expr:class='"loading" + data:blog.mobileClass'>

Friday, May 30, 2014

The Sandy Hook Hoax: What if it was?

I have to admit, I try not to pay too much attention to the news.
It tends to depress me and I just don't have time to be depressed about things that don't even involve me.

So when a girl I went to high school with recently posted on her Facebook page something about the Sandy Hook Hoax, I was all...what?!
And then I was like... are you even kidding me right now?

And then I went to the most reliable source I know of...google.

And sure enough, when I typed in "Sandy Hook Hoax" my screen was instantly filled with article after article about all the "evidence" and "proof" that it was all a big huge conspiracy and it fooled us all.
Well, most of us.
Except for the super smart handful of people who are smarter than the rest of us.

I am very well aware that this is a sensitive issue.
We are talking about lives being lost.
The lives of innocent children. And it is not something that I am trying to just talk about lightly.
There is nothing to take lightly about any life.
God values life. More than any other thing!
He created it, and He created us in His own image.
God does not take life lightly, and I certainly do not either.

But as I started researching and looking at article after article of this supposed hoax, I was totally struck with this thought. (and please understand that I do not at all,  believe that it was a hoax.)

What if it was? What if it was?
Would I live my life any differently?
Are they living their lives any differently?

And that is the screaming question that I wanted to ask these people doing the research.

These men and women who have spend countless hours...hundreds, maybe?
Studying out pictures to see if one person is smiling and one is not.
Researching news reports to see if any of them contradict each other.
Digging up death certificates, birth certificates, the weight of guns and ammunitions, the stories of the victim's families, and on and on and seriously on it goes.

And for what?
What have they gained?!
What if they had taken all those hours they had spent looking into these nonsensical ideas and invested them into the lives of people around them?
Maybe at a homeless shelter, a food kitchen, or some other mission.
What if they had taken all those hours and maybe served other people, instead of trying to wreak havoc on the lives of the families from Connecticut?
It's hard to even imagine the amount of wasted time put into this.
Just downright. Wasted. Selfish. Time.
And I assume it is all for attention? I don't know what else it could be for.

And if it wasn't so disgustingly insensitive and downright rude, it would be laughable.

Unfortunately, people love and adore bringing articles like those to the forefront so everyone can see them -
while articles like mine, and others that come from the point of view of love and compassion never see the light of day.
So even though those obnoxious articles are easy to find, while the nice ones are not... it's ok.
It's not going to stop me from writing.

So say they were right after all. It was all a big conspiracy to trick all of us.

What if it was? (which it wasn't)

That shouldn't change the way you live your life.
Not even at all.

And how should I be living my life?
Well, Micah 6:8 sums it all up for us in one simple sentence.
The question? What does God require of me?
The answer?
To act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God.

I will tell you what things like this make me want to do.

It makes me want to love people more.
It makes me want to show that there are more people who want to do good for others than those loud obnoxious ones who want to mistreat others.
It makes me want to act justly myself. And teach my children to do the same.
It makes me want to love mercy. And be a family who reaches out to those in need, making us forget about our own smaller needs.
It makes me want to walk humbly with God. And show others that being humble before a loving, powerful God is the only way to peace and true satisfaction.

What if it was? What if it was all a hoax?
I'm not even going to be reading another stupid article about it.
Because the truth of the matter is, I am responsible before God for how I live my life, not how they live theirs. And when I am spending my time reading their thoughts, it is keeping my thoughts from where they should be.
I just wrote about that this week...the incredible challenge in keeping your thoughts right!
Don't let a few loud people ruin things for the rest of us.

Take those thoughts, all that energy, that passion and invest it into something more worthwhile than researching deranged people's views.
It's just gonna rob you of the joy that belongs to you.

And to all of those families who are already grieving enough, I am truly sorry that you have to be going through this. I am praying for peace and comfort for all of you.

How to make the funnest rope swing ever

I am a jerry-rigger. Everyone who knows me, knows that.
But it usually gets the job done.

This week, I saw a blog about how to make your own rope swing for cheap.
I liked the make-your-own part and the cheap part.
So I went for it. (you can find the post here on how to make the funnest rope swing ever. Now they are just trying to get us to buy a trampoline. We'll see about that one, but you can't make them yourself, and they aren't normally my kind of cheap!)
It was really easy and I measured approximately the middle of the seat and drilled away.

It cost right around 20.00 and took just about no time at all.
The boys have already had tons of fun on it, so it was well worth the investment.

I know it may not seem like much, but sometimes it's the little things.
It's summer days, a big yard to play in and a pretty cool brother to play with.

So thankful for my beautiful house, and my amazing family.
It's just a thankful kind of a day.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

June is the new January

So remember back in January when I was talking about new years resolutions?
I pretty much hate them because they stress me out and they make me feel like a failure by the time February rolls around and I've dropped the ball on all of them!
I challenged you to just take one month at a time and make resolutions in small ways.
(you can read that post here)
Baby steps, people. Baby steps.

Many of you took that challenge.
And I really and truly hope that you absolutely killed January.
Because, remember? Who can't eat chocolate for ONE month?!
So I decided to give you these free printables to help you along the way.

Here we are and it's almost June already!
I can hardly believe it.
I've done well with a lot of different things I wanted to do, but I still kind of feel myself slipping up here and there.
So since I know how much it helps to have accountability and a little bit of teamwork going on, I am asking you to pick up at June.
I mean...after all.
June is the new January.

So go here and print out June's resolutions.
Let's really rock the month for June.
I mean, we can do this, right?

Let me know if you want me to keep you accountable.

I'm totally game.

Remember - we are better together!
I'll be right there...rocking the month with you!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Sometimes you need a letter

God's Word is more than a book.
It's personal.
It's written to me and it's written to you.
It's for real.
And sometimes.
Sometimes I need to read it like a love letter from my dad.
'Cause that's exactly what it is.

Sometimes you need a letter.
Not a generic one written to anyone who will listen.
But that kind of letter that is to a specific person, ya feel me?

Today. I needed a letter.
I needed it to speak truth into my life.
I needed it to speak truth into my heart.
And I needed it to comfort me when I didn't understand.

So thankful for a loving Father who cares about every single aspect of my life.
So thankful for a God who knows that sometimes you need a letter.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The last sip of coffee

You know when you are sitting down with a cup of coffee, and for some reason it just makes you feel warm and relaxed all the way down to your soul?
I love to sip it slowly as I am reading my Bible and just soak in the stillness and the peace that comes with a warm drink and God's Word. And then you realize you have just one sip left.
What comes next? The rest of the day. The signal that life is moving on. Ready or not.
That's what I was reminded of today as I was reading.
I was doing a little study on my thoughts.

See...I am having a problem with my thoughts lately.
They are taking everything over, and I don't mean that in a good way.
Thoughts can be totally crazy town for me.
They come barging into my life and act all like they're the boss of me.
It comes with imaginary conversations I am having with people.
It shows up with feelings of sadness, irritation, frustration with other people.
And it leaves me with feelings of discouragement and being overwhelmed.
And I am saying this as if they are just coming in on their own. As if I have no control over them.
But I found this particular verse in Acts 8 super interesting. It says to pray and ask God to forgive the thought of my heart.
Say what?
I thought that just came in and there was nothing I could do about it?
Aha. There's the trick, my friend.
James tells us that I am tempted by my own evil desires!
It is my own bad desires that lead to bad actions.
This is clearly never shared with people in today's world.
Come on now, imagine someone actually being responsible for their own actions?
I am constantly hearing the blame game going on. It's never my fault, no!
It's the way I was raised, or the way someone else treated me, and on and on the list of who-to-blame goes on.
But the Bible is clear.
I am responsible even for my thoughts.
That's why Corinthians talks about taking those thoughts captive and bringing them to the obedience of Christ.
Imagine the control and power we have been given?
We don't have to blame someone else now and live in that miserable place.
We can just take responsibility for it, ask forgiveness for it, and move on!

That is a way better option.
My thoughts naturally come in and focus on the negative. On the critical.
I then have the choice to take those thoughts. Ask forgiveness for them and claim victory over them.
Living a life of freedom is incredible.
A life of freedom from blaming other people. From excusing my behavior. Of shifting responsibilities.
The responsibility is mine. And I can take that responsibility and give it to God. Unreal.

So as I sat there this morning and read my Bible. As I thought about the weekend events, and the people who didn't show support, and the negative feelings I got from some of the people I bumped into...
I had to stop right there. In my tracks.
And take those negative, critical thoughts that sadly show the condition of my own heart.
And I needed to take them captive and give them to God...where they belong!

I can live a life of freedom from blaming others. From being hurt by others.
And I sipped that last cup of coffee with a new feeling.
A feeling that brought up so so many people who did show support this weekend. So so many people who poured out love and laughter and fun into my life.
And I stopped focusing on the negative and ya know what?
Those positive feelings and thoughts?
They are way better, yo.
Like. It doesn't even compare to the negative feelings!

It's like so simple. I don't know why I don't choose the simple route more often. Really.
And it makes that last sip of coffee way less depressing! ha!

What did your last sip of coffee look like today?
Did it remind you that a stressful, overwhelming life was staring you in the face?
Because if it did...you march your butt right back over to the coffee pot and make another cup and give yourself a second chance for that last sip.
Change your focus.
Change your thoughts.
Change your heart.
Let the positive rule. It's a way better way to live.

My weekend had some negative feelings in it. Yes.
But it had way more positive.

AJ had his piano recital and did an awesome job.
Both boys had soccer tournaments.
We had an awesome time with some super hard working and committed church family at the parade.
Then had a great time playing softball together.
Oh yes. The weekend was good.
And now I have a ton of stuff to do to plan for the SURGE teen leadership conference, the coffee house to plan for the end of June, working on The Porch website, the styled shoot I am planning, editing, and a million other things I have going on.

So much good to focus on.
And I now feel recharged and ready to go.
What are you focusing on today?

Monday, May 26, 2014

Mommy Monday ~ Keeping Current

I know I have talked about this before, but this is such a hugely important aspect of parenting that can so easily be overlooked.

You have got to make the effort to keep current with your kids.
What exactly does this look like?

It looks like taking the time to stop everything and give your child the chance to talk to you.
For me, it is usually at bedtime, and it can start as early as when your kids are about 3 years old.
We always have family devotions and prayer time together before bed, but I also go in and pray with the boys individually once they are in bed.

I don't ask this every single night, but I do make a conscious effort to make sure that I am pretty consistent in asking.
It can be worded in a few different ways, but it's something to the effect of:
Did I do anything today, or this week, that made you sad? (Or upset, or disappointed, or did I do anything that didn't make sense to you)

Being alone with your kids, and giving them the chance to open up and talk to you about things is so so important.
Sometimes, the days and weeks can go by and you can just fly right by this kind of thing.
The Bible talks a lot about bitterness and the way that it can hurt you.
It is so easy to become bitter over simple little things that can just be talked about a little bit at a time.
It also gives you the chance to show your kids that you know you aren't perfect!
Yes- it is opening yourself up and that can be a little scary.
Because there are going to be times when the answer will be YES! You did hurt my feelings, or you did this and I didn't understand why you did it, or you said that and it seemed mean.

It gives you the chance to be humble.
Be honest. And be willing to say you are sorry and ask for forgiveness.
You are showing by example the best way to be in any relationship is open and honest.
You are also showing them that their opinion matters! Obviously they need to understand that you are their authority and there are times when you are going to do things that they don't understand and it doesn't always mean that you are in the wrong, and they don't always need to know why.
But there are many times when you can simply explain why you did or didn't do something.
Or you can say that you were wrong and you shouldn't have done something.
Either way, it is preparing your kids for all of their future relationships.

We want for our children to understand that when they have friends, or when they eventually get married, they need to keep current in those relationships as well!

Bitterness is an ugly quality to have.
It can literally destroy your life - I've seen it happen.

Let's take a little time out of our busy live and ask a couple simple questions.
Give them the chance to talk things out when it's just something from this week...not many things from the last 6 years!

Why not start tonight?
Ask your kids if there's anything you did that made them upset this week - and if they say yes?
Be ready to say you're sorry and to tell them how much you love them and value their opinion.
Let's be raising some seriously awesome kids together!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Rachelle Chase Photography ~ Gorgeous Vintage Inspired New Hampshire Wedding

"My number one priority is the food."
This was one of the first comments Kate made to me as I sat there in Starbucks with my photography portfolio on my iPad and my information packet in hand.
Potential client meetings still make me pretty nervous and this comment kind of threw me for a loop.

Um. You know I'm the photographer, right? 
That's the first thing I loved about Kate. She didn't beat around the bush.
I'm kind of known for the same thing.
So, I laughed and told her that was great, but I was here to talk pictures.
And I am not into pressuring people whatsoever, so I just left it at...book me. Or don't.
Either way.

She booked me.
And I got a new friend out of it.
I shot their engagement session on a beautiful sunny day at Prescott Park in Portsmouth.
And she filled me in in the months to follow on the perfect day she was planning.
Adam met her fiancé Derek, and talked draft picks, and NFL stats while Kate and I talked flowers and...well, food. duh.

The weatherman called for rain on Friday, and we were pretty much all praying either silently, or in loud outbursts that it would hold off!

We started out at the gorgeous, antique house Kate grew up in.

Derek and Kate decided on doing a first look.
(While I know this is not "traditional", I totally recommend it to my brides.
Every bride I've had or talked to who have done a first look say how much it calmed them down and helped the entire day go much more smoothly!)

 The rain was barely coming down, so we did a few outside before it picked up a little bit more and had to move to the greenhouses.
The ceremony was at this quaint little place called The Old Meeting House.
It was perfection. The ceremony was beautiful and emotional. Derek and Kate wrote their own vows, and I'm pretty sure everyone was a little teary after hearing them!

Then it was on to enjoy the rest of the night which was, of course, filled with food!
It also had awesome music and some pretty interesting dance moves!

Then they ended the night with a fried dough truck.
Yes. You heard me right.
A fried dough truck. 

Derek and Kate- It was an honor for Adam and I to be part of such a beautiful day, and I know God is going to bless your marriage greatly!

 Venue: The Old Meeting House/ The Rock Church

Wedding Coordinator: Event Envy

Hair: Liz Kidder

Makeup: Christine Torres
Flowers and decor: Kate Guilford
Caterer: A Haute Dish
Cake: Cake Bites

VideographerDan McMahon

Band: Berklee Band- Worship team at Anchor Church Boston

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Thursday's shout out to my homeslices

It's Thursday.
Ya know, the day that's not really that exciting. It's kind of just...a day.
It doesn't start the week. Doesn't end the week, and doesn't throw a party for being in the middle.
It just kind of is.

So today I am trying to be thankful for all the simple, seemingly unimportant things in my life.
It's so easy to be negative. To complain. To mope around.
But it's so much better to be positive. To speak thankfulness. To hop around.
Ok, maybe not hop. But then again, maybe I should just try it and see what happens!

I am thankful for so so many things, but today in particular...
I am so thankful for the friends God has blessed me with.
I know. I know. It sounds so cliche. But seriously.
There are so many godly women that God has put in my life that I honestly can't even believe that it's real. After all my ridiculous experiences with hurt after hurt after backstabbing after backstabbing.
I thought, well. It's ok. I don't actually need to have friends.
And after going back and reading that post? I still can't believe what God has done for me!
Instead of Him saying...you don't need anyone.
He said - oh, here ya go! Here is literally more girlfriends than you can imagine. Who are going to love you. Who are going to be trustworthy. And who are going to help you get through so many days.

And He didn't have to!
But He did.
He's so fly.
I know. Sometimes I call God fly. But seriously. He is, right?!

So even though it's scary to try and give a shout out for fear that I will most definitely forget a name or 2 or 10...here's my little shout out.

Thank you to my family (who is pretty much stuck with me anyways!)
Angie, Joni, Beth, Tara, Kristin U, Ruthie, Gabrielle, Andrea, Marie, Deb, Tracy, Stace, Bekah, Katie, Christin, Brandy, Kristin W, Crystal, Rae Rae, Anna.
- dudes. I am not just making these names up!
These are literally people that I know I could call at any time of day or night and they would drop anything and be there for me.
Can you believe it?!?! And ya know what else?
There are a ton of other names of people I know would be there for me, but these are just like my main peeps who I text a lot and who encourage me and pray for me, and just ya.
Thankful Thursday. (lame brains) but seriously.
It just so happens to be Thursday and I just so happen to be thankful.

What does your list of home slices look like?
Is it a little low?
It's ok! Mine was super low not that long ago!
God can restore, and He can fill you all the way right up to the brim with a whole slew of peeps.

And just for no other reason except for the fact that my mind is fried and my eyes are blazing from staring at this computer screen editing for the last 20 hours, and I named this post random...

Here is a picture of AJ.

Riley isn't feeling good, so I thought I would be a nice mom and let him pass on the picture-taking.
Happy Thursday everyone!

Blog Archive

Blog Design by Caked Designs