Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The One Woman I Hope To Meet One Day...

Rachel Barkey was a young woman with two small children who lost her battle with breast cancer early in July of this year.

She gave a talk to a large group of women back in March of this year that has now been viewed/heard by countless thousands of women via the website Death Is Not

I was introduced to Rachel and her story sometime last Spring via another site I frequent (John Piper's website, Desiring God) and have watched/listened to the video of her talk that day in March so many times I have honestly lost count.

 If I had to guess, I'd say I've heard it and absorbed it no less than 50 times.

Rachel's words go straight to the heart of women --

 what moves us, what we value,

and how we view ourselves.

Those in my life often hear me speak of the need to "hold things in this life very loosely" -

and to

"never lose sight of the bigger picture that our lives are" 

and to steer clear of the kind of thinking that is bound up in what we consider our

  "entitlements" in this life.

We often feel entitled to many things and they're all good things...

we enter this life with our "list" of them and that's all well and good...

the "entitlement" to have children, yet many women find this desire goes unfulfilled in their lives;

the "entitlement" to get married, yet some of the most wonderful people around still find that desire of their hearts unmet;

the "entitlement" to be healthy and free of disease or hardship, and still we know many in our own close circle of family/friend who are ravaged by sickness and tragedy
(my own mother is at this moment living past the time given her by hospice)

and on it goes....

But the question is this (and its a hard one)
What if we are NEVER granted one of or ANY of the things on our "list"?

What then?

Is our life devoid of meaning?

Do we now serve no purpose because we do not have a child or children?

Or a spouse?

Or that career we counted on?

We can easily feel that our lives do not "count" if there is not a far bigger calling and meaning to our lives -- one bigger than our comfort, our desires, our "list".

What a pity if we are defined only by the things we aspire to

 -- the things that all too often define us.

But really, our lives here are not so much about what we feel we are entitled to,
but rather how we can serve and live lives of example and purpose for eternity.

Not until I heard Rachel's words, did I find the best way of finally describing what I always meant by the idea of "holding loosely" and flinging off those ideas of selfish entitlement.

She touched women in life and is still impacting women now even these months after her passing.


I want to be one such woman.

Oh how I do.

Do you?

We can.

But our view of ourselves, our purpose and most of all, God, must be accurate.
Rachel's words help clarify these things more than anything else I've known.

It's as though her cancer was given to her for this one reason -- so that she could walk through it
to become (unwittingly) a pillar of faith and a HUGE inspiration and catalyst to change other
women's lives.

You hear it in her speech -- she sees her cancer as part of a bigger purpose by which she is being used
in a way she NEVER would have been used before.

One of her favorite quotes is

"God allows in His wisdom, what He could easily prevent in His power..."

If you have 55 minutes -- while you're folding laundry, doing dishes, blogging, surfing the web, whatever...
please click on Rachel's video and just drink it in.

You don't even have to have 55 minutes "free" -- you can just turn the video on and go about what you're doing, and just listen.

Of course, I'm thinking that once you click and see her - and begin hearing her - chances are you won't be able to take your eyes off her.

Oh the days I've pulled up her video just to have it playing once more in the background as I work,  only to find myself not buzzing around working as I listen,

but sitting glued to my office chair, staring at her lovely face and listening to her words....

And I don't regret one time of doing that.

Nor will you.


I was prompted to (finally) post this video of Rachel today when I saw it appear on another blog that I follow by Jen of Chronicles of Windy Ridge.
She posted it and I thought -- you know -- I'm going to finally share this, too.

The more women who hear Rachel's words the better because I beleive we as women need a fresh perspective on who we are, why we're here, and how our lives can be more than just living each day keeping up with chores and errands.

I hope Rachel's talk inspires you and maybe even changes your life.

It's really, truly, that powerful.

Thanks, Rachel -- you rock and one day, I hope to sip a cup of heaven's tea with you and chat...


Here's the link, one more time:


Jeanneoli said... can I NOT watch it!! Thank you for a link to such an inspiring woman. I love that quote...LOVE it. I will let you know once I have watched it (hopefully today) I love your heart Ruth. You are the real deal.

cityfarmer said...

I am reading a John Piper book as we speak ...I must listen to this this afternoon when I rest from my tasks...I appreciate your heart for women of God

Laura said...

Thank you for the link Ruth. You can be sure that tonight, after work I will watch the video. Thank you for sharing this. :)

Chrissy said...

Ruth I can hardly wait to watch it,your post is written so sister had stage 3 breast cancer 10 years ago and beat all the odds,I found an egg size lump in my breast just before we left for Ireland 2 years ago,I too was lucky,it was a large cyst...I will sit with a cup of tea on Friday and watch this,thanks! I just came by to say Happy New Year to you my friend,Love Chrissy

My Grama's Soul said...


Blessings to you,


Cathy said...

Can't wait to watch and listen. I just finished a good book by Donald Miller called "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years" about what kind of great stories (and great stories always have challenges, pains, and heartaches, too!) we can be living. About writing our stories so that "no one shrugs their shoulders when the credits roll." Sounds like Rachel wrote an inspiring story for us all. You bless, as always :)

Jeanneoli said...

I just finished watching it. Beautiful. Inspiring. Full of truth. Brave. I will be passing this on. Thank you for sharing this amazing life of faith so big. She will continue to glorify the Lord for ages through this video!

*The Beautiful Life* said...

Yay, Jeanne! I'm SO glad you watched it!

Rachel -- what a woman you are... you've touched yet another gal here on earth. Definitely won't be the last, either. ;)

Thanks so much, Jeanne... :)


Pansy Cottage Girl said...

Hello Beautiful~
Thank you for this post. I think you are amazing! Many blogs are about the fluffing up of all our stuff and I find yours to be full of substance. I am goint to the links you posted as soon as I have a little time & box of tissue! I am so glad to find the link for desiring God. There have been a few days when Ive needed a little encouragement and found myself looking online for those "words of wisdom" and could'nt find what I needed.
Thank you again. Happy New Year!

Cathy said...

Wonderful Ruth...what amazing words to hear as we enter a new year!!! Life...God...has a way of getting our attention and reminding us of what is important...even if we think we are living in his will!!!

I try not to take anything for granted...but it happens anyway. Wonderful women like you are sent as angels to remind me and others to keep focused on what is valuavle in life...thank you!!!

I am off to watch this video...thanks for sharing!!!

I wish you and your family a wonderful and God blessed New Year!!!

Tattered Goods said...

Ruth, Thank you so much for this inspiring link. I must say my mind is racing with things so many things that I need to change in my life... becuase I am a sinner and I need to be a better witness of my faith and love in CHRIST. WOW that was just so touching and truthful.


1 Funky Woman said...

Ok, I just watched it and I look like someone beat me up, I've been crying so much. I was so touched and saddened at the same time. My son is so upset having seen my face. I had to calm him down.
She was so right when she said "I am here to serve with Joy".

How I struggle with day to day tasks while complaining and wondering is this all that I am. Is this what the lord wants me to be doing ever day. I have a different perspective but I think and will be praying for a better understanding. I just emailed it to my sister in Paris so she can watch it, everyone needs to see this.

Thank you so much for sharing!

LuLu said...

Ruth thank you for sharing this link and the story of an amazing woman, i am rushing to make a latte so i can sit and watch the video and take it in.... Wishing you so much goodness in 2010 ,

Kasey said...

I watched this video this morning from over on Jen's blog.

Farmgirl Paints said...

I'm off to watch it right now!

The Flying Bee said...

I can't wait to watch this! Thanks for sharing...and have a Happy New Year, Ruth!


Simply Stated ~ Rebecca said...

Today I just had a conversation with my daughter ~ my thoughts and questions were what good have I done in my life and how will I be remembered upon my passing....and for how long will I be remembered?
It wasn't a sad conversation just natural curiosity...We sometimes get into very deep conversations like that.
I will deffinitely be watching this when I have the opportunity to sit for a spell. Thank you for the link.

I am happy to hear that you have all been given the gift of more time with your mother. My blessings to you and your family.
Wishing you all a Very Happy New Year!
~ Rebecca

donna said...

Hi Ruth!
I just spent the last 55 minutes watching this life changing vidio!
I think that every woman, every where needs to hear this Beautiful Woman's Testimony!
She has been added to my seek out and find when I get to heaven list as well!
I still have you and your mom on my prayer list...let me know if I can do more dear friend!

Hope you have a Wonderful New Years
You have blessed mine this post.
hugs to you...donna

Claudia said...

Thank you for the link, Ruth! I will definitely watch it tomorrow morning when I am by myself and quiet. Bless you.


Ozma of Odds said...

Dearest Ruth ~ once again you have found a way to touch us all, and put it in perspective to keep it because that's all any of us have!
Here's to hoping that in 2010 we will all live to meet our potential!
xo and Happiest New Year my friend!

Bonjour Madame said...

I will set aside some time this weekend to listen to this. It sounds amazing.

Cyndi said...

Wow!! I don't know what else to say. That was amazing and I needed to hear that. I have been throwing a pity party over losing my Mom to gastric cancer in Sept. Rachel reminded me it's not about us. HE is faithful!!
Thanks for sharing this with us.

the wild raspberry said...

what a beautifully written post...
i'm going to watch it now~ i know it's going to be hard for me. i'm praying to be blessed by it.

cathy said...

Thank you, Ruth. I just finished "drinking" Rachel in. Her petite frame shined, through her words, a big spotlight on Jesus. As I watched her I imagined the huge embrace/bear hug(!) He gave her as she left this world and entered paradise. And I also think of the comfort, strength and hope her legacy leaves for her family. And oh, how I admire her honest and true explanation of the gospel!

Beadboard UpCountry said...

Hi Ruth!
I will try to tune into Rachaels words when I get an uninterrupted minute. Your blog has also been inspiring and I hope to be tuning in more in the coming year, I have really enjoyed meeting you and wish you and your family and shop every success in the coming year.MaryanneXO

Annie said...

What an inspiration this young woman is and you tell her story so poignantly. Thanks for starting my New Year with such conviction and courage.

Teri said...

I just watched the video. A.MAZE.ING.

While Scott watches football, I'm on the couch with my laptop and earbuds...perfect!

Hope to see you Sunday,

patty said...

this is a beautiful tribute and moving post... i hope to listen to your link sometime next week...
i hopped over from cathy's blog {she's a doll, isn't she?!}...
i also peeked at your home decor and slide show... beautiful! love your tree!
happy new year!

Susie from Bienvenue said...

Oh my goodness! What a beautiful blog you have here~ I cant wait to read more... Thanks Susie

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Hi Ruth,

I usually don't get to brows blogs, but I just sat and "thumbed" through a few and came across yours and I am so glad I did. I don't believe in accidents and I am so grateful for your time and compassion for sharing this. I will listen to this video over and over I am sure.
You are a blessing to us all.


Teri said...

BTW... congrats on your 250th follower... you rock girl!


Dreaming In Pink With Roses said...

Hi Ruth! This was so Awesome!! I shared it with as many people as possible!! Rachel had me laughing & crying!! God Bless you for sharing this with all of us!

I also wanted to let you know that I left a Sweet Award for You on my Blog! Stop by If you have time to pick it up!

Big Hugs ~ Teresa

Lora said...

I hope to meet her one day too. Thank you so much for the link. I watched it today (with a few breaks to "serve with joy")I plan to pass this on to others. It's funny how God reaches out to me in blogs. I have read so many inspiring things in blogs. I know God is talking to me through others. I got my Bible out of my car when I picked the kids up from school... I should probably be reading that a lot more too. Thanks again :O)