“Mama” was not harmed in the making of this film.

OK… THANK GOD for the ability to change your mind. My mind to be more specific.

I said a long time ago… when I first saw the ads… that I would NEVER watch “Mom’s Night Out”… NEVER!

And I want to take a moment right now to Thank God for giving me the ability to change my mind. Because I rented the movie this afternoon and we watched it this evening (when I was taking a break from editing) and let me just say… WOW!

I mean WOW!

If you are a mother, Grandmother, ever had a mother… WATCH this movie! BUY this movie! Then buy a copy for your mother, go over and give her a big hug and watch it with her – afterwards telling her what an amazing, wonderful, terrific, fantastic, BLESSING she is to you and everyone around her!

 

Let me just say that I am weird. I am, I’m not afraid to admit it.

I am not one of those moms who ever desires a “night out”.

In fact, I home-school and I work from home so I spend twenty-four hours a day with my children.

And that is how I like it!

When I hear other moms talking about how much they enjoy having time away from their children, I actually feel sorry for them. I’m not judging, I just feel sorry that they are not able to see the amazing gifts that are right in front of them.

CHILDREN ARE A BLESSING!

I was told by multiple doctors that I would never have children.

Now I have two beautiful, healthy, happy, intelligent and incredibly energetic children so clearly the doctors were wrong.

But that is mostly because God had a different plan for me, a plan he did not choose to let those doctors in on.

And I know what you’re thinking right now. You’re thinking I feel the way I do about my children because I was told I couldn’t have them and then I did and so I am a clingy, freaky, weird, smothering mommy dearest.

NOPE!

Could NOT be further from the truth.

There were times when my son was a baby, at 3am, when I had slept a grand total of oh I don’t know… 20 minutes, after feeding, rocking, playing, bouncing and changing him… and he was STILL screaming at the top of his lungs – that I wanted to be anywhere but where I was at that moment.

And there were times when I watched my sweet little girl, my six-year-old girl, my baby, go off to ballet without a care in the world, telling me “I’m good mom, you can go.” that I wanted to cry. I should have had more time! I should have had YEARS before she was ready to let go! Right!

Wrong.

They are as different as two children can be and raising them has been an enormous adventure and I cherish every single memory! I haven’t loved every moment and I don’t know that I want to repeat some of them… ever… again, but I do cherish every memory I have with my children.

I’ve been through the drawing on the wall, the broken nose when your toddler doesn’t want you to pick him up, the screaming princess who doesn’t like that you dropped her onto the soft dirt so she wouldn’t tumble down the concrete steps with you, the screaming, the biting, the food-throwing, the spit up on every single item of clothing you own, did I mention the screaming – OK I did, good… oh yeah and the amazing magical poo that somehow misses the diaper entirely ad lands on your brand new Easter outfit!

But I would not trade any one of those moments because… along with them came the first time they each said the word “Mama”, the first hug, the first kiss, the wet and sticky kisses I get every day, the “Love You”s and the sweet little fingers that sign from across the room or through the window when I run to the store by myself to get milk. (and yes, I miss them – even when I’m only two blocks away – I’m a freak, I know)

 

So I don’t judge anyone who wants to be away from their children… I just feel for them. And then I pray that someday they will realize just how amazing those children are. And hopefully before they have grandchildren – because that’s when most people seem to get it.

When they’ve already missed the chance… when their time is up… when they are trying to tell their children to enjoy this time with their kids because they grow up so fast.

Yeah, they know!

 

But I know too and I am so blessed!

I was not going to watch “Mom’s Night Out” because I was sure it was one of those kind of movies. One of the movies that tells moms they NEED “me-time”.

SO NOT!

In fact, I’m gonna go return my redbox rental tomorrow and then I’m going to go buy this amazing movie! Because this is a movie I am going to want to watch over and over and over again!

And each time, I will cry a little, laugh hysterically and then go hug my mom and tell her how amazing she is!

And then I will hug my kids and know that I am doubly blessed!

 

Oh, and when you watch the movie – watch it to the very very end of the credits… trust me!

 

GOD bless you and Good Night!

© Rachel L Miller 2014

The best birthday present I could ever receive!

image

Despite the fun things we have planned for this weekend, I have already received the absolute best birthday gift I could ever have!

What is it… you ask.

My family all together, home, whole and safe!

Mum has had a difficult trip and we have dealt with allergies and illness on our own trek.

But we are all home together and safe now and I couldn’t ask for anything better for my birthday!

Go hug your family! Your children, parents, sisters, brothers, aunts & uncles, grandparents!

Have a good night and God Bless!

© Rachel L. Miller 2014

I can’t believe it! I did it… I won!

30 days ago I was convinced to join in a crazy venture; NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).

2013-Winner-Vertical-BannerNow…

30 days later, 50,000 words along and I am still genuinely surprised that I was able to do it. I’m not sure it’s  truly worth reading at the moment but I’m going to fix that.

I still have words to write. I still have more story to tell. So I guess the first order of business would be to finish the book.

Then I will take a break, like everyone says to, and enjoy my Christmas season. Then I will go back to it and edit.

Who knows… you might even see my little story in your favorite bookstore next year.

Some things I can tell you about this journey:

I never expected to finish, even though my mom and my friends thought I could. So finishing a full day early is a tremendous surprise, a pleasant one!

The journey has been a great one. I have had so much fun staying up late, writing beside mom, laughing over silly things, helping each other out with names and ages and things to write about (we both needed another scene to write about several times), drinking too much coffee and kids staying up way past their bedtimes, asking us every five minutes –

“How many words now?”

The journey has been a rewarding one. I have made new friends, cyber and in-real-life. I have learned things about myself. I have to “think Amish” to write the story properly – which makes it all the more amazing that I finished on time. I found within me a world, an entire community, filled with wonderful characters and beautiful landscapes and warm emotions, a place I plan to visit again someday soon because I have more to say about these characters. Their story is not finished yet.

And if no one ever publishes a word, if no one ever reads a word (except mom of course) and if one else enjoys the story but me… it’s still worth it. Every step, every word, every late night is worth it because I have accomplished something amazing, something I never thought I could, something that a lot of people wish they could do but never try.

I wrote a book.

And I am exceedingly grateful, to my mom, to my friends, to my kids for the ideas and the inspiration and the encouragement!

I’m also rather excited at the prospect of reading mom’s book. She participated AND WON this year too. Her book, “Ella’s Christmas Quilt” sounds amazing and the glimpses I’ve gotten here and there over the last month are very exciting and I hope she let’s me read it when she’s done with it!

In fact, the one truly bad part of this journey was yesterday when she looked over at me and asked “How many words do you have?” and I had to tell her (with a sheepish look on my face) that I had just validated my word count and I had won… before her.

And do you know what she said? She said “AWESOME!” She was not upset or angry or even defeated. In fact, she was inspired! She kicked her writing into a higher gear (I secretly think she might have been holding back a bit to encourage me because her daily word counts were almost always higher than mine) and she finished last night too!

Less than two hours after I won, she did too!

And… THAT is AWESOME! SHE is AWESOME!

THANKS MOM!

 

© Rachel L. Miller 2013

My Journey of Faith | Part 1

MoreGrace I was one of those kids who grew up in church. We may have bounced around from church to church as we moved around but I was almost always in church on Sunday morning. When I was about 8, I went down with some of my friends and “got saved”. That was it. I had no clue just what I had committed myself to but my friends did it and my mom was thrilled so I did it. Over the next 20 years, I went through life making good choices and bad choices. I never questioned the existence of God but I never really understood what it meant to live for him either. So I went along in my life just living.

But sooner or later, living that way – disaster strikes, right?

Well it did. It struck again and again and again actually. Through it all, and I can only imagine it is because God has some tremendous plans for me or one of my kids, God kept a hand on me. There were so many situations I got myself into that could have been so much worse than they were, even fatal. But God kept me safe. And he has blessed me so much more than I could ever deserve. I was told by the doctors that it would take a miracle for me to have children. They were being nice but they really meant it would be impossible. Doctors often think they know everything but it’s obvious they had no idea of God’s plans for me. God planned for me to have children. I’m certain he would have preferred I be married to a good man and in a church at the time but I believe in pre-destination and I believe God uses what he can to achieve his plans. I wasn’t where I needed to be but it was time for my son to be born and then my daughter so God used the circumstances I gave him to bring those two Amazing children into this world. Once I realized I was responsible for the life of another human being, that he was going to be counting on me for everything, I did some hard looking at my life. I changed a lot of things but I still didn’t quite “get” how God fit into it or what I needed to be doing to live FOR HIM. I didn’t “get it” until after my daughter was born (actually about 4 years after she was born). Just over three years ago I finally started to understand God’s place in my life. I’m still nowhere near where he wants me or even where I want to be but I finally feel like I’m on the path he wants me on. I finally feel like I’m going where he wants me to.

I finally feel like I’m on the path God wants me on.

Well, in my journey as a mother, we did try to go to church. We visited many many many churches and we were always met with the same issues. Once the church realized the full extent of my circumstances, we were treated more like lepers than sinners and I did not want my son to grow up in a toxic atmosphere like that so we would try again, and again, and again. We still have not found a church that preaches the Bible without politics getting in the way, where they dress like we do (modestly) and LIVE God’s word (not just on Sunday) and don’t treat us like lepers. But we did find ATI and IBLP and we are so thankful for that! IBLP (the Institute in Basic Life Principles) is a wonderful organization and I think EVERY Christian in this country should support this wonderful organization! They focus on teaching families (Yes, the whole family. Not just the children) about how important the Character of Jesus Christ is for us to LEARN and APPLY in our everyday life. ATI (the Advanced Training Institute) is their division that concentrates on homeschooling.

Do yourself a favor. Check out IBLP and ATI!

They have been a tremendous blessing to our entire family and I do not believe we would be where we are spiritually if we hadn’t found them. We have learned so much from their teaching materials, the conferences we’ve attended and the speakers we heard at those conferences. These people truly “GET” what Jesus was all about and they are such a blessing to us! We attended our first ATI conference last year and it was a wonderful experience. Here we are, sitting in this huge hall, not knowing what to expect and in walks David Gibbs Jr. And if you’ve never heard David Gibbs Jr. speak about God, you are missing out! I highly recommend that everyone find a way to attend an ATI conference at least once! David Gibbs Jr., Tom Harmon, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, Otto Koning, Ken Pierpont, Paul and Jenny Speed, Jim Sammons, William J Federer, Doug Small, Dr. Jobe Martin, Chris and Anne Hogan, Jim Schettler and Bill Gothard of course. These men and women really understand God’s love, God’s word and God’s plan for salvation. Listening to these amazing speakers has helped us find God’s plan for our own lives and we might not be where we are today without the amazing experience that conference was for us.

Suffice to say this organization has helped turn our baby steps (a bit faltering at times) into giant leaps on our journey of faith!

If you are not interested in ATI but you think you might want to listen to some of these amazing speakers anyway, they do have MP4s of their messages available in the IBLP store HERE. And you can always check out the Embassy Institute HERE. They even have a few videos you can watch for free (including the first session of IBLPs basic seminar).

1 Corinthians 15:10 (KJV)

10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
© Rachel L. Miller 2013