The C Factor :: Desirae

Oh this girl, this girl, this girl, this girl.  Everybody in their life should have a friend this good. Everybody in their life needs a friend who shows up the way Desirae does. I am beyond proud to feature her in today’s C series because she truly is the most amazing person I know. For those of you who don’t know, “The C Factor” is a series here on the blog that highlights successful, confident, motivated women.  The example that she’s set for me as a friend (and just plain human being) is one that I will forever be grateful for and I don’t take for granted.  I am the left puzzle piece and she is my right.  She’s my person.

So minus the gushy gushy stuff, I hope that your read today’s interview and realize how and where you can make your life better.  It’s not a competition but a challenge on how much pride you can take in your own life.  Where can you reach?  How can you better prioritize your time?  Take a few lessons from the girl who does it on the daily, the busiest person I know…This girl keeps her schedule packed but it’s all for a good cause, all to make a positive dent in this world.  She spends her days teaching 3rd grade (only the bravest survive) and her nights leading bible study.  On the weekends she serves as an usher at her church and also volunteers for “RECESS” a respite care program for kiddos & families there as well.  She’s also involved in robotics and cooking programs at her school and in her “free time” she nannies, runs 8 miles a day and writes for her own blog at Rookie Rieke.  Be sure to check out her blog where she writes about life in Dallas, adventures in bargain shopping and “that single life.”


What is the best compliment someone ever gave me?
The best compliments that I’ve ever been given have come from my students.  I spend my life praying that they will learn, grow, and most of all know that they’re loved.  It’s hard to pick one compliment, because young children are so full of them!  I adore their pure hearts and their ability to see beauty in the most simple of things.  But a moment happened the other day when one of my kids was telling me how she she would miss me over Spring Break.  I asked her why and she simply said “because I’ll miss your hugs and your smile.”  That melted my heart because she complimented my character and the way I love her.  She let me know that she feels it and believes it. For me, nothing says “job well done” more than that!
What are two words that I would use to describe myself?
Determined and compassionate.  There have been many moments in my life that that have tested my faith and endurance, but I’ve been determined to overcome.  I don’t believe in taking the easy way out, and I don’t believe in giving in.  I believe that if you want something you have to work for it!  I’m also very compassionate.  I believe the Lord gave me a heart that yearns to understand, comfort, and love other people.  I find the most joyful moments come when I can be of some resource to others.
One good deed that I have done for someone?
It’s difficult for me to answer this question because I feel like good deeds go both ways.  When you do something for someone else, more times than not, it actually ends up blessing you, too.  One exchange in particular stands out to me and that is when I had the opportunity to donate bone marrow.  I entered the Be The Match bone marrow registry in 2011 and in 2012 I was notified that I was a match for a woman in Montana.  That year was a particularly dark time in my life, and being notified that someone needed ME was nothing short of a God thing.  I went through the process, donated my marrow via the PBSC method (much like giving blood), and waited.  Over a year later, I got the call from my recipient.  She, Kristi, was alive and well!  That phone call changed my life.  She thanked me for saving her life, but the funny thing is that she saved mine, too.  I love our story because it reminds me of how each of us is here for a specific purpose!
One thing that most people don’t know about me…
One thing that most people don’t know about me is that I didn’t have braces until I was 27 years old.  I grew up in a very humble home where we had all we needed and not much more. Growing up in such a way is something I would never change.  The best parts of me were shaped by parents who did all they could with what they had.  That being said, as a child I never had the opportunity to have braces.  I LOVE laughing and smiling, but growing up I often covered my mouth in embarrassment.  While some friends would complain about their wires being uncomfortable, I secretly prayed I could experience such discomfort!  Finally, for my 27th birthday, I bought myself Invisalign.  It may seem silly, but finally having straight teeth has been one of the biggest confidence boosters ever!
How do you handle a hard day/day at work?
After 30 years of life, I feel that I’ve finally figured out the best recipe for hard days.  First, you  have to be okay with the fact that they’re going to happen!  I have found it imperative to arm myself every morning for whatever is ahead.  I start the day in the Word, reminding myself of God’s promises. And yes, He promises that things won’t always be easy! He says that in this life, we WILL have trouble (John 16:33), but in the VERY next breath He tells us to “take heart” for He has overcome the world. How sweet is that?  A warning and a reminder!  Next, I get ready for work by listening to Kari Jobe Pandora. These two things start my day with an armor of strength and peace.  Then, if the day unfolds with difficult situations, I pray, I text my best friend, and I remember that I’m here for God’s work.  Being a teacher, that “keep-my-sanity” cycle sometimes happens HUNDREDS of times throughout the day!  But knowing yourself and what to do is half the battle.  Then to end any day, especially difficult ones, I like to either go on a long run or go to my cardio kickboxing class. There is something very empowering about being active and just sweating it all away!
What is your greatest strength?
My greatest strength is my ability to see the positive in situations.  Finding the silver lining is pretty automatic for me, thankfully.  There have been moments in my life that felt almost impossible to find the good in, but I’ve learned that you see what you look for.  We all have the choice of how to view life. Choosing to look through the positive lens is a lot more fun.  Trust me! 🙂
How do you handle criticism?
Criticism has always been a double-edged sword for me.  I love learning and growing, but I am also a perfectionist and always want to do things right the first time!  As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned how to embrace it with grace and gratitude.  Watching how my students respond to criticism has also helped me in the sense that they trust the source (me), they listen to me, and then they try again.  It’s been huge for me to listen to only trusted sources of criticism because, quite frankly, someone is always going to have something less-than-peachy to say.  Some people just lurk and judge, and others are truly trying to help make you better.  I’ve realized it’s up to me whom I listen to! 🙂
Do you do anything to build self-confidence?

I do many things to build self-confidence!  I love that this is one thing no one else can do for me.  I start from the inside and work my way out.  As mentioned above, I strongly believe in reminding myself of Truth as often as I can.  I also take my physical health very seriously.  I haven’t always known health, and now that I do, I see it as a gift that I don’t want to take for granted! I eat things (for the most part) that I’d want my daughter to eat, and I take every opportunity to workout.  But if for some reason I’m feeling less confident, I always do a soul-check, because nine times out of ten, the problem starts there.  If I’m confident in my walk with the Lord, everything else falls into place.

What does it take for you to perform at your best?

Coffee.  Is that an okay answer?!  Haha.  No, but really I feel the best when I get good sleep (8 hours), have a warm cup of coffee during quiet time, and fuel my body well.  I truly believe that when your mind, body, and spirit are well feed, you can do anything you set your mind to!

You can follow Desirae on Instagram here, and her blog on here! 

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