Category Archives: Rachael Hartman

GiveForward Estrada Barrera Family Cancer Support

The Estrada women have always been strong and independent. But right now, they are in great need of our support. Please join me and support Mary and Beth Estrada and Miranda Barrera.


Get Ideas for Your Next Fundraiser

GiveForward Cancer Support Estrada Barrera Family

Please join me in supporting Miranda Barrera, and Mary and Beth Estrada.

Mary Estrada spent her life as a single mom raising her two daughters Elizabeth (Beth) and Miranda. The girls grew up and the family of three stayed close. All they had was each other. They live in the Fayetteville, NC area.

Life was going along and Miranda married a man named Ruben; they had two children. Beth remained single and worked at a childcare center as well as helping care for their mother, Mary.

In 2010, Miranda’s son, Keegan Barrera, was diagnosed with a rare form of kidney cancer at age 2 and a half. He started treatments and is now in remission. He continues with check-ups for five years until he can be declared cancer free.

In 2013, Elizabeth Estrada (Miranda’s sister) was diagnosed with Stage Four Ovarian Cancer at age 32. She immediately had surgeries to remove tumors and had a complete hysterectomy. She is currently in on-going chemo treatments.

In 2014, Mary Estrada (Miranda’s mother) was diagnosed with colon cancer at age 66. She has been moved to in-home hospice care.

Miranda has taken a leave of absence without pay in order to care for her mom and sister.

The Estrada women have always been strong. They’ve always cared for each other and for the people around them. But right now, they need our support. They need our strength. There’s only so much each person can take, and this family is at that place of need.

Join me in supporting them financially, emotionally and spiritually as this family fights for life and caregives in the face of cancer. Let’s raise enough to make a difference.

Just another single-on-Valentine’s Day post…

valentines-dayIt’s almost Valentines Day again, and I find myself once again writing from the single perspective. I’ve written a lot in the past about what it feels like to be single on Valentine’s Day, how we can make the most of the day and treat ourselves well, and how it’s not about what we get, but what we give to others. All of that is still true. Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be a sad day, or a disappointing day just because we are single. Whatever Valentine’s Day is, it will be what I decide it will be. I can make it a day full of love, or a day full of deep sorrows. It is my choice.

This year, I have a slightly different take on the whole “Single Valentine’s Day” stuff. I’m actually really thankful I’m single this year. I realize too often I find myself with unrealistic expectations for relationships. I hope for the best, and it doesn’t exactly turn out the way I dreamt it would. It’s my own disappointment and disillusionment that knock me off my feet faster than love ever has. This year, I want to say I’m thankful that I am not going to battle being in a difficult relationship on Valentine’s Day. I don’t have to bother with myself being a disappointment to anyone else. I don’t have to fake a smile through my own let down expectations. I can treat myself well, and the way I want to be treated. I can love myself and care for myself, which is my only job right now. I don’t have to put anyone else’s feelings or well-being above my own.

I can even trust all of my guy friends that they know what they are doing when they don’t ask me out on Valentine’s Day, and don’t talk to me like I wish they would. I can trust they are doing what’s best for my well-being. I can trust that if they say they aren’t what I need, they are right. I can trust them to know what’s best for our friendship, what’s best for them, and what’s best for me.

It’s not an easy reality to swallow, but I can do it. I can find myself secure in Christ’s love, grounded in His Word, and filled with His Spirit. Yes, I’m totally dependent on God for my emotional well-being. He is my source of life, love and security. Without God’s love, I would be empty. My life would be meaningless. I am who I am because He loves me and created me to be me. I’m so grateful for every relationship the answer has been “no” to. I still believe one day I’ll find the right person and we’ll choose to love each other. But for today, I’m just going to love God and myself. I’m so thankful I can always depend on the Lord. He will never leave or forsake me.

And to clarify, no I don’t think of Jesus as my boyfriend. He’s not. He’s my God. He’s my source of strength and life. He’s my stability. He’s my rock. And when no one else is around, He is.


CU3_465x150-Header-ImageA couple of years ago, a blogger contacted me. She was interviewing previous Capella University students, and I was one selected. I ran into a link for the article recently and thought I’d share.

I do have to say that the quotes used in this interview aren’t 100% correct. Some of the information is off, and not what I said. It’s obviously a marketing scheme by the university I attended, but hey, it was fun to be on the other side of the interview for once!