"Rachel. Love your neighbor. You come after."

Having my daughter rolled into surgery and giving up two of the largest forms of social media.

I did both in one week and it was hard.

I suddenly have a immense amount of free time, (which answers so many questions in my life) now that I'm not stuck at the computer blogging or checking in on FaceBook friends. So much time that my house was cleaned, a lesson was taught, meals were cooked and phone calls made. And still there was time. So beds were made, cards were written, books read and still. Still there was time.

I had a immense amount of moments to dwell on this shift in my life, a fear of losing my child and what lays on the horizon.

But then the Lord showed me a little something and it came quietly so if I hadn't had the time to listen, it's possible I would have missed it entirely.

Mark 12:31
"The second is equally important: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' This is the no greater commandment then this."

Quick as a whip, and possibly revolutionary, it dawned on me that I was experiencing heartache because I was focusing on the wrong thing. Who knows how long I have been focusing on the wrong thing? Wasting so much time when this verse sat in front of my face and on the tip of my tongue (since I was four years old, thank you Sunday school teacher!). I hear it all the time. I tell my daughters this verse all the time.

Love my neighbor as myself. So simple, overlooked and underused. Dare I say sinned against, greatly?

What if I spent my time following a very clear commandment, rather than lamenting on my personal strife? After-all, if the Lord tells us it is the greatest of all of His commands, it certainly deserves to not only be noted but followed.

In the past week, the dearest of people in my life knew what I needed. They called and they dropped off a meal. They went to the store to pick something up for me. They invited me out for coffee and let me talk. They checked in on my daughter. And on me. They showed up at the hospital. They called, stopped in and prayed for me. They were there and they loved their neighbor.
The men in my husbands life, did the same. They called, checked in and rallied around Him. They were loving their neighbors by doing for others.

They were following a command and I, like so many, was entwined with my own life and my own hurt that I think, "How many people did I miss reaching out to this week?" But isn't that what we are all trained to do?

We are all searching for....
What can make our family the most unique. How we can grow our personal business and set ourselves apart. How we can take those 1000 pins on our boards and be the coolest and most desirable mothers, wives, friends. How to solve our house problems. How to get home by 6 to our families so we can get as much packed into our days as possible. How to de-stress. How to be better.

Perhaps the Lord gave me this vast amount of time to pull back and whisper:

"Rachel. You were focused on YOUR blog and YOUR influence and YOUR family and YOUR personal growth and YOUR uniqueness. You've been focusing on YOUR loss and YOUR fears. When all I need is for your to focus on your neighbor."

Maybe that's what He is saying.

So yesterday, in all my free moments away from a little screen (and there are a lot of them now, I'm shamed to admit) I spent time in the kitchen, cooking. Dropped some food off to a family and was filled with gratification.

Not because I'll pin it.
Not because I'll take a picture of it.
Not because they'll link back to me or FaceBook about my grand gesture.

But because I finally am grasping the greatest commandment and possibly the lowliest of them all.
I'm finding that the time I've been granted won't be about what the Lord will do with me, "next".

It's about what I'll do for Him (and my neighbor) now.


  1. thank you.
    for reminding me of this glaring, beautiful command.
    i need this right this instant.
    praise jesus for you, rachel dear.
    press on, keep listening, keep obeying!
    i love you xo

  2. Too true. So simple. So quickly forgotten.

  3. I know I am guilty of going to the computer when I am stressed or the kids are making me crazy, or as a way to avoid housework. This was extremely convicting and I praise the Lord for it! Thanks for being His tool

  4. wow! amen! so good and I really needed to hear this today. thank you.

  5. As always, you are so honest and open about your moments of conviction I find myself nodding and saying,"yes ma'am." Thank you and I hope your sweet girl is doing well after this latest surgery.

  6. Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Thanks for living out the truth of that treasure, Rachel.

  7. so good & full of so much truth & wisdom, i just went & read it again. thank you. your words are a gift. and your heart (His heart!) is so beautiful.

  8. Thank you, friend for speaking so directly what God has been speaking to me too. "follow in my steps and love my people..." I love your obedience, am thankful for your honesty and praying for your sweet girl that you'll have much more time with now that you've heard and responded to the One who loves her more than we can ever imagine.

  9. Keep coming back to your words. Such good thoughts. That I needed to hear. I've been thinking about God's promise to keep in perfect peace the woman who keeps her thoughts focused on Him. And, being looking around at others causes us to focus on the Lord and how He would have us serve those around us. Which He promises will result in perfect peace. Funny how thinking about ourselves and our stuff isn't what brings us peace about all of it. Taking our eyes OFF of all of OUR stuff, and putting them on HIM, is what ends up giving us peace about everything we take our eyes OFF of.

    Thank you for sharing your heart. Praying for your daughter!

  10. SO glad that the Lord is blessing you with how you spend your time. I hope that your daughter's surgery went well. I know that is not easy for a mama...been there. Always love your perspective, Rachel.

  11. I am glad to hear that this transition is bringing you clarity. Thank you for sharing. I really enjoy this place that you and all the contributors have crafted...it really does let me feel my roots! I hope Kensington is recovering nicely. Too bad I'm not in Outpatient Surgery anymore, for I would have loved to have cared for your little girl. :) Perhaps I'll see you around the neighborhood sometime. Much love, Kristen

  12. You're heart is so lovely. I love that you listen to those God-whispers and you share so freely. God made it so simple. He narrowed it down for us. All of the ten commandments summed up into two, Jesus told us. So why do I forget it so easily? It's the reason I exist, to Love God and Love others, but I get distracted so easily by my own selfishness. What a beautiful reminder!

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  14. :high five: i have a inkling that you will appreciate the gem {MY WEEKLY INTENTIONAL LIVING PLAN} that is found in the midst of this post;