Tag Archive | rachel knox

Learning to Breathe, a guest post

Kindergarten2 '03

The Trace Academy kindergarten class of 2002-03, where Justin was the only boy. Rachel is 2nd from the right.

My son Justin grew up with Rachel, who wrote this guest post. They are 2 days apart in age, were in the same small class through 8th grade at our parent-involved school, then went their separate ways in high school. Though in the same youth group at church, they really didn’t connect after that. But Rachel is a special friend, eldest daughter of dear friends. I thought her story would be an encouragement for parents of college students, and students themselves.

To the girl who keeps pushing through

This is for the girl who tried to never be anything but the best. To the girl who always tried to have the best grades. To the girl who made sure she went to the school of her dreams. To the girl who pushed and pushed herself without taking a second to breathe.

That girl is me.
For my whole life I have been determined. Trying to reach my goals as fast as I could without stopping and when something happened that got in the way panic took over.
I spent so much time and energy trying make sure I graduated high school with as many college classes as I could, so that I could get through college as fast as I could, so that I could have my career and be successful and happy.
Until one day…
I realized my goals weren’t even my goals anymore. I was sprinting towards something I didn’t even want any more. My goals had turned into a mere destination I was trying to get to.
I’m 18, barely an adult by any means more than a simple number.
I don’t know what I want. I don’t know myself at all.
So what happens when dreams change?
I’ve never been one to quit. I keep pushing myself through, always trying to get bigger and better. Not so much that I could show people that I’m the best but rather in a small attempt to convince myself of my worth.
So what happens when I’m sitting at my dream school loving the city I’m in and the people I’m with but knowing that being there is not what I need?
It’s a tragic thing to love something deeply but to also know it’s not what’s best for you.
That leads to the question, “then what IS best for me?”
and the answer to that I do not know.
and that’s okay.
Well, all least I’m trying to learn that it’s okay,
that it’s okay to not have all the answers.
Cause quite frankly I’m freaking out. Deciding to pack up my room, move back home and take a semester off from college is far from anything I would have ever expected I would be doing.
Where’s the goals in that?
I don’t take breaks. I keep moving forward, I keep pushing on.
But it’s okay… It’s okay to not have all the answers.
At some point earlier in my life the realization hit me that my days are numbered and despite that number being unknown I don’t have one minute more or one minute less. I let that idea take over my mind. Because i thought if I could graduate early and be ahead of the majority then I felt like I was in control.
But life is not a race.
There is no prize for getting through everything the fastest.
Brownie points don’t exist in real life.
Learn to enjoy the ride.
Take the time to figure out who you are.
I’ll be honest again, right now I am not enjoying the ride. I’ve cried many tears the past few days. I’m mad that I finally felt like I fit in somewhere and I had it taken away from me. Nobody wants to leave their life, their friends.
Choosing what’s best even when it doesn’t feel best is hard.
But I’m working on letting go. Having peace with not knowing everything. Because goals are good and my determination to succeed is good. And what I’m learning is that taking a semester off does not make me any less of a person, it does not make me any less determined or any less of a goal oriented person. It does not make me weak. All it does is simply give me a semester off.
and now it’s time to just breathe.
Rachel gradRachel Knox is a 2015 graduate of Lake Nona High School in Orlando, Fla. Almost 19, Rachel is an accomplished dancer who’s just trying to figure out what God wants her to do. Check out her blog at Imperfectly Living – Perfectly Loved

Why I Write: A Blog Hop

hopscotchHopscotch was always a favorite game of mine when I was a kid. I can’t hop too much these days as years of bouncing babies trying to help them fall asleep has taken its toll on my knees. But there’s a new kind of hopping going on, and it’s called a Blog Hop. The purpose is to introduce you to other bloggers I think you might enjoy.

Fellow blogger, and someone I hope will be a new friend when she and her family move to Orlando soon, Julie Sanders included me in her Blog Hop last week. julie-sanders-2I’ve only met Julie once in person, in a ladies’ room during a conference we were both attending in Colorado of all places, but I’ve been impressed in her writing by her passions for life, God and her family.

Julie says about herself that she’s a “wife, mother, daughter, friend, and friend of Jesus.” She loves good food, a good book, and talking with good friends late into the night. She admits that she’s a huge fan of her husband and her three boys. Her house is filled with their music, Legos, books and artwork. You can get to know Julie through her blog Along The Way. It was cool for me to learn that Julie and a friend of mine from college know each other. It’s a small world, after all.

So, for this Blog Hop, each writer will answer 4 questions about their writing on their own blog in the near future. After I answer those questions, I will introduce you to these 3 other bloggers that I think you would enjoy. So, here goes.

1. What am I writing or working on?  At the moment, the only writing I’m doing is for my blogs; Compelled, which is what you’re reading right now, and then the one I just recently started, That Senior Year, chronicling my eldest’s journey through his last year of high school. Compelled is a mish mash of thoughts. Most of the time I use things I come across in everyday life to draw a spiritual parallel. Sometimes I talk about parenting; sometimes I talk about current events.

My tag line is “because some things just need to be said.” I’m not very controversial, but I do have strong feelings about some things, so I will talk about them sometimes. I have always wanted to write The Great American Novel, but I keep waiting for inspiration that hasn’t come. I take comfort whenever I read about a writer who wrote a best seller after they turned 60. I’ve still got time!

Actually, I’ve been pondering writing a book that I tentatively call “From Modesty to Marriage: A Former Virgin’s Guide to Being Physically Generous With Your Spouse.” Having grown up in a household where bodily functions were never talked about, and in a church where good girls were modest and nobody really understood what that meant, I entered marriage not understanding how to enjoy the physical relationship I had with my husband. We’re still working on it, and it’s been a battle, but I’m doing much better, thanks to counseling and the Lord. I would love to help other young women enter marriage a little more easily than I did.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre? Because I’m a unique person, the perspective I bring to my writing is unique. Nobody has the children I have, nobody speaks with my same voice. Has anyone else ever written about how their hermit crabs taught them about life? I didn’t think so. I speak with a touch of humor, and I try to always be respectful. That in itself is different these days!

3. Why do I write what I do? I really want my writing to influence others. Will what I say make a difference in someone’s life today? It always makes my day when someone tells me that my blog post made them think or challenged them or even made them laugh. The most fun emails I get are the ones from wordpress that say someone “liked” my post or started following me. Yay! But even if no one was reading, my desire would be to glorify God in the process. Does He like what I write? Then that’s all I need.

4. How does my writing process work? The last post I wrote, “A Fork in the Road,” came about because I actually kept seeing literal forks in the road as I rode my bike. My husband often says to me, “You ought to write a blog post about that.” Sometimes, things just occur to me. In a few days, I plan on writing a post about things that make me say, “Wait, what?” Sometimes I’ll watch a movie or read a book and want to talk about it, as I did with “Parental Supervision” and the Harry Potter and Hunger Games series. I tend to write quickly without a lot of editing, but if I think something is going to garner a lot of criticism, I give it a lot of thought and prayer. Sometimes I send it to my husband to preview before I post it. His input is invaluable. So there you have it. That’s all about me. Now, I want you to meet 3 friends.

The first is Dena Yohe. Dena has been on a purpose-filled adventure with Christ for 41 years. She and her husband, Tom, married 36 Denayears, are the co-founders of Hope for Hurting Parents, birthed out of their own pain with one of their daughters who struggled with addiction, self-injury, suicidal attempts and mental illness. She calls herself an accidental writer as her pain became her passion. What began as a way of processing the most difficult experiences of her life through journaling, turned into daily emails and then a blog to offer encouragement, resources, and hope to parents on their journey from pain to peace. She loves being mom to 3 wonderful children (31, 27 and 25) and Mimi to two precious granddaughters. Check out her blog,  Hope For Hurting Parents, and her website of the same name.

Next up is my sweet friend Becca Ramirez.

beccaBecca, a born and raised Floridian, has just recently moved to Texas with her husband and their two daughters.  She is a lover of good food, board games, traveling, books, and words.  While always an avid “journaler,” Becca only recently began seeking opportunities to expand (and publish) her writing.  Her blog, Simply Living the Life, serves as an outlet for the roller coaster of thoughts that pummel through her mind.  Her desire is to write and speak in a greater capacity, reaching the hearts and minds of youth (particularly teenage/college-aged girls). Becca is a sweet, smiling friend whom we all miss very much since her move to Texas. I think you will enjoy her thoughts.

Last, but not least, I want you to meet Rachel Knox, an almost-18-year-old that I have known since she was a small girl with wild,Rachel curly hair. She and my son Justin are just 2 days apart in age. As Rachel is also going into her senior year of high school, it’s fun to hear and read her perspective on the process. Rachel was born and raised in Orlando as her parents are missionaries with Cru. From an early age, her creativity was a dominant trait which is evident through her love of dance, sewing and anything DIY.

After attending a small Christian school from kindergarten through middle school, she enrolled in public high school, what she calls “an utterly different environment than before.” In an attempt to keep friends and family afar updated on her journey through high school, Rachel created this blog, Imperfectly Living|Perfectly Loved, to highlight the ups, the downs and the lessons learned in her everyday life.

I hope you have the time to go check out these 4 writers that you’ve been introduced to here. I think you’ll like them as much as I do!