Author: Rachael Gilbert

The Big 3-0!

As I mentioned here I share a birthday with my son Zeke.  We have never thrown him a real party so this year I decided to go all out and have a backyard splash party for him.  I am not a party planner so when I do throw one it totally consumes me.  I have told my husband from the day our son was born to not include me on his birthday celebration because I always wanted him to have his own special day. So, honestly, even though it was my 30th birthday I really had no idea anything was being planned for me. Truth be told I thought maybe my mom would “surprise” me with a homemade cookie cake since that’s what she made for me growing up(still craving that btw mom). 🙂  I thought my sister, Sarah, would personalize a unique gift for me because that’s what she does. And most importantly I thought my husband, Matt, would give me a night alone with no kids to get a mani/pedi and do whatever I please because let’s face it…these days just going to the bathroom with no kids around is a real treat! After Zeke’s party Sarah suggested we get a pedicure and do a little shopping. So we went shopping and then tried to find somewhere to get a pedicure but being Saturday afternoon every place we stopped...

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Outside the Shell

One of my favorite things about God is his amazing sense of humor.  Just when you think you have been stretched he stretches you just a little bit further.  As I shared in my first blog post I am passionate about pulling women out of their shells since that is what God has done to me over the years.  One thing I am quickly learning is that we all have a different level of “shell” in different seasons of life. I once was at a place that the thought of introducing myself or even saying hello to a stranger made my stomach hurt. I am now past that phase of life but just when I thought I had shed all of my “shell” The Lord shows me another area he wants to pull me out in. As I shared in this post, last summer me and some other women had the privilege of leading a summer class at our church.  I am still completely humbled and grateful for the opportunities The Lord has given me to minister to women and marriages considering the kind of woman and wife I used to be.  The class went so well last year that they asked us to do it again this summer.  I had been praying about the class for months and was so excited until about one week ago when it hit me that I...

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That girl in the mirror

This post has been a long time coming.  I think I can speak for most women when I say that our body image is a pretty big deal. Such a big deal that it can lead us to starve ourselves to drop a few pounds, workout twice a day, count calories, take diet pills….all things I have done at some point in my life. I am happy to say that I am now so much healthier mentally, spiritually and physically and don’t go to extremes to lose weight but that pesky body image still rears it’s ugly head at times. I came home to my parents house this weekend and found this lovely treasure in a box in my old closet: Yes, you are reading that right…the brand is “One Tuff Babe”. 🙂 So many things about this picture crack me up but it also got me thinking. First, isn’t it interesting that we will move heaven and earth to make sure we have the latest and greatest styles and wardrobes only to pull those pieces out later and say ” what was I thinking?!”  It really reminds me of the verse in Ecclesiastes 4:4 that says “Then I observed that most people are motivated to success because they envy their neighbors. But this, too, is meaningless-like chasing the wind”.  Am I saying we all need to quit buying...

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From busy to blessed

I am so busy.  These 4 words tend to be the first thing out of my mouth these days.  I am noticing it’s not just me but everyone I meet or talk with.  There was a time when people used to use the phrase “so, how’s the weather?” when there was some time to fill but now it seems we compare our schedules to see who is running the fastest.  I don’t know about you but I am done.   I have known we are too busy for some time now but recently I have noticed myself more irritable than usual.  As I asked The Lord what is going on in my spirit he lead me to take a look at our calendar.  As I opened it I realized there aren’t many days where we don’t have something going on and even worse my “to do” list just keeps growing.  In fact, that “to do” list is the first thing that gets my attention each morning if I’m not careful.   It looked a little like this: As I looked at how busy our life is something deep within rose up, it was a righteous anger, that said this is not the best God has for us.  God didn’t create us so we can run on a treadmill and get nowhere fast. He created us for relationship with Him...

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Fit Friday: 20 Minute Interval Challenge

As I mentioned in my first blog post I have been a group fitness instructor for almost 7 years now.  I have my Bachelors of Science in Exercise Physiology but really got into exercise after I had my first baby and had 40 lbs. to lose!  If you are a mom you know the struggles with finding time to exercise and have it actually be effective in under an hour.  One of my favorite workouts that always helped me shed weight like crazy after having babies was working out in intervals.  I prefer a 3-2 interval where you do 3 minutes of strength training followed by 2 minutes of intense cardio.  The science behind this is that you burn more calories as you let your heart rate drop during the strength and then bring it back up during the cardio.  You also use your immediate energy stores(glucose) during the strength portion so when you do the cardio you have to burn fat for energy(yeah!) I have to admit I have been hesitant to post pictures and/or videos of myself exercising because I am not a “buff mom rocking a six pack” but I am a mom who cares about taking care of herself and is very physically and mentally strong.  So I am letting go of my insecurities and sharing this workout I did today with you in hopes that...

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The Power of a Praying Wife: 30 Day Challenge

I have always loved to pray.  Even as a little girl I remember just being in constant communication with God.  It’s just part of who I am.  I really don’t know how anyone gets through one day without talking to God about everything. Yes, I am that person who might look a little crazy as you pull up next to me at a stoplight and see know one else in the car yet I am talking away like my best friend is in the seat next to me.  It’s because my best friend is in the car and his name is Jesus. I’m not trying to sound super spiritual about that it’s just all I know and I am so thankful for it because with him as my sidekick I always have so much peace. A little over two years ago my husband and I were really struggling in many areas of our lives. We had bought a business that was struggling we saw very little of each other because my husband would work all day then come home and take over kid duties so I could go up to the business and work on books and bills, we were in a tiny house with 3 kids basically sleeping on top of each other, medical bills from my miscarriage, husband had a chronic cough…you get the picture.  I am...

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Zeke’s 3rd Birthday!

My son, Ezekiel “Zeke”, was born on my 27th birthday.  I had a very rough miscarriage before we got pregnant with Zeke. When I had the miscarriage I went through stages of hurt, disappointment and sorrow until one day God woke me up and told me to share those feelings with him. As I poured out my heart to him I asked him to redeem what had been stolen from us.  Shortly after that I got pregnant with Zeke and even though we didn’t find out the sex of the baby I just knew in my heart it was going to be a boy.  His due date was at the end of April but I went 10 days past due because of being a VBAC(more to come on my vbacs in a later blog).  My first and only son was born on my birthday.  He truly is the greatest birthday gift I have ever received. For his 3rd birthday we did a fun backyard splash party theme.  We had so many friends and family come and the kids loved the water guns!  Slip-n-slide and water gun fun! Big sister Ellie with the birthday boy Big sister Livvy Trampoline fun! The whole crew! Goody bags with bubbles and water guns as favors! The birthday boy Birthday buddies I have to admit that this party had several different themes going.  My...

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