Sunday, December 12, 2010

Happy One Year Anniversary!

Well... it happened.

We have officially been married for one entire year. What an amazing year it has been. I keep telling people that this has been the best year of my life.  It really has.  Now that I've had the best year of my life, I keep wondering, well, what's next?  Anything will suffice.

Our God is sufficient.  His power is made perfect in our weakness, and He is our steadfast Rock.  Last night we celebrated our 1 year by getting a couple's massage at a local Spa called Isis.  That proved to be an excellent idea.  After our massage we got all dressed up and drove to Charlottesville, VA where we ate dinner at a restaurant in Keswick Hall called Fossett's.  The whole day was great, but I really enjoyed today even more.  Tonight we just relaxed.  We cooked steak dinner on the grill, finished decorating our Christmas tree, and watched our wedding video.  Seeing us say our vows to each other was a great reminder, and we both are convicted to be more faithful in the little things.

 Here are some of the pictures of our tree and our night out!

Out on our date to Charlottesville!

You can see the before picture in my last post! David did a great job with the lights and trimming!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Some Pictures

Eat up everyone!!!

Southern Thanksgiving is good food. Venison, smoked turkey, dressing,  corn casserole.... those are just a few.

The table.

Me and Frank.

I love Kathy's kitchen.

Caught ya!

David stringing up the lights in the dining room.

Messy Table!!! All our decorations were everywhere!

Grammy Whelpley makes amazing stockings.  We LOVE them!!!

And here's mine!

A perfect lane for David...

Early presents... we have to wait to open them.  :(

It's too dark for a focused picture... shoot.

So I tried again.

This is not artistic.

David was patient with my ideas. He's so good to me!

Now we just need a tree!

Here it is! We cut it down from the wild. Literally.  This is before the trimming, and trust me, the trimming is coming.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Orchids and Pinecones

Well... it has been quite some time since my last update, hasn't it?  Life just gets away from me like that sometimes.  I promise you I've been loving every minute of it!  There are ups and downs, but these really are the best days of my life so far.  Lately I have been inundated with thoughts of Christmas. I dream about crafts and things to bake all the time.  I love this time of year.

I recently had the idea to try to make a christmas tree out of mostly pine cones.  I wasn't sure how it would look, but even though it's still not finished, it looks better than I thought it would! I spray painted the cones with silver paint that should be used on cars. The effect is pretty cool! I have tiny pine cones to add that I spray painted a deep red.  They'll be the berries or the decorations. What do you think? It's a work in progress.

I've been learning something about gift giving lately.  It seems that I have built friendships with people who are very good at this.  My family has never been very "gifty," so I keep receiving all these gifts and I feel overwhelmed because I never even think that way.  I used to just say "Well... that's just how my family is. I can't change it."  I'm starting to change my mind.  I really think I want to become better at thinking about little things to give people.  Just tokens, really, to let them know I care.  My friend Lyndsay recently came to my house and brought me this beautiful orchid just because! It was such a nice surprise! I absolutely love it.

Today has been so nice because I worked in the morning and I have all afternoon to do whatever I want to do.  My best friend Sam is on her way now to pick me up.  We are going to run some errands together and catch up.  I love that girl.  She seriously was one of the main reasons I even got through college.  I have always admired her in so many ways.  Her devotion to the Lord is greater than most anyone I know.  She and I are in such different seasons of life right now, but we have such a great bond in Jesus Christ that it never makes a difference.  I know she will be a friend for life.  Well... time to get ready to leave!  Happy fall afternoon!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Autumn Afternoons

Sunday is a day of rest, and I take full advantage of it.  David and I have an unspoken rule that we are allowed as much sleep as we want on Sundays; there is no guilt or shame for doing nothing as long as we want all day and I love it. I am so glad God set the example of rest for us at the foundation of the world. He didn't need the rest, but He knew we would, so He gave us permission and set the example. What a loving and caring Creator we have!

So right now I sit here resting.  The air is cool outside and our dogwood tree has a tinge of rust on it along with its red berries.  The dishwasher is humming, some home-made cinnamon rolls are rising, and my aunt's chicken cacciatori recipe is bubbling and simmering in the crock pot.

I know a lot of women who would rather be traveling the world shaking things up rather than cooking, cleaning, keeping a house, and serving a husband, but really nothing gives me greater joy than to take care of my home and my husband. Some people have a passion to get out there in that big world and make something of themselves. I just don't have that desire.  I love putting on my dainty little apron and seeing what kinds of new things I can put together in the kitchen. Sure, kids will come, and they'll "mess up" my pretty little picture of life. I'm alright with that. I have asked the Lord for a long time to prepare me to raise up my children to know Him and to be known by Him. Right now though, I am living it up just me and my husband.

Don't be mistaken, this "picture perfect life" is not the source of the peace I have seeping through my pores. If it all burned up tomorrow, I know I would be taken care of. I also know that being in my little world is not my purpose. The Lord has blessed me with riches beyond measure, but He has not given them to me to hoard. I do not need to become spiritually fat and lazy. There IS a big world out there that has needs- too many to count or even to comprehend. I must be ready always for the Lord to move in my heart. I am His servant as well as His friend. I am a vessel. He does not need me, but He created me to use me for His purposes. I hope I never forget that.

Enough writing for now...
I think I'll go wake up my sleeping giant and see if he wants his dinner yet.  :)

Be blessed and enjoy the Lord's presence today!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

It's Raining It's Pouring...

The old man is snoring...

I love the rain.  It is so refreshing to see the cracked, parched earth soak it up and become soft and fertile again.  This kind of weather makes me want to sit and listen to silence and drink warm things.  My clicking keys are a welcome sound in the quiet.  There hasn't been much time for writing lately.

It is hard to believe another year is wrapping up.  It seems like just yesterday I was still getting used to public school in my awkward teens, and now I am a grown woman with my own home to take care of.  I love my life.  My husband is absolutely the most amazing man that I know, and I love that he is a called man of God.  I love that our relationship was founded around Christ.

We have made a commitment to leave Liberty in the spring.  This has left us with much anticipation and sadness at once.  Last night we prayed together for direction since we do not know where we will go.  This is becoming a common occurrence.  Praying together is such a bonding experience.  I like this stage of waiting.  It can be frustrating, but it is constantly reminding me that the Lord is at hand.  He is our provider.  I was so comforted last night when I remembered that He already knows our steps.  He sees our future.  There is no mystery for Him, and He is our Father.  Fathers provide for their children.

Luke 11:11-13 says:

"What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

I trust those words.

Another development in the McKinney household lately has been that David will be leading a missions trip to the Amazon in March.  Want to hear something even more amazing?? Good, because I was going to tell you anyway...

I get to go with him!!!

Can you believe it?  A trip to the heart of Brazil (well, the northern part).  We will be sleeping on hammocks on a boat on the Amazon River, stopping at villages along the way and offering medical support.  I have never done anything so adventurous before!

Please keep praying for us during this time of waiting and transition.  Pray that we would have discernment in making decisions for the future.  Pray that we would have strength and endurance to finish this last year out strong.  Pray that our relationship keeps growing with the Lord and with each other.  We want to be sold out for the Lord, but so much can distract.  Thank you so much for those of you who already lift us up to our Heavenly Father.  You are such a blessing to us.

Well, I think I've rambled on for long enough.  Time to get moving! :)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Unmerited Guilt

I've been avoiding writing on this blog lately because I wanted everything to be chronological and picture perfect.  I wanted to be organized and efficient, detailed and descriptive.  Well, life just doesn't always go that way for me.  I sometimes abhor structure, only to turn around and long for it again. In writing these words I have to wonder, "have I ever finished anything strong?" I seem to be the kind of person that runs out of the gates full speed ahead with as much enthusiasm as anyone else does. Somewhere down the road I get bored or tired or frustrated, and right about that time is when something else comes up that I would just love to try.  Another challenge to conquer, yet conquering never quite seems to happen.

The people I love tell me, "Rachel, you can do anything," and my thought is "Well why can I never seem to want something enough to stick with it?" And then the guilt ensues over the fact that I have made halfhearted decisions over and over again.

I do not want to live a halfhearted life, but I can never seem to stop focusing on too many things! I am really struggling with this today and yesterday, and right now I am just going to sit with the Lord for a while instead of trying to solve my own weaknesses.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sermon on the Truth and the Lie

I'm listening to this message and it is so clear.  We are unceasingly pouring out worship on something.  We were created to worship God.  What are we unceasingly pouring out our worship on now?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Rainy Tuesday

I think I breathed a sigh of relief this morning when I looked out the window and saw dark clouds heavy over the sun and a comfortable drizzle coming down.  We have been trying to get through some pretty violent heat lately.  Sunday afternoon at a cookout (an outside cookout) I looked at a thermometer that was in the blazing sun.  The thermometer read 112 degrees.  Luckily I was in the shade with a breeze where it was "only" about 102.

I went running this morning after spending some time with the Lord.  It was great to feel my feet pounding the wet pavement while Chris Tomlin was singing "You are the first, You go before, You are the last, You are the encore..."  I pushed through some pain and had a really great time, just me and the Lord.  He is teaching me something about discipline.  I think I am one of the least disciplined people I know.  It is easy to be spoiled here in America.  We have everything we want and more.  We can be lazy and get away with it.  I feel so empty and dead when I am not disciplined.  This is not to say that working to be disciplined is what it takes to earn my Lord's love.  That would be a very presumptuous thing to assume.  His love is much deeper than my ability to love Him back.

There is something so healthy about working hard though.  It is so evident that we were designed for it.  Even before the fall God created Adam and put him in charge of all the animals.  He was to have dominion over the land and rule over it.  He was to care for it.  I have a content feeling inside after a hard day's work.  Nothing is more fulfilling than walking through the day, pressing towards a goal.  I think this is healthy.  The best part about all of this is that Jesus Christ is our true goal.  To become so close to Him that we resemble Him.  It is true that He was spiritual, but He was also very common.  He fully experienced humanity.

I would urge whoever reads this today to press into the Lord this afternoon.  Seek His face despite the frightening fact that it will hurt.  He will not allow us to stay in the same place.  To see Him will reveal the worst in us, and when we think we can no longer bear to look at those horribly nasty places deep inside us, He will remind us that He has already taken care of that.

Philippians 1:6 "And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ."

Friday, July 16, 2010

Where Did We Leave Off?

Back to Lynchburg we have returned!  This summer has been non-stop action and it is really nice to be back in our own home.

Several weeks ago we went to Atlanta where David lead a 2 day worship camp for kids ages 10-18.  What an age spread!  The camp was very successful as a guinea pig for the future camps the church plans to hold.  Some of the kids were tiny!  It was so neat to see these amazing kids up there leading us in praise.  What a privilege to be a part of training the next generation to be strong godly believers.  I got teared up watching my husband and the other guys in the band spend one-on-one time with the kids helping them to be better musicians.
There were about 40 kids total at the camp, and we had such a good time with them all.
Here are a couple of them leading worship on the final night.  We split them into bands and had them each do 2 songs.

After the camp was over, it was time for Hotlanta!!!
David took me into the city to the aquarium where we met up with some new but great friends of ours, the Mohrmans.  The aquarium was amazing!  My two favorite animals were the Whale Shark (23 foot fish!?! For real!), and the giant sea turtle.  After we were finished with the aquarium we all went out to dinner at the most amazing restaurant in Atlanta (possibly ever):  Dante's Down the Hatch.  It's a fondue restaurant with live jazz.  You walk across a bridge that goes over a little river with LIVE alligators in it once you get INSIDE the building.  So cool. You can also eat aboard "the ship" where there are booths and a grand piano in the middle for the music.  We had a blast taking pictures outside the place with Dante's old antique automobiles.

David and Kris were great models.

Atlanta Skyline... sort of...

 I was trying to take artistic photos. Haha! Not great.

We ate at "The Varsity" for lunch!  This is a famous fast food restaurant in Atlanta. The olympic torch is standing right next to it. When you get in line to order you had better know what you want! The long line of cashiers are yelling: "Whad'y'ave, Whad'y'ave?!!" and if you don't know "what you'll have" you will get bumped to the back of the line for sure!

The Mohrmans.  What a great fam. :)
Left to Right: Ellie, Kerri, and Kris.
Whale Shark!
The main tank was as big as a football field. That's huge.

Did you know that penguins mate for life?? It was so cute to see them all paired up with each other.  They were all preening each other and feeding each other. Such funny little creatures. 
(editors note: the strawberry blonde creature is not one of the penguins)

And here's the romantic newlywed picture. :)

He's pretty handsome, I won't lie.

Oh... you mean cigarette butts? Oops...

Oh, just some GQ models... the one on the left is my fav.

We love the Mohrmans! Here's to a great day in the city!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Berry Pickin'

Yesterday David and I went berry picking on some trails in Lynchburg.  We found tons of wild raspberries and even a few blackberries!  After 5 miles of walking, sweating, itching, and getting all scratched up by the thorns we managed to get back with a feeling of accomplishment and having enjoyed a full afternoon together. We ended up freezing 5 Ziploc bags of the berries for future desserts. :) Yum! I love the simple things about marriage- the friend part. Having my husband as my best friend is one of the most enjoyable things on earth. 

Here are some other pictures from around the house- I've been learning to play the piano (slowly), and David and I have been learning a few songs to play and sing together for the fun of it.

I've still been working on setting up the house, and finally got my little office area to look decent. I also hung up the giant fish David caught when he was only 11.  It's mounted on a board that says "Playing Hookie" on it. He missed school that day to go fishing with his Pop... guess that was a good idea that day! 

After talking about wanting to own a grill for months, David learned of a special going on at Walmart: $50 gift card to Walmart with the purchase of any grill.  The cheapest grill was $90, so we only ended up paying $40 for this little gas sucker!  32 Burger Capacity!!! Ha ha just ask David! We were both pretty excited (especially now that we have pounds upon pounds of beef in our freezer in the basement from the cow we bought with his family).

We also planted a garden together this spring!  I planted some gladiolus bulbs in the front yard and they ended up blooming beautifully!  In the back we planted yellow squash, zucchini squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, shallots, beans, turnips, hot peppers, basil, and garlic. It's our first time, so we'll see how much fruit we get out of all the labor! David seems to have much more of a green thumb than I do.

Well, that's it for now, folks! Tomorrow we will be driving back down to the great state of Georgia where David will lead a worship camp for kids who want to learn to lead worship.  We're going the Atlanta Aquarium, so I can't wait to post pictures of that! 

Have a great Monday afternoon friends and family!