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Friday, October 29, 2010

it's a leave-catching kind of day...

things have been busy. i think i said that already.
so busy that i was up at midnight last night putting groceries away, because it was literally the only time i had to do it.
today was another busy day, but we did have about an hour in between lunch and having to leave for kids club (and aj's soccer practice)
it was 70 degrees today! just crazy for this time of year,
so i told the boys to try and catch some leaves. it was so fun to watch them giggle and run around with their heads and hands lifted up trying to get a leave to hit their hands!

they are perfect to me....

just perfect.

ry has a million different expressions...just like his mom :)
he always makes me laugh when he does them all for me..
i was leaving the other day to go to the store, and riley came running out after me saying..
"wait mom! i'm coming with you. whenever i'm not with you, i always wish i was"
melted my heart.

aj pretty much has the same expression all the time.
he is calm cool and collected like his dad.
he is one of the sweetest boys ever.

i am honestly almost NEVER without my boys.
and i can't imagine life any other way!

i am one happy girl.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

such little time...

things have been busy. i mean, like, crazy busy.
i barely even have time to think.
everything has been good though, and i can not and will not complain.
last weekend we had a coffee house at the porch.
i have pictures that are still in RAW format (not able to be viewed without the proper software, for the layperson)
so until i can get my act together with that...which may be a while. i am just warning you...
here is one to give you an idea of what the setup looked like

i will write more later when my eyes are not glazed over.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Is Jesus in your caravan?

i was talking to an amazing friend last week, and she was telling me about a beth moore conference she was at.
(who doesn't love beth moore? turn to your husband and say "who doesn't love beth moore!" - ha!)
anyways, i loved what she was talking about.
the story is from the book of Luke in chapter 2. 
Joseph, Mary and Jesus, along with many others, had just attended the Feast of the Passover in Jerusalem.
No doubt, this was an exciting event that they looked forward to every year.
after this was over, the group of people started the journey home. they traveled in "caravans" with the women normally going in the front and the men in the back.
you are probably very familiar with this part of the story, but mary and jospeh, probably assuming that Jesus was with the other, realized that they had lost Jesus!
They had traveled for an entire day and not even noticed that He was missing! horror of horrors.
i have heard this story many times, but never heard it applied this way.

who are you traveling in your "caravan" with?
caravan is defined as "a group of travellers journeying together"

to some degree, we don't have a choice as to the people that we are traveling with.
but at the same time, we can be very careful who we choose to travel closely with.
here's the point...
sometimes we can get so busy talking about unimportant things...
the latest sale going on, what we are cooking for dinner, even about the ministries we are involved in...
and doing unimportant things...
redecorating the living room, bringing the kids to soccer games, serving in ministries...
that it could be possible Jesus has left ...and we don't even realize it!

i want to be so sure that Jesus is a part of my "caravan"!!
i don't want my life to be about anything else. what would the point be?
see, i am totally convinced that everything God says in the Bible is true. He tells me in Isaiah that i was created to bring Him glory. i want to make sure i am doing just that.

what i love, is that i have the most amazing caravan that i am travelling in right now.
every thursday night, i get together with a group of girls that i am proud to be in a journey with.
we talk openly about our feelings, and our advice is always. always. based on God's Word. always. they are growing so much, and trying to learn more about how to please Jesus.
Jesus is right in the middle of this caravan. i love that.

i am so blessed to have family that are the same way. we don't go a day without talking about where we've been reading this week, and how God has been teaching us new things.
it's every part of our day and our life.
it's not a church service on sunday.
it's not a good deed for the day.
it's a relationship with a God that loves me. and that sent His son to die for me.

i want to make sure that i never get to a place in my life that Jesus could leave and i wouldn't even know it.
and i don't want to ever get so self-righteous that i think for one second that it could never happen to me.
it could! and it could happen to you too!
that's why who you choose to travel with is so important! don't let other people get you distracted from what your purpose in life is. don't let them distract you so much that you forget to make Jesus first in your life.
don't do it! don't let Jesus leave!

so who is in your caravan?
is Jesus in it with you?
don't just assume he is in your company!

oh, and just so i don't leave some of you hanging...
Jesus was found a few days later, back in the temple in Jeruslaem :)

sorry to bore you...

but i have some more soccer pictures!

yesterday was a cold day...
but that did not stop nanny and grampops from coming out to the boys soccer games!!

the boys absolutely love having them there.

riley loves playing with his buddy, ryan (in the picture above).
ry scored 5 goals and ryan scored 1. they won 6-2.

then it was time for aj's game.
our good friend zach came to watch both the boys games too.

the boys love zach, and since they have no uncles that live near them, he is a great fill-in. :)

aj's team was undefeated going in, so i think they were a little nervous!
aj scored the game winner, and they won 2-1.

we ended the morning with the boys getting awards, and i was thankful to be going home!

we had a big night planned with our first coffee house at The Porch (i will blog about that later)
and that ends another season of outdoor soccer.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

last day of outdoor soccer

the boys did a great job this year in soccer
(and to update from this post, both the boys made seacoast united!)

they both won this morning.
ry had 5 goals, and aj had 1...the game winner!
it was a sunny and COLD morning!

i don't have time to add many pictures, but here is one of my 3 boys after a great day of soccer

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

date day...

growing up, my dad always made sure to take each of his kids out on a "date"
every once in a while. sometimes life can be so crazy, and although i am with the boys...um...pretty much all the time, i want to make sure and give them individual time.
this morning i took aj out for a donut and coffee...the coffee was for me :)
we had a really great time together. he is so sweet and i am so thankful that God gave me my boys.

tomorrow morning it's riley's turn. can't wait.

Monday, October 18, 2010

thankful for blogs.

sounds weird, but i have "met" some great people via blogs.
i am thankful today. thankful for one particular friend i met
who has really encouraged me this week.

thank you!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

an accidental walk down memory lane...

i don't really think about high school that often.
i don't think about most of the people that i went to high school with much either
(well, i DO think about adam quite a bit)

but the other day, i was on wastebook...errr...facebook and i noticed a person that had left a comment on a mutual friends wall and i thought...oh. my. word! i forgot that person even existed. no offense :)

but what took place next was the problem. because i saw their name (and i will not even come close to mentioning anyone's names, because that is totally not my point) i then went to their profile, and lo and behold i saw a couple other people i had totally forgotten about! so i wanted to look at their pictures, and on and on this went. remembering person after person that i had gone to high school with.

this is one of the problems with facebook, in my humble-possibly-not-even-important-opinion.


do you remember the story of elijah in I Kings 18-19?
he had just had an amazing experience. He had literally called down the fire and power of God and proven to the people that God is God and Baal was an idol.
after that happened, he outran a chariot. 
after THAT happened, he got depressed and started looking around and thinking that no one else was doing anything for God.
he said:
"I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too."

here he is, saying I am working so hard to serve God. and there are NO other people in the whole entire world that care about living for God. 

i feel like i can be a whiny little cry-baby like that too, sometimes. 
first of all, (and be ready, because although i like to start sentences like that for effect, more often than not there is no second of all)
but first of all, i love the verse in Corinthians that says "But by the grace of God I am what I am"
you know why i like it? because when i am feeling like i'm doing such a great job for God, and just LOOK at how many ministries i am involved in, and just LOOK at all the people i am reaching. God says. um...excuse me? if it wasn't for my grace, you would be doing nothing!
then those days when i feel like, i am nothing. i am such a failure, i am a terrible mother, i am a horrible wife, and i am doing nothing right (yes, i have plenty of those days) God says. um...hello? you are MINE. you are chosen and because of my grace you are my girl.
so i need that verse for both of those kinds of days!!

anyways, back to my point. it is so easy to be discouraged! facebook was an accidental reminder to me. that a hugely high percentage of people that i went to my christian highschool with, are not even close to serving God! i mean, you would look at their profile and have no clue that they knew the first thing about God! everything is about partying, and living it up, and every other possible thing that the world is doing. 
but see, i started feeling that...am i the only one? 
am in the only person in the whole entire world that is trying to be intentional to raise godly children? 
am i the only one in the whole entire world that knows that you can have fun without getting wasted? 
am i the only one in the whole entire world that loves my Bible?

and on and on it started to go. 
until i was reminded that no. i am not the only one. 
i actually received an email just today from a girl i went to high school with that IS living for God!
i saw a sweet friend on saturday that is as crazy for Jesus as i am!
i know that there are people that are, but seeing so many people that just. don't. get. it...
is so frustrating! 
i did not accept Jesus as my Savior for fire-insurance.
i have a relationship with the God of this universe that is the most incredibly amazing thing i could ever even begin to imagine. 
just thinking about my inheritance, and my security and my merciful, loving, forgiving, faithful Father could get me going absolutely crazy. 
and if i wasn't laying in bed with a bad back i just might start jumping around like a crazy person. 
i heard a message yesterday about being happy...and the fact that if we stopped to realize what we had in Jesus, it would be impossible to NOT be happy!!

so by the grace of God, i am not discouraged tonight. 
i am grateful, because i am choosing to be. 
because i know that there are other people who are choosing to live their lives to please God.
and thank you to those of you who encourage me, and remind me that i am not alone!
i'm gonna go to YOUR profiles instead!

and if you're discouraged and feeling like you're the only one who is pleasing God...
stop whining, and thinking about yourself...haaa...didn't see that one coming, huh??
but for real. start serving. you tend to think a lot less about yourself and starting to feel self-righteous when you are in humility, thinking of others as better than yourselves.

see...i told you i wouldn't have a second point. 
i hate it when i do that!

Thursday, October 07, 2010

things that make me happy

there are certain things in life that just plain and simple make. me. happy.
maybe they seem like silly things to you.
but waking up to the sunshine, and seeing the beautiful, colorful leaves outside makes me happy.
the cool, crisp air reminding me that it is sweatshirt weather (the BEST) makes me happy.
words of affirmation make me happy (that is after all, my love language)
just seeing pictures of my family makes me happy.
sitting in front of the fireplace makes me happy.
a hot cup of coffee makes me happy.
getting a text from one of my homegirls saying good morning makes me happy.
watching my kids skype their cousins makes me happy.
getting pictures of my nieces and nephews makes me happy.
adam telling me we can go out to dinner makes me happy.

(you should totally try this. it can really remind you of how many blessings you have!)

so today, i am reminded of these things that make me happy, in spite of how my feelings sometimes
trick me into thinking that everything is going horribly wrong in life.

since i am always editing, and ordering pictures of other people, i decided to edit, and buy a picture
for ME (thanks for the push b!)
and i can't even begin to express how happy it has already made me.

i turned the fireplace on this morning, and watched my little boys do their school work while laying on the floor in front of it while i sipped coffee. that made me happy.

and then my little boys wrote me a little letter.
and THAT made me happy.

so even though i can not walk without intense pain because of my back, i have everything i need.
oh, and the sweetest thing yesterday, was when riley put my socks on for me. and aj made me a cup of coffee.
i am so blessed.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

so many thoughts...

there has been so many things going on in my life, that as i sat down and thought about what i should blog about, that overwhelmed feeling started creeping up from the pit of my stomach. 
i don't know how to explain the way that i have felt just this past week alone. i have had feelings of excitement, anticipation, sadness, guilt, happiness, pain, self-pity, gratefulness, frustration. wow. am i the only one who has all these feelings on any given day? it's like a big roller coaster ride, but yet you need to somehow maintain the look that, "i have it all together". 
of course none of us will have it all together until we get to heaven, but we do try our best.

so for now, i will talk about 2 topics.
one is pride. darn-it-all-pride.
i have been realizing a lot lately that basically everything that i deal with in my life involves pride. 
even self-pity is really pride, because i am thinking about MYSELF!
and while we were going through a sermon series in church about the traps of the devil, i was reminded that satan uses that one the most because it was that problem right there...pride...that got him kicked out of heaven.
so, last week, when i found myself in a situation that involved someone acting like they were better than me (actually, my husband. but i take that to mean me) i went through this whole entire thing in my head that went a little something like this.

-i can not believe that that person is treating my husband like that.
-how does he get off thinking that he is better than us
-oh wait. how am i supposed to be treating him...um..exactly the opposite of that thought that just came into my head.
-think of others as better than yourself. hmm..
-well...God will take care of that problem, and God is the judge, and he is going to have to face that himself.
(until God showed me this verse in Timothy...and it honestly blew me away)
-the context is that paul was being treated unjustly, and being forsaken..to which he says.
I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge
-wow. this is an amazing thought to me. i need to come to this place in my life: when i am hurt, or treated poorly...even if it is unjustly, i need to pray that God will just forgive the person, NOT judge them. wow again.
-rachelle...you have such a long way to go.

and that just about sums it up. so i decided to stop thinking of myself and my problems and my hurts and focusing on other people. and God has blessed me so much because of it.

which brings me to my next topic. The Porch.

as you all know, we were forced to move from our old location to the front space. it's the same building, but a different room. we had to take walls down, and put in new flooring, and paint all the walls. we had a lot of people put in a lot of hours to get it usable.
yesterday was our grand re-opening.
we had 3 teen girls come in, and i was again reminded of why we started this ministry.
it is all about God's Word. 
Jesus changes lives. 
He gives life, and he gives it more abundantly. 

i want to spend all of my time making sure that people hear this message.
here are a few pictures of the new location.

we have some needs still:
we need prayer support. 
we need financial support, and
we need help with our website.

i am so excited to see what God is going to do with a prideful, sinful girl who is willing to be used by Him.

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