Chase Grace

I made a promise with myself a few months ago to be totally open and honest here when I felt the urge to write, even when it got messy and uncomfortable. Because if I've learned anything from blogging, it's that the best posts come from those places--when you know you need to get it out but are afraid of where the words might lead. Authenticity somehow leads to peace of mind when it comes to writing.

I've been trying to keep that open mindset as I've journaled and written lately, and more than anything, I've been praying that the words that I say are what the Lord wants me to share on this blog. Because the heart of the matter is what lights my fire and gets me going.

So here I am. Writing honestly because I need a heart check. In a serious way.

I've seen a change in myself over the past couple of weeks. I've been short, snappy, unkind, and impatient. I've let my situations project my words and my actions, and I'm sure I've hurt feelings and left people with a bitter taste of me. I've acted impulsively and have left God out of the equation on most days, in most circumstances. In the moment, I didn't realize it, but looking back, it's obvious.

My heart has been convicted over the past two days and I've just prayed for the Lord to forgive me and pull me back in, to remind me that my salvation isn't dependent on what I do for Him, but rather what He's done for me. Grace upon grace, and only that. Some days, I feel so far away from Him. I've been fervently begging the Lord to answer some prayers in my life in a big way, and so far, I'm stuck in a season of waiting. God never disappoints and is always faithful, though--He's answered them in other ways, but man, it hurts when it's not the "yes" I wanted. How well I know that His plan is so much higher than my own, but in the moment, it makes me bitter. And bitterness hinders holiness. And bitterness yields rebellion, whether I mean for it to happen or not.

I've acted out of rebellion, and truly, out of the sin of being "too busy" to just speak His name in my day. Looking back over my behavior over the past few weeks was a glimpse into my past, a look back at the Rachel I used to be. The one before my heart was changed by Jesus. And that's not something I ever want to see again.

But God.

He steps in and whispers grace over my sad, weary heart. He reminds me that He is the constant in every situation and I need to rely on that truth. I am worthy and I am loved. He is mighty in me. I have nothing of worth to offer this world unless it's through the filter of His gospel, and I've been so far from that mark lately. I will fall short, day after day, week after week, year after year. That's for sure. But God redeems those broken parts of me and makes me into something beautiful, slowly but surely. 

I need to realize that I will never be holy until I am at the feet of Jesus in heaven. I need to strive for that daily, but also give myself grace when I feel so far away from a "good Christian." When the words from my mouth are anything but holy and pleasing to Him. Grace upon grace, when we fall short. 

Today, I am thankful for His grace over my life. And I'm equally grateful for His forgiveness, over and over. He just lavishes all these good things on us because He loves us so and it rocks my soul to think of that--that I can be the worst of sinners, yet He will still bend down and wrap me up in His arms and tell me that I'm forgiven. 

I'm holding myself to a standard of grace right here and now. I'm reminding myself to just come humbly to His throne every day in prayer, because I need Him so desperately. I'm not going to have it all together every day and that's okay. When life seems to be going all wrong, I need to give myself a heart check and see where I'm placing my trust--is it in the One who holds my heart? If not, I need to start over and start chasing grace. Join me? If you're feeling out of control or less than worthy or just simply discouraged, chase GRACE. Let that be the striving of our hearts! He's covering you in it if you'll just let Him. 

My Vision for Rachel Rewritten: A Mood Board // #Blogtember Challenge

I've been thinking and daydreaming a lot lately about the vision I have for this blog. It's been on my heart more this season of my life than it ever has--I can tell that the Lord is stirring something inside of me to really dedicate sharing my life here through writing. 

My sweet blog BFF (and IRL friend!) Bailey has a blogging challenge going on this month and of course, one of her prompts is a mood board or collage describing your blog. I'm thankful for her push for me to really sit down and put pen to paper on my mission. It's a work in progress, but I wanted to share where I'm headed so far.

I sat down with a big cup of coffee and prayed over this space; prayed over where the Lord wanted it to go and what He wanted me to talk about on here. Some days, I wish I had an awesome creative mind who owned a small business or Etsy shop...or an entrepreneur with big dreams and lots of courage. Other days, the Lord makes me thankful for who I am and where I am in life; and of course, He reminds me that He made me for this very moment, right here, where I am...and this space is where my story is told. 

I heard someone say once, "Stay close to anything that makes you feel alive," and this blog is that for me.

Rachel Rewritten: a joy-filled space created to inspire, encourage, and celebrate

If I could put Rachel Rewritten into words, I'd want it to be a warm, welcoming space. Like sitting down with a friend, where laughter is strong and the coffee is stronger. A place where community is cultivated and friendship blooms. I hope it seems bright and cheerful, with a little bit of spunk and Southern charm.

I hope for it to be a place to inspire others, whether it be through words I say or the ideas that I share with DIY projects or fun, new recipes. I envision it being a place to share marriage joys, hard lessons learned, and words that stir my soul.

I want it to be a place people can escape the real world for a few minutes and read something on my heart, something that I hope will encourage others. I long for it to be a place where Jesus is first always, and His name is glorified above all else...where we can let go of the feelings of inadequacy and busy-ness and soak in all of His goodness and grace.

I want to help people truly learn how to celebrate life and find joy in the every day happenings. Champagne is sometimes necessary to achieve those goals! I'm slowly learning how to live freely and abundantly in every season of life, no matter what it may be, and I hope you'll join me on that journey.

If you could create a mood board for your blog, what would it look like? 

Brave Love Blog

It's Okay to Not Be Okay

"It's okay to not be okay." My best friend said those words to me a couple of months ago and I think I've repeated them to three other friends since that day, because they needed to hear those words of freedom as much as I did. Sometimes permission to not be okay is just what we need to start healing.

The more I push past the small talk and scripted conversation with those around me, even those in my inner circle, the more I realize that our lives aren't as polished as we try to make them out to be. I like to call it the 'Instagram Effect," where we tend to show our best days instead of our worst. And there's nothing wrong with that, but in a world with so much hurt and hardship, I can't begin to fathom what life would be like if we spoke those fears and struggles and secrets we hold so deep in our soul. Would we all feel a little more normal? A little more freedom?

What would happen if we quieted those worries by pouring the power of confession over them? I know in my heart, and in my life, those silent battles are things that draw more energy from me because of the secret-keeping that goes on around them. As if me talking them out loud makes them real and true--when in reality, speaking those fears and admitting that we aren't okay makes us human. We don't have to have it all together all the time, because in our weakness, He is strengthened. 

Sometimes those moments of confession are the most beautiful moments--the moments where the light begins to shine out of the brokenness in our souls and gives someone else a window into what you're going through. Those brief times are the times when I feel most plugged in to the friend next to me, as I hold her hand and listen to her heart poured out. 

I can't help but think of the sense of community that is created as those walls come down and we're connected on a level deeper than we've known before; to admit to others exactly where we are and just what we need, whether it be prayers, encouragement, or just a cup of coffee. Those sacred bonds formed in the quiet moments of confession are life-giving. 

No one has to go first or alone, if we're honest and open. Because when we are brave enough to admit that we're not okay, you'll be surprised at how those around you react. They're broken too, in one way or another. Marriage struggles, money issues, infertility, anxiety, alcohol abuse, singleness, and so on. When we open ourselves up and speak those secrets we're too afraid to share, our worlds become a little smaller and our hearts become a little closer because we find out we're not alone in our journey. 

If I could speak truth over you today, I'd tell you that your hurt and your fears don't go unnoticed. You are seen and you are loved by the God in heaven who loves you like freaking crazy. This too will pass. And more than anything, you're not alone in your struggles, whatever they may be. Give a little of your burden to your sister next to you--that's why God created friends. 

We are all trying, day in and day out. Let's love on each other a little harder and let the ones we love the most know that it's okay to not be okay. Here's to letting ourselves admit those scary words: "You know, I'm really not okay today." Because then and only then will we have someone grab our hand, pull us in close,  take the load off our shoulders, and reply, "Maybe not now, but you will be."