About Me

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Kirkland, Washington, United States
I am a child of God. I am a follower of Jesus. I am a wife, momma, daughter, sister and friend. I love good conversation and hearty laughter. A good cup of coffee is always appreciated. Most of all, I desire to bring others into an experience with Jesus. One that will shape their lives and rock their souls for Him. Geoff is my best friend and amazing husband. Parker is my handsome boy who lives in Heaven. Norah is my bright star and bringer of joy. Tori is my overcomer and peaceful warrior. I live to show Jesus' love to each person He places in my path. I pray this blog strengthens you, comforts you and encourages you and that it MOST OF ALL causes you to want to get to know Jesus in a deeper level.

Monday, November 24, 2008

A Simple Request

Just a short one today...a prayer request.

Geoff and I have talked, quite a bit lately, about when we will start trying for baby #2 (a topic that I usually bring up). We have decided that we want to wait a while for several reasons. However, once we are ready I know that the fear of the great "what if" will be looming overhead. We are nervous about this happening again, even though the odds of this happening again are less than 1%. Dr. Rudeen has reassured me, on two seperate occasions, that we will definitely have healthy babies. This was a fluke, a freak accident, a terrible tragedy, but even so, I worry about it happening again. Dr. Rudeen has delievered roughly 4500 babies in his 28 years of practice and has never had this happen to the same woman twice (so encouraging), but I worry that I may break that run. I think to myself, if I could be that 1 out of 200, then why couldn't I be the 1 out of 4500?

I tell you all this because I need your prayers. Geoff and I need your prayers. We are both excited to start our family again, but we are nervous. So, when you think of us, please pray for our next baby. Please pray that Geoff and I will be calm through the next pregnancy. Please pray that God keeps us and our future little one safe. Please pray that our next baby will be healthy. Please pray that our next little one will be able to come home with us. Please pray for Geoff and I and our subsequent baby. Thank you :)

Friday, November 21, 2008

In Honor of Thanksgiving

My Ode to Thanksgiving...

I am thankful for...

...Geoffrey's warm hugs.

...Opie's protective spirit.

...My two sets of parents (Bob & Amarie, Mark & Vanessa).

I am thankful for...

...Ben & Jerry's Half-Baked.

...Starbucks Grande extra-hot Lattes.

...Panda Express Orange Chicken.

I am thankful for...

...belly achin' laughter.

..."that's what she said".


I am thankful for...

...sisters who live in other states & countries but feel so close (Sarah, Keri, Stefanie, Ashley).

...Aunts, Uncles, Cousins & Grandmas who have covered Geoff & I with their love & prayers.

...a big brother who appears tough, but is just a big softy who loves his little sisters.

I am thankful for...

...Kate and Annie.

...Natalie and Nathan.

...all the little ones at Lakeview Nazarene.

I am thankful for...

...a warm home.

...a stable job.

...a reliable paycheck.

I am thankful for...

...ALL of our church families.

...old friends who, no matter how long it's been, when you see them, it feels like no time has passed.

...new friends who feel like they are becoming better friends.

I am thankful for...

...delicious turkey.

...hot steaming stuffing.

...cranberry sauce (you know, the kind that, when it comes out of the can is still in the form of the can...mmm...delicious).

I am thankful for...

...the Macy's Thanksgiving day parade.

...24 hour marathon of A Christmas Story ("You'll shoot your eye out!") on PBS the day after Thanksgiving.

...24/7 Christmas music beginning the day after Thanksgiving on Light FM with Delilah (not thankful for Delilah...)

But most of all, this Thanksgiving, I am thankful for my Parker and my God.

I am thankful for 35 beautiful weeks with Parker. I am thankful for his kicks, hiccups and dances. I am thankful for meeting him nearly 3 months ago. I am thankful for Parker Geofferson Harmon.

I am thankful for having a relationship with my beloved Savior Jesus Christ. I am thankful for his steadfast, unending grace, love and protection. I am thankful for his strength and for everyday-right under your nose-blessings.

I am thankful for all of you. All of you that have touched our lives through the loss of our son Parker and through the love of our big, all powerful, all knowing, all loving, so AWESOMELY WONDERFUL God!!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!! (a few days early...I know, but still...)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

What an Awesome God!

God's pretty funny...here's why...

Nearly two weeks ago, Geoff and I bought a gym membership at the REC center. We felt it was a good idea to do something good for ourselves. PLUS when you work out, it releases positive endorphins, so that's a good thing. Anyway, we purchased our gym membership and then signed up to take a fitness test with one of the trainers who would help us set up a workout program.

On Saturday, the 15th of November, Geoff and I went in and took our fitness tests. The results were not surprising in the least, we are both horribly out of shape (SHOCKING!). Geoff went first and then I followed right after. The test includes recording your current weight, blood pressure, BMI, flexibility, strength and cardiovascular health. All the tests are pretty easy except for the cardiovascular test.

For this particular test, they strap a heart monitor to your chest and have you ride the stationary bike for 12 minutes. Every 3 minutes the resistance on the pedals increases, causing you to have to work harder. When Geoff took it, I harassed him telling him that it looked really easy so why was he panting so hard; however, when it was my turn I found out why. IT SUCKS! That thing pushes you so hard! I honestly thought I was going to die! I pushed and pushed and wanted to quit! My heart was working so hard! So wouldn't you know that after all that my results ended up not getting recorded by the computer. Basically, all that pushing and panting was for nothing!

I couldn't take the cardiovascular test again right then because the results would not have been accurate, I would have to wait until later. So Jennifer, our trainer that was administering the test, decided that I would retake the cardiovascular test when I came in to set up my program. I arranged to come in again on Tuesday night and retake the test and set up my program with Jennifer.

Tuesday came fast and I was really excited to finally get an exercise program started. At eight o'clock that night I arrived at the REC center, went straight back to the trainer's area and got right to the test. I had been pedaling for nearly 4 minutes when Jennifer started asking me about what I was wanting to get out of my workout. I told her that I wanted to loose weight and tone up. She asked if I had a goal weight in mind. For some reason, the only way I saw to answer this question was to tell her that I just had a baby, which then led to telling her about Parker. She sat, in shock, jaw dropped and silent. I finished by saying, "All that to say, I would like to get back to at least my pre-pregnancy weight." Jennifer was still sitting in shock. Finally she said, "Wow, um...OK. WOW!" Then (and this is the part where God is so funny) Jennifer says, "OK, this is going to be kind of awkward, but my husband is a pastor, so". I nearly fell off the bike. I quickly interrupted her and said, "No way! That is so awesome! My dad's a pastor and so is my father-in-law!" Jennifer brightened up, eyes widened and says, "Oh well then you're covered! Where do they pastor?" So we began to talk.

Evidently, she and her husband had been music/youth pastors in Florida for 12 years and were called to Christian Faith Center in Nampa this past June as ministers of music. We talked for the duration of the bike ride and sat and talked some more after that before venturing out into the weight room. When we were done working on my exercise program Jennifer said that she and her husband would be praying for Geoff and I.

God is funny, not in like a "ha ha that's funny" sort of way, but rather a "huh...that's funny" way. I am floored that, the trainer that I just happened to get assigned to is a Pastor's wife. The trainer that helps me start up an exercise program just happens to be a christian and someone that I can talk openly with. What a blessing!!

God is pretty funny, and that's why I love him. He places people along our paths that he knows will help brighten our days. He does things for us that he knows will make us smile.

God is SO good!!


Friday, November 14, 2008

Soul Cleansing: A feel good kind of hurt

So it's been almost two weeks since my last post. Life in the Harmon house has been totally normal. Nothing too terribly exciting, just...normal. Which is great! However, this doesn't mean that the bad days are done; because those, I am discovering, are part of being normal. The other day I was reminded of just that.

As I was driving home from work, the sadness hit like a ton of bricks.

It had been a relatively good day, but all day I had this nagging feeling. A feeling of emptiness, that I suppressed. I pushed it back and did my best to ignore it, did my best to pretend it wasn't there. I didn't want to feel sad. So I suppressed the emptiness as best I could.

I focused on work, chatted with friends on gmail, updated my facebook and ignored the emptiness. A little before 6:00 Linnea and I locked up for the night and headed home. I got in the car, turned on the Vince Guaraldi Christmas CD that I had listened to on the way to work, hummed along to a few songs and decided that I wanted to listen to Selah instead.

As the CD got started I turned up the volume to fill the car with sound. I sang at the top of my lungs the lyrics of You Raise Me Up and before I knew it, that feeling I had been suppressing all day reared their ugly head once more; however, this time I could not suppress it any longer. I tried choking back the tears, I tried to wipe them away, but it simply didn't work. They flowed. They flowed long and hard. I cried from the bottom of my toes. It was a cry that made me feel like either my chest would cave in or I would throw up. It was a hard hard cry. I let it all out. I hit the steering wheel and yelled out to God. I cried out, "DAMMIT!"

My Parker is gone! My baby is gone! My baby, that I carried for eight months, is gone. My Parker, that Geoff and I prepared for for eight months is gone. This made me mad.

This cry was a cry of anger. Since loosing Parker, I had not had a cry of anger. I had cried out in sorrow and grief, but I had yet to cry out in anger. I wasn't angry at God, I was just...ANGRY! Angry that I don't have my boy. I was ANGRY, DAMMIT!

I hit the steering wheel until my hand ached. I cried until I felt like my body would collapse. I bawled. As I cried, yelled and cursed, I prayed. I talked to my God, my Abba, my Papa. I talked to God, asked him to draw near and hold me tight. I told him the desires of my heart. I told him about my desire to have more children, children that I could bring home from the hospital, children that Geoff and I can hold, and raise. I told God that Geoff and I want to be a mommy and daddy to a baby that is with us on earth. I cried a deep, painful, cleansing cry.

I calmed down right about the same time that I pulled into the garage. I walked through the door and went straight into the kitchen where Geoff was cooking dinner. I stood in front of him and let him wrap his arms around me. He held me while I cried some more. I told him I was mad and he said it was OK. I told him I want more babies, babies that I can hold and kiss, and he said he did too. I told him I hit the steering wheel, he asked if it helped and I said it did. He's so good to me. He dried my tears and said that he could hold me while he stirred the soup, which made me laugh.

The evening ended much better then it had begun. After my good, soul cleansing cry, my heart felt light and my mood was much better. The emptiness that had been nagging me all day was gone. It was replaced by hope and happiness.

Geoff and I ate dinner together, watched our favorite show (Friday Night Lights) and headed off to the REC center to work out. After working out for an hour and a half (and blowing off major steam) we came home and collapsed into bed.


Crying is hard, especially crying like that, but it's so cleansing and SOUL cleansing. I find that once I get it out of my system I seriously feel ten thousand pounds lighter. Talking to God, while I cry, also helps. It helps because I can tangibly feel him coming alongside and wrapping his arms around me.

So today, even though I still miss my son, today is easier because Wednesday's cry is one less cry that I have to endure. The feelings that bubbled up Wednesday may come back, but they don't have to come back today. God is with me, walking beside me. God is with Geoff, walking beside him. That's what helps me know that I can face whatever feelings come my way and be triumphant.

God is good.


2 Corinthians 12:9

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Oh the Beauty of Democracy

Today has been a good day so far...

I awoke this morning at around 5:50 having a coughing fit. I hate the tail ends of colds, they seem to hang on forever. I rolled over and tried to go back to sleep, but I simply couldn't. I laid there, eyes open, staring into the dark bedroom deciding if I should get up or simply possum sleep. I closed my eyes and drifted back into sleep. The alarm blared at 6:50am. Geoff jumped up, darted to the alarm clock and reset it for 7:10am, 20 more minutes to attempt peaceful sleep. At 7:10am the alarm blared once more, this time I stumbled out of bed, hit the alarm and got in the shower. After finishing my shower, I woke Geoff up, made coffee and finished getting ready for the day.

Today is election day (hence the getting up earlier then I really needed to to avoid big crowds at the polls). I love election day. I found myself being filled with nervous excitement. Today is the day that the world will change for the next four years, based on one man being moved into the highest office in the US. I love being apart of this process.

At about 8:05am I grabbed my lunch, coffee and purse, headed out of the house and down the street to my polling location. The parking lot was full and overflowing onto the side streets. The church, where I was voting, was overflowing with people only five minutes after the polls opened. It was great. The air was so thick with excitement that you could almost taste it. I stood there, thinking about how great it was that I was exercising my democratic freedoms. I love election day. I love voting.

I finally made it inside the building, after about 20 minutes of standing in line. I walked over and updated my registration information, I then was instructed to get my ballot and place my vote. The time had come. I was about to become apart of the democratic process. I was about to make my voice heard. I was so excited!!

I looked through the ballot first, read through all the names and causes and then began filling in the bubbles. I scribbled so much in the bubble for president that it almost ripped through. I wanted to make sure that the bubble was filled in completely so that my vote was counted. I then moved on to the senate positions that were up for voting, then onto district court judge, county commissioner and several other miscellaneous issues. It was great, I was voting!

I filled out the entire ballot, went back through my decisions and closed the envelope. I walked over to the table where they were collecting ballots. Handed them my updated information and then slipped my ballot in the box. The woman at the table announced, "Rachel Harmon has voted." I beamed from ear to ear. I grabbed my "I VOTED" sticker and bounded out the door.

I wanted to shout at the top of my lungs that I had voted. I wanted to throw my arms up in the air and shout "YES I VOTED!" I was so proud.

It never fails, every time I have voted, whenever they say, "Rachel Harmon has voted" I find myself getting choked up.

Do you realize what a privilege it is? Do you realize, women, who fought for you to gain the right to vote? Do you realize what a long road they traveled in order for us women to gain this right? I am so proud to be a free citizen. I am so proud to be able to freely express my rights, such as voting. I love that I am able to be apart of this process, how ever tiny my part may be.

Oh the beauty of Democracy!

I headed off to work after voting, got off the freeway in Boise and went straight to Starbucks to pick up the free tall brewed coffee that was rightfully owed me for voting. When I walked in, the girl at the counter asked, "Did you vote?" I moved my coat aside to reveal the "I VOTED" sticker on my shirt and said proudly, "Yes I did!" She clapped her hands and said, "YAY!" I beamed! She poured my coffee and handed it off. I passed several people on my way out and smiled at each and everyone of them.

I am so proud,

Proud to say that I voted,

Proud to say I exercised my rights,

Proud to be apart of this Democratic process!

Oh the BEAUTY of Democracy!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Ripping Off The Band-Aid

Yesterday was a hard day.

Sunday morning started just like every other Sunday, the alarm clock blaring at 7:30am to wake me up, getting in and out of the shower, waking Geoff up at 8am, rushing through hair and makeup and then heading off to church at 8:35am. But this Sunday was different then the past few Sundays. We packed up the bassinet and Baby Bjorn, that David and Corrie let us borrow, to give it back to them at church, that was hard, but needed to be done. Plus, we were going to be at Sunday school for the first time since Parker's death. I wasn't really looking forward to this Sunday, at all, but God was near and Geoff was there to hold my hand.

We pulled up to church, Geoff ran in to get set up for sound check, and I quietly followed behind and sat in my pew. I talked to God a little. Asked him to help me through that day. Asked him to be with me during Sunday school and the rest of the day. I needed his strength yesterday more than any other Sunday because I was going to face a group of people that I hadn't faced in quite a while.

9:30 came a lot more quickly then I thought it would. I waited for Geoff to finish up with his worship stuff so we could go to Sunday school together. We walked into class, found our seats and got settled in. I felt so awkward being there. I wanted to get up and run out. I wanted to run to my car, drive off to Flying M and hide there until Sunday school was finished. I wanted to be anywhere else in the world. However, I knew that if I left and avoided those people that I would simply be denying myself the right to work through these hard emotions.

Here's the deal, I want everyone to hear this, if Geoff and I don't face these hard days, if we aren't around and in the situations that make us uncomfortable, then we will never be able to heal.

It's like this...

Say you have a nasty cut, I mean really nasty. You put a band-aid over the cut because that makes it feel better. You keep it covered because you're too afraid to feel the pain when you take the band-aid off. You protect your cut from everything. You put a plastic bag over your cut when you get in the shower, you favor it during daily activities. Eventually your cut never heals, it simply sits there and festers.

This is what would happen if we never faced uncomfortable situations. We have to rip the band-aid off. We have to let air get to the cut and it's going to hurt sometimes, but we have to let the wound heal.

So what does this mean? This means that we don't need people to be fearful of telling us things. This means that we need people to treat us like normal. What does THAT mean? It means treating us like Geoff and Rachel. Talk to us about life, things that are going on in your life. Ask us about ours, ask us about Parker, ask us how we're doing. Be ready for us to maybe cry, but also be ready to laugh with us. This is all part of healing. You can't protect us. We have to face life. We have to experience things that are going to be hard for us. We can't avoid this, and we shouldn't avoid it. The band-aid must come off and we must heal. If you are uncomfortable, then tell us. Talk with us, be honest with us about your emotions and we'll be honest about ours.

I say all of this because things happened yesterday, that I can't really go into very deeply, but things were done by people who felt they were handling it correctly; however, it simply made it hurt more. They thought they were protecting us, helping us, but they were simply holding the band-aid on.

I know I need to offer some grace here because many people have never felt the devastating loss that we have. However, it is important for them to learn. It is important for those of you, who may not know how to behave around us, to learn to simply communicate. Be honest with us. Be honest with us about not know what to say. The other day I had a member come into the credit union. He walked in and came right up to my desk and said "I have nothing to say and no way to understand what you're going through, but know that I'm praying for you." This touched me so much. I was moved by his vulnerability. I was moved by his honesty. He didn't try to use eloquent words or pretend to understand. He didn't try to empathize with me. He simply stated the truth. He was honest with me and that allowed me to feel comfortable with him.

I am not looking for people to understand what Geoff and I are going through, because I know that there are only a select few that truly do. I am not looking for people to have the right things to say, because that's simply not fair.

I am looking for people who want to be vulnerable with me. I am looking for people who are willing to learn. I am looking for people who to want to listen. I am looking for people who want to be around Geoff and I when we talk about Parker. That's what I'm looking for.

As I sit here writing this, there are only a few people, outside of our family, who Geoff and I feel we can be ourselves around. They know who they are. They are the people that have approached us, in person, have genuinely asked how we're doing and have seen our tears. They are people who have allowed us to heal by being honest with us regarding hard issues. They are people who we cherish and want to be around more. We hope this group of people grows. We hope that, with time, people will become more comfortable with us.

I just need to know how to tell these people what Geoff and I need. I need to know how to approach them. I'll figure something out, and when I do I hope the outcome is favorable. I hope that it will make things better and make things feel normal for them.


One final thought. A couple of days ago, my mother-in-law Vanessa gave me a verse and it has truly helped in all this. It's from Romans 5:1-5, here is what it says.
"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, becuase God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."

Praise the Lord for what he has instore for Geoff and I.