Day Sixteen

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Day Sixteen: something that you miss.

Well. Where do I start? I miss my grandpa Ray. I miss my aunt Roxanne. I miss being a kid with no adult responsibilities. I miss sleeping in on Saturdays. I miss spending the weekend with my BFF, Christin, exploring new towns and flea markets. I miss running. I miss my daughter right now. I miss the beach. I miss the mountains. I miss the heat of summer. I miss how my daughter used to sleep on my chest when she was itty bitty. I miss some of my students from East Newton. I miss Jess, Jen, and Ariana.

You know what, though? I’m happy where I’m at. I do miss those things and those people. But I’m happy right here. 🙂

XOXO

Day Fifteen

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Day Fifteen: bullet point your whole day.

I have no desire to write a bullet point list of what I anticipate today’s activities to be. For one, my life is not that exciting. My life is predictable and monotonous. And secondly, today’s agenda is not what is weighing on my heart this morning.

Chip and I went to a couple’s retreat with some friends from church last weekend. We needed it. I felt like our marriage was kind of in a rut, so to speak. We needed a weekend away, without the responsibility of being parents, and to rejuvenate. Don’t get me wrong, I hadn’t stopped loving my husband. If you’ve been married for any amount of time, you just know that there are so many curve balls being thrown, and life has a way of bogging you down. Chip and I had never really had more than a small argument before we had Morgan. Becoming parents rocked our world. I wouldn’t change the fact that we have her, but it changed our lives in so many ways. Suddenly, I was angry with him all of the time. I was angry that he couldn’t get up in the night to breast feed. I was angry that I was tired 100% of the time. I was angry that he could leave the house and be with adults all day while I sat at home all day having zero interaction with the outside world. After I went back to work, I remained angry at him. I’d been angry for so long that it was the new normal. There was nothing he could do right in my eyes. He’d work late hours only to come home, saddle his horse, and head to the arena. And I was furious. I’d yell and scream and tell him how horrible he was. I didn’t understand why he wasn’t wanting to be at home with me. HELLO. I was not a nice person to be around. I don’t think anyone would want to be around me if I treated them the way I was treating my husband. He was gone so much and the more he was gone, the angrier I got, and then the more he’d stay away. I never dreamed of talking to my closest friends the way I talked to him. If I did, they wouldn’t be my friends.

Fast forward to present day. When Chip and I were at the couple’s retreat last weekend, something was said that struck a chord with me. We have friends named Joy and David. They’ve been married a lot longer than Chip and I have. They are experts. 🙂 David said that men will go where they feel most successful. So, if he doesn’t feel successful at home, he will go where he does get that sense of being successful and needed. NO WONDER CHIP WANTED TO WORK LATE! NO WONDER HE WANTED TO ROPE UNTIL MIDNIGHT SEVERAL NIGHTS A WEEK. NO WONDER HE WANTS TO GOLF EVERY CHANCE HE GETS. I was making it miserable for him to be at home and I was not making him feel like the leader of our home the way God intends.

I had to ask God to change my heart and take that nasty bitterness away so that I can love my husband the way Christ loves me. The weekend before we went on this little get away, I sat at the bar at Lucky J telling my girlfriends how mad I was at Chip for golfing all the time. Now don’t get me wrong, I want Chip to have hobbies that he enjoys but I also desire for him to spend time with me and Morgan. It’s a balance that we have to work out but one that will never even out as long as I’m constantly at his throat about not spending time with me.It’s like I’m pushing him away by griping that he isn’t with me.

So many people I know right now are unhappy in their marriage. I could list off couple after couple that aren’t happy and that makes my heart break. Marriage is hard but it doesn’t have to be. Start by asking God to change YOUR heart and to reveal to you the parts that he wants to soften and redirect. Ask him to help you love the way He loves.

Last night, I was so mad at my husband. I could’ve spit fire. My words were sharp and hurtful. I could’ve probably justified my words but that’s not the point. I hurt my husband instead of talking to him about what was on my mind in a civil way. So you see, just because we went to a couple’s retreat last weekend doesn’t mean we suddenly have all the answers. We won’t ever have all the answers. We do understand, though, that regardless of whether we strive to have a Godly marriage or whether we choose to throw it all away, we are leaving a legacy for our daughter. Which legacy do you want to leave for your kids? I want Morgan to see an example of a marriage that was fostered with a deep love, one that comes from Christ. I want her to see two people that love unconditionally. I want her to see God in our marriage. I want her to know that when marriage gets tough, you just love harder and push through the rough patches.

Proverbs 27:15-16The Message (MSG)

15-16 A nagging spouse is like
    the drip, drip, drip of a leaky faucet;
You can’t turn it off,
    and you can’t get away from it.

I love you, Chip. I’m sorry I was a drippy faucet last night. 🙂

Day Fourteen

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Day Fourteen: post your favorite movies that you never get tired of watching

I LOVE TO WATCH MOVIES! My husband, on the other hand, is not a huge movie watcher. Typically, he falls asleep before the previews are over. He’s getting better, though. 🙂

  1. Dumb and Dumber
  2. Remember the Titans
  3. Home Alone
  4. pretty much any Disney movie
  5. Orange County
  6. Blindside
  7. It’s a Wonderful Life

Right now, this is all I can think of. My brain is too tired to function.

Day Thirteen

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Day Thirteen: what are you excited about?

Wow. What a morning. I forgot my school  bag. I forgot my phone. I forgot my watch. I spilled coffee all down the front of me. And I’m starving! HAPPY TUESDAY, everyone! To say that I’m excited about getting away this weekend is an understatement.

I love spending time with the people I love. Whether it’s a night at home watching a movie or a weekend out of town, as long as I’m with my people, I’m happy. This coming weekend, my husband, daughter, and I are headed to one of my favorite places on earth: Pawhuska, Oklahoma. We’re staying in a cute little cabin with a fireplace at Osage County State Park. I hope that in the evening, it’s cool enough for a fire. We plan to hike, fish, go see the buffalo at the tall grass prairie, and of course, eat some really good food. Saturday morning, I’m taking Chip to The Mercantile because he’s never been. If it isn’t super busy, we might try to eat breakfast there.

I can’t wait to spend some amazing quality time with my little family away from the hustle and bustle of every day life!! It will be a nice little break!!

xoxo,

Rachel

Day Twelve

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Day Twelve: write about five blessings in your life.

I’ve been thinking on this prompt for several days and every time I’d think of something I consider a blessing in my life, I couldn’t help but be of the opinion that they all sounded cliche in my head. With that being said, this is what I came up with: my five senses.

  1. Smell. I love the smell of spring and fresh life. It always makes me happy and feel alive. I love the way my daughter smells right after her bath. I love the way my house smells when I’m baking. Because I have been blessed with the sense of smell, I get to enjoy each of these things.
  2. Sight. The first moment I laid eyes on my daughter, I felt this love that I’d never known. When I see wildflowers growing on the side of a country road, my heart is happy. When I watch my husband playing with my daughter in the evenings, my heart swells. Watching my husband bend over to put on his spurs makes my heart go pitter-pat. Because I have been blessed with the sense of sight, I get to enjoy each of these things.
  3. Touch. Holding hands with my husband in the car or when he puts his arm around me during church, those are two of my favorite things. I love it when my daughter crawls up in my lap and puts her tiny hands in mine. I love the way my horses feel in the winter, so fuzzy and soft. I love the feeling of my over-sized fleece sweater. Because I’ve been blessed with the sense of touch, I get to enjoy each of these things.
  4. Taste. Oh how I love food. I love the first bite of cobbler, covered in ice cream. I love a fluffy, home cooked dinner roll. I love the crunch of chips and salsa. I love all things food. Because I have been blessed with the sense of taste, I get to enjoy all of these things.
  5. Hear. There is nothing sweeter than my daughter’s laugh. There have never been more precious words whispered in my ear than when my husband says he loves me. My favorite songs, birds chirping in the morning, rain tapping on my roof, and a cow mooing outside my window – all of these things make me happy. And because I’ve been blessed with the sense of hearing, I get to enjoy each of these things.

Have the best Monday ever, and count your blessings. Name them one by one.

Rach

Day Eleven

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Day Eleven: something you always think “what if…” about.

I try not to live my life thinking “what if,” but there are times when that thought does cross my mind. Sometimes I wonder what if I hadn’t taken the call from my college Ag teacher to work the gates at the Best of the Best Calf Roping. Would fate have led me to another place where I met Chip? Regardless, I’m so happy I did take that call because it led me to the man of my dreams.

I am truly struggling to come up with any what if questions concerning my life. I’ve typed, erased, started over, typed, erased, started over…..multiple times. Honestly, my motto in life is to not think about the what ifs. I know that my steps have been ordered and that everything happens the way it does for a reason. Even the really crappy things. So instead of questioning how life has turned out or worrying about the what ifs of my future, I guess I just choose to roll with the punches and face the what ifs head on.

What if no one ever reads this? HAHA That’s really all I have for you today.

Day Ten

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Day Ten: write about something for which you feel strongly.

As most of you know, I am a special education teacher at Carthage High School. I started my teaching career at East Newton where I taught 4th, 5th, and 6th grade special education. Regardless of what age group I’ve taught, one thing remains the same: I am passionate about my students.

When I started college at Missouri State, I didn’t have intentions of teaching special education. I’m so glad the path for SpEd opened, though. My mom was a SpEd teacher while I was growing up so I’ve been around students with special needs most of my life. When I tell people that I am a special education teacher, their response is typically something like “oh, your job takes a special person” or “I could never do what you do.” I think teaching in general takes a special person, regardless of whether or not you have gifted learners or students that need a some extra help. I’m no one great – I just love the heck out of my kids. I had a student once who loved to hug. I laugh when I think about her because she was such an inappropriate hugger. She would come up behind a person and squeeze them so hard, their eyes would nearly pop out of their head. Because of this, most people were turned off by her. They didn’t want her to come near them, and I can’t blame them. They were afraid she’d squeeze the life out of them. Over the course of her year with me, we talked about what an appropriate hug looked like and that before you hug a person, it’s polite to ask them if they even want a hug. 🙂 I loved this girl so much. I loved her hugs. She wasn’t always clean. I usually helped her brush her hair once she got to class because at home, fixing your hair just wasn’t a priority. She was this tiny girl but had the squeeze of a python. I had a teacher tell me one time that they didn’t know how I could let this girl hug me. I’m telling you – the Mama Bear in me came roaring out. How could I let her hug me every day?  It was easy. She felt loved and she felt special when someone hugged her. And isn’t that what we all want? To feel loved and accepted? And isn’t that my job as a teacher, let alone a human being, to be someone that made her feel loved? One morning, I was early to work so out of curiosity,  I decided to drive by this girl’s house. I’m telling you, I hadn’t cried like that before. I saw her huddled up on the porch, waiting on the bus. It was cold out. Her house was the size of a closet. And to be honest, I’m not sure anyone should have been living in that house. I thought to myself in that moment that I would never, ever turn down a hug from her. Ever.

Every day, I get to be an advocate for students that might otherwise never have someone in their corner. I’m not saying this boastfully or to make anyone think that I’m the best teacher that has ever walked the earth. I know that I’m not. But this I do know: I will always, always be a voice for my kids that don’t have one. When people tell me that they don’t know how I do what I do, I like to tell them that if they’d walk in my shoes for one day, there is so much they could learn from my kids. They teach me something new every single day. They teach me how to love without limit and to be silly and not take life so seriously. They teach me how to laugh. I will always fight for them. I will always be passionate about my students. I will always do my best to make sure they know that I love them. My job is stressful a lot of days, but I do it because this is what my heart was made to do. Remember on The Grinch when he says that his heart grew three sizes? Sometimes I feel like that, when I see my kids reaching one of their goals or learning something new, my heart is so happy. This is what I was made to do.