“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

Turning the tables…

A few days ago, my loving mother posted all about me and how wonderful she thinks I am… what she failed to mention is that everything about me that is even remotely awesome, I learned from HER!

 

This post is to honor

Donna J. Mynatt

Donna is an amazing author, writer, influencer, reviewer, blogger, motivator and editor… not to mention Mother and Grandmother!

I have not actually yet told Mom that she’s my favorite author because she only recently let me read some of her novel: Emma’s Christmas Quilt. Last year, when she wrote it, she was very sensitive about letting me read even little parts of it so I never got the full impact of just how talented she is.

When I told her that she was talented on the level of Jennifer Beckstrand, Amy Clipston, Shelley Shepard Gray, and several other of our favorite authors, she clearly did not believe me.

She thinks I’m biased because she’s my mother but I never hesitate to tell the truth. I’m a firm believer that you should always tell someone the truth so she should know that I would not compare her with such fantastic authors if I didn’t mean it!

I could not be more proud that she is my mom… and I can’t wait for her novels to be published!

Emma’s Christmas Quilt could easily be an entire series and although, I’m not a huge fan of suspense, I will proudly read, review and promote every single one!

Donna J Mynatt, Holly Michael

She became a single mom (not by her choice) before it was common and endured quite a bit of anger, disappointment and judgement from her family because of it.

Mom always put our own needs ahead of her own, even sometimes having issues at work because she would not hesitate to talk us through something that had befallen us during our day (and in the way of children…we simply could not wait a half hour until she returned home to tell her all about it).

In 2008, my husband decided that he could no longer be in our relationship and mom immediately decided that the children and I would move in with her.

Ever since that day, mom has heard from friends, co-workers and family members that she needs to “make me get a job” and “put those kids in school” constantly.

I am so very blessed (and so are the children) that she knows they are thriving in home-school and we don’t need a change. Home-school may not be for everyone but it works for us. And we are blessed mom knows it too!

I also know that we drive her crazy at times with our mess and clutter but she loves us despite it and we find ourselves trying harder because she doesn’t fuss or give us a hard time over it.

Donna J Mynatt, Amy Clipston… and, of course, Jessie.

I would also like to point out what an amazing person mom is!

At an age when most people are contemplating an empty nest and thinking about retirement plans, my AMAZING mother decided to return to college, where she earned multiple certifications and two degrees; including her Masters in some sort of communications and technology that is way over my head!

However, when she could have taken a job that would require long hours or traveling away from home, she decided that spending time with her family was a much better choice so she works for the state of Tennessee – in a public service job. And she’s wonderful at it! Every co-worker we meet tells us what a gem she is (of course, I already knew that!)

I know I don’t tell her often enough just how much I appreciate her! Too often we don’t take time to thank those closest to us for the difference they make in our lives, hoping that they know how we feel.

Thank you, Mom, for being such an awesome person, mom and grandmother!

I appreciate you so much more than I can ever truly say!

You wrote a novel when you didn’t really have the time – mostly to inspire me! And now, because I’ve put your work out there, you are editing and finishing that novel so that it’s ready for an agent to look over!

Thank you for encouraging me, for not getting angry with me when I picked apart your suggestions and then for continuing to edit my work… even though I was stubborn as a mule.

Thank you for participating in the late night writing sessions, timed word sprints, and for always motivating me to reach for my dreams!

Thank you for putting up with my grumpiness, moodiness and for all the mornings you could have slept in but instead got up with me and made breakfast while I followed my characters’ leadings!

I can’t say enough about how much time and energy you put into being a mother, a grandmother, a teacher and a friend! You are the best of all of those that I can possibly imagine.

IMG_5399bSee what a terrific Grandma she is!

You are an amazing person… and I am thrilled to be able to call you my best friend!

I know my life is better because of you and I can not imagine another person who loves my children as much as you do!

God bless you, MOMMY.

 

©Rachel L. Miller 2014

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!

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