Saturday, December 31, 2011

What Are You Doing New Years Eve?

Hello beautiful!

Today is the last day of 2011. Obviously. But instead of sitting back and writing for hours about this past year, I have a party to prepare for. Yes, in this little apartment tonight will be a little party. Nothing too exciting but it's with our dear friends, and I couldn't welcome the new year with better pals.

This morning, I just can't handle reminicing about the past 364 days. They haven't all been bad, but right now, this morning, I just can't muster up the words or have my heart walk through the year quite yet.

But something I CAN do is tell you that I am praying and hoping that this next year, 2012, looks much different. Even if that means that its similar in challenges, I'm jonesing for good things, a positive heart, the courage to open my eyes every morning, but moreso than anything to have a much closer walk with the Lord. I don't say that to seem overly holy and spiritual, but simply that I need more of Him and I want my heart and my life to be more honoring to the way He calls me to live. To have a closer walk with Him in this life.

So with that said, at midnight, I will be welcoming the new year with JOY. That deeply rooted, God-given, ever present no matter how little it feels, joy.

Today I end this post with this sweetness. What better way to start the day with Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt:

Happy New Years Eve everyone!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The best Christmas present. Ever.

Talk about good timing. My sweet nephew came to join us on Christmas Eve and I could not think of a better gift.

My sister chose to do a home birth, which we all know even without experiencing, would be a completely difficult challenge. She was an absolute rockstar momma and I was so thoroughly impressed.

It's been such a joy being able to be around the house the past few days. I haven't actually helped out at all if I'm being honest. Most of my time here has included eating and sleeping and holding a baby...and eating more. But I'm enjoying every minute of being able to be apart of such a special time and such a special baby!!!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Movies. Babies. Purpose.

There is a lot going on among our family this Christmas season. Our Christmas celebrations are looking quite different than they usually do. My second oldest sister will soon have her first sweet baby. And since he is officially one week overdue, our attention is very much set on him.

My bag has been packed for almost a week now. One would think a baby would come right on time, but as we all know, God's timing, while perfect and complete, is usually not the way we would plan. I've been thinking so much about this sweet baby. And although I haven't yet seen his face, and although I am not his mother, he already has my whole heart. I cannot seem to get him out of my mind, especially considering the fact that as soon as he decides to come, I'm heading three and a half hours south of here!

I watched It's a Wonderful Life the other day for the first time with my roommate as we made coffee and a Christmas wreath for our little apartment door. While I know it is almost unbelieveable that I have lived 24 years without seeing that movie, it was such special timing to see it precisely when I did.

I know this is a strange thought coupled with a strange comparison, but there's such a oneness with my nephew and this movie....

See, in the film, George Bailey came to a point in his life when he thought he was useless and insignificant because of who he was. Well God moved in such a way as to show him his significance and importance of living his life with the purpose God gave to him by revealing the way he impacts an innumerable amount of other people's lives.

In the same way, although this little man has yet to grace us with his presence, he is already impacting many people's lives. At the same time, I also know with full confidence that God has him on this earth with a significance and a purpose. He is already loved so deeply and is wanted and cared for by so many people. And notice, that just because he hasn't physically come out of his mother's womb, he is already here on this earth. All that separates us from him is someone's body. Which therefore means he is already created with a purpose for his life on this earth. I could go further to other points with that but I won't tonight.

Another thought is that the exact time in which a person comes into this earth, has to also directly impact the way life happens. So I take this "being overdue" not as a completely horrendous thing, but that God's exact time that he wants my nephew to come is absolutely not when the doctors said would be time, but just right. My sister has one of the best perspectives about this and is being SO patient, even though she might tell you otherwise.

So with that thought, I am ready to meet this new man/baby in my life. Ready to hold him and yes, change any diapers because I love him that much. And as I told my sister, "He will come out. That is an absolute. You can bank on that one."

Now it's all a matter of time...

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Video Update...Finally

Hellooo! It feels like I've been gone almost four months...because I have. 

I decided to put together a poorly made video update for you. It's a WHOPPING 20 minutes long. Bare with me. I wanted to share a number of different thoughts and share my heart in it as well. So if you decide to graciously watch the entire thing, God bless you. If not, I won't be offended, you'll just miss out on getting to know me a little better.

Here are my previous posts that really explain in detail what I'm discussing in the video. I realized that my explanation is a bit vague after now watching it, so reading these posts first might be helpful, if you'd like. 

The last two are the most recent:

Now here is the latest update via video. Sit back, turn off my (possibly obnoxious) music, grab some coffee, and pardon my figity hands:

If you have any questions or suggestions (I don't know of what kind, maybe ones of how to not make unecessarily long videos), feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me. 

Love ya.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


We just celebrated my oldest nieces' birthday a few days ago, SHE'S FOUR! I can hardly believe it. She acts like she's 15 sometimes but I still can't believe it.

This is a small sized collage, but a personal favorite. This was the day they took me to their new house that's being built, to show me around.

I asked them to strike a pose and say 'fabulous'. They haven't experienced people asking them to pose very much in life yet so this is what they came up with - Hands on hips, lean forward, be a scary animal/dinosaur. Perfect. Just what I wanted.

Little Miss on the right will be THREE in September. I don't even want to talk about it.

Friday, August 5, 2011

not by sight - part two

When I was figuring out just what to title this post, my best friend meredith suggested what is now the title. Right then, I remembered an entry from my journal, which are sparse and small in number. My ability to remember to journal is definitely lacking. But this journal entry is of personal importance and so special. Going back to read it, I was shockingly reminded of how much God is in control of my life, of my hurts, and of the things I am unaware.

I'd like to share this journal entry with you, as I think it would give a little more insight into the heart of the previous post below. If you haven't read it, you should. It will make a lot sense to this part two. You can't watch the second Back to the Future movie before watching the first. Maybe you can, but that's besides the point. This is a complete excerpt so remember, there are no rules in journaling, at least none that I'm aware of. And I may or may not go back and forth in prayer and simply writing:

January 6, 2011

{The long day of orientation for seminary. This was just a few weeks after my surgery, and I was not doing well. I couldn't even look at people straight, so the day was exciting but very, very...very difficult.}

'we live by faith, not by sight'
II Corinthians 5:5

I am completely rendered speechless Lord. What a mighty, loving God you are. But should I even be surprised? Probably not. Frankly I was living in anticipation. Lord you reaffirmed me over and over again just today. At orientation, in the first meeting, you reminded me that they 'live by faith, and not by sight'. And I as well. Not only that, but I don't have the sight I need to be able to do this (to go to seminary) right now. BUT you hold on to me. Me. And You give me enough reason and opportunity to live by faith. Praise be to You! And You are literally healing me right now during all of this. My heart is overflowing. Lord, you have shown yourself, affirmed my heart, and provided all in one day and I almost cannot breath because of it all. I know and am confident that you have me exactly where you want me in life. I know that you have me going to DTS for a reason. And a purpose.

Because of all of the things that happened in this last year, all of the decisions and steps of obedience, because of those things I was able to see doctors across the country and try and fix something that needed time to be fixed. God you have provided in every large and minute way.

You take my hand and guide my steps. Sometimes, you call me to obedience through sacrifice. Sometimes you call me to obedience through blind faith. Sometimes, literally. Sometimes, I answer and try my best and sometimes I would much rather pull the covers over my head and not hear You. Lord, you are faithful. You are loving. You bring restoration. You are all that satisfies and You are all I need in life. And I should be overly okay with that. Today you provided new friendships. Thank you for forcing me out of my comfort zone. Thank you for forcing me to meet new people, for teaching me how to adjust the way I talk to faculty, for sustaining my eyes and headache throughout the day, for providing breakfast and lunch, for laughter, for knocking me to my hands and knees at the end of the day.

Thank you for using what happens to me, to aid in the moving of a stranger's heart towards You. What an incredible blessing to know that something you are struggling through is helping as an exapmle of God's grace and mighty power for someone you don't even know.

If all of this happened and it aided in bringing someone else to know Christ and transform their heart, then it was worth all the pain and hurt and confusion and waiting. That is so hard to say. Thank you God. Thank you for today and all that was apart of it.'


God moved that day. He did.

The very first thing explained in the first meeting of that long day was something, word for word, that had been stirring in my heart for those past few weeks as I struggled so so badly with my vision, or lack thereof. They explained that, "One of the most important things about DTS and one of the most important things for us to know before we start there is that they choose to 'live by faith, and not by sight'" They went on to explain the different ways that looks like. It was an incredible way that God shook me to my core as I sat there by myself, reminding me that though I, in every way, cannot and should not be there by my own merit or ability, its where He has led me and to this day, continues to provide and equip me to go there.

Visually, I wasn't at all in the position to be able to go there. I couldn't even look at people. I couldn't drive myself. I couldn't read. But God, by His mighty hand, sustains me, equips me, and strengthens me, everyday so that I can.

There are things in life we don't ask for and certainly do not hope for. Things that break us. Things that penetrate us so deeply and that they bring up fears and can cause us to either be strengthened from them or wither. The interesting part of it all is that in the choice of not withering, I've found that there comes a point where you just can't strengthen yourself anymore. There comes a point, which comes rather quickly, where you realize that you are in need of a greater strength than you can muster. A supernatural strength that comes from a Sovereign God, a heavenly Father, who loves you deeper than those penetrated fears and inabilities. He loves you more than your worst attribute. And your deepest, darkest secret.

He loves you more than life itself.

So those things in life might be huge. But He is bigger. And they might be overwhelming and seem like nothing good can come from them. But I tell you while being in midst of a very huge and crippling thing of life, He uses those things, those worse that the worst things, those no good very bad day kind of things, to shape and transform you. To remind you that you are a feeble and fleeting thing. That life is precious, corrupted, and temporary. And those things are such things that fix our gaze upon Him who created us and the purpose He has for our lives. And that we need Him.

So often I get distracted by how much it hurts and by how limiting this thing in life truly is. But its simply a reminder that I need Him.

I need Him.

We need Him.

Friday, July 29, 2011

not by sight - part one

I need to preface to you that this post will negate all blogging etiquette for sure. I don't feel like I can share life with you and yet leave out one of the biggest parts of it just because of its nature. So feel free to read if you'd like to. It's not pretty and it's not completely joyful. But it's real life. And its very much my life.

Back in December I had my third eye muscle surgery, and it basically ended up being worse afterwords. It's a really complicated explanation. But you can read about it here and here and here, if you'd like. The situation with having a surgery on your eye muscles is that it can easily cause other things to go wrong. About a month after my surgery, I was starting seminary so there were quite a few factors of worry coming towards driving, and reading, and looking at people, etc.

Basically, what happened is that the surgery on my muscles have caused severe double vision whenever I look to the left (which is natural for me), to the right, and any ounce of upward. So really rather impossible. On top of that, everything coming from my left eye is tilted. So driving myself to class (which is about an hour drive to Dallas) has been out of the question, not just for the first few weeks which would be okay, but still has been for the past 7 months. How terribly embarrassing, but true. Reading takes me fifteen times longer than it should. And I'm short, so looking up at most anyone hurts. I usually can't make it through an entire day without having to somehow close my eyes. The only time I'm not experiencing it is when I sleep. And I've about had it. I'm sure I sound ridiculous, but I promise I won't exaggerate. But I'm just going to be extremely honest.

Before you have this kind of surgery they obviously discuss the fact that it can cause other problems that they just don't have much control over, since the muscles are being moved. But going into this I already wasn't able to fathom it being much worse than what had happened after my second surgery.

In February, my mom and I flew back up to Baltimore for my post-op appointment. And I knew exactly what he was going to tell me. That 'there's nothing they can really do to fix it because the only thing is surgery and doing that would probably re-do what they had just fixed and keep the same problems I have now'. Traveling that far for something that is more than expected still doesn't keep back the sense of disappointment and brokenness. I barely made it out of his office before I started tearing up. But thank heavens I pulled it back together for a while. But, a few hours later back at the airport to go home, I felt a surge of emotion welling up in me in the middle of the security line. I thought 'geez loren, hold it together, at least until you get home.' Then the WORST happened. Once I made it past security I completely lost my marbles in my emotions. I've never cried so hard in a public place. I cried so hard that once I calmed down, my eyes were huge puff balls and I'd completely lost all of my mascara. It was frightening for everyone else.

Needless to say it is a difficult reality. And basically, I cannot see. From the moment I wake up, I'm thrown into the reality of what is, everything I see. There's not a moment in a day when I see something clearly without adjusting my head or my body. And knowing that this is just how its going to be is so heartbreaking. It would be one thing if it were like an arm or leg. I could choose to stop using it, give it a rest. But there's no choice in the matter. Its a brokenness that is constantly in use. completely relentless. Your eyes don't stop and its inescapable.

I've never experienced such weariness. And I've never cried so much. Its strange. I just weep, and I don't think I've ever really been moved to such a position. I've gone from crying multiple times a day, to once a day, to every other day. And I don't normally do that but its just so overwhelming, I can't help myself. And I'm tired of it. I'm tired not talking about it. I'm tired of crying. I'm tired of feeling disoriented and dizzy. I'm tired of hurting. And constantly seeing my limitations.

The joys of life, however, outweigh the negatives. But in order to see and experience those joys, I have to look at them through brokenness and pain. And that is one thing that will make you cry at the end of the day. or in an airport. I have never been so disheartened.
Sometimes I can't breath, its just too much to handle.

No one on this earth can fix it.


But then I'm reminded of someone who has no limitations, who breaths life into me, and allows me to wake up everyday with a heart that is still beating and eyes that have sight.

Heavenly Father, you and you alone are the Creator of existence.
You never let my foot slip, and You set my feet on a firm foundation. Nothing is impossible for You and I know it. Even in the hurt and brokenness, You are so worthy of praise.

I know that these things in life just happen. And though most of the time they cannot be explained, I am confident that God has reason, purpose, and control in them.

My hope is found in Him.

Things in life just aren't perfect. But because of Jesus Christ and the salvation that He freely gives, I know that this is not my home. I am given a temporary body that doesn't work the way it should, just like everyone else. But I know that one day, there will be full restoration and no more tears, and He will guide me home. Until then, I know I am given life for a specific purpose, and these things that cause the hardest moments, are absolutely apart of it. I know He is using this in my life for my good and for His glory. Just because I can't see it clearly doesn't mean there isn't any hope. I have eye that see and feet that walk. He sustains me and gives me such endurance. He knows exactly what He is doing and I am trying my best to trust in that.

I have breath, and that is more than a girl can ask for.

Thank you for giving me a moment to be honest and release something that I keep inside so easily...and I'm not done, hence the part 1.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Ree's Iced Coffee

I saw this recipe on The Pioneer Woman. One of my favorite people and I love all of her recipes! The only catch is that I can't cook/I don't try and therefore think that I'm not able to. Either way, I eat alot of pb&j.

But one of her more recent posts feature an iced coffee, which seemed so easy, I just had to try.

Since I'm not a huge fan of peices of ice in coffee (it's just not my thing), I decided to use this magic bullet to make it into a frapp! And oh my word, it was so good.

I loved it. It's perfect for these ridiculously hot summer days, especially here in Texas.

Try it today, it is SUPER easy :)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

real life.

I've been sitting here, admist all of this life that's happening around me, why I haven't taken the time to sit here, and just share life.

Why am I so short of words?

Why have I felt this wall against really sharing anything?

I haven't been able to explain or comprehend why something so trivial as this, would seem so hard to do. I only let myself share things that are truly on my heart. And I can't figure out if what's really on my heart are things I don't want to share, or that I simply don't want to be honest with myself. This all sounds so very deep and I don't mean for it to be. I'm also wondering if I'm either being kept of words, so to be still and listen. Or if I'm just dealing with things of life without truly addressing them to myself.

All of this to say, please be patient with me. I want nothing more than to blab on and on assuming that somone else other than my mother might read it. Not for my own sake but to share what's on my heart and share what God's been doing in my life so that it may stir passion for Him in yours and maybe reveal more of what He is doing in your own.

I appreciate you so much, whoever you are. I see places (bottom right of the page) coming to visit and I could not be more thankful. Despite this very somber post, this summer has been beautiful and full of lovely people and lovely things happening. I plan on sharing them very soon...really.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

before you...

Something I need to read for myself...

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

yellow model chick

Mom, if you haven't yet, I'd like you to read the post below this one. Okay, thanks.

This is something I saw on Ellen months ago and I was impressed! The song is a cover of Chris Brown's song. You might think its silly, and granted, her man's moves get a little crazy....just watch it. I for one could never ever do what she did, completely physically unable to do it haha. Now I'm not a huge fan of the actual song but they did a really good job performing it appropriately.

I hope you enjoy it!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Dear mom,

I honestly don't think I can speak with justified words. But I would simply like to thank you for being my mom. You fulfill that position in more ways than I knew were possible. I know that lately I haven't been the most patient or gracious of children. And I know you've had to spend quite a bit of time with me lately, but I've enjoyed that so much too :) I really never understood what it meant to be relentlessly patient, fervently loving, and exceedingly gracious. But you have shown me what that looks like, if not my entire life, especially this past year.

I've never experienced such weariness and confusion followed by such open arms and a desire to pick up all the peices with a gentle hand. No matter the situation you have not once lost patience with me. And I could not be more thankful. You set such a wonderful example for what a mother should look like. You can stop shaking your head to that. No matter the circumstance you are there to be mom. You are a momma bear when you need to be, and you are a loving mom to even those who aren't your own. You never cease in the pursuit of your daughters' livlihood. And in turn, never ever place yourself before us. So with that sometimes you should let us do that for you, okay? The things you might only be able to think of as hindering to your being a mom or a grandma, are not such things. To me, I see a relentlessness and passion in you that exceeds anything and everything. And because of that, you do more and are more than a child could ever imagine. I am so fervidly proud to say that you are my mom. You show me exactly how a mom should be. No one is perfect, of course, I'm sure that's what you're thinking. But let me tell you something.

As you know, rearing children is one of the most difficult and rewarding and incredible positions to be granted, so I've heard. And as such, I see you in each of us, because you're our mom, and you've placed such great depth and passion and care into each relationship you have with your children. And as one of your children, I have the right to say of what great importance you are. And I have the knowledge and heart to know that you don't, nor will you ever, love us too much. You simply share the love that God has placed directly in your heart for each of us equally. And with such love, you reflect in so many ways, the way God loves us. You have spurred me on in my relationship with Christ and my passions and pursuits in life with such great love and compassion and joy. I say this with all sincerity of heart: If I could be half of a mother that you are to me, I would be completely shocked.

I really do not know what I would do without you. I cherish you so deeply and I hope you know how special you are. You are so special. I am so proud to say that you're my mom. I really am. And I want you to never question your importance, especially in that area of life. I need you everyday. And God grants you to me everyday. And I am just so thankful. I love you, mom.

Monday, May 23, 2011

colorful, yet random. colorfully random.

I feel like I need to re-introduce my self. Hello, I've not been here in almost a month. Holy cow, how does that even happen?! Well when I mentioned that summer class last time, I wasn't kidding, it was one of the most intense classes I've experienced yet. ever. And its a whole other thing to learn the old testament for four hours a day, everyday. But I loved it.

There are sooo many things that have been going on in this heart of mine and the things and people around me that I would love to let out and share. So we'll take this nice and easy....

I don't know about you but the song that's playing is so stinking sweet and I heard it on a commercial. And fell in love. You might already know it, but I didn't so I thought I'd's Home by Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros.

First off
1. who wouldn't want to have their own store/bakery and
2. be able to dress like that and pull it off?!

Uhm, I just love sequins. Especially these.

{source unknown}


I just like.

I would love for this to come to me in the mail.


how cute are these boxes? and probably easily done too :)

I want to do this. someday. somehow.

Please come back by :) I promise I'll be blogging a lot more in the next week!

Thursday, April 28, 2011


fact: I have eaten 9 peeps in 5 days.
fact: I am completely unashamed
fact: They are actually not that bad for you...

{this was the last one. it is no longer.}

I say that purely for justification of my recent actions. When it comes to these, I just cannot help myself. And when I looked at the nutritional facts on the back, it just made it worse. For some reason I only like the Easter ones, and particularly the pink ones. My darling friend Chelsea says she can only eat the yellow ones, and can taste the pink in the other ones lol. So I thought I would shed some light on these little ones. Just because I want to.

For 1 Peep:
Calories: 27.5
Total Fat: 0g
Total Carbs: 7g
Total Sugars: 6.5g
Protein: .25g

Okay. You're probably thinking, 'whyy is she writing about peeps, honestly'. Actually Meredith is probably thinking that, but it BLOWS my mind a little. And I promise I'm not like this about other food, I just really like peeps and I thought that maybe you do too. :) So go ahead, have a peep.

Love ya,
Procrastinator of papers and lover of peeps

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

a warrior little lady

I feel such a disconnect between this piece of myself and.....myself. It's probably because I haven't been around very much, go figure!

So I need to apologize, with this being my first semester of graduate school, I am barely figuring out how everything works and balances. So my focus, especially with it being the end of the semester, is on school. So please bare with me. Along with the fact that I have the typical paper and final finishing soon, I'm also starting a summer class the Monday after finals week!


What? Who does that, honestly?

Apparently me. I do.

I'll report the damage on a later date. I actually didn't start typing to talk about myself. I wanted to share with you a blog that I have been following for a while. Ashley, who has a wonderful heart and a handful of little children, has a wonderful blog too. Recently in the last few weeks, her one-year-old daughter has broken her femur, leaving her completely incapacitated in a hospital bed this entire time. She apparently gets to go home tomorrow, which is a joy, but the difficulty, struggle, and healing doesn't end when she leaves. It will transition into other unknown things her and her family will have to tackle.

So please, if you will, take some time to read her journey through these past few weeks. It's an incredible example of a warrior little lady, a warrior mama, a supportive and loving family, and a prime example of what loved ones should step up to do when crisis or trauma strikes. Also, if you wouldn't mind saying a prayer for this sweet girl, she could use it. A vivacious toddler and a broken leg doesn't quite make a great combination, so I cannot imagine the determination and strength it takes for her and her mom, Ashley.

Go ahead, sit in a chair, lay in bed, sit underneath your desk at work, grab some coffee, and read all about it. I think you'll be glad you did.

And I will go back to my 'acting like I know what I'm doing' version of studying.

Friday, April 22, 2011

you want the Truth?

Quick, scroll down and turn off my (abnoxious to some) music on the right hand side...

I saw this video recently on a rando-blog a couple weeks ago and think it couldn't be a more fitting time to share it with ya.

It's shocking how some people don't know what the foundation meaning of Easter is. If you're wondering, no, its not just about sugar highs and egg hunts (which I absolutely love). But its recognizing and praising our Almighty God who sent his Son to die a horrible death on a cross, so that we all can have the free gift of salvation, being forgiven of our sinful hearts and saved by grace, by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It's really the greatest act of love.

So I feel as though this video its self knocks my feeble words right to their feet where they should stay sometimes.

This will be the best 5 minutes of your day. week. life. just watch it pretty please.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

new blog love!

Every once in a while, I come across a new blog. I think I'm a picky blog-reader. I don't know why. But anyways, I came across this particular blog a few weeks ago, and I am quite infatuated.

Her name is Kelle Hampton and she blogs on Enjoying the Small Things.

She talks about inspirations, her family, trails, joys, and basically documents it all with beautiful photos. Just a blog that really stands out to me in, well, the small things.

Not to mention she has two precious daughters.
And a heart aching birth story that I read the other night, and cried profusely.

check it, check it out.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

things I love

Ughhhh. enough said.

I'm thinking gorgeous and whimsical bridal bouquet. yes.
Or a nice centerpiece for a table.

beautifully made clutches over on Etsy.

Anyone need a super inexpensive way to make a wreath. This-butcher paper.

fabric wrapped gifts. perfect.

For some reason this makes me think of Twilight. But I love it so much.

This should be a blog post on its own. These guys make custom made pieces with all kinds of recycled doors, shelves, and drawers. Unbelievably creative.

mixed feathers. love. perfect.

I don't know.
But I love it.
And it kind of reminds me of the Texas Rangers.

I like to think these are attached in her hair (which I reeealllyyy would like to do myself)
or it's just a legit earring.

Lace shorts made from a skirt.
Not something you see everyday, but beautiful.
And it helps that lace is very in this season.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Oh auto-correct

I've heard a lot of rumors about this auto correct. Even seen some hilarious examples of the completely inappropriate and/or unbelievable things that can happen.

Even as I type this via my phone it's playing it's tricks on me.

The other day, yesterday, I was texting meredith back and forth a million times before we had to set up for The Peach Room. Low and behold auto correct got me pretty good. See for yourself:

P.S. I don't recommend blogging from your phone. It's difficult.

Friday, April 8, 2011

a big but

There are far greater life altering things that others experience; like Ellia, or L, or this sweet little guy. And those put this little, tiny life back into perspective.

So often, in all parts of life, I am really good at making my own plans for life and having great expectations for them. But my ways are never 1) what turns out to be best and 2) not at all what God had established. But then another thing always comes into view, that God's plans are always far better than I could ever have imagined. Even if they're difficult.

I never expected to be where I am in life right now. I never saw myself without the person I am now without. I never planned to visit doctors and have another surgery. I never expected to have the opportunity to start a small business with my best friends. I most certainly never expected to go to seminary. I never expected to not be able to drive myself there. I never expected the provisions and provisions that have occurred solely by the grace of God. I never expected the stirrings of my heart, slowly and gently, quietly and purposefully.

Do you ever feel a stirring in your heart? That was a nice transition wasn't it. It's like something only the Holy Spirit can do and penetrate. Sometimes it's a passion that is stirring or a calling to obedience. Or a calling to do something. Or maybe a decision that needs to be made. Or a reminder. But its something of significance that doesn't need dismissal or to be ignored. There have been things stirring inside of me, deep within, that I can't quite understand. There have, also, been passions or things that really mark significance for me penetrating my heart for reasons unexplanable. There have been some more heart aching decisions being made and steps of obedience having taken place that I'm still wrestling through. Am I being vague enough for you? :)

I just need to let all of this out to say that YES, its confusing. YES, it is frustating at times. YES, it is a strong reminder that I am placed on this earth for a specific reason. There is purpose for my life. There is purpose for the good and bad, joyful and ugly, and down right ridiculous parts of life. Even in the parts where life doesn't quite make sense but you know there's direction, God has control of it.

I cannot adequetlely put into words the way God has moved in this small, imputent life of mine. But He never ceases.

He never ceases.

Like I said before, I can try my hardest to plan my life out according to the way I would prefer. But if I'm not going in the direction God is leading me, yielding to my own idea of what's best, then I am completely missing out on what God has created me for.

I may get to points in my life where all I can see are the plans I have set before me, but I am so thankful that he places a big but in my way everytime.

'In their hearts human beings plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.'
-Proverbs 16:8

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


About a month ago, my dear friend and I spent Valentine's Day together. Being single, this was greatly appreciated and I loved an excuse to stand with her for hours.

Christi and I are quite infatuated with someone known as The Pioneer Woman. And if you don't know who I'm talking about, SHAME!

No that's not nice, but really. You should at least click on this link to her website to see exactly what I'm talking about and share in our affinity for her.

We couldn't believe months before that she would be gracing us with her presence in Dallas and I thought, 'Its not even a question. I'm going.' I have to pause and give props to my oldest sister for telling me about Ree back in 2009. Thank you, thank you!

Okay, so back to Valentine's Day, we went to Borders in Dallas to see her. But early that day, on my way to class, I stopped by to grab the wristbands that account for your placement in line. Good thing I did because we stood in line for 3 hours, I believe? And they weren't even halfway through the line at that point.


Anyways. I wanted to share with you the EPIC experience.

It. was. surreal.

When I walked in, I saw the back of this.......

uh, hellllo marlboro man.

*He signed my book. I drew the line there. Picture with him, no. Picture of him, yes.*

One of my favorite people of all time. I think we met....almost 20 years ago. 20 years.

Standing in line for that long can really do a number on you. But it doesn't shake the excitement.

There's the back of my head. And probably the moment when I was telling her how my sister wanted so badly to be there but she was literally about to go into labor so....and then she replied with an, 'oh I wish she would have. I would have loved to deliver her baby, I'm serious.'

Oh Ree. Considering all you accomplish in one day, I'm sure you could have.

Do you ever see pictures like this with someone you don't know, and wonder why everyone looks so uncomfortable. Well its because YOU'RE NERVOUS and SWEATING PROFUSELY. And thinking, 'man I really hope the way I'm standing doesn't look funny'.

Well personally I think I looked ridiculous but I was also still completely excited. But she was a doll and I loved meeting her.

Short story behind this picture:

My sister gave me her book for Christmas and it came in February. I was just so excited to have it in my hands so I was taking a picture of it, obviously.

But then my best friend Meredith convenient calls me as I'm doing so and here's our short conversation:

Me: Hey

Mer: Hey what are you doing?

Me: Uh, just taking pictures of my book.

Mer: You're taking pictures of your book?! WHO takes pictures of their book. Shouldn't you be reading it?

Me: Listen, I just got it and I'm really excited about it so leave me alone.

Maybe you had to be there. But I took a picture of this too.....

Love you too, Ree.

Love you too.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

the epitome of a teacher

I have two older sisters. One is a kindergarten teacher.

All bias-ness aside, I have never experienced such a phenomenal teacher and a blessing. She puts herself last in respect to her students and no matter what, loves the children she's been given and pursues their hearts and minds with fervor, compassion, and love.

I have never met someone with a heart quite like hers. As my sister, I know her quite well. Spending the majority of your life sharing a bathroom with someone you get to know them fairly well. And when they let you sleep in their bed with them until a ridiculous age, because of your personal insecurities, you get to know them even better. She can be a spit fire. She can burst into song. She can be bossy because that's the way God made her. And as a younger sister, there were plenty of times that I didn't understand or appreciate those good qualities in her. But I realize now, those are the perfect qualities of a kindergarten teacher. Are they not?

Mel, I know that the past few weeks have been really rough. You have been doing a phenomenal job on your first year. I simply want to reach out for a minute to say I love you, keep it up, and the best is yet to come. I know the uncertainty of life is breaking your heart. I know there have been plenty of things pulling at you, testing your heart and spirit in every facet of your life. But you, my sister, have been created for such a rare and special reason. You have qualities that outweigh many others. You have compassion that transcends any heart ache. You have endurance that knows no bounds. You have a way of loving little ones that is restorative and many wish they knew. God created you in such a specific and majestic manner. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Even though you don't know what lies ahead for this part of your life and feel just so uncertain, don't you forget that He knows exactly what He is doing.

Even in the moments where you can't imagine it going well or working out, it always does and always will. Why? Because you know the God of creation who establishes your steps. The same God who commands the morning and causes the dawn to know its place knows the plans He has for you. And without a shadow of a doubt cares deeply for His daughter.

Even now, you set examples for me in life. You show how to trust and obey and how to praise Him even in moments of weakness. I love you so dearly. Please come over soon and hang out with me.

P.S. you still have my nail polish.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

let me show you random pictures to explain what I've been doing instead of blogging.

Hi, hello. remember me?


my ability to stay away from this part of my life, is officially 22 days. that makes me sick to my stomach just thinking about it. So those of you who have gotten on to me about it, thanks. Getting in trouble is a great motivation.

Let's play a game of catch up called, 'let me show you random pictures to explain what I've been doing instead of blogging'.

Of most importance, however, is this...

There is a new man in my life.

Yes, you heard me right. All 6lb. 14oz. of a handsome little man.

And NO he is not mine, just so we're all clear on that one.

I'm not even dating anyone.

After three sisters, two nieces, and a lifetime of female pets, this family has been in need of some more boys. And praise the Lord, my sister had one a few weeks ago. And that is where I spent most of my time, with everyone.

Becoming an ace at making chocolate milk and learning how to make sure there are no monsters in the bedrooms, even though I might have just encouraged that fear with all my good intentions :/

Look at him! So tiny. My expression doesn't look too enthralled to see him but trust me, I am relishing in the fact of his existence, that's all.

Having after school snacks, solo, for the first time. Let's just leave it at 1) it was sticky and 2) we changed clothes when we got home.

So much enjoyment in this picture.

Not having grasped the fact that, yes, my two and three year old nieces do know how to use my phone. I would find pictures on it like this. That was SELF TAKEN. And sometimes there would be videos. VIDEOS.

I was impressed. And a little nervous that it would join someone else to the bathroom and end up in the toilet.

But because I was around so often, I was able to capture phenomenons such as this.

Maybe I'm a bias aunt, but what three-year-old can cut out a circle in such a careful manner?

And can make a 'dinner' for mom right after she had a baby?

There was a lot of determination in this one effort.

Yes, potatoes shoved in a coffee pot = dinner.

mmmm. How precious is he?!

There would be be those moments, though, where I'd have to remind myself,

'She's three. She's just having a difficult time away from parents and all this temporary instability. She does love me. She does love me. Its just a glue stick. She'll be fine.'

And then I would wake up quite often with a two year old staring at me at 7:05am on the days that I didn't have to go to first thought,

'IIII am definitely not ready for children.'

But then I realized they are so precious and I love them and now they've been out of town for two, almost three weeks.


Oh and to top it all off, I went on my first ever road trip, a nice 14 hour drive to Florida with three of my sweet, wonderful, upbeat, patient, and hilarious friends. Let's just say that me and the beach spent 95% of my trip together. The other we were probably falling asleep at 8:30pm in all honesty.

Despite one person suffering from some questionably strange and painful sun burns, it was a wonderful and remarkably cheap. We didn't really take any pictures though. Our last evening there we caught the sunset but the five pictures I have are all a tad blurry. Its sad that we didn't think to take many pictures but we were too busy laughing and sleeping and getting tan and sleeping.

Here is the least blurry picture I have.

But let's end on this note....

Please grasp how small he is.

He's coming back this week. He'll proabably come back with facial hair and an attitude for all I know. Three-ish weeks is just too long.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

When two or more are gathered...

Yesterday was long. Everyone has those days, some longer, some more difficult. But in that moment, trying to keep my self together for a second, praying for some endurance, I checked my e-mail.

Well, I don't normally share everything I hear about but a certain e-mail from yesterday really struck a chord with me. From what I can tell, the sender sent this to someone else, who sent it to someone else, who sent it to my aunt, who sent it to me.

Confused yet?

I don't know all the details nor do I know her personally. It's about a young girl in her early 20's who is currently suffering from tremendous illnesses. She began with cancer in her jaw 5 years ago and after having many surgeries, going through remission, it continued to show up again.

It has spread to her brain.

She can no longer see and has lost her hearing because of the tumors.

Here is the e-mail I received with her mother sharing her heart and plead. You'll want to read this:

"L has her good days and bad days. Over all, she is much better than the first of December. Most of you know L is in hospice care and we are doing the care through our home. She does not fully understand the intention of this care. We recently decided to ask for an MRI, which usually means you have to come out of hospice care and can return back, but were able to do so without dropping out of hospice care. Friday afternoon she had her MRI and did very well staying still for it. This is the first time in a long time that she was able to stay still. [Her dad] received a call today to let us know that the tumor appears to be stable in some areas including the brain, but has small growth in another area. Considering L’s medical history the doctor’s do consider this to be tumor, but it could still be an issue caused from radiation/chemo treatment. The only way we would know is to biopsy, which cannot happen. We will continue as we have for the last couple of months.

We ask that you please pray for L and our family. I ask that you please pray for L, us to be able to accept whatever the outcome is in her life, and for God to give us (parents) the wisdom we need in her health care.

I would like to share something that L has felt and believed through this struggle over the last 5 years. Most of you know L has always kept a journal of her daily thought. She showed us her journal about a year after she was diagnosed with cancer. She had written in it that she had been praying for God to give her testimony, because she felt she did not have one to share. L felt that by growing up in a Christian Home and attending a Christian School that she just really did not have something to share with the lost. Boy, did she get one! She told [her dad] and me that one thing she wanted to see out of this experience with cancer, would be for lives to be changed and people to come and know the Lord. There are many family and friends that L had told us she was concerned about their Salvation and praying for them. Now, for the ones of you that do not know the Lord as your personal Savior, please do not think there is not a God in all of this who does not care. God has never left her or our side. The Bible says the just and unjust will all suffer. That means none of us are immune from suffering. Being a Christian does not mean you will not suffer or you will stop sinning. I often feel like the apostle Paul. He said he was the chief of sinners. Well, I believe I hold that title. Please do not look at my life and make a decision based on my daily living. I am just a sinner saved by God’s wonderful grace. Salvation gives you eternal life with Christ Jesus. You see, L wanted a testimony that she could share with the lost and lead them to the Lord. She wanted to see souls saved. I am not telling you anything she not has not told her family, friends, or church groups. With L not being in her right mind and able to share this, I want to share her message that she has shared with us. What ever happens in her life, God had a reason. He in control!

This is one of the hardest updates I have written! We want to share L’s testimony and her story, of what she wants told to all. Please feel free to share with others. This is L’s wish and what she would want to share with everyone hearing her story. She does a much better job at sharing it than me."

Um, this was terribly humbling to say the least. How awful to suffer such a painful and life changing illness and at such a young age. Talk about someone who needs to be lifted up in prayer, who needs endurance, and hope. Being in the same stage of life really made me think, 'what if that was me? I couldn't imagine what that would be like.' And it just simply places me right back in the place I need to be. Thankful.

Thankful that I have eyes to see, feet that can walk. Endurance to keep treading through life. Hope that never dissappoints. A peace that trancends all understanding. And moments like these that remind me how blessed I am, even in the really tough parts of life.


Here's what I'm thinking. This blog averages about 120 visitors a week right now. Wow, I'm not complaining about that!!! Some of you are believers in Christ and some may not be. But for those of you who are willing, won't you join me in lifting this girl up in prayer?

Prayer is one of the most powerful of movements we can act on for one another. Lifting one another up through prayer, a bended knee. What if each of us, after reading this, prayed for her once. That would be at least 120 people this week. How wonderful.

I felt compelled to share this with you today. So much so that I hope my urge for prayer would stir in your heart so deep that what ever you're doing, you would be willing to stop life for a moment, and lift up our sister in Christ. She is hurting, she is weak, and she needs to see the power of prayer.

In Matthew 18:19-20 it says this, "Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. "For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst."

Again, I know we aren't all together physically but....maybe you have someone who would pray alongside with you. I don't know. What do you think could happen? I, for one, know that my God is full of love, compassion, and healing. He is also just in every way, sovereign, and full of grace.

I know in the deepest depths of my soul that He hears me when I pray. I've seen it proven true time and time again.

So I urge you, only in a willing and compassionate heart, would you join me in praying for this girl?

Thank you so much for reading such a lengthy, probably repetitive, and probably confusing post.

I appreciate you so dearly.