Hi I’m Rachel, the writer behind Reflective Mom and Here’s a Little of My Story.
I wanted to be a mom since forever.
I was one of seven children and grew up in two homeschooling, homebirthing, breastfeeding, healthfood eating church communities where all the girls got married at 19.
That didn’t work out for me. So at 19, I got my real estate license.
Fast forward a couple decades and I’m finally married and the mother of our 19-days-past-due daughter. She arrived via last-minute C-section early one cold rainy morning in 2012 (our carefully scripted 21-point birth plan completely out the labor and delivery room window). And since then, I have been completely overwhelmed, delighted, exhausted, frightened, in my element, and forever changed.
Although some things never change. . . I still have curly hair.
And… I. am. desperately. flawed. A daughter of the Most High God loving myself most, family and friends second, and Jesus last. (No, you didn’t read that wrong). That order is, thankfully, reversed on “good” days (and during the several hours following church or Bible study). On other days I just think about other things. That’s me being authentic for you.
I can sometimes keep at bay an ever-creeping sense of inferiority by remembering that people say I’m smart, capable, and talented, funny, organized, ambitious, kind, beautiful, animated, expressive, and bubbly. But they say all kinds of other stuff too. So I put my hope and confidence come in Someone Else. You know, on the good days.
I have everything I need. . . I am whole and complete…and some days I act like it.
My giving and receiving Love Languages are “Acts of Service” and “Words of Affirmation.” Historically, I’ve turned up “Servant” or “Administrator/Ruler” on every spiritual gifts tests I’ve ever taken and sanguine-choleric on other tests, depending on what day it is. And now I’m retaking those tests and coming up a “Prophet” . . . if that helps you understand me.
I’ve recently been contemplating whether I’m truly an introvert masquerading as an extrovert and taking from that license to pull away. But I need people and fold into myself when alone too long, feeling as if I could disappear. . . but when there are a lot of people in my kitchen or kicking back on my deck, I escape upstairs for breaks. Then when I’m waving goodbye to the last car, I feel that the time has gone too fast.
Maybe it’s part of the chaos of growing up in a HUGE family!
When this song came out I thought they’d finally written about me but changed names to avoid royalties (except that it might not be OK to never see the Seven Wonders. . . which I’m working on).
I lived to travel before we had Muffin. It was 1999 when I excitedly collected the first stamp in my passport. They came mostly from legit uniformed officials in Jordan, Israel, Egypt, France, The Netherlands, The Bahamas, China, Ireland, Poland, Canada (6x’s), and Mexico (3x’s). But the one I’m most proud of is a big garish stamp from an obliging tequila street vendor in Tijuana.
Then I went to school in England for six months. In England, I spent two separate weeks (and other day trips) exploring every nook and cranny of England, Scotland, Wales and the Orkney Islands. I went by rail, bus, taxi, rental car, bicycle, ferry and foot. . . usually lugging a heavy backpack with an laptop (because in those days writing was as essential as sleep). And since I was forever frozen, rained on, out of money, and in need of a Wal-Mart and non-pay bathroom, my romantic view of this historic isle was forever tarnished. (But I still love Downton Abbey.)
When I said “I do” with my literal best friend (feel free to release a weary sigh, it is totally cliché to say that, I know). He shares a love of traveling (and learning, home improvement, and good deals). We’d already been on numerous chaotic trips with friends and church groups here in the States. But our very first international flight was to romantic and exciting, waves wrecking against the shore, honeymoon (gift from family) in Los Cabos, Mexico!
Then, four months before Muffin was born, we went to Venezuela and Curacao. So the excitement continues! I’m hoping Greece or Italy next, or Iceland. Though my husband is 100 percent a Patriot and contentedly devoted to this great Homeland where we’ve discovered more National Parks, battlefields, creeks, caves, lakes, dams, rivers, war museums, and Machine Gun Shoots than I knew existed.
For now though, we are here, where I have time (between diapers and dishes and toddler tantrums) to work on the things I love. . .
Like, writing, reading up on things, cooking & baking, photography (with my cell phone, OK, nothing fancy), tending flower pots, the occasional refurbish/re-purpose project, shopping, singing with the radio, conversations with myself, spending time with our friends and families, creeping along toward more healthy living, gardening, and fixing things.
But the two things I find most fulfilling are helping others and writing. I want to give back out of my abundance, not out of my need! So if you see me looking like I’m running around this blog with an empty cup asking you to fill it, remind me that my goal is to use it as a place for the overflow.
The Lord has truly given and taught me so much.
And I’ve gotten to see and do a lot. I’ve been a “dabbling” but continuously licensed real estate agent, a paralegal, house cleaner, nanny, consignment shop pricer, candy striper, barista, office manager x2, and have done hundreds of odd jobs from painting houses to reupholstering furniture, from courier work to pulling wire for an electrician, from house sitting to calligraphy, from elder care to caring for those with special needs, and buying and selling on various venues in the secondary market. And I’ve gotten an undergraduate degree in Communication and a Master’s degree in Professional Writing along the way. But I think, becoming a mother, has let me finally settle into what I’ve always wanted to do! (Although I still get that itch to learn and go.)
And if you don’t see me for a little while here and there, no worries, I’m just busy working my “finally” job.
In fact, Muffin’s about to wake up. No, that’s not her real name 🙂 And my family also calls her “Boo Boo.” I plan to whisk her from her little bed for a morning snuggle – where we’ll ponder the walls and ceiling together until our tummies rumble for breakfast.
That’s who I am.
Email me at Rachel@ReflectiveMom.com