Life has been really crazy lately.
Permission to be honest? I want to talk for a minute abut teaching. Lately, it feels as though so many people have been asking me how teaching is going and about my first few weeks as a kindergarten teacher. My response is always the same. “The kiddos are great, and I absolutely love it!” Of course, that’s true, but there really is so much more.
What I never say is just how tough it really has been. I never say that I come home so emotionally drained it feels as though I have nothing left to give my friends, family, and boyfriend. What I never say is how hard it can be to fulfill the needs of each and every student, as well as the needs of their parents. I never say how often I’ve cried on the phone to my mom, just in need of an outlet for my overwhelmed heart. Sometimes, it feels like I am drowning and just trying to keep my head above water.
I realize that EVERY new job is exhausting and a huge “reality check’, and I’m not trying to act as though I have it harder than anyone else doing any number of equally draining jobs. Teaching is just so incredibly difficult to understand from the outside. One of my most favorite moments I’ve shared with a family friend happened several weeks ago at a football game. She approached me, asked how it was going, then simply said “it’s really tough right now, isn’t it?” SHE GOT ME.
I’m not telling you all of this as a plea for sympathy. I believe that being open and honest with those we love and care about is so so important. Too often we fake happiness. It’s okay for not everything to be okay. It’s okay to be overwhelmed and sad sometimes. In these times, the worst thing we can do is hide how much we need support. I ask you, if you’re reading this, to say a prayer for me. I really could use your love right now.
A final word on this… a favorite quote of mine regarding happiness…
I actually attack the concept of happiness. The idea that—I don’t mind people being happy—but the idea that everything we do is part of the pursuit of happiness seems to me a really dangerous idea and has led to a contemporary disease in Western society, which is fear of sadness. It’s a really odd thing that we’re now seeing people saying “write down three things that made you happy today before you go to sleep” and “cheer up” and “happiness is our birthright” and so on. We’re kind of teaching our kids that happiness is the default position. It’s rubbish. Wholeness is what we ought to be striving for and part of that is sadness, disappointment, frustration, failure; all of those things which make us who we are. Happiness and victory and fulfillment are nice little things that also happen to us, but they don’t teach us much. Everyone says we grow through pain and then as soon as they experience pain they say, “Quick! Move on! Cheer up!” I’d like just for a year to have a moratorium on the word “happiness” and to replace it with the word “wholeness.” Ask yourself, “Is this contributing to my wholeness?” and if you’re having a bad day, it is.
—Hugh MacKay, author of The Good Life
ON ANOTHER NOTE, several weeks ago at tailgate, our family friend brought these AMAZING cookies. I think I had a solid half dozen, and that is not even an exaggeration. They are pillow-y soft and chewy, with amazing flavor! You will LOVE the big Oreo taste in these little morsels. One of the best parts of this recipe is that I can pretty much guarantee that you have every ingredient (with the exception of pudding mix and cookies) already in your pantry. How dang cute would these be made with Halloween Oreos? OR CHRISTMAS OREOS? The possibilities are endless!
I’m not even embarrassed to admit I made two separate batches of these scrumptious cookies two weeks ago. (You are welcome, Sammy. You are welcome, people of the family reunion.)
Oreo Pudding Cookies
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 and 1/4 cup flour
3/4 cup butter (softened)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 package instant Oreo Cookies n’Creme pudding mix (4.2 oz)
1 teaspoon vanilla
14 Oreos (half a package) crushed
Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare baking sheets by lining with parchment paper. If you aren’t already using parchment paper to line baking sheets when you bake, START NOW. The cleanup couldn’t be easier.
In a medium sized bowl, mix together flour and baking powder. I use a fork for this step! Set to the side.
In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugars until well blended. Next, mix in pudding package.
After that, use mixer to combine eggs and vanilla. Once mixed, slowly add in flour mixture.
Finally, use a spatula to stir in crushed Oreos. I sealed mine in a large gallon sized Ziploc bag, and then just punched about 10000 times. VERY CATHARTIC.
Form dough into tablespoon sized balls and place on baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes! Edges will brown when the cookies are ready to come out of the oven.
Here’s to a happy and peaceful week!