Rachel Shane

Month: April, 2011

At my weakest

Today has been the worst day ever. Warning – this is a whiny blog. Don’t read it if you don’t wanna feel bad for me.

Actually it started last night when I was working at the hospital.  I worked until 11:30 p.m. and around 9 p.m. my stomach started hurting.  I immediately thought it was from all the chocolate I ate during that shift (people always give me chocolate there!!), but it didn’t super make sense because I had stopped eating chocolate at 7 p.m. I told one of my coworkers I wasn’t feeling well, but I had to wait until 11 p.m. to leave because of my job.  What did he recommend? Why he gave me more chocolate. No worries, I didn’t eat it.

I went home and tried falling asleep, like anyone would.

This did not happen.

I do say that the worst experience in the world may be when you are trying to sleep, but cannot because you are too sick.  All you do is want to conk out and feel no more pain, but your stupid pain keeps you awake. The irony.

Finally at 3:30 a.m. everything that was hurting in my stomach projected out of my mouth. As I was puking, I was thinking, how gross. Also I was trying to remember the last time I puked. Maybe high school? Maybe? But I am not a puker.

After that experience, I was able to fall asleep for about an hour, but then woke up again to a painful stomach.  When I am sick, I feel like I am dying, and kind of act like it too.

Woke up at 7 a.m. and cancelled my dentist appointment. I wonder if they have had people puke on them when they stick their fingers in someone’s mouth. Probably.

Then I had to bring my dad to the hospital, because he had an operation today and he would not be able to drive home.  This was the worst experience ever.  We get there and I am feeling okay, but not bad. Then I start having to go to the bathroom. That’s right, I will not even give you details, other then I went to the bathroom 6 times in one hour.

After my Dad’s operation, they invited me to go see him. As I walked in, there was a huge sign next to me saying, “If you are ill don’t visit patients”. I knew that was me, but seriously, I am going to go see my dad.  I bet no one listens to that rule.  I see my dad and then we have to wait for about a half an hour for his loopy meds to wear off.  In that half an hour I walked out of the room gaging twice.  My body was trying to hurl everything out of my stomach continually, but nothing was left in it.

I went back and forth between feeling all sweaty and warm, and then goosebumps from chills. I didn’t think I was going to be able to drive us home. I was scared about puking more.

This whole time I am just being so upset at my body. Why am I sick on a Wednesday? Today is youth group day.  There are only a few left.  I want to see all my students. I am so upset. All my other leaders work until 4:30 today so it’s not like I can ask them to come up with a message.

So they are having game night without me. They will probably wish I am sick every Wednesday.

Moral of the story – stomach flu sucks.

And whenever I am sick I think of the verse “For when I am weak, then I am strong.” -2nd Corinthians 12:10.  Am I taking this out of context? Completely. But anyways, I sat in my bed for a while and was praying, “God, show me your strength, make me better, you are in me and I wanna be strong right now.”  He has not given me strength yet, but thankfully, He has given me a strong mother. She is making me soup now.

Pray it stays in my stomach.

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Living

Just wanted to share some photos of life around the Puro household lately.

I claim to be no photographer. Just sharing some happy and sad times. Pray for my puppy.

Life and Death

This has been perhaps the most bipolar week of my life.

This weekend my family was supposed to go to Wisconsin for Easter, but I work at a church so I was just going to stay home and maybe impose on my best friend’s family. This is sad, yet happy, because my family would be happy in Wisconsin, and I would be happy with friends, but sad to not be with family.

Then a family-friend got killed in a car accident this week, so everyone is now here. Super sad event, but now I am not alone? And now I get to see my beautiful 2 month old cousin from Arizona for the first time.  Obviously there is no equality in this situation, but I am glad to see my non-immediate family.

Then I partook in Good Friday service, focusing on death. I had a legit quiet time that day about it all too, and it was super sad, but yet happy, because his death is the greatest gift that I will ever receive.

Tonight  I went to a wedding, which is the start of something new and lively. Then came home and my dog ran into this bolt thing and made a foot long cut on her side, and I am scared she will not make it through the night. We brought her to the ER for dogs and they did surgery, but she is just sitting next to me crying. Have you seen a dog cry before? It is the saddest thing ever. She won’t die, but I feel like she will.

And I will be celebrating Easter in a few hours, my favourite holiday, celebrating life.

My heart is  more overcome with sadness right now, but despite that, it has been great to just be forced to remember this week the most important thing – Jesus.  Despite trials or tribulations, or even extremely happy things, I always want my attention, spare thoughts, and drive in life to be about Jesus.  I never want to get off track of the mission God gave me in life, to share about His love.  And I think I learned this week that no matter what happens, I can never say that I am not blessed. Because by the sacrifice of Jesus, I have received eternal life.  That is the biggest blessing, and anything else is just insane.  And even when people you love die, I could never be mad at God. He died for me.

And what happened over 2000 years ago on this holiday, has not only given us life, but also hope.

Scatterbrained, I know. But it is 1 a.m.

Happy Easter friends.

Spring!

Yes people, it is Spring.

I don’t even know if Spring should always be capitalized, but I am going to make it so, because it is just that great.

Spring is my absolute favourite season.  For 6+ months our eyes have been subjected to seeing only gray and white, and now color comes! How my dreary eyes have missed the blues and greens that only nature can conjure up.

How I enjoy being able to go outside and actually breathe the air, in comparison to running to my car and shuddering from the frigid air.

And no. more. treadmill. Why hello neighbor’s dog who always charges me while I run past your house, nice to see you again.

If I could organize my music collection in any way, it would be in seasons.  I think all music sounds more like a season.  Which brings me to this song.

Actually, this Spring blog will be a tribute to the incredible Jon Foreman.  Jon Foreman is great, and if you ever say otherwise, you are wrong.

Jon Foreman is most known as being the lead singer/guitar player in the band Switchfoot, but I tend to listen to his Season EPs the most.  Why yes, Jon is so great that he also realized how music sounds different in each season, so he made 4 EPs to share this.

His Spring EP may be my favourite of them all, and his most popular song from the EPs, “Your Love Is Strong” is off of this one. But I decided to share with you a less popular song off of that same EP.

The connotations in this song are exactly what my heart feel, and the lyrics run true for the season of Spring as well. Spring is the season for seeds to be sprung and dead things to come back to life.

May this be true in all things this year.

To Forget

I am terrible at remembering things.  Remembering names, remembering directions, remembering simple words (seriously), etc.

This weekend was a TERRIBLE weekend for me and forgetfulness.

First, Saturday night I made 3 plans with different groups of people. On purpose? No. Because I forgot I made plans with all of them? Yes. And when did I remember? When I had 3 people texting me Saturday morning when was I going to come over on Saturday night.

Then this morning I gave announcements at church, which I only remembered as I walked out of my house to church, which I was running late for, so I forgot to print and practice my announcements, and the effects of that were greatly seen this morning (I forgot to breathe again while giving announcements).

And then I forgot that my friend had a baby shower after church, even though I had multiple email reminders, and so right after church I went to Target and got her a gift card, which is a lame baby shower gift, but I obviously had no time, because of my forgetfulness.

And then I forgot to turn in my work time sheet, so I am going to get paid late.

Then at church we were challenged to not listen to music in the car this week, and I was really excited, and what did I do when I first got in the car? That’s right – turned on music. Thankfully I remembered during the first song and turned it off, but I was like “Seriously Rachel?! You just decided 20 minutes ago you weren’t going to listen to music in the car, and you already forgot?!”

And I probably forgot something else too, but I simply don’t remember.

Right now I am reading through the old testament, and I very easily get upset at the Israelites.  Continually God saves them, and shortly after they forget, and start worshiping other idols.  I like to always think that if I was in their situation, I would never forget what God had done, but I started pondering today, “Why did the Israelites always forget?”  Of course I don’t know, I am sure they had temptations, and obviously the enemy is trying to pull away their attention to God, but perhaps too, after a while, they just got too much into their own lives and forgot God.

When we forget things, we always look like fools.  That picture is painted on the Israelites, and I experienced that feeling when asking my pastor if he had a copy of the announcements.

How can I get better at not forgetting? Do I need a smart phone with a great calendar? I would like that. But really?

I need to get better at remembering the tasks in my daily life. I know if I do some minor adjustments, that is simple enough (like looking at my planner more often than once a week to see my work schedule).   I know I need to stop going through the day so fast, and take some time to actually think and simply remember.

I also don’t want to be a fool and forget the things that God has done/is doing in my life.

After the baby shower while driving home and not listening to music, I was able to pray for my friends at the shower, and thank God for the great community He has given me in my church.  Having time to be quiet and think upon that, I remembered 9 months ago, when I knew practically no one in the church, and I was asking people I barely knew to hang out with them on 4th of July, because I had no one else to be with. And now I left a party in which I was invited to, and where some of these women are now my closest friends.

I am blessed, and thankful, and I don’t want to forget. I encourage you to take time in solitude this week, praying and thanking God for what He has done in your life, never forgetting how he brought you through and out of the difficult seasons in the past.

And take some time this week to give me creative hints to remember things better. :)

Misquote

I feel like such a dork.

Hopefully none of you realized, but I totally misquoted something. It kind of doesn’t matter, but really, it does. This whole time the “title” of my blog had been “Whenever You lead, I’ll sing harmony.”  That is actually a lyric from Bethany Dillon’s song “Let Your Light Shine.”  And guess what. That isn’t the correct line.

FAIL.

The correct line, and now changed in my blog is “Wherever You lead I’ll sing harmony.” So actually it was just one letter, but still – totally different word.

Why is that lyric the title of my blog? Great question. Allow me to share, of course in a very long story. :)

I have been realizing more and more this year how selfishly I have always lived.  So much of what I do is for me and my personal gain.  Even things for the Lord can so easily become selfish.  Such as leading worship; I used to lead worship 3-4 times a week in college. Now I help with worship once a month.  At first I was SO upset. Upset with God for fashioning these gifts in me and now not being able to use them.

But then God decided to have a humbling conversation with me, which went a little something like this…

me: God, I am so upset that I am barely leading worship anymore. I thought I have been following your path for me, why is it like this? I hate this.

God: “Rachel, when was leading worship ever about you?”

me: “But God I love it and I love being used in that way.

God: “I know, but so often it becomes about you.  You want to lead worship on stage because you like it.  Do you need to be up on stage to worship Me? Ever? If I never have you lead worship again, will you be okay with that? You need to be. Rachel, you say “Use me in whatever way You want, but you really mean “Use me in worship or in leadership”, and if you aren’t in those roles, then you are not happy”.  I want to use you in whatever way I want, and at times it may not be those roles. And you need to be okay with that.  I want you to lead others to Jesus with how you worship me with your life, not how you lead worship on stage. And plus, think of things eternally Rachel. In the end, you are going to be worshiping Me for all of eternity.  And that will be really soon, I promise. So stop freaking out. ”

So then I stopped freaking out.

And now I really love being part of worship when I am, and really okay when I am not, because the truth is, I am always worshiping Him. And I have been using my music gifts in other ways, like piano lessons! And lots of writing songs for Him, which is a blessing for Him and fun for me. I am truly blessed.

And how does this tie into my title “Wherever You lead I’ll sing harmony”? Well, it is a good theme for my life, and this blog.  I don’t want to be leading my life, for my own selfish gain.  I want to be always listening to the Father, His melody, and gladly following and singing harmony over Him.  And I want to do this whenever, wherever, however He sings / leads.  This puts me in the position of always needing to be close to Him, to hear Him,  and to follow everything He does, allowing Him to get all the glory.

Here is the song by Bethany Dillon. The lyric is in the bridge.

Shane and Shane with Bethany Dillon

I got introduced to Shane and Shane when I was in 9th grade by my great worship leader Seth Ehorn. Shortly after that he also introduced me to Bethany Dillon.  These musicians are definitely my stable in music.  I listen and stop listening to many musicians, but I will probably listen to these people for the rest of my life.

I remember the first time listening to Shane and Shane’s album.  I kept thinking about how their voices were SO weird.  Kind of girly.  But now they are in my top 10 of most respected musicians, and I think their voices are incredible.   Also, they were definitely the changing factor in me hating my middle name to completely embracing it.

Bethany Dillon was basically who I wanted to be growing up.  I think she is like 6 months older than me and she has 5 CDs. GAH!! She is also married to one of the Shanes and has a baby.  Our voices actually sound quite similar. The best way to put it is to hear my voice, think twice as good, and then you get the voice of Bethany Dillon.

This is a youtube video of them doing one of my favorite worship songs by Shane and Shane.  Such a good song in this season of lent/ Easter.

I hope you are blessed as much by this as I was. Don’t judge by the terrible video camera guy.