Share the Rainbow

Typically, I shy away from giving my opinion on a variety of political and social issues. For one, I find that those who are more than eager to offer their opinions are doing so in such away that divides and hurts people (and I am looking at both sides of the aisle here). Second, I have more than enough to deal with in my own life before I can start picking apart the actions of others (for instance, today I could have fed an entire family in need on what I spent at Starbucks…hello, selfishness).

But, then there is this hashtag, #shoutyourabortion. And, it’s a thing. Like a real, trending thing. And, my heart has shattered and landed in my gut. And, I’ve realized that I just can’t be silent. You see, there was a time I didn’t think I could have children. Which was a relief, because I definitely didn’t want them. In fact, I faked being excited about having a kid up until the point I was pushing my daughter out.

nature-person-hands-girlMy first pregnancy wasn’t planned. Actually, many would label the pregnancy as an “irresponsible choice.” You know what is also an irresponsible choice? Calling it that (also, my Starbucks visit…see above). The only time I contemplated abortion was when I thought, “man, I wish there was a way I didn’t know this was a baby.” But, I did. From the moment I saw those 2 lines, I knew there was a baby. Not a group of cells. A baby. A child. A person. A life.

And, I chose to walk through an incredibly difficult period filled with judgment. Just a few of the not-so-quiet whispers behind my back (or sometimes straight to my face) I heard were as follows:

  1. “Wow! She should have been more careful.”
  2. “Her poor parents. They must be so ashamed.”
  3. “I bet she was trying to baby-trap him.” (only got this one from people who didn’t understand my independent streak)
  4. “A baby is the last thing she needs.”
  5. “That was irresponsible.”
  6. “That’s what you get for whoring around.”
  7. “Slut.”
  8. “Wow! That baby does NOT look like a preemie.” (in response to our daughter being born 6 months after we were married)

As you may have already guessed, most of these comments (for which I have come up with VERY, VERY harsh responses in my head) came from people who were active in the church. The very people who are supposed to be a beacon of God’s grace!! And, with every plunge of sworded-tongue, I was so glad that I knew without a shadow of a doubt that there was a baby. A child. A person. A life. Because if I hadn’t been sure, I might have been shamed into making a much different decision.

While my heart cries for every child we lose to abortion (I would, quite literally, take them all in if I were allowed…or if it were humanly feasible), I am absolutely disgusted by the way we, as Christians, treat women who are walking in this period of confusion and guilt. We have to change the way we see these pregnancies if there is ANY way to end abortion. We cannot shame away abortion (you would think The Scarlett Letter would have taught us this by now). But, we have been given two extremely powerful weapons in this fight: hope and grace. Hope and grace. Hope and grace. Hope and grace. Say that out loud as many times as it takes to sink in.

My daughter (the one I never thought I wanted) constantly makes me see things in a way I never have before. Recently, she has insisted that she is the My Little Pony character Rainbow Dash (she even has the glitter costume to prove it). And, I will admit, at first I was NOT on board with this obsession. My Little Pony!! Glitter Rainbows!! But, as she prances around, shouting “I LOVE RAINBOWS!!! Rainbows make me happy,” I am reminded that I, too, love rainbows. They symbolize the hope and grace I have in Christ. The hope and grace I am supposed to share with other. There is a promise and freedom in rainbows.

Today, as I was trying to figure out how to piece together all the feelings, I came across a note I wrote to my daughter about her name:

Dearest Lillian,

One day you will hear a famous quote by a man named William Shakespeare: “What’s in a name?” Your daddy and I took very special care in picking out yours. While you might not share our last name forever, you will carry around “Lillian Grace” your entire life. And, we hope you do it with pride.

Lillian means in Hebrew “My God is a vow.” You will learn the overwhelming truth in this statement over the hopefully many years you are here on earth. For God’s promises will not fail you, even where you fall short. And, trust me, you will fall short. But, don’t worry, you are not alone: every single human has failed at some point or another. And, it is when you do that you will understand the meaning of the word (and your middle name) Grace.

However, the meaning of the name Lillian is not the only reason that you have your first name. One of Mommy’s favorite verses is Luke 12:27. It says to “Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” As you will soon learn, the overall context of this verse is telling us to worry about nothing; God has it under control. Mommy and Daddy will spend our lifetimes trying to teach you this, and you will spend yours learning to comprehend the magnanimity of this lesson.

Mommy and Daddy can’t wait to meet you, and we can’t wait to watch you grow up! We know that you are a wonderful blessing, and will teach us so much more than we can ever hope to teach you.

Love Always,

Mommy

So, there you go, friends. God’s promises will not fail us. His hope and grace will not fail us. Embrace this. And, share it. #sharetherainbow

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*I do feel it particularly important to add that we were also afforded grace by many individuals. And it was refreshing and greatly appreciated.

Why I Exist: A Blog’s Perspective

Hi, friends! Have you ever wondered why there are so many words floating around on the internet? So many click-throughs and just pointless articles? Me, too. I hope that never happens here. I hope that your precious time spent perusing through my pages is not time wasted.

FullSizeRenderAs a blog, I am going through a transitional period. Most of my posts are dedicated to two adorable tiny humans, Lillian and Lucas, and the lessons that they help teach their mother, “Mom, Mom, Moooooom, Momma, Mommy” formerly known as Rachel. And, let’s face it, most of them will probably continue doing so, because those kiddos are just so adorable and motherhood is so ripe with lessons (for the adults, not just the kiddos).

But, I hope to grow past just showing off these two precious little souls, and provide a place of encouragement, laughter, and resource to others (even, gasp, non-parents). In the coming months, you will see new pages being added, which will include recipes, reviews, life hacks, and maybe even a (super duper tiny) online shop. I’m pretty excited about this next step, and I hope you will come along and join me as I grow.

It is my genuine hope that, as you glance through my posts, you are encouraged (or, at the very least humored). And, if that isn’t happening, then I am not serving my purpose.

All the Best,

H + P

(aka, Rachel)

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My little blogger-in-training

Easy, Mouthwatering Turkey Meatballs

It’s a holiday weekend, and if your house is anything like ours, then it may mean you need to be prepared for the unexpected guests. And, that means it’s always good to have a handy (and EASY) recipe up your sleeve. These meatballs are good enough to impress many pallets, yet easy enough to make while entertaining your guest.

Easy Turkey MeatballsIMG_0060

Ingredients:
2T olive oil
20oz ground turkey
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup crumbled Ritz crackers
1T Penzey’s Italian Herb Mix
Penzey’s Garlic Powder, to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with the olive oil.

2. In a medium bowl, mix together the ground turkey, egg, crackers, Italian herb mix, and garlic, using your hands. Form the meat into golf ball sized meatballs. Place about 1 inch apart in the hot baking dish. Press down to flatten the bottom just slightly.

3. Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, then turn them over, and continue baking for about 5 more minutes, or until somewhat crispy on the outside.

4. Serve with pasta and sauce or however you’d like (pairs great with arrabbiata sauce).

And if you were worried, this recipe is completely picky-toddler approved!

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Excuses for Every Day Use

When I worked my “normal” 8-6 job as a project manager (then HR manager), I was delivered some pretty entertaining and far-fetched excuses for why people didn’t show up to work or weren’t done with their work on time. But, I have to say, my toddler has one-upped them all with her creative knack for excuse-making.

I have taken a few of my favorite excuses and have tried to translate them into every day use. You are welcome in advance.

FullSizeRender-21. “I’m too big.”

Toddler use: “I can’t take a nap; I’m too big.”

Everyday use:  Sometimes certain things are just beneath you. “I can’t take that meeting. I’m too important.” Try it. I’m sure it will win friends.

2. “I’m too small.”

Toddler use: “I can’t use the potty; I’m too small.” Sometimes, it’s just best to admit you aren’t ready to be big yet. Even if the world expects to be.

Everyday use: “Sorry, I can’t pay the mortgage. I’m not ready yet.” Bills aren’t fun. And, who am I to judge whether or not you are old enough to pay them. So what if you are in your 30’s and have a steady job. Parting with money (and, apparently diapers) is hard.

3. “I can’t. My wing is wet, and I can’t fly.”

Toddler use: “I can’t eat that green thing on my plate; my wing is wet, and I can’t fly.” This one is pretty ingenious because it goes so far off the beaten path that no one can question it. Maybe she secretly does have wings?

Everyday use: Just make up the most random thing that pops into your brain. No one can question it if it sounds too crazy. For instance, “I can’t stay late tonight. I’m surfing in Arizona.” What does that even mean?!

4. “My toe hurts.”

Toddler use: “I can’t go to sleep; my toe hurts.”

Everyday use: Sometimes the smallest pain can have the largest effect. Like, how are you really supposed to concentrate with a paper cut? Or a bug bite? I know I can’t. Feel free to steal this excuse next time you are supposed to do something that requires concentration. Need to crunch those numbers? No way, Jose! Your toe hurts. Laundry needs folding? Really?! Could you do THAT with a paper cut?

5. “No, it’s Buddy’s turn!

Toddler use: “I can’t clean my room; it’s Buddy’s turn.” It’s like the toddler version of saying, “I’ll take one for the team and sit this one out.” But, for something that no one really wants to do. It’s sheer genius, really.

Everyday use: The sky is the limit for this excuse. Allow others around you to step up to the plate. It’s only fair. “I can’t write the report; it’s Bill’s turn.” “Tammy never gets to clean the kitchen. She should get to do that.” Be creative.

If the excuses above don’t work, just smile and say something cute. Then have a fit of laughter. At least, that’s what Lillian recommends.