Category Archives: Personal

Bands that Bond Us

I remember the day we found out something was wrong. I could feel it in my gut before we even did the routine ultrasound. The emotion, the worry, the fear is indescribable. I could not form words to pray.  All I could muster was to tell God I was mad at Him.  It was unfair. It was hard to look at those around me experiencing the joy they had with their pregnancies and babies. Why?

The worst is when you feel like you have it under control then when you go to speak – you break. One particular call was with my Dad; I recall being angry with his reaction to the news. He was unphased. He said, “Rachel it’s obviously something you can handle.”  Our baby was our baby, and she’d be fine. Three months later and he was right.

I allowed myself three days to feel. Then it was time to move on. Accept the unknown.

There she was. Born way too early but right on time. I recall looking at her through the box as she looked right back. Her tiny little face. Her eyes were wide open.  At just two pounds and some change, her personality shown. I saw her legs. I saw the scars the bands left. At this moment, I wanted no different. She was my baby. She was made this way. The bands were no longer evil.

Everything about my pregnancy and the aftermath did not go as envisioned. You don’t expect to be pregnant only six months. You don’t expect to get to know your baby through the lens of a Hospital. The milestones you experience are not the milestones you prepare for. One of the biggest moments was being able to hold her with no wires attached. Going from being allowed to hold her an hour a day to being able to hold whenever we wanted.

Her amniotic bands had bonded us before she was born.  We knew the longer she stayed inside; the more damage would be done. Although my water breaking at 25 weeks has no exact relation to the bands it’s proof that even in anger, God hears.

The journey into parenthood did not come easy. I realize it’s never easy. You’re never ready. When it happens, when life throws you curve balls you just become ready.

Her bands have already taken me to places I never saw coming. I know she will continue to inspire and motivate me into the person she deserves me to be. She’s already the daughter I always wanted.

xoxo,

Blonde Chick

Do you lead your life?

Most people don’t lead their life, they accept their life. Most people don’t challenge their thinking. They don’t question the way things are. They don’t reexamine their thought processes.  They don’t ask why they think a certain way. Instead, they accept the answers given. They are okay with no progression no evolvement.

Don’t be most people.

Question yourself. Question others. Inspire curiosity. Don’t accept ‘no’ to your ‘yes’. Don’t tell God your plans ask Him. Then listen. Always seek forward movement and reflection. Constantly ask yourself, why. The answers should inspire more questions and the questions should inspire action.

Go ahead. I dare you. Ask yourself, why.

xoxo,

Blonde Chick

post inspired by A More Beautifull Question by Warren Berger.

 

 

Peace, Love and Worry Free

As many before me have experienced having a baby is not easy. What’s more is having a baby stuck the NICU for weeks on end. I recently had a conversation with someone who asked me if I worried. No one had asked me that before. I’m assuming it’s because the idea of worrying about your baby is presumed especially when dealing with one born so early. Yet, for me, my answer was no.

I remember knowing I was pregnant before the test confirmed. Of course, I called my sister. I then sat on my back deck as a sense of great peace filled my soul. I knew that no matter what happened everything would be fine. Since then, I can honestly say that worry has not entered the picture. I view every circumstance involving my pregnancy and  now as a series of moments. Moments that I live in. Although, I’m looking forward to the future I’m not pondering it. I’m not worried about an outcome, I’m embracing the given situation, dealing with it in realtime, and then carrying on.

At times, yes, I have been emotional. As this process is draining in every aspect. At times, yes, I have been anxious to get home. But worry. No. I’m not in control. I never was nor will ever be. So, why worry about things I cannot control? For that matter, why worry about things you can control? To worry is a waste. To trust is to have peace.

There’s a verse that has carried me since the week I was admitted to the hospital, “Don’t be anxious about anything; rather, bring up all of your requests to God in your prayers and petitions, along with giving thanks. Then the peace of God that exceeds all understanding will keep your hearts and mind safe in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:6-7 CEB

If I feel a sense of anxiousness creeping in, I read this verse. I took a picture of it from the bible app youversion so that I can have it at any time. (although I should probably just memorize it 🙂 ). As it has for me, I hope this verse gives you peace as you face the challenges that life undoubtedly brings.

xoxo,

Blonde Chick

Define What Matters

I’m on day 7 of Hospital bed rest. It was going fine (relatively speaking) until last night. Out of nowhere I was completely broken, discouraged, and had a suffocating feeling of being trapped. So like all adults do, I called my mom to come sleep here with me.

As I woke up this morning, from little to no sleep, I continued to struggle. My eyes red from tears that had dropped continuously through the night. I decided to take a shower, clear my head, and watch this weekend’s past service. One of the major take-a-ways for me was the understanding of pain and how the joy of the Lord is what will sustain me over these next few weeks (well, and in life).

In defining what matters, my focus goes from myself and to the mission. Quite literally my mission is to provide a house for our baby and to do what the Dr says. Success in life is not the absence of pain, of heartache, or of bed rest. Success is the leveraging of pain. By focusing on what matters, the goal, the mission, I can embrace the pain knowing I am making progress. Every day I am here our baby is making progress. In defining what matters, I can refocus my attention on the goal.

Although my analogy identifies the pain of having to be on bed rest and the multitude of emotions surrounding this, the fundamentals of this message resonates in all areas of our lives. Often, we focus on the negatives of what we are experiencing. We question God and seek to eliminate any discomfort. The reality is pain like failure is crucial to joy, which is God’s will for us. (John 10:10). There is no gain without pain. There is no opportunity for growth when you are unproductive and tired. Pain allows us to experience change, and this alone is a blessing. I challenge each of us to be clear in defining what matters. In the midst of any trial, focus on the mission and not the moment. In doing so, your pain becomes temporary, and your balance is restored.

xoxo,

Blonde Chick

Address the Elephant

In the past six months, I found out I was pregnant (surprise!) and had to deal with many family difficulties. I hate to say it and be cliche but the thought of becoming a parent has changed me. Instead of shying away from the awkward conversations that arise when people make poor choices, or do things that negatively influence you, I now find it necessary to address the elephant when these things happen. Why? Because my priorities have shifted. Because during this time my faith and friendships have grown stronger as a result of having these key conversations. I will not blame hormones for the issues I have had to address. Rather, I’ll credit hormones for giving me the strength to address things that once I would have let roll off my back or bury somewhere to never deal with. There’s something liberating about addressing an issue in a non-confrontational manner. Instead of ignoring it, pushing it down, or rationalizing it I have chosen to identify why it bothers me and communicate compassionately.

I have found that I have become quite particular with the pending arrival of our baby. Someone told me it was the hormones. Nope. It’s not the hormones. It’s a life-changing privilege and my particularities have grown to accommodate what we feel is best for our baby. Is that ungrateful, selfish or controlling? Some may say yes. I say no. We feel so blessed to have this little, unplanned baby and want to provide for her in the best way possible. I believe that things come from God – including the visions we may have for our future (caveat to this: the visions he plants in us because we have prayed and sought wisdom for them, James 1:5).

To me, addressing the elephant in any room provides an opportunity for growth and effective communication. In doing so, we must approach the conversation without anger or accusations. We must do so in a way that communicates a desire for clarification and understanding.

Elephants appear in every relationship whether it’s a significant other, friends, family members and/or colleagues. Don’t ignore the thousand pound mass, greet it. It’s better to gain understanding regardless if  in the end, your opinions differ. I guarantee the other person will respect you for addressing it and your relationship will grow.

xoxo,

Blonde Chick

The P word

Actually, when you think about it, everything boils down to the P word, that is priorities. Everything. And that’s a lot. A priority is not something you simply do. It’s something you won’t compromise in order to accomplish the things you need/want. A priority is immovable. It’s a commitment. It’s focus.

How should your priorities impact your choices? They are your choices. If you have to compromise your priority in order to take on a new project, a new job, a new anything then you should turn the opportunity down. (gasp!) In our culture, we wear busyness like a badge of honor. Yet, if your busyness impedes upon your priorities then it’s time to reevaluate what you have going on.

For me, creating priorities allows me to create boundaries on what I will and will not do. Although, there are great opportunities all around I am clear on what I won’t compromise. Saying no is often more powerful than taking on more. So if I by saying ‘yes’ one my priorities is compromised then it’s a definite ‘no’ for me.

It’s liberating to have these boundaries set in place knowing that my relationships and goals won’t be compromised because I was distracted by a shiny object. So, what are you priorities?

xoxo,

Blonde Chick

Agreeing to Disagree: The Ugly Truth

Lately, I have found myself in conflict whether it’s due to hormones raging, spring rain, or simply learning to speak the truth. I’ll never know. I have always been one to reply immediately to an email, a text, or a call as I hate having to deal with things later. Instead of avoiding conflict I tend to quickly push for it so that it’s over with. To clarify, when I say conflict I mean conversation and not necessarily passionate argument. Recently, I’ve been using less tact which has caused me to be in some uncomfortable situations.

What have I learned from this?  

That it is totally okay. It’s totally okay to not only disagree with someone but sometimes it’s worth the consequence of living in unsettled conflict. Now, I’m not giving you permission to be a jerk just because you have an opinion. Rather, I’m realizing that it’s okay to say your peace, work through it, and then if you don’t come to an agreement to walk away unsettled.

In the past, I would stop at nothing to create a resolution. Sometimes there is no resolution. Sometimes you have to pray and trust that the actions you take and the words you speak are coming from a good place and let that be that. If it’s coming from a good place there’s no need to be defensive, no need to use hurtful words or actions. You can simply speak your mind. Yet, I urge you to pray that the words you choose come from logic and heartfelt sincerity and not anger, jealousy, or revenge. Before engaging in the inevitable conflict wait to respond, don’t rush into it in order to get over with. This is when you can run into trouble for when we rush to act or speak we can say things that are not necessary and cause unintended harm.

Conflict can either create chaos in your mind or it can provide clarity. I choose to embrace conflict as it allows me to stay true to my beliefs, to stay loyal to those I love, and to grow from new perspectives gained. Embrace the ugly truth that agreeing to disagree is simply a mature way of living in conflict without it impacting your life in a negative way.

xoxo,

Blonde Chick

Saying Sorry

I ended a career with a company due to many personal reasons. In the ending months of that business relationship, there were several frustrating things that happened. Unfortunately, I handled the situation emotionally and did not respond in the best way. Instead, I let my frustration control my actions. Lately, it had been weighing on my mind.  I decided to apologize for my behavior. I  wasn’t sure what I expected to happen. Actually, I contemplated blocking the response from my email so that I wouldn’t have to deal with the potential negative reaction.

I don’t like conflict, I hate drama, and I don’t like the idea of leaving a negative impression in someone’s mind. I decided to apologize for my behavior. I  wasn’t sure what I expected to happen. Actually, I contemplated blocking the response from my email so that I wouldn’t have to deal with the potential negative reaction.

I received a very gracious response.  A huge weight lifted off my shoulders. A weight I didn’t realize I had been carrying with me all these months. Saying sorry is powerful regardless of who is right and who is wrong. There’s freedom when you forgive yourself and those who may have harmed you. A freedom I didn’t realize I had kept locked away.

This was a powerful lesson for me. I was so concerned with my feelings and my pride. Instead of focusing on reacting the right way, I let my pride lead. Learning to say sorry is the right way to live. Period.

xoxo,

Blonde Chick

The Unspoken Pressure

Many of the things I’ve learned since coming to Law School have nothing to do with the judicial system. Yes, of course, I’ve learned a ton in that regard, but more importantly I’ve learned a lot about myself. It’s easy to succumb to unspoken pressure when you’re in an environment of people who are extremely intelligent, driven and opinionated.  By pressure, I mean the feeling of needing to compete, of seeking peer approval or of feeling like you have to pursue a certain path in order to be successful. (a.k.a pay back your student loans).

Recently, I was able to meet with an attorney for a ‘mock’ interview. It was a great opportunity to sharpen my skills while getting prepared for pursuing internships or experience. One of the things he said to me (I’m paraphrasing) was that you have to stay true to who you are and what you want to do. This is something I always thought I knew. Yet, after the pleasantries were exchanged and I shook his hand. I went to my car and cried. I cried thinking, “What have I done?” “Why am I here?” “Why have I made the choice to take on more student loan debt?” “Why am I in Law School?”

Doubt started to overwhelm me. I thought about going home and giving up for the day. After an internal monolog, I pulled it together and went to school. Resolving to not get caught up in the idea of what other people are doing, which is much easier said than done.

I’ve known for quite some time that I don’t want a conventional career. (For goodness sakes, I was a theater major). I refuse to create a life dedicated to another [wo]man’s dollar or another [wo]man’s dream. With that mentality often comes uncertainty, instability, and sacrifice. These words have never really scared me. On the contrary, these words excite me.

I went to Law School to gain the skills to catapult my love for serving others into helping turn their dreams of entrepreneurship, of entertainment, of artistry into realities. Ultimately, I want to advocate for, protect, and serve creative geniuses.

I’m excited to be on this journey. I’m grateful for the opportunity. Although there is much uncertainty, instability, and sacrifice involved I know I made the right choice. Others may think I’m crazy or wonder about me, but I’ll remain true to myself, my unique talents, and the dreams that God has given me.

xoxo,

BC

“First, do no harm”

“First, do no harm” is used in the medical profession as a guiding principle for physicians that, whatever the situation, the patient’s well-being is the primary consideration. I understand this is used by physicians in a literal life or death situation, but can’t it also be used for ourselves in every aspect of our lives?

Shouldn’t we be more in tune to whether or not the decisions we make are going to impact us negatively or even permanently disable us from living the life we’ve imagined? This life I’m referring to is above and beyond a monetary or materialistic gain. It’s about living a life worth living, the life you were meant to live. If you’re like me then the worst, most crippling feeling in the world is to be a cog in someone else’s machine. As I make decisions I keep this very, real fear in mind in order to ensure I don’t lead down that path professionally and/or personally.

Ultimately when I say, ‘first, do no harm’ I’m suggesting that when you are creating your goals you must be mindful of every choice you make. Will it impact your family? Will it limit your ability to give back? Will it allow you to go on that vacation that you’re yearning for? Keep your priorities in order and make your decisions surrounding those. No judgement here as to what those are. Just consider what harm really means for your life and who could suffer as a result.

xoxo,

Blonde Chick