8 Things that are Cheaper on Amazon Than at Walmart!

So my husband has been doing a series on finances at our church on Wednesday nights, and as a result we have been doing some examining of our budget.  One of the ways we like to save money is by using Amazon Subscribe & Save.  The trick is that you need to make sure to have FIVE items in each month’s shipment.  You save regardless of this, but you can save 15% rather than 5% when you have five or more items in that shipment.

Not that I’ve done that before or anything….

For us, Subscribe & Save started just as a way to get diapers for less, but it has now expanded into SO. MANY. THINGS!  Last night I got online to adjust my subscriptions (I do this every month to make sure we don’t end up with 10 giant boxes of Goldfish!  ⇒ )

Every time I get online and look at the things we get, and their prices, I’m amazed all over again at how much we save!

We also have an Amazon Store Card, so we save 5% MORE off of any prices I mention below!  It’s an excellent deal if you use Amazon often!


Now, not ALL things are cheaper than Walmart, but we have price-checked everything we buy, and here are some things that ARE cheaper than our local Walmart!

  1.  Diapers!  You may get great prices at places like Costco, but there isn’t one near where we live.  I do know that Amazon is MUCH cheaper than Sam’s when it comes to diapers, and the difference from Walmart is even greater!  We get enough diapers for 5-6 weeks for about $25.  With Subscribe & Save, diapers are actually 20% off, rather than 5% or 15%.  It’s definitely the best deal we’ve found on Amazon!
  2. Baby Wipes!  These are cheaper than at Walmart, but were actually slightly cheaper at Sam’s.  But when we calculate the Sam’s membership (that we no longer need), buying from Amazon just makes much more sense!
  3. Goldfish Crackers.  These come out to about 20 cents per ounce!  If you have toddlers, chances are these are a staple of your diet!  Now, you have to buy 6 large boxes at a time, but if you have room to spare–they are much cheaper than Walmart!  You can find lots of other snacks as well.  We have bought both apple sauce cups and veggie straws for our boys!
  4. Make-up.  Now of course this depends on what kind you use, but I found my foundation, concealer, and mascara for cheaper than Walmart!  The concealer was HALF-price!  Amazing!
  5. Feminine Products.  My tampons and pantiliners were BOTH drastically cheaper on Amazon!
  6. Toilet Paper.  I buy a giant thing of toilet paper no matter where I shop, and the price on this was only slightly less than my Walmart.  BUT, I don’t have to buy it at the store and have it taking up over half my cart.  Amazon’s definitely easier!
  7. Dishwashing Detergent.  We use Palmolive Eco-Gel something-or-other (ha!) and it’s only 9 cents per ounce on Amazon.  To top that off, my first order was FREE!  That’s THREE containers, for FREE!
  8. Disposable razors.  Men’s AND Women’s!  They have so many kinds to choose from, and they are definitely cheaper than Walmart!

Do you use Amazon or any other similar services?  Tell me in the comments what your favorite bargains are, and your favorite places for buying all your random necessities!

Rachel 🙂


A Heart that’s Entertained by Worldliness

Disclaimer:  I write this post not to convince anyone of the evil that is in one particular show, but to tell the story of what was deep inside of MY heart.  I do hope that each of you might examine your own hearts when it comes to your relationship with television, and allow God to show you any idolatry that may lie beneath the surface, as it did in mine.

During my sophomore year of college a dorm-mate lent me the first season of Gilmore Girls on DVD.  I breezed through it and LOVED it.  I began to faithfully watch every season as it came out on DVD, and I invested in purchasing the series.  By the time I got married, 8 years later, it had easily become my favorite show.  I watched the entire series on repeat.  I watched all 7 seasons, and when I finished the series finale, I’d wait a few days before popping season 1 back into my DVD player.  My husband watched an episode with me every few days, and he enjoyed the witty banter as well.

Over the years I had grown convicted about a lot of shows I watched, and had gotten rid of almost every movie I owned—but not my Gilmore Girls.  It seemed so much more wholesome than other shows.  There was a little worldliness in it, but compared to other shows—the sin seemed pretty light.  So I kept watching the series on repeat, year after year.


Fast forward a couple of years, and I became a mother.  The familiar dialogue became my background for nursing sessions and tummy time.  I started to become a little uncomfortable when my baby saw a bedroom scene, so I began skipping those (rare) scenes.  In spite of those few sinful scenes, I kept watching.

That fall we had a yard sale, and as I was going through all of my things, the Lord impressed on my heart that it was time to let go of my precious, beloved Gilmore Girls collection.  I put them in the box, and then took them back out.  I moved on to packing other things, and then came back to my stack, just to touch them and ponder their place in my life.  I couldn’t even picture my life without this show.

It had become a part of me.  All things in life related to an episode.  “There are no stupid questions” always brought out a “HOW does ink come out of pens?”  Preposterous stories were followed up by an “Oy, with the poodles already!”  ‘Running late’ was met with an urgent “Copper Boom!” as I ran through the house grabbing my keys and phone before heading out the door.  I could go on and on. I had basically become a Gilmore Girl, and this was precisely the reason I knew God was right.  I had to let go.  I needed to make time for Him.  Seek Him.  Listen to Him.  Let HIS Word become the part of my life that had been so impacted by this television show.

I boxed up my movies, and priced them to sell.  They went quickly. And what happens next?

Man, the devil is good.  Oh, he’s real good.  But God’s better.

The very next week my husband brought up the idea of cancelling our Netflix subscription.  I agreed.  That $8 a month could be better spent elsewhere.  And wouldn’t you know it….A week after our subscription ended, it was announced that Gilmore Girls was coming to Netflix!  I breathed a sigh of relief that God had led my husband to cancel our subscription before it happened.

A little over a year later, we moved to a new home and town.  Our pace of life changed, as did our income.  Top that off with a month of sickness, and boredom from lying in bed, and we decided to get Netflix again.  I determined not to watch an episode of Gilmore Girls, and for the most part I only watched any sort of show when my husband and I were relaxing together after putting our boys to bed.

I heard there would be a new season coming to Netflix.  I was intrigued, but I decided against watching it.  Then one day I got sick.  {Why does sickness always lead me into temptation?}  I was lying around with nothing to do, so I turned on an episode.  A few episodes in, I figured I’d just watch the whole series again ONLY ONE TIME before the new series came out.  So I could be caught up, of course.  I finished Season 7 the SAME DAY the new episode aired.  I was over-the-moon excited to watch WINTER and turned it on!

I quickly noticed a few things about it that were ‘worse’ than the original series as far as worldliness.  I kept watching anyway.  “It’s not too bad”, I told myself.  I watched all of Winter, and then Spring came on.  At this point, I was nursing my baby and my husband was sitting next to me on my couch.

The town all files into Miss Patty’s for another town meeting.  Taylor gets up and announces that they will have their first ever gay-pride parade in Stars Hollow.  My husband looks over at me, and suddenly all of the excuses in my heart didn’t sound so good anymore.  I wanted to say something to him that would prove it was okay to keep watching, but I fumbled over my words.  I just couldn’t justify it anymore.  I reached for my remote and turned it off.  We sat there in silence for a few minutes, and then we moved on with our day.

A few days later I was up late working on some things.  Everyone was in bed, so I turned on Netflix planning to watch an episode of House Hunters.  There it was staring at me:

Gilmore Girls.  A Year in the Life.
Continue Watching?

I arrowed over to House Hunters, then back to Gilmore Girls.  I was drawn in.  I loved these characters and their witty banter.  I loved the relationship they had with each other.  I wanted needed to know what had become of their lives.  I selected the show, and on it came—right back to the place I had left off.  They were trying to find more gays to march in their gay pride parade.  I assured myself it would be a quick and quirky scene, and that it would move on.  I kept watching.  And wouldn’t you know it?  I hear my husband coming into the kitchen to get a glass of water.  I feel a pit in my stomach, fumble for the remote, smash down on the “Return” button over and over hoping my husband doesn’t see.  I select House Hunters just as my husband peeks in.  My heart was pounding.  He didn’t see.

“Good night, honey!”  (Awkward smile.)

He didn’t see.  But God did.

I felt ashamed.  Why had I been continually drawn in?  Why can’t I seem to give up one TV show for the Lord?

I knew the answers to these questions, but it’s hard to admit out loud.  The truth?  I struggle with giving it up because I love it.  I struggle with giving it up because my heart is entertained by it.  It doesn’t matter that it’s a show that consists mostly of worldliness.  I still love watching.  In spite of the adultery, fornication, divorce, partying, and language.  In spite of an overall horrible message the show sends about marriage.  In spite of the message it sends about womanhood.  In spite of the message it sends about Christianity.  In spite of the message it sends about the purpose of life.  I still love it.  I’m entertained by it.  I’m entertained by a show that is 100% worldliness.  There’s really nothing godly about it, yet I watch it as if it’s virtuous—as if the characters are good.  God says otherwise.  God says, first of all, that there is none good (Romans 3).  God says, secondly, that I should have nothing to do with worldliness.  Yet here I am, year after year, still deeply invested in it.  It has just always been what I do when I’m sick or need a break from life.

But here’s the thing. When I’m sick, I hear the Holy Spirit within me, calling out, “Come to ME”.  When I need a break from life, I hear the Lord whisper, “Come to me…and I will give you rest.

I don’t need the show.  I don’t need the superficial relaxation that I get from these characters and their witty dialogue.  (I’m speaking to myself here!)  I don’t need it.  Instead, I need TRUE rest, and that’s only found in Christ.  I don’t need to finish watching Spring, or Summer, or Fall in order to satisfy my own curiosity about the “last four words”.  I can move on with my LORD—in the freedom that He gives over the bondage of sin.  I can walk away from characters that I used to love. I can turn from them to a God who is truly virtuous.  To a God I can depend on to walk with me daily, and to be with me just as this show has been for the past 13 years.

moments-remind-me-of-a-tv-showThis show had once been a part of my heart, the guiding principle for my every thought, and the relating point to every moment.  God wants that position now.  He wants my heart to be focused on Him.  He wants His Word to guide my thoughts.  He wants the moments of my life to remind me of truths from His Word—not of a quote from my favorite TV show.  He wants my heart—not just during my quiet time, but all through my day.

He wants a heart that is not entertained by worldliness, but is enraptured by His love, above ALL else.

“Do not let your heart envy sinners, but be zealous for the fear of the LORD all the day.”  -Proverbs 23:17

Rachel  🙂

Blogger Tag: Q &A

One of my favorite bloggers tagged me in a fun, get-to-know-you Q & A.  Valerie from Living Lighter in Atlanta always posts sweet things about her life and family, and I get so many little doable ideas from her.  If you haven’t read her blog, you should go check it out here!

So, here are my q&a’s:

Question 1: How tall are you?

I’m 5’6″, which I consider pretty average, but I’m often told that I’m tall.  I used to wear heels a lot and I figured the heels were just deceiving people, but I haven’t worn heels since becoming a mom, and people STILL tell me I’m tall.  So who knows?

Question 2: Do you have a hidden talent?

Well, I can twist my elbows backwards, and every now and then I can lick my elbow–but only on some days.  So don’t put me on the spot.  K?

Question 3: What’s your biggest blog-related pet peeve?

Probably spammers.  People who comment to advertise something without even reading my post.  I’m all the time getting things like, “I see your post have good content.  I can help you better content.”  Yes.  The grammar is actually that poor!  My response?  Click & Delete.

Question 4: What’s your biggest non-related blog pet peeve?

Trash Talking.  Whether on facebook or in “real life”, I hate listening to people rant about other people.  It can be ranting about someone who did something wrong to them, or even ranting about a politician.  True or not, I just hate hearing someone rant.

Question 5: What’s your favorite song?

Hard question!  It probably changes by the day.  Most common is probably “Good Morning” by Mandisa & Toby Mac.  It’s super fun to turn on while I’m cleaning house (2nd on that playlist would be “Happy” by Pharrell Williams!).  Another would be Kari Jobe’s “The More I Seek You”.  I can’t hear it without singing along, and I love the feeling of imagining laying back against the Lord and breathing, feeling His heart beat in tune with mine.  So beautiful.

Question 6: What’s your favorite social media website?

It would have to be Facebook, but Facebook would probably also be the most annoying one.  I love keeping up with people, seeing pictures of their families, and finding great articles to read on there.  BUT…I’m constantly hiding pages and people from my newsfeed, because I just don’t want to see drama, or foul language, or sexy pictures.  Overall it’s still mostly fun though!

Question 7: What’s your favorite way to spend your time when you’re alone?

Reading & talking out loud to myself.  Ha.  I think better out loud.

Question 8: What’s your favorite junk food?

Gummy Bears!  Mmm…..Soooo yummy!

Question 9: Do you have a pet or pet(s)? If so, what kind and what are their names?

No pets right now.  I had a chocolate lab named Sophie, but she passed away about 3 years ago.  She had actually become my mom’s dog when I left for college, but she was still mine in my heart.  🙂  She was with our family for 12 years (I think?) and was very loved.  I still find myself looking for her when I drive up to my parent’s house.

My husband and I hope to get a dog in a few years, but we’re going to wait for now.  If we add to our family right now, we’d want it to be a baby!  🙂  We also want to wait until our boys are old enough to help feed a dog and take care of it.

Question 10: What are your number one favorite non-fiction and fiction books?

Non-fiction:  The Bible.  Yep.  I went there with the church answer.  😛  My second choice non-fiction would probably be “The Cost of Discipleship” by Dietrich Bonhoeffer.  It’s a difficult read but has greatly impacted, and continues to impact, my spiritual walk.

Fiction:  Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers!  Amazing book!

Question 11: What’s your favorite beauty product or tool?

My Neutrogena concealer stick.  Those things are AWESOME!

Question 12: When were you last embarrassed? What happened?

I’m not sure.  Probably the last time one of my boys threw a fit in public.

Question 13: If you could only drink one beverage (besides water) for the rest of your life what would it be?

EASY Question!  Coke.  Lots and lots of coke.  I used to drink like 4 cans a day, but I’ve gotten lots better!  We no longer buy it regularly for our home, but when it’s “that time of the month” or I’m sick, we usually grab some, and it is SO delicious!

Question 14: What’s your favorite movie?

I don’t watch a lot of movies anymore.  It’s going to sound weird, but my favorite of all time is probably Selena.  J.Lo plays Selena Quintanilla Perez as she goes through her music career, falls in love, and gets married.  But (Spoiler Alert!) the movie ends with her fan club president killing her.  It’s tragic, and I’m not sure why I love it so much.  But I believe I could watch it once a month and it would never get old!

Question 15: What was your favorite lesson at school?

In High School-It was probably Math or Spanish.
In College–It was DEFINITELY my Women’s Ministry courses.
In Seminary–I can’t remember the name of the course, but it was taught by Dr. Waylan Owens.  I think it was something like “The Ministry of Education” but I’m not sure.  In the class we did a project called a “Spiritual Growth Development Plan” where we came up with a plan from birth through age 22, for spiritual growth.  The plan was supposed to take place in a church setting, but it’s something we’ve thought about and planned out for our children.  Especially since we plan to homeschool, the plan will be a wonderful way for us to direct our children through the years!

Question 16: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?

Somewhere that it is always warm!  I love 80 degree weather!  90’s are okay too, and even low 100’s are good if there isn’t much humidity.  So, probably in the desert, ha.

Question 17: PC or Mac?

I’ve never owned a Mac, but PC has become more and more disappointing in the past 10 years.  I could easily hop the fence and become a Mac girl in the next few years.

Question 18: Last romantic gesture from a crush, date, boy/girlfriend, spouse?

He woke up this morning and said, “I’m going to clean the house.”  Does that count as romantic?

Question 19: Favorite celebrity?

Tough question.  I think I’ll say Nancy Leigh Demoss.  She’s the only “famous” person I’ve ever actually been nervous to meet.  She’s just so wise!

Question 20: What blogger do you secretly want to be best friends with?

Lots!  I will say that I’d like to be better friends with Tori from Mess to Blessed.  I know her in real life and she’s awesome, but it would be cool to get to know her better!

Question 21: Who is your biggest inspiration?

My husband. I don’t show it enough, but I’m consistently impressed by his gentle nature and servant’s heart.  Anytime I stop to think about his character, I’m challenged to be a better person.

Question 22: What is your favorite blog to read?

At the moment?  No Sidebar.  It’s a blog on going minimalistic, and we are really enjoying decluttering our home and not having so much stuff run our lives.

Question 23: What is your favorite high street shop?

I’m not sure what to classify as “high street” so I’m just going to go with my favorite store–KOHLS.  Hands down.  Easy choice!  They give me discounts, and I get quality clothing for a good price!

Question 24: Are you in education or do you work?

Odd question.  I’m a Stay-at-home Mom.  I work 24 hours a day, ha.

Question 25: One thing you are proud of?

My 2 sons like praying, even at only 1 & 2 years old.  It’s so amazing.  They repeat our words and even bow their heads.  The best thing we’ve done as parents is to pray with our kids!

Hope you enjoyed my Q&A!  Now I’m tagging:
Mess to Blessed  and Some Kind of Beautiful Chaos!

and even if I didn’t tag you, I’d love to hear your answers, so please feel free to copy and paste the questions and do a post! Happy blogging!

My First Experience with KidBox

Disclosure: The links in this post are referral links.  I don’t receive any payment for my opinions, but when you sign up through my links, I’ll get a discount on my next purchase.  And as a BONUS, you’ll get $25 off from Kidbox as well!

Have you heard of Kidbox?  It’s another one of the many subscription services you can get these days, and this one is all about getting great clothes for your kids!  It is the second company I’ve tried that advertises this product.  The first was Rockets of Awesome, but I took one look at the prices and knew I wouldn’t keep even one thing in the box.  I did still look at all of the pieces, and was shocked to find the box full of mostly very thin t-shirts and very generic clothes.  There was ONE puffy vest in Joshua’s box that I loved, but it was $36 and we really didn’t need it.

After my experience with Rockets of Awesome, I really wasn’t sure I’d try another of these children’s clothing subscriptions, but……  both of these truly are FREE to try!  Unlike Stitchfix, the adult version of these, there is no stylist fee or anything.  You get the box, decide what to keep, and send the rest back.  If you drop the entire box back in the mail (free shipping both ways) then you will never be charged a penny!


So when I discovered Kidbox I figured I had nothing to lose.  And I’m so glad I gave them a chance.  It was a drastically different experience than Rockets of Awesome!

Here are a few observations upon opening the box:

  1. img_9460 The box is like a coloring book!  Nathanael’s box even came with crayons to color it in.  The crayons were left out of Joshua’s box, but I assume they do that on purpose because he is under two.  There were also STICKERS, which Nathanael LOVED!
  2. The clothes are much better quality than were ROA’s.  Everything was made by a name brand that I recognized as good quality.
  3. They paid attention to the style profile I filled out online and the clothes were catered to my preferences for each boy.
  4. The cost per item wasn’t too high to start with (ranging from $12-$20), but if I keep the entire box, the cost per item goes WAY down to just under $11 per item.  (I kept the entire box!)

Here’s a peak at some of the clothes that came in their boxes:

I’m in LOVE with that jacket!  AND the awesome orange sweater outfit that came with a matching button-up and jeans.  My boys looked so cute at church last week, wearing their new Kidbox clothes!

Nathanael didn’t enjoy the trying on process, but I got pics of Joshua in lots of his, and had so much fun dressing him up!

All in all, I’d say that Kidbox is lots of fun!  The only down-side is that once you sign up, you will keep receiving boxes 4 times per year.  While that could be helpful, I’m not sure that I’ll spend that much on their clothes more than once a year.  Still, all I have to do is drop it back in the mail if I don’t want it, and a simple email will stop the automatic shipments.  I do wish, though, that there was an easy button on the account page that would let me either schedule a one-time box, or set up automatic shipments on MY schedule.  (For the record, Rockets of Awesome is set up the exact same way.)

So what do YOU think?  Have you tried any of these subscription-type things?  Let me know which ones you love, or which ones you’ve been wanting to try!

Rachel  🙂

^I’m feeling under the weather today, but I have chocolate!

Prayer for the Persecuted Church

All over the world Christian persecution is increasing, and I’m convicted that we need to be on our knees crying out for our brothers and sisters in Christ.


So, using Open Doors USA’s “World Watch List”, I’d like to pray for the 50 most persecuted countries this year, and I’d like you to join me. Each week I will be praying for one country on the list.  I’ll be posting on Facebook each week, and will share their specific prayer needs and ways you can help–if you’re interested in doing more.


Please join me in praying for:

  • the safety of Christians worldwide
  • the boldness of believers to share Christ with the world
  • a determination to live for Christ wherever you are today & faithfulness to share His Word with those around you.


We in the United States are so lucky to not even be listed among those who are persecuted.

Please join me on Facebook and commit to pray for our Christian family.  We will start off this week praying for North Korea.


You can learn more here from the Baptist Press, or here from Open Doors USA.

Thanks for praying!


Rachel 🙂

Finding Your Constant

In the summer of 2006 I spent a summer overseas, where my roommate Megan introduced me to the first two seasons of LOST.  Back home in the U.S. I was able to watch the next 5 seasons as they aired.  Then when my husband and I were engaged, we watched the entire series again on Netflix, and actually watched it again this past fall.  It’s hard to find a show that both of us can enjoy, so when we find one, we hang on to it!


If you haven’t seen the series, I will warn you now that you might be “LOST” on this post. If that’s you, I’m sorry about the post–but you should definitely check out the show on Netflix.  Just make sure to watch it in order, and remember that the pause & rewind buttons are your greatest friends.  This is not an affiliate thing where I make money for my recommendation.  I just think you should watch it!  🙂

Anyway, in Season 4 there is an episode called “The Constant.”  In this episode, Desmond begins to suffer some unexpected side effects of the radioactivity he had been exposed to on the island.  Somehow, Desmond becomes “unstuck” in time.  His body seems to “zone out” in the present, but he–in a sense–wakes up in a previous time of his life.  In one instance he wakes up and is in the military, in 1996.  Even when he wakes back up to his present reality, he has no memory of anything that has happened in the 8 years since 1996.


As time goes by, these “flashes” through time begin happening more and more frequently, and begin to last much longer than you and I would expect for something called a “flash”.   While back in time, Desmond visits Daniel Faraday, a physicist who studies time and later comes to the island.  While together, they manage to impose a similar effect onto a rat, who runs a maze that Daniel Faraday was not going to teach her until later that day.  Sadly, the rat dies after enduring her flash through time.

Worried that Desmond’s brain will be unable to handle the constant flashes, Daniel tells Desmond he needs to find a “constant”–something that exists in his life in both 1996 and in the present.  Desmond, of course, chooses Penelope Widmore–the love of his life.  She becomes an anchor for his brain–the one thing that remains constant throughout the constant changes he is facing.

Though Desmond’s story is a bit far-fetched, I wonder how easily many of us would be able to find a constant.  Many of us might choose as Desmond did–a significant other.  We might also choose our parents, a home, or even a car.  For me, if I were to go back 8 years in time, I would not have even met my husband yet.  The longest I’ve ever lived in any specific town is 6 years.  My parents have always been in my life, but for 7½ of the past 13 years I have lived 10 or more hours away from them.

Of course in that sense I will probably never need to find a constant.  (Thank Goodness!)  However, what if I woke up one day and had none of the previous things I had relied on?  What if I lost my family, my home, and my church?  What, then, would be my anchor?

For many in this world I think this might be one of the hardest questions to answer.  But for a Christian?  It’s an easy answer for me.  There is only ONE constant that I KNOW I will always have.

  • Deuteronomy 7:9 says God is the “faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments.”
  • Daniel 6:26 says God is “the living God, and steadfast forever; His kingdom is the one which shall not be destroyed, And His dominion shall endure to the end.”
  • Hebrews 6:19 refers to God as an “anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast.”

Can you feel your heart just “settle in” a little while you read those passages?

God.   Is.   Faithful.

He is steadfast forever.  He will endure.  His promises and His mercy will be here for you.  He is the ANCHOR for our souls.


I can’t read those things without His peace flooding into my spirit.  With my eyes off of all the things I might choose to depend on, and with my eyes off all the things that I worry might fail me, I find an anchor.  I find the ONE THING that is my constant.  I lift my eyes to that one thing–to THE ONE who holds the future in His hands.

To the One who saved me.  To the One who raised me up to walk in newness of life.

He will be here.  Come what may, He is MY CONSTANT.

Rachel   🙂


Photo Credit: LOST-moviesfilmsmotionpictures.com;
Desmond Hume-lostpedia.wikia.com

Baby: Blessing or Inconvenience?

Note: This was originally posted on my former blog, “One True Wife,” on May 7, 2013.  In honor of Sanctity of Human Life Day & the upcoming anniversary of Roe V. Wade, I decided to re-post it.  I have updated it and edited it for grammar.

The debate on abortion can get pretty heated.  Pro-choicers say that it isn’t right to force a woman to have a baby.  They claim that a woman has a right to choose whether this baby is coming at a convenient time for her, and to make a decision about whether or not to “keep” the baby.  They say that it isn’t our place to punish her sin of promiscuity with a baby, and that the baby isn’t a baby at all–but only a blob of cells.  And because that baby is not yet viable, it’s not a life worth saving.sanctity-of-human-life-post-02

Pro-lifers argue that the “blob of cells” is already a human being.  It is life, and it deserves the opportunity to live.  They argue that a baby is not punishment, and that it is not inconvenient at all.  Instead, a baby is a blessing.

At the #Stand4Life Rally at the Texas State Capitol.    July 2013.

When my husband and I were engaged, he told me that he had a heart for adoption someday.  He believed that being pro-life had to go beyond holding picket signs (although we’ve done that), participating in the “Walk for Life”, and wearing a ribbon on “Sanctity of Life Sunday”.  He believed that if we were pro-life, we needed to be willing to step up to the plate and walk with the mothers who are “inconvenienced” with a baby.  For him, this meant that we should be open to adopt those “unwanted” babies.  It was at that conversation that my heart began to be pulled in the same direction.  And I began to be confronted by many contradictions in my own life.

“A baby is a BLESSING!  Not an inconvenience!”  I’ve heard this phrase many times, and have even used it myself.  “A baby is a blessing…”  It’s hard to argue with, and so it’s become our trump card.  Maybe we use the “blessing” card because we know that no one can honestly say it’s not true.  But do I truly BELIEVE that babies are not inconvenient?  And does that belief carry out into every aspect of my life?

Many people have thrown the “blessing-card” at a Pro-choice friend, in an effort to stump them.  We’re trying to win an argument, and this is just the card to help us win.  We say they shouldn’t abort a baby because it’s a blessing!  But then many of us will contradict ourselves as we go through our day-to-day life.

For example:

  • When someone gets married young, or during college, we may advise them to wait a few years to have children.  Why?  Because a baby might get in the way of them finishing college.  It COULD hinder their plans.
  • Even if someone doesn’t get married young, we may advise them to wait 2-4 years to have kids, so that they can ENJOY their first few years of married life.  As if children bring an end to that enjoyment.
  • When a couple already has two children (especially if they have one boy and one girl), they’re told “Now you have one of each, so you don’t have to have any more!”  Because apparently having a third child would just be torture…
  • When someone wants more than two children, they’re asked a myriad of questions:
    • “Aren’t you happy with your two?”
    • “Don’t you think two kids is enough?”
    • “Aren’t you satisfied with what God’s already given you?”
    • “You know what causes that, right?”  Is this a suggestion that they should abstain from married intimacy?
    • “If you’re bored for entertainment, you could just get a television.”
  • When a mother of one who has had a few miscarriages wants to try again for a second child, she’s told that she’s selfish for wanting another child.
  • When a woman is pregnant, we feel the need to remind her of all the sleepless nights ahead and of the sassy teen that she’ll have to deal with after her baby grows up.  After all, we wouldn’t want her to be TOO EXCITED about this baby…

We’ve failed to even notice these inconsistencies.  When a baby’s life is in danger, we call the baby a blessing.  When the child has already been conceived, it’s a blessing.  But when someone actually wants a baby, we want to make sure they’re prepared for the huge inconvenience they’re going to face.

So which is it?  Do we REALLY believe that a baby is a blessing?  Or do we believe it’s inconvenient?

Copyright: marysmn / 123RF Stock PhotoWell, truth be told–it’s both.  It may sound like a great paradox, but a baby is an inconvenient blessing.  Having a child WILL change your life forever.  You MIGHT need to give up a degree that you’re seeking, or a promotion you might have earned in your job.  You MAY end up quitting your job altogether to stay home with this little one.  Your life will no longer be just about you, or just about you & your husband.  Now, every decision will be affected by this child.  You will sacrifice for this child.  You will pour yourself out in love, and be exhausted on a pretty regular basis.  You will feel unappreciated at times.

I don’t think it really serves our case to say your child will never be inconvenient.  In fact, our “blessing” card does little more for our argument, than to make stressed mothers feel a little less valuable.  Yes, a baby is a blessing.  But it’s also one of the biggest responsibilities you can take on.  Of course, according to most moms I know, the inconvenience of a child is GREATLY outweighed by the blessings you can experience as a mother.

With all of this in mind, we need to realize that while our pro-life stances seek to save the life of a child (as we should), they can also cause much grief to the pregnant woman who doesn’t feel ready for a child.  To brashly throw in her face, “A baby is NOT an inconvenience!!” will leave her feeling like a bad woman.  Even if she wasn’t considering abortion, she’ll feel guilty for her fear.  And so we should offer her HOPE rather than guilt.

We should be willing to walk alongside her to support her on this journey.  We should tell her, “This is going to be hard, but you can do it.”  We should love her.  If she doesn’t feel she can keep the child, we should help her on the road to adoption.  We should be willing to step up and adopt ourselves!  If she doesn’t have the funds to provide for her baby, we should–as Christians–join together to give her whatever help we can.  We can babysit.  We can help her find baby clothes, a crib, a car seat and blankets.  We can simply be her friend.  Her support system.

And finally, we can choose to see the JOY that comes through having a child.  We can choose to believe that the blessing greatly outweighs the inconvenience.  And we can rejoice at the thought of a new baby, while we offer our help when it gets hard.  Our enthusiasm just may translate to her life in a way that ushers in the hope and joy that she didn’t seem to feel about this child before.  And our friendship and selfless service will let her know that she’ll be okay.

Practical Application:

  1. If you’re Pro-Life, be willing to help other Moms who struggle.
  2. When a woman miscarries, choose to view her loss as the loss of a child, no matter how early the miscarriage occurred.  Allow her to grieve in whatever way she needs–whether that’s private or open.
  3. If you challenge women to choose adoption over abortion, be open to adopting a child into your family.  If you are open to adoption but don’t have the funds for it, look into the many inexpensive options that are out there!  (They exist!)
  4. If you believe a baby is a blessing, then don’t dwell on the inconveniences that come along with children.  Don’t act as if people are unwise for trying to have a child.  Even if they are young, even if they’re in school, and even if they already have several children.  Remember, Child #8 is just as much of a blessing as Child #1!


Rachel & Boys

Faith on Dry Toast

A while ago my husband preached from Psalm 19. As he read about how desirable God’s wisdom was to David, the analogy kind of fell flat to me.

“The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.  More to be desired are they than gold, Yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.”

On both accounts, I’m just not interested.  I don’t care for gold, and I don’t care for honey.  As I listened I almost found myself snarling at the thought of that sweet honey.  “Sweeter also than honey”.   Yuck.  I know I tend to be a picky eater, but I’ve just always thought honey is much too sweet.  To think of something even sweeter than honey makes me shudder.  Someone else can keep the honey.  I’ll stick with my bread and potatoes, and some beef or chicken on the side.  Nothing with too much flavor though.  I like my plate to be tan in color, and subtle to my taste buds.


As my mind drifted to all the foods I like and dislike, I admitted to myself that my tastes were not the norm.  I’m the oddball.  In fact, I don’t even have to guess what others think about my food preferences.  I’m constantly met with raised eyebrows and shocked responses when people find out how picky I am.  “How can you not like cheese?”  “You seriously don’t like dark chocolate?”  “There are thirty one flavors to choose from, and you choose vanilla?”  Oh, yes.  Most people love the sweetest of the sweet foods.  Some people even have to lock up the sweets to keep themselves from indulging a little too much in them.  Sweet honey, to most other people, is enticing.  And I am that crazy woman who is repulsed by the sweetest food they’ve ever tasted.  There must be something wrong with me, right?

“So maybe the Scriptural analogy makes sense,” I thought, “and it’s just me that doesn’t get it.”  As the thought crossed my mind, though, another dark thought came creeping in.  “Perhaps, I’m a better analogy of the world.”  Hmm.  Sure, David desired God’s righteousness even more than this sweet honey, but not many people are like David.  As I look around, I’m not so sure that most people wouldn’t relate more to my tastes than to David’s.

In fact, most Christians today are filling their spiritual plates with dry bread, bland chicken, and pinto beans.  They have enough of Christ to fill their spiritual bellies, but no more.  Nothing too flavorful, nothing too sweet.  Just some plain old comfort food will do.  Truth be told, a lot of modern Christians want a bland spiritual life, though they’d never admit it.  They desire all the warm and fuzzy parts of Christianity, but none of the struggles of faith.  They want church, worship, and fellowship without intimacy, life-change, or accountability.  So they keep things at a basic, lower level.  They can get all the comfort they want from faith, but they won’t have to actually change their lives.  They are threatened by anything that’s too pervasive into their daily life, but they still want the peace, contentment, and fulfillment that is supposed to come from Christ.

I’m convinced this is the one of the crucial reasons that so many Christians have become disillusioned with their faith, and end up walking away from the church completely.  TRUE contentment can ONLY come when we are seeking God and obeying His commands.  We only find the joy of the Lord when we are FULLY handing our lives over to Him.  Yet much of the church still comes to service each Sunday, orders up their faith on dry toast, and then expects a 5-star dinner that will leave them spiritually nourished until next Sunday when they’ll have a few stale worship biscuits that were left over from someone else’s plate.

Sadly, they leave unfulfilled each week without even noticing the buffet line of beautiful fruit and pastries.  They could have chosen to fill their plate with love, joy, and peace.  They could have even filled a to-go box with truth, faith, and accountability, and then feasted on His Word all through the week.  Instead they left empty, knowing they wouldn’t eat again for an entire week.

Let’s look for a faith that isn’t bland.  Let’s dig into His Word and taste every sweet morsel.  Indulge your appetite in Him, and let Him fill you up with the fruit of His Spirit until you begin serving others and feeding the spiritually hungry.  “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”  (Psalm 34:8)

Rachel  🙂

DIY Jewelry Organizer

I’ve caught the “De-clutter Bug” this year!  I started out by decluttering the top of my dresser.  It took around 30 minutes, and I ended up with lots of things to donate.before-and-after-decluttering

Wow!  What a MAJOR difference it made in our room!


I still wasn’t finished!  See those necklaces hanging on my jewelry box?  They were too big to even fit inside, and others inside were messed up and tangled like crazy.  I hadn’t even looked inside the jewelry boxes during my de-cluttering, except to cram more stuff inside.

So on Monday I took about 20 minutes to de-clutter my two jewelry boxes!  I ended up keeping 10 pairs of earrings, 12 necklaces, and 3 bracelets.  That means that I was able to donate 14 pairs of earrings, 8 necklaces, 12 bracelets, and 2 watches!  Do people actually wear watches anymore?  I was also able to donate an entire jewelry box, and the little charm boxes on my dresser too–because everything now fit into my one large jewelry box.

Well….almost everything!  I still had some necklaces that were too long, and others that could technically fit, but ended up getting tangled with other necklaces.

So, I then set out to make my very own “Jewelry Organizer!”  I LOVE how it turned out, so I’m going to share a quick tutorial with you!


I grabbed all of these supplies for pretty cheap, at our local Walmart.  If you live in an area with access to more craft stores, you would have even more options.

First, I gathered all of my supplies & tools:

  • img_94992– 10 in. x 10 in. Fake Wood Blocks
  • 2–Cute Plain Wooden Shapes
  • 2–Packs of Hooks, 6 Hooks each.
  • Scissors
  • Wood Glue
  • A small paint brush
  • Screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • 2 Nails

Next, I started by Gluing the Wooden Shapes to the Wood Blocks:


I used the small paintbrush to spread the glue evenly, and then pressed the shapes onto the blocks.  I had considered painting the “Love” and the bird, or perhaps decoupaging some cute scrapbook paper onto them.  But my husband really liked the two-toned wood look, so I kept them as is.  As it turns out, I really like it that way!

After the shapes were on the boards, it was time for the hooks!  I started by placing the hooks where I wanted them.  I didn’t take the time to measure them; I just eyeballed the placement.


After the hooks were placed where I wanted them, I used the screwdriver to attach them.

I attached one screw through each hook first, and then was able to pick up the block for a better hold while I attached the second screw to each hook.

You could also mark the holes for each one so that you don’t have to worry about the hooks falling off, but…

Hindsight is 20/20, right?

Once the hooks were attached to the first block, I started over with the second block.

Then it was time to hang them on the wall!  I chose not to hang them by the attached ropes, so that they would be more securely attached to the wall.  There was already a plastic hanger on the back side that I could use with a nail.

Again, I did not measure for placement on the wall.  I just “eyeballed” them and put them where I wanted them.

I think they turned out GREAT!


And the best part is that once I put my 12 necklaces on these, my jewelry box had room for all the things that didn’t fit before!

All the rings and bracelets from the other small jewelry box.  AND all the bobby pins and safety pins from the small trinket boxes that had been on my dresser!

Now I can walk into my room, sit on my bed, and see a dresser that causes me NO STRESS.  Instead, it brings a smile to my face because there is absolutely NO CLUTTER there to tie me down!

Now when I see my dresser, I just “breathe”.

I am loving the freedom that comes with de-cluttering, and I’m not stopping here!  Next up is my nightstand, and then on to the closet!

Rachel  🙂               and Nathanael!



Spiritual Rehab

I had a friend who was in a severe car accident about 10 years ago.  She was in a coma for weeks, and when she woke up there was still extensive damage.  She had to completely re-learn everything she had ever done.  She couldn’t even walk.  When it was time for her to walk again, though, she couldn’t just get up out the bed and start walking.  She couldn’t just decide she was ready to walk, and then run a 5k.  No, it took months and months of rehab and therapy.  She needed someone else to help her, support her, and keep her on track.  It was painful and hard.  Walking was harder for her than it is for any of us, because something had interrupted her ability to walk.  In addition to the injuries to her hips and legs, she had also been lying in a bed for weeks.  Her muscles had weakened through that process.  They needed consistent effort and lots of intentional care before they were strong enough to support her body again.

This happens often in our spiritual lives.


Lately our church has been doing something called Thrive.  It’s a family discipleship ministry that includes a personal daily Bible reading schedule.  As a result, I’ve become much more faithful in my quiet times.  We did a trial run in June and July, and I only missed about 10 days during those months.  Then we started a 20-week guide in August.  Throughout August, September, and October, I barely missed a day of reading.  Then in November, my 16-month-old son got sick.  I called the doctor and was able to get an early appointment, so I rushed to get ready.  I thought I might do my quiet time that evening, but I started to feel sick myself as the day went on.  I didn’t do my quiet time.  For the next two weeks, my whole family struggled in and out of sickness, and I left my Thrive journal just sitting there—never even opening it.  Our sickness was followed up by going out of town, which was followed by Thanksgiving.  Before I knew it, I hadn’t read my Bible in a month.

December rolled around, and I opened my Bible to do what used to be my standard quiet time.  It was awkward.  I didn’t get much from it.  I tried to close out my time by praying through my prayer list, but my words seemed empty.

It wasn’t that God wasn’t there, but that my spiritual muscles had grown weak.  I had lost my spiritual fervor.  Just like my friend had to go through therapy, I needed to exercise even more than usual if I wanted to get back to where I had been before.  I needed a little spiritual rehab.

If I want to grow, I’m going to have to exercise my spiritual muscles.  I have to do good works!  I can’t just float through the Christian life, going to church each week, and expect strong spiritual muscles.  I can’t rely on the three-and-a-half years I spent in Seminary a few years ago.  We’ve all heard the phrase, “If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.”  When it comes to our spiritual walk with God, if you don’t use it {your spiritual muscles}, you will LOSE it {your walk with God}.  That’s not to say that you’ll lose your salvation, but you will not be walking in close relationship with Him.  It takes daily exercise to develop strong muscles and endurance, and it takes daily time in His Word and prayer if we want to develop deep faith that produces fruit in our lives.

Do you need a dose of spiritual rehab?  For me it took a day of having 4 hours of quiet time before I felt like I was back on track with my relationship with the Lord.  You might not need to do that.  You might only need a thirty minute time of meditating on His Word.  Or you could need a week-long vacation spent entirely by reading His Word, praying, and listening to Christian messages online.  Regardless of how much time it takes, it’s so worth the investment.  If you have fallen away from your daily time with the Lord, whether for a couple of days or several years, you can still put in the time to do your “rehab.”  Get some help if you need it.  Find a friend or pastor to support you in your journey as you re-learn how to exercise your spiritual muscles!  God is always waiting for you to re-join Him in His walk.

Are you ready?

Rachel  🙂
Happy Sunday!   And Happy Birthday MOM!  Love you!