Life at Lightning Speed

Meadow

“Be Still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10

Life has felt at lightning speed the last few weeks. I have found myself repeating the same lines over and again, ‘when Shane is back from the US it will be simpler’… ‘Life is on a tightrope of organisation if one thing is out…’, it didn’t feel like that as much before I was working full time.

I feel like the mantra of our home lately has been ‘come on, everybody get ready and in the car’. Life has been full of a thousand blessings. I love my job, I love my family, I love our church and all that they involve. It is like living with rich abundant blessing, but moving at lightning speed I wonder whether I am missing it along the way, or hurrying my family to enjoy the same breakneck speed, when they would rather be curled up reading a book.

I know to some the thought of being busy or moving at lightning speed sounds horrific, hell on a stick. But I love it, I love that our life is full of growth and opportunity, I genuinely love life moving at high speed.

This week there were meetings, gala days {thanks Daniel}, excursions, extraordinary meetings, visiting churches, churches visiting, swimming lessons, teaching, writing, making lunches, cooking, washing, cleaning, people over for dinner, book week, crazy sock day, running a weekend conference, walking Darby, missed hair appointments {this was truly devastating, sorry Sasha x}. Just a week, Packed full with blessing {the cleaning is debatably a blessing, but we are gonna’ roll with it}.

My reflection this week, has been that I can have a busy life, but I need a slow spirit. Not getting caught up in the rush of activity or the desire to be at the next thing yesterday. But enjoying each moment as they come and keeping in step with a rested soul.

Making time to rest with God and continually seek his will in ALL of the things, {I will be writing a post on how I do this soon} not rushing ahead of God, but striding along close behind waiting on his leading and only in his strength. Making time to enjoy small paused moments like perfect hipster coffee, made by perfect hipsters at a perfect hipster cafe on a city day before work begins. I do realize this involves coffee which only speed things up, the irony is not lost on me.

Love, Grace and a slowness of spirit for your day

Rachel x

Into the Ocean

 Ocean

“The Waters saw you, God, the waters saw you and writhed; the very depths were convulsed. the clouds poured down water, the heavens resounded with thunder; your arrows flashed back and forth. Your thunder was heard in the whirlwind, your lightning lit up the word; the earth trembled and quaked. Your path led through the sea, your way through the mighty waters, though your footprints were not seen. You led your people like a flock, by the hand of Moses and Aaron.”

Psalm 77:16-20 NIV Bible 

Walking in to deep water, into that which is unknown and scary and to call upon God, awaiting an answer, will his help come? Will he deliver? Will he hear? In Psalm 77 the writer recalls God’s ancient wonders, the stories of old, that tell of who The Lord is and what he has done. Recalling to himself the creator’s wonder and magnificent rescues. Stories of assurance that when all seems lost, when there seems to be no way forward, God has worked for his people in supernatural abundance, in a way no one could have imagined.

What a beautiful place to find rest when we feel lost, or need our courage strengthened to face a  season that seems a storming ocean. In that moment, how can I recount to myself the stories of a Savior? The one who lived, died and came back fighting, a rescuer with salvation in his hands and his feet. Crowned King over an Empty Cross.

How will the grandest story of all inform my fears and lay them to rest? How will the Word of God filled with the whisper and declaration of Jesus bring courage? Hidden in the Chief Shepherd’s hands are the marks and story of salvation. His salvation reminds me that he is strong and good, and that he is and always has been for me, he loves me. His story is for all people, but I am not lost in the many.

Love, Grace and Courage for your day,

Rachel x

Friendship

GirlsChatting with one of my best girlfriends sitting in her gorgeous great room, surrounded by kids charging around and drinking coffee {we were, not the kids, although that could explain the activity levels…}. While we talked the kids interrupted us, we laughed at ourselves and our latest escapades of what one can only described as hilarious failures and successes.  It was interrupted, imperfect and brilliant. Everybody, EVERYBODY, needs a friend like this. If you don’t have one chat away here and make some friends, consider yourself at home and preciously valued.

In the midst of hilarious conversation, we got on to the topic of female friendship and how no matter how nice you are there are some people who just don’t love all that we may have to offer in the personality department, you know what I mean… There is no offense or hurt, it’s just one of those things, you can’t please everybody. We discussed how this is just a normal part of life and no big deal.

My precious friend then said something that reminded me of what has been a growing shift in my attitude about this. “When I was twenty that would have really upset me, I would have been really hurt and wondered why someone didn’t want to be my friend.” As she said it It thought, YES! I would have been devastated, sitting around wondering how someone could not possibly like me, what had I done, not done, did I somehow offend them…

Back another decade to Year 5, now that’s a rough time for girls. In  my experience this is the year where friends will actually tell you why they don’t want to be your friend, who their friends are in ranking order and why you don’t make the grade. I don’t think the whole friendship grading fiasco leaves our hearts for a while. We carry it with us, wondering if the out loud verbalization of friendships has now become a subtle choice where we are no longer privy to the information or grading, you just have to work it out yourself.

But then something wonderful happens, there comes a point when it just doesn’t matter anymore. You realize that you have friends who walk with you through it all, laugh and cry with you, give you Lindt Balls to make a Mocha because you are that desperate for chocolate in your coffee and there’s no judgement, {bless you lovely} you move on to chatting about life and all that is important. You also realize everyone is walking a journey and grace is needed in all our friendships, especially the ones where it’s a little trickier. {Everybody has a story, no one has it perfect or all together, not even those who look like they do}.

Best of all, the friendships you do have become so much richer as you share your hopes, joys, fear, anxiety and dreams and then become each other’s cheer squad. Championing your friends to stand up out of everything that says not you, not now and encouraging her to step fully into the calling God has laid ahead of her. This is my absolute favorite, watching ideas become reality as you pray for and encourage your friends. {I cannot even wait to share with you some of the things my friends are doing, incredible}.

If today you are feeling the sadness of someone not diggin’ your vibe, don’t even worry, we all have that, you seriously can’t please everybody. Count yourself blessed with the friends who love you just as you are and love people the same way back, just as they are, then sit and enjoy a good Mocha, it is one of the finest things in life.

Love, Grace and True Friendship for your day,

Rachel x

Eyes Fixed

eyes

Last night was small group at my house. Shane and I adore these people, we really love them. We meet every week sharing life – the highs the lows and everything in between. I learn to live with my home being imperfect and real, which for someone who loves to have everything in order is quite the challenge. I hope that it serves them that one day when and if they have kids, they will invite their friends over even {especially} when life does not quite look like a perfect photo. Bless them, they have coped well.

We are reading the book of 1 Samuel together and this book is full of adventure, the kind  of story where there is never a dull moment… As we read Chapter 18 of the story, right after the infamous David and Goliath chapter, all the people were praising Saul – the King, and David – the warrior. In the midst of all the action, this is the verse that stood out to me.

“Saul was very angry; this refrain displeased him greatly. “they have credited David with tens  “of thousands”, he thought. “But me with only thousands. What more can he get but the Kingdom”. And from that time on Saul kept a close eye on David.” 1 Samuel 18:8 NIV

Here he was {Saul} the King of the people, anointed by God to be the leader shepherd and he was jealous of his warrior musician {David}. Saul was a man charged with the care of the people, a Kingdom before him, and he stood – strong, powerful, and intimidated.

Man, that is such a familiar picture, so simple and plain. His eyes were looking in the wrong direction. As leader of the people he heard and interpreted the voice of the people according to his weakness and was distracted by the desire for personal glory. He lost his calling, and fixed his eyes on the wrong person. As King his eyes should have been heavenward seeking the will and call of God, in order to lead the people God so loved. Instead he looked to David whom he saw as his rival, not even his enemy, but the one who could take all that was his.

When we are called by God to do a task, and the task becomes bigger than the one who gave it, when the detail of our assignment becomes greater than who it is for. Our eyes are fixed elsewhere.

I want my eyes fixed heavenward. I want to live with an audience of one. Not swayed by waves of opinion but grounded firmly in the one who knows me, loves me and saves me. I want to be found in step with him, I want to look to him for calling and journey steps. I don’t want to look sideways, eyes fixed on what someone else is doing. I want to run my race, set before me with all Jesus has called me to do, in this moment. I am praying for that. Because heaven knows, it is all too easy to look sideways.

Love, Grace and a quiet moment for your day

Rachel x

Simple Ideas For Your Weekend

blossomsI hope you enjoy the this Friday Fun Day post sharing simple and fun things to do or read for your weekend.

Visit your local markets, buy some in season fruit, vegetables and flowers, or stop at the farmers street shops for a $5 bunch of flowers {this is one of my all time favorite things to do, although I’m not even sure if I have called it the right name???}. It doesn’t have to be extravagant to be beautiful sometimes the loveliest things are the simplest.

 This is Darby, our gorgeous Chocolate Labrador, he is seriously the sweetest! Go for a walk somewhere new and take your dog, live that life of adventure you are thinking about right now. Smile at everyone you pass on the street, everyone loves a happy dog walker. {Except people who hate dogs, but you can’t win ’em all}.

Have a cup of tea and read a book {It will feel very British if nothing else}. This weekend I think I will continue reading “Race of a Lifetime: How Obama won the White house” by Mark Helperin and John Heilemann. {This type of reading is totally inspired by having recently watched the entire series of the West Wing}. I will also be reading 1 Samuel in my bible as that is what we are reading in small group at the moment, seriously that book is packed with adventure.

Drink some spectacular coffee and eat some carbs at a gorgeous Cafe or create your own at home. Cook Bread this weekend, you will love it, so will your kids {unless of course you accidentally put way too much salt in it, which speaking from experience, is not pretty, nor salvageable. I served it to a friend, who was kind enough to let me know, it was horrific. They still question me whenever I serve bread whether I made it or not…}.

Drive somewhere beautiful or perfectly simple, {one and the same} take some photos and enjoy the moment.

Love, Grace and Adventure for your weekend

Rachel x

Leadership

“He chose David his servant and took him from the sheep pens; from tending the sheep pens he brought him to be the shepherd of his people Jacob, of Israel his inheritance. And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them.” Psalm 78:70-22 NIV

When the Genesis of leadership is found in the outpouring love of God and the imagery of the shepherd, it is magnificent. Truly, there is no greater rush of adrenaline than being involved in any degree of following or leading when Great leadership occurs.

It sends your heart racing, your mind spinning, every part of your soul feels as if it is on fire when in the presence of excellent leadership.

It isn’t a matter of personal greatness that makes leadership so magnificent, but the art of losing yourself for the advancement of the people, or a cause that has the ability to turn your world upside down and create something that can only be dreamed up in the most hopeful of places.

This kind of leadership will chart a course from the humblest of beginnings through sometimes seemingly impossible conditions, holding tightly to a belief that there is something worth fighting for, something worth giving yourself to in order that a divinely implanted picture or vision of hope would come into glorious fruition.

These leaders will dream when all seems lost, fight when it seems impossible and believe when you wouldn’t dare. Leadership like this will create a sense in a person or team that says you are worth dreaming with, fighting for, and believing in. Leadership like this can mobilize people and even nations, creating movements that change the world.

Love, grace and hope for your day

Rachel x

A New Moment

Sunrise“But there’s one other thing I remember, and remembering I keep a grip on hope: God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out, his merciful love couldn’t have dried up. They’re created new every morning. How great is your faithfulness! I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over). He’s all I’ve got left.” Lamentations 3:22-24 (The Message Eugene Peterson) 

Glorious.

A freshly opened opportunity full of new moments. New chances. New memories.

This picture to me is like capturing the kiss of God upon the earth, that says you can begin again. There is new hope. A chance to stand up again, to move forward. Look afresh at yesterday with the eyes of today.

I love that the beautiful character of God can be seen in his creation, and so potently in the breaking in of each new day. A daily reminder that his heart creates glorious new beginnings, and better days.

A prompt to grace in the everyday.

Love, Grace and a beautiful sunrise for your mornings

Rachel x

Deep Wells of Salvation

water“‘Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation.” With Joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.’

Isaiah 12:2-3 NIV 

Gorgeous.

What an image, such a beautiful picture of a God who has Salvation in bucket loads. In wells, God type wells – Deep Stores of Salvation. I have this image in my mind of a people who know a God with plenty of Salvation. So much you can draw from the wells with Joy. It is not sparse. He is not meager with it, he is not holding back, he is not being stingy with salvation.

He has it in spades. Oceans of it, pouring over and out. Like a person in a distant foreign land who can draw from an abundant well, buckets of water with gladness. God’s salvation is given in plenty, more than enough, it brings that same kind of relief, and exuberant joy. The people who know what it is to experience that kind of joy, relief and deep peace cannot then help but exclaim to the earth;

“Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted. Sing to the Lord, for he has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world. Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion…”

Isaiah 12:4-6

A great rescue has taken place, and the people are unable to be silent. Unable to hide his name, instead cannot help but announce to the world that all is well, salvation is found, there is no reason to fear, no reason to dread, no reason to lose sleep, to be lost and alone, salvation has come and he has a name.

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A Beautiful Framing

LanternI am so happy to welcome you to my first post on Rachel Kathrine. By way of Introductions…

I am walking the journey of following where Jesus leads me. The depth of his love for me and his beautiful church has changed my life forever. I believe that he is the Author and Hero of Creation’s Story.

I am married to a pastor which makes life a wonderful and yet regularly crazy adventure. Shane works at a church we have deep love for. The kind of church that display’s God’s manifold love on the earth, who brings hope and life to the lost, hurt and broken with a heart for all generations. It is a church filled with people who are imperfect (including my dear self) and walk in the promise that God’s beautiful grace is enough.

I am a mum to 3 kids who are shaping their journey with excellence, creativity and a love for People, Creation, Jesus and the Church, not to mention Nick Jnr, Ballet and Soccer. They bring me joy every day. Even when I am saying phrases no one thought they would ever have to say…you know what I’m talking about parents.

I love my people. You know who you are. Friends and family who love you, encourage you and who laugh, loud when it all goes wrong, which it regularly does. I am not known for my quiet elegance as much as I would like. I am however known for my laugh… thankfully I have acquired the life skill of being able to laugh at myself, which as it turns out is extremely important in my case.

So that’s it. The Framing of My blog. A space to share Faith, Home, Friendship and grace.

Love, Grace and a cozy seat beside a warm fire today, unless of course you are in the Northern hemisphere, then you enjoy the sunshine

Rachel x