When You’re Waiting For the Job

I’m breaking out the blog today because there’s something on my mind. I’ve learned this about myself: It’s scary to share the honest truth sometimes, but I almost always am thankful that I did. Being vulnerable opens up an opportunity for others to relate to your struggles. It brings people closer together.

I want to write about marriage and what Ben and I have been up to, but I’ll save that for another day. Today, I want to talk about something that I’ve been going through, and maybe, someone else will read this and say, “me too.”

I’ve been on the search for a full-time teaching position and still haven’t found one. And I’ve been ashamed. I’ve been in hiding, to be quite honest. I’ve shared my fears and doubts with Ben and with a few close friends or family members. I’ve been asked by people many times how the job search is going. I know they mean well. It still feels like a punch in the stomach. My pride sets in. I want to snap, “Clearly it’s bad or you would have heard otherwise!” but instead, I crack a joke about being a loser and having no connections yet in Auburn. Making a joke seems to make it easier. I’ll get on Facebook and see yet another friend who has gotten their dream job at their dream school. Don’t get me wrong–I’m very happy for them. But of course, there’s also that aching feeling of “Why not me? When will it be my turn?” The jealousy hangs over me like a dark cloud. And then comes the guilt for being jealous. Does this sound familiar to anyone?

As I drove to a few schools around Auburn last week to deliver resumes and cover letters, I was feeling defeated and useless. I prayed and sure enough, God quietly answered. He assured me that even if nothing comes through right now, He will be taking care of me. I still wasn’t satisfied. And then He showed me a few things that are getting in the way of the truth for me:

Pride.
Impatience.
Comparison.

So, I’ll confess: It’s not about my fear of being able to contribute to my marriage financially. It’s 100% about pride. With every failed attempt, I’ve selfishly thought about how bad I’ll look to people if I can’t get a teaching position. How pathetic I’ll appear to just be subbing or working part-time. I was supposed to have this adult life stuff figured out by now, right?

Moving to a new city where I had no leads on a job was a bold move, but I have felt God’s hand through the whole thing. I am confident that He’s led us here to do great things. So why can’t I let go of the shame I feel when I think about the possibility of not having my own classroom when August rolls around?

Instead of praying for a job for me, pray for me to learn to find my identity in Christ rather than in my job description or my income. To be content with whatever comes my way. He very well might have a job waiting. I could get a call tomorrow. But maybe not. Maybe God’s preparing me for a season of focusing on our Etsy shop, or maybe something else totally unexpected. What I know is that the Lord has already figured it out. Pray that I can be rid of my pride and fear of being a “failure.”
“But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6

Currently – January

It’s been way too long! I actually have half-written many blog posts and saved them to my drafts because they just didn’t feel right. Blogging isn’t my passion or anything, but it does make me happy!

Today I want to link up with two bloggers, Jenna and Anne, to talk about what I’ve been up to lately. Hopefully I’ll write a longer post later to explain all of the changes happening in my life over the next month or so!

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PLANNING – LOTS of things, starting with my upcoming wedding in April! The big stuff is mostly finished but I still have all of the fun little things to manage and get together, particularly the crafts. And let’s be real, I’ve been planning that stuff since I discovered Pinterest in 2010. Aside from wedding planning, I’m also planning the next few months out. Next week, I move back home until the wedding. There’s this awkward gap of time between my graduation in December and the wedding that needed to be filled. I knew that I needed to work and save money. So, back to LaFayette I will be going. It’s been really fun planning and creating our future home with Ben. Last weekend we bought a chair and pillow at World Market to go in the living room and I’m pretty impressed with it.

HOPING – & praying–to find community in LaFayette while I’m there. I’m a little scared of going back because I’ve gotten so used to the community that surrounds me in Athens. I’m hoping to find a strong group of people who I can feel close with and walk through these exciting times with!

BAKING – I rarely bake. I have registered for the KitchenAid mixer, so when that hopefully comes around, I will be more enthused about baking! But for now, I am actually planning to make a Funfetti naked cake today! That counts, right?

WEARING – Since I’ve been in such a down season in my life.–mostly running errands, trying to get life in Athens finished up, packing, etc–I’ve basically worn leggings and a long tee shirt everyday. This is truly the life, even if it’s just for a short magnificent time. But when the weather kicks into gear, I’m looking forward to wearing my new DKNY peacoat that I got for Christmas!! We found it on sale on Black Friday and I could not be more excited. It makes me feel quite fancy.

RESOLVING – to be more intentional. With the time that I spend with friends, the food that I eat, and the decisions that I make.

Naked funfetti cake

I wonder how completely not like this Pinterest cake mine will look when I get it done?

Before you go, make sure to check out the new card listed in our Etsy shop!

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I hope you have a fantastic week!

-Rachel

To the B

In the spirit of thankfulness, I want to tell you a little bit about one important place that contributed to a lot of my growth over these past four and a half years.

When I was making plans to come to UGA, my parents pushed me to get involved in a campus ministry. I chose the Baptist Collegiate Ministries because… I was baptist. Scarlett and I came in looking for friends so we showed up for one of the first events in August 2010. We were welcomed by friendly faces that I still know today.

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When I think back to all of the high points of college, many of them are connected to BCM. What I didn’t know before college is that a great part of spiritual growth is having a strong community around you. I found that in mission trips to New Orleans and NYC. I found the community in the first small group I had ever been in. I found it in the hours between classes spent on the old couches, getting no work done at all. I especially found a strong community in Dinner Theater when I chose to get involved in that the last two years.

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I think one important thing I had to learn is that BCM is far from perfect. I believe God led me there to not only show me what I had been lacking in my faith, but to also teach me how to grow in an imperfect ministry. I also learned that a student ministry is not church! I’m thankful that I had friends there who helped me get connected to different churches in Athens where I could explore and also learn that–surprise–no church is perfect either!

I stuck with BCM because it didn’t take long for me to feel like it was home. Through my experiences there, I gained a stronger relationship with Christ and a desire to continue growing, friends that I love, mentors that I trust, and also a future husband. That doesn’t hurt. 🙂

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I’ll always be thankful for the welcoming arms of the people there who made me want to come back. For the upperclassmen who invited me to their apartments and showed me hospitality. That spirit of invitation led us to have an apartment where people were always encouraged to stop by. I’ll always be thankful for movie nights, tailgating, paint wars, long van rides, and delicious dinners cooked by Mr. Lee.

Thanks. 🙂

November

I think it’s time for another post. Things are happening around here.

I just finished up my student teaching semester. How did it go by so fast? I feel like I was just driving to my first day in the pitch black morning.

Someone reminded me the other day of how many changes and giant life moments are ahead for me, but for some reason, this hasn’t sunk in yet. I know these things are happening: graduation, my two-family Christmas, moving back home, planning a wedding, executing that wedding in April, moving to a new city/state, finding my place in said city/state, learning how to BE MARRIED…I think that’s about it for now. Why am I not freaking out yet?

For now, my focus should be on finishing up final papers for school. But instead my focus has been mostly on Etsy shop business. I probably drive everyone crazy posting about all of the new Christmas prints, but I’m just so excited about them!

IMG_9462Next week I’m going home and actually riding with my parents to visit my dad’s family in Kentucky. I plan on using that car ride to read all 19 of the books that I’m in the middle of. I’m exaggerating, but it’s seriously terrible how many books I’m currently in the middle of. After this, one book at a time. Maybe.

A couple of weekends ago, Ben and I had our friend Duane take some engagement pictures…we only have one back so far and I’m reallllly excited to see the rest! And by the way, those pictures are more awkward than they appear. The first thing Duane told me was to sit in between Ben’s legs. I just gave him a weird look. But what I learned is that you should always trust a Romanian med student. More to come later!

duane1I also had my sweet friend Michele Houston take some graduation pictures for me so I can send out some announcements. So, she obviously did a great job.

RachelGaddis_Finished-4 RachelGaddis_Finished-31 RachelGaddis_Finished-24Along with the end of student teaching has come extra morning time for me to ease into the day and feel no rush to get my quiet time done. Today, as I was doing the She Reads Truth study on thankfulness, I really felt like the verses hit home for me. Isaiah 40:8 –

The grass withers, the flower fades,

but the word of our God will stand forever.

and Job 19:25-26

25  For I know that my Redeemer lives,

and at the last he will stand upon the earth.

26  And after my skin has been thus destroyed,

yet in my flesh I shall see God,

The post talks about how as children, we think everything in life is permanent. We think this is how life will be forever. As we grow up we learn that people come and go, circumstances change, and your setting will be different. In college, I think we take on the opposite view as we did as children. Nothing is permanent. Your friends today won’t be your friends in a year. You won’t even live in the same apartment or dorm. You won’t be taking the same classes. I think I’ve been running  crazy circles around God for years and one thing I’m comforted to remember is that He has not changed at all. He remains the same everyday and will continue to do so.

Good Mornings

I don’t know about y’all, but the way I start out my morning often sets the tone for the rest of the day. Yesterday, I turned off all of my alarms in my sleep and woke up way too late for school. I felt totally undone the entire day and I came home feeling pretty rough.

Today, I woke up in a good mood. And somehow, that good mood lasted all day! I started to notice that things were just going my way. The kindergarteners were saying sweet things to me and just being really great today. I thanked God for each of them and felt myself smiling all throughout the day. Later, I took a moment to read the comments on our featured post on Madison’s blog, Wetherills Say I Do. Wow, that filled up my bucket, as we say in kindergarten. Just reading those made me feel even better. I thanked God again. I smiled some more. Then after school, I went by this new store in Athens that’s basically the Christian version of Anthropoligie. Does it get any better than that? Athens friends, go to Philanthropy. (Across from Creature Comforts, next to Ted’s Most Best [aka the best pizza place ever]). They donate 10% of your purchase to ministries in Athens! I made friends with the girl working there, and when she learned that I had an Etsy shop, she excitedly told me that she had heard of us and offered me so much encouragement. I left feeling so filled up and encouraged again. I noticed myself being friendlier to anyone I interacted with. I kept thinking, why can’t everyday be like this?

Maybe it can. Maybe if I start my days out thanking God for the good things instead of focusing on each flaw or mistake that I make, then I will end the day feeling spiritually renewed and thankful for what He’s blessed me with. I could’ve chosen to dwell in the mistake I made when I was being observed today at school, or all of the things I didn’t get checked off my to-do list. But instead I started counting my blessings. Today, I felt like it truly was well with my soul, and I liked that feeling!

Anyway, the rest of the evening was pretty great as well. I got to talk to someone in a downtown shop about selling some East West Design Co greeting cards there. It looks like our Athens greeting cards and the Georgia Home Sweet Home cards will soon be sold in stores!!! More details on that later. I couldn’t be more excited.

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Also, this happened tonight. There’s nothing like an impulsive trip to Target with friends, you know? The phrases “Um, I want to buy everything” and “I think I need these candles” were said multiple times, and Scarlett and I did both leave with candles.

TOMORROW. Only a few hours away. Jessica and I are finally heading to North Carolina for Emily Freeman’s writer’s conference: At The Barn. I can’t believe we’re doing this. I’m still not sure if this is for me. But something told me to go for it, even if I have to miss the Tennessee game tomorrow. I can’t wait to see how this will turn out and I know that it’s going to be a day of growth for us. We’re starting out the day in our sweat pants because…why would we wear our cute clothes in the car for 4 hours? And then we’re stopping in Charlotte for lunch, which I am PUMPED about because I’ve never been there. Pray for us, y’all.

What a wonderful friend. I love her dearly.

What a wonderful friend. I love her dearly.

september1Oh, uh here’s a nerdy student teacher moment…next week is apple week at school. I am a little bit too excited about this. A lot of apples will be eaten.

Custom South Carolina state print for a customer.

Custom South Carolina state print for a customer. Click here to order yours!

And just a little bit of extra, because I can’t resist pushing the shop on you guys in every post. 🙂

Thanks for reading!

Reading & ..Writing?

Student teaching is in full swing! Needless to say, my days have gotten a lot busier than they were in the summer. I’m already running out of cute teacher clothes to wear, which is a TRAGEDY. I’m going to have to get creative…

Something I really want to work on during this semester is to still make time for reading books. All throughout college I have used school as an excuse to neglect reading for pleasure. I don’t want to speak too soon, but I never want to stop actively reading a book if at all possible. Here’s what I’ve been reading and am looking forward to reading next:

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Cold Tangerines – I enjoyed Bread & Wine a lot when I read it in the spring, so I knew that I would have to read another Shauna Niequist book at some point. Her writing is so comforting and beautiful. I love the way she tells a story!

The Nesting Place – I really loved this. I just finished it today. It was a birthday gift from my mom. Decorating and creating have always been a passion of mine since I was a child and I rearranged my room every month. This will definitely be a book to read and re-read as I move through life making new places feel like home–wherever God leads me.

Let’s All Be Brave – Jessica and I had our first book club meeting this past week and it was a huge success. I say book club to sound fancy, but in reality it’s the two of us sitting at 2 Story talking about life and the book. It’s so good! And I feel like we’re friends with Annie F. Downs because she’s a UGA grad from Marietta. Basically it’s like we know her, right? Reading about what it means to be brave actually led to Jessica inviting me to come on an adventure with her next month…

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We had talked about this book by Emily P. Freeman on Thursday and how good we thought it looked! This morning, I woke up to a text from her sharing an opportunity to go to this conference called At The Barn: A Place for Writers. I read some more about it and realized that it’s being held by the author herself in North Carolina! It looked truly magical. The only problem was that I would miss the Tennessee game and if I wanted to go, I had to act fast because there’s only 50 spots at this conference.

I could’ve sat and thought about this a while, but I didn’t have the time. I could’ve listed all the reasons not to go, such as football, the fact that I don’t claim to be a “writer,” or that it could be a waste of time or money. But something felt like God was telling me to go for it! Am I worthy of going? I’m not really sure yet. The description to the event contained these bullet points:

  • Gain fresh perspective on your writing for your internet-fatigued soul
  • Recognize the critical voices keeping you from your best song, story, or post.
  • Discover hopeful relief from the weight of comparison and competition

I at least can say that I have a lot of weight from comparison and competition in my head and there is no doubt about that. From my future teaching career to every day in our Etsy shop activities, I feel a constant battle against my human tendency to compare myself to the talents and success of others. Every time I share a blog post, I fear that people will think I sound stupid or meaningless.
I’m tired of thinking these thoughts, and I’m looking forward to what will come about through this conference in a few weeks! And I’m thankful for Jessica for asking me to be brave. 🙂

Currently

I love a good link up! This one is with Dearest Love and In Residence! Here we go.

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Currently…

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Reading – I just finished Sparkly Green Earrings by Melanie Shankle and it was a joy to read! She’s such a great storyteller. And it led to my discovery of her podcast, which was the perfect thing to listen to a couple of weeks ago when I was driving back to Athens from Auburn, AL. Next up, I am REALLY excited to read Let’s All Be Brave by Annie F. Downs. I’m waiting on my friend Jessica from Delightfully Unspeakable Joy so that we can read it together and have a mini book club sort of thing but I CAN’T WAIT!

Enjoying – my new room in my new place. Now that I’m living with my sister in her apartment (our apartment now) things are much different from living with three friends in our big Pineview apartment. It’s taking some adjusting on both of our parts, but I do think God arranged things just this way so that Jessica and I can live together and see what he has in store for us! And I have to say, I’m truly enjoying having my own bathroom and a more spacious room to work on Etsy products.

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Listening – Emily Hearn & Rend Collective lately.

Photographing – Product photos and mostly pictures of potential Etsy products that I will send to Lindsey for an honest opinion.. And I really love this picture I took Sunday night of my friend Kelsey looking quite adorable after she got married!

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Feeling – hungry!! And poppyseed chicken is in the oven so that’s about to change. 🙂