This Journey Our Life

A new season of life (and choosing to give some instead of none)

blogging, FamilyRachel

It's hard to believe that an entire year has passed since I last posted! I've had a few posts sitting in the drafts folder yet somehow I never managed to press "publish" as often as I'd planned.  

I'd even delayed to write this post because it seemed impossible to catch up on what has taken place over the past year and picking things back up after taking such an extended break felt overwhelming. Even more puzzling was that I couldn't pinpoint exactly what had caused me to quit blogging altogether.  It wasn't until I read this post over at My Home Tableau, that I realized why.  I too am a procrastinating perfectionist who struggles with what Johanna accurately describes as, "putting things off when I don’t feel I have the time to do it the way I feel it should be done or at least how I would like for it to be done".   I could relate completely to what she was saying and the solutions and commitment she shared in her post made quite an impact on me.

Because I was struggling to put all the time that I'd like to into blogging, I had decided to neglect it completely. Because I was frustrated with its look and the hurdle of redoing it, I had decided to avoid it altogether, determining to post again only after the makeover was complete. Because the setting wasn't ideal, I procrastinated.

But the following statement made me realize those reasons were silly. She said, "I refuse to let the year go by without making some progress simply because I can’t put all the time into things that I’d like to."

I didn't want another year to pass without any progress in blogging (or any other area of my life for that matter!). Even though I can't put all the time into blogging that I'd like to right now, some blogging is better than not blogging.  Even if the posts may not be against the aesthetic backdrop I'd prefer, each crafted word can still be used to paint a dazzling picture. But if I keep waiting for perfection I'll never seize the opportunity to begin.

Johanna finished off her post by saying, "I’m committed to believing that some is not just okay or good enough, but that it is just right for me in this season of life."

This season of life.

That subject has been on my mind since October when the birth of our newest addition brought along plenty of changes, placing me in a different season of life than where I was even just four months ago!  We are thrilled to have Grace as part of our family.

Johanna's post was certainly timely for me and just the encouragement I needed to jump back into blogging.  During this season of life I'm not committing to a certain number of posts per week on a specific number of days, but I am committing to some.

Your Journey: Are you a procrastinating perfectionist?  If so, what solutions have worked for you to overcome it? 

A letter to my daughter for her 4th birthday {Five Minute Friday}

birthday, Five-minute friday, letters to my children, personal, SophiaRachel

It's Five Minute Friday!* Where a group of us join together for five minutes of writing without worrying about if it’s just right or not, hosted by the lovely Lisa-Jo.

Because, "...often our perfectionism gets in the way of our words."  -Lisa-Jo Baker
And I'm excited to jump back in again after my extended break (my previous Five Minute Friday post was last April!)

Today's Prompt: SMALL

Dear Sophia,

Your birthday is coming and you can’t wait but I wish that time could stand still. It’s flying by faster and faster and the rush of it can be overwhelming.
It seems like just yesterday that you were a tiny bundle I carried home with me. I was thrilled be cradling you as we exited those hospital lobby doors together, my prayers and dreams come true!  Even though bringing you home right away was much scarier than I realized it was sweeter than I could have ever imagined.

Today, the dimply curves of baby skin are slowly fading from your face and I wonder how it’s already been four years?

I love to watch the tiny fingers of your petite hand wrapped around a crayon, coloring a picture in your princess coloring book (and I find it adorable that you’re left handed like Daddy and big sister!).

Stay small sweet Sophia and climb into my lap, let’s read another story.

Because you've taught me it’s the smallest moments that make up the most beautiful memories and we have more pages to discover together.

I'm discovering the truth of what they say: some days do seem long but the years are much too short. So let the hours drag on and may time linger because I know I’ll blink and four more years will have passed. 

Stay small sweet Sophia and climb into my lap.



One Word 2014 {A New Year's Resolution}

oneword365, personal, Thoughts and musingsRachel

Last year was my first time participating in OneWord 365.   Instead of making an entire list of New Year's resolutions, the idea is to choose one word that will be a central theme or focus throughout the new year.

Last January, my word was a fairly easy choice because I knew that change was on the horizon for our family. With many unknowns before us, my spirit was growing restless in the waiting.

I desired to rest.  

Choosing my word for this year hasn't been as easy.  This post was beginning to collect dust from sitting in the drafts folder, and I considered not participating at all.  

Sometimes words that are slowest to come are the ones you need the most.

I looked up synonym after synonym of words that I wanted to be the center of this year. Nothing jumped out at me. In one final attempt, I decided to look up an antonym for a specific word.

This word whispers lies, haunting the heart and mind with confusion. It raises suspicions, clouding thoughts with judgment or fear. Masquerading as a refuge, its walls hold many captive.

It asks more questions than it answers.

It's a word I've carried around far too long, one that I don't want to follow me into the new year.


This year, I'm choosing to replace the doubts.

With what?

Oxford Dictionaries defines confidence as: the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; firm trust; the state of feeling certain about the truth of something.   God's Word calls it hope.

I choose confidence...

 …in my relationship with Christ, believing His love and goodness toward me.

…in my marriage, obeying His example of love.

…in my parenting, leaning on Him for strength.

…in my relationships with others, fulfilling as He calls.

…in each moment, ignoring whispers of doubt.

…in every situation, fearing the Lord, not man.

…in every circumstance, remembering His promises to me

…in His provision, knowing He will make a way.

…in every opportunity, relying on His power alone.

…in His plans for our family, abiding in His grace.

This year I choose confidence in Him.

2013 Blogging Year in Review {This Journey Our Life}

Blogging year in review, Father's Day, Five-minute friday, NICU, personal, premature birth, prematurity, Special Needs, Special Needs Parenting, This Journey our Life, Visual ImpairmentRachel

As those of you following along here already know, I've only posted once since April. On this last day of 2013, it's hard to believe it's already time for the {Blogging} Year in Review.  It seems like just yesterday I was sharing the Top Ten Posts of 2012.

I'm thankful for readers who still check in when writing is sparse, for followers who still embrace every post shared. These top ten posts are based upon what each of you preferred reading here throughout this past year.

 Top Viewed Posts of 2013

10. For preemie parents.  An introductory post for Parents of Preemies Day 2013.  As parents of preemies there comes a time that we are celebrated in honor of all that we have mourned.

9.  Fear of Change {A Five Minute Friday post}This post was written for a Five Minute Friday in August of 2012.  Little did I know then how God was already working, already changing.  I'm thankful that "He has made a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert."

8.  Embarking on A Journey (the day I found out my daughter was blind).  On Day 2 of the 31 Days of Support Series, I shared the moment I first realized my daughter was blind.

7.  What mama did (the embracing).  This post was written for a Five Minute Friday, following a four-day series Lisa-Jo had on her blog entitled "What Mama Did."

6.  Journey of FaithThis is the post in which I first shared the story of Cami’s premature birth; it also provided the inspiration for this blog and its name.

5.  A poem for parents of preemiesThis poem is dedicated to every parent of a preemie.  Whether you were blessed to bring your baby home, or your heart still aches with grief because you couldn’t; whether you’ve walked the NICU journey in years past or are currently trudging along its path. Today—every day—you’re celebrated. (It was also featured here on the Graham's Foundation blog for their second annual Parents of Preemies Day.)

4Walking by Faith: Our journey continues.  The post in which I shared of our plan to move to South Carolina in order for Cami to attend the SCSDB (and the last post before my blogging hiatus). From Rudy's job to Cami's transition at school, the Lord has clearly guided every footstep, providing for every need along our path. 

3. A Father's Day Poem for My HusbandThis poem was written as a gift for my husband for Father’s Day (2012) to express my gratitude for the man he is.  With the number of people brought to my blog via Google searches for "poem for husband" or "father's day poem for husband" it is no mystery why this poem remains in the same spot as last year!   =)

2.  31 Days of Support for Your Special Needs Parenting Journey.  The most viewed post for 2012, this post is a compilation of the entire series that was written and blogged for my participation in the 31 Days challenge, hosted annually by the Nester.  

1.  100 Ways You Know You're A {Special Needs} Mom.  Inspired by Lisa-Jo Baker's 100 Ways You Know You're A Mom, I asked fellow special needs moms what being a mom looked like for them.  It turns out that it looks similar for all of us!  This list  includes what real-life special needs moms shared with me, in addition to my own thoughts and ideas, all based on actual events. Take a moment to read and you'll notice an extension of the list forming in the comments too!

This year has been one filled with change, during which time it was quiet around here. I appreciate your support along the journey, and I'm eager to share with each of you who continue following This Journey Our Life throughout 2014.