day thirty-one: rachel does not approve

Welcome!  If you’re wondering what all the 31 hubbub is about.  Read this.


31 days wide


***I expected Bekah to ask me the same questions that I’ve been asking everyone else.  Maybe she would write a little bit about our friendship.  She did not follow my plan.  She is a rule follower but not a plan follower.  I am a plan follower.  She did a great job, I just wish it was about someone else.  She emailed me her finished post and I read it and immediately said, “No way. I’m not posting that.”

Who does this?  Who lets someone write a ton of nice things about them and then posts it on their own blog?  My husband said, “It’s not about you.”  Which I don’t get because it sure seems like it.  I told Bekah that what she wrote was lovely and it made me go into the ugly cry and that I refused to post it and I was going to be sick and never leave the house.  She said, “Finally!  A fear!” 

Well.  I refuse to be afraid.  And really, if I had another interview in me, I’d much rather write about you:  random lady on the street.  But.  I don’t.  This is so ridiculous.

My name is Rachel Maggard and I do not approve this message.***


Betcha didn’t expect to see me here — it’s Bekah!  When Rachel mentioned doing the 31 days of writing project, I thought, “No big deal — this will be fun!”  November 1st is now a holiday.  No school.  No mail to be delivered.  No blogging.  Holiday, I say!

Rachel asked me around day 23 if I’d like to write about her for the Finale:  Day 31.  Her request was followed by, “Will it be cool or is that SUPER conceited and will make everyone roll their eyes?”  I declared it a twist…or a surprise ending!

It is like we’re all friends now.  We want to personally hear Laura tell her ‘pants in the deli’ story, we want to be as kind and loved as Mrs. Dana, we want Lindsey‘s art skills, and if you weren’t interviewed, you might be secretly wishing you were.  How do you write in one blog about someone who has spent HOURS interviewing women and then finding the right words to expound on them?  She has made me laugh, cry and have a little more pride in myself than is probably Biblically acceptable.

Having said that, let me introduce you to my friend…Rachel Marie VanGordon Maggard!  Rachel grew up in the country just south of Bluffton, Indiana.  Had she been given the choice, Rachel would have lived her whole life on a horse farm in Tennessee.  Random, I know.  As you very well know, she was not given the choice.  She was a Southern Wells Raider and a proud one at that!  Rachel loved to play ALL of the sports.  I was from a school with no football team and Rachel took me under her proud little Raider wing and showed me how to love high school football.  I hate being cold.  I don’t understand football.  But I loved every second of the games she took me to.

Rachel does that whether you know it or not — she stirs up a love of something and can make it look enticing so that you end up loving it, too.  Or until you are already signed up and it is too late to back out.  (Insert:  multiple 5K’s, sewing club, etc…)

After high school, Rachel attended the University of Indianapolis and had fun learning Chemistry and had equally as much fun, if not more, creating a ruckus with new friends.

Rachel’s heart:  her family.  The love of her life — Billy.  She did not want to fall in love right after college.  She planned on traveling the world and working with her new degree.  Then Billy came along and during her trip to Europe she discovered she couldn’t live without him and they married that December.


Benjamin Zion — the eldest little man who makes her cry from his selfless heart for other people.  Alexander William — the middle man who leaves her speechless and laughing from his one liners.  Emily Marie — baby girl.  Her dramatic little girl who has managed to wrap the entire family around her tiny little finger.

the kids

In a category of its own is her love for Jesus.  It’s not something she shouts from the rooftops or points in your face, but it’s a daily life she lives and displays.  If you know her, you know this to be true.

She is constantly encouraging–never doubting that “you can do it.”  She is determined–finished a month of daily blogging.  She is caring–always one I go to with good or bad news.  She is optimistic–sometimes I wonder if she envisions me married more than I do.  She is prepared–“There is no plan B.  This will work.”  She is reliable–if she says she’ll do it, she will do it.  And one of my favorites is, she is joyful–her laugh, her love to laugh (another reason she married Billy).

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I sat down with Rachel, Face(book) to Face(book) and asked her a few questions.  I had to change a few because, in true Rachel fashion, she was prepared to answer the questions she’d been asking others.

What did you learn from your 30 days of blogging?  “How time-consuming it is–how much work it is to do it well.  At least, I tried to do it well.  About the people:  how interesting people are if you take the time to talk to them and that most people want to be heard if you are willing to listen.  And there are a lot of people with Ann and Lynn as their middle name.  Who knew?”  Now I’m counting up all the Ann’s and Lynn’s I know.

Does this mean you’re nixing the idea for next year?  “The blogging for 31 days or interviewing women?”  Either.  “I will probably do the blog challenge again.  I don’t plan to ever interview another person in my life.”  Well.  So glad I was one of the chosen few!

I have to ask…did you google ‘how to interview’…you know, in preparation?  “What do you think?”  Just answer the question.  “Of course I did.”  Thank you.  “I think I googled:  good interview questions for small talk.  It led to a really interesting article and I learned a lot.”

What has been your most life changing moment?  “Meeting William”

What is your favorite song?  “ever or right now?”  Oh, I don’t know.  Did everyone ask that?  “No, but I asked the question differently.”  Your very favorite at this very second.  “Difference Maker by NeedtoBreathe.  But next week it’ll be a Christmas song.”  That’s fine.  Next week is November which is close to December.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years?  “Seriously?!  I hope I’m on a really awesome trip.”  10 years?  “I don’t want to think about 10 years.  I’ll have a 13, 15, and 17-year-old and that’s just scary.”

If you weren’t afraid, what would you do?  “I don’t like these questions.  Haha!  I can’t think of anything I’m afraid of.  If I want to do something, I do it.  I don’t like public speaking or crossing bridges but I’ve done both…so I don’t know………If I weren’t afraid, I would sell everything we had and go live in another country.  Or just take the kids and travel around the world for one year.  That would be so awesome.”  That would be crazy.

One last question.  If you could be BFF’s with anyone in the world, who would it be?  “I’d like to be the 7th friend.”  What 7th friend?  “On Friends–the 7th friend.”  Oh right.  Why didn’t I think of that?  <after a painfully long pause>  “Kate Middleton.  Although I’d probably get along better with Pippa.  And Jennifer Garner, although Billy would probably frown upon that.”  Rachel bordered upon an unhealthy obsession towards Ben Affleck in her pre-Billy days.  But does she know his given name is Benjamin Geza Affleck-Boldt?

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I didn’t want to be the only one with a voice in this grand finale, so I asked a few co-interviewees:  How has Rachel impacted your life?

Julie Meredith:  Rachel is one of the most hard-working people I know.  I am convinced she has no fears and nothing intimidates her.  You need 300 items crafted in the next two days?  Rachel’s your girl.  You need a craft for 30 women to do at a moms group meeting in 2 weeks?  Call Rachel.  You need someone to help decorate for a huge fundraiser?  Rachel will do it.  I am convinced the girl can’t say no nor does she want to.  She started a book club because she loves to read.  She started a sewing club because she loves to sew.  She is a contributor to a blog because she loves reading blogs.  In fact, she loves blogs so much you have to pay close attention to some stories.  Her “friend” may turn out to be blogger that she has actually never met.  I love that she is the friend that always has time for you.  I always feel special when I am around her.  I love laughing with her.  I love discussing books with her.  I love that I don’t feel the need to clean my house before she comes over…that, is a sign of true friendship!

Mary Heffernan:  Rachel is a faithful friend.  She always puts others before herself and is willing to help the other person.  She has the true traits of a Christian.

Melissa Reker:  I don’t know Rachel as well or as long as most of you.  But from what I know, Rachel is super friendly and accepting.  I was beyond shocked when she told me she was an introvert.  She has gone out of her way to include me in her busy life since I moved nearby and I am so grateful!  I look forward to book club that she started and the sewing club (that she also started) every month.  I love that she will tell you exactly what she thinks of something, rarely holding back.  I appreciate her organization and patience, her creativity and sense of humor.  And, most of all, her friendship.

Laura Leichty:  Congrats on finishing 31 days of interviews!  I’m so proud of you and your writing abilities are exceptional!  A true gift from the Lord!  You have made every woman feel so incredibly honored and valued.  I have found them all to be outstanding people and they made me very proud to be called a woman!  Now Rachel, I could gush on you all day and I know how much you love it when I do that.  (and I can see you rolling your eyes and saying NEVER!)  I think you like it as much as awkward hugs from random strangers!  Which will be my lifelong wish for you.  You are one of the most loyal, loving, creative, God-fearing, capable and laughter filled person I know.  So many Christ like qualities that we all want to emulate.  I thank you for being a friend of few words but you make those words count (even if you have to apologize later).  Ha!!  I thank you for being so quick to listen and encourage.  I thank you for laughing at things that don’t really matter 10 years from now–like, you know, purple stripes on your car or spray paint everywhere it’s not supposed to be, or friends that don’t wear appropriate undergarments.  I thank you for being an awesome Momma to your precious kids and letting me love them, too!  When I’m in your presence, I feel as if I have come home.  Which means you are always a warm, safe, forgiving, full of grace place to land.  I love coming home and I certainly love and cherish my times with you!  You are a precious friend!

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Thank you, Rachel, for delving into our lives and caring enough to write about us–we truly love you!


The 31 days of interviewing women are officially over.  Let us be glad and rejoice.  I am currently selling all of my belongings and my family is relocating to Tahiti because I am too embarrassed to show my face around town ever again.  It was nice knowing you.  I love you all!


8 thoughts on “day thirty-one: rachel does not approve

  1. You are a gem! I LOVED this post the best 🙂 I will second Laura’s lifelong wish for you to have awkward hugs from strangers – that is awesome. Also, you are smart enough to answer all those personality tests in a particular way so it makes you seem like an introvert. You are a closet extrovert just needing the opportunities to break through. SO THANKFUL to be blessed by your friendship!

  2. I seriously love this post! Great job Bekah! -and I am so glad it’s not still 9 pages long…. 😉 Rachel…welcome to how you have made us all feel.- only we didn’t put a disclaimer! You obviously mean a lot to a lot of people. Sit back and praise God for that.

  3. Wonderful wonderful post!! I am now convinced that Rachel is super woman. And Rachel, you are so completely blessed to have so many wonderful friends.

  4. What a great 31 days to see how the Lord works through a group of ladies to touch, encourage, uplift, and build the communities we live and work. Great Job Bekah, thank you Rachel. May we all continue on the 31 day adventure remembering,” It isn’t so much what we say or what we did, but how we made the other person feel, is what is remembered.” A famous saying by a famous LADY.

  5. I enjoyed meeting these wonderful ladies in your life and the music I got to hear was uplifting as well. Such good stories! Thanks so much.

  6. I just LOVED this post! Yes, I am late reading it of course. Does this surprise you? 🙂 Rachel, as the other Rachel said, you are a gem. I love that I get to be your friend. I love your smile and your amazing heart. Thank you for making me laugh and for always being real. Bekah – you did a great job interviewing Rachel!! So now – I’m off to search for your new address in Tahiti so I can come visit. It’s a place I’ve always wanted to go. Love you, friend!!

  7. Pingback: 31 days: Interviewing Women | The Blue Tulip

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