Saturday, February 23, 2013

tis the gift to be simple

My life is simple.  Sometimes I struggle with that.

It can be hard sometimes for your life to consist of waking up, working out, eating, showering, picking out an outfit, doing makeup and hair... then... checking the blog and facebook... then... doing whatever dishes are sitting in the sink... then... figuring out what's for supper... then... making sure the house is tidy... then... checking the blog and facebook again... then... maybe, if I feel like it, playing the piano for a while, making a piece of jewelry, or diving into the pile of sewing projects I have... then... what movies have I still not watched???

Days come, days go... and I can forget to see the joy.

I overlook the things I've learned, accomplished, and enjoyed to instead complain about lonliness.

So, today, I am sharing some joys.  AND sharing some fun pictures.

Because, when your life is simple, you take pictures of everything!

I have learned how to do a four-strand braid!!!  AND. I. LOVE. IT.  The free time I have has given me a chance to play around with hairstyles I never had time to try before.  I'm learning a lot about what looks good and is easy to do in my hair!

I'm trying to start taking better care of my fingernails.  I have a nail-biting problem, mainly from stress.  Two weeks ago, Jessie did my nails with these pretty lace-patterned nail stickers and I really loved how they looked.  I refused to bite them and ruin the design.  Once the stickers began to peel, I filed and buffed my nails (for the first time in my LIFE!) and then repainted them a pretty blue color with sparkles on the top halfs for a "wintery" feel.  I haven't bitten my nails in TWO WEEKS, people!  :-D

I've played around with straightening my hair.  I was surprised at how long it has gotten!  For those of you who are fairly new to my blog, my hair is naturally straight/wavy and I have a perm right now... so having my straight hair back every once in a while is actually really fun!

I've been collecting mugs!!!  The one on the left is a Valentine's Day gift from Andrew, which I adore (he really knows how to get me things that I will enjoy)!  The other mug is one my sister found and showed me one day... so I instantly fell in love and went to buy my own.  :-)  Gotta love coffee, tea, and the awesome mugs that hold them!

I've been unashamed of doing goofy things in public.  There is something freeing about being married to someone who will love you no matter what.  ;-)  While shopping at an antique store last year with Andrew and Natalie, I grabbed some items (hat, jacket, and doctor bag) and stood in front of one of the cool decorative walls for my "Doctor Quinn, Medicine Woman" photo-shoot!  This is my attempt at a Jane Seymour expression.  :-)

I have been loving sleep... and taking pictures of other people when they are asleep.  I have fallen in love with my siblings all over again.  They've gone through some struggles with me leaving home and it is always special to be able to visit with them.  Bekah Ann acts like it is Christmas whenever I come over... running up to me for big hugs and then exclaiming to everyone that "Rachel is here!".

Taken in March 2010.  Left picture:  Jessie (age 14).  Top Row:  Sammie Dee (age 6) and Josh (age 10).  Bottom Row:  Daniel (age 4) and Natie (age 12).  Can't believe how little they are!

I've been editing old pictures.  I took these pictures of my siblings almost three years ago and SO enjoyed giving them a faded look.  My family loves to dress up in different costumes... I'm thinking another "portrait" photo-shoot is due, don't you???

I've been loving opportunities that are given to me to step out of the ordinary.  Like the teen retreat.  Like something that happened last night:  Andrew and I were in the check-out line at Meijer when I noticed that the lady behind us looked a bit different.   It wasn't her Mennonite outfit that made her stand out to me (you see a lot of people dressed like that in Indiana), it was the little, tight white cap covering her head with a pretty satin blue scarf tied around it.   I recognized the style.   I remembered those white caps laying around in my own home when I was a little girl.  
I don't like talking to strangers, but I couldn't ignore the urge to say something.   So I quietly asked if she had cancer, making sure to start my question with "Hope you don't mind me asking".   She smiled and answered that, yes, she did.   I inquired as to the the type and asked how her treatments were going.   She shared that it was breast cancer and that she was actually bearing up pretty well under all of the chemo.   I shared that my Mom was a 13-year cancer survivor and also had three children post-cancer.   Her eyes lit up and then she asked if my mom's hair had come back.   I said that it had and her smile showed up again as she explained, while gazing at my waist-length hair, that one of the hardest things for her had been losing her own long hair.   We talked about her job and how her employers had been so understanding.   As I got ready to pay for my own items, I asked her name and she told me.   Then I said I would pray for her.   I am so thankful to have bumped into this lady.   I only pray that the Lord will heal her body and, more importantly, heal her soul if she doesn't know Him as her Savior.

God is so amazing in the everyday things, isn't He?
I am learning to be unafraid of the simple life.  Because life may not always be so simple.  It truly is a gift to live day to day with safety, choices, love, and grace.

Is your life simple?  Sometimes to the point where you wonder what the purpose of each day is?

Have no fear.  Each day is made by the Lord to be filled with rejoicing and gladness, simply because He is in that day.  He can use you in the tiny little things like doing laundry or chatting with a sibling/parent.  He can give you joy in the seemingly-unimportant things like sipping coffee or mending a skirt.  Maybe if we stop looking for the next best thing, the next "profound" incident, we would see the beauty right in front of us. 
A simplicity that, if recognized for the blessing it truly is, would be seen as profound; an opportunity, a freedom.

A gift.


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this, Rachel. I needed it today.

In Christ,


Anna said...

Oh yes, I would love seeing a photo shoot on your blog =)


Livia Rachelle said...

Your hair is gorgeous. Could you do a tutorial for that braid? I have done a five strand braid, but it was a side braid, and I would have to look that up again to do it again I think :p

Patrizia said...

I really like the long hair on you! Very pretty! Im a nail biter too... I hate it! I use to have long nails & now I cant stop biting them. Im ashamed of my hands. :/ Ok, youve inspired me to stop. :)

Anonymous said...

This post was a blessing to me, my friend!
-Alison T.

Natasha Atkerson said...

Wow! Your hair is super long straight! And yes, you totally rocked the dr. Quinn look! I have to say that my life isn't exciting either, I am okay with it. It's good to enjoy whatever season of life we are in- wherever God places us. Natasha

Anonymous said...

There is nothing wrong with picking up a part-time job or even taking a class at the local community college. Those things can be fun too :)

Rachel said...

Anonymous- Yes, I have thought of that. My dilemma is that we only have one car and my hubby needs it for work (plus, I don't have a driver's liscence; still working on getting that). I also don't want to spend the extra money on taking a class. I'll soon be working on setting up an online shop to sell some of the accessories that I make.

Thanks for your comment!