Rachel Harter
About the Author

Rachel lives in The Woodlands, Texas and enjoys being a wife to Daryl and mama to Jacob (2) and Ella (1). She is a southern girl at heart and loves writing, cooking, family time in the backyard, and everything farmhouse.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Thank you Heavenly Father, that you chose Rachel’s words to touch our hearts and encourage us today. Thank you for this reminder that you care for each of us, so specially and deeply – that I (and others) so badly needed to hear. Thank you also for this reminder that your love – and your family – knows no bounds. So as you have used Rachel to encourage me (across the seas here in Oxford, UK) so would you please hear my prayers and bless and comfort her, her family and friends, in their horrendous situation in Texas. Amen xx

  2. Miss Rachel,

    What a blessing your words are to so many. I have been that rock. I remember “sitting alone at the end of the driveway” wondering why everyone else was able zoom right by on their bike, carefree, while I was stuck there. But God saw me. He saw my “streak.” He chose me to add to His “bucket.” He has given me a family, and life, I do not deserve; but, am so blessed to have… He continues to polish me every day and show me why He picked me and that without Him I am just a dirty, rough, cold, hardened sinner. Thank the Lord and my Savior Jesus Christ for saving me. Thank you for such encouraging words brought to so many in such a hard time. I can’t imagine how small you must feel in the midst of this tragic storm… but, the Almighty God, creator of the heavens and the earth, sees you too. May He protect and bless you and your family and friends and all of those being affected by the storm in TX. Amen.

    This side of Heaven,
    Summer Rae

    • Amen, Summer Rae.

      Rachel, we South Carolinians can empathize with the hurricane and flood damage and the personal struggles and tragedies. Help is on the way!

      By the way, I was a little girl who saw the beauty in the rocks and collected them. Now, because the Lord has opened my eyes, I see the beauty of the metaphorical rocks,even flawed ones like me!

      With Love and Prayers,
      ~Kay Lake

    • Amen, Summer Rae! Your words are beautiful. He is constantly refining us, gently molding, and shaping us into the women He has called us to be. All of the nicks from our journey are purposeful, and He is intentional with every season of our lives, even the painful ones. He treasures us just the way we are. What an awesome God we serve! And thank you for your prayers ladies! Even in the midst of such heartbreak and destruction, our God is already on the move in many mighty ways!

  3. Rachel, I’m amazed at God’s timing here. Your story resonates for me on several levels because I’m also a boy-mama and have fished a good many rock treasures out of my washer and dryer because they were riding in a little boy’s pocket.
    We tend to associate the rich truth behind God’s choosing with New Testament theology, but right now I’m reading in Jeremiah and keep bumping into the incredible way God selected Him, envisioned a plan for him, and then gave him away for the good of a wayward nation.
    You and your fellow Texans are in our prayers in these difficult days.

    • Michele – you are so right! I love your comment about being a boy mom too 🙂 My son still has every rock he’s picked up, tucked safely in his little bucket. Thank you for your prayers!

  4. This was such a beautiful reminder of our Great God and His love for us. I have been that “rock”, cast aside and forgotten, your sweet devotion today encouraged me and reminded me I am NOT forgotten, I am a child of GOD!
    My dear seeet Rachel, thank you for your encouraging words. May you find the comfort during this weathering season of Hurricane Harvey. May He provide the strength that is needed for each day. Many prayers to you, your family and your community of friends.

    • I loved the way God used your son and his rocks to remind you of his unconditional love! Thank you for the reminder that motherhood is beautiful, its so easy to become weary and overwhelmed when we are in the midst of raising kids. I am praying for you and your family today, in addition to all the other families in the Houston area that have lost so much. May you feel Gods love throughout this time of hardship and struggle. Praying for safety and protection.

      • Jen and Carrie, thank you! Your words are such an encouragement to me as well. Your prayers are being heard and felt as I type this. Our city is coming together in amazing ways, and God is moving so mightily among us! You both are so right – we are all children of God, treasured just the way we are by a God who loves us beyond measure. What a priceless gift!

  5. Praying for protection, for needs to be met, for grace and mercy, and for strength for you and the thousands of others as you deal with the current challenges

  6. Rachel, I have never posted but love the way God works. You will be specifically in my prayers today.

    • Hi Marie! Thank you so so much. I also love the way God works. He is on the move in many mighty ways, and I am so grateful. Thank you for your prayers!

  7. Thank you for speaking words of life and strength into days that may become tiring as a Mama…our little guy is our rock hunter and collector, so this just touched my heart. Praying for you and your family as well as all those affected by the flooding. ❤️️

    • Thank you so much, Christine! Isn’t it great having a little rock hunter? These days sure seem long and a mixture of craziness and exhaustion sometimes, but our calling as mamas is such a gift. We serve a God who sees the work we do – the loads of laundry, the dirty diapers, the feeding sessions, the cries soothed. When we feel like we’re at the end of our rope, our loving God is here to remind us that He sees us, loves us, and treasures us just the way we are. Thank you so so much for your prayers!

  8. Dear treasured Momma,
    We lived in Katy, Texas. Many friends are there while we are in Welland, ON Canada. Our hearts and prayers are with y’all!
    Thank you for your insights to the hot mess in a beautiful message!

    • Thank you, Amy! I will also be praying for your friends in Katy. Our God is already on the move in many mighty ways, and I pray that your friends feel His presence today. Thank you for your words!

  9. Rachel,
    How is Gods timing, thank you for your post which spoke to where I am right now.
    Lord, please watch over Rachel, her family and friends and all those effected by the storms and flooding. Mighty Lord, please rescue those that need it, comfort and keep them safe. Give them strength at this time, your strength and love today and in the coming days of rescue, reflection and rebuild. IJN, Amen.

    Sending love from New Zealand, I will keep you in my prayers x

  10. Our heart goes out to all of you in that flooding area. Many prayers lifted for God to keep people safe! Thank you for this beautiful post. I too was, and am, a rock finder, and many of my Grands are too! I have always wondered what my poor Mom did with all the boxes of rocks under my bed! I really loved your post and will try to remember your lesson here. So good for our souls! God bless you with His love, safety, and most of all His wisdom as you raise your precious little ones!

    • Thank you for the sweet words, Gail. What a blessing to me! We serve a mighty God who cherishes us regardless of what we might see as imperfections. He sees the very best in us. And I rely on Him daily as I raise my two toddlers. It is such a wonderful gift to be their mama, and I need The Lord’s grace and mercy every day. What a mighty God we serve! Thank you for your prayers as well – please keep them coming!

  11. Yes, my eyes welled up in tears at the same point yours did in this lovely story. May people in Texas, Louisiana, and everywhere in between remember that God sees and loves and saves. May His Blessings and His Provisions abound in your life for your faithfulness to Him. Amen

  12. God bless you, Rachael! We are praying for everyone affected and everyone aiding them. You are not alone!

  13. Rachel,
    Our Father has given you strength of heart and soul and the gentle, compassionate gift of words to encourage others. I pray that your little bucket may continue to hold those precious rocks gathered along your life’s path of mothering and witnessing to others. Today especially may you feel hope and deep, abiding strength of purpose as you treasure your loved ones and see God in the midst of today’s storm. You are loved and treasured dear sister in Christ. Jan

    • Jan, your comment made my eyes fill with tears. Thank you for your kind words! I so appreciate your encouragement. It is amazing how The Lord is using sisters in Christ from across the world today. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart!

  14. What an amazing read today! Knowing that God also seeks out the “little rocks”! My heart aches for you and the many people in Texas who are having to leave their homes and the many effects this will have. My prayers for all of you! May you find strength in God as you face the challenges!!!!

    • Thank you so much, Theresa! We serve a God who adores and treasures the little rocks that others would pass up. He is a loving and mighty God, and I can already see Him at work here in Texas. Thank you so much for your prayers – it means the world to know that so many of my sisters in Christ are praying!

  15. Rachel, thank you for reminding us we are each one of us, chosen, special, much loved, and holding much potential in Father God’s hands.
    Praying for protection, safety, physical needs to be met, and for hope and peace to all facing the storms. Keep looking up, dear sister. XOXO

    • Nancy, thank you!! We are absolutely loved, and sometimes I need to remind myself of that every day as I raise my little ones. Thank you for your sweet words and for your prayers – your encouragement has blessed my soul!

  16. We lived in Boerne, Texas, just outside of San Antonio for many years (moved to Virginia last year for ministry work)…. it was the only place I ever felt was home here on earth. We were affected by floods a couple years back (no where near this degree, but enough to where we could not get out of the area that we lived in for a while) and I still acutely remember the horrible devastation as many lives were lost. I have been praying fervently for all of Texas as this hurricane ravages our beloved state. Rachel, we are praying for your family today and will continue to pray for all those affected by this storm. May God be our refuge and strong tower today and always. Amen.

    • Thank you so much, Michelle! Your words mean so much to me. Our incredible God is on the move in many mighty ways, and it feels that our city has become holy ground as He works to restore our people. Your prayers are cherished, and I know He hears them! Thank you for writing.

  17. Rachel, know that you, your family and the states of Texas and Louisiana are not forgotten. We are all in this with you and will be for the long haul. Guaranteed.

    Praise God for your words this morning! They were a balm to my soul. I’m in a different season of life (hubby and I are empty nesters). I’m enduring a painful job search, full of rejection, no call backs etc. I have felt forgotten, but your story reminds me that The Lord never forgets His children. His plan for me and for all of us is perfect, and I choose to trust Him. He is faithful! <

    Be safe, Rachel. We'll keep the prayers coming.

    In His Grip,

    • Lara, thank you so much! Know that you are seen, loved, and cherished by the God who knows each star by name. This difficult season you are in is full of intention, perfectly designed by Him. He is always, always faithful, even when it seems that we’re at the end of our rope. He has not forgotten you, my friend! You can claim the promise that He makes in Jeremiah 31:17 – There is hope for your future! Just like my son and his little rocks, The Lord sees the wonderful ways that He knit you together – He sees things that others may not notice yet. And trust me – He is going to use you in a mighty way, and I can’t wait to hear about it!
      Thank you for your prayers – they mean the world!

  18. Rachel thank you for the reading today. It has been a long time since I have had small ones who go rock hunting. But I can remember the frustration of needing to move on and them wanted to stop, every few minutes, to look at or touch something. Those were blessed moments and they go by so quickly. I am sendings prayers for security and strength for your family in Texas and your neighbors. May God protect and keep you in his care.

    • Thank you so much, Sue! I often need to remind myself to slow down. You are right that the time just flies by! I ask The Lord daily to help me savor every moment He gives me with my children. He uses both of them to teach me so much about Himself. Thank you for your sweet words and prayers!

  19. Dear Rachel,
    I am going to read your post to my granddaughter today as she sometimes feels like that stone that is overlooked. What a beautiful analogy you used today that God never overlooks any of us no matter how small and insigficant we may feel in the world’s eyes….He sees our beauty although we may be covered with dirt. Rachel I am from .Canada where we have never seen the devastation of a hurricane and the fear it strikes in every heart. I have been praying for all the residents in your area to feel God’s peace in the midst of this storm and in the weeks and months and years ahead for the rebuilding. God will be in that mess with you all too. Psalm 91 vs 4 ” He will cover you with his feathers and under His wings you will find shelter.”

    • Gayle – thank you so much! Your post means so much to me. It bring me to tears to know that your granddaughter will be encouraged. We serve a God who sees the beauty in us regardless of our journey, and He treasures us just the way we are. He does not leave any of His daughters behind. He has a mighty plan for your granddaughter, and I pray that she senses His presence today. Thank you so very much for your prayers, as well – it means the world to know that so many sisters in Christ are praying!

  20. Rachael, I never lose my wonder at God’s perfect timing for those people and things He puts right in front of you when you need them. Your post was my “God gift” today.
    I pray for those impacted by Harvey and also for those wonderful people who have left their families and rolled up there sleeves to help. While the destruction is devastating the stories of heroes and helpers shows His movement on people’s lives.

  21. Prayers for your sweet family, Rachel. I manage my parent’s rock & jewelry shop in NE Oklahoma. We have a rock table and regularly help kids pick out that special rock. Thanks for reminding me that God has chosen each of us in the same way. One of the teens who worked for me was especially good at polishing rocks. I rummaged through bins of rocks that my dad had cut and had her take them out to the polisher and polish them up. She would come in beaming at the beauty she had revealed by polishing a simple rock. God takes the time to polish and refine us to bring out our beauty. Good lessons from rocks!

  22. Rachel-
    Just want you to know that your message touched my heart today. I also know you are in the midst of a huge struggle. We are praying for comfort and peace for Houston today! You are well loved. God has got this one❤
    Cape Cod

  23. Wow – how could this story not touch everyone? We have all felt like that “rock” sometime or many times in our life. God is with us at our “lowest” but it’s difficult to remember that. I am sure the people of Texas have felt like God has abandoned them. That is the devil for sure.

    My Lord and my God, give the people affected by this horrific storm a ray of Son-shine to help them on their long journey. Amen

  24. Thank you so much, Rachel, for these words! They could not have come at a better time for me! God bless you and your family and keep you safe throughout this horrible disaster in your home town in Texas. Praying for comfort, strength and peace for all involved in this disaster.

  25. Prayers for you and your family, your word were inspiring to me today as I remember to look for the specialness in all people, thank you

  26. Rachel,

    What a beautiful reminder of both our worth to God but how He truly delights in us. I am praying for your family today and also for your friends and beautiful city.

  27. Love this post.

    Thinking and praying for strength for you and your loved ones during this difficult time.

  28. Thank you for this much needed encouragement today! Praying against fear, discouragement, despair and that the flood waters recede today! Stay safe!

  29. God’s timing is impeccable (and yet we doubt). I’m actually headed to Louisiana tomorrow from West Virginia to attend the funeral of my half-brother who lost a very short battle with cancer. My heart is grieving not only for myself but others who are struggling with the broken of this world in parts of Louisiana and Texas. Thankful for the Kingdom of God we are in right now and not yet. Our Hope is secure! Your words were a soft spot for my heart today. Thank you Rachel.

    • Lisa, thank you so much for your words. I am so sorry about your loss and I pray that The Lord comforts your soul during this difficult time. You are exactly right – He is our hope and our firm foundation when the ground beneath us feels like it keeps shifting. Thank you so much, and I pray that you sense His presence today!

  30. Prayers for all that are affected by Harvey. Prayers also for the first responders and volunteers.

  31. Rachel, Please know that people everywhere are lifting you and the people of Houston area up to God. May you feel His protection, His comfort, His security, His peace. Although you are surrounded by flood waters, He sees you and He cares for you. In the midst of all that water, He sees the blue speck that is you and He upholds you in this time of devastation. Your words today were a gift to me. I pray my words will be a gift to you. May God bless and keep you and all those in harm’s way.

    • Kim, thank you! Your words are a gift and such a blessing to me! You have encouraged me greatly, and I am so thankful to have sisters in Christ praying from all over the world. Your post means more than I can even express!

  32. Rachel, may God protect your family and love ones. I pray the storm will pass over and the Lord will direct you along the way. I pray for strength, encouragement, and peace in your life.

  33. Dear Rachel,
    Thank you so very much for your message and being the amazing mom who bent down to look for encouraging your boy and his “blue” rock. May God bless you and keep you and all of your friends and family safe through this hurricane in Jesus name Amen

  34. Lifting up prayers for you and your family Rachel…and all of those affected by Hurricane Harvey. Thank you for this reminder today!

  35. Rachel, thank you for the beautiful story of your Jacob. It made me well up with tears because I too have a Jacob but he is 22. Your Jacob and my Jacob must have been cut from the same cloth by our Lord. As your story flooded me with memories of my little boy and the dirt, the rocks and match box cars of a toddler and made me proud of the young man he has become. Enjoy your hand in hand rock hunts because those days drift away so quickly that you dont feel them slipping away. I pray for the Lords protection on all of you as you weather the storm.

    • Denise, thank you! Your sweet post brought me to tears. Your Jacob sounds like one I pray my Jacob becomes – a young man of compassion and godliness. Thank you for your prayers and encouragement – The Lord is teaching me that every day is a gift to be savored. You have blessed me today!

  36. You are being prayed for dear one! Even though we are far away, our hearts are close to each other during this time and we are together ♥️

  37. Rachel,
    This was such a beautifully touching post, thank-you. Please know that everyone who’s effected I’m praying for your safety and strength as you all endure the storm.
    Blessings to you all,
    Penny (from Canada)

  38. Your story made me smile – I am not a parent but when I was little, we used to go to a beach in NB, Canada made up of wonderful pebbles (no sand) – all different colors, and of course, gleaming when wet. And every summer, I gathered a pocket of pebbles…red ones, white ones, black with white stripes, ones that looked just like raw meat…that beach has long since been closed and made into a rock quarry but somewhere I still have my little jar of treasured stones! Praying for you as you live with the devastation that Harvey has wreaked on your home and surroundings! May you and your little ones be able to enjoy a simple rock hunt again, in the midst of whatever the new normal will bring.

    • Thank you, Trudy! I love your story! Your words have blessed me, and we are already seeing God move in mighty ways around our town. Thank you so much for sharing with me!

  39. Rachel,

    Thank you for that word! God’s timing is perfect. Praying for you and your family and all those impacted by the flooding.

  40. Rachel,
    Thank you for this post. It was just what I needed today. I am adding my prayers to all the others going up for you and all those affected by the storms in Texas and Louisiana.

  41. Rachel, the timing on your beautiful post has me in such awe of God’s plans. I am praying for you and your city.

  42. Dear Rachel,

    Thank you for these words today. They were like honey for my soul. Glad you are safe and will be praying for you and your neighbors. God is with you!

  43. Wonderful words today Rachel. I’m praying for you and your neighbors! May God’s love shine on this event.

  44. Praying for you, your family, and your friends and neighbors. Thank you for sharing your heart.

  45. Lifting up your family today, Rachel. My heart and prayers are with everyone effected by the storm. May God give you all peace and strength for the days ahead. — And, loved your sweet post today. Brought back memories off all the rock-gifts I was given over the years of raising my 3 little boys. Little ones are such a good teachers in ways we never expect. ((Hug))

    • Thank you, Brenda! You are so right – I have learned many, many important lessons from The Lord through my two toddlers. What a gift! Thank you for your prayers, too! They are being heard and felt.

  46. Rachel I am Praying for everyone who is in the path of Harvey. Keep trusting the Lord and I will continue to Pray for everyone.

  47. Rachel, Your words touched my heart and just when I needed it most. God is so amazing and I pray that he will restore your home and that of your family and friends to that peaceful, beautiful place it once was. I pray that the rain water will recede and those who were left homeless are taken care of until they are back on their feet. We are thinking about you and doing what we can here in California to help Texas. Sending you prayers for comfort.

    • Thank you so much, Kathy! Your prayers mean so much, and God is absolutely amazing. We are seeing His goodness and mercies new every morning. Thank you!

  48. Heavenly Father, your Providence and Sovereignty still amaze me! I’ve been praying and grieving for many dear friends and family (Rachel included) in the Houston area living through one of the devastating occurrences of all time. Lord, I pray for their peace, their contentment, their trust in you in the midst of the storm. Please give them strength, health, stamina and endurance as the waters recede and the clean up begins. Please help them keep their kindness and solidarity towards each other stopping to lend a helping hand and prayer to another scared and/or hurting soul. May Your light shine bright in all proving Your victory over this terrible occurrence. Amen

  49. This is so beautiful!! Thank you for the encouragement today when I feel a bit like the hunk of rock that most would pass over. He loves so fiercely! Praying for you and your family and the whole area through this mess and clean up.

    • Thank you so much, Hannah! He absolutely loves fiercely. He pursues you, cherishes you, and adores you. He sees the fearful and wonderful ways in which He made you, and each season of your life is part of His perfect design. It’s so awesome to rest in the truth that we serve a God who won’t ever pass us over or leave us behind. He has great plans for you, my friend! Hang tight to His promises and know that you are deeply loved by Him. Thank you for your prayers!

  50. Rachel,
    So enjoyed your post this morning. Thank you for the reminder that we are all a work in progress, diamonds in the rough and loved by a God who is crazy about us and the completion of the work He’s begun in us!!!
    So cool that you were posting today and how God orchestrates events so that we can reap blessing even amidst life’s storms. As you hold on to Him through this very real and devastating storm, may you feel God’s peace and tangible presence. Praying safety for you and your family, friends, neighbors, and all of Texas who is facing this horrific ordeal. Just as your son held so tightly to his precious rock, God has the whole world tightly held and will carry you, his precious treasure, through this!! Blessings and love,

    • Thank you, Lori! I love your “diamonds in the rough” analogy. That is a perfect picture of the redemptive love of our God! Thank you for sharing that with me. He absolutely does orchestrate everything perfectly – He knew exactly the day I would post and exactly the day the hurricane would hit. Praise God that there’s nowhere we will go that He has not already stood. Thank you so much for your prayers and words of encouragement!

  51. Rachel, Thank you for such a beautiful post today, which really touched me. I will be forwarding it on to a very special friend who is a gem fosicker and we took family vacations away together over many years. On these we took many walks, always keeping our eyes on the lookout for “that” special rock with it’s hidden treasure.
    Praying that God will protect you and all His children in this terrible Hurricane that has hit Texas and keep you and your family safe.

  52. Oh Rachel, lifting you up to Heavenly Father today, for peace, for safety and most of all hope. Praying that the resources you and your neighbors need overflow and come quickly and that through this trial God’s glory will shine!

  53. Thank you for this. I have a grandson, Jacob, who will be four in two days. He also loves collecting rocks in a bucket. I will always look at it differently, now.
    Praying for you and everyone effected by Harvey.
    Keep encouraging.

    • Thank you so much, Tina! I love that you also have a little Jacob in your life. Enjoy those rock hunts – they are truly such special memories. Thank you for your prayers!

  54. I love how well God loves us through one another. Scrolling through these messages made me weepy. Take heart sweet sister. God’s mercies are new every morning and His faithfulness is great. You are loved, not just by Him but by His daughters. I love your tender mom heart. My babies are all grown and I often wish I’d been quicker to listen, observe and teach than to become impatient and scolding. You’re doing a good work Rachel. Press in closer to Him who leads you.

    • Wow, Teresa, your sweet words have brought me to tears. Thank you for your encouragement. As a mom of two very little ones, it’s so easy to become overwhelmed with the work in front of me. Being a mama is the greatest gift and our good and gracious God is using my babies to teach me about Himself. Wow. Don’t we serve an awesome God? Thank you so much for sharing with me – this network of sisters in Christ brings such joy to my heart. So thankful for all of the ladies here!

  55. Oh, Rachel, I’m praying for you big time today! I grew up on the Gulf Coast and have been through so many hurricanes…and though each one is different and the level of devastation varies, I’m always so poignantly reminded of the fear during the storm and the time it takes to recover. Please know that we – even those of us who now live far away – are praying with you and for you and giving what we can to help the folks in your area. I pray that you are able to continue living damage free in your home with those precious children…and that help for all around you will be swift and generous. The one thing I was always reminded of in the aftermath of the storm was the kindness of neighbors and strangers. I pray that you continue to find this help strong and true in the coming days. Love from one Southerner to another… Cynthia

    • Thank you so much, Cynthia!! Your words and prayers are such blessings to me today! The Lord mercifully spared my family and my home, so now we are able to go out and assist others in disaster relief and recovery. Our awesome God is moving in mighty ways here, and it is incredible to know that so many are praying from around the world. I so appreciate your encouragement!

  56. Built on THE ROCK…one can weather any storm…God can polish and make things bright again after He washes us in His Love.
    Praying for all those “rock hunting” and riding this hurricane out with focus on that firm foundation that stands forever.

  57. Rachel…..

    Your words are so powerful, thank you so much for sharing them.

    I’m praying for you and yours and all the flood victims in Texas.

    Remember, God’s got this!

    xo, Alana

  58. Tears in my eyes… thank you for sharing this message of love and hope. Your heart is beautiful and your words impacted me in ways I didn’t realize I needed. Praying for you and all in need from this devastating hurricane. God is with you and always causes you to triumph in Christ. We are here for you, sister.

    • Thank you so much for sharing, Karen! Your words are so encouraging, and your prayers are being heard! God is on the move in Texas, and we are seeing Him deliver hope, love, and compassion through so many people as rescue and recovery efforts are underway. It is amazing to know that so many of my sisters in Christ are praying- what a blessing! I treasure all of you. Thank you for being the hands and feet of Jesus through your prayers!

  59. Isn’t God good, all the time!! Even in the hurricane. Isaiah 43:2 “I will be with you when you pass through the waters, and when you pass through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you.” Praying for you today, Rachel and all those affected by Harvey.

  60. Dearest Rachel. Your gift of God’s grace through crafted word has reached many. Thank you for sharing. We are all that little mashed up stone, yet never foresaken. I hope you share again. In the meantime, we are Texas strong, helping, praying, working mercilessly. God be with you & Daryl and your precious family. God be with us all, always.

    • Thank you so much, Aunt Kathleen and Uncle Keith! Your sweet words are such an encouragement and blessing. Praise God that He never leaves us behind and sees the good in us, regardless of our imperfections. We have all been that little rock, yet we can trust in the promise of hope that we have in Christ. Thank you so so much!

  61. Rachel, Thank you for the beautiful reminder of how God selects us personally for His special “bucket”. I had 4 children in 5 1/2 years and remember those crazy, busy mama days. And now they are teens and young adults, and some of the craziness still exists. You see God chose one of my children to allow to have anxiety and depression issues that led to addiction. And He chose me to be her mom! The journey has been fraught with lots of unexpected twists and turns, and yet from it He is polishing and refining both of us. Today I read that in order for gold to be refined, the refiner puts it through intense heat until it melts to the point that the refiner can see his face in the gold. Isn’t that so true with us too? God refines us, and as He does, with His grace we reflect Jesus in our lives? For me, the refining through the hard work of parenting a prodigal child has led me to now lead a new ministry for hurting parents in our town, one that points parents to God in their suffering for hope, and reminds us that we are not alone in the journey. Only God could have seen the plainness of my “rock”, polished it to reflect His glory, which in turn is pointing others to His goodness and faithfulness. And, what a special analogy to share with my prodigal child, how He is picking her out of all the seemingly flawed rocks as one so special to Him that He will use perfectly one day!

    Thank you for your blog! Sending love and prayers to you and all in Texas. God is holding you all close!

    Blessings to you!


    • Beth, your words are beautiful and bring tears to my eyes. Thank you so much for sharing your amazing story! You are exactly right. Our God loves us so much that He refines us, molds us, and shapes us into greater vessels for His glory. He has incredible plans for your daughter, and for you as her mom. He sees the wonderful things in her that she may not see yet, and He is able to turn even the tiniest rock into one of His treasures. I absolutely love your analogy with the gold. We serve such an awesome God! You are such a blessing to me today. Thank you for sharing your heart and for praying!

  62. He is our rock and we are His. Praying for friends in Texas, to be led to the rock that is higher, as flooding recedes in His name. Your son’s story made me think of the Michael Card song. It’s either Nathan’s song or Nathan’s Lullaby, and the line is ” you taught me more that I’ll ever teach you. ” That is so true of precious and loved children who are taught about Jesus. It’s sad to see so many who are not and never realize the are precious to Him. I am going to add a post to my children’s blog later today, it will show up o n my FB page, I will add a rock and post for Jacob.

  63. God bless you and your family Rachel! Your post has truly touched my heart and blessed me today. Praying that our faithful and good Father protects you and your family and all of our brothers and sisters in Texas. May He protect your house from the flood waters and may He keep all of you safe. In Jesus’ Name, Amen! Blessings and love to you ❤️❤️

    • Thank you so much, Stephanie!! The Lord has been merciful and spared my house and my family. Now He is giving us opportunities to be His hands and feet among those who have lost everything. Thank you so much for your sweet words and prayers – He hears them!

  64. Dear Rachel and out Texas friends, you all are in our thought and prayers. God will see you through this time as He has done for so many others. He will keep you in perfect whose mind is stayed on Him. Isaiah 26:3 God bless!

  65. Rachel,
    Living in Florida I have experienced the devastation of hurricanes and spin off tornadoes. We have been so blessed as you were to be spared the full impact of the storm to our home. But our hearts break as I know yours does to see the life changing effects all around you. We rejoice in you being spared and we mourn with those who have lost everything. This storm was no surprise to our heavenly Father and He will remain close to the broken-hearted and by faith in Him, who knows all and sees all, the people in Texas will get through this! Our prayers are with you and many people here in Orlando are preparing to come your way to offer their support. You are not alone in this and will remain in our prayers.

    • Thank you for the kind words, Robin! The Lord is on the move in our town for sure, and we trust in Him to restore and renew. Thank you so much for your prayers!!

  66. God is speaking to all of us through your words today! And keep trying, mama! Some day your little rock hunter will grow up. And maybe if he marries, his wife will still be fishing out rocks and odd objects out of his pockets as she does laundry…shaking her head and thanking the Lord for the wonder of her man-boy. How do I know? I am married to one of those man-boys who has odd things in his pockets, and was raised by a godly mama.
    Prayers for and your community in the coming months as the tedious process of rebuilding and sorting through sodden muck begins and continues…

    • Shauna, what beautiful words! Thank you! You really encouraged me. I am savoring these days and all of our little rock hunts. Thank you so much for your prayers!

  67. What a gift to be able to host you here today Rachel! Just know that our community is lifting up your community tonight. May our God be a rock to you and yours to stand on through this crazy time. You are valued and seen by so many.


    • Thank you so much, Lisa-Jo! I so appreciate your words. The Lord has been moving in mighty ways these past few days, and we are seeing our community turn into holy ground as so many people serve as the hands and feet of Christ. Your prayers mean so much to us!

  68. As God see’s us all dirty and appearing to be useless to the world and not very pretty. HE can see underneath and polish us up so we can shine for him. Have you thought about buying him a rock polisher? Loved your post and your spirit. Love Aunt Sylvia

  69. Rachel,
    Your words in this post really struck home with me. I have a special needs teenager during this season in my life. He feels very deeply, so the storm coverage really caused him great anxiety; he doesn’t like seeing others hurting. My family lives in the Woodlands, Texas. We were anxiously praying, watching, & waiting throughout the storm. Things were intense & touchy at various times, but we were spared any damage and feel very blessed. It was & still is so hard watching the devastation Harvey left in his wake. A pastor & her family at our church lost their home & everything in it. God has a plan & will use this devastation for good. I work for a church Special Needs Ministry and was able to return to work today. It was such a blessing seeing all of the willing volunteers that came today to help sort thousands of donations and to give generously of the time & talents. Houston & Texas will rise and rebuild even stronger. Prayers for you, your family, & friends affected by Harvey; may God be ever present to help them rebuild & recover.

    • Erin, thank you so much! I am in The Woodlands as well! My neighborhood was spared, but many of our friends in Creekside have lost almost everything. We are so grateful that so many volunteers offered their boats to bring some of our loved ones to safety. I am so happy to hear that your home did not suffer damage! What a blessing! It has been amazing to see so much grace and mercy poured out in our city over these past few days. It’s almost like our town has become holy ground as everyone works together to serve like Christ. So amazing! I will be praying for the family from your church and for your son, as I know that the storm and recovery coverage will continue for awhile. Thank you for your sweet words!

  70. Dear Rachel,
    Love your post on rock hunting! Thought of my 4 year old grandson who loves that stuff too!
    God has certainly given you a gift so please keep writing as it touches our personal struggles and speaks to us where ‘we are’!
    Praying now for protection to you and yours and the people of Texas who have been affected. We watch it all on CNN and cry to our Father to protect you all.
    sal (sri Lanka)

    • Thank you so much, Sal! Your kind words mean so much, and we greatly appreciate your prayers! God has heard every prayer, and we are seeing Him answer every day as our city rebuilds. Thank you!!

  71. Dear Rachel,
    I am a day behind but I want to say say thank you for such a beautiful post. God uses the little seemingly simple acts to show us how much He cares and everything matters to Him and He has a purpose even when we can’t see it and when it hurts. Thank you. Please know I am praying for you and the families and situation in Texas. Having gone through and still dealing with the aftermath of Sandy, I can only imagine. We will trust and believe God for restoration.

    • Thank you, Carlyann! You are so right – sometimes The Lord teaches us through the simplest things, right where we are. Thank you so much for your prayers!

  72. Thank you for sharing this post. Though I am I am in a different season of life having already raised my children, it has been a particularly difficult year. This post was a timely blessing! God is never a mute to early or to late! Joining with you in prayer for Rachel and all those affected by all the flooding. ❤️

    • Thank you so much, Julie! I am sorry to hear that this year has been a difficult one, but know that our loving Father sees you and has purposefully planned every season. Sometimes it’s hard to see it, but He’s got you right in the palm of His hand. And you are so right – He’s always right on time 🙂 Thank you for your prayers!

  73. Praying for you Rachel. And praying for everyone who had to leave their home. Heartbreaking. We have survived a flood to our business when in 1994 Tropical Storm Alberto stalled and left in excess of 20 inches of rain on our little town.

    • Wow, Leslie! You can definitely relate to what our community is going through. We so appreciate your prayers! God is moving in mighty ways already!

  74. Rachael I hope at this time you and you family are well and safe.
    Your words today reminded me of my girls at the beach choosing that one special sea shell. Only to remind me how large was the beach as to how large our Lord’s heart is. Thank you for you reminder. Prayers are with you and your neighbors at this devastating time. Rosanne

  75. Rachel, praying for you, your family, and all who are dealing with the aftermath of the storm. i pray that “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13. From Psalm 33:20-22 “We wait for the LORD; He is our help and shield. For our hearts rejoice in Him, because we trust in His holy name. May Your faithful love rest on us, for we put our hope in You.”

      • You are welcome! The LORD gets all the credit! Another verse He brought to my mind is Psalm 91:4 “He will cover you with His feathers;you will take refuge under His wings. His faithfulness will be a protective shield.” Praise the LORD !

  76. Rachael,

    Prayers going out for you and everyone in the Houston area. It is heartbreaking to see all the devastation. I’m having hard time imagining all that rain & no power. God is with you all & so are we here at In(Courage). God’s timing is impeccable. The folks of Texas & Louisiana are resilient & I know through the prayers & donations of many people you will survive as conquerors.

    I am always amazed at how God uses children to teach us lessons. Your son saw the blue in the small tiny rock. God sees the good in all of us-no matter how bad we mess up. He still loves us-warts & all. His love can NEVER be removed. We are not failures, but children of Almighty God!!

    Blessings 🙂

    • Amen, Beth! Thank you for your sweet words of encouragement, and also for your prayers. We are seeing amazing things happen in Houston as people work together to rebuild and restore. It has been incredible to see so many people become the hands and feet of Christ – God is on the move in so many mighty ways!

  77. Dear Rachel,
    I thank God for your beautiful post, which so encouraged me today, & for your faithfulness in continuing to answer all the replies to it & your personal encouragement to each person with their individual situations, despite your own trials. God has made you an amazing lady!
    I do pray God’s protection & provision over you, your family & all those affected by the storms of this life. I thank God, that there will come a Day, when there will be no more ‘storms’, or pain, or tears, or suffering for us – because we have put our trust & hope in Him.

    • Thank you so much for your sweet words! You have truly blessed me today! I have been so amazed at all of the wonderful messages of hope and encouragement from (in)courage. Wow. Thank you for your prayers – God hears them and He is answering them! We are seeing incredible things happen in our city, and to Him be the glory!!

  78. Rachel,
    Thank you for sharing your sweet story! I became a bit weepy as I read your precious words! The Lord is sooo wonderfully good to show us His great love through our “gifts of love” from Him! Our children are truly His gifts of love, aren’t they!
    May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord shine His face upon you and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift His countenance upon you and give you peace.
    Praying for you and your family as well as all in the Hurricane Harvey area.
    Kendra Alexander is my sweet daughter-in-love! She shared this , so I have been blessed as well!

    • Teresa, thank you!! Kendra is one of my very sweetest friends and I love her dearly! I so appreciate your kind words. You are right- our children are such a gift and I love that The Lord uses them as little vessels to teach us more about Himself. It’s so amazing! Thank you for sharing – you have blessed me!

  79. Dear Rachel, this is a few days later than the other comments (I don’t always have time to check incourage every day), but please know that you are not forgotten. The people of Texas remain in my prayers, as I know that it takes a long time to recover from such an event. As you said in your post, we get cleaned up over time by God. Also, I am mother to a seven-year-old boy, who owns a bucket of stones in our back garden. I keep thinking that he will grow out of the habit of hunting for rocks, but your post has made me realise that I probably don’t really want him to :). Prayers continue to be offered for you and your Texan community. Gillian.

    • Thank you so much for the sweet response, Gillian! I love that your boy also collects rocks. I think it is such a special thing that really has a God-given tenderness about it. Thank you for your prayers, too! It’s been amazing to see God at work in Texas! And it means so much to know that my sisters in Christ are praying from all over the world. Thank you!!

  80. Rach,
    As a fellow toddler rock collector momma being slowed way down for the cause of growing the heart of a tiny human – I/we are with you as you parent and plea to God for strength in the aftermath. For hope to rise above the flood waters and your mothering to reach a new place because of the courage and outpouring of love from people who care about your day to day.
    Blessings From Seattle,

    • Jen, thank you so much for your response! What a blessing to read your words today!! I love that you also have a rock collector in your life 🙂 That makes my heart so happy. Thank you also for your prayers – because The Lord mercifully spared my family and my home, He is enabling us to help others, and I am grateful for the many ways that He is moving in our city! Thank you for your sweet encouragement.