Sunday, November 16, 2008

Stop and smell the roses.....

My life has recently taken a most interesting turn. I'm going to be somewhat vague still, as there are people in my life I need to share this with before I post for all of the world to see, but know that I am happy, and I am loved, and I am so completely grateful for God's working in my life. Many of you have walked through some rough years with me, but joy does come in the morning.......pray with me and I will update soon!

Monday, October 20, 2008


This is evidence of my decision to refocus my day following a rather unfortunate run-in with my ex-husband. So, here are the beautiful moments of my day:
  • I was a great teacher today. I was present, I was engaging, my lessons were right on, I had the stamina to teach at the level I want to teach at, and I made a difference in at least 2 of my kids' lives today.
  • After 12 weeks, I went and got my hair done tonight. That's right, 12!! It is shiny, dark, and beautiful.
  • Several times throughout the day, I stopped to thank God for the blessing of being single. Again, it's intentionally honoring that which is real in my life right now. And it was genuine, not some fake, I'm going to be a good Christian person.
  • I found the greatest secret pal gifts tonight for my awesome gal at school. She is AMAZING, and I found cheap but WAY cool gifts that totally remind me of her.
  • I was able to grieve tonight, and not with a sense of impending and uncertain death (I'm not being dramatic, this is part of my therapy), but a healthy, cry and heal from the pain. This is HUGE!
  • I deleted 2 people from my life today who no longer get to have the priveledge of hurting me. My heart and my life are worth protecting, and I will not allow it to continue any more.
  • I resisted the urge to call someone. Trust me, this is also HUGE!
  • Now, I am going to go to bed and sleep.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sunday Night Blues....

So, every Sunday night, I hit this deeply introspective place that one might describe as the "blues," or more specifically, its the one time of my week that is deeply reflective and I take stock of things...those that I did accomplish last week, that which I hope to accomplish next week. Its a rather 'alone' time if you will. Everyone else is off with their families, people are busy with "family" things, and I am just here. It brings me to a place of a lot of thoughts and emotions that quite honestly I would rather not face. But here goes just a few:
  • My pastor this morning read from a parable that is used to illustrate stewardship from God's perspective, specifically in a financial sense. Given the recent financial scares in the world markets, this is particularly appropropriate to take a look at once again. But then he took it a step further and asked, are we being good stewards of our lives? Well, am I? Am I being a good steward of my body? Of my gifts? Of my resources? Of my emotional well-being? Of my finances? Or for me, am I biding my time until my life is how I want it to be? Can I truly find joy and fulfillment as a single person? Can I allow myself to be grateful for the gift of singlehood that God has given me? Or will I continue to waste another day longing for that which I don't have? Wow! Talk about a bitter but much needed pill to take.
  • The children's sermon discussed change....the change that comes with seasons, and more specifically, the season's of our lives. This is God's plan, for nature, and for us. Do I embrace God's plan, or do I resent it and long for what is to come, or what has already been? Yeah, not so good at this one either.
  • There are some elements of my life that let's face it, I am not being a good steward of. There are dreams that I harbor, resentments I hold on to, loves that I idolize, and selfish desires that I allow to consume me. Surely this is not the plan or design God has for my life. Shouldn't I just let go?

Those of you who know me best know that I don't love being single. Yes, there are some tremendous advantages. However, I long for relationship and communion with a spouse who loves me and whom I am able to grow and share life with. But, the reality is, God did not come to this earth and promise that Rachel Reynolds would have a spouse and marriage that she desires. My prayer is that it is in His plan, but in the meanwhile, shouldn't I embrace that the plan God has for my life, at least for right now, does not involve a spouse? This is my prayer tonight. God grant me the peace and acceptance that comes with knowing that your plan is perfect, that your design for my life is fulfilling and truly does work for the good in my life, and may I not continue to grumble and question your sovereignty.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Yeah for Sunshine!

It is absolutely beautiful out today. The weather is warm, the sun is shining, I got 12 hours of sleep last night, and I am just happy. It has been such a long time since I have been able to say that I am truly happy, and I thank God for that. That is not to say that there haven't been tough things about this week. My testimony sent a kid of mine to juvenile detention, contact has come back up with a former friend and it is hurting me, and I feel fat right now. But, through it all (even the fat!), I can say that I have a joy in my heart and the ability to dream again that is only by the grace of God, and for that I am so grateful. Tonight I am babysitting for friends of mine, and they have the single most adorable little girl. I promise to take pictures!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Random Encounters with Joy

  • Report cards are done!
  • My kindergarteners actively LOVED the game Witch Witch
  • My choir kiddos had a great rehearsal
  • The moon is so full and so bright. I LOVE fall!
  • McMyspace....enough said
  • I had 2 meaningful conversations with 2 troubled students today
  • I like my life
  • My heart is dreaming again
  • Someone I loved is soooo not ........
  • Loving bedtime more and more
  • Having a church family to worship with, to share burdens with, to find joy with
  • The song "All This Time"

Friday, October 10, 2008

A Time for Dying.....

Today I had the most unfortunate "opportunity" to attend the funeral service of the father of two of my students. He was 36 years old. He left behind 5 children. His death was tragic, his life influential to many. This is the third such funeral that our school family has experienced in the last 4 weeks. Numerous children in my school have been faced with death and with loss, and my heart is heavy.

As I sat in that funeral home and observed the rituals taking place in front of me, I was struck by such an odd perspective of my own life. First of all, it is the end, it really doesn't matter how much stress you can endure, how many mistakes you have made, how much money you have accumulated. Grief is still felt, tears are still shed, your life is still concluded with a service lasting no more than 60 minutes. Secondly, people will really only say the good things about you, because in our loss, in our grief, we are reminded of the human spirit that is pervasive over all of our human shortcomings. Third....our enconomical bracket will likely determine how grief is expressed. As I sat in this funeral home in a different part of town from where I live, and wore my clothes that were purchased by my middle class income, I was struck by the reality that my degrees and my perspectives and my definition of "normal funeral procedures" had little to no value in this setting. These were people whose hearts were broken. Their determination and loyalty to family and friend overcame the stupid, petty arguments that so often cloud the "financially savvy," prepaid funerals and fights over life insurance policies that take place in the middle class. Money was not exhausted on a mahogany casket, or flowers that die. Money was placed in a trust fund for these 5 children, who were it not for the generosity of those who give much and have so little would truly be destitute. How humbling was this demonstration and outpouring of resources. I laugh that we middle class educators attempt to teach life skills through "character" education posters and mini social skill lessons words like respect and caring and empathy, when these children have such a profound, life sustaining understanding of what it means to give and to receive, to respect the value of an imperfect but loving human life, to truly lay down one's life for the needs of others.

My heart is broken for these students of mine. How insignficant I am in the grand scheme of the tragedies many of them face. Their innocence is lost so young, and yet they carry with them, life tools that far extend those which I possess at the age of 27. I am fascinated by this study of culture and socio-economical norms that life placed in my path today, and it is I who is humbled. It is I who is reminded once again that there is a time for living, and a time for dying. To everything there is a season.......

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Grades are due tomorrow. Yes, that means that we have successfully completed 9 whole weeks of school. That means that for 450 students I have to provide documentation of their "progress." Now, some genius higher up than I has decided that all grades should now be electronic. Gee, it is 2008. You would think this would have already been taken care of?? So....we now "get" to enter grades online into a completely inadequate, slower than life, time consuming monster of a database for all 450 students. That is a minimum of 6 clicks of the mouse times 450 students = a minimum of 2700 finger clicks. I PROMISE you my clicker finger is about to fall off!!!