Thursday, September 6, 2012

Most Wonderful Days of My Life

I know my blog posts go long, and I myself have a short attention span, so read what you will! I'll try to hit the important stuff- gosh, what isn't important!?

Everything went so wrong today, I'm really done complaining, it finally got to the point where I'd laugh about how everything was going SO HORRIBLY.

It's so easy to feel sorry for yourself (contradicting myself I know). But tonight, my friend Savanna taught me an important thing I need to learn from this.  Yeah there's heartache and grief, and things are obviously not going to magically go away, and that's not what I wish for. But she taught me about my attitude. Rachel was back tonight. Nobody knows exactly what's going to happen to me physically with the exception of God, and that is okay. Tonight I was content.

(Take this however you may, but these words are not mine, I'm being helped write this one tonight-God.)  Although each day here is harder than the last, God is blessing me and my wonderful mommy who I couldn't possibly praise more- SO MUCH.

(Long story to read- optional!)  Let us begin with my hectic night, shall we!?

Last night I could not sleep. In fact, I still haven't! After laying in bed, with my thoughts rushing at a million miles an hour, I took off, with a feeling not to grab my phone. Around 4 AM,  I was exercising, for who knows how long. Running up and down the hallways of this place as quietly as possible. As soon as I felt tired, which took a while, I went back to the room. There I discovered the keys I grabbed were the wrong set! So I tried to quietly knock and whisper under the door in high hopes my mom could hear me. Fail!

When I realized this was no hope I was in great fear. After wandering the dark halls, I saw a phone on the wall, which repetitively I tried to use. It didn't work. In fear, I remembered earlier a kid I saw laying on the couch in the kitchen. Unfortunately I knew there were 2 mothers that I had seen earlier outside on the patio smoking, so I went to the kitchen. These ladies were so nice to let me borrow their phone. They tried convincing me to call security first, in fear I might wake my mom from her slumber. But I knew my mom would come for me, she answered in 2 rings. I've never felt so happy to see my mom in my life. ("And she came!" Jordyn this is for you. It's all I could think of when I saw mom walking down to get me. I was rescued!)

Continuing to torture her, because I haven't slept since! She let me lay in bed all night with her and held me so close. There's been a lot of that today. Nobody hugs like Diane!

Okay back on track!

These steroids are making me an absolute basket case. But God has experienced them too, so when I need someone who knows the EXACT pain I've felt, it is a comfort to me to turn to him.

Side note: As some of you have mentioned, this blog is inspiring to you (Credit to God)- but for me it has been very therapeutic. I must admit, it takes a lot to get me started, but once I go, there's no stoppin' me! As you probably have all noticed! Oops!

I started school today it was a great release. We had a really full day. Emotionally. And then spiritually. All I can say from today is that we are loved and understood and comprehend so much more than we can comprehend.

Tiring down, here we go again! Thank you SO much for every uplifting, inspiring, encouraging, and religious thought you've shared with me. I keep up to date with them, but at times my little body doesn't allow me to respond to every one. UNFORTUNATELY. I wish I could express my appreciation and support for all of you guys. I know it's nothing but thank you. That's the best I can do right now. I love you so much.

We have, will, and continue to do hard things through Christ.

Hopefully I can catch some sleep right now! Fingers crossed.



  1. Sweet dreams,,, I'm sure as much as you loved being rescued by your mom, and being held by her the rest of the night, she loved it too ( just as much) you rescue us all Rachel in your attitude and your continual praise and thanks to our Heavenly Father. I find myself focusing on goodness and kindness , not hurts and disappointments. I/we hold you dearly in our hearts and our prayers. I'm so hoping tomorrow is a easier, brighter day for you. And one more thing,,, I loved the mustaches.!! Ha!! Love you!

  2. Praying for you, Rachel. I told my 5 year old daughter, "You can DO hard things, baby" and realized I'd gotten it from you. You are inspirational, and I hope the Lord continues to use you in ways you can't imagine!

  3. Hi Rachel,
    I have read your stories and I have found your life to be inspiring! :) You are such a strong young woman! I have been keeping up with your blogs and I try to take everything with me each day... It helps me to be strong in many aspects of my life. I remember to be thankful, i remember prayer, i remember courage, i remember to be a witness... Your life has motivated me to strengthen my faith and continue my walk with Him. Thanks for being inspiring. God bless you.
    My prayer for you is that God hold you close during this trial in your life. I pray that he keep you by his side and remind you that He is your strength when you feel there is none left. I also pray that your family grows strong through this and that God is glorified through it all.
    I know that God's will can be a difficult thing to understand (something I am still struggling with) but His will be done and that is perfect. \

    Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
    in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.
    Proverbs 3:5-6

    Vicki (:

  4. seriously after reading all of your posts it makes me want to be even closer with heavenly father! thanks rach!

  5. I too caught myself saying "I can do hard things" today, that is such a perfect attitude to live by for anyone and everyone.

  6. What happens when I click to feed your fish? Does it keep them 'alive'? Simply entertain me? Give you more fish? I just want to know if my clicking to feed them is a fruitless endeavor and also a complete waste of my time.

    And... I'm sorry you got locked out.

  7. Keep on keepin' on! Our little 5 year old, Kayli, doesn't say a prayer without thanking Heavenly Father for Rachel Stratton. It is her way of asking him to bless you. I'm sure Heavenly Father knows that. We will continue to pray for you.

    Jen Nielsen

  8. How did the MRI go today?

    And Shannon, I feed those fish every time I'm here. :-)

  9. We pray for you every day. Thanks for the inspiring faith you share. The Woolleys

  10. You are making to most of your time. You are doing so much for the people who are reading your blog. You are doing as much good as any missionary out in the field. You are truly inspiring, amazing, and a sheer delight to read from every day. Your words speak to the heart. Keep it up. God bless you!

  11. Rachel, I love your honesty. Please keep the expression coming! I guess like all divine contracts, it helps us as much as it helps you! Today, I thought I'd share with you Shakespeare's St. Crispin's Day speech. The scene is this: the men of England are outnumbered 10 to 1 by the French and are facing almost certain defeat... It's the night before they go to battle at Agincourt and morale is VERY LOW! They are all expecting to face certain death. So King Henry, their commander and leader, speaks to them all huddled there in the cold in the middle of the night on the foreign soil to motivate and inspire them to fight. This battle really did happen ... it's called the Battle of Agincourt. And by the way, against all odds, they beat their adversary! I always look at this speech for encouragement when I am feeling overwhelmed by the odds! Here's it is: oxoxo, Irene

    St. Crispen's Day Speech
    William Shakespeare, 1599
    Enter the KING
    WESTMORELAND. O that we now had here
    But one ten thousand of those men in England
    That do no work to-day!

    KING. What's he that wishes so?
    My cousin Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin;
    If we are mark'd to die, we are enow
    To do our country loss; and if to live,
    The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
    God's will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
    By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
    Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
    It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
    Such outward things dwell not in my desires.
    But if it be a sin to covet honour,
    I am the most offending soul alive.
    No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England.
    God's peace! I would not lose so great an honour
    As one man more methinks would share from me
    For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
    Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
    That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
    Let him depart; his passport shall be made,
    And crowns for convoy put into his purse;
    We would not die in that man's company
    That fears his fellowship to die with us.
    This day is call'd the feast of Crispian.
    He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
    Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam'd,
    And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
    He that shall live this day, and see old age,
    Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
    And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian.'
    Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
    And say 'These wounds I had on Crispian's day.'
    Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
    But he'll remember, with advantages,
    What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
    Familiar in his mouth as household words-
    Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
    Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester-
    Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb'red.
    This story shall the good man teach his son;
    And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
    From this day to the ending of the world,
    But we in it shall be remembered-
    We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
    For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
    Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
    This day shall gentle his condition;
    And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
    Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
    And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
    That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.

  12. I almost feel like a stalker!....I check so often to see if you have posted anything, you are my new favorite drug! (my last favorite drug was Pepsi..) I loved the rescue story, and because I have a song pop in my mind for every situation possible, "Rescue Me" by Jenny Phillips started playing over and over! Music has a way of doing that! I know that your mom loved every second of laying there with you in her takes all of us, as moms, back to when our kids were little, and we got more snuggle time with them. And, I have to say, that I have received quite a few of those "Diane Hugs"...she's got skills! Thank you so much for letting all of us into your life, you are an awesome addiction!....Denise

  13. Owl Babies!!! Diane gave us that book and it became a favorite for us too. Hang in there Rachel. We love you and are so grateful we can read your blog for updates. As always- you and your family are in our prayers!

  14. No need to respond to the comments at all. Focus on getting better. :) Just know that everyone is praying for you.

  15. Thank you. I'm a student at Orem High. My family is going through a hard time and just waking up every day to face it can be difficult. Your example helps me get through. You have no idea how many lives you're changing for the better.

  16. Rachel,
    I wanted you to know that I think about you and Jordyn all the time and pray for you both.
    The most sincere way I worship God and hear His words is through music. Music has always been in my blood; when my family feels the Spirit so strongly we can almost touch it, we sing.
    I'm in Chamber Choir this year at Orem as a Senior. I discovered your blog on Facebook, a great blessing that I don't think was a coincidence. I needed to hear your words. While I was reading it, I could hear this song that we're learning right now in Chamber in my mind. I'll always sing it for you with a prayer in my heart. Your words, your life, your testimony, your story make me want to sing.
    I will sing this song for you, I promise. Every competition, concert, and performance, I'll sing this for you.
    Listen to it.

    These are other songs that I have personally sung in choirs the last two years that have gotten me through hard times. They've helped me so much in my own life, I just want to share the love I feel from God when I sing them with you, Rachel. Music is how I feel God's love.

    This was the best version I could find of this song since it was published only last year. We sang this at Emily Austin's funeral. Mr. Keyes has told us that the text was written by a girl a long time ago that was dying from diabetes. I don't know if that's true or just a rumor, but the song is special to me just the same.

    This is supposed to be a Christmas song, but why should we only celebrate the coming of our Savior once a year? :) I learned this song last year as a Junior for our Christmas concert. One night after a particular hard day and feeling really discouraged, I turned off all the lights, turned up this music as loud as I dared and just felt the music wash over me. The words heal me.

    We sing this song at the end of every concert/performance. For years I didn't think much of it. It has come to mean so much to me, though. This song helps me to let go. My most vivid memory of this song is when I sang it for the last time with my best friend. It was the end of Junior Year, and she was moving to the east coast. We held hands tightly and sang for the last time together with tears pouring down our faces. I miss her so much. I also sang this song with my guitar as soon as I got the news that Emily Austin had passed away. There's a video on YouTube of Orem singing it if you're interested :)

    Last, this song. Kristen Bodine conducted it last year. You can find the Accappella choir singing it on YouTube, too.

    My older brother is singing at 3:51, second row, second in on the right. I had forgotten he sang this until I saw him on YouTube, I was at that concert! Wait, what the heck, my Dad and Uncle are on the right side of my brother! Goodness...

    Rachel, I love you. I pray for you every single day. Keep fighting. I know God lives and I know you know He lives too :) His kindness shall not depart from thee (last video reference)

    Christ loves you so much. I can feel it right now even as I write.

    1. I dare to put my name ;) This is Karen Hess

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  18. Rachel - I'm so glad you are letting us share this journey with you. I feel stronger because of you. I like how real you are and I love how much you are teaching me about life! I'm grateful for your testimony, which I see on every line you write.

    The beautiful thing is that we are all scared about death and we all are here learning how to live. I'm more grateful each day that the Savior overcame death and that because we will live again, this life can have meaning for us. You have faith and fight - and you'll come out on top! :) You can be an example, and a missionary to all around you! Read your patriarchal blessing often - it really is a Liahona. Reading mine brings me a lot of comfort and perspective when I get down. I'm sure you have read this talk, but seriously, it is one of my ultimate favorite talks of all time. I don't know what it is about it, but it simply resonates with me above all others. I hope you enjoy it!

    You are teaching me how to live more fully. You rock!

  19. Echoing so many others who commented about the imagery of your mother holding you so tightly, those words totally turned on the flood gates for me. I am sorry that you are experiencing so many intense, completely overwhelming things but you are right, you can do hard things. So can I. I am so amazed by you. I want so much good for you. I will keep praying for you sweet girl!

  20. Rachel,
    You are such a beautiful, incredible young woman. I don't know you, and you don't know me. But I think about you every day. I pray for you and for your sweet mom. You are a strong daughter of god. Keep trusting in him. I've loved Reading your journey. I'm learning so much from you. Your days put my life in perspective for me- the little things don't matter. Thank you for courageously and honestly sharing your story. Remember that you are beautiful. When you look in the mirror and you aren't used to seeing your normal face or body, just know that as you grow from this experience you get more beautiful every day. The true kind of beautiful.

  21. Rachel,
    One of my favorite posters is a picture of a cat hanging on with claws beared, chin just above a limb and a look of determination.
    The caption reads, "Hang in there baby!". Hang in there Rachel......we, He, loves you.
    Steve Budge

  22. The steroids are the absolute worst. I hope that I never have to take them again. Although they helped me to heal physically, they left me an emotional wreck. For the over active brain when I realized that pacing the floor wasn't helping I would read, or play a game on my phone or iPad. Something that took all my attention such as Temple Run, Mega Run, or Where's My Water. Also progressive muscle relaxation, and I would record myself when I was feeling good talking to myself not so feeling good self.

  23. Rachel the Son is shining on you!!!! may his warmth and love hold you tightly:) praying for a good day for you and your family...with love and understanding Dominic's grandma Marla

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