Friday, December 31, 2010

two-oh-one-oh

Thankful for these past 365 days. During this year, I've had the chance to laugh, love, serve, grow, cry, apply, doubt, wonder, feel, sing, explore, fly, learn, teach, sit, listen, wait, watch and travel. The Lord has given me so much joy this year and more specifically these past couple of months; He has given me a cup that runneth over!

Right now I'm preparing to start off a new year with some more travelling. I will be spending January 1 in the Atlanta, Miami and finally Port-au-Prince airport, and spending the following next days outside of P-a-P. This trip is planned to be much like when I visited back in August – working with local school children and sharing Christ love with them.

So thankful this is how I get to start out a great, great 2-0-1-1!

p.s. - I have a new nephew! Shepherd "Shep" Eugene Tanner... sweet boy. So thankful for this little blessing!



Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas is coming!

Christmas is less than two weeks away. Thirteen daysss, people!

But this month has a couple of other exciting things happening too...

1.) Caleb is coming hommmme! We found out last week that Caleb gets to have leave from December 23 until December 27. Only 96 hours but I am already so thankful for those hours since he wasn't allowed to take leave at Thanksgiving. Yeaaahhhh! Can't wait to see him!

2.) Baby Tanner #2 is scheduled to arrive soon! Jessie is due on December 27th but I honestly think (and hope!) it will be before then. I am so excited to meet this little one... hip, hip, hooray!


3.) I am in the midst of preparing for my trip to Haiti. While my trip isn't in December, it is not far behind and definitely on my mind alot right now. There are many things going on in Haiti right now and I'm praying that the Lord's will be done in all. I'm so thankful I have the privilege to serve the sweet children of this country!


So that is what's going on in my world... what about you?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

sing over me

I heard this song at church Sunday morning and have found so much peace and encouragement through its words. May we all find peace and rest in Him!
I live in the wonder of Your love
You rise like the sun in my heart
Even when the night draws near to me
There You are

I will wade in the water of mercy
I will walk in the light of Your will
Whatever should come against me
Teach me to be still
As you

Sing over me
Draw me close to rest in Your peace
Sing over me
Oh, sing

Sing of Your unending faithfulness
That knows no doubt or fear
In the face of all that I don't know yet
Remind me of who You are

You are mighty
You will save
Rejoice over me with singing
You will quiet
By Your love
Glory over me with singing

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I like pictures. Give me a book and chances are I'm going to flip to the middle to see if it has photos from a persons life. Well on Sunday night as I was leaving Bible study (which happens to be in the same room as my Dad's church library), a picture of an old woman caught my eye .


While it wasn't this is exact picture, the face was the same and I wondered who this woman was. I decided to borrow the book. (By the way, Dad, if you are reading this, I borrowed your book=) As I turned over to the front cover, I recognized the name Corrie Ten Boom but honestly, had never taken the time to find out who this woman was or what she was known for. Tonight as I began reading the book, I cannot tell how many times I had to stop and really digest the depth of the words she wrote. I can tell it's going to challenge me and help me to remember to rest solely in Him.

So glad this woman's picture caught my eye and I picked this one up off the shelf...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

truly thankful

As we were singing songs of thanksgiving and praise today at church, I thought to myself, I really do have so much to be thankful for. I have an incredible family, I have a job that I love, I have friends that make me laugh and encourage me, and really, everything that has happened to me in life has been for good.

And as I stood there thinking about this, I felt like I was missing the point. While I certainly think it is good to be thankful and praise God for what He provided, I was missing the whole point of the thankfulness we were singing about. Yes, Jesus has blessed me. But, what about people whose lives have not gone according to plan? What about people that have lost and gone through difficult times? Are they not supposed to be thankful?

And then I realized, regardless of what I have, it is only in addition to what God did for me 2,000 years ago and that was sending His Son to be a sacrifice for me. A sacrifice that would make a way to my Heavenly Father. My thankfulness cannot and should not be based on the overflow of his generosity. He is enough.


"Jesus is all satisfying. God is enough. He is Good. He will take care of us. He will satisfy us. He will get us through this. He is our treasure. Whom have I in heaven, but you and on earth there is nothing that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart fail, but you are the strength of my heart and my portion forever. God is most glorfied in you, when we are most satisfied in Him." -John Piper

Enough... that is all I need.

Friday, November 19, 2010

the wonder of the weekend

there are very few weeks that I beg for the weekend. usually, Friday sneaks its way into my schedule before I even have time to think about complaining about how the weekend can't get here soon enough.

that was until this week... a very productive week – but also a loooong week.

so here's to the weekend and me JUMPING for joy at the thought of a lazy Saturday! hoooray!

cheers!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

too good to be true

I am a very picky about shoes. VERY. Especially boots.

And not only am I very picky, but I also hate spending lots of money on things.

Well after google-ing all the keywords for what I wanted in a boot, I finally found a pair of boots that I L-O-V-E.

Love, love, love.

And wouldn't you know. They are $348.

Blast.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

time keeps on slipping, into the future...

How does a month go by so fast?


I've experienced alot of life these past 30 days. And through life, like always, God has been faithful. So, so faithful.

He has been teaching and stretching me in so many different areas and not just through His word, but through experiences, other people, tests and life. Hopefully, I will come through it all stronger, wiser and more able to serve Him.

Friday, October 15, 2010

it's a great dayyyy to be alive!

Out of all the years I've lived, so far numero 2-4 is turning out to be the best. And yes, I know it's only been two days.

But here are some examples of why this day was so good.

1.) For the second day in a row, I woke up on time! This is no small feat for me, just ask my mom who has to call and wake me up almost every day. Sorry, Momsie.

2.) Today, when I see what kind of soups our kitchen had, I found out that they had one of my favorites, Butternut Squash... Win!

3.) After work (I left half day), I went and had a manicure and pedicure. If you know me, this is not something I ever do. But since I had a gift certificate and the wedding this weekend, I went for it. It was increddddible.

But you know what, out of all those little things that make life a little sweeter, one thing topped them all: finding out this little boy is going to be a big brother!


Congrats AB & Joel! I can't wait!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

one down...


... three hundred and sixty-four more to go; and I know it will flyyyyy by. I'm so thankful for all the people that helped me start off my 24th year-o-fun!

My day involved the following: morning coffee, a new move in at work, sweet co-workers and cake, Chick-fil-A with the fam for dinner (on pajama night nonetheless), and finishing wedding programs for a sweet friend who is getting married in two days! Simple. And I loved it.

And now, I'm getting ready to fall into a busy weekend. One of my best friends from childhood is getting M-A-R-R-I-E-D. So many memories with this girl: dancing around to Backstreet Boys, Jock Jams & Mariah Carey, her awesome JTT (Jonathan Taylor Thomas) poster on the
back of her bedroom door, riding my bike to her house, double dates - when technically we weren't allowed to date, cheering her on in her state basketball games, and so on. So, let's take a gander down memory lane so you can see my beautiful friend who is getting married. Shall we? (note: these pictures are all incredible... incredibly awful. consider yourself warned.)

Senior homecoming. She won because she is way more everything than I will ever be=) And obviously because I look like a man. Yipes. Why I ever thought that a hair do I saw in Seventeen magazine actually work on my hair, I still do not know. And apparently it was humid that night too.

These last two were from about two years ago when our sweet friend Claire got married, one taken at a shower and one from Claire's wedding day. (Yay for Claire being in the wedding too!)

So anyways, while you are checking items off your to-do list this weekend, take a minute to pray for my friend as she starts her new life. And in the meantime, I will be having a ball celebrating her new start with her and taking pictures to share with you in the days to come!

See you soon!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

celebrate we will 'cause life is short but sweet for certain

The miners are all out... to celebrate my birthday tomorrow!

And if those two things (miners and my birthday, if you're confused) weren't reason enough to celebrate, Brooke Fraser has released a new cd! And it works out perfectly because I'm claiming this song as my anthem for year number 24.

Do do do do do do do do do do...


... celebrate we will 'cause life is short but sweet for certain!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

MINER details...

Yes, I spelled it miner. That's because I am talking the miners that have been trapped for the past two months and one week. And because I like puns. But back to the miners.

yikes, that is a loooong time. this timeline gives a brief idea of what's been going on. I became interested in the story when I read this post about what they were receiving down under... and I'm not talking about Australia people.

Can you imagine, being underground for that long? I went spelunking my freshman year of college and only stayed over night. I cannot even begin to imagine almost 70 nights knowing that you can't get out. yipes. I think I'm getting a rash thinking about it!

So why am I talking about all of this, you ask? Well I just spent the last 30 minutes watching one of the miners being rescued.

underground...

what was pulling them out of the ground.

his "esposa". bless.

almostttt there!


she is excited. And rightfully so!

EARTH. look at that s-m-i-l-e =)



Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. Praying that they all are rescued just as joyfully as this man was.

Monday, October 11, 2010

two months in one post. wowza.

well you didn't think I would let two months go by without blogging, did you?

oh you did? sorry about that one. one day turned into two, two days turned into three weeks –and here we are, one month and 30 days later... distant friends who barely even know each other any more. so let's correct that: my name is Rachel and I've missed you!

Now, rather than me ramble on about why I haven't blogged or what I've been preoccupied with, I'll keep it short and sweet.

what I've been listening to

what I've been inspired by

where I've been: here. here. and here.

what I've eaten TOO much of

whose wedding I've been getting excited about

what I've baked and iced

what has made me laugh every time I've turned it on

what I think is one of the most incredible experiences of my life to date

what I've been laughing about being deemed real news
(and I can't leave out their hilarious remixes)

what I am slightly embarrassed to admit I L-O-V-E reading

So that ought to keep you busy/entertained/dumbfounded for the next few minutes. Until next time, how have you been?
p.s. - I have been keeping up with you all... mostly because I really do love what is going on in your life=)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

merci, Saviour!

wow-weee. deeeeeeeep breaths. try to take it ALL in.

A week ago right now, I was laying down to sleep after spending the day clearing away rubble during the day... rubble from an apartment that crumbled as an earthquake literally shook the country of Haiti exactly seven months ago today.

Clearing away rubble was only a part of my trip to Haiti; one day of the six that are a quite honestly a bit of a haze but yet so vivid at that same time.

I laughed. I sang. I danced. I listened. I got my "hair did". I felt His presence. I experienced sadness all while feeling joy - deep down in my soul.

And here I am: back to my current reality. A reality that includes water that is clean enough to brush my teeth, Chick-fil-A sandwiches and streets that are clear of trash and rocks - all of which I am very thankful for.

While I learned alot, I find that God is still teaching, revealing and making new impressions on my heart everyday. I look forward to sharing it all with you.

For now, I will leave you with a picture of this future heartbreaker.

Bless . . .

Sunday, August 1, 2010

al. most. here.

I knew it.

I just knew it would flyyyyyy by. And it's almost here!

Only (pauses for a minute to count the hours) 54 hours until I get ready to head to Atlanta. I've been busy this weekend running errands, trying to figure out what to pack, washing clothes and stocking up on necessities (see photo below).

a little protein and some "just in case" that I pray I don't even have to open=)

Amidst all the chaos, I've also tried to take time just to be still... to be still and prepare my heart for what's to come. I've asked the Lord to show me His purpose for me on this trip, how He wants to use me and how to be open to what He has in store. I'm so excited to see what He reveals.

For now these words will sum things up, better than I can:

Now, Lord, I would be Yours alone
And live so all might see
The strength to follow Your commands
Could never come from me
Oh Father, use my ransomed life
In any way You choose
And let my song forever be
My only boast is You
Hallelujah! All I have is Christ
Hallelujah! Jesus is my life

- lyrics from one of my very favorite songs, "All I Have Is Christ"

Sunday, July 25, 2010

10 days and counting . . .

Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you.

Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.


It's almost here! I'm jump, jump, jumping for joy!

Okay, okay... I'm actually sitting on a couch. But my heart is jumping!

Only 10 days (and lots of work) between me and the plane ride that will take me to a country that is looking for the Light.

It's been a little over two months since I wrote about a new opportunity... Those two months have flown by and I know these next ten days will go by even faster. During these past two months, I've had the chance to tell many people about my upcoming trip to Haiti. Some have asked what I'll be doing, some have asked what can they do to help. Honestly, when I said I would go, I literally had no idea what I would be doing or what people could do to help.
But, dun dun dahhhhhhhh - now I do!

Hmmm, let me rephrase that: I have a good idea... but let's be honest, who knows what could happen.

So here goes. Our team [seven college students, my friend Mark and me] will be in Haiti for 7 days. The teams that have already gone this summer have worked with different churches, which usually have schools associated with them. They've been doing different ministry with children and young adults, playing games with children and showing everyone the joy that Christ has given us. I can't wait to be apart of this and start this adventure the Lord has paved the way for!

People from my church and work have asked what they can collect for me to take and so we've come up with a few supplies and things that we can give to the kids while we are there. So here goes: Bandaids, Alcohol Wipes, Candy (not anything that will melt - I'm going to hot, hot, hot Haiti people!=), Crayons, SillyBands, Balloons, JumpRopes.

Of course not everyone lives close enough to send me off with silly bands and alcohol wipes. So, what else can you do? You can p-r-a-y, PRAY. You can pray for specific things like getting to the airport safely or for our interactions with the people we will meet with during our trip or that I won't die in the swelllterrring HEAT. Kidding about the last one. I've got that one COVERED=)

I am so thankful for this trip; thankful for the things God has already shown me and for the things I know He will show me.

My heart is open. Come and fill me up.


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Thursday, July 8, 2010

analyze this

I read into things. I look for signs.
[But usually only when the things are relevant to what I want God to be showing me. Pretty sorry, huh?]

For example, when my phone recently deleted only the following 7 photos (out of 1600+ photos I have in my library!) only to re-upload them at the end of the camera roll, this is how I interpreted this sign on my iPhone from God...

Maybe I should move to South America...

or somewhere that I can go skiing whenever I want...

I mean, come on. could it be any CLEARER?!

In South America or wherever this cold snowy place is,
I shall design invitations and plan baby showers all day looongg...

And then I will meet my husband. He will buy me flowers.

and because I loved the flowers so much - BAM! - I'm pregnant.

and not with just one, but with five children. Yipes!


So there you have it. A little peak-see-do inside my brain.
[Scary place, isn't it?]

Does your mind work like that too?

No?

Oh. I was just kidding then...

Friday, June 25, 2010

open WIDDDE

Yesterday I went to the dentist.

Today I went back to the dentist.

The dentist told me he thinks I should have my jaw broken and reset.

I will never go back to the dentist.



Saturday, June 12, 2010

no... freedom is not free.


Sometimes I have to be put into direct contact with something to understand and appreciate it more deeply. (I hope that makes sense...)

For me, appreciating our military came truly only after my brother Caleb joined the Marines. I had always been thankful for the service and sacrifice but honestly, I never realized (and probably will never fully realize) the great sacrifice that it entails.

When our family visited Parris Island back in April, I was so glad that Caleb had made it through the dreaded boot camp experience that he had written in letters to us about. But that gladness was also shadowed with fear because although he was finished, that meant that he was one step closer to the possibility of being deployed somewhere that puts him into danger. Suddenly, everything became a little more real.

the few. the proud.

I just finished watching Pearl Harbor for probably the fifth time... but the first since Caleb became one of those men that could soon be fighting for our country. I couldn't help but cry realizing that this movie wasn't just an idea someone had created in their head and put onto screen, but rather an actual event that cost many their lives. Today I was reminded how much I need to pray for our country, our leadership, and my brother.

Recently, I attended a Memorial Day service and one of the speakers there read a poem called "Freedom Isn't Free". I'm once again reminded of these words.


Thanks to all who serve our country so courageously.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

getting old and trying new things.

Has it really been a whole year??? Happy Birthday, Lo!

It really is crazy how time goes by so quickly. Tomorrow I have my yearly evaluation at work. I started at my job as an intern on June 3, 2008, just 24 days after receiving my college diploma. And now I have my second yearly evaluation. WILD.

Anyways... enough of being mushy about how I am growing o-l-dddddd.

Yes. That's me. It's been a while, hasn't it?

Did I tell you about Michael & Anna's wedding? No? Well, I should have. Because it was one of the most beautiful weddings and most fun reception I've ever been to. Seriously. Don't believe me? Watch this INCREDIBLE video that I've been drooling over for the past week (I recommend in full screen)!

Seriously. The people. The angles. The focus. The muuuuussssic. Will someone please teach me how to make a movie like that? And did I mention I'm friends with those two? Movie Stars.

Speaking of making movies... wait... before you even think about, no, your's truly was not cast in a movie. I'm talking about literally making movies. Like in iMovie. I just signed up for a class at or local Mac store today! Maybe I will learn something and maybe I will share a video with you when I am through. Maybe. And then one day, after lots and lots of practice, other wannabe girls will be posting my videos on their little-o-blogs wishing they could be just like ME. ok... so maybe not.

In other news: I want to take music lessons. Preferably violin or piano. Have you ever played either of these? Any tips for a non-musical person like me?

oh and by the way, it's so good to see you here. -rcq

Friday, May 14, 2010

a new opportunity...


Earlier in the week I wrote about a trip that I embarked on exactly three years ago today... but little did I know I would soon have the opportunity to experience international mission trip again so soon.

About two months ago one of my co-workers went to Haiti and Dominican Republic on a missions trip. When he returned I was able to help him with a powerpoint. I quickly fixed the pictures like he asked me to and got ready to watch his presentation. About five minutes and 20 pictures into his talk about what they had done on his trip, I was crying. Not weeping uncontrollably, but I felt a connection while looking through those pictures - one that took me back to my 10 days back in the summer of 2007. I missed it.

And then... I got a call yesterday from a friend that works with the BCM at Mercer University. I actually didn't hear the call as I was working on a move of some of our new residents. I got back to the car and saw that I had a voicemail so I listened to on the way back into the office. In short the message said, "there is a spot for you on a trip to Haiti if you want to go".

Um, YES PLEASE!

So I have this chance to go to Haiti and work with children and possibly doing some relief work, but... But-But-Buttttttt. I have job. So what am I supposed to do? Just take a week off of work and leave the country?

Well, YES! That is exactly what I am going to do! I was able to talk to my boss this morning and she was so supportive. I don't think I quit smiling all day long (well, except for when I realized at 4 pm that I had still NOT eaten lunch. no smiling then). I am so looking forward to serving alongside a team of 7 others and seeing what the Lord will do and show me.

I know that there are great and wonderful things in store!

(photo found here)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

I'm feelin' a little blue-ue-ue . . .

Well I am not feeling blue in the "I'm so sad" sense but rather can't stop thinking about turquoise. cyan. teal. etc.

I really don't know what to call this spread of current colors that I l-o-v-e, LOVE but can I tell you about where it all started?

Three years ago, May 14th to be exact, I travelled to a little country called Meh-hee-coh, or as some like to say, Mexico. The trip was with a team of about ten other people that I had yet to meet and we were going to be doing free medical clinics for the people who lived in the city and also some Mayan villages. I was so excited. Our schedule lasted about ten days and looking back, I have so many incredible and life changing memories from that 10 day trip.

My team that I went with - loved them.

Sharing Jesus and practical help with people in need - one of the most eye opening things I've ever experienced.

And the little girl that I held in the Mayan village while her mother saw our nurses - her laugh filled my heart with joy.

Oh and did I mention our nightly Nertz tournaments? AWESOME.

These memories all made the trip one to remember for a lifetime.

So now you're wondering... what does turquoise, cyan, teal, etc. have to do with Meh-hee-coh? Well I'm about to tell you. We were privileged to stay on the beautiful beach (pictured below) and woke up every morning to this little image God painted for us. We snorkeled around in the late afternoons and apparently even got a little to close to a "BIGGGG FEEEESH!", that's Big Fish (as in SHARK) for all of you who don't speak Spanish.

Do you see those colors? So calming. So peaceful.
Take me backkkkkk...
But unfortunately, I can't spend my weekends at the beach, so why not bring these colors into my (DREAM) home?

First, I will buy this door...

and behind that door is my fresh and airy entryway...

and inside the closet I don't use, I will create a secret but oh-so functional office...

and then here in my breakfast room which will be full of fresh flowers, white china and serving ware will be perfectly accented by this shade of blue...

and then I will sip on coffee in my loungey-living room...

before making my way to my bed that is subtly painted a pale turquoise.

And every time I enter each room, I will remember my adventure in the summer of 2007 and the image God painted for me.

(Images of my dream home found here, here, here, here, here and here.)