In August of 2008, 3 months after becoming Mrs. Draper, I thought there was something more I needed to do in order for God to use me in all the ways He desired. After 1 seemingly quick decision (I began grad school 3 weeks after this thought!), 8 semesters of courses, 2 carpool buddies, hundreds of hours of class, more books purchased than I want to think about, lots of tears shed over self-realization and watching self-realization and God’s work being done in others, 2 1/2 semesters of being pregnant, missing my first class ever because I was in labor(!), 2 internships with local ministries, endless late nights finishing papers and procrastinating by emailing and texting my classmates who were also up late finishing at the last minute, being taught by the most Godly man I am privileged to know, and making the best friends of my life…I GRADUATED!!!! Please now refer to me as Rachel Draper, M.A. 🙂
I couldn’t have done it without my family’s support, friend’s encouragement and understanding of not getting to hang out or not getting to hang out for very long, my husband’s faithfulness, partnership, (paycheck!), love, and understanding, and most of all, God’s prompting, provision, and plan.
Mylin was such a trooper and great girl all day!
Intimate ceremony with just the grad counseling students – our professors talking about our journey and how they have watched us grow. Inargueably the best and most memorable part of the whole day
And Joel even caught me receiving my diploma on the big screen!
today marks a turn in the gorgeous fall weather we’ve been having, to some cooler temperatures
we try to keep our heat level low in our house to save money, but also high enough to keep our chubby bundle (otherwise known as ‘mylin’) warm!
i spend a lot of sunday afternoons at my computer finishing up my week’s homework while joel and mylin watch football and nap
today i am so chilly!
so i’ve got myself wrapped in a blanket, sitting over the heater vent in my computer chair, channeling the sweet heat into my warm cocoon!
i guess this makes my homework more bearable…
what are you doing on this cool sunday afternoon?!
My crazy summer:
16 hours of labor without medication
4 1/2 days in the hospital
1 precious baby girl that is my daughter!!!
6 hours in a graduate class with a 4 week old
43 tupperwares of baby food made and frozen (peaches, green beans, squash, carrots, and peas&carrots)
24 jars of salsa canned from the goodies in our garden
1 bushel of peaches pitted, peeled and canned for winter
5 lbs of frozen blueberries
7+ weeks of not having to cook any meals for ourselves!
2 grandma’s that will care for Mylin as I finish school
12 credits left until I have my Master’s in Counseling
4 long car trips to meet (for Mylin) and visit (for Joel and Rachel) family and friends in IN, MI, and OH
countless visits and presents from friends and family
handfuls of times rolling from tummy to back (Mylin, not us, we’ve been doing that for years…)
millions of sweet smiles from our baby girl
1 amazing, loving, and serving husband who has made this whole experience of motherhood more enjoyable and exciting than I ever could have imagined!
is that a U2 song?
this monday has been joyous so far!
1. made oatmeal for the first time ever – not bad, but not my favorite thing to eat either
2. cleaned and organized around the house
3. got my hair into a ponytail (any girl who has ever had short hair and grown it out, or has a layered haircut knows how exciting this is!)
4. went on a 2 1/2 mile walk and didn’t pee my pants! (meaning i made it home just in time…)
now i’m at school working…so…not as joyous as earlier, but the day started off with me NOT having to be here at 7:45am…so i’ll take what i can get!
i currently can’t fall in love with any of my pandora stations today – anybody have a great one they want to share?!
i am sad that my last post was a month ago.
i am even more sad that i feel like i have nothing to share on my blog – and that is why i did not post!
this all began because i was going to put up pregnancy photos of how we (baby and i – not daddy) have grown through the last 26 weeks (can you believe its been that long!?!) BUT our camera card is dysfunctional and would like to erase those pictures and not load them on to our computer…
i am still bitter about this – but trying to get over it and look on the brightside of purchasing a new camera to use for the new member of our family arriving soon!
in addition to that i’ve had waves of some pregnancy/grad student blues this semester (remember my post about my busy schedule?!)
luckily – spring arriving is helping me overcome these blues – but i still battle them weekly
i am so blessed to have such a loving, supporting, encouraging, and happy best friend/husband that let’s me talk over these blues again and again and again – and then he helps me deal with it and feel good about myself and life in general!
since my semester is mere weeks from being finished (YAY!!!!) – i am looking forward to the summer and what it holds for continuing my education and balancing life with the unpredictability of our new draper bundle’s arrival…
i am SOOO thrilled to be doing my first internship of my program at our faith community, Life, in Bluffton (also 10 blocks from our house…)
This has been an earnest prayer of ours for months, if not over a year
I can’t wait to begin ministering in this way to our community – i am nervous and very excited for what God has in store for me there!
i will also be taking a class that meets one weekend a month all summer – let’s see how exciting a baby arrival will make my class attendance and ability to complete the work!
If all goes well and as tentatively planned – in a year i will be just weeks from graduation and an MA in Counseling!
i hope it isn’t too long before i reflect on life again – fellow bloggers – keep inspiring me by your recipes, testimonies, house projects, exercise plans, funny stories, and insight!!! i love it!
this semester i am privileged to have a graduate assistantship at huntington university to aid in our tuition costs!
i work in the learning center with undergraduate students on academic probation
this experience is teaching me a lot that is and will be helpful to me in my counseling career
i have also began my practicum on our campus clinic this semester
this means that i am actually doing real counseling!
God has been so faithful to surround me with encourging classmates, an intentional and gracious director, and an extremely loving and supportive husband for this process
between classes, counseling, my assistantship, homework, being pregnant, and normal life…i am thoroughly exhausted by my schedule!
on Mondays i leave around 7:00 am to head to campus, not to return until 9:30/10:00 pm
on Tuesdays i am at home to do homework and housework and also run a group for young women at wells county’s alternative school
Wednesdays brings a day of leaving the house by 8:00 am and returning around 5:30 – on these evenings i alternate between going to a discipleship class at church (that’s right – i volunteered to be a student in another atmosphere!) or attending our midweek service with Joel
Thursdays i leave by about 7:30 am – getting home around 9:15 pm to fall into bed exhausted once again!
Fridays i am at home again either scramling to complete my tasks, taking a coveted nap, going to a prenatal appointment, or spending time with my mom.
now, you, reader, may not care about my weekly schedule…but the point of this post is that while i did not realize how exhausted i would be this winter/spring, there is a light at the end of the tunnel
this is a one-time, small sacrifice i can make in the grand scheme of things: to help my family financially for a few short months before i take a break to give birth to and begin becoming consumed with our first child
speaking of, our bundle of joy has begun to perk me up periodically this week by letting me know he/she is there and moving around!
these first movements and head butts (thats what it feels like…) are amazing!
what a wondeful reminder God has given me to know His plan is perfect and my family is being cared for
-Dr. Howard Hendricks
what a profound statement!
this was one of the many note-worthy message i received in my sexuality, intimacy, and gender class thursday night at huntington university.
i am currently working on a masters in counseling there and have 33 of 60 credits completed (working on an additional 9 this semester)!
i know this class will change my self, self-esteem, marriage, ideas of motherhood, and life in general!
we began with some Scripture readings to learn how to focus on what God says to us in His Word about sexuality:
– the first principle in healthy relationships is humility
1 Peter 1:13-16
– the second principle in healthy relationships is holiness
– have courage and faith to be the person that others can sit with; so they can bring to light all of this junk and sin in their lives
1 Thessalonians 4:1-8
– God’s will is that we be sanctified to have nothing to do with sexual immorality
– love God with our sexuality
– If He’s the vine and I’m the branch – what does that mean for my sexuality?
i hope in this mini lesson you were able to gain insight, peace, understanding, or at least interest into this topic of learning God’s will for our lives and our sexuality
i want to challenge myself and all of you if you’re willing to accept the challenge, to “not be ashamed to discuss what God was not ashamed to create”