Reaching Perfection


December 2 – “Reaching Perfection”

{Today’s devotion from Streams in the Desert was just what I needed to read this morning. My prayer is this will bless you and encourage you right where you are. I love my God meets me. I pray the same for you! -Rachael}

For it was fitting for him, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through sufferings.—Heb 2:10 NET

Steel is iron plus fire. Soil is rock, plus heat, or glacier crushing. Linen is flax plus the bath that cleans, the comb that separates, and the flail that pounds, and the shuttle that weaves. Human character must have a plus attached to it. The world does not forget great characters. But great characters are not made of luxuries, they are made by suffering.

I heard of a mother who brought into her home as a companion to her own son, a crippled boy who was also a hunchback. She had warned her boy to be very careful in his relations to him, and not to touch the sensitive part of his life but go right on playing with him as if he were an ordinary boy. She listened to her son as they were playing; and after a few minutes he said to his companion: “Do you know what you have got on your back?” The little hunchback was embarrassed, and he hesitated a moment. The boy said: “It is the box in which your wings are; and some day God is going to cut it open, and then you will fly away and be an angel.”

Some day, God is going to reveal the fact to every Christian, that the very principles they now rebel against, have been the instruments which He used in perfecting their characters and moulding them into perfection, polished stones for His great building yonder. —Cortland Myers

Suffering is a wonderful fertilizer to the roots of character. The great object of this life is character. This is the only thing we can carry with us into eternity. … To gain the most of it and the best of it is the object of probation. —Austin Phelps

“By the thorn road and no other is the mount of vision won.”

30 Day Scripture Writing Plan for November

30 Day Scripture Writing Plan for November

As you know, November has exactly 30 days in it. This make November the perfect month to do any type of challenge. Many people have done the thankful challenge. That’s where you choose something to be thankful for everyday. Well, a friend (Valerie) shared this on Facebook and I immediately loved it. I felt it was unique and focuses on God.

I have started the plan and I have to say it is wonderful. If you have never copied out scripture from the Bible into a journal, then this is a great way to try it! You simply copy out the scripture and then write any thoughts you have about the verses. God’s word is alive and He will use the Bible to speak to your personally.

Here is the plan:

Thanksgiving 30 Day Scripture Writing Plan_Page_1

To download the plan from the person who created it, click here.

Image via

Gluten Free Tips


I cut gluten out of my diet 8 1/2 months ago. At first it was pretty hard. But as the days went on, I realized I just felt a lot better. No more bloating or stomach cramps. Less headaches. And my thyroid was no longer hyperactive. Amazing, right? I thought so.

Anyway, over the last 8 months I’ve learned a thing or too. I thought I would share some of the knowledge I gained, in hopes of helping someone else.

  • Gluten free pizza at Costco: I love pizza. I’ve tried a lot of different ones. But I always come back to Costco. They have a great gluten free pizza in the frozen section.
  • Soy sauce: regular soy sauce contains gluten. And I love Asian food. Especially sushi. If I an find a sushi without soy sauce soaked seaweed, then I eat it dipped in kikkoman brand soy sauce. Yum!
  • Flour: There are a lot of different gluten free flours to chose from in grocery stores. Thanks to my good friend Meriam, she told me about Pamela’s flour blends. And it has become my favorite. I use it to make pancakes, waffles, thicken soups, etc.
  • Glutino makes tons of delicious gluten free options. My favorites are pretzel sticks, oreo cookies, and buttery crackers.
  • Stores: Kroger and Publix both carry a lot of gluten free options. And surprisingly, Aldi has a lot of gluten free options.

Do you have any tips for being gluten free? If so, please share with me!

A Get Along Jar


If your kids are anything like mine, then they fight. I’m not sure exactly why so much. But they just know how to push each others buttons. I’ve noticed over the last few months there is a pattern. They miss each other during the week, so in the weekday afternoons they play nicely. But on the weekends by Saturday afternoon, they are both in separate rooms.

Well, I am tired of it! Every weekend it’s the same thing – Selah yells at Finn and Finn tells on Selah. Over and over again. Now, I’m not writing this as a venting session. I’m writing this because I’m hoping I found a solution. There are tons of blog posts about this topic. But I came upon this one on Pinterest.I liked it because she provides a bunch of ideas as well as a templates print out. All I had to do was get a mason jar, print the ideas, and glue everything together! When they start fighting, I simply point them to the get along jar. They choose a craft stick and then do what it says. Fingers crossed this works!

Click here for the templates

Then grab a mason jar and here are some ideas you can add to craft sticks:

  1. Say three nice things about the other person.
  2. Chose one of your sibling’s chores and do it for them.
  3. Turn on some music and dance together for at least five minutes.
  4. Read a storybook together, taking it in turns to each read a page.
  5. Set the table together.
  6. Choose GRACE.
  7. Clear out the car.
  8. Make up a ‘getting along song’ and perform it for the family.
  9. Make the other person’s bed.
  10. Draw or write an apology letter to the other person.
  11. Write a poem for the other person.
  12. Clean the back deck.
  13. Get each other a glass of water and sit outside to drink it.
  14. Draw something positive about your sibling.
  15. Sweep the floor together.
  16. Make each other a ‘sorry’ card.
  17. Dust the furniture in a certain room together
  18. Play Simon Says for six minutes, with each person being Simon for three minutes.
  19. Jump on the trampoline together for at least five minutes.
  20. Go have a real wrestling match outside.
  21. Draw a picture of each other.
  22. Give each other a big hug.
  23.  Play a board game together.
  24. Put away your sibling’s laundry.
  25. Go and check the mail together.
  26. Draw and write a positive about your sibling.
  27. Clean the bathroom sinks together.
  28. Pick up the other person’s toys.
  29. Do 10 sit-ups, 10 star jumps and five push-ups.
  30. Tell each other a story.
  31. Draw a picture together
  32. Tell each other a secret.
  33. Do a kind deed together for someone else.
  34. Ask your sibling to tell you one thing they would like you to do differently.
  35. Clean the sliding glass doors together (one on each side).

My hope is this will help them to learn how to work out their differences on their own. Because of course, that’s how it works in the real world as they get older 🙂

Any other “get along” ideas you can add to my list?

Heart Check


Recently, I have been studying the book of Genesis and the book of Matthew. It’s been a great study so far. And so interesting to me all the parallels in the themes from the first book of the Old Testament and the first book of the New Testament. The biggest one I have pulled out is – the heart. Since the beginning of men and women, God has always been concerned with our hearts.

Starting with Noah’s time, you read that God saw the hearts of the people and that their hearts were evil. That was the purpose of the flood. God was wiping the slate clean. However it didn’t work. Hence the need for our Rescuer.

And in the gospel according to Matthew, Jesus lays out the new laws. He makes us realize that we are not perfect. We easily can break all the 10 commandments in our hearts. We may not murder, but if we have hate for a friend than we have committed murder in our heart. Or what about thinking a sexual thought about the opposite sex? That’s adultery in our hearts, if we are married.

How does it make you feel to know that God can see into your heart? Uncomfortable, squirmy? Yeah, me too. But, it’s the truth. God can see what our heart intentions are by every move we make. Thank goodness our Rescuer came and died on the cross for our sins. If we confess that Jesus is Lord of our life, we can cross the bridge to God. Jesus makes us clean.

I don’t know about you, but I needed a Rescuer. And I’m so grateful that thought I’m not perfect, Jesus is. And I am checking my heart now…

If you are a Christ follower, when was the last time you checked your heart? 

And if you are in need of a Rescuer, send me a message or comment on this post. I would love to give you more information on freedom!

Loss and Restoration


This weekend we will celebrate 2 years since our house fire and 1 year being in our new home. Celebrate. Yes, you heard me right. We are choosing to celebrate the fact that God makes “beauty from the ashes.” The past 2 years have been days, months, and years of deep growth for me. I have learned so much about myself. God has revealed Himself to me in many ways. What I have discovered is this weekend in October will always be very special to me. It’s a weekend that merges together a loss and a restoration. I pray that I will never take this weekend lightly. I wish there was a word for this type of occurrence. But I couldn’t seem to find or come up with one such word.

Anyway, this weekend we will celebrate the following things:

  • God’s provision: He kept us safe. He provided for us when we were in need. He led us to sell our lot and move on. He worked out the details for us to live in Hunter’s Walk.
  • God’s blessing: We believe that everything we have is a blessing from God. We are just stewards of it all. Remembering this helps us to live with a Heaven perspective. We also still give God thanks for the many people that helped us over the last 2 years.
  • God’s teaching: God has taught us so many lessons this year. Mourning will be comforted, God will supply all we need, Grieving over loss takes time, God’s will always prevails, we make plans but God directs us, and many others.

Will you joining us in giving the Lord praise this weekend for all He has done? 


And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

“The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job 1:21b

New Christian Station – 105.1

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Have you heard of K-Love? If not – I’ll tell you a bit about it. It’s a Christian radio station that is just awesome. It plays some Christian songs you might have not heard before. I just wanted to share with you! The station to tune to is 105.1 FM. I am so very excited that K-Love is here in Cumming, GA!

I hope you will add it to one of your favorite stations like I have. Have a blessed day!

Good Good Father


Have you heard the song “Good Good Father?” Since I love worship music, I’ve begun looking into the song. I want to know how they came up with it. I want to know where the lyrics came from in scripture. This particular song is based upon Matthew 7:7-12. I have the lyrics below as well as a video of Chris Tomlin’s version. Last but not least, I included a video showing the story behind the song. This song is powerful. Enjoy!

I’ve heard a thousand stories of what they think you’re like
But I’ve heard tender whispers of love in the dead of night
And you tell me that you’re pleased
And that I’m never alone

You’re a Good, Good Father
It’s who you are, it’s who you are, it’s who you are
And I’m loved by you
It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am

I’ve seen many searching for answers far and wide
But I know we’re all searching
For answers only you can provide
Cause you know just what we need
Before we, we say a word

You’re a Good, Good Father
It’s who you are, it’s who you are, it’s who you are
And I’m loved by you
It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am

You’re a Good, Good Father
And I’m loved by you

You are perfect in all of your ways
Perfect in all of your ways
You are perfect in all of your ways to us

You’re a Good, Good Father
It’s who you are, it’s who you are, it’s who you are
And I’m loved by you
It’s who I am, it’s who I am, It’s who I am

You are perfect in all of your ways

You’re a Good, Good Father
It’s who you are, it’s who you are, it’s who you are

Regina Williams and Titus2 Mentoring Women


In October of 2007, I begin to inquire about gaining a life coach or mentor. I wanted to gain wise council to guide me along in my life. I had been married just over a year and I was pretty clueless! HA! My friend, Ashley Jansen, told me about Regina Williams and a ministry that she had started called Titus2. I was so intrigued, so I called Regina and we set up a meeting to discuss what the group involved.

The Starbucks on Old Milton was the place I met Regina. We both got a coffee and set down to talk. She was warm, welcoming, and overflowing with wisdom. We discussed life. The conversation got deep fast with her questions and I felt I could completely confide in her immediately. She told me about the group. It was a year long program that started in January of 2008. We would meet monthly from 7-9 at her home. Each month we would be required to memorize scripture, have daily quiet times and journal, have an accountability partner, read a book on a particular subject, write up a book review, do a date night with my spouse (she also provided questions), and be at the monthly meeting ready to share what I learned. We would also have 2 weekend retreats in the year, meet one-on-one with her monthly, and have Regina and her husband over once or twice in the year. I know that may seem overwhelming to you but to me it was exactly what I have craving.

Jesus says in the Beatitudes that “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” Matthew 5:6

Proverbs 21:21 says that “Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor.”

Jesus also says in John 6:48 that He is “the bread of life.”

Well, I was thirsty and hungry. Thirsty and hungry for more of God. God used Regina to even deeper my hunger and thirst. And the hunger and thirst has only amplified. And I believe it will never be filled until I meet Him face to face.

Yes, I did join the group. And it was an amazing experience. I grew deeper in my relationship with God. My heart was changed from the inside out. I hid God’s word in my heart by memorizing 37 verses. I learned the importance of an accountably partner (and I’ve had one ever since!). But it didn’t stop there…

After our group ended in December 2008, my group still meet for a little over a year. I continued to meet with Regina quarterly. She guided me along many life happenings – both my children being born, leaving work to be home full-time, navigating after the house fire, and even as I have struggled with my health recently. She would give practical advice but it always pushed me back to the Lord Almighty. Regina made me the person I am today. I will always be so grateful for that.

This last year, Psalm 91 became her anthem. A few months ago, I met with her for the last time. She asked me what verses I was memorizing. The truth is, I hadn’t been. I told her that and she encouraged me to get back to it. “Hiding the words of our Lord in our heart and mind allows His voice to be louder than the voice of the world and the evil one.” I asked her what she was memorizing and she replied with Psalm 91. I asked “what specific verses?” And she replied “the whole chapter.” I remember thinking “Wow! I could never do that!” Now that she has been promoted to Heaven, I’m reminded again just how important it is to hide God’s word in my heart. So I am memorizing Psalm 91, the whole chapter. Already it has been so comforting during this time of deep mourning.


My prayer has become….

“Oh how I long to dwell and abide in the hiding place of the Most High. Lord, please give me rest and comfort in your protective shadow. I will continue to say that “You are my refuge, my Hiding Place, My Papa, who I trust completely. I know you will save me from the evil one who pesters me daily. Please cover me with your angels and under your protection I will find safety. Trusting you without restraints will be a shield in this world. Thanks be to you always Lord!”

I will leave you with one last thing.

To older wiser women – you have wisdom to share with younger women! Please pray about being a mentor. Regina has everything you would need to facilitate mentoring one or more women. Click here to learn about all her resources she has.

To younger women – we all can use a mentor to guide us. Ask around. And pray. I believe God wants us all to mentored and discipled in some way. Take the leap. You will be glad you did.

“Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.” Titus 2:3-5

PS-Starting next week, I will begin posting one liners from Regina. These were statements she said all the time. Some of them are – “Bloom where you are planted,” “Put expression to your impression,” etc. To other Titus2 girls, if you have one you’d like to share. Please let me know!

Jesus, Rock of Ages


Every single time I listen to this song, I am comforted. It is such an encouragement to know we stand on a sure foundation. Take a minute to allow these words to wash over you. And then you can listen to the song by Christy Nockels.

I am not alone 
There’s a stone I’m built on 
There’s a love that will never let me go 
He hears my every cry 
He knows how to understand me 
He is my one defense, day and night 
I rest my soul on the rock of the ages 
And my feet stand firm on a sure foundation 
All my hope in this salvation 
Jesus, Jesus, rock of ages 
Precious cornerstone 
The one for all generations 
Laid that I would hide myself in You 
Through every trial and storm 
When all else is sinking 
There is none so faithful and so true 
When my heart is faint, my faith is small 
Oh hide me, Lord 
And when all is well, through it all 
Oh hide me, Lord