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Peace Seeker: On This Day

I rode a rollercoaster today.

Not a for real one, emotional.

It started out a decent day. My alarm went, too early. But school is in session. My youngest woke up. My oldest grumbled when I woke him up. My youngest is so tired lately, so i asked him to please just rest for awhile.

His answer: “Yes, Mama.”

His actions: NOPE

And Round 1 was lost to both of us. Tears from both, raised voices, from both, and a general feeling of frustration, from both.

Happy Tuesday.

The fight ended about an hour and a half later, when I put him to bed. One run through of his songs, and he was out.

It’s 9/11 today.

17 years ago, we united together and promised ourselves “never forget” .

But farther back, a bit of awesomeness happened here in America. Particularly in a small town in Pennsylvania.

On this day in the early 1990s, I was adopted. My parents officially gave me their last name, and I belonged to them.

My story is an interesting one. A puzzle. Some pieces are still missing. Some are filled in. Some will wait for Heaven. Some are beautiful. Some are not.

But it is my story. All mine. Well not all, but you get my point.

Back to my rollercoaster.

I took a trip down memory lane. And it took an emotional toll.

I am so grateful for this life. And I often take for granted the life I was given.

I rarely dwell on the what if side of my life. My birth mother died in her early 30s. My birth father was never known. There aren’t many what if things to dwell on, there are too little facts for those trails.

Growing up the biggest what if trail I traveled down was what if Tom had adopted me? Tom and his wife were foster parents. He had a soft spot for me. At one fishing event, he saw me eyeing up a stuffed animal that I liked. And when prizes were given out, my disappointment was obvious. As my dad and I got into his Suburban, Tom came to the truck. “Here,” he handed me something, with his mustached smile. And it was the little leopard I had wanted. My boys have long claimed that little animal. But it never ceases to make me smile. There was never any doubt whether he cared for me, or any of the girls they took in and loved. And his smile often pops into my memory, and in turn makes me smile.

Other couples loved me, deeply. Not just aunts and uncles. Though I am blessed with some incredible aunts and uncles, and cousins. But another elderly couple from the foster parent group who loved me. They would randomly drop off Easter baskets. They never failed to send a card for holidays and birthdays.

It would never be fair to say “no one really loved me” because my love language was thoroughly spoken as I grew up.

I can point to pieces of my life that did not glow with hearts and flowers. But everyone can. And those pieces left their marks, alongside with the blessings those hard times also helped to shape me.

The roller coaster ride is emotion-filled. Sometimes the bad things overwhelm me. I look at my life and the highlight reel of pain automatically plays. But today’s memories, I remembered the blessings too.

I have two biological sisters. Their stories are not mine to tell, but they do not have the same childhood memories that I do. And that makes my heart hurt. The unfairness.

On this day 20 plus years ago, I became a daughter. Fully belonging. Fully loved. I completed a family who didn’t know they weren’t complete. I fully recognize that my life was changed the moment they followed God’s leading and said yes, but so was theirs. I am the youngest of 5 brothers. And each of them, their life was changed by my arrival as well. We all were many parts to one family, we loved and cared for and fought with each other. Granted the fighting part existed first. But the love part was there.

Someday I get the share my story with my boys. These two sweet, biologically mine boys. And that was the sweetest part of giving birth…   The moment I held them, the moment I kissed them, I knew they were mine. My DNA ran through their veins.

Mine.

And while my family never, ever made me feel less than because our DNA was different, there was something beautiful in cherishing my boys and knowing they were mine.

There was something devastating in my life. The abandonment issues were so strong. While my love language was spoken often by caring and loving adults, it was hard to receive. Not that I took it for granted, I just felt undeserving. I often felt “if they only knew-” and whatever grievous sin I considered, I was sure it would make everyone abandon me.

And that’s where my emotional rollercoaster dumped me tonight. Way back there in the middle of abandonment-ville.

And I’m hiking back. Journeying back. Remembering each person who chosen to love me. Starting with my parents, my siblings, wonderful people from church, aunts, uncles.

There’s a special little girl I think of now, she reminds me of me. I hug her every Sunday. I smile at her. I want her to know, whatever was in her life, now she is chosen and loved. Now she matters more than whatever caused her story to begin where I’ve met her.

This weekend Alex shared with me that he told his teacher he knows 2 adopted people. His friend at school and his mommy.

And it made him proud.

I have friends who have adopted, are adopted, are fostering and hoping to adopt. And someday I want to share my current life with kids who need it.

I am proud of my history. And I’m grateful for the story God is giving me.

Each and every piece.

If my birth mother were here, I’d say Thank You.

If my birth father were here, I’d say Thank you.

To my parents this week, I will say Thank you.

Sometimes I forget to intentionally remember.

So today I’m glad I took the time to remember. And tomorrow I will remind myself to be glad.

And if you have the opportunity to love on a child whose first family could not provide all the love or care he/she needed, do it.

Because it’s worth it.

It’s like when concrete is poured and little handprints or footprints or initials are carefully put in it. You get to do that. You get to help create a foundation of love, of trust, of being wanted. And in doing so, you etch yourself into their foundation.

Well, I am officially drained. Tonight I needed to remind myself to never forget. Because I got lost and I did. I did forget the ones who loved me when I desperately needed it. I focused on mistakes. I focused on pain. That needed to change. I must remember it all.

But now, now my house is quiet, my sweet boys are snoring sweetly. And my soul needs to rest.

Love,

Rachelle

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Peace Seeker: Deserving

I hate this word: deserve

“But Mommy, I did my chores! I DESERVE __________.”

Um, you what?!

I hate it.

I read a news story about a woman who demanded guests pay *only* $1,500 towards the wedding she deserved. 

Entitled, much?

This post has been mulling around in my brain as I have healed physically.

Because as I took my grief to God, my prayer (well, part of it) went something like this:

“God, why?! I didn’t do anything to deserve this? I serve at church, I am doing my best to be the wife and mother that honors and follows You.”

Deserve.

What do we deserve? As sin cursed people, living on a sin cursed world?

As a woman who suffered various traumas, I do plan someday to ask God why He allowed some things.

As a mom who has lost so many babies, I look forward to Heaven even more. And since our fatal diagnosis with Liam, my Bible reading and prayer time is daily and deeper. It was a terrible thing to go through, but I see blessings.

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I am choosing to be more intentional as a mother. Having more babies is not something my body can do, so I am choosing to accept that and be more intentional as a mom with my boys.

Callan and I enjoy quieter days at home, today is a bit lazier than yesterday. We were both up too early, so computer time for me and a learning show on Netflix for him.

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My oldest turned 7 and started school. And Callan misses him. But I am enjoying the break from sibling rivalry and have been able to mostly catch up on house work. Mostly.

Today I am being intentional. I need to catch up on this blog. (It’s been official for a year now! YAY!!) I have some catch up with my direct sales business to do. And I have a needy toddler today.

And he DESERVES a mommy who is all in, as much as she can be each day.

Deserves.

I think it pricks me, reminds me of my selfishness, my entitlement. I am guilty of feeling like I am deserving of specific blessings, or favor.

de·serve- do something or have or show qualities worthy of (reward or punishment)

I am so often guilty of feeling deserving or entitled to things… I work hard and expect a reward/ payment. And that isn’t always how life works.

And it gets me a bit frustrated when I hear this word thrown around casually.

But in these last weeks of healing, as I am spending time in prayer and giving Him my heart, my concerns, my fears, my everything… I catch myself taking on this attitude of what I feel I deserved.

I deserved those babies, every single last one of ’em.

Yet often, I gaze on the sweet faces of my boys, whether the day was good or bad, and realize they have been entrusted to me but I don’t deserve them. I fail, often.

I yell. I get angry. I am too lenient. I spoil them. The list can go on for miles in how I have failed. And we are not promised tomorrow.

Often after a rough day, I will cry. Feeling that undeserving of these two amazing boys.

And Satan sneaks his lies in, whispering how it’s good I don’t have other kids, blah, blah, blah  ….

Mama, you gotta know: These babies you’ve been entrusted with DESERVE you love. Period. These boys and girls we are raising DESERVE our best every single day. And if you screw up, if you fail, WHEN you fail, these little loves DESERVE to have you come to them and apologize.

I am not entitled to something I have not proved worthy of.. I should not be handed a college degree without putting in the work.

But there are innocent exceptions. I have two, Alex and Callan.

deserve

I choose grace. 

GRACE. Because one time, a Man took on all so I could come before my heavenly Father and pour out my heart, in whatever words I have. 

Grace. Because one time, a Man suffered tremendously to win a war over sin and Hell and to defeat the one who comes and whispers lies.

I have two. How about you?

How can you show grace, and love today? Do you need grace today? Forgiveness?

Love, 

Rachelle 

 

 

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Peace Seeker: Screaming in the Silence

Have you ever been talking, somewhat loudly, and all of the sudden- it gets quiet. Still. And your voice is the ONLY one.

*raises hand*

This has happened so many times. I mean, honestly, you would think I would just learn to be silent. But if you’ve not figured this out, please learn it now: I was not created to be silent.

So here I go, at the encouragement of a random Instagram quote and a friend, I am stomping into a room filled with mostly silent people. And I am not being quiet.

http://www.marchofdimes.org says this: “Miscarriage (also called early pregnancy loss) is when a baby dies in the womb before 20 weeks of pregnancy. For woman who know they’re pregnant, about 10 – 15  in 100 pregnancies (1-5%) end in miscarriage. As many as half of all pregnancies may end in miscarriage. We don’t know the exact number because miscarriage may happen before a woman knows she’s pregnant.”

It seems like a small percentage, I mean 1 to 5%.. that seems so small.

I have had 3. 2 at the 11 week mark, 1 very early. And a stillborn.

As I type this blog, Monday August 6th, 2018, I am recuperating from an early morning surgical procedure because I was just pregnant again. And again, I “lost” it. (Honestly, such an awful way to word that. As if it’s misplaced!)

Pregnant again. Some of you are shocked. Yep, so was I. Some of you have opinions about it, keep them to yourself. Or if you must, write them down, then burn it.

My silence on this blog page has consisted of me in real life trying to accept this and be a mom while being constantly nauseated, while riding the emotional roller coaster that comes along with being pregnant 6 months after a still birth.

My silence here has been me complaining to a few close friends. Expressing my shock and frustration.

Last week as I sat in the doctor’s office and answered all the nosy questions, chatted about the very real risks I was facing, I had a sense. She could not find a heartbeat and ordered an immediate ultrasound. Again, the tech was easy to read and I knew there was an issue.

As I waited impatiently to be given the results, I could feel myself slowly shut down. And that has not changed much.  This is an honest post and some of you may feel you don’t like it, and that’s okay. It is not written to hurt feelings, it is written to cause awareness.

As I read the news later this morning, I saw Carrie Underwood is coming under fire for her statements. Along with being one in so many woman who has suffered multiple losses, there has been fertility issues. I had two miscarriages before I had Callan.  There is an almost 4 year gap between my boys.

To a stranger who asks, I do not reveal all my heartache. I simply say (if they say something about the age gap), “this is how it happened” and I shrug.

I do not understand infertility to the extent some do. But my heart hurts for them. I admire them for moving forward in the pain that they do experience. The grieving they must do.

To the room of women I am blasting into here: I GET IT.

I get it. 

And no, if you do not have the courage or “want to” to share your struggle publicly, THAT IS OKAY!

In fact, it is more than okay. THIS is your story, your pain, and you choose how to handle it. I hope you have ones you love who are getting into their muck boots and walking with you. Lovin’ on you whether you’re happy or sad, or riding the rollercoaster of grief and aren’t sure which emotion you’re in.

I have “lost” (THAT WORD IS MAKING ME MAD!) more babies than I kiss goodnight.

I have buried a stillborn. I am acquainted with grief, with anger, with pain, with loss.

Miscarriages are common. If you’re stuck in your grief and feeling alone, email me.

I GET IT.

Going public with your experience may not be something you can do, but when you hear of a mom at church who has, reach out.

Some of the greatest encouragement I received this time is from 2 women I have actually never met in person.

Love people where there are, not everyone is as open and honest about their pain.

In fact, I am not even always. Even I struggle to let people see me where I actually am, because I fear their response. And ladies, that’s awful.

We told very few people. We announced the loss publicly because whatever is past broken and numb is where I am currently existing.

I don’t need pity. I need love and encouragement. Maybe chipotle. I need gummies (Seriously,  I can’t get enough of them!!!) I need crappy tv and friend or two who can make me laugh or sit and watch crappy tv. I need sleep. I need rest. I might need help.

I need love. It’s an action word.

I am not begging. I have ladies who have loved on me. A friend did some shopping for me. Another is bringing a meal. A surprise basket of goodies for my boys, plate of cookies, and a fun bag for me greeted us when we arrived home this evening. People I didn’t know even knew.

L O V E

Chances are, in whatever you face, you are not alone.

Maybe this post has been more about me letting out my feelings. Maybe this isn’t even making sense.

I feel somewhat better.

And despite being a rebel, I am following doctor’s orders. (Mostly)

As always, with love,

Rachelle 

P.S. I was serious. If you have suffered miscarriage, multiple ones, or still birth and you feel alone, I am here. I get it. I will feel alllllll the emotions right along with you. Currently my love will be reading and replying and sharing life but depending on your location, I will do my best to turn that into an action word. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. And don’t forget that! Hugs!

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Peace Seeker: Brokenness & Words

As I begin another blog, my mind still can’t settle on a topic.

My Facebook feed is full of heated emotions. All varying topics.

The one group is upset about a scandal.

And others about immigration.

Others about personal issues.

We all have passion. We all have strong feelings and we all have an opinion, a side we deem correct.

We all feel strongly that we are definitely right.

I won’t touch on the political issues, I enjoy a healthy and educational debate but not on this forum.

I won’t talk about the scandal, it’s not my business.

And this is no place to reveal others personal problems.

This is a place for me to pause, to ask you to pause, and to share some insight. To share my heart with you. So grab a cup of coffee or tea, and let’s chat.

As I grow older, I see more. Not because my eyes are improving, but because I am seeing differently.

I see brokenness, pain. I see people reacting and speaking from places of deep hurt.

And my heart hurts.

There are stoic and legalistic folks. Ones who have maybe buried their hurts and their reactions are usually less soft hearted. I haven’t quite figured them out.

Stoic and legalistic folks and I don’t get along. And here is a fun fact, by husband can be that way.

The brokenness that surrounds us, why are so many of us turning blind eyes? Why do we “stick to our guns” and refuse to open our eyes to someone else’s pain.

Could it be that we can’t?

On Saturday my husband got a skidloader and we began ripping out deep roots from trees we had cut down. There were rocks and stones, weeds, roots, and worms. Deep, deep roots that we worked hard to pull out. He used an axe to chop some of the roots off. And as will happens my son tripped and fell. His hand landed on the axe blade.

He handled his injury really well. And thankfully he doesn’t freak out about band aids.

As I washed the dirt from his cut, his tears flowed and his eyes gave away the pain he felt. And my heart broke. It’s hard to see your child hurting and knowing that temporarily YOU are the cause of their pain.

And I think of all the broken people, ones who had their pain dismissed or shoved aside. We fail to help the ones with emotional pains, the ones with wounds that aren’t physically bleeding and oozing.

And then these injuries get stuffed, a small bandaid over the gaping brokenness and then we react from that brokenness. We react to everything from that brokenness.

At least, it’s something I struggle with.

I see the posts on Facebook. And many of you have valid points for whatever it is you feel passionately about.

But I am asking. Requesting nicely.

Pause.

Hear the other person.

We allow the one broken part of us to fester, the roots of hurt can go for miles.

Miles.

Because of my story, I struggle to trust men. I struggle to respect men. I struggle to be respectful and kind, especially if I feel disrespected or dismissed.

I see so much name calling and hate toward folks who view life differently than us.

Stop.

Please. Stop.

Instead try to pause.

There is no defense for evil. Ther3 is no defense for sin.

We are sinners living in a broken and sin cursed world. From that moment when Satan presented a temptation to Eve and she took it, the world became a broken place.

And everyone is broken and hurt in some way. That’s the other thing I realize as I read everyone’s posts, hear them speak.

We don’t all share our hurts publicly. I imagine at some point, someone will come against me for my words. I share because there are others of you, suffering a pain similar to mine and you wonder if life will be okay.

It will.

And I am here for you.

You are not alone in your brokenness.

You are not the only one.

As I close, I hope this resonates with you. I hope you can see God and His love through these words.

I hope you understand that I am not excusing sin or hate. I am asking that you remember we are ALL broken and wounded, and reacting from our individual life stories thus far.

Now I must close. There is a water balloon fight, and 3, 6, and 7 year old clamoring to get wet. Summer sounds of water splashing and “No, Callan!!” resonate with tears and sobs from the 3 year old.

Happy Tuesday.

Love, Rachelle

infant loss · love · Uncategorized

Peace Seeker: Sharing is Caring

There is a lot about my life that has not been pleasant or easy. And on the other hand, a lot has been amazing and fantastic. There are a few “I regret” moments, but mostly I have learned in life to take the mountains and valleys in stride.

The lows can get very low sometimes. I don’t want to trigger anyone, but can I say this: Being a survivor of sexual abuse can make life incredibly hard some days!

The highs are amazing. Seeing a positive sign on a pregnancy test, that was one of my favorite moments of joy. (No, not pregnant. Don’t even ask!) Working together to accomplish a goal, and not worrying about work or social media or the Joneses … The joyful moments are worth hanging on for.

In more recent years, I have learned to appreciate just listening to people. Not for the sake of answering or bossing or fixing, but listening and investing and genuinely caring about people.

Typically when we think of sharing, we think of social media. We share photos of our lives, quotes, articles, opinions, jokes, our businesses. Some roll their eyes when politics or religion is shared. Some roll their eyes at the complaining or the sales pitch for yet another magic at-home biz.

We share things with people because we care. Opinions about all sorts of things, and Facebook, Twitter, Instagram have all made sharing even easier.

I love to share photos of my kids, my husband and I, meals I have made. I love a good political debate (respectful, of course). I love being connected that way. I have my own at home biz, Plexus. (Some of you rolled your eyes. I am sorry. I am not using this post to promote it, though given my title I really could! Haha)  I love to celebrate with you and sympathize, lend advice, or share tips. It is easy. It makes me feel connected on days where in person connecting just can’t happen for whatever reason.

There is a negative side. Online bullying has become a serious problem. Becoming a “keyboard warrior” is the new trend, and shaming/judging others is as easy as “tap tap tap” tapping on your keyboard.

In a time where Facebook has Marketplace for buying and selling, we also have a whole passel of people who do nothing but hassle, whine, and complain.

In a time where Facebook has Marketplace, and I can openly and honestly share about my struggle as a mom, a wife. Share openly about my views on things that legitimately matter, and encourage others. A place where I can post all day long about this, that, and the next thing. Except one thing.

GOD.

I really struggle to just pause and give Him credit. He has held me and sustained me, even through all this last 6 or 7 months have held. ]

He could have stopped it. Any of it. All of it. He could have put His “hedge of protection” around me and prevented any or even, ALL of this pain!!!!

That’s sometimes what I think.

And He could have.

I wish He had never allowed certain sins.

And I don’t have an answer. That’s not the point of this post.

Did you catch what I did earlier?

Up top, I mentioned about taking things in stride. I am taking credit for getting through the tough grit of life.

Do you know how when you discover a mom hack or a kitchen hack or a life hack and you’re like mind blown and never, ever return to life without it??

Yea.. that’s me. with God. 

We all have hurts we bear. We all have doubts and questions. We have loud voices disputing the Bible. There are hypocrites and sinners, disguised as followers of Christ. There are broken people, saved by grace, wondering what God’s plan is in the midst of their trial. There are broken people, seeking His face, asking for His forgiveness because they recognize they are incomplete without Him.

I am incomplete without Him. I am a sinner, saved by grace. 

You are a sinner, incomplete without Him. 

Life as a Christian is not a hot ticket, an E Z Pass to glory and wealth. You might pass Go, you might collect $200. You also might get hit by an airplane while crossing the street. Being a follower of Christ only makes me exempt from: 1) the consequences of my sin 2) despair when life goes sideways

Fear will still come knocking. Depression may still plague you. You still need to take medications and do your laundry.

but God. 

That phrase will never get old. That phrase will always make my heart skip a beat.

I am a survivor of sexual sins. I am a survivor of a car accident I should have died in. I am a survivor of burying my child. Not by my strength, HIS.

My life has held deep, dark valleys. My life has held mountain top experiences. My heart holds a desire to know why all these things happened to me. But my heart also holds the desire to bring honor and glory to Him in each stage and experience.

I am grateful for the opportunity to care for you, to share with you. I am grateful for this life I have been gifted. And while I may sometimes be tempted to smile and murmur Thank You when someone compliments my strength, I want this to be my public testimony. A public declaration of sorts.

I cannot take credit for His power in my life. He has rescued me more times than I know, He has held me up and given me strength. He has forgiven me.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 ESV

He didn’t just give me strength and peace. He sacrificed His only Son, He allowed a way for me to come directly to Him in the thick of a life battle to ask for strength, wisdom. He asked His Son to take on the weight of every sin, in the world.

That is love.

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

I never want to take  a verse out of context, or misrepresent my Lord, but I believe that in this stuff. This gritty, tough, impossible stuff, He wants for us to come to Him and lean on Him. And that is hard to do, I get it. It is hard to trust someone who is not physically there, who you can see and physically lean on… IT IS HARD. He has never me down, not once. While His ways would not have been my choice sometimes, I also don’t know His plan, His will. And I don’t see the BIG picture that He does. But He is there, waiting for you to come to Him and trust Him with this life stuff you’re struggling to get through. I promise.

And now, I must close on the sharing. I do care, so much, for people. I hope this encourages you. I hope my caring and sharing touches you.

Email me if it does. You are loved, deeply.

Love, Rachelle

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Peace Seeker: Self Care

I apologize for the silence from my corner of the world lately.

Just two days after Easter, my father suffered a stroke. After a hospital stay then a rehabilitation center stay, he was sent home and went to physical therapy.

Garden needed planting and now tilled and weeded. Mulching and edging of the flowerbeds. Gutters cleaned out.

It is strange, typing these words. I am not complaining, I am honored to help.

I am also struggling. Not with helping, in fact I am grateful most days for the ability to serve and help.

Maybe I have been too honest in my blog. And if I share my reasons for that, it puts people on the defense. In fact, other than posting about my boys, politics, or Plexus, I have not shared too much deep personal stuff on Facebook even.

My life feels like a blur, like I barely have time to sit and process life lately.

Self care has been mandated by basically every medical professional and caring individual.

What is self care? It used to be drowning my sorrows in a 6 pack, driving too fast, and hoping all that weighed me down would simply stop.

For some people, it is food. I confess, I can be that person.

For some, it is drugs. Others gardening, running, hiking.. the list can go on.

I am struggling to find what works for me.

I have been doing my nails and toes, feeling guilty each time I splurge.

I have been short tempered, anxious, sleep deprived.

Life has been a blur, a hard blur.

but God has been faithful.

https://binged.it/2HiUjXL

There is this song, it is speaking so deeply into my heart lately. Can you give it a listen? (In case the link didn’t attach properly it is: “Even If” by MercyMe)

It is hard, heart breaking actually, to sing of how good my Father is. Because life doesn’t feel good right now! I can’t see His plan, but I trust in Him.

Self care. 

A concept that I never prioritized, I never felt was doable for me. But since I have spent nights curled in a ball, barely able to stop my brain, sobbing like there is no tomorrow; I have learned to speak honestly to my husband and ask him to support me doing something for me. And he doesn’t say no. And for that, I am grateful. Also incredibly blessed.

Lamar and I celebrated our anniversary this past month. 8 years of marriage, valleys and mountains.

Our pastor is doing a sermon series through the book of Mark and one point he made has stuck with me. (Actually a few have, Pastor, I am simply only highlighting one!)

Jesus, the literal Son of God, prioritized prayer. He made it a priority to spend time in prayer, communicating with His Father.

Maybe that is the ultimate self care. Going before my Father in Heaven and saying something like this:

Lord, I am grateful for Your blessings. I am grateful for the grace, the forgiveness. I come before you, hurting and broken. I miss my baby. I am angry. I wanted to hear his voice, watch him grow, love him forever. Instead, I am left with a grave, the memory of his movements. Hold me, Lord, and guide my steps this day. I don’t know Your plan, but I trust in You. Help me to show you, even on the darkest of days. 

The days seem dark sometimes. But in this season, I still choose to trust Him. While my heart hurts and my eyes weep, I know He has my sons and my family, and I, in His hands. His hands, they created the world and they are capable of holding me.

I don’t know what self care looks like for you. I don’t know what burdens you carry, what pain plagues you but I know this: He loves you. And while He could  spare us pain and trouble, temptations.. there is truth to the old saying: “No pain, no gain”

God doesn’t give us these trials to break us. In fact, sometimes I believe He allows these trials so we turn to Him. So we put our trust, our hope, our moments solely in Him.

That is my two cents for today. I hope you have a lovely evening.

Love, Rachelle

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Peace Seeker: Mother’s Day

So on Wednesday, I awoke with a plan. I cleaned my kitchen and thought:

Hey! I should bake cookies!

I put on a podcast and set to my plan.

Alas. No brown sugar.

Double Alas, no baking soda.

“Callan, let’s go to the store!”

Somehow on the drive to the store, my entire day got changed. Cookies can be baked another day. No harm, no foul.

I spent my day helping my parents plant their garden.

I ache. For real, stepping on dirt clods hurt my feet.

I came home for Alex, promising to return to finish tonight.

And that’s when it happened.

“I’ll bill you for my pedicure!” I joked to my mom.

She didn’t hear me, and I am glad.

Hang on, y’all. ‘Bout to get honest up in here.

See, this is the woman who unselfishly delivered still warm, homemade chicken noodle soup the week Callan got pneumonia. The woman who taught me so much about life, cooking, loving…

There is one night I somewhat remember with much shame.

I had recently been introduced to alcohol. And it was a welcome escape. First to drown the sorrow of a breakup, a boyfriend I was positive I would never stop loving. A short week after the breakup, a boy from church pulled over and raped me. And from that incident on, alcohol became my escape.

I stopped at a school friend’s apartment. And after having 1 drink and a half that had been handed to me, could not stay upright. Her boyfriend, who had given me the half drink, began to act strangely. And he took my car key. I called my brother. The one down south and asked for help. I don’t remember much. I remember stumbling down a lot of steps. I remember walking down the street, and falling so often. I remember stumbling into the local fire company. I remember a lady helping me in the bathroom and she called my parents.

My mom arrived and my dad and my brother. I don’t remember a lot from that night. I do remember the look on her face. A lot of love, equal amounts of frustration and disappointment as well. I remember hearing her lecture the girl who provided the alcohol, and the young man.

My mom has flaws.

So do I.

My mom is an amazing. She cooks. She gardens. She watches her grandchildren and spoils them. She cares beautifully for her family and neighbors.

Her example to me has been great.

And often I’ve wished God had molded me more like her.

She and my dad had 3 biological sons. Then they opened their home to adopt another son, foster to legal guardian another son, and adopt me.

5 boys. 1 tomboy. I mean, the house was a constant zone of craziness.

Yet she maintained order and cleanliness, teaching us early responsibility and teamwork.

Garden every summer. Sharing the fruits of her labor with family and neighbors.

She has a degree in nursing, yet for only a short season did she return to work.

She has rarely complained, has taken all the ups and downs of life in stride. And there were downs, believe me.

And sadly I provided so much heartbreak for her. And I deeply regret that.

She has been a godly example, a woman who loves and serves others.

So tonight, we plan to gather as a family and honor her. We will provide treats, celebrate as a family this woman who is the [earthly] reason we are family.

* * *

Then there is Lamar’s mother. Despite big differences in not only our zip codes but in our lives, she accepted me from Day 1. She loves my boys and cares deeply for us.

Made a special trip to PA for Liam’s graveside service. Who called often just to check. She loved from afar.

She raised a son who has been so good for me. Who has not run from the baggage and emotional pain I come with, but has stepped up and carried the pain with me. This man who loves me, flaws and all. He does my grocery shopping most weeks yet, tolerates my snark and sarcasm and trashtalk, encourages my writing and creativity in painting and decorating our home. He holds me through the painful nightmares, the tears over the son qe have lost and miss, the valleys that life has brought us through.

These women, play a big role in me being a mother. Their advice, their love.

And these boys, they make it possible for me to have my arms full on this Mother’s Day.

For those who have empty arms this mother’s day, I am sorry. You also, are seen and loved on this day 💕

As always, with love…

Rachelle