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Blogs of a College Freshman/Sophomore

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Blogs of a College Freshman/Sophomore - Page Text Content

S: Rachel's thoughts her Freshman and Sophomore years in college 2009-2010

BC: This book was compiled by your mother, who loves you more than you will possibly ever know. I didn't want you to forget these memories, whether good or bad. Remember them in order to learn and grow.

FC: Blogs of a College Freshman/Sophomore Rachel House 2009/2010

1: July 5, 2009 Letting Go.... There are a lot of things in my life that I am not proud of. Some more than others. For example, I am not proud of the fact that I have picked on my younger sisters for the majority of their lives. Or, the fact that I often push people away when they start to get close to me. Or, the fact that I have dealt with a disorder that has affected my spiritual walk with God and has hurt the people around me. All of these things compose only a small portion of the "things" that I wish I could just forget about. The "things" that although may be quite a realistic part of my life, I wish they were just a figment of my imagination. But although I am not proud of these things, they make up a huge part of who I am. Who I am as a daughter. Who I am as a sister. Who I am as a friend. And regardless of the fact that they do not make up the proudest moments of my life, they do still make up a part of it whether I like it or not. They are a part of my story and a part of my testimony and a part of my life. I have realized that the hard parts of your life never go away. Life never gets easier. Ever. I had this fantasy that when I would go off to college, all the problems in my life would just disappear. To my dismay, quite the opposite happened. I was involved in all of the college ministries, all the Bible studies, and all of the prayer nights. But a life full of Christian "stuff" and a life without God is really no life at all. There were nights that I would come home from a great night of worship, praising the Lord, and after one wrong decision to give in, I was left in a pitfall of shame and guilt and worthlessness. I thought God had forgotten about me. I was drenched in a spiral of spiritual alienation and self hatred because of the person I had become inside. Not the person that the world saw, but the real person inside. The one that no matter how hard I tried, Could Not hide from God. I prayed all the time for other people and for a revival on the college campus, but I had just given up praying about my own hurts and bruises. I was Convinced that the Lord was doing miracles in everyone around me, but somehow He could not save me. I was TOO messed up and TOO worthless for Him to even begin working in me. How could He possibly handle a person like me? Sure, He can save people from drug addictions and alcohol because that is the "normal" stuff to get saved from. But how could He save me from my sin and my addiction? How could He possibly know how? Especially because it was MY fault and MY responsibility and MY failure. And I was too selfish to be saved. I could handle it myself. The Lord didn't need to waste His time on me.

2: He had better things to do. So I just gave up on asking God for help. I got lost in the sin and shame and let it consume me. I became sad and guilty and my selfishness was at an all-time high. I didn't care how I was affecting other people or if I did nothing all day. I was so upset with myself that I couldn't bare to see anyone around me. I was in hiding from my friends and my family. But most importantly, I was hiding from God. And it was hard. And it was hurtful. And it was messy. But God pulled me out of the pit. HE ALONE rescued me. Sure, He used other people to do it. But He rescued me. And I still don't know why. Yes. I know He loves me. Yes. I know He died for me. But why ME? You know? Why would He do that for someone like me? I guess I just kind of forgot that about the Lord. He doesn't really care how many times you mess up or how bad you did mess up. He just cares about getting you back. He will NOT relent until He has all of you. And that is something that I can not. I WILL not forget. So, although life is hard and it is not getting any easier. I will not give in. And I will certainly not give up. Life will still be a struggle. Some days more than others. But I have learned to Let Go. And truly enjoy this world that the Lord has given to us. So I will not let the Lord's death on the cross for me have been in vain. I am Letting Go of the sin that so easily entangles and I will finish this race. With my eyes set on the prize that our God, MY God has set in front of me. Forever His, Rachel POSTED BY RACHEL HOUSE AT 8:28 AM

3: MONDAY, JULY 6, 2009 Oh Isaiah. For the past week I have been attempting to read through the book of Isaiah. A chapter a day kind of thing. Some days I miss one. Some days I read two. It just sort of depends. Well. This morning I opened my Bible to Isaiah 5, the chapter that I was going to read today. And the title of it was "The Song of the Vineyard". Let me repeat that. "The. Song. of. the. Vineyard". Now I know that some Old Testament books have some interesting titles to their chapters, but for some reason, I just could not help but laugh at this hilarious title. I literally sat there and debated on whether to read it or not because it just sounded too funny. I am sorry if you are not laughing with me at this very moment. I guess it was kind of a "you had to be there" sort of thing. Anyways. So I did end up reading this page and a half long chapter to basically conclude that the Lord has a vineyard. It was Israel. He tried to get a good crop of grapes from it. But basically it only gave bad fruit. So he decided to destroy the whole vineyard. Moral of the story: Israel defied the Lord. The Lord got angry. The Lord destroyed Israel. End of story. Yes. It was both compelling and rich. But, since I didn't quite love this specific chapter of Isaiah. I decided to read the next chapter as well. Isaiah Chapter 6. Now, I usually just pick out one or two little quotes from the chapter so that I can remember it by, and this specific verse really stood out to me. I'm sure some of you have heard it before. Isaiah 6:8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here I am. Send me!" I don't know about you. But I want this to be me! I want to be able to give up everything I have at any time and just say, "Lord, HERE I AM! Send ME!" We are so lost in this world of materials and possessions, that we forget what are real calling in life is! God made us for this great commission! He has called us to watch and pray for this day to come. Will we be WILLING when it does come? Will we be excited to lay down everything that we own?

4: Will we be excited to give up everything that we have worked for? Will we give up everything with a willing heart? Or will we give up everything grudgingly and painfully? THESE are the questions that I ask myself. Yes. I want to give up everything to follow Jesus Christ. Yes. I want to be called to pick up my cross ALONE and follow Him. But how easy will it really be? I'm sure it will be hard. Really hard. But could I do it? I know we are supposed to pick up our cross DAILY and follow Him. But how many of us really pick up our crosses ALONE, you know? Like I usually pick up my cross and then next to that is my phone, and my purse, and my ipod, and my money, and my clothes, and my looks, and my luxuries, and etc. etc. etc. So am I really saying daily, "Here I am Lord! Send ME!" Or am I saying, "Here I am Lord! Send *ME!" *ME includes Rachel, her clothes, her money, her phone, her soap, her shower..... Really? Can I not live without these things for a day? Or at least live without not thinking about them? I feel like we as Americans subconsciously think about our possessions ALL of the time. Like, I wonder who has called me recently or I hope there's enough money left in the bank for... or I can't wait to take a nice hot shower later. These are just a FEW of the many things we as Americans take for granted. It just really amazes me how LITTLE we can live without. If someone doesn't have their blackberry it's like ALERT the MEDIA! We have a SITUATION on our HANDS! I don't know. I just hope that when that day comes, and the Lord asks, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" I can say, "Lord, Here I am. With nothing to offer other than my life. I don't need anything other than You. Lord, Send ME." That is my prayer. That is my plea. Forever His, Rachel POSTED BY RACHEL HOUSE AT 9:11 AM

5: TUESDAY, JULY 7, 2009 Human Trafficking. Over 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders annually. After the illegal sale of drugs and weapons, the biggest criminal business is human trafficking. These are the facts. This is a travesty. After watching the 3 hour long movie "Human Trafficking" on Lifetime Movie Network (Yes. I do in fact watch this channel and love the movies on it.), I was moved to tears. The entire movie shows the horrible industry of sex trafficking and what it does in women and children's lives. And the saddest thing is, America is the leading center for this horrific industry. The LEADING center. How many of us knew that this was going on under the radar? Unspoken of, and Unheard of. It is just revolting to know that so many people actually "buy" people for their own enjoyment. Many of these buyers have their own families at home! It just disgusts me. It is the modern day form of slavery, and if we don't do anything to stop it, it is just going to keep growing and growing. Think about it. You only make so much off of selling crack cocaine or heroin. It is a one time deal. But when you are selling someone over and over, it is an unlimited profit with less expense to you. It is just horrifying. And disgusting and so sad. So. Many people may not know about it. Many people may not want to talk about it. But it is out there. And it is real. And it is going on right now. What will you do about it? Forever His, Rachel POSTED BY RACHEL HOUSE AT 3:16 PM

6: WEDNESDAY, JULY 8, 2009 Beautiful I was so unique Now I feel skin deep I count on the make-up to cover it all Crying myself to sleep cause I cannot keep their attention I thought I could be strong But it's killing me Does someone hear my cry? I'm dying for new life I want to be beautiful Make you stand in awe Look inside my heart, and be amazed I want to hear you say Who I am is quite enough Just want to be worthy of love And beautiful Sometimes I wish I was someone other than me Fighting to make the mirror happy Trying to find whatever is missing Won't you help me back to glory You make me beautiful You make me stand in awe You step inside my heart, and I am amazed I love to hear You say Who I am is quite enough You make me worthy of love and beautiful I once told someone that this was the theme song to my life. This beautiful song by Bethany Dillon (no pun intended) has really pulled at my heart strings over the years. It is a song that I have ran back to over and over again because of the truth that lies behind it. Every girl wants to be "beautiful". There is not a single girl in the world that wakes up one morning and thinks "I hope I look really unattractive today". I just don't think that happens. Ever. All girls were made to be beautiful. Some girls may be more physically beautiful than others, according to the world's standards, and some girls may be more inwardly beautiful than others. It is just the way the Lord made us. Individual and Unique. The majority of the female population in the United States wishes they were a size smaller or a size larger than they are.

7: No woman is fully satisfied with her appearance. Approximately 80% of American women are dissatisfied with their appearance. And that's not all... 81% of 10 year olds are afraid of being fat. TEN YEARS OLD and they are afraid of being fat. It is just mind blowing to see that at 10 years old, a young girl can come to the conclusion that she is not beautiful enough just the way she is. She must do SOMEthing to make herself look as good as the girls portrayed in the media. NEWSFLASH. The majority of those girls are airbrushed and photoshopped and whatever, to look the way they do on the magazine cover. Which is perfect and FAKE. And despite the fact that I know this to be the truth and despite the fact that I can easily say this to some other girl struggling with her appearance, it is so very hard for me to believe it. I have always been a perfectionist as a child and would get upset if the littlest thing was out of order. I guess it just comes with the First Child A-Type Personality Syndrome. To go along with that, I always had two younger sisters who were always smaller than me and were always a lot more outgoing than me. Yes. I was a very shy child. A Hermit, if you will. I know it may be hard to believe, but it's the truth. Anyway, I was just always very insecure about myself and wanted to change. And the summer after my sophmore year of high school, I really did. I thought I was actually really truly beautiful for the first time in my life. I was actually satisfied with the way I looked and how I felt as a person! Sure, I may have been a few sizes smaller, and sure, I may have gotten there by eating like a three year old, but hey. If it works it works. Right? Wrong. It didn't last. And that just led into a downward spiral of the last four years of my life. Trying to get back to that "happy" place. Trying to get back to being thin again. Trying to get back to being Beautiful.

8: So. I was so unique. And then I felt skin-deep. Sometimes I do wish I was someone other than me. And I did constantly try to make the mirror happy. But I am DYING for new life. And I want to be beautiful. But I want to make HIM stand in awe. And for Him to look inside of my HEART and be amazed. And I want to hear Him say. That who I AM is quite enough. Because IN HIM is the only way, He makes me WORTHY of Love and Beautiful. Forever His, Rachel POSTED BY RACHEL HOUSE AT 10:34 AM THURSDAY, JULY 9, 2009 Life's a Journey. You better bring your walking stick... Ever since I was little, I was surrounded by Christianity. I grew up in a Christian home, had Christian parents, went to a Christian church, accepted Christ into my heart at age 6, etc. etc. You get the point. My life was pretty much as "Christian" as they get. You know the "I have been a Christian since I can remember" testimony? Yep. Well, that's me. Never smoked a day in my life. Never taken drugs. Never gotten drunk. Never had sex. Yup. Like I said.

9: My life has been the epitome of going to church, hanging out with my family and friends, and being a good "Christian" girl. But, I am older now. Life is not all fairytales and gumdrops anymore. Although, it is very EASY to believe that, especially being homeschooled and therefore, SHELTERED for the majority of my young life. And that's ok. I'm glad I was sheltered. I'm thankful that I didn't have to see the harsh realities of the world at such a young age. I'm thankful for my vast knowledge of the scriptures, on account of all the Sunday School and the Bible lessons at home. I'm thankful that I am blessed beyond measure in all of these areas. But, all of these things will not get me into heaven. Let me rephrase that, They CAN NOT get me into heaven. Like my dad always says, "I can't get you into heaven. I can't accept Jesus for you. You have to do that all by yourself." And it's scary sometimes. To know that what it all comes down to is really between you and God. NO ONE can learn about Jesus for you. NO ONE can ask forgiveness for your sins. NO ONE can accept Jesus into your heart. Only YOU can do that. And that is just down right scary. What if I didn't really mean it? What if the things I believe aren't all right? What if I sin RIGHT BEFORE I DIE? Where will I go? Will I still be saved? These are the kinds of questions I ask myself all of the time. I used to be so afraid when I was younger that maybe I wasn't really saved. Maybe I still was going to hell, even though I thought I had accepted Jesus. I was scared. No, I was terrified. And all I could do was cry and wonder what did I have to do to be saved. And you know what. At that young age, I still hadn't realized it. I can't do ANYTHING. I never could have. It is only by grace that we have been saved THROUGH faith, it is not the works that we do, but it is the GIFT of God, so that NO MAN can boast.

10: So. Like every other Christian, I still have my occasional doubts here and there, but I know with everything in me now, that even if I wanted to, I could do nothing to earn my salvation. Absolutely nothing. Now, all Christians come back to this sole constant of Jesus and love, but there are so many beliefs intermingled within different denominations. Sure, one church believes in free will, another predestination. One believes in infant baptism, another totally against one. One in women preachers, another only men... etc. etc. etc. So. Which one is right? Which one is wrong? Which denomination has it all put together perfectly? Well, I would like to say that my denomination does, or that what I believe is FULLY and COMPLETELY the absolute truth. But honestly, I don't know. You know, the only REAL truth comes from the word of God. And that is something that I have been trying to grasp for the past few years of my life. Just because my parents are Presbyterian (technically reformed baptist), does that mean I have to be? You know it's really funny. A lot of kids that grow up in the church under one denomination usually stay that denomination their whole lives. Is it because they have researched and found that doctrine to be true themselves? Or is it because that is all they have ever known and they are COMFORTABLE there. See, I think life is a journey. And as a Christian your spiritual walk is probably the greatest part of your journey. So make sure you have the tools to really make it home. Don't settle for something that has been with you your whole life. Go OUTSIDE the lines. Explore. Find out what you believe and do it ON PURPOSE. Don't fumble around your whole life trying to settle for something you think you "might just agree with". Find where you stand, but make it a point to continue searching. Because ALL of life's a journey. And it is pretty darn long, so you better bring your walking stick....

11: Forever His, Rachel POSTED BY RACHEL HOUSE AT 10:52 AM FRIDAY, JULY 10, 2009 Childhood Simplicities... We've all done it. Packed our bags. Made our peace. Left a note. And resolved to run away. It may not have been far. And it may not have lasted long. But we've all done it. Or at least pondered the idea... Life is so much easier when you're young. Isn't it? I mean, if you can just decide to pack up and runaway because you have had a bad day, or your sisters were being mean, or you forgot to take out the trash, then how hard could life really be? As a child, we don't realize that we can't runaway from our problems. We just figure, well HEY. That obviously didn't work out for me or I will never be good enough for this, etc. etc. and we just think. Ok. I'm not needed here. I'm just going to leave. Bye. That is our rationalization. That is what we think will make EVERYTHING better. So we do it. We runaway. Only to find out that it doesn't work, at least for long anyway.... I love the simplicities of children. They are so carefree and forgiving that I almost wish I was a kid again. I mean technically I am now an adult at 18, but honestly, I don't feel that way. Sure, I may be at the age where responsibilities begin to add up. One after the other. But I don't want them to. I don't want to have to worry about making enough money to pay the rent, or to worry about getting my taxes paid on time, or even finding a wonderful husband and then having 10 babies and a house. Ha ha just kidding. But seriously.

12: It is kind of scary sometimes. Sometimes I do wish that I could just runaway. Pack up some clothes in my Dora suitcase And get the heck out. Right? Isn't that what most people do anyway when they get scared of life? I mean not exactly the whole Dora suitcase part, but they kind of runaway in their own way? Maybe for some, it is turning to alcohol for comfort. Or for some it could be finding peace in a job. Or for others, maybe it is just watching CNN sports center CONTINUOUSLY, everyday, all day. ALL coping mechanisms for the harsh realities of life. So how do we learn to face life head on? Is it just by stickin up our fists and swinging. At WHATEVER life throws at us? Or is it by talking things through. And figuring things out? I'd like to think it's kind of a combination of the both. When life gives us lemons, lets make lemonade right? Well, although I do wish sometimes that I could be like Peter Pan and be a mere boy (or girl in my case) forever, I know there are many seasons of life, and this is just one of the few. So instead of packin up that Dora suitcase and leavin on a jet plane, I'm going stick it out. I just pray that I keep my head on straight throughout the process of growing up. It's a long one. And that Dora suitcase won't be there to save me anymore. But I know the Lord will. I may not be a child anymore. And life may not be as simple as it once was. But I can handle it. Because I have something better than a Dora suitcase. I have the Savior of the world by my side. Yup. The Savior of the world. And if HE is for me. Who shall be against me? Forever His, Rachel POSTED BY RACHEL HOUSE AT 11:03 AM

13: SATURDAY, JULY 11, 2009 Wedding Dress Even as a little girl, I have always dreamt of how I would look on my wedding day. Where I would be. Who would be there. What man would be foolish enough to marry me. And, what dress I would wear. Yes. All of these things have been going through my head for as long as I can remember. I mean, come on. What little girl doesn't want to have the perfect wedding and live happily ever after? They advertise it enough in movies ALL the time. You find your handsome prince, he sweeps you off your feet, you both have the perfect wedding, and live Happily Ever After. Yup. That would be the ideal situation. But unfortunately, this is not the movies. This is real life and it is very rare that we are swept off our feet and go riding together into the sunset. In fact, it is rare if we even get our books carried for us anymore, or if we even get the door held open for us anymore. It weighs about 2 pounds people. Oh where has chivalry gone? So, maybe it won't happen like in the movies. Maybe I won't be swept up by some handsome prince. Maybe I'll meet the man of my dreams on my way to work one day, just passing by. Maybe I'll meet him at the grocery store while I'm shopping for hair products. Maybe I'll meet him at the local singles group night at church. Or maybe I've already met him and I just don't even know it yet. All of these situations are exponentially more probable than being swept off my feet and riding off into the sunset. But that's ok. Because as long as I look darn good on my wedding day, none of that other stuff matters. You know, you go to weddings and you wonder just how surprised the groom really is when he sees his bride coming down the aisle in her wedding dress for the first time.

14: I'm not a guy so I will never get to experience that. I'll be on the other end. I'll be the one walking down the aisle. I'll be the one he is looking at when he gets that look on his face. Yup. "The Look." The Look of "I don't really care what I'm getting myself in to. All I know is how beautiful she looks." THAT look. So, why have I been rambling on about weddings and about the perfect wedding dress? (which for me would be kind of like the Vera Wang one Kate Hudson wore in Bride Wars, but that's besides the point) You may be thinking, she is only 18 for goodness sake. Well, the reason that my ramblings have been centered on weddings is because of this song I found yesterday. A friend introduced me to this artist the other day and now, this is seriously my favorite song. Here is the link to the song on youtube if you care to listen http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53eAvrknuZA And here are the lyrics to the song. They are so convicting and soul-wrenching. Please listen to the song and read the lyrics for yourself. They are very powerful.... If you could love me as a wife and for my wedding gift, your life Should that be all I'd ever need or is there more I'm looking for and should I read between the lines and look for blessings in disguise To make me handsome, rich, and wise Is that really what you want I am a whore I do confess But I put you on just like a wedding dress and I run down the aisle and I run down the aisle I'm a prodigal with no way home but I put you on just like a ring of gold and I run down the aisle to you So could you love this bastard child Though I don't trust you to provide With one hand in a pot of gold and with the other in your side

15: I am so easily satisfied by the call of lovers so less wild That I would take a little cash Over your very flesh and blood Because money cannot buy a husband's jealous eye When you have knowingly deceived his wife That is all. Forever His, Rachel POSTED BY RACHEL HOUSE AT 10:59 AM SUNDAY, JULY 12, 2009 True Confessions Is it so silly to hope for perfection? Is it so hopeless to wish for the best? Well Yes. And No. Sure. We can Hope for perfection. But sometimes we Expect it. Sure. We can Wish for the best. But sometimes wishes don't come true. I have set expectations for myself over the last few years. Sometimes, I meet those expectations. Other times I don't. And it's those "other" times that really get me. It's one thing to meet your own standards. But if you don't even live up to them, how can you live with yourself? Rephrase: How can I live with myself? Sometimes I wish I just didn't set expectations at all. Then I could never fail them. I would never raise the bar, so it could never fall on top of me. Oh how I hate being crushed. Some people are resilient. They fail and they fail and they fail. And they try again.

16: Others such as myself, fail and then fail and then fail. And then suffocate to death. We aren't very resilient. We just get crushed in the process. And it hurts. It really really hurts. No one wants to get crushed and then live to tell the tale. All the tale would be about, would be failures. Just failures. So these are my true confessions. These are the kind of things that make up my life. I fail and I fail and I fail. And then all I feel is Shame. Guilt. Worthlessness. So who am I? What am I even doing here? Am I even worth Anything? How much is my life worth? How much do I COST? And then it hit me. I cost the death of a pure and blameless man. I cost the torture of kind and loving friend. I cost the pain of the one person who never leaves me. I cost the blood of Jesus Christ. And I will NOT let His death for me be in vain. I will NOT let these feelings of failure constantly overwhelm me. I will NOT be crushed by the pain I feel inside. I will be Strong. I will be Fearless. And I will be Resilient. Because my identity is not in my failures. My identity is in Christ. And I will Not Forget that. Forever His, Rachel POSTED BY RACHEL HOUSE AT 7:54 PM

19: MONDAY, JULY 13, 2009 Have You Thanked God Today? The beach is a very interesting place. It is a place of variety and diversity. People from all around come to the beach, no matter their size, shape, race, or culture. People loovveee the beach. You are pretty much bound to see all types of people. All types. So tonight, when my sisters and I went to go get some frozen yogurt at the local TCBY, it should be no surprise that we saw a little boy with extra small arms. I mean, like the rest of his body was pretty much proportional, but after I took a double-take, I realized that he had extra small arms for his normal-sized body. He was able to hold his cup of ice cream just fine, but I could just tell that it must be hard for him to do other types of activities with really small arms. It just really made me think. Here I am, constantly complaining to myself about the way I look and what little parts of me I absolutely hate and what I want to change and blah blah blah, and this little boy doesn't even have normal-sized arms. Do I have normal-sized arms? Yes. Do I have trouble doing every day activities? No. Is there anything wrong with me physically, in any way? No. So what the heck am I complaining for? I take for granted the littlest parts of myself. What about the kids who are deaf? I should never take my ears for granted. What about the kids who are blind? I should never take my eyes for granted. What about the kids who can't smell? (even though I don't even know if that's a problem) I should never take my nose for granted. Moral of the story: Do I thank God daily for the working parts of my body that I have? And I mean All of them. That funny bone of yours was put there for a reason you know. I just feel like often times I find myself complaining to God about my body, when I should really be giving Him thanks and credit for it. He made me just the way I am, in His perfect image, so shouldn't I be beyond grateful? That's just it.

20: TUESDAY, JULY 14, 2009 yellow I feel like all I ever talk about on here is music! But hey, songs really can give you something to talk about. Some songs are so deep and can have hidden meaning behind them, while others just say it how it is, no holding back. Plus, songs have a melody. Unlike poems, they give you a tune to listen to, notes and different octaves to enjoy. Two songs may be about a horrible break-up, but while one is in the key of C, the other is in the key of F minor. There is just unlimited possibilities with songs. Trust me. I have played the piano for 12 years. I still wonder how some people could come up with songs off the top of their heads, while others had to think about them for years at a time. Seriously, how long do you think it took Beethoven to compose his like 80 symphonies? Oh, and did I mention he was deaf? But we are all given gifts right? While my sister is like amazing with coming up with songs on the fly, I basically have trouble coming up with a simple 5 second tune. My forte is definitely sight-reading. While my sister has this wonderful ability to compose, she has trouble sight-reading music. And while I can't compose worth my life, I can sight-read most anything put in front of me. So why am I rambling on and on about music and songs? Well honestly, I don't really know. But I was listening to this song today by Coldplay called Yellow, and it really made me think. Sure, I've heard the song before. Possibly many times before. But I've never really thought what the song actually MEANT. I mean, the song is about the color yellow for goodness sakes. Or at least that's what I thought. Out of pure curiosity for the meaning that Coldplay meant for the song when they wrote it, I googled. I wanted to see just why they would write a song called Yellow and what it really was about. And this is what I found... "What's it about? Who knows. I've got no idea. I still think about that every day. I love playing it. I love the tune. I love the chords. I love the balloons that we use live. But I still can't quite work out what it's about." -Chris Martin from Coldplay

21: When I read this, I was a little disappointed. I thought maybe there was some deeper meaning to this song, when the writers themselves don't even really know what its really about. I also found another quote by Martin where he said they had the line "Look at the stars. Look how they shine for you." and really liked it, but couldn't think of a next line. So they looked around and saw a Yellow Pages sitting on the ground and that is where the "yellow" in the song comes from. Honestly, that is even more disappointing! I think the song is very beautiful, and I guess it could really have many different meanings for many different people. I really think its just a love song. The song is about a man who will do pretty much anything to demonstrate his love for the one he loves. And a color that normally represents cowardly things and sick things, is represented in such a beautiful and bold light that it just makes the song that much more beautiful. Ok. So I just rambled on about a song that apparently doesn't have much meaning, but isn't it funny? That the majority of songs that we do sing, we don't even really know the meaning behind the lyrics? What if the meaning was something horrifying or revolting? Would you still sing the song? Just think about that next time you're singing along to your favorite rap song. Do you even really know the words coming out of your mouth..... Forever His, Rachel POSTED BY RACHEL HOUSE AT 4:49 PM

22: TUESDAY, JULY 21, 2009 I am stuck on band aid brand... We've all got em. Those little remnants of the times you wish you weren't so clumsy. Or maybe you are proud of them. Whatever the case, we've all got em. Those little things called scars. When you're little, getting scars isn't the funnest of businesses. It requires pain. Tears. And often times, weeks of picking scabs. Yup. The art of scarring. Isn't it beautiful? Some we get while falling off a bike. Some we get while tripping over an object. Some we get by running into that glass coffee table. And some we get by falling off of treadmills. Yes. That would be me. And I will forever owe the slowly fading scars on my shins to this wonderful, and did I mention proud, moment in my life. But that story is for another day.... Regardless of how we got them, scars remind us of some moment in our lives. This moment might be small and meaningless. Or it could be a giant moment in your life that you will never ever forget. Or it could just be a moment of stupidity on your part and you would just like to forget about it... Whatever the moment may be that the scar does such a great job reminding you of, you still remember it for what sort of worth it may have. For some, scars just provide a good story to share around the table. Like "Well I was totally busting down a hill on my skateboard, about to attempt one of the greatest tricks of all time when...." Or "And then I was about to cut that last piece of wood with that axe when..." I mean the possibilities are endless. But regardless of how you got the scar, it could not have been possible without some sort of event. It's just science. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. If you decide to ride down that 60 foot hill without hitting the brakes, chances are, you are probably going to crash. And crashes usually end in all kinds of scarring... So there it is.

23: The art of scarring. You perform some kind of action. That action ends in a nasty scrape up. And that scrape turns into a scar. Especially if you pick at it... But the one thing that most people do when they get hurt is put a bandage on it. Some kind of band aid or gauze or SOMETHING. I mean it's supposed to help it heal right? If we bandage a cut, then its supposed to help it heal right? So why do so many of those cuts end up in scars.... I ask all of these questions and continue ranting about cuts and scars and gnarly wipe outs because I just want to say that all scars aren't physical. Sure, they may be the only ones that the world can see, but how many of us are scarred emotionally or socially or mentally? The world can be a nasty place. And sometimes you do get hurt. But this time, on the inside. Especially when you are young, people can say things to you or do things to you that you will never forget. Even if it is something stupid like calling you four eyes or saying you have really scrawny legs or your jump shot sucks. I don't know. But when you are young, you just absorb so much more of this crap, and it hurts you. Bad. You may try to bandage it up. You may try to forget about it and hope to heal. But how many of us have scars from those past events? How many of us have tried to forget and move on with our lives, but we just can't quite shake that pending thought of what some said to us in middle school or did to us in elementary school? I would say probably quite a few of us have one too many scars from being hurt as a kid. I just wish that everyone who has those internal scars, which would be quite a few of us I bet, would just learn to move on. They are a part of you. There is some story behind why you think you are horrible at football or why you always wear sneakers because you think your feet are too big for anything else... You can't get rid of that story. It is a part of your past and a part of your history. Just learn to live with the scar. Learn to live your life free of limitations.

24: We don't daily think about that scar we got on our chin by sliding down the pavement do we? So why think about that scar we got when someone told us we were too short to play basketball? Forget about it and move on! Life is full of cuts and scrapes and wipe outs. All we have to do is deal with the pain at the time, pick ourselves back up, and move on with our lives. All we will really have is just another scar to show for it... Forever His, Rachel POSTED BY RACHEL HOUSE AT 6:30 PM THURSDAY, JULY 23, 2009 A Work of Art, Ruined. I frequently have the pleasure of babysitting for a certain family in my neighborhood that I have come to love and admire. The kids are generally well-behaved and decent, although they ARE kids, and being so, they always come with some sort of mischief or drama or excitement. Whatever the case, the two little boys are ALWAYS full of energy and the little girl, although adorable, likes to often pick fights with the other two. I mean, Hey. If I was the only girl out of three, I would probably do the exact same thing.... Anyways. So today, while the two boys took a break and played game boys in the garage, I took it upon myself to chalk in the driveway with the little girl. Yes. I still enjoy a little chalk art if I do say so myself. (I am big fan of making fake roads in the driveway or little piles of chalk that you can hit with your hand and pretend you are making indian smoke. How.) And I decided to draw a beautiful orange and purple striped heart, which, I might add, took me rather long to complete. I am a perfectionist at heart, and I sat there until every little crack and crevice of that heart was filled in, and every colored stripe was perfectly outlined. It was a darn good multicolored striped heart. And after I looked at the heart, I said "It was good." and I rested. Hope you got the analogy.... And then it happened. SHE came over. This little girl is possibly the cutest thing in the world, but she has a thing for messing up other people's artwork.

25: So she came over to my perfectly drawn chalk heart and started rubbing it with her hand. And when I say rubbing, she pretty much destroyed all the hard work I had just done on that heart. And for a fleeting second, I was truly upset. It was a purple and orange striped chalk heart for crying out loud. But it still hurt, even for just a second. I was sad she ruined that heart, but I got right on it and tried to piece it back together the best that I could, by re-filling all the stripes and trying to make it look nice again. It took me a few minutes, but I finally finished my heart for the second time. And although it didn't look quite the same, it was still MY heart, and I had crafted it and then pieced it back together again. And then it hit me. Isn't it the same with God? WE are His handiwork. HE has crafted us and made us perfect, just the way we are. Yes. We are the purple and orange striped chalk heart in this analogy. And although He made us perfect and loves us just the way we are, when we sin, HE has to put us back together again. When we mess up and get smudged, HE is the only one who can fill in those orange and purple stripes perfectly. HE is the only one who can make us brand new again. The ONLY one. It just really made me think. You know? Like, if I got so upset over something fleeting like a stupid chalk heart, then how do you think the Lord of the universe feels when it is our souls on the line? And HE is the only one who can piece you back together again. Don't you think it probably hurts Him to see us, HIS handiwork, smudged and ruined OVER and OVER and HE gets to clean up the mess every time? I'm pretty sure it probably does. So just remember that next time. We mess up daily. Not weekly. Not monthly. DAILY. Maybe it's time you thanked God for filling in those cracks and smudges. Maybe it's time you thanked God for not giving up on you. Because without Him, we would just be another work of chalk art, Ruined and Swept away by the wind... Forever His, Rachel POSTED BY RACHEL HOUSE AT 12:58 PM

26: FRIDAY, JULY 24, 2009 It's like the Civil War. Only Not... I sat down to my computer today, ready and armed to talk about Calvinism. Yes. Calvinism. Now, if you knew me a year ago, you would have thought that perhaps this might be something that I would investigate in the future. The future being like 3 or 4 years. Not 12 months from now. I have always been a woman with a curiosity for things of a debatable nature. Now. I, myself, absolutely HATE debating, but I figure I probably should know what I believe if the event ever should present itself. Plus, accepting Jesus into your heart at age 6 doesn't give you much freedom to "play around" with the gospel for very long. I mean, come on. I've had 12 years to search and seek after and find. Why am I just doing it now? You know? But that isn't the point. That's exactly the opposite. I came to my blog today, with a readiness to discuss Calvinism. Partly, because I am just now understanding what it is, and partly, because I think it is one of the greatest things I have learned in a Long time. But, although I was so ready and so willing to discuss such a debatable topic, I realized something way more important. Isn't it shocking how more often than not we find ourselves debating with other Christians over different theologies and different doctrines and different beliefs, rather than finding similarities with each other. Like, I don't know. Jesus? We talk about what WE believe and constantly debate about such insignificant things that it can be so frustrating sometimes. Like, there are even under-the-radar stereotypes that some Christians have towards other Christians of a different denomination. Sometimes, the pastor might even unintentionally mention them during a sermon, just as a joke! Like, "Oh those Southern Baptists down at nah nah nah. I'm sure God will forgive them even though they nah nah nah. (everyone laughs)" And even though it's just a "joke", there is some kind of stereotype tagged onto it. So, although I wanted to discuss Calvinism today, I decided to save that for another day.

27: Because if we, as the Body of Christ, can't come to start making peace with Christians of other denominations, then how will we live as one body? My body functions perfectly well as One unit, and I think it would be kind of odd if one part started doing something totally different and radical and I don't know, like maybe my finger decides to leave because he can't put up with my elbow anymore. It just sounds silly doesn't it? We just need to realize that all it really boils down to is love. And if we do not have love, we have nothing. So stop this Civil War. We are brothers and sisters in Christ. We live under the same Father, for the same Father. Now stop shooting down the South. Stop smoking out the North. Be brothers and sisters and Christ and get over it. He died for us, now let's live as One body, One church, One Bride For Him. Forever His, Rachel POSTED BY RACHEL HOUSE AT 8:46 PM SUNDAY, JULY 26, 2009 The Always Awkward Three Second Stare. Friends, I come to you today with a heavy heart, to tell you that I have not only been the victim of this phenomenon, but I am also guilty of it as well. The Always Awkward Three Second Stare. T.A.A.T.S.S. I thought I could make an acronym out of it, and obviously I was painfully wrong. Moving on.... This is not something we should take lightly. It is a very awkward phenomenon, and if you genuinely knew the person previously, it makes it even harder. Perhaps I should first explain what The Always Awkward Three Second Stare, or T.A.A.T.S.S., is.

28: Well, first of all, this type of stare can happen with three different types of people. The first kind of person it can happen with is the "I know you from high school or work or church or whatever but we never really talked so that doesn't really make us friends so I'm not even going to acknowledge you" person. You lock eyes with this person for three seconds, clearly knowing who they are, but both of you decide to say nothing. Because you were never friends, but you saw them every day for the past 12 years. Ok. Moving on. The second kind of person it can happen with is the "I know you from yada yada and we talked for a little bit, but I never really got to know you further so that also doesn't really make us friends so I'm not really going to acknowledge you now even though I have before" person. You lock eyes with THIS person for three seconds, DEBATE whether to say hi, but they don't say Hi first so maybe they don't remember you but they probably do but you're just not going to say Hi anyway because they didn't say Hi first. Ok. Moving on. The last kind of person it can happen with is the "We clearly had some kind of "friendship" relationship for a year or at least we talked multiple times about things and I thought we were on like a "friend" basis but I just haven't seen you in a few years so that gives me a right to not say Hi even though I kind of want to but again, they don't say Hi first so maybe they don't remember you even though they DEFINITELY do, they are just to cowardly to acknowledge you, but you go on deciding not to say Hi anyways" person. This person is probably the most frustrating of all because you truly kind of want to say Hi but they don't say Hi to you after that three second stare so why should YOU say Hi first. You know? O.K. This stare can happen with any of these three types of people. It is awkward. It is painful. But most of all, it is Shameful. Did I really not make enough of an impression on that person's life that they don't even want to acknowledge me as a living being? Or Why didn't I take the time to get to know that person? Is it because they were in the wrong crowd and I AM A CHRISTIAN so I CAN'T be seen with people like him? NEWSFLASH: JESUS HUNG OUT WITH THE SINNERS. He didn't come to save the perfect people of this world, He came to save the broken and the lost and the hurt people. He came to save the tax collectors and the murders and the adulterers. Why can't I be more like Jesus? So many times I find that we as Christians feel like we have some sort of image to uphold in being CHRISTIANS, so we distance ourselves from the hurting and the torn and the broken.

29: We surround ourselves with Christian this and Christian that and "Oh I am just so involved, I go to like a Bible Study every night!" and continuous Christian things, that we forget. We forget that Jesus doesn't call us to make sure we are perfect Christians before we go out and make disciples. NEWSFLASH #2: WE ARE NEVER GOING TO BE PERFECT CHRISTIANS, SO STOP WAITING TO BE PERFECT. Go as you are. We all sin. We do. But instead of constantly trying to fix ourselves, which we can't even do, only God can, why aren't we trying to help others who are even more in need? Maybe they are hurting just as bad as we are, or even worse, and yet they don't even know there is Someone who can take away their pain. If you knew that going out and constantly ministering to everyone your entire life would change just one person's life on one specific occasion, would you still do it? Is that one person worth it to you? Well, that one person is worth it to God. As the body of Christ, we all play a role in the eternal scheme of things, even if it is a small one. But if that one person was you, wouldn't you do the same? There is a song by Natalie Grant called "Legacy" and I think it more than qualifies to apply in this situation. It is pretty much just about wanting to "Leave a Legacy" and during the song she says "I want to leave a legacy. How will they remember me? Did I choose to love? Did I point to You enough to make a mark on things? I want a leave an offering. A child of mercy and grace who blessed your name. I want to leave a legacy." I want to leave a legacy. And not one of beauty or wealth or popularity or even how "good" of a Christian I was, I want my life to do one thing and one thing only. Point to Jesus. If I never go down in the history books, that's ok. If I never get on the top music charts of 2000 whatever, that's ok. If I never get to meet President Obama, that's ok. If I never get to do any of these things, that's ok.

30: MONDAY, JULY 27, 2009 Tired and True. It is presently 12:36 in the a.m. I am getting up at 7 tomorrow to go volunteer all day. I had this random idea to update my blog in quite a different way than I usually do. And when I mean in a "different" way, I simply mean not ranting on and on for three pages. I couldn't really think of much to talk about, but one thing has been continuously popping in my head for the past few days. It is what you call the Four Word Gospel. And this is what it says, plain and simple. Be sick, Be loved. Be SICK. Be LOVED. I don't really know how else to put it. This is the story of the gospel. This is what it is all about. Now chew on that little piece of wisdom..... Forever His, Rachel P.S. I didn't come up with it, so it's not "my" little piece of wisdom. Just clarifying... POSTED BY RACHEL HOUSE AT 9:36 PM WEDNESDAY, JULY 29, 2009 Taking one for the team? I am a people-pleaser. It's just who I am. I don't try to stop it, and honestly, I don't know how. I guess I have just always been a complacent child, and even at a young age, I was never one to hog the spotlight. I am the oldest, and I have a sister who is fifteen months younger than me. Let's just say that whenever we played house, she was the favorite teenager daughter who always had the boyfriend. I usually got stuck playing the mom, or my all-time favorite role: the dog. (All you have to do is sit there and bark.) Although there were times that I was a little jealous that she was ALWAYS the cute teenager or the pretty princess, it's not like I really had a choice. First of all, this was back in my hermit days when I was like super shy. Plus, I would have never wanted to create that sort of conflict. Especially with my ever-popular sister.

31: It's just not something I enjoy. You know..... Drama. Me and drama do not mix. Like, I can listen for hours on end about my best friend's drama, or sometimes, get stuck in the middle of a fight between two good friends, but if I ever get somewhat involved, I pull out immediately. I do whatever needs to be done to resolve the situation quickly and painlessly. Even if it means taking one for the team. And THIS, my friends, is where I have been going wrong my whole life. I had the last meeting with my counselor before I go back to school yesterday. I was sad, because she has been a source of comfort and advice the last two months, as I have tried to overcome some issues, but I was also glad, because it means that I am now ready to face the world on my own again. Or at least, I hope so. And she told me something that I know I have been doing my whole life, but I never really thought about it the way she presented it to me. She said "Rachel, you have had balls thrown at you your whole life. And you will continue to have balls thrown at you. But instead of catching that ball and throwing it right back, you let it hit you. Over and over and over again. While you think you are just "taking one for the team", you are only hurting yourself. You just stand there, getting smacked in the head by balls over and over again, and you don't do anything to defend yourself. Right now, you don't have the glove to catch that ball. You don't. So don't try to catch it. Because you can't. It only ends up hurting you. So either dodge that ball by doing something or throw that ball right back at them. In your life, people will hurt you. Sometimes intentionally, sometimes unintentionally. But don't think you can just stand there and constantly take one for the team by not saying anything. By taking the criticism quietly and moving on. That doesn't work for you. So learn how to confront people. Stop letting people hurt you, and start making them aware that they are doing it. Only then, will you have the glove to catch those balls being thrown at you." I have never heard it said like that my entire life. Why have I been letting those balls hit me? Is it because I'm scared to face conflict? Or am I afraid of ruining a relationship? Either way, I can't let them hit me anymore. And I won't. It's scary to think of the future conflicts I will face and the people I will have to confront. But I know now that I have to do it. I love making people happy, but if it is at my own emotional and mental expense, is it really worth sitting there and taking one for the team.... Have you been "taking one for the team" lately? Forever His, Rachel POSTED BY RACHEL HOUSE AT 7:32 AM

32: SATURDAY, AUGUST 1, 2009 Sorry. I forgot to pray for you. Have you ever told someone that you would pray for them and never did? I mean, like you had the most sincerest of hearts when you told them you would pray for them, and you honestly really wanted to, but then life kind of caught up with you and you sort of forgot? Well, this is something that happens to me ALL of the time. You have a friend who is struggling with something. You say "I will definitely pray for you." and really mean it. You leave and get caught up in cleaning your room, doing your homework, and hanging with other friends. You completely forget to pray for that person. You realize a week later, when they tell you that "all went well and thank you so much for praying for me", that you never even prayed for them, but not wanting them to know that, say "No problem. I love praying for you." Oops right? I feel like this occurs in my life quite often. Now, I am not a prayer warrior. Some people can pray, and I just feel like they MUST have rehearsed it or something because it is such a wonderful prayer. Like really really spiritual and everything. He's even got a few pieces of scripture thrown in there. And then there's me. I pray faster than I can think, I have a tendency to go off on tangents every next thought, and I often forget words when I am praying so I substitute with "I'm not sure what happens but I pray that your will be done" or something to that extent. God knows what I'm thinking of anyways right? Even if I don't even know myself.... So sometimes I try to keep my prayers short, so I don't have time to screw up. I don't have time to forget the right words or to lose my train of thought. I just pray for one thing, and then I'm done. Half the time, I feel like God knows it all anyways, so why does He need me to pray for it? Why should I pray for something that has a set outcome anyways? God is ultimately in control, so what will my one little prayer do? But it's not about what I'm praying for necessarily, it's THAT I'm praying which counts. The Lord loves when we come to Him and just talk. It doesn't matter what about. He just wants us to acknowledge Him as the king of the universe and the maker of all things. And for us to bring our bruised hearts and bandaged lives to Him in pieces, so that He can put us back together again.

33: Sometimes I feel bad, because I often pray the same prayer before I go to bed every night. It's about 15 seconds long, but at least I'm praying right? It goes something like this.... "Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you so much for this day. Thank you for keeping us safe and I pray that I will be able to glorify you tomorrow in all that I do. Please keep us safe tonight and to have a goodnight's sleep. I pray all this in your name, Amen. I love you." And that's it. Short. Sweet. And shallow. Half the time, I just say the pray as a part of my going to bed ritual. I don't even think about the words that I'm saying. Now what kind of a prayer is that? We wouldn't go up to one our friends and say the same thing over and over again. For example, if I had a friend, and I wanted to keep up the friendship, I would just talk to them once a day for 20 seconds and say "Hey. I hope you are having a great day. I'm so glad we are friends. I'm glad we can talk about stuff. Have a great day. Bye." What kind of a friendship would that be? Shallow. And meaningless. Is that how your relationship is with the Lord? Are you talking to Him out of obligation as a "good Christian" or are you talking to Him because you genuinely want Him to know how your day was? Sure. He already knows how your day was, but just as friend heard from another friend that you had a crappy day, they would still want to hear it from you. That's what they are there for. A shoulder to cry on and someone to share excitement with. And God wants to be that friend to us. He wants us to come to Him in our best of times and in our worst of times and just tell Him what's going on. And that's the best part. He is ALWAYS there. A friend who sticks by you ALWAYS and will never leave you, no matter what. So don't come to the Father out of obligation. Stop praying meaningless things and praying ritualistically. Come to the Father because you want to. Come to Him because He wants us to, and He is the only one who can truly satisfy all of our longings and cover all of our fears. Think about that the next time you go to pray because you feel like you have to. Pray because you want to. That is all. Forever His, Rachel POSTED BY RACHEL HOUSE AT 8:53 PM

34: TUESDAY, AUGUST 4, 2009 The Seasons of Life Just as the seasons of the year change, so do the seasons of life. They come and go without warning, and change just when we don't expect them to. I still remember my first day of 8th grade. Now I am a Sophmore in college. Where did time go? Not only do the seasons of life change, but we change with them. I used to be quite, reserved, and shy. Now I am louder, more outgoing, and definitely not shy. Sure, I still have some of those more reserved aspects. I am a conservative Republican for crying out loud. But I have changed. At least for the better anyway. Have I endured hardships during those changes in life? Yes. Have I prayed to God that my life wouldn't change? Yes. Did God let it change anyway because He ultimately knew it was for my greater good and His richer joy? Yes. So why is it so hard when the seasons change? Why is it so hard when the tide comes in and goes out and then comes back in again? Don't you just wish sometimes that life would just stand still? At least for a moment anyway. So you wouldn't have to go through the discomfort and hardships and stress that come with the change. Because believe me, those things come. Good things ultimately come of the change, but it is so hard to focus on those things when you are going through those hard times. Isn't it? I mean for a while you are a cute kid. Fun. Sweet. Lovable. Then puberty hits. You grow taller. Become more gawky. Get horrible acne. Start needing deodorant. You are just plain awkward.

35: And all you want is to get past this point in your life, to move on and get beautiful, or to go back and be cute again. Either way, you don't want to be that awkward pre-teen! And the seasons change. And you grow up. And you are now in high school. And you have to deal with boy drama. Or AP classes. Or drugs. Or drinking. And all you want is to go back to that awkward pre-teen face when all you had to worry about was what acne cream to use and what deodorant to buy. Why couldn't life be that simple? But then you change again. And you go off to college. And you start dealing with Grad classes. And bars. And tuition money. And growing up. Why couldn't you have stayed a teen in high school forever? Why did you have to grow up? But you see, there are good things that come of every change. Every time you go through one, there is always something better that comes of it. Unless that change is becoming a raging alcoholic, because all you will get in that situation is knocked up and put on welfare. My point is... Life changes. People change. But one thing remains the same. And that my friends, is our heavenly Father. So turn to Him in your time of need, because He will never turn you down. Forever His, Rachel POSTED BY RACHEL HOUSE AT 7:49 PM

36: TUESDAY, AUGUST 18, 2009 Comfort Zone Issues. So I was sitting on the bus today. Just minding my own business. When I thought of something. I realized that I was just sitting there. Quiet. Untalkative. and unnoticed. And I was fine with that. I didn't really care to turn to the person sitting beside me and say "Hey! How are you doing today?" I didn't really care to ask the girl standing in the aisle if she had a good day. I just wanted to sit there. Quiet. Untalkative and unnoticed. Because I was comfortable that way. Have you ever found yourself in that situation? Where it is just so easy to fly through the day doing things YOU want to do and talking to people YOU want to talk to instead of actually reaching out to complete strangers? Didn't Jesus hang out with the complete strangers? Didn't Jesus talk to those who were never talked to? Why can't I do that? Sure, I may be a social person, but no social person enjoys going out of their comfort zone, no matter what it is. I don't want to be THAT girl who starts talking to someone random I met on the bus. Who does that? I'll tell you who. Jesus did that. And I should too. Who cares if it makes me feel uncomfortable? Who cares if it make me sweat? Do you really want to go through life without taking any chances or stepping out of your comfort zone? Sometimes those chances can be the most rewarding ones of all. You never know unless you try. So I sat there on the bus. Trying to muster up the courage to talk to someone I don't know. But I felt so comfortable just sitting there silently. So I just kept sitting there, silently. And I came to my stop, and I got off. I didn't change someone's life today. And I didn't go out of my comfort zone. But I PRAY that next time I will. I PRAY that I will have the courage and that boldness next time. God wants us to go out and make disciples.

37: How can I do that if I can't even talk to a fellow student on the campus bus? So I will pray. And I will seek. And I will find that courage. Because I know the Lord can give me some. I just hope He gives me a desire to reach out as well.... Forever His, Rachel POSTED BY RACHEL HOUSE AT 9:45 PM TUESDAY, AUGUST 25, 2009 Forgive and Forget.....Right? I have always had a thing against people who hold grudges. "Who are YOU to hold a grudge against this person who has barely hurt you at all, while you sit here doing your own thing half the time and when you go to God for forgiveness, HE doesn't hold a grudge against you. So why would you hold a grudge against someone else???" I just never quite understood it. It's kind of like the parable of the rich man and the poor man in the Bible. Where... This one rich man owed another great man a large sum of money. When he told this great man that he could not repay him, the important man forgave the debt of the rich man immediately and let him go on his way. But this same rich man then goes back to his life where a very poor man owes HIM a very small sum of money. And instead of forgiving the very small debt of the poor man, the rich man threw him in prison because he couldn't repay the debt! How could he!! Right!? I mean he just got a huge debt that HE owed forgiven, but then HE can't even forgive this small debt this poor man owes him. It just does not make any sense. But that is EXACTLY how we are. We are that rich man. And the great man is Jesus. And we sin OVER AND OVER AND OVER again, and yet every time we come to Jesus and tell Him that we can NOT repay the debt we owe Him, He forgives us anyway. IMMEDIATELY He forgives us. Time and time again.

38: And then when a friend of ours (the poor man in the parable) comes to us and does us wrong in some way or can't repay us for something they have done, then we just sit here, unwilling to forgive the debt. Unwilling to just let it go. And we punish this person. By either holding this grudge against them (or I guess we would throw them in prison like in the old days lol). And it just doesn't make any sense!! Who are WE to not forgive and forget when Jesus forgives and forgets CONSTANTLY. ALL THE TIME. EVERY DAY. Because if He didn't, we would all be dead men right now. Because we can't repay that debt. We can NEVER repay that debt. He had to pay it for us. It's funny though. As much as I have a thing against people who hold grudges, somehow, the more I am hurt by people and the more I get angry over little things, the more I find MYSELF holding grudges. The more I find MYSELF unwilling to just Forgive. and Forget. So I know it is hard. And often times it is just a pride issue. God forgive me for that one as well. But just as Jesus said to love your neighbor as yourself, so should you do this. And by doing this, you will find that holding grudges just seems kind of silly. Jesus forgives and forgets immediately. Why can't we? Forever His, Rachel POSTED BY RACHEL HOUSE AT 4:33 PM

39: THURSDAY, AUGUST 27, 2009 Where is the Love? You know, we wonder why there isn't more love in the world. Right? I mean, there are so many hurting people out there, and we as Christians talk about all day long about how we should go help them and stuff, but do we ever really? Do we ever really give up our comfortable lives and just SERVE? Do we ever really want to? Now, I'm not saying you have to go and be like Ghandi, for instance. He gave up everything to be poor and live like a peasant, in order to reach out to the hurting people around him. But I'm not saying that is for everybody. I do believe that God gave us what we have for a reason. Not to squander it and continuously seek after more, but to be thankful for it and to put it to good use. So WHY AREN'T WE? I find myself so comfortable in the lifestyle that I am given that, although I constantly talk about helping others and serving the poor, I find myself maybe not wanting to. Because it would mean giving up a piece of my comfort, stepping out of my comfort zone, and actually doing something for someone else for a change. And it can be really scary. But I think this world needs more of that. It needs more love. So, as Christians, and as a people as a whole, why do often find it hard to love others? Well, I am not saying that I have all the answers or that I know why, but I can only speculate. I think it is because we do not love OURSELVES enough. I'm not saying that we have an issue with the way we look necessarily, although that could be one of the problems, but really, that we are not thankful enough for who WE are and what WE are given. How can we love others unconditionally, when we can't even love ourselves? I heard a sermon last night about Gratitude. And the pastor said "Imagine Jesus as a waiter holding a giant pitcher of ice cold water. And we are all sitting in a restaurant, some of us maybe have had a hard time the last few years and our glass is only half full or a quarter full, while others of us have had a pretty good time and have our glass 3 quarters full or more. And some of us, instead of being grateful for what we have, CONSTANTLY thirst for more. We aren't satisfied with what we have, no matter how much or how little it is, and we are always asking for more.

40: And Jesus is just telling us to WAIT. Just be patient. Be thankful with what you have now. Be content and happy with the person that you are and the things that you have. Because it is when you are truly thankful for what you have, when He will come and fill your cup up with more. He will bless you and your cup will "overfloweth"." So stop WAITING for more. Stop expecting your life will get better and waiting for it to change before you go do good unto others. Do good unto others NOW. Because it is when we are truly thankful for who we are, and what God has given us, that we will find ourselves Wanting to love on others. Wanting to give our lives in service to the Lord. And love will come out of that. Because... Love begets love. A wise man once said "Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame." That was King Solomon in case you were wondering. Oh. Did I mention he was the wisest man that ever live? Literally. Now chew on that.... Forever His, Rachel POSTED BY RACHEL HOUSE AT 11:47 AM

41: THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 2009 EXILE "The cowering prisoners will soon be set free; they will not die in their dungeon, nor will they lack bread. For I am the Lord your God, who churns up the sea so that its waves roar-- the Lord Almighty is his name. I have put my words in your mouth and covered you with the shadow of my hand-- I who set the heavens in place, who laid the foundations of the earth, and who say to Zion, "You are my people." Isaiah 51: 14-16 The cowering prisoners will soon be set free. They will be SET FREE. I heard a sermon last night about those living in Exile. Unwanted, unheard, and unalive. They are living in this pit of sin and they don't feel like they can get out. They are trapped. Hurting. And Suffocating. Two people got up to give their testimonies last night. One of them was my prayer leader. And he got up there and said how he had grown up in a Christian home. Accepted Jesus when he was 12. And continued to pursue Him all the way through college. Then he transferred to UGA. And he started trying to find his "identity" in something other than Jesus. He slowly slipped away from God and into a long depression. And he COULD NOT GET OUT. Or at least that's how he felt. He felt trapped and unable to climb out of that pit by himself. But four guys befriended him. They loved on him. And they poured into him. And then they brought him to a college ministry one night. And the Lord lifted that depression off of him. And he was healed. He was on medications, antidepressants, and seeing all kinds of different therapists. But the Lord took all of that away from him. He pulled him out of that pit.

42: My purpose in telling this story is not to say that the Lord heals all things and that if you go to church all your pain will be gone. No. I believe the Lord CAN heal all things and He could if He wanted to. But He has a specific plan for everyone's life, and often times, He puts you through those hard things to make you stronger, better, wiser. My real purpose in telling this story is to say that there are all kinds of "exiles" in the world. Most go unnoticed. Silently hurting. Slowly fading. I was one of them for a time. Unwilling to let the world see me for who I was inside. Unable to show the pain and self hatred I had for myself. I have struggled with that self hatred for many years now. Not being pretty enough. Not being thin enough. Not being GOOD enough. And that has been a constant inner battle with me for the last few years. But I can honestly say today that I realized something last week. I don't have that self hatred anymore. I don't look at a picture and wish that I saw someone completely different standing there. Sure. I have my days. Who doesn't? But I am not constantly focused on those things. The Lord has taken them away from me. He has set me FREE. I know this probably sounds way supernatural or something of the sort. Or maybe it doesn't. But God can do all things. And He let me fall to my lowest point this summer. I was hurting for all the wrong reasons. Some self hatred. Some self pity. BOTH sinful. And BOTH hard to get out of. But He slowly brought me back to Him. It's funny how God does things. He lets us get to our absolutely lowest point before He draws us back to Himself once and for all. He lets us hit ground zero before He picks us up and says "Ok. That's enough. Now run back to me."

43: It's hard to say that I was still following God during my darkest hours. Because I know I wasn't. I still loved Him. But I felt so far gone that He could do nothing for me. HE CAN. And He will. Whether it be in this life, or the next. "The cowering prisoners will soon be set free" He came to set us free. He lived to set us free. He DIED an agonizing, brutal, and horrifying death to set us free. And He will. LOVE the EXILES. For you may have been one of them... Forever His, Rachel POSTED BY RACHEL HOUSE AT 6:49 AM SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2009 Oops. Was that the line? A friend recently told me that I should get out more. Experience the world. Maybe be a little "bad" or dangerous. Do I want to be naive my whole life? Live under a rock? Now. I was homeschooled till the 8th grade, so that did contribute to some of my shelterdeness. Plus, I accepted Jesus into my heart at age 6. So no time for messing up there. And, I've always been the role model to my three younger sisters, and God knows I've already screwed up enough in that department. So. Why would getting out more and experiencing the world really be a problem? Why shouldn't I get to have a little fun here or there? Here is the way I see it. As Christians, we were designed to live IN this world and not OF this world. To be a part of it, and yet not partake in worldly things.

44: So. Where is the line drawn? How much is too much? How far is too far? Is getting a fake ID to get into clubs a sin? You aren't doing anything wrong if you're not getting drunk right? Is grinding all up on people a problem? You aren't having sex, so where is the issue here? The problem is, there is no distinct "line". We can't say "Ok. Here is the line. As long as I don't cross it, I will be ok." Or I guess, in a sense, we could. If we say the line is having sex, then grinding and I quote, "dirty dancing", should not be a problem right? Because they may be getting "close" to the line, But they are definitely NOT crossing it. So. What do I do? Is crossing the line the only "bad" thing, or is getting pretty darn close to it just as bad? I heard once that it says in the Bible to flee sexual immorality. Not to get as close as you possibly can without crossing the line. Not to see if you can barely touch it and then step away. No. I heard it means just what it says. FLEE. Does the same thing apply to other sins? I mean. If you aren't lusting or being sexual immoral in any way while you are grinding, does it really make it bad? You're just having fun right? The problem is, if you aren't too careful, you might just end up crossing that "line". And nobody wants to be that girl who has to say... "Oops. Was that the line?" Forever His, Rachel POSTED BY RACHEL HOUSE AT 10:08 PM

45: SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2009 I need you to love me. Why, why are You still here with me Didn't You see what I've done? In my shame I want to run and hide myself But it's here I see the truth I don't deserve You [Chorus:] But I need You to love me, and I I won't keep my heart from You this time And I'll stop this pretending that I can Somehow deserve what I already have I need You to love me I, I have wasted so much time Pushing You away from me I just never saw how You could cherish me 'Cause You're a God who has all things And still You want me Your love makes me forget what I have been Your love makes me see who I really am Your love makes me forget what I have been This song spoke to my heart. The words really describe something I have realized the last few months. -I don't deserve Him. -I have spent so much time pushing Him away. -I have kept my heart from Him. -I have messed up beyond imagination. But He STILL wants me. I need to Stop pretending that I can deserve what He's already done. I will never deserve what He has already done. It is by His grace, His love, His death that we are saved. That I am saved. 2 Corinthians 12: 9-10 "And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong." Here is the link in case you want to listen to the song by Barlow Girl: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QaM8l4Pn8c&feature=related Forever His, Rachel POSTED BY RACHEL HOUSE AT 3:27 PM

46: THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2010 Warning: Do not be Lukewarm. I haven't blogged in quite a while. Life has just caught up with me I guess. I could tell you pages and pages worth of thoughts I have had over the past couple of months. But I will spare you. With a sense of urgency, I will tell you of my thoughts of late. You probably have already read the tagline. "Warning: Do not be Lukewarm." That is what I have come to warn you about! It is what the Father has been pressing on my heart MAJOR this week. First, it came with a video I watched. This guy talking about how many Christians go through life "thinking" they are Christians, but continue to live in sin. They pray the prayer. They go to church. They believe in God. I have a newsflash: Even the devil believes in God. "You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that--and shudder." James 2:19 Sorry. Try again. Then, I was just sitting in my car today and staring out over Athens. Just looking around. At EVERYTHING. And thinking how on fire I was for Jesus coming to college because I knew Athens would be a place of spiritual warfare and temptation. And it was! For a time... But now I have gotten comfortable. And so have so many other Christians! We live our lives in COMPLACENCY. Lukewarm. Comfortable. Unwilling to step outside our Jesus circles to be with those who NEED Jesus. To be with those who Jesus came to save, the tax collectors, murderers, rapists, liars, self-righteous, poor, hungry, PEOPLE. I say this with SUCH urgency. DO NOT BE LUKEWARM. Jesus said, "I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth." Revelation 3:15-16 He wasn't bruised, beaten, torn to shreds, spit upon, put through physical, emotional, spiritual anguish so that we could PRAY A PRAYER. No.

47: Do not be fooled. Complacency is probably the Devil's Easiest and most Obscure tool for bringing "Christian's" away from the Lord. To be Lukewarm. To be comfortable. To fail to deny ourselves daily and follow Him. Do not forget the parable of the sower..... "The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away." Matthew 13:20-21 These are the type of "Christians" that never know the Lord. They receive Him with "joy" at first. They pray the prayer. They go to church. They are on "fire for God" for a short time. But they do not last. Their hearts grow lukewarm. They shy away from living on fire. They fall back into sin. They are afraid and so they stay complacent. Do. Not. Be. This. "Christian". Because I fear for your life. I fear that on the day you get to heaven Jesus will tell you this..... "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'" Matthew 7:21-23 I don't care if you go to church. I don't care if you pray daily. I don't care if you've go to the soup kitchen every Sunday, go on mission trips every summer, and always read your Bible. That makes you a good person. That does not necessarily make you a Christian. Be on fire. Or don't give a crap. But do not pretend. Do not just go through the motions.

48: I leave you with this..... "You women who are so complacent, rise up and listen to me; you daughters who feel secure, hear what I have to say! In little more than a year you who feel secure will tremble; the grape harvest will fail, and the harvest of fruit will not come. Tremble, you complacent women; shudder, you daughters who feel secure! Strip off your clothes, put sackcloth around your waists." Isaiah 32:9-11 The time is coming near. Tremble, you who are complacent. You who feel secure. Because He is coming back as a Lion. So be on fire. Do. Not. Be. Lukewarm. Forever His, Rachel POSTED BY RACHEL HOUSE AT 5:01 PM 1 COMMENTS SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2010 "I run in the path of Your commands, for You have set my heart FREE." Psalm 119:32 They say a picture says a thousand words. Well, that verse just painted a picture for me. And this is what it says: JESUS = FREEDOM Forever His, Rachel POSTED BY RACHEL HOUSE AT 11:57 AM

49: SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2010 My Goals in Life. -To live radically in the name of Jesus Christ. -To proclaim His name above all other names. -To delight in bringing Him praise and in giving Him glory. -To live a life worthy of the calling that has been place on my life. -To honor His will and to put it above my own. -To trust that the Lord is good and His word will endure forever. -To find my peace in Him though the storms of my life may rage on. -To love others above myself and count my life as nothing without Jesus. -To reflect His glory solely in all that I do. -To be childlike in my faith. -To delight in Him and Him alone, as He is the only thing worth delighting in. These are only a few of my goals in life. But to sum it up, here is my final goal.... To be like Jesus. Forever His, Rachel POSTED BY RACHEL HOUSE AT 1:57 PM

50: SATURDAY, MARCH 20, 2010 Deep Thoughts. Often times, I will come across a thought that perplexes me. Draws me in. Makes me want to ponder over it more and more. Brings me to a place of wonder and awe. And leaves me wanting to know more. This is one of those thoughts..... What if we loved God because of who He is. Not because of what He has done for us. Not for what we want Him to do for us. Not for what He will do for us. He didn't have to die on that cross for us. He didn't have to create me or you. He didn't have to get you into college or place you into the wonderful family you're in. But He did. But He didn't HAVE to. God doesn't HAVE to show favor. He doesn't HAVE to do anything. He. is. God. So why do I often times find myself praising Him because of what He's done for me? Which is great. Because I should praise Him for the wonderful things he has blessed me with. But He didn't HAVE to bless me. Would I still praise Him if I was born into a broken family, lived a broken life, and never felt a sense of happiness or love? So praise God. Glorify God. Love God. Because of WHO HE IS. Not because of what He's done for you. But because HE IS GOD and there is no other. Because HE IS LORD and there is none like Him. What if we loved God Because. He. is. God. Period. You think about that. Forever His, Rachel POSTED BY RACHEL HOUSE AT 10:21 PM

51: MONDAY, MARCH 22, 2010 Love is Patient Sometimes I feel like all I ever do is wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. And I hate it. I hate everything about it. I hate the process of waiting. I hate how you feel when you wait. I hate how sometimes your leg cramps up because you've been sitting too long waiting. I even hate the word "wait". It shares the same sound as the word "weight". And no woman likes that word. So I wait. And I watch. And I wait. And sometimes I feel like God's not doing anything in my life. At. all. But still I wait. Patiently? I would like to think so, But no. Not usually. It has been especially hard waiting this last year. I have been waiting for God to bring that perfect man into my life. And when I mean perfect, I speak metaphorically, of course, because we know no man is perfect. But that's beside the point. I'm in college. I'm a 19 year old Christian female. I am surrounded by all kinds of great Christian guys. I often times buy into the Southern way of thinking: Go to college. Find a husband. Get married. Graduate. Or in something like that order. It can vary. But of all those things. I've only done one. And I think we all know what that is.... It just makes sense. College=Find Christian Husband Graduation=Marriage Life=Happily Ever After The perfect equation. Or is it? I just have this deep desire to get married. To spend the rest of my life with someone. To have a family and to love them. But that's not it.

52: I want to love my husband with an agape kind of love. To model my relationship with him after Christ and the love He has for the church. To be an example for my kids of just how much Jesus loves them by loving my husband unconditionally, the way that Christ has loved us. To show them that although our love is fallable and weak at times, Christ's love is infallable and never weak. It is a stronghold and a shelter. A mighty fortress is our God. To be a submissive wife and a loving mother. To be an obedient servant and a respectful partner. To love my family unconditionally and to put them before myself. To be worthy of the calling placed on my life. That is the kind of woman I want to be. Godly. Loving. Obedient. PATIENT. Love is patient. So why can't I be? Forever His, Rachel POSTED BY RACHEL HOUSE AT 7:27 PM TUESDAY, MARCH 23, 2010 My Life Is Average. To the untrained eye, I am just an average person. I can't walk on water. I can't make myself invisible. I can't fly without a plane. I can't teleport. I can't make a fire with my hands. I can't jump off a building and land on my feet. I can't even do my own laundry. But am I really average? I often wonder how people see me. Not always in a vain way, although at times, it can turn into that. But just in the sense of who they think I am. I treat them average, so why should they think I am any different? I don't go out of my way for them, so doesn't that just make me like every other person? I HATE THIS.

53: I hate that when the world looks at Christians, they just see a bunch of judgmental people who are trying to make their lives have meaning. (Not always. But often.) I hate that when the world looks at Christians, they just see the world. They hardly ever see Jesus. I am an average person. So how will people see Jesus in me? How will the world see Jesus unless we show Him to them? I want to leave a legacy. How will they remember me? Did I choose to love? Did I point to you enough to make a mark on things? I want to leave a offering. A child of mercy and grace who blessed your name, unapologetically. I want to leave a legacy. -Nichole Nordeman I want my life to reflect this song. To leave a legacy. And not for myself. That people will remember Jesus when they remember me. Contrary to the ways of the world, I DON'T want to be average. I DON'T want to fit in. I want to be different. The way that Jesus was when He lived. He was different. He had joy. And now we can rejoice for He lives in us! I want to leave a legacy. Now that you've read through my blog, you're probably like "Rachel, I've heard this so many times before. It's nothing new." If it's nothing new, than WHY AREN'T WE LIVING IT?????? So stop saying you will and just DO. Let the spirit of the Lord direct your paths. If you do, they will be SO not average. Forever His, Rachel POSTED BY RACHEL HOUSE AT 3:18 PM

54: WEDNESDAY, MARCH 24, 2010 Man Vs. Food. Chyeah. I should be studying. But instead, I've decided to watch Man Vs. Food. Best. Show. Ever. But that's besides the point. I am so idle. I HATE IT. Life is just too short to sit around and watch Man Vs. Food at 1:50 in the morning. Do you not agree? I also shouldn't be blogging. But I'm doing that too. I want to live by this principle: "Life is too short to live the same day twice." The truth to that statement is overwhelming. We aren't promised tomorrow. So why would I want to live this day the way I spent my last one? I want to live with passion. And drive. I want my life to go somewhere. To mean something. Not to just consist of planning my week. Watching my calorie intake. Catching my favorite show every Tuesday. Running every other day. Making small talk with my neighbors. Going to bed at 11 every night. Sitting around doing nothing. I want to BE someone. DO something. Every. Day. I never want to live this same day ever again. I want to make the most of every day I've been given, within the limits of my budget, of course. But I don't want to be complacent. I will no longer settle for Man Vs. Food at 1:50 in the morning. I will no longer put off this studying. I will press on. Because that is what will bring God the most glory. There is something so selfish about my character and I LOATHE it. It brings me so much anguish to think that although I often talk about living every day for Jesus, I rarely do it! I know the spirit of the Lord lives in me, but how often do I actually walk in sync with His spirit? How often do I let Him control my life? Um. Hardly ever? I want to wake up every morning with the joy of the redeemed. But I always wake up only thinking about me! What I will do with my day. What will make ME happy that day. I feel like I let my Heavenly Father down more often than not. And it KILLS me. That He would look on me still. Even after every thing I've done and continue to do. I am so unworthy.

55: But He makes me worthy. Even if I do tend to watch Man Vs. Food at 1:50 in the morning. Oh, excuse me. 2:03. Forever His, Rachel POSTED BY RACHEL HOUSE AT 10:45 PM THURSDAY, MARCH 25, 2010 Awkwardness. Do you ever feel like you are the most awkward person alive? Like everything you do is just super awkward? And that everyone else is just super smooth and they don't even have to try? This is the story of my life. I grew up in a family that was pretty outspoken. But I wasn't. I was always a very shy child and didn't say much. For those of you that don't know, often times awkwardness accompanies shyness. I have definitely changed since then, being a lot more outgoing and such. But one thing has remained the same. I am still super awkward. You know that awkward situation when someone is talking but you are like really nervous about talking to them, so you often times cut them off accidentally? It's not even like you're trying to rush the conversation (maybe you are) but you often times just find yourself cutting into their talking time. That's awkward. Or when you pass someone you know on the street and you look at them, but they don't see you, so you don't say hi and do like the whole look down thing and then they see you and you were like crap I didn't say hi first. I don't even know. Its just awkward. Or when you mean to be funny when you say a remark, but then no one laughs and then you just feel terrible and then it just gets awkward talking to the person. Or when you go up to a group of people, but don't really look at someone in the group because you like them and are afraid of making eye contact with them, and then they will suspect you like them or some crazy mess like that. So you don't really look at them, and make it more awkward. That's just so awkward!

56: Or when you trip ALL. THE. TIME. And sometimes spill your cereal milk all over the Milledge bus because you fall out of your seat on the turn, or tend to trip up the stairs and spill half your newly bought 4 dollar Dasani waterbottle all over the innocent girl in the 5th row of the movie theater. That is just so stinkin awkward. Oh Lord. Help me to stop being so awkward. Sometimes I think it affects my social life. No wait. That's all the time. Forever His, Rachel POSTED BY RACHEL HOUSE AT 4:28 PM FRIDAY, MARCH 26, 2010 What Not to Wear. Ever. Stacy London and Clinton Kelly. Taking over the world by storm; One fashion victim at a time. To bring justice to the nation and to make sure you aren't wearing white after labor day. They do it all, and at the end of the day, they know their fashion. So would they think I'm fashionable? What defines "fashion" anyway? Is it merely fads that we go through? Eras and decades that keep coming back? Is it whether you wear flared jeans or acid wash or maybe you're more into the whole leggings as pants thing. Whatever your fashion niche (or fashion evil), how do you know you're fashionable? I've always wondered this. Because to an emo person, I'm probably not fashionable. They're more into that whole "everything-including-my-soul-is-black" thing. And I don't really exemplify that. To the more preppy folk, I may not be very fashionable either. I can rock the frump look, if you know what I mean. But I'm not quite eccentric or hippie either. I'm just me. So why do I still care so much?

57: Why is fashion so fun? (Or not fun if you can't find anything to wear because you feel like a hot mess). Either way, I just think it's so funny how. much. time. people. put. into. material things. Like there are so many worldly things that can be so fun! And God made them that way. But not to obsess about it, you know? We naturally gravitate towards people we see as attractive or fashionable. It is a form of expression and helps define your personality in a way. Not always, and this might sound cheesy, but often times you can tell a lot about a person by the way they present themselves to the world. I guess that was kind of what God was talking about when He said to be in this world, but not of it. BE fashionable. It's not a sin. Just don't take it over board. Don't obsess about that monthly sale at J-Crew Or the spring collection at H&M. God provides all things. Maybe I should ask for more fashion sense. Ha. Forever His, Rachel POSTED BY RACHEL HOUSE AT 2:05 PM WEDNESDAY, MARCH 31, 2010 Lazy Daisy. Why is the human population getting lazier and lazier? We eat (overly), sleep (not enough), go to work (in some instances add -aholic), and....the end. Where is the much needed exercise? Where is the excitement in life? We get into a rut. An Easy. Breezy. But not quite Beautiful life. So how do we get out of it? How do we stop taking our lives for granted? I woke up at 1:30 in the afternoon today after going to bed at 11 last night. Now let me tell you, it was much needed sleep for sure, getting only 3 hours the night before, but seriously? 1:30? I wasted the majority of my day away. A majority that I can never get back.

58: We forget to keep our lives in check. How much we eat. How much we exercise. How much we sleep. How much we allow ourselves to indulge in different things. 1 hour of video gaming time....ok. 5 hours of video gaming time....not so ok. There is a fine balance in life. A balance that most people think is very easy to maintain. But this is not so true.... It is easy to walk the tight rope for the first few steps, sure, but it's after you think you've got it down that you start to wobble, and eventually, fall off. For those taking the easy and wide road, sure, indulge in life all you want. Don't strive after much. Only work the minimum. Put half of your heart into your family. Take that extra three nights a week to go boozing. Make that tall mocha a venti. Don't worry about it, because you've got plenty of lee-way to do whatever you want. But for those taking the hard and narrow, it's hard. I'm not here to lie to you. Striving means a lot of work to get there. Working means putting your best foot forward every day. Family means loving them unconditionally all the time, no matter what. Those extra free nights a week mean more time with friends, more time with family, more time with GOD. Food and Drink mean moderation. Plain and simple. It's hard not to overindulge on the good things in life. But God is so much better. I hate wasting my life away with the little things. I really do. And I hate knowing that I do it. We are called to be in a relationship with God. To break the chains of the oppressed. To set the captives free. Have you set a captive free today? Forever His, Rachel POSTED BY RACHEL HOUSE AT 12:26 PM

59: THURSDAY, APRIL 8, 2010 Warning: Godly women protect your heart. There is a Godly man afoot. ok seriously? i love my guy friends. they are awesome. they love Jesus. they are awesome. THEY LOVE JESUS. here is the problem: they are awesome AND they love Jesus. CONCLUSION: they are totally marriage material and we should date. wait, WHAT????? this kind of train of thought is not uncommon for many Christian college aged girls nowadays. it has just become the norm. meet some awesome Christian guys in college. if they are sweet, funny, and love Jesus=marriage material if they are sweet, funny, love Jesus and are chivalrous in any way (aka open doors for you, walk you home....things gentlemen do)=not only are they marriage material but they love you too and want to have 3 babies and a house ok. no no no no no no no no NO! it does not work that way at all. but the thing that sucks is that many of us Christian girls want it to. but its hard. because we can't just be friends with an awesome Christian guy unless we are totally prepared and guarding our hearts. so easily do we fall under the spells of kindness and goodness and gentleness and faithfulness: traits that these godly men possess. you know why? because Jesus gave it to them. because they are fruits of the SPIRIT. not fruits of John, Jacob, or Jingleheimershmidt. Fruits of the SPIRIT. ERGO, we aren't falling prey to these men per say (although they may have rock hard bodies and need a bandaid because they are so cut), but in fact, we are falling in love with the Jesus in them. the Jesus we know will never fail us no matter what. so its so hard. it really is. and if any guys ever read these silly blog posts of mine, then know this. we love that you love Jesus. and i know that you know that we love that you love Jesus. just know that because you know that i know that you know that we love that you love Jesus, doesn't mean it makes it any easier on either of us. ok. so maybe that was a little too confusing. basically. good job Christian guys, godly men of faith, perserverers in the Word, lights of the world. keep doing what you do.

60: just know that we Christian girls KNOW that you all are more in touch with your feelings than other men other. we know that you know who you are in Christ and are confident in Him. just know that we never want to push you away because of something you've done wrong. it's probably because you are doing everything right. and that's when it comes time that we must protect our hearts. back away. and leave it up to Jesus. because the guards at the gate to my heart may be strong enough to withstand a Christian guy, but they will never ever be strong enough to withstand the love of Jesus. Forever His, Rachel POSTED BY RACHEL HOUSE AT 9:25 PM SUNDAY, APRIL 11, 2010 Obstacles at Their Finest.... Ok. So I am about to give a really cheesy analogy.....Let's just say you are walking to class. No big deal. Right? But as you are walking, intently focused on getting to your destination, a friendly little bumblebee pops into your path. What do you do? First, you probably stop right? Then, you might do a little avoidance dance so as not to hit the bee. Then, you might make a face or two in terror. Finally get around it. And continue on your way. But in that moment, When that bee pops into your path, You forget about your destination. All you can think about is the bee. I am now going to try to link this ferociously cheesy story to my life. Particularly, Jesus and the ever elusive husband topic. So. You are just walking down the path of life. Focusing on Jesus, or in the bee story, your final destination. He is what we look to. He is what we aim for.

61: But often times we find ourselves in situations where other things start to grab our attention. They make us stop walking towards Jesus. They make us do a little avoidance dance to maybe try to get away from the situation. But we often times end up making different faces because we're afraid we can't get away. But then we remember where we are going, Suck it up, And continue on our way. I find this very similar to the topic of dating, relationships, marriage, etc. We are focusing on Jesus. Right? But then some guy comes into our life. He's really awesome. And all we can think about is "Well is he my future husband?" After a while, we might try to avoid him altogether because we don't know what he is. We might be frustrated because we don't know whether to stay or continue on our way. Do we linger a little longer out of frustration and uncertainty or do we remember our final destination and continue walking towards Jesus? Oftentimes, this "bee" also comes back. It follows you. You follow it. Maybe a different bee comes along. Whatever. The point is. We are going to encounter many bees in our life. Should we let them stop us from walking towards Jesus? Absolutely not. Do we often let them do exactly that? Absolutely. WHY? Because we are afraid what might happen if we walk right through them. Will we be stung? Will there be pain as a consequence of not sticking around and waiting? How do we know who are future husband is going to be? How do we know when too far is too far? Or waiting this long is waiting too long and you will only be stung? I just don't know! It's so frustrating. Please don't think that this rant is out of some internal frustration or personal anguish that I have experienced lately. It absolutely isn't not.

62: I'm just saying that a lot of Christian girls are afraid of the bee. Which bee will be THE bee? You know? Like how long do we have to wait? Our final destination is SOOOOO WONDERFUL, so WHY do we get so stinkin distracted from it all of the time. THIS I shall never know. Probably because we are all filthy and unworthy sinners. Just sayin. Forever His, Rachel POSTED BY RACHEL HOUSE AT 10:44 PM MONDAY, APRIL 12, 2010 Monty Python anyone? somedays i feel like monty python. now, i honestly have no idea who he is, what he does, or even if i spelled his name right. all i know is that in one of his movies he searches for the meaning of life. heck, i might even be wrong about that. but that's not the point. the point is i too am searching. seeking after knowledge. looking for hidden treasure. knocking so that the door may be opened for me. this is all good and well. right? but my question for you is "how much searching is too much searching?" "how far is too far?" we are only meant to know so much right? i mean, if we knew everything, we would be God. correct? and im not sure if i've already established my feelings on this particular topic, but i decided i never ever would want to be God. Not that He isn't wonderful and amazing, my goodness, He created us! but just thinking about how big He is and how much He holds together moment by moment, it scares me. ok. ya. sure. He's God. but seriously. think about it. take a second. you obviously have some extra time on your hands here or else you wouldn't be reading my blog.

63: busted. but for real. He holds the universe together. and when i say universe, i don't just mean the universe. He holds every single tiny part that makes up the universe together. every single atom that makes up a molecule that makes up a cell that makes up tissues and fibers that make up objects that make up other parts that help to exchange gases with the air and the sea level always stays at the right level and the earth stays approximately x distance away from the sun so we don't burn to death but we also don't freeze to death and He knows when people will be born and will die and when rabbits need to be fed and storms need to happen to bring the rain to water the plants so that buffalos can drink and knows just how long winters need to be so as not to kill the forest animals and when certain stars in the universe will burn out and how much precipitation is in the air. and did i mention He know how many hairs are on your head and how many grains of sand are on the sea shore? and He still has time to watch over each. one. of us. and have a personal relationship with me. and you. and your mom. yup. He is that big. and that kind of responsibility that He has, the weight of the universe, it seems so big to me. but it is such a small task for Him. man. now that we've established that. back to monty python and the element of searching. i LOVE theology. i LOVE learning about God. and i LOVE learning about different people's view points of God and on the scriptures. but when does my search for the truth turn into a search to be right? to know it all? to know everything? i often times asking myself if my searching is a sin. do i have the right motives? would God be pleased that i am learning more about Him? or is He frustrated because i am doing it for the wrong reasons? i guess what I'm trying to say is this. do NOT be content. do NOT be complacent. at least when it comes to your faith and your knowledge of the scriptures. test everything and get to know your Father. He already knows everything about you.

64: just don't take it too far. don't become obsessed with the truth. there are some things we aren't meant to know. God will reveal truth to us in HIS time. not ours. just be patient. and remember those famous encouraging words of Monty Python...... wait for it.... wait for it.............. nope. i've got nothing. Forever His, Rachel POSTED BY RACHEL HOUSE AT 9:41 PM TUESDAY, APRIL 13, 2010 Dear 8 pounds 6 ounces new born infant Jesus, don't even know a word yet... Yes. That is the title from Talladega Nights. And no, I am not Will Ferrell. Sorry. But it does relate to what was on my mind today. Does anyone ever wonder how Jesus was as a baby? I mean when do you think He was old enough to understand that He was God? Or did He know that He was God from the moment He was conceived? It's just flabbergasting. Did He ever cry as a baby? Did He ever get messy as a 2 year old? Did He ever get zits as a teenager? Did He ever question that He was God the way I question my purpose in this world??? I know He was fully human, but He was also fully God. And God knows everything. But was His human mind able to comprehend it all? We weren't made to have the mind of God. It says in the Bible that NO one will know the mind of God. So did Jesus? When did He come to realize that He was fully God and fully man? We were all made for a purpose. Every. single. one of us. When did Jesus KNOW what His purpose was? Did His PARENTS have to tell Him that He was the son of God? I mean how do you tell your child, "Hey Jesus. Daddy isn't really your father. You were immaculately conceived by the Holy Spirit." Like did Jesus even know what "immaculately" meant when He was a child?

65: That's like one step up from telling your child that they are adopted. Except your real Father is God. I mean whose DNA did Jesus have? What did His genetic makeup look like and did He have any of the physical traits of His parents? These are the kind of questions that go through my head. Like Jesus was ACTUALLY A PERSON. Just like me and you. And just as we will have bodies in heaven, Jesus is sitting at the right hand of God right now, and He STILL has those scars in His wrists. Those holes from the nails. You probably can see right through them. Will we get to hug Jesus in heaven? Will we be able to thank Him for His courage and His devotion, even to death on a cross? I just can't wait!!!! It's so exciting to think about. I guess I can ask Jesus all of these questions when I get to heaven. Maybe we can go get coffee at the Cafe de Angel or something. I can meet His mom. He can pull out the baby pictures. I don't know. But I can't wait to get to know Him better. I have all eternity to do it. Forever His, Rachel POSTED BY RACHEL HOUSE AT 7:19 PM WEDNESDAY, APRIL 14, 2010 The Things I Fear Most in the World. There are many things that I fear in this world. And although we are called to only fear the Father, and Him alone, I am only human. And often times find myself fearing many things. These are the things that wrench my heart and cause me such uncertainty.

66: I fear.... disappointing God what the world thinks being in a relationship not knowing who I am never being able to have children losing my family having someone really know me that no one even cares I am not beautiful enough stumbling so far i can't get up revealing my heart fully making a fool of myself dying alone never saying goodbye believing all the lies turning my back on God growing old and getting wrinkly getting close to someone the real evil in this world being alone the fact that spiders have 8 legs that i won't be liked that i will never really be worthy Why do I fear? What does this world have to offer that it should be WORTHY of my fears? God is Love. There is no fear in love. Therefore, why should I fear?

67: Give me one good reason. Will I wake up tomorrow? At 4:38 am, will I have breathed my last breath? Did I tell my family I love them enough? Will I die wearing a cute outfit? (Maybe not the biggest fear on my list, but still....) Probably one of my greater fears is letting someone really KNOW me. Know my likes. My dislikes. My strengths. My weaknesses. Know my heart. THAT really freaks me out. Probably number one on my "Reasons I Do Not Need a Boyfriend" List. And yes. I. actually. wrote. a. list. But still. Sometimes it even freaks me out that God already knows my heart, knows me, better than I know myself. But I will push through. God has given me strength. I will not fear. So goodbye fear of death. Goodbye fear of unworthiness. Goodbye fear of spiders, evil, intimacy. There is only room for one thing in my heart. And that space is no longer vacant. Jesus resides there. Forever His, Rachel POSTED BY RACHEL HOUSE AT 9:08 PM FRIDAY, APRIL 16, 2010 What a Girl Wants. Despite the fact that this is a very cheesy Christina Aguilera song. And despite the fact that I have been on a very "deep and thoughtful" streak for the past week on this blog. I figured it was time to explore, what some may classify as, a lighter topic. So this is the question I am posing today. What exactly DOES a girl want?

68: Let me start off by saying that this post is in no way a punch to the gonads of the female population. I myself, being of the female species, am simply stating some of the truths of life. So here we go.... We know it all. Correction: We THINK we know it all. And therefore, we don't know it all. We know what we want. Correction: We THINK we know what we want. And therefore, we don't know what we want. It's just logic. Plain and simple. It's not quantum physics. It's not molecular engineering. It's just reason and deduction. Although this question is something that I have come across quite frequently in my lifetime, constantly asking myself, "Rachel, what the barack DO you really want?" (And yes. That just happened.), this question is very mysterious and actually quite frightening to the male population. If you are a male reading this, please don't assume that I am calling you out. (Actually assume away. I'm pretty sure that's the whole point.) But I know that you don't always understand women. That's ok. Sometimes, WE don't even understand women. Why DO we do the things that we do? I'm pretty sure it all comes down to one teensy tiny little thing: We. are. crazy. No. I was totally kidding. But seriously, we are just a lot more emotional. And are a lot more moody than most guys. I hate saying that, but we are. We go through cycles every month (partly due to hormones...yes. those wonderful things) and this just causes the best of us to be a nice version of Jessica Alba one day and the next we are the absolute meanest version of Hillary. (Clinton, in case you are a little slower) Regardless, we don't always know what we want.

69: I guess that's probably why I have found myself writing this post. Because I wondered what exactly I do want, and that made me wonder if I even know what I want, and maybe if other girls feel this way and have no idea what they want, etc. etc. etc. So there you have it. My five minute rant about how I know that girls don't know what they want. And now you know that I know that girls don't know what they want. Thank goodness God already knows the desires of our hearts. Because otherwise, we'd all be screwed. Forever His, Rachel POSTED BY RACHEL HOUSE AT 7:45 AM SUNDAY, APRIL 18, 2010 What Makes ME Worthy? I live in sin DAILY. And most times it is out of choice. I have the CHOICE to resist temptation. I have the CHOICE to say no to sin. But do I ever? Do I ever say no? Honestly, I can't. I can never say no to sin. Because I am a child of wrath. I was born of sin. So what. makes. me. worthy? We hear it all the time. "I can't believe I did that." "I made a big mistake." "Oops I did it again." Ok. Maybe the last one was just Britney Spears. But we find ourselves regretting things we do all. of. the. time. And sometimes, we know we have done something wrong. And we just don't care. Right? Am I the ONLY one who honestly sometimes KNOWS I have sinned. KNOWS I've done wrong. KNOWS I've taken glory away from God. KNOWS I have no right to do that. And honestly, doesn't care? Shakes it off like it's no big thing. I've done it a million times already anyways right?

70: So God won't mind forgiving me once more. Heck, I'm sure He already has. So I won't worry about it. And move on. Ok. Something is horribly wrong with that scenario. Since when did it EVER become ok for me to sin? When did it EVER become "no big deal" that I SINNED AGAINST GOD? Ok. Correction: NOT Ok. I am so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so to the infinity, triple stamp, no erasies, touch blue makes it true Unworthy. (that little piece of heaven is from Dumb and Dumber in case you are a hermit) And I can't. stop. sinning. WHYYYYYYYY?!?! Oh, how I hate that we have sinful natures. I hate that I can't MAKE myself stop sinning. I can't do anything. That is where Jesus comes in. He is the ONLY one that can help me stop sinning. He is the ONLY one that makes me worthy enough to be forgiven by God time and time again. And I hurt HIM every single time I sin. HE makes me worthy. The nails in His hands are proof that I have worth. That I am righteous and blameless in God's eyes. Do you know what the definition of blameless is? It means "guiltless; without blemish". I am so perfect in God's eyes. Regardless of the fact that I sin daily. I am still surrounded by the filth of my sin. I can feel it on me. Lingering at times, because I am too ashamed to ask Jesus to take it away. But He does anyway. Time and time again. And although I sin daily. God only sees one thing when He looks at me. And HALLELUJAH, that's Jesus. Forever His, Rachel POSTED BY RACHEL HOUSE AT 9:15 PM

71: WEDNESDAY, APRIL 21, 2010 IGNOre me will i RANT. I am taking a break from studying (ok so maybe I haven't really started and it's 12:30, whoops!) to inform you of the following, via a mediocrely zealous rant.....The dictionary defines ignorance as: "lacking in knowledge, or uninformed". The urban dictionary defines it as something else, but for the sake of decency we will just leave it at that... I am all about knowledge. I HATE ignorance. Absolutely hate it. But it's not the lack of knowledge that is so unsettling, No. But rather the complacency that comes with this lack of knowledge. Or the belief that you DO, in fact, know it all, and thus, don't need to learn anything else. THIS, my friends, is what bothers me so. What erks and vexes me to no end. It's the idea that someone has no desire to gain more knowledge. And would rather speak as if they know it all, instead of owning up to their scarcity of knowledge. Ok. So now that we have got that down. And you all know that I don't like ignorance, We will move on..... It occurred to me the other day that you don't just have to speak with ignorance to be ignorant. Let me repeat that. Just because you don't speak ignorantly doesn't mean you are not still ignorant. I thought about this. And thought about it. And thought about it some more. And I came to the consensus that although I may not speak with ignorance, I. may. live. with. it. WHAT. I LIVE ignorantly. Just because I don't speak with a lack of knowledge. Doesn't mean I don't live with it. Ok. So I know some of you are probably pretty confused right about now. Let me break it down.............

72: I seek after knowledge. This means that I am looking for knowledge, and although, do not know it all, am trying to become more informed. And when I speak, I either speak with the wisdom of this knowledge that I DO know, or do not speak at all if it is something pertaining to those things I do NOT yet know. Therefore, I do not speak with ignorance. I do not speak as one uninformed. But I DO live this way. And although it vexes me to no end to say this, But although I do not speak with ignorance, I live ignorance. Every. single. day. I know the facts. I know the truths. But that doesn't mean I always live by them. I may speak with knowledge. But that doesn't mean I always live by this knowledge. Many times we KNOW what's right and what's wrong. But we find ourselves LIVING contradictory to the exact truths that we SPEAK. Whyyyyyyy. You can only imagine how much of a grievance this was, to find out that the exact thing that I hate, irrevocably and uncontrollably hate, was the exact way I. was. living. Ughhh. Such disgust. And disappointment. I don't have to speak ignorantly to be ignorant. The ignorance that I live daily is more than enough to do just that. So ignorance. IGNORing (the truths) while RANTing. Yes, but more so, IGNORing (the truths) while LIVING. Forever His, Rachel POSTED BY RACHEL HOUSE AT 9:30 PM

73: SUNDAY, APRIL 25, 2010 Death at a Funeral I thought about the unthinkable today. I have done this many times in the past few years, especially these last two. I was just driving back to Athens. Minding my own business. Wondering what it would be like if I died. Yes. Morbid. I know. But there comes a time for everything. Look it up. It's in the Bible. Ecclesiastes, Chapter 3 if you cared. (I hope someone just got that reference...) I don't wish I was dead. On the contrary. I am quite thankful to be alive. But what if I did die. What if I left this earth without so much as a goodbye. I mean just think of how Enoch and Elijah felt. They were just swept up to Heaven. They didn't even have to die. They were just gone. And then I began to think..... Of all the 19 years I have lived, I have come in contact with many, many people. Had I touched these people in some way? Would they remember me? Would they be able to put the name with the face? What about my closer family and friends? How would they feel? How long would they mourn? Would there be a lot of people at my funeral? AHHhhhhhh. Thoughts just began to bombard my brain as I drew up a long and elaborate web of my life. It included many of the close friends I have had over the years and my family, but what about all those "other" people. The people I said "hello" to at the grocery store. The acquaintances I had in high school. The boy I had a crush on in 8th grade. Would any of them even remember me? Granted, none of them will probably attend my funeral. Niche. Especially not the boy I had a crush on in 8th grade. No one knew of our secret love except me. And I will gladly take this secret to the grave. But despite that fact, would they have remembered me as a joyful person? Would they have remembered me as a quiet person?

74: A mean person? A nerdy person? A loud person? A funny person? A LOVING person? How will I be remembered? Who. have. I. touched? Is it just those who know me well-enough to know the deeper part of me? Have I touched only them? Or have I touched that little boy who is crying. (That sounded really dirty but I didn't mean it to be. Ok back to being serious...) Have I touched the man on the side of the road who can't find the bus stop. Have I touched the girl who sits alone in my religion class. Have I touched the jock who appears to have it all together but really has too many insecurities. Have I touched the wise kid who thinks he will never know enough. Have I touched the old lady who can't find her way back to her car. Have I touched the bagger at the grocery store. Have I touched the girl sitting next to me on the bus or the boy waiting in line at the Subway. Have I touched the hands and feet of Jesus and had enough faith to touch others with His love? Don't be dead at your funeral. "Let your light shine so that others may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven." Let your light shine and you will not be dead at your funeral. You couldn't possibly be. Because it was never your light shining anyways. It was Jesus. Forever His, Rachel POSTED BY RACHEL HOUSE AT 9:23 PM MONDAY, APRIL 26, 2010 Modest is Hottest. I don't really know what brought about the inspiration for this post. It could have been the random thoughts that go through my head at the grocery store, the never ending bamboozlement we get of half naked people on billboards and in magazines, or the fact that we stole Dana's towel tonight. I'm not really sure...

75: But for the sake of time and brain energy, we will just say it was all three. I was inspired. I was curious. And so here I am. Contemplating why our world has become so immodest. I literally would have been burned at the stake back in the 1800s if they had seen the nike shorts that I was wearing today. I don't really think they are that short. But there was a time when I would have been called a whore, or possibly even a witch, (i used my black magic to invent the tank top. ahhh) because of it. So, the question is, why HAS our world turned half-naked into beautiful? When did it become ok to DAILY look like the version of Britney Spears on stage at Phillip's during her 2000 world tour where she is wearing a loincloth, and maybe some socks?, with a boa constrictor as her accessory. WHEN?!?! And it is getting worse and worse every generation. Back in my day, 8th grade was the year when you started wearing miniskirts, makeup, and major attitude (all of which i really regret. raccoon makeup was so not in.) And now its like 4th grade. 4th grade?! I don't even know anymore. How corrupt is our world. So desperate. So hurting. And just think of how this is affecting relationships, teen pregnancies, guys! Especially Christian guys. If there are any of you out there that happen to stumble across this post, know this, I am truly sorry for the way that some girls dress. TRULY sorry. I know it is extra hard for you all when we wear the really short skirts, or really low shirts, or really small bikinis. (who am I kidding, any bikini at all!) And I honestly think that we (all us Christian girls) could be trying harder. For serious. But this culture has turned sexuality into something that is just becoming more and more accepted. So what if I wear this shirt wear my boobs are falling out. It's "just sexy".

76: Since when did being half-naked ever become a good thing? There is a reason that Adam and Eve felt shame in the Garden of Eden when they realized they were naked. So why are we moving backwards? I just have one last thing to say.... To all you guys: guard your eyes, guard your hearts. To all you girls: guard the girls, guard your dignity. Forever His, Rachel POSTED BY RACHEL HOUSE AT 10:10 PM THURSDAY, APRIL 29, 2010 Thank You for holding my heart. Thank You for holding my heart in Your hands. Saving me from heartbreak, with Your better plans. Thank You for knowing me better than I ever could. You give me more grace, than You really ever should. Thank You for sparing me all of the tears. I've taken this for granted, all of these years. Thank You for putting up with my whining and complaining. When I'm crying so hard that it looks like it's raining. Thank You for being the greatest lover of my heart. No one else could ever out play You for this part. Thank You for listening to my silly boy prayers. Although they aren't much, I know you still care. Thank You for knowing who I am and who I'll be. Someday, I hope, You will provide someone for me. Thank You for being the One who provides. I will worry not because You've made us all brides. Thank You for knowing my life from the start. One day I hope You will be able to share my heart. Until then. I will wait. Patiently. Unafraid. Knowing. You will break off. A piece of my heart. And give it to the man.

77: With whom you will now share my heart. For now, My heart is whole. And it's wholly Yours. Forever His, Rachel POSTED BY RACHEL HOUSE AT 8:14 AM MONDAY, MAY 3, 2010 Friends, Grace, Healing, I Do's, and Jesus. It has been a longgg year, but the end is finally near. Finals are a plenty, and stress levels are high, but I will persevere through. And this year I do not feel a sense of impending doom (praise Jesus!), but rather, feel a sense of anxiety, as I am leaving my home in Athens to travel to Texas for the entire. summer. Please bear with me through this post as it is random, at times, sappy, and definitely scatter-brained, but definitely thoughtful and always, original Jesus-filled ranting. God has been so good to me this last year. There is so much to look back and be thankful for, but also, so much to look forward to and have faith in. Friends. God has blessed me with some of the most amazing friends that I could have ever imagined this past year. I have met more people this year that have the JOY of Jesus than I have ever met before in my entire life. And God has given me such opportunity to invest my time in other's lives like I never have been able to before. Praise Jesus for community! I don't mean to be cliche but God is so stinkin good. And He continues to be. Quick shout out to my roomsss, future roomssss, New York peeps, Well peepss, Wesley friendss, and finally, family. There are so many more that I can not even begin to thank for their love. You all have taught me what it is to love your neighbor as yourself. This is something one cannot merely learn how to do. It only comes from an overflow of the love of Jesus, and THAT my friends, you. all. have. So do not EVER doubt yourselves like I have.

78: Do not doubt your ability to changes others lives or your ability to reflect the love of Jesus. You are already doing it. Grace. I have realized something very important about this topic this year. And it's this. I can not do ANYTHING to earn grace. And yet I try. and try. and try. and tryyyyyy to be good enough. Tryyyyy to earn His love. And I can't. His grace is free. Conditional. But free. And those conditions of grace (aka forgiveness, living a life of holiness), are grace anyways. So really, grace begets grace which begets another grace which finally begets my ability to breathe one. more. breath. To live one. more. second. Because without that grace, I am toast. Buttered. Jammed. Peanut-buttered. I am fried crispy. But God's grace really is enough. So live in faith, not gratitude. Look to the future, not the past. God will continue to provide. Just you wait and see. Healing. There are things in my life that I was ashamed about. Felt guilty about. Scars that hurt when you touched them. Sometimes, they still do. But there is something that you have to realize before I finish the rest of this story. I don't owe God anything. Sure, He gave His one and only son for me. Sure, He gives me grace continuously, daily. Sure, He made me and takes care of me. But all of these things are gifts. Do you honestly think I could earn even one of them? And since they are gifts, that demolishes, relinquishes, EXTERMINATES the debtor's ethic: that is you do something nice for me, I'll do something nice for you. Sorry.

79: But when you give someone a gift, you are saying "Here you go. This is free. You don't need to do anything to have it." And we can't do anything anyways! Praise Jesus that we don't owe God anything, because His one gift to us, salvation, defeats any debt that we would ever have to pay. Because He knew we would never be able to pay it anyways! So. Now that we have that established. Back to Healing. I had scars. Shame that I carried around in a napsack. Pain that lingered every day. And this year, I FINALLY threw that napsack away. Chucked it to the ground. Gave everything I had left to Jesus. And let me tell you, that kind of healing is the best kind. When you know you've been healed and you have no idea why you've been carrying around that mess of extra baggage, so you chuck it out the window like your life depends on it. It probably does. Temptation still comes. Ohhhh Satan is a sly one, I will tell you that. But the victory is already won. And the sweetness of that defeats any temporary sting. I Do's. It has come to my attention of late that there are a lot of people getting married. I just went to a wedding this weekend. But I have also come to this conclusion. Although it will be quite sweet to one day stand at the altar before God and men and say "I Do", for now, I think I will say "I Don't". Because I'm still letting God work out the chinks in my own chain. I don't need it getting tangled in somebody else's just yet! Jesus. There is no good in me. I was born a sinner. I will die a sinner. But there is one thing for sure. Somewhere in the midst of all that sin, I hope to do some good. But the funny thing is, The little good that I manage to do in my lifetime isn't even mine to do anyways.

80: It doesn't even belong to me. I am not the owner of that good. So why do I worry so about doing it? Why do I feel like I have something to prove? I am a sinner. Always have been. Always will be. The only good I have in me I do not owe to myself. I owe it to Jesus. Forever His, Rachel POSTED BY RACHEL HOUSE AT 7:51 PM

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  • By: Christine H.
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  • Title: Blogs of a College Freshman/Sophomore
  • Rachel's thoughts her freshman and sophomore years in college 2009-2010
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  • Published: almost 5 years ago

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