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.

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