An Honest Conversation with: Rachel Ridler

I want my blog to be a place for open and honest conversation in the hope that others are inspired to talk vulnerably too. So, to that end, I am going to start featuring some conversations, as regularly as I manage to have them and write them up!

My first honest conversation is with Rachel Ridler who I think I met in a Christian bloggers Facebook group and who I actually did a very similar feature with on her blog two years ago! You can have a read that here – a cuppa with Annie Willmot

Hello Rachel! Can you tell us a bit about who are?

I am Rachel, mum to two energetic boys aged 5 and 2 , wife to Rob (aspiring theologian and current church treasurer!) and spinner of many plates! 

Can you tell us about some of those plates?

For part of my week you will find me in the eaves of my house, working from my home office for the amazing charity Teenage Cancer Trust.  I’ve worked there for 7 years as part of the fundraising team in Yorkshire and love it. 

For a large portion of the week I am mum, looking after my boys.  Although my youngest has just started nursery for 30 hours a week, which gives me a day and a half free!

Then I also write a blog about being a Christian mum and not losing sight of our mission during this period, I run Mummy Meditations, an online bible study for mums, and I promote and plan my new bible journaling workshop business.  A bit crazy! I also run two lifegroups/bible study groups at my church (one conventional evening one and one during the day for parents with kids) and am part of the kids team at church.  

My week is pretty hectic but I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Hopefully there will always be space for cake in my week, meeting a friend, supporting someone who needs it and spending quality time with my hubby and kids.  

How do you connect with God in the midst of a busy day?

I try to keep remembering my meditation verse from Mummy Meditations and that helps draw my attention back to God. I have a verse of the week blackboard and have it as my phone lock screen to help!

What do you feel most passionate about?

Creative worship and helping others connect with God in their own way.  Hospitality too, and always being willing to welcome others into my home. 

What do you love most about parenthood?

That proud feeling when your kid gets it.  My eldest is so generous, he would give everything away, and I have to curb his enthusiasm sometimes, but it fills my heart with joy to know that I passed that desire to be generous on to him. 

And, what about the thing you find most difficult?

When none of the parenting techniques work, you’re running late and you lose it.  Parenthood brings out the worst parts of me, and I hate seeing that ugliness inside of me.

What is one of the most useful things you’ve learned in adulthood that you wish you knew before? 

That sex isn’t instantly magical.  And that it’s ok if it’s not.  (I think I told myself that but didn’t truly believe it – I still wanted the perfect moment like in Rom coms every time!!!).   Sometimes it hurts, sometimes your not in the right place for it and our messed up world has corrupted it by bringing all these false ideals into our consciousness surrounding sex.  It’s a pretty murky place if you let the world in and so you really have to fight to keep God central to your sex life. 

Our wedding night is probably one of my saddest memories. That sounds really odd, but I was brought up a Christian and tried to do everything right, saving myself until marriage.  Unfortunately after a very long and tiring day things didn’t really work out the way we planned them, and so I look back now with sadness on that night and what I had built it up to be in my head which it could never live up to. 

When was the last time you cried?

Currently crying right now on my own thinking about that!  But I will often cry in front of my husband.  I cry when I’m tired, I cry when its my time of the month (then anything will set me off!), I cried when a dad read out a baptism verse for his son last Sunday (picturing when it might be my boys getting baptized!).  I like to think I’m emotionally quite tough, but my husband knows the truth and tells me I’m an emotional rollercoaster!

What is your most treasured memory?

Newborn sleepy cuddles with my youngest.  I was too busy trying to survive and get a handle on being a mum with my first, but by the time my second son came around I knew the value of just enjoying that time when they would sleep on your chest and be all cuddly together. 

For what in your life do you feel most grateful?

My husband.  He is my biggest champion, cheers me up when I’m down and I love doing life with him.  

What are the most amazing things you’ve achieved in the last year?

Reaching around 600 members in the Mummy Meditations Community and launching the shop.  It was a big step of faith launching the shop, and every time I get focussed on money (or lack of it!) I am reminded that God has given me a chance to minister to almost 600 amazing mums and help them connect with God in the chaos of motherhood – that’s an amazing thing!!! It’s not about the numbers, but about the hearts that no longer feel guilty or disconnected. 

And, last one, what do you wish people would talk about more?

So many things come to mind!  I have recently started going to counselling, and I am trying to be quite open about it.  You know what, we all have problems and I have hidden mine for 10 plus years thinking that because I wasn’t self harming or about to commit suicide that they didn’t matter.   But everyone matters, and so everyone’s problems matter.  I think we are all scared of the consequences of talking, especially in church when there is the fear of being pulled out of minsitries or seen as incapable.   

Thanks so much for chatting with me Rachel! And, for sharing such honest answers. I found myself thinking, ‘me too!’ so much as I read this.

Which part of this conversation struck you most as you read it?

Which question would you find hardest to answer? Why not share the answer to that question with someone today?

Rachel blogs over at Rachel Ridler: Mum on a Mission 

Her Mummy Meditations Facebook group can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/388937828122451/?ref=bookmarks

And, if you search for ‘Bible Journaling on my bed’ on Instagram or Facebook you can also find her there.

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