Friday, January 23, 2015

A Young Girl's Prayer

Something the Lord gave me a few days ago. (Edited by Anna )

~ A Simple Request: My Prayer~

Dear Lord of Heaven and Earth,
Grant me Thy special care
For this journey to Heaven 
Is strenuous and hard
And many oppose my journey there.

Grant me Thy loving hands to hold my heart.
Thy voice to lead me on
Thy tender eyes to watch o'er me
As the darkness around slowly turns to dawn.

Grant me courage for every fear,
Strength for every fight
Give me laughter thru streaming tears
And Thy pure light in the midst of darkest night. 

For Onward shall I walk
Though torrential storm and winds prevail,
And overcome the vicious enemy
And overcome each lie he tries to tell.

Til' the day when Thine voice I hear, 
"Come for all things are prepared", 
and joyfully, collect the sheaves
And Fruit I sowed with tender care.

That Day when every knee shall bow,
Out shall ring the thunder of Angels praise,
For Thou art King and King alone
to Thee, my heart, I shall forever raise. 

written by Rachel of  2015

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Preparing for Marriage: Speaking Words Of Life

"She does him good, and not evil ALL the days of her life."
Proverbs 31:12

I was meditating on these verses a few days ago and just asking the Lord, "What does this look like?" It means ALL day every day of her life. My life (if I want to be married). That means when single. young. working. at school. lots of friends. no friends. busy. spare time. all the time....

I wanted a deeper explanation....How do I do my future husband good? Not in sense that some lean towards when preparing to be married of "I NEED TO MAKE 452 DOILIES BEFORE I GET MARRIED TO MAKE A GOOD WIFE.!" OR, on the other side of things super strict boundaries between guys and girls where you shouldn't even look at guys. OR the idea of always looking good for him, wear lots of makeup, workout, etc... 

~ Lord,  how can I"do him good and not evil," in my heart, in a Godly way that's not too crazy or obsessive? ~

And this is what I felt He said...

Don't practice speaking ill of men. Practicing finding good things about them-- things you appreciate! As opposed to a "MEN! GAH!" attitude. 

Wow! So good! So true! 

It's so easy, too easy, to fall into an arrogant attitude against those of the opposite gender. We think, "Guys are messy, sloppy, unable to multi task, and can't find what they're looking for even if it's staring them in the face." (And Men do the same thing in thinking/speaking of women and their emotions, how long it always takes them to get ready, etc...) However, that doesn't make ME more Godly than them. It doesn't make me  better  than them. In fact, when I have an attitude like that towards anyone, I am the one in the wrong immediately. 
It does him no good and me no good (I'll only get a bitter attitude the more and more I scorn and use careless words with him.) So...How do I put this into every day practice?

1) Pray--a lot! Ask God to help you to speak well of others. 
2) Try to find good things about others that you can encourage them.
3) When others are speaking ill/criticizing/scorning, don't join in. 
4) Defend others when they are not being spoken well of. 

 I'm pretty sure any guy would rather come home to store bought cookies and a wife who doesn't scorn him/speaks well of and to him, than to a home with all the home goods and doilies a heart could want and a wife full of scorn and unpleasant words. 

Anyways, just wanted to share this thoughts with you...I hope they encourage you and challenge you like they did me. And, even if you never get married, there will always be people around. You can choose to speak well or to speak ill. 

(Photo design by Anna Faith)

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Looking back at 2013!

 Last year, on this day, I got a text from one of my best friends, Miriam: "Yes I know. We've been praying a lot about that (me visiting them in the Summer) too and looking forward to when God says 'It's time!' One day we will get to work together, like a way long time. :) I really love you, Rachie!"

Who would have EVER guessed all that God would do in 2013?!

Let's just say that 2013 did not begin in a very hopeful way. Along with all the difficulties of wondering where I should be, etc...the year started off with the realization of Anna needing a second skin graft surgery on January 9th. All the difficulties of watching her go through so much discomfort and was almost too much to handle, BUT God helped us through. Each day, each hour, He gave us the grace and strength to keep going. 

Anna's birthday froyo! :)

A few journal entries:
January 9, 2013 : "Also to have lots of text messages and comments on FB statuses...we are so blessed and loved. It's going to be an interesting next few weeks. Lord, please sustain us."

January 10, 2013: "Wondering what God is preparing us for?"

January 11, 2013: "I think God truly is taking me to a place of greater, deeper surrender. [..] God knows exactly what I need to be doing. Perhaps this is exactly it. 'For such a time as this'?"

January 17, 2013: "God is doing something good in our family. I know it. Although I don't know what--He will be faithful to complete the work He started. Now matter how hard--it will come to an end. I don't know what 2013 holds, but God does. He will work everything out for my good."

(Anna recovered slowly, but surely! yay! We are so thankful that this Christmas did not involve any trips to the hospital!) 

goodbye party.

  • Mom & Dad celebrated 30 years of marriage.
  • Anna was able to sit, walk, stand normally, etc... Things we take for granted became blessings!
  • Anna and I took a trip up to Mass. to say goodbye to our friend who joined the army.
  • Anna turned 20! 
  • I was a bridesmaid in three weddings.
  • We stayed a week at the cabin! (I drove a jetski for the first time!)
  • We went to PEI for a 10 day vacation! (and got to meet new baby Hope!)
  • Char turned 13! *sob*
  • The SKY family came for two, week long visits (one in April and one in September!) 
  • God released me to go back to PEI to work with them. :) :) 
one of the many weddings this year!

more journal entries:
January 26, 2013: "Out of the blue, dad says to me that he thinks I should go back to Canada [um, beg your pardon?

March 25, 2013: " Everything is changing. I wonder what will be next, though I dare not ask."

April 24, 2013: "When I got home I told mom, "I want to work with the SKYS." She replied, "Duh!" I laughed. I told her it just felt like home. [...] it was one of those stomach-clenches-up-in-excitement-is-this-really-happening kind of moments."

August 12, 2013: "If God calls, I must respond. It is my duty and joy to obey. It's not my call. It's not up to me to ask questions."

On October 5, 2013 I left my home to go to where God called me. It wasn't easy BUT it was a time of great JOY! :) God did it, utterly and completely, in such a way that I could never doubt it was Him! We had an incredibly blessed semester, and I'm looking forward to returning next week.

me and hope :)

All in all, 2013 was full of unexpected trials and surprises. I am so so so blessed by all that God accomplished and look forward to all His good plans and purposes coming to pass in 2014.

H A P P Y  N E W  Y E A R!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

old friends

I would like you to meet some of my old friends. Two weeks ago we were reunited. It had been at least three years since all of us were together. 

The only reason we know each other is because we were had two major things in common: we were we loved Jesus AND we were homeschooled. That was around late middle school/early high school age. (Being a homeschooler is hard because you never actually know what grade you are in. haha!) Back then, we were the closest of friends. We knew each other so well...every secret. every pet peeve. all the favorites. you name it. we were as close as close can be. We called ourselves "The Sixta chicks" (a combination of "sistah" and "six" because there was six of us. Corny, I know!) when we first started, but expanded into a group of at least eight or nine over time.

All the memories seem like so long ago, and at the same time, as if no time has passed at all. 

Since those early beginnings, so much has changed. We have traveled to so many places. We have seen hard things. One is married. Two are in serious relationships. One lives overseas. One is starting her own business. Another is a chef. Yet, here we are, together again. It was really special to reconnect after such a long time. We laughed OH so hard at how incredibly...awkward... we all used to be. We remembered how good we were for each other, and how we encouraged one another in the Lord.

I wouldn't have made it through High school & college with these girls. It's pretty special. 

Amazingly enough, most of us are back in the same area again. Out goal is to meet up once a month to reconnect. It's pretty exciting!

Taken on H's iPhone. :) We are missing two girls that night. :(

Thursday, August 29, 2013

A Cabbage Patch Doll in A Barbie World

(I wrote this almost two months ago and just found it again. Just thought I would share it...)

"Charm is *deceitful* and beauty is vain, 
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised."
Proverbs 31:30

I've grown up with comments like:
 "You have so much going for you, if you could just lose some weight.
"Just try not to gain anymore weight, okay?"
"You ARE a large lady."
"Well, guys do like slim girls..."

People constantly trying to give me "subtle" diet hints, exercise tips, fitness app ideas, calorie counting, and the list goes on...

I've been larger than most girls my age since I was 12, probably even younger. It's only been in the past few years that I have felt like people watch me and judge me based on my appearance. However true or untrue that may be, the side glances and sometimes biting remarks make it seem like everyone is watching. I'm not unaware that I've got a little more to love. The truth is--I eat less than my friends eat, I love fruits and vegetables, and I basically only drink water (ever).

t h e r e  m u s t  b e  s o m e t h i n g  w r o n g  w i t h  m e,  r i g h t ?

If I don't look like other girls, how can I fit in? How will anyone ever think I'm beautiful? How would any guy ever want to marry me? etc...

One dear lady that I respect greatly, after praying for me, and even praying with me for a husband (it was so sweet) then proceeded to give me a talk about dieting, special meal replacement shakes, etc... What I didn't realize was how much that affected me! Thus started a year of lots of exercising and even healthier eating. I took up running (who am I kidding? You don't just "take up" running. It was hard work.), started counting calories, and ate smoothies for breakfast. Yes, I became one of "those" people. haha. I felt great. I lost 18 pounds. Then, something unexpected happened.

I got pneumonia--badly--for a month.
Bye bye running. Bye bye eating regime. Hello just trying to get better.

One thing after another (sickness, Anna's injuries & surgeries, etc..) and I still wasn't back to running. It finally hit me one day this Spring, while taking a walk with a friend, "I've been trying to lose weight to gain the approval of others. In essence, so that someone will want to marry me." Was it beneficial to my health, yes! However,  in the midst of all that striving after what the world sees as beautiful, guess what was forgotten in my life: God and time in His Word.

Today I've been thinking about Proverbs 31:30. Another version says, "...Beauty is fleeting..."

Do I really want to lose ground in my relationship with the Lord in order to become "beautiful," find a man, and get married? I'm not saying that marriage is wrong--I want to get married one day. I'm not saying that exercise is wrong--God didn't give us these bodies with lots of muscles to just sit around all day!

My thought is this:
Are we letting the world's definition of beauty shape our thoughts, our habits, and our lives? Maybe even allowing it to come through as a "Christian" viewpoint? Many say we HAVE to be "good stewards of our temples..."

Yes, but what about our souls? If my outward body is in shape but my inward man is wasting away, what good is that doing anyone? It's not doing me any good, that's for sure (or my family either, for that matter). When I'm not spending time with the Lord or in His Word, I'm grumpy, easily irritated, discontented, and the list goes on.

I'm tired of being defined by the world's standard of beauty. There is so much more to life than what size pants I wear or how much (or how little) make up I put on.

Don't let beauty (that is for a moment) distract you from the higher things.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

"she does not eat the bread of idleness"

Meet my little sister, Anna. I call her Nan.
She's one of my best friends...
Yet we're so different. 

I'm the drama queen. She's the peacemaker.
I give answers quickly. She answers with much thought.
I'm cautious. She loves to take chances.
I'm extroverted. She's introverted.

I'm her biggest fan when it comes to humor. Her jokes make me laugh uproariously. (even the dumb ones)
*We're talking about the knee slapping, mouth wide open, stomach aching, and no air left to breathe type of laughing.*

We love to have fun and make our friends and family laugh. We're both incredibly stubborn, yet also people pleasers. We love to sing and go on adventures.
We're also struggling through a slight addiction to graham crackers at the moment. ;) 

^ that's me. that's her ^

Through the past year and a half, especially, Anna has gone through so much. Sickness, burns, surgeries, health issues, etc... yet, her faith in the Lord has grown stronger. I've decided that I want to be just like her when I grow up. If you don't know her, you should! 
She has a blog of her own. Check it out! Your spirit will be refreshed! Anna's Blog

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Don't Forget...

"Those who sow in tears 
Shall reap with joyful shouting.
He who goes to and fro weeping
Carrying his bag of seed,
Shall indeed come again with a shout of JOY,
Bringing his sheaves with him."

*Psalm 126: 5-6*


Reunion :)

The SKY Family came the second week of April to do some shows in the area. Wow. It was an amazing time. Not only did God bless all of the shows, but He gave us (what I think) was probably the sweetest time of fellowship and laughter together that we've ever had. There really are no all.. God is so good--so faithful... my cup overflows...

Here are some pictures they took and sent to us!

We surprised them at their first concert in VA.

Dinner afterwards. So happy to be together.

Two of my best friends. ever. These girls are gems.
(on the way to Lacrosse for a concert Sunday morning)

At Grandma & Grandaddy's Cabin on the lake!

Hanging out before the last VA concert, after we set up.

Brother and Sister.

Seth and me. being goofy, per usual. 

Our last day together-Hanging out at our favorite Starbucks in C'ville.

We got to visit Grandmother Pat and eat dinner together! So sweet!

EWWA and our essential coolness. (with the tags still on.) HAHA!

Two weeks later we went up to CT to get Anna AND go to a surprise baby shower for Tai (more from that later).
WE got surprised by Chris and Tracy being there. yaay!

Lots of sweet fellowship and sunshine!!

We are so blessed with friends who are like family! There really is nothing quite like it. :)

"All good gifts around us, come from Heaven above. So thank the Lord, yes thank the Lord, for all HIS love" ~Godspell

Thursday, March 21, 2013

My little sister is all grown up

Yesterday was Anna's birthday! We went to lunch with friends (and mom, too, since it is her birthday as well), got free frozen yogurt, went shopping, Skyped with a dear friend, and then dinner at Chipotle with a few of our friends from church!

I can't believe she is TWENTY!!

The splendid vanilla with lemon curd filling cake that our lovely friend, Kait, made for her!

No matter how old she may be, her facial expressions never fail to amuse me!

I love you Anna! You are one of the best friends and sisters a girl could ask for! May this year be a year of jubilee after all the years of hardship, sickness, and trials!

Thursday, February 28, 2013


It's definitely time for an update.

Anna and I went up to New England two weeks ago to say goodbye to my "Twin." We have the same birthday~ March 28th. We went to Bible school together in Canada and everyone referred to us as "the twins." Perhaps it was because we are both extremely goofy, love to make people laugh, and can say the silliest of things. I don't know. Other than that, we both have brown hair and brown eyes. And that is it. Needless to say, when friends/family referred to us as "twins" a general look of confusion would cross people's faces.

Anyways, he was always like a big brother to me, but since we both have come back to our respective homes, we haven't kept up at all. *sad face*

Since our time together, he has joined the Army and will officially go to Basic training tomorrow. When his mom sent out a massive email in January telling everyone of his going away party, Anna and I started praying. We both wanted to go to say goodbye, but we weren't sure about having enough money to go or where she would be in her recovery time.

Well, God is so good and she was feeling great AND He provided for us to go. It was wonderful. We flew into Boston on Valentines Day and spent the weekend with him. The best part--we surprised him. Yay! I love surprises!

All in all, I am so thankful for the opportunity to say goodbye. Also, to see many good friends (and meet new ones). God is so good to us.