Rachel is truly a picture of joy. We have never met face to face, but through interacting on Instagram and email, her fire for life and passion for Christ overflows from her actions and words! Her blog, Oh Simple Thoughts, is a delight to read and she lives with intention in life. If you are looking for some encouraging gifts for Christmas, check out Rachel’s Etsy shop that is filled with purposeful, creative gifts your friends and family will love! I pray that you are encouraged by her heart as I have been!
Introduce yourself like we are having a cup of coffee together. What kind of coffee/tea would you drink?
I am Rachel Cox. I am married to my very best friend Ben, and we have been married for a year and half. I love Jesus and love to see him glorified in everyday moments. I am a blogger, creative owner of a newly launched Etsy shop, baker at a local bakery, and a lover of coffee. I love strong, bold coffee so I would most likely have an Americano because of the fact that it is cheaper than a latte but stronger than brewed coffee! I also have really gotten into herbal tea as of late, so who knows, maybe I would have a cup of loose leaf tea with some honey.
What is your definition of a “life lived beautifully”?
I think the beauty of this question is it can be answered a million different ways, yet all the answers will be reminiscent of one another. To me a life lived beautifully truly means living a life in total surrender to our Savior. It means I am living in freedom and not bondage to schedules, worries, or stresses of fleeting things. To me it really means slower, more intentional living. Living in such a way that creates space, for myself, my family and for the community we are part of. It creates space so that thriving is occurring. A life lived beautifully is blossoming under the Lordship of our Heavenly Father.
When did you start following Jesus?
Well I do believe I came to know the Lord in 8th grade. However, it was not until after my dad died, and I went off to college and saw “real life” that I truly began to learn what it meant to be a follower of Christ. I really was unable to articulate the Gospel until college, and knew nothing about community, studying the Word or the importance of memorization until then.
What are some verses you constantly cling to and bring life to your soul?
Well I fell like these verses change with the seasons I am in. Right now in a season of a lot of waiting (waiting to buy a house, waiting for my husband to finish his PhD, waiting to see what city we move to… and so on) I have found so much rest in this verse from Acts 1:7, “It is not for you to know the times or seasons fixed by the authority of the Father.” I love this reminder that the Lord alone knows the future, and my seasons, past, present, and future, are all safe in his hands. It brings such peace to my soul!
How do you integrate sharing the Gospel with creativity?
Well my whole mission behind my creative life, whether it is blogging, design work, Etsy or something else is to speak truth and life. I desire to share Christ in all I do without necessarily laying out a Gospel presentation. I strive to be vulnerable, share about how the Lord is shaping me, and write about things the Lord shows me in order to make much of Jesus!
How did you first get into blogging?
Oh blogging, it all began back when Ben (my husband ) and I got engaged. I started the blog as a way to document engagement and keep family in the loop once we got married. Two years later my blog has turned into something so much more and I love that. Oh Simple Thoughts is a place for me to go and be me, and share about our life and what the Lord is doing. The coolest part to me is always how many people choose to come and read my blog every day…it is so humbling to have strangers read my words and say they mean something to them! I don’t think I will ever get over that!
Share with us the vision behind the “Oh Sweet Joys” Etsy shop.
My vision for Oh Simple Joys is simple…create products that help people see Jesus in the overlooked places. Our society calls us daily to rush through our days, and life at large. We are pulled from a million directions, and beckoned to be a people juggling chaos rather than resting in peace. So I wanted to create products that call us to a life of peace. That beckon us to slow down, abide, rest, and see the Lord in the smallest, and most mundane of places.
As a newlywed, what advice would you give to other young women about to get married or in the same stage of life as you?
The biggest piece of advice I could give is just to cling to Jesus first. He will never let you down, and your husband will just like you will let your husband down. You are two sinners living together 24/7…to expect to not see sin would be crazy. But the coolest part of marriage is that those same sinners, constantly battling selfishness, and their flesh…those sinners can present the most powerful picture of Christ and the church is we cling to Jesus first, and recall the Gospel in marriage.
If you could do anything for the glory of God, what would it be?
This is a tough question for me. The first thing that came to my mind was to receive the blessing of children, steward them well and raise up strong, God fearing arrows and send them out. But in addition to that, I have a strong passion to use my gifts for the glory of God, and to show women how they also can do this. Everyone has a gift, and those gifts don’t have to be seen in the form of teaching or the like. They can be cooking, crochet, graphic design, writing, blogging…all that matters is that we learn to use those gifts for the Lord!
If you could tell every woman reading this blog one thing God has laid on your heart, what would it be?
Keep your mind set on things above. We are bombarded in this image driven, consumer culture to want more, need more, crave more…but we are called to one thing in this life. To make Jesus known, that is our goal above all else. So keep your eyes, mind, and heart set on the things above…not Instagram, Pinterest, the perfect house, the perfect marriage…set your eyes on Jesus!