Sunday, September 11, 2011


Ten years ago, today, I was watching smoke billow from New York's World Trade Centers. Six hours away at my grandma's house, I was laying on the living room floor watching the old TV set. I remember everything that ran through my 8 year old mind. I was shocked. Concerned. Nervous. Wondering why; wondering how. I was calm, though. I felt safe with my family in quaint, little Collins - far away from planes and broken building.

Now, ten years later, I'm watching the same footage I watched then, and I can't breathe. I never can when I hear the stories from that day. People went to work that day thinking they'd be back home in time for dinner. Fiances never got to exchange vows with their other halves. Young firemen learned early on just how far sacrifice had to go. All of it's hard to see and listen to, again, because it's so surreal and horrible. My younger sister asked if we had to watch the specials and footage. I nodded slowly. People wonder why I would want to watch and "relive" something so terrible and miserable. But I have to watch. I have to hurt. I have to see people running through Manhattan, terrified they'll be enveloped by the black smoke. I have to watch interviews of little boys who never got to see their heroic fathers again. I have to see the pictures and names. I have to sob! This was so huge. And just because my life wasn't devastated on that day, doesn't mean what happened shouldn't greatly affect me. My soul is brought to a sorrowful silence when I see video of people trapped in the top of the buildings choose to jump, rather than face whatever horrific chaos was inside. That's heartbreaking. What kind of conditions force that thought anywhere near your mind?

Sacrifice is a beautiful thing. And the way it was demonstrated on the 11th still touches my heart. To run into a 110-story building that's bound to collapse, so that you could help your fellow firemen save those who need you? To band together as passengers - as Americans -to purposefully crash the plane into a vacant field, so it doesn't kill anyone but those on board? Both require one thing: Selflessness. It required caring about someone else more than they cared about getting home to their family. They had to decide and they had to decide quickly. And when they chose, they chose to die for their conviction. For, most likely, people they didn't know.

All of it makes me depend on Christ, and I'm just so relieved and grateful that He has the whole world in His hands. He was completely sovereign over what happened, just as He's sovereign over what will happen. And terrorists and explosions won't change that. So, through the unknown, we can find certainty in our God:
Now I know that the LORD saves His anointed; He will answer him from His holy heaven with the saving strength of His right hand. Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will remember the name of the LORD our God. They have bowed down and fallen; but we have risen and stand upright. Save, LORD! May the King answer us when we call. - Psalm 20:6-9

Tomorrow, I'm going to be playing in the ocean with my family. I'll be enjoying the warm sun and sand... and life will keep going after that. But I won't forget what happened on September 11th, 2001. I'll remember those who sacrificed their lives to save others, those who died so suddenly, and the events the Lord ordained our nation would go through.
Never forget.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Etsy is the best.

And this made me smile.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

To bee, or not to bee...

There really was no question. We're filling in for some wonderful friends of ours, and Elise was a beekeeper for a day. It's not her favorite thing to do, because she's a bit nervous around the bees... but she's a brave, little thing. And so cute, too!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Good medicine, it was.

Daddy, Kyle, and I were driving home from church on Sunday, and we were seriously just having so much fun. We took a road that I hadn't been on for a pretty long time, and I was surprised at how much I had missed it. It goes through these grassy plains and over these rolling hills, and we were actually there during the time of day when the sun uses those warm rays to cast long shadows across the fields. I love that time of day. Anyway, we were driving the Mazda, and it was really windy. The added combination equals: talk loud, if you want to say something. So, we did. And we laughed loud, too. :) We can be such a fun, witty bunch, sometimes. I really love the times I get with them together. We talked about a lot of stuff, though I'm not really sure how we got on this subject...

[me] "Dad, what if I don't get married?"

[Dad] . . . "Well, I see you doing some home business things. You could invest in a lot of the things you enjoy, now. Like photography, writing, and such... And there may come a time when something you're not very interested in, but are fine with, presents itself as a good opportunity for profit."

[cue Kyle's "must lighten things up"]
"So, the moral of the story is: Get married."

[me] ". . .That's not actually up to me."

[Kyle]". . . What do you mean?"

[cue Daddy's "been affected by Kyle's 'must lighten things up'"]
"She means that her father's standards are far too high, and it's hard to tell whether anyone will fit them. The interested young man will be hesitant to apply, once he sees the seventh suitor scurrying away saying, "What do you mean what's my favorite color??"

[me] "Mmm-nooo. No. That's not what I mea-"

[Kyle] ". . . Rachel. You attract stupid men."

{insert laugh}

[cont.] ". . . Don't even know what their favorite color is. . ."

I think the real moral of the story ended up being: Bring Kyle when wanting to talk about a somewhat serious subject. He'll make sure it ends on a happy note. I know a lot of people think that deep, serious conversations are what's best in relationships, and I completely agree that those are good for growth and ensuring the relationship isn't shallow. But I honestly think some of the most important and affective moments in my relationships with others have been when we were laughing. I think it just adds so much warmth.

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.

Proverbs 17:22

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Dreaming of a someday...

Valentine's Day was last week, and I don't think I realized that I thought about it a lot differently than a lot of the world. Even differently than a lot of my friends. (i don't want to belittle what they felt. just writing on how what i feel is different.) Valentine's Day would come and I would never even think about my maybe someday someone. It just didn't come to mind. I looked at it as a time to celebrate the fact the we even get to love! And I would direct those thoughts towards the people that took up all the space in my heart. As childish or simple as it seems, cutting and pasting and creating a red, paper, heart valentine for someone I loved was important to me. Making sure to get Daddy his favorite Crunch candy, because I knew he'd never buy it for himself, was important to me. I think it's important to me, because I grew up doing it. I grew up with that day being special. But it was never a day to gush over a silly crush or sigh, because I didn't have one. It wasn't a date to think about having a significant other. I mean, of course Daddy would buy Momma a card and some roses, and he'd hold her a little longer when he got back from work... But to me, that was the love I was celebrating, too! The love we shared as a family. I knew Daddy loved Momma, and I knew he loved us.

So, when Valentine's Day came, it reminded me... I'm really not lonely. I'm not scared that I won't get married or be loved. If God wants me to have that spectacular guy, I don't doubt He'll send him. What I am scared of, though, is arriving at my someday and realizing I spent all of the years before dreaming about it, rather than rejoicing in the goodness God had sent... rejoicing that I had everything I loved! A lot can pass you by when all you're thinking about is the future. It may just be because I have an awesome family... but I really love where I am. =) Like, really. I'm not real anxious to anticipate 5 years later, because I have so many reasons to want to stay here! God's love towards our family abounds everywhere. Plus, I remember 5 years ago so clearly. I was so excited to be 17, someday. It seemed like such a cool age. I mean, that's how old all the cool kids were. And now. I'm seventeen. That someday is here. And I'm gonna just pick another day to start wishing for? Mmm, no. I'm going to strive to honor God with seventeen. Which requires me staying in seventeen and concentrating on seventeen. While gaining a generational vision. =) God makes each stage of life with so much potential for joy and learning. But I don't want to be taken by surprise and feel that horrible pang of regret, because I didn't see what God was doing in my life then. Plus (huge thing for me, really), I love watching my family grow. When I'm at the end of my life, I want to have countless beloved memories with the people I loved most. That would mean I invest in them now, so I can have those treasures later.

God is good.
And the future will be beautiful.
But so is the now.

Saturday, February 12, 2011


February's just so great.

-The only month I'll dot my i's with ♥'s. Guilty pleasure.
-X's and O's galore.
-Red. Lots of red!
-Reminding people that you love them.
-Being reminded that people love you.

The fun kind of BRRR.

Last month, it snowed the kind of snow you go out and play in. So, Daniel, Elise, and I went to go build a snowman and just be in it! Daniel's not in the pictures, though, because by the time I got my camera out, he was so done. Too cold.

So, this is Geoffrey. He was our end result. I happen to think he's super cute and cool. And deserving of a Honey.

Which is why we started on Geoffrey's Honey. But sadly, as it got darker, it also got really, really cold. So! Geoffrey's Honey had to wait until the next day, when Elise finished him. I didn't get a picture of her, but I did see that after the noonday sun, she had sort of melted into him. The two really did become one... And I'm sort of divided on whether I think that's profound or stinking hilarious.

Happy girl. :) We had a lot of fun. This, by the way, was before that crazy, yucky cold came in. See, I know some cold is fun! The rosy cheeks, wintery, Jack Frost-nipping-at-your-nose cold. But when Jack Frost takes his frozen frying pan and flattens your face with it, I don't think that's fun! So, I'm really glad we got to be together and play in this cold.

Monday, January 24, 2011

I remember.

Have you ever been going about life when, suddenly, you hear a song that brings up a certain memory in your head? But it's not a specific memory, because you can't really place it. Yet, you're sure you know that tune.

I'm positive that somewhere, back through all my memories and hidden in all of the nostalgia, "Drops of Jupiter" is playing in the background.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Oh, so that's what cousins are for...

Part of our fantastic Christmas vacation in Alabama.

I love this picture of Jess! I was just playing around with my camera, then looked at the picture and was super happy with how it turned out. Gotta love my accidental skills.

Clue. A fantastic game made even better by all of the childhood memories it's in. We played it cut throat, too. :D

Mocha frappes.
Elise is our expert yummy-goodness maker.

This game was way more fun than I thought it was going to be. Way. You had to guess who, what, or where you were by asking "yes" and "no" questions, only. Jess really was horrible at it... Cute and clueless! I, however, guessed I was Clint Eastwood in 5 questions. OH, yes. That's on my list of great accomplishments. :)


I was so happy we got to be in Alabama! And that Jess was there, too. It really was an awesome holiday filled with games, treats, laughing, movies, recalling funny memories, lounging about in cozy blankets, hot cocoa, and remembering just how much I love the people I get to call family.

Thank you, Lord!