Showing posts from 2009

new buddy!

i may have neglected to introduce this guy:

this is my new buddy/nephew wyatt. my brother patrick and his wife jennifer had him right before we moved out east. it was bittersweet to say the least! my first nephew and i barely got to see him :( i get pictures of him occasionally but i definitely feel like i'm missing out.

things are finally settling down for us, praise God! our apartment is coming together although we still have a few boxes here and there. we make weekly trips to ikea, which is like disneyland for me... i am such a sucker for affordable swedish design! we finally got Maryland insurance for our car as well as the license plates and my driver's license, all of which was similar to a root canal in terms of fun-- i had to remove all the window tint from our car for our car to pass the safety inspection. Maryland is such a party pooper sometimes.

we finally made a new friend and he happens to live about 10 feet away from us! his name is Tony and ironically he…

we made it!

after several months of planning, researching, scrapping plans and starting over, we finally made it out east. we originally thought we'd settle in virginia as that's where most of the jobs in my field seemed to be as well as my current school (northern virginia community college), but God seems to have led us to college park, maryland, home of the university of maryland. after two prospective living situations fell through, we decided to check out a small apartment right on the green line metro (eric requires metro access for both work & school). the picture on craigslist looked fair enough, but when we got to the apartment to view it, we were honestly kind of disgusted- less than 500 square feet of room for the two of us with dated appliances and college kids both upstairs and down. at first, the only advantages to the place were 1) no minimum income requirement (most places we checked out wanted us to make at least $37,000 a year), and 2) literally RIGHT on the metr…


it's official. on August 1st, 2009 I became Mrs. Rachael Dillard O'Dell. i'm still getting used to the name!

now, we must pack our 2 lives into one and move to Virginia within the next week. so much to do!


my last post alluded to the fact that there is a lot going on in our lives. eric is working full time and going to class AND trying to help me plan a wedding. i am working full time, trying to plan a wedding, and trying to find a place for us to live a month from now. my brother and i recently flew out to Washington, DC for a few days to look at properties and check out the area. we thought we found a nice place for eric and i to live but for a few different reasons, that place may no longer be an option. so, here i am, thinking that the rigorous application process was for naught, feeling like i wasted a trip out east, wondering where the heck we are going to live in a few short weeks. our wedding is in two weeks and i'm trying my best to keep the stress of the living situation from ruining our wedding and honeymoon plans, but it's definitely weighty. neither eric nor i have ever had to be completely uprooted, let alone from one area's price of living to another ar…

a mighty whirlwind

a lot has been going on and normally i would be overwhelmed by it all, but to tell the truth, it all makes sense to me in a crazy way...

first of all, eric and i are getting married. we knew within about a week or two of our dating (which began about three years ago) that we were "right" for each other, that we would be good for one another in the way that God intended. we've been through some crazy ups and downs and im sure i can speak for both of us when i say that there is such a feeling of 'peace' and 'this makes sense' in our relationship. we even talked about getting married this fall and having a lovely fall-themed event... which brings me to the next item of interest. eric has been studying american sign language for the past two years and applied to gallaudet university in washington, DC just to see if he'd get in. backstory: gallaudet university is the only deaf university in the US. they only admit 20 hearing students a year to their A…
so this one time three years ago, this boy told me a story about his mom and how she sometimes acts during church. we were standing on the top level of a parking garage-- we still barely knew each other and as he was telling me this story, he grabbed my hand and said,

"sometimes she grabs my hand in the middle of church service... like this."

my thoughts raced and the butterflies in my stomach nearly made me puke, but i somehow managed to find a true Rachael moment in it:

"did you just use that as an excuse to hold my hand?"

"uhh... yeah... heh..."

and that's a good indication of how charmingly things began for us. which brings us to now, to tonight, in which the boy in the photo and the boy in the story are the same, and all of us were together again on the same top level of the same parking garage, in the same spot even... except this time he asked me to marry him.

of course i said yes :)

the lighting's bad and i know you cant really read it on …

Terebinth Spa/Brother, Sister Press

my good friend Allie recently started her own business, Terebinth Spa, in which she offers a night of homemade, organic spa treatments for office, home, and church parties. doesn't this sound amazing? just talking about it makes me feel relaxed and peaceful. i went to a party she threw at her home and it was so much fun to munch on snacks and do some self-pampering with other ladies. if you know Allie at all, you already know what a peaceful, loving, nurting person she is- just being around her is a peaceful, sweet experience, so "allie + spa business" makes perfect sense to me. it's inspiring to see her act on her dreams and i'm excited to see what God has planned with her and her projects!

i too am hoping to get more involved with some dreams of mine, namely the little shop i opened on i love making all different kinds of things and i hope the summer break will help me to invest more time in those projects. i've also opened an etsy store…

a desire fulfilled is a tree of life

i promise not to get too mushy, but... i cant resist posting this:

i love this boy a lot. he is the most beautiful, patient, sweet person i've ever met. we compliment each other in so many awesome ways. even though we've hurt each other a lot, we love each other a lot and i'm thankful that God has put us together as only He can-- to learn how to love another well and to show others God's love. Godly love doesnt give up or call it quits when things get rough, and that's a lesson i've needed to learn for a while. i'm thankful i got to learn it alongside the most beautiful person i know...


provision, perception, presence.

lately i have been very comforted by the Fullness of God. He is in control always, ordering all things for good. How silly it is of me to worry about anything...

"God provides for our needs and everything beyond that is a blessing."

i have been very busy with finals and unfortunately that has made it difficult for me to respond to amazing, amazing letters/emails/packages from friends. it's also been difficult to make time for God, whether that be time spent in the word or time just being mindful/connected. i've noticed that the less frequently i engage with the Spirit, the less frequently i perceive things correctly. while i'm not happy about this, it's definitely a cool lesson to learn. i am very thankful that my emotions do not always accurately reflect reality, and that that which i am feeling is not necessarily truth. i will be very relieved when i am done with school for the semester and can focus more energy on being part of the community and growi…

mind, blown.

do you ever get so psyched about what God is doing that you just can't contain it?

i just have to say... GOD IS KICKING SOME SERIOUS ASS.

confirmation is so freakin' awesome! holy crap, dude, God loves me a lot!

i pray pray pray that the people i care about will come to know God like i know him, and even moreso...

sorry to anyone who doesn't want to hear about Jesus-type stuff. it's kinda my life anymore, and i'm fine (even psyched) with it.

rooted in love.

i am pretty excited to meet the person God has created me to be. i have had glimpses of this person in the past but was never comfortable with her enough to let her stick around. for a person who has struggled with self-esteem issues lifelong, this is both challenging and comforting. i've dealt with all those typical 'girl' issues in life- being pretty/skinny/smart enough- and i'm so glad that God calls us to a higher place in life, a place where God is bigger than those issues. when i see myself through the lens of God's truth, i get really excited because i actually like that version of me, and the old version of me who wants to please and be loved by everyone is really very tired. in God i have realized that i am smart, loving, loveable, worthwhile, sensitive, understanding, sweet, charming, talented, wise, beautiful, and good. those last two are probably the hardest for me to say because i've had such issues with seeing myself as either of them- i alw…

Acts 2:42-47

The Fellowship of the Believers

[42]And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. [43]And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. [44]And all who believed were together and had all things in common. [45]And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. [46]And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, [47]praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

this passage really lays on my heart in a way that makes me want to get my hands dirty. brothers and sisters, let's make community happen, let's get messy, let's see what God has in store for us.

month 1.

it's been about a month since march 18th. i know being vague is just *so mysterious* and what not, but it will suffice to say that march 18th of 2009 was probably one of the worst days of my life. i continue to say "bleh!" in it's general direction. but! my point is that it's been a month. a month of ups and downs and highs and lows and tears and peace. i'm glad to look back and see 31 days between myself and that awful place. to be honest, everything that has happened has been worthwhile, even the hard parts. i know that there are things happening in my life that wouldn't have happened otherwise...

one of those things that i am especially thankful for is my growing love for others. God had been laying on my heart a need to be with others in community, and although i shared His desire, i just didn't know how to make it happen in myself. God is truly loving me through others and challenging me to find out what it means to have true brothers and…

i said good day.

today was the first good day i've had since march 17th.

i woke up early and went to take a test at school. did well despite the perpetual dark cloud that's been hovering above me for the past few days. came 'home' (i've been living with my pastor Danny and his wife Niccole for a few weeks) and intended to read/pray/fall asleep for the rest of the day when Niccole knocked on my door and asked me to go to Tea's Me (awesome tea cafe with amazing BLT's/pastor Danny's unofficial 'office') with her- can't turn down a pot of hot amazing naturally sweetened tea on a rainy day. we go. it's still raining and cold when we go in. we sit by the fireplace, drinking champagne oolong and munching our delicious sandwiches. i ask her advice about current life situations. she tells me some things i need to hear. we talk about friends, life, church, conflict ("carefrontation"?), hope, pain, vision. i get fed in more ways than one. i pur…

thankful heart

about two years ago or so i was at a very dark place spiritually. i wanted badly to connect with God, yet felt that I couldn't find him anywhere. i wanted to worship Him and praise Him and yet I couldn't find the peace to do those things, so I began to pray that God would give me a thankful heart. i am so thankful that He answered that prayer because today, even though i am struggling with some trials and tribulations, i can easily find things to be thankful for:

-Godly perception
-friends, brothers, and sisters
-mercy & grace
-the living word
-being called
-the Holy Spirit
-freedom in truth

this is just the tip of the iceberg. sometimes i find myself thanking God for the same things over and over throughout the day, in awe of all that God does for me and all that He provides for me. i am truly thankful to be thankful.

great lake swimmers

a few months ago i realized after the fact that one of my favorite bands, great lake swimmers, had played in indianapolis. i was bummed that i didnt get to see them, but even more bummed that i am officially 'out of the loop' as far as what's going on in the music world (note: i typed 'music scene' and then immediately BACKSPACE- the word 'scene' leaves such a bad taste in my mouth).

my playlist as of late definitely reflects my more contemplative state. sometimes i get in these moods where only a few bands can really 'get me' and i end up listening to only those few bands. here is a sampling of my latest favorites:

great lake swimmers:
river's edge
rocky spine
changing colours

first aid kid:
you're not coming home tonight
jagadamba, you might
i met up with the king

reindeer section:
you are my joy

here's the rest:
page france- jesus
david byrne & dirty projectors- knotty pine
new pornographers- use it
american analog set- promise of love

all joy.

something that i've been especially thankful to learn in my walk with Christ is how to be joyful in my trials and tribulation. i can't say i'm good at it or that it doesn't hurt still, but i've been blessed with mountain-moving faith in this area. the past few weeks have been difficult; i've had to deal with one thing after another- deaths in the family, as well as an especially painful event that i never, ever imagined would transpire in my life. but! i am still here. i am still believing. in fact, i am believing that God can and will take all this awfulness and bring something truly amazing up out of it. He has already changed me in ways that i could not change myself, even though i wanted to so badly. i believe that i am lucky to serve a God who is faithful even when i am not, a God who loves me regardless of how poorly i may love others, a God who loves me enough to turn my ways from the grave, and a God who loves me enough to discipline me. i am l…

venting over rude drivers.

will someone tell me what is up with rude drivers? this is my biggest pet peeve. i used to have some pretty bad anger issues, and i honestly feel like i have a handle on all my old triggers EXCEPT for rude drivers! like, it's totally okay to cut someone off or ride their tail because there are vehicular bodies between you- since you aren't face to face, in the flesh, it's OK to drive like a jerk! at least that's what people seem to think. people are always tailing me on my way home from school, like im just going waaaaaay toooo slooow, but hello, im doing 75 mph in a 70 zone. i figure thats safe enough but nooooooo, dudebrah's SUV isn't emitting enough toxins at this speed, so i either gotta move out of the way or speed up. what happens if i do neither? i have to admit i kinda like pissing people off in this way. if i just stay in my comfy 75 mph zone and play dumb, eventually i'll get the brights flashed at me or they'll wise up and go around.…

feelin' the pinch.

i was very irritated today to realize that someone had stolen my calculus textbook from my car. at first i thought that someone must be really bored to be stealing textbooks, but when i realized that i'd have to pay $146 to replace the dang thing, i wasn't all that surprised. obviously i haven't been able to keep up with homework or study for quizzes, so i'm not making the best grades, but to make matters worse, money is really tight. i have enough money to buy a new book if i need to, but from here on out, things will be tight and will get tighter. as far as our household, dad still has no work, mom is no longer allowed to work overtime, and i'm more or less living off school loans. i knew the time would come when we'd have to seriously scale back on 'luxuries,' and i've been telling myself that i'd do fine when that time came, but lately i find myself spending money on groceries left and right with raw food experiments and what not. i ha…

lol @ e.d.o.

isn't he cute?

tonight i got really frustrated with him. like, i-could-wring-your-neck frustrated. we've been going to the same (small) church for three years now, with the same 20 or so people, and somehow he still doesn't seem to know any of their names. these are people we hang out with on a weekly basis! people we are friends with! it escapes me!

anyhow, after voicing my concern of his name-memorization skills, we went to whole foods, where he had the perfect chance to make fun of my memorization skills ("what's that stuff called? oh yeah, guacamole"). i think it's completely perfect that i have a relationship in which my significant other can make fun of me and i respond with ROFL-style laughter.

he sure does drive me nuts some days, but i can't stay mad at a face like that. i'm a sucker :)


eric just left me a voicemail stating the his employer, Whole Foods, is going to be collecting and donating produce to the Peter's House meal ministry on a weekly basis!


new ears

i just bought these custom-made from etsy... and am eagerly awaiting the postman's arrival!

food addict

you can't tell anymore, but for a good 3 years or so i was vegan. i was very meticulous about what foods i ate and was always checking the ingredients label to make sure i was eating what i wanted. i was probably at my healthiest (and skinniest!) at that point in my life; i remember once i shocked my doctor when she took a blood test and found that my cholesterol was 27- i suppose you'll have that when you're not eating any animal products. anyhow... slowly i became lazy, decided i really loved kraft mac 'n' cheese, and eventually began eating meat again as well, which brings us to today- today i have very little discipline when it comes to my diet. i am a sucker for steak 'n' shake fries dipped in honey mustard, and i believe that the culver's down the street has the city's best cheeseburgers. truth be told, i am a sucker for "American" food- pizza, fries, 'fair food', ice cream, hotdogs, burgers, etc... and yet i loathe them…

goin' against yr mind

i realize this is going to sound ridiculous, but every now and then during the process of waking up in the morning, i find myself humming a song that was in my dream. in my dreams i can write the most amazing stuff! but when i fully wake up, the song is long gone. sometimes as im dreaming lucidly i even try to sing out loud in an attempt to remember melodies. i remember once when i was in about 6th grade or so, i woke up singing, "i wanna go to jupiter, to jupiter, to jupiter..." of course i have no idea what the lyrics meant but for a 6th grader the melody was pretty impressive.

do you ever come across songs that you think are just "genius"? it's hard for me to explain, but every now and then i encounter a song that just makes a lot of sense musically. i think i discovered Built to Spill's "Goin' Against Your Mind" over a year ago and it is definitely one song that i will never, ever get sick of. i'm pretty sure that if there was a c…

at peace

lately i have been feeling very content, very happy with where i am in life. i think somewhere over the past few years i began to feel a great dischord between where my life was and where i wanted my life to be, if that makes any sense, and i can say with great relief that that period is behind me. lately through working at peter's house and just milling through daily life, i have come to feel as though God is truly using me, and for me that is the ultimate goal. i am definitely not perfect nor have i "arrived," but things are good. i've noticed that when i go to peter's house to hang out with the homeless folks, i genuinely care about them. i mother over them. i enjoy dishing out plates of food for them. and i dont feel endangered, even though the house is located in one of the worst areas of the city. the house truly has a peaceful feeling about it, and i get a great blessing from providing these folks with a healthy, home-cooked meal. i am 100% certai…

in with the new.

christmas and new year's have come and gone. 2008 went by so fast! i have to say, it went pretty mildly for me...

check out this awesome sweatshirt! eric hand sewed the applique...

(you can see the detail much better if you click the picture... as usual, i'm not very good at taking pics of things. good thing i never went through with that 'going to college for photography' thing!)

so that's one thing i got for christmas. eric outdid himself this year!

since this past fall i have been getting more and more involved with Peter's House, a homeless shelter run by my friend William. it's been really cool to see this project evolve, and i've come to a certain knowledge that my involvement has been no accident. a few months ago i came up with the idea of having someone from our church group fix a good, home-cooked meal for the home's Thursday night house meeting. i volunteered to get the ball rolling and at first we had only planned to provide the meal …