Sarah Rieke » Living. Loving. Pressing on.



Click here to listen to Lauren on Heart Lessons, Episode 4

We Mention:


Coconut Oil

The Little Blue Truck / The Little Blue Truck in the City

Pete the Cat / Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons

Cinnamon Sugar Pita Chips

Cheap Thrills

Mean Girls

American Eagle (for curvy jeans)

the Loft


Everyday Heart Lesson: Let him be little

Aaaaaand the grape juice meme 😉


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I will never forget the way your breathing was so labored, right from the start. My heart broke but I held back the sobs so I could be strong for you for as long as you were here. Instead of tears I showered you with kisses, at least in that moment.

I will never forget how tiny you were. You were so fragile.

I will never forget your sweet little cheeks and tiny button nose. I will never forget your tiny fingers wrapped around mine and your eensy toes that barely seemed to have bones inside of them.

I will never forget how it felt to know you were already gone. It happened so fast. I still grieve the fact that it wasn’t me who was holding you in the moment when you slipped away to eternity.

I will never forget how proud Micah and Jocelyn were of you. Micah kept snapping photos with his camera and Jocelyn kept exclaiming, “Beebee! Beebee!” They were big fans of yours.

I will never forget your soft brown hair. “Scant brown hair” your autopsy report called it. That sentence is both endearing and morbid, all at the same time.

I will never forget snuggling you all day until we had to go. I wanted to make a lasting impression of how you felt against my body and in my arms.

I will never forget the words I tried to whisper to you when we left, words that actually choked out as body-shaking sobs because I felt so wretched having to leave the hospital without you. A deep, disgusted sort of wretched.

I will never forget how my throat hurt from those deep, guttural sobs. I could hardly breathe.

I will never forget how the nurse watched me – watched us – as I said goodbye to you and laid your tiny body in the plastic nursery cart. Why didn’t she leave us alone for that moment?

I will never forget the color of the sky as we went home that evening. The most vibrant pink and blue sunset I may have ever seen. It was as if the Lord was telling me, “It’s ok. I’ve got them. Both of them.” My boy and girl in Heaven. I wish I could have absorbed that moment more fully. But my heart felt so raw, so stripped. But I still think of it so often.

I will never forget.

I will never forget, Charlie-man. I miss you every day and wish I could know you, sweet little guy. Until heaven … <3


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  • Brittany - Thinking of you and your precious, loved baby today. Until heaven, Charlie.
    My heart aches with yours, Sarah. <3ReplyCancel

    • sarahjoyrieke - Thank you so much Brittany <3ReplyCancel

  • Holly Colonna - A stunning tribute for a precious soul.ReplyCancel


I’m so excited to introduce you to my guest for today’s show. Today you will be hearing from Sarah Bragg of the Surviving Sarah podcast, which I know I’ve mentioned a time or two before. Today Sarah is sharing her story of her struggle with body image which started when she was just nine years old with an offhand (albeit rude) remark from a girl she barely knew and turned into a ten year struggle over her appearance. I think this episode is going to be such a great resource for young women who might also be battling with body image and for parents of these young girls who are trying to help their daughters through the struggle. But it’s also a great resource for any Christian woman who is struggling to be content with who God made her to be, whether it is appearance or personality or stage of life. The truths Sarah shares are sure to help you see that your worth is infinitely tied to the fact that the God of the universe created you and calls you by name for something special in His kingdom.

Heart Lesson: Learning contentment in who I am and who God made me to be.

Connect with Sarah: website // podcast // facebook // book // instagram // twitter

We Mention:


La Croix

Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer (fig)

Albion Fit

Just Between Us: Mother and Daughter: A No-Stress, No-Rules Journal

The Giving Keys (necklace)

Surviving Sarah Podcast with Christy Nockels

Scriptures Mentioned:

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

Genesis 1:27 – So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

Colossians 3:12 – Therefore as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering …

Psalm 139

1 Corinthians 10:23 – All things are lawful for me but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify.

1 Corinthians 10:31 – Whether therefore you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

Did any part of this episode strike a chord with you? Maybe the part about positive vs. negative words? Maybe the tips on how to glorify God with food choices and exercise? Maybe the idea of contentment in who God made you to be hits home in another area besides just appearance, like it did for me. Whatever the case, head over to instagram or facebook or shoot me an email and let me know! I would love to hear from you 🙂 

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I believe in prayer. I really do. This week I was reading in Mark and came to the verse where it describes Jesus crying out loud and taking His last breath and immediately the veil in the temple being torn in two. I love that one thing (among many) that Christ did for us was break down that barrier between us and God so that, in Christ, we can now approach the Father boldly with our requests. It’s an amazing privilege.

Every day I pray, plead really, for guidance in my parenting, in my marriage, in what I should be doing with my online spaces. I ask for wisdom in finances and strength to keep persevering in good things when I feel tired. And I have seen the Lord answer those prayers in such tangible ways. I’m a believer. But what I’m not sure what to do with though are prayers for healing.


This week a friend had a sudden NICU stay with her sweet new baby. She asked everyone to pray and a few days later the baby was able to come home. And her facebook feed blew up with praises to God and how He always answers our prayers. I don’t know what I’m supposed to think about all of that.

God answers prayers but not always in the way we would like. If so my home would have twice as many children running the halls as it currently does.

What makes the difference? I have to admit my first thought when I saw my friend’s request was to offer up a short prayer followed by this thought: She’ll be fine. The Lord only takes my babies … 

I feel like I’ve been marked as someone whose requests for healing will never be answered with a yes.

I believe in prayer but I also know God created scientific and medical principles that we can usually count on. But some people defy medicine and science with miraculous healing. Why not me, why not my story, why not my babies?

I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with these stories of healing.

I know the right answer. It’s the same answer that’s given me peace time and time again … God is good and He has a bigger plan. One day it will all make sense. This is my story and how I need to be shaped. I know that answer. But sometimes it doesn’t help that burning question of why.

I feel a little bit like the answers of why God heals some and not others is kind of like asking why the sky is blue and having someone say, “Yes the sky is blue. And so is the ocean.” It sort of feels like my question never really gets answered. Why did God choose not to heal my babies? Because He has a bigger and better plan. True, true … but really why? Well some mysteries God keeps for only Himself to know and because we can’t comprehend them. I know, I know … then what am I supposed to do with those other stories of healing? What is my heart supposed to do with them? Because what it kind of wants to do is believe the lie that God is against me somehow and I’ve been marked as a less-than Christian who isn’t worthy of answered prayer.

I know what Paul means when he says his spirit is willing and yet his flesh is so weak. My spirit knows that God is for me and knows that the way through living with the grief of two of my babies gone is to just fix my eyes God’s promises and His sovereignty and run that race, not to be distracted by the other voices on the sidelines vying for space in my mind. But my flesh wants to know why – really, why? – and remain cynical about prayer and any other spiritual thing I don’t know how to make sense of.

A friend often shares this song from Joseph King of Dreams. The recurring line says, “I’ve given up the need to know why, for you know better than I.” And there is peace in that white flag, in that surrender to know why. But surrender is hard because it is never our default.

Surrender, faith, trust, hope … these are my tools as I lean on invisible things. And today they just have to be enough.

(This post is an amazing read on this very subject.)

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Episode 25


In today’s episode of Heart Lessons you will hear from author, speaker, and podcaster Annie F. Downs. We talk about the books she’s written and about her latest book that just released this spring, Looking for Lovely. Annie shares her journey of how she got to be where she is now which included dozens of rejections from publishers, she talks about what it means to cultivate a gentle and quiet spirit and that it has little to do with decibels, and how we can wait well in our waiting seasons. I know you will love hearing from Annie.

Heart Lesson: Discovering what it means for God to be constant even in the midst of change.

Connect with Annie: website // facebook // instagram // twitter // podcast

We Mention:

Her Books

Looking for Lovely Weekend

Ryman Auditorium

Emily Freeman/Hope Writers

One Thousand Gifts


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