Friday, December 17, 2010

Just so merciful.

Today was one of those yucky nothing-went-the-way-it-was-supposed-to-and-I'm-pretty-sure-it-was-all-my-fault-days. Yes. Pretty bad. But you know what? Even though I'm dead tired and overwhelmed, it doesn't change the fact that
every one of these things is true:

Daniel will wake me up in the morning with a sweet and silly smile. *sigh* Always does.

We have yummy cinnamon rolls.

I'm pretty confident I did well on my finals, and I am officially on break until January 9th.
*EEP*

We're living in a house that doesn't need any renovations done to it. (And these people don't even know how much they're blessing us. It's unfathomable.)

I have friends who don't mind being spontaneous! Or sharing their M&M's and secrets...

Kyle is my official laugh-out-loud, love-him-so-much dance partner.

We have a dishwasher.

My jeans are the perfect length.

I still remember the songs Daddy used to sing me to sleep with.

In a couple of days, we'll be spreading the holiday cheer down in Alabama.

Mommy's made me into a crazy bargain hunting machine. Not ashamed!

Elise loves wrapping Christmas presents, even more than I do.

I laugh out of the blue, when I remember good memories.

-and-

God loves me enough to give me this list. And that's just so merciful, because I certainly don't deserve it. Thank you, Lord.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Goodbye, fall.

Thanks for the chilly, fresh mornings. Thanks for the crunchy leaves and the yummy smells. . .





Thank you for the smiles!


The sweet, little faces . . .


and the swings.

I'll see you next year. . .

Here's to hoping winter holds just as much fun.

Friday, December 3, 2010

It's ridiculous how late this is....

but at least try and forgive me.

Back in September, Daniel turned 5 and Daddy turned 50. (Kyle also turned 15, earlier in the year. See a slight pattern, hmm?)

{Look at that sweet, little face!}

It wouldn't be hard, at all, for me to let my heart ache at the fact that Daniel's not a baby, anymore. I can look through the pictures we have, and I can wish it hadn't have gone by so fast. But instead of having an overwhelming sense of gratitude towards God, in my heart, I'd just have yearning and sadness. And yearning and sadness leave me feeling pretty broken. So, instead, I'll treasure the memories of the past five wonderful years, and I'll "...thank God upon every remembrance..." of Daniel. (Phil. 1:3)

And one of the things I love, love, love about Daniel is his soft heart. He really is kind. Especially towards his momma and sisters. He's so willing and eager to help, whether it's with groceries, opening a door, or working with Daddy and Kyle. He's also very easily convicted. When he does something wrong, he really does feel bad. And I'm just so glad God blessed him with a repenting heart!

I pray your heart is always turned towards God, Daniel. I pray you become a man the Lord will call His good and faithful servant. I love you the world.

***

Daddy turned 50...!! I happen to think that's really cool. To be able to say that you've experienced God's goodness, life's trials, persecution, and blessings for fifty years? How anyone could look at that and think anything other than "How great is our God!" is beyond me.

Another thing that's beyond me is how Daddy can be so strong for all of us. He would tell you that any strength in him comes from God and His mercy alone. He would also tell you that he trusts the Lord. He believes in God's sovereignty. Whole-heartedly. Something I admire about Daddy is that, through this whole trial, he's never shown us that he's worried about whether or not God will provide. He's always been proactive, searching for what God would have for us, but he completely believes that we're in the Lord's hands. Our situation isn't unknown to God. We cry out to Him, He hears us, and He answers. In His mercy, He answers. And so often His answers are above and beyond what we had hoped for.

So, thank you, Daddy. Thank you for being the head of our home. Thank you for leading us. Thank you, thank you for trusting God. Thank you for raising us up in the way we should go. I pray that we'll never depart from it. (Prov. 22:6)

I love you oh-so much.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A phone call that reminded me...

Do you wanna know what I'm thankful for?

I'm thankful for a Grandma who rescues her granddaughter from a potentially angry mob, by giving her the details to her recipe for amazing jell-o salad, because we have to have it every Thanksgiving Day, even if the recipe box is packed away.

Do you wanna know what else I'm thankful for?

I'm thankful for a Grandma who listens to her granddaughter's confessions of silly worries and insecurities, then tells her that she understands and that she believes she can keep pushing forward, through it all.

I love you, Grandma. So, so, so.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

As of Recently

I have never wanted to live in town. Not since we moved out to the country, anyway. The thought never appealed to me! I would love to go into town for some fun shopping, eating out, or other special occasion, but I always loved going home. Yes, all the way out to where we lived, out to the dirt roads and fenced acres. It was just home. And the stars always shone brighter the farther away from city lights you were. You would look up and just breathe in God's goodness.

Yet, when the next plan was for us to move into some friend's rental in town, I didn't even give it a second thought. Maybe I was just used to uncertainty and glad for a definite answer. Maybe I'm becoming more pick-up-and-ploppable. But I know that God must have just softened my heart in advance. That He used His grace to make it easier for me (the one who whined about town, remember) just floors me. He is so long-suffering!

And coming here, to this house, to this neighborhood, all of the joys are presenting themselves. I'm so glad we're here in the autumn! Do you know, there are trees here? Like, real trees! Not just pine trees, but deciduous trees! They have leaves! And... they turn colors and fall off.

{We interrupt this program for a happy, happy dance dedicated to crispy leaves made for crunching through}

Seriously. I can walk down the block and come back, all for the purpose of shuffling my feet through the leaves. With a camera, of course... and any siblings who appreciate the joy of skipping down the sidewalk, making leaves fly, and people stare.

Because we're in a significantly smaller house than before, and we're sort of "living out of our suitcases," I see how my picture of what we needed was totally wrong. Not that I wouldn't like, put furniture in the family room (it's all in storage) or want a dishwasher (none), but I see how much more stuff I thought was necessary that was, actually, just the sprinkles on top. And having none of the sprinkles on top doesn't totally deprive you of sanity or happiness. You just think it does. At first. Having the right perspective and attitude are what keep you sane and happy. Not to say I have either of those all the time, but God, in His mercy, has let me look at things the right way, through a lot of this. It's only His mercy that allows that. Relying on my strength would have me rocking back and forth in the corner. Seriously!

What amazes me, though, is not only that God would provide, but that He would provide with something we liked. To bless you with something you truly needed, and to have that something make your heart smile, too?

Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite.
Psalm 147:5

Monday, October 25, 2010

Ready/Set/Go







He stuck the landing, by the way.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

When in doubt...


{be goofy.}

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Even at His Feet Forever

"Our drops of sorrow may well be forgotten in the ocean of His griefs; but how high ought our love to rise! Come in, O strong and deep love of Jesus, like the sea at the flood in Spring tides, cover all my powers, drown all my sins, lift up my earthbound soul, and float it right up to my Lord's feet and there let me lie, {a poor broken shell}, washed up by His love, having no virtue or value; and only venturing to whisper to Him that if He will put His ear to me, He will hear within my heart faint echoes of His own love, which have brought me where it is my delight to lie, even at His feet forever."

-Charles H. Spurgeon

I remember when we were in Florida, this past July, how I would walk up and down the shores collecting shells. Because it was so bright, I would strain my eyes to see the little pieces of the ocean buried in the sand. When I spotted one, I would bend down to grab it, excited and hoping that it was whole. If when I picked it up I saw that it wasn't, I would toss it back into the water.

I'm so glad God keeps broken seashells.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Have a Coke and a smile.



{Now that it's been a whole month, I'd figure I'd a throw a quick post out there. I took this when we were in Dahlonaga, Georgia. It was the 3rd of July and the whole town was decked out for Independence Day. This picture fit right in. Enjoy!}

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

And, oh yeah...

Daniel was having a one way conversation the other day...

"... I wonder what people in San Fransisco say.

*laugh* If it's even a state!

...on the planet!

NOT Mars!

....

Is Sanfransisco on Mars?"

Oh, those poor people without a Daniel to make them laugh. Hard. Like I did then.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A very late "Happy Birthday!" post....

Happy birthday, bro.

Thanks for being the buddy who got me through all the crazy things we did growing up... and ..... still do. You make me laugh so hard, and I just love hanging out with you. I pray often for you in your walk with the Lord. May He guide you and give you wisdom through out your whole life! May your heart always be soft towards Him. May you grow up to attack the gates of hell, and further Christ's Kingdom!

I love you, Kyle.

Oh, and, nice shades.

The other night....

Daniel said, "Lake Erie." in his sleep.

I laughed!

But it's not the craziest thing I've heard from a slumbering person. Ha! Nooo, *Jessica.*

^_^

Oh, and happy 100th post, me! To celebrate, I think I'll go to bed early. Oh, yes. Life of the party.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Well.


We're almost, almost home.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The South

/ tha 'sau'th/

The place where... 1) Tea is sweet and accents are sweeter. 2) Summer starts in April. 3) Macaroni & Cheese is a vegetable. 4) Front porches are wide and words are long. 5) Pecan pie is a staple. 6) "Y'all" is the only proper noun. 7) Chicken is fried and biscuits come with gravy. 8) Everything is Darlin'. 9) Someone's heart is always being blessed.

~Courtesy of a little shop down here

Monday, July 5, 2010

*I can't believe it. 11, already!*



Happy birthday, Baby Girl.
You're getting so big! I see you learning and growing in Christ so much. You're Mommy's amazing helper in the kitchen, and you help watch and be a friend to your little bro all the time. I love sewing, shopping, watching movies, sharing a room, singing, and being our normal crazy with you. God gave me a beautiful, best friend sister! Continue striving to honor Mommy and Daddy and love your siblings, sweet.
We love our red, white, and blue baby right back!!

How we did at the CHEC conference...

Well! We did well. We got back all of what we invested and more, learned how to prepare for and manage a business booth, and spent 3 days with awesome friends. Needless to say, I believe it was way worth it!

We received a lot of interest, though, not quite as much as we had hoped for. I did hear, however, that it was a slower year than the ones before, so. Maybe that was it. Either way! God is sovereign even over tissue pouches. And He was very good to let us do so well! It was our first year, so we didn't know exactly what to prepare for, besides the info friends had given us. (Which was very much appreciated; thank you guys!) But now that we've done it, I know what I would do differently in some areas. And given the chance, I would definitely do it again! I certainly enjoyed the experience as a whole, and I know Elise did, as well!

Next year, I'd like to have more variation in product. The items we chose this year were low scale maintenance, and a good way to introduce Lil to sewing basics. It also presented the opportunity to teach her that if you're making something to sell, it does actually have to be perfect. No cutting corners. It was character building! We both practiced being more precise, and not being careless. If/When the time comes where I can start practicing and making more things like totes(I've actually already started with these...), craft aprons, clutches, and a gazillion other things with such potential adorability, I can perfect my methods (to my madness!) and start up an Etsy shop. It's an idea that's kind of showed up every once in a while, and I think it has the possibility of being very good for me. But I would want to do it when I could really invest the needed time and energy into it. Which isn't now. So! All in God's timing....

Our friends, the Fountains, so graciously let me stay with them during the conference time (Elise got to join in on Friday night; I'm glad she did!), and we had so much fun. These people... :) They're crazy fun and so easy to just be with! I made a lot of memories I love looking back on even though it like, just happened! I love them so much, and enjoyed all the fun we had. From laughing til a ridiculous hour of the night, and having Mrs. Fountain not wring our necks for keeping her up with us, to new catch phrases ("and I'd kick 'er, sir." - "Llliiiar!" - and in closing, "Well... he was too young for you."), to the heart-felt conversations had with sisters who I really do love.

God really blessed this time in many, many ways, and I'm very grateful for all He did with it!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A happy, happy anniversary, Mommy and Daddy... and Father's Day, too!




I love this picture!


Normally, this day comes around, and I find myself doing two things. One, thanking my absolutely wooonderful parents for all of the love and effort and sweat they put into raising us for Christ's kingdom, and two, wondering what we should do about a gift for them.


Well, the gift ideas came easier, and the thanks could flow endlessly, but for whatever reason, God put something else on my heart for me to think about.


They're together.


I don't think I realized how much of a blessing that was until maybe a week ago, when I just felt the realization that Mommy and Daddy have been married for 19 years. 19 years of being together, 19 years of the two being one. And I have never had any doubt that they will be together until the Lord calls them home!


Not only has God blessed us with parents who want to raise us in the love and admonition of the Lord, he blessed us with parents who want to do it together.


I love seeing Daddy tease Momma, and watching them laugh together. It's like it's 19 years ago, when it all started. The newness and excitement and fun; it carries over and over and over into a life they continue to share together. It's like Mommy's eyes are showing the laughter she felt when Daddy first asked how to pronounce her last name. Which came in the form of, "So, what do your friends call you?" And Daddy's eyes show the determination he had in winning her over. I love that! It's boy meets girl, turned into.... man and wife with a generational vision!


While the newness and excitement and fun are beautiful to see, nothing tugs on my heart more than when I see them sacrifice for each other. When I see them love the other one despite their flaws, despite the sins that bother them the most. That's when I see Christ and the church.


God has been so good towards our family, and now I'm gonna find joy in the blessing of Mommy and Daddy together.


Father's Day and my parent's anniversary have always sat right next to each other, and to me, it makes perfect sense! I'll not only celebrate my father, but I'll also celebrate how he's the head of Mommy and the head of our family. My father has a generational vision for his family, and he is passing it on to his children, and we will pass it on to ours. But the point is, we live the way we do, believe the way we do, and plan the way we do, because of his vision. Without Daddy loving me, and ultimately the Lord, enough to build our family this way, I would not have future plans that match what the Lord desires for me as a young woman.

I love my father so much for being the leader he is, for being the loving husband he is, and for being the Daddy God knew that I needed.

The more I go through life, the more I love just where God has placed me, and just who I get to be here with. God makes life good!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Really....

If we must subject our flowers to inside climate,



let's do it right.



Mind you, Jones Soda bottles are also just as good... if not better...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


The past few weeks we've been tying up everything that needs to be done for the CHEC conference. I've officially been sucked into that category.
I depend upon lists.
Yeah. That category. And I'm beginning to understand the thrill that comes of being able to check things off! And the things that got checked off today were pretty-uhfying the paper bags


we will be putting our.....


tissue pouches....




and blooms in!

Our customers will also have business cards dropped into their bags before they leave. Business cards. I know, right?! Not only are they official and cool, but they're stinkin' cute, too!

So with bags and business cards crossed off, making the sign, and making the table cloth extra cute are what's next. For being so close to the conference, I'm surprised I'm not more stressed. I don't normally do well under pressure, so it's only by God's grace I'm as sane as I am. Which... may not be saying very much... but! You get the point....

I'm also just really excited! I've never done anything like this before, so it's also got that anxious feeling, but I'm actually looking forward to it. Plus, I think it's awesome that Elise gets to be in on this whole business endeavor with me. She's taking to all of it really fast!

More conference stuff, soon....

Hey....

Do you hear that? ..... No? Hm. .... Oh wait! There it is again! ...... Hear it?

That's the south. It's calling my name.

:)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

My sweet Lil






She's getting so big!
I love watching her grow, though, and getting to see how she lives life with all the LORD's given her is beautiful.
I just love her.














That little country kid







There's just something about puddles!


*SMILE*




Everybody's doing it.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Just how things go

I love how in our home, "What am I gonna do with you?" isn't a rhetorical question...

We all grow up knowing the answer and it comes out without us even thinking, anymore.

"Love me and keep me foh-evah!"

***
I love it here.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

"Baby blue...

... like the Colorado skies."

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, he praises her..

Though I'll never be able to put into words the love I have for Mommy, I can try and give a little bit of the big picture....

***

She is my best friend.
I have never had someone I can share my feelings with more freely. She always listens when I need her to. She's there when I need someone to cry with, and she's always ready to laugh with me afterwards!

We really are very different, yet we're exactly what the other needs! She is teaching me to manage my time well, and I couldn't ask for a better teacher!
Through all of the trials the LORD has brought, she is learning to trust Him even more. And by doing so, she's teaching me to do the same! When I hurt, she and Daddy remind me of God's sovereignty. They remind me that God ordained what we're going through, and that He's molding us through the pain.

She is the helpmeet God made for Daddy, and he loves her with all his heart.

Proverbs 31:11-12
Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm, all the days of his life.

She stays at home, teaches, and loves us, while being productive in her home business! We're so grateful and blessed that she's honoring the LORD with this choice. I'm learning from her experiences, and she's helping me make good investments.

31:16-18
She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings, she plants a vineyard.
She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.
She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.

Her patience with my me and my brothers and sister is amazing! She guides us with gentleness and encouragement. Love suffers long.

She doesn't pretend to be perfect, while always trying to be the best example to us. She reminds me that God designed my heart, that He made me who I am. While reminding me that I need to always be striving to honor Him, giving Him the glory, and repenting when I fall, she tells me to just be Rachel!

I love you more than I could ever tell you, Mommy. I am forever grateful God sent me to you and Daddy. Thank you!

How we celebrated Mother's Day....


So, for Mother's Day, we got to spend the day with some of our best friends! We had planned to go to Champps, a restaurant that was offering a really good deal for the special occasion, and were very happy when the Giedds could go with us! (So, of course we dragged James with us... =)


Champps is in the Shops at Briargate plaza, so while we waited for a table, we got to walk around there. Which! happens to be a certain some one's *cough cough, Mandie's* favorite.


First on the list was Starbucks! Up until May 16th, they're doing a happy hour on their frappacinos, from 3-5:00. This is good info, people!



Yeah, I really don't get why they're all frowning in this picture. Don't they know where they are?!


And, of course, Adam was one of the highlights.





After our frappacinos, Kyle, James, and I went to the Apple store and ended up playing with the new iPad. Which, I will admit to thinking was stupid.... up until I played on it....

And to top it off, I beat the boys at TapTap! *triumph*






Adam *loves* Daddy. And.... sucking on his sunglasses....








Ha! Kyle's reaction to Daniel's corndog gun-

"You're kidding me."








Tic Tac Toe- just one of the reasons Daniel likes James so much!




Kyle and James being..... Kyle and.... James...




Elise just loves these little boys so much! And I have a feeling, they kinda like her too....


We had a wonderful day celebrating Mommy and Mrs. Giedd. They're beautiful and priceless treasures sent from the LORD. They mean more to us than they'll ever know!