In my favorite poem by Robert Frost, Nothing Gold Can Stay, he reminds us that like the seasons of nature, life is one season melting into another, and quickly fading away. This is my attempt to document each season in my life and my family.

Happy Kids

Filed under: Family,Friends,Friends of Mine,Kids,Love,Photos — Rachel at 5:05 pm on Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The kids are still doing homeschool, but they get plenty of days off and plenty of time to play. Amy and her family recently moved to Fort Knox, KY. Being so (relatively) close now, I met Amy Sunday afternoon in Nashville, and picked up her seven year old daughter, Sarah…my little forever friend. Amy is at a chaplain conference in Branson, Missouri, so Sarah is spending several days with her faux-cousins just because. Here are a few photos from yesterday.

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Eating lunch on the deck.

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Kyra and Sarah have been pretending they are sisters. I wonder where they got the idea that you can just decide someone is your sister?

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So cute!

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My Pseudo-Triplets

From My Journal

Filed under: Love,Random Thoughts — Rachel at 12:07 am on Monday, December 28, 2009

There’s so much more.

I am realizing lately, more than ever, that there is so much more to life than this. So much more to Christianity than this. So much more to following Christ than this.

This. This apathy. This complacency. This settling for less than what Jesus came to bring us. He died for more than this!

He called us to love one another. He said that should be what sets us apart…our identifying characteristic…that we love. We love Him. We love others. We love.

But we don’t.

I am so very aware of my own shortcomings right now. I’ve been reading about God’s love lately, in the books “The Furious Longing of God” and “Crazy Love”. About His love for us, and His command to give out His love to others. Without reciprocation. Without praise. Without thanks. Without recognition. We are to love. But we don’t.

But I don’t.

I laid on my face today and asked God to change me…to help me love. To help me follow Him. To cleanse my heart and make me new and pure. To help me to love Him. I know that I can’t love Him without Him giving me the love to give back to Him. There is no good in me without Him.

I’m tired of offering Him filthy rags. I want Him. I want more of Him. I want to be so full of Him that people notice. I read the entire book of James last night, after Chris went to sleep. “Faith without works is dead.” My version of Christianity makes me sick. How does He feel about it? I’m so self-centered…so worried about everything except the business that He wants me to be about. Father, help me!

The Neverending Day of Nothing

Filed under: Abby Jo,Elijah,Family,Kids,Kyra,Love,Owen,Random Thoughts — Rachel at 12:13 am on Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Today has lasted forever. Well, actually, I just looked at the time and today has turned into tomorrow. I feel like I’ve done nothing at all today. I have spent most of it right here on this couch.

I woke up around eight this morning with a little girl who was not going back to sleep. I woke up exhausted. I had spent the night with a sick little boy and a sick’ish little girl. Owen has been sick for days…cough, congestion, and low grade fevers, and Abby Jo has a congested nose. They were both in bed with me. Owen mostly slept, but did so fitfully at times, due to his coughing. Abby Jo didn’t sleep well at all. Poor baby couldn’t breathe well because she was so congested, but when I suctioned her nose with the nasal aspirator she would wake up. Once I would finally get her to sleep, I would drift off for a while, only to wake again when she got too stuffy again. It was not a good night of sleep at all.

After a night like that, I was up long enough to change her diaper, check my email, nurse her, and make Owen a doctor’s appointment. Then, I sent Elijah after a pillow and blanket for me, and settled in right here on the couch for a nap. I woke up at one o’clock, left Kyra in charge of her sister, and went to take a shower. Half way through my shower, Kyra came and reported that she was “going through the list…I put a blanket over her to see if she was too cold, but she didn’t stop crying. So, I unbuttoned her sleeper to see if she was too warm, but she didn’t stop crying. She might be hungry, but I can’t feed her. She needs you. I checked in her diaper and saw poop, so I thinks he needs her diaper changed, too.” I’m sure you probably heard the frustrated sigh that I sighed. I told her to go wake up her daddy, and I’d be out in a minute. When I emerged from the bathroom dripping and wrapped in a towel, I found Abby Jo, not in the care of her daddy (who was still sleeping), but being crooned to by her big sister who was quite deftly changing her diaper. Kyra was doing a good job with the diaper, but Abby was having a meltdown. I finished up the diaper changing, wiped Abby’s nose, and scooped her up. I barely put her down for the rest of the day.

Abby was so worked up that, even after I nursed her, she began crying the moment I put her down. She didn’t want Chris or Kyra to hold her at all. She was only quiet if I held her. I talked Chris into taking Owen to the doctor, since Abby was so upset, and went and sat with her on the couch. I’ve been here all day. I didn’t even manage to eat for the first time until three in the afternoon. Abby obviously felt bad, but I wasn’t sure what was wrong with her. After two terrible diapers, I assumed her belly hurt.

Chris brought Owen home after a doctor’s visit that included chest x-rays, with a diagnosis of an ear infection and some antibiotics. Thankfully, he didn’t have pneumonia. He’s quite miserable, though, and cries over the least little thing. He’s sleeping in his daddy’s arms on the couch right now.

The entire day, I held Abby. She cried a lot, even when I was holding her. There were times when she seemed to be feeling better, and she smiled and cooed at me as she snuggled in my arms. She would go to sleep, but, as soon as I tried to lay her in her basket, she would wake up and cry. I resigned myself to a day full of nothingness, and just held her. She’s finally sleeping in her basket for the last fifteen minutes. That’s the longest I’ve went without holding her all day. I am tired.

As frustrating as it is to not get anything done and as tiring as it is to try to soothe a fussy infant all day, there were moments when I would look down at this breathtakingly beautiful baby in my arms and just be overwhelmed with love…staggered at the truth that this tiny, perfect little human is mine. Mine.

It’s all worth it.

Sisters

Filed under: Abby Jo,Family,Kids,Kyra,Love,Photos — Rachel at 12:10 am on Thursday, May 7, 2009

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Dusty Drafts – Vol 2

Filed under: General,Love — Rachel at 5:00 am on Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Table of contents for They'll Know We Are Christians By Our Love
  1. Dusty Drafts – Vol 2

I found several unfinished drafts in my draft folder of my blog.  I decided to publish them as is. They are what they are.

From July 2, 2008:

They’ll Know We Are Christians By Our Love

Lately, one subject has captured my thoughts over and over. Love. Not romantic, candy and flowers love, but Christian love. The love that Christ has commanded us to love with. The love with which he loved us. He really did command it. He actually said that it was to be our distinguishing characteristic.

 

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.

By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35

A Jars of Clay song started this whole ball rolling. I was driving down the road, and I was listening to the “Redemption Songs” album. On this album was their version of a hymn called, “They’ll Know We Are Christians By Our Love”.

We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord
We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord
And we pray that our unity will one day be restored
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
Yeah they’ll know we are Christians by our love

We will work with each other, we will work side by side
We will work with each other, we will work side by side
And we’ll guard each man’s dignity and save each man’s pride
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
Yeah, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.

The words to this hymn seem to be emblazoned on my heart. I’ve not been able to get away from them. Everything in my life lately has pointed me back to this subject. Sometimes to my shame…in conviction…I see that my life does not line up with it. Sometimes in my pain…when others have hurt me…I see that it is an area that Christianity as a whole has dropped the ball on. Sometimes, in a moment of clarity, I see that what this world we live in needs is to see some disciples of Christ living out a life of love and fellowship. How would it change the face of Christianity if it became obvious to anyone who’s path crosses that of one proclaiming Christ that our faith changes us…and changes how we live.

 

 

Sorrow

Filed under: Loss,Love — Rachel at 11:29 am on Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Today was hard.

I was nervous about volunteering for so many reasons. Not the least of which was my sensitivity to all things baby. My first task was to read through brochures they keep on hand…to be familiar with them. As if I’m not familiar enough with the stages of pregnancy. As if I don’t now what a nine week baby looks like. As if I don’t know what I lost. I tried to go somewhere else in my mind while I read the text and looked at the beautiful, agonizing images.

I lost so much.

It was hard to exchange pleasantries with S, when my eyes kept returning to her growing belly. I was two weeks behind her. I should look like that. She already knew the sex of her baby. Would I know by now? This baby was my fourth. I would have felt her kick by now.

I would have put off volunteering for longer if M hadn’t of contacted me. I was secretly hoping to not have to face it until I was pregnant. I wanted to say, “yeah, it was hard, but I’m ok…God has given me a new baby”. I wanted it to not hurt so badly. I wanted to not have to be jealous.

It’s so much sometimes. Lately, it’s been so much better. I go two or three days on end without even being sad about it. Then, out of the midnight side of blue, it hits me. An appointment card in the car…a pregnant lady in the store…a memory…a scent…and I’m reeling from the kick in the gut that I wasn’t expecting. Waves of sorrow that I thought had long receded. So hard and strong and inviting. I want to wade into them and lie down.

But they are waves, and, as surely as they come, they eventually retreat.

I survive, but they leave their mark. I know they’ve been there. My heart feels different. Lighter and heavier. Imprisoned and free. I wanted my baby so badly. I prayed for her. I begged for her.

I miss her.

In The Silence

Filed under: General,Love,Me,Prayer Request,Random Thoughts,Videos — Rachel at 5:34 pm on Monday, March 31, 2008

Things have been quiet here at Nothing Gold recently. I’m sure you’ve noticed. I have been busy, as usual, but I’ve had a lot of heavy stuff going on in my life, as well. It’s hard to write family update stuff…or post random pictures…or whatever else when life gets particularly complicated. It’s hard to write about trivial stuff, when you’re trying not to reveal things that make you feel vulnerable. So, I’ve decided that I should just quit trying. Transparency is a big deal to me. My posts from this past summer show that. I really do believe that God can work in our transparency. So, I guess this post is about what has been going on during the silence here on my blog.

Life really has been busy. Chris spent a week in Albuquerque for work, and I took a trip to Springfield to visit Amy a couple of weeks ago. I’ll post later about my trip, for those of you who care. Elijah had a birthday. I can’t believe he’s four already. We had a small party for him the Saturday before Chris and I left on our trips. I’ll post a separate post with birthday photos, as well. The kids are all doing well. Owen’ s talking more, and my days are filled with his, “Mama? Mama!”. Kyra’s reading now, and doing well in school. They are most happy when they are all playing together. I’m so blessed.

The day before I left on my trip to Springfield, I got a horrible phone call. I’ll not go into all of the details in this public forum, but one of my little brothers almost died. It was a horrid day. I got a phone call from my mom. She was crying. My brother, Jason, who is stationed in another state, was missing. No one knew where he was. When they found him, he was almost dead. They said two more minutes and he would have been gone. I took the kids to my mother-in-law’s, and then went to my mom’s house. Everyone was upset, obviously. Me and my sister-in-law went to pick my youngest brother up at school, and I had to tell him about Jason. It was kind of heartbreaking. For any of you who have dealt with suicide/attempted suicide, I’m sure you can imagine the wide range of emotions. This whole situation kind of consumed our whole family for a while. My brother is alive, though, and getting the help that he needs. For that, I am thankful. I wish you would all pray for him. He is a Marine, and he served in Iraq about a year or so ago. For any of you who know him and would like to send him a card, send me an email, and I will get the address to you. I know it would mean a lot to him to know you care.

Two days after I came home from Springfield, I got up on Easter morning, and took a pregnancy test. I was so excited. It was positive. It wasn’t long, though, before I realized that something wasn’t right. I went to the doctor on Monday, and he told me it looked like I was having a miscarriage. I went back on Thursday to have more blood work done. My levels had went up, but not enough for the doctor to be very optimistic. I went back today to have my levels checked again. I should find out the results tomorrow.

The not knowing has been really hard on me. I have been up and down…mourning and hoping…not really sure what is going on. I already love this baby so much, but I’m not even sure if the baby is still here. It’s really hard not knowing.

So, in the silence on the blog, I’ve been wrestling with a lot of things. Not sure what I wanted people to know, and what made me too vulnerable. I’m not the kind of person, though, who’s good at keeping quiet about things that affect me so greatly. I am kind of an open book, for the most part. Until the last day or two, I’ve only told a few close friends who were praying with me. I decided last night, though, that if I am truly going to be transparent on this blog, in a way that people could feel connected with me, I can’t stay silent about such a huge thing in my life. I have run the gamut of emotions since last Sunday. I have been desperately, heartbreakingly sad, angry at God for letting me go through this, hurt at God that He would possibly take my baby from me, repentant over those feelings, hopeful that my baby is still here, and back and forth, so forth and so on. It’s exhausting. I pretty much spent last week sleeping. On Saturday, I finally found a measure of peace. If I am to go through this, regardless of the outcome, I want to glorify God. If there is a lesson to be learned, I want to learn it. If there is someone to be helped in the future by my experience, well, even when I really don’t want to go through it for the sake of being able to minister in the future, I can see that I would probably consider it worth it down the road. I’m not really there yet, to be honest, but I am able to see that someday I will be.

Regardless of what happens, I know that God is with me. Even when I can’t feel his presence, I know that He is still with me, because He has promised to never leave me or forsake me. He will get me through this. I will be okay.

I guess this excerpt from an email I sent to my friends who have been praying with me says it best:

I just wanted to thank you all for your prayers for me and my little one. I’m doing okay. Yesterday evening/night was hard. I tried to journal…tried to pray…cried some. I felt very alone. Chris was at work, Amy’s not here, and all of you guys are so far away. I was in a sad, sad state. Today, though, I’m doing better. Amy and I prayed a long time this morning, and it has really helped. I’ve had a hard time feeling God through all of this, but He met with me today. I feel like I’m okay now, whatever the outcome. Chris prayed with me yesterday before we went to the u/s, and reminded me that God knew the end before we knew the beginning. He knows how much I want this baby, and, if He takes…or has already taken…my baby to Heaven, well, I know He’ll be with me. Chris read a psalm to me in the waiting room at the hospital yesterday…Psalm 77…told me about how the Psalm writer felt like God wasn’t with him and didn’t hear his cries, how he started to think maybe God was never there, how he then began to remember what God had done for him and brought him through, and then how he began to praise God. It really meant a lot to me. That’s where I’ve been. I’ve felt like God wasn’t with me and didn’t care what I was going through, but then I began to remember all the things he’s brought me through and all the things he’s done for me in the past year, and I have to trust that He has a plan. Obviously, I still want my baby and I’m clinging to the hope that the baby’s still alive, but I know that, even if God’s answer is no, He will hold me up. My attitude has changed dramatically. I want to honor God in this. Thank you ladies for praying for me. For encouraging me to keep the faith and turn to God. I’m going to do that. I want him to be glorified in my pain. If I have to go through this, I want God to somehow use it. I was reminded of a video that has really challenged me in the past. It helped me to watch it today. I want God to be glorified.

Here is the video that I mentioned in the email:

I write this scattered post and insert the section from my email just to show where I am. Where I’ve been. I don’t know how much I’ll want to write about this in the future, but I needed to at least explain what has happened and where I’m coming from. I get results from today’s blood work sometime tomorrow. I would appreciate your prayers. I still have hope.I don’t know what the end result of all of this is. Several people have prayed that God would grow me through this. I’m sure that some sort of growth is inevitable, if I resist the urge to hide under the covers and not deal with it. Hopefully, I’ll be able to share my journey with you, and maybe it will mean something to someone. Above all, I want God to be glorified.

Fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

For I, the Lord your God,
hold your right hand;
it is I who say to you, “Fear not,
I am the one who helps you.” Isaiah 41:13

Study Break

Filed under: Elijah,Family,Kids,Kyra,Love,Me,Owen,Photos,School — Rachel at 6:13 pm on Saturday, March 1, 2008

 I took these pictures a couple of weeks ago. Was going to blog about being a college student slash mommy. It took me so long to get to it, I forgot what I was going to write. So, instead, here’s some pictures.

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This is where I spend  half my time…at the kitchen table, the laptop in front of me, and my books (which you can’t see in the photo..trust me, they’re there) open on the table.

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See, this is what I was looking at. Textbook, study notes, and my index card of handwritten notes I was allowed to take with me to my Western Civ Exam. 

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This is the baby who interrupts my understanding of Social Darwinism. 

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I would rather socialize with a huggy baby boy than study socialism any day. 

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This is the shaggy-headed little boy who needed help putting his mittens on. I don’t know why. He wanted to hug me before he left. As you can see, Owen took issue with that.  

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This is the thoughtful little girl who sits across the table doing her own projects.

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So, tell me, Friend…is it any surprise to you that I got a B instead of an A on that exam? 🙂

Priorities…I guess that’s my point.

Happy

Filed under: Family,Kids,Love,Me,Owen,Photos — Rachel at 11:01 pm on Tuesday, January 22, 2008

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Don’t tell Joel…

Filed under: Family,Friends,Kids,Love,Owen,Photos — Rachel at 10:58 pm on Tuesday, January 22, 2008

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…but I’ve seen Amy cuddling up to another man.

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