So it has been quite a long time since I have blogged...So Happy New Year everyone! I am so excited about all that 2013 has in store...just to name a few big things..
  • I will be graduating with a degree in Communications May 11th
  • I will be GETTING MARRIED to my best friend, Ben Cox, May 25th
  • My name will be changing to Rachel Cox

´╗┐These are just a few things that I am praise the Lord for in light of the New Year. Also, The Lord has graciously provided a place for Ben and I to live next year, its adorable, full of character and the perfect first home for the two of us. We could not be more excited about the wonderful faithfulness of the Lord we have experienced through this house being provided for us and then furniture and so much more that continues to be handed to us by friends and family.

We are still praying and waiting on the Lord's direction as far as jobs are concerned for me after marriage. So please, if you are willing, join us in praying that the Lord's will is made clear and is accomplished by whatever job I end up taking.

Wedding plans are coming right along, we have been spending many hours working on a lot of the handmade portions of our wedding, it has been a tedious process, but still a joy knowing that each program completed, save the date mailed, or sign painted is just one step closer to our precious wedding day. We are absolutely loving this season and are so thankful for the growth and refinement we are seeing individually and as a couple during engagement.

I wanted to share just some thoughts the Lord has laid on my heart in the past month. I have been reading through the book of Hosea, and studying what redemption truly means to us as believers. The entire story in Hosea is of a man who is called by the Lord to marry a harlot, a prostitute. Gomer, the harlot, continues to go back to her sinful ways, (Proverbs 26:11, 2 Peter2:22) and time and time again Hosea pursues her and brings her back graciously with his unconditional love.

I have been struck by this story from an early age, particularly after I read the book Redeeming Love, in middle school. The overwhelming part of this story is that we, as believers, are the harlot, Gomer. Wow...we are so sinful, constantly returning to our sins, struggles and selfish desires, and running away from the unconditional love of our gracious Father....convicting? I think so. This story always humbles me to a point of tears, when I think about how much love my Creator God has for me, and how little love I actually deserve from him daily. (Romans 5:20).

So I have already just been in awe of the Redeeming Love of our Heavenly Father lately, and then Saturday night Ben and I went on a date to see Les Miserables. Le Mis was the first Broadway play I ever saw when I was just 13 years old. My parents took me to the Fox in Atlanta and we saw it. I was instantly moved by the music, even though I understood very little of the story line. Several years later I was able to go on a trip to Paris and was able to see the play again in Paris, France. It was amazing. However, I never truly grasped the powerful story behind the play until Saturday night when I was watching the movie....

Les Miserable is a story of Redemption. It overwhelmed my spirit, to the point of tears, as I realized just as the characters in the movie did not deserve the grace and mercy that were extended to them, I do not deserve the grace and mercy daily extended to me by my Father. Oh but praise the Lord that He extends, and extends and extends all the more...His grace is ever abounding.

I pray that we allow grace to motivate us to action, just like in the movie Le Mis, when each character receives grace they are not due whether it is their life being spared, freedom being granted, or love being found, their lives looked differently after they experienced undeserved grace. May we too allow the mercy and compassion we have experienced to CHANGE our lives in such a way that we reflect the gracious, powerful, and ever abounding love of our Heavenly Father.

Romans 5:22
Ephesians 2:1-10; 13
Ephesians 1:7
Acts 20:24
Colossians 1:14
Romans 3:23-25
Hebrews 9:12