Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Thrown under the Bus

I am actually not going to use this entire post to talk about how an individual in the same work circle threw me under the bus this past week, but she did, and to be honest, it did a number of things in the following order:

1) It totally blindsided me
2) It made me doubt myself, my abilities, my talents, my judgement, and my ethics
3) It infuriated me because it was an injustice against myself, simply for their personal agenda and gain, and it was done with malice and not rooted in truth
4) Made me realize I can do nothing but continue forward knowing that I had done nothing wrong, and that I needed to leave it in God's hands. Because (i know I should start a sentence with because, but because I don't regardless of the outcome, I know that if I stick to Truth and my morals and ethics....God will take care of me one way or another.

Will that mean I won't continue to try and be bulldozed by people, or that bad things won't happen...nope. However, I have an assurance that because I choose to conduct myself with a good work ethic and high moral standards in a way that God asks me too, I can sleep at night, knowing I did right; I did right by that kiddo I served, by me, by the agency I work for. So that is that.

It's amazing how one individual can shake your work isn't it? The can shake it up in a positive or negative way.

Who has shaken your world up?

What was the experience? Was it a positive or negative experience?

My world was recently shaken up for some time the past few months. I have been on pins and needles pending the results of the parole hearing for the man, Donald Mason, who murdered my Aunt Ruthie. I was only 4, but I have been deeply affected by this very self and demented man.

So I wrote a victim impact statement and sent it to the Parole Board, as did a few others in my family. Truly though I have been preparing myself since I was a teenager that upon his first parole hearing....he would be walking the streets again, with the freedom and ability to not only hurt my family but perhaps someone elses as well.

I had been waiting, waiting, and waiting to find out, even though I had come to terms with the worst outcome.....and so I waited and prayed, I cried, I prayed, I cried with family, I cried with friends as myself and my family relived the experience of her death all over again, and....I prayed.

Then, I receive a text from my oldest brother......"Rachel, he was denied parole for another 2 years!!!"

As I stood there in Wal-Mart in the toy aisle, surrounded by Dolls and race cars, my eyes welled up in tears, of all places I could be....but I couldn't help it. It seemed like a absolute surreal moment.

Here, now, in a place in time in which so many people with evil in their hearts are allowed over and over and over again to hurt society due to our failed reactive (rather than proactive) justice system, there I stood praising Jesus, crying, in WalMart.....God did a miracle, I know, because there is no reason our judicial system would really keep him there considering the massive amounts of individuals they release simply because they do not have funding or the room. He did a miracle, I know it.... I know. And for those in my family that actually made the effort to relive this experience and write their letters and experience this gut wrenching heartache....I know that God took our efforts and created a miracle and I am so grateful.

So two years from now I will be doing the same, praying for a miracle, and I know that God can do it.....

Donald Mason shook my world, he shook my family's world, but God is bigger than the evil inside of his heart....and tonight I will rest....

-love the least

Monday, October 13, 2008


....I suppose this is the best word I could use to describe how my soul feels....heavy.

I have spent my time, energy, and thoughts these past few months in regards to a Victim Impact Statement that I have needed and wanted to write to the State of New York Parole Board.

Over 21 years ago, my aunt Ruthie was brutally murdered by her husband. Coming up in November that man will face the parole board to see if he may be released early on parole. His sentence was 21 years - life......he has served his minimum 21 years

I have been trying for to months to compose my victim impact statement, I just finished it tonight. I feel like it is crap, like I am not doing my Aunt Ruthie any justice, and yet I am trying so hard to do right by her and my grams.

A couple of weekends ago I sat with my grams, brother, sister in law, and my mama to video tape my grams' victim impact was heart wrenching. I was able to take part in some very candid, very raw conversations.....I feel closer to my family because of it....I truly am blessed to have the parents, the brothers, and sister in laws that I do.

Me not wanting him to be released from prison is not a matter of forgiveness, it's about justice. I read in a book recently that to forgive someone is "to let go of their throat". And I sat and cried over that statement for a long time, because at times, i wonder...if I ever saw him, the man who murdered my aunt, the man I called my uncle; if I ever saw him face to face, would I be able to let go of his throat??

At times I can answer confidently that I would, other times, actually many times, I am not so sure that I could.

Forgiving doesn't mean forgetting, and I am justified in being angry, if my anger is rooted in seeking justice and fighting against what is unjust. God calls us to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with Him. I don't do that very well, but I sure am trying. So am I capable of having a righteous anger towards an unjust act, while still having mercy towards the man that took something so precious?

I am trying, I truly am trying. But it is really really hard. the least

As promised...

Ok so I am going to do a few posts, it'll take a few days, but here are a few photos from my trip back to Michigan a couple weekends ago to hangout with my family all together before my brother heads to Iraq for another tour (yippee for the military...sick!)

These are of my whole family at the apple orchard where we picked some fantastic apples and I made myself sick on cider mill cider and donuts.....YUM!!!!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Fan-freakin-tastic weekend

According to my brother (hey Aaron!!!) I don't blog for Aaron, and those few others that read this every now and then I'll try to be better about it.

I headed to Ouray, CO this past weekend with my friend Cathy and was INcredible!!! I know this is brief but I'm super tired and have to see 9 kiddos for work tomorrow, so I will tomorrow night post some pictures of this past weekend and blog about what's been going on in my not very fast paced life.....

For night...I am going to sleep, wishing I was still nestled in the mountains in Ouray, CO in a hot spring and the most breath taking view before me, it really was amazing. the least


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

freaking HI...LARIOUS!

Thank you to my dear friend Mike Van de for connecting me with this video....viewer beware, it will be in your head for a week, but you will also get a good 10 minutes laugh from it as well...

Why don't more bands sound like this!?!?! It's an outrage I say...outrage!

I sure hope we sing this at church soon...

Saturday, August 30, 2008

the garden of your soul...

in reading the book "The Shack" I was reminded of this brilliant metaphor about the garden of our soul.....

I would be magnificent to actually see what each person's garden looked like. The brilliant array of colors and smells flooding your senses as you interact with people. It would be nice, too for those souls that are dying, of those that have pushed The Light from their hearts, to be engulfed by darkness, To be able to see their garden withering and perhaps we could know their intentions, or better know how to try and bring life to their soul.


These were some other beautiful insights from The Shack the following are some excerpts:

"Relationships are never about power and one way to avoid the will to power is to choose to limit oneself- to serve. Humans often do this - in touching the infirm and sick, in serving the ones whose minds have left to wander, in relating to the poor, in loving the very old and the very young, or even in caring for the other who has assumed a position of power over them."

The following was a passage that struck me really hard:
"Most birds were created to fly. being ground for them is a limitation within their ability to fly, not the other way around. . . . You (meaning us) on the other hand, were created to be loved. So for you to live as if you were unloved is a limitation, not the other way around."

Another passage that struck me was a dialog that occurred between the main character (Mack) and God. God chose to appear to Mack as an large beaming beautiful African American woman, whom Mack could call "Papa". Certainly not how most people would envision God. But from the moment I read the line where God was introduced in this manner....I thought it was brilliant, fitting, I loved it!!

Anyways, in this dialog, God was explaining to Mack why he had chosen to reveal himself to Mack in this form and God explains that:
The way God chooses to reveal or appear to us is because He loves us - it may not make sense, but it is to keep us from falling so easily back into our religious conditioning.

Which I must say I have fallen prey to: religious conditioning. But how beautiful, for God to neither be man nor woman to take the gender form of one, yet the gender name of another. For God to meet or deepest need for security in the depths of our hurt, by revealing himself to us in the way that makes us feel's beautiful, absolutely beautiful.

If God appeared, or has revealed Himself to you, how would he appear to you???

I will have to think on that for myself....and put it in my next post.

beautifully written....

I have been wanting to read the book "The Shack" for about 4 months now, since I first heard of it. I recently borrowed it from a friend and began reading it....

I haven't completed it yet, but it is a fabulous read so far. Let me give a quick preface to the book without really giving anything away. This man (names Mack), travels to a shack in the woods to meet with God, the significance of the Shack itself though is quite powerful, because it is the place where the last traces of his youngest daughter are found after she was kidnapped by a serial killer.

Now I know this doesn't sound like "ooooo that's a book I want to pick up", but I really don't think you'll be disappointed by this book.

So if you get a chance pick up a copy, give a read..... I will post some quotes from the book soon, probably right after this post, but for now, I just wanted to share how much I am loving this book and I hope you will too! the least

Friday, July 11, 2008

I haven't had much to say lately, hence why I haven't posted anything in quite some time. The last few months have been good, fun. I love summer. I even love the heat, even when I am sweating to death.

Anyhoot, the past couple months was filled with a few birthdays (one being my own), which was great, Katie and my mama made it absolutely wonderful and then to top it off I spent it with them and my friends!!

Life has just been...funny lately. I can't quite seem to find a niche in things, between my job, church, friends....I just feel rather..."in between". And because of the that "in between" feeling I feel rather lonely and lost, and that loneliness is turning into hopelessness.

Why do I share that??? I'm not quite sure, I don't you usually share that sort of thing, but I had a rather moving experience on Sunday night. I'll keep the experience brief, but I had the opportunity to be prayed for by people I barely know, but have really come to enjoy. They laid hands on me and just prayed over the hopelessness I feel in my life right now. And I must say even 24 hours later....I still feel....different.

I don't want to walk through my life feeling hopeless because I am just waiting for the next thing to come, whether that "thing" is good or bad, I feel like I am always waiting. More often than not I feel like I am waiting for life to take another shot at me, and all the while just hoping God would just give me a break and give me some grace.

I don't know....I'm not out of this season yet, I am simply in the midst of walking through it....praying for God to give me the grace to keep going, and the hope to know greater things are yet to come, and ache to want better.

....until next time
Love the least

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Meet Babe....

Wow, I rarely post 1x/week let alone 2x's in one day!! But I would like to introduce all of you to..."Babe" as in Babe, the Big Blue Ox.

After a series of unfortunate events....long story short: I was turning left on a green arrow, a guy 2 cars in front of me decides that coming to a dead stop in the middle of the intersection is a good idea this = me ruining my car...sad. So Betty (my old car's name) has been replaced with Babe. She's great, and a blessing from God, because I got a great deal on her. So I officially proclaim that Babe is NOT my car, she is God's car.

Other names are welcome, but for now, Babe it is.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

I am Jacob....

I feel like my name should be Jacob, well, since I'm a girl maybe...Jacobina. I say this because I feel like a majority of the time, I am wrestling with God.

I wrestle to understand, to know, to get answers; because I am hurt, because I get frustrated, angry, confused, and most of the time: because I am just plain lost.

I even choose to wrestle God sometimes when I am joyful.

My wrestling comes from my stubbornness, and my lack of trust. I ache to believe that God is who He says He is....I just let myself, my hurts, my doubts get in the way of trusting that.

I have been extremely humbled by the overwhelming presence of Christ in my life. God is bringing me to my knees and clearly stating to me..."Rachel, I am God, and life is going to be hard, you WILL have trouble, but I have come and overcome the world, so trust me. Trust me when it's hard, when it seems impossible, and when nothing in the world seems right, because I promise you...all will be well."

Now when I state "all will be well", I by no means me, that life is going to fine, and dandy, and even when life is at its maximum suckiness that I think it will be peachy. I mean that despite the really crappy stuff in life that happens, I can trust in the fact that God is there, with me, in the crap, and He loves me, and is present, and life will happen, and I will run into trouble in this life because I love Christ and because we live in a broken world.....but Christ is with me, and therefore....all will be well.

So although I wrestle with God a lot...I am trying to choose to not wrestle with Him so much, and I'm going to try and choose to rest, rest in His faithfulness.

......I am Jacob, (well as stated before...Jacobina).

-Love the least

Monday, April 21, 2008


My heart has been going through this vast array of emotions lately....some I like, some I don't like, but in the end I love them all and must embrace them.

For those of you that may not know me too well, I'll fill you in on something about myself: I think WAY too much. I'm a thinker, a ponderer, a wonderer. My soul, my heart, my thoughts run deep. So deep that I tend to over think, over analyze, over emotionalize a lot. But it's me, I must embrace it, and at times learn to reign it in.

Lately I keep thinking about Africa, and how much I ache to go there and serve. My goal is to hopefully get a Doctorate of Physical Therapy, and then be able to go and serve in Africa for periods of time. How feasible this will be, I don't know, but my heart aches to do such things. When God made me, He created this spot, a nest in my heart for Africa; for its people, its children, it's poverty, it's sorrow, it's ache, it's beauty, it's joy.

Trying to go back to school is going to be really tough, so I hope and pray that it is attainable.

.......what has God made a space in your heart for, what has He nested in you that you ache for?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Praise to Anger

today, I was angry. And it's so sad because last night at K-Group I had an absolutely incredible time of worship and prayer with my friends. The devil is a sneaky tricky bastard. Last night was good, I think we really allowed God's presence to work not only within the walls of the house in which we sang and prayed, but also within the walls of our hearts. I can't speak for everyone there, but it was good, and God's presence is always there, but whether we humble our stubborn hearts to let him work is a completely other issue. I had a hard time at first allowing God's spirit to move in me, I was consumed by worries about life, work, and my livelihood, and then during our time of prayer, I felt so foolish for not remembering that God has taken care of me thus far, even when it feels as though he is not, He is.

But today I was angry. I didn't want to get out of bed. I was behind a very foolish and an a-hole of a driver, who, when I tried to get around him because he was driving so dangerously, he cut me off. Work is hard, and unmotivating when one (like me) is uncertain of their job security because they are uncertain of what their agency/company's future will be in less than 30 days. It's cold. It's cloudy. It's grey. Today feels grey. Last night was full of light, of hope, of promise and future. Today...tiredness and doubt.

So tonight I will relax, and at 11 p.m. I will go play in an indoor soccer game, and I will enjoy (and hopefully not roll my ankle this week). I'll be taping those bad boys up this week that's for sure, no more sprained ankles for me.

Here's to those, like me that have nights full of light, and days sometimes darkened with grey. Blessings to you....God is present, let Him work.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

I like to sing. I like music. I like to play my guitar. I love to play my violin. Jesus is good. I am broken. God is mending me. The end.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Thoughts from a tired soul

I need to preface that this blog is not meant to be malicious or anyone or anything but there are some frustrations I am having about my life and I figured why not put them down here.....

With that said...giddy up


God is working on me, working on breaking this very stubborn, hard, but still willing, open heart. He is at work on this paradox I like to call me. This process makes me want to both raise my voice in frustration and praise at times.

But for the first time in a long time I have felt not only that God is working on my heart, but mostly that I am willing to let I stated above...I am very stubborn. However, God has really begun to break this hardened clay heart I have built over the last 8 (or more) years.

Do I struggle with self worth, well yes, yes I do. I will be the first to admit that. I can be so self-loathing that I become self-destructive. That is not of God; that guilt, that angst, that hatred....that's not of Christ. I am very well aware of that, but it is a demon I am plagued with and try to choose daily to battle, with the strength of God, and not of my own.

And satan works really hard to chip away at my soul through this demon, this thorn of self-loathing, he is very clever, very smart, he uses many different forms to dig at my soul.

Lately, for the past month or so, that avenue of lies has been regarding my singleness. I feel like I am being hit from every side regarding this aspect of my life, through my everyday expriences at work, through my social interactions, through my family, and even my friends.

I feel like all I keep hearing from people lately is in a nutshell this statement: "your life would be all fixed, God would make everything better, and you would be complete if you would just find yourself a husband"

Guess what?!?!.....I UNDERSTAND THAT I AM BROKEN!!!! But my wholeness resides in a God that loves me, that is calling me to Himself, and beckoning me to find a better way of loving Him, loving others, and loving myself that what everyone else seems to think is the answer.

Do I desire to get married; to find the man that God has created for me to be with, the one I will be the greatest and most amazing wife to..... It is one of the greatest and deepest desires of my heart.

But finding a husband is not the answer to everything!!!!

So don't tell me that getting into a relationship is going to make my life magically better, and that its the only way God is going to work in my life. If God chooses that, then ok, but don't speak that to me as if its the only truth, the only way.

I just want people to stop making me feel like I'm incomplete simply because I don't have a husband right now. Stop making me feel and telling me that I am not ok because I'm not dating, because I feel like God is telling me just the opposite.

Stop telling me I'm not doing ok, when Christ is telling me that He is doing good in me right now.........

Thursday, March 27, 2008

something is in the air

This past week has been amazing. Every night after work I've had chance to either go outside for a walk and enjoy the weather or last nigth I chose to go on a bike ride.

One word: Magnificent. At one point I stopped along the trail and sat on this bench a top of "mini" hill that looks directly at Pikes Peak. And I just let the wind and the warmth of the setting sun wash over my face. I think if I had to describe what I think heaven might feel like, that might be it. The feel of a warm breeze washing against your body while basking in the glow of a setting sun, the air around me engulfing me, with the sound of the wind in the trees, birds chirping.

In that fleeting moment I truly felt, understood, and believed that God is good and God is faithful.

There is something about bike riding for me that I just love. My family was always going on bike rides together when I was a kid, we still do it now if we can when we get together. I think its that feel of the wind on my face I just love, to push myself sometimes to the limit to make it up a wicked hill, or even when I go mountain biking to scare the living Ba-Jesus outta myself going on trail that's wicked hard. I love it...i just do.

The only part I don't love is those dang bike seats....holy smokes...I'm feeling that bike ride today in my rump that's for sure. I think I'm going to go to the store and buy myself a new one, it'll be the Cadilac of bike seats!!!

Here's to Springs! It's been a long time coming and I have been awaiting you! So go out, enjoy creation, and feel the warm breeze and sun on your face and remember...God did both...and God is good.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Duty calls

Ugh, I got a summons for Jury Duty.

I guess it'd be ok if it was an interesting case. Then again I may not even be called back, my first day is April 10th.

I've been told if you just cry during your interview, you'll be dismissed....maybe I'll be able to work up some tears....

...anybody got any other suggestions?


I had a fantastical time with my friends from K-Group yesterday for our Easter Sha-bang. I mean what could be better for a group of people in their mid twenties than:

a) eating
2) An easter egg hunt
iii) Easter Egg Dying
D) a group game of quelf

Is there anything better?? I SUMBIT THAT THERE IS NOT!

hope everyone had a blessed easter!!

We missed all those from K-Group that couldn't come! Next time!!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

New Beginnings

I got baptized on Sunday, it was a beautiful experience.

Thank you Ela, Josh, Jen, Rachel, Jamie, and Katie for being there!!

God has been working on my heart a lot lately. Digging up all the muck I've been burying for so deep for so long.

It's been freeing to be so honest with my friends, my family I should call them, because they have become part of my family and I love it.

I am blessed, I am clean, I am free.

Here's to new beginnings, a life of freedom and honesty.

Christ is Freedom, and I am sacred....

Saturday, January 19, 2008

And the opinion is.....

Katie recently pointed out the fact that she felt as though I wasn't truly sharing my opinion in my last post regarding Pink's song "Dear Mr. President". So I'm going to clarify my opinions, through a random assortment of thoughts that will be mud.

So here are my thoughts:

I would NEVER want to be president.

I will give major kudos to those that choose to undertake the task of being the Commander and Chief of our Nation.

However, there are numerous things that i have not agreed with. I take a much more liberal stance than that of the very conservative, republican home. And that's ok. I respect my parents points of view, and we can agree to disagree.

But I am deeply saddened and at times outraged at the fact that we spend billions, yes BILLIONS of dollars on a war, and yet, we don't spend a fraction of that on helping the widows, the orphans, the fatherless....which is what God calls us to do.

And I blame a lot of that too on Christians, we are called to a religion that God finds faultess: to look after widows and orphans in their distress.(james 1:27) God calls us to "act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God." Micah 6:8

Is abortion against God's will? Yes, but if we are so determined to maintain the sanctity of life...what are we doing for the lost and the hopeless that are right here, right now? What about the sanctity of life of those living hell on earth?

What about the child that is born into the home of mother addicted to meth, the child who is sexually abused, the child that knows not whether they will have food to eat or a safe place to lay their head? The mother that works 2-3 jobs, because her husband left her for another woman (or another man for that matter), but she works those jobs just to try and even have the option of either heating the house, or putting food on the table.

The war on terror? The terror comes in other forms that Islamic radicals or the Taliban.

Do I agree with But how many babies have been spared from being raised in abusive homes? Does that justify it? No... But also spent over a year of my life being a part of the lives of at-risk, broken, abused, troubled, and lost teenagers. Who don't really know how to love, but they think "my mom did a crappy job of raising me, so when I have a kid, I'll do better". Meanwhile, they are still children, and they get pregnant, and they would never have an abortion, no...instead they have a child, thinking they can love it better, raise it better, but not thinking about the fact that do they don't have the means to even do that child justice, thus...continuing the cycle. The never ending cycle of generational turmoil and sin....and it breaks my heart.

What are we doing????? What? someone please explain it to me?

What do I feel about the war? I hate it! I hate that people die, and suffer, and that in the midst of trying to kill the guilty, we kill so many innocent too.

There is something poetic in Pink's song, and do I agree with every facet of it? No, but there are many parts I do.

One things for sure...I would never EVER want to be president.

God be with us, for we are a lost people...... Abba help us to seek after you again, to seek after your heart. Help us to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with you, and to help orphans & widows in their distress.