Sometimes we skip town to wander state parks.
Thankful for you, my adventurous husband.
Sometimes we skip town to wander state parks.
Thankful for you, my adventurous husband.
Drink more water, yoga, blah, blah, blah, you know.
“The world doesn’t need another band, per se. It doesn’t, strictly speaking, need another book or another photograph or another album. The general world population will survive without one more stage production and one more gallery showing. This is the thing, though: you might not. We create because we were made to create, having been made in the image of God, whose first role was Creator. He was and is a million different things, but in the beginning, he was a creator. That means something for us, I think. We were made to be the things that he is: forgivers, redeemers, second chance-givers, truth-tellers, hope-bringers. And we were certainly, absolutely, made to be creators.”
“What’s your most embarrassing moment?”
The classic ice-breaker question.
The one that makes me cringe because unlike most (so it seems to me at least) I don’t have one example of me floundering through the aisles of Target with ripped pants. My mind holds a million embarrassing, awkward, red-faced, “Can I cry yet?” moments that are not nearly as laughter-evoking as the former.
Embarrassed is a tricky emotion to describe.
I can remember stumbling over what it is when my Pre-K kids would ask.
I can also remember my Dad doing his best to explain it to me while waiting in line as a kid.
The memory must stand out to me because I knew the feeling all too well and now this word, this perfect word, made it all make sense.
“Oh, so this feeling I have is a real thing!”
I quit my job a month ago.
Not on a whim.
Not without thought.
Not without tears.
Looking back, it was a long-time coming.
I loved my job.
I loved my students.
I loved their families.
I loved my co-workers.
(Seriously, the Lord gifted me with those strong, kind, and wise women. I cried on their shoulders many-a-time.)
And maybe this is hard to explain (And trust me, it was very hard to explain.) because it’s not that I disagree with early childhood education in itself. I just don’t totally agree with the way we’re going about it. And thinking into the future, it surely isn’t the way we want to raise our children. I love your child a whole lot. But not enough to leave my child with someone else to raise them. Add in the factor that my salary would be equivalent to the cost of sending our child to said institution and it’s downright depressing. I read this (“It Doesn’t Pay to be an Early-Childhood Teacher” ) and thought, “I’m not the only one recognizing this problem.” as well as, “Why did no one tell eighteen-year-old Rachel this?” Which in fact, they did. Every time, “We’re not in in for the money.” was muttered – they were shouting it. I just wasn’t paying attention.
This recognition has brought a flurry of insecurity, regret, confusion, and embarrassment.
I felt embarrassed about feeling so sure of my “calling” and passion. I declared my major as an eighteen-year-old and did not change throughout my three and a half years of higher education. I have a piece of paper (somewhere) and three years of experience stating that I’m good. I’m qualified. But it’s not my passion. I love kids, yes. And hope to have a houseful of them someday. But teaching in a formal setting – not so much.
I feel insecure. Because I don’t know what I want to do in life. I have some ideas. But they’re not so practical.
I feel regret. Because each month a chunk of change pays for my nice piece of paper that states, “Early Childhood Education” while I punch the clock doing otherwise. I know that’s a wrong way to look at things. That an education is so much more than a piece of paper. But it doesn’t take the feeling away. Why do we entrust eighteen-year-olds to decide what they want to do with their lives?!
This month I’ve realized what I wish I would have realized as an eighteen-year-old.
(And will probably re-realize several times in my lifetime…)
That it’s ok to flounder.
To feel embarrassed.
To not know what you want your “career” to look like.
This post about prayer. And praying God’s Word. Plus, their waiting/adoption story is incredible.
I’m starting a new job on Monday and I’m pretty sure this is a necessity.
My doctor prescribed yoga for me for my leg pains and possibly because of my high Kleenex and “I’m sorry I cry so much.” usage.
Because of the job transition I’ve had the past two weekdays off. It’s impressive what these quiet days can do to restore my body and soul.
I save a list of quotes that I read through from time to time. Some of them I just can’t shake no matter how many times I’ve already read it. This is one of them.
“We often presume that trust will dispel the confusion, illuminate the darkness, vanquish the uncertainty, and redeem the times. But the crowd of witnesses in Hebrews 11 testifies that this is not the case. Our trust does not bring final clarity to this earth. It does not still the chaos or dull the pain or provide a crutch. When all else is unclear, the heart of trust says, as Jesus did on the cross, “Into your hands I commit my spirit.” (Ruthless Trust by Brennan Manning)
Jeni’s, long walks and talks around neighborhoods, getting lost more than a few times, laughing until it physically hurts and singing at the top of our lungs in the car.
I have the sweetest friends.
Podcasts and I are no strangers.
It’s a running joke in our family that if a certain member mentions a podcast reference more than a few times in a day they have to add quarters to a hypothetical “Podcast Reference Jar”. Dad is infamous for adding quarters by stating, “Yesterday on Marketplace…”
Driving back and forth from college I would burn CDs with this church’s podcast before I knew how to download them on my iPod Nano.
Nowadays I listen while getting ready for work or doing chores around the house. I am not an auditory learner so I’ve discovered that I can’t do podcasts with too much “heavy listening”. Most of them are light, funny, and conversational. If I’m going to be jumping into something deep I would need a notebook and a pen.
My current favorites in order of obsession, mostly.
1. Question of the Day – Short, funny, enlightening.
2. Shailey & Katie – I stumbled upon this podcast through Instagram and have been laughing ever since. Craziest part? They’re Springfield gals.
3. RELEVANT – This is a Saturday morning staple in the Morris household. Sometimes I lack self-control and listen early. Honestly, the first 30-45 minutes of round table style talking is my favorite and we usually stop listening for the interviews.
4. FiveThirtyEight Elections – This is one I was a bit obsessed with throughout the primaries (the other one is the NPR Politics one) but now they’re running a “Kitchen Table Politics” series that I’m really enjoying.
5. Invisibilia – This is new on my list so I’ve only listened a few weeks but the topics have been very thought provoking so far.
6. Awesome Etiquette – This one annoys Josh the most. And sometimes the hosts are so polite that it’s annoying. But I find it interesting. I was a kid who read etiquette books for fun though so keep that in mind.
7. Freakenomics – I’ve listened to this one for over 3 years and still can’t stop.
8. Modern Love – This isn’t a regular download for me but if I’m going for an evening walk with Millie it’s perfect.
10. Serial – Yep.
What are you listening to these days?
I look back with fondness over the last two years, swallowing my words about how sweet life is and then think, “Year three was just really, really hard.” As with most challenging years or seasons, it’s not just one thing that makes it hard. It’s like the rain is pouring and it just won’t stop.
There were times I was consciously thankful to have Josh Morris by my side. Sitting on the couch next to me in silence as we both just sat silently after receiving painful news. Thinking, “No one coached us on how to walk through this.” Dragging the mattress into the living room to camp out with the TV after the doctor’s report came back and all I could do was cry. Every weeknight spent without my husband while he worked a job that helped pay the bills but drained him. All these things just kept coming.
All the while the “sweetness” of marriage we held onto through the first two years losing its luster. The stress of life and circumstances crowding out the joyful celebration of just looking at each other. Or just driving together with the windows down.
Leather is the traditional wedding gift for a third anniversary. We aren’t cool enough to hold to those traditions. But as I happened upon the list I couldn’t help but relate our tough year with the qualities of leather.
My Dad has a leather notebook cover. It’s customized with his initials on the front, closes perfectly, smells just like worn leather should, and slides right into your hands. I can see it sitting on the floorboard in between the front seats of the minivan now. It holds notes, lists, and mail to be sent out. As a little girl (with a weird passion for organization) I loved that notebook. And one year for my birthday he gifted me with my very own.
But it wasn’t the same.
It had my initials on it but it gapped open instead of closing perfectly, smelled too much like leather, and didn’t slide right in my hands. When I asked him why it wasn’t like his, he replied, “It takes time. The leather has to be broken in.”
Our marriage through years one and two was unmarked. Smooth but not worn.
Some years will be sweet. Some will be hard. But the years added together are shaping us and by God’s grace weaving us together to be strong in love.