Wednesday, April 29, 2009

W.O.W. Completed

Saturday, May 2, 2009
I WON! Thank you, Becky, for the Starbucks card! There were so many deserving paticipants. :) I had a good time and enjoyed interacting with other bloggers. If you're reading this and didn't participate, consider joining in next time. It really is a good way to keep motivated...when you know you have to show what you did at the end of the week. :) Start thinking of a project that you want to work on. I need to pick one too. The problem isn't coming up with something to do, it's picking only ONE thing on my long list. :)

Wow, this week flew by, but my W.O.W. project is completed. Hip Hip Hooray!

For those of you just joining in I participated along with some bloggy friends this week in a little game called W.O.W. which stands for Within One Week. Each of us picked a project or to-do item that we've been wanting to get done and tried to complete it within one week. This game was organized by Becky over at Everyday Becky. She's going to give the winner a Starbucks card. Doesn't that sound fun?! Hop on over there to see who won!

I chose to organize all my, massive amounts of Sunday school stuff. I had three years of papers, stories, crafts, craft supplies, etc to go through. It didnt' sound so hard at first, but this was a WAY bigger project than I even realized when I started. I didn't want to just do it. If I was going to take the time to do it, I wanted to do it right! I wanted all the stories and the appropriate papers catergorized and alphabatized in portfolio folders. I wanted to write down little tid-bits of info that I thought would be helpful if I ever taught the lesson again. Like what craft we did along with it and if I used a book to tell the story which book I used, etc. I wanted all the craft project samples to be cross referenced with the stories and papers in the portfolios. I wanted all the craft supplies organized too.

Anyway, earlier in the week I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to get it done with eveything else I had going on. Do you know how long it takes to do something like this? Do you know how long it takes just to punch holes in ALL those papers?!!? Fortunately, my husband, Alan, sat down with me one evening and punched quite a few of those holes for me. :) He's a keeper!

Here's what some of it looked like on Sunday...


Good thing the story doesn't end there. :)

Here's what it looks like today...


I wish this picture showed it a little bit better. It's hard to tell, but all of the papers are organized appropriately in two portfolio binders. All of the craft supplies are organized in one tote. I organized some of the smaller things in crates inside the tote. I organized the craft samples in another tote. They are in ziploc baggies that are alphabatized by category (wrote title of story on each bag) that I can quickly cross reference them with the stories in the portfolios.

Here's my *sigh* of relief. Now when all the kiddos in my current 3 and 4 year old class "graduate" I can go back and reuse the stuff I've already done.

I hope all of the girls who participated got their projects done too and that they're sighing with relief just like me. It was fun. Now, I'm headed over to Becky's blog to check out how everyone did...including her.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

I Need More Time!

Is it just me or does it seem that there is never enough time to do…well, to do anything? It seems I’m always running short on time! I’m always looking at the clock. In fact, I wonder how many times I will look at the clock while writing this post.

They say, “Time flies.” I have to agree! I ask myself all the time, “Where did the time go?”

In June I will turn 33 years old. ME-33! Just for the record I know that 33 is not old. I can already hear my mom saying in the back of my mind, “Rachel, you’re still so young!” BUT I have never been 33 years old before. In fact, I still tend to think I’m 24.

I graduated from high school 15 years ago. Class of 1994. Is that possible? At one time I thought graduation day would never come.

My husband, Alan, and I will celebrate our 5th Anniversary in August. Our son turned 2 years old back in January. Wasn’t it just a few days ago that I sat around wondering if I would ever find “Mr. Right”, let alone have children.

How can Andrew already be over 2 years old? It seems like just the other day that I sat down on my due date and cried because I hadn’t given birth yet. It seems so silly now, but I felt like he would never come. He was born the next day!

Now as I hold Andrew’s dimpled toddler hand in mine I realize that before I know it those soft, little boy hands will be big, tough man hands. And on those rare occasions when he still let’s me rock him, I hold him ever so tightly, rubbing his soft cheek next to mine thinking about how some day those cheeks will have whiskers. I realize more and more that these precious moments are fleeting. I try so hard to soak them in. They fly by none the less.

A couple of weeks ago I found some pictures from our wedding shower that had been stashed away for a while. Alan and I each gasped as we looked at them. It’s only been 5 years since that shower, yet we found ourselves saying as we looked at them, “What happened to us?” The answer: we’ve aged. Time hasn’t stood still for us. And it won’t tomorrow either!

It seems like everything I’ve heard and read lately has been about time. My pastor preached on it, I’ve read it several places including posts by other bloggers like Kathy S and Lysa TerKeurst. At my workplace they play country music. If you listen to country music have you ever noticed how many country songs are written about time?! It’s amazing!

Today I’m asking myself, “What am I going to do with the flying time I have? More importantly, “What is God asking of me?” I don't want to only mature physcially, I want to mature spiritually as well. I want to abide in my Savior so that I can look more and more like Him every day. How can I do that?

I can pray more, study God’s Word more, share my faith more and hold my tongue more often. I can be more patient, less judgmental, more tender-hearted and gentle towards those around me and a better wife and mommy. You get the idea…I want to be more like Jesus! I want to do away with childish things (I Cor 13:11) and be more mature in Christ. It’s right of me to want these things because these are things that all Christians are called to do.

I have made strides in these areas (and others) throughout the past years; even in the last few months. I have matured. But the growth can’t stop here. I have a lot of maturing to do…and that takes time!

There are things God is calling me to do. For years my own doubt, fear and unbelief held me back from many good things God has planned for my life. Just think of all the time I “wasted”! No more!

I don’t want to waste my time chasing after things that don’t please God. Instead I want to be anxious to do the will of God. I have had enough in the past of the evil things godless people do. (Adapted from I Peter 4:2-5)

I want to abide in the Lord and His words so that the desires of my heart will be so closely related to His will for my life that my requests will be granted. So that I will produce much fruit and that it will bring glory to my Father. (Adapted from John 15:7&8)

What’s holding me back from all God has for me? My own disobedience? Fear? Insecurity? Doubt? Lack of discipline? Lack of truly trusting Him?

What's holding you back? Let’s pray about these things. Then, let’s take the appropriate action.
God has good things in story for our future! Let’s stop wasting time! Let's get busy leading lives worthy of our calling for we are all called by God! (See Eph 4:1)

I prayed for you today, my reading friend. :) Please say a prayer for me too.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Today is the beginning of W.O.W.

W.O.W. stands for "Within One Week". Becky over at Everday Becky introduced this great "game". Those of us who play W.O.W. this week will choose a project or to-do item that we've been wanting to accomplish. Then, we'll work to get that project done within one week's time- Wednesday 4/22 to Wednesday 4/29. Is there something that you've been putting off that you'd really like to get done? I do! NOTE: even if you're checking this out a little late I bet you can still join in anytime.

You can join in too! You can choose any project to work on this week while some bloggy friends cheer you on (you can join in even if you don't have a blog). I don't know about you, but I need the motivation and for someone to keep me accountable. :) One lucky person will even win a Starbucks giftcard! How's that for motivation?

Check out the details by clicking here.

My W.O.W. project...
I seriously need to get my Sunday school stuff organized! I have 3 years worth of stuff thrown into this tote, in a duffle back (not pictured), under the bed, etc. I am normally a very organized person, but... YIKES! I usually write my own lessons for my 3 and 4 year old class so all of those papers are in there. Plus we always have a memory verse (and a take-home paper for that). We always do a craft so I have tons of supplies for that. I want to get all these lessons and their corresponding papers organized together in portfolios. This might be a bit of a challenge since my 2 year old son has rummaged through this stuff and so none of it is really together anymore. I'd like to get all the craft supplies organized in one or two totes also.

Seems like this shouldn't take me very long, but between working outside of my home 3 days a week, taking care of my home along with my busy farmer husband and a 2 year old (for goodness sake!) and along with other responsibilities/ministries this should be a good project to work on for a little while at a time, set aside and yet complete "within one week."

Come join me, girls! :) Click here

Monday, April 13, 2009

Are you blind?

Alan and I went to Cancun, Mexico on our honeymoon. While there we enjoyed spending a lot of time under the cabanas on the beach. We would relax in our lounge chairs for a while. Then, when we got too hot we would take a dip in the Gulf of Mexico. Yeah, we had it rough!

One evening just before sunset we were in the water, riding the waves. All of a sudden, I heard a little “tink” and out popped the right side lens from my prescription glasses. Panic swept over me! As the waves came crashing in there was absolutely no way we could find that lens and I am “as blind as a bat” without my glasses.

I started crying. Alan didn’t know what to do. Alan guided me like a blind person up to our hotel room. As we discussed what to do he suggested that I just close my right eye. To which I sarcastically replied, “Yeah, right! Maybe I should just go down to the gift shop to see if they have a patch I can wear!” Needless to say, we learned a lot about one another on that trip.

Anyway, here I was in this beautiful place. Yet, I couldn’t see any of it. I was “blind.” I was suppose to be enjoying myself, but I wasn’t. My environment hadn’t changed; only my perspective had changed.

There have been so many times in my life when I have been blinded spiritually as well. I have felt such hopelessness. I have been blinded by the enemy and my own ignorance of the power that lies within me as a child of God. God hadn’t changed; only my perspective had changed.

When the enemy sees an opportunity he will pounce on it like a roaring lion seeking a victim to devour (I Peter 5:8). Really he has no power over us. He has no right to bring up past failures. He has no right to speak words of doubt and fear into our minds. He just assumes that we don’t know our rights. Until we choose to stand on God’s promises and believe that we have the power in Jesus’ name we will live in bondage (and blindness). We don’t have to accept the lies of the enemy. We can stand against him (I Peter 5:9).

We also don’t have to live life being controlled by our own sinful nature (Rom 8:3, 9 &12). That’s why Jesus Christ came, died and was resurrected for us (Rom 8:34) He came to give us freedom (Rom 8:2); freedom to live life in it’s fullness (John 10:10) both here on earth and eternally.

As I focused on the Easter holiday this past week, I was awe struck by a few words that continuously “appeared” to me in scripture. Here are three of them:


There is HOPE in His resurrection.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,”
I Peter 1:3

There is LIFE and POWER in His resurrection.

“The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as he raised Christ from the dead, he will give life to your mortal body by this same Spirit living within you.” Romans 8:11
“And may you have the power to understand, as all people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life (abundant life) and power that comes from God.”
Ephesians 3:18-19

God’s Word doesn’t say that we might be filled with fullness of life and power. It says we will be filled with fullness of life and power. You can take God at his word! He doesn’t break promises. His truths do not change. Jesus Christ died and rose again. The same Spirit and power that raised Him from the dead lives in me…and you too if you’ve been born again!

We can experience living hope, abundant life and mighty power NOW. We just have to believe and claim it as our own. We have to stand on the promises in God’s Word and accept them for ourselves (because they are for us). That is why Jesus came, died and was resurrected.

I know it’s hard in the everyday monotony of life to keep this perspective. I know because I struggle with this myself. It’s all too easy to forget just whose we are as we face the struggles and troubles of the normal human life. Yet, I believe that when we truly start to grasp the hope that we possess in Him and the power of the Spirit that lives within us; when we realize just how much He loves us and wants to bless us with the fullness of life; then we’ll begin to see things in a whole new way.

What a shame if we choose to live our lives as blind slaves to doubt, fear and hopelessness when we have the power of the Holy Spirit at our disposal. Instead, let's remember our rights as children of the King and stand on them!!!

Thank God for HOPE, LIFE and POWER!

Thank God also that there is a Wal-Mart story in Cancun, Mexico.
We were able to get a replacement lens for my glasses. It was crazy how quickly my perspective changed when I got that new lens put in!

If you have not been born again please read Romans 10:9 & 10. If you want to know more about taking this step of faith feel free to e-mail me at

Monday, April 6, 2009

Rise and Shine

I’ve been thinking lately about how ironic it is that I’d ever be part of organizing a women’s retreat called Rise and Shine. I’ve never been much of a morning person. In fact, I’m not a morning person at all!

When I was growing up I had a good friend named Suzanne. I frequently spent the night at her house. Whenever I did her mom would rush into her room bright and early in the morning, flip on the light and say ever so cheerfully, “Rise and shine!” If we didn’t get up right away her mom would rip the covers off of us and onto the floor. As soon as she left the room Suzanne would crawl down to the end of the bed, eyes still completely closed, to pull the covers back over us. However, her mom always came back. She would barge back in to say, “Wake up, sunshine!” Then, she’d proceed to sing, “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy…” (You know the words, right?!) I remember thinking, “UGH! How annoying!” I just hated it when she did that!

Yet, she was right. We needed to get up before it was too late. She wanted us to get up and get busy doing what we were suppose to be doing that day. Still, it felt so good under those covers. We were so snug and comfortable. Besides, we were still tired and there was still time. We were full of excuses, but the thing is we knew what we needed to do, we just didn’t want to do it. I’m sure her mom didn’t enjoy having to push us so hard to get up.

We, as Christian women are called to rise and shine too. Isaiah 60:1 tells us to: “Arise, shine, let your light shine for the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.”

His glory has risen upon US! Isn’t that amazing? Think about it. If you are a Christian, His glory has risen upon YOU. You have something to share with others.

I’ve heard Christians likened to the moon and God to the sun. As the moon reflects sun in the darkness of night, we reflect the son of God in the darkness of life. Our whole purpose of being here is to shine His light to others. That’s why God created us-to glorify Himself. For some we may be the only son-shine they know. Colossians 4:17 tells us, "...whatever you do or say, let it be as a representative of the Lord Jesus…”

How many times has the Lord wanted to say to us, “Get up, you lazybones!”? (Proverbs 6:6) How often do we choose to stay right where we’re comfortable even though we know we should “get up“? How many times do we make excuses for not “getting up” and shining His light? How many times does He have to nudge (or downright push us) out of our cozy little place? How many times do we miss an opportunity to shine His light because we‘re preoccupied with excuses like we‘re too busy, we‘re too tired, etc?

I don’t know about you, but I want to do better. I don’t want to miss opportunities to shine His light because “my eyes are still closed“ and I‘m too busy staying comfortable. We only get one chance to live this life. Let’s rise up before it’s too late! We need to get busy shining His light to a dark and hurting world! We can do this in our everyday lives. We can start in our own homes!

I am praying, “Teach me your ways, O Lord my God, that I may live according to your truth! Grant me purity of heart, that I may honor you.” Psalm 86:11

P.S. If you're not a Christian, but would like to be, so that you too can have the glory of the Lord rising upon you, you can! If you'd like to know how, I'd love to tell you! Just e-mail me. My e-mail link is on my profile page.