Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Giving Thanks: A Giveaway!

Hi! Do you want to know something? I am thankful for you. Here. Have some kabobs. Happy Thanksgiving. What? Don't you eat kabobs for Thanksgiving? I love Thanksgiving and I love being thankful. It makes my heart feel all squishy and full.

I'm so thankful I'm at the end of the story about my life's disappointments! I want to start telling the God part of the story. If you haven't read yesterday's post, go ahead and read it now, so today's will make sense.

So, here is the sick truth. I am holding nothing back here. By the time Bob had his "incident" I was walking around wearing this warped badge of honor. On this badge that I bestowed upon myself was my list of all the wrongs, the hurts, the injustices, and the disappointments I had endured. I was developing an unhealthy pride in the list and felt I surely deserved something for all of it. But what did I deserve? What was it I wanted?

I tried chocolate chips for awhile. I ate them by the bag. They were not good friends to me, though. So I tried letting my normally frugal self go a little wild and buy things just for fun. I figured I deserved to do at least that with a husband who worked so much. I tried losing myself in books and sewing projects. I stayed up for hours searching the Internet for anything entertaining. I watched all the old episodes of "Mary Tyler Moore," "I Love Lucy," "Little House on the Prairie," and "Dr. Quinn." Don't be makin' fun, now! 

I felt sick and disgusted with myself. I knew exactly what I was doing, and yet I continued in it. I was avoiding intimacy with God. I was filling up every silent moment with stuff, so that I wouldn't have to face Him. I knew that if I did face him, I would be completely raw. I would be totally and utterly exposed, unable to hide a thing. And I knew that would make me feel things I did not want to feel. Pain. I did not want to feel the pain.

I love so many things about the Lord, and one of them is that He uses other people that he has encouraged to encourage us, in turn! Check out 1Corinthians 1:3-4. "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God." Ahh. God is the original author of "pay it forward." 

And this is exactly what happened to me. He used two sisters who had suffered many troubles to encourage me with the encouragement they had received from God. In fact, He has used them to encourage many people who are encouraging others, and so on it goes, and isn't that wonderful? He is a wonderful Redeemer. 

I will never forget the day I heard the news that Holly and Heather suddenly and tragically became widows in their twenties. These two sisters and I had grown up alongside each other at church and school. I was so moved by their loss, I can still remember the spot on my living room carpet where I sat stunned, crying and praying for them. Little did I know that more than ten years later the book that they would write about their experience would be the spring board to launch me out of my own pit of misery.
A good friend loaned me Holly and Heather's book months before it was officially "out" and I read it in one day. I read into the wee hours of the morning, not interrupting what the Holy Spirit was doing in me as I read. For me, it was similar to ripping off a bandage, and I just wanted to get it over with. I didn't want to cry. But I did. I didn't want to relate to their thoughts and feelings. But I couldn't help it. 

These two women are beautiful examples of what God will do with a life fully surrendered to Him. He will redeem, restore, and reconcile. I like that "reconcile" means "to re-establish a close relationship between." It holds within it the hope of second chances with God. Reading this book helped to start me on the path of facing the God who loves me and being reconciled to Him. I was at last ready to let Him help me take off my sick badge of honor and replace it with a crown of beauty, the oil of gladness, and a garment of praise (Isaiah 61). 
By the way, besides having a beautiful testimony, Holly and Heather also have beautiful singing voices that they use to minister to the Lord and to others. They have just finished a season of women's retreats that I hear tell have been wonderful! I'm not sure if they have more of those planned for the future, but you can read a little more about the sisters and their book here.

So, because I love you, and because it's Thanksgiving, and because you should read it, I'm giving away a copy of this book!

 Also, I had some scraps of Christmas fabric and an old sweater that sort of threw themselves together and became a bag that I am also giving away.

 You could put the book in the bag! Or you could read the book and give the bag to your niece for Christmas. Or, if you've already read the book, you could give it to your friend for Christmas and keep the bag for toting around all the baked goods you will be handing out to your neighbors because you are secretly related to Martha Stewart. 

Here is a hint for you: do not think that you have to have gone through a tragedy to read or enjoy this book. No, no. This book has something for everyone, simply because the Holy Spirit has anointed it. And if you have never had a troublesome day in your life, one is coming, I can guarantee you that. So, go ahead and leave a comment, so that you will have a chance to win the Book in a Bag! You can stay anonymous, if you like. And if you want to have fun, when you leave your comment, tell me your favorite Thanksgiving food.
Mine is...the mashed potatoes, of course! The turkey would be naked without it. 


  1. Rachelle, I am always so amazed with your sharing of events in your life. I thought that you were self-less, secure and always had everything together in your life. You always had an aura of being perfect in everything. I was the insecure person, struggling to be accepted. I have never forgotten the time(s)you began the song "My Jesus, My Savior" and always think of you when I hear it. I hope you have a great thanksgiving. My favorite -sweet potatoes, just salt, pepper, and margarine, NO marshmallows or sugar, please.

  2. Rachelle, what a generous heart you are! I have a copy of these lovely friends book, So you can leave my name out of the lottery or if won, I will "pay it forward" to the next person, God plants in my path. But I wanted to say:
    Stove Top, I Love Stove Top! I am ashamed to say. & I'm struggling with it! In our families quest to eat more "clean" and non-processed foods, I'm having withdrawals at the thought of abandoning my happily processed box of 4 mins to make joy, for a homemade verison, which no doubt my wonderful iron chef of a husband can make somehow yummy. But I'm not sure I want to give that one up! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  3. What a lovely gift! I love you, I love your blog and I love Holly & Heather and their story. If I won, I would give this book to a dear friend who just lost her husband of 36 years and is still struggling.

    My favorite part of Thanksgiving is cooking the food and having my family together. I make my grandma's cornbread dressing - it's a family tradition. That and pumpkin pie for Charlie. Always.

  4. I like it all...your blog, your faith, your wisdom, and all the food...I like it all.

  5. Ok, do I really have to pick just one??? ;) LOL. If I had to pick just one, hmmmm....I do love me some mashed potatoes with lots of gravy. Do NOT forget the gravy! And as much as this book sounds like a wonderful read, I am thinking you should give it to Sarah so she can give it to her friend who could use some lifting up. That's just my two cents. Love reading your posts - you truly are beautiful inside and out! Happy Thanksgiving!

  6. Rachelle,

    Your blog is an inspiration, girl. You should truly think of writing a book. Thank you for all the sharing you have done and the blessing that you are to all of us.

  7. Great talking with you last night. Thanks! And thanks for writing all this good stuff. I love you my dearie friend and sister. Would it be boring of me to say that Turkey is my favorite? I do like it oh so much. And if you covered it with gravy I would eat every bite of that yummy bird. Love you girl!


  8. I am humbled to be a part of your journey. My heart is so full, I can't even articulate to you what a joy it is to have our lives and journeys intermingled together. All I have is gratitude and delight in sharing my pain and my story (as I'm sure you totally understand) because my greatest joy stems from this awesome opportunity to share His love and life in hopes that it brings others face to face with Him. I love Him for all He's doing in and through you, Rachelle. Can you please put all this in book form!!! Your blog and story needs to be shared. I'm on the edge of my swivel chair each time I read your blog.

    Obviously, don't want to win a book :) But I'd be more than happy to donate one as well, don't have a handy-dandy sweater-made gift bag to go with... and come to think of it, if I happen to win, I'll be happy to take the bag. It's adorable!

    Seriously though, draw two names (or however you plan on doing things). BTW, I love sweet potatoes with more sweetness added.


  9. Rachelle,
    I do so love this blog and am very happy that you sent me the link. So much of what you write about feels like you are talking straight to me! We need to talk sometime--voice to voice! And I love mashed potatoes--is it bad if I had to scroll up to see if potatoe had an E on the end?

  10. I remember that green sweater! (What a trivial thing to say after this deep and wonderful post.)

  11. Rachelle,
    I am so enjoying reading your blog. Would love to read the book and carry it in the cute bag.

  12. Rachelle,

    I attend church with your sister, Holly. I don't know her well...but I do remember you from school. I've been keeping up on your blog and I must say your words are healing. I just recently lost my brother, he would be 32 on Sunday. He leaves behind two babies, a two year old daughter and a one year old son...anyway, my pastor gave this book to me and I just started reading it yesterday while on my Thanksgiving holiday...already it the Wall girls have begun to heal my heart with their beautiful testimony. Anyway..I thought it was awesome how this book has shown up in my life and now I read your blog about the very same book....God is good! :)

  13. Rachelle, you know how the bible is so neat the way it always seems to hit the mark about something going on in our lives? Even scriptures we know by heart and have read thousands of times can "all of a sudden" seem to be for just this moment in time. Well, that's the way I feel since I've been reading your blog. You make me laugh a lot, but seriously, sometimes I feel like you've been listening to those voices in my head. Now THAT'S the Holy Spirit at work. Keep listening and being led by Him.

  14. okay. it is one of your purses, so i have to get in the drawing! AND if i won the book i would joyfully give it away. I have two copies I keep in my therapy office and have shared with a number of clients...it has been a wonderful tool to have! I know just who I would send another copy to...I love giving this book.

  15. The sentiments of these last few posts strangely remind me my presentation at MOPS last month. Life gives us reason to despair, but God gives us such reason to hope! Our pain is not our badge of honor, but we sure like to wear it around like it is sometimes, uh? I am so glad we have the garment of praise in our wardrobe as part of our reality too ( to cover our very real hurts!) I think we are afraid if we take of the badge that says we were hurt and cover it with a garment of praise then our needs won't get met. I am so glad we have a God who always sees us and ALWAYS meets our needs!

  16. i cannot resist the chance to "win" one of your bags! And, even without the chance of great giveaways, I would still enjoy your blog. Niki


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