I have decided…

I have experienced many things in my life that have caused me to allow bitterness to build up in myself…

My father would have preferred to have 4 boys and instead he was stuck with 3 boys and a disappointment.

My parents divorced early in my life and money was very tight due mostly to the fact that my dad also only paid his child support when he felt like it and mom did the very best she could.

Mom always wanted to send us to the best possible schools so we often lived right at the edge of the best district and could never afford fancy clothes or cars. This made my brother and I the target of many jokes and teasing.

My high school journey started out like most others but I was fortunate to fall in with a crowd of friends who might have been looked at as a bit odd but I had friends so I really didn’t care. However, halfway through, we moved and my new high school happened to be my old rivals so I was more than a little unwelcome. It certainly didn’t help that the “popular” crowd saw a big-boned girl who had developed quite a bit and saw “fat”.

I have also been divorced twice and am currently a single mother.

In my current professional life, I deal with so many little things and it was pointed out to me today that I am allowing them to take up residence in my heart as bitterness and I have determined… NO MORE!

So I don’t care if other book reviewers get away with writing a few sentences (not 200 words as required) or restate the back cover blurb in their own words.

I won’t do it! My reviews are important to me and I am not going to follow the crowd just to get books faster. I can always buy the ones that I miss out on and my honor is intact.

I don’t care if I get passed over for a street team because my follower number isn’t high enough. I could tell the authors that there is a tremendous difference between loyal followers and numbers that are bought through booster companies but they should know that. Loyal followers actually read my reviews and may truly be persuaded to buy the book. I don’t have empty numbers and I am thrilled with that. The wonderful people who follow me do it because they enjoy my posts and want to read more!

THANK YOU ALL by the way and GOD BLESS YOU!

 

I am not going to be angered anymore by being snubbed by some of the authors whose books I review. I don’t review so that I get tweeted and pinned by the author. I review because I love to read and I hope that my words can help someone… even one person discover a new book or a new author or a new genre!

And I am going to stop worrying about whether or not my work is good enough to be published. I have had many people tell me that my writing is simply amazing and they can’t wait to see it in the bookstores.

I am going to write the best story I can, edit the finished manuscript the best I can and then the rest is up to GOD! Only HE can do with my words what HE means for them. I can’t make anyone publish my books and I wouldn’t want to if I could.

I want everything to happen in God’s time! Only then, will everything work out for good!

 

OK… rant over. You can go back to what you were doing now.

Good Night and GOD BLESS!

 

© Rachel L. Miller 2014

Tomorrow…

The bad thing about sweeping clean your past is that, sometimes, you lose things …

About a year ago, I deleted several of my old blogs because I just hadn’t been using them and along with that went a really great post I had written about 9/11.

It’s been more than two years since I’ve even looked at that post so I don’t remember all that I said and that is one of the reasons I have started saving the text from all of my posts now.

I’m not going to imitate that post, I’m not even going to try but I am going to try to do justice to the spirit of it all…

Thirteen years ago – tomorrow, I was standing in the electronics department of Target, trying to figure out what crazy person would make a movie about such an unthinkable event… when I realized it wasn’t a movie preview at all but a REAL NEWS REPORT.

I stood there for probably an hour before I thought to even look away from the screen – and only then because they took a commercial break… which, to be honest, I was shocked they would do that but I guess even news people need a bathroom break now and then.

By that time, the first tower had already gone down (about two minutes after I had started watching, the second tower had been hit) and I was in a state of shock.

My aunt and uncle had been planning a visit to New York… were they even now, trapped in one of the burning towers?

A friend of my mom’s had recently started a job as a flight attendant, working out of New York… had one of those planes been hers?

Someone I went to high school with had moved here from New York and went back frequently to visit family… could he be in one of the towers right this minute?

Your mind, well my mind anyway… can come up with some pretty wild and crazy ideas when under duress and my imagination was working overtime.

I left about the time they started showing closeups tower two… if you don’t know what was going on at that time, I’m not going to be the one to tell you but it was too much for me. Yes I know… to say that something like that could be too much for me when you consider what  was watching at that moment.

I was not alive when President Kennedy was shot. I was very young when Challenger exploded and I really didn’t understand the implications of Operation Desert Storm and all that went with it.

But this… this was something I was watching with my own two eyes on LIVE television and it really hit home for me.

This was an act of war. This was an attack on my country. This was a tragedy of epic proportions. This was an experience that would leave me forever changed, heart-broken, angry for months… Something that would bring tears to my eyes every time I looked at the word September on a calendar, something that would stay with me forever – changing the way I look at everything.

And now, as a mother of two children who were born three years and six years after this unthinkable horror took place, how do I explain to them what that meant to this country? How do I explain to them how horrific the experience was? How do they ever understand the state of the country now… and how is it ever supposed to make sense to them?

Sadly enough, there will be events that happen in their lifetimes that will impact them in the same way as 9/11 changed my own life… it’s just human nature. And, until Jesus comes to take us home, we will continue to see war, cruelty and the inhumane acts of evil men (and women) everywhere.

But as for me and my house, we continue to pray and hope for the day when we no longer have to watch children being mistreated or killed, the day when human beings treat each other with love, the day when we all become one big family and eternity begins.

Until then, we will continue to pray for our country and the people who live in it. We will continue to pray that the amazing words of Jesus reach as many hearts as possible before that last day for so many of us arrives.

God Bless You and Good Day!

©Rachel L Miller 2014

The best birthday present I could ever receive!

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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

Mother’s Day… from an Amish perspective.

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I am beginning to understand…

As I stood before the congregation this past Mother’s Day morning, listening to the preacher extol the many virtues of these women standing alongside me, something happened to me.

I am not someone who enjoys the spotlight. In fact, I get extremely nervous when I have to stand up in front of a group of people for any reason. So you can imagine that I was not up there by choice. When the pastor asked all of the mothers to come up, my mother pulled me with her so I went.

But as I stood there sweating out my nerves, I began to look at the experience through the eyes of an Amish mother.

An Amish mother is the embodiment of Proverbs 31.

Proverbs 31:10 – 31 KJV

[10] Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.

~ Amish women guard their virtue fiercely because they understand that virtue is a precious gift God has bestowed upon her.

[11] The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.

~ Amish marriage vows are second only to the vow a young person gives to God upon their baptism. Many of us who are not bound so tightly in our faith have no comprehension of the strength this commitment requires.

[12] She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.

~ Amish women understand that it takes a strong woman to “submit” herself to God and then to her husband.

[13] She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.

~ Amish dress so conservatively that most of their clothing HAS to be made by hand. And tourists come from all over to purchase hand-made items like quilts and toys because the workmanship that goes into them is unequaled.

[14] She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar.

~ Amish women work hard to build wonderful gardens so they are able to feed their families well.

[15] She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.

~ Amish women work at all hours of the day or night to take care of their families. There is a lot of truth in the statement “A mother’s work is never done.”.

[16] She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.

~ Amish mothers consider how every purchase will benefit their family… or not.

[17] She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.

~ Men may work “by the sweat of their brow” but a woman’s hard work involves a lot more than just the physical.

[18] She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.

~ No Amish wife or mother is going to go off to bed when there are things that still need to be done.

[19] She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.

~ Amish women spend time making things for their family – and not just because it might cost less. A child is much more comforted under a blanket made by their mother’s own hands.

[20] She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.

~ Every time a family in the community has needs to be met, the women bind together to bake goods and make beautiful quilts or other crafts that can be sold to make the money that is needed.

[21] She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.

~ Amish women are taught to trust in God’s will but they are also taught to plan ahead.

[22] She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.

~ Amish women dress very modestly but every Amish is taught how important it is to save her true beauty for her husband.

[23] Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.

~ Every woman, Amish or not, wants to feel that her husband is valuable to his neighbors and respected in the community.

[24] She maketh fine linen, and selleth it ; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.

~ Amish women want to be a credit to their husbands, their family and their community.

[25] Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.

~ Amish women know how important it is to present a good witness. They teach their children by example.

[26] She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.

~ There are thousands of Amish Proverbs and mothers are the ones who hold them most dear – in times of stress and times of teaching.

[27] She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.

~ You will never find an Amish woman just sitting around when there are things to be done.

[28] Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also , and he praiseth her.

~ An Amish woman is truly the hub of her home. Everyone counts on her and she holds a special place in each of their hearts.

[29] Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.

~ Nothing pleases an Amish woman more than seeing her daughter continuing in the faith and taking care of her own family.

[30] Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord , she shall be praised.

~ Amish women know that the things of this world are fleeting. They put their faith in God!

[31] Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.

~ And this is where my article comes full circle. Amish women don’t cultivate pride. They don’t expect awards or rewards. They don’t want applause or praise.

Amish women understand that mothers don’t do all of the things we do for praise. We do it because we love to.

Yes there are times being a mother is a thankless job but again, we don’t do it for Thanks.

A good mother takes care of her family because they’re important to her – they are her life and their happiness is all the thank you she needs.

 

God Bless!

 

© Rachel L. Miller 2014