Thursday, March 31, 2011

Embrace The Daddy Date

For this week's embrace I'm highlighting my husband and his love for taking his little ladies out on dates!  Sunday he took the girls to the theater to see Willy Wonka Junior and they all had a blast!

You've got to click the button above and head over to The Anderson Crew for their best Embrace moment yet - I promise, it will make you cry!!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


I just made my annual trip to the nursery to get everything to plant my garden and add some color to our backyard. Every year I’m reminded of the same thing – I’m planting in March something I will not enjoy until July. Of course the flowers will be enjoyed immediately, but I’ll have to wait several months for those tomatoes and zucchini.
     We all know that “good things come to those who wait,” but we live in a culture that says NOW! I don’t want to wait, I want it now! In several areas of my life I simply don’t try because I don’t want to wait for the results. I’d love to be in better shape, but I know that I will not see results for several months after consistent work outs and I don’t want to wait, so I don’t try. I also think about all the time it takes to have a baby – I’d love someone to just put one in my arms now and skip all the months of waiting and growing! But life doesn’t work that way. There is a reason why we plant in Spring what we will not enjoy until Summer. Through the nurturing, pruning, weeding, and watering, we are preparing ourselves to truly enjoy the harvest. The time of waiting is precious time where we are refined and made more into God’s image. I’m grateful that God is patient with me and reminds me of this truth each year as I plant my garden. There are several things that I’m waiting for in my life right now and today I’m going to sit down and enjoy the wait. I’m going to ask God to quiet my impatient heart, silence my timeline, calm my urgency and prepare me for the harvest that is coming down the road.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Family Day

Nothing new today!  I'm enjoying a few days with family as Grammie and Papa just came into town.  I'll be back Wednesday with some thoughts and a fabulous new recipe!  Go enjoy your family today!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Grateful For My Brother

It’s Grateful Heart Friday and whew am I grateful for today! I’m looking back on this week and recalling all my blessings within it.
    I’m grateful that Chelsea once again nailed me to the wall in my 24/7 Family class (a parenting / discipleship class I take on Mondays at my church). I’m grateful for Al, Gretchie, Dana, and Vonda. I’m grateful that my brother has had business in LA all week and has blessed us all with his presence. I’m grateful that he came with me to The Foundry to hear me teach. I’m grateful that he has entertained my littles to no end. I’m grateful that I’m blessed to have a brother that I admire, love and am proud of. I’m grateful that my kids have an uncle that loves them to no end, makes them giggle, has the latest technology to wow them, and that makes time to play with them. I’m grateful that it is Friday and I get a fun evening out with two of my favorite ladies, Hillary and Gretchen, and that we are not escaping for the sake of running away! (as I talked about here).  But we are gathering to love on one another, point each other more towards Jesus, and perhaps share in a fabulous dining experience after a little pedi / mani!! Most of all I’m grateful for a God that welcomed me into his family and adopted me as His daughter. I’m grateful that His full inheritance is mine and that He offers me abundant life through Jesus.
     Now it’s your turn – take a few moments to reflect on all the blessings from this past week and cultivate your grateful heart! (Grab a Grateful Heart Button on the right and add it to your Grateful Heart post)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Embrace Technology

Uncle Kenny has business in Los Angeles this week which means we get lots of cuddles around the iPad!  He says it is his favorite thing because it assures him that the kids will sit extra close, cuddle and linger even if it is at the crack of dawn!!!

And, as I shared yesterday, I spoke at Bel Air Presbyterian Church Tuesday night and my message was streamed live on the internet and is now uploaded on their site.  Ahhhhh modern technology!
Click this link if you'd like a little listen and embrace technology!

Check out Emily at The Anderson Crew

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Promises of God

Last night I had the privilege of speaking at The Foundary at Bel Air Presbyterian Church. They’ve been doing a series called The Good Life and I was excited to share my love of God’s promises and how I believe that knowing and claiming them really is the good life!
     As followers of Jesus, I believe we often settle for eating the crumbs off the floor instead of feasting on the banquet that God offers us. Either we’re complacent and think that things are fine and we settle for less, or we simply have no idea what is being offered to us. Perhaps we feel unworthy of the promises of God because of mistakes we’ve made or we’ve grown bitter because we’ve done everything “right” and it still seems like God isn’t answering our prayers and making good on His promises. If we truly knew the extent of the abundant life that Jesus freely offers us, I’m sure we’d get off the floor and enjoy the bounty of a full life in Christ. *Full and good doesn’t mean perfect and without struggle, pain and trouble. It means that there is strength for the weary, hope for the brokenhearted, and peace for the troubled - God's promises take us through the fire.
     Rather than try to do a total re-cap, I’ll post the video once it is uploaded. But in the mean time, know and claim the promises of God that he makes to His children – I promise that you’re life will gain depth, purpose and meaning.

Monday, March 21, 2011


I just had a moment of true confession with my husband about a struggle I have with family.  There is part of me that loves everything family and I dream about day trips and vacations with the 5 of us where we giggle and laugh and take crazy photos and soooo enjoy one another’s company.  I want to be super content being with just my family and no one else.  I want to be totally fulfilled in their presence and just live and breathe my family and my role as mother.  Then there is the other part of me.  The part that is all about me.  The part that dreams about fulfilling my selfish desires of waking up on a Saturday morning around 8am, making a hot tea and grabbing a bunch of magazines to read while back in my bed with my tea.  I dream of spending my day anyway I want to, alone, happy.  I don’t have to cook for anyone, I don’t have to clean anything, I don’t need to drive anywhere – I can just be.  Sounds kinda normal for moms right?  This struggle between total self sacrifice and self indulgence!  But my problem goes beyond that – it becomes my desire to escape.  When Friday rolls around I start plotting and scheming errands I “need” to do while my husband is home with the kids on the weekend.  I make plans with girlfriends, hope and pray for a baby shower or birthday or event for ladies only!  I try to find a reason to escape.  I know there is nothing wrong with getting away and even the desire to get away and have some time alone.  But I hate that it has become a mission of mine.  I hate that I’m always crafting an escape plan.  As if my family is something I need to escape from every weekend.  I want to desire getting away because I truly need to accomplish something or recharge.  But I don’t want to always be running away just to indulge my selfish desires (that are usually something lame like going to the market so I can buy and hide another box of girl scout cookies!)  I guess I was just confessing my life long struggle with selfishness.  I’m asking God to change my heart so that I can enjoy the blessing of my family on the weekends, and silence the lies of the enemy that tells me I need and deserve to escape.
*I'm linking up with Hillary at Capturing Motherhood - being honest that I'm not perfect and struggle with the desire to escape my family sometimes.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Grateful For the Bloggy Love

It’s Grateful Heart Friday and today I’m highlighting all the awesome friends out in blogland that have sent me words of encouragement, powerful scripture and have been praying for me and my family over the past month through this desert season. I'm so grateful for each of you amazing women, many of whom I’ve never met face to face, for reaching out to my family. I am grateful for the Body of Christ.
     Take some time today and check these amazing women and their blogs – I know you’ll be encouraged!!  I'm grateful for something silly and small like a blog that has opened my life to so many amazing women.  And I'm grateful that it's Friday!!!
     Now it’s your turn – take a few moments to reflect on all the blessings from this past week and cultivate your grateful heart! (Grab a Grateful Heart Button on the right and add it to your Grateful Heart post)

Rachel of the Boni Bunch

Ashley of A Child’s Eyes

Tania from Work in Progress

Lyric of Team Hassler

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Embrace Beachy Green

It's Thursday and time to Embrace The Camera.  We made a special trip to the beach to take photos with Moma and I tried to have everyone wear green as a little tribute to St. Pat - but quickly found out that we dont' wear much green (except for the little guy!)
Mr. St. Patrick!

Always super excited when the kids share!

Of course no trip to the beach would be complete without a pic nic in the back of the truck!
Happy St. Patty's Day everyone!!  Head over to The Anderson Crew and check out their embrace!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Second Chances

A few weeks back I was about to discipline my daughter for some ungodly behavior and she said, ”Mommy, can I tell you something first?” “No,” I said as I figured it was another one of her stall tactics! “Please Mommy, can I tell you something?” “Ok,” I said reluctantly. “When we make mistakes, God gives us second chances.” Hmmmm
     Monday, as I drove the children to school, at a red light a lovely police officer kindly told me to pull over when the light turned green. I was talking on my cell phone, making plans for my daughters to be cared for that afternoon while I took little dude to his 2 year check up – but no excuses! While the officer took my info and disappeared to write me up my children said, “Mommy, are you going to say sorry?” “Tell him that daddy is a police officer too!” “Tell him we’re going to school to learn.” “Is he going to give us stickers?” When the officer returned he didn’t give me a ticket simply because of who my husband is (yes friends, I’m married to a very powerful man!!). I told the officer that I had broken the law and I deserved a ticket no matter who my husband is! I had just been explaining to my children that when we break the rules, there are consequences and this act of kindness from the officer was not helping my lesson!! As I told the officer that I was sorry (per my children’s request), we drove away without any stickers or a ticket. I was reminded of my daughter’s plea a few weeks back, that God gives us second chances when we make mistakes. Yes, He does. He always forgives, restores and mends our relationship. But, often times there are consequences for our actions. Because of God’s grace, we don’t get what we deserve, but there are still consequences for our actions. Even though I got a second chance, trust me when I say there were still some consequences – my little people saw Mommy break the rules and they don’t forget!
*I’m linking up with Picture Me (im)perfectly today because I’m not prefect – I break the rules too!

Monday, March 14, 2011


It finally happened and I didn’t really think it would. When my mom was here a few weeks ago to care for us through our miscarriage, in her wisdom, she told me to go to the ocean one day to just be alone to think. I did, and as often happens, I fell asleep right when I got there!  When I woke up, I knew I needed to talk to God about my recent loss and start to process it, but it wasn’t really on my mind, not really bothering me at that moment, so we talked about something different. On my drive home I felt a little like, “shoot, that was my moment to process the miscarriage with God and I really didn’t have anything to say.”
     Today in church we were singing “Hosanna, hosanna, hosanna in the highest..” and I couldn’t hold back my tears. I immediately pictured my baby in heaven, surrounded by angels who were singing “hosanna” in the presence of Jesus. Now I don’t know if the little life we lost is up in heaven right now – we never really solved that debate in my ethics class in seminary – but I do know that in that moment in church I felt so far away from my baby and even though it was ok in the presence of God, I felt helpless and like my baby was abandoned without a Mommy up there. And a huge voice shouted in my head, “WHY?” It finally happened. I asked that big question that I know there is no answer to. The depths of my heart cried out in pain and fear, “WHY?” Why did this happen to me? Why did our pregnancy fail? Why did we get pregnant in the first place if we weren’t going to have a baby? Why?
     When my Doctor told me the news, she hugged me as I cried and I said, “it’s ok. Really, I’m ok. I knew something wasn’t right. It’s ok.” And her response was so perfect. Without hesitation she said, “it’s not ok Raeanne. It sucks. And it’s not ok.” She’s completely right. Yes, I have three beautiful children. But it’s not about them. It’s about the one that I’m missing. It’s about the questions I’ll always have – would we have had a boy or a girl? What would their name have been? How would my children have loved and played with a new sibling? Why?
     I’d like to wrap this up with a pretty bow of solid truth from Scripture that talks about the comfort of the Lord, His peace, or His hope; but the truth is that although the deepest part of me knows those things to be true, it still sucks and I’m wondering why?.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Grateful Heart Friday

It’s Grateful Heart Friday and I’m exhausted! I just got back from a trip to Italy and France! My daughters went on to South Africa, Mexico and Egypt, but I stayed back in Italy to serve up some lasagna!!! It was International Day today at school and equipped with our passports, we traveled the world!
    I’m grateful for stunning weather that has kept us outside, digging in the dirt, planting new flowers and enjoying the fresh air. I’m grateful for a quick week that has flown by! I’m grateful for fun little friends that play with my littles. I’m grateful for my dear friends that play with me!! I’m grateful for amazing teachers that love my daughters and teach them about the world and Jesus. I’m grateful for all the amazing parents that volunteer their time and talents to help our children learn and grow.
     Most of all I’m grateful for a God who promises to comfort those who mourn. I’m grateful for a God that promises to never leave us nor forsake us in the midst of great suffering. I’m grateful for a God that will bring beauty out of the ashes of Japan. I’m grateful for a God that offers hope where there is despair. I’m grateful for a God who saves. Please pray for the people of Japan. Pray that the name of Jesus would bring them comfort, peace, and hope.
     Now it’s your turn – take a few moments to reflect on all the blessings from this past week and cultivate your grateful heart! (Grab a Grateful Heart Button on the right and add it to your Grateful Heart post)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Embrace Europe

 My daughters have been studying Italy and France in their classes in preparation for International Day tomorrow. It's made me long for the days of travel abroad without littles.
Ahhhhh give me a moment to look back and remember!
Stuck at a train stop, trying to get to the Palaise of Versailles
The ever impressive Louvre in Paris.

Well, you know!

Enjoying a fabulous British Pub

On top of the Shilthorn in Switzerland

Our anniversary in Cinque Terre Italy
 Oh, how I've missed traveling.  One day... one day we'll be back!  Until then, I'm embracing tomorrow where I'll get to travel through Italy, France and Egypt with the preschool!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


In honor of Mardi Gras, the children made masks yesterday.  We had a great time getting creative with feathers, sequins and glue!  I was surprised at the time and care they took in making these masks and the children could hardly wait for the glue to dry and put them on.  Why do we wear masks?  I have to admit, I’ve always loved to dress up and pretend to be someone else (especially on airplanes when I’ll probably never see those people again!)  In college, my roommate and I had “prank names,” mine was Brenda Fagan, and we loved to prank call people late at night (sorry if you were a victim!).  Perhaps it was the actress in me, but I’ve always love to pretend to be someone else for fun.  But masks are different.  The dictionary defines “mask” as, “a covering for all or part of the face, worn to conceal one's identity.”  Something we put on to cover up who we really are.  What would our world be like if people were always their genuine self?  Showing honest insecurities, sorrow, joy, pride, excitement…?  Wouldn’t it be amazing to catch the spark of life from someone who shouted with excitement at the birth of their baby?  Wouldn’t it be awesome to witness the healing of someone who shared their pain boldly?  Wouldn’t it be fulfilling to be in relationship with people who told you they needed you?  A mask is a fun thing to decorate and play with for a bit, but the masks that the world tells us to put on are not fun at all.  Concealing our true self only leads to frustration, emptiness, loneliness and despair.

Monday, March 7, 2011


Three pots.  All are watered equally.  All get the same sun exposure.  But one is growing much faster than the others.  One has visible growth while the others have small hints.  Why?  Each pot is planted with different seeds.  The “Forget Me Nots” are running wild, while the strawberries and mini roses are taking their sweet time.  I see these three pots everyday as they are on the windowsill above my kitchen sink.  Each child planted their pot and each one is watching them grow.  I want so badly for them all to be flourishing and growing at an equal rate so that the children don’t compare or get jealous!  But I have to sit back and realize that each seed grows differently.  Each seed will bear different fruit.  Each seed in unique.  There is no right or wrong, better or worse – just different.  Hmmm, three pots with different seeds and different results – three children with different personalities and different gifts.  It’s best to sit back and watch their Creator grow them at the rate He intends.  Not to compare or force growth so that all are equal.  To enjoy their uniqueness and differences.  To teach them not to compare but to compliment.  To be confident and not critique.  To praise the Gardener of their souls who loves them, nurtures them and has uniquely gifted them to bring glory to His name.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Grateful Heart Friday

         It’s Grateful Heart Friday!
My reflection this week is simple.
I’m grateful for 3 beautiful children and a fun choo choo birthday party for the new 2 year old! I’m grateful for my Mom who has taken such great care of me and my family. I'm grateful for a loving, supportive family who has loved on me all week with phone calls and notes.  I’m grateful for loving girlfriends that have prayed for me and cared for me in this past week. I’m grateful for many of you whom I’ve never met, but you’ve been praying for me and sending me words of encouragement – thank you! I’m grateful for my husband who is so patient with me and such a hard worker. I’m grateful that I made it through this week! Most of all I’m grateful for a God who loves me more than I can imagine and He is the Redeemer. He restores and gives back what has been taken. He is the Healer. He takes what is broken and makes something beautiful out of it. He is the Comforter. He is the Strong Tower. He is Good.
Now it’s your turn – take a few moments to reflect on all the blessings from this past week and cultivate your grateful heart! (Grab a Grateful Heart Button on the right and add it to your Grateful Heart post)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Embrace The Desert

My husband and I just went on a little get-away to Las Vegas.  We had a wonderful time touring through the culinary wonderland (Hubert Keller is a Master!), seeing Lion King and enjoying our fabulous room.  At the end of our trip we drove out to Red Rock Canyon and experienced the opposite of The Strip.  It was beyond silent and peaceful.

 Yes, he really is that strong!
My husband kept saying over and over again how beautiful it was in the desert.  I have to admit, I found it interesting and pretty for a little while, but the desert is not my kind of "beauty."  I much prefer the forest, lush green hills, or ocean.  I just didn't find the landscape that "beautiful."
When we returned home from the desert, circumstances placed us back on a path to walk through one of life's deserts and this time I think I'm going to be forced to sit awhile until I truly find the beauty in it.
"Because of your great compassion you did not abandon them in the desert." Nehemiah 9:19
Praise God that we are not alone in the desert.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Forever Changed

It probably goes without saying that after last week my life is forever changed; but, after last week, my life is forever changed! I’m looking at life and my children through a totally different lens. I think my lens had become scratched, blurred, dirty, and tainted. But after our miscarriage, I feel like my lens is totally clear and giving proper perspective to life and family. I confess that I’ve become hurried and frustrated, annoyed and perhaps a little bitter. Why? Well, I’m still processing that, but I’ve seen myself slipping away and I haven’t liked it. It seems as though I’m just living on the surface of life, trying to get through everything too quickly. I never used to be this way. I was always someone who sucked every ounce out of life and enjoyed every moment. Having children slowed me down even more, but in the past 2 years, the speed has accelerated and in my haste I’ve become impatient, short, and exasperated all too often. I’ve been conflicted as I see my children hitting major milestones – not wanting them to grow up too quickly – yet when 7pm hits, I want them in bed immediately with no popping up and games. I can’t wait one more moment as they “need to tell me one more thing” before getting in the car to leave for school. I can’t stop one more time for them to pick up a stick or dirt, turning our 10 minute walk into an hour. I’ve just become too impatient, missing out on the beauty of the moment and tiny details of the life of a child.
     It’s amazing how children, with their little life experience, offer us such wisdom and change us greatly. These little people sharpen us, challenge us and push us towards something greater. I’ve been amazed in the past week that our little bean, who never fully came to be, has taught me so much and changed me so profoundly. That little bean opened my eyes to see the precious gift of rocking a 2 year old at 1am, praying over a 4 year old at 3am against bad dreams, and allowing a big smile to come over my face as the uncontrollable laughter disrupts another dinner. Yes, after last week I am forever changed and I pray that my lenses remain clear so that I can be transformed more into the image of Jesus through the tiny details of a child’s life.


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