Author Archives: rachelmgjones

O Captain! My Captain!

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;

Rise up–for you the flag is flung–for you the bugle trills,

For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths–for you the shores a-crowding,

For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning…

–Walt Whitman

 

My heart is heavy today, as are many of yours, at least on this side of the world.  A great light has gone out.  A voice has been stilled.  Though we know that the moments we have with the people who elevate their art to a professional level–making so many of us laugh, or think, or escape our mundane little lives for and hour and a half while they give us a good show–it’s still a shock when they are gone.

Robin Williams made so many people laugh.  My best friend Ryan put it best, “It makes me so sad that he died from being so sad.”  It’s hard to fathom the depth of that sadness, for most of us.

Part of experiencing human life is feeling the emotion of depression.  For most of us, that’s how we experience it–an emotion. But for some of our brothers and sisters in this life, depression is a disease.

Depression is as serious as cancer, or heart disease, or a variety of metabolic dysfunctions.  And just like all those other illnesses, depression can be terminal, even with a great treatment plan, even with lots of support, even when things seem to be going in the right direction.  Just like massive heart attacks after years of clean eating and good exercise, or a relapse after extensive remission, or a devastating little infection that won’t clear up with any medicine known to exist.  And that sucks.  It’s brutal and scary and hard.  But it’s true.  And unless and until we stop pretending that depression is something someone can help having, something someone has control over, we will continue to have people we love, famous and ordinary and next door, die from it.

We have to stop talking about how people who die from depression are selfish.  You’d never say that about someone who died from a brain tumor.  We have to stop shaming people for taking appropriate pharmaceutical steps to treat depression, and from seeking professional counseling.  You would never say that about someone who needed to take insulin, or a blood thinner to stay alive.  We have to make mental healthcare check-ups as important as our yearly physicals–and they should be affordable for everyone, including and especially children.  Most importantly, we have to be willing to talk to the people in our lives we are concerned about–we must not wait until they start acting out.  Don’t put the burden on someone who’s hurting to come and talk to you.  Think of it like being aware at the airport–if you see something, say something.  And for the love of little green apples, be kind and loving.

If you or someone you know is suffering from depression, please know that you are not as alone as you feel.  You are not stuck.  You are amazing.  You are beloved.  Your place in the world–who you are and how you are–is holy, and important.  You give joy in ways you cannot imagine.  People are praying for you, right now.  People are loving you, right down to your toes, right now.  Good things are coming.  Hold on.  You can do it, and all the people who love you want to help, in good and kind ways.  Your friends at thedailycake.org are grateful that you read this, and if you want to email any of us to talk about your stories, or to reach out for more information on how you or someone you love can begin recovery, please contact us by following the links on our “About Us” page.

Robin Williams…you were a piece of my happy early childhood, with your lovable alien Mork, clips of stand up I was probably too young to really appreciate, star in some of my most favorite movies, and the best James Lipton interview I’ve ever seen…may you rest in peace, and rise in glory.

Watch this…

 

love,

rachie

 

 

For These and All Thy Blessings…

This post is a long time coming…

I’m writing at my work desk, looking up at the row of windows above my desk, listening to Patsy Cline, and marveling at how life works out.  It’s hard to believe this is August, because it’s only been in the 90’s once in the last month.  It’s hard to believe that we live in Ohio, now, and that for the first time since December 2011, I’m bringing home a full pay check and benefits.  It’s hard to believe that I spent the first half of the summer pulling 80 hour weeks and running summer camp. It’s hard to remember that I don’t have three jobs, anymore.  And last week, I was so happy, just sitting at my desk and editing, I burst into tears. 

The newness is sweet enough to give me a toothache.  I know that at some point, the newness will start to rub off, and this will look and feel like normal.  But for now, I’m determined to soak in the deep well of happy I’ve fallen into, and not feel guilty, or wonder when the well might run dry, or try to decide if the speck on the horizon is a storm blowing in.  Instead, I’m going to mow the back yard, and steer clear of the poison ivy, and dead head the lilies that grow by our air conditioner.  I’m going to reacquaint myself with both my crock pots, and get some fresh herbs planted in the boxes we brought from Houston.  

Pay day was last Friday, and for the first time ever, I felt like a real writer.  Of all the things I ever wanted to be, professionally speaking,  this is the thing I wanted most, and wondered if it would ever come to be.  I am profoundly grateful for the ministry that is mine.  I remember having a similar feeling, when I was falling in love with my beloved…this feeling that what was happening was absolutely the right thing, that every step it took to get here was worth it, that all things really were counted as deep joy. 

It’s good to be here, and good to be caking, again.  Thank you for your love and prayers for me and mine as we make this transition.  Get ready…I’ve got some stories for you. 

Love,

rachie

My Life Ate My Homework…

So, I forgot to post last week.  I mean, I forgot totally.  Like how you can totally know you are supposed to be at your doctor’s appointment, or dental cleaning, or godson’s band recital, and then just totally and completely bonk.  And I’m sorry about that.

Let me explain, with out making excuses…

Until about three weeks ago, I was working three different jobs, not counting the work I do on http://www.thedailycake.org.  Two weeks ago, I got to drop Job#3.  In five more weeks, I’ll get to drop #’s 1 and 2, and start up a brand new One and Only Job.  But first, I have to navigate the busy season, here and now.  And it’s kind of kicking my teeth in, presently.

The fun news is that I am going to be a real writer and editor.  This is the thing I’ve wanted to be for most of my adult life.  I still can’t believe I got the job.  My husband and I are moving 800 miles across the country, and out of our beloved Texas, in just a few short weeks.  The hard news is that I’m in the middle of running a mobile summer camp, and helping organize several mission trips and one overseas pilgrimage, and packing up our entire life…oh, and we’re trying to figure out if we’re taking the dog and cat with us, and how all that’s going to happen.  And on Thursday, we’re flying up so my husband can interview for a job, and we can hopefully find a house to send all our stuff to.

So, I’ll try to keep my ducks in a row.  And please remember I love you, and love writing on this blog.

 

–Rachel

For These and All Thy Blessings: The King of All Bigs

Dear Jesus,

One of our godchildren is at that special age where his imagination and his vocabulary have magically melded and made him one of the funniest people I know.  From games like “Stick a Rock Up Your Nose” and “Ready, Set, Sniff”, this little blonde whirlwind keeps us on our toes.  “Fillion” is the king of all numbers.  “Gimongous” is the king of all big.

I have to say, right now, I’m working on a list that feels like it’s more like the Mother of All Lists, and so much more than just the king.

In fact, I’ve started referring to it (just in my head, and now, in the computer universe…) as the M.O.A.L.  It’s got a fillion things on it.  It is gimongous.

MOAL…like this.  And this.  And this.

But, oh…the adventures that await us, once my beloved and I navigate that list…

I’ll be so excited to tell you more about it, in the coming days and weeks, and to bring you along with us.

I’ve just been offered an associate editor position for Forward Movement.  This is the chance to be what I’ve wanted to be.

I’m so grateful for my sweet husband–my chief encourager and comfort in leaping at this opportunity, and who is by my side, every step of the way.  I can’t wait to see what happens, next.   There are many things to do, and many rivers to cross between Houston and Cincinnati.  But I’m so, so, so excited.

Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.

Love,

Rachel

 

 

Image

Thousand Word Friday–#bringbackourgirls

Thousand Word Friday--#bringbackourgirls

#bringbackourgirls

Moveable Feast

“…deeds are done which appear so evil to us and people suffer such terrible evils that it does not seem as though any good will ever come of them; and we consider this, sorrowing and grieving over it so that we cannot find peace in the blessed contemplation of God as we should do; and this is why: our reasoning powers are so blind now, so humble and so simple, that we cannot know the high, marvelous wisdom, the might and the goodness of the Holy Trinity. And this is what he means where he says, ‘You shall see for yourself that all manner of things shall be well’, as if he said, ‘Pay attention to this now, faithfully and confidently, and at the end of time you will truly see it in the fullness of joy.” 
― Julian of NorwichRevelations of Divine Love

 

I think I like St. Julian because she preaches the Gospel to me in a way I can believe without feeling like I’m deluding myself.  She’s a mystic, and I like that, too.  I wish I could be a mystic, but I think I probably think too much about moisturizer to qualify.  All I know is that when I read what she’s got to say, what she seems to understand about this life, I feel better.  Sometimes, just having someone else say, “This stuff is hard…and raw…and real, and it’s ok.  Just because it’s hard doesn’t mean you’re doing it wrong, or that you’re being punished.  It just means that somethings are really hard, no matter how much you love Jesus.  Loving Jesus just helps you deal with the hardness, makes a way to be with Jesus in the hardness, makes a way for Jesus to resurrect and renew the raw and the real of our day-to-day lives.”  That’s what I hear her saying, anyway.

 

Light a candle.  Say a prayer.  All things shall be well.

 

Love,

rachie

Link

The Iconoclast and the Housewife, Ep. 7

The Iconoclast and the Housewife, Ep. 7

Come hear what we have to say about Mega Churches! 

Justified By Faith

This blog is offered up today by Max Williams, youth minister at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Cypress, Texas. 

 

 

What a crazy thing to be justified by. 

 

To be strengthened by our unknowing and unsureness.  To be built up by our tearing down.  To be assured that we are worthy through the sacrifice of Christ.

 

Faith is the one thing that I find makes it impossible for some people to believe in anything having to do with God, much less believing in the Good News of Jesus Christ.  The leap required is such that it takes an act much like the Jesus telling the woman at the well about her life to kickstart their hearts and minds to believe.  The game changer is knowing the suffering you see and starting to journey past it.  It is the journey between suffering and hope, with the steps of endurance and character in between.

 

I can remember being a scared teenager, not knowing what was happening in my life.  I now realize I wasn’t alone, but, at the time, I felt so alone.  I can remember the moment at which I felt the Love that Paul talks about in the letter to the Romans being poured into me through the Holy Spirit.  I can remember having hope for the first time.  That hope has certainly not disappointed.  It has tried me, it has put me through the wringer, and it has broken me a few times.  It has also sustained me, put me back together, and it has certainly justified me.

 

Justified not in the sense that I’m right where others are wrong, but justified in the sense that my faith pushes me to find ways to serve my God through Jesus Christ.  Justified to find ways to have the endurance produce the character needed to have hope.  Justified to know that Jesus is the Messiah and that the food and drink I get from my faith in Him is what I need to sustain me as I live and grow into the life of Hope and Love that I have gained through my Faith in Jesus.

 

It’s the hardest thing sometimes, even for someone who has lived most of their life now in the knowledge of the faith that I have.  The struggle continues every day.  Questions come up that can’t be answered.  Jobs get lost.  Partners fall out of love and move on.  Wars start.  Horrible things happen that I can’t begin to accept as being from the loving God that I have faith in.  The world doesn’t make sense.  It never has, and I’ll go out on a limb and say it never will.

 

The leap of faith we’re required to take to begin the journey from suffering to hope (just like the Samaritan woman) begins very simply sometimes and becomes an avalanche until you get to hope.  Sometimes, you just have to strap in for the ride.  Let God do God’s work.  Keep your mind and your heart open to the love that’s there.

 

Let yourself be justified by faith through the love that God has for us through Jesus Christ.