A Day to Pray, a Lifetime of Hope

Reagan (and our families) enjoying my hometown's little local parade on Independence Day 2014

Reagan (and our families) enjoying my hometown’s little local parade on Independence Day 2014

It’s Saturday and I found out just two days ago that my friend’s daughter, Reagan, is having more hemorrhaging.  Click here to read my previous post about her and this reoccurring health issue. I asked her mom if I could share here with all of you. So, because I’m having trouble finding the words I need, I’ll just post her updates.  Be sure to read the previous post about Reagan if you need a better understanding of the seriousness of the problem and, most important, the preciousness of the girl.

On August 28th, Reagan’s mom said this:

Would appreciate prayers for Reagan. She is hemorrhaging from lungs again; third round in past 7 days. We are in close contact with our cardiologist, and he is calling another heart/lung specialist in Philly for ideas. It’s a waiting game. We are home; the hospital is another location to wait, so we would rather keep her home. We are thankful for good nurses and humble doctors who are willing to keep digging for answers. Picking up a round a steroids and an antibiotic today. Hopefully, it will alleviate the coughing and subsequent hemorrhages.

And God reigns through it all.

Here is what my dear friend posted on her Facebook page this morning:

Friends and Family, please continue to pray for Reagan and for wisdom on our next step. She had medium hemorrhaging last night; a few hours prior to that she was crying as if in pain. It is very discouraging. Our choices: wait this out hoping hemorrhaging will stop,coiling procedure at hospital again, taking out lung. Remember, there are thousands vessels and without an active bleed, the surgeon won’t know where to place the coils. Then, if he does coil, it just places more pressure on those other 9,999ish other vessels that aren’t designed to carry this much blood flow. Her little body is just getting pushed beyond capacity. We don’t want to rush her in to a surgery that is a best guess. Currently, her coloring looks good, and she is happy… except for the hour of crying last night. Oh, this is hard, and my heart is aching. Please pray.

It is times like these where our faith is tested. Why, God? Do I really believe that you are there? Softly, it comes:

“Your eyes saw my unformed substance;

in your book were written, every one of them,

the days that were formed for me,

when as yet there was none of them.”

He knows our days. I praise you, Lord, for Reagan is indeed fearfully and wonderfully made.

Does He speak to you through His word? He comforts my soul when nothing else can.

Please be praying for Reagan, for her mom, dad, and two younger sisters.  They are like family to me and mine.  I can’t see through my tears right now.  If this ache is so large in my own heart, I tremble at the thought of what Reagan and her family are feeling.  Thank you for taking the time to read this and keep them in your prayers.  They read my blog, so if you want to leave them a comment, please do.

Ps 18 2

 UPDATE: Sunday morning’s message from Mom said there had been another small hemorrhage in the night, but it had some clots in it which was different.  It is possibly a good sign that Reagan’s body is trying to close off the bleed.  It’s hard to say, though, and most of it is all guessing.  They have been provided with wonderful in home nursing care and have been able to get some rest, too. Thank you again for praying, and I will update over the course of the week. 

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Being a Part of the Body

There’s this old game…I don’t know how old, but it’s called something like “Here’s the Church.”  Do you remember it? There are many versions of it and you can even find it on YouTube. I’ll explain how I learned it.  You  play it with your hands…clasp them together, fingers on top and say, “Here’s the church,” then point your index fingers up and touch them while you say, “Here’s the steeple.  Open the door,” flip your clasped hands over, “Where’s all the people?”  Now, fold your hands together, intertwine your fingers together into your palms and repeat, “Here’s the church, here’s the steep, open the door,” flip your hands over and wiggle all your fingers, “There’s all the people!”

 

Photo is from grandparents.com

Photo is from grandparents.com

 

I really do have a point for sharing that game with you.  I hope you figure it out. :)

The following is a “note” I posted to my personal Facebook account about three years ago.  I happened to be re-reading my old notes and re-shared some of them.  A very special (wonderful really) lady asked me to make a a copy of it for her and in the process, I decided to re-post it here as well.

 

So, I cried at church this Sunday.  The tears were from frustration and from feeling like I’m letting people down.  I’m so thankful for our worship pastor, though, who has been an encouragement. His heart is full of honesty in the words he says.  Church, as I referred to it above, is a group of people, not a building… and as I briskly walked toward the bathroom, tears streaming down my cheeks, I saw the compassion of The Church.  Not one person who saw me go, in my embarrassed state, had anything written on their face other than concern and love.

As I was in the bathroom, bent over the sink, trying to remove the evidence of tears from my cheeks and eyes, I was struck, just struck anew with what it is to be the Church.  Just as my arm raises the hand that washes my eyes clean, so do the people who are a part of the body of Christ.  Each person plays an integral part, each person cares for the needs of the other. When we work together in our special roles (each one is special, great or small), we make a complete set, a WHOLE.

We carry each other to the places we need to be.  We hold each other up when we are hurt or in pain. I protect and gently hold my arm if it is broken or damaged.  This is the example of Christ.  Even when we see each other in a humbled state we do not give up on or ignore those pieces of us (the BODY OF CHRIST) that need some extra love.  We pick each other up with encouraging words and a helping hand.

I was crying for myself- for not being good enough, but I was reminded (and lifted up) first by words then by the actions of those around me. The reminder was that for God I am good enough (because the Goodness of CHRIST resides in me), and for the rest of the Church I am good enough (because we are a part of ONE body), and that for me- I am what God wants me to be.

So, My Church Family, may God continue to grow you in the love of the body and the love of the lost.  May He place the seed of the Gospel deep in your hearts so that the vine of Christ spills out from your doors and is used as the vine others are grafted into.  May you be a light, shining in the darkness and may you be known by your love for each other as you serve in all faithfulness.

Rachael

 

And there you have it.  I’m a cry baby, but at least I got something encouraging out of it. :)  Church isn’t a building, it’s the people inside it, who gather together and share their lives, loving and caring for each other’s needs.  Now every time I read this, I am reminded and encouraged again.  I hope it can embolden you to change the way you see and feel about church today, too.  Or better yet- maybe it will remind you, as it has me, that life is not meant to be lived alone, nor are we designed for selfish pursuits.  There’s so much joy in serving others and sharing.

Thanks for stopping in!  I’d love to hear from you about some encouraging thing that’s happened for you lately. :)

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I’ve heard I’m Random

Ok, maybe not in those words, but I think it’s accurate…I’m Random.  Or is it?  Is anything really random, or is it organized chaos? Or chaotic organization?

My house is full of that-chaotic organization.  Watch where you step!  You could find yourself slipping on a scrap of paper left over from a craft project, stepping painfully on a Lego or Hot Wheels car, or tripping on a basket brimming with laundry.  The dishes…well, there might be more than a few in the sink.  What makes it organized is simple: I know where everything is located.  Can I tell you where it is? No…probably not.  I keep thinking I need to work on my directional instruction techniques.

Aside from my house being a bit random and messy, I could easily say my mind is in the same state of being.  There’s all kinds of things rolling around in this head of mine.  Most of it wouldn’t make sense to the average person.  Every so often, though, I come across someone who “gets” the beautiful mess that is ME.  I dislike very few people in this world, but it’s incredibly affirming to have someone understand you, even a little bit, and still accept you and – hold on! – like you.

So many people wander through this world searching for acceptance,  affirmation, affection, hope…Sometimes we look right through them, sometimes it’s as though our vision bends around them, avoiding the one who our mind doesn’t quite comprehend.

I think we all may be a little random.  I think we all are a bit messy inside and out.  Don’t let your messiness keep you from seeing the beauty in someone else’s randomness.  Sometimes accepting those quirky differences is just the thing that make you realize what a gift you could have right in front of you in that other person.

Don’t look through the odd ones. Look for them.  Look for us… because we can all make a difference in someone else’s life if we put in a little effort.  It’s a simple gift you can give with the potential for tons of personal benefit.

And, if you’re odd, like me, you can do the same thing for someone else.  If you’re odd, don’t let your insecurities define you.  You are a beautiful person, designed to be who you are and loved more than you could ever comprehend on this earth.  I know it’s true, because I’m odd, too.

 

I’d love to talk with you.  Please feel free to email me or leave a comment below.  You can also find me on twitter @RachaelRitchey or Facebook WritingRaci

 

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Pearls of Wisdom from a Thirty-Something Man

Rachael:

Reblog from Suzie81-
I just get it. Maybe you will, too… :)

Originally posted on Suzie81 Speaks:

imageMy best friend turns 33 next month. He’s only a few months older than me, I met him when he was my boss at the bar that I worked at when I was 19, and we have been friends every since. For the sake of confidentiality, I’m simply going to refer to him as P.

Over the years we’ve talked about anything and everything, but as we’ve aged I’ve noticed that our conversations have developed from discussing our latest love interests and the varying degrees of our hangovers into more deep and meaningful thoughts such as the best cleaning products to remove mould, his awesome Batman moustache every Movember (which was number five on Google Images after I included it in my blog last year) and our favourite films. We have an understanding about certain subjects – he’s allowed to talk about Doctor Who (he’s the world’s biggest fan) and…

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Never…not ever.

This is my photo. I made this to share, so please feel free to save/copy and share around the 'net!

This is my photo. I made this to share, so please feel free to save/copy and share around the ‘net!


What comes to mind for you when you read this quote?

What is one thing you can’t stop thinking about?

What helps you fight the urge to give up?

What have you given up on that you still can’t stop thinking about?

What is something you want to give up on, but you know is too important?


I’d really like to know your answer or answers to these questions!

Leave me a comment below,

OR

If you decide to write a blog post about one or all of these questions, link it back to this post so that we can read it, too. :)

It would be my pleasure to find out more about what drives you, my friends!

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Suzie81 Speaks WP Community Experiment

Suzie81 Speaks is hosting a WordPress Community Experiment.

I couldn’t help but participate. I’ll be answering a series of questions and linking you back to her original post.

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What I’d like to ask you to do is participate, too!  How to do that is visit Suzie’s blog post about it, answer the questions in the comments section or make a blog post of your own which you will link back to hers. (If you’d like to answer the questions in my comments section, I will make sure notify her of your answers on my comments if they are made within the time limit she set: 3 days).

Here are the questions & my answers:

1. How did you create the title for your blog?

I got an itch to write and couldn’t stop. I dreamed of writing for a long time. I’m still in the process, but being able to call myself an AUTHOR is something I’m striving toward with hope and promise!

2. What’s the one bit of blogging advice you would give to new bloggers?

Blogging is about community, about sharing, and about learning. Enjoy the process and making new friends!

3. What is the strangest experience you’ve ever had?

Being followed out of the grocery store into the parking lot by a complete stranger.

4. What is the best thing that anybody has ever said to you?

You are worth it.

5. When presented with a time machine, which one place and time would you visit?

It depends on if it only travels to the past or if it also goes to the future.  If it’s only the past I’d have to say the first place and time I’d like to go would be the Oregon Trail during the height of wagon trains.  I want to, at least briefly, see and feel what the pioneers felt crossing this amazing terrain here in the west I love.  When we drive down the highways, and I look at all the mass of desert, high plains, and mountains, I can’t help but wonder what crossed through the minds of the people determined to make a life out here.

6. If you had to pick a new first name, what would you choose?

Haha, the first name that popped into my head was Daphne.  If you’re curious it means “Laurel” as in laurel tree…apparently she was a nymph who was desired by Apollo in Greek Mythology.  Her father decided to “protect” her by changing her into a tree.  Really, though, I’ve grown to love my name and probably would choose it for myself if given the option. Yes, Rachael just fits.

7. If you were a B Movie, what would it be called?

She’s Not Just the Girl Next Door


 

Now it’s your turn!  Answer the questions in the comments below or post your own blog about it, which you will link back to this post or, better yet, SUZIE81’s Post.  I can’t wait to read your responses!  Let’s make this experiment an amazing view of our community here on WordPress!

(here’s the questions w/o answers so it’s easy to copy and paste to your own blog)

1. How did you create the title for your blog?

2. What’s the one bit of blogging advice you would give to new bloggers?

3. What is the strangest experience you’ve ever had?

4. What is the best thing that anybody has ever said to you?

5. When presented with a time machine, which one place and time would you visit?

6. If you had to pick a new first name, what would you choose?

7. If you were a B Movie, what would it be called?

 


 

Feel to blog, reblog, repost, retweet, or whatever it is you’d like to do to enjoy and/or participate!

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You Know You’re a Writer When

This was too good not to share! Now, click the link, and go have yourself a little laugh…while I’ve not experienced each of these I would still say: it’s true…it’s all true. haha

 You Know You’re a Writer When.

You-Know-Youre-a-Writer-When4


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Inside Beauty – Inside My Story


I’ve talked about beauty on my blog pretty often since I started here a few months ago.  I keep saying the same thing in different (and often similar) ways.  Beauty is not just something we look at and appreciate.  It comes from the inside of a person.  His or her character, morals, and values will magnify one’s outer beauty in the positive or negative, depending on what we perceive to be attractive in another’s personality.

I’d like to start taking a deeper look at different parts of what I think makes someone beautiful inside and out.  Would you like to go on this thought-journey with me?  You see, the book I’ve written is an adventure. It’s a fantasy world, but it’s also a bit of an allegory pointing the way to true beauty.

Let’s talk about that for now and next time we’ll focus in on one specific attribute of “BEAUTIousness” found within a person.

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I have nothing against outer beauty.  We are “…fearfully and wonderfully made…”* creatures, intricately woven into these amazing beings that tread upon the earth.  I cannot look at and consider another human-being without being in awe of the design and function of our outward appearance.  Fingers, toes, elbows, eyes, ears, hair (or lack-thereof), chin, hip, lashes, freckles, colors, textures, etc.  The variety is astounding, and the similarities are impressive.  We are, in general, beautiful creatures to behold.  No one would disagree that some are more beautiful than others, of course, but the point is, outer beauty does exist and I appreciate it, too.

In fact, Caitlyn, the princess from my story, is beautiful.  She is not like me, or how I think of myself anyway: plain, not ugly, but nothing special to look at.  No, Caity is tall, slender, symmetric, lovely hair, regal in posture, and all around eye-catching.  It’s when you really get to know her, though, that you start to see how beautiful she is, in all reality (not reality, since she’s not real, but you get the point).

She’s like me in that regard, or at least how I’d like to be.  Caitlyn is generous, tries to be patient, is willing to give people grace in uncertain circumstances, hopes for the best, and isn’t afraid of hard work. She’s fun, funny, flirty, sweet, loving….well, you get the picture.

Now, you haven’t seen her, but you know she’s considered pretty.  And you’ve heard her described.  Would you, or wouldn’t you agree that even this brief simple description of her character gave you an even more favorable picture of her beauty?  Doesn’t she seem more beautiful for having these attributes?

What about us, as real live people?  Is there someone in your life who stands out to you as more beautiful (or less) because of what you know of their actions and words?

I’d love to read your responses below! Please leave a comment about whatever comes to your mind on the subject. :) Thanks so much!

 


*quote is from the ESV Bible Ps. 139

 

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A Very Humbled Gal Got a VIBA!

What is this VIBA, you ask? I decided my title was too long, so in order to make things easier for all of us, I made an acronym. Because who doesn’t like those?!  Trust me, if you deal with any government entity, you get inundated with them! :)

V.I.B.A.- Very Inspiring Blogger Award

 

very-inspiring-blogger-award

My fun new blogging writer friend,  Sara DeLaVergne has nominated me for this special award and I’m stoked!  Like she says on her own nomination, “It’s an honor to be called inspiring, and I’m glad I get to share this with everyone.”  Ditto is one of my favorite words for a reason. :)  I’m humbled and thankful for the nomination, Sara!  Merci beaucoup!

One of the rules is to list the rules, so I will do that at the bottom of this post.  Next is that I should share SEVEN facts about myself.  That is the #7, seven-a-rooni, seven-a-roo.  It must be like one for each day of the week?  Maybe I should give one on each day of the week?  That might be a fun way to fulfill that rule!  Oooo, I like it!  Maybe that’s not in the spirit of the rules, soooo I guess I’ll list them all here.  OH, maybe you could just come back and look every day! :)


 

Here are my seven facts for your perusing pleasure:

Uno) I do not actually speak Spanish.  I know, shocker.

Dos) I grew up in S.E. Alaska from K-7th grade and LOVED the place. I especially loved derby season when I would get to go fishing for salmon with my dad and his buddy. I swam at the beach, in the ocean, multiple times and did not get hypothermia. I actually enjoyed science in seventh grade because Mr. B was an awesome teacher!

Tres) It took me three months to write 95,000 words.  It will take me a lot longer to edit them. I still love each word, even though some must go!  Sometimes the cuts break my heart a little.

Cuatro) Since I started writing the “Great American Novel”, I have completely neglected housework.  For instance, my husband has decided that a shelving system must be erected in order to name-code spaces, so each person can take care of their own laundry after it has been washed and dried.  Piles of laundry all over the place seem to be a problem. At least he doesn’t have to hunt for short socks…haha

Cinco) I’m a loyal friend.  This doesn’t mean I’m always around and always able to help out, but when I’m truly needed, I’ll bend over backward to make sure I’m there for you. Family and friends matter.  People matter.  All it takes is a phone call, not a Batman-style light to get my attention!

Seis)  I had to look up how to spell SIX in Spanish.  What on earth does that say about me?  If it is nothing of import, I suppose I should list a fact…I love symmetry and order.  They are beautiful to my eyes.

Siete) I have only been out of the US to go to Canada.  I suppose you might include the Bahamas, but I really don’t think that counts. Besides, I couldn’t even see while snorkeling. I had to take off my glasses.  Bummer.  Since then, I’ve had LASIK.  I guess I need to go back so I can actually see the colorful fishies!


 

 Now I get to give you some amazing nominations for more VIBAs!  These Very Inspiring Bloggers are all people I enjoy reading at least once a week.  I hope you find a few you can be inspired by, too!

 

 Ronovan Writes

is a man who is always thinking and go-go-going! He covers all kinds of inspiring ground on his blog. Ronovan  does interviews, reblogs, writes stories and poetry. He also hosts a few Haiku challenges each week that are fun to participate in when one has the time!

Dazzling Whimsy

tells stories with pictures.  The photography is wonderful and the descriptions/stories that go along with each one are enjoyable, too! They inspire my mind to see vividly.

A Slice of Life

is one place where you can go and hear about real life goodness, be encouraged and always leave smiling.

On the Heath

is full of poetry to make your mind think and your heart feel.  Most of them are short, quick reads and always worth it!

Afternoon of Sundries

The title says it all!  This mama just tells it like it is but with flare!

All About Manners

is so fun!  The posts here are about anything related to manners and lots of fun kids stuff.  You’ll find nursery rhymes and jokes, too!

Happy Lifeaholic

is organized with posts on history, mystery, myth, tales and so much more.  Again, a great title for one who enjoys life!

Princess of the Light

is a fellow author who is a delight to converse with (even if only a little). Plus the book looks worth a read! I hope to be seeing more in the future.

Two Wise Gals

area couple of ladies with lots of life-advice and encouragement for one and all.

Max Reynolds

is all about photography.

Daverian

is a couple who have recently been married, but their blog chronicles their travels and the adventures they have together.

Alzheimer’s: Through My Mother’s Eyes

is a blog dedicated to helping spread the word about caring for family members with Alzheimer’s/Dementia. You can find out more about Suzette’s book there, too.

Pretend to Be Nice

is so much fun! These two women who blog together seem to be night and day in personality, but they are friends who compliment each other’s style so well.

Nicholas Hughes

is another great writer friend.  He’s in the editing stage of his first book, which I am super-stoked to have him complete so we can all read it. His blog is full of dry humor and fun insight.

Paul Thomas Bell

is a man on a mission.  I would say he wants everyone to know that all the crazy things that happen in dating aren’t all that crazy. Or not, you’ll just have to go read to find out the real story. Trust me, you’ll be amused, too.

Notes From Dawn

is full of silly stuff as well as interesting product reviews!  I’m always thankful for people who take the time you help us out!

Sara already nominated this guy, but I’d put him in my Inspiring Blogger category, also:

It’s my Interworldweb Author Friend: J. A. Merkel

 THANK YOU, SARA!


The Award Guidelines are as follows:

1.Thank and link to the amazing person who nominated you.

2.List the rules and display the award.

3.Share seven facts about yourself.

4.Nominate 15 other amazing blogs and comment on their posts to let them know they have been nominated

5.Proudly display the award logo on your blog and follow the blogger who nominated you.

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Sarah E. Boucher- Let’s Meet Her Character!

Sarah E. Boucher was asked by our mutual friend, Nicholas Hughes, to participate in the Meet My Character Blog Tour and I’m so glad she did!  I’m reblogging her entry here.  Well, this is the beginning.  Click the link to see the full post!


Meet My Characters Blog Tour

I was invited to participate in the Meet My Character Blog Tour by fellow writer Nicholas Hughes.  You can learn more about him, his characters, and his current project The Red Dress, on his website.

And here’s a little about me:  

Obsessed with fairytales since girlhood, I began creating my own years ago.Becoming Beauty, my take on Beauty and the Beast, is the first to see the light of day, but if the clamoring cast of Twelve(a twist on The Twelve Dancing Princesses) and Guillermo & Elyse (Rumpelstiltskin) have their way, it won’t be the last.

Until they earn their moment in the sun, let’s get to know Bella, the heroine and unconventional Beauty in Becoming Beauty: 

  1. What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or a historic person?

Bella, the heroine of my story is completely fictional.  Any similarity between Bella and myself is purely intentional…I mean accidental.

  1. When and where is the story set?

Seriously, click here to go read full Q&A and make sure to follow this talented lady!

 

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