The Little Things

Rachael_M_Colby_Tattoo_It_On_Your_Heart_For_the_Prodigal's _Mom_The_ Little_ Things.jpgIt’s easy to miss the journey en route to the destination—to overlook or brush aside the little things, the simple things.

Sometimes in the midst of all the crazy tug of war and the growing pains I wonder what my kids are thinking. What memories do they have of growing up? So, I was blessed to overhear a conversation between my daughters about a little boy they babysit sometimes. Here it is:

“He’s got a great personality. But I just want to take him and mold him—give him my childhood. I want to take him to the library and make him sit there and read for hours!”

101_0302-001I’m so glad we have those memories. We were the only ones with a book bag with wheels at the time and we always had library fines; still do. I often fell asleep reading my children bedtime stories.

Anna Lisa my little bow legged ballerina has turned into a beauty. Her name means bountiful and gracious or graceful—and she is. It doesn’t seem that long ago that she was popping the heads off her Barbie dolls, and then she graduated to lopping chicken heads off on a Kenyan mission trip.

“Mom,” she said. “ I’m late because on my way home there was a pick-up truck in front of me filled with dirt and it smelled like Africa—so I didn’t take my turn. I followed it for awhile just so I could smell it.”

One evening she stood sobbing in the living room after a really rough day as summer camp unit director. “Anna,” her father said, “You don’t have to work there. You could get a job at another camp where the kids are easier to deal with.”

“But I don’t want to quit. I love it there.” she said as tears streamed down her face.Rachael_M_Colby_Tattoo_It_On_Your_Heart_#ThankATeacher

 

She loves the tough kids. She graduated last May and now she is an English teacher. She is one of my 11 interviewees in my prior article featuring teachers.

Sometimes those little things aren’t so little—like taking your kids to the library. Like the smell of Kenyan dirt and how the simple smile of a little child can light the darkest place.

Like taking the time to read my article featuring the voices of those 11 amazing teachers by clicking here.  

Southern-Ohio-Christian-Voice-Rachael-M-Colby-The-Measure-of-a-Mom

Know this, faithful mom—your measure is immeasurable. You bring things to your family that they can’t hire out, buy out, or do without… CLICK HERE to continue reading my article, The Measure of a Mom, published on Southern Ohio Christian Voice.

Have a blessed Mother’s Day!

© 2019  Rachael M Colby |  Tattoo It On Your Heart

Kaboom!

Tattoo-It_On_Your_Heart_Rachael_M-Colby_Kaboom!The Bible says, if any man thinks he stands, take heed lest he fall. What it doesn’t specify is that you’re stupid if you don’t wear flip flops when cleaning the shower, which I always do. Except for when I didn’t so I slipped and went, “kaboom!” in the cleaner called Kaboom. And then my shoulder went ka-pop, and our bank account went kaput.

Then I did the math. It’s actually cheaper to hire a maid to clean my entire house— Continue reading “Kaboom!”

Don’t Want to Lose You! (Important Update Required for EU General Data Protection Regulation [GDPR] Privacy Policy)

Don’t Want to Lose You!

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Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

This post is to alert you to the new European Union (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) policy which goes into effect on May 25th 2018. These changes in data collection and protection affect how subscribers to my website, Tattoo It On Your Heart, at tattooitonyourheart.com receive my blog posts via email. This is of primary importance to those who subscribe in order to receive Tattoo It On Your Heart blog posts by email, but it’s also relevant for WordPress account followers and for those who wish to subscribe to receive any future notifications, newsletters, or other offers or downloads from, my website and/or by email.

 

Dear reader,

In order to comply with  GDPR regulations and for you to continue to receive my blog posts via email, I need both CURRENT and NEW subscribers to my blog to PLEASE CONFIRM, (or reconfirm), that you want your email address to be used and stored for the specific purpose of delivering my (Rachael M Colby’s) blog posts from my website, Tattoo It On Your Heart ( tattooitonyourheart.com ), to you.

TO CONTINUE RECEIVING MY BLOG POSTS VIA EMAIL

Wait…what? You’re not following my blog yet—What are you waiting for? I’d be thrilled to have you along for the journey! 🙂 You may CLICK HERE to do so if you wish.

CURRENT SUBSCRIBERS: Please CLICK HERE to fill out the “Follow Blog Via Email” form to sign up again, regardless of how you originally signed up.

 

NEW SUBSCRIBERS may CLICK HERE to sign up using the same form. Blog posts from Tattoo It On Your Heart will be delivered to your email from WordPress.

*(You should then receive an email requesting that you click the word “Confirm” to activate your subscription to follow and receive email notifications from Tattoo It On Your Heart)  

**By entering your email and signing up to follow Tattoo It On Your Heart, you consent to receive BLOG POST notifications via email and/or through your WordPress account. You also agree to accept this site’s use of cookies and its privacy policy. You may unsubscribe at any time either by managing your settings as described below if you subscribed using your WordPress account or by clicking “unsubscribe” at the end of the emails.  

 

WordPress ACCOUNT HOLDERS: Please CLICK HERE to consent to continue to receive my blog posts by email and manage your current WordPress subscriptions.

***WordPress, with which my website runs, stores your email address. I am able to see your email address but I do not share it with anyone else. Your email address will not be used for anything other than the specific purpose for which you consent when you subscribe. You may learn more about WordPress site cookies here and  privacy policy here.

Not only am I hoping you will sign up to receive or continue receiving my blog posts viaTattoo_It_On_Your_Heart_Rachael_M-Colby_Wield_Your_Sword email, but I’m asking that you kindly consider sharing my website with others. It is a privilege and joy to write for God and for you. 🙂

God bless you,

Rachael

 

© 2018     Rachael M Colby                 Tattoo It On Your Heart

 

A Parent’s Petition

Tattoo_It_On_Your_Heart_Rachael_M_Colby_A_Parent's_Petition

Sometimes as a parent your heart swells with joy, but at other times you labor in love with tears and a busted heart over your children. For those in a hard season, I thought I’d share some scriptures and re-post my poem, For the Prodigal’s Mom, in hopes of encouraging you.

Whether your child is faring well, struggles or has strayed, whether you just have the occasional hard day or more tough days than not—your work does not go unnoticed. God sees you, He feels your heart. He wants to come alongside and help and strengthen us. Jesus weeps with us and we can take joy in the shelter of Him. He cares for our children. Remember, He sets out in search of the one lost lamb.

We don’t have to walk this road or wage this war in our own strength. Jesus is the difference maker in our lack as we strive to find your footing and guide your children on the right path. We can petition Heaven and storm Hell with our prayers and partner with our Maker, the Good Father, for the needs of our children. God provides and equips for every task He calls us to.

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. Galatians 6:9 KJV

For the Prodigal’s Mom

Mama,

Don’t you know Jesus loves your children

Even more than you?

Pound the gates of Heaven, Mama

Pray without ceasing

Know the God of Heaven, inclines to your cry

He shares your passion for restoration of the prodigal child

So go ahead and cry Mama

But, make every tear a prayer

An offering of hope and heart

Your prayers are the rain

On the soil of your prodigal’s heart

Your prayers are the rain

On the soil of your prodigal’s heart

Your prayers are the rain

On the soil of your prodigal’s heart…

Those who sow in tears 
Shall reap in joy.
He who continually goes forth weeping,
Bearing seed for sowing,
Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing,
Bringing his sheaves with him. Psalms 126: 5-6

So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:11 (NKJV)

Suggested posts:

Letters to My Children

The Measure of a Mom

Sometimes it’s a God Thing                                      A Perfect Mothers Day Gift

© 2016, 2018 Rachael M Colby                 Tattoo It On Your Heart

#whyiteach

Rachael_M_Colby_blogs_capecodonline_Tattoo_it_On_Your_Heart_ Remind_me_#whyiteach

I received the following messages from a friend who is a teacher. She wishes to remain anonymous.

TEACHER:   Texting you this… Need people to help remind me why I teach when I’m having bad days.

Teaching is one of the hardest jobs. You rarely ever get kudos. You mostly hear what you are doing wrong.

So, in those rare moments when the smoke clears, and you see what truly matters, and you see the little things you do, and the impact they can have, that is the gold you have to hold on to—or you will quit.

*Per request, I have re-posted this article from 2017 in honor of  #TeacherAppreciationDay and #TeacherAppreciationWeek Please take the time to encourage teachers, not just this week, but throughout the year.  

So Far Today:

I comforted and prayed with a teacher who just had a miscarriage.

I’m standing in the hallway welcoming students, hustling the stragglers to class. Glancing in my classroom, I realize one of my boys is crying. I motion him to come into the hall and he tells me his aunt died from a stroke last night. We talk, I give him a hug and help him grieve. He gives me permission to share with the class. His friends quickly change seats and circle him. No talking or touching; they are middle school boys after all. They support him by just being there. They take out paper and write notes of encouragement—without any prompting. #proud #whyiteach

All before 9:30am.

11:20am Update

Another student running up and down the hallway screaming and crying. Counselor trying to help. He refuses… I step into the hallway, take his hands, have him take deep breaths with me to calm him down so he can talk to the counselor without screaming. #whyiteach

Teaching is never about the subject you are teaching. It’s about showing compassion, how to grieve, process anger, express joy. So much emptiness and anger in my students— they just don’t know how to handle life. Happy that I can be here to help them.

Remind me of this when I’m having a really bad day.

Anyone who becomes a teacher because they want kids to learn a subject is missing a huge piece of teaching. I went into teaching because I want to teach children how to successfully live their lives, process emotion, and become productive people. The subject I teach has so little to do with what I really do.

“When will I use this?” they say.  (Algebra, science, etc..)

The answer is: “Who really cares? Will you remember that I taught you compassion when your classmate’s aunt died, that I held your hands when you just couldn’t take another step, that I told you I care about you?”

And yes, of course, I’ll give you another chance when you screw up yet again in my class, because this is #whyiteach.

Update 1:00 pm

Two boys try to fight in my classroom. Calmed them down and talked to them. One of the boys tells me he’s not really mad at the other kid. He just watched his dad get arrested and he’s really upset… Sigh.  #whyIteach

At lunch, the boy whose aunt died comes up to me. “I’m doing better,” he says quietly, and dashes away.

Last Block:

The boy who was crying and screaming in the hallway comes to class. He’s smiling now, and we’re just figuring it all out. It’s a good day. #whyiteach

I know I could get a job in a better district. My family asks me why I stay all the time.

“Who’s going to teach them if I don’t?” I reply.

“Someone will,” they say.

“But will they care about them? Will they pray over their desks? Will they cry over them? Will they love them?”

I can’t walk away from these kids. Many of them don’t have adults that truly care. They are used to being thrown away, adults not sticking with them. I can’t be one of those people. Teaching is a calling, not a job. I have to teach them how to be cared for and to care for one another, to create community in the classroom. Once I’ve done this, and only then, can I actually teach them any academic content with success. This usually takes a few months to establish.

I have to teach them, I don’t know if someone else will care for them like I do. #whyiteach

A Few Weeks Later:

TEACHER:  Why do I teach again? My head hurts, my neck aches…

RACHAEL:  Because it matters—maybe for eternity for some of your students. Even though you don’t see it now.

Because they need you even when they don’t want you.

Because you may be the only love, the only Jesus, some will see today and over the next few months.

Because you have to. It’s your calling.  #makeadifference   #youmatter

Because it costs more to quit than to carry on. #whyyouteach

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. Romans 8:37 NKJV

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strengthTattoo_It_On_Your_Heart_Rachael_M_Colby_Heroes_Among_Us
is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my
infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2nd Corinthians 12:9 NKJV

 © 2017 Rachael M Colby       Tattoo It On your Heart

Important Announcement 

Dear reader,

It has come to my attention that those who read my post entitled, Herald, and also, What #BillyGraham Meant to Me, and perhaps prior postsin their emails rather than on my website, may not have realized that several of what appeared to be still photos are actually videos. If you click out from the email to read my posts on my website, there are arrows on the photos which indicate that they are videos. Apparently that doesn’t show in emails. I am so sorry I didn’t catch this sooner.

Also, the black box that says, Tattoo It On Your Heart, mid way through Herald is a podcast, (audio with music and sound effects and me reading my poem, He is Risen). 

In my Billy Graham post, there was no text with the link in the videos listed under Resources, so some may have mistook those for still photos as well. I did include a text link for the videos included in my actual Billy Graham story, as I usually do in all my posts, but I did not under Resources. Hopefully those who read my post in their emails noticed the links to those videos and all the others in prior posts.

To avoid these issues in the future and so you don’t miss out on any announcements, promotions, updates to posts, or content in the sidebar and other pages on my website, I will be changing the settings for posts received via email. In the future when you receive my posts by email, they will only include an excerpt of the post with a request that you. “Click here to continue reading this post.” This will take you out to my site which will give you access to the most updated version of my post and site and to resources on the other pages. I plan to add a Q&A and a Resources feature to my site soon.

Until I make these changes, please click the title of my posts in your email as that will also take you out of the email to my site to read posts.

*If you read my prior post, What #BillyGraham Meant to me, you may have noticed my whopper of a typo. If so, sorry about that. I’ve corrected it. Must be that staying up writing until 3 o’clock in the morning makes for a fuzzy brain. If you didn’t catch my error—whew! 😉

**If you haven’t yet read my Billy Graham post, or you missed out on some of the videos, please click here to link to:  What #BillyGraham Meant to Me

***If you haven’t yet read Herald, or if you missed the videos and podcast in it, please click here to link to:  Herald.  

Thank you for being a part of my writing journey. God bless you. You are in my prayers.

Rachael

Fathomless

Tattoo-It_On_Your_Heart_Rachael_M_Colby_FathomlessWhy do we let our finite problems eclipse our infinite God?

Why do we limit the possibilities

When we  have access to a limitless God?

He is unsearchable

Yet He calls us to know Him

The more I know Him

The less I feel I know

There is always more

He is fathomless

All encompassing goodness and grace

I have tasted of the wine of His Word and will

And I want more of Him

Nothing else satisfies

Nothing ever will

Rachael_M_Colby_Tattoo_it_on_Your_Heart_Drunk_on_You

Morning Song

Jesus,
You captivate me.

Your love overwhelms me.

Your majesty is brighter than the noonday sun.

Your splendor outshines the stars.

I am undone.

You are my everything, my all in all.

My Savior. My friend,

My God.

 

Did you miss last year’s Valentine’s post? Or perhaps you need to be reminded of some of it again. I do. Often. Here it is:

rachael_m_colby_tattoo_it_on_your_heart_moon_rise_romanceBuilt to Last Not a Hollywood Romance

The plan was for me to read the scripture, 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, at my brother’s wedding, and sit back down. But that’s not what happened…Sometimes this is what happens when I put pen to paper and God starts speaking. Sometimes this is what happens when you give me a microphone…

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 1 Corinthians 13:4 (NLT)

You will notice the scripture doesn’t say, “love is a feeling.” That’s because it isn’t. Love has feelings, but it is a choice and an action. Love is first a proper noun, because God is love. But then Love became a verb, an action…

 

“So, are you the romantic type?” someone asked me recently. Romance, for me, may look a little different than the picture culture and Hollywood paints…

 A Story

The fury of the snowy night downed power lines and enveloped all. They settled into the couch as the story played across the screen. Winter’s icy fingers pressed against the window panes… Continued here: Built to Last Not a Hollywood Romance

Speaking of romance, Here’s some more:

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Romancing the Rock

Imagine a date where you showed up, tossed a list of what you wanted from your date at them, and then left without even partaking of the meal.

Do you know what “I’m busy right now, God,” means? It’s saying “There is something more important right now than receiving what you have to say to me, God.” And there isn’t. Ever. We need… Continued Here: Romancing the Rock

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16 (NKJV)

Do you know my Jesus?

© 2016 – 2018 Rachael M Colby                                  Tattoo It On Your Heart

Prior Post: I Hate Commitment, (or is it Failure I Fear?) 

gofundme_aleks_battle_against-lymesDear reader,

I’d like to invite you to read about our young friend, Alek’s, battle against Lymes disease. Please consider sharing on your social media and with friends, family and co-workers.

*Matching funds on new donations from February 1st- February 14th! Link to read his story or donate toward his ongoing treatment. the information on Lymes disease in this article by his mom is a good education on the disease and may be helpful to others battling it or with undiagnosed similar symptoms:

Click to read or donate here:  https://www.gofundme.com/aleks-battle-against-lymes

Broken

Tattoo_It_On_Your_Heart_Rachael_M_Colby_Broken

Lazy rays of afternoon sunlight stretched across the beach, the relentless waves strewing shell and stone along the shoreline. I bent for a beautiful shell partially buried in the whirl of sea and sand encircling my bare feet. It was broken. Disappointed, I flung it back into the angry waters. As it left my hand God spoke to my heart.

“Aren’t you glad Jesus doesn’t treat you like that?”

Jesus walks through the sea of humanity, intentionally seeking the broken, the flawed, the less than perfect. He sets out to rescue and redeem the lost, those battered, even shipwrecked, by the storms of life.

Jesus, perfection personified, gave Himself to bring us to Himself. There’s no need to bury my brokenness, or my wrong thoughts, or feel condemned because of them. God is Holy, but I believe He prefers our honest uncensored prayers to an act, or rote religious dialogue. He knows me; He sees me. I cannot hide from Him. I can let Jesus uncover my sin.  He won’t cast me away when I stumble and fall. He loves me anyway.

He loves you too. Do you need to be found?

The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit. Psalms 34:18 (NKJV)

Sometimes, through no fault of our own, life beats us, leaves us breathless, lying on the ground.

I can give Jesus my sin, myself, and what I’m not meant to bear. He carries me when I can’t walk on my own.

My God is a restorer. That’s why He likes to show up when things are broken. Sometimes He needs to break us, so He can make us again.

It’s by way of the road called broken that I am mended. I am made whole as I place my battle weary sin scarred heart in the hands of my Maker.

He brings purpose to pain. With a touch from His healing hand my heart is made whole.

He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds. Psalms 147:3 (NKJV)

He is the designer of our destiny.

Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NLT)

We are His treasure.

Do you want Him?

All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. John 6:37 (NASB)

I want You, Jesus

I want all of You

Have all of me

Thy will be done

Have Your way in me

You fulfill me

But I am not satisfied

Empty me

Fill me

Teach me your ways

Oh God, I want to know You

You are my sustenance

My life, my breath, my strength

My friend

My God.

“For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth. Deuteronomy 7:6 (NKJV)

Matthew West – Broken Things 

© 2017  Rachael M Colby     Tattoo It On Your Heart