Monday, August 27, 2012

Bashing the School Blues

If I wasn't on campus today, wasting my time in the pointless throes of algebra, I'd be...
*Writing an epic novel.
*Ending world hunger.
*Riding a horse. In a field.
*Reading a book, on this bench, by this water.
*Generally, doing anything but school.
In the least, that is what I tell myself, but then when I do not have school, my day hardly looks anything like this (save the epic novel part, for I hardly let a day get by without writing). So... why not? Why don't I do all those things that I chant to myself, "I'd be doing that if I wasn't here," and then when I'm not here-- I typically sleep the day away?
Just a thought for you.
Bashing the school blues:
*Grab a minute outside or in a corner of the library with God's word (BEST part of my Monday)
*Talk to God in that minute outside or in the library.
*Eat something energy giving, granola, fruit. Enjoy a refreshing bottle of ice water.
*Bash the negativity. I'm still working on this in algebra. I'm certain there's some redeeming quality. Somewhere.
*Take a minute to write a thanks list. Ten things you're thankful to God for. Like education, which others don't have. Like a campus with bright lights and great resources. Like money for clothes and school supplies. Like food. Like the opportunity to learn what all great minds have. Ready. Go!
Back to algebra. Pray for my soul.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

A Rest-Day Hymn

{Photo via Pinterest}

These days when the world cools off my brothers and I slip out of doors, into the dusk-coated grass to revel in the bright air. We play Frisbee, or chat by the creek water, or just watch the sun and birds settle for the night. Ken's evening him has been in my head and heart, these summer evenings. 

Thomas Ken, 1695

All praise to thee, my God, this night, For all the blessings of the light;
Keep me, O keep me, King of kings, Beneath thine own almighty wings. 
Forgive me, Lord, for thy dear Son, The ills that I this day have done;
That with the world, myself and thee, I, ere I sleep, at peace may be. 

O may my soul on thee repose, And with sweet sleep my eye-lids close;
Sleep that may me more vig'rous make To serve my God when I awake. 
When in the night I sleepless lie, My soul with heav'nly thoughts supply;
Let no ill dreams disturb my rest, No pow'rs of darkness me molest

O when shall I in endless day, For ever chase dark sleep away, 
And hymns with the supernal choir, Incessant sing, and never tire!
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;  Praise him all creatures here below; 
Praise him above, ye heav'nly host: Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. 

Saturday, June 30, 2012

June 21: From my Journal

Life has not been kind to me. 

But as I look to him it can bubble up inside of me anyway. Love for life, and love for the people in it, around me. The snatches are powerful. 

I love being a college student. I love history in my bright class room, I love the thrum in me as I see the past painting a story before my eyes, I love my Canadian instructor teaching American history, his smile, and occasionally frown, all combined. 
I love my entire class, even those who want to play High School and make silly cliques, and the snippy girl who is really lonely inside. I love my thought-provoking English class and the girls that I sit with, and the boy who ignores me and stares at my friend with dreamy eyes the size of saucers. 

I find the love causing me to leap to show it. I help my English instructor (who has no hands, only the beginnings of them) to erase the board, staying after class to do so. I sneak up behind a friend of mine and bound onto her in a hug, and go to lunch with her. I speak to a fellow from History that I normally wouldn't. I see burden in a girl's eyes, and gently prod her to speak. I listen to her sad story of loss and anxiety. I get her e-mail to help her in class, and give her a fervent hug, for which I get a raw and heartfelt, "Thank You."
I help another girl with her project. She has a smart mouth, and edge, but I love her too. 
"Perhaps I can use the movie Pocahontas as a primary source," one says. 
"I am certain you can convince the professor that Disney was there."
We giggle lightly. I love to giggle. 
The only book we can find in the entire library upon our tribe of topic is in the kid's section. And on the book's cover is a little white boy, donning some absurd kind of headdress. "Just put a funny hat on him," Caitlin remarks, "And he's an Indian all right."
I love our backwards society. I love the library. I love the kids section, full of light and laughter. I love life.I go to bed early, to keep myself on this roll of feeling good. 

And then today... 
I woke up. Took a shower. Numbly ate half a breakfast. And crawled right back into bed. 
The very thought of waking up and forcing myself to function was too monstrously insurmountable. 
I need healing. And healing takes time. 

But I'm going to stop beating myself up for the bad days, and trust that He'll take me through them. I'm going to stop beating myself up over the occasional B or C, because A's do not make me. Grades do not make me. Love does. 

I'm going to put my sword away, and keep raising that white flag like a banner of victory. Because when He is writing the story, I can be in today, and breathe today. And stop dying inside. 

Life has not been kind to me. But He always has been. And He always will be.

{Photo Via Pinterest}

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Free Daily Writing Prompts to Your Inbox

Click Here to Sign Up 

Figment Themes (sometimes written by real authors) urge you to sharpen and stretch the range of your craft. Sign up is quick and easy, prompts are sent daily to your inbox, and in case you miss a day an end-of-the-week recap is sent out as well. I do hope you love it!

~Rachel  (Photo via Pinterest) 

Monday, June 18, 2012

New Short Story: Untouchable

Once upon a time, a prince named Stephen came to love a girl with skin like parchment, and bones like glass.A girl he could never touch, lest she break...

A Kind Reader's Feedback: 

This is a wonderful, delightful story. It has beautiful imagery and amusing dialog. I like all your characters so far, no bad ones yet. And the innocence of this story is truly appealing. 
-Linda D. 

Untouchable is a short tale of truest love, Prince Charming, poofy ball gowns (with a ball at a castle to seal the deal, of course) and friendship. 

You can read Untouchable on Figment now. If you sign up with Figment you can also heart, comment, or write a review on this story, as well as publish your own writings. 

I do hope this little story brightens your day, and would love to hear if it did! You may leave a comment or write a review below, or you may contact me at racheldanielle12(at)ymail(dot)com

Happy reading, love, and blessings!


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Life in Poetry: Peter Pan

Sometimes rhyming, sometimes lyrical, sometimes nonsensical, I cannot fathom or control the way of my pen upon sunset or twilight. In the near dark I see life in true light. I hope you'll grab a pen and pretty book and start your own tradition of living thankfully, vividly, truly...

He is beautiful. Fair and fanciful.

Yet-- not femininely so.

A boy he is.

But a beautiful boy.

He-- so sweetly-- makes a specialty drink for me. It tastes of sparkling goodness, pink and yellow, but the gesture is more delectable.

Am I this starved and lonely?

I half think

As he watches me drink

That perhaps I drink a spell.

And whether I fear

Or whether I hope

I can hardly quite tell.

Perhaps I'll wake in his fairy-land.

And he'll reveal himself

As Peter Pan.

And release me? He shan't.

Unless I best him in tag.

We'll adventure and play until twilight.

When we'll find an inn

With a storyteller

And a fire

And scones and tea--

And be happy.

But to see vividly

To see the poetry

To live dreamy

Need not make a fool of me.

And in dreams he's a sprite

But in crisp and clear light

He's a boy. And...

I know that he whines.

I know he hogs toilets.

I can't imagine his closet.

I know I don't know half of it.

I know that every girl in his whole wide world

Is surrendered to the illusion

I allow only dabbling in.

I know none of them

Would love him

Like me

I also know

That's why he'll abandon me.

Because he can always have me.

Now a friend to me.

Tomorrow lost to me.

As always is with me.

In rainy twilight

He's my dreamy lad

In rainy twilight

He's my Peter Pan.

But in haze we'll stay.

'Us' will stay

'He and I' stay

'Love' will stay

Mere heart-bubbling illusions...

All that my secret dream is.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Living Avonlea: Marie

About: There are many lovely lands in the world. What is it about the fictional Avonlea that has feverishly captured hearts and imaginations from generation to generation? It was lived vividly, by a girl named Anne, through L.M. Montgomer's pen. 
Not long ago, I decided to live the land God has placed me in just as vividly. So when sunset or twilight comes (or any time that feels tingly with magic), I slow, reflect, capture, pen. I see beauty. I am filled with thankfulness. I hope you'll grab a notebook and join me.
Sometimes rhyming, sometimes lyrical, sometimes nonsensical, I cannot fathom or control the way of my pen upon sunset or twilight...

Photo from Pinterest.

Her name is Marie.

It sounds to me like 'lovely.'

She has hair like early, early pale dawn. Misty and yellow.

She has not an affection but is an affection; an affection that seizes, an adhesion and then a cohesion. A laugh like lingering sunshine. A smile with which she's not stingy.

Her name is Marie.
She is lovely.

But she doesn't know it.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A Free Devotional

The purpose of Today is to Refresh, Refocus, and Renew. I stumbled across a few old copies and found them to be quite Biblical and refreshing indeed, and I just discovered that I can sign up to receive it in the mail- for free!

You can too. Just click here, and sign up.

Photo from Pinterest.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

"When the people see that you truly love them, they will hear anything from you...Oh therefore, see that you feel a tender love for your people in your hearts, and let them perceive it in your speech and conduct. Let them see that you spend and are spent for their sakes."
-Richard Baxter

Oh, because it's what He did for us. 
Do we not feel compassion, on those who have nothing to live for? Who live but to die? 

I don't, sometimes. On campus, a boy openly mocks my beliefs and remarks that he'd like to burn down Churches full of Christians. A professor, in response to learning I believe, plays a video on how Christians need to accept science and reality. At work, a boss revels in his position of power and uses it to put the rest of us down. A coworker belittles me. A customer is impatient and swears at me, and throws change at me, because the credit card machine isn't working. 

I don't feel compassion. I want them all to be hit by a train. 
But He felt it upon me. And He bled for me. And He makes me feel it for others. And then I see. And then I do things I wouldn't have done. 

The boy who wants to burn down churches of Christians, is brutally beaten by his father, and needs someone to listen to him. The teacher who ridicules me for faith, is actually starved for soul freedom. The customer who yells at you, needs to be prayed for. 

And the boy who wanted to burn down Churches is going to Church now. The teacher who ridiculed me, listened to me talk about Christ for so long that I missed my bus. And the customers who give me the worst time get payed for the most. 

We can't truly love them all by ourselves. We just can't. We want them all to be hit by trains. But He loved us. And he showed it. And not only can He change our hearts, but move our actions. We just have to go to Him. 

So whoever you hate today, bring it to Him. Pray out your hatred. Pray for forgiveness. Pray for love. Pray for life-altering actions that tell this world of unspeakable love.

Because when you listen to and share Christ with the boy who mocks you, when you respect the teacher who belittles you, when others learn that you pray for the customers who curse at you... they can't believe it. 

And they just might start to believe what they once couldn't.  

Compassion costs. It is easy enough to argue, criticize and condemn, but redemption is costly, and comfort draws from the deep. Brains can argue, but It takes heart to comfort.
-Sameul Chadwick 

-Photo 'Enchanted Path' from Pinterest. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Pinsperational Tuesday: Funny, Delectable, Quaint

Started by Jessica at Diary of a Beautiful Soul...

Funnies! Click to Enlarge. The Dog/Cat Diary is splendorous. 

Fairy Foods! Cheesecake in a jar, and mini berry tarts. Yum! :)

They have that feathery feminine Jane-Austen-Like feel to them! I'd love to waltz about an English countryside in these!

Here is the link to my Pinterest! Prayers and blessings, lovely friends! (Also, be expecting some blog updates quite soon!)

Friday, May 4, 2012

Quotes to give you Hope today

Do you need hope today? I did. And my loving Father brought me to these.

How hope can come to be...

Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and courage; anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are.


What hopes does...

"Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us."
-Samuel Smiles

Hope fills the afflicted soul with such inward joy and consolation, that it can laugh while tears are in the eye, sigh and sing all in a breath; it is called "The rejoicing of hope" (Hebrews 3:6).

-William Gurnall

But what to hope for?

The best we can hope for in this life is a knothole peek at the shining realities ahead. Yet a glimpse is enough. It's enough to convince our hearts that whatever sufferings and sorrows currently assail us aren't worthy of comparison to that which waits over the horizon.

-Joni Eareckson Tada

We hope for peeks into heaven. That is lovely. Yet, perhaps a bit vague? 

But we've a hope that need never be vague. We are loved by a Prince mad enough with love to die for us. And in time we will live in his enchanting land, with boundless happiness, boundless fulfillment, boundless friendship, boundless beauty, boundless love, and boundless Him. Forever.

'Till then? While we hope for that ultimate hope, we hope for knotholes along the way. We hope for glimpses of the boundless.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Pinspirational Tuesdays: Laughs and Ladylike Delight

'Tis Tuesday again! I enjoyed it so much last time, I found a way, between preparing for finals and finishing up projects, to pull together a Pinspirational! I pray you enjoy these day brighteners, and then, a pretty depiction of the soul stirring reminder... (You shall see what I mean).  

These? Fit right into the story book pages of my life. :)

So, I cannot contain my apall, but I cannot contain my giggling either.

When texting meets Avonlea meets Anne meets three tumblers of wine and a drunken Diana. ;)

In favor of Spring... How like Spring-fairies!

And being Spring, 'Tis the time for pretty, feminine clothes, and equally pretty and feminine drinks! :)

 And a friend and I found this while we ought to have been studying. I have heard the quote many a time before, but it came at just the perfectly magical time, and it was so soul-chilling. Carry it close to your heart. Put it on your blog. Make it your wallpaper. Remember.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Pinsperational Tuesdays: A Magic Eve

The time has come for me to partake of this lovely tradition started by Jessica at Diary of a Beautiful Soul.

I would wear this dress to tea.

And I should love this quaint snow-white-esque pocketwatch necklace.

Do-it-yourself flowers? How darling! On my list of to-do.

This drink is raspberry sherbet, pink lemonade, and sprite. Sound delectable? I do believe! A drink like this, on a night like this: periwinkle twilight, stinging pine tree, pixie lights dangling from said pine tree. It sounds lovely beyond words.

 If you believe you'll try the flowers or the drink, I'd love to know! Share how they come out. And how'd I forget? Here is the link to my Pinterest!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Day Brightener: A Funny Letter

Oh, the things children say! Here is a letter to brighten your afternoon. I might like to secure a unicorn servant myself!

Photo from Pinterest. Click to enlarge.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A Fairy Tale Night, A Very Real Fight

You are cordially invited to enjoy a fairy tale night and join a very real fight. I was ecstatic to look on the Rebelution Blog today and see a post about the incredible adventure my dear (real life!) friends are upon.
Join us for The Freedom Ball and join the fight against sex slavery.

*The Rebelution

*The Ball Blog

*Buy Your Ticket

Please go, give, spread the word, or pray! I hope to see you there.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Poem: Winter's Clutch

As you will see in an upcoming story, I like to include snippets of song and
poetry from the story world to open each chapter. In a recent story there is a
snippet from this short poem, and I think it goes well with the post I just
wrote. I penned this in May of last year, when a Colorado snow was melting, and
ice within my own heart was melting too.

-Winter's Clutch-

Fog erodes

And shadow becomes trees

And grim becomes glow.

Walls of ice crumble

And barriers solid

Lie in grass. Sparkle.

Brown and grays

Shrivel away

For blues and greens.

Is winter's clutch slacking?

Within me-


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Heart to Heart: Do You Have A Shadow?

A shadow. Do you have one? I did, for a long, long time.

A shadow is something that casts a darkness upon the whole of your life, and wherever you go, you cannot escape it. Sometimes, you can ignore and stifle its existence so well that it lingers forever on unbeknownst to you.

My shadow began brewing as a little girl when I slowly came to realize that I was not like the others. I was bigger, not as dainty, and preferred to run and pick flowers than sit around and talk about boring things. And then I began to see that I was not treated like the other girls. The old women I knew would give my friends nicknames, and kiss their cheeks, and talk about how sweet they were, and give them gifts like cookies and tea sets and dolls.
They ignored me.

And the harder I tried to please impress, the harder was the rejection. I was excluded. So I returned to my natural timidity. I retreated deeper into it.

You can imagine the loneliness only got worse as I became a teenager. I was continually excluded, or befriended only to be left behind. But the icing on the cake was when a best friend abandoned me for a cooler crowd, and a boy pretended to like me only to weasel his way into my small group of friends and get close to a cleverer, prettier friend of mine. To be treated like my heart and time and love were things to be crumpled up and thrown away...

And the hurt burst into bloom as a ferocious hatred for the whole world. Because it had no place for me, and no person with room in their heart for me.

My shadow was simply a broken heart.

Perhaps you know that shadow too. Perhaps you have another shadow. Maybe it's sorrow, maybe it's bitterness, maybe it's envy. And years have passed, and perhaps you've managed to ignore it. But as I came to see one startling day- it remains.

When I decided that I had to get rid of this I picked up a pen and poured my heart out to God with tears, every detail, every time I was excluded and forgotten, every time that left me feeling worthless, ugly and heartbroken. I let Him deal with every single instance.

*I got a different perspective on things.

*I forgave others.

*I got forgiveness myself.

*I was shown unconditional love, a love that freed me to love others, selfless.

Don't ignore your shadow. Pick up the broken pieces of your heart and use them as ammunition. Do battle with the dark, unleashing His light and life, forgiveness and truth upon it.And that colossal cloud can be a thing crumpled up. And thrown away.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Princess Lessons- For Fun: A Princess Book

I have followed Katie's blog for a long time. Even though she doesn't know that I exist, she is my elder sister in the Lord, a kindred spirit, and my hero. Reading her blog was one of the first times I came face-to-face with the sort of Christianity that I saw in the Bible- being lived out in our day and age.
One thing Katie has made me realize though, is that we are not all necessarily called to places like Uganda, but we as princesses ARE all called to Jesus Christ. And we can live that calling out anywhere, and in any amazing ways he may have for us. We just have to follow.

This book is Katie's amazing story in a volume that I've already been through several times (I got my library to purchase it!), and am sure to wear out with much love and reading. I love the sections that are Katie's personal journal entries, with a quaint border and script.

Towards the end of the book there are pictures of her life in Uganda that will make her all the more real to you.
Katie is a friend who will inspire you, encourage you, and give you a vision of happy and adventurous life lived in love of Him, wherever in the world you are.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Princess Skills- Perspective Change

I wrote this yesterday...

I've been seeing it this way: Stress. Too many tests. Half-crazy professors with unrealistic expectations. Trillions of papers due. Family drama I don't need. Not enough time to clean. Not enough time to write. Not enough time for anything but algebra. Evil algebra. The devil's handiwork. Hours and hours a day. Algebra. Consuming my life with pointy fangs of death that looked a lot like X and Y.

I've been dreading today, as a horridly busy day. Exams. Papers due. Amounts of homework that no dog could eat without erupting- and I sill have to prepare that lesson for Bible Study. But, I felt challenged to take this "Big Day," and start it with truly focused truly meaningful time with Him, and give this day to Him, my life a life to use, my story, a story to script. And He scripts the best of stories.

When focus is lost, the waves consume.

When focusing...

I remembered why I was here in the first place. I, who never wanted to set foot on a college campus, spontaneously received a scholarship, and fell in love with higher education, and learned the wonderful life of being a "missionary" anywhere, and it was all because of Him. I was here for Him. And when I make him first- suddenly life works. And suddenly, I see the beauty. And suddenly, I go from Rachel the Haggard to Rachel the Happy.

Now, I see it this way: Boundlessly blessed to have books and tuition paid for. A test, a chance to work hard, learn preperation skills, and grow in knowledge, a thing commited to prayer, a chance to take His hand. A paper due- a chance to display excellence. Homework, a chance to hone my skills or knowledge. Lunch, a time to spend alone with Him staring at the beautiful scenery. Eccentric hilarious professors that I love. A warm home to go to, not an empty home, but full of life and laughs and family. Algebra is even a magical display of God's wisdom, order and design.

Today, I challenge you to take a minute or two out for a perspective change. Pray, "Lord, let me see my life in light of eternal love and eternal life."

Monday, January 30, 2012

A Stirring Quote

Jonathan Edwards wrote this of a young woman he'd heard tell of, a young woman named Sara...

"They say there is a young lady in New Haven who is beloved of that Great Being who made and rules the world. They say that He fills her mind with exceeding sweet delight, and that she hardly cares for anything except to meditate on Him. If you present all the world to her, with the richest of its treasures, she disregards it. She is unmindful of any pain or affliction. She has a singular purity in her affections. You could not persuade her to compromise her true Love even if you would give her all the world. She possesses a wonderful sweetness, calmness, and kindness to those around her. She will sometimes go about from place to place, singing sweetly. She seems to be always full of joy and pleasure, and no one knows exactly why. She loves to be alone, walking in the fields and groves, and seems to have Someone invisible always conversing with her."

Jonathan would later marry Sara.

I long to be a Sara. My sister who has gone to heaven before me was named Sara.

"Sara" means princess.

Do you have any favorite quotes that thrill you with their poetry, inspire you with their vision, and uplift you with your truth? I'd love to hear them!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Princess Lessons: Princess Skills

Sunshine Recipes

Sometimes we make shadows blacker than they are. We can avoid the rain or dance in it- it's a cliche and so overused that I think we forget the simple truth behind it. Here are some recipes for thankfulness and cheeriness to brighten your day:

*Go write a list of things God has blessed you with(I keep a whole notebook).
*Take out time to praise, whether with a CD, or on an instrument. I love to get on my piano and play beauty and praise into the shadows that come.
*Go to a pretty out-of-doors spot, empty your heart to Him, and let Him fill you back up. Listen to the songs in the silence.
*Turn to the book of Psalms (34 is what I've been meditating on lately, and so precious) and pray that He would lead you to one you need to hear.
*(Don't laugh at me). Blow bubbles! I have a stash of bitty bubble bottles, 17 though I am. Just give the wand a wave, just watch the dancing globes of shine and sparkly, and just know that life is full of good things!
*If you like peanut butter cookies (these are on the sweet side!) I'll often make these
15 minute cookies to cheer up my heart and my household. When money is tight this is also a grand go-to recipe.

I once read somewhere that depression cannot thrive in a heart of thankfulness. Having battled with the throes of depression, I can testify that this is quite true! Feel free to share your own "Sunshine Recipes," I'd love to hear them!

Update: God has done it! And we got to be a part of it! $54,000 raised for orphans in India!!! More than we asked or dreamt! :D I can't praise Him enough. Thank you for everyone who has given and prayed!
Second Update: It looked grand on a different computer, but I realize the color scheme of this blog is horribly off... I'll be working on that. ;)