Strength and Dignity

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

"She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come."
-Proverbs 31:25

Funny how Scriptures you've read a hundred times before can strike you differently each time.  I don't think I've ever noticed before what I noticed this morning in Proverbs 31.

Strength. Dignity. How do those two virtues make one able to "laugh at the days to come"?  And what if you feel more like crying rather than laughing when thinking about the future?  What if strength is about the last thing you think you have?

I'm thinking......that as a daughter of God I automatically have those virtues.  Or, at least, have access to them.  Because as someone who has been redeemed, chosen; I have an identity.  I'm not a nobody.  I'm not just one of the masses.  I am His.

That gives me dignity; a special worth that testifies to His grace.  It's like - on my own, I am nothing.  But in Him....I have a name. I have a reason to be alive.  I have purpose, a destiny.

There's the dignity.

I've heard it said many times that we Christians often forget that we are not fighting for victory, but from victory.  It's not like there's a possibility that we might fail or lose....Christ has already won the ultimate battle for us.  

Yes, there are struggles.  Daily struggles.  Yes, we feel like we're losing sometimes.  But in light of Jesus' work on the cross, we are "more than conquerors through Him who loved us" (Romans 8). 

There's the strength. 

And through both of these virtues, yes, we can laugh at the days to come.  Yes, the coming days may bring trouble, probably hardship too; but what do we have to lose?  We have all of eternity to live for....this life is just a dot on the endless frontier of infinity.  

Strength and dignity.  Confidence and identity.  

Find both in Him......and laugh. :-)


Little Things Excite Me

Monday, October 29, 2012 discovering what an amazing editing program Photobucket has.  There are so many possibilities on there for photo editing!  I just disovered that this evening while going through the pics from my photo shoot this afternoon. 

Obviously I'm not a pro at it....I'm wondering if maybe this one is a bit too dark?  I don't know.  I'm just excited about this new program I never knew would be so fantastic.....

What photo editing program do you use?


Ain't They Cute

So tomorrow things get back to normal around here.  Mom has been in Phoenix since Saturday visiting a friend she's known since highschool!  A good break for her. :-)  Tomorrow she comes back. 

This has been sort of a break for me as well.....I have taken the last few days off of studying for the SAT since I've been taking care of Isaac and Josh - but the studying is going to resume very shortly!  :-)

Today we went out for pizza and the boys were delighted to get to pick out a donut at the bakery.   I was delighted too.....but that proves nothing....

I have quite a few more pictures from this particular photo shoot that I will post at some future time....though I'm sure my blog audience is probably a little tired of seeing photo after photo of the same two squirts.:-)  When Courtney comes back from college for xmas break, we are going out for a serious photo shoot!! 

In which I want to wear a gorgeous dress that I thrifted for $'s literally something I bought knowing there is no way I will ever be able to wear it unless I attend a wedding or meet the president or!!  But it was too stunning to pass up for $6.  It's like a prom dress. 

As I said, little to no chance I could ever wear it anywhere without being completely OVERdressed.  So a photo shoot might be its' only use....:-)


Quiet Sunday

Sunday, October 28, 2012

It's Sunday.  My favorite day of the week.  We had a good breakfast of sausage links, eggs, and a smoothie - and then I headed off to church while Dad and the boys went to a nearby park.

Heard a wonderful message this morning.  "What goes on in the depths of your heart is open scandal in heaven." What I think about, that part of me that no one else will ever see, is fully known and fully seen by God.   That's something I've been thinking about recently.....I am the only one who will ever know the deepest thoughts of my heart; the ones I don't share with anybody; the good ones, the bad ones, the very dark ones, and the random ones.   And yet it isn't as if it's a private chamber that is known only be me.  My heart is really the only part of me that God even cares about.....and yet it's the part that others don't see. 

It's a strange phenomenon.  That which others can see is the part that often gets most attention, because impressing others and "looking good" are high priorities.  But it's also the part that ultimately means nothing.  A rotting corpse wrapped in cute clothes and amazing hair and makeup is still a rotting corpse. 

My heart is something no one else will ever fully see - and so, lacking that potential for praise and applause and attention, it can easily get pushed aside.   A low priority. 

But the hidden thoughts of my heart...the motives, the desires, the goals, the agendas, the attitudes - that is what is of utmost importance to God.   It's what really counts. It's what ultimately matters and what has the potential to make a difference in other's lives for His glory.  And by the way, the state of our hearts really defines who we are.  You'll know what kind of a person you are by what goes on in your heart.

Now that is cause for personal pause and reflection before the throne of God.  For me, anyway. I don't necessarily like the idea of my heart defining who I am.  Because honestly I don't have a "good heart", as people like to quip.  Sometimes I don't even like "me".  Sometimes I get just disgusted with what goes on in my heart - the reason I do things, or what is most important to me at the moment. 

Which makes me abundantely grateful for what God is doing in my heart.  My heart constantly needs changing and re-directing.  I am so grateful that God doesn't see me the way I see me.  It's a good thing that Jesus steps in and fills the gap for me.....because it's a gap I could never in a million years begin to fill on my own.

Warm coffee with delightful new creamer....*salted mocha caramel*....and a quiet afternoon blogging while Isaac and Josh play duplos in the next room.  Joshua came running in just a minute ago saying excitedly, "Rachel, Rachel!  It's heaw-eled! My hand is heaw-eled!"  (He had some really bad dry skin that was bleeding this morning and we put a bandaid on it.) He was dismayed when I informed him that it would be another day or so before the skin totally "heaw-eled" and he could take off his bandaid.

My wonderful Dad and I were discussing computers and he informed me off his engineering capabilities of being able to hack into computers long distance.  Not that he really does that, of course.....we call him "Mr. Microsoft" all the time because he knows so much about computers!!  He even let me know that he is capable of creating trojan horses and then crashing other people's computers.....delightful information indeeed!!!  Ah well.  A funny conversation for sure.

Looking forward to going to church this evening with my family...hope you all have a blessed Sunday!


Pics at the Park

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Annual Church Cookout!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

One of the families at our church lives on a small hobby farm (goats, chickens, etc.), and every year they host a church cookout at their property!  Actually, this was only the second annual, but I think it's a solid tradition now! :-)

I had a great time hanging out with these girls, Marianna, Chloe, and Samantha.  We had a hilarious discussion on beauty and how even those perfect models don't really look perfect in normal life. 

Mrs. Cameron and miss Hannah!!  AND baby Cameron, (not pictured lol) on the way!!  Hannah recently got her braces off and we were discussing the wonders of smooth teeth. :-)

 Miss Nina Marie, in all her lovliness.  Isn't she cute?

An interesting discussion in progress....

 Sweet Isaac.  Afterwards, on the way  home, I asked each of the boys what their favorite part of the day was.  Joshua's was going down the slide.  After a slight pause, Isaac replied, "singing songs, and worshiping God."  How precious.  No wonder, since we sang "I'll Fly Away" - one of his all time FAVORITE songs in the

  A vicious card game underway!!!  I called it the violent and painful card game, but apparently it was called Egyptian Ratslap?  There was a ton of slapping going on......and there was even blood drawn!! No kidding!!

Some of the families talking and setting up chairs. 

After dinner, we had our church service right out on the grass. :-)  A good message on Psalm 2, followed by a great bonfire with smores and then a campout.    David stayed over night, but the rest of us  headed back comfy bed was just a few miles away, and it sounded pretty tempting in contrast to the hard ground lol....I guess I'm not a camper at heart.  Oh well.

Another great church cookout!!  I wish I had taken more pictures, but it's hard to feel like doing that when you're having such a good time with friends. Hopefully this was a good overview, though. :-)


Just Awkward Friday

Friday, October 19, 2012

(sorry for the blurry picture - the lighting was soooo bad!!!)

1)  spending the entire day out doing errands, piano lessons, and volunteer work at the CPC - having an all-around good day and THEN coming home to have your mom tell you, "what's that brown stuff on your skirt?"  You turn around to find your backside (khaki skirt, mind you,) sporting a large brown smear of.....chocolate chips.  Apparently I sat on a few during the drive (I was eating a chocolate granola bar).  That had BETTER have happened on the drive home!!!  Because it didn't look like chocolate chips.

2) curling your hair and discovering a nice blob of blue toothpaste stuck on the end of the iron.  Lovely.  Thankfully it didn't make friends with my hair. 

3)  being at the CPC, trying to have the "business proffesional" look, counseling a young couple (younger than me)....and having my sandal strap bust five consecutive times.  As in, you're walking, and then suddenly you realize you've stepped out of your sandal.  That was after giving them referrals for finding cheap maternity clothes and mentioning that I second-hand shop all the time.  I think they believed me.   Next time I'm wearing heels!

4)  being told by various people, "you need to eat more meat" , "go get yourself another donut, you look like you could use it", or "I'm worried about you, have some more".  I even had a doctor ask if I had an eating disorder.  Um, sorry, no - I'm just at the very fortunate time of my life where whatever I eat goes right off me.  I'm told that won't last for long. 

5)  having a very serious discussion with Josh about peacocks.  "Do they bite people?"  "Do they step on people, like elephants do?"  When I the answer to both these questions was no, he looked at me completely puzzled and asked, "Well than, what do they do?"  Apparently being a normal peaceful animal isn't a complete job description. :-)


Think About It

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Annual CPC Banquet

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Last Sunday was the big CPC Fundraiser Banquet.  I always look forward to it!  And, now that I'm working with them, there were a lot more people I knew this time. :-)  

The banquet is very formal, and so of course the tables are, too.  All the food was very elegant (which usually equals not filling....for me anyway...) and the tables are so full of settings and coffee pots and silverware that I'm always afraid I'm going to knock something over. :-)  But, I didn't. 

Dessert was a delicious chocolate-cherry type of cake.....scrumptious....

John Tabor, the director of the Crisis Pregnancy Centers for Tucson, introduced the program and showed a few is always saddening to see the number of abortions since Roe v. Wade.   But also motivating, to think that the women that come into our centers have life growing inside of them, and we are here to do everything we can to protect that life.  

Yours truly.

 This was our church's table. :-) 
Scott Klusendorf was the main speaker; ironically enough, I had already heard him at Summit last August. :-)  His talk was wonderful, as it was last time; he introduced the SLED method of defending your pro-life stand (size, level of development, environment, degree of dependancy).  He's also a very engaging speaker, so it was interesting and humurous at the same time. :-)  After the banquet, I went up and told him that I had heard him at Summit - of course he wanted to know which session, etc.  And then, just because I was a Summit grad, he gave me a free, signed copy of his book, The Case for Life!   That was cool! (And totally unexpected!)

The two Rachel's of our church.....Rachael Radtke and me. :-)  We do spell our names differently so that's how you keep track, lol!

It was a wonderful time and just another boost to keep on with my training as a Client Advocate.  I am getting close to being ready to take my own clients - nervewracking but also kind of exciting. :-)


Allergies, Babysitting, Crazy Busy, etc.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The only person in our family that has horrible allergies is David....he gets allergy shots for it.  I don't have allergies, but it does seem that every year when the allergy season reaches it's peak, I start to feel it a little. I feel like I've been walking around with a sore throat for the last month.  But I love it that it is not a cold!!  There's just somethinga different about having a true sore throat that tops a mere allergic reaction to plants.  Yuck.

Some dear friends of ours just had their second baby yesterday!  Since we live less than a mile away, I got to go over at 5 am to baby sit their 18 month-old while they rushed to the hospital....unfortunately they had some complications, but thankfully mom and baby are doing well now.  I stayed the night with Calvin and then brought him over to our house this morning to play with Isaac and Josh.  They love playing with him! 

On top of that, I finally got a job! I am now doing nannying for a family twice a week....a two year old girl who is cute but is really not well behaved ~ so I have to pull out my cajoling/pleading card with her.  Which is so against my nature.  Two year olds should not get to decide every minute of their day's routine.  Her mom and dad are very into "positive parenting" and "choices".  Fun fun fun.  But it is money so whatever works!

So this week has been pretty busy for me.  And interesting.  Hey, when your four year old brother substitutes different letters in different words  for fun and ends up saying a swear word very distinctly....well, that keeps things from being boring around here.  (And no he didn't learn it from any of us!!  He was saying truck....and then putting different letters in front of that word....and...well, there you go.  Just had to clarify.)

Made pumpkin cookies today.  Excited for the CPC banquet tomorrow.  Huge amounnts of piano to do today.  SAT still coming along.  A trip to see friends in CA coming up.  And finally, finally, some (sort of) fall weather around here.  Windows open all day long!


Awkward and Awesome Thursday

Thursday, October 11, 2012


1) Being stared at.  It's just.....creepy.  It seems like every time I turn around in a store or anywhere out in public people stare holes through me.  Is it my thin hair?  Gosh I didn't think it was that noticeable....

2) Having to always explain to people why I am taking the SAT at 19 (cause that's kind of a mid-highschool thing).  "I graduated a year late, um, I was homeschooled you see, and um, well I kind of never got around to taking it then, so I'm taking it now, and, well, yeah."  *cough* 

3) Telling the receptionist at the CPC that I needed to make an "appointment" for next week.......yeah. Poor choice of words. They were like, "um, I hope not!"!!  And then stuttering beyond belief trying to make another "appointment" with them on the phone today.  What do I call my training days there?  Training days I guess? 

4) Explaining to yet another person why our church meets in the evening.  When I said the word "evening" they immediately replied "Oh!  Is yours that Mormon church?"  Uh, no ma'am.  We're not a cult....just have scheduling issues with the building we rent.

5) Reading World Magazine while blow-drying my hair this morning......think magazine on the bathroom counter, hair upside down, and finally an oppertunity to read an entire article.  It was on cuurent political campaign lies and relativism.  Very good.

5) This picture?  Does it look awkward to you?  I'm not engaged, just so you know.  :-) It was one of those perfect-lighting moments and I always love those ring/piano shots at purity ring worked beautifully.....


1) The fact that my hair FINALLY stopped falling out about a month ago.  Finally.  It's been a long time comin'.  I don't necessarily know that pre-natals "fixed" the problem.....but they certainly can't do any harm so I am still taking them daily!  And working with the nurses at the CPC I now know that they are actually something every woman should be taking...pregnant or not.  So now I'm just on the three year journey to get all my hair back, lol. :-)

2) CLUE. As in, the board game.  I love. That game.  We haven't had it for years but I remember playing huge rounds of it, just us big kids, ages ago.  I finally just went out and bought it myself the other day. :-)  Though now there aren't as many "big kids" to play it with these days.....but hoping Courtney will be interested in a few games when she comes for Christmas break in December.

3) Lavendar Carpet Fresh.  Call me weird....but I love carpet fresh.  I have always said that our house stinks like corn chips or something - but good ol' carpet fresh does the trick every time. :-) That and citrus furniture polish, pumpkin candles, and freshly made cream cheese brownies can really spruce up the smell factor around here....

4) Feeling like I'm making progress on SAT study.  I'm doing much better than when I first started.  There is a definent knack to the thinking behind the problems.  You just have to follow their logic. 

5) Playing worship music with my pastor at a different church on Sunday morning (remember I said our church meets in the evening :-).  I just love it.  "Professional" or not.  It's just fun.

6) Getting a job, finally!  It's nothing big, just a part time nannying job for a nearby family.  One two year old girl, twice a week.  No biggie - just some extra cash. :-)  With all the stuff going on I don't think I could handle a full time job.
Pizza is awesome, too - Costco variety, of course. :-) 

Dear Josh with his beloved Henry and Mudge books.  That and the Mr. Putter series have held both boys captive recently.  I tried reading out on the trampoline recently and nearly melted.  Apparently it's not fall yet.

So, what's been awkward or awesome about your week?


Thankful for Life

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Next Sunday is the Crisis Pregnancy Center's annual Fall Fundraiser Banquet.  (So excited!)  Working with the CPC has really opened my eyes to how valuable and precious life any stage.  One of the main arguements "pro-choicers" will use is that a fetus in the early stages of development is not a viable human, because "it" cannot survive outside of the mother's womb.  This points to the obvious: is a one year old any "less" human than a ten year old, simply because it cannot survive without constant adult care? 

We simply see life at different stages, regardless of how "independant" that life currently is.

I've had the privilege of observing several really godly women counsel various clients that come in to the center.  And it does seem that this issue of "viability" is a recurring theme.  One woman in particular was very adament that she had to know how big her baby was  (she was 12 weeks) because, if it was "actually live, like a real human", that would be the deciding factor in whether or not she was going to abort.  

Showing her a model of a 12 week fetus made all the difference.....she was shocked that it had fingers and toes already.

 When I look at what pro-abortionists would call "real humans", like my sweet brother's mind blowing to think that they were once in that category of debatable viability.  That process of becoming who they are today, the "weaving together in the womb" as Psalm 139 calls it, does not invalidate the reality of life - that Isaac was just as real and alive at five weeks as he is today.  Or four weeks for that matter.  At conception. Honestly what is the difference?   

 Stages.  Life comes in stages.  But it's all life. Good and precious, the way God created it to be.

And that stands true even beyond the pro-life world.  Because life (literally and figuratively) does come in stages.  Seasons come and seasons go.  There are parts of it I love and parts I really dislike.  But it is still life.  And every day is a precious gift from God....whether I realize it or not.

"There is a time for everything,and a season for every activity under the heavens:  a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh...."
~Ecclesiastes 3

There are times where life is not very fun!  There are depressing moments.  But there are also many wonderful times in life....the moments where you wish time would just stand still.   Cozy evening family times that include board games and chocolate covered blueberries.  Warm afternoons blowing bubbles and watching your little brother go nuts trying to catch them in the grass.  Enjoying peaceful solitude and a glowing sunset during the 45 minute drive home from errands.   Chocolate chip frappes and quiet Bible reading. 

 In either context, life is precious.  Whether it's a ten-week fetus (google it!) or a newborn baby.....good moments in life and not-so-good is precious. At all stages. In fact, the "good old days" should simply be the continuing story of our lives.  Because there are many, many "good new days" to be had.   Sweet memories in the making.

Life goes by so quickly.  Parts of it aren't pleasant, but they are all good.  God has given me a wonderful's a learning process for me to be thankful for every aspect of that life.  But it's all life.  And it's all good.


About This Blog

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not
on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will
make your paths straight."

Proverbs 3:5-6

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