Sophomore Rachel, Same Challenges as the Rest

Rachel headed off to school this morning as a sophomore.

Sophomore year - 1st day
Sophomore year – 1st day

She is one of the smallest kids at the school but she is full of life. Over the past week she has been going to Student Council events in preparation for Freshman First Day that she was able to help with yesterday. Student Council has been a great fit for her.

Rachel headed to help with Freshman First Day
Rachel headed to help with Freshman First Day

She practiced her little speech over and over again. She was a little nervous and that is not like her. However, she has told us of late “people have a hard time understanding me” so she is more self-conscious about her speech. So much so that she wanted to start having speech therapy again. We dropped it for middle school and 9th grade. She is a good little self-advocate, and I am very proud of her for telling us this.

As I do around the beginning of every school year, I have been reflective. I thought way back to when I was starting 10th grade, and I have images of my horrible school picture with my horrible hair. I had a Dorothy Hamill. It was a wedge haircut. I never liked any of my school pictures and clearly didn’t want my picture taken.  I will spare you from viewing it!

My brain has primarily focused on all the things that we depend on other folks to do to make things go smoothly for Rachel. She does her part, and we are hopeful they will do their part. The beginning of school is exhausting.  We had a very good team meeting on Tuesday. I am most appreciative of the group’s participation. This upfront investment will have huge pay-offs for everyone.

As I thought about those two things, I also thought about Rachel and how she has grown into a very typical young lady. She has her struggles related to it taking longer to process and all that but she mainly has the same challenges of all teenage girls. Wanting to have lunch with friends, wanting to be inviting to the Friday night football game by friends, wanting a boyfriend, trying to figure out how to converse with boys and new friends and thinking mom and dad are too involved in her life! She wants to be like everyone else. She wants to do a good job in her classes. She wants people to understand what she says or more probably what her heart is saying. She wants to be involved. She wants to be popular. She is very typical. Of course, I know that boys will just break her heart and so will many friends and being popular is way overrated. But I am not 16. So I wrote her this note as I sent her off to school. It is composed of her favorite verse and her favorite quote. Her verse is Joshua 1:9,  and the quote is from Cinderella’s mom.

Always have courage and be kind, Rachel!
Always have courage and be kind, Rachel!

Then I found this. I’ve never read it before and I’ve always been a fan of Mother Teresa. It is my prayer and hope that Rachel can treasure this in her heart and maybe I can, too! Go get ’em Rachel!

Anyway by Mother Teresa
People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.
Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you.
Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.
Create anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, will often be forgotten.
Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.
Give your best anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God.
It was never between you and them anyway.


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One comment

  1. Thanks Jawanda. I sure needed to hear all this today & apply it to myself!! I know Rachel will have an amazing senior year!!! Please let me know when her graduation will be. I will come help you with her party if all my elderly relatives are well.

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