Tuesday, August 25, 2009

When I started this Blog, I had so much to say. My mind was like a "reservoir" and I wanted to share thoughts with the world, and my readers....the few that I have (ha)! But, instead of writing about my thoughts or what's been happening in my life, I've been living my life and too busy to share. I hope I haven't kept anyone in suspense too long, but here's a bit of what I've been up to, followed by some ways in which I saw God's involvement in recent months....

1. I changed jobs/careers.
2. I have traveled around the east coast of the state of Florida from Jacksonville to Melbourne to Orlando, and back around a few times. I've also had 1 of 2 trips this summer to Virginia Beach to visit family.
3. I've made three new canine friends who are now part of my extended family.
4. I finally made the necessary financial decisions regarding some investments I took away from my former employer.
5. I learned the meaning of "true friendship" - again - and that friendship can be found in some of the least expected places and with some of the least expected people...and pets.
6. I saw my nephew off to his first day of kindergarten.
7. I saw my niece turn 1 years old.
8. I learned that I will never be able to control how people interpret what I say or do, or how people perceive me, despite my extreme efforts to project my positivity and caring nature. No matter how nice you are or how much you try, you can't make someone be something they aren't or cure something they have within themselves. Only God can save them.
9. I have a renewed heart and outlook on "love." (whatever that means?!?!)
10. I learned the importance of weekends - they are the mini-vacation we sometimes need at the end of the week.

God is always at work in our lives, and I started noticing that several years ago but didn't put it into practice until this year. With the changes I faced, I put my faith in God and he proved himself to me. He always knows what he's doing, even if we don't know what we're doing or where we're going. When I changed jobs, I prayed that God would open the right doors at the right times to show me where I needed to be. He surprised me and blessed me in a matter of days. Yes - he still moves those mountains! God kept me safe through all of my travels, and brought me the most unexpected blessings in the form of making new friends through celebrating a family event and showing me how much time can change someoone. He showed me that pet sitting isn't just about making some extra money on the side - it's about friendship, character and companionship for me and for those I care for. God showed me that although it's not healthy to focus on money or greed, it is healthy to plan for our futures and retirements by making important financial decisions, no matter the sacrifices they require, and to be careful whom we trust to assist us with those decisions. I've always thought it was important to have friends, and God tested me a few times this year. But, most recently, he showed me that some doors are never fully closed and that it's okay to rethink the meaning of friendship, and it's okay to admit that you may have been wrong about someone....whether for better or for worse. It's hardest when you were wrong for the worse, but that is how God shows you that HE is still there even when someone else isn't. In the ongoing family situations I've dealt with over the last seven years, I've finally seen a "light at the end of the tunnel" this year through my nephew and my niece....a light that I thought had been turned out and may never work again. Like I said...God always knows what he's doing! God is still teaching me lessons in learning why people act the way they do, and how some people may never have the manners or the cooth that others do, but that we should try to accept them and respect them despite that. God continues to challenge me daily with this, and I continue to pray for the patience and strength I need to keep learning. I thank God every Friday for weekends and time to relax....especially the upcoming two weekends which will be spent on a secluded beach with a book!

Thank you for reading, whomever you may be, and I hope that you take this opportunity to think about the recent events in your life and how God was at work in those events. Take opportunities to thank him.....after all, he deserves it!

Thursday, July 23, 2009


28 years ago...
I'd just been adopted from St. Lucy, Florida by two amazing and loving parents.

28 months ago...
I was working as a loan coordinator at my old company dreaming of finding a new position, working on my finances and making new friends.

28 days ago...
I was ready to start my new job for a new company here in Jacksonville, Florida and ready to turn 28!

28 minutes ago...
I was eating lunch!

28 seconds ago...
I logged into Blogger!

28 years from now...
I'll be 56 years old. I'll have a tatoo and, if I'm lucky, I'll be retired to the island I purchased in the Caribbean or Virgin Islands.

28 months from now...
I'll be 30 years old. I'll probably be working for the same company, maybe even the same position or something even more fabulous than my current position. I'll probably be shopping for a new car...my baby is getting up there!

28 days from now...
It'll be August and almost the end of summer and almost time for my cousin's fabulous beach wedding in Virginia! I love summer.

28 minutes from now...
It'll be 28 minutes closer until time to leave the office, have dinner with my dad and see my sister before I jet off to Virginia to spend the weekend with my cousin and other family.

28 seconds from now...
I'll be completing this Blog entry and logging out!

How's that for a timeline?

Saturday, June 20, 2009


Change: A transformation or modification.

That's the dictionary's definition. Here's mine...

Change: When something or someone is different than before. Another mountain to climb, ocean to cross or obstacle to overcome.

Where am I going with this? Well, the year 2009 has been a year of "changes" for me. It started with a change in priorities. My priorities prior to 2009 were related to keeping up with my two jobs and my finances, with some effort put into friendships but a focus still on my career goals. But, when 2009 rolled in - God had other priorities in mind. He reminded me that people, not finances, were why I was here. I was here to give to others and to receive God's blessings through others. He used a number of "obstacles" or "changes" to show me this. He showed me how I could be a friend to someone who needed my prayers and my love - her dad was battling lung cancer. He showed me how I could move on from a friendship which no longer thrived and did not serve the new me - the me who had priorities other than boyfriends and wedding rings like they did. He showed me that I was needed for who I was and not what I could do at work.
As if these changes weren't enough....God had more in store.

It has been my experience, as a believer, that God does not speak to me the way people on Earth do. With "Hey, Rachel, I think you should change your career." or "Hey, Rachel, you need to change your friends and realize that your true friends are back in Florida." Instead, he uses mountains, oceans and obstacles. Analogies, of course, for the real deal. After we've climbed the mountain, crossed the ocean and overcome the obstacle - we look back and say "Oh, wow. This is the beautiful valley you wanted me to see, the new land you wanted me to discover and the feeling of success you wanted me to feel." Much stronger than any words a person on Earth could ever tell me. This year, my mountains, oceans and obstacles involved deciding to end long-term friendships upon realizing how much that friends had "changed" and we were SO different, watching a best friend endure one of the biggest loses a person ever has to endure - the loss of a parent, and realizing that a job wasn't all it could have been and wasn't all that important anyways. At the end of this, I came away seeing that God wanted me to change my priorities and my outlook in life. So - that's what I did.

The old me would have never thought the friendship would end, and if it did not in the way or for the reason it did. The new me saw that "true friendship" was something other than what I was experiencing and with God in my life, I didn't need to be kicked to the curb a few times and try crawling back for acceptance to be loved. The old me would have cried and then run away from the friend who needed me during her time of loss. The new me saw that this was an opportunity to use the strength that only he gave me to wipe away tears and give unlimited hugs. Of course I still cried my own tears and had my moments of weakness, but still gave her all God gave me to give. The old me would have been devastated when the career she thought she'd started with a company came to a hault at the realization that there was more out there for her than what was there, and that God would force her out to show her the other side. The new me took it in stride and said "Well, God, I know you have something wonderful blossoming here. I'm going to hold onto you and trust you through this." I did - and it worked. The valley is beautiful, the new land I've discovered is like North America for Christopher Columbus and the feeling of success is mine - thanks to God.

Whatever "change" you are going through - the mountain you're climbing, ocean you're crossing and obstacle you're overcoming - keep at it. With God's help, you too will discover the valley, the new land and the feeling of success.

I'll continue to update the blog with news. Coming soon - my change in career.

I end with a verse.

"For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Friday, April 17, 2009


But I just announced spring a few entries ago!!! I'm ready for summer....a new season and new beginnings!

So much has been changing, but I cannot announce all of it yet. I will tell you, though, that God has been hard at work in my career and in my heart. I have grown closer to family, friends and neighbors....especially the friends who are my neighbors, ha! My career is about to change paths (again) and I'm eager to start the next path.

In the mean time, here is a fun photo of me, with my sister Mary, at the Jacksonville Zoo. We are hanging with a manatee!

Thanks for following the blog - I'll be back soon!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


I've been absent...I know. Some recent computer cliches and lack of time have prevented me from providing you with an update. At the moment, I'm at a loss of "philosophies" and "words of wisdom." Rest assured...I will be back with them soon.

In the mean time, here are a few things I've been up to...

Legally Blonde, The Musical - If you're a woman and you liked the movie...you'll LOVE this musical. I went to Orlando with my fabulous friend Sheila and two of her good friends from Orlando.

Spring is here - I've really been enjoying the weather change and seeing everything in bloom. Another reason why I LOVE Florida!

That's all for now. I look forward to sharing more with you soon.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Jacksonville, Florida - this is home. For 18+ years of my life, I have lived in Jacksonville, Florida. Jacksonville is in Northeast Florida, almost to the Georgia border on the Atlantic Ocean coast.

I haven't always been able to say that I "loved" this city, but recently I've realized that not only do I love Jacksonville, but I love Florida! My career may take me outside of Florida, but I know that I'll retire back to Florida if that ever happens.

A couple of my friends and I said that we would be like "The Golden Girls" and move back to Florida when we retire, and may even be roommates. I know that one day I'll upgrade to a larger home, but I hope to keep the current home as a place to retire to later in life. You can't beat it, really.

Even better than my home is my desk downtown. Here are a couple of pictures I took which show the view from my desk.

This is the St. John's River. The blue bridge is the Main Street Bridge and I also have a relative in the tall building on the far right!

This is the view from my left side window
I totally sound too thrilled to live where I do, don't I? Well, lately, I've been realizing some of the little things I'd missed...and a few things I didn't appreciate as much as I should have. That has all changed, and one of the underappreciated things was how blessed I am to live here in Jacksonville.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Sometimes in our lives, we all have pain, we all have sorrow.
But, if we are wise, we know that there's always tomorrow.
Lean on me, when you're not strong and I'll be your friend.
I'll help you carry on, for it won't be long 'til I'm gonna need somebody
to lean on.
Please swallow your pride, if I have things you need to borrow.
For no one can fill those neds that you won't let show.
You just call on me, sister when you need a hand.
We all need somebody to lean on.
Lean on me when you're not strong, and I'll be your friend.
I'll help you carry on, for it won't be long 'til I'm gonna need somebody to lean on.
You just call on me sister if you need a friend.
We all need somebody to lean on.
I just might have a problem that you'll understand.
We all need somebody to lean on.
If there is a load you have to bear that you can't carry, I'm right up the road.
I'll share your load if you just call me.
Call me (if you need a friend)
Call me, Call me, Call me
"Lean On Me" by Bill Withers
If it seems that I am obsessed with friendship lately, it's because I am! As always, God taught me a lesson in a most unusual way. I have not been able to get the most recent lesson off my mind ever since it happened about 10 days ago. So, bear with me as I unleash the sensitive side of myself in mentioning how dear my true friends are to me, and how much I appreciate them being there for me last week and everyday before that.

I'd love to list each by name on the blog, but for privacy reasons I will not. They all know who they are, and know they can LEAN ON ME any time.