Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Fall In Love With North Carolina

Get it? love? That is complete literary genius right there. 

Anyways, moving on, I'm trying to cherish the last few weeks before the really cold weather sets in and the holiday rush starts messing with my waistline and routines. I took a walk in one of my favorite parks several times last week and was really able to clear my head and find renewed perspective. Funny how fresh air can do that, huh?

It also brings out the best in my little ones and I love to see how the smallest things in life can delight them. They love to pick up acorns and poke at centipedes with leaves. It's a great reminder to me to slow down and enjoy the small things in life; to delight in the little things. 

Plus, the great outdoors mask toddler meltdowns much better than the 4 walls of a small house can. They can scream and cry and squeal with delight, and it just travels on down. I'm sure some poor animal thought these were war cries though... heh. 

The other great thing about this particular NC park is the river that runs right beside of it. I actually got married right by this river so it holds sentimental value as well. My girls love to throw rocks in it and watch for turtle heads that occasionally pop up. As you can imagine, all kinds of birds and animals are equally attracted to this park as I. You never know which of God's precious creatures you'll spot.

Not a bad backdrop for a wedding,eh?

When I'm out and can see the beautiful world that God created simply by uttering the words, I am reminded of Psalms 46:10 "Be still, and know that I am God...". The beauty of nature reminds me to quiet my mind and let my soul soak up the wonders of God. 

Plus, my kids nap better after a good hike. ;)

What is your favorite way to renew your spirit after a stressful day?

<3, Rachel

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Are You Afraid Of Your Children?

I'm not entirely sure when it happened, but I believe at some point I began changing everything to suite my kids. I always swore not to be that parent, but I am. Don't get me wrong, I have sweet, mostly well-behaved kids (I mean, they're toddlers so....) but, I think I've become afraid of them! Afraid of making someone cry, or making one of them resentful or not keeping them entertained enough or learning enough or being away from home at nap time. 

It hit me yesterday when a friend of mine with children the same age rattled off her to do list for the day. It included going by the farmers market for vegetables for a fresh soup, re-tiling the bathroom- yes, re-tiling the bathroom- and repairing a rotten window. This of course on top of the regular day to day stuff like laundry, dishes, meals and oh yes, the constant needs of two babies!! 

"Oh, where are the kids?", I naively asked. "With me of course!". Oh, yes, of course. I took an anxiety pill and popped Frozen in again for my kids.

I can't even shower without being needed and I cook dinner with a 20 month old wrapped around my leg. I don't go very many places because I never know who will have a melt down- and we can't have that, right? I love to travel, even just for the day, but I don't do that because... well, think of all of the things that could go wrong! I clean during nap time. What has happened to me?

I've typed 4 types now that I'm going to change that, but then erased it- because I get anxiety just thinking of stepping outside of this habit. Maybe this is the way it's supposed to be? Surely I'm not alone.  Or maybe I am, but there will be no re-tiling projects in my near future; I doubt I'll even clean out the fridge. I might try cleaning the house with headphones in so as not to be distracted by the crying. Baby steps, right? 

For now, I think I'll just enjoy another day at home with these two cuties. There's time in the future for all of that other stuff. Let's just live today to the fullest and pray we get another crazy, messy day tomorrow!


Monday, October 27, 2014

Where Did My Joy Go?

Well hello there Monday! Many people have the misconception that a stay at home mom doesn't feel the miserable sting of Monday in the same way as the working world... they're wrong. Monday gives me the same cloud of doom as anyone else. I've been working on a system to keep the house from falling into disarray over the weekend, but nonetheless, there is still the hustle to catch up and get everyone back on schedule. 

My mood and my outlook on life have been sinking farther and farther down and I feel like I'm trying to fight my way through the daily grind. What happened to the younger version of me? The one who saw nothing but opportunity and fun. Am I slowly turning into the sour faced old lady that yells at children who are playing to loud? I sure hope not.

Over the last few weeks, longer if I'm being honest, I've been doing a lot of soul searching. I can't quite figure out where my joy has gone- or when it left. I am blessed beyond what I could ever have imagined and I've been given more than I could ever deserve, so where is my joy? I finally realized that I have been looking for it in all of the wrong place. There are many temporary fixes out there, but in time, they all fail. So where is joy hiding?

Luckily as a Christian, I know who to go to if I want my joy back; but it's not as easy as it sounds. If so, there would be a lot more Christians out there with joy. I wish I had the answer, but alas, this is my journey to find it. I know that it must start today with a perspective change. As I was reading on joy last night, I see that selfishness is one thing that will smother out joy faster than a lid on a candle. Bitterness, selfishness, and downright bad attitudes fuel the fire. So, my guess would be that the opposite should bring joy back. 

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. (Psalms 51:10)

This week I'm working on an attitude change. My husband hasn't taken my joy, my children haven't taken my joy, my finances, my circumstances and my lack of free time haven't taken my joy. I took it away myself; shewed it away like a stray dog. I want to live life more abundantly as is promised to me by the Lord and today I am praying that he shows me how to find it. My prayer is that you will find it too!

For starters, I'm off to have a warm cup of tea and maybe watch and episode of the Duggars.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Guilt Nation

I am the mother of two beautiful, toddler girls- ages 1 and 4. Life is non-stop. I love it, but there is a very honest side of me that looks forward to getting just a few more years down the road. I'm not wishing my time with them away, I am simply wishing for a time when I'm not so sleep deprived and behind on everything that I can't enjoy the simplicity of just being together.

I bring this up because of an article one of my "mom friends" shared the other day... it laid on the guilt real thick and spoke of how ashamed we should be that we are wishing for "an easier time". I read it and at first felt convicted- then I thought; wait, why should I feel guilty about that? I'm living through these Tasmanian days with as much grace and mercy that God gives me each day; (His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning... Lamentations 3:22/23) but, as a type-A, 10-hours of sleep kind of girl, I'm very out of my element. 

The Lord has used these years to teach me a lot about myself and the character qualities I need to work on improving. I've laughed harder than I ever have and I've cried harder than I ever have. I've toughened up on some of my weaknesses and I've softened my heart to many things. It's been fun, but I'm not going to lie, I'm stretched out and ready for a calmer season of life... and I see nothing wrong with that!

That's my point. What is with all the guilt floating around out there? It's every where I turn, especially towards young mothers. I pray that the Lord can use me to be an encouragement and a help to young mothers- especially when I look back on this season of life in years to come. If more people became the hands and feet of Jesus it would change the world in so many ways- and young mothers everywhere would get a nap instead of a guilt trip!

Much Love,

Friday, October 3, 2014


When my husband and I made the whimsical decision to have a baby, we pictured tiny toes, cuddly onesies and a sleeping baby watching movies with us. Not only is that NOT what we got, just a couple years later we had a toddler on our hands!! It recently hit me that we naively decided to have a baby, not a kid- as if we didn't realize that babies turn into kids. Sounds silly, I realize, but I never pictured how frazzled, disheveled and completely fulfilled I would feel just 4 years and 2 kids later.

I've had the privilege of meeting so many moms over the last few years and have spent too much time comparing myself. I've felt less than capable and I've let me ego boost me to unreasonable heights. I am now on a journey to find my true self and be the mom God intended for me to be. 

I am not the "fitness mom", the "crafty mom", the "home-school preschool mom", and although I love to cook, I am not the "whole foods- carrots for snacks mom" either. I like to take short cuts, I like to have quiet time, I'm not overly concerned with drool on books or sticky floors. I am a normal-ish, creative mom who LOVES to spend time with her children reading, playing and baking. I am also an introverted woman who loves quiet time, bubble baths, good books, (all) food and wine!

This blog is about finding and embracing who I am while also becoming a better version of me. Together we can organize, try new things, grow closer to Christ, and laugh at ourselves all along the way! Just a note, if you are going to be a reader of my blog: I don't really care for "grammar natzi's", I don't always spell things right, I sometimes make up words if one doesn't already exist to fit my need, and I'll probably always be writing in my pajamas. You don't have to agree with me on everything (I love a good debate), but I also think all people deserve to be spoken to with kindness and empathy.

Thanks for stopping by and I look forward to sharing my heart through this blog.