Rachel Awtrey

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Lifestyle | Travel | Faith | Marriage

Posts in Faith
Lessons Learned while Flying
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Flying with Thomas has taught me a lot.
It’s taught me that there are 2 perspectives: from the ground + from the sky.
When we choose the ground perspective, often times that means we can only see what’s on our level and it’s easy to only have an understanding of what is riiiiight in front of us.
When we choose the sky perspective, we can see everything in the area, we have a scope for size and how big of a deal things actually are and how they’re all relative to one another.
I try and choose the “sky perceptive” when I can think about it, not be so bundled up on what’s “on my level” and not dwell on the things right in front of me, but have an understanding of the bigger picture, knowing it’s bigger than me and how everything is intertwined along the way.


“Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective.”
(Colossians 3:2 MSG)


Choose the sky, my friends. ✈️🖤

Dreamin' Big + Update
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shoes || jeans || hat

I’ve learned something recently: dream big.
(Ew, vom, so cliche, I know).
BUUUUT dream big, take steps of obedience in the right direction and allow God to show up in the “in between.” Here’s the thing: if you dream big and desire something bigger than yourself, it’s hard to not give God credit when it gets accomplished and it’s something you couldn’t have done on your own.
He shows up, people ask “how,” you answer “Him.” 🖤
Speaking of dreaming big, we got to fly ✈️ today to Nashville to check out a fun space for a fuuuuun thang. Any guesses? 😜
Noooow the weather is pretty bad 🌧 so we’re stuck here overnight. Not tooo shabby, though! 😉

Surrender + Surround
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A few months ago, I saw this big guy priced oddly low on an online marketplace. Of course, I quickly claimed it and insisted that I pay more than the pricing since it was priced quite lower than its actual worth. The seller replied “nah, it was my grandmas and I don’t really want it.”


This struck a cord. There was nothing wrong with the piece, it’s quite beautiful actually. Just needed a quick dusting and the right placement.


The issue wasn’t this piece. The issue was that the person it once belonged to didn’t know it’s worth, value, or potential.


Same can go for us. When we find our “belonging” to something/someone who doesn’t know our value, we won’t be known or valued to our full worth or treated as such.


Are you surrounded by those who can remind you of your worth, honor and love you to your value and help you reach potential?


This is why I surrender myself to the one who bought me at a higher price than I think I deserve, the one who gave his life so I could live to my fullest potential in mine and I’ll live the rest of it living to be placed exactly where he would place me so I can tell the story of what he did for me.


Thankful our God can use things we love and cherish like furnishing and home decor to tell a story and teach me a lesson. He meets us where we’re at, right?


Surrender + surround.

A Few Combos I’m Loving Recently
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“So I stop all negotiations with God of all creations - Bigger than I Thought | Passion


“But the basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can’t see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being. So nobody has a good excuse.”
Romans 1:20

Feeling "All the Feels"
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(same picture, fresh words)
FAKE NEWS: you have to be okay OR not okay. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
“Somewhere along the way someone told us it was one or the other” - a text from a good friend, today. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
It’s a thought a few different people in life have brought me back to - especially when it comes to grieving. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
“Is it okay that I’m okay?”
“It‘s really good but really weird”
“I feel bad that everything feels normal but is so so not”
(All thoughts I’ve had) ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Maybe you’ve had them too. But, I’m here to welcome you to this AND (not or) journey with me. It’s beautiful and messy and we’re fibbing if we say we’ve figured it out. The enemy wants us to stress that we don’t know it all, creep in our confusion and introduce deception. But there’s actually permission for something (or someone) to hold several characteristics. That’s what makes the Gospel what it is: goodness, tragedy, heroic and sobering. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Honor yourself and feel “all the feels” all at once. “Come to me all who are wearied and burden” (aka all that have no idea what they’re doing). Notice, it doesn’t say “come to me all that have figured things out.” (I’ll prove it: Matthew 11:28). ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
The pressure is off, friend.


DaySpring Planner
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You can laugh but I still think of life post-grad in semester increments. Spring semester has ended and Summer has started - the only difference is it's no longer a "Summer break." No, no friends. Summer is definitely still moving at full paced. To-do lists remain the same length, reporting for work, dishes, meals, families to tend to, chores to complete, schedules and meetings to consider...yep. It's all still there. Add the occasional pool breaks, beach trips, tan skin and you've got your adult summer!

It's not all bad though if you have systems in place to make your days the most efficient so you can get to those pool breaks and beach trips a little quicker. I've always been a huge fan of old school planners but I'm also pretty particular about them. I have a planner for my calendar and dates/meeting, a notepad for my todo lists, a journal for my thoughts and prayers - and yes, all of these go everywhere with me! That's why when my friends at DaySpring partnered up with Studio 71 to create a planner (and must I add, it's gorgeous), I had to get one! It has your calendar laid out in a year, month and week with places to add your to-dos, errands and things to accomplish. It has a folder to add any receipts or business cards in the back, tabs so you can't get lost or lose time flipping to the right date and all of your favorite agenda features.

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But, what makes this one a winner is that it keeps me centered while I work. Every week has a distinguished scripture to reflect on or memorize. It has a page in the back with scripture references for any mood or feeling that may be keeping you back, it has a place for goals and dreams, prayers and more! It keeps you motivated, accountable and driven to end each day in excellence and reminds you of the bigger Purpose.

I'm all about that. I hope you join me in getting this 18-month planner to experience beauty, color design, a playful style that's as rich as your faith. It's the perfect place to stop, gather thoughts, and plan your day.

I color coordinate my planner (pink is work, blue is personal, green is family) to help me keep track of everything needing to be accomplished that day or week. What do you do to make your planner your own and keep it organized?

Let's do this, friends! I hope you find this helpful!

This is a sponsored post by DaySpring. More items/products of theirs can be found here. All reviews and opinions expressed in this post are based on my personal view.

It's just not over, yet.

Don’t get me wrong, I love this picture. But I hate it, too, all at the same time.


It doesn’t look like what it’s “supposed” to look like. It’s missing someone. One person short of the “family wedding picture” I thought would always be in our wedding album.


When I see it, my eyes get narrow, my head tilts to the right and my lips get pushed to the side. Every time.
I can get hung up with the fact that dad’s life was just too short, I can get mad at circumstances or try to find someone to blame.


Instead, I lean into the pain instead of running away from it. I scream “I’m not scared of you” right in it’s face when it reminds me of future moments he won’t be a part of. I smile knowing that it’s just a piece of my story, not the whole one.


Instead of looking at my story and asking “why this?” I’ll ask “how can I use it?”
I’m no expert and I’m not perfect, I’m just tired of trying it my way.
You have the same choice too, friend.
And trust me, it’s much more fun His way.


So why would you fear the future if His goodness and love pursued you all the days of your life (Psalm 23:6)?

100 Days of Declarations
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If words spoke me + you into existence “in the beginning” (Genesis 1) then I think we should be careful with what we say about ourselves.


So to put that into practice and to speak life into my heart, mind and spirit, I’m joining my friends on a challenge to declare 100 scriptural Truths over myself. I’m a few days in and dang 🔥. I’m able to sort through Truth + fake news so quickly. I feel empowered and bravery to speak life into others.


My friend (@theeverhome) put together a google doc of 100 declarations you can start with and I have the link for this clicker!


“The power of life and death is in the tongue” Proverbs 18:21


Who wants to join me?

Trying this new thing...


I’m trying this new thing.


Instead of looking to the next best thing, waiting for that upgrade, trying to get to Friday or a longed-for day, I’m looking at the “right now.” I think a lot is missed in the hustle. I think we miss out on moments, conversations, friendships and opportunity until we hush the noise and open our eyes. So, I’m dancing a little more, eating that cookie, taking the longer route, sipping slower and lingering.


You should try it, too.

Suffering does not mean the absence of God. In fact, lean in. Perhaps, a breakthrough is right around the corner. After the death (and what they thought was a defeat) on Friday, the Saturday was still but He came through on Sunday. Your “Sunday” is coming, too, friend!
Happy Easter from the Awtreys and this beautiful sunrise service at the beach. He is Risen! ☀️

No need to hustle - Matthew 6:26
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No need to hustle. No need to stress. No need to get ahead of God thinking He forgot about you. He is taking care of you and has already thought of all of the things that are on your mind.


Think of all of the times that “things just worked out” and give Him the credit for those moments instead of giving Him grief when things “aren’t looking so great.” 🙌🏻

Behind the Bliss Podcast Pals

“God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called”

Honored to share something super special with this girl. Every week, we release a podcast episode on @behindtheblisspodcast where we talk all things funny + address the topics others may steer away from. If you listen you might say “oh dang”, “that’s good” or “me too!” all in one episode. 🖤🎧
Now we have thousands of listeners, new friends, opportunities like I would have never believed and a friendship I cherish all because this gal called me one day a few years ago and asked “do you want to start a podcast?”
Just say “yes.” Take that step, start the blog, pick up that camera, call that friend, ask that question, do that thing that you’ve always wondered about. Our God smiles and blesses our obedience even when we don’t know what the heckie we’re doing I promise.

Daily Devotional
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My thought this morning:
What if my obedience assists in someone else’s breakthrough?
What if my boldness brings about someone’s freedom?
It’s bigger than us. ✨ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Also, loving “New Morning Mercies” by Paul David Tripp - if you’re looking for a daily devotional, look no further! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
And if you’re looking for a Bible, try the @shereadstruth Bible! It has devotionals throughout with maps, helpful information to fully understand scripture and other fun stuff! 🙌🏻

Keep dreamin’ 🤘🏼
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Let me tell you a quick story.
About 2 years ago, right after we got married, Thomas had a dream to become a pilot.
We sold a lot of what we had, lived on pb&js + potato chips, and would ride his motorcycle to the end of the runway at a tiny local airport and watch planes fly over us.


Fast forward a few years later filled with other’s generosity, Thomas’s discipline and countless “God stories,” Thomas is a private pilot and able to fly us to places we’d like to visit. 


I’m not telling you this to show ya how cool (and hot) my husband is (even though he is) I’m telling you to point every mile in the air, every flight pre-check, every time we put on our seatbelts and head down the runway back to the Ultimate Promise Maker and Promise Keeper. 


It wasn’t on our timing and it didn’t happen the way we would have liked at every point, and our journey isn’t even finished - but friends, He will fulfill the promises and desires He has planted in you.


So maybe you feel like your dreams are financially, logistically, physically impossible + hopeless. But we serve a God bigger than our hang ups and bigger than our dreams. He created them and He tells us this... 


“that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” Philippians 1:6


Keep dreamin’ 🤘🏼

Embrace the Pain
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Have you ever been so dang grateful for everything that you just want to cry because you don’t know what else to do to express it?? Maybe it’s just me 😂 take a moment and write a list (or think of one) of all the things in your life that you’re thankful for: stability, a family, memories, the ability to dance if you wanted to, people that love and support me, you get the gist.

All of a sudden, the things that stress you out or make you mad seem to sort of dissolve. Funny huh?

Reflecting on the blessings we have and don’t deserve, the grace that’s been offered to us, makes all the stretching (😉), all this discomfort, all of the tension and pain worth it. Because stretching makes you more flexible and flexibility allows movement.

So if you’re wanting movement or strength in your life, embrace the stretch.

Faith Based Books, Apps, Podcasts, and Playlists You'll Love
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This past weekend I heard a quote from Louie Giglio of Passion City Church: "it's easy to be a person with information but lack wisdom." So true! It's so easy to take details and moments in but to hang on to them, share them with others, compare them to scripture and see what the Lord has to say about them is often neglected. These few books, podcasts, and other knick-knacks have really propelled my "free time" into a whole other ball game. I feel like I've been soaking up good Truths, replacing the old with new and identifying lies I thought were true all along.

Here are a few of my favorite things:

Devotions

If you love devotions, these are great for you. New Morning Mercies is a great one for an everyday thought provoking 30 minutes. It gives you further scripture to read and approach after the devotional. Praying the Bible is so so good if you are seeking to learn more about prayer and the power it has in our lives. It walks through the Bible and when + how scripture tells us to call on the Lord. So good! Shauna Niequist is one of my favorite authors and speaker so this 365-day devotional, Savor, is an easy one to display on a coffee table and flip through when you need a little pick me up. If you're a doodler I have a devo for you: All in All is a journal devotional that allows you to write (or draw) your thoughts while reading. Flourish is supposed to be a 52 week devotion (one devotion a week, duh) but it's so hard for me to not just read the next for the next day. So so good!
Also, I do not read all of these at once, it may sound like it but that would be a lot and so crazy and too much for me to handle. Me sharing all of my favorites is not me advising you read all of them at once. Pick one, finish it and then pick another - that's how I do it!

Apps

 
 

She Reads Truth
Has the Bible on the app but it also has short devotionals and screen savers for your phone. How cool!

ESV Bible
A great Bible tool for the ESV translation of the Bible. It allows you to highlight, make notes, look up words - great for studying!

Bibles

She Reads Truth
I have the linen hardback covered book and it's beautiful! I use it as decor just as much as a Bible - it's just so beautiful! The front page of every book has a beautifully painted verse from the book. There are maps and timelines easy to study as well as devotionals throughout by some of our favorite authors. 

Illuminated Bible
Again, another gorgeous Bible! The gold foiling stands out among the rest. It's a journaling Bible so it's great for note takers. The beginning of every chapter has a piece of art about the book. It's more traditional and classic looking - it reminds me of a vintage Bible and the chronicles of Narnia illustration. 

Podcasts

 
 

I wish I could go through every single podcast but these are truly just the best I've found. Glorious In the Mundane is a podcast you listen to in order to relax but also pick up nuggets of truth or "aha" moments. The Happy Hour is a mixture of hilarious episode and episodes that send chills down your spine. Each one leaves you feeling like a "better you."  Crazy Love Podcast who doesn't love some Francis Chan?? He always leaves everyone's jaws dropped, a true gift of speaking directly to people's hearts. Francis speaks with Holy Spirit lead conviction - get ready because he also is talented enough to "call you out" via podcast. You'll leave with one more part of your life identified that the Lord wants you to change.

I'll leave The Next Right Thing and The Shauna Niequist Podcast up to you to listen to and observe for yourself! Just know that they're wonderful and will rock your world.

My Worship Playlist

I'm really proud of this playlist - it's a fun combination of soothing and songs to dance to! I'm always adding to it so you can bet on it changing and not hearing the same songs over and over again! With 300 songs, you're bound to find a song that moves you on days you need to feel loved.

 
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What are your favorite faith filled resources? Any favorites I should know about??