Well, here I am, sharing some thoughts about life lately, and just becoming a real person to all of you. Hope you enjoy!

Fear // A Speak Up Vlog

Hello, October! I love your weather but I'm not a huge fan of your spooky holiday. I do love your pumpkin stuff (but not those lattes, because they're not vegan) but I don't love your focus on evil, creepy, terrifying things. So, with all that in mind, it's appropriate that Amber and Annie chose few for this month's Speak Up link up!

Here are my (shorter than usual!) thoughts on FEAR and how I'm learning to choose to have faith when things are scary.

What do you think of when you consider what fear is and what fear isn't?

WORK // A Speak Up Vlog

So, funny story... last month, the topic for Amber and Annie's Speak Up vlogging link-up was restoration. In all the craziness of getting ready for my trip and for moving, I wanted to record it before I left, so I rushed to get that done.

Well, I did it, and I loved it...but once the whole thing went live, I realized I had the topic TOTALLY WRONG. I recorded a great vlog on redemption...yeah, not the same as restoration.

Anyway...this month, I got the topic right! HA! We are back talking about WORK this month, so here is my take, and make sure to check out Amber and Annie's as well!

Here are the five things I hit on, and if you click them, they'll lead you to links that represent each one for me!


If We Were On A Picnic // Speak Up link-up!

This month for Speak Up, we are going on a picnic. It's been about 60 degrees and constantly raining in Richmond for days now (my favorite kind of weather maybe EVER) so it was a little tricky to try to get in that summer picnic state of mind...but here you have it, ants on my keyboard and all!

While you're at it, make SURE you check out the goodness of Amber and Annie, the beautiful and brilliant hosts of this awesome link-up!

Also: That turkish towel I talked about? I got mine in Sevenly's Causebox (seriously the best box subscription out there), but it's from Give Perf and I love it. // When I mentioned you should listen to Hillsong's EMPIRES album, I wasn't kidding. You can find it here. // If you're interested in reading some incredible stories and testimonies, you can find them all here: Story Seeker

See you all again next month for another vlog! July is all about INDPENDENCE. Can't wait.

Celebration // A Speak Up Link-up Vlog

The first Friday of every month, Amber and Annie host another Speak Up! Link-Up-- this month's focusing on celebration. With today being Good Friday and Easter coming in just three days, the theme is appropriate. While where we are at in the Holy Week story doesn't look good today, we know Easter's coming. We know Christ conquers death. We know there is hope, there is victory. What better reason to celebrate?

I want a life that sizzles and pops and makes me laugh out loud. And I don’t want to get to the end, or to tomorrow, even, and realize that my life is a collection of meetings and pop cans and errands and receipts and dirty dishes. I want to eat cold tangerines and sing out loud in the car with the windows open and wear pink shoes and stay up all night laughing and paint my walls the exact color of the sky right now. I want to sleep hard on clean white sheets and throw parties and eat ripe tomatoes and read books so good they make me jump up and down, and I want my everyday to make God belly laugh, glad that he gave life to someone who loves the gift.
— Shauna Niequist

TRUTH // Speak Up! Vlog

Every month, I'm linking up a vlog (unscripted and unedited so enjoy that!) with Amber and Annie's Speak Up! link-up. The first Friday of every month, we are sharing our hearts and thoughts on different topics, and March's topic is TRUTH.

Here we go, friends! Seven minutes of thoughts from Rachel's brain at 11 pm. Enjoy!

Jesus Christ doesn’t just give us truths; he is the truth. Jesus Christ is the prophet to end all prophets. He gives us hard-copy words from God, truths on which we can build our lives, truths we have to submit to, truths we have to obey, and truths we have to build our lives on, but he himself is the truth.
— Timothy Keller
The Truth must dazzle gradually
or every man be blind.
— Emily Dickinson

Any thoughts on truth you want to share? Anything you loved or hated about what I shared? I would love to hear from you in the comments below!

Heart // A SpeakUp! vlog

Welcome to the second month of the SpeakUp! link up hosted by Amber of Mr. Thomas & Me and Annie of What She Saw! If you missed last month (the theme was Wild and Free) you can find my vlog here.

This month, the theme is HEART. I've shared one of my all time favorite C.S. Lewis quotes below and then rambled on video for five minutes-- enjoy! It's been so fun to show you all my face and kind of come out from behind the words a little bit through these vlogs, so I hope you're enjoying it as much as I am!


Also-- how was giving a two minute speech in my college public speaking class SO HARD but somehow, I talk for five minutes on video without realizing it's been that long?! Bizarre.

To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.
— C.S. Lewis

Wild and Free: my first VLOG

Mr. Thomas and Me

This has been a huge week of firsts on this little blog...my first giveaway (open until midnight tonight! you could win a book and it's super simple so check it out here!) and now my first vlog. I'm loving this.

As you have heard (I'm sure), #fireworkpeople rocked my world in 2014. The women I have met through this incredible community are beautiful and brave and full of the very best ideas-- like this monthly vlogging link up hosted by Amber and Annie.

These two...I can't even find words to do them justice. They're on fire. Watch their intro video if you want to get to know them a little bit-- you'll fall in love with them, I'm sure of it.

Here's how this thing works! Every month, on the first Friday, I'll post a vlog as part of the Speak Up link up. You'll get to see my face and hear my voice and get to know Rachel the real person, not just the one behind a screen sharing words, and it's going to be great. 

Within seconds of seeing Amber and Annie on my screen, I felt like I really and truly knew them. I've been reading their words and chatting with them on social media for months, but as soon as I saw their faces and their mannerisms (adorable) and heard their voices, they became real people to me in a whole new way. That's the beauty of this whole thing and what drew me in instantly.

I can't wait to link up with everyone else and connect to even more women around the world as we all share our voices and speak up each month. Feel free to join in this time or next time if you want to be part of the fun, too. Let's hope I get better at this whole vlogging thing with practice...

Anyway, here we go: WILD and FREE is this month's theme. Here's my vlog in all of its glory!

My first-ever vlog as part of Amber Thomas and Annie Wiltse's Speak Up vlogging link-up!