all these "struggles" or "trials" are really opportunities or what I now think of as "platforms" for God to be revealed.
I plugged this new word into the verse in James where we are to consider the various trials as pure joy. I now say that we are to consider our platforms as pure joy. Platforms for God to perform His Patience, His Strength, His Peace through our very lives. Others are watching. They may see God for the first time on such platforms!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

I'm getting old

My wonderful husband was showing our girls how high he could double-bounce me on the trampoline last night. As a result, I'm actually limping around the house today. My poor old knees just aren't up for that kind of action as they were when I jumped on our trampline every single day growing up. On top of the limping, my five year old is sick today. No fun. I'm stuck at home feeling old and taking care of a sad soul. I wish I had better things to post about today. I guess I'll just post a picture that I love of Nick and me!!! We look like we're on vacation, but it was just a back drop for this photo!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Two Randoms

One thing I've thought numerous times in public restrooms has been that I am glad my name is not "Kimberly Clark." While the name is a beautiful one, it is in fact on many toilet paper rolls and I sure wouldn't want to be associated by such things. So, to any of you that have that name, I am sorry such a wonderful name was chosen to be the name of that company.

Also, what is up with this?

Who does this? Why 23? I simply don't understand. Is this for humor, because I laughed! I seriously saw this in a neighborhood and just said, "hmmmm."

Thought you could think "hmmmm" with me!