>This is a post dedicated to one of my very best friends–Rachel 🙂

Rachel and I went on a run together in Forest Park on Saturday, and hung out most of the day. It was a simply perfect day. Rachel is one of those people who comes with no expectations. She’s just there–there to love you and enjoy the moment. She taught me this. Living free! Living in the moment! It was in the midst of my 10-mile run on Saturday, when I was all by myself and my thoughts, that I began thinking about how much Rachel has changed my life!

I met Rachel my freshman year of college. I don’t know if it was Rachel’s cute “surfer meets Portland” style (I was all about the hemp and seashell necklaces too!) or the sweetness that exuberated from her, that drew me to her, but when we started to hang out, it just clicked! She became my sister and someone I knew I would not be able to live without. (Angela, who is in the picture below with Rach and I, was another “sister” I met my freshman year of college–a post is in the future for her!)

Oh freshman year!

Rachel showed me how to live without abandon! She showed me how to love God on a whole new level–all of a sudden the world was more beautiful when I realized that my relationship with God could grow stronger every day! Rachel–you showed me how to live joyfully. To be myself and BELIEVE that I’m beautiful.

Rachel has an adventurer’s spirit! Her spontenaiety and selflessness allows for so much LOVE to travel. And I don’t just meen travel figuratively, I also mean LITERALLY. Give her a backpack and her chacos and she’ll go anywhere! It’s inspiring. She understands what God means when He says that this life is temporary–that our true life will be in heaven with Him 🙂 Another reason I wanted to write a post about Rachel, is because she is actually leaving for Peru in a few weeks to help out in a medical facility there. She’s going with her wonderful boyfriend, Steve.

I’m going to miss her so much! Rachel was my roommate for 5 years, give or take (I’m including the time we simply lived on the same college campus–our dorms were walking distance.) We lived in an apartment together for 2 years and shared the master suite in a townhouse together the year before I got married.

I’ve had the best roomates!

Rachel should also take credit for this whole blog, because Rachel was the one who introduced me to what HEALTH is! I was on the American diet up until I met her–low calorie food, gatorade, artificial sweetners…you get the picture! Rachel taught me what it means to eat WHOLE foods! And so began my passion for health and food. Rachel gave me this priceless gift! Rachel also gave me a new appreciation for the outdoors. I feel in love with Portland while I was with Rachel 🙂

Rachel has been with me through some of my biggest accomplishments. Heck! We were the graduate speakers for our college graduation!!!

And of course Rachel was a part of my wedding! On the morning of my wedding, when everyone was busy getting ready, she’s the one who stayed right next to me! She cut me some fruit for breakfast (yes, she knows me that well!), and went to buy me a kambucha. Her selflessness shines like this all the time!

Rachel has inspired me to be myself! She showed me what it meant to have a voice…

She has been my constant encouragement–praying together, for each other. Laying in our beds talking. Running to the park to go on the swings. Eating fruit all day. Holding hands on the beach. Prayer walks. Talks about our future husbands. Journaling. Tea dates. Dance parties in the our living room. Yoga at 7am (one of my favorites). Worshipping together.

Rachel–thank you! For encouraging me in my growth as an authentic woman of God. I could not be who I am today without you! I love you with my WHOLE HEART and pray that God keep you and Steve safe in Peru. You’re going to change the world (you already have!) Sisters forever.

I love you, Rach!

(And yes, I thought about all this on my run yesterday–90 minutes without music, that’s a lot of time to think!)