Lifestyle, Parenting

Dear Harry and Meghan

Two days in to being parents, congratulations! The adrenalin is still running, hormones flowing, body aching and heart bursting. You are besotted with your beautiful boy and cannot bear to take your eyes of him for fear of missing something. Netflix has nothing on watching a newborn sleep.

Any parent will tell you that raising children is the most exhilarating and exhausting, beautiful yet bewildering role they have ever had. Being a mother was, and still is, my greatest ambition and my greatest achievement. But it has not been without its challenges, namely around maternal mental health, which was overcome with a lot of love, faith, prayer and communication.

I want to encourage you both that you have a winning formula to start your new role as parents. When we watch you in public, we see warmth, love and respect, a genuine affection for one another that overrides the world around you. This love, this bond is your greatest source of strength as you navigate your new normal.

To any new parents I say this; keep checking in on each other. Sleepless nights can strain solid marriages, teething tests a mother’s bond to breaking point and tantrums can make the most patient parent tear their hair out. These seasons of motherhood are messy and miraculous.

It’s normal to find the days long and the nights longer. It’s natural to go into survival mode as the days blur from one to another in the early weeks and months. My advice to all new parents is to keep looking at one another. Keep locking your gaze and speaking words of love, encouragement and understanding through your eyes in the way that only couples can. Talk often and openly about everything and anything.

Be patient with each other, hold hands, hold your tongue and hold on for the ride. And above all, trust God as you embark on the best role there is.

Enjoy every minute.

R x

Photo Credit: Chris Allerton ©️SussexRoyal
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Essential Oils, Faith

Finding my purpose

I’ve written so many blogs but not published them. I’ve poured my heart into pages and pages of notes. I’ve felt Gods presence so powerfully and cried so hard while writing that I’ve had to catch my breath.

Many of these words need never be read by anyone other than Jesus. Like many prayers that we just can’t find the words to express or the energy to utter; they are heard in heaven.

So tonight as I sit in my garden, thinking of the rollercoaster that has been the last 12 months, hot tears of gratitude fall in place of grief. No longer am I lost and overwhelmed, not knowing where I belong or to whom. I know that I am a daughter of the King, a precious child of God blessed beyond measure.

And I am blessed to be a blessing.

You see, if I hadn’t have gone on this journey, if I hadn’t experienced the rollercoaster I wouldn’t have found my purpose.

I believe that God has called me to help others. He wants me to come alongside His children and support them, pray with them and empower them. I’ve been told by some lovely people that my blogs have encouraged them, and to hear that as a writer just blows me away.

But God didn’t just give me a gift of writing, but a gift of communication and compassion. He has also brought some beautiful people into my world who have supported me physically and emotionally through Young Living Essential Oils. I was sceptical at best when given some oils to try but when they helped me sleep for the first time in weeks I was sold. I am now completely in love with the products and am building a business to support my family financially just by sharing what the oils did for me.

Sounds crazy huh? But it feels so right. I feel like my blogging and my business go hand in hand; I can communicate what God reveals to me, show compassion to my lovely readers and also care for them practically by offering oily support suggestions.

I don’t want my blog to become a sales pitch. Far from it. But I do want to share the Good News – of the gospel of Jesus and of a way to live a healthier, happier life using the very things that God created.

Their fruit will be for food and their leaves for healing – Ezekiel 47:12

Never heard of essential oils? I’d love to share them with you. Want to get your own? I’d love to hook you up with some.

I am hosting my very first oily event – An Evening of Summer Essentials – on Saturday 14th July 2018 and I would love it if you could come! We are planning a relaxed, fun evening of treats and pampering so you can come and be spoilt, hear my story and go home with a goody bag, for just £5! We have only 30 tickets available so book fast. Click this link to register free online then please forward payment to me via PayPal. (We are a fledgling business so haven’t paid for the Premium Eventbrite package where they charge us per ticket booked!)

I would love to see you and meet some new faces for the first time!

Until then my friends

R x

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Faith

Time to write His story…

In my very first year as a Christian, a respected woman in my church (then Kings Community Church, Wolverhampton) prophesied over me that she saw a pen in my future. She could see me wielding a beautiful marble effect pen and she asked me if writing was something that was important to me. I replied that I had always loved writing from a very early age, penning hundreds if not thousands of poems and short stories, not to mention documenting my childhood in my much-loved diaries. However, at the time of receiving this picture from God I was a practising Veterinary Nurse with little time for writing, save for the medical notes on my patients’ hospitalisation charts. I thanked her for the prophecy, and endeavoured to make an effort to continue my personal journalling whilst quietly parking the picture and getting on with my life.

Ten years on I am now starting to fulfil the prophecy. This was quite a surprise for me, and came about after many twists and turns in my journey with God. The past ten years have brought me some of the greatest pain and greatest joy that I have ever known, and, true to form, I have chosen to share my story with you in writing.

I became a Christian in May 2006, shortly before qualifying as a Veterinary Nurse, after a painful relationship break up. Needless to say, where my first love moved out God moved in and He filled me with a love so strong, so deep and so unimaginably wide that it soothed my soul. I found that my faith in Jesus brought me into the family of Christ, the church, and I was suddenly inextricably linked to and with hundreds of like-minded people at my local church, not to mention the millions of believers worldwide. I had found a spiritual family to which I would belong forever.

Like any new Christian, my journey with God has not always been easy, as I faced overcoming nicotine addiction and some serious attitude adjustments, but I have never once felt alone or unable to cope thanks to the Holy Spirit and the network of Christian friends that God placed in my life.

Only two years after finding Jesus, I found my soul mate. David Edwards is without a doubt one of the most amazing people I have ever met, and not least because he chose to spend his life with me! His generous heart, discerning spirit and strong values bowled me over equally as hard as his dashing good looks and impressive 6’6″ stature did. I had prayed for a husband and my prayer was very specific. I love the fact that our heavenly father is so concerned with our requests that he answers them to the letter, and in my case he literally ticked every box on my prayer list, plus adding in a few bonus features such as being a Welshman.

Just two years later we were married and I was starting a new chapter in my career as well as my personal life as I left the nursing profession in favour of an administrative ‘9-5’ job working as an Executive Assistant. Suddenly I found myself immersed in reports, minutes and marketing, and as I revelled in my new role I rediscovered my passion for writing. Shortly after my first son was born in 2008 I began writing a blog. It started off as an online diary documenting my love of singing as part of the worship band at Renewal Christian Centre coupled with an interest in crafting and my adventures as a new mom. The blog has continued to evolve as I have dipped in and out of it over the years and is now in the present day format as my musings as a mom in ministry who loves Jesus and wants to share his love with anyone who will listen.

Following the birth of my second son, and after trying my hand at various self-employed ventures, a friend, Jess, from my old church in Wolverhampton (LifeSpring) happened to tweet about the fact that her editor was looking for freelance writers and would anyone be interested in the role. This was like a lightbulb moment for me. I felt my spirit leap and thought ‘I could do that, wow that would be a dream job for me.’ I replied to her tweet and she messaged me the editors details and I began writing articles for the editor the very next day! Such was my enthusiasm and eventual success, that I realised I could actually write for a living, and in 2013 my business Rachel Edwards Writes was born.

I have now been self-employed as a writer for almost two years and can honestly say I have loved every minute, writing everything from strap lines and songs through to website content and articles on subjects ranging from fragrances and forklift trucks to digital marketing and SEO. When I first began to write, my CEO (Chief Encouragement Officer) Dave said ‘You should write a book’. I scoffed and said I had a long way to go before I reached that stage in my writing career, and besides what would I write about? Writing a book takes time and energy, something that was somewhat lacking in my busy life as a mom of two boisterous boys, running my own business. However something shifted in my spirit, and God whispered into my heart ‘You have a story to tell’.

So here I am, over five years since first putting pen to paper (or fingers to keys!) as a blogger, and two years in to my professional career as a writer, I am starting my first book. I feel that the phrase first book is rather ambitious as it suggests a second (or maybe even a third!) but the stories that are in my heart are not just mine, they are God’s. He continues to use every day situations to speak into my heart about his will for his sons and daughters, how much he loves us and how much he has in store for us. God has given me the gift, not to mention the amazing privilege, of writing that I might glorify Him, and I want to thank him and exalt him with it. So my first book is mapped out, the subject inspiration in my heart and God’s message downloaded in my head ready to pour out on to the pages.

Here goes nothing…..

Can I Tell You A Secret?

New Book

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Faith

Don’t be deceived

This was my run buddy on the canal this morning. A familiar site on my route that got me thinking as God whispered into my heart today.Heron

The heron stands so still that you would be forgiven for mistaking it for a statue, so majestic you would think it was a peaceful non threatening bird, however when the time is right he strikes. That magnificent beak becomes a terrifying sword piercing the unsuspecting fish below, his slim smooth body unfurls to reveal a vast wingspan that can outrun and overwhelm its prey.

The devil can be heron like in our lives. He stands very still watching and waiting while we rush by getting on with every day life. If we aren’t vigilant the devil will sneak in and stand on the sidelines of our life, ready to pounce when we least expect it or when we are at our weakest. Perfectly camouflaged, he will tempt us away from the narrow path of following Jesus with sin and deceive us with distractions. You may think you are ‘doing good things’, busy doing every day life however your busyness is taking your focus off the one who made you, and if there is one thing that the devil delights in it is distracting Christians’ attention away from Christ.

How do we keep from becoming his next target? Keep our eyes open and get into a connect group, home group or life group where others can watch your back. The Bible states:

Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. (‭Philippians‬ ‭2‬:‭4‬ NLT)

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.  If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)

We will all trip up, wander off the path slightly during our walk with God, which is why God designed humans to be in relationship with one another. Jesus said we as the church are the body of Christ, all with different roles that must operate in unity to function properly, and if this is the case then we need to be concerned if the hands or feet or mouth start heading in the wrong direction.

Watch out for your friends and examine your own walk with God. Don’t let sin slip in unnoticed in your life, what may seem harmless can become an obsession or an addiction that draws you away from Jesus, not closer to him. Don’t allow the devil to distract you with worldly attitudes or attributes that take your focus away from Jesus. Get connected with a group of like minded believers who will have your back and help keep you on the straight and narrow.

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Faith

What do you want me to do for you today?

Lord what would you have me do today?

This is one question that I know would massively benefit me if I asked it before my feet hit the ground. Not being a morning person by nature, the start of my day is usually signalled by a gentle melodious iPhone alarm or a child, whichever shouts louder at the time. After hitting snooze one too many times, I finally prize myself from my pit and pad downstairs to start warming milk and pouring cereals before handing over to my hubby and trying to squeeze in a quick workout.

As a mom of two boisterous fun loving boys, my days are anything but quiet, from the loud appeals for breakfast to the shouts of ‘where is my tie? where is my book bag?’ as I try to herd two people out of the door at twenty five minutes past eight. I do however get some calm following school drop off, providing I can persuade my 22 month old to stay in the pushchair so mommy can have five minutes prayer without fielding a wayward child from the roadside.

But I must confess my prayers can sometimes be very one way. God can you please sort out this situation for me? Lord please will you heal my friend? Jesus please can you help my boys make good choices? Can you provide that house? That job?

I know that God is a loving God, the ultimate parent who wants to please us, but he also wants to have a RELATIONSHIP with us, which means that prayer needs to be a two way street. Just as I love to have conversations with my children rather than just can I have this, can I have that, so too does God. Yes, he hears my arrow prayers, and answers them regularly, but I fear that as soon as he is about to return my prayers with conversation in my spirit, I turn my attention to the housework/laptop/next appointment/next errand to run.

I know that this will take practice on my part, and being a busy social butterfly who never sits still, being still before God and waiting on him is not an easy thing for me. However I know that waiting on him, seeking his counsel, his guidance, his rest will set me up for the day, no matter what I am facing or experiencing.

Its time to take control of my faith and my walk with God, and go deeper than ever before because I sense that he has an awful lot to say to me and do through me. God knows what is going on around me and what is set before me, I need to find out what HE wants me to do today and not just follow blindly down my own path.

Lord, I am here, I am ready and I am listening.

racheldedwards beach

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