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Saturday, December 31, 2011

why not?

so it's the beginning of a new year.
normally, i hate the thought of new years resolutions.
it seems pointless to make unrealistic goals that you will most likely not keep much past march. tops.
but this year, i thought...why not?

why not decide that i am going to memorize a verse from every book in the Bible this year?
(with my sisters and mom joining me. i haven't told them they are a part of it yet)

why not decide to make sure that i make specific "us" time for me and adam?

why not choose to make monday my prayer day?

why not?

so maybe it only lasts through march.
won't that be better than nothing at all?
won't those few dates with my husband help my marriage to be even stronger?
won't those few weeks of prayer time make a difference?

and what if...

it lasts longer than a few months?

it will definitely be worth it then!

so now i will ask you

why not?

make a decision to go to church every sunday.
ok...you're saying you've never been to church a day in your life?

decide to go one sunday a month for starters!

make a decision to say one nice thing about your husband every day.

would that be so hard?

come on...
why not?

what is your decision going to be?
i would love to keep you accountable!

let's do this together!

why not?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

christmas cookies

i have no idea why, but i have not been feeling it lately when it comes to baking.
or being festive.
or doing anything wife...ish. like, i should be enjoying making holiday stuff, right??
adam said that one of his favorite Christmas foods was suguar cookies.
just like his mom used to make.

so i bit the bullet and made up some sugar cookies.

i think it was the right thing to do.
ya know, to show adam how much i love him.

and i enjoyed eating them too.
it's nice when being nice...
can be nice for you too.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

a little bit of this and a little bit...more of this

do you ever feel like you are 

today i read 2 corinthians 10:5.
"We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ"

i have read this a million times. at least.

let's break this down.
what is an argument and pretension that would set itself up against the knowledge of God?

the ESV calls it lofty opinions. 
what would those be?
well, for me...they look a little something like this:

*i deserve to be treated with respect all the time
*the fact that i don't "own" my own home means that i have not quite arrived yet.
*what my body looks like determines who i am
*i can do things my own way, not God's, and there will be no consequences.

do any of those look familiar?
maybe you can add your own.

i know where to find the knowledge of God.
His Word.
i know that i am told to grow in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus...but what does that look like?

i'll tell you one thing.
it never looks like me thinking that i know it all!
and it almost never looks like what my feelings are at the time!

what it does look like is:
*reading and studying God's Word.

*it looks like spending time with people who are challenging me to do right and constantly helping me to grow.

*so i guess it would therefore also look like not spending time with people who are not even doing right themselves, so are of course not challenging me to do right!

*it looks like being diligent. hard-working. fighting to do what's right. not allowing my own "knowledge" to become higher than God's!

so here's the deal.

-i wake up in the morning.
-i make a conscious decision to spend the rest of the day actually fighting this battle of life that i'm in. not pretending that i'm not even in one.
-i make an intentional choice to spend time with God: hearing from him and talking to him.
-i make a choice to remember that with everything God has done for me? the least...very least i can do is try to please Him. 
-i remember that just like i want my friends to love and care about me? that's how my God wants to be treated too.

i do it.
that's it!

because my problem comes in here...
if i'm not paying attention. 
if i'm just cruising along in life, with the redundancy of life...not paying attention to any of the darts being thrown at me.
then before i know it...my knowledge is all of a sudden ahead of God's.
and i start believing it!

how stupid can you be??
i guess pretty stupid!

so maybe i need a little bit of this...
and then a little bit more of it.
and then some more...
ok. you get the point!

and i can't say enough how important it is to surround yourself with friends who are living to please God the way you are.

because when you are spending the majority of your time with people who aren't taking God's knowledge seriously? 
pretty soon...
you are allowing their thoughts and opinions to be set up before God's!

we need to demolish those things!
that means 
tear down

them's fightin' words!
and that is exactly. the. point.

we are in a battle here.

so what arguments and pretensions are you allowing to be set up against the knowledge of God?

fight it!
get rid of them.
take those stupid thoughts captive, and make them obey God.

once and for all.

Monday, December 12, 2011

happy monday

this is what i am looking at today

i am so fortunate that i get to spend every single second of every single day with these boys who make my life so amazingly happy....
i can not imagine it any.other.way.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

it's the most wonderful time of the year!

I love Christmasssssssssss!!

ahhhhhhh!! i just love it!
I love listening to Christmas music, 
i love eating christmas cookies
and I love the calming, peaceful feeling that i get when i'm in front of the tree!
We got a small tree this year, and the boys decorated the whole thing.
i am totally not a perfectionist, and i do not care how they choose to decorate it, it just makes me happy to watch them put the ornaments on.

i always love going through the box of ornaments each year and being reminded of where they all the came from!
some were made by the boys when they were younger,
some were gifts,
some were made by me when i was in the first grade!!
hard to believe they have been around so long..i know!

oh, and this little reindeer has always been my favorite since i was little. i don't even know why.

while some parents are going to school concerts at least twice a year, i haven't been able to see my kids in a concert since aj was in kindergarten!
riley is in a music class at our homeschool co-op this year, and his teacher was adam's 2nd grade teacher!! 
isn't that just wild??
she is great, and riley had a really good time in class.
they had a christmas concert on tuesday and i was that obnoxious mother with a video camera in one hand, and a regular camera in the other.
that's me!
(sorry boys, i don't think i'll get any less embarrassing as time goes on!)
oh, and i think i did a couple whoop whoops at the end too.

he is so cute i can hardly even stand it.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

your holiday, your husband and your happiness

So it's the Christmas season.
It's that time of year when schedules get crazy, finances get tight and relationships tend to get...

You know what I'm talking about.

It's supposed to be the time when everyone is smiling and happy, drinking hot cocoa and sitting in front of the christmas tree reminiscing of all the years of happy memories while listening to Frank Sinatra, right?

Here's the thing.

You have to know what kind of obstacles are going to be in front of you so you can be prepared to fight them.
And a big obstacle right now? Is keeping our marriages strong!

It's no secret that marriages are under attack right now.
I think one of the biggest problems that we have, starts out as
a good thing!

Putting your kids first!

Doesn't that sound so...

But here's the problem.

It's the wrong first focus!

I've talked about this before, but we all have the following relationships in our lives:




Two of these relationships are designed to be temporary
One of these relationships is designed to be permanent

We were designed to grow with our parents, and then eventually get married and move out.
We were designed to marry our husband and stay with him forever.
We were designed to have children and raise them to eventually move out.

But, what happens in our every day lives, is our kids can tend to take over.
We have to get them up, feed them, clean up after them, bring them to this game, and that party.
It can take over.
Then...whatever we have left at the end of a long day (which may be NOTHING) we put into our husbands.

The ONLY relationship that is supposed to be permanent

See how that is all wrong?

I am encouraging you this Christmas season, to just stop for a minute.
Ok. Maybe a few minutes.

And just refocus

Maybe you have forgotten what your role as a wife is.
I wrote about that here, last christmas!

Don't let yourself fall into the trap that is lying to you and telling you that everyone's marriage is struggling...
and this is just the way it is going to have to be.
Don't settle for less than what God has for you!

It is not the way it has to be!

While you're refocusing, remind yourself that you do not have rights that deserve to be met
that you do not need to spend more time taking care of yourself...
That is also part of the trap!

The book of Proverbs tells us that only by pride comes contention

Is there contention in your marriage right now?
Is there stress that you are getting overwhelmed with?

Put your pride aside.
Get a friend you can trust who will be consistent to pray for you.

Start enjoying your marriage the way God intended it!

It may be super hard the first couple of steps, but it will get easier and easier,
and your life will be better as a result of it!

So go and make some hot cocoa,
put on the Sinatra and ask your husband to snuggle in front of the tree with you.
Work hard on that permanent relationship!

Make this holiday be the best one your marriage has ever had.
It can start with you, and it will be totally worth it.

Monday, December 05, 2011

p31 and a new level of confidence (also possibly the longest post ever)

i have talked before about how i have been conflicted with my feelings towards my photography business.
about the time that i started feeling so confused, i stumbled across a group called Pursuit 31. it was started by a woman who was feeling the same kind of conflict i was.
the pull towards forgetting her priorities (being a godly wife and mommy)
and pushing to better the business and make more money.
i found out about a retreat that this group has, and was shocked to see that there was going to be one in connecticut! 
no one ever comes to the north east!
i had to go.
just had to.
i had to meet this woman who was living out what i wanted to be living out!
so this past week, i was able to spend 2 days with some incredible and amazing women.
women who are living lives to serve God, and working to keep their priorities with their business in the right place!

here's how it started.
thursday morning, i walked into a beautiful home 
(owned by desirea. another godly woman who lives to please God!)
and looked around a room of 14 other women, and thought.
"what on earth are you doing here, rachelle?"
but i stayed.
because, what else was i gonna do?
karen shared her story, and asked us to share ours.
so we did. tears and all.
she then challenged us to keep our marriages first.
our Jesus first, and to have the kind of faith that God calls us to have!
then we spent a couple of hours talking about the business aspect.

ya. here again, i thought.
"what on earth are you doing here, rachelle?"
have you seen my website? haha...did you try clicking on that? i tricked you. as if i am going to show my blog "website"! ha
then i went back to my hotel suite.
with 5 other women, who i had never met.
it always amazes me how a relationship with Jesus can bring people so close, so fast.
it really is a family.
anyways...we stayed up for.ev.er.
talking. asking questions about each other, about the Bible, about our families.
it was amazing.
i seriously love these girls just like they are my homegirls.
no lie.
(seriously so much love for you anglesea, stacy, sharna, katie and beth!!)

then the morning came.
pretty quickly, i might add.
and here is where my same question came back to my head.
see...i am not a wedding photographer.
i am a portrait photographer, and the thought of being in front of other photographers and posing people all by myself terrified me.
for real.
i wanted to get in my car and go home.
when we arrived, i felt like i was back in high school all over again.
i pulled out my...cough xti cough...from my bag that i bought for 2 dollars at a cough thrift store cough...and tried to be all..
ya. wassup girls.
i'm cool
i know that the cost of my camera and all my lenses are not even close to how much your one lens costs.
but ya know, i got this!
and you know what? 
the girls didn't even judge me!
it was unbelievable.
and so with my new friends, and the confidence that they had in me.
i had the time of my life.
and here it all is.
oh, and even with all these images? i could have uploaded a million more that i have on my computer!

and just like that.
i went from being a portrait photographer
to just a plain old photographer!
who knew?
and i have to thank not only karen,
but also all the other girls that were there.
we all cheered each other on, encouraged each other, and gave each other more confidence.

and i gotta say.
it sure feels good!

so bring it.
whose wedding is next??
i'm totally in.

*hafta give mad props to the ones who made everything so beautiful!
the planning by DeeDee and Heidi of Always and Forever
also, our hostess Alicia whose heart for God amazes and challenges me!
and obviously, karen. whose at fault for all of you reading this super long post!

rounding up

as much as i love to hear that my boys are growing in knowledge,
i could have done without riley's putting his math to practical use with the comment
"mom, now you're 35. you round that up to 40!"

you NEVER round up with ages riley.
learn that now.

moving on.

because of my mom, i have always looked at birthdays as a way to show someone that THIS is their special day...
for the whole day.
i remember waking up to pancakes with candles in them,
balloons hanging, and a day full of special treats.

i realize that now that i am practically 40, i can not expect that kind of treatment.

i was proved wrong this year.

i woke up to this

made by my mom, and taken with my new...

IPAD 2!!

(lovingly called "the 2" by my boys, who i am pretty sure love it more than i do. ya, those angry birds are ENORMOUS on this thing!!)

yes. adam spoils me.
he decided that the whole day, would indeed, be my day.
(he even made the bed!)

the boys then got me a gift card to dunkin donuts, and a super rad dunkins travel mug.

then i got some new clothes from my parents.
we went shopping, (where adam got me some new shoes)
then went to olive garden with a gift card from my good friend Ron from church.

then my mom made me my favorite dinner
ok, so my mom spoils me too.

then we picked out a christmas tree.

then my homegirl ruthie brought me some delicious cupcakes.
then we went to riley's soccer game.
and that was it.

an amazingly, unbelievable day where i felt incredibly special and loved.

i got texts from my friends, and calls from my siblings.
so thank you.
thank you to my family who always always makes me feel loved
and to my friends who i am so grateful God put in my life.

happy birthday to me...still in my early thirties, right?

Sunday, December 04, 2011


i have been thinking of the word full lately.

we have had a full house
i have been getting very full from all the food i'm eating
i have had a full schedule
and i am honestly full of JOY.

last week, we celebrated the life of a very special person in my life.
when i was 10, my grandmother passed away after fighting a battle with cancer.
at the funeral, a lady from my church came up to me and told me that she would be my adopted nanny.
she filled in just where my grandmother left off...
she hugged me, loved me, and loved adam and my boys just like my grandmother would have.
about a month ago, she found out that she had stage four cancer.

last week, she went to be with Jesus.
reminds you of how short life is, doesn't it?
i am so grateful that my family had the chance to spend some time with her before she left.

really special time.
we talked about ministry, and about life and about the fact that we have the assurance based on the perfect Word of God that we will SEE HER AGAIN!!
it was also a challenge for me to love people even more...this woman truly loved people.
and she showed that by her hugs and her love.
i want to do the same!

we always love when anyone from the family comes to visit.
because my siblings are all so close, we always try and find a way to be together!
my older sister and her family spent the week with us, and then my brother and his family came for a couple nights as well.
i didn't really do a good job taking pictures, but here are a few!

alright...i have more to look at, and more to write.
i am so exhausted right now, that i can barely keep my eyes open to enjoy the patriots destroying the colts!
so you know i must be tired!
i had the privilege of attending a pursuit 31 retreat last week, am so excited to share some of what i learned.  but i will have to write about that later.
my pillow is calling my name!

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