...to be real and transparent-always content

Wow! I was reading over my last post and came across this statement in the midst of my list of life goals. I find it completely crazy that when I wrote this list some two months ago, I was hedging on discontentment, and only the people who love me most would have known. But shortly after that post, my life nose-dived into a sea of discontent!

The past month or so everywhere I turn, I keep being reminded of this one concept... Paul says it in Philippians 4...the secret to being content is to remember that "...I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." I have quoted that verse my entire life. I have even criticized myself and others for taking it out of context! But, as of late, the true meaning has begun to bear fruit. Paul says:

Philippians 4:11-13 (Amplified Bible)

11Not that I am implying that I was in any personal want, for I have learned how to be a]">[a] content (satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or disquieted) in whatever state I am.

12I know how to be abased and live humbly in straitened circumstances, and I know also how to enjoy plenty and live in abundance. I have learned in any and all circumstances the secret of facing every situation, whether well-fed or going hungry, having a sufficiency and enough to spare or going without and being in want.

13I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who b]">[b]infuses inner strength into me; I am c]">[c]self-sufficient in Christ's sufficiency].

I have found myself hiding in self-pity and longing for...the next big thing! Every time I have started to get frustrated, the Lord has reminded me...through music, license plates, radio programs, secular tv shows, little children, etc... My Contentment comes from knowing Christ!

Ephesians 1:3-5
"All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.
Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us to be faultless in his eyes.
God decided in advance to adopt us into His very own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted, and it gave in great pleasure."

Stop and think about it.

God has given me every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms?? What does that mean? I don't even know. I am supposed to sit down in my position next to Jesus and let the Holy Spirit reveal to me all that God has given me.... BEFORE I walk out my faith. So often I try to walk out my faith and get tired, weary, frustrated...DISCONTENT...because I still haven't discovered, it is Christ Who has accomplished all of this...FOR ME!

Lord, help me to be real...transparent...and ALWAYS content.


What I really want...

Why do we have to make life so complicated? I've always done life according to what is the right thing to do...I have rarely said what I really mean. Not that I'm lying, I tell people what I think...but I rarely let people into the heart of the real "Rachel"...I'm not exactly sure why, but I have a sneaky, suspicious feeling it's because somewhere deep down I believe that people don't really want to know or that they won't be able to handle the simplicity of what I want or who I am. This is absurd because it really is no different than anything that anyone else wants.

I want...
...to marry my best friend
...to be married for at least 50 years
...to have 4 biological children
...to adopt 4 more (hopefully internationally)
...to own a couple golden retrievers
...to live a life worth imitating...healthy marriage/family relationships
...to make my home a safe haven for my children, a place of rest for my husband & myself
...to raise my children to be spiritual oaks trees
...to be able to take good care of my parents as they age
...to pay for my parents to take a trip to Australia

...to own a cabin in the woods
...to own a home and some land in Ireland
...to be financially independent & debt free by 50
...to have enough money to fund lots of Kingdom work, to take care of my loved ones but to live a contented simple life.
...to live for a season in Oregon, California, Colorado & Turkey (as well as an Asian country)

...to be a discipler
...to be a worshiper
...to be an intercessor
...to be real and transparent-always content
...to LIVE in the awareness of God's Presence
...to see someone healed as a result of prayer (hopefully all the time)
...to see someone delivered from demonic oppression as a result of prayer (hopefully all the time)
...to see someone raised from the dead as a result of prayer (hopefully all the time)

...to intentionally and successfully mentor 100 influential women over the course of my lifetime
...to obtain a Ph.D (of course, after I obtain a Masters degree)
...to write books for a living
...to speak/understand Spanish, Arabic, Hebrew, Greek, Turkish & Gaelic
...to teach at the college level
...to climb a mountain
...to plant an orchard
...to run a 5K and then a 10K
...to cultivate an orchid
...to learn to garden

...to visit Dubai
...to visit St. Petersburg, Russia
...to visit Cypress
...to retrace on of Paul's missionary journeys
...to tour Europe
...to tour the Holy Land and be baptized in the Jordan River
...to ride in a gondola in Venice
...to take each of my children on a coming of age trip
...to take one family trip around the country in a camper

... I want to ENJOY my life...to have no regrets...to KNOW this is how I was created to LIVE...

(these are the things I thought were even believable...the rest, are between me & Jesus...)

As I evaluate my life, I feel like I have been striving...striving for some intangible goal...and it all has taken me away from my true heart...to be a wife, a mother, a writer, a mentor, a teacher...someone who lives a full, adventurous, peaceful life...someone who leave a true legacy...a carbon footprint that points to Jesus and the Kingdom of God...


Tonight, for the first time since I began at Hannah's House, I cooked for everyone-white bean chicken chili & homemade banana bread-comfort foods! This a rarely practiced but deeply enjoyed hobby. Then we watched one of my all-time favorite movies, "Anne of Green Gables!" It's always fun to introduce a new group of ladies to Anne, Diana & Gilbert, Marilla & Matthew... and Rachel Lynd... Every time is like being with old friends. I still giggle at the drama and cry at the breath-taking, unsuspected moments that are common to life. As I was nestled in my arm chair, wrapped in an old college hoodie, I felt something rush over me... joy over life and all of it's simple pleasures...

Lately, I've been "re-connecting" with myself. Sometimes this ministry can dehumanize one so much. I can become so accustomed to taking care of the needs of others that I lose my identity, my sense of joy in the simple things. I tend to just go through the motions, nonstop moving, no true rest. I took a few days to visit with my parents this weekend, which really helped! When I was home, I started reading through an old journal from my senior year in high school, it took me back :-) As I perused over the crushes from almost a decade ago, the hopes and dreams, the failures and insecurities, I couldn't help but notice...not much has changed...maybe the circumstances...the location, the relationship, the role or position, but I'm still Rachel... a woman always looking on to the next great occasion, hoping to leave an impact, believing with every idealistic fiber of my being that all things work together for the good of those who love God and who are called according to His purpose... This is a truth that the world would love to snuff out of my heart, but I'm finding it to be true more every day that I live.

My journals reveal that I'm a hopeless romantic, always hoping for someone who will be just as invested in the dreams in my heart as I am. It's almost comical as I see the cycle of disappointment repeat itself over and over again, each time I tell myself, "I won't do that again..." or "I'm older and wiser..." or "Next time..." haha.

There was a time when I would have been keenly disappointed in myself over such a reminder-that I'm not really learning from my mistakes; but instead, only graduating to new circumstances... However, now I look and I see that it is in these moments that I meet myself coming & going....and God has an opportunity to show me Himself...and instill with me a new courage. Recognizing my own pattern of humanness reminds me of how much I need Jesus, how much my strength truly comes from the Holy Spirit dwelling inside, transforming me one experience at a time.

Watching "Anne" tonight, something crossed my mind. We spend our lives saying "Hello" & "Goodbye." Relationships always start with "hello." And, depending upon the impact of the "hello" and the significance of that person's investment in our lives, "goodbye" comes in time. These greetings are all unique. If our relationship has any kind of real meaning, we usually remember one greeting more than another. "Hello"s are usually more fun... if we remember a "goodbye" more than a "hello" it usually is a reflection of relational unhealthiness... I don't know. Ha! I'm rambling... But think about it...most often we can remember how we met someone. Saying goodbye to a dear friend or loved one is usually an embrace, a moment of cherishing each other...until the next time we say hello. But goodbye to someone with whom we are either angry, or by whom we've been hurt, usually leaves a wake of unresolved emotion...memories that are replayed over and over... they are the last and sometimes only memories we have of an individual. Whether we like it or not, we have to say hello and have to say goodbye...but it's up to us what we remember and how we replay that memory.

I'm not quite sure where I'm going with all of that...but take it to heart...I'd appreciate insight.


Love Life!

This weekend has been so...beautiful...in so many ways! I just got back from St. Louis, MO. It is a such a lovely city. It is full of green space and I love the historical, ornate architecture and little details. The weather was gorgeous. AND I giggled and laughed and enjoyed being a girl with 12 precious women from TLC. We went to the Joyce Meyer Women's Conference, "Love Life." The sessions were focused onf "Mind, Mouth, Moods & Attitudes." Let's say, it was full of moments to ponder. I enjoyed every minute of it...I'm still processing the conference... there was one speaker who intrigued me so much! Dr. Caroline Leaf is a neuroscientist (?) Her session was all about showing how science supports the simple truths of scripture... she showed through the complexities of the brain how we can experience freedom in the Spirit... I know, I know...how? Well, I took 10 pages of notes...and bought two books. I plan to blog on them as I read, it will make more sense later.



overdue update

WOW, it's been a minute since I last posted something. Life has been a blur ever since I arrived here in Lexington. The truth is...I've been wanting to post but sometimes it's hard to know where to begin.

Lexington is beginning to feel like home after 4 months. I'm not sure how to sum up the changes that I've been experiencing. I am still living here in the center, sharing a bathroom with 6 other women, never really being away from their ups & downs. But God has been granting me the grace through this season of "securing the foundations" to live within earshot of the very women I minister to. I've been learning about leadership...and boundaries...and discipleship. It's been fun. Every day I see the Lord working in women's lives...I watch women transform before my very eyes...

About two months ago, I decided to choose a home church, True Life Church, is literally a 30 second walk from my back porch. The people of the church are beautiful...real...like a family. We have a great new pastor and his wife gives the best hugs ever! Their children are precious and I'm learning to have a pastor who is not my father.

I am finding a neat friendship with a woman that truly intrigues me. For years, I've prayed for a mentor and the Lord has sent them to me for short seasons, but this woman is like the 'energizer bunny'. She is involved in so many aspects of business, life, ministry, family, etc. Her heart is to mentor young women in the "stuff" of life, a true Titus 2 woman. It's been fun getting to know her. She has two sons who are very industrious for their age, both are not even out of their 20's and they own their own businesses and hold serious leadership positions in the church. I'm intrigued by the strength of their family...I hope to learn from her about how she and her husband have raised such strong sons...

I've been re-evaluating my goals for life...I'm still not ready to put them all out there...but soon, I need the accountability of making them public :-) I've been a bit surprised to see the progress from my 5 year plan I made in college. I have accomplished pretty much all of it...except for a master's degree...which I have not even started...although not for a lack of attempts. (I was accepted at 2 different grad schools and was weeks from starting when, both times, I felt the Lord tell me "No!"). But I still plan to get there.

Anyway, well, there's an update...I'm supposed to be studying since I'm preaching tomorrow evening, but I'm procrastinating... updating my blog suddenly became pressing ;-)


The free fall :-)

I am moving to Lexington, KY in the beginning of May 2010!

It all started last summer, after years of floundering and asking the Lord, what now? I felt Him drop April into my spirit. I knew my current lease would be up at the end of April and so I figured that was all it meant but it stuck... then I decided to take a few ministry courses in Kentucky School of Ministry this past fall, "just to brush up"...but then, someone confronted me about getting ordained...something I'd been holding off on because I felt that I had nothing to "show" for my license. I prayed about it...and then I applied. Long story short, I interviewed and went through the process as an ordination candidate with KY District Council of the Assemblies of God and was approved. I will be officially ordained on Wednesday, April 21, 2010.

For a couple years, I have been asking Jesus why He called me back to KY, trying to reconcile the "loss"of an entirely different dream...a calling to foreign missions, one I pursued a good part of my life until 2005. That's when I laid it all down to come to Kentucky all because the Lord put a burden and passion for my generation and for the Body of Christ in my heart. I've served in various areas of ministry...I've loved it...but I've been frustrated because this entire time...I could not work full time in ministry. So, I've been doing anything that I could get my hands on...and working full time as a secretary to support my ministry habit.

What's funny? Since being back in KY, I've begun to see that one of the strongest areas affecting this generation is the same thing I have always had passion for when working overseas... brokenness and addiction. I've served part time with a ministry called Teen Challenge off and on and then volunteered with a ministry called Church 922: A Church for this Generation. In everything I did, I began to be surrounded by people battling real addictions...people who loved the Lord...wanted to serve Him but could not seem to overcome the power of a lifecontrolling problem. I have had a growing burden to work with people in this situation...to disciple and pray with them...to help them through the healing process. I've been frustrated because that is a full time job when done right...so I was wearing myself ragged working full time and then coming home and diving into ministry. For the past year, I've basically done the minimal. I've stepped back and really evaluated everything...I've asked the Lord...what? Where? why?

That brings me to this...in February 2010 I received a very unexpected phone call to come work with Teen Challenge full time as a Program Director in a new women's center in Lexington. At first, I didn't know how I could afford it. For almost two months, I've wanted to do it and been completely overwhelmed and petrified of letting go of my comfort zone, my stability. But, I just kept hearing the Lord say...trust Me.

I'll be honest, I need two things. One, a lot of prayer...this is a new challenge and I'm sure it will be stretching. Two, I'm still lacking about $500 in monthly support to truly be effective and sharp. If you are interested in supporting me, please email me Raquel4Christ@hotmail.com and I'll fill you in on more. Thanks in advance for your support....

So, here we go...I'm leaping out into the unknown wonder of obedience...I know that God is doing something. I just want to be used by Him to further His Kingdom...in my generation...in my beloved state of Kentucky!


God is Sovereign...and I am His!

Daniel 2:20-23 (New Living Translation)

“Praise the name of God forever and ever, for he has all wisdom and power. He controls the course of world events; he removes kings and sets up other kings. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the scholars. He reveals deep and mysterious things and knows what lies hidden in darkness, though he is surrounded by light. I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors, for you have given me wisdom and strength. You have told me what we asked of you and revealed to us what the king demanded.”

I love this scripture. It dethrones anxiety and restores peace in God's Sovereignty.

When I find myself mumbling at the television or news articles...saying "Who do you think you are?"...feeling completely helpless, frustrated, angry and maybe a bit fearful... I remember that God put these men and women in their places of authority...for a reason. I found comfort in Habakkuk the other day...3 chapters...a man who found himself in the same place as me, frustrated with his country and his generation... but he found encouragement in the Sovereignty of God...then he says "and the just shall live by his faith" (Hab 2:4).

Now that is deep...my God is doing something that is bigger than me? WHoa! What's the promise? God will do what He will do for righteousness sake...but His righteous ones are dear to Him and will still be kept under His wing.



I'm going to be ordained in April

So, tonight I had to write a bio for ordination...and this is what came out...so many things to say, but this is what I felt needed to be most prominent...it's weird summing up your life in something..

Name: Rachel M. Leonard
BS Church Ministries, Missions-Southeastern University-Lakeland,FL 2006
Certification in Spanish Language-CINCEL Language Institute-San Jose, Costa Rica Summer 2003
EVe Center-Cincinnati,OH-Biblical Peer Counselor Training-Spring 2009
KSOM Ordination Level Courses- Fall 2009

Past Positions:
KY Women's Ministries Intern-Summer 2006
Youth Minister-Full Gospel A/G Newport, KY- Fall 2006-Fall 2008
Residential Staff Priscilla's Place, Louisville, KY Summer 2007
Residential Staff Mercy Maternity Home, Erlanger, KY-Winter 2007-Fall 2007 Volunteer Prayer Team Member/Small Group leader Church 922-Erlanger, KY Fall 2007-Spring 2009

Present Ministry: Pastoral Care/Young Adult Ministry-Full Gospel A/G Summer 2009-Present

Other Info:
As a daughter of this beautiful state, there is a very special place in my heart for Kentucky and her people. I once was a ten year old little girl who responded to the Call of God at an altar in Crestwood, KY. It was at that point of commitment that my faith truly began to mature and deepen. I am thankful for my parents, Mike & Leisa Leonard, and many other men and women in this state. I would not be where I am today if you had not encouraged me and invested your time and energy into my journey of faith. Dave Amsler always said that you cannot tell the fruit of one moment of ministry until five years down the road. Well, here we are, fifteen years later, all of the seeds of discipleship and love for the lost, beginning to bear fruit in one life (Luke 8:15).

I’ve spent most of my short life preparing to live overseas as a foreign missionary. In 2005, I felt the Lord ask me to trust Him and return to Kentucky. After saying no, more than once, I finally said yes. Since then, my heart has yearned for nothing more than to see the Kingdom of God established in this state. All I desire is the opportunity to invest myself in the work of the Kingdom. I’m looking for the opportunity to do more than just a job, but to live out a calling: to empower and equip the Church to be the Heart of God exposed to the world. I long to see my generation rise up and take its place in the Kingdom; to see captives set free from addiction, abuse and ignorance. It is my desire to spend my life in the harvest field raising up harvesters to go to the ends of the earth. God is doing a new thing in Kentucky. Thus, in this moment, my harvest field is here! It is my honor to join the ranks of those harvesters who have gone before me and paved the way, that I might help bring in the harvest (John 4:34-38).

growing into my shoes :-)

When I was a little girl, I used to LOVE to play dress up! My most favorite toys were old clothes and jewlery, my mom's old cheerleading uniforms and my grandma's dancing shoes and a sheer purple cape. I always loved the accessories...especially those shoes. I remember thinking that I would never be big enough to wear those shoes...and now, here I am, a closet full of shoes, just like my dress up ones :-)

Lately, I've been feeling internally, like the little girl who just realized her shoes fit. It may sound bizarre... but for years as a minister and as an adult, I still felt like a little girl playing around the ankles of the adults :-) haha. For instance, I don't know how many times I'll be talking about a situation and refer to a group of people as the the adults and not include myself. Only to catch it and have to somehow correct my statement. I still feel like a kid most days...I thought that at 25, almost 26, I'd be different. More....SOMETHING?? On the other hand, my mentality of perceived immaturity is reinforced by a world that encourages me to be young! I work with a bunch of people who are my parents' age...and whenever I say "back in the day..." they say, "you don't have a 'back in the day'" ;-)

So, lately I've found myself in situations where up until now I felt strangely like a Junior, ill-equipped and immature, but all of a sudden it's different. It seems like people look me in the eye and see a peer...not a young girl in her mother's clothes. This past year I've been through some very painful, personal growing pains... but I'm beginning to realize that I now see myself as someone who can do what God has called her to do...I am more than a little girl playing dress up...I am growing into the shoes I was born to fill...


Today I Choose Joy!

"Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in Him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you're on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute!" (Phil 4:4-5 MSG)

Wow! This morning I picked up a book that I had forgotten about called "A Long Obedience in the Same Direction" by Eugene Peterson (same guy who wrote the Message). It is a book that works through the Songs of Ascent in the Psalms... each chapter discusses practical disciplines of the Christian life found in these Psalms. This chapter was on Joy!

Lately, I've found happiness hard to attain and hold onto...but I've also found myself realizing that in the process of life, I've been losing hold of joy!! Listen to some of what Peterson says...

Psalm 126
It seemed like a dream, too good to be true,
when God returned Zion's exiles.
We laughed, we sang,
we couldn't believer our good fortune.
We were the talk of the nations-
"God was wonderful to them!"
God was wonderful to us;
we are one happy people
And now, God, do it again-
bring rains in our drought-stricken lives.
So those who planted their crops in despair
will shout hurrahs at the harvest,
So those who went off with heavy hearts
will come home laughing, with armloads of blessing.

-"Joy is not a requirement of Christian discipleship, it is a consequence....it is what comes to us when we are walking in the way of faith and obedience."

-"We come to God (and to the revelation of God's ways) because none of us have it within ourselves, except momentarily, to be joyous. Joy is a product of abundance; it is the overflow of vitality."

-"....decide to live in response to the abundance of God and not under the dictatorship of our own poor needs....to live in the environment of a living God and not our own dying selves...to center ourselves in the God who generously gives and not in our own egos which greedily grab."

-"Joy has a history. Joy is the verified, repeated experience of those involved in what God is doing....Joy is nurtured by living in such a history, building on such a foundation."

-"Joy is nurtured by anticipation....What we have known of Him, we will know of Him. Just as joy builds on the past, it borrows from the future. It expects certain things to happen."

-"The hard work of sowing seed in what looks like perfectly empty earth has, as every farmer knows, a time of harvest....It is clear in Psalm 126 that the one who wrote it and those who sand it were no strangers toe the dark side of things....They knew the deserts of the heart and the nights of weeping. They knew what it meant to sow in tears...."

-"....laughter does not exclude weeping. Christian joy is not and escape from sorrow....Laughter is a result of living in the midst of God's great works....Enjoyment is not an escape from boredom but a plunge by faith into God's work."

-[Psalm 126] "...It announces the existence of a people who assemble to worship God and disperse to live to God's glory, whose lives are bordered on one side by a memory of God's acts and the other by hope in God's promises, and who along with whatever else is happening are able to say, at the center, "We are one happy people."

**I could not have summed up joy any better...so today, if you are like me, not feeling what you want...do what Philippians says...REVEL in God...in His Goodness...in His promises...in His faithfulness...and you will find your JOY!!

Today, I choose joy :-)


waiting for you is like...

"....waiting for rain in this drought. Useless and disppointing." (A Cinderella Story).

Earlier this evening, I was thinking...and this line just blurted out of my heart into the room. I've had a dream, an ongoing hope, an ever welling desire to know and be known by the one that God has called me to spend my life serving, sharing my past, present and future with...my companion...my co-laborer in the faith... my husband.

1 Corinthians 13 says..."Love is Patient." The following verses further emphasize this point...the very next phrase in this passage says, "Love is Kind." What is interesting is that even Kindness is defined as patience or forbearance which means to hold oneself back, to not react or retalliate. I've been moved by the revelation that God, Who is LOVE, is Patient and slow to wrath. His kindness leads us to repentance...it's His PATIENCE that causes us to turn to Him in our weakness, in the depths of our despair and the darkest, most wretched hole of sin...it's His Patience, not His anger that causes us to RUN into His arms. So what does our love look like? Shouldn't it reflect that same patience...

"I don't know if you're near or far away, but I know that I'm thinking of you today...." this song by LaRue slipped from my lips this evening... In my high school years, I would listen to it as I went to sleep, praying for my husband. Now, a decade later...I still pray, but it is with a sense of restlessness...a weariness...a longing that has matured. I no longer wait for a Prince Charming, a Knight in Shining Armor...but for a Strong Man with a Pure Heart...someone to who will be what I need...someone who will carry me when I'm weak, someone who is not perfect but who lives with the intention to honor Jesus with every fiber of his being...someone who loves the idea of waking up next to me until we're both wrinkly and not so "pretty"...someone who holds the other piece to the BIG picture that God has put on my heart...someone who will laugh at life with me!

I pray with the awareness that comes from having loved...and having had my heart broken...and that brokenness is part of life... I pray with the awareness that to chase and pursue someone because I think he is what I want is useless and disappointing,very humbling and painful....more so than waiting. I pray with an awareness that God is shaping and forming my husband more and more into the likeness of Christ (the great Husband)...and that I am becoming more and more ready to be a bride... each day teaches me more about what it means to honor someone in spite of disagreement... to serve someone when they "don't deserve it"...to trust someone else's leadership...

This desert dance is one of faith...for we are called to live by faith, not by sight...it is one of expectancy, for surely faith gives way to sight. In the meantime, my LOVE grows... as I learn the art of patience. There are some days that my faith fails me...like a blind man, being led through a busy street... I stumble...I fret...I fight...I sit down and pout.

There are days that I want to just take life into my own hands...to make things appear... But in the waiting and stillness...in patience, I am made stronger... my hope grows and becomes experience...Jesus becomes more and more to me ...and I am reminded of what one wise friend said to me..."No man's love will ever fulfill you until you come to rest and experience the true, uncondional love of Jesus."

So though, I wish you would hurry along...quit taking so long...I pray that you would be rooted and grounded in Christ, that your identity would go down deep into His love... I pray that the Holy Spirit would open the eyes of your understanding...that your ears and sight would be restored...I pray that you would know...that you would know...the direction of the Father. Be Strong in the Power of His might! I love you...and I will wait...in this desert...in this place of solitude...until you are ready.



It's snowing...think we have almost a foot of the love white dust by now. It seems like snow has been our very existence this past week. We stay up late to check the news for the latest weather forecast and get the wonderful news...yes, indeed, more snow in the forecast for tomorrow. We wake up early and look outside and discover...the weather man is actually right...AGAIN! So we bundle up and clean off our cars and go to work...come home and shovel to get in the driveway... and go inside and stay warm the rest the night...and the cycle repeats. ah...the adult life :-) LONG GONE are the days of wishing for the (non-existent) snow day...sledding and building snowmen. Hopefully, that season will come again when I have a passel of little ones...but for now, snow makes me tired. It's beautiful to look at, but on mornings like today, I just want to stay inside bundle in my warm covers...and then nestled on the couch with a good book and a cup of tea.

It's winter. That's just a fact of life :-) Lately, it's been a lot of work to stay focused on the fact that spring is coming and that no matter what God is good. I keep thinking of Ecclesiates where Solomon basically reminds us over and over...there's a time for everything...to everything there is a season. And every season has a purpose. I've always had an affinity for nature and trees...I love to be outside and I find the natural process of things so fascinating. Recently, I was reading that the in winter, trees grow and develop the most...their roots go down deep, deep, deep into the soil. They soak up nutrients and the bark thickens, fortifying it against the storms that come in every season...making it stronger and taller. They rest. But ironically, that very same tree looks almost dead in the process of winter. It has no leaves, no fruit... So, as I was reading it, the Lord was like, Rachel...this is not only winter in the natural...for you, it is winter in your spirit...hold fast to Me...sink your roots down deep into My Love... know that in every winter, there's a promise of spring and summer :-)

So, right now, I cling to the promise of spring...I am in the midst of a very long, harsh winter of the soul... but spring comes...as sure as the sun rises...and God is faithful even when blizzard winds blow and I am stripped...

When I was in high school, I used to sing this Crystal Lewis song. I had forgotten it until the other night...it's called "Seasons Change". Here are the lyrics...

**copyright Crystal Lewis
Are you going through a dry spell
Yes I've been there before
Where the trees are slowly withering
Where their roots cry out for more
Where the desert floor is dry and cracked
No clouds hand in the sky
No winter rain or spring it seems
No change in sight

But seasons change
And then they pass
No way to know how long they'll lastI'd love to know the reason why
But God knows
Seasons change

Are you going through a dry spell
I've been there a time or two
Where life seems to stay the same for awhile
You want to change but don't know how to
It's the place where you feel empty inside
Can't put your finger on the need
I look at God and see what I want to be
I look at me and see what I am (Chorus)

Are you going through a dry spell
I was there awhile ago
Now I've come to a place where the rain falls
Where the trees bear fruit and grow
Where I find a refuge in my God
It's a place of surrender I know
I look at God and see what I want to be
He looks at me and sees His own (Chorus)**

My dad gave me the greatest little thing for Christmas it says, "Sometimes you don't feel like singing...SING ANYWAY!" So, I decided to sing a song from my favorite Christmas movie, "White Christmas"...hence the title of this entry... :-)