Lately I’ve been experiencing a deep desire to create more. I feel like I started off the year on this mission to create space in my life for the things I wanted to do more of, but somewhere throughout the past 11 months I have become more weighed down and consumed with things that don’t really matter or bring me joy. I’m not writing as much as I want. The podcast is on a hiatus. It’s taken me approximately 330 days to read 100 pages in a single book. I’ve found myself stuck in situations and places that I don’t want to be in. I sound like I’m being really hard on myself, and a part of me is, but I’m also offering myself a lot of grace that this has been a rebuilding year for my life. When I take the time to reflect on 2019, I am seeing that I’ve achieved and overcome so much this year. Okay, so I haven’t touched my book proposal in a few months. Fine. But I did work through a lot of grief and emotional turmoil and am finding a little more peace with life without J. I am proud of who I’m growing into even if I didn’t achieve every little thing I set out to do or create as much as I wanted. It feels like just yesterday I quit my job, moved (back) across the country, and started life over in a new state, but the truth is there’s only 31 days left in 2019. Instead of letting that countdown haunt me, I’m using it as 31 days to reshape how I want 2020 to play out. I’m doing some 2020 planning today for my life + brand and also reflecting on the good that 2019 brought me, the lessons learned, and where I might have fallen a little short. Do you do any planning for the new year or end of the month reflections? ✨ // 📷: @hunterskyphoto
There’s a tension that we create within ourselves when we go through life presenting as someone completely different than who we were designed to be. Trying to fit into groups that aren’t meant for us. Pushing through doors that God has closed. Hiding away from the pieces of you that make you, you. Peace can’t dwell in these spaces. There will always be parts of you that are desperate to be seen so the world can take you in for who you are and not who a refined version of who you wish they could see you as. I’m thankful for these friends that feel like home. There’s no masks, no hiding, and no pretending. It’s a powerful feeling to belong to a group of people who are always looking out for you. Always wanting what’s best for you. Always pushing you towards more while celebrating what God is doing in your life right now. Friendsgiving for us is a time to celebrate, a time to mourn, and a time to simply be together — everyone showing up as the most authentic version of themselves, whatever that might look like in this season for you. Thankful for my home team who sees me and loves me.
F R I E N D S G I V I N G // my heart couldn’t be any fuller.
Sometimes you have to break down before you can breakthrough ✨🙏🏾 // 📷: @hunterskyphoto
I remember this day so vividly. J was released from inpatient physical and occupational therapy after his diagnosis and we finally got to go home after nearly three months of staying in hospitals. He was sick for 18 months before he passed and what most don’t realize (aka we never made a big deal about) was that we spent about 6 of those months in and out of hospitals. Going home days was always such a celebration even if we didn’t know how long we would get to stay. Hopelessness is real in grief and I often find myself wondering what is the point of all of this if I don’t have J to share it with. Even the high moments and moments worth celebrating feel like continual punches in the gut when all you want is to pick up the phone and call your person until you remember you can’t. I loved advice I got from @lavendarslongshot’s page to give yourself permission to remember the before. Lately I’ve been allowing myself to feel pain and scroll through old photos. It is nauseating having to scroll through all of the memories I’ve made in the past 13 months without J, but once I get to our good times I’m reminded of moments like these that were and continue to be worth celebrating. Also the look on J’s face is pure terror. His first car ride being wheelchair bound and me in the driver’s seat. The same girl who drove us down the wrong way on a one way the first time we ever hung out LOL. #owningmygrief
“There is no right or wrong way to grieve. The mind is simply healing in the only way it knows how.” This is always a good reminder for me since I’m the girl who used to constantly ask my grief counselor “am I doing this right?” She would always gently remind me that my feelings are valid because they are mine — whatever they might be. I remember the first time I truly laughed after J passed and outside of instantly crying because I realized I would never hear his laugh again, I also wondered if that was normal. Am I “allowed” to feel happiness again? Is it “okay” to laugh so hard I’m crying the day after my husband died? In the moment, I knew the answer was yes, but it was still difficult to live that out. I have a long way to go in my grief and I believe it will be a lifelong journey, but I’m getting better about understanding that I still deserve a happy life even though it’s different than what I envisioned for myself. I’m currently working on getting back in to therapy, traveling every chance I get, and learning to be okay with the simultaneous emptiness and fullness of life. #owningmygrief 📷: @hunterskyphoto
Let’s talk about hard things. Earlier this year I hosted a meet up on what to do when life feels heavy and the main thing I wanted everyone to take away is that despite how we might feel in our human strength, God’s presence empowers us to do hard things. That mountain that you don’t think will ever move, the prayer that isn’t being answered the way you want, and every season of life that isn’t going according to plan may seem impossible to get through now, but sis, I promise you will see the promises of God revealed in your life again. My mind instantly goes back to two hard things dealing with weddings. One of my best friends got married a little over a month after J died and another got married just a few days after his one year of passing. Hard might be an understatement for trying to survive these days, but by the grace of God (and great friends) I did. Of course I want to celebrate my girls through every season, but that doesn’t take away the pain that can come along with that. My hard thing lately has been obedience to the next season of life that God is calling me to and being disciplined enough to tap into all that He has for me. I know what God is calling me to next will take tunnel vision and intentionality and I’m not always the best at surrendering how I think things should go to what God has planned for me — even though I know His ways are infinitely better I’m just a control freak, what can I say? I hope that you can see your hard thing for what it is and know that God didn’t bring you this far to not see your promise through to completion. He’s good like that. Ps: Is it time for another meet up?! I had so much fun sipping coffee and hanging out with my friends + readers. I think we need to do it again ✨ 📷: @hunterskyphoto
A mi “nieta”: Yo siempre le dije a tu mami que ella era mi hija, y mi corazón crece saber que ahora va tener una hija. Vas a cambiar el mundo, dulce niña. Te amo tanto. Con amor, Tia Rae // translation: MY BABY IS HAVING A BABY AND I’M UNWELLLLLL
New photos with @hunterskyphoto, who disssss?! Happy Friday, friends. If your week was as long as mine, I hope there is a bottle of rosè in your very near future 🥂 It’s been a while since I’ve posted let alone introduced myself, so I thought it would be fun to do a little #fridayintroductions. I’m Rachel, host of @rosewithrae.tv, and I run this Instagram space where I share my stories of life, love, and loss. My husband passed away to cancer last year so grief and depression are parts of life that I know firsthand. I love connecting with my readers about grief and sharing stories or memories that we might keep tucked away from people who don’t always get it. Life has been a rollercoaster lately, but the latest on me is that I’m halfway through a physical and emotional reset and feeling great overall. I have been sober for 18 days (that’s a big deal for me considering I’m a glass of wine with dinner every night kind of girl) and have been focusing on spending money with intention. Both of these have been extremely healing. Right now, I’m in a season of praying through what happiness really looks like for me and not what I think it *should* look like. I want to fill my days with true joy and not what I think will lead me to joy. I’ve let go of some things and people as a result and I’m in a constant state of trying to align my life to what God’s will is for me and not winging it as I go. It’s not as easy as it sounds, but damn it’s been good. I posted how I haven’t been feeling like myself lately a while ago on stories and y’all are the real MVPs by sliding in my DMs with some encouragement. I’ve been slowly digging myself out of my apathetic hole I’ve dug and I’ve kept a lot of your advice close. There might even be a blog post coming out soon on how to pull yourself out of a rut ☺️ If you’ve read this far, I would love to know more about you, too! Let me know what you’re up to this weekend ✨
The last month or so has been a rollercoaster of emotions. There have been so many incredible highs — marrying off my Colby girl, winning an award for Dallas young professionals, and celebrating birthdays + planning my own birthday weekend retreat. I’ve also felt the lowest of low trying to get through the one year anniversary of J passing. I took a break from social media (and blogging and podcasting if we are being honest) to create more space in my life to really feel all of these emotions — no matter how painful — instead of turning to mindlessly scrolling as a distraction. Even with all of the reasons to celebrate, you get to a place where none of it really matters if you don’t have your person to share those moments with. That hopelessness leads to depression and it’s taken me a while to pull myself out of it. People ask how I do it — live life and “move on” without J, but the answer is I don’t. My heart has been overflowing with love and pride for my people and it’s also felt hollow and broken with grief for my J. That’s grief though. You experience the fullness and emptiness of life simultaneously and try not to get too consumed with all of the twists and turns. There were moments this past month when I couldn’t pull myself out of bed or go to work and there were moments that I laughed so hard I couldn’t breathe. For all of those moments, I’m thankful for this friend who loves me, sees me, and misses J right along with me. It was everything to me to witness her marry the love of her life and I’ll be here for all of your highs and lows like you’ve been there for mine. #vöstthingsfirst