OVERCOMER

My friend spoke these words close to the gate you see here in this photograph. Overcomer.

As I shared my word for the year, Rise.

To overcome.

The gates utter melody by its symbol.

To Rise is to enter into the melody. To hear The Song inside your heart and choose to dance it’s rhythm.

I write about rhythms of grace here.

My friend knows about overcoming. She took the path of a missionary. What I see as her gift in overcoming is her passion to pray.

We never leave one another’s company without drawing near to our Heavenly Father and prayer is our mutual place of Hope.

To rise she considered is to overcome. We discussed it there over the breakfast coffee. The life lessons and the source of our longings.

Hope brings purpose to our journey.

Conversation and Coffee

Brené Brown writes of using the gifts of imperfection in our journey. I’m learning this. To overcome I need to embrace these gifts in the midst of my worth and vulnerability. To jump in.  Jumping in with Joy. On a previous blog post I’ve written all about joy. 

Joy is found inside a heart filled with gratitude. Its in my year of considering how best to rise daily that I find connections come high up in that place of importance to rise inside my daily living. 



We share our Hope and encouragement fills our day because we invest in one another adding richness and humour and much love. We rise into living because purpose paints the world we live in. 

Pain and sorrow is always present in so many aspects, we overcome by bringing our best to each other filling each other’s cup and moving forward even when we don’t feel like it much. It surpasses the feeling and pushes into faith and focus. 

She talked about overcoming, not out of empty words but out of a life that spelt risk and war and famine. She spoke to me with encouragement in her heart and I’m filled up to keep on keeping on. To Rise. To Overcome. My own battles look different from hers but the way we soar can look the same and shaped in faith and kingdom living. 

At Mac &  Jacs I enjoy the delights of baking and conversation. Of quiet and listening. Of slowing and being.

Rise means stopping, reflecting the journey. Changing some horizons. Waiting a while. Trusting. 

Overcome. Thankful to my friend who prays into my life and invests. 

For words that speak powerfully and resonate. Words that speak long past the conversation. 

Overcome. Rise. 

I’m in. Coming?

Love Rach x

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JOY

I linger over this little word joy. I love its rounded lettering. Joy is often shaped into Christmas with gold, forming a hanging for decoration. I have shared quotes about joy from authors and bloggers. Joy is more than a decorated piece. Folded away till next time. Joy in my mind is a fierce little word with courage in its heart. Joy is our daily choice. Found in the day-to-day. We choose with our thinking. Daily reading Joy over our ordinary day.

Joy, it is that deep rooted thing inside me that is influenced by faith. By the Holy Spirit.
It is the inside me that needs to know exactly where my identity rests. Therein is Joy.

This joy is not dependent on the affirmation of others. The need to be validated or to be qualified in any way. Joy is the journey of appreciation with grace.

This joy sings in my sorrow, dances in my delights, lightens up my inkyblue mood. Joy brings the ballerina and the singer into my stumbling feet and baselike tones!

I can be me and joy is there. I can drift into a world of wonder and joy is there. I can craft failure and joy can lift me up to try again.

Let me choose Joy as the dawns orange glow lifts itself up from the night sky. Let me choose Joy when I eat my cheese sandwiches at lunch. Let me choose Joy as the moon brings it’s button buttermilk smile to the blackness of the nighttime sky.


The Word in and the word out.

The fruit of the spirit is Joy.

Rejoice always

Let Him sing joy over you

💐

Hilary Yancey writes,

When I resist anxiety, even for a moment, I can catch a glimmer of the songGod is singing over my life : JOY.

Pete Grieg inspired me by his post that encouraged joy in the mundane,

Tears come uninvited to us all in the end. But joy does not. It is a butterfly, a melody waiting to be named. Our surprising, unsolemn duty, therefore, is not just to weep at life’s tragedy but to laugh at its bounty. To marvel at the simple magnificence of so many mundane things; the ephemeral light through a dirty window, that eternal moment between the first and second mouthful of chocolate cake.

“A thing of beauty is a joy forever.”  Keats

I want a life that sizzles and pops and makes me laugh out loud. And I don’t want to get to the end, or to tomorrow, even, and realize that my life is a collection of meetings and pop cans and errands and receipts and dirty dishes. I want to eat cold tangerines and sing out loud in the car with the windows open and wear pink shoes and stay up all night laughing and paint my walls the exact color of the sky right now. I want to sleep hard on clean white sheets and throw parties and eat ripe tomatoes and read books so good they make me jump up and down, and I want my everyday to make God belly laugh, glad that he gave life to someone who loves the gift.”  Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life

Naletu on Unsplash

Twinkle lights are the perfect metaphor for joy. Joy is not a constant. It comes to us in moments – often ordinary moments.

Sometimes we miss out on the bursts of joy because we’re too busy chasing down extraordinary moments. Other times we’re so afraid of the dark that we don’t dare let ourselves enjoy the light.

A joyful life is not a floodlight of joy. That would eventually become unbearable.

I believe a joyful life is made up of joyful moments gracefully strung together by trust, gratitude, inspiration, and faith.

Brené Brown

John Piper writes a definition of joy from his thoughts on Philipians  –

Christian joy is a good feeling in the soul, produced by the Holy Spirit, as he causes us to see the beauty of Christ in the word and in the world. < img src=”https://rachnotes.files.wordpress.com/2017/09/img_9331-3.png&#8221; class=”size-medium alignleft wp-image-1035″ height=”1772″ width=”1772″><<<<<<<<<
y joy, it  gives me the opportunity to  slow,  to wait, to capture with my iPhone camera, a little beauty in a form of art that is within my grasp. A fading flower, an autumnal leaf, steaming strong coffee. A book with beautiful paper pages.

Word in word out

You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace

O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, what joy for those who trust in you. ~ Psalm 84:12

Oh for the Joy before Him, He endured the cross.

Joy comes in to view and can help me appreciate when I look back and reflect on the journey traveled thus far.

A deep quiet soul taking a  journey that has taught me where true joy is rooted right where I am, found there in the place where love truly abides.

Joy is that simplicity seeing light sparkling in the washing up bubbles, bringing the steaming  strong coffee  in to grateful cupped hands.  Perhaps maturity shines a bigger light on these things. Bringing value to the most important small.

Time to gather the beauty of Autumn. Let poetry and a thousand falling leaves fill my being with joy and profound gratitude.

The Joy of the Lord is my strength.

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
n the ordinary mundane living. Slow up my frames of living lettting me notice the unnoticeable.

Notice the segments in your clementine. Notice the lady as she shuffles her feet towards her goal with determination. Notice the blind young man unperturbed as he  gets on his train to get to a destination. The taste of lemon cake zesty and sweet. The water cool and sipped slowly. The rainbow as you drive the curve in the road and its thick short band of  colours fills your mind before it disappears and you walk into the office. A hug in life’s grief. Words texted to a friend saying hello.

Notice joy in the breaking of bread as a believer rises in faith despite the pain and challenges ahead.

Joy triumphs this comes out of authentic thankfulness .

Let’s choose Joy.

Happy October

Love Rach xx 🍁🍂

Thank You Scotland

A retreat is a necessity and of course offers a time of discovering new places and for us visiting some favourites too!
This year a clan gathering in an off the beaten track staying in cottages with the best of facilities enabled hospitality and relaxation.
On a wonderful sunny day we climbed on board the Maid of Forth to sail to Inchcolm Abbey.

After many years of living in and then subsequently visiting Scotland, this is our first visit to the ‘Iona of the East’!

A family outing with packed lunch, camera and adventure in our hearts!

The journey took in the 3 bridges spanning the Firth of Forth, this included the recently opened Queensferry Crossing, road bridge. We went under all 3 on our return sail.

So exciting.

A necessary journey always takes us by a small village in Fife. One of several unique places that has taken a prominent place in my heart.

Our view from this bistro takes in a favourite outlook while we sip our coffee.

we gather in the gardens with another packed lunch and too many children to stop for long to browse among the flowers.

Museums and bagpipes, followed by fish and chips bring a happy mix into our Edinburgh trip.


Tucked away in what was the kingdom of Fife, Dunfermline offers history and walks and return visits for those who love its people.

She gathers books and really another one is always necessary.  For our walk is unending in the spiritual walk of faith. Encouragement can always be gathered in armfuls to pay forward in millions of ways in our life and living in this world.

Remembering a pastors words that echo through the years and speak profoundly into my year of Rise. 

“Keep on keeping on.”

We journey through this life with a goal and purpose that need its renewal and stronghold refreshed and reaffirmed.

A woman of a similar age to myself passed away this week. Her journey not fully know to me, but I know a little of her heart.  I’m moved and feel the frailty and shortness of our days.  A good reminder to sow well into our small moments.  To celebrate them and one another.  To keep loving, even when it’s hard.

I loved our holiday and its precious moments. I relish the opportunity to know God speaking in the busy and the slower days.  His love declared through His son.

It’s a crazy mystery that also makes sense at the same time.

An old Sunday school song sings in my head,

You asked me how I know He lives,  He lives within my heart‘.

Princess Street Gardens

Let our journey know a deeper secret than ourselves.  That of a plan that is beyond what we see.

Our journey, that takes me, teaches me, to know more of the Fathers heart and revelation.

Right there In Quietness and Confidence shall be my Strength.

To discover a new horizon , just needing willingness to take it.

The way to Rise.

Keep on going.

Love Rach x

This blog post –

Dedicated to favourite Fife friends

With love

Rise, you are enough

rachnotes

She reads the words in the books preface.  To know you are enough.  Just.  As.  You.  Are.  Absolutely.  Stop right there.  Mid sentence!  Inhale the alphabet of those words.  Sift through the dictionary of its meaning.

Repeat often

I am enough!

It stops her steps.  Immovable.  No subtraction or additions.  Enough.

rachnotes
Pink pencil and sticky notes accompanying my walk through the book. 

I thought there would be cake, Katharine Welby-Roberts 

A journey that teaches we need to eat carrots as well as cake!

A chapter about Boundaries was a one part of the book that will hold my attention for a while.   Katharine called it, Your crap, my crap. The idea of loving others but putting in protection for yourself.

What you are right now is enough. 

Selah

We are valued, a price has been paid for us. 

God ordained such blessing to fill us. 

Our soul can rest best when we allow all of the fullness of Christ to influence our heart soul and body. 


Listen to my Prayer over you – love Abba 

Let go, daughter,  of the worries and the Struggle for perfection. 

Rise daily into everything I have for you. 

Uniquely formed and one of a kind.  Creatively gifted. 

Forget comparing, for it gives the wrong picture. 

Move in my spirit.  Flow in my rhythm of life. 

Break barriers that define you wrongly. 

Hear My voice that calls you beloved and beautiful. 

Allow my love to enfold you and let my love be the gift you give away. 


Whatever is true and lovely and honest think on these things 

Ponder over in your own heart what is good 

Love Rach xx 

rachnotes
Some photos are mine taken by iPhone 

Remainder of photography taken from amazing Unsplash resource. Thank you. 

My Rucksack 


I have a new fabric rucksack.  The big block patterns are dark blue and green It's small light and comfortable to carry. 

It holds  the essentials; tissues, bottle of water, a purse and a mobile phone thus enabling my hands to be free. 

I carry other loads mentally. I carry grief, aloneness, disappointment and the struggles of overthinking!!

I journey this year reading bible in a year. Just today I'm reminded how to rise above my head stuff! 

I love the Psalms, penned from his experience, songs of David that resonate within me, 

‘I will be with you in trouble,

I will deliver you and honour you’ (Psalm 91:15b)

The words whispered something deep into my disappointments. When the dreams fade and the hopes you had are not realised, everything looks different. I feel the crazy maze of  grief  the girl  inside you cries because the feeling aches some more. The words that inspire hope,  honouring work, right into the tears of your soul. Honour. 

Honour. Like a rainbow over the grey sky the honour given is a lift up a stony crag. Its a coffee on a long day. Its a morning sunrise, lifting the eyes to the sky. It is a hand held securely that says I'm with you forever. 

The journey with the eternal one is not plain sailing! 

Grit. We need grit! Endurance. Perseverance. Vision when the way looks lonely. A new dream when the road bends. Ability to carry the rucksack along the road of life. To keep going. To strive on. To know the burden is light yet the way can get tough. 

My aunt and uncle reach their diamond wedding Anniversary . I observe the great teacher and baker tiring, yet the grit of endurance is clear. They still love. Its the most powerful thing. Metaphorically they have stopped carrying some stuff but their rucksack is still on their backs. The greatest is Love. Love beyond everything. 

So what shall we say then. 

Keep carrying your rucksack for the kingdom. Bring a lot of heaven to earth by loving one another. 

I'm reading a great book Surprised By Oxford by Carolyn Weber, she writes with such art and delight in a discovery of Gods kingdom . 

Quote - the reason I wrote this book reports Carolyn is this;

To take away from the book that we are absolutely beloved of God and each have a meaning in His story.

I carry my rucksack , the grit conveying strength of character with determination and endurance. Knowing I'm beloved, part of  Gods story and honoured. 

Keep on Keeping on. Rucksack on. Beloved. 

The verse says , take my yoke, it's a light one.

The daily reminder into your heart and mine, to know whose we are,  the purpose we exist and carry our own rucksack in this world.

To be love and share the beauty and ongoingness. Keep doing the next right thing.

Remember- 

… your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit’ 

1 Corinthians 6:19 The Message. 

Let's keep sharing in our journey.
Keep on keeping on, carrying our rucksacks .
Love Rach x

Linger on the Steps

Hello and welcome to a rachnotes blog post written about my recent visit to Paris!

Salut et Bonjour 

It’s here on a break away that I am inspired and find words and images to help me rise. 

The tour d’ Paris has been a cultural swim in art, design, architecture, history and walking!

We walked and walked and walked. 88 steps up to our Airbnb apartment for starters!!


Inadvertently I walked 350 steps up to the Notre Dame Towers, where I promptly walked back down again avoiding looking down from the view points!!

Many steps were taken around the Seine and museums and to our favourite brassiere!     

I did not walk up the Eiffel Tower but observed from a happy distance, it’s mighty height and landmark. 


On level ground my feet took many rotations on a bicycle, discovering Paris from a new vantage point with history and ice cream part of our Fat Tyre Tour!


The Louvre and D’Orsay museums filled our visual senses with interest and newness of perspective. 


Views of art vary as faith focus can differ across the denomination. 

I felt very present as I slowly took in the angles light and colour. 

Could we sit with faith and art seeing it with a newness and an unbiased angle. 

Giving Grace for the artist and their journey and ourselves in our battles and flourishing seasons.


You must know that floral art and its beauty would be part of my many footsteps lingered and delighted in.

Photography offers that extended time to see the artistic Florist at more leisure than the moments at the shop!


Steps lingering on a corner bring surprises where musicians share their talents and we listen longer than we listen to one another.

Steps into gardens and sculptures certainly lighted my heart with green and pinks making the perfect palette!

Luxembourg Garden


There is a step I linger still on, even now. Steps taken with friends I’ve known for many years. Steps taken by them in faith to encourage others in their steps. These steps taken daily are fulfilled through faithful stewardship. The weak knowing the strong in the journey of faith. 

I listened to my childhood friend whom I hope will write his book. Pages of Christ empowering him to be all he is in Christ. 

I’m encouraged by the passion and longevity. I know the words so written inside me. 

It’s strength in weakness

For all the steps I lingered on that week I wait over the words that echo Hope and life enduring. 

I am grateful for a culture that speaks of God my creator in every brush, line, curve and colour. 

I breathe in fresh inspiration as I return home to rise and know the words that many an artist will echo. 




love Rach xx  
Photos by rachnotes 

Gossamer Wings

Luxembourg Palace Gardens Paris

Hello dear rachnotes reader. You are most welcome here. 

The day I’m typing this out is a rainy Friday afternoon, I’m reflecting on this mornings wings. I remember the psalm that echoes the words, ‘How He took me to rise on mornings wings’. This morning I gathered some girlfriends to pray for me. One of them text me to say you have gossamer sparkling wings! Fly!

After many anxious moments and real words spoken, the honesty and tears and the overactive thinker finally settles down with a whisper of thanks for prayers and Wings that enabled me to rise.

#risebeloved

This year the journey is about rising, with wings, with hope, rising beloved. It is knowing I’m loved in the fragility and vulnerability of life.

You know already how I cower and can hear the words you’re never good enough. It’s time to learn a new mantra. 

Give me the faith to leave old ways

and break fresh ground with You.

I love coming back to my rise word because when I drift away I am reminded where,  how,  and primarily with whom I can rise. 


The psalms are a great place to touch those soul aching spaces inside of you.

The words here in the Message echo where to find the awesomeness our hearts desire – 

Psalm 59 

16-17 And me? I’m singing your prowess,

shouting at cockcrow your largesse,

For you’ve been a safe place for me,

furthermore the psalmist states 

God, my dependable love.

Exploring the root of how to rise is found surely in the Thee of God. 

Tozer speaks of God and…

‘when religion has said its last word there is little that we need other than God Himself. The evil habit of seeking God and  effectively prevents us from finding God in full Revelation.  In the and lies our great woe if we omit the and we shall soon find that for which we have all our lives been secretly longing.’

AW Tozer

For our identity is fully in Him. 

Pete Grieg in his book Dirty Glory states this 

‘God doesn’t micromanage. His guidance speaks more to identity than destiny; to questions of who, how and why more than where, when and what’?

This helps me rise to think how relationally God is.  To move a little closer into how we are loved.

Talking on prayer and advocating prayer rooms Pete talks of a God in relationship with us.  More words by Pete Grieg here :

‘Your power in prayer flows from an inner certainty that the one who made you likes you.  He is not scowling at you.’

‘He is on your side.’

In my copy of Dirty Glory  this statement is pencilled alongside that quote! 

I’m not alone, I’m sure, in thinking the world wants to tell me off and God included. 

In my note book one night this week I wrote about grace how it sustains and how I need to lean in. 

Notes Summary 

I value those women whose hearts folded their prayers for peace into my needs. Who cared and gifted me with words of encouragement and  to fly. 

TO RISE

 #risebeloved. 



Let’s lose the and – the clutter and stuff that distracts us.  Instead to keep our focus surely in a right relationship with Jesus. Encouraging one another, praying for one another, building one another up in love.

May you rise in your joy moments and in your rainy day moments. 

Thank You for being here 💐

love Rach x 



About Pink Petals and Grief 

Unsplash
Gazing.  She ponders.  Takes in her view. 

She’s excited to hold the present in her hands. 

This particular moment smiles inside her heart. 

Pink petals circle around her feet.  God’s love kisses her. 

rachnotes_

The burning bush moment

He is serving joy in her grief. 

He, the throned Eternal serves. 

Dances the spin of blossom falling. 

Lifting her heart as she breathes Friday’s sharp spring air! 

Ann Voskamp writes in her blog on platforms –

You will most deeply find yourself when you find yourself serving others — and looking up into the face of God.

My moment of Holy ordinary wonder, where encircled in beauty of fallen pink tiny petals, I’m spent with gratitude.  She holds joy which outwardly lets joy dance though she is so very still and very small inside.  The capture only holds her moment.  She’s delighted He holds her for more than a moment, because no one else can hold her like this.

Beauty ministers deep into the heart that sees the world so torn, such brokenness and so much confusion.

Like the sparrow and the flowers and the supper.  Provision is prepared for us. 

Step in time with grief.

Hold out the bread and wine. 

Encourage the supping and belief. 

Inspired to rise

The blogger talks of lowering not rising. 

To rise, I humbly offer myself to the beautiful and Holy moments that fly like the wind and dissipate into dew and sunshine.  A new day.

Another prayer. 

A sacrifice of slowing and letting go. 

A hand holding a mug of coffee sips and whispers the words for her sister who cannot see and life overwhelms her. 

She understands this.  Her eyes often cannot see either. 

We hold each other’s hands the dark not offending us.

We journey together. 

Extravagant grace extended to us both. 

We need and grasp it. 

We pray it into others lives too. 


We are we.  As the trinity showed us to be. 

George Cibu
Grief it seems as some may ask, gets hold of my being.  Grief is life.  It is offering and departure, it is betrayal and the thing that stops your breathe awhile.  It’s okay.  She feels things so deeply.  The smallest loss is known.

So grief is on this journey too.  The thing I want to say the most inside these notes, is it’s okay and she’s never alone. 

Her vulnerability brings honesty, accountability and authenticity to the world. 


Life’s grief and its sadness comes alongside joy and dancing and petals falling. 

Grief is life.  I’m sure C.S.Lewis must have a quote there somewhere? 

Fellowship of suffering. 

All shall be well. 

Love 

Rach x

Thank You 💐

Thank you to the artists whose inspirational words and amazing art I share in this blogging space. 

In the here – in the now

Unsplash
Following some precious ordinary moments with a friend eating sandwiches drinking tea and sharing conversation together, I reflected afterward how present I felt on the lunch time bench in her garden. 

Being present is becoming quite a cultural word. We all need to be present. Stopping. Noticing. Being aware of what is happening and not to be distracted! 

Slowing. 

Intentionally living. 

Life’s exciting but often stressful fast paced whirlwind finds us daily lost in the next project, plan, recipe, tragedy ….

I love the scene we find in the bible  of Jesus leaning on the table sharing sea, sand, fish, wine and time together. 

Being in the now. 

In the every day standard do we lose something? 

An awareness of another. 

A tiredness in a friend. A distraction that requires attention. 

A leaf in its unfurling process. 

Ability to embrace quietness to just be with someone. 

As I type these notes to share with you, Easter approaches.

Am I present with its Hope and message and mystery. 

Do chocolate eggs and worries and menus vie my mind. 

Can you not stop and pray for one hour? 

Jesus words to his friends.

Can I move into slow living. 

Taste the food. Hear the sea. Know the words spoken are heard and prayed .

The words echoed here by Emily Freeman who encourages us to 

Celebrate the small moments. 

And by 

Pete Grieg in Dirty Glory

Today may we be granted ‘ Epiphanies of the ordinary’

To slow 

and 

know. 

God . 

For me all year boast the resurrection, I find that I’m always on a quest to know more of Him and the power of this resurrection. 

Suffering and gratitude take their place in it all. 

Yet

I lack not, for goodness and love pursue me, eternal hope and perspective are my view from here in this present spot. 


Your beauty and love chase after me

    every day of my life.

I’m back home in the house of God

    for the rest of my life.

Psalm 23the message 

Psalm 23 💐photo rachnotes_
 
I return to the familiar psalm and find refuge challenge and hope in my sadness as I cope with change all around me. 

A saviour pitched His all for me. 

Likes me 

Daily rescues me. 

In the resurrection I find supernatural Hope sits in with my ordinary being and living . Alongside the miracle we eat fish and talk about love. 

As the song writer put it 

‘This is living now’ 

Happy Easter 💐

Love Rach x