Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Rachael's Top Ten: 2 Years Ago


2 years ago today, I posted a blog that announced the birth of my sweet son, Finn Wallace. I can hardly believe it's already been two years. As I look back over the last 2 years of his life, I just smile. He has brought me so much joy. He is such an amazing little boy. I put together a list of the top ten things I love most about him. It was hard to come up with only ten things. But these are the best!

10- I love his curious personality. He is constantly asking "what's that?"
9- I love the way he is mischievous. Always chasing Savannah around the house.
8- I love his determination. He gets frustrated easily because he's trying so hard to figure something out.
7- I love the words he comes up with. Currently, he calls a flashlight - "throat." HA! HA!
6- I love how he looks just like his handsome daddy
5- I love how there's a little of me in there. Yeah, I saw him close a drawer he saw open in the kitchen...a little OCD, thats my boy!
4- I love his sweet heart. He kisses every toy he plays with.
3- I love how much he loves music. I really think he will be a musician.
2- I love hearing him say "I love you much." It's such a precious statement to me.
1- I love that he is going to be an AWESOME big brother. And late Spring 2012, Finn will get that opportunity. That's right Baby Walkup #2 is on the way!! Below is a video of Finn - very cute!

video

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Book review: Shattered Dreams



I just finished writing a five part post on this book.You can go back to the last 2 weeks if you'd like to read them.

All I can say, is get one for yourself. It was an incredible book. One that I will continue to go back to.

Let me know what you think...


Monday, September 19, 2011

Part Five: Shattered Dreams

"Only shattered dreams reveal the problem clearly, and only shattered dreams create a brokenness that helps us hate that attitude enough to give it up. Only shattered dreams help us feel appropriately impotent."

Through the brokenness we learn three important lessons. And I have listed them for you. I pray that we can see the joy Christ offers. The joy that can only come through suffering.

1- Broken people learn lessons they couldn't have learned otherwise. Larry Crabb says that"without trials, only spoiled brats would enter heaven. And that would turn heaven into hell."

2- In times that we don't feel the presence of God, we must know he is working.  "Seasons of personal suffering are opportunities for God to do His deepest work."

3- We need to know that as a Christian, it isn't always good to be blessed with the good things of life. Larry reminds us that "we fight three enemies: the world, the flesh, and the devil."

I hope this series of posts wasn't depressing. The book Shattered Dreams was a reality check for me. In good times, we praise God. In bad times, we are to hurt but also praise God. It is hard but we are to long for shattered dreams. Because our shattered dreams open us up to new dreams. Dreams that God has for us. 
I have one last quote to leave you with. And I pray that you will let the words wash over you. Spend time with God figuring out what your faith is like. Mine is continuing to grow. And I pray for God to do His will with my life. I pray that for you too.

"Knowing Jesus has been reduced to as one-time decisions that guarantees the chance to live in a perfect, pain-fee world forever."

Knowing Jesus isn't a one-time decision. It's a lifetime of a growing relationship. It starts with a decision to believe in Him but it grows as you chose daily.



Sunday, September 18, 2011

Part Four: Patience and Joy

"God will work through it all. Everything helps us to Him."

Do you ever wonder where God is? I have. But we live in a broken world. Bad things happen and they happen to good people. 
What we need to remember is no matter what our God will continue to work in us through every bump, every shattered dream, and every trial. And also that there is one bigger dream that God will fulfill in this life.

Joy. Unending joy. That's what Heaven will be like. It will be glorious to be there. But for now, we live here in this culture. 

In Shattered Dreams, Larry refers to our culture as deceived. And isn't that true. We all believe lies of the enemy daily. Whether it's allowing our mind to go into a constant state of worry. Or if it's making up a story in our head to make us upset with our kids or husband. We are still being deceived.

Bottom line - "we must grasp the truth of what God is now doing in our lives or we will miss the joy of Christianity."

Let's remember God is here. He is working through all the junk we go through. He's working on removing all the obstacles that keep us from true enjoyment of Him.

It takes time people. We all want things immediately. But not this. I will wait on my Lord. Will you?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Part Three: Christianity

Do you know much about Buddhism? A few years ago I didn't. But ever since Cambodia I wanted to know more about it since that's a big religion there.

Basically, the son of a wealth king - Gautama Siddhartha - just woke up one day and declared he was Buddha. His religion consists of 4 truths: life is suffering, the cause of all suffering is desire, the way to end suffering is to end desire, and spend your life learning to eliminate desire.

How often in times of suffering we mask the pain? How often in hard times we declare we will chose not to be sad? I think it happens all the time.

Larry Crabb says " we Christians are often practicing Buddhists. He goes on to say that "we kill desire in an effort to escape pain, then wonder why we don't enjoy God." How's that for hitting it home in your heart? That one really struck me hard.

As a Christian we are also taught truths. There are also four of them.

1- Life includes suffering, but life is good.
2- The cause of all suffering is seperation.
3- The way we handle suffering is to discover your desire for God.
4- The new life provided through Jesus must be accepted as a gift of love.

Bottom line, as a Christian when we hurt - we should really hurt. And hurt openly in the putrescence of our God. In this life, we will suffer. But take heart because our Savior has overcome the WORLD!



This post was adapted from ideas in Shattered Dreams by Larry Crabb. Specifically chapters 6 and 7

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Part Two: Support

"Why is it so difficult to simple give ourselves to each other when things are hard without yielding to the urge to give relief, to help, to try to make things better?" - Larry Crabb, Shattered Dreams

"How are you? I'm fine."

"I'm going through a tough time, but i'll be ok. God has a plan."

How often do those conversations exist between friends. In my opinion, it's all the time. We think we need to toughen up. We think we can't be authentic with each other. But that's not the way God wanted us to be. 

Real relationships tell the truth. No cover ups. No lies. No masks. 
Even with God we need to be honest. He cares about us. He wants us to cry out to him. In Shattered Dreams, Larry goes on to explain how Ruth and Naomi spoke to each other. "Don't try to find comfort in explaining the reasons. Don't try to find the spiritual means to trust more. Enter your pain until your feet touch the solid ground beneath you, the solid ground of the restrained passion of Jesus."

Wow - isn't that a statement. My favorite line is "enter your pain until your feet touch the solid ground beneath you, the solid ground of the restrained passion of Jesus."

So, we all have friends. We all have family. Let's support them the way God wants us to. And lets ask they support us the same. We enter our pain. We hurt. We get mad. But all the while God is there waiting for us to touch the ground and know you've hit the solid ground of the passion of Jesus.

The bottom line - is we can't make things better. Only He can.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Part One: Abandonment

**Please note-today starts a 5 part series I will be writing on things I learned from Shattered Dreams. **

 The first step to finding true joy in your Christian life is abandonment. The dictionary defines the word as "giving up control or influence to another person."

"The search to discover God requires that we abandon ourselves - that we give up control of what matters most, that we place our confidence in Someone we cannot manage." -Larry Crabb

The three items from that quote I found most important were : abandon, give up, and place our confidence. It's easier said than done.

Abandonment is no easy task. It requires that we give up control. If you've been reading this blog any amount of time you know I struggle with giving up control. 

Dreams. We all have them. And it's not wrong to have them.  But how do you feel about abandoning all your dreams. It will be for a set of greater dreams. What dreams do you have? Could you give them up?

To me, the most important part is that abandonment has me place my confidence in God. I place my life in His mighty hands. And I am willing to place my dreams, thoughts, and confidence in His hands too. 

What about you? Are you willing?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9.11.11

I still remember exactly where I was when I got the news. Do you?

Hard to believe it's been 10 yrs.

Here's a tribute video the media department at my church put together for 9/11. It was too good so I have to share!

video

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Where am I?

I know, I know. I have been neglecting writing for a few weeks. I have been doing a lot of reading so I do have lots to share. But I'm trying to sum it all up in my head. I'm almost done reading the book Shattered Dreams by Larry Crabb. It's a very deep read, so it's taken me longer than usual. But as soon as I am done reading I will have a 5 or 6 series post about it.

So stay tuned....

Until then - I must share this adorable picture of Finn. He loved sitting with his arm around Little E. That's my best friend, Kristen's little boy. Isn't that precious? They're already best buds - love it!